Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Woody Woodpecker and Friends: Classic Cartoon Collection Volume 2 (April 15); Solomon's Weekly Rant

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the mini-DVD review and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up, are the mini-DVD review. This week we take a look at Universal Home Video's The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection - Volume 2. Woody Woodpecker is of course the classic TV woodpecker that made his mark in the 40s-70s in feature films! Not only do we get Woody cartoons, we also get classic theatrical cartoons of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Andy Panda, Chilly Willy, some Cartune Classics, and some Music Favorites. See my mini-DVD review of The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection - Volume 2:

The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection - Volume 2 (Universal, $39.98) brings 45 more classic unedited Woody Woodpecker cartoons and 30 other unedited classic cartoons from the legendary Walter Lantz to DVD on another classic 3-disc set! This time three of these shorts were nominated for Academy Awards. The set also goes again to the vault for classic behind-the-scenes with Walter Lantz and some rare Lantz pilots.
On this set we not only get 45 Woody Woodpecker cartoons, but also 5 each of the following: Oswald the Luck Rabbit, Andy Panda, Chilly Willy, Cartune Classics, Cartune Co-Stars and Musical Favorites. The Woody Woodpecker cartoons generally are between 6-7 minutes. Chilly Willy is about the same as well, and the others are a bit higher, more like 7-8 minutes each. There are no chapter stops once again, which is acceptable here because the episodes are very short. There are 75 total shorts.
The video is digitally remastered and uncut and it looks great! You see some dust and debris here and there, but a bit better than the last set, as that set had more older shorts...but some shorts like Oswald the Lucky Rabbit are still from the '30s. Woody is from 1952-58 on this set. The audio is decent, nothing too bad about it. It is in mono, but very good for its age.
Packaging has a nice brown outer box (like a tree again) with Woody coming out of the whole on the tree holding a sling shot. His nephew and niece, Knothead and Splinter are also on the cover. The back cover has information on the set and has some screenshots of the shorts along with a big photo of Woody pumping up dynamites or something. A box titled Rare Vintage Bonus Features is also listed on the back of the box. Inside the box is a digipak. The front of the digipak has Woody again coming out of a whole on a tree with a sling shot surrounded by more hole on the three with are screenshots from the show like Smedly and Chilly Willy. Woody's "Ha-Ha-Ha-HAAA-Ha!" is also mentioned on the front of the digipak. The back of the digipak has a nice list of characters from Walter Lantz's shows, with details on each such as Woody, Chilly Willy and Space Mouse. Below that are nice photos of each all together! Opening the case once, we get a very nice disc by disc breakdown as we got on the last set, which is very colorful and has lots of pictures. Opening the case one last time, we get to the discs. We have four panels. The first panel, all the way to the far left, has a a nice paragraph each on each disc and what is inside it. The next three panels hold each disc. The artwork has a tree wooden background with niece Splinter on disc one, Woody himself on disc two and nephew Knothead on disc three. Nice classic images from the shorts are in the background on the case itself.
The menu screen has Play All, Cartoon Selection, Bonus, and Languages...exactly the same as the last set. The main menu has Woody pecking to start and then we hear Woody's famous laugh....again exactly the same as the last set, but that is good! Languages section has us in English only, but subtitles can be added for English, Espanol, and Francais. Bonus Features are on each disc, so they are spread out evenly. Cartoon Selection is where we can choose the classic shorts...we get a list of titles in a tree hole.
Moving on to the extras. As I mentioned, they are evenly placed on each disc. The extras are all from the vaults and are not new material once again, which is indeed classic and great. Since this is a classic collection, might as well dig stuff up from the archives. Disc one has more of those "Behind the Scenes with Walter Lantz" episodes. We get six short segments running between 3-5 minutes or so. We have Creating Woody Woodpecker (Episode 2), Timing a Cartoon (Episode 11), Character Movement (Episode 12), Photography Animation Cels (Episode 13), Animator's Job (Episode 14), and Using Backgrounds (Episode 15). These are all so interesting and it was great of Mr. Lantz to do these...we should have all of these finished by the time we get all Woody episodes finished on DVD. On disc two we have six more "Behind the Scenes with Walter Lantz" episodes! We have Inking Department (Episode 17), Painting Department (Episode 18), Drawing with Walter Lantz (Episode 20), Sound Effects in Cartoons (Episode 22), Storyboarding Woody Woodpecker (Episode 24), and Creating New Characters (Episode 26). So we get a dozen of these on this set...we got six last time, so 18 of them are done! Then we have Rare TV Pilot Episodes of other Lantz characters. We get the pilot episode of The Secret Weapon, with Space Mouse that runs 6:04 and Jungle Medias, with Sam 'n Simian that runs 6:01...rare stuff! On the last disc we have a full episode of The Woody Woodpecker Show. It is episode 47 and runs 26:59. It is from 1957-58 when it aired on ABC...we get four classic shorts packaged together: Ballyhooey/Rough and Tumbleweed/Franken-Stymied/Mother's Little Helper. As I said in the last set, it was later revived in 1970 by NBC with more episodes. And in the '80s it was packed together for syndication we saw different themes and stuff in syndication. I love this the best as I stated last time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5zwBBFJ63c (I hope we get that on a future set as an extra and all the theme songs used in syndication).
I highly do recommend any fan of classic cartoons and Woody Woodpecker to pick-up this set...especially if you have Volume 1. If you remember the show from local syndication in the late 80s/early 90s, you'll be fascinated by this because these shorts were made for theatrical cartoons and not television, which I never knew obviously then. This set covers Woody from 1952-1958...so we have still have 12 years or so left. Volume 1 covered 1940-52. Maybe we will need about 4-5 volumes to finish it up. Let's hope we do and we get all of the Woody shorts released and the other Lantz shorts. I want all of the Chilly Willy shorts too...I loved him and Smedly. So start 'guessing who' is coming to DVD once again? Yes Woody Woodpecker and Friends once again!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(5/5 stars)

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Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, April 12, 2008
"BET Doing Stuff Wrong Now; Enough Spitzer, Leno; Complaining of High Gas Prices"
By Solomon Davis

BET was almost the cable channel of 2008 with its new acquisitions but now the network is just doing stuff wrong. First, the editing STINKS on Diff'rent Strokes and it is actually worse than ION's editing probably because I never seen a network cut from a scene while two characters are dancing and talking. That's called pre-school editing at its best and it is unacceptable. Second they added more airings of Diff'rent Strokes, which is great, but the additional slots are still during the day. So how is airing Diff'rent Strokes at 3pm any different from 9am? Most people are still at work or school at 3pm. No one at BET has enough sense to air additional airings in the evening or regular airings during weekends? And last, why would BET have two marathons of the same show in one month? We just watched an eight hour marathon of Diff'rent Strokes last Sunday and now they have a five hour marathon coming on Sunday, April 20? It is good they are having marathons at least, but I guess no one at BET ever heard of the month of May where the Strokes marathons can be more spread out.

How much longer is Jay Leno going to make fun of former governor of New York Elliot Spitzer? The jokes are no longer funny because the story is now OLD and it is time to move on and joke about something else. No need to keep bringing up an old news story when there is new stuff to make fun of about everyday. Time for Jay to get some FRESH jokes and start leaving the STALE jokes alone.

I get so annoyed when I hear people who have nice salaries talk about high gas prices like they can't afford to pay the increase. I have heard radio talk show hosts, late night TV hosts, and news anchors mention how ridiculous it is that gas is so high in 2008 and we all know they are not affected. The "average working person" definitely doesn't want to hear someone with a six figure salary complain about high gas prices. It's really amazing that these high paid people don't have a clue on how stupid they sound. I guess news anchors have to report it, though...but they shouldn't be complaining.

Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, May 25

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Bad Review" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Dave puts his professional conflict mediator skills to the test when he offers to help Calvin find out why his employees are quitting. Also, Marty devises an elaborate plan to help him earn a date with his new upstairs neighbor.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "Nigerians Don't Do Useless Things" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
While Bob waits for Abishola to make the next move, her Auntie Olu and Uncle Tunde make it hard for her by stalking him.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 25)

Monday, May 25

  • Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat/Victorious) - Watch Ariana on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Retta appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Rebel Wilson (Super Fun Night) - Rebel is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Rob Huebel (Medical Police/Transparent/Burning Love) - Rob will be on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Keegan-Michael Key (Friends from College/Playing House/Gary Unmarried) - Keegan-Michael appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS. He will also be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Marcia Gay Harden (Trophy Wife) - Marcia talks about Barkskins on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - David talks about The Wrong Missy on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Mark Consuelos (Alpha House/Hope & Faith) - Mark guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tracy Morgan (The Last O.G./30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show), Ryan Gaul (The Last O.G.) and Dante Hoagland (The Last O.G.) - Tracy, Ryan and Dante are guests on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Ramy Youssef (Ramy) - Ramy talks about Ramy on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry will be on Access Daily, so check your local listings.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry talks about America's Got Talent on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February/March/April/May)

My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One Martin - The Complete Series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season

01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume Two
01/14 - Veep - The Final (Seventh) Season (Blu-ray)
01/14 - Veep - The Complete Series (DVD)
01/21 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Third Season (WBShop.com)
01/21 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Fifth and Final Season
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Series
01/28 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (DVD)
02/04 - Martin - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
02/11 - Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season (WBShop.com)
02/18 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/25 - Better Things - The Complete Third Season
03/17 - Crashing - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/07 - Cheers - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
04/14 - Police Squad! - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/14 - The Righteous Gemstones - The Complete First Season
04/21 - Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season (WBShop.com)
05/19 - The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season
05/19 - The Good Place - The Complete Series - Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
05/26 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Series
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