Looney Tunes DVD Uncensored

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I’ve gotten more than several emails from readers concerned about edits, cuts and omissions from forthcoming Popeye and Looney Tunes DVD collections. Let me assure you that classic cartoons on both these series will remain uncensored on their upcoming DVD releases. Scenes, such as this brilliant take-off on Cab Calloway (that’s Porky Pig above, in Frank Tashlin’s Porky At The Crocadero), remain completely intact in Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 5.

In fact, the DVD will not only include the uncut suicide gag from Clampett’s Hare Ribbin’ (two frames pictured below), in which Bugs hands his opponent a weapon to blow his brains out, the DVD will also include the alternate “director’s cut” version (bottom image) in which Bugs Bunny himself pulls the trigger!

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  • http://www.micahtoons.com Micah Baker

    Thanks, Jerry. Those Looney Tune caps look great. I’m really looking forward to the release.

  • http://cartoongeeks.blogspot.com/ S. Michelle Klein-Hass

    So when are we going to see the “Banned 12″ in a Golden Collection?

  • Keith Paynter

    It just goes to to show you – cartoon suicide was considered funny; cartoon murder was not. It’s understandable why the ending was changed. The Hays office would have been livid.

    One of two BB moments for the majority of uneducated cartoon fans to be bothered over. The other, of course being the wabbit’s slanderous tirade during the offering of frozen treats in ‘…Nips The Nips’ – I can be more tolerent of the latter because I understand the historical context. Does that make me a bad person?

    Still, it’s all good to see, Jerry. I expect to shock a few people myself in November when I feature 2 of Clampett’s prominent C11 shorts at a ‘wartoons’ screening.

  • http://portapuppets.does.it uncle wayne

    Beauu-ti-ful! I hope no idiot finds that “racist!” Yeah…like there’s no “black history” at-tall in Cab Calloway!!

    And Holy Jesus….i don’t think ANYone has ever seen the Bugs’-pistol-in-MOUTH ending!

  • David

    If there’s one cartoon on the set to double check for DVNR, the under water scenes in Hare Ribbin would be the best place to look. What a nightmare this cartoon must have been to restore.

    Hope it turns out good. Judging from the popeye dvd, I bet this LTGC will the best looking one yet.

    Thanks for your hard work Jerry.

  • http://doubleben.blogspot.com/ Emmett Goodman

    No Kidding! I hope I can afford volume 5. Seeing these cartoons in their original form (and with director’s cuts) is a real treat. I remember that suicide gag there, it was shown on TV sometime in the early 1990′s. Then slowly the cartoons got censored, to the point where they are barely shown on TV anymore.

  • John

    Jerry, any word on if the same “no censorship” rules will hold true for the Vol. 2 Popeye DVD (those early Famous Studio WWII cartoons have me worried).

  • Alex

    I remember Cartoon Network would constantly be showing Looney Tunes, and only just a few years ago I realized, “Hey, where’d Speedy Gonzales go?” I’ve seen nothing of him and other shorts that I saw many years ago ever since. It’s great that these shorts are being put on DVD at last.

  • Joe

    He said that BOTH releases will be uncensored. So we’ll see all the Popeye WWII shorts in all their glory.

  • http://www.myspace.com/brandontoons Brandon Pierce

    I still think the version where Bugs shoots the dog is better, if only because it’s better animated.

  • http://amymebberson.blogspot.com Amy Mebberson

    I too, sincerely hope that a Banned 11 special DVD could come out. Or at the very least the WW2-specific ones like Nips the Nip or Tokio Jokio. Disney got them all out in their War Shorts collection, why not WB? As I recall, the Disney collection sold very well because people clearly wanted to enjoy the cartoons for their historical significance.

    Yes, the WB ones are a lot more extreme than the Disney ones, but they’ve been SO over-cautious with their ‘these DVDs are for adult collectors only, not kids’ warnings on the Gold collection DVDs, what’s really left to excuse NOT releasing them?

    Who knows, maybe they will eke out the Banned 11 over subsequent Gold Collections. That may be the more subtle way to do it.

  • Gene

    The version where Bugs plugs the dog IS better animated. The fix was done quickly, several months later, after the short had been in release for a while. It also appeared on the Vol. 5 Golden Age of Looney Tunes laser disc collection in 1996.

  • Autumn

    Personally I like the Bugs shooting as the ending also. I like the fact that they’re leaving this shorts alone and not censoring them. They are what they are and they shouldn’t be tampered with. They’re a part of history.

  • Bugsmer

    Excellent, Jerry! That’s good to hear, though I didn’t doubt that they’d all be uncut. Is the original version of “Hare Ribbon” going to be restored as well as the re-release?

  • http://understandinganimation.blogspot.com/ Bruce

    Great stuff.

    This will be another worthy purchase, along with the WDT’s and the second Volume of Segar’s Popeye in the upcoming months. Now if the ‘lost’ 40 feet of film from ‘The Heckling Hare’ is ever discovered, now THAT would be something.

    I highly doubt it, but who knows.

    Thanks for the heads up, Jerry!

  • http://www.warnerart.com Eric

    Considering how many times Elmer Fudd has shot Daffy Duck point blank in the face, it’s amazing that Bugs and the pistol was ever an issue. Can’t help but notice some of the parallels between the history of animation and the history of video gaming where censorship and violence are concerned. Not to mention the exploitation of talent in both industries.

  • http://classicanimation.blogspot.com Thad Komorowski

    Why was there any doubt that this set would be uncensored? People are just paranoid.

    • James Fowler

      We have to remember that what was shocking back then seems tame to today. They should air uncut looney tunes on adult swim, that would be awesome!

  • Dock Miles

    Well, there’s cartoon violence and there’s cartoon violence. The various flesh-and-bone-shattering indignities visited on not only Wile E. Coyote and Daffy but (most savagely and casually) on Tom and Jerry don’t even faze them. They’re back and ready for action the next scene. This Bugs bit and many other suicide scenes are the last moment. The characters are plainly, like, you know, DEAD at the conclusion.

    And I’m sorta with the censors, here. There’s a worthy difference between Bugs tricking the big, Bad Guy into offing himself and just blowing him away.

  • http://classiccartoons.blogspot.com/ Duck Dodgers

    I second what Thad say.

    Jerry, any official word about the release of Popeye vol.2? I’m pretty curious to know if it’ll be in November or December….and, besides, what I’m really waiting is volume 3 (I suppose it’ll be out in July 2008), with all them Famous cartoons! (And how do I love if Republic would allow you to use some original prints of Blackie/Wolfie/Herman cartoons to be released as bonus goodies on that set…)

  • Russell H

    ‘Considering how many times Elmer Fudd has shot Daffy Duck point blank in the face, it’s amazing that Bugs and the pistol was ever an issue.’

    Perhaps it was because Bugs and Daffy are “heroes” and Elmer Fudd is a “villain.” As I understand it, the Motion Picture Code was rather nitpicky about just when and how a “hero” could shoot/kill a villain; usually, I think, it was only when the “hero” was in imminent danger of being killed himself (e.g., the villain is about to shoot/kill him). That wasn’t the case here; although the dog had been trying to eat Bugs, by this time Bugs had messed with his mind enough so that he was effectively “harmless” and was even about to commit suicide. So, theoretically, Bugs didn’t “have to” shoot him.

    Please understand I’m not agreeing with the censors here–I’m just trying to figure out why they cut the scene based on how they may have been interpreting what was allowable under the Motion Picture Code.

  • KenM

    Bugsmer – The specs for the DVD indicate that the “wide release/suicide” version of “Hare Ribbin’” will be on the main program of the 3rd disc while the “director’s cut/murder” version will be available as a “From the Vault” special feature on the same disc.

  • http://portapuppets.does.it uncle wayne

    iIm with Bruce! What is WITH that “mystery ending” of “Heckling Hare!” ???

  • gd0

    I’m also puzzled why there would be a censorship concern, when it’s so obvious that the Looney Tunes and Popeye sets are thoroughly and thoughtfully produced.

    Sorta O/T, but who can we appeal to at WB to have the equally-important MGM cartoons transferred over to the Classic Film division so they can receive the same treatment as the above? The Family Division is butchering this catalog.

    Crucial consideration, with a Tex Avery box in the balance.

  • http://www.filmbuffonline.com Rich Drees

    Well, considering hwat happened with the recent TOM AND JERRY, VOL. 3 release (http://tinyurl.com/2ctya8) and how it had two cartoons dropped, I was a bit concerned about the integrity of future GOLDEN COLLECTIONS myself.

    Glad to see that they’re coming out untouched by a censor’s scissors.

    Thanks for the update Jerry!

  • http://jbwarner86.deviantart.com JBWarner86

    I didn’t doubt that the cartoons would be uncut – we’ve had four years of precedence for this sort of thing, after all. I’m just glad that the director’s cut of “Hare Ribbin’” will be on this thing. Call me blasphemous, but the original ending is about a hundred times funnier, and I figure it’s because it’s more vividly animated and properly timed with the rest of the scene (and it’s about the last thing I’d expect Bugs to do – it comes out of nowhere and surprises the audience, a good definition of what Clampett’s mentor Tex Avery thought comedy should be). The new scene of Bugs handing the gun to the dog is awkwardly placed and too rapidly timed to read well, so I’m relieved to know that the unedited version will be available for me to enjoy.

  • Randy

    I suspect that at least some of the paranoia about possible cuts has to do with the statement WHV made about their reasons for leaving “Casanova Cat” and “Mouse Cleaning” off of the latest Tom and Jerry collection. It’s important to remember, though, that the Tom and Jerry sets are not handled by the same people who are doing the Looney Tunes and Popeye sets. The Tom and Jerrys were assembled by folks whose target audience is the kiddie set.

    Regarding the censored cartoons, if I was in marketing I would be tempted to save them for the final volumes. By the time we’re getting a Looney Tunes set with discs devoted to Buddy and to Daffy vs. Speedy: The DePatie-Freleng Years, those censored cartoons might be a heckuva sales incentive!

  • Kevin Wollenweber

    Ah me, I tend to think that we’re beating a dead horse (how’s that for violence content), especially when I hear what goes on regarding just trying to get these slow-thinkers to understand the real cash they could make creating wonderful encyclopedic volumes of great cartoons! In fact, at his great show, “WORST CARTOONS EVER”, held in New York near NYU, Jerry Beck hinted that we should just be glad that there are TOM & JERRY DVD sets at all, and I thought about it and will now go on record as re-ordering the TOM & JERRY SPOTLIGHT COLLECTION III set. Most of the cartoons are restored, including “FRAMED CAT” which was one of those cartoons that were altered for the laserdisk packages, and it opens with “MOUSE IN THE HOUSE”, a little-known treasure with some great blackout gags and one of the most amazing Bradley scores ever in the series. In fact, if Screen Archives ever releases a second hefty two-CD set of the Bradley scores, “MOUSE IN THE HOUSE” should be right up there with “DANCE OF THE WEED” and “ROMEO IN RHYTHM” (which, by the way, will be part of the special features on the MICKEY ROONEY/JUDY GARLAND COLLECTION set).

    But I am wholly certain and never doubted that LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 5 is going to be great. All I ask is that the problem of running some toons on the wrong speed, like the situation with the PRIVATE S.N.A.F.U. cartoon, “THE GOLDBRICK”, is eliminated and we never see such a glaring error again. Someone in the transfer department is indeed goldbricking! Oh, please, somebody, show me how to use the equipment used to make these transfers. I’d stay up day and night, order food in and sit there until the job is done. In fact, I’d transfer all the cartoons just so all that has to be done is merely pick and choose, but then I think that Jerry and George have done a lot of this, too.

    Jerry, that show last night was terrific. Wish you could get back to New York more often to start up a new series of those summertime toon festivals. Maybe that is going to be the only way that the full restoration of classic cartoons is ever going to take place, that is, if the films, fully restored, can be seen for the first time on the big screen!!

  • james godfrey

    Great news! To be honest, I didn’t doubt they would be seeing as they’re handled by a different division to Tom and Jerry, but it’s always nice to be reasurred! Also, is there any news on a release date for vol 2? I need the rest of the Fleischer sorts!

  • http://pediatristsplayground.blogspot.com Kevin W. Martinez a.k.a. Leviathan

    That B/W Porky screen shot resembles something out of a Pre-Code Fleischer cartoon, which is fitting.

    I had no real doubt that Volume 5 would be uncut.

    I hope Popeye Vol 2 is still on track for the end of the year, though

  • Bugsmer

    “Bugsmer – The specs for the DVD indicate that the “wide release/suicideâ€? version of “Hare Ribbin’â€? will be on the main program of the 3rd disc while the “director’s cut/murderâ€? version will be available as a “From the Vaultâ€? special feature on the same disc.”

    KenM, I asked because “The Adventures of The Road Runner” was restored, although included as an extra. Restored or not, it’s superior to the recut, and anyone who hasn’t seen it will be in for a treat.

  • Jukebox Johnny

    Regarding the above comment from Amy (09/17/07 4:41pm): If WB does indeed learn from Disney’s WWII cartoon releases and release a special DVD of THEIR censored cartoons………then, in a complete cycle, would Disney in turn take the hint from THAT and release an unedited SONG OF THE SOUTH??? —– I must be in Fantasyland to even THINK that…..

  • Dock Miles

    I understand the … uh, what was that term? … oh, yeah — transgressive quality of Bugs blowing away the dog, particularly in that time and place. But do we really want a Gangsta Bugs? A nod to it, yeah. But the fullest incarnation of the character was a lot more than that. That he was a mindful mayhem-maker is getting a bit lost these days.

  • John A

    About “The Heckling Hare”: that ending gag that features Bugs and the dog stepping off a second cliff, the two of them screaming again and Bugs ending the cartoon with “Hang on to your hats folks, here we go again” was reportedly cut by Leon Himself before the cartoon was released, so it’s unlikely that an existing print still survives. Tex wasn’t too happy about his cartoon being tampered with and he left for MGM soon after. His last cartoon, All this and Rabbit Stew has no director credit.

  • Keith Paynter

    For hardcore collectors who are interested, there is what appears to be a composite 16mm print of this short with the original ending on Ebay, ending 9/25 at 9pm PST. The ending footage appears very red/orange, while the bulk of the film is faded pinkish but not hard.

  • http://acmeacres.prophpbb.com Nathan Kaiser

    is there a list of the banned 12 i can look at?