The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour -Stu's Show Interview Reveals a Few Animation DVD Plans
Jerry Beck mentions a bit about Looney on Blu, more Superstars, and the Censored 11!
Posted by David Lambert
This past Wednesday we reported that animated expert Jerry Beck was being interviewed that very day on the Shokus Internet Radio call-in talk program, Stu's Show. Stu Shostak, the host, welcomed Jerry and had several surprises guests for him along the way, and spent the last half of the two-hour chat almost exclusively discussing upcoming DVD projects that Jerry had anything to do with. Jerry couldn't be as forthcoming as he had in the past, because - as he told Stu at lunch earlier in the day - he had been chastised more than a bit by Warner Brothers after previous such interviews, where he said a little TOO much about upcoming projects. Still, Jerry was able to say more than enough to whet our appetites about the future. And you can catch the interview itself in a rerun tomorrow, or else what a bit and it will appear at the StusShow.com archive page. For now, here's a super-quick rundown of the revelations from last Wednesday's appearance, in a plain and not-too-pretty form:
Although not a TV show, folks who saw the SNAFU military shorts as bonus material on various of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection releases will be interested to know that Thunderbean Animation has collected all the Private Snafu shorts - including new-to-DVD material! - and remastered them, and is putting these uncensored shorts onto an upcoming-quickly DVD release with bonus material (which includes audio commentaries by Jerry and others). It will go up for pre-order on Amazon.com, via their 3rd-party Marketplace program, on December 13th and begins shipping on December 16th. Look for it!
Jerry noted that there will be no replacement by Warner of the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck "Looney Tunes Superstars" discs in relation to the shorts on it being included in non-original widescreen format; Warner's position is that these were not aimed at collectors but at the mass market who expects it to fit on their widescreen TVS, and the box clearly stated what the video format was; Jerry speculates that at some point down the road there will probably be a douple-dip release of those shorts in a collector's DVD version with the video in full-frame format (but no guarantees).
Jerry couldn't say much, but he revealed that Warner is restoring new shorts, and also taking shorts previously released on Golden Collection DVDs, with the intent to make them available on Blu-ray at some point; it will likely be a "best-of"-style compilation with some bonus material.
Stu said he had heard the Looney Tunes Superstars line of releases might be nearing the end; Jerry protested that this isn't really the case and pointed out that there are several in the works for next year, including another one with Bugs Bunny, as well as a Road Runner one with new-to-DVD shorts, and a "Sylvester & Friends" release; Jerry notes that some of the Superstar releases will continue to be double-dips of shorts released on the Golden Collections, in order to A) find a home with the mass-market audience of non-collectors who didn't get those shorts on the Golden Collection releases, and B) to help fund the restoration of more shorts, so that they can see eventual home video release.
HERE'S THE BIG NEWS! Jerry said that the "Censored 11" is planned for DVD, most definitely, and with a GENERAL traditional retail release (not via the Warner Archives; see our Oct. 12th report, and the next-day-update at the bottom of it, for more on that); it will have other rare cartoons besides the "11," all restored, plus some bonus materials; it will be "high-class" release!
There's also going to be - "far in the future" - a Tom and Jerry Golden Collection, done at the highest level, with material not yet seen before, aimed at the the collector in a way that the previous "Spotlight" DVD releases never were.
Jerry said he was instigating something there in the interview: he wants fans to write to Shout! Factory and suggest that they license cartoons from larger studios which aren't seeing releases (Mighty Mouse, Betty Boop, Mister Magoo, etc.).
The Warner Archives (and manufacture-on-demand programs from other studios) came up a few times; the bottom-line question being if there will be any animation - other than Hanna-Barbera, which the Warner Archive does a lot of - coming from that program? Jerry said yes, there possibly are some new releases through the Warner Archives, and said that Bosko could possibly be one of them.
As Stu would say, on that note we're done covering the main news points from last Wednesday's discussion. We encourage you to listen for yourself, and to tune in and participate on Stu's Show...it's great! Our thanks to Stu for some help with the above. We'll have proper news stories about any updates to the above tidbits, once more information is known. Stay tuned!