Following in the footsteps of Warner Home Video and Universal Pictures, Sony has started a new Columbia Classics archive program, making available dozens of old movies previously unavailable on DVD. For animation fans, this could be a gold mine… emphasis on the word “could”.
The studio is sitting vivid masters of all their UPA cartoons, and their libraries of Charles Mintz Scrappy, Krazy Kat and Color Rhapsodies are all restored. The 1940s Screen Gems cartoon shorts they hold include rarely seen work by Frank Tashlin, Dave Fleischer and John Hubley, with characters such as The Fox & Crow, Li’l Abner and Tito & Burrito. Columbia also has several independent works, such as Mel Brooks’ Oscar winning The Critic and anime features like Jack and The Beanstalk (1974).
The studio is taking requests on what they should offer through this program. I’d like to encourage our readers to check out the site and offer some suggestions. The Columbia cartoon library has been neglected for far too long. This might just be the opportunity we’ve been waiting for to unlock the vault.