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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Adventure > Comedy > Literature > Fantasy > Chuck Jones Collection: Featuring 6 Classic Stories (Rikki-Tikki-Tavi/Mowgli’s Brothers/White Seal/Yankee Doodle Cricket/A Cricket In Time/A Very Merry Cricket/Lionsgate)

Chuck Jones Collection: Featuring 6 Classic Stories (Rikki-Tikki-Tavi/Mowgli’s Brothers/White Seal/Yankee Doodle Cricket/A Cricket In Time/A Very Merry Cricket/Lionsgate)

 

Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Films: C+

 

 

Seals and Mongooses and Crickets, OH MY!  Now available on DVD for the first time is the Chuck Jones Collection: Featuring 6 Classic Stories.  The classic stories featured in this collection are Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, The White Seal, Mowgli’s Brothers, Yankee Doodle Cricket, A Cricket in Times Square, and A Very Merry Cricket.  The films featured in this collection in many ways have become lesser known classics of their own right like many of the Disney films.  The films are well animated, fun, and demonstrate the genius that was Chuck Jones.

 

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi features a mongoose that has high hopes of being adopted by a loving family.  One day Rikki’s dream comes true and he swears to do everything and anything to protect his new family.  When two cobras attempt to harm and terrify his family Rikki gets the chance to be the hero he knows he is inside.

 

The White Seal is another coming of age heroic tale about a young seal trying to learn the ways of his kind.  The adorable seal is a quick learner and is learning all he can about the deep ocean and the creatures that dwell there.  Kotec (the seal), however, faces one of the greatest challenges of his life as he tries to outwit his biggest foe, humans.

 

The tale of Mowgli’s Brothers is actually the first story of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book Collection and adapted by Chuck Jones.  The short animated feature starts with the young boy Mowgli being adopted by a pack of wolves and raised as one of their own.  Mowgli must soon face new challenges he never dreamed of and his loyalty to the pack will be tested.  Can Mowgli face the challenges that Jungle Law bring?

 

The other three tales on this set chronicle the life of a little cricket with big dreams.  Yankee Doodle Cricket features Chester the Cricket and friends showing the audience what really happened during the Revolutionary War; the Cricket actually taking part in making the Declaration of Independence and throwing Paul Revere a little help as well.  The other two Cricket films feature the Cricket in Times Square.  The first film he is learning to cope with the big city after leaving his comfy country life and the second Chester the Cricket and his friends are at it again trying to make New York City into a place of joy and wonder at Christmas Time.

 

The technical features of this 6 short film, single disc, Chuck Jones’ collection are simple at best.  The picture on the 6 films are presented in their original aspect ratio of a 1.33 X 1 full screen and though clear of most debris, do have some light/dark issues as well as color balance issues.  The sound is adequate but far from perfect in its Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono presentation, lacking the true quality these Chuck Jones’ classics deserve.  The extras aren’t so adequate only giving fans of these short animation ventures a quick documentary on the Chuck Jones entitled “Heart and Soul: The Timeless Art of Chuck Jones” that is neither too informative or exciting.

 

This release is nice to the extent that it is always nice to have a full collection available at your DVD fingertips; but otherwise this reviewer found this somewhat lackluster in the areas of picture, sound, and extras.  The films are nice and demonstrate Chuck Jones’ art style and great sense of humor.  In the end, if you have been dying to have these films now is the time to purchase these lost treasures, otherwise hold off for a better quality and more definitive Chuck Jones Collection.

 

 

-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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