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June 4, 2019

Stars of Space Jam Collection Volume 1 Now in Stores

All five discs squeezed onto one

Space Jam Cover In case Looney Tunes Center Stage wasn't enough of a pointless rehash for you, Warner Home Video has got you covered with today's other release: the Stars of Space Jam Collection Volume 1. Combining the content of all five of last year's individual Stars of Space Jam titles, this single-disc release is now available in stores and online.

Squeezing on the content of five individual discs, the compilation contains the following. Shorts released elsewhere on DVD are noted, as are issues that were presented when the individual Space Jam titles first came out....

Hot Cross Bunny (1948) (unremastered)
Homeless Hare (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Hare Splitter (1948) (unremastered and time-compressed! Yuck!)
Apes of Wrath (1959) (cropped into widescreen on Hare Extraordinaire - corrected here)
Forward March Hare (1953) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
Ali Baba Bunny (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Fool Coverage (1952) (Hilarious Ham)
The High and the Flighty (1956) (Platinum Collection Volume Two)
Person to Bunny (1960) (cropped into widescreen on Frustrated Fowl - corrected here)
Stupor Duck (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Boston Quackie (1957) (unremastered and time-compressed! Barf!)
Daffy Duck Slept Here (1948) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Zoom and Bored (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Fast and Furry-ous (1949) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Zip 'n Snort (1961) (unremastered)
Hook, Line and Stinker (1958) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Hot Rod and Reel! (1959) (unremastered)
Canary Row (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Putty Tat Trouble (1951) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Snow Business (1953) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Sandy Claws (1955) (Platinum Collection Volume Three)
Tree Cornered Tweety (1956) (unremastered)
Tweet Zoo (1957) (unremastered)
Devil May Hare (1954) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Bedevilled Rabbit (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Ducking the Devil (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Bill of Hare (1962) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare (1964) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Fright Before Christmas (1979) (not the stand-alone short with the 1992 TV title but actually the last ten minutes of the Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales special, including the surrounding bridging sequences and the special's entire end credits)

The individual Stars of Space Jam discs are still available at places like Walmart for under four bucks, so whether one wants to just pick and choose or go all-out and get this "complete" set is a matter of preference. The few peanuts thrown to fans--such as Apes of Wrath and Person to Bunny finally be released in full screen--are neutralized by the handful of unremastered "new" cartoons contained elsewhere...including the downright offensive inclusion of time-compressed PAL masters of Hare Splitter and Boston Quackie. Meanwhile, actual remastered versions of Tree Cornered Tweety and Tweet Zoo were released long ago in Japan on the I Love Tweety Vol. 2 DVD (as we've discussed on our Tweet Teriyaki page).

But if you skipped out on the separate titles and really, really want this whole set, Stars of Space Jam Collection Volume 1 is now in stores on DVD only and retails for $18.94. Order it now on Amazon.


June 4, 2019

Center Stage Triple Feature Now in Stores

Repackaging of 2016 triple feature

Center Stage Cover While every classic-animation fan is waiting to oo and ah over Warner Archive's upcoming Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s Volume 2 Blu-ray-or-DVD compilation collecting fifteen color Famous Studios shorts (and if you haven't pre-ordered it yet, do so now and support quality cartoon releases from the Archive!), the normal vanilla Warner Home Video label shrugs along today with the release of two animated afterthoughts, such as the Looney Tunes Center Stage triple feature. A retitiling of the 2016 Looney Tunes Triple Feature: Looney Tunes 3-DVD Collection and collecting The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run, and Looney Tunes Center Stage Volume 1, the three-disc set is now available in stores and online.

The two movie discs have a few extras sprinkled here and there. The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie also includes Box Office Bunny, From Hare to Eternity, and Pullet Surprise. Rabbits Run, meanwhile, also contains the Looney Tunes Show episode "Best Friends" and four of the recent CGI theatrical shorts: Coyote Falls, Fur of Flying, Rabid Rider, and I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat.

The only actual shorts compilation in this three-pack is Looney Tunes Center Stage Volume 1, which in itself is just the third disc from the very first Golden Collection boxed set (which, seriously, after sixteen years you should already own at this point). That disc contains....

Elmer's Candid Camera (1940)
Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears (1944)
Fast and Furry-ous (1949)
Hair-Raising Hare (1946)
The Awful Orphan (1949)
Haredevil Hare (1946)
For Scent-imental Reasons (1949)
Frigid Hare (1949)
The Hypo-Chondri-Cat (1950)
Baton Bunny (1959)
Feed the Kitty (1952)
Don't Give up the Sheep (1953)
Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (1942)
Tortoise Wins by a Hare (1943)

There is clearly nothing to recommend here with this retitled reissue of a repackaging, and ironically it seems as if there is no way to keep articulating why without making ourselves sound redundant. If you're any kind of semi-serious Looney Tunes collector you should already own the first Golden Collection, while the constantly repackaged Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie is available on its own for mere dollars...and we honestly can't imagine anyone really wanting Rabbits Run this badly to be stuck with two other discs of repeated material.

BUT, if you absolutely positively need to own everything for whatever dark purpose, Looney Tunes Center Stage is now in stores on DVD only and retails for $14.97. Order it now on Amazon.


April 8, 2019

Stars of Space Jam Collection and Center Stage Now Available for Pre-Order

Both in stores June 4

Space Jam Cover

Center Stage Cover

Almost a week after first being announced by Warner Home Video, the upcoming repackages Stars of Space Jam Collection Volume 1 and the Looney Tunes Center Stage triple feature are both finally available to pre-order at Amazon and other retailers. Both titles are still on schedule to come out on DVD on June 4.

Collecting all of the content from last year's five individual Stars of Space Jam budget DVDs, the one-disc Stars of Space Jam Collection Volume 1 will contain the following. Shorts released elsewhere on DVD are noted, as are issues that were presented along the way....

Hot Cross Bunny (1948) (unremastered)
Homeless Hare (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Hare Splitter (1948) (unremastered and time-compressed! Yuck!)
Apes of Wrath (1959) (cropped into widescreen on Hare Extraordinaire - corrected here)
Forward March Hare (1953) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
Ali Baba Bunny (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Fool Coverage (1952) (Hilarious Ham)
The High and the Flighty (1956) (Platinum Collection Volume Two)
Person to Bunny (1960) (cropped into widescreen on Frustrated Fowl - corrected here)
Stupor Duck (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Boston Quackie (1957) (unremastered and time-compressed! Barf!)
Daffy Duck Slept Here (1948) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Zoom and Bored (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Fast and Furry-ous (1949) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Zip 'n Snort (1961) (unremastered)
Hook, Line and Stinker (1958) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Hot Rod and Reel! (1959) (unremastered)
Canary Row (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Putty Tat Trouble (1951) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Snow Business (1953) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Sandy Claws (1955) (Platinum Collection Volume Three)
Tree Cornered Tweety (1956) (unremastered)
Tweet Zoo (1957) (unremastered)
Devil May Hare (1954) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Bedevilled Rabbit (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Ducking the Devil (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Bill of Hare (1962) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare (1964) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Fright Before Christmas (1979) (not the stand-alone short with the 1992 TV title but actually the last ten minutes of the Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales special, including the surrounding bridging sequences and the special's entire end credits)

The Looney Tunes Center Stage three-pack, meanwhile, collects the movies The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie and Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run along with the Looney Tunes Center Stage Volume 1 compilation that itself was taken from the third disc of the first Golden Collection.

Regarding shorts on the triple feature, Box Office Bunny, From Hare to Eternity, Pullet Surprise, Coyote Falls, Fur of Flying, Rabid Rider, and I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat are used as bonuses between the first two discs. As for Looney Tunes Center Stage Volume 1, that contains the following....

Elmer's Candid Camera (1940)
Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears (1944)
Fast and Furry-ous (1949)
Hair-Raising Hare (1946)
The Awful Orphan (1949)
Haredevil Hare (1946)
For Scent-imental Reasons (1949)
Frigid Hare (1949)
The Hypo-Chondri-Cat (1950)
Baton Bunny (1959)
Feed the Kitty (1952)
Don't Give up the Sheep (1953)
Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (1942)
Tortoise Wins by a Hare (1943)

We've covered last week whether or not either release is necessary to anyone's collection. Simply, if you're already up to date on Looney Tunes DVDs, then they're not.

Stars of Space Jam Collection Volume 1 is scheduled to be released on June 4 on DVD only and will retail for $18.94. Pre-order it now on Amazon.

Looney Tunes Center Stage is also scheduled to be released on June 4 on DVD only and will retail for $14.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


April 5, 2019

Stars of Space Jam Collection Volume 1 Announced for June 4

All five discs squeezed onto one

Space Jam Cover

Space Jam Back Cover

And Warner Home Video's week of announcing rehashes continues with the unveiling of the Stars of Space Jam Collection Volume 1. Combining the content of all five individual Stars of Space Jam titles, the single-disc release will be in stores on June 4.

It had been only six months since the five separate Stars of Space Jam budget DVDs came out, and needless to say reactions were mixed at best. At this point each title is readily available for under five bucks at places like Amazon and Walmart. Surely the June release of a "complete" collection has nothing to do with the fact that by then consumers will no longer need five-dollar DVDs to grab at an impulse to stuff an Easter basket with.

Taken almost verbatim from the original 1996 VHS releases, the Stars of Space Jam DVDs contained a mix of repeats from previous DVD collections alongside a handful of unremastered (and in some cases, badly presented) new-to-disc cartoons.

This new one-disc release will contain the following. Shorts released elsewhere on DVD are noted, as are issues that were presented along the way....

Hot Cross Bunny (1948) (unremastered)
Homeless Hare (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Hare Splitter (1948) (unremastered and time-compressed! Yuck!)
Apes of Wrath (1959) (cropped into widescreen on Hare Extraordinaire - corrected here)
Forward March Hare (1953) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
Ali Baba Bunny (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Fool Coverage (1952) (Hilarious Ham)
The High and the Flighty (1956) (Platinum Collection Volume Two)
Person to Bunny (1960) (cropped into widescreen on Frustrated Fowl - corrected here)
Stupor Duck (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Boston Quackie (1957) (unremastered and time-compressed! Barf!)
Daffy Duck Slept Here (1948) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Zoom and Bored (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Fast and Furry-ous (1949) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Zip 'n Snort (1961) (unremastered)
Hook, Line and Stinker (1958) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Hot Rod and Reel! (1959) (unremastered)
Canary Row (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Putty Tat Trouble (1951) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Snow Business (1953) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Sandy Claws (1955) (Platinum Collection Volume Three)
Tree Cornered Tweety (1956) (unremastered)
Tweet Zoo (1957) (unremastered)
Devil May Hare (1954) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Bedevilled Rabbit (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Ducking the Devil (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Bill of Hare (1962) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare (1964) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
Fright Before Christmas (1979) (not the stand-alone short with the 1992 TV title but actually the last ten minutes of the Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales special, including the surrounding bridging sequences and the special's entire end credits)

So to quickly sum up: Apes of Wrath and Person to Bunny are finally presented remastered and in full screen, correcting the controversial cropping that was done back in 2010 on the first two Looney Tunes Super Stars releases. Hare Splitter and Boston Quackie, unfortunately, are presented as time-compressed PAL broadcast masters (think like those murky-looking, sped-up versions of cartoons that sometimes show up on Cartoon Network and now the Boomerang app). Everything else is either a repeat from a previous DVD or, in the case of the "new" cartoons, unremastered but at least intact.

And like we did when the individual DVDs were first announced last year, we definitely want to mention that both Tree Cornered Tweety and Tweet Zoo were released remastered long ago in Japan on the I Love Tweety Vol. 2 DVD. We've covered these releases and detailed these specific masters over on our Tweet Teriyaki page here on the site, and we have included screen grabs comparing the Japanese release with the Stars of Space Jam release.

It is very, very likely that the problems found on the individual titles will not be corrected on this new release, unless there is some major change of heart over at the family entertainment division (which we doubt). And Warner's technical specs for this DVD indicate that it will just be a single-layer disc, so it will be interesting to see how they're going to configue it to squeeze on all thirty cartoons.

The back cover text and Warner Home Video's online synopsis essentially share the same description, which reads as follows....

Jumpin' Jupiter! The stars of Space Jam have teamed up for a winning collection of 30 uproarious Looney Tunes adventures. Our starting lineup begins with Bugs Bunny at his buggiest, facing off against a mad scientist, a gruff construction worker, a peeved papa gorilla [comma needed] and more. Next on the court is Daffy Duck in a showcase that includes our fowl friend as a pushy insurance salesman, and [sic - "an"] amateur super hero [comma needed] and a bumbling secret agent. The game really heats up as the Road Runner outwits Wile E. Coyote in frenetic romps. And sufferin' succotash!, Sylvester and Tweety get in on the action in more sidesplitting tales. Finally, follow the Tasmanian Devil on a rampage through his greatest hits, including the spinning diablo's first screen appearance.

Whether or not one should buy this all depends on what they've already bought. If you already own all the Golden Collections, Platinum Collection Blu-rays, and I Love Tweety Vol. 2 then you won't need anything from the Tweety or Taz compilations, which makes two-fifths of this new DVD obsolete right off the bat. And right now at the moment you can find the Bugs, Daffy, and Road Runner individual titles combined for less than this DVD will likely cost you.

BUT, if you want the convenience of having everything on one disc and you're not too concerned about the quality of the unremastered cartoons (but make no mistake, the inclusion of the two sped-up cartoons is an offense), then by the time it comes out it might be a better deal than getting the separate Stars of Space Jam discs. But please don't for a second confuse this for any kind of quality Looney Tunes release. It's not.

Stars of Space Jam Collection Volume 1 will be released on June 4 on DVD only, and a link to pre-order it on Amazon will be posted here as soon as it appears. The DVD will retail for $18.94.


April 5, 2019

Center Stage Triple Feature Announced for June 4

Repackaging of 2016 triple feature

Center Stage Cover

Center Stage Back Cover

Last week when Jerry Beck appeared on Stu's Show he said that apart from the next volume of Popeye, most of Warner Archive's upcoming animation releases will be announced in July at Comic-Con International. Until then, Warner Home Video proper will continue to torture everyone with rehashes, reissues, and repackages, including two that were announced this week.

First up is Looney Tunes Center Stage, a three-disc set due June 4 that collects The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run, and Looney Tunes Center Stage Volume 1. If all of that sounds a little more familiar than normal, then it's because it's exactly the same make-up as the 2016 Looney Tunes Triple Feature: Looney Tunes 3-DVD Collection. This is simply a retitiling and repackaging of that three-pack to better fit with Warner's recent similar (and apparently popular) Looney Tunes multi-packs found at Walmart and Target and the like. Since it's under a different title and has a different product SKU, for the purposes of our various guides we will treat this as a separate release, but really this just entirely recycled from the earlier three-pack.

As for what's on this set apart from the two movies, the Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie disc also includes Box Office Bunny, From Hare to Eternity, and Pullet Surprise as bonuses. Rabbits Run, meanwhile, also contains the Looney Tunes Show episode "Best Friends" and four of the recent CGI theatrical shorts: Coyote Falls, Fur of Flying, Rabid Rider, and I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat. And of course, ripped right out of the first Golden Collection, Looney Tunes Center Stage Volume 1 includes....

Elmer's Candid Camera (1940)
Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears (1944)
Fast and Furry-ous (1949)
Hair-Raising Hare (1946)
The Awful Orphan (1949)
Haredevil Hare (1946)
For Scent-imental Reasons (1949)
Frigid Hare (1949)
The Hypo-Chondri-Cat (1950)
Baton Bunny (1959)
Feed the Kitty (1952)
Don't Give up the Sheep (1953)
Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (1942)
Tortoise Wins by a Hare (1943)

Warner Home Video's announcement e-mail and online synopsis describes the three-pack as follows....

The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie - Bugs Bunny stars in this wild, rollicking, feature-length movie as Bugs and his pals romp through the film in three acts featuring a retrospective combination of Friz Freleng's cartoons...some classic, some new.

Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run - When New York cabbie, [comma not needed] Bugs Bunny, [comma not needed] picks up the beautiful but bumbling perfume salesgirl, [comma not needed] Lola Bunny, [comma not needed] he has no idea that he's about to go on the longest ride of his life! For unbeknownst to Bugs, Lola, in an attempt to create the next, big scent, has inadvertently created an invisibility spray, and now the whole world is on their tails!

Looney Tunes: Center Stage Volume 1 - Taken out of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection comes 14 Warner Bros. animated shorts. They've been restored and remastered to their original, anvil-dropping, laughter-inducing glory! It's a celebration of the golden age of Warner Bros. animation. The whole family will crack up at the carrot-crunching icon Bugs Bunny, rabbit-hunting rascal Elmer Fudd, eternal straight man Porky Pig [comma needed] and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang. This comedic collection will make eyes pop and jaws drop - just like being inside your own Warner Bros. cartoon. What's up doesn't get any better than this, Doc!

Also recycled from the Looney Tunes Triple Feature is the back cover text, which reads as follows....

Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie: Hare we go again! The ear-repressible Bugs Bunny takes top billing (we had no choice; it's in his contract) in this rollicking, rambunctious feature-length romp through some of the cwaziest cartoon cwassics! Things starts out plenty loony [sic - at least as far as this pun goes] as Yosemite Sam strikes a devilish bargain to send Bugs straight to you-know-where! The looniness continues as Daffy and Tweety tangle with a pair of featherbrained bird-napping gangsters. In the even loonier finale, Bugs turns Hollywood's glitziest awards ceremony into a cartoon-star-studded disast-hare zone! A fabulous 24-carrot tour de farce from animation legend Friz Freleng!

Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run: When New York cabbie Bugs Bunny picks up the beautiful-but-bumbling perfume salesgirl Lola Bunny, he has no idea that he's about to go on the longest ride of his life! Unbeknownest to Bugs, Lola - in an attempt to create the next big scent - has inadvertently created an invisibility spray, and now the whole world is on their tails!

Looney Tunes Center Stage Volume 1: From the Looney Tunes Golden Collection come 14 Warner Bros. animated shorts, restored and remastered to their original anvil-dropping, laughter-inducing glory! It's a celebration of the golden age of Warner Bros. animation. The whole family will crack up at carrot-crunching icon Bugs Bunny, rabbit-hunting rascal Elmer Fudd, eternal straight man Porky Pig [comma needed] and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang. This comedic collection will make eyes pop and jaws drop - just like being inside your own Warner Bros. cartoon.

Obviously we're not recommending this title, nor did we even recommend its original 2016 incarnation. This is just another multi-pack to grab the attention of kids and parents at Walmart in their increasingly shrinking one DVD aisle. Perhaps the only nice thing we can say about this is the use of Marvin on the cover (even though he doesn't even appear on the first disc).

But seriously, this is all material one should already own. We've ranted before about the excessive use of The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie in these double and triple features, and now that we're dealing with a retitling of a repackaging that includes the movie there's nothing more we could say to point out the ridiculousness of the whole thing. And of course, why on earth would anyone want to get the Center Stage Volume 1 disc when they could just get the first Golden Collection volume?

BUT, if you're a completist and you absolutely have to own every single home video release, Looney Tunes Center Stage will be released on June 4 on DVD only, and a link to pre-order it on Amazon will be posted here as soon as it appears. The DVD set will retail for $14.97.


March 21, 2019

Jerry Beck on Stu's Show March 27

The latest home video news!

Here he comes, walkin' down the street....

On Wednesday, March 27, Jerry Beck will return to Stu's Show, the online series hosted by pop culture/television historian Stu Shostak. The show is a video/audio simulcast, so you will be able to either listen or watch it live. The show will air at 7PM EST and is available as a free stream for those who tune in live (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.

Marking Jerry's first appearance on the show in the new year, he will be at the ready with a look ahead at the year in animation, television and film reviews, and of course news! Stu's web site is suggesting there may be an update on how well Warner Archive's Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s Volume 1 Blu-ray/DVD release has sold and what it might mean for future classic animation titles. And of course, on the video feed Jerry will screen three more rare cartoons.

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 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.

You can send questions via the web site linked above, and Stu may or may not read them to Jerry during the show. And of course, as we say every time Jerry appears (mostly because people keep ignoring this part), do NOT bug the show with "When will this cartoon or show come out on DVD?" questions. Again, anything video-related that Jerry's allowed to reveal will come up during the show.

As always, we will post live news updates as the episode airs on our Facebook page. If there is any major DVD or Blu-ray news announced, we will of course report it here after the show.

He may not be coming to your town, but Jerry Beck is coming to Stu's Show March 27!


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