Classic animation releases mentioned in Video Movie Guide - Forum.
Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.
Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
speedy fast  
#1 Posted : Thursday, January 5, 2017 2:28:28 AM(UTC)
speedy fast

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered, Researcher
Joined: 1/4/2017(UTC)
Posts: 95
United States

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 5 post(s)

One book I've had for years was the 1995 Video Movie Guide. It lists various productions that have been released on home video, including many classic animation releases. And I've always liked looking at the descriptions of various Looney Tunes videos in there. In fact, while I don't look in the book as much as I used to, in the past year, every time that I have looked in it, I looked at the sections on various Looney Tunes videos.

And there's a number of things I've noticed. Mistakes (some of which I added to the "Cowboy Bebop at his Computer" page at TV Tropes), nitpicks, omissions, and other interesting things.

For example, when it comes to home video compilations of classic cartoons, almost all video descriptions list a timeframe of all shorts listed (for example, if the oldest animated short came out in 1938 and the most recent was released in 1947, it'll list the release year as 1938-1947, as opposed to the year the video itself was released). The only exception are the Looney Tunes Golden Jubilee videos from 1985, which all list 1985 as the release date (the ones that came out in 1986 list the dates for the cartoons instead).

For the most part, the only directors listed for the various compilation movies and specials are the ones who directed the linking footage, omitting directors whose work was edited into the special or movie somehow. One of the big exceptions was Bugs Bunny's Third Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales, which lists Friz Freling and Chuck Jones as directors. I actually did ask about this on the Golden Age Cartoons Forum, asking if Jones was actually involved with directing linking footage. And I learned that although Friz Freling is often listed as director of the film in unofficial movie guides, the movie does not credit one main director, instead crediting three co-directors (none of whom were listed there), while Freling merely got credited as writer and producer (and director of the classic cartoons). I thought it was a little odd that the book didn't list Robert McKimson as director (though only one of his cartoons appears in the movie, and only a short clip at that). The entry on Fantastic Island doesn't list Jones or McKimson as directors, and the entry on Quackbusters doesn';t list Freling, Jones, or McKimson as directors (though the description does acknowledge that it includes cartoons directed by Freling and Jones).

It looks like it actually got info on Bugs Bunny's Lunar Tunes mixed up with Bugs Bunny in Outer Space, evident by mentioning that it includes The Hasty Hare, Hare-Way to the Stars, Mad as a Mars Hare, and only clips from Duck Dodgers. But in Lunar Tunes, Mad as a Mars Hare is not included, and the special doesn't include ANY complete cartoons (not just Duck Dodgers), not to mention the special has clips from other shorts (of course I've read that Bugs Bunny in Outer Space also had clips from His Hare-Raising Tale which is not mentioned there...). Additionally, the only director listed is Chuck Jones, who did not direct the linking footage (and considering Bugs Bunny in Outer Space doesn't have any linking footage, would he count as "director" of the whole special? Was he involved with editing, assembling cartoons for inclusion, or whatever?), and it lists the date as 1977 as opposed to 1992. Considering Bugs Bunny in Outer Space was only (as far as I know) broadcast once and never released on video, it's amazing that this mistake was made.

Another interesting thing mentioned was the 1990 What's Up, Doc? special. This is the only place I've seen that lists that special as having been released on video (I asked The Bugs Bunny Video Guide via Facebook about this and the webmaster didn't know anything about that having a VHS release).

Almost every pre-1995 official Looney Tunes video release is mentioned, but there are some omissions. The book does not list The Best of Bugs Bunny and Friends, Just Plain Daffy, the second wave of MGM's Bugs Bunny video collection, any of the 1993 video series, or the television specials Bugs Bunny's Thanksgiving Diet, Daffy Duck's Thanks-for-Giving Special (must be something against Looney Tunes celebrating Thanksgiving), Bugs Bunny's Overtures to Disaster, or Bugs Bunny's Creature Feature. Considering the book seems to only focus on VHS, none of the laserdisc titles are listed.

On a non-Looney Tunes thing I noticed, the book lists volumes 1, 2, and 4 of Tex Avery's Screwball Classics, but not volume 3. It's weird that the book skipped volume 3, unless the authors never saw that one (or unless there was no volume 4 and they got the number wrong... Might need to research this).

There's some more that I'd like to point out later, but it is enjoyable reading a lot of opinions and descriptions of the old videos. It was a great time when video/movie guides would list non-movies released on video as well. Several years later, I would get a couple of Leonard Maltin Video/Movie Guides which only listed movies, and I'd get a Golden Retriever guide which only included movies (I have seen the 1993 edition which included a lot of non-movies, including classic cartoon releases. Can't really remember anything to note here, except that the 1993 Golden Retriever includes info on volumes 4-7 of The Looney Tunes Video Guide while the Video Movie Guide only includes info on the first three volumes).
speedy fast  
#2 Posted : Sunday, January 8, 2017 12:11:47 AM(UTC)
speedy fast

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered, Researcher
Joined: 1/4/2017(UTC)
Posts: 95
United States

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 5 post(s)

Here's a few more observations I have about Looney Tunes video entries in the Video Movie Guide:

This is really a nitpick, but the description for Bugs Bunny's Easter Funnies says that the cartoons included are the full versions. I saw the special for the first time last year, and none of the cartoons are truly uncut, as all of them are missing something (Birds Anonymous is missing its iconic opening scene, Robin Hood Daffy is missing the very end when Daffy Duck becomes "Friar Duck", I think The Rabbit of Seville is missing the scene with Bugs dressed as a woman, though I can't really remember what's missing from For Scent-Imental Reasons). Of course the book probably means that they're presented as full as possible as opposed to just short clips edited into the specials. The book also mentions a few shorts that appear in full in other specials (Big House Bunny in The Bugs Bunny Mystery Special and This is a Life? in Bugs Bunny's Mad World of Television), I wonder how "uncut" those shorts are in those specials.

The first wave of Bugs Bunny videos from 1990 are listed as "The Very Best of Bugs Bunny Vol. 1", "The Very Best of Bugs Bunny Vol. 2", and so on, even though that wasn't the series title, each video had it's own distinctive title, and it seems there was no official title for the series "unless the series was officially just titled "Bugs Bunny".

The summary for Daffy Duck: The Nuttiness Continues describes Duck Amuck as involving Daffy getting his just desserts from an animated witch, but there is no witch in the short. I remember when I first got that book and saw that description, before I ever watched the video (I would rent it a few months later), I thought it meant that the video also contained A Haunting We Will Go (which is not on the video, but does reuse animation and gags from Duck Amuck in addition to having an animated witch).

One thing I've noticed, not just here but in all reference books/movie websites that mention Bugs Bunny's Third Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales, is that official descriptions often point out the inclusion of One Froggy Evening, while not mentioning what other shorts include. In fact when I first saw that movie, I read the description in the cable TV listings and the one-line description was,paraphrased from memory, "includes the cartoon One Froggy Evening". And in the last year I've been seeing a number of things about the movie that point out that the ending to One Froggy Evening is cut from the movie.

When it comes to video collections, for the most part each video is represented individually, though there are cases where an entire video collection is given just one entry, though no Looney Tunes collections are. Of course, there is an entry for Popeye videos, marking a rare example where the guide lists public domain releases of classic animation. But for each video, the individual titles are listed without the series title (so there no listings as "Looney Tunes Golden Jubilee: Bugs Bunny's Wacky Adventures" or "Looney Tunes Cartoon Cavalcade:Daffy Duck's Madcap Mania"), but there are a few exceptions.

Five of the Cartoon Movie Stars videos (Bugs!, Daffy!, Porky!, Elmer!, and Starring Bugs Bunny) are listed with Cartoon Movie Stars written by it (Cartoon Movie Stars: Bugs, Cartoon Movie Stars: Daffy!), while the others are listed just by their individual title (even Tweety and Sylvester). I thought it was odd when I first found out that the collection had more videos that were listed. It seems like it was done for disambiguation purposes, but there aren't really any other generic-titles listed as the official titles (no public domain Looney Tunes videos are listed, and this came before the Stars of Space Jam series where the character names were the video titles).

The "Cartoon Festival" videos are, for the most part, listed by their full title ("Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd Cartoon Festival Featuring Wabbit Trouble", "Porky Pig Cartoon Festival Featuring Nothing But the Tooth", etc.), but there is one exception: Little Tweetie and Little Inki Cartoon Featival Featuring I Taw a Putty Tat is only listed as "Little Tweetie and Little Inki Cartoon Festival". Maybe it's because that's the only Tweety and Inki Cartoon Festival video, but the full titles for the only (solo) Elmer Fudd and Sniffles cartoon festivals are listed (as are the only Bugs and Elmer cartoon festive and the only Daffy and Porky cartoon festival).

Each volume of The Golden Age of Looney Tunes has the series title by the individual VHS titles (but the volume numbers aren't listed).

On a non-WB classic cartoon note, each video in Disney's Limited Gold Edition has that listed, listing them as "Mickey (Limited Gold Edition)" and so on - and videos from the second wave are listed as, for example, "Donald's Bee Pictures (Limited Gold Edition II)".
speedy fast  
#3 Posted : Friday, January 20, 2017 11:54:37 PM(UTC)
speedy fast

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered, Researcher
Joined: 1/4/2017(UTC)
Posts: 95
United States

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 5 post(s)

I have a few observations on certain opinions stated in the book (of course opinions are not factually incorrect).

It's interesting looking at the video guide's entries on each volume of the Looney Tunes Video Show. It gives a favorable review of the first volume, refers to volume 2 as "filler time" with Two Scents Worth referred to as the only real good cartoon, and says that volume 3 has a mix of really good and really bad. The Looney Tunes Video Show is a series where my interest was always mixed. On one hand, it's the only video collection to not focus on character or theme, and seems more like a celebration of B-list and lower releases (while the Golden Jubilee had many of the very high A-list shorts), but then again, it allows for one-shots and characters not major enough to have their own videos (though the Golden Jubilee would also include such shorts in most of the character videos). But the three US releases do have a number of cartoons I really like, even if they're not as celebrated as shorts like Duck Amuck or What's Opera, Doc?

Looking at the Daffy Duck and Porky Pig videos from the 1992 video series, it's interesting that it praises the Daffy Duck one for focusing more on his early appearances while criticizing the Porky one for pretty much the same reason. And I thought that the early Porky cartoons are generally better than the majority of post-1948 Porky cartoons (well, post-1948 Porky when he's not with Daffy). The book doesn't do much criticizing of early works for the MGM/UA releases, which were limited to the earlier ones (though it does say that the Chuck Jones and Tex Avery videos in the Golden Age of Looney Tunes were poor selections for directors who would get better - and I thought Avery's Looney Tunes works were generally liked by fans and historians).

It's interesting that the entry for Speedy Gonzales' Fast Funnies says that the cartoons are hardly his best, though it seems to say good things about three of the shorts included. Of course it also says that subtle racism in the cartoons make the character a little uncomfortable, so I'm not sure if the authors just weren't fans of the character, but the "these are hardly his best shorts" line is odd. I feel like this video has all of the best pre-1964 Speedy Gonzales cartoons except for Speedy Gonzales (which was in A Salute to Friz Freling) and Mexican Boarders (surely the authors aren't bigger fans of the post-1964 cartoons).
Users browsing this topic
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Notification

Icon
Error