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Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan, June Foray
Writing Credits:

20 classic Looney Tunes cartoons.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Spanish Dolby Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 142 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 5/30/2023

• None


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Looney Tunes Collector's Choice Volume 1 [Blu-Ray] (1945-1959)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 10, 2023)

With 2023’s Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Volume 1, we get a cartoon compilation “carefully selected for discerning fans”. That appears to be code for “shorts that come with potentially controversial elements you might not want the kids to see”.

We’ll see how that prediction plays out across this disc’s 20 cartoons. I’ll look at the cartoons in the order presented here. I’ll provide my plot synopses from IMDB as well as quick thoughts, ratings on a 1-10 scale, and possible reasons Warner decided these cartoons might come with kid-unfriendly content.


Beanstalk Bunny (1955): “Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck find themselves at the top of a beanstalk where they get chased around by a giant Elmer Fudd.”

It becomes tough to resist the trio of Bugs, Daffy and Elmer, and “Bunny” comes with some clever twists. That said, it never quite ignites. 5/10.

Possible controversy? Smoking, I guess – I see nothing else potentially objectionable here.

Catch As Cats Can (1947): “A Bing Crosby-sounding bird encourages Sylvester to eat a rival who resembles Frank Sinatra.”

Thanks to Looney Tunes, an entire generation of kids born after the 1950s believes Crosby loathed Sinatra. I don’t know if they really did enjoy such a rivalry, but who am I to argue with cartoons?

This short offers a “proto-Sylvester”, as Mel Blanc didn’t yet use the well-known lisp for the role. Though not a classic, “Can” works fairly well. 7/10.

Possible controversy? More smoking, I suppose.

The Unruly Hare (1945): “Surveyor Elmer Fudd disturbs Bugs Bunny's peace.”

“Hare” doesn’t reinvent any wheels, as it offers a standard Bugs vs. Elmer tale. Nonetheless, it offers clever gags. 8/10.

Possible controversy? Smoking again, I guess.

His Bitter Half (1950): “Daffy Duck marries for money, but the bossy wife and her raucous, trouble-making little son soon have him filing for divorce.”

The sight of Daffy as hen-pecked – duck-pecked? – husband amuses. However, the scenes with young Wentworth feel less engaging. 6/10.

Possible controversy? A youngster who “plays Indian”, I suppose, and he also plays with guns.

Daffy Doodles (1946): “Daffy Duck is on the rampage, painting mustaches on every face, with Policeman Porky Pig in pursuit.”

“Doodles” scores points for its warped concept. It also manages clever jokes and scenarios. 8/10.

Possible controversy? Not sure here, as I saw nothing overtly problematic.

Cracked Quack (1952): “Daffy Duck takes shelter from a blizzard by sneaking into a cozy home owned by Porky Pig.”

This one follows a less than shocking path, and it sticks with simple gags. Still, it manages reasonable humor. 6/10.

Possible controversy? A little smoking, I suppose.

Little Orphan Airedale (1947): “In his never-ending quest for the good life, pushy mongrel Charlie attempts to ingratiate himself with his unwilling ‘master’, Porky Pig.”

Charlie never really caught on as a regular character, but he becomes a decent protagonist here. Don’t expect greatness, though. 5/10.

Possible controversy? No real idea here – the depiction of a stereotypical Australian?

Hip Hip-Hurry! (1958): “Wile E. Coyote is once again after the Road Runner, this time resorting to hand grenades, dynamite, falling rocks and a speed potion.”

I never much cared for Road Runner cartoons, and “Hip” doesn’t change that view. It works fine if you enjoy that series, though. 4/10.

Possible controversy? I remain at a loss here as well.

Hot-Rod and Reel! (1959): “Wile E. Coyote's failed efforts to catch the Road Runner involve the use of roller skates, a gun in a camera, a trampoline, a dynamite stick on a crossbow, a bogus railroad crossing, and a jet-powered unicycle.”

See review of prior cartoon. 4/10.

Possible controversy? Again, nothing I found.

Greedy for Tweety (1957): “Tweety, Sylvester and Hector find themselves in the hospital as patients after being injured in one of their chases, and the cat and dog still can't resist causing trouble there.”

The setup adds some spark to this one, as the various injuries restrict the characters’ ability to cause mayhem. This forces the gags to become more creative. 7/10.

Possible controversy? No idea.

Stooge for a Mouse (1950): “A hungry mouse decides to make one of its two obstacles to obtaining a block of cheese by framing Sylvester the Cat.”

Given how much mischief Sylvester usually causes, this short’s decision to make him an unwitting pawn offers a fun twist. The cartoon works well. 8/10.

Possible controversy? I find myself at a loss again.

A Mouse Divided (1953): “A drunken stork delivers a baby mouse to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Cat.”

Sylvester returns to his typical murderous ways here, with a contrast to his sweet-as-pie wife. This winds up as a fairly enjoyable romp. 7/10.

Possible controversy? I assume this stems from the presence of a drunken stork.

A Fractured Leghorn (1950): “Foghorn Leghorn and a cat fight over a worm.”

To my surprise, “Fractured” uses Foghorn in more of a supporting role than one might expect, so the anonymous cat takes the lead. Not much of real interest evolves here, though the short musters adequate entertainment value. 5/10.

Possible controversy? The cat threatens the mouse with a pistol.

Plop Goes the Weasel! (1953): “Foggy and Barnyard Dawg can't stand each other, and they use the weasels in their fights.”

I don’t know if the weasel character ever reappeared, though he seems somewhat reminiscent of the Tasmanian Devil. Anyway, “Plop” gives us semi-clever antics as Foghorn toys with his canine keeper. 6/10.

Possible controversy? A concussed Foghorn gets mistaken for an intoxicated Foghorn, but I see nothing else potentially objectionable.

Tale of Two Mice (1945): “Babitt and Catstello enjoy one goal: steal the cheese the cat is guarding.”

Given their obvious parody of Abbott and Costello, I admit B&C always felt like lazy characters to me – and annoying ones, as the nature of Looney Tunes meant Catstello needed to be even more over the top than the already wacky Costello. “Tale” leaves me cold. 2/10.

Possible controversy? All I can think is the use of the word “jackass”.

The Foxy Duckling (1947): “An insomniac fox residing in a forest needs duck down for his pillow in order to be comfortable enough in his bed to fall asleep, and to this purpose he pursues a wily yellow duck.”

“Animal attempts to kill/eat animal of other species” acted as a Looney Tunes staple, but without interesting personalities like Bugs or Daffy, “Foxy” falls flat. Basically this feels like a Sylvester/Tweety shorr under a different name. 3/10.

Possible controversy? We briefly see the fox owns a pistol, but that’s all I can think of here.

Two Gophers from Texas (1948): “A theatrical dog decides to answer the call of the wild and hunt for his food.”

Were these gophers ever anything but a cheap rip off of Disney’s Chip ‘n Dale? Not really, though “Texas” shows a level of violence we rarely got in Disney shorts. It feels like a lackluster stab at a new franchise, though the flamboyance of the dog adds some spark. 5/10.

Possible controversy? The dog possesses an arsenal of weapons that we briefly glimpse.

Doggone Cats (1947): “Wellington the dog is given a package to deliver to Uncle Louie, with strict instructions not to let go of it.”

Ah, Wellington – another character who barely made a dent in the Looney Tunes universe! I don’t know if Warner hoped for more, but Wellington only showed up in two shorts and went bye-bye.

Doggone does feature a cat who sure looks like Sylvester – an I guess it is Sylvester, but he never speaks so it could just be a feline who resembles Sylvester. In any case, this feels like a pedestrian short, even with a surprise ending. 5/10.

Possible controversy? This one’s easy: when Wellington gets slammed on the head with a trashcan lid, he resembles a stereotypical Chinese character, and he also winds up in a cigar store Indian too.

What’s Brewin’, Bruin? (1948): “Papa Bear decides it's time for the three bears to hibernate in order to have a good winter's nap. Unfortunately, everything works against him.”

With only five shorts, they didn’t appear many more times than did Wellington, but the 3 Bears acquitted themselves better, mainly because the irascible Papa Bear managed creative forms of anger. “Brewin’” doesn’t dazzle but it works. 7/10.

Possible controversy? Child abuse, maybe? And Mama Bear shoots a rifle.

The Bee-Deviled Bruin (1949): “It's breakfast time and Papa finds the honeypot empty. Literally risking life and limb, he has Junior help him raid a nearby beehive.”

We get more from the 3 Bears via this decent short. It follows predictable paths but still manages some amusement. 6/10.

Possible controversy? More child abuse – and Papa doesn’t treat Mama too well, either.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio C+/ Bonus F

Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Volume 1 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though not flawless, the short usually looked very nice.

Sharpness almost uniformly appeared excellent. On rare occasions, some slight softness showed up, but not with any frequency. Instead, the shorts mostly were crisp and well defined.

I saw no problems with jagged edges or shimmering, and I also noticed no signs of edge enhancement. Cel dust cropped up but no real print flaws manifested, and grain largely seemed appropriate.

Colors looked nice. The grain dulled them a little, but not in a significant way, so the hues were mostly vivid and full.

Blacks also appeared concise and deep, and the rare low-light shots were accurately depicted. These shorts worked well visually.

Though not as good, the DTS-HD MA monaural audio of Looney Tunes was fine for its age. Of course, since the shorts spanned a range of years, variations occurred, but overall audio quality was positive.

Music usually fared best of all, as the shorts’ scores tended to be reasonably peppy and bold. Some distortion could affect the music but I still thought these elements were pretty clear.

Effects fell into the same range; they displayed occasional instances of roughness and never seemed especially dynamic, but they remained generally concise and accurate.

Dialogue came with similar variations. Some edginess and boxiness could affect speech, but the lines always stayed intelligible and usually boasted decent naturalness.

A bit of noise occasionally accompanied the tracks, but not regularly. In the end, the audio merited a “C+”.

No extras appear on this disc.

With Looney Tunes Collector’s Choice Volume 1, we get a compilation of semi-obscure shorts. The quality varies, of course, but this nonetheless becomes a largely enjoyable package. The Blu-ray provides solid visuals and acceptable audio but it lacks bonus materials. Looney Tunes fans will feel pleased with this set.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main