Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Los Angeles What's the rush, doc?
That was Warner Bros. response to the backlash from some "Looney Tunes" fans who complain that a handful of their favorite cartoons are missing from the collection of 56 shorts released Tuesday.
"Looney Tunes -- The Golden Collection," the first-ever DVD release for Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd, includes such classics as "Rabbit of Seville" and "The Scarlet Pumpernickel."
Animation fans, however, have debated the selection of shorts endlessly on the Internet.
Among the notable absentees: "What's Opera, Doc?" with Bugs tormenting co-star Elmer Fudd, who sings "Kill the wabbit! Kill the wabbit!"; and "One Froggy Evening," which showcased the "Hello, My Baby!"-singing amphibian Michigan J. Frog.
"I would have rather never had these shorts be released than to deal with this garbage," Aaron Strader of Houston wrote on amazon.com. "I hope it sells well enough to justify a full release on DVD of everything."
"We held back some of the jewels for future releases," said George Feltenstein, the marketing executive who helped pick the shorts.
Warner Home Video counters that its plan to release a set of 60 cartoons each year is not just a marketing ploy -- it's as fast as it can clean up the originals. Dorinda Marticorena, WHV's director of children's marketing, said it took months to restore the original cartoon prints.
The "Golden Collection" ($64.92) and the lesser "Premiere Collection" of 28 shorts ($26.99) was released to gather buzz for the feature film, "Looney Tunes: Back in Action," which is set for release Nov. 14.