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The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection

4.7 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Relive all of the hilarious, crazy adventures of Woody Woodpecker, everyone's favorite wacky red-headed bird, in The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection! Created by renowned cartoonist Walter Lantz, these 75 original theatrical cartoons - all digitally remastered and completely uncut - showcase some of the wildest antics in animation history. Join Woody and his friends Chilly Willy, Andy Panda, Wally Walrus and Buzz Buzzard in hours of outrageous adventures. Featuring rare treasures from the Walter Lantz archive, including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Cartune Classic and Swing Symphony cartoons, this side-splitting collection will keep fans laughing out loud time and time again!

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Walter Lantz produced cartoons for Universal for more than 40 years, from 1929 until 1972, but his studio's output remained the animated equivalent of "B" pictures. His cartoons broke no new ground in animation, story telling, or humor. This generous set includes the first 45 Woody Woodpecker cartoons, 10 "Cartune Classics," five "Swing Symphonies," and five shorts with Andy Panda, Chilly Willy, and Oswald Rabbit (a character originally created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks). Woody Woodpecker made his debut in "Knock Knock" (1940) as a loony-bin zany, similar to the very early Bugs Bunny. But Woody never developed the kind of nuanced personality Bugs displays in later cartoons, despite the impressive array of animators and directors who passed through the studio. Tex Avery directed "The Legend of Rockabye Point" (1955), probably the funniest cartoon Lantz ever released, but he failed to make any lasting changes in the house style. Some cartoons are more interesting as historical documents than entertainment. In "Confidence" (1933), Oswald cures the effects of a spectre labeled "Depression" with a hypodermic needle full of confidence that he gets from Franklin Roosevelt. The "Swing Symphonies" and "Cartune Classics" feature performances by noteworthy jazz musicians, including Jack Teagarden in "The Pied Piper of Basin Street" (1945). But they lack the lavish beauty of Disney's "Silly Symphonies" and the rambunctious energy of the Fleischer jazz cartoons, their obvious models. "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company 'B'" (1941) earned Lantz his first Oscar nomination, but decades later, it's little more than a collection of spot gags featuring unflattering African-American stereotypes. (Unrated, suitable for ages 10 and older: violence, tobacco use, ethnic and racial stereotypes) --Charles Solomon

Special Features

  • Walter, Woody and the World of Animation
  • Cartoonland Mysteries
  • The Origin of Woody Woodpecker (Episode #1)
  • Drawing Woody and Andy (Episode #5)
  • Creating the Stories (Episode #6)
  • Animating Woody (Episode #8)
  • The Development of Woody (Episode #9)
  • Directing Animated Cartoons (Episode #10)
  • The Woody Woodpecker Show Halloween Episode

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Mel Blanc
    • Directors: Walter Lantz, Tex Avery
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 3
    • Rated:
      NR
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007
    • Run Time: 555 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B000PC1PAW
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,207 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: DVD
    Finally, The Walter Lantz classics are fianlly being released. This collection includes the first 45 Woody Woodpecker cartoons from "Knock Knock"(1940)to The Great Who Dood-It(1952). These are the cartoons where Woody Woodpecker is really insane with his famous laugh. Besides Woody Woodpecker, this collection also includes the first 5 cartoons of that loveable penguin- Chilly Willy. This collection also includes amny of the "Swing Symphonies" and "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" Cartoons and 5 choice Andy Panda cartoons. These shorts are all uncut and restored and remastered from the original Universal Pictures Master Negatives. You won't want to miss this set. If this set sells well, there might be a volume 2.
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    Format: DVD
    "If Woody had gone straight to the police, this would NEVER have happened..." (from BUNCO BUSTERS)

    I share some fans' viewpoint that the 1940s Woody starring vehicles are the best. But many Woody viewers appreciate the 1950s Woody shorts -- the body of this collection -- for other reasons. These are the Woody shorts from which generations of nostalgia come.
    "The story you are about to see is a big fat lie..." "Now I've gotcha, Chief Charlie Horse!" "YAAAAAY!" "Make with them keys, Maestro, and don't stop!" Face it: you remember these beloved Woody cliches even if you no longer recall the specific cartoons (UNDER THE COUNTER SPY, CHIEF CHARLIE HORSE, NIAGARA FOOLS, CONVICT CONCERTO) from which they come. You're getting them. All of them.

    And that's not even starting on the supporting features, a mini-anthology of highly inspired choices. Andy Panda's MOUSIE COME HOME envisions codependence in crazed cartoon form; Chilly Willy's HALF-BAKED ALASKA has its unforgettable patter routine ("More butter? More syrup?"); and THE HAMS THAT COULDN'T BE CURED is a hot jazz Three Little Pigs send-up.
    Finally there's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the star Walter Lantz inherited from an earlier (1927-28) Walt Disney/Ub Iwerks regime at Universal. Disney reacquired some rights to Oswald in 2006; last year saw a selection released in their Walt Disney Treasures line. But Universal retained rights to its own Oswald material, and Woody Vol. 2 brings us another small, tempting quintet.
    The inventive, vital black and white classics are a fascinatingly different viewing experience from anything else on this box, as wannabe hero Oswald is smacked by Tex Avery's earliest gags. A long-lost color Oswald featuring girlfriend Fanny, SPRINGTIME SERENADE, is here too.
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    Format: DVD
    This set will have 45 Woody Woodpecker Cartoons spanning from 1952-1958. The trouble is that director Paul J. Smith (boo) was only interested in bringing the cartoons in under budget, creativity was not an issue for him. He started taking over Woody in 1955 and the cartoons started to became mediocre.

    The GOOD NEWS is that there will also be non-Smith Woodys and 30 Walter Lantz non-Woody cartoons produced from 1930-1960 in this set, and these classics will be well worth getting this for! With DVDs you can just skip over the Paul J. Smith clunkers and cue the menu to these.

    The Classic Cartoons will include these new-to-DVD titles:
    SHE DONE HIM RIGHT (1933) w/Pooch The Pup B&W
    FIVE AND DIME (1933) w/Oswald Rabbit B&W
    WAX WORKS (1934) w/Oswald Rabbit B&W
    SPRINGTIME SERENADE (1935)
    A-HAUNTING WE WILL GO (1939)
    FAIR TODAY (1941)
    BOOGIE WOOGIE MAN (1943) A Swing Symphony
    THE PAINTER AND THE POINTER (1944) w/ Andy Panda
    + 22 more!

    The Woody Woodpecker cartoons in this set are:
    (previously released to DVD by Columbia House unless noted "new to DVD")

    1952
    TERMITES FROM MARS (Don Patterson)

    1953
    WHAT'S SWEEPIN' (Don Patterson)
    BUCCANEER WOODPECKER (Don Patterson)
    OPERATION SAWDUST (Don Patterson)
    WRESTLING WRECKS (Don Patterson)
    BELLE BOYS (Don Patterson)
    HYPNOTIC HICK (Don Patterson) - originally shot in 3-D, but this will be standard 2-D here.
    HOT NOON (spoofing the movie High Noon) (Paul J. Smith)

    1954
    SOCKO IN MOROCCO (Don Patterson) - new to DVD!
    ALLEY TO BALI ( aka Bali Ho ) (Don Patterson)
    UNDER THE COUNTER SPY ( aka Secret Agent FOB, a Dragnet spoof) (Don Patterson)
    HOT ROD HUCKSTER (Paul J.
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    First the packaging. This set is a textbook case of how to make an absolutely great DVD set. No annoying ads when you start the discs. Easy to navigate menu that makes watching individual cartoons easy and fun. Some of the cartoons, however, are simply three stars. The box has a disclaimer that the set is intended for collectors and "may not be suitable for children". "There's a difference between violence and slapstick", Walt Lantz once said. Nevertheless, he edited some of these 'toons when they appeared in 1970 on The Woody Woodpecker Show. These are every bit as violent as vintage Tom and Jerry 'toons, and parents have to make the same call. My view is that kids remember characters, not stories, and have an innate "cartoon sense" which enables them to tell "toons" from "reality. "Toons" are sometimes worse, but often better than "reality". Parents' real concern should be the extreme "live-action" shows on the rest of the airwaves.

    That said, parents doing cartoons without cable will find this a perfect set. It's easy to play one cartoon a day as if it were on TV. Both kids and collectors will appreciate the bonuses in this set, which include one full show and six segments from the Woody Woodpecker Show. This innovative program combined live action Lantz and animated Woody in the studio, Lantz showing kids how to draw cartoons. I would love to have that whole series on DVD. This also recalls the approach of the other Walt (Disney), beginning with the Disneyland show, of similarly mixing live action and animated characters. However, the live Lantz makes very clear the difference between the 'toons and the live animators drawing them, and can say, "hey kids, let's watch this cartoon together". The key word is "together".
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