Here's a description of each cartoon
Julie Neal | Sanibel Island, Fla. | 02/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's been a lot of vintage cartoon sets in the past year, but this one is one of the best for kids. Unlike the otherwise superb Chronological Donald Vol. 3 or Popeye the Sailor Vol. 1, this one features a wide variety of characters so it never starts to wear thin. And since it's only one disc, it doesn't require you to lay out big bucks in order to own some re-mastered classics. If you're a real animation buff, you may be happier with the expanded Warner Bros. Academy Awards Animation Collection - 15 Winners, 26 Nominees. It's this disc plus two more, with many other gems, all at a good price.
Here's a description of the cartoons on this DVD. I've starred my favorites:
1. THE MILKY WAY* (MGM, 1940)
Clear color, great clarity and a nice period song highlight this restored cute classic. When three little kittens lose their mittens, they're sent straight to bed -- where they dream that they sail a hot air balloon up into the Milky Way, a land overflowing with milk geysers and springs. The cartoon was the first Oscar winner that wasn't produced by Disney.
2. YANKEE DOODLE MOUSE* (MGM, 1943)
Typical Tom and Jerry antics doused in patriotic instrumentals such as "Anchors Aweigh" and "Over There." Dynamite, egg grenades and champagne-bottle corks are the weapons of choice. I'll admit I'm not the biggest Tom & Jerry fan, but my 13-year-old daughter loves this one.
3. MOUSE TROUBLE (MGM, 1944)
Tom's the one in trouble as he attempts to rid the house of Jerry, using the ideas in a book called "How to Catch a Mouse (A Random Mouse Book)."
4. QUIET PLEASE* (MGM, 1945)
Even I like this one. In fact, I LOVE this one! Though it's directed by Hanna and Barbera, Tex Avery's jaw-dropping influence is all through it. Funny gags, great character expressions! When a sleepy Spike threatens to kill Tom if the cat doesn't keep quiet ("If I hear one more sound I've gonna skin you alive, get it?"), Jerry tries to make as much noise as he can. Optional audio commentary by animator Mark Kausler highlights the contributions from many former Disney artists.
5. THE CAT CONCERTO* (MGM, 1947)
When Jerry disrupts Tom's grand piano performance of Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody, Tom fights back while never missing a note. Optional audio commentary by animator Eric Goldberg. You know, I'm really starting to get into this Tom & Jerry stuff!
6. TWEETIE PIE* (Warner Bros., 1947)
A cat (here named Thomas, later known as Sylvester) uses a variety of screwball techniques as he tries to catch the little yellow bird in a series of short sketches. Vivid color! The first Sylvester and Tweety cartoon, and the first Warner Bros. short to win an Oscar.
7. THE LITTLE ORPHAN (MGM, 1949)
Tiny mouse Nibbles is always hungry, which causes trouble for Jerry.
8. FOR SCENT-IMENTAL REASONS* (Warner Bros., 1949)
The debut of Pepé Le Pew (my favorite Chuck Jones character), an amorous skunk who mistakes a black female cat for a potential mate. Pepé's influence can be seen in the Disney characters Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast as well as Capt. Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Optional audio commentary by animator Greg Ford.
9. SO MUCH FOR SO LITTLE (Warner Bros., 1949)
This 10-minute animated PSA won the 1949 Oscar for Best Documentary Short. Its point: how federal public-health services can keep babies healthy and free from diseases. Cute, and better than it sounds, though scenes include such things as "untreated sewage running into our pretty creek." Optional audio commentary by animation historian Jerry Beck.
10. THE TWO MOUSEKETEERS (MGM, 1951)
Musketeers Jerry and Nibbles cause trouble for Royal Guard Tom at a king's banquet. Routine.
11. JOHANN MOUSE (MGM, 1952)
Tom learns to play the piano in an effort to catch Jerry, who can't help but dance whenever he hears a Johann Strauss waltz. MGM debuted a new-look Tom with this short, in which he first appears without the grey stripe between his eyes.
12. SPEEDY GONZALES* (Warner Bros., 1955)
They couldn't make this one today! To help his starving friends, the Mexican Don Juan mouse must sneak past makeshift border guard Sylvester and raid a U.S. cheese factory. When one of the friends proclaims "Speedy Gonzales a friend of my sister!" another replies "Speedy Gonzales friend of everybody's sister." Optional music-only audio track.
13. BIRDS ANONYMOUS (Warner Bros., 1957)
Sylvester tries to break his addiction to feathered food by joining Birds Anonymous, but the temptation of Tweety is too much. Includes the first appearance of Sylvester's fellow feline, Sam.
14. KNIGHTY-KNIGHT BUGS (Warner Bros., 1958)
On a quest for a Singing Sword, Bugs Bunny sneaks into the castle of the Black Knight, where he meets a fire-breathing, but sneezing dragon. Song: "Cuddle Up a Little Closer."
15. THE DOT AND THE LINE* (MGM, 1965)
A line loves a dot, but she's hot for a squiggle in this charming, colorful and witty 10-minute Chuck Jones gem. Subtitled "A Romance in Lower Mathematics," it's based on the 1963 book by architect and children's author Norton Juster. Optional audio commentary by Eric Goldberg. Optional music-only audio track."
ALL RE-ISSUES, mostly from the previous Tom & Jerry and Loon
Paul J. Mular | San Carlos, CA USA | 11/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This set will include cartoons already released on the Tom & Jerry and Looney Tunes box sets and "The Glass Bottom Boat" movie. I would suggest going for the 3-disc Winners & Nominees set to get more.
Wb: Academy Awards Animation Collection (3pc)
From the Warner Brothers Home Video press release:
Academy Award® winning shorts featured on the DVDs include
1) The Milky Way (MGM),
2) Yankee Doodle Mouse (Tom & Jerry),
3) Mouse Trouble (Tom & Jerry),
4) Quiet Please (Tom & Jerry),
5) The Cat Concerto (Tom & Jerry),
6) Tweetie Pie (WB),
7) The Little Orphan (Tom & Jerry),
8) For Scent-Imental Reasons (Pepe Le Pew),
9) So Much for So Little (a special educational Warner Brothers short),
10) Two Mouseketeers (Tom & Jerry),
11) Johann Mouse (Tom & Jerry),
12) Speedy Gonzales (WB),
13) Birds Anonymous (Tweety & Sylvester),
14) Knighty-Knight Bugs (Bugs Bunny)
15) The Dot and the Line (Chuck Jones classic MGM cartoon). (Issued as a bonus on The Glass Bottom Boat.)"
Michael Kerner | Brooklyn, New York U.S.A. | 02/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When it has come down to it, Warner Brothers has made large and smaller compilations of their classic Looney Tunes cartoons over the years, as the Golden and Spotlight Collections. While the Golden Collectioons have all been worth the effort and the money to buy, the smaller collections haven't really brought in the die hard fans as well. Now that it is soon time for the Academy Awards, it will be time to see who is the best in animation, and it is most likely Disney's Ratatouille. But back in the 40's, 50's and 60's it was Disney against Hanna-Barbera, Warner Brothers and M.G.M. to see who was the best in shorts. Now Warner Brothers, M.G.M. and Hanna-Barbera have all of their Oscar-Winning cartoons on one DVD compilation. But, does it really say That's All Folks!?
Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection - The 15 Winners, is a single disc DVD that contains all the Oscar-winning gems from Warner Brothers, M.G.M. and Hanna-Barbera from the golden days of animation. While the single disc shows the winners, it doesn't appeal as the recently issued 15 Winners, 26 Nominations 3 disc DVD set, which includes 42 animated gems and even classic that were released on DVD for the first time. On this smaller version, you mainly get the single disc of gems, most of them are highlighting shorts by Tom & Jerry and Sylvester who won 3 Oscars for Warner Brothers and director Friz Freleng. Still, on this single disc there are a lot of classic here including Birds Anonymous, where Sylvester goes into treatment for his addiction to go after Tweety, Bugs Bunny's only Oscar-winning short, Knighty Knight Bugs, and the controversial The Cat Concerto featuring Tom & Jerry, which was similarly like the Bugs Bunny cartoon Rhapsody Rabbit, and Pepe Le Pew in the Chuck Jones delight For Scent-imental Reasons. The episodes have all been remastered well, but doesn't appeal as much to newcomers to the classic gems of animation today.
All in all, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection - The 15 Winners is good for anyone who hasn't seen the great influences of animation today, it just doesn't measure up as well as the 3 disc expanded edition: 15 Winners 26 Nominees, which includes classics that have never made it to home video before like Bugs Bunny's debut in Tex Avery's A Wild Hare, and many other delights to laugh out loud to. As for this single disc set, it truly isn't all folks to stand alone completely for the Oscar these days.
Overall: C 1/2+"