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Looney Tunes: Spotlight Collection, Vol. 5 [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • The Looney Tunes Guide to Fairy Tales: In a storybook setting, Looney Tunes characters share with kids the necessary ingredients for a proper fairy tale
  • Subtitles: English (Episodes. Bonus material/trailer may not be subtitled

Synopsis

Tweety and the Beanstalk
This time it is Sylvester the Cat who substitutes for Jack, climbing the beanstalk to a castle in the clouds, where he encounters a gigantic Tweety Bird--and an even more enormous bulldog. Undaunted, Sylvester hopes to make a meal of the humongous canary, only to encounter obstacles undreamed of in his earlier cartoons. Finally, the Giant Himself enters the scene, whereupon Sylvester scurries back to earth just in time for a twist ending (which may seem a little politically incorrect to modern viewers, but that's the price one pays for watching old cartoons!) ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Hollywood Daffy
Descending from a Hollywood bus, autograph seeker Daffy Duck crashes the gate at Warner Bros., where he runs afoul of a studio guard who looks like a Keystone Kop and sounds like Joe Besser. Even Daffy's disguise as the Academy Award statuette does not fool the eagle-eyed guard, and the chase is on. Just before the "That's All Folks!" title, Daffy is finally permitted to see some stars--revolving around his injured head! Highlights include a short visit to the dressing room of Anne Sheridan, and Jack Benny's futile efforts to "win" an Oscar from a vending machine. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Tom Thumb in Trouble
One of the few "serious" Warner Bros. cartoons, this one finds Chuck Jones striving (and generally succeeding) to emulate Walt Disney. Nearly drowning in a mishap, tiny Tom Thumb is rescued by a friendly bird, but Tom's normal-sized woodchopper father thinks that the bird has attacked his son and angrily chases it away. Later on, when Tom is lost in a blinding snowstorm, the bird proves his loyalty and courage beyond all question. Some of the forced-perspective images are unforgettable, and overall the cartoon deserves "A" for effort...but Warner Bros. never tried anything like it again. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Super Snooper
You Were Never Duckier
Upon discovering that the "best rooster" prize at the National Poultery Show is $5000, Daffy Duck cleverly disguises himself as a Rhode Island Red with some stolen tailfeathers and a rubber glove. Enter young Henery Hawk, who is determined to catch a chicken for his father's dinner. At first flattered by all the attention, Daffy panics when he finds out what Henery has in mind. When all is said and done, both protagonists manage to "win" in the end--if you can call a five-dollar consolation prize a victory! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Abominable Snow Rabbit
The wrong turn occurred in East St. Louis rather than Alburquerque, but the result is the same: en route to Palm Springs, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck end up instead in the snow-capped Himalayas. Before long, Daffy has run into an abominable snowman named Hugo. The dopey Hugo insists upon calling Daffy "George" and is convinced that the duck is a rabbit--and he's always wanted a rabbit to hug and pet and hold and squeeze and squeeze and squeeze. Meanwhile, the real rabbit of the story manages to avoid Hugo's clutches...at least until the final scene! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Paying the Piper
The cats of Hamelin are sore about losing their rat-catching jobs to "Pied Piper" Porky, and file a grievance with the Supreme Cat. He disguises himself as an enormous rat in an effort to prove that Porky isn't doing his job. Anxious to earn his reward money, Porky dedicates himself to ridding Hamelin of this garguantuan rodent, who adds insult to injury by stealing the cash. The cartoon's best running gag is the duel of insults between Porky and the ersatz "rat" ("Eh, your sister smokes corn silk!", "Eh, your sister drives a pickle wagon!", and on into the fadeout). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

A Tale of Two Kitties
Comedians Bud Abbott and Lou Costello are reborn as a pair of hungry felines named Babbitt and Catsello in this cartoon, which marks the first appearance of that cagey canary Tweety Pie (unnamed here, but identified as "Orson" on the character model sheets). Spotting the baby-talking canary in a nest high atop a flagpole, the opportunistic Babbitt orders the tubby Catsello to climb upward and grab the bird. Alas, the feathered fiend has an endless arsenal of weapons at his disposal--and Catsello isn't much of a match for him anyway, not even with home-made wings. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Holiday for Shoestrings
After hanging out a "Help Wanted" sign, Jake the cobbler goes to bed--whereupon dozens of cute little elves (all closely resembling Elmer Fudd) magically appear in his shoe-repair shop. Deciding to lend Jack a helping hand, the Elves spend most of the night creating some of the strangest shoes ever seen, even working the old "Eat at Joe's" gag into the proceedings. Many of the best bits (and most of the classical-music passages) are recycled from the earlier Friz Freleng spot-gag epics Rhapsody in Rivets (1941) and Lights Fantastic (1942). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

14 Carrot Rabbit
A majestic passage from Liszt's Les Preludes transports us to the Klondike during the Gold Rush. Claim jumper Chilico Sam hopes to exploit the special talents of Bugs Bunny, who gets a "funny feeling all over" whenever he's near gold. Unfortunately, Bugs finds the precious metal in only in places guaranteed to cause great injury to the greedy Sam. Finally, Sam gets so fed up that he chases the Bunny all the way to Kentucky--where, sure enough, that "funny feeling" comes over Bugs again (Need we add that Kentucky is the home of certain well-guarded government gold repository?) ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Trial of Mr. Wolf
Mr. Wolf stands trial before a jury of his peers in the case of Wolf vs. Little Red Riding Hood (another Katharine Hepburn soundalike). Though he has guilt written all over his face--literally--Mr. Wolf persists in telling his side of the story, in which he is the wholly innocent victim of the predatory Red and her nasty Grandma, who happens to be in the fur-coat business. Several role-reversal gags later, we return to the courtroom, where the Wolf declares that if he's been lying, "I hope I get run over by streetcar." Mmmmm...it's a possibility! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Little Red Walking Hood
Here's a typically zany Tex Avery spin on a familiar fairy tale, highlighted by some eyecatching colored-pencil background art. The Wolf, a pool-hall bum, is cold-shouldered by Red, who acts like Bette Davis and sounds like Katharine Hepburn. Following directions provided by the goonish Egghead (the Joe Penner-like precursor to Elmer Fudd), the Wolf dogs Red's trail all over town in his snazzy roadster. Finally reaching Grandma's house, Wolfie is forestalled from gobbling her up while she phones in an order for groceries and liquor.. .and that's only the beginning, folks, only the beginning! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Goldimouse and the Three Cats
Sylvester the cat, his wife, and his spoiled-rotten son Junior go for a walk while their porridge cools. Blonde-haired Goldimouse enters their empty house, whereupon the familiar story proceeds as usual until Junior demands that Sylvester capture the mouse to prove his worthiness as a father. All of Sylvester's strategies fail spectacularly, forcing Mrs. Sylvester and Junior to take refuge in their bomb shelter. Though Goldimouse manages to escape Sylvester's wrath, bratty Junior isn't so lucky--and guess where all that gooey porridge ends up! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Oily Hare
We're in "Deepinahola" Texas (just outside of Deepinaharta Texas), where a millionaire oilman hopes to drill another well in the rabbit hole occupied by Bugs Bunny. Naturally, Bugs ain't budgin', so the millionaire and his stupid flunkey Maverick try every dirty trick in the book to eliminate the pesky rabbit--including such cartoon standbys as giant-sized bullets and huge sticks of TNT. Finally the oilman sets off an explosive charge that brings forth a veritable gusher--not gushing oil, but instead a certain orange-colored vegetable that has a lot more value to Bugs than to the millionaire! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Buccaneer Bunny
Bugs Bunny happens to be on hand when Pirate Sam is burying a treasure chest. Aiming his pistol at Bugs, Sam growls "Dead rabbits tell no tales"--but the rascally rabbit proves too fast and too smart for the pint-sized pirate. After chasing Bugs up, down and around his ship--and repeatedly getting a cannon blast in the face for his troubles--Sam makes the biggest mistake of his criminal career by calling Bugs' bluff when the Bunny casually tosses a lit match into the gunpowder hold. A huge "Ker-BOOM" is inevitable...and that's NOT all, folks! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

A Star Is Bored
Janitor Daffy Duck seethes with jealousy as movie star Bugs Bunny is showered with attention. Marching into the Warner Bros. executive offices, Daffy demands an opportunity to prove that he has more talent than Bugs--even if it means taking a job as stunt double in the rabbit's latest picture. Donning a Bugs costume, Daffy is subjected to one painful humilation after another at the hands of Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd. It all seems to pay off when Daffy is awarded his own starring vehicle--but perhaps the foolhardy Duck should have taken a closer look at the script! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Porky's Pooch
This cartoon is the prototype for a handful of later Warner Bros. efforts featuring a dog named Charlie, who'd do anything--ANYTHING--to be adopted by a master. For the benefit of his homeless pal, the fast-talking Rover describes the methods by which he has wormed his way into the household of Porky Pig. When all else fails (and it does spectacularly), Rover threatens to commit suicide by jumping off an apartment ledge! The cartoon's innovative background art includes several genuine photographs of the Manhattan skyline. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Turn-Tale Wolf
The priggish nephew of the Big Bad Wolf is appalled by his uncle's bad reputation. Pleading innocence, Big Bad recalls his own version of that fateful encounter with the Three Little Pigs. This time around, it's the innocent, baby-faced Wolf (dressed in a sissy sailor suit) who is the helpless victim of a trio of gross, mean-spirited porkers. "Oh, drat, you three little pigs", Wolf lisps. "Why must you always torment me?" Things get rougher and rougher, culminating with the nasty ol' pigs trying to collect the $50 bounty on the Wolf's tail! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Little Red Rodent Hood
Granny Mouse tells little Timmy Mouse the story of Red Riding Hoods in terms that he will understand: for example, the "forest" is the carpetted living room, and the Wolf is Sylvester the Cat. Cast in the role of Red Riding Hood is Timmy himself, who isn't fooled for long by Sylvester's Granny disguise. Pulling another character from his repertoire, Sylvester impersonates Timmy's Fairy Godmother--taking time out to get even with the bulldog who has been pestering him throughout the picture. But Granny foils Sylvester with some creative (and explosive!) improvising of her own! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Bear's Tale
Tex Avery cross-breeds the stories of Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood in his inimitable fashion. While the Three Bears take a bike ride in the woods until their porridge cools off, Goldilocks (appearing "courtesy of Mervyn LeBoy Pictures") shows up at Grandma's house by mistake--where the Wolf, anxiously awaiting the arrival of Red Riding Hood, tells her to beat it. Later, the Wolf gets tired of waiting for Red and heads to the Three Bears' place to gobble up Goldilocks. Inevitably, the Bears come home, little suspecting that there's an interloper from another fairy tale in their bedroom! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Red Riding Hoodwinked
Tweety and Sylvester intrude upon this modernized version of "Little Red Riding Hood." When he spots Red and Tweety travelling (by bus!) to visit Red's Granny, Sylvester follows the pair to the woods, thence to Granny's house. Upon arrival, Red and Tweety are greeted by two cleverly disguised predators: The Big Bad Wolf and the Big Bad Puddy Tat, both of whom have the classic "The Better to See You With" catchphrases down pat--and neither of whom get what they want, namely a free meal. Fans of Jackie Gleason will enjoy the cartoon's (literal) punch line. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Transylvania 6-5000
En route to Pittsburgh, Bugs Bunny makes a "wrong toin" and winds up in Transylvania, where accepts the hospitality of sinister vampire Count Bloodcount, who transforms into a bat whenever Bugs says "Abracadabra". Bugs never notices this metamorphosis because he always manages to reverse the spell by saying "Hokus Pokus!"--which returns the Count to human form before he is able to sink his fangs into the Bunny's neck. By the time this gag has been milked dry, Bugs begins experimenting with other magical words, each of which has a bizarre effect on the hapless Count--and on Bugs himself! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Stupor Duck
Another of director Bob McKimson's TV satires, this one is a broad "Superman" spoof with Daffy Duck in the dual role of mild-mannered reporter Cluck Trent and that "strange being from another planet" Stupor Duck. Overhearing the sinister schemes of evil Russian saboteur I. Aardvark Ratnik, Cluck Trent ducks into a closet (located in the McKimson Building, naturally) and emerges as Stupor Duck, intent upon seeking out and neutralizing the bad guy--never once figuring out that "Ratnik" is nothing more than a character on a radio soap opera. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Bugs' Bonnets
The premise of this cartoon is established right at the beginning: "It's a well known psychological fact that people's behavior is strongly affected by the way they dress. Even a change of hats will usually bring certain changes." Sure enough, when peace-loving Elmer Fudd dons a hunter's hat, his first act is to take aim at Bugs Bunny--who, donning an Army Sergeant's hat, orders Elmer to march into a nearby lake. And so it goes, hat after hat, personality change after personality change, until finally a top-hatted Bugs proposes marriage to a modestly veiled Elmer! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Foney Fables
Friz Freleng updates some familiar fairy tales--and this being a 1942 cartoon, most of the gags have a wartime slant. Typical examples: While the Ant works hard to store for the winter, the Grasshopper puts his faith in US War Bonds; Aladdin rubs the lamp only to discover that the Genie has been unionized; Old Mother Hubbard is ratted out as a food hoarder; and the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs converts to aluminum for the Duration. A cute running gag is provided by the Boy Who Cried Wolf (once too often, as it turns out!) ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Ali Baba Bunny
After taking that infamous "wrong toin" at Albuqerque, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck wind up in Bagdad instead of Pismo Beach. There they come upon a treasure cave guarded by a scimitar-wielding giant ("Hassan chop!"), but this doesn't stop Daffy from trying to plunder the cave's limitless supply of gold and jewels. Bugs is forced to save Daffy's life by posing as the Genie of the Lamp, but Daffy ("I'm rich! I'm wealthy! I'm comfortably well off!") ultimately allows his greed to become his undoing when the real Genie shows up. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

A Pest in the House
Checking into a hotel after an exhausting road trip, a weary businessman warns hotel manager Elmer Fudd of dire consequences--namely a punch in the nose!--if he is disturbed while trying to sleep. Unfortunately, overeager bellboy Daffy Duck wastes no time in making a noisy pest of himself, and as a result the bleary-eyed businessman periodically schlumps downstairs to mete out punishment to poor Elmer. Apparently the only way to save Elmer's nose from further abuse is to promote Daffy to the position of manager--a desperate move that does nothing to forestall the inevitable final punch! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Up-Standing Sitter
Daffy Duck of the Acme Baby Sitting Service ("United We Sit") is hired to watch over an newly laid egg. When the egg hatches, the newborn chick takes one look at Daffy, panics, and runs off in the barnyard. Giving chase, poor Daffy has several painful encounters with Spike the Bulldog, to say nothing of the standard supply of dynamite. Never before has so much Duck endured so much abuse for so little gratitude. And by film's end, Daffy isn't sitting any more--mainly because he can't! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Stupor Salesman
Representing the Excelsior Appliance Company, door-to-door salesman Daffy Duck is not about to leave a customer's house without making a sale--even that "customer" happens to be notorious bank robber Slug McSlug. No matter how hard Slug tries to rub Daffy out, the resilient Duck bounces back for more, ruining the crook's weapon with his "Sure-Shot Shootin' Iron Polish" and depleting his bullet supply with a "guaranteed-or-your-money-back" bullet-proof vest (double-breasted, of course). Finally, a defeated Slug agrees to try out Daffy's "Sure-Shot Cigarette Lighter"--with devastating results! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Bewitched Bunny
In her first cartoon appearance, Witch Hazel lures a pair of obese German tots named Hansel and Gretel into her gingerbread house. Knowing what Hazel has in mind (he's read the book, after all), Bugs Bunny appoints himself the kids' guardian. Although "Der Kinder" manage to escape before they're popped into the oven, Bugs himself is not so lucky, and spends the rest of the picture being pursued by Witch Hazel (loose hairpins and all) all around her bizarrely furnished bungalow. As a bonus, Prince Charming appears as "himself". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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