What's Opera Doc? (LaserDisc)

Last week, I purchased a Panasonic LX-600 LaserDisc player for Marcee's birthday, and one of the first titles I bought at the Cheapo Uptown was Looney Tunes: Curtain Calls, a single-disc collection of 15 classic cartoons.  It's a terrific set that includes "Rabbit of Seville" and "One Froggy Evening," and closes out with Chuck Jones' greatest triumph, "What's Opera, Doc?"

Obviously, if you want to watch Looney Tunes, you can buy the DVD or even Blu-Ray sets.  The Curtain Calls LD won't be seen by many people today, which is unfortunate.  With a quality SDTV and a quality player, LaserDiscs can shine.  And animation remains the format's greatest strength.

There are precious few examples of LD in action on the internet.  The most common approach is to connect a player directly to a PC.  This, however, results in a watered-down, washed look to the picture.  Optimising for the NTSC standard (7.5 IRE) is absolutely necessary for laserdiscs to look their best.  I snapped my photos with an iPhone directly in front of the Sony television, and even here, my photos darken the picture just a little.  This is an elusive, finicky format to capture in the digital age, but that's part of its charm.

Anyway, back to Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd performing their opera.  I snapped a large number of photos, which appear just after the jump.


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