The Best of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment ? AcademyŽ Award Winning and Nominated theatrical animated shorts. Category: Best Animated Short Subjects. Franchises include Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, MGM, Max Fleischer etc.... more » 41 of the most celebrated cartoons of their time, including 15 award winners...plus over 60 minutes of special features! This collection has something for everyone with characters such as the Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Droopy, Superman, Popeye, Dot, Line & Squiggle, Tex Avery?s "Little Johnny Jet", Chuck Jones? "High Note", and Nelly?s Folly (the singing Giraffe) and Hubie Bertie & Cat Claude.« less
"Don't you just hate it when the description of one of these classic cartoon sets doesn't include a description of the cartoons? In this case, they are really worth mentioning, as some, such as Disc Two's "Peace on Earth," aren't exactly kiddie fare, and many others are true animation classics (I've starred the ones I think best earn that honor). With that in mind, here's a description of each cartoon, written as I watch them:
Each of these was honored by the Academy as the Best Cartoon of the Year:
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.
1. POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS SINBAD THE SAILOR* (Paramount /Fleischer, 1936) When Sinbad (i.e., Bluto) challenges Popeye to a series of battles, the big brute nearly wins until Popeye pulls out his can of spinach. Many scenes use modeled sets to create three-dimensional backgrounds. 16 minutes, color. Optional audio commentary by Jerry Beck, illustrator Leslie Cabarga and animators Ray Pointer and Bob Jaques.
2. PEACE ON EARTH* (MGM, 1939) A chilling classic. During a post-apocalyptic Christmas Eve, two young squirrels ask their grandfather what the word "men" means in the lyric "Peace on earth, good will to men." As he explains that man was the species that destroyed itself by waging war, the cartoon shows rotoscoped scenes of armed conflict. Optional audio commentary by Greg Ford.
3. A WILD HARE* (Warner Bros., 1940) The first official Bugs Bunny cartoon looks primitive by later standards, but still has all the ingredients of the rascally rabbit's recipe. When "wabbit" hunter Elmer Fudd sticks his rifle down a hole, up pops Bugs to ask "What's up, Doc?" Optional audio commentary by Greg Ford.
4. PUSS GETS THE BOOT* (MGM, 1940) Tom is called Jaspar in this early version of a Tom and Jerry short. A typical cat-and-mouse chase results in a number of broken household objects. Optional audio commentary by Mark Kausler.
5. SUPERMAN* (Paramount /Fleischer, 1941) The classic story of The Man Of Steel as told in a 10-minute animated short, including his early life in rural Kansas. Later, he works with Perry White and Lois Lane at The Daily Planet as Clark Kent, but must change into Superman to save Lois, and the world, from a mad scientist. The first Superman cartoon. Optional audio commentary by producer Paul Dini.
6. HIAWATHA'S RABBIT HUNT (Warner Bros., 1941) When an Elmer Fudd-like Hiawatha (from the classic Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem The Song of Hiawatha) arrives in the forest hunting rabbits for dinner, Bugs will have none of it.
7. RHAPSODY IN RIVETS* (Warner Bros., 1941) Ever seen Fantasia 2000's version of "Rhapsody in Blue"? Here's an obvious inspiration. A construction site foreman imagines himself as as conductor of Franz Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody," with his workers as the orchestra.
8. THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (MGM, 1941) Tom chases Jerry under and around a Christmas tree until -- holy cats! -- he is touched by the holiday spirit.
9. THE BLITZ WOLF* (MGM, 1942) When the evil Adolph Wolf wants to invade the state of Pigmania, Sergeant Pork spoils his plans. A wartime take on "The Three Little Pigs." Optional audio commentary by Eric Goldberg.
10. PIGS IN A POLKA* (Warner Bros., 1942) In a parody of Disney's 1940 film Fantasia, The Big Bad Wolf channels the spirit of Deems Taylor as he introduces a spoof of the Three Little Pigs set to a classical music piece, in this case Brahms' "Hungarian Dances."
11. SWOONER CROONER* (Warner Bros., 1944) Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, Jimmy Durante and Al Jolson are among the crooners caricatured as Porky Pig holds a contest to help his hens lay more eggs. Songs include "As Time Goes By," "Shortenin' Bread," "Lullaby of Broadway" and "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby."
12. WALKY TALKY HAWKY* (Warner Bros., 1946) When naive young chicken hawk Henery comes across Foghorn Leghorn, the rooster proclaims "I'm a horse!" and proceeds to convince the little bird that the real chicken is the Barnyard Dog. "Ooh!" says Henery. "That's the biggest chicken I ever did see!" Optional audio commentary by Jerry Beck.
13. DR. JEKYLL AND MR. MOUSE (MGM, 1947) Every idea backfires when Tom tries to stop Jerry from drinking from a milk bowl.
14. MOUSE WRECKERS (Warner Bros., 1948) Claude Cat debuts as he battles with hobo mice Hubie and Bertie over a new home.
1. HATCH UP YOUR TROUBLES (MGM, 1949) Jerry plays mom to a baby woodpecker that hatches in his bed.
2. JERRY'S COUSIN (MGM, 1950) Legendary voice talent Paul Frees portrays Jerry's cousin Muscles, a mouse who is so strong Tom ends up groveling at his feet. Background music includes "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady," best known as a gem from Groucho Marx.
3. LITTLE JOHNNY JET* (MGM, 1952) A baby jet helps his father, an old B-29, find work after the war. A old fighter pilot resembles Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Optional music-only audio track.
4. TOUCHÉ, PUSSY CAT! (MGM, 1954) Tuffy (formerly known as Nibbles) is desperate to join Captain Jerry's Mouseketeers. Songs: "Frere Jacques," "We're on Our Way." Cinemascope. Optional music-only audio track.
5. FROM A TO Z-Z-Z-Z* (Warner Bros., 1953) The daydreams of schoolboy Ralph Phillips include flying like a bird, punching out an opponent in the boxing ring and becoming Douglas MacArthur. Optional audio commentary by animation author Amid Amidi (Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in 1950s Animation, The Art of Robots).
6. SANDY CLAWS* (MGM, 1954) When Granny takes Tweety to the beach, Sylvester tries to steal him from his cage, then "rescue" the bird from some huge waves.
7. GOOD WILL TO MEN (MGM, 1955) An atomic-era version of Disc 2's "Peace on Earth," this time with mice in the ruins of a church. Optional music-only audio track.
8. TABASCO ROAD* (Warner Bros., 1957) After a festive night in a cantina, Speedy Gonzales has to rescue tequila-tinged buddies Fernando and Pablo from a huge cat. Optional music-only audio track.
9. ONE DROOPY KNIGHT (MGM, 1957) Sirs Butchalot and Droopalot vie to kill a dragon to win a princess. One of the worst Droopy cartoons, it was nevertheless nominated for 1957's Best Short Subject Academy Award. Cinemascope. Optional music-only audio track.
10. HIGH NOTE* (Warner Bros., 1960) When a set of musical notes attempts to arrange themselves to perform the Johann Strauss classic "The Blue Danube," a rogue note ruins their plans after visiting the "Little Brown Jug."
11. NELLY'S FOLLY* (Warner Bros., 1961) Homewrecker! That's the reputation a singing giraffe from Africa gets after she arrives at a zoo and develops a relationship with a married male.
12. NOW HEAR THIS* (Warner Bros., 1962) This spare, surreal, almost psychedelic Chuck Jones masterpiece concerns an old British gent who thinks he finds a magical hearing aid, though it's actually a horn from Satan's forehead. There's no dialogue, but many, many sound effects. The first Warner Bros. short to feature the company's revised graphic titles, it also includes a rarely heard rendition of "The Merry Go-Round Broke Down." Optional audio commentary by Amid Amidi.
There are two nice bonus features. "Drawn for Glory: Animation's Triumph at the Oscars" is a new 60-minute, clip-heavy documentary that covers all the major studios. "What's Cookin' Doc?" is a 1944 Bugs Bunny short that shows the rabbit at an Academy Awards ceremony fighting to win the Oscar for "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt." He ends up with a booby prize, a rabbit statue that comes to life with the voice of famed radio star Bert "The Mad Russian" Gordon."
Some new-to-DVD titles here, but mostly re-issues from the T
Paul J. Mular | San Carlos, CA USA | 11/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This set will include the separately released Winners disc Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection - The 15 Winners, pluse two discs of nominees. Warner Brothers Home Video owns 38 nominated cartoons, but they have chosen to only release 26 of them. I don't know why 12 were omitted.
From the Warner Brothers Home Video press release:
Academy Award® winning shorts featured on the DVDs:
1) The Milky Way (MGM), 2) Yankee Doodle Mouse (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 3) Mouse Trouble (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 4) Quiet Please (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 5) The Cat Concerto (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 6) Tweetie Pie (WB), 7) The Little Orphan (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 8) For Scent-Imental Reasons (WB, Pepe Le Pew), 9) So Much for so Little (a special educational Warner Brothers short), 10) Two Mouseketeers (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 11) Johann Mouse (MGM, Tom & Jerry), 12) Speedy Gonzales (WB), 13) Birds Anonymous (WB, Tweety & Sylvester), 14) Knighty-Knight Bugs (WB, Bugs Bunny) 15) The Dot and the Line (Chuck Jones classic MGM cartoon).
Discs 2 & 3:
Academy Award® nominated shorts featured on the DVDs include 1) Popeye The Sailor Meets Sinbad The Sailor (Paramount/Fleischer) 2) Superman (Paramount/Fleischer) 3) Walky Talky Hawky (WB, Foghorn Leghorn) 4) One Droopy Knight (MGM, Droopy) plus 12 more un-announced titles.
Those close to the production of this DVD say we can expect these cartoons to be included on the Nominees discs, but they have not yet been officially announced: 5) A Wild Hare (WB, Bugs Bunny) 6) Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt (WB, Bugs Bunny) new to DVD. 7) Rhapsody In Rivits (WB) new to DVD. 8) Greetings Bait (WB) new to DVD. 9) Swooner Crooner (WB, Porky Pig) new to DVD. 10) Life With Feathers (WB, Sylvester) new to DVD. 11) Mouse Wreckers (WB, Hubie & Bertie) 12) From A to Z-Z-Z-Z (WB, Ralph Philips) new to DVD. 13) Sandy Claws (WB, Tweety & Sylvester) new to DVD. 14) Tobasco Road (WB, Speedy Gonzalas) 15) Mexicali Schmoes (WB, Speedy Gonzalas) 16) Mouse And Garden (WB, The Honeymousers) 17) The High Note (WB Chuck Jones classic) new to DVD. 18) Pied Piper Of Guadalupe (WB, Speedy Gonzalas) 19) Beep Prepared (WB, Road Runner) new to DVD. 20) Nelly's Folly (WB) new to DVD. 21) Now Hear This (WB, Chuck Jones classic) new to DVD. 22) Peace On Earth (MGM, Harmon-Ising classic) new to DVD. 23) Night Before Christmas, The (MGM, Tom & Jerry) 24) Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Mouse (MGM, Tom & Jerry) 25) Hatch Up Your Troubles (MGM, Tom & Jerry) 26) Good Will To Men (MGM, Hanna Barbera Cinemascope remake of the classic Peace On Earth) new to DVD.
BONUSES will include a red carpet-worthy special feature entitled "Drawn for Glory: Animation's Triumph At The Oscars®" which focuses on the history of the Academy Awards® animation short subject category. Then watch Bugs Bunny try to promote his film Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt to the Acadamy for an award."
A great idea, too bad it couldn't be better
Nancy Beiman | Ontario, Canada | 02/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This disc is worth purchasing for the following cartoons ALONE:
PEACE ON EARTH GOOD WILL TO MEN THE BLITZ WOLF NELLIE'S FOLLY NOW HEAR THIS THE DOT AND THE LINE A WILD HARE PUSS GETS THE BOOT (a much better cartoon than many later Tom and Jerries that won the award) and especially FROM A TO Z-Z-Z-Z.
None of these have appeared on DVD before. The last one is worth the price, all by itself. I've been waiting for years for Ralph Phillips to appear on disc.
Now, the idea of Oscar nominated and winning animation is a great one...but why are so many of the cartoons available elsewhere? Why are there no entries before 1940? (The Short Cartoon oscar began in 1932, and Disney won every year until 1940, when the rather disgusting MILKY WAY (included here) beat the much better nominees PLUTO'S BONE TROUBLE, A WILD HARE and the first Woody Woodpecker cartoon KNOCK KNOCK
There's no accounting for taste, and it is clear that many of the best cartoons on this disc are in the Nominees section, rather than the Winners.
I'd like to thank Warners for putting Tex Avery's completely politically-incorrect THE BLITZ WOLF and Bob Clampett's WHAT'S COOKIN' DOC on disc for the first time. I never thought these cartoons would be released at all. Now let's have the rest of the Averys!"
"I'll Keep You an' Cherish You..."
Kevin Wollenweber | 02/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Despite the omissions which I'm sure that most animation fans have heard about already, I would give this set a high "thunb's up!"
Most of the cartoons here look and sound better than I'd seen them on previous collections, and it is so nice to have rare titles like "FROM A TO Z-Z-Z-Z" and both "PEACE ON EARTH" and "GOOD WILL TO MEN" on the same collection. Also, on the first disk of this set, "SO MUCH FOR SO FEW" is a gloriously restored part of the main program, not a special feature as it was on one of the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION volumes. Notable titles are restored with first-time-in-a-long-time seen title cards also finally returned to them, like "HIAWATHA'S RABBIT HUNT" and "A WILD HARE", the cartoon that started it all for the BUGS BUNNY we all know and love, and I also rather like having "THE DOT AND THE LINE" as part of the main program, as opposed to it being a special feature on the movie, "THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT". The whole point of this set is both to honor the cartoon as art form and to show that the Academy was not all that receptive to honoring these wonderful artists outside of the usual Disney nod. It is no wonder that all or most other studios were trying to *BE* Disney instead of having faith in their own incredible style as did the Fleischers, who were ultimately forced to bow to Disney as well during their last fading days at Paramount. Through the commentaries, we get a sense of just who did what and that, no matter who the director of any given cartoon, it ttakes the good efforts of an entire animation staff to get the job done right.
Terrific stuff, and wouldn't it be delightful if we could have more of these kinds of animation packages with one basic theme, mixing up the other studios as well, as a kind of homage to the days when local animation festivals or Saturday matinees were the norm. Theaters are the best way to see these cartoons, but this will do when the best is no longer available to us!"
E. Bernard | Chicago, IL USA | 04/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very interesting compilation. Academy Award winners and nominees from the golden age of cartoons. Popeye, Tom and Jerry, Superman, and Looney Tunes are all here, along with some rarely seen cartoons like "Nelly's Folly" and "High Note". This would be a good start if you wanted to teach your kids about "the stuff we watched on tv growing up". I enjoyed this very much. One of my favorite cartoons of all time, "The Dot and The Line" is here which with the other raritys here make it worth it for me. Enjoy!"