Looney Tunes: Golden Collection, Vol. 6 [4 Discs] [DVD]

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    Special Features

    • All-new documentary profile Mel Blanc: The Man of a Thousand Voices
    • Commentaries by animators, historians profiling specific cartoons, characters and creators
    • Music-only and music-and-effects tracks on selected shorts
    • 2 Looney Tunes TV specials starring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck
    • Bonus rarities from the vaults, including Friz Freleng at MGM cartoons and the World of Leon Schlesinger gallery

    Synopsis

    Smile, Darn Ya, Smile!
    This second entry in Warner Bros.' "Merrie Melodie" series stars Foxy and Roxy, who bear a remarkable resemblance to a pair of popular rodent characters then appearing in the Walt Disney cartoons. On this occasion, Foxy is a trolley-car conductor, enthusiastically singing the title song (later heard to even better effect in the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit as he contends with fat hippo passengers, a recalcitant cow with a musical udder, a group of slightly effeminate hoboes, and a singing chicken in a stewpot. After picking up Roxy, Foxy embarks upon a wild ride indeed as his trolley careens out of control, leading to a mighty crash and a surprise ending. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Ducktators
    This deathless satire of Hitler's rise to power tells the story of three barnyard fowls who grow up to become fascist "ducktators." One of them, a duck, bursts out of his egg with a fully grown mustache, screaming "Sieg Heil!" The second fowl is satchel-mouthed goose who bears a frightening resemblance to Italian dictator Mussolini. And the third is a treacherous Japanese duck who rows in from the Far East (At this point, a title card appears apologizing to the "nice ducks and geese" in the audience). As the Axis trio and their "Gestinko" troops wreak havoc on the barnyard, the Dove of Peace begs them to cease and desist--and when they refuse, the Dove decides to switch strategies and kick a few feathery backsides. The cartoon's now-famous closing gag is missing from most Public Domain prints. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Hop and Go
    Hippety Hopper
    To Duck or Not to Duck
    Hunter Elmer Fudd sets his sights on Daffy Duck and opens fire. Outraged, Daffy challenges Elmer to throw away his gun and settle their differences man-to-man (or man-to-duck). Suddenly the forest morphs into a huge boxing ring, with a lively crowd of ducks in the audience demanding Elmer's blood. Since the fight referee is also a duck, it looks like the odds are against Elmer; even Mr. Fudd's dog, who isn't named Laramore, suspects that the fix is in. But there's a neat and satisfying plot twist just before the final bell. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Congo Jazz
    Donning his pith helmet and loading himself with rubbery weapons, Bosko goes a-hunting the jungle, stalking wild tigers, bears and monkeys. When Bosko's gun fails, he falls back on the old adage "music hath charms." Before long all the animals are getting down in a wild jam session, using other animals, chunks of jungle foliage and even chewing gum as "instruments." Musical highlights include "When the Little Red Roses Get the Blues for You". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Hook, Line and Stinker
    The Captain's Christmas
    My Favorite Duck
    Porky Pig's efforts to go camping are frustrated by Daffy Duck, who manages to claim-jump every available campsite. Worse, Porky can't rid himself of Daffy because duck-hunting season is over--and he faces a $5000 fine if he so much as harms a feather on Daffy's head. Taking advantage of the situation, Daffy torments Porky throughout the cartoon, only to end up outsmarting himself. Now only a miracle (such as a break in the film!) can save Daffy from Porky's terrible wrath. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Meet John Doughboy
    In this dated but amusing pre-WW2 cartoon, newly drafted Porky Pig narrates a newsreel (replete with an RKO-Radio about America's defense efforts. In preparation against enemy attacks, Uncle Sam has sanctioned the building of tanks and planes, while the Army has stepped up its war games and training maneuvers. Some surprisingly potent political propaganda (from both the Left and the Right) is interwoven with typically hilarious Warner Bros. cartoon sight gags and verbal humor. Jack Benny, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, the emperor Napoleon and even Citizen Kane ("Sugar" Kane, that is) make cameo appearances. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Punch Trunk
    I Love a Parade
    Rocket Bye Baby
    A disturbance in the cosmos has caused a interplanetary prenatal mixup, and as a result an earthling baby is delivered to Mars--while a Martian infant ends up on earth at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur. Adjusting to the fact that their new son has green skin and antennae, the Wilburs nonetheless treat him like a normal boy--even when they find out that he's a mathematical and scientific super genius. Things come to a head when the kid builds a working flying saucer based on a toy advertised on TV's "Captain Schmideo", leading poor Mr. Wilbur on a merry chase. Can this be REALLY happening, or is it all a crazy dream? We know--but we won't tell you. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Yankee Dood It
    Yankee Dood It is the last (and most propagandistic) of the three Warner Bros. cartoons commissioned by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to educate the public on the benefits of a free-market economic system. Alerted to the fact that a wealthy shoemaker is forcing his elf workforce to labor under outmoded conditions, the King of the Industrial Elves (who looks and sounds like Elmer Fudd) decides to pay the benevolent despot a visit. In the cartoon's longest scene, the King attempts to set the shoemaker straight with a prosaic lecture on mass-production capitalism. Trouble is, the King turns into a mouse every time someone says "Jehosaphat"--and it so happens that the shoemaker owns a VERY hungry cat. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Wacky Blackout
    A farm is the setting for a series of "spot" gags about the American Home Front during WW2. Most of the jokes are built around the newly installed blackout rules, designed to forestall enemy attack at night. Other gags involve a turtle who morphs into a tank, a cow who surrenders 5000 quarts of milk per day (and is getting mighty tired!), and a woodpecker who puts his talents to good use as a defense-plant riveter. Warner Bros. cartoon star Tweety Pie makes a cameo appearance as an erstwhile "dive bomber." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Rabbit Rampage
    Confusions of a Nutzy Spy
    We're in the Money
    After the night watchman at a toy store goes home, all the toys come to life and make whoopee in the store's music department, singing and dancing to the tune of the title song (originally written for the 1933 musical film Gold Diggers of 1933). Wooden soldiers, dolls, jump-ropes, clothes mannequins and even the store's cash register all join in the fun, some of which appears in stock-footage form from the 1932 cartoon A Great Big Bunch of You. "Guest stars" include miniaturized versions of Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy and Mae West. We're in the Money was later reissued on the home-movie market as Midnight Follies. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Booze Hangs High
    Farmer Bosko has a (literally) high old time singing and dancing with the barnyard animals; baby ducks cavort in unison (taking time out for a potty break), an improvised horse-hair fiddle scratches out a lively tune, and so on. But the fun really begins when a bottle of liquor gets passed around, resulting in a drunken rendition from a quartet of pigs and innumerable shouts of "Whoopee!" Most of the music in this cartoon is adapted from the Oscar Hammerstein operetta Song of the Flame, filmed by Warner Bros. in 1930. The film's most outrageous gag, involving a regurgitated corncob, is often cut for television. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Now Hear This
    The weirdest cartoon ever to emerge from the Warner Bros. animation department, Now Hear This is almost impossible to describe, but here goes anyway. Basically, it's the story of a small red horn, which has somehow become detached from the head of Satan. A hard-of-hearing Englishman, dissatisfied with his crumpled green ear horn, stumbles upon the devilish device and adopts it as his own. Before long, the hapless Britisher is barraged with bizarre, distorted sound effects and wildly abstract visuals: an ant sounds like a train, musical notes morph into firecrackers, and the air is filled with "written" sounds like "Punk", "Wiseguy" and even "Gigantic Explosion." Meanwhile, a strange little elf periodically pops out of the horn to make inscrutable gestures--and, ultimately, to deliver the cartoon's "moral." Now Hear This may not make much sense, but that didn't stop it from earning an Academy Award nomination. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Sleepy Time Possum
    Bosko the Doughboy
    In this grotesquely hilarious combination of typical Warner Bros. slapstick and grim wartime tragedy, Bosko is a doughboy in WW1, skipping around the battlefield with nary a worry in the world. Meanwhile, a variety of talking animals and even inaminate objects are being killed in droves--and when they fall down, they don't get back up again. Oblivious to the carnage, Bosko merrily munches a can of beans and uses discarded weapons and ammunition as musical instruments. But our hero is finally galvanized into action when the Enemy goes too far and blows up his precious photo of his girlfriend Honey. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Fresh Airedale
    A household cat is driven crazy because his master treats a dog named Shep like a hero--even though good ol' Shep is actually a thief and scoundrel. Attempting to expose Shep as a phony, the cat is further frustrated when his master is led to believe that the duplicitous dog has scared off a burglar. But Shep may end up outsmarting himself when he decides to one-up a genuinely heroic hound who has been elected the nation's "Number One Dog". The ironic final gag is a real showstopper--and head-banger. Fresh Airedale includes footage from the never completed Warner Bros. cartoon For He's a Jolly Good Fala. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Daffy the Commando
    In this classic WW2 cartoon, a German foxhole commandeered by Nazi officer Von Vulture and his gormless aide Schultz is "invaded" by American commando Daffy Duck. Daffy and Von Vulture spend the rest of the cartoon trying to outsmart each other, with the Nazi getting the worst of it. After Daffy neutralizes a "mess of Messerschmidts", he has a climactic confrontation with none other than Adolf Hitler (courtesy of some rotoscoped newsreel footage). With all this going on, there's still time left over for "inside" references to the Ernst Lubitsch film To Be or Not to Be and the radio series Fibber McGee and Molly. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Norman Normal
    Neither a "Looney Tune" nor a "Merrie Melodie", Norman Normal was produced as a "Cartoon Special" by Warner Bros. new animation department. This hip, modernistic, brightly colored satire features a bespectacle chap named Norman Normal, a decent sort surrounding by deception and hypocrisy everywhere. Ordered by his boss to get a client drunk in order to secure an important contract, Norman balks, opening several doors (which appear out of nowhere) to seek advice from friends and family members. Alas, all of them chastize Norman for his virtuous attitude, telling him that he's got to "fit in" and "conform" if he wants to get ahead in life. All of this turns out to be a literal "head-trip" for Norman, who ends his odyssey exactly where it began. The title song was written by Noel Paul Stookey of Peter Paul and Mary fame, who also coproduced and cowrote the cartoon and provided several character voices. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Heaven Scent
    Pursued by a gang of yapping dogs along the French Riviera, a female cat paints a white stripe on her back to scare her tormentors away. Unfortunately, she also attracts the attention of that aromatic would-be Romeo, Pepe le Pew the skunk. Now the long-suffering cat must somehow escape the relentless Pepe, who is determined to win her love by any means necessary. The chase takes Pepe and the cat up a flagpole, into a tunnel, through the mountains and over a cliff--but the amorous skunk refuses to take "Non!" for an answer. As usual, Pepe le Pew gets all of the cartoon's best dialogue, including the closing line, shamelessly swiped from the 1949 theatrical feature Adam's Rib. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Seal Skinners
    You Don't Know What You're Doin'!
    This cartoon marks the debut of Piggy and Fluffy, Warner Bros.' newest Mickey-and-Minnie derivations. Our hero and heroine head to a vaudeville show, where Piggy gets into an argument with the "all funny animal" orchestra. Somehow or other, Piggy himself ends up on stage, where he is heckled by a trio of drunks singing the title song. This in turn leads to a chaotic drunken joyride through the streets of Merrie Melodie-land, complete with a talking car (voice provided by then-famous musician Orlando Slim Martin). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Birth of a Notion
    Why should Daffy Duck fly South when he can bamboozle his way into a nice warm house for the Winter? Unfortunately, the house he chooses belongs to a mad scientist who looks and sounds like movie menace Peter Lorre. Worse luck, the demented scientist needs a duck's wishbone to complete his sinister experiments. Thinking fast, Daffy tries to convince the scientist's dumb dog Leopold to murder his master. A wild chase ensues, culminating in a confrontation with a goofy goose who sounds like comedian Joe Besser ("You craaaazy you!") ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Wild Wife
    A chauvinistic husband comes home from work to find that his wife is worn to a frazzle. When Hubby sarcastically remarks that a woman's life is easy compared to a man's, Wifey sets him straight by recalling the harrowing events of the past eight hours. Highlights include a noisy breakfast with a brace of bratty kids, a frustrating trip to the bank, a massive traffic jam, and a truly horrifying session at the beauty parlor. A rare "domestic" Warner Bros. cartoon, Wild Wife nonetheless ends with a traditional slapstick gag. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Hole Idea
    After years of futile experimentation, Professor Calvin Q. Calculus astonishes the world with his amazing invention, the "portable hole." Unfortunately, the Prof's invention is stolen by a shadowy criminal, who uses the mobile hole to rob a wide variety of banks and jewelry stores, ultimately "graduating" to Fort Knox. Meanwhile, Prof. Calculus comes up with a devilish method of escaping his eternally nagging wife. Watch for the "inside" references to Denver, Colorado, home town of director Robert McKimson, who always regarded The Hole Idea as one of his favorite cartoons. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Daffy Duck's Easter Egg-Citement
    This animated anthology originally aired on television and is comprised of three poorly animated new Daffy Duck features. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

    Heir Conditioned
    After inheriting $3,000,000 from his deceased owner, Sylvester the cat plans to whoop it up with his alley-cat buddies. Alas, Sylvester's spending spree is cut short by the arrival of his new financial advisor Elmer Fudd. Refusing to let Sylvester squander a penny of his inheritance, Elmer tries to convince the spendthrift cat that he should invest his "idle cash" in the American economy, literally putting his money to work for the benefit of everyone. Heir Conditioned is one of three Warner Bros. cartoons underwritten by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to educate the American public in matters of financial responsibility (the other two Sloan-funded entries are By Word of Mouse and Yankee Dood It; fortunately, this rather smug little economics lesson is redeemed by several hilarious sight gags. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Fighting 69 1/2th
    Mama's New Hat
    Chow Hound
    To keep himself supplied with thick juicy steaks, a greedy bulldog runs an elaborate scam, using a scraggly cat as his patsy. The dog farms out the feline's "services" to a variety of human masters, forcing the cat to pose as a champion mouser named Butch, a pampered "pedigreed" cat named Harold, and even a sabertoothed "Alley Catus." It's the cat's job to appropriate steaks from his various owners, and woe betide the poor pussy if he forgets to bring the gravy. But a chilling retribution is in store for the gluttonous dog when his voracious appetite proves to be his undoing. Chow Hound may well be the most relentlessly sadistic of Chuck Jones' Warner Bros. cartoons--not to mention one of the funniest. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Sittin' on a Backyard Fence
    How Do I Know It's Sunday
    Hare Trigger
    This cartoon marks the first appearance of Yosemite Sam, the "meanest, roughest, rip-roarin'est, Edward Everett Horton-est" outlaw in the West. Attempting to rob the Superchief train, Sam is unaware that one of the passengers is Bugs Bunny, who proves to be the bandit's match in every way (watch the classic reaction when Sam orders Bugs to "draw!"). A chase ensues, with Bugs at one point running out of the cartoon and smack into some live-action Technicolor stock footage. The final showdown culminates with a cliffhanger, as a tied-up Bugs faces certain death--but a fadeout surpise is in store for both Sam and the audience. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Bear Feat
    Having stumbled upon a newspaper ad placed by "Mingling Brothers Circus" for a trick bear act. Pa Bear tries to transform himself , his wife Ma Bear and his son Junyer Bear into a vaudeville troupe, and suffers spectacularly as a result. The main problem is the oafish Junyer, who has no talent but plenty of bulk--a bad combination when one is trying to be a tightrope walker or trick cyclist. Worst of all, Pa Bear's efforts turn out to be all for naught, leading to closing gag that's a real killer (which may be why this cartoon seldom shows up on TV). And yes, that's famed satirist Stan Freberg as the voice of Junyer. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Often an Orphan
    Abandoned by the latest in a long line of human masters, the troublesome Charley Dog gravitates to the farm of Porky Pig, hoping to find a new home and fresh source of food. After doing the "large soulful eyes" routine, Charley tries to convince Porky that he's the perfect dog: 50% boxer, 50% Irish setter (with brogue), 50% watchdog, 50% spitz, 50% Doberman pinscher, and all Labrador Retriever (and he'll even retrieve a Labrador to prove it). But Porky isn't interested, and spends the rest of the cartoon devising various methods to rid himself of Charlie--all to no avail. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Hollywood Canine Canteen
    In this spoof of the 1944 Warner Bros. film Hollywood Canteen, a group of dogs owned by famous movie stars decide to organize a USO nightclub to entertain the members of the Army K-9 Corps. These mutts bear a remarkable resemblance to their celebrity owners, who include Edward G. Robinson, Jimmy Durante, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Colonna, Carmen Miranda Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Abbott & Costello and Laurel & Hardy. The music for the Hollywood Canine Canteen is provided by eminent symphony conductor "Bowowski", and those Kings of Swing "Hairy" James, "Boney" Goodman, Tommy "Dorgy", Lionel "Hambone" and "Kaynine" Kyser. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Lights Fantastic
    One of the few Warner Bros. cartoons with no human or animal characters, Lights Fantastic is a collection of "spot" gags about the illuminated billboards in New York's Times Square. During our guided tour of this neon wilderness, we are treated to an anthropomorphic quartet singing the praises of "Four Noses" whiskey, a row of dancing "Face and Sunburn" coffee cans, and a climactic live-action conga line. The musical score includes classical snippets from Felix Mendelssohn and Johann Strauss, with the latter's "Voices of Spring" used as background for the inevitable EAT AT JOE'S gag. Lights Fantastic is a loose remake, with stock footage, of Billboard Frolics (1935). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Bugs Bunny in King Arthur's Court
    The witty 'toon rabbit finds himself in medieval times in this animated spoof of Mark Twain's classic tale. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi

    The Weakly Reporter
    Contemporary audiences may have a wee bit of trouble understanding the jokes in this animated "newsreel" spoof of WW2 shortages and rationing, though the gags about women at the workplace will probably strike a familiar chord. In the course of the action, we are informed that steaks and alarm clocks are regarded as rare and precious commodities, the Mt. Rushmore heads and the Statue of Liberty have become Air Raid Wardens, and a complex bit of mass-production machinery can be set in motion by something as humble as a girl's hairpin. The most memorable aspect of The Weakly Reporter is the stick-figure character design, anticipating the impressionistic UPA cartoons of the 1950s. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Jumpin' Jupiter
    Porky Pig decides to go camping in the Great Outdoors, bringing his neurotic cat Sylvester along for the ride. While sleeping under the stars, Porky and Sylvester are abducted by a giant, green-skinned alien buzzard, who whisks the two earthlings away to the planet Jupiter. Upon awakening, Porky is blissfully unaware that anything has happened, except to comment that "Things sure look different after a good night's sleep." But nervous Sylvester knows the awful truth, and goes to great lengths to protect himself and his master from the surly alien--who turns out to have a lot of lookalike friends. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    A Cartoonist's Nightmare
    After everyone else at "Termite Terrace" has gone home, one lonely animator burns the midnight oil, laboring away on a cartoon starring the inimitable Beans. Falling asleep, the animator dreams that he is being attacked by the villains and monsters whom he has created for previous cartoons. One in particular, an apelike beast, is determined to get revenge for being depicted as a stupid fool--and he's got such pals as Spike the Spider and the Mad Musician to help him mete out retribution. Just when it looks like the poor animator is doomed, Beans jumps off the drawing board and races to the rescue. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon
    It's after midnight at "Ye Olde Bake Shoppe"--just the right time for the kitchen utensils, pots, pans and every other inanimate object to come to life for some musical fun. Amidsts the whistling kettles and a salt-pepper-sugar shaker singing trio, a fork takes a shower, and a mixmaster motorboat embarks upon an voyage in the kitchen sink. The highlight of the evening is the courtship of Miss Dish and Mister Spoon, sung to the tune of "Shuffle Off to Buffalo". Spoiling everyone's fun is a mutant yeast monster who attempts to kidnap Miss Dish, but the other kitchenware rallies together for a last-minute rescue. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Goo Goo Goliath
    Assigned to deliver an enormous baby to Mr. and Mrs. Giant at the top of the Beanstalk, a drunken stork lazily deposits the infant at the nearest house, owned by a normal-sized couple named Jones. Despite his size, the baby is cute and loveable, but before long the gigantic infant is eating Mr. and Mrs. Jones out of house and home. Ultimately, 42-foot-tall "Junior" wanders away from home, plants the roof of the Brown Derby restaurant on his head, and takes a nap in the arms of the Statue of Liberty. And just wait until you see where the REAL "Jones baby" ends up. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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