The Warner Archive Collection

Starting today, Warner Bros. begins opening their film vaults by making hundreds of previously unavavilable movies available on DVD. For $19.95, Warner’s will ship a made-to-order DVD, in a shrink-wrapped case with cover art, to customers within five days of purchase. These films will only be available through Warner’s website, WarnerArchive.com – not on amazon, not at Wal-Mart, nowhere else. The first 150 feature films in this initiative are now listed. You can also order each film as a computer download for $14.95. More details on this “movies-on-demand” project are discussed in today’s LA Times.

What does this have to do with classic animation? Warner Home Video Sr. VP George Feltenstein is behind this project. I’ve been told Warner’s will eventually make available its shorts (Joe McDoakes, anyone?), TV series (Marine Boy, perhaps?), and cartoons (Happy Harmonies??) in this program. Plans for animation collections are being brainstormed now… Any suggestions?


  • Gerard de Souza

    Perhaps not so rare but I would like to see Sniffles with his own DVD.

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

    Just release the Banned Eleven or the war shorts already!
    As long as they’re only available from the archives and not regular retail, only the true aficionados will bother looking for them.

    Hey, we can still hope…?

  • http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=052C631F61EE2838 Iain

    In terms of Warner Bros., there’s quite allot of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies that have not been included into the Golden Collection line-up (possibly maybe the Censored 11 if they could throw in a pre-show warning), but with everything else, there’s not allot off the top of my head to put into this new line-up. But I have thought up with three features.

    Chuck Jones’ “The Phantom Tolllbooth”, George Lucas’ “Twice Upon a Time” (crossing fingers for the “Swearing Botch” version), and Hyperion’s “Rover Dangerfield”. All three have been released on VHS and are on YouTube, but haven’t been given a DVD boost as of now.

  • Chris Webb

    “Plans for animation collections are being brainstormed now… Any suggestions?”

    This is an obvious choice: The Compleat Tex Avery at MGM

    I would love to see a complete collection of Chuck Jones’ WB work presented in chronological order.

  • http://psychotronicpaul.blogspot.com Paul Etcheverry

    Hmmmmm – for starters, the Milt Gross MGM cartoons, the unreleased WB cartoons and all the Pre-Code musical shorts (quite a few of which were released on laserdisc, but never on DVD) from WB and MGM.

  • http://www.losetheradio.com Roman

    “Everything not yet released on DVD for one low price” :)

  • Jay Taylor

    Complete Tex Avery MGM, Happy Harmonies, all the MGM cartoons…

    Does Warner own George Pal’s Puppetoons?

  • http://www.myspace.com/crumbcrispcoating Jonathan the Bellboy

    So Jerry, a friend, and me make three people clamoring for the Complete McDoakes.

  • Paul N

    Just make the rest of the shorts available. Thumbing through Jerry’s “Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies” becomes a depressing activity when one considers just how small a percentage of WB cartoons is represented by the six Gold Collection sets.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~ironybread Taylor Jessen

    Regarding features – “Animalympics”? I know Warner had at least World distribution rights on that pic.

    I don’t see “Twice Upon a Time” amongst the 151 titles lsited in the store, which is probably a good sign – for now, at least, they have other plans for it. (“None” unfortunately being one possible subset of “Other”.)

    Did “The Mouse and His Child” end up in the Warner vault? I thought a major distributed that back in the day, but IMDB just lists Sanrio Communications.

    Very cool that they’re going spelunking in the archives and reissuing some forgotten faves. Already I see some gems to add to the want list (“Orphans” is a sweet Alan Pakula pic from the ’80s).

  • Gijs Grob

    To add to the above, I would throw in MGM’s Harman/Ising Films and the complete Barney Bear shorts. I’d also like to see ‘Coal Black and the Sebben Dwarfs’ on DVD, but I’m afraid that is never going to happen…

  • T.M. Galvin

    Very underrepresented (in the previous Looney Tunes DVD releases) have been the Merrie Melodies from 1935 to roughly 1938, such as Along Flirtation Walk and Flowers For Madame, which contain some of the sweetest, cleverest music of any cartoon shorts! By the way, Jerry, we’re very pleased with what you’ve managed so far.

  • http://classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

    Sure, I love the Looney Tunes (in fact, I watched the new year’s day marathon on CN), but I would like to see the Paramount cartoons restored and released like this!

  • Andrea Ippoliti

    Well a good suggestion would be to release ALL the MGM cartoons that are not with Tom and Jerry or Droopy and all the ones that are not directed by Tex Avery, in a sort of “Cartoon Festival” set.
    These have limited market and it would be a good chance to have them on DVD.
    So we’d see Happy Harmonies, Barney Bear and one-shots.
    Uncut, of course.

  • Jeeves

    All of Victor Fleming’s MGM features. It’s staggering how many are either no longer in print or have never been released on any home format. This was a major director, who made two of Hollywood’s best pictures. Until late last year there wasn’t even one biography on the man. Hollywood is remains unsurpassed at forgetting the people who built it.

  • Nic Kramer

    The two seasons of the “The Bugs Bunny Show” with the suriving color/bw bridges.

  • Kevin Martinez

    If Warner doesn’t continue doing Popeye sets in 2010, this would be the best place to stick those. Ditto for the more marketable Looney Tunes.

    And of course MGM TEX AVERY would be excellent. But only if the cartoons are uncut and restored to the extent the surviving materials will allow.

  • Saturnome

    They can’t even ship here in Canada!

    Anyway, note that the Warner Archive Collection is not sold on DVDs but DVD-Rs, like bootlegs are.

  • http://www.goldenagecartoons.com Jon Cooke

    Keeping my fingers crossed for the MGM cartoons, especially a (unedited) Tex Avery set!

  • Steve Siegert

    For starters, the first thing that should get release should be a COMPLETE collection of Tex Avery’s MGM shorts. I would be willing to pay a little extra for such a collection if it were to fix the DVNR issues that plagued a few of the shorts on the Droopy set, and of course an uncut version of “Garden Gopher”. I have seen a few of Avery’s MGM shorts as bonuses for some of the DVD releases for classic MGM feature films, and from what I saw, they all look like they are all newly restored copies. This could easily rank in the Top 10 in sales at Warner Archives. Of course, I would love to see all the non-Avery and non-Tom & Jerry MGM cartoons get a release as well. Is it possible that the future volumes of Popeye may go to the Archives, or does Warner still plan to release them in retail stores?

  • Synthetic Flesh

    Not animation related but I’d love to see the alternately shot B&W version of ‘Dr.X’.

  • http://goldenagecartoons.com Matthew Hunter

    Tex Avery!

  • OliverB

    THIS IS FANTASTIC NEWS!!!

    Who would’ve ever guessed only a few years back that we would actually one day be able to own the entire Warner and MGM animated short library; this is mind-blowing!!!

    I would like to see the following released within this Archive Collection, and it goes without saying that ALL sets should remain complete, chronological and UNCUT!:

    1. MGM Happy Harmonies

    2. Barney Bear

    3. Captain and the Kids

    4. Tom and Jerry (MGM theatricals) – redo these properly! complete and uncut!

    5. Private Sanfu & Mr. Hook WWII Themed Set

    I would add a complete TEX AVERY at MGM set as well (including all the Droopy cartoons + the Michael Lah shorts as bonus) but really Warners would be out of their minds not to capitalize on these criminally overdue and requested films on DVD as they could easily and viably sustain a mainstream commercial release… as long as we get ‘em though!!!

    Complete, comprehensive and chronological for ALL please!!!

    I don’t care about supplements or any of that jazz… just give us these cartoons!!!

  • http://www.inthebalcony.com Laughing Gravy

    Of course I’d love the McDoakes… but c’mon! Warners owns the MGM shorts! They could give us complete sets of Robert Benchley shorts or “Crime Does Not Pay”!

  • Gary Flinn

    While not a cartoon, this Jack Benny film launched a million jokes: “The Horn Blows at Midnight”. I recall Mel Blanc on the Jack Benny Show played that film’s director who was demoted to studio guard.

  • Robert Barker

    Doesn’t Warner control the Hanna Barbera stuff? Then, now is the time to get some Quick Draw McGraw (with Augie Doggy and Snooper and Blabber).

  • Kristjan Birnir

    Saturnome says: “They can’t even ship here in Canada!”

    Im not even from Canada just from Iceland (yes a European country) and they (Warners) are shooting them self in the foot by not offering the arichve for international distribution, but if they plan to do so then they sould come out and tell us when they expect the serive to go international. But since there are no animation in this serive yet then I and other international animation fans relax about this for now.

  • Bill Cross

    Of course, Tex Avery’s work at both Warners and M-G-M would top the list, followed closely by the “Censored 11″ – “Coal Black” in particular.

    Then, the Harman-Ising output from M-G-M.

    Any of the older Warners cartoons that never made it to a Golden Collection.

    Finally, I agree with the above post that if there aren’t going to release any more Popeye sets, put the Famous Studios Popeyes here.

    Also, it would be nice for those of us who are really hard core, if they offered discounts the more we purchased.

  • http://www.illegibleme.com Andrew Smith

    Episodes of The Bugs Bunny Show would be very nice.

  • Geoff Gardner

    Naturally we animation fans quickly get visions of Censored Eleven dancing in our heads with an announcement like this …

    And why not?? It’s the PERFECT way to make them available. That way nobody would have to wrestle with whether or not to include them in any further Looney Tunes DVD releases, which I still hope are coming …

    Anyway, what a great idea! Hopefully other studios will follow suit.

  • Mark

    Well, the 3 Stooges did a few shorts and features for MGM, with and without Ted Healey. Not many of those are currently available (except for the Milt Gross-scripted “Soup to Nuts”

  • Number1AnimationFan

    That “Bugs Bunny Show” idea is great, I guess if there are no color prints surviving, WB could computer-colorize them using that process they used for those 1990′s colorizations. Also, I’d love to see those bridging sequences from “The Road Runner Show” (I think some of them are on the Misce-Looney-ous blog), and the two [actually funny] theatrical McKimson RR shorts (“Rushing Roulette” and “Sugar and Spies”). Does WB own the rights to those?

  • http://www.cartoonsteve.com Steve

    > MGM shorts as bonuses for some of the DVD releases for classic MGM > feature films

    That was my first thought – wishing Warners would include relevant shorts on the same disc. For example: Clampett’s “Bacall To Arms” with “To Have and Have Not”. I realize its not a selling point but would restore a bit of the original theater experience.

  • Brian O.

    How dicey will the ource material be? Crappy prints or something cleaned-up with proper color balance?

    I don’t want restored because the big studios haven’t done it right with consistency. If Warners is slamming these out there at a fast pace there ain’t going to be a lot of care spent getting the cartoons to look as good as they could.

    I’d rather see VHS from the late 1980s quality than some DVNR and oversaturated “restored” mess.

    Get George to make Warners purchase the Puppetoons.

  • John Papovitch

    Quick Draw McGraw
    Wally Gator
    A Tex Avery MGM Collection
    Daffy Duck’s Movie: Fantastic Island
    Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters
    The Bugs Bunny Show

  • Joe Torcivia

    The remainder of THE HUCKLEBERRY HOUND SHOW!

    It’s been missing since 2005!

    Lots of great stuff by Warren Foster, Daws Butler, and Don Messick!

  • tom stazer

    Pretty bad start; the films curently on the page belong in a dollar bin. I doubt anyone’s coughing up $20 for this dung abnytime soon, unless they do put up the shorts mentioned here, which would drive a lot of traffic to the site. I don’t think some half baked william conrad movie is gonna do it, costing more than Pinnochio.

  • Merlin Jones

    The Bugs Bunny Show (colorize the b/w trims to match – - one ligit use of the process!)
    Shazzan!
    Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles
    The Herculoids
    The New Adventures of Huck Finn
    Quick Draw McGraw

    (Not the animated version, but on a related note: Shazam!)

  • Wes

    The jury’s still out on whether these will be DVD-R’s or pressed DVD’s. I’ve heard conflicting reports. There’s a chat on Home Theater Forum Tonight with someone from Warner’s Home Video, so there should be a lot of talk about this Archive project.

  • http://lyris-lite.net David Mackenzie

    My vote goes for a Complete Tex Avery MGM set.

  • http://lyris-lite.net David Mackenzie

    One other thing – why do these ship only to the US? Surely Warners can ship the titles that they own the worldwide rights to – and that should be lots of them – anywhere?

    In the mean time, I guess I’ll need to have my friends forward packages for me…

  • Chris Sobieniak

    It’s sad the non-US guys are being left out for the time being, but hopefully they’ll work on creating an international site or services to those fans in the future. This would be a perfect way to release such forgotten treasures as Marine Boy if that’ll put a dent to the guys who have tried to collect all 78 episodes of that show! Hopefully this form of “Burn-On-Demand” will work well for WB.

  • http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=052C631F61EE2838 Iain

    When I associated with Home Theatre Forum’s recent live chat with Warner Home Video Theatrical, Warner said that they will start shipping internationally in the following weeks and this will only be applicable to the films where they hold worldwide rights, which they said is “most of them.”

    I also briefly asked them about “Twice” and “Tollbooth” by the end, they said they are working on some form of ideas, but as of now none are concrete.

  • http://www.thexbridge.com Jeff Harris

    Tex Avery Volumes 1 – 4, uncut, uncensored. That’s priority number one.

    That is all.

  • Bryan

    SWING, SWING, SWING!
    Previous laserdisc. Would look great on DVD.

  • Adel Khan

    The Bugs Bunny Show
    The Quick Draw McGraw Show
    Yogi’s Treasure Hunt

  • Keith Paynter

    Saturnome says:
    “They can’t even ship here in Canada! Anyway, note that the Warner Archive Collection is not sold on DVDs but DVD-Rs, like bootlegs are.”

    They’re not DVD-R’s. From the HTF chat today:

    “There will be a availability of product WORLDWIDE shortly through the Warner Archive Collection. SHORTLY. We just don’t have a date yet…it could be only a few days away….bear with us…This would be only applicable to the films where we hold worldwide rights, which is
    MOST of them. 2). The discs are of the highest quality. They are manufactured via propriatary MOD process which is very different from home-used DVDRs on one’s computer….we guarantee the quality of these discs and will stand by them. 3) This DOES NOT replace our retail initiatives. THEY REMAIN FULL SPEED AHEAD…”

    The Archives program will feature product they WHV has worldwide rights to (which is A LOT). International sales are part of the plan. This is just the first day.

    The C11 would be a perfect candidate for this series – if you want it, you won’t find it on the shelves at Wal-Mart. This is a great way to potentially treat this as an under-the-radar release.

  • Keith Paynter

    Here’s a link to a site that produces MOD encoded DVD-R’s, for copy protection unavailable to homemade DVD-R discs. This post is not a company endorsement, just for educational info…

  • Matthew K Sharp

    What would I like to see?

    Obviously all the WB / MGM cartoons that are as yet uncollated and unreleased, especially the 30s films.

    On the non-animation front, off the top of my head, the sound features of Buster Keaton; and a selection of Red Skelton’s MGM features. I could almost be drawn to that McDoakes collection too.

    Good to hear they’ve plans to go international with the shipping. It would be rather labyrinthine otherwise.

  • Anna

    I’ll join the group of people screaming for uncut/uncensored versions of Tom & Jerry, Complete Tex Avery MGM sets and the famed “Censored 11″

  • Gijs Grob

    To Steve (03/23/09 4:00pm):

    ‘Bacall to Arms’ IS included in the latest DVD release of ‘To Have or to Have not’… (at least here in Europe)

  • Scott Harpel

    I already have the complete Tex Avery of course, one of the benefits of getting an MA in England was being able to pop over to France and buy the set I am also pretty sure most of them are uncut.

  • http://www.brandoncordy.com Brandon Cordy

    I suppose I’m hopping onto the “Complete (and Unedited) Tex Avery at MGM” bandwagon.

    I think some of the suggestions about purchasing the Puppetoons and colorizing the w/w Bugs Bunny Show footage are a little extreme for a made-to-order DVD series. To be honest, consumers will be lucky if they get remastered prints of most of these films (I suppose any remastering or restoration would depend upon online votes or estimated supply and demand).

  • Kirk

    How are they planning to release the cartoons? I’d love to have a list of all the unreleased WB & MGM cartoons, from which we can pick any 20 per disk, with maybe an incremental discount for each disc that you order. That would give everyone the chance to build their own “Golden Collections”.

  • Mark McD

    Frankly, this route may be the future for back catalog home video movies. With specialized video stores disappearing, we’re left with big box retailers who only want to stock the latest blockbusters, leaving no outlet for older movies that don’t have deluxe 50th anniversary editions coming out (I notice Target now has TV season sets, including “King of the Hill,” being packaged together at 2 set for $20). This may be the best place to score movies by “forgotten” actors like Spencer Tracy and Burt Reynolds.

  • cliffclaven 2.0

    Unfortunately, I’m guessing this is going to be limited to stuff that’s shovel-ready with absolutely minimum additional attention — which may mitigate against compilations (somebody has to select and arrange multiple items) or anything that was badly copied or mastered (like some of the MGM toons they run on Boomerang).

    That said, I do have fond memories of “Captain Sinbad” with Guy Williams: Crazy old-school mechanical effects, an Arab princess with big blonde hair and a villain who kept his heart — a little red toy prop — in a distant tower, so Sinbad had to track it down and fight a giant marionette hand.

  • Steve

    So when they introduce a bunch of new titles, will the old titles go away? Are we talking about a limited availability window here, as has been the case with commercially marketed DVDs?

  • http://www.thesimpsonsrp.com cartoonman

    The Real COMPLETE Tex Avery (1935-1956)
    Warner cartoons+MGM cartoons

  • zavkram

    I just visited the Warner Bros. Online Store to see what titles are currently available. I saw two MGM titles that I’ve been hoping would be released to DVD but haven’t yet:

    “Young Tom Edison”
    “Edison the Man”

    I’m also hoping for the Warner Bros. features, “Dr. Erlich’s Magic Bullet” and “The Horn Blows at Midnight”.

    As far as cartoons are concerned: yes, definitely, PLEASE make the entire Tex Avery and Harman-Ising backlog available! Ditto for the classic H-B TV cartoons that have gone unreleased. I doubt that we’ll see many Quick-Draw McGraw cartoons, though, until the whole music-rights issue with Capitol can be resolved.

    Why Warner Bros. (or any of the other major studios, for that matter) didn’t think to go ahead with a scheme like this before is beyond me!

  • Nelson

    Me personally, I’d love to see WHV release the sound comedies of legendary sillent screen comedian, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, since those are very rare shorts he made for Vitaphone from 1932 to 1933, shortly before his death.

  • http://www.swordandsarcasm.com/ Chuck Fiala

    I’d love to see the release of the complete non-Tom & Jerry MGM cartoons as a series. Since Tex Avery is popular with many of us, if paired with the rest of the MGM cartoons, we could maybe get the whole MGM cartoon collection! I can picture packaging with Bosko, Barney Bear, Buck Cheeser, Screwy Squirrel, Droopy, Red and the wolf doing fairly well with all cartoon fans.

  • cliffclaven

    Good candidates:
    – Gene Kelly’s “Invitation to the Dance” with the animated Arabian Nights sequence
    – “Jack and the Beanstalk”, the Kelly/HB TV special
    . . . although you’d think both would have received real releases already, considering that Time Warner has rolled out even more obscure MGM musicals. That suggests legal or source material problems.

    Nice but not likely:
    – “Fish Police” (HB’s bizarre entry in the Simpsons “grown-up cartoon” sweepstakes)
    – “The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (Probably doomed by the parade of ethnic villains, all voiced by Ted Cassidy)
    – Any “Saturday Superstar Movies” they own (HB did Lost in Space, Gidget, a mock sequel to Oliver and probably a handful more; others were by Filmation, Rankin-Bass among others)

  • Kirk

    I’m primarily interested in all the unreleased (on DVD) WB cartoons from about 1945-1964, and after that all of Tex Avery’s MGM cartoons. Full episodes of the Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Show would be great too!

  • Sumner Northcutt

    Taylor Jessen above requested “Animalympics” which is currently available in Germany on a PAL no region code disc. If you search (“suche”) for “Dschungel-Olympiade” , you will find it on Amazon.de. It has besides the german english audio and subtitles.

    My requests echo many people above – namely:
    uncut, uncensored Complete Tex Avery MGM & Warners set
    The censored eleven
    Uncut, uncensored Tom and Jerry
    and since I am a big Jack Benny fan “Horn Blows At Midnite”. On his radio show it was always mentioned.

  • gene schiller

    Gene Kelly’s “Invitation to the Dance” would be my first choice. The “censored eleven” would also be nice, though I’d prefer the Bosko Happy Harmonies – and of course, the Merrie Melodies, very few of which have made it to DVD.

  • Sumner Northcutt

    There were a couple of items that I forgot and there seems to be no edit provisions! I hope some of this will come out before I “kick the bucket”. I much prefer that my money goes to Warners than to bootlegers.

  • http://montyonmovies.blogspot.com Monty

    Joe McDoakes would make me so happy.

    Robert Benchley too, of course.

  • RICHARD DIXON

    i am oleased at this decision and would like to recommend that in the first group of releases they include the 1947 OSCAR WINNER FOR SHORT SUBJECT FILMS “A BOY AND HIS DOG”. GOOD GOING WARNERS!! RICHARD DIXON

  • http://www.miscmedia.com/ Clark Humphrey

    Besides the animated rarities, I want Ring of Fire (1961). David Janssen, Frank Gorshin, real forest-fire footage, a killer Duane Eddy theme song.

  • Bill Rodebaugh

    I would like to see Warner Archieves release these:

    The RKO/Hanna Barbera 1967-68 Abbott and Costello cartoon shorts: all 165 of the 5 minute episodes.

    And THE NEW ADVENTURES OF HUCK FINN: from 1968.

  • Jeff Arrowood

    Any chance “Carney” with Jodie Foster, Robbie Robertson and Gary Busey is being considered for a WAC selection?

  • http://natespidgewood.livejournal.com Nate S.

    I’d like to see Warner Archives release “The Pagemaster” (1994) on DVD, but only outside of North America, since WB under Turner holds the international rights to said film; Fox holds the North American rights. Look it up on Wikipedia.

  • JIm

    I’d like to see Marine Boy released on DVD.
    Let’s do it