Thursday, June 03, 2010

Where are my Color Popeyes on DVD?

A couple of days ago I complained about Tex Avery cartoons not being on DVD. Now, I'm going to complain about "Popeye".

Warner Bros. Home Video was very good about releasing all of the black and white Fleischer "Popeye" cartoons to DVD in three sets. The third set also contained the first Famous Studios "Popeyes" that were also in black and white, which takes us up to 1943.

After 1943 and up to 1957, an additional 108 cartoons were produced in color by Famous Studios that have yet to see the light of day in an OFFICIAL DVD collection. Sure, many of them have been issued in varying quality on various public domain DVDs, the best being the "Popeye the Sailor 75th Anniversary Collectors Edition" from VCI Home Video. This one features the best restorations, plus some commentary by the great animation expert Jerry Beck, but only for 24 of the cartoons. That leaves the other 84 cartoons in limbo and the 24 issued could use an official release from the original negatives.

Why these aren't in release may have to do with the negative treatment the color Famous Studios cartoons have received over the years. While pedestrian in plot, these color ones are still fun and have fluid animation, and are certainly better than any made-for-TV "Popeyes" that succeeded them.

Again, it's Warner Bros. to blame, who have the rights to all of these fine cartoons, but STILL think that there's no market for them, even on their Warner Archives label.

Another shame...

1 comment:

Joe Torcivia said...

Wasn’t Warner under contract to release ALL of the Popeyes? Is there any sort of penalty, if they do not? That might eventually move things along.

Given the way they’ve fallen down on releasing animation that they DO own (Looney Tunes, MGM, H-B), I’m not surprised at this.