Several days ago I gave you the bird and now I give you the Woody.
Shouldn't this blog be XXX rated?
Thanks a lot to Michael Nusair, the guy was so cool to send me a ton of shots from the upcoming Woody DVD set (it will be out the day 24 of July so be patient my friends).
I'm a real Lantz aficionado since loooooong time so, Michael, again thanks a lot.
About the set.
There are a few troubles with this release. Several shorts are affected by the DVD disease known as DVNR. One cartoon, "Toyland Premiere" is still the edited version and we don't see that damn cake falling on Laurel and Hardy. The restoration is not eye popping like for Popeye or the WDTs but it is still good.
This set is a must buy anyway. Why? The main reason for me is the inclusion of two cartoons: "Pass the Biscuits, Mirandy" and "Abou Ben Boogie". As a collector I was forced for years to see crappy copies of these ones, time-coded or b/w versions with audio troubles etcetera. Now they are available restored and uncut.
Here you have a selection of shots from "Pass the Biscuits, Mirandy"
And now, Culhane's masterpiece. "Abou Ben Boogie" is one of the best cartoons ever made. Before this DVD release it was available in these conditions or like this.
"The Greatest Man in Siam" is in my CCC list, the Coolest Culhane Cartoons list.
What follow are shots from the very first Swing Symphony, one of my favorite Lantz cartoons: "$21 a day once a Month"
The following images come from the terrific "Woody dines Out", one of the best entries of the wacky woodpecker. The restoration here looks like one of the biggest disappointments of the set. I have a waaaay better copy, from the Columbia House DVDs.
Here's a selection from miscellaneous Woody shorts. You'll notice even a bit of DVNR.
Told ya there was not much DVNR. Glad you survived.
In conclusion, I highly suggest you to buy this DVD set. It includes cartoons never before released on DVD. If you don't count the Columbia House DVDs (really hard to find now unless you search on Ebay), an incredible number of these shorts is available for the first time ever since the original theatrical release.
"Abou Ben Boogie" is worth the money alone.
What can I say? If you are disappointed by DVNR or by the not outstanding quality of the restoration you can buy the set and then start looking for the 15 Columbia House DVDs on Ebay. You could find better versions of some cartoons included there ("Woody dines Out", "Who's Cookin' Who?", "Wacky-Bye Baby".....).
But don't be silly. Buy this set!
If sales will be good, we will also have a volume two. There are more Lantz goodies that deserve DVD release. Terrific black and white shorts with Oswald as well as b/w entries with such obscure characters as Meany, Minie and Moe or Pooch the Pup and Baby Face Mouse.
There are many Swing Symphonies that we need to have properly released on DVD, expecially "Boogie Woogie Man" and "The Hams that couldn't be cured".
And Lantz continued to do great shorts even in the Fifties and Sixties, with Hickory, Dickory and Doc and then Doc and Champ (or Doc alone); Chilly Willy; Gabby Gator; Woody himself (The Don Patterson cartoons, even with low budget, are real funny cartoons. There are a few Smith toons that are indeed watchable or even very good. Many Alex Lovy and Jack Hannah works with Woody are real funny.).
So, buy this set, folks. It is worth every sincle cent that you'll spend!
Don't be stupid, be a smarty, Come and join the Woody party!
P.S.: Go read Thad's great review of the set!