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ClassicInternet Television

Boomerang Launching $5 Month Classic Cartoon Streaming Service

Classic cartoons available anytime, anywhere, and on any screen is the pitch from Turner and Warner Bros., who will soon launch Boomerang, a new U.S.-only video subscription service.

The service will offer a library of 5,000 classic Warner Bros. shorts, MGM shorts, and Hanna-Barbera tv series, including cartoons starring Tom & Jerry, Droopy, Bugs Bunny, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, and Scooby Doo, among others.

New content will be added weekly, including new original series that will be available in the U.S. exclusively through the service, such as Warner Bros. Animation’s upcoming Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz and a Wacky Races reboot.

"Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz."
“Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz.”

The streaming service’s other features include family profiles, personalized recommendations, download-to-go, Spanish audio, and interactive features that will let users discover and share content. The features will be rolled out in the months following the launch this spring.

The ad-free service will launch domestically on web, iOS, and Android devices for $4.99 per month (with a 7-day free trial) or $39.99 annually (with a 30-day free trial). Warner Bros. is also planning to make the service available for Amazon, Roku, and Apple TV at a later date.

"Wacky Races."
“Wacky Races.”

More details are available at Boomerang’s web site.

This is at least the second Turner specialty channel that has navigated from linear cable to an OTT subscription service, a timely move as cable and satellite tv subscribers continue to shrink. Last year, Turner Classic Movies launched Filmstruck.com, although that service focuses more on presenting the Criterion Collection than on using Turner’s MGM and Warner Bros. catalogs.

The real question with the Boomerang service is how many of the classic Looney Tunes and MGM theatrical shorts will be available. It would be a dream to have all of the shorts available through an on-demand service, especially if the cartoons were searchable by year and director. A full catalog like that would easily be worth $40 per year.

Warner Bros. seems to be aware to some extent that the audience for the service isn’t exclusively children. In a press release, Warner Bros. Digital Networks president Craig Hunegs noted that Boomerang would be aimed at “kids, families and animation fans.”

It remains to be seen how far Warner Bros. and Turner will go toward making the service palatable for animation fans, who will obviously have different demands than the parents who subscribe to the service for their children. Boomerang has a deep library of classic content, and if they present it well, this subscription service could be a big draw for classic animation fans. They may as well focus on fans too, because if the video below is any indication, kids today have little idea of who vintage cartoon characters are:

  • Mr. James

    I understand trying to get a bigger piece of the pie by going direct with their own streaming services, but these companies need to start to understand the need to marry their content with established streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. In a world where kids are not recognizing some of the most iconic characters in the world, you need to make sure you’re getting it out there on the platforms that reach the greatest audience.

    • Mermaid Warrior

      Yeah, the only people who will pay for this service are people who are already very interested in animation.

      • Barrett

        Or parents who loved those shows and think this would be a good investment to simultaneously introduce their kids to these cartoons & to keep them occupied with their phones or tablets while the parents are busy driving/working/doing chores.

    • Barrett

      Exactly. I love a lot of the programming slated for this channel, but another $5 a month charge to my credit card is not something I’m looking for. I subscribe to ONE streaming service (one that doesn’t ever force any ads or other BS onto me when I’m trying to watch things – guess which one I mean ;) and I am not gonna subscribe to another. That goes for CBS All Access or whatever it is they are going to use for that new Trek series, too.

  • David James Gouldthorpe

    HECK TO THE YES! I’m so so thrilled for this to kick off. I’ve been lamenting the fact that the Boomerang TV channel has been taken over by the likes of Teen Titan Go, but now all these classics will be available to us. BRING IT ON!

  • Jack Newman

    Not in Canada? We need more streaming services.

  • Bisong Olaoye Taiwo

    All the Fleischer Popeye/Superman shorts in one place? Count me in!

    • Mesterius

      If the preview video on the site is anything to go by, the quality on the Popeye cartoons will be crap. That clip from “Popeye Meets Ali Baba and His Forty Thieves” is certainly not from the restored version seen on DVD…

      • Bisong Olaoye Taiwo

        Damn :(

  • Pedro Nakama

    I’m a big fan of the old HB cartoons. I hope the offer some sort of discount if you just want to watch them for a couple hours on Saturday morning.

  • Oscar

    with this. I wish Disney should do streaming services like this

    • Mack

      Yes, we need a Vault Disney streaming service!

      • Mesterius

        Walt Disney’s Vault Disney does roll off the tongue!

  • Mesterius

    It has to be said: the single most intriguing thing about all of this is that Barney Bear is actually one of the characters advertised on the site.

    Now where is Wolfie and Red Hot??

  • Abdullah Zubair

    This is a great move..I haven’t spent money on any streaming service but will surely spend on this..BUT, IT IS ONLY AVAILABLE IN USA!!
    this is a very stupid decision since boomerang cartoons are loved worldwide and will limit their business by a lot

  • Elsi Pote

    $40 a year looks like heck of a deal if they stream EVERYTHING and UNCENSORED.

    Hope this gives them enough cash to restore Avery’s shorts in all their glorious splendor.

    • jhalpernkitcat

      Yeah, my dad was talking about Looney Tunes being streamed online and I mentioned “But will they be uncensored?” Daffy’s beak better fall off when he’s getting shot and let Bugs attempt to cross the Mason-Dixie line dressed as a slave because it’s funny.”

  • Wacky Races in Spring 2017.

  • The Heartbreak Kid

    In an ideal world, I’d love to see some oddball classic cartoons make it to this. Jeannie and Pac-Man would be on my list, as would Challenge of the Go-Bots (maybe the other retro Hasbro series since they really have nowhere to go?) and as many of the Saturday Supercade shows as they can reasonably get.

  • SnicksterFace

    I’ll gladly watch with ads if there was a free version.

  • Marc Hendry

    Boy, that Wacky Races picture isn’t easy on the eyes