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

Wednesday, May 18

The Goldbergs - "Adam Graduates!" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Graduation day is approaching and everyone, especially Adam, is ready – except for Beverly who is not coping well with the idea of an empty nest. Meanwhile, with Geoff’s encouragement, Erica decides to try out for Cyndi Lauper as a one-time backup singer replacement. Ultimately, resurrecting her singing dreams doesn’t manifest, but bigger and exciting new beginnings await her and the Goldbergs.

The Wonder Years - "Love, Dean" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
It’s the end of the school year, and summer excitement is all around. When Bill and Lillian each receive major career opportunities, tension builds as they decide who will handle more of the household responsibilities. Meanwhile, Dean and Keisa take shelter together as a tornado tears through Montgomery, providing the perfect moment for Dean to tell her how he really feels.

The Conners - "A Judge and a Priest Walk Into a Living Room..." (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The Conners gear up for a megawedding! Jackie and Neville, Darlene and Ben, and Harris and Aldo are planning for a shared big day, but along the way they discover that some of the couples may not be on the same page about their happily ever afters. Meanwhile, Dan and the family have decked out the house for the occasion, but will all six of the lovebirds make it to “I do”?

Home Economics - "Ticket to Space, $1 Million" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Tom attempts to keep Connor grounded after he announces his plans to go to space then falls into a rough patch himself after learning some bad news. Meanwhile, Marina gets stuck while trying to transform their attic into a writing space for Tom.

Tyler Perry's House of Payne - "Woman to Woman" (BET, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Christian wins Student of the Year, Laura gets him an autographed football jersey from a popular NFL player; Miranda takes umbrage with the gesture, citing the player's history of domestic violence.

Tyler Perry's Assisted Living - "Wobble Wobble" (BET, 9:30PM ET/PT)
The Pleasant Days crew is worried about Vinny's libertine lifestyle of drinking, smoking, poor diet and no exercise; he's not as young as he used to be, so they want him to clean up his act.

The Ms. Pat Show - "Girls Night Out" (BET, 10:00PM ET/PT)
After Pat catches Terry watching porn on his phone, Denise decides they need a girls' night out, while the children wonder if their parents are going to split up.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 16)

Wednesday, May 18

  • John Mulaney (Mulaney) and Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - John and Andy guest host Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Son of Zorn/Suburgatory) - Cheryl is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Sarah will be on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Rhea Seehorn (Whitney/I'm with Her) - Rhea appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ricky Gervais (After Life/The Office) - Ricky unpacks his new comedy special SuperNature on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary) - Quinta returns to talk about the hit ABC series Abbott Elementary on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Caroline Rhea (Sydney to the Max/Sabrina the Teenage Witch) - Caroline guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ali Wentworth (Nightcap) - Ali appears on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rose Mclver (Ghosts/Woke) and Utkarsh Ambudkar (Ghosts/White Famous/The Mindy Project) - Rose and Utkarsh are guests on CBS Mornings sometime between 7-9am.
  • Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - NBC's Today catches up with Mario in the 9am hour.
  • Hilary Duff (How I Met Your Father/Younger/Lizzie McGuire) - NBC's Today catches up with Hilary in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February-May)

ALT= Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (2022 Release) Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)

02/08 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Ninth Season
02/22 - Everybody Hates Chris - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
02/22 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Eight
03/08 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) (DVD)
03/15 - Head of the Class - The Complete Fourth Season
03/15 - The Proud Family - The Complete Original Series - Anniversary Collection
03/22 - The Honeymooners Specials - The Complete Collection
03/29 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-5 (Blu-ray) (DVD)
03/29 - Young Rock - Season One
04/05 - Up All Night - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/26 - The Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy) - The Complete Fourth Season
04/26 - Jackie Gleason TV Treasures - 70th Anniversary Collection (including Honeymooners Rarities)
05/03 - No Activity - Season Three
05/31 - Becker - The Complete Series (2022 Release)
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