The Warner Archive, Warner Home Video's manufacture-on-demand division, has released their first Looney Tunes title. The 1975 documentary film
Bugs Bunny Superstar seemed like an odd choice to me. After all, the film consists of shorts that, for the most part, have already
been available and restored on DVD for years. The documentary itself was also released, split into two-parts, back on 2006's
Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume 4. Despite all that, leave
it to the film buffs at Warner Archive to still manage to craft a release that is a worthwhile purchase for both Looney Tunes novices and
the hardcore fans alike.
The film, made at a time when the cartoons were viewed by most as Saturday morning kiddie TV filler, was a tribute and a showcase of the best
cartoons from the 1940s. Director Bob Clampett acted as host and showed off original artwork and rare footage of the "Termite Terrace" days.
Brief interview clips with Tex Avery and Friz Freleng were also included.
The following complete cartoons are included: "What's Cookin' Doc?", "A Wild Hare", "A Corny Concerto", "I Taw a Putty Tat", "Rhapsody Rabbit", "Walky Talky Hawky", "My Favorite Duck", "Hair-Raising Hare", and
"The Old Grey Hare".
The DVD release is a new transfer of the documentary and all the cartoons are now the Golden Collection restored versions (with the exceptions of the
two that haven't got that treatment as of yet - "What's Cookin' Doc?" and "I Taw a Putty Tat" - they are new transfers as well, albeit not restored). The highlight of the release is the feature-length audio commentary by director Larry Jackson. It is an absolutely fascinating commentary of how
the whole independent film came together with virtually no budget with many interesting stories along the way. Jackson brings up such topics as attempting to
work with Warners to include post-1948 titles in the film (he ultimately was limited to only shorts controlled by United Artists at the time), the infamous Jones-Clampett feud, and
even answers the mystery of Bob Clampett's hair (spoiler: it wasn't a wig). For a more in-depth look at the release (and the Jackson commentary track), don't miss
this fantastic blog post by Thad Komorowski.
The new Bugs Bunny Superstar release is definitely worth a look, doc.
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