Looney Tunes Super Stars: Porky & Friends - Hilarious Ham
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Looney Tunes Super Stars: Porky & Friends (DVD)
He may be short, pink and pants-less, but when it comes to animated superstardom, Porky Pig proves: the sty's the limit! Now, remastered to pristine, make-your-eyeballs-bug-out condition, these 18 landmark Looney Toons spotlight Porky and pals in a plentitude of porcine cartoon perfection, including Pilgrim Porky's half-baked attempt to put duck on his Thanksgiving menu (Tom Turk and Daffy), followed by Porky as a wildly wacky wagon train scout (Wagon Heels). Then, there's Porky's ham-handed scheme to thwart a ravenous rodent with a robot cat (Mouse Menace), and our piggy protagonist as a clueless cop trying to evict vagrant Daffy from his department store digs (Riff Raffy Daffy). And th-th-th that's NOT all folks! There's further fun afoot with Porky, Elmer Fudd, Bunny and Claude and more in these swine-sational classics from animation's Golden Age!]]>
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1. Tom Turk and Daffy
2. Wagon Heels (previously in the Golden Collection Volume 5)
3. Mouse Menace
4. One Meat Brawl
5. Curtain Razor
6. The Pest That Came to Dinner
7. Riff Raffy Daffy
8. Boobs in the Woods (previously in the Golden Collection Volume 1)
9. Dog Collared
10. Thumb Fun
11. Fool Coverage
12. Corn on the Cop
13. Corn Plastered
14. Gone Batty
15. Ant Pasted
16. Dog Gone People
17. Bunny and Claude: We Rob Carrot Patches
18. The Great Carrot Train Robbery
Now if you watch Looney Tunes on Cartoon Network, chances are you seen some of these cartoons with old transfers (and odd transfers like Ant Pasted having a PAL Master and Fool Coverage having an NTSC master with ghosting issues). All these cartoons will be restored and remastered to beautiful glory as always with the addition of them being in original full screen and having a widescreen option for the Post-53 shorts (like I said, the Post-53 shorts will be in full screen too). You can now see Porky classics such as Mouse Menace, Fool Coverage, Riff Raffy Daffy, and Curatin Razor with new remastered transfers and if you're also a fan of the Seven Arts era of Looney Tunes, you'll be happy to know that Bunny and Claude will be on the set too (infact, their entire filmography is included!). All this plus 2 Elmer Fudd shorts and 2 great one-shots; Corn Plastered and Gone Batty. This release may very well be the best one is the Super Stars line yet and highly recommend it to any Looney Tunes fan!
While not perfect in terms of quality, the people at WHV did a great job with the short selections for this release. Porky Pig himself stars in 12 of the 18 featured cartoons (and almost all of his shorts here are from the pre-'53 era so they're pretty much his best). One of his cartoons called CORN ON THE COP, which was released by DFE in 1965, is also a good one. Besides these 12 Porkys, there are also 6 other shorts, most of which were directed by Robert McKimson: two one-shots, two Elmer Fudds (one directed by Friz Freleng), and both "Bunny and Claude" shorts from the Seven-Arts era. Not a bad mix!
The thing I like most about this DVD, however, is that unlike earlier LTSS DVDs that had 15 shorts per disc and faux widescreen matting (except for the Pepe Le Pew disc which had 17 shorts and less widescreen options), WHV has now decided to remove the widescreen options completely and throw in *18* shorts. In my opinion, this trade-off would make the series a lot better if it kept going this way. I bought the LTSS Sylvester and Hippety Hopper DVD today (which was released after this Porky set, only a few weeks ago, and also features 18 shorts and no matting), and it is GREAT! Keep up the better work, Warner Bros!
P.S.- Here's something interesting I figured out about possible future DVDs in this line. If WHV keeps releasing more titles with the new "18 cartoons per disc" rule, they could do a "Yosemite Sam" DVD with his unreleased filmography. 15 of his "classic" shorts have yet to see a digital release (as do both of his "revival" shorts which have only been shown as special features on other LT DVDs), so they could even throw in one of his previously released cartoons or, better yet, one of Bugs Bunny's solo cartoons that also has yet to be released on DVD, since he's Yosemite Sam's most frequent rival.
It's really amazing to think about how more content can be configured onto DVD sans unnecessary special features.
We're also seeing the quality of the restorations slipping. The colors aren't as bright, and the picture isn't as clean as we've been accustomed to. In the case of ONE MEAT BRAWL, it hasn't been restored at all - merely the 1995 "Dubbed Version" from Turner.
Fortunately, there are enough funny moments to recommend this compilation without hesitation, most of them courtesy of Daffy Duck. TOM TURK AND DAFFY is one of Chuck Jones's cynical masterworks, and THUMB FUN and FOOL COVERAGE are among some of the last hurrahs from the Bob McKimson unit. Art Davis's RIFF RAFFY DAFFY still looks fairly crummy unfortunately. With the restoration budgets shrinking by the day at Warners, I don't think we're seeing it as good as it could be, but the cartoon may have just been processed badly at the lab when it was made. (I've had garbage film prints of this title dating back to the 1950s.) But don't take my word for it - it's a fun release that will surely evoke nostalgia of watching the cartoons on television, and most of the titles are solidly presented.
Please take note that in spite of saying so on the case's back cover, none of the cartoons are offered in "widescreen". Let us hope that Warner Home Video will no longer stay committed to this lie that the cartoons were designed to be seen this way.