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Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 2 Blu-ray Review

“Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 2” offers up more classic toons.

If you have a hankering for more vintage animated shorts, you’re in luck as Warner Archive has released “Tex Avery Screwball Classics Volume 2.” In this release, viewers get 21 uncut cartoons from the animation legend Tex Avery. The following toons are included: “Little Rural Riding Hood,” “The Cuckoo Clock,” “Magical Maestro,” “One Cab’s Family,” “The Cat That Hated People,” “Doggone Tired,” “The Flea Circus,” “Field And Scream,” “The First Bad Man,” “Out-Foxed,” “Droopy’s Double Trouble,” “The Three Little Pups,” “Drag-a-long Droopy,” “Homesteader Droopy,” “Dixieland Droopy,” “The Counterfeit Cat,” “Ventriloquist Cat,” “The House of Tomorrow,” “The Car of Tomorrow,” “T.V. of Tomorrow,” and “The Farm of Tomorrow.” The shorts contain a wide variety of stories involving Texas cavemen, hunters and fishermen, Droopy hunting a sly fox, a cat being driven mad by a cuckoo in a clock, a human hating cat, shepherd Droopy, fairytale spoofs, homesteader Droopy, wolves, a magician vs an opera singer, a taxi cab family, a rabbit annoying a hunting dog, a flea circus, Droopy and his twin brother Drippy, Droopy the jazz musician, 2 Spike the dog vs. cat adventures, and the Cartoons of Tomorrow series which take a comical look toward the future (specifically houses, cars, T.V.s and farms).

After the gem that was volume one, I was looking forward to future Tex Avery releases. While volume 2 may not be on the same level of quality as that first volume (which contained much of Tex’s most iconic work), volume 2 is certainly no slouch as you get plenty of joyous fun with Droopy Dog, Spike the dog, zany sight gags and plenty of good old fashioned cartoon violence. Yes, there are some elements that are very much a product of the time (ala the sexism and stereotypes), but they don’t ruin the otherwise classic cartoons.

Although there are laughs to be had in each and every short, I have a few personal favorites. As a fan of Droopy, I had a blast revisiting his shorts especially the pioneering era “Homesteader Droopy.” Droopy is his usual amusing self here, but it’s the baby Droopy that steals the show. The Edgar Allan Poe inspired “The Cuckoo Clock” (which finds a cat being driven made be a cuckoo in a clock) was an artfully made short although I may be biased as I am currently revisiting the works of Poe. “The Counterfeit Cat” is a simple but highly entertaining piece in which a cat must fool Spike the dog in order to eat the canary in his home. Lastly, the Cartoons of Tomorrow series is a hilarious gag-a-second series that mocks documentary shorts of a similar nature. More than that, however, it’s just fun to see Tex using his imagination and envisioning what the future would look like…in his own warped way. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How do they look? Expect stunningly colorful restorations.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? Despite the presence of crackles and pops, the 2.0 tracks are generally crisp.

The lone extra is a nearly 52 minute 1988 documentary titled “Tex Avery: The King Of Cartoons” which pays tribute to the animator all while containing background on Tex’s life and career as well as showcasing clips of his work.

December 30, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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