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Looney Tunes: The Chuck Jones Collection — Mouse Chronicles Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latino) Dolby Digital 1.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 190 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 28, 2012
  • List Price: $34.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:2.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Films

[Rating:4/5]

Looney Tunes: Chuck Jones Collection – Mouse Chronicles brings together 19 of the lesser known theatrical shorts from the animation icon who gave the world such beloved characters as Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, and Daffy Duck. These early works, however, may strike those uninitiated as something strange. In particular, the shorts on here featuring the cute animated mouse Sniffles lacks the outrageous sense of humuor and misbehavior that Jones’ characters are known for. Instead, this early period is marked by a lavish animation style that was very much in the vein of Disney – think Mickey Mouse. It wouldn’t be until a little later on, with such characters as Hubie and Bertie, the mouse duo also featured on this set, that Jones’ stylized animation and cutting sense of humour would come into focus. The duo who loved to torment their nemesis, Claude the Cat, would feature an animated style that looked, sounded, and was paced more like the Jones material of the later Jones material. This collection features 12 Sniffles shorts and 7 Hubie and Bertie shorts, each one enjoyable in its own right, but I definitely give the overall nod to the Hubie and Bertie shorts.

Featured Shorts:

  1. Naught but Mice
  2. Little Brother Rat
  3. Sniffles and the Bookworm
  4. Sniffles Takes a Trip
  5. The Egg Collector
  6. Bedtime for Sniffles
  7. Sniffles Bells the Cat
  8. Toy Trouble
  9. The Brave Little Bat
  10. The Unbearable Bear
  11. Lost and Foundling
  12. Hush my Mouse
  13. The Aristo-Cat
  14. Trap Happy Porky
  15. Roughly Squeaking
  16. House Wreckers
  17. The Hypo-Chondri-Cat
  18. Cheese Chasers

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

These shorts have been labelled as “digitally remastered,” whatever that means. They have been transferred to high definition in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement framed at 1.37:1. They don’t look pristine by any definition of the word, looking more along the lines of Warner’s usual animated transfers like some of their older Dr. Seuss and Peanuts specials on Blu-ray – a little rough, some obvious source damage still there, and a bit grainy. The quality varies, and the Sniffles shorts seem to be a little less clean and crisp than the Hubie and Bertie shorts, which are cleaner, crisper, and show less damage overall. They all look natural with little video noise and colors pop nicely.

Audio Quality

[Rating:2.5/5]

The original monaural soundtracks are provided on lossy Dolby Digital 1.0. The lossy codec certainly doesn’t help with what are already rather dull and boxy sounding recordings, but even a lossless encodement wouldn’t do much better, truthfully speaking.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

A mixture of informed commentaries, featurettes, and 11 additional animated shorts from the Warner vault (in standard definition) make the supplementary package a strong one for animation fans.

The supplements:

  • Commentaries:
    • Naughty but Mice commentary by Jerry Beck
    • The Aristo-Cat commentary by Eddie Fitzgerald
    • The Aristo-Cat commentary by Greg Ford with Chuck Jones
    • Mouse Wreckers commentary by Greg Ford
    • The Hypo-Chondri-Cat commentary by Jerry Beck
  • Of Mice and Pen (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:19) – A look at the history of mice in animation.
  • The Hypo-Chondri-Cat Storyboard Reel (1.37:1; SD; 00:07:41) — Watch this entire short with its storyboards.
  • More Mice (1.37:1; SD):
    • Country Mouse
    • The Lyin’ Mouse
    • The Mice Will Play
    • Little Blabbermouse
    • Shop, Look & Listen
    • Mouse Mazurka
    • Mouse Warning
    • Mouse-Taken Identity
    • Mice Follies
    • It’s Nice to Have a Mouse Around the House
    • Merlin the Magic Mouse

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Mouse Chronicles offers an interesting look into the early years of Chuck Jones as his style developed into what would become one of the most influential and iconic in the world of animation. If you consider yourself a lover of animation, then this a good set to pick up. Recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase The Chuck Jones Collection — Mouse Chronicles on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B0081LTBR8[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Chuck Jones Collection — Mouse Chronicles on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:2.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

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