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Porky Pig 101 DVD Review

Pig

“Porky Pig 101” is a veritable heaven for fans of the classic character.

Porky Pig fans rejoice! Warner Archive has compiled a 5 disc set containing 101 animated shorts (as the title suggests). The shorts include: “I Haven’t Got A Hat,” “Gold Diggers of ’49,” “Boom, Boom,” “Alpine Antics,” “The Blow Out,” “Westward Whoa,” “Plane Dippy,” “Fish Tales,” “Shanghaied Shipmates,” “Porky’s Pet,” “Porky The Rain-Maker,” “Porky’s Poultry Plant,” “Milk and Money,” “Porky’s Moving Day,” “Little Beau Porky,” “The Village Smithy,” “Porky In The North Woods,” “Porky The Wrestler,” “Porky’s Road Race,” “Picador Porky,” “Porky’s Romance,” “Porky’s Duck Hunt,” “Porky And Gabby,” “Porky’s Building,” “Porky’s Super Service,” “Porky’s Bedtime Story,” “Porky’s Railroad,” “Get Rich Quick Porky,” “Porky’s Garden,” “Rover’s Rival,” “The Case of the Stuttering Pig,” “Porky’s Double Trouble,” “Porky’s Hero Agency,” “Porky’s Poppa,” “Porky at the Crocadero,” “What Price Porky,” “Porky’s Phoney Express,” “Porky’s Five and Ten,” “Porky’s Hare Hunt,” “Injun Trouble,” “Porky The Fireman,” “Porky’s Party,” “Porky’s Spring Planting,” “Porky and Daffy,” “Wholly Smoke,” “Porky In Wackyland,” “Porky’s Naughty Nephew,” “Porky In Egypt,” “The Daffy Doc,” “Porky The Gob,” “The Lone Stranger and Porky,” “It’s An Ill Wind,” “Porky’s Tire Trouble,” “Porky’s Movie Mystery,” “Chicken Jitters,” “Porky And Teabiscuit,” “Kristopher Kolumbus Jr.,” “Polar Pals,” “Scalp Trouble,” “Old Glory,” “Porky’s Picnic,” “Wise Quacks,” “Porky’s Hotel,” “Jeepers Creepers,” “Naughty Neighbors,” “Pied Piper Porky,” “Porky The Giant Killer,” “The Film Fan,” “Porky’s Last Stand,” “Africa Squeaks,” “Ali-Baba Bound,” “Pilgrim Porky,” “Slap Happy Pappy,” “Porky’s Poor Fish,” “You Ought To Be In Pictures,” “The Chewin’ Bruin,” “Porky’s Baseball Broadcast,” “Patient Porky,” “Calling Dr. Porky,” “Prehistoric Porky,” “The Sour Puss,” “Porky’s Hired Hand,” “The Timid Toreador,” “Porky’s Snooze Reel,” “Porky’s Bear Facts,” ‘Porky’s Preview,” “Porky’s Ant,” “A Coy Decoy,” “Porky’s Prize Pony,” “Meet John Doughboy,” “We, The Animals-Squeak!,” “The Henpecked Duck,” “Notes To You: Robinson Crusoe Jr.,” “Porky’s Midnight Matinee,” “Porky’s Pooch,” “Porky’s Pastry Pirates,” “Who’s Who In The Zoo,” “Porky’s Café,” “Confusion Of A Nutzy Spy” and “Porky’s Pig Feat.”

Are you a fan of the iconic nervous, pantless, stuttering, pot bellied Porky Pig? Are you an animation junkie? Do you love vintage WB cartoons? Are you a longtime Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies aficionado? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this set was made for you.

“Porky Pig 101” is the type of set that I like to see get released. Not only does it feature hours upon hours of content, but it’s also fascinating to watch from a historical perspective. You really get to see where the character began and how he evolved in both character and design. Now, granted, most of the shorts featured here are early works. The later and some would say better cartoons are not included. However, there are still plenty of gems spread throughout this set. You’ve got the surreal weirdness of “Porky In Wackyland,” a classic “Porky and Daffy” short, the beautifully animated American history color toon “Old Glory,” the amusing “The Film Fan” that pokes fun at the moviegoing experience, and, best of all, the clever and downright fun live-action/animated blended “You Ought To Be In Pictures” which is my personal favorite short of the entire set. On top of that, you get to see a lot of forgotten or obscure side characters, entertaining musical numbers, plenty of Daffy and Porky goodness, and lots of ahead of its time animation work.

As good as this set is, there are some drawbacks here. As WB points out in a title card before the DVD menu, there are some racist elements here that are certainly off-putting. Additionally, a lot of the really early cartoons on the first couple discs are a bit rough and stiff. Porky isn’t quite the character we know and love at this point and he can be grating to watch at points.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Fullscreen. How do the shorts look? The 2 color shorts and the 99 B&W shorts are presented as well as they can be. Granted, there are jumpy frames, dirt specs and so on, but the shorts generally look impressive all things considered.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital Mono. How do the shorts sound? Expect crisp music and dialogue (especially for a Mono track).

Extras: * Fact filled commentaries on “I Haven’t Got A Hat,” “You Ought To Be In Pictures,” and “Old Glory” by animation historian Jerry Beck. Martha Segall joins Beck on “Old Glory.” * Commentaries on “Porky’s Poultry Pant” and “Porky In Wackyland” by Michael Barrier. ‘Poultry’ also features an audio interview. * Passionate commentaries on “Porky In The North Woods,” “The Case of the Stuttering Pig,” “The Daffy Doc,” and “Porky’s Romance” by Mark Kausler. * Solid commentaries on “Porky At The Crocadero” and “Wholly Smoke” by Daniel Goldmark. * Commentary by John Kricfalusi and Eddie Fitzgerald by “Porky’s Party.” John talks a mile a minute about this toon while Eddie mostly laughs. Strange track. * Storyboards for “Porky’s Party” and “Porky’s Poor Fish.” * “Porky’s Breakdowns”- I don’t know what this is but it’s amusing. * A rambling commentary by Greg Ford commentary on “Porky’s Preview.” * A fine commentary on “Porky Pig’s Feat” by Joe Dante.

Overall Thoughts: While not perfect, there is much to admire about this loaded DVD set. It’s certainly well worth the price if you have any interest in it at all.

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September 30, 2017 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , ,

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