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March 22, 2022
All-new original movie coming to DVD June 14!
With Tweety's eightieth birthday happening this year, there was hope that Warner Bros. was going to offer something in the realm of home video among the various licensing campaigns it had announced. Well, there is, but it's not anything related to the classic shorts. Instead, today Warner Home Entertainment officially announced the upcoming release of the direct-to-video movie King Tweety. An all-new original production from Jellystone! director Careen Ingle, the movie will be released on DVD on June 14.
According to the Screen Rant web site, the DVD will include as bonus features three episodes of The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries: "Something Fishy Around Here," The Maltese Canary," and the debut episode "The Cat Who Knew Too Much." At press time, there is no indication of any other special features, classic cartoons or otherwise.
The studio's official synopsis for the movie reads as follows....
Tweety's large and in charge as he takes the throne in this zany new full-length movie. When the queen of an island paradise disappears, Tweety unexpectedly becomes next in line for the crown. His Little Highness' entourage includes motorbike daredevil Granny and sly Sylvester, whose allegiance is tested when he uncovers a sinister plot to eliminate Tweety for good! Feathers and fur will fly in this hilarious story that proves royalty – and loyalty – can come in many shapes and sizes.
The movie's trailer is below....
This is such an odd move by Warner Bros. Animation, as this is the first Looney Tunes direct-to-video movie to not be based on an existing style--not even fashioning it in the mold of the current Looney Tunes Cartoons on HBO Max. Behind the scenes, King Tweety has been on the release schedule as a stand-alone title for well over a year, so it's not like the studio is preparing some regularly recurring series of movies like it does for Scooby-Doo or Tom and Jerry or the DC Comics superheroes. But, if this somehow leads to Warner Home Entertainment releasing classic Tweety product this year, great...but we wouldn't count on it.
King Tweety is scheduled to be released on June 14 on DVD only and will retail for $19.98. Pre-order it now on Amazon.
March 15, 2022
Deadline for e-mail questions is March 18
Just in time to kick off the start of spring, on Wednesday, March 23, the one and only Jerry Beck will be appearing on Stu's Show, the online series hosted by pop culture/television historian Stu Shostak. The show is a video/audio simulcast, so you can either listen or watch it as it premieres. The show will air at 7PM EST and is available as a free stream for those who tune in (afterward, fans can purchase a "rerun" of the episode online). Information on the various ways to access the show can be found on its web site: www.stusshow.com.
Jerry will be previewing the upcoming year of animated features, likely look back at the recent Annie Awards, screen three rare cartoons, and share any news in cartoon-related print media and (hopefully) home video that he has.
Like Jerry's last appearance on Stu's Show, this will be a pre-taped episode. Stu will be reading viewers' e-mail questions to Jerry during the show like always, BUT there is a deadline to get them in by the time the show is taped. So if you want your question read during the show, you need to e-mail Stu no later than March 18. Questions can be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
As we always stress, remember that Jerry only works as a consultant for Warner Home Video (and other labels) on select projects. He does not have final say on programming, remastering, or release matters; he can only try to comment on situations as best as he can...and even then, he is sometimes contractually required to not say anything about certain upcoming releases. The information he gives is never meant to be inferred as any sort of official statement from a studio and that they can and do change plans on a whim without telling him. Anything Jerry is authorized to reveal will be said during the show, so please do not barrage Stu and Jerry with "When will this cartoon or show come out on DVD?" questions.
We will be posting news updates on our Facebook page as the new episode airs. If there is any major DVD or Blu-ray news announced, we will of course report it here after the show.
So get ready, cartoon lovers, because Jerry Beck is returning to Stu's Show March 23!
January 25, 2022
Includes remastered, HD debut of A Star Is Hatched
On Monday Warner Archive took to Facebook to announce a number of the label's upcoming spring Blu-ray releases, with a few meager bones thrown in the direction of fans of classic animation. At press time, the Archive's Facebook page did not officially announce any firm street dates for the titles (all they would say is that each release was "COMING SOON!"), but dates were available on its official store on Amazon.
One release of note coming March 22 is the Blu-ray debut of the James Cagney air-fighting adventure Captains of the Clouds, one of the very first war pictures to be released after the United States' entrance into World War II. Like on the film's past DVD releases, there will be a few vintage bonus features included, most notably both Hold the Lion, Please and What's Cookin' Doc? in HD. Do note, of course, that both of these cartoons can already be easily found on the Bugs Bunny 80th Anniversary Collection Blu-ray set.
The other, slightly more important release of interest to Looney Tunes collectors will be on March 29 with the 1937 version of A Star Is Born starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March and produced by David O. Selznick. Though of course the numerous later versions--be it Garland or Streisand or Gaga--each have their devoted diehard fans (not to mention the earlier, and very similar, What Price Hollywood?), it was this first version that set the stage for what was to follow and has arguably been the most widely seen due to its public-domain status. A "Selznick-authorized" Blu-ray was released a decade ago by Kino Lorber, but Warner Archive is touting theirs as having a brand new 4K scan from the original camera negative.
Among the disc's numerous special features will also, ironically, be one that has yet to be paired with the movie: the classic Merrie Melodies cartoon A Star Is Hatched. Hatched has only previously been released on disc as an unremastered special feature on DVD releases of, of all things, Bringing Up Baby. This upcoming Blu-ray will not only feature the cartoon's debut as a remastered short but also its debut in HD.
BUT (and you know what's coming)....
The remastered HD version of the cartoon had been prepared for streaming on HBO Max (at press time it has yet to actually premiere on the service). Although the main body of the cartoon is in excellent shape, its opening titles had become yet another victim of the "Photoshopping" that was done to numerous cartoons to make the credits "HDTV safe" on HBO Max.
It's not the worst touch-up that's been done to these titles, but let's make this absolutely clear: this fooling around is still completely unnecessary. Unfortunately this will be this cartoon's go-to remastered, HD version for the time being, so we definitely wanted to make everyone aware of this alteration in case that's a dealbreaker.
Captains of the Clouds is scheduled to be released on March 22 on Blu-ray only and will retail for $21.99. Pre-order it now on Amazon.
A Star Is Born, meanwhile, is scheduled to be released on March 29 on Blu-ray only and will also retail for $21.99. Pre-order it now on Amazon.