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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Satire > Shorts > Literature > TV > Music > Adventure > Epic > Drama > Bugs Bunny 80th Anniversary Collection (1940 2020/Blu-ray set w/figurine*)/Green Eggs and Ham: The Complete First Season (2020/DVD Set*)/Josie and the Pussycats: The Complete Series (1970/Warner Arc

Bugs Bunny 80th Anniversary Collection (1940 - 2020/Blu-ray set w/figurine*)/Green Eggs and Ham: The Complete First Season (2020/DVD Set*)/Josie and the Pussycats: The Complete Series (1970/Warner Archive Blu-ray + DVD Sets/*all Warner)/Mulan 4K (1998 animated + 2020 live action feature films/both Disney 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray Sets)/Navajo (1951/Kit Parker/MVD DVD)



4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B/C+/B & C+/B+/C+ Sound: C+/C+/C+ & C/A/C+ Extras: B/D/C/B/B- Main Programs: B/C/B-/B+/C+



PLEASE NOTE: The Josie and the Pussycats Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.



Now for a new group of family and children releases, from new shows to classics and sometimes, both....



First, in all the bad news this year, some key anniversaries have happened in show business and that includes one definitely worth celebrating. Bugs Bunny 80th Anniversary Collection (1940 - 2020) is a new Blu-ray gift set that includes a Funko figurine of Bugs in a black tuxedo, but the heart of the set is three-discs featuring key animated theatrical shorts with bugs and some are all-time classics and among his best. Of course, though 60 is a good number, there are so many more. However, most of these are very entertaining, some are very funny, outright hilarious and a few are gems that only get better with age. Despite a few questionable moments, they are mostly child safe. The featured Cartoon Shorts include:


Disc #1:


  1. Elmer's Candid Camera

  2. A Wild Hare

  3. Hold the Lion, Please

  4. Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid

  5. Super-Rabbit

  6. Jack-Wabbit and the Beanstalk

  7. What's Cookin' Doc?

  8. Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears

  9. Hare Ribbin'

  10. The Old Grey Hare

  11. Baseball Bugs

  12. Hair Raising Hare

  13. Racketeer Rabbit

  14. Bugs Bunny Rides Again

  15. Haredevil Hare

  16. Hot Cross Bunny

  17. Hare Splitter

  18. Knights Must Fall

  19. What's Up Doc?

  20. 8 Ball Bunny


Disc #2:


  1. The Rabbit of Seville

  2. Rabbit Every Monday

  3. Fair Haired Hare

  4. Rabbit Fire

  5. His Hare Raising Tale

  6. Hare Lift

  7. Upswept Hare

  8. Robot Rabbit

  9. Captain Hareblower

  10. No Parking Hare

  11. Yankee Doodle Bugs

  12. Lumber-Jack Rabbit

  13. Baby Buggy Bunny

  14. Hare Brush

  15. This is a Life?

  16. Rabbitson Crusoe

  17. Napoleon Bunny-Part

  18. Half Fare Hare

  19. Pikers Peak

  20. What's Opera, Doc?


Disc #3:


  1. Bugsy and Mugsy

  2. Show Biz Bugs

  3. Hare-Less Wolf

  4. Now, Hare This

  5. Knighty Knight Bugs

  6. Hare-Abian Nights

  7. Backwoods Bunny

  8. Wild and Woolly Hare

  9. Bonanza Bunny

  10. People are Bunny

  11. Person to Bunny

  12. Rabbit's Feat

  13. From Hare to Heir

  14. Compressed Hare

  15. Prince Violent

  16. Shishkabugs

  17. The Million Hare

  18. The Unmentionables

  19. False Hare

  20. Blooper Bunny


These look fine and even amazing in high definition, all having been produced in real Technicolor and a demo for any 4K or HDTV. More on that below, but we have more extras beyond the figurine on the discs and new extras include Bugs Bunny's 80th What's Up Doc-umentary!, 10 Looney Tunes Cartoons episodes from 2019 that all have openings that imitate the classic shorts and Digital Copy of 60 original shorts. There are also repeats older features including isolated music scores and audio commentary tracks on some classic shorts, a lower-definition director's cut of Hare Ribbin'. Forever BeFuddled, Bugs: A Rabbit For All Seasonings, and Mars Attacks! Life on the Red Planet with My Favorite Martian on Disc One, Disc Two adds the Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes 50th Anniversary special, A Hunting We Will Go: Chuck Jones' Wabbit Season Trilogy, Bugs Bunny: Ain't He A Stinker?, and Wagnerian Wabbit: The Making Of What's Opera Doc?. Disc Three rounds out the extras with Hard Luck Duck, Short Fuse Shootout: The Small Tale of Yosemite Sam, and 50 Years of Bugs Bunny in 3 1/2 Minutes.


That's a good introductory set for younger potential fans who do not know who he is yet, but a decent collection for all, but not necessarily the best you can get. However, this is a limited release, especially in this limited edition with the figurine, so you'll have to see the tech section to decide for yourself.



Next up is a new show many apparently have not heard of, a new animated series based (loosely?) on a classic Dr. Seuss book. Green Eggs and Ham: The Complete First Season (2020) is a new show Warner is producing with NetFlix and offers the first 13 episodes of the show that apparently is being renewed for at least a second season. With a theme song that tries to walk the tightrope between bad current pop and some kind of Rap/Hip Hop (lite?) is a show where you get storylines, but every single paragraph of talking is rhyming!


That makes some sense as the original book goes back to the older era of poetry and even be-bop, but for 13 half-hours, it can get very repetitive very quickly and is not for everyone. Even diehard fans might find it a bit much, but there might be others who like the change of pace. The artwork is fine and color quality not bad, even if this is not in HD, it was made that way. The show focuses on Sam and Guy, then boasts voiceover work by the likes of Michael Douglas and Adam Devine.


It is a curio and acquired taste, so now you know it is out there and see for yourself.


There are no extras.



Next, Warner continues their very welcome rollout of classic Hanna-Barbera TV shows on Blu-ray, all of which have benefitted from the upgrade since the shows were well-produced in color and on 35mm film. The latest gem is the original Josie and the Pussycats: The Complete Series (1970) featuring all 16 better-than-you-might-remember adventures of the beloved Archie Comics characters (ironically, rival Filmation was turning their other properties into animated hits at the time, but did not license this one) and they have aged well and/or become great time capsules.


As you may know, the band from Riverdale is one of the world's first female rock bands (vocal Girl Groups another story, fact and fiction) and like any other band, are touring to build up their name, popularity and potential hits. Instead, they keep accidentally getting into messes and adventures unexpected and sometimes from conflict between themselves. Cheryl Ladd (later of the original hit TV version of Charlie's Angels) was one of the voice artists joining some Hanna-Barbera regulars (like Casey Kasem) and the show was a big hit.


This Blu-ray set is coming from the Warner Archive arm of Warner Home Video, while the original DVD set from years ago we happened to get to compare to, was issued in stores across the country years ago. The later live action feature film did not work out too well despite a good cast and now that we have had many actual all-female bands, the show holds its own, is fun and even when some of the characters seem similar to others from the company, these are well-made and have good energy about them missing form too many such shows today.


Especially at this time in our history, the show seems as fresh as ever on some levels and you have to wonder, how many young gals were inspired by the show to go into the real music business? Keep 'em coming Warner!


The only extra on both sets is a featurette The Incredible Charm Of Don DeCarlo: The Man and His Art.



Disney's live action version of their animated feature, Mulan (2020) is surprisingly good with breathtaking cinematography and a glorious presentation on 4K UHD disc. Unlike their previous live action films that have relied heavily on computer generated effects like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King, Mulan is a more natural approach. Both the original 1998 animated film and the 2020 film have been released on the 4K UHD format from Disney and are both stunning and highly detailed on disc with wider color spectrums that really pop out with a pair of films very colorful and vibrant.


Seeing that 2020 has been a pretty sad year for movies, I have to honestly say that Mulan is probably one of the better films to grace theater screens this year.


The Mulan live action feature stars Yifei Liu, Yoson An, Li Gong, Donnie Yen, and Jason Scott Lee. The film is directed by New Zealand filmmaker Niki Caro (Whale Rider).


The original animated Mulan film has a voice cast featuring Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, BD Wong, Miguel Ferrer, James Hong, and Pat Morita. Direction on the film is by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook.


The story of Mulan centers on ancient China where the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan (Yifei Liu), the eldest daughter of an honored but aging warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father by posing as a man, Hua Jun. During training she soars above her counterparts unlocking her inner chi and eventually proving that one's gender has nothing to do with their capability of being a proud and effective warrior.


Special Features for the 4K UHD edition of the 2020 film

Featurettes (peer the press release):


Updating A Classic - Explore how filmmakers honored the original animated classic while creating an epic live-action adventure for a new generation.


Mulan by Another Name - Meet talented actor Yifei Liu and trace her journey to becoming Mulan, from audition screen test to on-screen warrior.


Being Bad - See actors Jason Scott Lee and Li Gong transform into the film's evil duo through intense training, spectacular costumes and more.


Reflections of Mulan - Enter the studio and hear what inspired the film's music and sound, then listen as Yifei Liu records Mulan's most iconic song.


The Original Mulan - Ming-Na Wen, who voiced Mulan in the original animated classic, reflects on that experience and her cameo in this film.


Deleted Scenes (some with commentary by Director Niki Caro):

Little Sister Sewing

Young to Old Mulan Sewing

Hawk and Mulan Meet in Forest

Mulan Underwater Rescued by Phoenix

Mulan Runs Over Rourans

Chancellor Turns Back to Witch


Music Videos:

"Reflection (2020)" Concept Video Performed by Christina Aguilera

"Reflection (2020)" Lyric Video Performed by Christina Aguilera

"Reflection" Music Video (Mandarin) Performed by Yifei Liu

"Reflection" Music Video (English) Performed by Yifei Liu

"Loyal Brave True" Concept Video (English) Performed by Christina Aguilera

"Loyal Brave True" Concept Video (Spanish) Performed by Christina Aguilera

"Loyal Brave True" Lyric Video (English) Performed by Christina Aguilera

"Loyal Brave True" Lyric Video (Spanish) Performed by Christina Aguilera


Special Features for the 1998 film:

7 Deleted Scenes

5 Music Videos

2 Backstage Disney Featurettes

Audio Commentary


It has been a while since we have looked at the original animated hit, but here is our coverage of it way back in a DVD edition and it includes the straight-to-video Mulan 2 animated sequel you may have forgotten:


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/7378/The+Ultimate+Mulan+2-Movie+Collection:+Mulan



Last but not least is Norman Foster's Navajo (1951) has young and then 7-year-old Frances Kee Teller as 'Son of the Hunter' traveling through the Navajo Nation and places outside of it, as he is being forced to go to a white-persons 'civilized' school, but decides to make a run for it instead. Shot like it is an actual documentary, it is not far from the likes of the silent classic hit Nanook Of The North (1922) where the lead is more or less supposed to be playing himself or a 'character' with a very thin line between fact and fiction to keep the audience watching. Child-safe and an interesting time capsule in so many ways, this is better than you might think and its nice to have it on disc.


Extras include a feature length audio commentary track by star Frances Kee Teller worth your time, 1952 documentary Our Navajo Neighbors, 1952 National Publicity Tour, ''Canyon De Chelly'' photo-essay by Deborah Lem, Dine and ''The Canyon Matters'' by Genny Yazzie, Dine.



Now for technical playback performance. Mulan (2020) is presented in 2160p with a HEVC/H.265 HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image codec with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and audio mixes in English Dolby Atmos (and mixdown for older systems in Dolby TrueHD 7.1/48kHz, 24-bit). The film has stunning cinematography and is very colorful which lends well to the HDR10 (high dynamic range) on disc and has impeccable detail over the also included 1080p high definition Blu-ray edition also included.


The 1998 Mulan is also featured in 2160p Ultra High Definition with a codec of HEVC/H.265 codec with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an English Dolby Atoms mix as well. The animation looks fantastic and is much improved here and has never looked this good before. There is a 1080p high definition Blu-ray disc with similar widescreen specs.


The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image on all the Bugs Bunny classic shorts look very good to amazing, depending on the short, but for the most part, you'll see color you have never seen before as has been the case in past Blu-ray releases with even some of the same shorts. Most of them offer great demo moments of dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor and save some cell dust here or there, will impress. My only complaint and I am a bit shocked, that like the Blu-ray releases of the Adam West Batman, Lynda Carter Wonder Woman and original Flintstones, Warner had oddly opted to only use the older, dated, lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack format used on DVD for decades. It just does not complement the high quality image reproduction very well and can be challenging to hear at times. Why no lossless sound? Oh well.


The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Pussycats Blu-ray is very colorful with some episodes looking good, and others shockingly good. Hanna-Barbera was still going for the best possible color and it holds up here very well as it has on other shows of theirs on Blu-ray (Space Ghost, The Flintstones, etc.) and we get the sound in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes. It even sounds better than Space Ghost, but in a few places, the sound is warped! Why, who knows, but it is not good and the older 1.33 X 1 DVD set has some of the same problem, but its lossy Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono is much worse.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Eggs has newer color and some good clarity, but is an HD production and looks softer in this old format, plus color range is a little more muted than some of the classics above. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes have some activity, but are limited by the old codec.


Finally, the 1.33 X 1 image on Navajo is from a good film source (a 2K scan from an archival 35mm print) and is an interesting watch, while the older theatrical mono sound is here in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono that also manages to sound good for its age, but you can hear the age of the sound in small ways as expected.



To order the Warner Archive Blu-ray Josie and the Pussycats, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Mulan 4Ks)

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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