DVD Review: Beany & Cecil Vol. 2

Bob Clampett was a genius.

And if you need further proof, the long-awaited Beany and Cecil: The Special Edition Vol. 2 dispenses it in spades. I just received my copy of this DVD and I cannot praise it highly enough. If you are a Clampett junkie like me, you’ve been Jonesing for this (no pun intended) for at least ten years (when the equally incredible Vol. 1 was first released).

First off, let me state that the Beany and Cecil cartoons are personal favorites of mine. They are among the funniest, and best, TV cartoons ever made – and still hold up great today. There are eleven beautifully restored B&C cartoons here, all from 35mm master elements, looking better than I ever recall them. A 12th cartoon included is a rarely seen alternate version of Beanyland (which was featured on Vol. 1). I’d normally pick a few to highlight, but they are all terrific cartoons–Cecil Meets Cecilia, Davey Cricket, Strange Objects, Ben Hare, etc. These alone would be worth the retail price. But they only represent about 1/5 of the disc’s programming.

The rest of the content is Bonus Material – so much so, I can’t even list it all. The biggest thrills for me: Storyboards (and a cut scene) from Bob’s 1947 Republic cartoon It’s a Grand Old Nag, two more Time For Beany kinescopes, more audio recordings of Bob discussing his influences and even reading a Milt Gross story! There’s also a reel of home movie footage, of Bob walking around New York City in 1945, filming Times Square billboards – including an Otto Messmer/Douglas Leigh animated billboard! A complete list of the disc’s contents is posted here.

Beany and Cecil the Special Edition Volume 2 officially goes on sale September 8th. However, you can buy Volume 2 right now, along with the long out-of-print Volume 1, from the Beany and Cecil web site. A limited supply of Volume 1 was found unopened in the family’s warehouse and they are being offered, one per customer, to anyone who buys a copy of Volume 2. Volumes 1 & 2 (purchased together) sell for $54.95 + Shipping. Do this today – you won’t be sorry.