Warner Brothers

MSRP: $44.98


323 min


New Documentary Drawn For Glory: Animations Triumph at the

Expert Commentary and/or Music Only Audio Tracks on Select Cartoons

Bonus Short: “
Whats Cookin’ Doc”

The Pitch

Let’s put all the Oscar winning and nominated Warner
Brothers and MGM cartoons in one deluxe

The Humans

Mel Blanc, June Foray, Hans Conried, Bill Thompson and
Arthur Q. Bryan

Somehow, this won an Oscar. It stills beats Crash.

The Nutshell

Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation
is an amazing package that was released in time to cash in on the
80th Annual Academy Awards buzz. Take a look below at the included

1. The Milky Way

2. Yankee Doodle Mouse

3. Mouse Trouble

4. Quiet Please

5. The Cat Concerto

6. Tweetie Pie

7. The Little Orphan

8. For Scent-Imental Reasons

9. So Much for So Little

10. Two Mouseketeers

11. Johann Mouse

12. Speedy Gonzales

13. Birds Anonymous

14. Knighty-Knight Bugs

15. The Dot and the Line

16. Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor

17. Peace on Earth

18. A Wild Hare

19. Puss Gets the Boot

20. Superman

21. Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt

22. Rhapsody In Rivets

23. The Night Before Christmas

24. Blitz Wolf

25. Pigs in a Polka

26. Swooner Crooner

27. Walky Talky Hawky

28. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Mouse

29. Mouse Wreckers

30. Hatch Up Your Troubles

31. Jerry’s Cousin

32. Little Johnny Jet

33. Touché, Pussy Cat!

34. From A to Z-Z-Z-Z

35. Sandy Claws

36. Good Will To Men

37. Tabasco Road

38. One Droopy Knight

39. High Note

40. Nelly’s Folly

41. Now Hear This

42. “Drawn for Glory: Animation’s Triumph At The

43. What’s Cookin’ Doc?

The Lowdown

Warner Brothers Animation used to be this fantastical
factory of comical ideas. I’m a huge fan of the Classic WB Animation style, but
quite a few of their animated shorts had slipped past me. Recently, Harry
Knowles posted a piece over at Ain’t It Cool News about classic cartoons that
he had grown to love over the years. In his article, he included a YouTube clip
of a classic cartoon Peace on Earth. This particular short is a
post-apocalyptic tale about an old squirrel telling his grandchildren about the
world in which they live.

Take that, malaria.

Peace on Earth got me thinking about the high quality of
animation during the Golden Age of Hollywood. This DVD
release takes you through the time when Walt Disney dominated the Awards to MGM’s
heyday and to the Baby Boom era Warner Brothers’ domination of the animated
short. The one thing that you’ll come to note as you peruse the included shorts
is the lack of the accepted classics. There’s no Duck Amuck or One Froggy
. There’s a ton of Tom & Jerry shorts with only The Cat Concerto
standing out as truly inspired.

The hidden gem of the first disc full of Oscar winners has
to be Chuck Jones work on The Dot and the Line. It’s a cartoon that tends to
be ignored by everyone outside of Academia. Jones inked his drawn work on rice
paper to allow for a sense of fluid movement that was unseen in 1965. While it
played with mathematic properties, it also marked the end of Warner Brothers’
heyday. It wouldn’t be long afterwards that Warner Brothers/Seven Arts would
shut down their animation department.

Somewhere, Lou Dobbs just shat himself.

The sense of finality towards the end of these discs only
makes the greater work stand out. Freleng, Jones, Fleischer, Hanna, Barbara and
all of the others worked together to create perfectly timed stories that just
happened to be animated. This collection is the definitive package of Warner
Brothers’ animated shorts. It’s a Greatest Hits compilation of one of the most
decorated animation houses in America.
If you know anyone that’s seeking to learn more about the history of American
Animation, then this is a great jumping off point. That’s why I recommend it as
a blind buy.

The Package

Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation
comes to DVD with an immense
three-disc release. The first disc is dedicated to the actual Oscar winners and
most of their transfers look amazing. But, the real winner is the sheer amount
of supplements included on the DVDs. You get fourteen commentaries for the
shorts that offer up a world of information from such people as Jerry Beck and
Paul Dini. The music-only tracks that appeared on the Looney Tunes Golden
Collections also make an appearance in this release.

Raymond Chandler’s “The Last Birdcage” never really set the Animation World on fire.

If that wasn’t enough, Warner Brothers included What’s
Cookin’ Doc
as a special feature. The short was originally produced for the 17th
Annual Academy Awards to show off the previously nominated Hiawatha’s Rabbit
. It’s a fun cartoon that plays with the celebrity caricatures which were
a staple of the Looney Tunes at the time. Drawn for Glory: Animation’s
Triumph at the Oscars
is the pinnacle of the supplemental material. This
hour-long documentary narrated by Bonnie Hunt points out the origins of the
included cartoons. The documentary ends rather quickly for my tastes, but the
insight gained from it is amazing.

Sir Loin of Beef. It was funny when I was five and it’s funny now.

The A/V Quality on the DVD
ranges greatly. The transfers are ports from previous animation collections
released by Warner Brothers. You run into some trouble on the older transfers
for the Droopy and Tom & Jerry shorts. For some reason, Warner Brothers
didn’t seem fit to make the scope transfers anamorphic. It’s a rare miss for
the Warner Brothers Home Entertainment folks, but it’s not enough to ruin the
entire release.


9.6 out of 10