The Golden Age of Looney Tunes is a series of 5-disc laserdisc and 10-tape VHS box sets released by MGM/UA Home Video and Turner Entertainment. Five volumes were released on laserdisc, but only the first volume was issued on VHS. The VHS tapes were also available for individual sale.
Every cartoon that Turner owned the rights to was eventually released as part of one of these sets, with the exception of 11 cartoons not seen since 1968 due to racial stereotypes - these are often called the Censored Eleven.
At the time this series was released, Turner only had access to faded 16 mm television prints; since then, Time Warner acquired Turner, and some of the shorts released here have since been reissued by Warner Home Video, often in restored versions.
The first volume of the set, The Golden Age of Looney Tunes was released on December 11, 1991 on laserdisc. Due to potentially-offensive material in the cartoon Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips, later sets were released with that short replaced by Racketeer Rabbit, which was also released on Volume 3. The first volume contains 70 animated shorts from 1931 through 1948 (1933–1948 on the cover). Each side of the first volume's discs contains animated shorts fitting a particular theme or category - this arrangement is used in all five volumes of The Golden Age of Looney Tunes. Each side was also released on VHS as ten separate volumes
Side 1, 1930's Musicals, featured several early entries in the Merrie Melodies series. Music played an integral part in each cartoon on this side.
Side 2, Firsts, featured debut cartoons for several major characters. One featured cartoon, Daffy Duck and Egghead, technically, was the first Daffy Duck cartoon in color, and the first where the character actually has that name. This was used because Turner did not own the rights to Porky's Duck Hunt.
Side 7, Bugs Bunny by Each Director, was one of two Bugs-centric sides on the first volume. It featured at least one Bugs Bunny cartoon from each director that did at least one between 1940 through July 1948. Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, Robert McKimson and Frank Tashlin each contributed one entry, while Friz Freleng contributed two.
Side 8, 1940's Zanies, featured several character-driven cartoons from the 1940s.
Side 9, Hooray For Hollywood, was dedicated to cartoons in which show-business itself played a major part. Many cartoons on this side featured caricatures of notable celebrities of the time.
The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Vol. 2 was released on July 1, 1992 on laserdisc. The second volume contains 70 animated shorts from 1931 through 1948. The second volume's categories are as follows:
Side 1, Musical Madness, features several musical cartoons from the 1930s, including several Harman and Ising-era cartoons, and two early color entries (before the switch to three-strip Technicolor).
Side 2, Early Wabbits, features all the color cartoons starring the Bugs Bunny prototype, and some early cartoons with Bugs himself.
Sides 3 through 6 are again dedicated to cartoons from a single (or in one case, a pair of) director(s), in the following order: Frank Tashlin, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett and McKimson/Davis
Side 7, Fables & Fairy Tales, featured cartoons which parodied famous fairy tales.
Side 8, The Art of Daffy, is dedicated to Daffy Duck. All four color Looney Tunes released in 1943 are on this side.
Side 9, Best Supporting Players, featured cartoons starring several lesser-known characters, and also some entries featuring more famous characters who had few entries sold to a.a.p. since they debuted later in the package.
Side 10, Variations on a Theme, was centered on sleep.
The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Vol. 3 was released on December 23, 1992 on laserdisc. The third volume contains 70 animated shorts from 1931 through 1948. The third volume's categories are as follows:
Side 1, Harman-Ising, exclusively featured cartoons from the era they headed the WB cartoon studio.
Side 2, Bugs Bunny, features cartoons starring the titular character
Sides 3 through 6, as with previous volumes, are each dedicated to cartoons from a particular director, in the following order: Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Early Avery, Tashlin/Clampett
Side 7, Sports, featured cartoons dealing with the world of sport
Side 8, The Evolution of Egghead, covers the evolution of Egghead to Elmer Fudd
Side 9, Porky and Daffy, featured cartoons starring either character (with one pairing)
The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Vol. 4 was released on July 14, 1993 on laserdisc. The fourth volume contains 73 animated shorts from 1932 through 1948. The fourth volume's categories are as follows:
Side 1, Bugs Bunny, was dedicated to the titular rabbit
Side 2, Early Chuck Jones, featured early entries from that director
Side 3, Friz Freleng, featured cartoons from that director
Side 4, Cartoon All-Stars, had several character-driven cartoons and two one-shots
Side 5, Radio Daze, featured cartoons centered on old-time radio or its stars
Side 6, Frantic Forties, featured several one-shots from the 1940s
Side 7, Wacky Blackouts, featured cartoons centered on sight gags
Side 8, Ben Hardaway & Cal Dalton (and Private Snafu), featured cartoons from the Hardaway-Dalton team along with two Private Snafu cartoons
Side 9, Sniffles, was dedicated to the titular mouse
Side 10, Merrie Melodies, featured several early entries in that series.
The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Vol. 5 was released on April 2, 1997 on laserdisc. The fifth volume contains 55 animated shorts from 1932 through 1949. The fifth volume came out over three and a half years after The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Vol. 4 was released - by this point, Turner had been bought out by Time Warner. The final box set in the series contains bonus material such as an alternate version of Hare Ribbin' and two live-action film segments with cameos by Bugs Bunny: My Dream Is Yours and Two Guys from Texas. The set also includes three World War II-era cartoon shorts featuring the sailor Hook that were made specially for the U.S. Armed Forces. The shorts are The Good Egg (not to be confused with the regular Warner Bros. short with the same name), The Return of Mr. Hook and Tokyo Woes. The fifth volume's categories are as follows:
Side 1, Black and White Classics, features several cartoons from the Harman-Ising era
Side 2, Early Avery, features early cartoons from Tex Avery
Side 3, Freleng Follies, has a number of cartoons from Friz Freleng
Side 4, Musical Madness, has several musical cartoons from the 1930s
Side 5, Pesky Pets, features cartoons centered on animals normally kept as pets, including several Curious Puppies cartoons
Side 6, Objects d'Art, features "objects come to life" cartoons
Side 7, Animal Antics, features cartoons driven by all-animal casts
Side 8, Supplement Material, features the bonus content
↑The cartoon's original version was released without copyright protection. For the Blue Ribbon reissue, a copyright was filed. The reissue remains under copyright, but the original is in the public domain.