Cast: Mel Blanc (VOICE)
Release Date: December 1, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
Bugs Bunny, one of animation’s most recognizable characters, first hopped onto the screen in 1940 and he’s been a pop-culture icon ever since. More than eight generations have enjoyed the timeless antics of the carrot-munching wise guy who always outsmarts his rivals. Cartoons, movies, TV, comics, music, sports and more – this wascally wabbit has done it all. Clever pranks and one-liners are here, along with interviews with today’s most renowned animators, historians and superstars. Enjoy the full range of his silly and smart-alecky personality with 60 theatrical shorts restored and remastered to the original 4X3 aspect ratio on Blu-ray™ for the first time. It’s just what the doctor – er, doc – ordered.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
In celebration of Bugs Bunny’s 80th birthday comes the ‘Bugs Bunny: 80th Anniversary Collection’ Blu-ray Gift Set featuring some of the beloved animated rabbit’s most notable works from over the decades. Now longtime fans can introduce a new generation to the unforgettable antics of the lovable cartoon icon Bugs Bunny and witness his progression over the eighty years since he made his debut. So gather up the whole family and sit down to some timeless animated mayhem with Bugs and plenty of other famous Looney Tunes icons including Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Marvin the Martian and a whole lot more. The whole gang is here and ready to celebrate eighty years of Bugs Bunny!
The ‘Bugs Bunny: 80th Anniversary Collection’ Blu-ray set brings home sixty theatrical animated shorts featuring Bugs Bunny, from the early years to more recent content (and even some of the latest animated shorts from the Looney Tunes reboot featured on HBO Max that are included as bonus cartoons). It’s actually a real treat to watch the progression of the character over the years and I’m not sure I ever truly realized just how much the character was changed and altered here and there before fully arriving at the look that most of us are familiar with. Nor is Bugs alone in that department, with Elmer Fudd and a few other noteworthy favorites that were also drastically different in many areas before settling into a more definitive look and thanks to this release featuring so many animated shorts from various decades, it really provides a great look at these progressions. Not to mention of course that all sixty of the main shorts have been lovingly remastered and restored to their original 4×3 presentations and are presented in high definition, spread between three Blu-ray discs. If that’s not enough to get your attention, the release also comes with a couple of nice physical extras including an exclusive Funko Pop figure and hours of bonus content spread between the three discs including the new ‘Bugs Bunny’s 80th What’s Up Doc-umentary!’ and much more making for a pretty nice collection that many dedicated fans should appreciate.
Overall, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Limited Edition 3-disc ‘Bugs Bunny: 80th Anniversary Collection’ Blu-ray Gift Set brings home sixty of Bugs Bunny’s famous animated theatrical shorts all restored and remastered to their original 4×3 full frame presentations and presented in gorgeous high definition (some shorts do look noticeably better than others though depending on the source material) and complimented by hours of enjoyable bonus content and a couple of physical extras. This gift set will probably be a must own for many dedicated Looney Tunes and Bugs Bunny fans and is recommended for anyone already thinking about picking up a copy. Some folks may be understandably hesitant due to the somewhat pricey cost of the release, but you may want to at least keep an eye out in case of a potentially good sale price at some point down the road.
The ‘Bugs Bunny: 80th Anniversary’ Blu-ray Gift Set release features a full 1080p High Definition presentation of all 60 included animated shorts, each restored and remastered to their the original 1.33:1 4×3 Aspect Ratio. The video presentations do occasionally vary depending on the source material but for the most part they tend to offer quite smooth and richly detailed presentations complimented by beautiful colors while still retaining plenty of grain and other welcome elements representative of their sources. A few of the animated shorts do look noticeably dull or worn which we can only assume was unavoidable because not all sources hold up (or are preserved) as well as others and some of them are just a treat to have included at all. Rest assured though that the majority really do look quite fantastic. Overall, these are wonderful high definition video presentations for the most part that look better than many might expect and the majority should thoroughly please the fans.
The Blu-ray release includes a 192 Kbps 2.0 (dual mono) channel Dolby Digital soundtrack on all 60 included shorts. These dual mono soundtracks provide clean, crisp and nicely balanced audio presentations on each included short. While many folks might be at least mildly disappointed with the lack of lossless audio offerings, these lossy tracks still hold up better than you might expect, with all of the dialogue, music and cartoonish effects sharing the channel without issue and never resulting in one audio element conflicting or clashing with another. Overall, these are solid 2.0 dual mono Dolby Digital soundtracks that hold up nicely throughout and shouldn’t disappoint.
The ‘Bugs Bunny: 80th Anniversary’ Blu-ray Gift Set features hours of fun bonus content new and old that should keep fans busy for a good while, along with a couple of physical extras. The release includes ‘Audio Commentary’ tracks for 28 of the included shorts, in addition to ‘Alternate Audio’ offerings on a few including score only and dialogue only tracks, etc. Also included on the release is the new documentary ‘Bugs Bunny’s 80th What’s Up, Doc-umentary’ (running approximately 61 minutes in length), along with the ‘Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes All Star 50th Anniversary’ (running approximately 47 minutes), the ‘Hare Ribbin’ Director’s Cut’ (approximately 8 minutes) and numerous behind the scenes Featurettes relating to various animated shorts included within. They include: ‘Forever Befuddled’ (approximately 3 minutes), ‘Bugs: A Rabbit for all Seasonings’ (5 minutes), ‘Mars Attacks! Life on the Red Planet with My Favorite Martian’ (15 minutes), ‘A Hunting We Will Go: Chuck Jones’ Wabbit Season Trilogy’ (9 minutes), ‘Bugs Bunny: Ain’t He A Stinker?’ (17 minutes), ‘Wagnerian Rabbit: The Making of What’s Opera, Doc?’ (9 minutes), ‘Hard Luck Duck’ (4 minutes), ‘Short Fuse Shootout: The Small Tale of Yosemite Sam’ (3 minutes) and ’50 Years of Bugs Bunny in 3 and a half Minutes’ (4 minutes). We are also treated to ’10 Bonus Looney Tunes Cartoons’ (approximately 58 minutes altogether) which includes multiple new animated shorts featuring Bugs from the newly released ‘Looney Tunes’ reboot which debuted on HBO Max earlier this year.
The physical extras within include an ‘Exclusive Full-Size Glitter Diamond Collection Bugs Bunny Funko Pop!’ and an ‘Introduction Letter from Animation Historian Jerry Beck’ which is packed inside of its own envelope beside the interior Blu-ray disc case.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Bugs Bunny: 80th Anniversary Collection’ is Now Available to Own in a Limited Edition Blu-ray Gift Set from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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