How do you even describe the riches behind “Academy Awards Animated Collection”? As an animation geek, and a film geek who follow the Oscars, this is such an immaculate and extraordinary DVD set with some of the best animated shorts ever produced. From “Knighty Knight Bus,” to “Superman,” this has some of the best animated shorts ever concocted, and it brings together all nominated shorts, and winners from Warner Bros. with three entire discs. In the discs there are some utterly fantastic attached and optional commentary from Paul Dini who explores Superman, animation historians who discuss Popeye Meets Sinbad the Sailor.
A bonafide favorite of mine, “Popeye Meets Sinbad the Sailor” has some of the funniest bits ever put on animated cel for the Popeye series, and there’s just a top notch roster of animated titles. “Touche, Pussycat!” enlists Tom and Jerry and his nephew who engage in three musketeers mishaps as Jerry must train an up and coming young musketeer who wants to battle and is having a lot of trouble learning the rules of the musketeers. The constant battles with Tom are hilarious, and Jerry’s nephew was never cuter. There’s just too much here for me to harp on. As an animation buff it’s sensory overload with Easter eggs and special features that kept me sitting in front of my television for hours. I’d re-hear some of the commentary and switch back and forth between my favorites to last choices, and always went back to my favorites.
My favorite is “Superman” which is just the Fleischers in their full glory with a valiant Superman, a bothersome Lois, a mad scientist and his buzzard. And to this day, the animation is still utterly amazing. Above and beyond the best animation of its time, and just outright incredible, there’s no real words to describe it. And on the same wavelength much of the humor used during the Tex Avery toons and Bugs Bunny toons still present that same edgy and rather suggestive humor that will leave you longing for a time of better animation and stories aimed for all audiences. One of the funnier episodes called “One Droopy Knight” involves Droopy going to fight a dragon to win over the lovely princes of his kingdom, and for pure laughs you needn’t look any further.
The special features beyond the excellent commentary with historians and fans is “Drawn for Glory,” a tale about the various contenders here for the Oscars, and a bonus short, the absolutely hysterical “What’s Cookin’ Doc?” where Bugs campaigns for a Best Actor Oscar that sadly goes to James Cagney. In one of the best moments in the Warner Animation library, Bugs intends to place a reel of his best work and accidentally puts on a stag film. You can’t get this from anywhere but those nuts at Termite Terrace! This is just an outright incredible DVD set for anyone into animated shorts, or just anxious to learn more about history of Warner Bros. and Oscar. I had a blast with this and I suggest any collector pick it up.