Screwball Classics Volume 3
review by Bobby Blakey
While most kids were into the Flintstones, Smurfs, Scooby Doo and Bugs Bunny, I was always more drawn to the world of Tex Avery with Droopy being my all-time favorite character. I was so excited for another volume of the Tex Avery Screwball Classics being released as I knew it would take me right into the iconic classics like never before. Does this new collection of cartoon masterpieces hold up or will it be to screwball to be classic?
This new collection features all of Avery’s star characters including Droopy, as a Mountie, a bullfighter and a Western deputy; Spike, as a hibernating bear’s weary watchdog; Red, as both Cinderella and a frontier cowgirl; and Screwball Squirrel, as – what else? – an escapee of a lunatic asylum. But it’s the stories, premises and gags that are front and center in Avery’s films – and this collection features his absolute best. Where to begin? With a cat, a mouse, a dog and a canary drinking “Jumbo Gro”; a lovelorn skunk stuck on imitating Frank Sinatra; or a baby billy goat who eats absolutely everything…including the cartoon’s background paintings? Avery’s screwball classics, his one-shot wonders, are what really made his reputation.
This batch are all stand alone and a big variety of tones, but all animated perfection. It’s amazing how many iconic moments have come out of some of these cartoons and still make me laugh to this day. Any of these cartoons
featuring Droopy are my all time favorites. I have seen every one of these cartoons hundreds of times and still love them more every time. This dog cracks me up and so happy that they put this grouping of his animated classics together.
Much like many of the cartoons of the time they are often subjects of the time. There are clear propaganda cartoons here with the first out of the gate being a three little pigs story featuring the wolf as a Nazi. It’s clever and funny, but the kind of thing that would not work today. That is kind of the essence to a lot of the old cartoons. They were clearly not just thinking of little kids sensibilities and instead to entertain anyone who were watching it of all ages. Of course there are some racy bits especially when Red is involved but they are never anything really inappropriate.
Visually these all still hold up to perfection with the best animation around and nonstop laughs throughout. It’s funny how much is in these cartoons that would not only not make their way into cartoons today, but would no doubt offend the week minded adults of today. They are fully aware of this since there is a disclaimer stating that this is a collection is for the adult collector due to their content.
Grab your copy of Tex Avery: Screwball Classics Volume 3 available now on Blu-ray from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.