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Joe, I just think it gives you entirely new avenues to explore. Learning and experience can come because of many things. No one said that the learning and experience can't include the history and development of pop culture. You already do it with the era you know well. It is time to grow, grasshopper!
Joe,I agree with Chuck... at least in the area of LOONEY TUNES-era stuff. Plenty of "original source material" can be consulted on that account. As for the newer stuff, I'll leave you to handle THAT as you see fit! (There's my conservatism showing, I guess!)Chris
Chuck and Chris:If anything illustrates the value of DVD commentary tracks – by experts and historians, if the property is from a bygone era, and creators and actors themselves, if a contemporary property – it is the matter of era or age specific pop-culture references. They should almost be MANDATORY, given the amount of information that can be gleaned from them, and will only become more valuable to future generations. (Yes, DVD will be gone, but the recorded tracks can be transferred to “cerebro-casting” or whatever it becomes!) Believe it or not, one future day a Seth McFarlane track will be just as informative as a Chuck Jones or Friz Freleng track – not to mention Max Fleischer or even Walt Disney! Indeed, the observation that resulted in this post was arrived at BY listening to various commentary tracks – and “getting” jokes and references that I’d previously just blew through or shrugged-off. In Ye Olden Days, when I REALLY WAS a ‘tween, it was my mother who clued me in to Looney Tunes references to “Kilroy” (“Haredevil Hare” 1948) and “Petrillo” (“Hurdy-Gurdy Hare” 1950) – and, while she will still supply the occasional gem of information, we now have the Internet to explain it all! The Internet? I sure hope Petrillo doesn’t hear about this! Joe.
OK, perfect examples there, Joe. "Kilroy" I am familiar with. I've heard "Petrillo", but for the life of me, I couldn't begin to tell you what the reference actually is. Darn, more research ahead of me - unless of course, you care to enlighten???
Oh, and yes, I agree that accurate content and information usually is quite valuable to someone down the line. It all depends upon for what the historian/researcher/whomever is looking. I would say that the events and products of a culture can be set in a priority by a predetermined set of criteria judging impact/importance to that culture (but then that list is subject to debate as well!). Suffice it to say that I believe this all has a place, large or small, in painting a picture of a point in time.
Chuck and Joe,Commentary tracks can be good, bad, or indifferent, depending on the property being commented upon and the enthusiasm of the folks making them. The LACK of commentaries/extras, however -- especially for a relatively modern property (are you listening, Disney DVD??) -- has come to symbolize a certain level of indifference to the product, no matter how good it is. Funny how we've come to expect such goodies so quickly as a matter of course!Chuck, the Wikipedia entry on James Petrillo should clue you in about the reference... especially since it mentions the Bugs cartoon in which it was made.Chris
Chris,As usual, you've hit upon a darn good point: how presumptious of us to expect that anyone should take enough pride and interest in their work to impart that to those of us who find their work worthy of pride and interest!And I will be checking that Wikipedia entry. Thanks!
Chuck and Chris:Just to bring this comment thread into a circular pattern…Animation writer and producer Paul Dini explains “Petrillo” in his commentary to “Hurdy-Gurdy Hare” on LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION Volume 4! Indeed, although the reference is the final line of dialogue in the cartoon, Dini addresses it as his FIRST comment – because (A) He clearly knew it required explanation, by his own remarks, and… (B) He would not have time at the cartoon’s end to adequately discuss it. And Seth McFarlane and his cohorts perform the same service to current (…and more important – future) viewers of FAMILY GUY! …And that’s exactly why we need such commentaries! …On as many shows and properties as possible! Say… this comment thread his become MUCH LONGER than the original post! Take a bow for keeping it lively, guys! Joe.
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