Written by El Puerquito Magnifico
Warner Brothers bring us another volume of animated classics from the golden age of Saturday mornings and sugary cereals, the 1960s. Its two discs full of anthropomorphic heroes, theme songs that you just can’t get out of your head, and at times, straight-up weirdness. At 299 minutes, there are enough cartoons in this collection to last several Saturdays.
Some highlights include classics like The Bugs Bunny Show, Porky Pig, and the Road Runner as well as Magilla Gorilla and Touché Turtle. There are a few oddballs on here as well: Space Kidettes features a group of adorable tots living in a space capsule who constantly outwit Captain Skyhook, who is apparently a space pirate of sorts. Young Samson is reminiscent of He-Man and Captain Marvel, with a teenager and his dog transforming into a powerhouse superhero and his pet lion. And of course, there’s The Adventures of Gulliver, which comes across as the bastard offspring of Scooby Doo, the Smurfs, and Johnny Quest.
Okay, here’s the skinny: If you’re a baby boomer looking to relive your youth, this is a fantastic collection. If you’re an animation aficionado looking to expand your tastes, this is an excellent sampler and an affordable way to get a brief glimpse of a lot of different cartoons. If you’ve got children and you want to shut them up without having to sit through crap like Barney or The Fresh Beat Band, this set is definitely for you. And of course, if you’re totally stoned out of your mind, you’ll like it.
If you don’t fall into any of these categories, it boils down to a whole lotta “meh”.
Sure, you’re pretty much guaranteed to laugh at least once during any given episode of any given show included on this disc, but you’re also guaranteed to roll your eyes a lot when faced with the extraordinary amount of formulaic concepts. Almost every cartoon boils down to one of three concepts: a witless hero and his possibly retarded sidekick, a witless hero and his vastly more intelligent sidekick, or a cool-as-hell hero and his merry band of idiots. The second disc is practically unnecessary, as it just rehashes a bunch of the same cartoons on the first disc.
Yes, there are a handful of great cartoons on here like a couple shorts featuring Sylvester and Tweety, a little bit of Road Runner, and a lone episode of Tom and Jerry, but if you’re a fan of these characters, chances are you’ve probably bought collections of their work and you don’t need this set. There’s weird stuff like the aforementioned Gulliver, but it’s really only funny once.
All in all, I found myself none too impressed, but it’s more because of the content than the concept. As someone who loved making mix tapes for my friends (and someone who still enjoys making mix discs in the 21st century), I am a huge fan of the idea of tossing a bunch of cartoons from a particular era on a couple of discs with no rhyme or reason. As it turns out, I just don’t like cartoons from the 1960s. However, if you do enjoy this era of animation, you’ll probably dig this set.
Jetsons Clip From the DVD: “Dog Slobber”