Looney Tunes: Golden Collection Volume 4 (DVD)
Like previous installments, the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume 4
mixes favorites from the Warner Bros. archives with relatively obscure older works. Chuck Jones' "Mississippi Hare" and Friz Freleng's "Sahara Hare" and "Knighty-Knight Bugs" (which won an Oscar) offer hilarious performances by Bugs. Two of Jones' earliest films, "The Night Watchman" and "Conrad the Sailor" prefigure his use of subtle expressions in his later cartoons. The disc of shorts by Frank Tashlin includes "Plane Daffy": pigeon see-duck-tress Hatta Mari anticipates Jayne Mansfield in such later Tashlin live-action comedies as Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
Not all of these films have aged as gracefully. Younger viewers will probably not catch the references to Charlie McCarthy, Bill Robinson, and other old film and radio stars. The Speedy Gonzalez cartoons feature ethnic humor that seems embarrassing today; it's also crashingly unfunny. Each disc offers a disclaimer about stereotypes, noting, "they were wrong then and are wrong today."
The discs are loaded with extras that range from a partial set of storyboards for "Sahara Hare" to three of the "Private Snafu" shorts, which were made for the "Army-Navy Screen Magazine" during WW II. The oddest extra is the documentary Bugs Bunny Superstar, which infuriated many of the Warner Bros. artists when it was released in 1977. Much of its information should be taken with a grain of salt. (Unrated, suitable for ages 6 and older: cartoon violence, some ethnic stereotypes, mild risqué humor, alcohol & tobacco use) --Charles Solomon