Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Coming in May: H-B(onanza)!

Yeah, I know… Three consecutive posts on upcoming Warner Animation DVDs, but the Google Image Upload issue (Now FIXED, I've just discovered!) still persists (forcing shorter posts) – and I’m REALLY excited about this one!

My favorite motion picture studio, Warner Bros. (just read any of my Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, or Looney Tunes DVD reviews) is turning 90 this year, and is releasing a series of special DVD compilations for the occasion.

Included is a pretty extensive Hanna-Barbera collection, as detailed HERE! 

This looks to be the most significant Hanna-Barbera DVD release in YEARS!

Given its influence on and its importance to the television animation industry – not to mention its connection to the lives of so many viewers of all ages -- Hanna-Barbera productions are woefully underrepresented in DVD releases. And, while a package such as this is not nearly as meaningful as issuing and/or completing such groundbreaking series as Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw, it is welcome nevertheless.

It a shame that, with so many Huck and Yogi Bear cartons still unreleased that those on this set are double-dips – as are many other entries -- but we ARE getting another new Quick Draw McGraw show, along with new Atom Ant and Secret Squirrel Shows, with Wally Gator, Touché Turtle, and Lippy the Lion shorts.

It also marks the FIRST authorized DVD appearances of Ruff and Reddy, Hokey Wolf, Loopy De Loop, and even one of the rarely (if ever) seen Abbott and Costello cartoons -- with Bud Abbott doing his own voice! That clinches it for me!

And note, they were wise enough to keep the seventies material to a minimum, and concentrate mostly on the series and characters of H-B’s best years!

Can’t wait to see what’s on their Looney Tunes and DC Comics collections…


scarecrow33 said...

Thanks for posting this, Joe! It's the first I've heard about it. This is my kind of news. It'll be great to see some of these old favorites again. I hope they include enough of the Ruff and Reddy series to give a taste of the serialized format and the cliffhanger situations. A "new" Quick Draw show will mean that five programs have now been released to DVD. I truly enjoyed the Saturday Morning releases and hoped that they would continue. Maybe this collection will perform better, sales-wise, to justify more releases of classic H-B! One can always hope.

By the way, do you know if the Mr. Magoo theatrical shorts are permanently stalled, or if the long-promised set will ever get released? Keeping my fingers crossed there, too.

This has got me really excited...more to look forward to in May than just the end of the school year. Thanks again for a great post!

Joe Torcivia said...

Ah, I thought this news would appeal to you, Scarecrow, ol’ pal! …And in the exact same way it appeals to me! It’s about time something significant was done with the classic H-B characters.

Overall, I think we’re seeing somewhat of a resurgence of animation releases from WHV over the last two years, after what looked like a near-shutdown after the end of 2008.

I read Ruff and Reddy as only “Part 1”. I’d be stunned to see an entire continuity included here. Not, that I wouldn’t want it, of course!

Not only do we have FIVE Quick Draw shows now, but finally one that is not from Season 3 (the Hoyt Curtin scored season), so maybe the music clearance issue that has been reported as the reason we don’t have most of Huck and Quick Draw has finally been dealt with?

That said, I am disappointed to see “Spud Dud” represent Huck, as that is the ONLY cartoon after Season One to be released – on that ancient DVD they called “Cartoon Network Cartoon Crack-Ups” (2001). That was THREE YEARS before I even moved *to* DVD! So ancient was that DVD, that Cartoon Network actually still showed good cartoons at the time! But, maybe that opens the door for more to come – so EVERYONE buy a copy of this set, if you want more Huck and Quick Draw! …And Wally Gator, Peter Potamus, etc.!

But, as I say in the post, the REAL attraction is the more obscure (…or, even “lost”) H-B toons, like Ruff and Reddy, Loopy De Loop, and one I NEVER thought I see… Abbott and Costello!

I have no information on the Mister Magoo theatrical set, beyond that it remains delayed. I’ve never seen those, but grew up with and liked the made-for-TV ones, so I look forward to that… when it comes.

Finally, click on the box illustration to enlarge it. WHO is that RABBIT between Yogi and Quick Draw?

It’s not Ricochet Rabbit (…or even the one-shot “Scooter Rabbit” from Quick Draw McGraw). Anyone know?

top cat james said...

Joey, I noticed there's mention of a Rapid Rabbit in the program description, and that image on the cover sure looks the same-named character from the '69 Looney Tune, "Rabbit Stew and Rabbits Too!"

Now why this odd inclusion in an otherwise all H-B volume? Sounds like a case worthy of Snooper & Blabber ("Halt in the name of the Torcivia Defective Agancy!")

And where's "Wacky Races"? Boooo!

Joe Torcivia said...

The thought of Warner’s “Rapid Rabbit” *had* crossed my mind too, TCJ.

But, I’ve since looked it up and “Rapid Rabbit” is also the title of a Touché Turtle cartoon, according to the wonderful reference book “The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoon Series” by Jeff Lenburg – in subject matter, second only to Leonard Maltin’s “Of Mice and Magic” on my scale of animation reference books. And “Rapid Rabbit” is listed as the Touché Turtle cartoon to appear in this set.

So here’s my theory:

It was really MEANT to be Ricochet Rabbit pictured on the box. But someone in one of Warner’s production departments – likely someone who WASN’T AROUND when these cartoons were in their heyday, and has naught but a passing knowledge of them… if even that – found some clip art of Warner’s “Rapid Rabbit” (misinterpreting it as an appearance by the character, rather than an episode title)and plugged it into the box art.

I suspect we’ll see updated package art before May. And, as with other Warner compilation sets, probably a change or two in contents as well. …I sure hope they don’t swap-out the Abbott and Costello cartoon, realizing there’s some rights issue, or sumpthin’.

Sound plausible?

…And Wacky Races would be another double-dip, so please forgive me if I don’t’ second that. Ahhh… my luck, they’ll probably replace the Abbott and Costello with it!

Comicbookrehab said...

Sony Wonder released two DVDs of "What's New Mister Magoo" a few years ago - not the complete series, but what some people call "sampler" or "Soccer Mom" editions, with about 4 half hours on each disc.

The Abbott and Costello cartoon looks interesting - because it has Hanna Barbera production values from their best decade, as opposed to the Three Stooges cartoons, though HB did do "The Robonic Stooges", which still gets played on Boomerang.

Are there any Wally Gator cartoons on there?

Joe Torcivia said...


I really can’t wait to see the Abbott and Costello cartoon, as I haven’t seen one of these (outside of occasional and disjointed YouTube viewings) since they originally ran in 1967.

Both those, and the H-B Laurel and Hardy cartoons of a year earlier are truly “lost” specimens. Anything from H-B’s prime period (1970 and prior) is worth seeing. Little after that, until Dexter and Johnny Bravo, etc.

Yes, there is one Wally Gator on the set, making two overall released to DVD. The other one is on Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Volume Two. Look up that review of mine, if you wish. It’s a great set!

And this one is a must-have, as well!