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December 20, 2013

Academy Awards Nominees: Golden Gems back cover revealed

No special features! Avoid!

Golden Gems Back Cover Nearly two months after the title was first announced, Warner Home Video has finally revealed the lackluster back cover to its upcoming single-disc Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Golden Gems. The DVD-only title is still scheduled to be released on February 11.

The text on the back, almost identical to what was in the studio's original announcement e-mail, reads as follows....

Here comes more of your Animation Dream Team. Tom and Jerry, Sylvester and Tweety, Speedy Gonzales [comma needed] and Droopy round out this cast of super stars receiving the nod from the Academy. Featuring animation giants Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, William Hanna [comma needed] and Joseph Barbera, this collection honors these legends, who represent some of the elite storytelling of their generation. From side-splitting slapstick to seminal cult favorites, the 13 classics collected here represent the finest of their era. These gems will look and sound better than ever as well, each restored and remastered. Gather the entire family for a stroll down the red carpet with this timeless collection. Let's go to the awards!

These are the shorts scheduled to appear on this DVD....

Mouse Wreckers (1949)
Hatch Up Your Troubles (1949 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Jerry's Cousin (1951 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Little Johnny Jet (1953 MGM Tex Avery cartoon)
Touché, Pussy Cat! (1954 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
From A to Z-z-z-z (1954)
Sandy Claws (1955)
Good Will to Men (1955 MGM cartoon)
Tabasco Road (1957)
One Droopy Knight (1957 MGM Droopy cartoon)
High Note (1960)
Nelly's Folly (1961)
Now Hear This (1963)

There are no special features listed on the back.

Once again, we will not be recommending this title. Instead, one is better off purchasing the more complete Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners/26 Nominees collection, which contains all of the cartoons on this disc plus two additional discs of more Oscar nominees and winners...plus a number of related special features.

Still, if you're a collector completist or something, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Golden Gems will be released on February 11. Strangely, Amazon has yet to offer the title up for pre-orders (other online retailers have, though), but a link will be posted here as soon as it appears. The DVD will retail for $9.97.


December 20, 2013

Jerry Beck on Stu's Show Recap

Major news: Platinum Collection title reveals...plus Tex Avery!

On December 18, the one and only Jerry Beck battled extreme laryngitis to make his quarterly-ish appearance on Stu's Show, the online radio show hosted by cartoon/pop culture/television nut and home video pioneer Stu Shostak. The show was a free stream for those who tuned in live, but fans can hear a "rerun" of the episode for a mere ninety-nine cents at the show's web site: www.stusshow.com. If you have yet to listen to the program, it is always well worth it.

The major home video headlines covered....

Tex Avery MGM cartoons will be remastered and released through the Warner Archive. No word yet on how they will be released (such as in sets or single discs or whatever) or when we can start to expect them out, but it's going to be worth the wait

A retail release of the horrible, horrible Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry cartoons of the early 1960s is in the works. Deitch apparently sat down for a interview long ago for this collection, and work is finally moving forward on it

No progress on the release of the controversial Tom and Jerry Golden Collection Volume Two. The home video department wants to release it with all of its originally intended cartoons, but the legal department is refusing to budge

At the same time, the already-mastered and programmed "Censored 11" collection is indefinitely on hold for similar reasons

The third Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Blu-ray is still planned for next year. Jerry revealed four titles that have been newly remastered for it: Life with Feathers, Tree for Two, Beep Prepared, and Honey's Money

And again, we need to stress that Jerry does not speak officially on the behalf of any studio. The information he gives out is always on an "as far as he knows" basis and that nobody should take release plans that he knows of as gospel. Warner can change its mind about a release at any time, and they can release whatever they'd like and whenever without giving anyone a heads-up.

The reveals of some of the Platinum Collection cartoons no doubt bring a sigh of relief for many fans. Apart from Beep Prepared appearing as an extra on the Splendor in the Grass DVD (and even then, from an old laserdisc transfer), this marks the other three cartoons' debuts on disc--and still, Beep Prepared has been given a much-needed remastering for this release and this is in fact the first time the short has appeared on a dedicated Looney Tunes home video release in this country.

Jerry did not know yet if Life with Feathers has been restored to include its original, non-"Blue Ribbon" title sequence, saying he will most likely know only when it comes out. A lot of his news and opinions on the release were grounded in intense frustration with the studio over how the series as a whole has been handled, up to and including the delay of this current volume.

The inclusion of Beep Prepared and Life with Feathers also means that, pending further announcements, there remains only three Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. cartoons not yet properly remastered for DVD release: It's Got Me Again!, Detouring America, and Greetings Bait.

The one bit of sad, sobering news Jerry had to share was that Warner Home Video has drastically reduced its budget for remastering and restoring the Looney Tunes cartoons, hence why we should expect numerous double-dips on this third (and most likely final) Platinum Collection. The studio is only interested in marketing their animation titles to general consumers; if collectors buy them as well, great, but it's no longer going to be a focal point for releases.

But, for the moment, some special things are coming our way. The best thing we can do as consumers is support the releases as we see fit and offer feedback via Twitter and Facebook.


December 20, 2013

Looney Tunes Center Stage Volume One DVD announced

In stores February 11! All repeats! Avoid!

Center Stage Thumbnail This week Warner Home Video officially announced yet another budget-minded Looney Tunes collection containing previously released material. Supposedly intended to start a new series, the single-disc Looney Tunes Center Stage Volume One will be released on DVD on February 11.

The DVD's main content will be identical to that of the third disc on the first Looney Tunes Golden Collection from back in 2003. That disc was almost entirely composed of Chuck Jones material with a couple of essential Bob Clampett shorts thrown in at the end. This new release is meant solely as a low-priced offering for casual consumers, hence the double-dipping (even though the entire disc was already included on the first volume of the budget-minded Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection series, too). In fact, the studio makes it pretty clear in its ad materials that this is a very derivative collection, just in case anyone was suspicious that they were trying to somehow pull a fast one.

The DVD will include....

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)

Although it is not known just yet, it is unlikely that this DVD will also include the older disc's special features, too. Warner Home Video's product information is not indicating any kind of bonus material, but upon its announcement it didn't even have any high resolution cover artwork at the ready either (the image above is the full-size thumbnail picture provided in the studio's announcement e-mail; at the moment it's the only released image of the cover).

The studio's announcement e-mail for this release reads as follows (warts and all)....

Taken out of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection comes 14 Warner Bros. animated shorts. Barely contained in this zany DVD, 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 Ä just like being inside your own Warner Bros. cartoon. What's up doesn't get any better than this, Doc!

Obviously we cannot recommend this title, as the exact same content can be found on the vastly superior and larger Golden Collection Volume One, which is an essential addition to any cartoon fan's library. We can't even recommend this to the more casual fan or consumer, as the larger set simply has more bang for one's buck and can now often be found at more reasonable prices than when it was originally released.

Still, if you must, Looney Tunes Center Stage Volume One is scheduled to be released on DVD only on February 11 and will retail for $9.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


December 13, 2013

Jerry Beck on Stu's Show this Wednesday

The future (and present) of Looney Tunes on home video!

It's that time again! This upcoming Wednesday, December 18, Jerry Beck will be appearing on Stu's Show, the online radio show hosted by cartoon/pop culture/television nut and home video pioneer Stu Shostak. Airing at 7PM EST, the show offers a free stream for those who tune in live, but fans can hear a "rerun" of the episode for a mere ninety-nine cents at the show's web site: www.stusshow.com soon after.

As we always say, if you're a cartoon fan or collector at all, Jerry's appearances on the show are essential listening (either free or by paying). Jerry and Stu usually discuss everything about the animation medium, both new and classic, including discussion and news about the latest home video and book projects that Jerry either knows about or is participating in.

You can send questions via the web site linked above, and Stu may or may not convey them to Jerry during the show.

And like we always say beforehand and afterward, please remember that Jerry only works as a consultant for Warner Home Video. He does not control or 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 the studio and that the studio can and does change its plans on a whim without telling him.

Having said all that, we will report a rundown here of the major DVD and Blu-ray news discussed during the show, and once again we are planning on posting live updates as they happen on our Facebook page...but of course, you should tune in and give the show a listen, too.

So be sure to check out Stu's Show this Wednesday!


December 6, 2013

Best of Bogart Blu-ray collection announced

In stores March 25; includes Looney Tunes as extras

Bogart Cover

Bogart Back Cover

Late last month, Warner Home Video announced an upcoming Blu-ray boxed set of four essential Humphrey Bogart movies, The Best of Bogart Collection. Containing The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and the Paramount-licensed The African Queen, the set will be released on March 25.

We have recently confirmed that among the numerous extras will be the Looney Tunes cartoons previously included on older DVD and Blu-ray editions of the three Warner-owned films in the collection. As is the norm with DVD-originated special features on Warner Blu-rays, the cartoons will most likely be in standard definition only.

The Maltese Falcon will include Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt and Meet John Doughboy.

Casablanca will include--what else?--Carrotblanca.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre will include Hot Cross Bunny and 8 Ball Bunny.

The African Queen will include no cartoons among its special features.

Obviously, there is no newly released content on any of these discs. In fact, all four of these films have already been released on Blu-ray with all of their respective bonuses. Still, this looks to be a great set if you have absolutely nothing of Bogart in your collection.

The Best of Bogart Collection is scheduled to be released on March 25 and will retail for $49.99. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


November 1, 2013

Academy Awards Nominees: Golden Gems DVD announced

In stores February 11! All repeats! Avoid!

Golden Gems Cover You know that one recent budget collection that served no purpose to its core target audience? Well, there's more! That's right, yesterday Warner Home Video officially announced the latest addition to its Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection series. Marking what will most likely be the final release under this banner, the single-disc Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Golden Gems will be released on DVD on February 11.

Timed to coincide with next year's Academy Awards ceremony, this new release is yet another cut-down from the much better and more complete Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners/26 Nominees set from 2008, featuring the remaining thirteen Oscar-nominated cartoons that were not seen on the single-disc Cinema Favorites DVD from this past August.

These are the shorts scheduled to appear on this DVD....

Mouse Wreckers (1949)
Hatch Up Your Troubles (1949 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Jerry's Cousin (1951 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Little Johnny Jet (1953 MGM Tex Avery cartoon)
Touché, Pussy Cat! (1954 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
From A to Z-z-z-z (1954)
Sandy Claws (1955)
Good Will to Men (1955 MGM cartoon)
Tabasco Road (1957)
One Droopy Knight (1957 MGM Droopy cartoon)
High Note (1960)
Nelly's Folly (1961)
Now Hear This (1963)

Like on the last release, there are no known special features, but that may be subject to change.

The studio's announcement e-mail for this release reads as follows (warts and all)....

Here comes more of your animation dream team. Tom and Jerry, Sylvestor [sic - Sylvester] and Tweety, Speedy Gonzales [comma needed] and Droopy round out this cast of super stars receiving the nod from the Academy. Featuring animation giants Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, William Hanna [comma needed] and Joseph Barbera, these legendary honorees represent some of the elite storytellers of their generation. From side-splitting slapstick to classic cult favorites, these 13 classics represent the finest of their era. Gather the entire family for a stroll down the red carpet with this timeless collection. Lets [sic - Let's] go to the awards!

As with the Cinema Favorites release, we cannot recommend this title. If you haven't yet, we kindly direct you to the much better and more complete Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners/26 Nominees collection, which contains three discs of not only all of the nominated cartoons featured on these cut-down releases but also all of the Oscar-winning cartoons as well!

And of course, there's the lingering issue of the numerous other Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. cartoons that didn't appear in this series at all. In fact, many of them have yet to be properly remastered or even released on DVD at this point: It's Got Me Again!, Detouring America, Greetings Bait, Life with Feathers, Mexicali Shmoes, Mouse and Garden, The Pied Piper of Guadalupe, and perhaps the most sought-after of the bunch, Beep Prepared.

Still, if you must, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Golden Gems will be released on February 11, and a link to pre-order it on Amazon will be posted here as soon as it appears. The DVD will retail for $9.97.


October 15, 2013

Super Stars 3-Pack now in stores

AVOID! ALL REPEATS AND CROPPED SHORTS!

Super Stars 3-Pack Cover In a year that's been chock full of necessary reissues and retreads, Warner Home Video has released the Looney Tunes Super Stars 3-Pack DVD collection. The three-disc set merely contains the previously released Bugs Bunny: Hare Extraordinaire, Foghorn Leghorn & Friends: Barnyard Bigmouth, and Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote: Supergenius Hijinks DVDs. And, as we've reported before, the cropped fake "widescreen" cartoons on the Bugs disc have NOT been corrected for this release.

Considering the use of the cropped cartoons, we cannot recommend this release and urge everyone to please refrain from purchasing it. Instead, we ask fans to please write to the studio to express your disappointment in their decision to not release the cartoons on the Bugs disc (and 2010's Daffy DVD for that matter) in full frame.

Write to Warner Home Entertainment at:
Warner Home Entertainment
Attn: Family Entertainment
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522

And please tweet a message to the studio on Twitter at @WB_Home_Ent (and be sure to include @WarnerArchive in your tweet, as it wouldn't be impossible for a reissue to be offered through them).

And if you haven't yet, do go ahead and order the two non-Bugs discs from this collection on their own: Foghorn Leghorn and Friends: Barnyard Bigmouth and Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote: Supergenius Hijinks. They are usually available quite inexpensively compared to the roughly twenty dollars for this new boxed set.

Looney Tunes Super Stars 3-Pack is now in stores and retails for $19.97.


August 30, 2013

Super Stars 3-Pack back cover revealed

Still no need to purchase at all

Super Stars 3-Pack Back Cover As if the release couldn't be any more lackluster, Warner Home Video has revealed the rather lazy-looking back cover for its upcoming Looney Tunes Super Stars 3-Pack DVD collection, due October 15.

The text on the back is practically the same as in the synopsis originally provided by the studio, with the exception of the description of the Road Runner disc. Gone is any historical context or the mention of Chuck Jones, all of which is replaced by a more family-friendly description of the series. It should be noted, though, that apart from brief references in the text, the back cover doesn't list which cartoons are actually on the DVDs. Of course, it's no secret to anyone who either already owns the individual DVDs or can quickly look up that information, but for the parental passersby at Walmart and Target that this set is essentially going to be targeted to? Who is really going to spend twenty bucks on a DVD set in a store without knowing what the heck they're buying??

Anyway, the back cover text reads as follows....

Bugs Bunny - Hare Extraordinaire

Hare they are - the smart-aleck rabbit's cartoons you've probably never seen, because they've never ever been on DVD. Nothing but the 24-carrot good stuff, too: 15 shorts from the era when hunkered-down animation geniuses at good ol' Termite Terrace scribbled and drew with unabated Looneytic glee. Join the fun as the rascally one's pursuit of carrots and laughs puts him on the menu (Bedevilled Rabbit), on the make (Hare Trimmed), on deck (Mutiny on the Bunny), on the lam (Foxy by Proxy) [comma needed] and on 11 more hare-brained adventures. There are no odds or oddballs this funny bunny can't overcome. Exactly what you'd expect from a super star.

Foghorn Leghorn & Friends - Barnyard Bigmouth

"You're in luck, fans - I say you're in luck - luckier even than when I drew a fifth ace!" Foghorn Leghorn, that ever-courtly barnyard banterer, has something to crow about with these 15 remastered cartoons. The rooster's roster includes 9 Foghorn Leghorn shorts ranging from Foggy vs. Doggy (All Fowled Up) to educatin' Egghead Jr. (Little Boy Boo) to hepcat beatnik jive (Banty Raids). Six more treasures from the vault keep the good times rolling, including befuddled Elmer Fudd's celebration of his bwave, hewoic dog (A Mutt in a Rutt) and Goofy Gophers' dog-daze antics (Gopher Broke). Don't wait - gopher it. That's almost a joke, son!

Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote - Supergenius Hijinks

In the time it takes to read this sentence, Road Runner could have whisked this DVD from your hand and left you holding a sizzling cartoon stick of Acme dynamite - many times over! The chase is on and so is the fun with 15 cartoons - in which forever frustrated (but never defeated) Wile E. Coyote busts out his array of gizmos to ensnare the highly sought after (but never captured) Ultra-Sonicus Ad Infinitum, aka [sic - a.k.a.; it's an abbreviation for "also known as," not an actual word] Road Runner. Among the whatzitz - many from Acme Products, that fine purveyor of mail-order supplies - used by Grotesques Appetitus in his pursuit of very fast food are skateboards, skyrockets, a Spy Kit, invisible paint, suction cups [comma needed] and lightning bolts. Catch comedy cartoon lightning here. Beep-beep!

As we revealed last week, the collection will merely contain the exact same discs as on the individual titles' original releases, including the cropped "widescreen" cartoons on the Bugs disc and the choice of full frame and cropped on the other two. As we have with past Super Stars releases, we wanted to report what is said on the packaging's "aspect ratio" box, which as the series as a whole progressed became more and more convoluted and awkwardly worded as the studio kept attempting to re-justify the presence of the fake widescreen versions.

This time the box reads as....

STANDARD VERSION PRESENTED IN A FORMAT PRESERVING THE ASPECT RATIO OF THEIR ORIGINAL TELEVISION EXHIBITION. WIDESCREEN VERSION PRESENTED IN A "MATTED" WIDESCREEN FORMAT PRESERVING THE ASPECT RATIO OF THEIR ORIGINAL TELEVISION EXHIBITION. ENHANCED FOR WIDESCREEN TVS.

Sooo...they're in "widescreen" because that's how they were presented in "their original television exhibition." You've heard it here first, folks! According to Warner Home Video, the Looney Tunes theatrical cartoons were originally televised in widescreen...even though the majority of them weren't even produced during the widescreen era of Hollywood filmmaking, even though they were never distributed to television in widescreen by any company, and even though the FCC would have forbidden widescreen presentations at the time of their various television debuts from 1955 to 1968 (while the post-2000 shorts on the Road Runner disc have yet to actually air on TV!). But no, they're cropped to widescreen because they were shown on TV that way...oh, and even though the recent Cartoon Network HD broadcasts merely stretch the (correct) full frame transfers to fit the widescreen format.

Exactly at what point is the studio simply going to raise up a little white flag in a Yosemite Sam-like manner, admit they screwed up big time three years ago, and reissue the mangled shorts in full frame? Why are they so adamant on insisting that their original knee-jerk decision was so correct, despite being warned otherwise by Jerry Beck beforehand and despite the intense backlash that followed?

Obviously, we have to remind everyone to stay away from this release. And again, we urge fans to please write to the studio to express your disappointment in their decision to not release the cartoons on the Bugs disc (and the Daffy DVD for that matter) in full frame.

Write to Warner Home Entertainment at:
Warner Home Entertainment
Attn: Family Entertainment
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522

And please tweet a message to the studio on Twitter at @WB_Home_Ent (and be sure to include @WarnerArchive in your tweet!).

Looney Tunes Super Stars 3-Pack will be released on October 15 and will retail for $19.97.


August 23, 2013

Super Stars 3-Pack Bugs confirmation: same transfers as before

No need to purchase at all

Super Stars 3-Pack Cover It probably surprises absolutely no one, but we have confirmed from Warner Home Video that the three discs to be featured in the upcoming Looney Tunes Super Stars 3-Pack DVD collection will feature the exact same transfers as on their original individual releases...including Bugs Bunny: Hare Extraordinaire, improperly cropped shorts and all.

Obviously, this is disappointing news only because there was always an outside chance that this would have been how the studio could have implemented long-requested reissues of the Bugs and Daffy discs to correct their framing: a three-pack this year for the Bugs DVD and then a three-pack next year with the Daffy disc. But alas, the nature of these kinds of collections is always economical and they require no additional resources apart from making a new wrap-around sleeve.

We will be moving forward with our initial plan to feature the controversy regarding the cropped shorts on a separate page in the hope that fans will want to contact Warner Home Video and request that they produce reissues, either through retail or the Warner Archive or wherever.

If you haven't yet, please write to the studio to express your disappointment in their decision to not release the cartoons in full frame as they were originally produced. Be sincere, if you have positive things to say about their other releases then feel free, but be sure to make it clear that they will not receive your money for the Bugs and Daffy DVDs unless they are presented correctly in full frame.

Write to Warner Home Entertainment at:
Warner Home Entertainment
Attn: Family Entertainment
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522

And you can double the impact of your message by posting to the studio on Twitter at WB_Home_Ent. If you'd like, you can also address Warner Archive in your message at WarnerArchive to put the bug in their ear that they might be an ideal avenue for such reissues.

The studio also has a Facebook page set up to handle news about classic animation DVDs under the username WBClassicAnimation, but it hasn't been updated in months following the recent controversy over the second volume of the Tom and Jerry Golden Collection Blu-ray--nor did the studio representative maintaining the page win over any of the fans with a double-talky PR explanation buried within the comments thread of an unrelated release. So for now, merely focus on Twitter and snail-mail.

As for this new DVD set, we cannot recommend it, nor will we be posting any pre-order links here on the news page. In the future, as we had done with the original Bugs and Daffy DVDs, we will eventually put links on our normal listings pages only for the full frame cartoons featured on this release...and with the same disclaimer pleading that fans contact the studio to complain.

If you haven't yet, do go ahead and order the two non-Bugs discs from this collection on their own: Foghorn Leghorn and Friends: Barnyard Bigmouth and Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote: Supergenius Hijinks. They are usually available quite inexpensively compared to the roughly twenty dollars for this new boxed set.

Looney Tunes Super Stars 3-Pack will be released on October 15 and will retail for $19.97.


August 8, 2013

Jerry Beck on Stu's Show Recap

Major news: Platinum Collection delay until next year

On August 7, the one and only Jerry Beck made his quarterly-ish appearance on Stu's Show, the online radio show hosted by cartoon/pop culture/television nut and home video pioneer Stu Shostak. The show was a free stream for those who tuned in live, but fans can hear a "rerun" of the episode for a mere ninety-nine cents at the show's web site: www.stusshow.com. If you have yet to listen to the program, it is well worth it.

Jerry's appearances almost always break the show's previous listeners, and at one point Stu reported that the episode was a mere ten listeners away from shattering the program's all-time high when Dick Van Dyke appeared. No final listener tally was ever conveyed, but Jerry and Stu made up for it in length, as the interview lasted an entire three hours, a whole hour over Stu's usual runtime.

Obviously, a lot of animation topics were covered, from recent movies to recent books and even Los Angeles-area cinema events (including an entire program devoted to most known 3-D animation of the 1950s). But as far as we're concerned, here are the main headlines....

Jerry has been retained as a consultant for Warner Home Video. Though he didn't specify any upcoming projects, he believes it was mostly to use his services on the studio's eventual upcoming Blu-ray releases of the Famous Studios Popeye cartoons

Jerry had no news regarding upcoming Looney Tunes Super Stars DVDs, again stressing that releases such as this year's Sylvester/Hippety Hopper collection were inspired by a list he submitted to the studio years ago when the series first began

The third volume of the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Blu-ray series has been pushed until next year

Nothing firm to report on the controversial Tom and Jerry Golden Collection Volume Two; it might come out next year

No news regarding "Censored 11"; Stu again used the word "dead" to describe the already-mastered and programmed release

Jerry is currently consulting on an unspecified release for the Warner Archive that will involve Warner-owned animation in some way (apart from the usual Hanna-Barbera releases, it seems); no details were announced

Jerry is working on another, again unspecified, animation release for Turner Classic Movies similar to last year's successful Jolly Frolics collection of UPA cartoons; no details on the exact studio or series that this release will cover

And again, we need to stress that Jerry does not speak officially on the behalf of any studio. The information he gives out is always on an "as far as he knows" basis and that nobody should take release plans that he knows of as gospel. Warner can change its mind about a release at any time, and they can release whatever they'd like and whenever without giving anyone a heads-up.

If Jerry kept bringing up one idea, it's that the whole home video industry is in such a state of flux right now, something he brought up on previous appearances with Stu. Studios don't know how well physical media will survive or what role streaming and on-demand services will play in exploiting libraries. He was far more enthusiastic about what smaller DVD labels--such as Thunderbean Animation and, in a way, Shout! Factory--are doing with classic properties, suggesting that in the near future it may be easier for such companies to be able to license classic theatrical animation from the major studios (Warner and Disney aside, of course).

But as far as Warner is concerned, Jerry did want to debunk something that apparently had been going around since the Tom and Jerry hiccup: the home video division doesn't hate cartoon fans, and they're not trying to "punish" anyone by not releasing things that we want--they didn't read all the negative feedback about Tom and Jerry and say, "well, to heck with these nerds then." For the most part, the home video people are on our side--they want to see this stuff released, especially products they have spent time and money and resources assembling. They are just sadly part of a giant corporation where the legal department trumps any individual division's own interests, where the potential for negative PR has to become a deciding factor, and where the marketability to passersby at Walmart overrides the need of getting something like an essential black-and-white cartoon into collectors' hands.

We all may need to be very patient, but one way or another things are very slowly coming.


August 7, 2013

Super Stars 3-Pack announced for October 15

Bugs, Foghorn, and Road Runner DVDs collected

Super Stars 3-Pack Cover Four days after we first caught wind of this via a studio e-mail, Warner Home Video has finally officially announced the upcoming Looney Tunes Super Stars 3-Pack collection for October 15. The DVD-only set will contain three older releases from the Super Stars series: Bugs Bunny: Hare Extraordinaire, Foghorn Leghorn & Friends: Barnyard Bigmouth, and Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote: Supergenius Hijinks.

The studio's original announcement e-mail claims that the DVD set "includes Never-Before-On-DVD Episodes," but again, this is not true. These are the exact same compilations that were released in 2010 and 2011. If you have the original DVDs, then you do NOT need this collection.

The big question, of course, is whether or not the Bugs DVD will be reformatted for this release to correct the improper widescreen framing on about two-thirds of the shorts featured on its initial release. There is sadly no information yet to report. The studio's own info sheet about the new DVD set claims it will all be the "standard edition," but to be clear, so did the package of the original Bugs release. We are currently trying to get a response from the studio, so if any get confirmed we will of course let everyone know, but for the time being, assume the discs will be the same transfers as on their original single-disc editions.

The synopsis on the studio's product page reads as follows (warts, misspellings, and all)....

Looney Tunes Super Stars Bugs Bunny Hare Extraordinaire

Hare they are - the smart aleck rabbit's cartons [sic - cartoons] you've probably never seen, because they've never ever been on DVD. Nothing but the 24-carrot good stuff, too: 15 shorts from the era when hunkered-down animation geniuses at good ol' Termite Terrace scribbled and drew with unabated Looneytic glee. Join the fun as the rascally one's pursuit of carrots and laughs puts him on the menu (Bedevilled Rabbit), on the make (Hare Trimmed), on deck (Mutiny on the Bunny), on the lam (Foxy by Proxy) [comma needed] and on 11 more hare-brained adventures. Ther [sic - there] eare [sic - are] no odds or oddballs this funny bunny can't overcome. Exactly what you'd expect from a super star.

Looney Tunes Super Stars Foghorn Leghorn & Friends

You're in luck, fans - I say you're in luck - luckier even than when I drew a fifth ace! Foghorn Leghorn, that ever-courtly barnyard banterer, has something to crow about when these 15 remastered and 14 never-before-on DVD cartoons. The rooster's roster includes 9 Foghorn Leghorn shorts ranging from Foggy vs. Doggy (All Fowled Up) to educatin' Egghead Jr. (Little Boy Boo) to hepcat beatnik jive (Banty Raids). Six more treasures from the vault keep the good times rolling, including befuddled Elmer Fudd's celebration of his bwave, hewoic dog (A Mutt in a Rutt) and Goofy Gopher's [sic - Gophers'] dog-daze antics (Gopher Broke). Don't wait - gopher it. That's almost a joke, son!

Looney Tunes Super Stars: RoadRunner [sic - Road Runner]/Wile E[period needed] Coyote

Created by legendary animator Chuck Jones, the series had a simple premise: The coyote, who was very hungry, tried to catch the Road Runner, who was very fast. Wile E. would try anything to catch his prey, utilizing a wide variety of products from the Acme Company (rocket skates, giant magnets, foot springs, etc.)[period needed] Regardless of the scheme, it would always backfire, and Wile E. would end up trapping, flattening, or blowing himself up. The coyote was persistent, though. No matter how many failures he met with, no matter how many times he fell off a cliff, no matter how many signs he held up with the word Ouch! written on them, he refused to give up. Signs were the only way Wile E. communicated in his shorts with the Road Runner, and the bird only spoke the two-word catchphrase, Beep Beep! This contains a compilation of 15 shorts of one of the Looney Tunes franchise's most popular characters, Roadrunner [sic - Road Runner] and Wile E. Coyote and includes the 2010 theatrically released CGI Roadrunner [sic - Road Runner] shorts.

Looney Tunes Super Stars 3-Pack will be released on October 15, and a link to pre-order it on Amazon will be posted here as soon as it appears. The DVD set will retail for $19.97.


August 6, 2013

Taz-Mania: Who Let the Taz Out?! now in stores

Next thirteen episodes in broadcast order!

Taz-Mania Cover Now onto an actual anticipated DVD, as Warner Home Video has also released the second DVD volume for the early '90s Saturday morning series Taz-Mania. Acting as a "season one, part two" release, the horribly titled Taz-Mania: Who Let the Taz Out?! is now in stores and available online.

Following the format of the previous Taz on the Loose, this DVD presents the series's next thirteen episodes in broadcast order.

The episodes featured on this release are as follows....

Disc One
Amazing Shrinking Taz & Co.
Oh, Brother/Taz-Babies
Jake's Big Date/Taz Live
A Midsummer Night's Scream/Astro Taz
Tazmanian Lullaby/Deer Taz/A Bonus Taz Moment
The Outer Taz-Manian Zone/Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty Part II
Tazmania's Funniest Home Videos/Bottle Cap Blues

Disc Two
Hypnotazed/Mum's n' Taz's
Boys Just Wanna Have Fun/Unhappy Together
Food for Thought/Gone to Pieces
Kee Wee Cornered/But, Is It Taz?
Mall Wrecked/A Dingo's Guide to Magic
The Man from M.A.R.S./Friends for Strife

There are no special features on this DVD.

Taz-Mania: Who Let the Taz Out?! is now in stores and retails for $19.97. Order it now on Amazon.


August 6, 2013

Cinema Favorites now in stores

All repeats! Avoid!

Cinema Favorites Cover It's the release nobody was waiting for, as Warner Home Video has released its new single-disc Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Cinema Favorites DVD. The title merely contains most of the cartoons from the second disc of the much better Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners/26 Nominees set from 2008, making this new release utterly pointless.

In an era in which DVD sales are supposedly down and Warner Home Video won't release brand new compilations it has spent considerable money mastering and programming--such as the "Censored 11-Plus" collection and the second Tom and Jerry Golden Collection--the very notion of this new DVD has been curious, especially considering it had to be newly programmed in order to remove a short and bonus material from the original 15 Winners/26 Nominees disc. Who is this collection marketed for? Why would anyone interested in Oscar-related animation not merely go for the larger 15 Winners/26 Nominees set that provides more bang for one's buck, or even the scaled-down but nevertheless logical Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners DVD?

Here are the shorts that appear on this DVD....

Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor (1936 Paramount Popeye cartoon)
Peace on Earth (1939 MGM cartoon)
A Wild Hare (1940)
Puss Gets the Boot (1940 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Superman (1941 Paramount Superman cartoon)
Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt (1941)
Rhapsody in Rivets (1941)
The Night Before Christmas (1941 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Blitz Wolf (1942 MGM Tex Avery cartoon)
Pigs in a Polka (1942)
Swooner Crooner (1944)
Walky Talky Hawky (1946)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse (1947 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)

There are no special features whatsoever.

Once again, we cannot recommend this title. If you haven't yet, we kindly direct you to much better and more complete Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners/26 Nominees collection.

Still, if you must, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Cinema Favorites is now in stores and retails for $9.97. Order it now on Amazon.


August 3, 2013

Super Stars 3-Pack coming soon?

Announcement on the horizon

Warner Home Video sent out ad materials this morning listing various content and artwork updates for its upcoming releases. While this alone is nothing new, one of the products the studio indicates it had made artwork updates to is a new release titled Looney Tunes Super Stars 3-Pack.

There is absolutely no other information we can report at this time; no date, price, content listing, nothing! There isn't even any actual artwork to post, despite the fact that the studio claimed to have uploaded artwork for it in the first place!

Given Warner's trend to combine older family titles into three-packs, this will most likely merely be a collection of three older Looney Tunes Super Stars releases, but again, there is nothing definite to report just yet.

Obviously, as soon as this title gets formally announced, we will pass along all of the known information.


August 3, 2013

Jerry Beck on Stu's Show this Wednesday

The future (and present) of Looney Tunes on home video!

This upcoming Wednesday, August 7, Jerry Beck will be making one of his regular appearances on Stu's Show, the online radio show hosted by cartoon/pop culture/television nut and home video pioneer Stu Shostak. Airing at 7PM EST, the show offers a free stream for those who tune in live, but fans can hear a "rerun" of the episode for a mere ninety-nine cents at the show's web site: www.stusshow.com soon after.

As we always say, if you're a cartoon fan or collector at all, Jerry's appearances on the show are essential listening (either free or by paying). Jerry and Stu usually have lively discussions about all things animation, be it classic or current or otherwise. And of course, the state of home video concerning classic theatrical animation always comes up.

You can send questions via the web site linked above, and Stu may or may not convey them to Jerry during the show.

And like we always say beforehand and afterward, please remember that Jerry only works as a consultant for Warner Home Video. He does not control or have final say on programming or release matters; he can only try to comment on situations as best as he can. The information he gives is never meant to be inferred as any sort of official statement from the studio and that the studio can and does change its plans on a whim without telling him.

Having said all that, we will report a rundown here of the major DVD and Blu-ray news discussed during the show, and ideally we're planning on posting live updates as they happen on our Facebook page.

So be sure to check on Stu's Show this Wednesday!


August 2, 2013

Happy Feet 1 & 2 Collection DVD announced

Includes I Love to Singa and I Tawt I Taw a Putty Tat; in stores November 19!

Happy Feet Cover

Happy Feet Back Cover

Warner Home Video has been announcing a number of double- and triple-feature DVDs in the last few months, mostly to take advantage of its recent distribution deal to handle classic Paramount Pictures films. But among the new collections announced is a two-pack featuring Warner's own Academy Award-winning animated movie Happy Feet and its...um, existing sequel, Happy Feet Two. The DVD-only title Happy Feet 1 & 2 Collection will be released on November 19.

Among the usual bunch of extras for each film are two Looney Tunes shorts, ones from practically both ends of the franchise's existence. Happy Feet includes as an extra Tex Avery's 1936 classic I Love to Singa, while Happy Feet Two includes the 2011 CGI Tweety and Sylvester short I Tawt I Taw a Putty Tat (not to be confused with the 1948 cartoon I Taw a Putty Tat, which is still awaiting a properly remastered DVD release). The latter is notable for being the first of two recent Looney Tunes productions to utilize vintage Capitol Records singles for the soundtrack, allowing Mel Blanc to once again voice his characters over twenty years after his death (and with June Foray returning to voice Granny with new dialogue).

I Love to Singa has already been released a number of times, most significantly on the Golden Collection Volume Two DVD and the Platinum Collection Volume One Blu-ray. I Tawt I Taw a Putty Tat, meanwhile, has only been made available in conjunction with Happy Feet Two and has yet to be featured on any dedicated Looney Tunes home video release.

Happy Feet 1 & 2 Collection will be released on November 19, and a link to pre-order it on Amazon will be posted here as soon as it appears. The DVD set will retail for $19.94.


July 23, 2013

Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck now in stores

The complete second season!

Deep Space Duck Cover Today's the day! Warner Home Video has released the second-season set of the Cartoon Network series Duck Dodgers, Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck. The DVD-only release is now in stores.

The episodes that are featured on this release are as follows....

Disc One
Pig Planet
Invictus Interruptus/Pet Peeved
The Menace of Maninsuit/K-9 Quarry
Talent Show A-Go-Go/The Love of a Father
The New Cadet/The Love Duck
The Fudd
The Mark of Xero/I See Duck People

Disc Two
Deathmatch Duck/Deconstructing Dodgers
MMORPD/Old McDodgers
Diva Delivery/Castle High
Surf the Stars/Samurai Quack
Of Course You Know, This Means War and Peace
Of Course You Know, This Means War and Peace (part two)

All thirteen episodes are presented in widescreen as they originally aired. Sadly, there are NO special features on this release.

Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck is now in stores and retails for $19.97. Order it now on Amazon.


July 23, 2013

Merry Mischief Collection DVD Available to Pre-order

In stores October 1!

Merry Mischief Cover About a week after it was first announced, the upcoming Merry Mischief Collection of family holiday movies is now available to pre-order on Amazon, our shopping web site of choice.

The DVD-only release will contain the Tom and Jerry compilation Paws for a Holiday, the Scooby-Doo movie Winter Wonderdog, and the 2006 original movie Bah, Humduck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas. All of the special features that will be offered on this set are from the movie's original 2006 DVD release, making it unnecessary to purchase if you already own that DVD.

Merry Mischief Collection is scheduled to be released on October 1 and will retail for $19.98. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


July 16, 2013

Merry Mischief Collection DVD announced; includes Bah, Humduck!

In stores October 1!

Merry Mischief Cover

Merry Mischief Back Cover

In the middle of this dryspell of any substantial news, Warner Home Video has announced a new collection containing already-released family holiday movies. The DVD-only title Merry Mischief Collection will be released on October 1.

The three-disc set will contain the Tom and Jerry compilation Paws for a Holiday, the Scooby-Doo movie Winter Wonderdog, and the 2006 original movie Bah, Humduck!: A Looney Tunes Christmas. A tour de force for voice actor Joe Alaskey, Bah, Humduck! puts the characters in the oft-told story of A Christmas Carol, with Daffy in the role of a ruthless and greedy department store owner.

Bah, Humduck! is still currently available in its original 2006 DVD release, and it usually goes for bargain prices in the off-season months. All of the bonus content from that DVD--the additional scenes, the music video, and the interactive game--has been carried over onto the Merry Mischief Collection and the new set contains no new material, so if you have the original Humduck DVD then you do NOT need this new collection.

The text on the back of packaging (at least concerning Bah, Humduck!) reads as follows....

Bugs Bunny and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present [comma needed] and Future save Christmas for Porky Pig and the Looney Tunes gang from the Scrooge-like Daffy Duck in this hilarious take on Charles Dickens' [sic - Dickens's...there's just one of him] holiday favorite A Christmas Carol.

Merry Mischief Collection will be released on October 1, and a link to pre-order it on Amazon will be posted here as soon as it appears. The DVD set will retail for $19.98.


June 25, 2013

Best of Warner Bros.: 50 Cartoon Collection - Looney Tunes now in stores

All repeats! Avoid!

50 Cartoon Collection Cover It's the DVD absolutely nobody was asking or waiting for! Today Warner Home Video released its Best of Warner Bros.: 50 Cartoon Collection - Looney Tunes commemorative collection, produced as a part of the studio's all-encompassing DVD and Blu-ray collection celebrating its ninetieth anniversary. The two-disc set is available on DVD only.

There is nothing whatsoever to recommend about this release. Every element of it has been released elsewhere in better collections, even the announced bonus material! It would actually have been a more interesting and worthwhile DVD if they just threw on random cartoons like they did with their concurrent Hanna-Barbera set and didn't focus so much on the "best of the best" that every serious and casual fan already has at least one copy of in their collections.

Here is what is featured in the main program. Shorts that have already been released on DVD are noted....

Disc One
Rabbit of Seville (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century (1953) (Golden Collection Volume One)
One Froggy Evening (1955) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Scaredy Cat (1948) (Golden Collection Volume One)
There They Go-Go-Go (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Rabbit's Kin (1952) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Duck Amuck (1953) (Golden Collection Volume One)
A Ham in a Role (1949) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Speedy Gonzales (1955) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Crockett-Doodle-Do (1960) (Foghorn Leghorn and Friends: Barnyard Bigmouth)
What's Opera, Doc? (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Feed the Kitty (1952) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Gift Wrapped (1952) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Goo Goo Goliath (1954) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Show Biz Bugs (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Kitty Kornered (1946) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Wild Over You (1953) (Pepe le Pew: Zee Best of Zee Best)
The Hypo-Chondri-Cat (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Broom-stick Bunny (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Knighty Knight Bugs (1958) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
Baby Bottleneck (1946) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
From A to Z-z-z-z (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
A Bear for Punishment (1951) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Ducking the Devil (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)

Disc Two
Rabbit Hood (1949) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Birds Anonymous (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Often an Orphan (1949) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Robin Hood Daffy (1958) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Operation: Rabbit (1952) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
8 Ball Bunny (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
It's Hummer Time (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Mouse Wreckers (1948) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
The Honey-Mousers (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
A Corny Concerto (1943) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
A Pest in the House (1947) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
The Bashful Buzzard (1945) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Chow Hound (1951) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Water, Water Every Hare (1952) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Rabbit Fire (1951) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Birth of a Notion (1947) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Dough Ray Me-Ow (1948) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
I Love to Singa (1936) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Three Little Bops (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Hillbilly Hare (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
The Wise-Quacking Duck (1943) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Rocket-bye Baby (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
The Dover Boys (1942) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (1961) (Golden Collection Volume Two)

The DVD's only announced special features are the three CGI Road Runner shorts released theatrically throughout 2010; Coyote Falls, Fur of Flying, and Rabid Rider. All three of these cartoons have too been released a number of times already, most notably on the 2011 Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote: Supergenius Hijinks DVD.

There is absolutely no need for any consumer to seek out this title, especially when the Platinum Collection and Golden Collection releases are readily in print and provide the same material and then some. The only folks who might need this DVD are collectors who look for every little last bit of Looney Tunes merchandise out there.

Best of Warner Bros.: 50 Cartoon Collection - Looney Tunes is now in stores and retails for $26.99. Order it now on Amazon.


June 11, 2013

Cinema Favorites back cover revealed

No special features! Still coming August 6!

Cinema Favorites Back Cover Warner Home Video has revealed the back cover art for its upcoming single-disc Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Cinema Favorites DVD. Still just a pare-down of the three-disc Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners/26 Nominees set from 2008, this new title is still set to be released on August 6.

The back cover reveals that the disc's only content will be the thirteen compiled cartoons, with no special features or extras listed on the back.

Here are the shorts that will appear on this DVD....

Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor (1936 Paramount Popeye cartoon)
Peace on Earth (1939 MGM cartoon)
A Wild Hare (1940)
Puss Gets the Boot (1940 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Superman (1941 Paramount Superman cartoon)
Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt (1941)
Rhapsody in Rivets (1941)
The Night Before Christmas (1941 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Blitz Wolf (1942 MGM Tex Avery cartoon)
Pigs in a Polka (1942)
Swooner Crooner (1944)
Walky Talky Hawky (1946)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse (1947 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)

The text on the back of the DVD reads as follows....

Here comes your Animation Dream Team. Especially if those dreams are filled with rabbits and mice, a sailor man [comma needed] and Superman. Stuffed with cartoon trendsetters like Tex Avery and Chuck Jones...and loaded with a mix of masters that includes Warner Bros., MGM [comma needed] and the Fleischer Studios. And, what's more, if each and every 'toon is on very cordial terms with a popular Golden Boy named Oscar.

This 13-cartoon set represents some of the best of the best from the vaults, an honored array featuring 13 nominees. They're but a few of the clown jewels of classic-era cartooning, a Dream Team come true in this special collection.

This is just badly written on so many levels. Either the phrase "crown jewels" was misspelled as "clown jewels," or someone thought it would make a whimsical pun that counteracts the prestige the collection itself is trying to present. That's to say nothing of the fact that Chuck Jones is prominently mentioned on the back despite there not being any Jones shorts (either ones he directed or even animated on) represented on this collection. And of course, one has to wonder about Speedy Gonzales being depicted on the back, considering he wasn't even created during the era featured on this disc.

Once again, we CANNOT recommend this title, especially when the more complete Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners/26 Nominees set is still widely available.

Still, if one must, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Cinema Favorites is scheduled to be released on August 6 and will retail for $9.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


June 1, 2013

Taz-Mania: Who Let the Taz Out?! back cover revealed

No special features listed, plus episode change!

Taz-Mania Back Cover Warner Home Video has revealed the back cover artwork for its upcoming second DVD volume for the early '90s Saturday morning series Taz-Mania. Acting as a "season one, part two" release, the horribly titled Taz-Mania: Who Let the Taz Out?! is still scheduled to be released on DVD only August 6.

As we predicted back when the title was first announced last month, the episodes featured on this new release have changed. Warner Home Video's original announcement had listed episodes in production order, while the DVDs (including the recently released first volume, Taz on the Loose) are in fact presenting episodes in broadcast order. In addition to the actual overall order of the episodes being included, a total of six half-hour episodes have been replaced--including the three we correctly named as likely to be bumped to (hopeful) later volumes.

So now, the correct list of episodes that will be featured on this release are as follows....

Disc One
Amazing Shrinking Taz & Co.
Oh, Brother/Taz-Babies
Jake's Big Date/Taz Live
A Midsummer Night's Scream/Astro Taz
Tazmanian Lullaby/Deer Taz/A Bonus Taz Moment
The Outer Taz-Manian Zone/Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty Part II
Tazmania's Funniest Home Videos/Bottle Cap Blues

Disc Two
Hypnotazed/Mum's n' Taz's
Boys Just Wanna Have Fun/Unhappy Together
Food for Thought/Gone to Pieces
Kee Wee Cornered/But, Is It Taz?
Mall Wrecked/A Dingo's Guide to Magic
The Man from M.A.R.S./Friends for Strife

The originally announced half-hour episodes "Comic Madness/Blunders Never Cease," "Road to Tazmania," "Taz-Manian Theatre/The Bushrats Must Be Crazy," "Heartbreak Taz/Just Be 'Cuz," "Sidekicked/Gone with the Windbag," and "Return of the Road to Taz-Mania Strikes Back" will no longer be featured on this specific volume. And, as expected, there will be no special features on this DVD.

The text on the back is word-for-word the same as the official synopsis provided by the studio when the title was first announced last month, complete with the same punctuation errors, the misspelling of Taz's full name, and the glaring error that this disc is NOT featuring any season-two episodes of the series.

Taz-Mania: Who Let the Taz Out?! is scheduled to be released on August 6 and will retail for $19.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


May 23, 2013

Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics Blu-ray boxed set/singles now in stores

With Looney Tunes as bonuses (but all in standard definition)!

Ultimate Gangsters Collection Cover This week Warner Home Video released its Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics Blu-ray boxed set, not to mention single Blu-ray releases of the four iconic gangster pictures contained therein.

Featuring the studio's timeless films Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, The Petrified Forest, and White Heat, the Classics collection also features Looney Tunes shorts as special features on each disc. However, unlike the feature films themselves, we can confirm that the cartoons and other bonus features are not remastered in high definition. All of the special features have merely been ported over from the movies' original DVD releases that included Warner's "Night at the Movies" gimmick.

Here are the shorts included on each disc....

Little Caesar features Lady, Play Your Mandolin!, the somewhat rare very first Merrie Melody from 1931

The Public Enemy features Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! (1931)

The Petrified Forest featues The Coo-Coo Nut Grove (1936)

White Heat features Homeless Hare (1950)

As we detailed when the boxed set was first announced, The Coo-Coo Nut Grove and Homeless Hare both appear on Golden Collection Volume Three, while Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! can also be found on Golden Collection Volume Six. Only Lady, Play Your Mandolin! has yet to be properly remastered for inclusion on a Looney Tunes DVD or Blu-ray release.

The Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics set also includes as a bonus a DVD of Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film, a 2008 feature-length documentary that premiered on Turner Classic Movies and was originally released on the Warner Bros. Pictures Gangsters Collection Volume 4 boxed set. All of that boxed set's special features are carried over onto this bonus disc, including the four cartoons Racketeer Rabbit, Bugs and Thugs, I Like Mountain Music, and She Was an Acrobat's Daughter. Of those four, Racketeer Rabbit and I Like Mountain Music have yet to be properly remastered for DVD release (although Music appeared on Golden Collection Volume Six as an unrestored extra). And since this bonus disc is a standard DVD, all of the content on it is presented in standard definition.

Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics is now in stores and retails for $49.99. Order it now on Amazon.

Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, The Petrified Forest, and White Heat are all also in stores and retail for $19.98 each. They too can all be ordered now on Amazon.


May 19, 2013

Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck back cover revealed

In stores July 23!

Duck Dodgers Back Cover Warner Home Video has finally revealed the back cover artwork for its upcoming second-season set of the Cartoon Network series Duck Dodgers, Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck. The DVD-only release is still scheduled to be released on July 23.

Containing all of the episodes of the show's second season, it will feature the following episodes....

Disc One
Pig Planet
Invictus Interruptus/Pet Peeved
The Menace of Maninsuit/K-9 Quarry
Talent Show A-Go-Go/The Love of a Father
The New Cadet/The Love Duck
The Fudd
The Mark of Xero/I See Duck People

Disc Two
Deathmatch Duck/Deconstructing Dodgers
MMORPD/Old McDodgers
Diva Delivery/Castle High
Surf the Stars/Samurai Quack
Of Course You Know, This Means War and Peace
Of Course You Know, This Means War and Peace (part two)

All thirteen episodes will be presented in widescreen as they originally aired. Sadly, there will be NO special features on this release.

The text on the back of the DVD reads as follows....

Space is the final fun-tier! Return to the 24 1/2th Century with Daffy Duck as Captain Duck Dodgers and his cadet sidekick, Porky Pig, as these two space-faring screwballs embark on one wacky intergalactic exploration after another. The universe had better watch out as the duck with no pluck tries to outrun Marvin the Martian's mechanical minions, prevent an interplanetary war between Earth and Mars, and foil a universal takeover by armies of Elmer Fudd! Blast off with the whole family and see if this mischievous mallard will save the universe...or quack under pressure!

Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck will be released on July 23 and will retail for $19.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


May 19, 2013

Cinema Favorites cover art revealed and confirms thirteen cartoons

Still coming August 6!

Cinema Favorites Cover And this one still hasn't been formally announced by the studio yet (in fact, we believe that ours and Amazon are the only two web sites that have even mentioned it), but Warner Home Video has finally revealed the cover art for its upcoming single-disc Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Cinema Favorites DVD. Still just a pare-down of the three-disc Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners/26 Nominees set from 2008, this new title is still set to be released on August 6.

The cover finally confirms something that had been confusingly unclear as information slowly trickled out from the studio: there will only be thirteen shorts on this release. This title is ostensibly just the second disc from the 15 Winners/26 Nominees collection, which contained fourteen cartoons, yet all of the very vague content information for this new release had been omitting 1949's Mouse Wreckers, which closed the earlier set's second disc. It turns out that it is no oversight and that--for whatever reason--Mouse Wreckers will NOT be appearing on this DVD.

SO, here is the final list of shorts that will appear on this DVD....

Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor (1936 Paramount Popeye cartoon)
Peace on Earth (1939 MGM cartoon)
A Wild Hare (1940)
Puss Gets the Boot (1940 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Superman (1941 Paramount Superman cartoon)
Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt (1941)
Rhapsody in Rivets (1941)
The Night Before Christmas (1941 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Blitz Wolf (1942 MGM Tex Avery cartoon)
Pigs in a Polka (1942)
Swooner Crooner (1944)
Walky Talky Hawky (1946)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse (1947 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)

The question remains now why such a change was made. It has been suggested by at least one reader on our Facebook page that perhaps it was done to even out the number of cartoons in case a second volume is planned with the remainder of the nominees from the 15 Winners/26 Nominees collection. That's certainly possible, but at the same time one would have to question if the amount of work, effort, time, and cost needed to newly program two DVDs just to shift one seven-minute cartoon over would be worth it. Such resources could be better spent on something a little more worthwhile, like an all new compilation or corrected reissues of the Bugs and Daffy Super Stars DVDs.

Surprisingly, the cover art continues the same theming as the two original Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection releases from 2008. As readers may recall, this title recently had a name-change that was, in a small way, divorcing itself from the earlier series, suggesting that maybe Warner was looking to rebrand the franchise the way it had when it reissued some of the Saturday Morning Cartoons collections last year under the 4 Kid Favorites banner...but clearly now that is not the case. It's still nice to see Bugs, Popeye, Superman, and Tom and Jerry all hanging out together...even though they seemed to be joined by a rather out-of-proportioned Porky. If a second volume gets released, it would be interesting to see if Warner Home Video could actually market a general-audience animation DVD with just the likes of Droopy and Speedy Gonzales on the cover.

Again, we CANNOT recommend this title, especially when the more complete Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners/26 Nominees set is still widely available.

Still, if one must, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Cinema Favorites is scheduled to be released on August 6 and will retail for $9.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


May 14, 2013

Academy Awards Nominees volume one name change

Still coming August 6!

This one still hasn't been formally announced yet (there is still no cover art, either), but Warner Home Video has changed the title of its upcoming single-disc Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Nominees Part 1 DVD. Now titled Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Cinema Favorites, it is still set to be released on August 6.

Again, this new release is just the second disc from the 2008 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners/26 Nominees three-disc set. The contest list as provided by the studio is still as incomplete as it was when the title was revealed last week, still with the curious omission of 1949's Mouse Wreckers.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Award-Nominated Animation: Cinema Favorites is scheduled to be released on August 6 and will retail for $9.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


May 14, 2013

Taz-Mania volume one now in stores

First thirteen episodes in broadcast order!

Taz-Mania Cover Today's the day, Taz fans! Warner Home Video has released the first ever DVD of the early '90s Saturday morning series Taz-Mania. Acting as a "season one, part one" release, the DVD Taz-Mania: Taz on the Loose is now in stores and available online.

The two-disc DVD set features the first thirteen episodes (in order of airdate) of the Emmy-nominated half-hour series that aired as a part of the Fox network's Fox Kids programming block. This not only marks the show's DVD debut in North America but also its first ever domestic home video release since a trio of VHS collections two decades ago.

The episodes featured on this release are as follows....

Disc One
Like Father, Like Son/Frights of Passage
The Dog the Turtle Story
War & Pieces/Airbourne Airhead
Battling Bushrats/Devil in the Deep Blue Sea
A Devil of a Job
Woeful Wolf
It's No Picnic/Kee-Wee ala King

Disc Two
Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty/Enter the Devil
Mishap in the Mist/Toothache Taz
Bewitched Bob
Instant Replay/Taz and the Pterodactyl
Comic Madness/Blunders Never Cease Pup Goes the Wendal/I'm OK, You're Taz

The DVD contains no special features.

Meanwhile, Warner Home Video had already announced a second volume in its Taz-Mania DVD series, containing the show's next thirteen episodes. Taz-Mania: Who Let the Taz Out?! is scheduled to be released on August 6 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Taz-Mania: Taz on the Loose is now in stores and retails for $19.97. Order it now on Amazon.


May 8, 2013

Academy Awards Nominees volume one DVD announced

In stores August 6!

This one kinda slipped under the radar, but last week Warner Home Video didn't so much announce but rather quietly began soliciting orders for a "new" release in its Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection series. The single-disc Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Nominees Part 1 will be released on DVD on August 6.

This new release is just the second disc from the 2008 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners/26 Nominees three-disc set. Why the studio felt offering a pared-down version of that collection was necessary--and five years later--is anyone's guess, especially since it had already been diced into a smaller set with the concurrent Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Animation Collection: 15 Winners DVD that featured the same cartoons as on the first disc of the larger collection.

The new title was "announced" with no fanfare, no cover artwork, no synopsis, and--as far as we can tell--no tie-in with any Warner Bros. event or theatrical release. August is not usually thought of as a time when one thinks about the Oscars, so whatever motivation the studio has for this new release remains to be seen.

There is so little information released by the studio that even the content list is seemingly incomplete.

These are the shorts found on the second disc of the 15 Winners/26 Nominees collection....

Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor (1936 Paramount Popeye cartoon)
Peace on Earth (1939 MGM cartoon)
A Wild Hare (1940)
Puss Gets the Boot (1940 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Superman (1941 Paramount Superman cartoon)
Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt (1941)
Rhapsody in Rivets (1941)
The Night Before Christmas (1941 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Blitz Wolf (1942 MGM Tex Avery cartoon)
Pigs in a Polka (1942)
Swooner Crooner (1944)
Walky Talky Hawky (1946)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse (1947 MGM Tom and Jerry cartoon)
Mouse Wreckers (1949)

Yet, Warner Home Video's product info for the new release doesn't include Mouse Wreckers. We have to assume that is merely an oversight on their retailer site. It is extremely doubtful that a newly programmed disc was produced. This will very, very most likely be the exact same disc as on the 15 Winners/26 Nominees set, but maybe with new art on the disc itself.

Obviously, we can't recommend this "new" title. The complete 15 Winners/26 Nominees collection is very reasonably priced on its own, and you get two additional discs of equally excellent material. If you haven't purchased that set yet, it's a decent addition (especially if you don't necessarily collect Tom and Jerry or non-Looney Tunes DVD releases)...while this one is just pointless.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Academy Awards Nominees Part 1 will be released on August 6 and will retail for $9.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


May 2, 2013

Duck Dodgers and Taz-Mania DVDs Available to Pre-order

Second volumes of each still scheduled for summer!

Deep Space Duck Cover

Taz-Mania Cover

And just a day after both were officially announced, the upcoming Looney Tunes-related DVDs Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck and Taz-Mania: Who Let the Taz Out?! are now available to pre-order on Amazon, our shopping web site of choice.

Containing all of the episodes of the show's second season, the Duck Dodgers release will feature the following episodes....

Pig Planet
Invictus Interruptus/Pet Peeved
The Menace of Maninsuit/K-9 Quarry
Talent Show A-Go-Go/The Love of a Father
The New Cadet/The Love Duck
The Fudd
The Mark of Xero/I See Duck People
Deathmatch Duck/Deconstructing Dodgers
MMORPD/Old McDodgers
Diva Delivery/Castle High
Surf the Stars/Samurai Quack
Of Course You Know, This Means War and Peace
Of Course You Know, This Means War and Peace (part two)

Yesterday's announcement of the Taz-Mania DVD said that it will contain the following episodes from the show's first season. This list is highly subject to change, as it is likely the DVD will present episodes in broadcast order rather than the announced production order....

Comic Madness/Blunders Never Cease
Mall Wrecked/A Dingo's Guide to Magic
Road to Tazmania
Boys Just Wanna Have Fun/Unhappy Together
Amazing Shrinking Taz & Co.
Oh, Brother/Taz-Babies
Taz-Manian Theatre/The Bushrats Must Be Crazy
Jake's Big Date/Taz Live
The Outer Taz-Manian Zone/Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty Part 2
Tazmania's Funniest Home Videos/Bottle Cap Blues
Heartbreak Taz/Just Be 'Cuz
Sidekicked/Gone with the Windbag
Return of the Road to Taz-Mania Strikes Back

Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck will be released on July 23 and will retail for $19.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.

Taz-Mania: Who Let the Taz Out?! is scheduled to be released on August 6 and will retail for $19.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


May 1, 2013

Taz-Mania volume two DVD announced

In stores August 6!

Taz-Mania Cover And in the same virtual breath as today's Duck Dodgers announcement, Warner Home Video has also announced the next DVD volume for the early '90s Saturday morning series Taz-Mania. Acting as a "season one, part two" release, the horribly titled DVD Taz-Mania: Who Let the Taz Out?! will be in stores on August 6.

The announcement comes with still less than two weeks to go before the release of the debut Taz-Mania DVD, Taz-Mania: Taz on the Loose, due May 14.

The episodes that will be featured on this release are currently scheduled to be as follows....

Comic Madness/Blunders Never Cease
Mall Wrecked/A Dingo's Guide to Magic
Road to Tazmania
Boys Just Wanna Have Fun/Unhappy Together
Amazing Shrinking Taz & Co.
Oh, Brother/Taz-Babies
Taz-Manian Theatre/The Bushrats Must Be Crazy
Jake's Big Date/Taz Live
The Outer Taz-Manian Zone/Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty Part 2
Tazmania's Funniest Home Videos/Bottle Cap Blues
Heartbreak Taz/Just Be 'Cuz
Sidekicked/Gone with the Windbag
Return of the Road to Taz-Mania Strikes Back

The above list will most likely be updated in the future, as Taz on the Loose presented episodes in broadcast order, while the fourteen episodes in today's announcement are in production order. It will seem that "Taz-Manian Theatre/The Bushrats Must Be Crazy" and the two "Road to Tazmania" episodes will be among the later omissions. So take the current episode lineup with a huge grain of salt.

The studio's announcement e-mail for the title reads as follows....

Take another trip "to a land thatĖs down under, way under" with Looney TunesĖ very own snarling, sputtering screwball! Taz and his whole family round out Season 2 [uhh, still in season one] in thirteen episodes full of turbulent tomfoolery, endless eating [comma needed] and fast-paced fun. Bring home your very own Tazmanian [sic - his full name is spelled like the region] Devil and catch Taz-Mania all over again! Don't worry, he doesnĖt eat that much.

Taz-Mania: Who Let the Taz Out?! will be released on August 6, and a link to pre-order it on Amazon will be posted here as soon as it appears. The DVD will retail for $19.97.


May 1, 2013

Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck Announced

Season two in stores July 23!

Deep Space Duck Cover It's a double-whammy of Looney Tunes-related DVD news! First up, Warner Home Video has announced the second season of the Cartoon Network series Duck Dodgers. The DVD-only title Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck will be released on July 23.

The new volume will come less than half a year after the season-one Dark Side of the Duck release. The studio has recently shown a renewed commitment in plowing through its animated series, with final volumes of Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs coming out by year's end, so a third and final edition of Duck Dodgers in order to complete the series is extremely likely.

The episodes that will be featured on this release are as follows....

Pig Planet
Invictus Interruptus/Pet Peeved
The Menace of Maninsuit/K-9 Quarry
Talent Show A-Go-Go/The Love of a Father
The New Cadet/The Love Duck
The Fudd
The Mark of Xero/I See Duck People
Deathmatch Duck/Deconstructing Dodgers
MMORPD/Old McDodgers
Diva Delivery/Castle High
Surf the Stars/Samurai Quack
Of Course You Know, This Means War and Peace
Of Course You Know, This Means War and Peace (part two)

All thirteen episodes are expected to be presented in widescreen as they originally aired (as the season one episodes were). There is no indication yet of any special features.

The studio's announcement e-mail for the title reads as follows....

The Universally Loved Hero Is Finally Coming Home! Launch into a spectacular series of zany adventures with everyone's favorite fighter of Martian tyranny! Duck Dodgers is always ready to swoop in and save the day, the planet, and the galaxy--with a little luck and a lot of help, that is. He may be an intellectual featherweight, but his duckbilled laser gun counts as heavy artillery. So sit back, buckle up, and enjoy a hilarious flight of fantasy filled with light-years of intergalactic intrigue and futuristic fun. Season 2 is everything it's quacked up to be!

(Punctuation and spelling error-free for once!)

Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck will be released on July 23, and a link to pre-order it on Amazon will be posted here as soon as it appears. The DVD will retail for $19.97.


April 26, 2013

Golden to Golden Guide Update

Not a normal news update, but we have revised and updated our Golden to Golden Guide that details where cartoons released in the classic 1980s Golden Jubilee VHS line have since been released on DVD.

Obviously, this latest update reflects the recent release of Sylvester & Hippety Hopper: Marsupial Mayhem on DVD, but we've also enhanced the page with a new feature. For each Golden Jubilee cassette we have scanned the original cover artwork and portions of the back cover, cleaned up the images as much as possible without compromising the original scans, and then posted them onto individual pages to create an archive page for each volume in the series. And to make it all the more complete, we have also included film critic Leonard Maltin's original liner notes, transcribed from the back of each box. Maltin's notes for the videos were for many fans their first bit of insight into the history of the Warner Bros. cartoon studio, yet it doesn't seem as if any attempt has been made to archive them online for the sake of historic preservation. This will hopefully correct that omission.

We are currently considering the possibility of expanding the Golden to Golden Guide to include a page for the follow-up Cartoon Cavalcade series (though we probably will not be archiving the very slapdash cover designs of those). Let us know what you think of such a plan on our Facebook page.


April 23, 2013

Sylvester and Hippety Hopper Looney Tunes Super Stars now in stores!

Includes 17 newly remastered cartoons (15 completely new to DVD!)

Sylvester and Hippety Cover Today's the day! It's the first classic Looney Tunes DVD release of the year as the latest Looney Tunes Super Stars volume, Sylvester & Hippety Hopper: Marsupial Mayhem, is now in stores and available online.

Containing the entire Hippety Hopper series--plus the handful of kangaroo-less cartoons starring Sylvester and Sylvester, Jr.--the DVD contains eighteen cartoons total. Seventeen of the films have been newly remastered specifically for this release, while fifteen of them have never appeared on DVD before.

The title contains the following. Shorts that have already been released on DVD are noted....
Hop, Look And Listen (1948)
Hippety Hopper (1949) (released unremastered on Golden Collection Volume Six)
Pop 'Im Pop! (1950)
Who's Kitten Who? (1952)
Hoppy-Go-Lucky (1952)
Cats A-Weigh (1953)
Bell Hoppy (1954)
Lighthouse Mouse (1955)
Too Hop to Handle (1956)
The Slap-Hoppy Mouse (1956)
Mouse-Taken Identity (1957) (released unremastered on Looney Tunes Mouse Chronicles: Chuck Jones Collection)
Hoppy Daze (1961)
Freudy Cat (1964)
Cat's Paw (1959)
Fish and Slips (1962)
Birds of a Father (1961)
Claws in the Lease (1963)
Goldimouse and the Three Cats (1960) (Golden Collection Volume Five)

This new release leaves the Super Stars series with very few major characters who have not yet been featured on their own DVD--with Yosemite Sam, Speedy Gonzales, and Elmer Fudd being the most obvious omissions. And of course, we've already broken down a possible way most characters could be continued in the series in our hypothetical How Warner Home Video Could Conceivably Complete Most Looney Tunes Characters on DVD via the Super Stars Model editorial. Speaking of our web site, to reflect today's new release we have also updated our Golden to Golden Guide. Of the ninety-one cartoons originally included in the classic Golden Jubilee VHS collection, only sixteen remain unreleased on DVD. With such essential entries in that mix as Beanstalk Bunny and A Mouse Divided, that number is sure to decrease within the next year of upcoming releases, whatever they may be. In the meantime, we will also be enhancing our Golden to Golden Guide in the near future with some elements that members of our Facebook page are more than familiar with by now (and if you haven't friended us there yet, what's keeping you??).

And speaking of the Super Stars DVDs, we will soon be moving the widescreen blurb from our web site's main page to a new editorial page. Now that the series has completely done away with the cropped widescreen option, it's less of a dire need to get up in everyone's face about it. We are still nevertheless committed to urging and persuading Warner Home Video to reissue the Bugs and Daffy DVDs in the intended full frame aspect ratio, and this new page will reflect that and provide suggestions on how fans can help (contacting Warner through their Twitter page about such a reissue would be a start: @WB_Home_Ent).

Sylvester & Hippety Hopper: Marsupial Mayhem is now in stores and retails for $19.98. Order it now on Amazon.


April 9, 2013

Best of Warner Bros.: 50 Cartoon Collection - Looney Tunes back cover revealed

Special features are 2010 Road Runner CGI shorts!

50 Cartoon Collection Back Cover Warner Home Video has revealed the back cover artwork for its upcoming Best of Warner Bros.: 50 Cartoon Collection - Looney Tunes commemorative collection, produced as a part of the studio's all-encompassing DVD and Blu-ray collection celebrating its ninetieth anniversary. The two-disc set is still scheduled to be released on DVD only on June 25.

As if the DVD's all-repeat content wasn't depressing enough, the back cover reveals the release's only special features: the three CGI Road Runner shorts released theatrically throughout 2010; Coyote Falls, Fur of Flying, and Rabid Rider. For those that might have been hoping for some kind of new behind-the-scenes documentary, some sort of fluff piece about the legacy of the cartoon studio, or even some more classic shorts this must be disappointing, especially considering all three shorts have been released a number of times already, most notably on the 2011 Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote: Supergenius Hijinks DVD. This new revelation means that literally the entire DVD is nothing but previously released material.

The text on the back is word-for-word the same as the official synopsis provided by the studio when the title was first announced last month, though thankfully with the embarrassing capitalization errors corrected.

As expected, the back of the packaging makes no mention of including any widescreen versions of the cartoons. It is unknown, though, how the 2010 Road Runner cartoons will be presented.

Again, this release will contain the following in the main program. Shorts that have already been released on DVD are noted....

Disc One
Rabbit of Seville (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century (1953) (Golden Collection Volume One)
One Froggy Evening (1955) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Scaredy Cat (1948) (Golden Collection Volume One)
There They Go-Go-Go (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Rabbit's Kin (1952) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Duck Amuck (1953) (Golden Collection Volume One)
A Ham in a Role (1949) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Speedy Gonzales (1955) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Crockett-Doodle-Do (1960) (Foghorn Leghorn and Friends: Barnyard Bigmouth)
What's Opera, Doc? (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Feed the Kitty (1952) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Gift Wrapped (1952) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Goo Goo Goliath (1954) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Show Biz Bugs (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Kitty Kornered (1946) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Wild Over You (1953) (Pepe le Pew: Zee Best of Zee Best)
The Hypo-Chondri-Cat (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Broom-stick Bunny (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Knighty Knight Bugs (1958) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
Baby Bottleneck (1946) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
From A to Z-z-z-z (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
A Bear for Punishment (1951) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Ducking the Devil (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)

Disc Two
Rabbit Hood (1949) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Birds Anonymous (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Often an Orphan (1949) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Robin Hood Daffy (1958) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Operation: Rabbit (1952) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
8 Ball Bunny (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
It's Hummer Time (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Mouse Wreckers (1948) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
The Honey-Mousers (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
A Corny Concerto (1943) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
A Pest in the House (1947) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
The Bashful Buzzard (1945) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Chow Hound (1951) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Water, Water Every Hare (1952) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Rabbit Fire (1951) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Birth of a Notion (1947) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Dough Ray Me-Ow (1948) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
I Love to Singa (1936) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Three Little Bops (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Hillbilly Hare (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
The Wise-Quacking Duck (1943) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Rocket-bye Baby (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
The Dover Boys (1942) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (1961) (Golden Collection Volume Two)

Best of Warner Bros.: 50 Cartoon Collection - Looney Tunes is scheduled to be released on June 25 and will retail for $26.99. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


March 22, 2013

Jerry Beck on Stu's Show Recap

"Ohhh, there's bad news tonight...."

On March 20, animation historian extraordinaire Jerry Beck made his quarterly-ish appearance on Stu's Show, the online radio show hosted by cartoon/pop culture/television nut and home video pioneer Stu Shostak. The show was a free stream for those who tuned in live, but fans can hear a "rerun" of the episode for a mere ninety-nine cents at the show's web site: www.stusshow.com. If you have yet to listen to the program, it is well worth it.

News on the Looney Tunes home video front was extremely light, unfortunately. The focal point of the show, at least when it came to the topic of DVDs and Blu-rays, was the recent controversy over the removal of two cartoons--Mouse Cleaning and Casanova Cat--from the upcoming second volume in the Tom and Jerry Golden Collection series. Being as diplomatic as he could in his dual role as both a fan and an occasional consultant to Warner Home Video, Jerry was able to reveal that the decision to remove the two cartoons was not made by the home video division but rather by folks higher up on the corporate ladder, that the home video division knows fans are upset and are kinda sorta with them on their frustration, that possibilities are still being explored but that there are no guarantees, and that the decision came so late in the game that Jerry had already written liner notes for the two shelved cartoons for the collection's included booklet!

And although it was said in a kind of "read between the lines" way, fans are being encouraged to keep the pressure on Warner Bros. the way they've been doing it through Amazon reviews, posts on the Warner Classic Animation Facebook page, etc. For whatever it's worth, they are reading these comments.

Hitting a little closer to home, though, the recent Tom and Jerry debacle has been the result of a corporate decision that has indefinitely put on hold an arguably more sought-after--and long-promised, long-teased, and long-ago-worked-on--collection, that of the "Censored 11" cartoons. As readers of our news page know, such a set has been ready and rarin' to go for quite some time, with all the remastering and programming work done on it long ago. Well, now it's not looking good. On the show Stu was using the word "dead," and Jerry was quietly concurring, but for the moment whatever in-corporate entity ordered the removal of the two Tom and Jerry cartoons is dead-set against releasing anything "controversial" regarding its animated properties.

On a cheerier and funnier note, Jerry took the time to explain an issue that baffled fans earlier this year, the announcement of a Sylvester and Hippety Hopper Looney Tunes Super Stars DVD soon after Jerry had said on a previous Stu's Show appearance that no Sylvester DVD was in the works. It turns out, Jerry suggested such a DVD to Warner Home Video back when the Super Stars line first started in 2010...and he simply had no idea they were finally going through with his suggestion three years later. Jerry didn't mention if any other character DVDs were in the works, but he suggested that he long ago gave them a variety of ideas of series to explore, so we'll have to see if the Super Stars will continue.

But really, news about Looney Tunes DVDs was quite nonexistent. No mention of plans for the Warner Archive (though Jerry did suggest that the Archive's recent focus on Hanna-Barbera content will lead to good things), nor were any other nuggets dropped about the upcoming third Platinum Collection. Perhaps the biggest bits of news as far as any classic animation on DVD goes is that a tiny independent company has licensed a number of Paramount Puppetoon cartoons for inclusion on a Blu-ray of The Puppetoon Movie (no specific titles were mentioned)...and that Thunderbean Animation is in the process of finishing up a restoration of the Fleischer Gulliver's Travels for eventual release. And although it's pretty much been known news for a while now, the Warner Archive is preparing collections of the 1960s made-for-TV Popeye cartoons released by King Features, organized by production studio.

The rest of the episode was a lively discussion about future theatrical releases, plugs for current and upcoming books (including Thad's awesome Ren and Stimpy book and Jerry's new book about the art of SpongeBob SquarePants), and the usual round or two of "when is this coming out?" e-mails. As said, if you've never heard the show before, you don't know what you're missing! Jerry's appearances are practically required listening for the serious or even casual cartoon fan.


March 18, 2013

Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics Blu-ray boxed set/singles announced

With Looney Tunes as bonuses! Due May 21!

Ultimate Gangsters Collection Cover On March 14 Warner Home Video announced two brand new Blu-ray boxed sets, with each one focusing on the studio's iconic gangster films. Both Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics and Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Contemporary will be released on Blu-ray only on May 21.

Though the Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Contemporary set includes such recent classics as Goodfellas and The Untouchables (as part of Warner's deal to handle home video distribution of Paramount's library), of interest to cartoon fans is the Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics set. Featuring the studio's timeless films Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, The Petrified Forest, and White Heat, the Classics collection will feature Looney Tunes shorts as special features on each disc. The four titles will also be released individually on Blu-ray on the same day.

Unfortunately, the cartoons will probably not be remastered in high definition, as all of the special features are merely just carried over from the movies' original DVD releases that included Warner's "Night at the Movies" gimmick. Anything's possible, of course, but the studio is stressing in both their announcement e-mail and on the packaging that special features "may not be in high definition."

As far as what will be included on each disc....

Little Caesar features Lady, Play Your Mandolin!, the somewhat rare very first Merrie Melody from 1931

The Public Enemy features Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! (1931)

The Petrified Forest featues The Coo-Coo Nut Grove (1936)

White Heat features Homeless Hare (1950)

The Coo-Coo Nut Grove and Homeless Hare both appear on Golden Collection Volume Three, while Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! can also be found on Golden Collection Volume Six. Only Lady, Play Your Mandolin! has yet to be properly remastered for inclusion on a Looney Tunes DVD or Blu-ray release.

The Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics set also includes as a bonus a DVD of Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film, a 2008 feature-length documentary that premiered on Turner Classic Movies and was originally released on the Warner Bros. Pictures Gangsters Collection Volume 4 boxed set. In that original set, the Public Enemies disc also included Racketeer Rabbit as a special feature. There is no word yet if the cartoon will be carried over onto this new DVD disc as well.

Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics is scheduled to be released on May 21 and will retail for $49.99. Pre-order it now on Amazon.

Little Caesar, The Public Enemy, The Petrified Forest, and White Heat are all also scheduled to be released on May 21 and will retail for $19.98 each. They can all be pre-ordered now on Amazon.


March 18, 2013

Jerry Beck on Stu's Show this Wednesday

The future (and present) of Looney Tunes on home video!

This upcoming Wednesday, March 20, Jerry Beck will be making one of his regular appearances on Stu's Show, the online radio show hosted by cartoon/pop culture/television nut and home video pioneer Stu Shostak. Airing at 7PM EST, the show offers a free stream for those who tune in live, but fans can hear a "rerun" of the episode for a mere ninety-nine cents at the show's web site: www.stusshow.com soon after.

If you're a cartoon fan or collector at all, it is well worth the listen (either free or by paying). When Jerry appears he usually runs the gamut of the state of classic theatrical animation, talking at length about projects in print, on television, and of course on home video. Among the many topics that will come up will be the controversial removal of supposed "politicially incorrect" cartoons from the upcoming Tom and Jerry Golden Collection Volume Two Blu-ray set due this year.

You can send questions via the web site linked above, and Stu may or may not convey them to Jerry during the show.

Though we know our fellow fans are pretty smart and knowledgable people, for the sake of making it easier for Stu and Jerry, please remember that Jerry only works as a consultant for Warner Home Video. He does not control or have final say on programming or release matters; he can only try to comment on situations as best as he can, so please don't e-mail him unconstructive complaints about Tom and Jerry--he knows everyone's upset about it. And also, the information he gives is never meant to be inferred as any sort of official statement from the studio and that the studio can and does change its plans on a whim without telling him.

Having said all that, we will report a rundown here of the major DVD and Blu-ray news discussed during the show (sadly, this time we will be unable to post live updates on our Facebook page as we have in the past). Hopefully there will be something to look forward to.

So be sure to check on Stu's Show this Wednesday!


March 13, 2013

Best of Warner Bros.: 50 Cartoon Collection - Looney Tunes DVD announced

All repeats! Due June 25!

50 Cartoon Collection Cover And the day's lackluster news continues as Warner Home Video has announced the latest addition to its all-encompassing DVD and Blu-ray collection celebrating the studio's ninetieth anniversary, one focusing entirely on the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. The two-disc Best of Warner Bros.: 50 Cartoon Collection - Looney Tunes commemorative collection will be released only on DVD on June 25.

Very unfortunately, though, instead of offering something unique, this collection merely presents fifty cartoons that had been previously released over the years on various Golden Collection volumes and the like. There is not a single short included on this collection that hasn't already been released on DVD, making the title completely unnecessary to fans and almost interchangeable with a number of other recent compilations including the DVD version of the first Platinum Collection and last year's whittled-down Looney Tunes Showcase Volume One Blu-ray.

Here is the breakdown of the two discs. Shorts that have already been released on DVD are noted....

Disc One
Rabbit of Seville (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century (1953) (Golden Collection Volume One)
One Froggy Evening (1955) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Scaredy Cat (1948) (Golden Collection Volume One)
There They Go-Go-Go (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Rabbit's Kin (1952) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Duck Amuck (1953) (Golden Collection Volume One)
A Ham in a Role (1949) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Speedy Gonzales (1955) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Crockett-Doodle-Do (1960) (Foghorn Leghorn and Friends: Barnyard Bigmouth)
What's Opera, Doc? (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Feed the Kitty (1952) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Gift Wrapped (1952) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Goo Goo Goliath (1954) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Show Biz Bugs (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Kitty Kornered (1946) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Wild Over You (1953) (Pepe le Pew: Zee Best of Zee Best)
The Hypo-Chondri-Cat (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Broom-stick Bunny (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Knighty Knight Bugs (1958) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
Baby Bottleneck (1946) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
From A to Z-z-z-z (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)
A Bear for Punishment (1951) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Ducking the Devil (1957) (Platinum Collection Volume One)

Disc Two
Rabbit Hood (1949) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Birds Anonymous (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Often an Orphan (1949) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Robin Hood Daffy (1958) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
Operation: Rabbit (1952) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
8 Ball Bunny (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
It's Hummer Time (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Mouse Wreckers (1948) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
The Honey-Mousers (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
A Corny Concerto (1943) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
A Pest in the House (1947) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
The Bashful Buzzard (1945) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Chow Hound (1951) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Water, Water Every Hare (1952) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Rabbit Fire (1951) (Golden Collection Volume One)
Birth of a Notion (1947) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
Dough Ray Me-Ow (1948) (Golden Collection Volume Four)
I Love to Singa (1936) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Three Little Bops (1957) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
Hillbilly Hare (1950) (Golden Collection Volume Three)
The Wise-Quacking Duck (1943) (Golden Collection Volume Five)
Rocket-bye Baby (1956) (Golden Collection Volume Six)
The Dover Boys (1942) (Golden Collection Volume Two)
The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (1961) (Golden Collection Volume Two)

There is no word yet on if there will be any bonus features. Though it doesn't seem to be an issue anymore, it is unlikely that any of the post-1953 titles will be cropped into the fake "widescreen" format as seen on earlier volumes of the Super Stars series.

Obviously, given the fact that everything in the main program has been previously released, we cannot recommend this title. It would have been nice if Warner Home Video thought a little bit outside of the box and attempted to present a more complete picture of the cartoon studio's history--by including such cornerstone pictures as Sinkin' in the Bathtub and Tweetie Pie--but instead it felt that yet another "best of" compilation was needed at retail. Amazingly, for some shorts this release marks their third or fourth (or even fifth!) appearance on DVD.

The studio's announcement e-mail for the title read as follows....

It's always "wabbit" season now that the best Looney tunes Cartoons [incorrect capitalization - "Tunes" needs to be capitalized while "cartoons" doesn't] from the Warner Bros. vault are available in this wild two-disc collection! Reunite with Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester, Daffy Duck [comma needed] and all the Looney tunes [again, Tunes] gang in an animated assortment of hits that have tickled the funny bones of cartoon lovers for generations. There's something for everyone in this must--own [punctuation incorrect - only one dash is needed] collection of 50 Looney tunes [once again, Tunes] classics that helped contribute to 90 years of Warner Bros. cartoon magic. It's a timeless anthology for fans of all ages that will have you laughing long before "Tha-That-That's All, Folks!" [but that they made sure to capitalize]

It's a little depressing that the studio feels that the Looney Tunes cartoons only "helped contribute to 90 years of Warner Bros. cartoon magic." Surely many animation and film fans and historians would stress that the library rather defined the studio's supposed "cartoon magic," but alas apparently we cannot suggest anything that would devalue the contributions of other cartoon productions acquired by the studio over the years.

Best of Warner Bros.: 50 Cartoon Collection - Looney Tunes is scheduled to be released on June 25 and will retail for $26.99. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


March 13, 2013

Taz-Mania back cover revealed

No special features listed, plus episode change!

Taz-Mania Back Cover Warner Home Video has finally revealed the back cover artwork for its upcoming "season one, part one" set of the '90s Fox Kids Saturday morning series Taz-Mania. Titled Taz-Mania: Taz on the Loose, the DVD-only release is still scheduled to be released on May 14.

Unfortunately, the back cover reveals that there will be no additional content on the DVDs apart from the first thirteen episodes of the series. Considering that last month's Duck Dodgers DVD Duck Dodgers: Dark Side of the Duck contained the classic 1953 Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century as a bonus feature, there was always a slim chance that this new title would have contained at least one classic Tasmanian Devil cartoon. Sadly, that is not the case.

The text on the back cover reads as follows....

Check in with your favorite furry little devil for a whimsical whirlwind of wild times in this 13-episode collection of exciting adventures from Season 1! Propelled by an insatiable appetite for fun, and virtually everything else he discovers along the way, Taz works fast, plays hard [comma needed] and lives life on overdrive. The end result is always a thrill ride of nonstop hilarity. So if you can't go to Tazmania, bring Taz-Mania home with you, and chew through every uproarious scene with reckless abandon!

There is also a change in the episode lineup from when the title was first announced back in January. The half-hour episode "Devil with the Violet Dress On/Kidnapped Koala" has been replaced with "Comic Madness/Blunders Never Cease." The original episode lineup was going in production order, and this updated lineup is now going in airdate order. The "Devil with the Violet Dress On/Kidnapped Koala" episode will now presumably be included in the fourth volume of the DVD series (should sales warrant that it last that long).

So, the episodes that will be featured on this release are now as follows (and now in order according to the back cover)....

Disc One
Like Father, Like Son/Frights of Passage
The Dog the Turtle Story
War & Pieces/Airbourne Airhead
Battling Bushrats/Devil in the Deep Blue Sea
A Devil of a Job
Woeful Wolf
It's No Picnic/Kee-Wee ala King

Disc Two
Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty/Enter the Devil
Mishap in the Mist/Toothache Taz
Bewitched Bob
Instant Replay/Taz and the Pterodactyl
Comic Madness/Blunders Never Cease Pup Goes the Wendal/I'm OK, You're Taz

Taz-Mania: Taz on the Loose is still scheduled to be released on May 14 and will retail for $19.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


February 12, 2013

Duck Dodgers DVD now in stores?

Season one available now?

Duck Dodgers Cover

Duck Dodgers Annoucement

Warner Home Video has supposedly released the first-season set of the Cartoon Network series Duck Dodgers, Duck Dodgers: Dark Side of the Duck. The DVD-only release is now in stores...or is it?

When this title was first announced back in November, it was originally given a street date of February 19. An excerpt of the original studio announcement e-mail with that date is seen at the right below the cover art. At some point, it seems as if Warner Home Video bumped the release up a week with little (if any) fanfare. Both Warner and retailers such as Amazon are now listing the new February 12 release date, so theoretically it should be available now...though it wouldn't be too surprising if some stores were still following the original February 19 street date.

The episodes that are featured on this release are as follows....

Disc One
The Trial of Duck Dodgers/Big Bug Mamas
The Fowl Friend/The Fast and the Feathery
Duck Deception/The Spy Who Didn't Love Me
Duck Codgers/Where's Baby Smarty Pants
I'm Going to Get You Fat Sucka/Detained Duck
K-9 Kaddy/Pig of Action
Shiver Me Dodgers

Disc Two
The Wrath of Canasta/They Stole Dodgers' [sic] Brain
The Green Loontern
Quarterback Quack/To Love a Duck
Hooray for Hollywood Planet
The Queen Is Wild/Back to the Academy
Enemy Yours/Duck Departure

All thirteen episodes are presented in widescreen as they originally aired. The DVD's lone special feature is the original 1953 Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century cartoon, found on disc two.

Duck Dodgers: Dark Side of the Duck retails for $19.97 and is now available everywhere...um, maybe. Order it now on Amazon.


January 26, 2013

Sylvester and Hippety Hopper Looney Tunes Super Stars back cover revealed

No mention of widescreen!

Sylvester and Hippety Back Cover Warner Home Video has revealed the back cover artwork for the upcoming next edition in the Looney Tunes Super Stars series, Sylvester & Hippety Hopper: Marsupial Mayhem. The DVD-only release is still scheduled to be released on April 23.

The text on the back is word-for-word the same as the official synopsis provided by the studio when the title was first announced earlier this month, though thankfully with most of the needless punctuation corrected.

The bigger, more important revelation, though, is that the back cover makes no mention whatsoever of any cropped "widescreen" versions of any of the shorts! We have been keeping track of the ever-changing "aspect ratio" box on the back cover for the Super Stars releases since we began our news page, and this time it is only mentioning the full frame versions!

The box reads as....

STANDARD VERSION PRESENTED IN A FORMAT PRESERVING THE ASPECT RATIO OF THEIR ORIGINAL THEATRICAL EXHIBITIONS."

This is big. Granted last year's Porky & Friends DVD contained only full frame material, the packaging nevertheless still listed widescreen aspect ratio information on the back. This marks the first time since the initial controversy that a Super Stars release makes no mention whatsoever of widescreen versions. From all indications it looks as if the studio is finally dropping the concept from these releases altogether. This can only bring about good things for future titles; we're already seeing some promise, as there is now more space per disc to include additional cartoons.

The title will contain the following. Shorts that have already been released on DVD are noted....
Hop, Look And Listen (1948)
Hippety Hopper (1949) (released unremastered on Golden Collection Volume Six)
Pop 'Im Pop! (1950)
Who's Kitten Who? (1952)
Hoppy-Go-Lucky (1952)
Cats A-Weigh (1953)
Bell Hoppy (1954)
Lighthouse Mouse (1955)
Too Hop to Handle (1956)
The Slap-Hoppy Mouse (1956)
Mouse-Taken Identity (1957) (released unremastered on Looney Tunes Mouse Chronicles: Chuck Jones Collection)
Hoppy Daze (1961)
Freudy Cat (1964)
Cat's Paw (1959)
Fish and Slips (1962)
Birds of a Father (1961)
Claws in the Lease (1963)
Goldimouse and the Three Cats (1960) (Golden Collection Volume Five)

Also, since it's kinda sorta Looney Tunes-related, this past week Warner Home Video announced a new Hanna-Barbera commemorative collection as a part of the studio's ninetieth anniversary celebration, Best of Warner Bros.: 25 Cartoon Collection - Hanna-Barbera. On the initial cover art released by the studio, among the characters featured is Rapid Rabbit, who starred in the 1969 Merrie Melodies short Rabbit Stew and Rabbits Too! This led to a few fans wondering if the short was scheduled to be included, even if it didn't even make sense as far as the DVD's concept goes. The one and only Jerry Beck posted on Cartoon Brew that he confirmed with the studio that Rapid Rabbit's inclusion on the cover was an error, that the artwork will be corrected upon its release, and that the cartoon will NOT be included on this collection.

And, for a quick non-important update, we have begun the long process of selling various used vintage Looney Tunes VHS collections. We will no longer have a "Looney Tunes Garage Sale" page here at the site the way we did in the past, so instead just check out our auctions on...where else?...eBay. More will be added over time.

Sylvester & Hippety Hopper: Marsupial Mayhem is scheduled to be released on April 23 and will retail for $19.98. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


January 22, 2013

Looney Tunes Super Stars Editorial Update

Not a normal news update, but we have revised and updated our Looney Tunes Super Stars hypothetical guide that we first posted last year, now reflecting the upcoming April release of Sylvester & Hippety Hopper: Marsupial Mayhem.

In the course of our updating, we were able to whittle away yet another potential release from our guide (not surprisingly, the potential Sylvester/Hippety Hopper DVD that we plotted out), leaving only a very few amount of characters not given their own Super Stars title yet.

How Warner Home Video Could Conceivably Complete Most Looney Tunes Characters on DVD via the Super Stars Model

Speaking of housekeeping, in the near future (most likely at the beginning of the new month), we will be purging all of our pre-2013 news updates from this main page, leaving them only on the "2012 Archive" page linked to at the bottom. So if you've linked to any our updates in the past year, be prepared to update any links to go to the archive page. Just a heads up.


January 17, 2013

First ever Taz-Mania DVD announced

In stores May 14!

Taz-Mania Cover And the Looney Tunes DVD news is coming in fast and furious, as Warner Home Video has announced the first ever DVD release of the early '90s Saturday morning series Taz-Mania. Acting as a "season one, part one" release, the DVD Taz-Mania: Taz on the Loose will be in stores on May 14.

The two-disc DVD set will feature the first thirteen episodes of the Emmy-nominated half-hour series that aired as a part of the Fox network's Fox Kids programming block. This not only marks the show's DVD debut in North America but also its first ever domestic home video release since a trio of VHS collections two decades ago.

The episodes that will be featured on this release are as follows....

The Dog the Turtle Story
Like Father, Like Son/Frights of Passage
War & Pieces/Airbourne Airhead
It's No Picnic/Kee-Wee ala King
A Devil of a Job
Battling Bushrats/Devil in the Deep Blue Sea
Woeful Wolf
Devil with the Violet Dress On/Kidnapped Koala
Mishap in the Mist/Toothache Taz
Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty/Enter the Devil
Bewitched Bob
Instant Replay/Taz and the Pterodactyl
Pup Goes the Wendal/I'm OK, You're Taz

It is not known at press time if there will be any bonus materials on either disc.

The studio's official synopsis reads as follows....

The daily satirical adventures of the Looney Tunes star The Tazmanian [sic - the character's name is spelled "Tasmanian"] Devil, along with his extended family, friends, and enemies on the island of Tasmania.

Taz-Mania: Taz on the Loose is scheduled to be released on May 14 and will retail for $19.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


January 16, 2013

Sylvester and Hippety Hopper Looney Tunes Super Stars DVD announced

In stores April 23!

Sylvester and Hippety Cover Just when everyone was no doubt feeling the post-Platinum Collection shakes, Warner Home Video has announced the next edition of its Looney Tunes Super Stars DVD series. It's not the long-rumored "Sylvester and friends" DVD, but oh yeah, there's Sylvester! In fact, the DVD focuses on the entire series of shorts starring Sylvester and Hippety Hopper. The DVD Sylvester & Hippety Hopper: Marsupial Mayhem will be in stores on April 23.

The DVD will contain not only Hippety Hopper's entire filmography--a series that had been quite underused on home video in the past--but also all of the non-Hippety shorts of the early 1960s starring Sylvester and Sylvester, Jr. (including one, but just one, official repeat).

Similar to previous releases in the Super Stars series, the number of shorts on this disc is well over the series's original norm of fifteen, with eighteen on this collection. And it also follows the same formula as 2011's Pepe DVD by containing an entire series. In fact, only one of the cartoons on this DVD has been remastered and released on a past Golden Collection volume; the other seventeen have been newly remastered just for this release, including 1964's Freudy Cat, which for the past decade has only been seen in a hideously mangled television version prepared for foreign distribution that mutes out all of the characters' dialogue with music cues from completely different films.

As we reported last month, animation historian and Looney Tunes DVD consultant Jerry Beck appeared on the Stu's Show online-radio program to discuss the future of the shorts on home video. Though he didn't mention any specific character names, he did promise that the Super Stars series would continue. He also categorically denied the rumors that the long-ago-leaked "Sylvester and friends" DVD was coming out. Strangely, this new title wasn't even hinted at during the interview at what would have seemingly been the perfect moment. Granted a Sylvester solo DVD is different from a Sylvester/Hippety DVD, but still, even a coy "Well, something Sylvester-related is planned" would have sufficed.

There also seems to be a bit of a pattern emerging with the Super Stars titles. After a Road Runner DVD of random titles, we get the complete Pepe le Pew, and then a Porky DVD of random titles, and now the complete Hippety Hopper. It's probably just a coincidence, but "major character assortment, complete series, major character assortment, etc." would be a nice way to see the series continue in the future. It would definitely, and quickly, fill up a lot of holes in fans' collections.

The title will contain the following. Shorts that have already been released on DVD are noted....
Hop, Look And Listen (1948)
Hippety Hopper (1949) (released unremastered on Golden Collection Volume Six)
Pop 'Im Pop! (1950)
Who's Kitten Who? (1952)
Hoppy-Go-Lucky (1952)
Cats A-Weigh (1953)
Bell Hoppy (1954)
Lighthouse Mouse (1955)
Too Hop to Handle (1956)
The Slap-Hoppy Mouse (1956)
Mouse-Taken Identity (1957) (released unremastered on Looney Tunes Mouse Chronicles: Chuck Jones Collection)
Hoppy Daze (1961)
Freudy Cat (1964)
Cat's Paw (1959)
Fish and Slips (1962)
Birds of a Father (1961)
Claws in the Lease (1963)
Goldimouse and the Three Cats (1960) (Golden Collection Volume Five)

It is not known at the moment if the post-1953 cartoons will be presented in both full frame and the fake cropped "widescreen" format, especially since none of the shorts on last year's Porky DVD had the widescreen option regardless of year of release. Five of the shorts on this DVD are pre-1953, while one was from the former "pre-1948" AAP/Turner package. Hopefully Warner Home Video has dropped the "widescreen Looney Tunes" novelty once and for all in order to utilize shorts from all eras of the studio...and certainly the lack of widescreen versions creates more disc space for a larger variety of cartoons.

Interestingly (for us, anyway), a "Sylvester and Hippety Hopper" DVD was one of the releases we listed in our hypothetical How Warner Home Video Could Conceivably Complete Most Looney Tunes Characters on DVD via the Super Stars Model editorial from last year...and just this past weekend such a release was brought up and cheered in a fan discussion thread on our Facebook page. Of course, we will eventually be updating and revising our editorial to reflect this new release and the cartoons featured. We will also be updating our Golden to Golden Guide upon the DVD's release, so you VHS collectors out there can finally pack away your A Salute to Mel Blanc cassette (not to mention your Looney Tunes Video Show #1 tape, as reminded by Ken on our Facebook page!).

The studio's official synopsis reads as follows....

From the moment they teamed up, the endlessly-persistent Sylvester J. Pussycat, Sr. and the hyperactive young kangaroo Hippety Hopper would go on to became one of Warner Bros. most reliably hilarious animated duos. Now, together for the first time on DVD, it's the best of the failure-prone feline and spring-loaded little marsupial in 18 classic cartoons re-mastered to all their Golden-Age-of-Animation glory! Featuring 17 shorts never-before-seen on DVD, these timeless cat vs "giant mouse" gems include Sylvester's riotous pursuit of Hippety after the 'roo escapes the zoo in Hop, Look and Listen, Sylvester's hapless attempts to impress his son Sylvester, Jr. in Pop 'Im Pop! and the acclaimed Hoppy-Go-Lucky, a brilliant send-up of John Steinbeck's classic Of Mice and Men. And that's just the beginning of the bounding, bouncing, cat-confounding fun in this cartoon cornucopia from the heyday of Warner Bros. animation!

Sylvester & Hippety Hopper: Marsupial Mayhem is scheduled to be released on April 23 and will retail for $19.98. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


January 11, 2013

Duck Dodgers back cover revealed

In stores February 19!

Duck Dodgers Back Cover Warner Home Video has finally revealed the back cover artwork for its upcoming first-season set of the Cartoon Network series Duck Dodgers, Duck Dodgers: Dark Side of the Duck. The DVD-only release is still scheduled to be released on February 19.

The text on the back is word-for-word the same as the official synopsis provided by the studio when the title was first announced back in November.

The episodes that will be featured on this release are as follows....

Disc One
The Trial of Duck Dodgers/Big Bug Mamas
The Fowl Friend/The Fast and the Feathery
Duck Deception/The Spy Who Didn't Love Me
Duck Codgers/Where's Baby Smarty Pants
I'm Going to Get You Fat Sucka/Detained Duck
K-9 Kaddy/Pig of Action
Shiver Me Dodgers

Disc Two
The Wrath of Canasta/They Stole Dodgers' [sic] Brain
The Green Loontern
Quarterback Quack/To Love a Duck
Hooray for Hollywood Planet
The Queen Is Wild/Back to the Academy
Enemy Yours/Duck Departure

All thirteen episodes are presented in widescreen as they originally aired. The DVD's lone special feature is the original 1953 Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century cartoon, found on disc two.

Duck Dodgers: Dark Side of the Duck will be released on February 19 and will retail for $19.97. Pre-order it now on Amazon.


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