Top positive review
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Lovely book, would have liked a bit more text
on June 25, 2010
Jerry Beck surveyed animation fans and historians to come up with a list of the 'creme de la creme' of Looney Tunes -- the best 100 cartoons (out of over a thousand) released by Warner Brothers between 1930 and the mid-1960's. The results are printed in this beatifully produced (and eminently reasonably priced) book that any animation fan will want to own.
I'm sure the comments area of this site will now have multiple discussion threads devoted to arguments over which cartoons should have been included but weren't (and I have some ideas of my own), but all of the 'tunes that made the cut are certainly worthy of a place in this book. The list even includes "Coal Black" .. a short that we will probably never get to see. Shorts are listed in alphabetical order, there was no attempt to rank the cartoons from 1 to 100.
Following a couple of brief introductions, each cartoon gets its own two page spread. One page is devoted to stills from the cartoon (usually sharp and crisp; a few are rather fuzzy -- these seem to be from cartoons that have not been released on DVD and so haven't yet been restored), and the other to text. And that is the slightly disappointing part. A heading in large type, a brief quote from the short in almost-as-large type, a boxed sidebar with production information (director, voices, etc.), a summary of the plot, and then, from an animation expert or historian, a VERY brief discussion of some aspect of the film. I was really hoping for more in-depth discussions of the shorts; couldn't some of the abundant white space on the page been used for this? (Though, realistically, I guess it's hard to get TOO profound when talking about Looney Tunes -- they were never meant to be deep or meaningful ... just funny and entertaining.)
Despite this disappointment, still a must-buy.