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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Adventure > Comedy > Satire > Craig Before The Creek (2023/Cartoon Network/Warner DVD)/Looney Tunes Collector's Choice, Vol. 3 (1934 - 1964*)/Scooby Doo On Zombie Island (1998) + Scooby Doo! Return To Zombie Island (2019/*all Warn

Craig Before The Creek (2023/Cartoon Network/Warner DVD)/Looney Tunes Collector's Choice, Vol. 3 (1934 - 1964*)/Scooby Doo On Zombie Island (1998) + Scooby Doo! Return To Zombie Island (2019/*all Warner Archive Blu-rays)

Picture: C+/B/B Sound: C+/B-/B- Extras: C/D/C- Main Programs: C+/B/C

PLEASE NOTE: The Looney Tunes and Scooby Doo Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Now for a new block of children's animation...

Craig Before The Creek (2023) is a telefilm of the ongoing animated action comedy series from Cartoon Network that is five seasons long and continuing. This time, the title character just wants to go back home to his friends, but when it turns out something priceless might be in a nearby creek, he starts to get a little less nostalgic and anxious to see if this is actually the case. Twists and turns may follow.

Not having hardly seen the series, this is more of what most action/quest comedy animated shows have been offering for kids, albeit a little too loud and repetitive. I do not think I needed to see that actual series to know what is going on, but was surprised these characters have enough of a following and high enough ratings to be around for so long. That means this is yet another 'for fans only' release that will maybe make them happy, but not offer enough to the rest of us. At least it is professional throughout, but may not be for the youngest children out there.

A poster is the only extra.

Looney Tunes Collector's Choice, Vol. 3 (1934 - 1964) continues to live up to offering some odd and unusual choices with some howlers, shows some characters that did not work out and others that almost did along with some other shorts worth revisiting. We covered the previous two volumes elsewhere on this site in addition to the many other releases on home video of the most successful series of animated shorts in cinema history.

The classic shorts included this time are...

Honeymoon Hotel

Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name

I Only Have Eyes For You
Egghead Rides Again

Cinderella Meets Fella
A Feud There Was

Elmer's Pet Rabbit
Saddle Silly

Hop, Skip and a Chump
The Sheepish Wolf

Quentin Quail

Hobo Bobo
Mexican Joyride

Riff Raffy Daffy

There Auto Be a Law
Of Rice and Hen
Punch Trunk

Sheep Ahoy

Tugboat Granny

Pre-Hysterical Hare

China Jones

The Mouse on 57th Street

Wet Hare

Dumb Patrol
War and Pieces

Sheep Ahoy is an early draft for what became the 'Sam & Ralph' series, while other shorts here have not been shown as much because of their racist or otherwise problematic content like China Jones. All the shorts still have legitimately funny moments and great artwork, so some of this is more for adults. The ones starting in 1948 were shown all the time in Saturday Morning cartoon packages.

The one to especially make comment on is the Bugs Bunny short Wet Hare, where he keeps taking a shower in a waterfall, but the water keeps getting cut off by an angry French guy (hilariously voiced by Mel Blanc, doing all the voices, at this point) and Bugs has to keep getting those dams to fail. The timing is also great and it has a fun ending.

There is one big problem for some and it is the song that Bugs is singing while getting cleaned up. 'April Showers' was a big hit for Al Jolson, who helped put Warner on the map with his 1927 megahit The Jazz Singer (reviewed elsewhere on this site) that was the first big hit movie with sound and unfortunately, Jolson in blackface. Bugs is wearing nothing on his face though he is impersonating Jolson's voice, and without knowing its origins, you would never know the songs' connection with something so extremely racist. Its a perfect song for the ongoing gag here otherwise.

Much funnier with zero problems and something you can only appreciate seeing this on this Blu-ray disc in high definition or if you've been lucky enough to see it on a full color film print (preferably Technicolor) is the water we see on screen. Every time Blacque Jacque Shellacque gets smashed by the water that also destroys his various dams, it is hilarious, but in a great example of what the Warner animators did in their color theatrical cartoon shorts, they have taken the water and made it a thick aqua green. Thus, when you see the color like that, it look much more like Shellacque is really being hit by a strong force and it is not only funnier, but he is getting punished by his own arrogance and for being mean to Bugs. In low def on old TVs or older video formats (DVD, VHS, Beta, etc.) it is not as impactful or funny.

I could do an entire essay or documentary on how they would use color this way in so many of their shorts, but this example shows how trying this kind of thing pays off. The whole set is worth your time and we look forward to more volumes.

There are sadly, however, no extras.

Next are a double feature of two straight-to-video semi-feature length releases that happened further apart than usual: Scooby Doo On Zombie Island (1998) and Scooby Doo! Return To Zombie Island (2019) which we previously reviewed at the following links on DVD:

Zombie Island


Return To Zombie Island


Still as obvious as ever, they might be curios at best, but not much more. Since they made the atrocious live action films, the franchise and characters have just been extremely repetitive and have had few new moments offering anything truly fun or entertaining. To say these are for fans only is an understatement, but this is now the best way to at least see them. More on the tech performance below.

Trailer previews for both releases are the only extras.

Now for playback performance. The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Looney Tunes are usually in three-strip Technicolor, but a few are two-strip Technicolor or in lesser Cinecolor, but these rarely show their age and some hard work went into saving these. The Technicolor shorts are a solid representation of a dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor 35mm or 16mm print of the films at their best. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes are also pretty good, though some hold up better than others. Overall, these play very well.

The 1080p 1.33 on the first film and 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers in the Scooby set look as good as these releases ever will, with decent color, if not up with the best early episodes that introduced the cast of characters in the first place and an improvement on the previous DVDs. However, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix on the first film and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the second are slightly harsh and off throughout, so be careful of volume switching and high volume playback. They were a bit disappointing and why they were handled like this is odd.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Craig is new and has some nice, consistent color range and good definition for its simpler animation style, while the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix is fine but a little harsh, though I bet it would sound better lossless. The combination is good for the old format.

To order either of the Warner Archive Blu-rays, Looney Tunes or Scooby Doo, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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