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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Tex Avery’s Droopy – The Complete Theatrical Collection

Tex Avery’s Droopy – The Complete Theatrical Collection


Picture: C+/B-     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Animated Shorts: B



Disney and Warner turned out to have the most popular catalogs of theatrical film animation, but other studios had their animation as well including MGM, the most powerful studio at the time.  This meant they could afford to spend the money to compete with their rivals and this included some great animation.  Having Tex Avery at the studio was probably the peak of their cutting edge work, including masterwork shorts like Three Cab Family.  Sure, they launched Hanna & Barbera and even hosted Chuck Jones eventually.  Though Tom & Jerry is their most popular animation series, it is Tex Avery’s Droopy that also had an impact despite only 24 original shorts.


Warner’s The Complete Theatrical Collection beings those shorts together in a double DVD set that shows how great they were and why Droopy is such a legendary character.  Most cartoons have the tile character living up to his name, being a sad loner who wants to find happiness and seems like a pushover, but having a stronger core inside than anyone could imagine, which pulls through in the end when competing dogs (and the like) try to ruin his already miserable self.


With rule-breaking animation and some of the funniest sight gags in animation history, the shorts sometimes repeat themselves, but are all top notch and include:



DVD 1:

The Shooting Of Dan McGoo
Wild & Woolfy
Northwest Hounded Police
Señor Droopy
Wags to Riches
The Chump Champ
Daredevil Droopy
Droopy's Good Deed
Droopy's Double Trouble
Caballero Droopy



DVD 2:

The Three Little Pups
Drag-A-Long Droopy
Homesteader Droopy
Dixieland Droopy


Droopy in CinemaScope:

Millionaire Droopy
Grin & Share It
Blackboard Jumble
One Droopy Knight
Sheep Wrecked
Mutts About Racing
Droopy Leprechaun




All of them hold up very well and have been broadcast often over the years.  Some had been previous censored to not hurt the feelings of certain children and not set bad examples for others, but at least some of them are in newer prints that restore their politically incorrectness.  But at the center is Avery’s world-famous dog, who gains new fans every day.  Check out this set and see why.  See that Droopy is more than just about a few signature one-liners and what great animation is really all about.


The picture on this set is split into two aspect ratios, which also happens to be where their picture fidelity splits.  The 1.33 X 1 shorts look like older transfers with some edge enhancement and/or digital video noise reduction (DVNR) foiling picture quality and even color fidelity.  They should be great, but they look older and in this age of HD, that is not good.  The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 shorts shot in CinemaScope are much better, though Avery left after the first one and the animation itself (as was so common in CinemaScope animation of the time) became oversimplified and less complex.


With that said, the picture is better and color fidelity is often demonstration quality, looking much more like a three-strip, dye-transfer Technicolor prints all these shorts were originally issued in.  They save the picture performance of this set and are the reason we recommend it on that level.


The Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono is good throughout, though I would have preferred 2.0 and am surprised MGM did not make the CinemaScope shorts in stereo.  The later shorts are dubbed Perspecta Sound, which was Westrex’s quasi-stereo system that bounced around the mono sound but was not necessarily real stereo.  2.0 in those cases would have been nice.


Extras include a reel of gags from the shorts dubbed Doggone Gags, three previews for other animation DVD sets and Droopy & Friends – A Laugh Back documentary (18:19) that looks back at the greatness and importance of the character including interviews and rare items.


Droopy was revived for TV shows and has made some other cameos, but these shorts are the classics and it is nice to finally have them all in one place.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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