Chuck Jones Collection – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Directed By:

Chuck Jones

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

Cast:
Orson Welles……….Narrator / Nag / Chuchundra
Shepard Menken……….Rikki-Tikki-Tavi the Mongoose
Michael LeClair……….Teddy
June Foray……….Nagaina the Cobra, wife of Nag / Teddy’s Mother / Darzee’s wife
Les Tremayne……….Father

Lionsgate presents Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. Written by Chuck Jones. Based on The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling. 24 minutes. Not Rated. Original released in 1975.

The White Seal

Cast:
Roddy McDowall……….Narrator
June Foray……….Macka

Lionsgate presents The White Seal. Written by Chuck Jones. Based on The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling. 24 minutes. Not Rated. Original released in 1975.

Mowgli’s Brothers

Cast:
Roddy McDowall……….Narrator / Mowgli

Lionsgate presents Mowgli’s Brothers. Written by Chuck Jones. Based on The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling. 24 minutes. Not Rated. Original released in 1977.

The Cricket In Times Square

Cast:
Les Tremayne……….Chester C. Cricket / Harry the Cat / Father / Music Teacher
Mel Blanc……….Tucker the Mouse
Kerry MacLane……….Mario Bellini
June Foray……….Mother

Lionsgate presents The Cricket In Times Square. Written by Chuck Jones. Based on the book by George Selden. 24 minutes. Not Rated. Original released in 1973.

Yankee Doodle Cricket

Cast:
Mel Blanc……….Tucker the Mouse
Les Tremayne……….Chester C. Cricket / Harry the Cat

Lionsgate presents Yankee Doodle Cricket. Written by Chuck Jones. Based on the book by George Selden. 24 minutes. Not Rated. Original released in 1975.

A Very Merry Cricket

Cast:
Mel Blanc……….Tucker the mouse / Alley Cat
Les Tremayne……….Chester / Harry

Lionsgate presents A Very Merry Cricket. Written by Chuck Jones. Based on the book by George Selden. 24 minutes. Not Rated. Original released in 1973.

Lionsgate presents Chuck Jones Collection. 6 cartoons on 1 DVDs.

The Film:

Chuck Jones is an animation auteur most greatly known for his work with Warner Bros. When one thinks Chuck Jones images of Bugs Bunny and Wile E. Coyote but after leaving Warner he made a series of cartoons for television. Here are six of them.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a tale right out of Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Books” about a mongoose who befriends a human family and must defend them against a pair of villainous cobras. This is a cute but dark story, the fights between Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and the snakes are pretty violent by cartoon standards and might frighten young kids. Also, Orsen Welles narration gives the whole cartoon very nice atmosphere.

The While Seal, also from “The Jungle Book,” is the story of a young seal, Mackah, who is different from the other seals because he is white instead of brown. When Mackah grows up and learns of the dangers of man he sets out on an epic quest to find the perfect island where his seal brethren will be safe from man’s clubs. This is a cute cartoon, but probably he weakest of the three Kipling stories.

Mowgli’s Brothers is the third “The Jungle Book” story. This Chuck Jones’ telling of the story of Mowgli more popularly know as Disney’s The Jungle Book. This is more true to Kipling’s original story. It is much darker than Disney’s version. Shere Khan is aided by a stringing hyena that doesn’t look to different that Wile E. Coyote.

The Cricket In Time Square is the classic tale of a cricket, Chester C. Cricket, that comes to New York and is adopted by a young boy at a newsstand as well as a mouse, Tucker, and a cat, Harry. When the Chester starts to learn human music he helps their failing business. This is a fantastic cartoon and easily the best in the collection. Chuck Jones at his absolute best.

Yankee Doodle Cricket is a fun retelling of the USA’s humble beginnings told from the point of view of Tucker the Mouse and his friends. Here Tucker writes the Declaration of Independence and Chester C Cricket writes the “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Tucker also helps send Paul Revere on his famous ride. This cartoon is cute, patriotic and educational.

A Very Merry Cricket brings everyone’s favorite cat, mouse and cricket team back together again. This time Tucker and Harry want to remind New York what Christmas really means so they travel to Connecticut to get Chester to help them. This is a cute Christmas story and a great way to end this DVD.

These six cartoons were all directed and co-written by animation master Chuck Jones. They are all fairly solid stories; some being better than others but the animation in all them is fantastic. After watching these cartoons there is no denying the pure genius of Chuck Jones. This is fantastic collection and wonderful representation of his non Warner Bros. work. It is a reminder of how sad it is that hand drawn animation is becoming a lost art.


Two shots of Rikki-Tikki fighting the evil Nag.

The DVD:

This film is presented in 1.33:1 fullscreen. Sound is in Dolby Digital Monaural. All of these cartoons are over 30 years old and they all look great.

Extras:

Heart And Soul: The Timeless Art of Chuck Jones: (15 min.) This is a nice tender retrospective of the work of Chuck Jones focusing on the work on this DVD. There are interviews with Jones’ wife and an animation director who was inspired by Jones. They are both very well spoken people and make this featurette a real joy to watch.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Chuck Jones Collection
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE CARTOONS

8
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

8
REPLAY VALUE

8
OVERALL
8
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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