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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Baby Looney Tunes, Vol. 2
Baby Looney Tunes, Vol. 2
Warner Bros. // Unrated // March 7, 2006
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by David Cornelius | posted March 19, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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"Baby Looney Tunes" comes to the "toddlerization" cartoon trend about fifteen years too late. The gimmick of presenting familiar characters as tykes began with "Muppet Babies" (itself a spin-off from a dream sequence in the film "The Muppets Take Manhattan"), then became a full-on trend with the arrival of "Tom and Jerry Kids," "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo," "Flintstones Kids," and finally "Tiny Toons," which is the only show on the list to avoid being completely obnoxious in adults' eyes. The secret to "Tiny Toons" was that we never got kiddie versions of our favorite characters; instead, we got all-new cartoon folks admittedly based on our faves but different enough that they could stand on their own, away from the original gimmick. Plus, the show was actually funny and very well written. "Baby Looney Tunes," on the other hand…

The new series, which debuted in 2002 on Cartoon Network, takes much from "Muppet Babies," so much, in fact, that the already stale premise becomes even more disappointingly worn-out. The set-up: Baby Bugs, Baby Daffy, Baby Taz, etc., etc., all live and in a nursery of some sort run by Granny. (We also get Baby Lola, a junior version of the female bunny introduced in "Space Jam," and yes, the whole thing plays like "the producer says we really need to put a girl character here so girls will watch too." As for Baby Tweety, well, cutesy-ing up Tweety with a baby voice is a bit redundant, no?

Anyway. They play, they use their imaginations, they learn lessons. (See what I mean? It's "Muppet Babies" to the letter.) Plots are rehashed from older cartoon fare – there's one story about everyone refusing to play with Tweety on his birthday, who feels alone, only to learn that they've been planning a surprise party! Raise your hand if you've never seen that one before. Not so fast, every single person who's ever watched a kiddie cartoon.

Granted, familiar storylines can be sold to the kindergarten-and-under crowd for which this series was obviously designed. Young ones, not yet bogged down with the clichés of television cartoons, will most likely enjoy the simple, short adventures, as well as the sing-along tunes that accompany each episode. (I know my daughter did.)

But parents? This is one you'll be ignoring immediately. It's mostly obnoxious in its simplicities, and there's absolutely nothing here to remind older viewers of the Looney Tunes cast they love so much. (Except, that is, for such lame references as a "pronoun trouble" skit between Baby Bugs and Baby Daffy; such moments will leave you groaning.)

The DVD

With "Baby Looney Tunes Volume 2: Let's Play Pretend," Warner Brothers packages two episodes of the show onto one disc. Each episode contains two stories with one sing-along song placed in between. Total running time is 48 minutes.

Episode one contains "School Daze," "Things That Go Bump In the Night," and the song "Mary Had a Little Duck." Episode two contains "The Creature From the Chocolate Chip," "Card Bored Box," and the song "The Looney Riddle."

Video

The animation, being a recent production, looks acceptably bright and crisp, bringing out the best of the visuals. Presented in the original 1.33:1 broadcast aspect ratio.

Audio

The simple but clear Dolby stereo soundtrack gets no complaints. (The DVD box lists the soundtrack as being "Dolby Stereo Surround," but it is a 2.0 mix.) Also available are stereo tracks in French and Spanish. Optional English, French, and Spanish subtitles are offered.

Extras

"What's That Sound?" is exactly what you think it is: the DVD plays a sound, and your child selects what made the sound. Intended for the very youngest viewers.

Also included is a combo trailer for Easter-related Warner releases that won't make much sense to anyone picking up this disc a month past its release date.

Final Thoughts

Little ones will most likely enjoy this quite a bit; parents will be driven crazy. With only four eleven-minute stories on the disc, it won't take long before the cartoons will grow old, even for the most rabid repeat viewer. So the best bet for parents is to Rent It – by the time it gets tiresome to everyone in the house, it'll be due back. (Older viewers and big time Looney Tunes fans, however, should avoid this like crazy. Not even the novelty value of it makes it worth catching.)

Note: This review repeats much of the text from my review of "Baby Looney Tunes Volume 1: Playday Pals" - because there's just not a lot to say about the series.
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