The Golden Age of Looney Tunes

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Cover for the collection's laserdisc box sets

The Golden Age of Looney Tunes is an out-of-print series of 5-disc laserdisc and 10-tape VHS box sets released by MGM/UA Home Video, as part of a deal with Turner Entertainment Co., a division of Turner Broadcasting System. Five volumes were released on laserdisc, but only the first volume was issued on VHS. The VHS tapes were also available for individual sale.

Some of the shorts in this collection have been re-released by Warner Home Video on DVD in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection among other releases - unlike Golden Age, for the most part, the cartoons are restored and remastered to look like when they were originally released. The Golden Age sets used faded 16 mm television prints as MGM/UA and Turner did not have access to the original negatives, which were being stored at the Warner Bros. Studios. Consequently, a few of these cartoons had a.a.p. logos intact. In total, there are 338 cartoons spread throughout the 5 volumes.

Every cartoon that Turner owned the rights to was eventually released as part of one of these sets, with the exceptions of Lady, Play Your Mandolin! which was already sold to Sunset Productions, and 11 cartoons not seen since 1968 due to racial stereotypes - these are often called the Censored Eleven.

Volume 1[edit]

The first volume of the set, The Golden Age of Looney Tunes was released on December 11, 1991 on laserdisc. Due to potentially-offensive material in the cartoon Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips, later sets were released with that short replaced by Racketeer Rabbit, which was also released on Volume 3. The first volume contains 70 animated shorts from 1931 through 1948 (1933-1948 on the cover).[1] Each side of the first volume's discs contains animated shorts fitting a particular theme or category - this arrangement is used in all five volumes of The Golden Age of Looney Tunes. Each side was also released on VHS as ten separate volumes

  • Side 1, 1930's Musicals, featured several early entries in the Merrie Melodies series. Music played an integral part in each cartoon on this side.
  • Side 2, Firsts, featured debut cartoons for several major characters. One featured cartoon, Daffy Duck and Egghead, technically, was the first Daffy Duck cartoon in color, and the first where the character actually has that name. This was used because Turner did not own the rights to Porky's Duck Hunt.
  • Sides 3 through 6 were each dedicated to cartoons from one of the following directors: Tex Avery (side 3), Bob Clampett (side 4), Chuck Jones (side 5) and Friz Freleng (side 6)
  • Side 7, Bugs Bunny by Each Director, was one of two Bugs-centric sides on the first volume. It featured at least one Bugs Bunny cartoon from each director that did at least one between 1940 through July 1948. Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, Robert McKimson and Frank Tashlin each contributed one entry, while Friz Freleng contributed two.
  • Side 8, 1940's Zanies, featured several character-driven cartoons from the 1940s.
  • Side 9, Hooray For Hollywood, was dedicated to cartoons in which show-business itself played a major part. Many cartoons on this side featured caricatures of notable celebrities of the time.
  • Side 10, The Art of Bugs, was the other Bugs-centric side on the first volume. All three Cecil Turtle encounters are on this side, as are the debuts of Beaky Buzzard and Marvin the Martian. Another notable cartoon is The Old Grey Hare, which is famous for its end gag involving the title card.

Volume 2[edit]

The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Vol. 2 was released on July 1, 1992 on laserdisc. The second volume contains 70 animated shorts from 1931 through 1948.[2] The second volume's categories are as follows:

  • Side 1, Musical Madness, features several musical cartoons from the 1930s, including several Harman and Ising-era cartoons, and two early color entries (before the switch to three-strip Technicolor).
  • Side 2, Early Wabbits, features all the color cartoons starring the Bugs Bunny prototype, and some early cartoons with Bugs himself.
  • Sides 3 through 6 are again dedicated to cartoons from a single (or in one case, a pair of) director(s), in the following order: Frank Tashlin, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett and McKimson/Davis
  • Side 7, Fables & Fairy Tales, featured cartoons which parodied famous fairy tales.
  • Side 8, The Art of Daffy, is dedicated to Daffy Duck. All four color Looney Tunes released in 1943 are on this side.
  • Side 9, Best Supporting Players, featured cartoons starring several lesser-known characters, and also some entries featuring more famous characters who had few entries sold to a.a.p. since they debuted later in the package.
  • Side 10, Variations on a Theme, was centered on sleep.

Volume 3[edit]

The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Vol. 3 was released on December 23, 1992 on laserdisc. The third volume contains 70 animated shorts from 1931 through 1948.[3] The third volume's categories are as follows:

  • Side 1, Harman-Ising, exclusively featured cartoons from the era they headed the WB cartoon studio.
  • Side 2, Bugs Bunny, features cartoons starring the titular character
  • Sides 3 through 6, as with previous volumes, are each dedicated to cartoons from a particular director, in the following order: Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Early Avery, Tashlin/Clampett
  • Side 7, Sports, featured cartoons dealing with the world of sport
  • Side 8, The Evolution of Egghead, covers the evolution of Egghead to Elmer Fudd
  • Side 9, Porky and Daffy, featured cartoons starring either character (with one pairing)
  • Side 10, Politically Incorrect, had cartoons that featured stereotypes of Africans or Native Americans

Volume 4[edit]

The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Vol. 4 was released on July 14, 1993 on laserdisc. The fourth volume contains 73 animated shorts from 1932 through 1948.[4] The fourth volume's categories are as follows:

  • Side 1, Bugs Bunny, was dedicated to the titular rabbit
  • Side 2, Early Chuck Jones, featured early entries from that director
  • Side 3, Friz Freleng, featured cartoons from that director
  • Side 4, Cartoon All-Stars, had several character-driven cartoons and two one-shots
  • Side 5, Radio Daze, featured cartoons centered on old-time radio or its stars
  • Side 6, Frantic Forties, featured several one-shots from the 1940s
  • Side 7, Wacky Blackouts, featured cartoons centered on sight gags
  • Side 8, Ben Hardaway & Cal Dalton (and Private Snafu), featured cartoons from the Hardaway-Dalton team along with two Private Snafu cartoons
  • Side 9, Sniffles, was dedicated to the titular mouse
  • Side 10, Merrie Melodies, featured several early entries in that series.

Volume 5[edit]

The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Vol. 5 was released on April 2, 1997 on laserdisc. The fifth volume contains 55 animated shorts from 1932 through 1949. The fifth volume came out over three and a half years after The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Vol. 4 was released - by this point, Turner had been bought out by Time Warner. The final box set in the series contains bonus material such as an alternate version of Hare Ribbin' and two live-action film segments with cameos by Bugs Bunny: My Dream Is Yours and Two Guys from Texas. The set also includes three World War II-era cartoon shorts featuring the sailor Hook that were made specially for the U.S. Armed Forces. The shorts are The Good Egg (not to be confused with the regular Warner Bros. short with the same name), The Return of Mr. Hook and Tokyo Woes.[5] The fifth volume's categories are as follows:

  • Side 1, Black and White Classics, features several cartoons from the Harman-Ising era
  • Side 2, Early Avery, features early cartoons from Tex Avery
  • Side 3, Freleng Follies, has a number of cartoons from Friz Freleng
  • Side 4, Musical Madness, has several musical cartoons from the 1930s
  • Side 5, Pesky Pets, features cartoons centered on animals normally kept as pets, including several Curious Puppies cartoons
  • Side 6, Objects d'Art, features "objects come to life" cartoons
  • Side 7, Animal Antics, features cartoons driven by all-animal casts
  • Side 8, Supplement Material, features the bonus content

Available shorts[edit]

This is a listing of the shorts in the Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series currently available on the The Golden Age of Looney Tunes set. See the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies filmography for a more detailed list of all the shorts. All films before Honeymoon Hotel are in black-and-white. Unless otherwise noted, all other cartoons are in 3-strip Technicolor.

Key[edit]

  • L = Looney Tunes
  • M = Merrie Melodies
  • Blue ribbon = was reissued as a Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodie
  • NT = Non-Theatrical Shorts
  • X:Y = Volume X, Side Y
  • * = Public Domain
  • Cine = Cinecolor
  • Techni = Technicolor

References[edit]

  1. ^ Julien WILK. "LaserDisc Database - Golden Age of Looney Tunes, The: vol.1 [ML102400]". Lddb.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  2. ^ Julien WILK. "LaserDisc Database - Golden Age of Looney Tunes, The: vol.2 [ML102714]". Lddb.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  3. ^ Julien WILK. "LaserDisc Database - Golden Age of Looney Tunes, The: vol.3 1931-1948 [ML102964]". Lddb.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  4. ^ Julien WILK. "LaserDisc Database - Golden Age of Looney Tunes, The: vol.4 [ML103943]". Lddb.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  5. ^ Julien WILK. "LaserDisc Database - Golden Age of Looney Tunes, The: vol.5 [ML105135]". Lddb.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 

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