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The Looney Tunes Hall of Fame

Starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam, Michigan J. Bullfrog
Directed by Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Robert Clampett

IN SHORT: The "best" of the WB 'toons, and only one is missing . . . [Rated [G], 105 minutes]

Cranky is a self-professed 'toonhead, so there's not much to report on this grouping of some of the most wonderful Warner Brothers cartoons ever made. New prints and full screen showing of this special set, to tour in random cities under the aegis of Kit Parker Films, makes these hundred plus minutes in the dark much cheaper than shelling out a couple of hundred bucks for the five Golden Age of Looney Tunes vid sets. Which, of course, I've already done. Even so, it's always better on the big screen. The line up:

Wild Hare (1940) -- the debut pairing of perennial foes Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, as well as the first time Bugs uttered his trademark "What's up, Doc?"

Birdy & the Beast (1944) -- before encountering Sylvester, Tweety Pie had to escape the gluttonous designs of a slovenly fat cat.

Bugs Bunny Rides Again (1948) -- Yosemite Sam dares anyone to stop his reign of terror...and guess who takes up the dare? Featuring Bug's famous "I dare you to cross this line" which would show up in other Bugs vs. Sam toons.

Rabbit Seasoning (1952) -- the all-time masterpiece with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck trying to convince Elmer Fudd whether it is Rabbit Season or Duck Season.

Feed the Kitty (1952) -- the butch bulldog Marc Anthony finds himself a pushover for the orphaned Pussyfoot the Kitten and tries to give the wee feline a home without tipping off his suspicious owner (though June Foray did most of the femme voices, this one sounds like Bea Benaderette.) [Cranky's preference is Chuck Jones' take on the story, in which a flea sets up camp on back of the dog. Heavy duty slapstick plus one joke that got past the censors in that one]

One Froggy Evening (1955) -- Of all the 'toons helmed by Chuck Jones, this is his favorite. That's right from the man's mouth, folk. In it, a singing-and-dancing frog inspires a construction worker to pursue calamitous get-rich-quick dreams. Problem is, the frog has stage fright...

Duck Amuck (1953) -- "Stand back, musketeers, or you shall sample my...blade?" The first toon since the "Out of the Inkwell" b/w series to break the "fourth wall" between toon and animator. Daffy Duck is tormented by an unknown hand who changes backgrounds, costumes, and the ultimate indignity -- he wipes the duck out with a pencil eraser. So, who do you suppose could be "such a stinker"? Listed in the National Film Registry.

Another Froggy Evening (1995) -- When Chuck Jones wanted to start making cartoons again, Warners insisted that he do this. Jones knew the joke had been done to perfection, and there was nothing more to do with it. Even with the writing help of daughter/ co-producer Linda, and radio legend Stan Freberg, the man was correct. The only lowpoint of the program.

Fast & Furry-ous (1949) -- originally conceived as a one-shot cartoon, the debut of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner created a sensation which lead to their long-running series.

What's Opera, Doc? (1954) -- The first animation listed in the National Film Registry, Chuck Jones' artistic spoof of Wagner offers the only time when Elmer actually catches Bugs. Many of us toonheads consider this the greatest of all the Warners work.

Ali Baba Bunny (1957) -- Bugs and Daffy take a wrong turn at Albuquerque and wind up in a jewel-rich Arabian cave guarded by the sword-chopping Hassan.

Knighty Knight Bugs (1955) -- the famed rabbit's Academy Award-winning romp in medieval times, featuring Yosemite Sam as a knight who rides a sniffling dragon.

High Diving Hare (1949) -- vaudeville emcee Bugs is forced by Yosemite Sam to fill in for an absent high diving act.

Bully for Bugs (1955) -- Bugs once again makes a wrong turn at Albuquerque, burrows into the middle of a bullring and finds himself as the matador facing a cranky toro.

Rabbit of Seville (1956) -- Elmer chases Bugs into a Rossini production and winds up getting shaved, attacked by a serpentine razor, and married to Bugs!

We don't rate reissues, but if you get the chance to see it on the big screen -- classic 'toons, bigger than life. What could be better?

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