Friday, December 31, 2010
Private Snafu: Golden Classics
If there's one animation DVD that I consider to be the best from 2010, it's the Private Snafu Golden Classics, which just came out few days ago.
All of the Snafu shorts was released on VHS and DVD from Bosko Video, but Steve Stanchfield went all the way with this one.
This is probably the best video quality I've ever seen of Snafu cartoons. Unlike other video companies, which sourced Snafu cartoons from worn out 16mm prints, Steve used 35mm negatives from the National Archives, and what a big difference that made.
While the picture is near perfect some shorts do have visible wear (particularly Goldbrick); apparently some of the negatives were in bad shape and Steve either had to do some clean-up or work with other materials. Despite that the picture quality for all the shorts is crisp and miles ahead of other Snafu releases over the years.
The cartoons themselves are propaganda, but still entertaining to animation fans like me. Majority of the Snafu shorts were done at Leon Schlesinger Studio under the direction of Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob Clampett, and Frank Tashlin, with some of the later ones done at other studios, including Harman-Ising, MGM, and a studio that later became known as UPA.
And of course, there's the one area that most DVD collectors pay attention to the most: the bonus materials, and it's there all right. There are audio commentaries for 12 of the cartoons (Jerry Beck, Mike Kazaleh, Eric Goldberg, John Kricfalusi, Mark Mayerson); a brief documentary hosted by Jerry Beck, complete with a newly animated title by Mark Kausler; and finally, still galleries, a collection of production artwork and Snafu's magazine cover appearances.
It may be past Christmas, but that's no excuse to not buy this DVD. Get it from Amazon NOW!