Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Popeye Comes to DVD

When I was a kid, I enjoyed the hell out of old "Popeye" cartoons on the teevee. There were the old Fleischers, which were great, and then there were the Famous Studios versions, good but less than great. And then there were...well, all those other tv variations... You could get a few dozen public-domain "Popeyes" in the discount bins at Toys-R-Us (including at least one of the Fleischer featurettes) but the rest were unavailable. This was, apparently, because of a deadlock in negotiations. But all that has been resolved, because this morning The Hollywood Reporter said: "After years of living in the public domain, Popeye is going legit. "The cartoon's famous spinach-eating sailor is coming to DVD next year from Warner Home Video in a big, big way...Warner on Tuesday announced a far-reaching agreement with Hearst Entertainment and King Features Syndicate that gives the studio exclusive worldwide home entertainment distribution right to all Popeye theatrical shorts and TV cartoons..." The deal includes the old black-and-white theatrical shorts and the later color made by Famous Studios (an east coast union shop that existed for years). It also includes a poopload of made-for-television product. Warners will take a year to restore various titles, then release same to DVD. High time. The old "Popeyes" were beguiling. They had a rubbery energy and strange with quite different from Warners and Disney. They need to be seen.


b. Touch said...

The best classic animation news in years.

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