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Woody Woodpecker on DVD

woodydvd2.jpgGuess Who?

I’m very happy to announce that Universal is releasing The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection on July 24th. This new DVD collection includes three discs containing 75 theatrical cartoons, completely uncut and restored from the original Universal Pictures master negatives (and I promise, no DVNR). It’ll retail at $39.98.

In addition to the first 45 Woody Woodpecker cartoons–presented in original release order–from Knock Knock (1940) to The Great Who-Dood-It (1952), the first five Chilly Willy cartoons (which includes two Tex Avery classics), and five choice Andy Panda cartoons, there will be several Swing Symphonies (including Culhane’s Abu Ben Boogie and The Greatest Man In Siam, among others), Oswald Rabbit (Confidence, Hell’s Heels, Oscar nominee Merry Old Soul and others) and wartime cartoons (like Pigeon Patrol and Pass The Biscuits Mirandy).

That’s not all. Miscellanous Walter Lantz Cartunes (like Hysterical High Spots in American History, Pooch the Pup in King Klunk, Peterkin in Scrambled Eggs, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B and the Avery masterpieces, Crazy Mixed Up Pup and SHH-H-H-H-H) plus bonus material including six Behind-the-Scenes with Walter Lantz segments from the 1957 Woody Woodpecker Show and the rarely seen Halloween TV special Spook-a-Nanny.

And there’s more. I’ll impart further information in future posts, but for now let’s just say our friends at Universal did this one right. Plan on adding this to your collection–you won’t regret it.

  • If this is the first comment, I’m very honored to have made it. This is totally ground-breaking news! Thank you Jerry, You’ve prevented a woodpecker from going extinct!

    P.S. It’s admirable how you held your breath right up until 12AM Tuesday, just as you had promised, and then the floodgates of praise were blasted wide open just as soon as you could (I’m guessing this was Universal’s instructions)! All top honors under heaven to you Mr. Beck!!

  • Amazing! Even “Bugle Boy” restored! I thought I would have never see that in an official release…and restored too! And, at last, “Abou Ben” and “The Greatest Man..” restored. As every collector knows, the first was available among us or in an original print with audio troubles at the very beginning or in a b/w print made by Castle Film. And “Pigeon Patrol”? Finding it uncut was hard work for me, and in bad quality. It will be marvelous to obtain it in complete restored form. I can’t wait this release!!

    Thanks Jerry. Once again I applaude you and thank you for your work!

  • Sean

    Fantastic news! The 40s Woodys at last, plus a ton of other Lantzes! I’m in 7th heaven! Thanks so much, Universal! (And Jerry.)

  • John

    All this and “KING KLUNK” too! I saw this on local TV 50-some years ago and have wanted to see it again. Thanks again for all of this. Kudos to Jerry and Universal!!!

  • Good lord! They really stuffed this one full of extras didn’t they! With this and the Popeye DVD release, I have new things to look forward to.

  • Gosh, and a week later the first POPEYE box.

    Will we cartoon fans even SEE the sun this Summer?

  • Zwollie

    Finally, I can get me some great quality woodpecker!! My rotting VHS tapes are going into retirement!! Took them long enough!!

  • Thank goodness! I’m sick of DVNR’ed cartoons, in the most serious manner. Hopefully the Looney Tunes Golden Collections turn around.

  • peter

    A question on the 5 Oswald shorts, Disney bought their run of Oswald shorts and now has the distribution rights to them, still leaving the rest up to Universal to release?

  • I am elated.

  • Joe Busam

    This is almost too good to be true. If this had been announced a week ago I would have thought it an April Fool’s joke. It seems virtually every Lantz cartoon sought by lovers of classic animation is here. I never would have guessed that they would take the bold step of including BOOGIE WOOGIE BUGLE BOY. The cherry on the sundae is the inclusion of the rare and obscure KING KLUNK. I’m still in the dark as to the status of the Lantz Oswald talkies. Does Disney own these now? If not, perhaps we’ll see a set of these someday. Kudos to Universal and especially to you, Jerry.

  • Ginny-N

    This must be the reincarnation of Christmas for some people. I watched reruns of the Woodpecker Show when I was young, and, with this, I really need money.

    Great Job! That’s a way of doing cool stuff ^^!

  • Cool that they actually let Lantz’s name be on the cover! REALLY excited this has become a reality.

  • J. Allen

    me in the future:

    “Hi. I’m broke. Spare some change for a DVD?”

  • I don’t which I am more excited about… this or Popeye. It may be a tie. It is about time Universal actually did something with their goldmine of classic Walter Lantz material which has been sitting in the vault for far TOO long (Woody hasn’t had his very own video release on Universal’s label since the two 50th ann. VHS tapes that were released in 1990!). Sounds like this set will blow the Columbia House Woody DVDs out of the water. Thanks to Universal for making it happen and thanks to Jerry for picking such amazing, overlooked gems to be included alongside Woody’s adventures (“Abou Ben Boogie”? “Pigeon Patrol”? “Pass the Biscuits Mirandy”? WOW!!!)

  • I had spent all that dough years ago getting the (beaucoup) disc-set from Columbia House! The extra goodies here seem to top it! Can’t wait! No “Scrub Me Mama,” I assume, eh??

  • Jonathan Sloman

    Amazing news. Will one of the featurettes be ‘Walter, Woody and the World of Animation’, the 1982 documentary short? This was included on one of the sell-through Woody Woodpecker videos of my childhood and was a tremendous introduction to the history of animation, Lanz’s career having spanned silents, the birth of Technicolor, Depression-era propaganda, Hollywood screwball of the forties, etc.

  • GoChris

    Great news. Really, Jerry, we gotta thank you and the rest of your colleagues who made the case to the studios that classic cartoons should be restored and released.

    A sincere thanks to you and people like George Feltenstein. And who ever does the Disney Treasures.

  • Annabel Cole

    This set sounds increidible! Swing Symphonies, Andy Panda… I’ve been waiting for these classic cartoons for a long time. The cut up, impossible to find Columbia house sets don’t count. The only strange thing is the cover. After the Popeye box you showed a few days ago, this is a big disappointment. It seems the artists didn’t really know the characters. Chilly Willie’s head is an odd shape, Woody’s neck should really be red, not yellow like his beak (the biggest mistake!) and the pupils in his eyes are huge. It looks like a drawing from bargain store DVDs.

  • Classic Animation on DVD is going to rule my time this summer…

  • jsrstereo

    Wow! We’re really getting lucky this year. Does this mean it’s now possible for us to reasonably hope for a “Happy Harmonies” set??

  • Keith Paynter

    Wow! Oh, wow! Finally!! Universal hasn’t done anything mass market with their cartoons for about 15 years (Columbia House isn’t exactly mass market…), so this is welcome news. I’m curious to see how they’ll put BWBBCB in context, because it is an Oscar nominee. Hopefully we can look forward to wartime toons such as “Ace In The Hole” and “Ration Bored” as well…

    Thanks, Jerry!!

  • John A

    I hate to bag on another artists work, but man, that is one crappy cover! Woody deserves better!

  • Del Walker

    Ahhhh, at last the official word has been given! The rarest Swing Symphonies, in pristine presentations!!! Oswald in his first ever official home video presentation! (Disney is being scooped!) The best Woody’s, and some fine penguin films too. But what of the Panda? Need to include the first 5 certainly, the pygmies especially.

    Absolutely agree that the cover art is in need of work. Go Retro and use the original mid 40’s character designs, not the latter year comic book slicks…

    How’s about an official complete title list for this. Fairly easy to figure out most of them already, but which Cartune classics other than “Jolly Little Elves”?. (Springtime Serenade is ultra-rare!)

    Jerry, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

  • Scaramanga

    I’m speechless, simply speechless. First Popeye, now Woody Woodpecker …

  • Amen to that. Thanks to Universal for what looks to be a great release, and to Jerry for his critical role. I’m counting the days till this one, and you can add me to the chorus requesting a Volume 2. Agreed with others on cover design faults, but let’s not let that distract us from the fact that the glass is still 99.9% full here, fellas.

  • Bugsmer

    Jerry, your persistence has paid off. It’s important for each new generation to watch these cartoons before they’re forgotten forever. Thanks, Jerry!

  • Well, as soon as the set will come out we got to buy it. No time to lose. Don’t wait till Xmas or other holidays. BUY IT. We need a second set with other classics!

  • Gossamer

    First Droopy, then Popeye, now Woody! Oh, joy of joys! Thank you Jerry. Is there a chance for other Fleischer works or Terrytoons to get such a respectable DVD treatment? I’m counting on you Jerry!

  • Jorge Garrido


    ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! BEST. YEAR. EVER!!!

    And a pretty good cover, to boot!

  • Mike Matei

    It’s about time these theatrical woody cartoons came out on DVD. I will be buying this the day it comes out. And Popeye comes out a few days later. AND the Disney Treasures have been saved! Now if we could just get a Columbia DVD set I’ll be in hog heaven!

  • Holy. Moley.

    All the (all the!) early Woody cartoons, plus Avery’s final four theatricals, and an assortment of other Lantz goodies. Mr. Beck, you’re hands-down the best friend classic animation has ever had.

    Consider this bought. Heck, I’ll buy two copies! Well, at the very least, I’ll be at Best Buy early that Tuesday morning to buy it (Wal-Mart never gets classic animation DVDs in at 12 AM like they do their other releases).

    Not too crazy about the cover-art, though. I thought Universal had gone back to using the (better) 1940s Woody design? But, no matter – complaining about the cover design is nitpicking when it’s what’s going to be inside the box that counts.

    P.S. So we get a restored Boogie Woogie Boy of Company B, but no Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat? (Uncle Wayne had the same comment, I see). Granted, Scrub Me Mama is in the public domain, and I’d imagine it took a great deal of arm-twisting just to get Boogie Woogie Boy on there. I find it…interesting… that Universal is beating Warner Home video to the punch as far as airing out their more controversial material.

  • KenM

    That is a great price, too. I would pay that just for a high quality “Crazy Mixed-Up Pup” (Shhhh. Don’t tell Universal).

  • Fabulous news. I used to watch the Woody Woodpecker show “with my boss, Walter Lantz” religiously as a kid. Later, when I read his autobiography I learned how much the censors cheated us of with regard to his studio’s output. Now everybody go out and pre-order a set, and then pre-order another one for your kids (even if they live at home) so that Universal (and maybe the other studios too) will see that there’s a demand for this material.

  • Christopher Cook

    I’ve seen far, far worse cover art (mainly those public domain videos you can get for a buck at WalMart). We are being blessed with some true classics straight from the source.

  • I must be dreaming…[poke eyes]…OW! No, what I’m seeing is for real! 2007 has to be THE best year for classic animation DVDs. Popeye last week, and this week…WOODY!

    I was slightly confident that we would get a Lantz DVD release in some form eventually, but I certainly never expected to have a set that will include pristine versions of the Oswald and the rare Swing Symphonies cartoons. Fantastic! Thanks Jerry for spoiling us (and severely draining my bank balance, but I don’t mind).

  • Looks like I’m fashionably late to the party. I don’t think Universal did all that bad a job on the cover art. It’s serviceable, and what’s on the inside is definitely what counts. I’m not the biggest Woody fan and am not all that familiar with the cartoons presented, so I have even more to look forward to come July.

  • I am delighted to see the bizarre Oswald gem “Confidence” included, which is a true Tex Avery rarity (One of the films he worked on prior to going to Warner Bros) It’s a bizarre piece of new deal propaganda, where all of the chickens on Oswald’s farm stop laying eggs while the spectre of “depression” looms overhead. In steps a cartoon version of FDR (sans wheelchair) dancing and singing “You just need Coni-fi-dence, my boy!” Great stuff!!! I hope it includes “5 and Dime” as well, which I haven’t seen since I was a kid.

  • Jerry, youre the man! Well, at least somebody over at NBC-Uni had to get something right this week and this is a nice suprise.

  • James Kormann

    Man, what great news! Unfortunately, I might be broke by the end of summer because of all the great stuff coming out!

  • Man, two great DVD collections announced in one week…pretty fantastic news!

    Also, Disney only got back the rights to the early Oswald cartoons that Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks worked on. The latter-day cartoons remain with Universal, which is why they can include some on this set.

    Thanks, Jerry!

  • johnny

    Jerry, you rock! This WOODY collection is long overdue, as is (was!)Popeye. Now, if we can find someone to release a SCRAPPY collection, all will be right with the world.

  • Chris Sobieniak


    Thanks, I needed that!

    Again, more on my hard-earned cash blown on long-deserved classics!

  • Wow! I’m buying!
    I loved watching the Woody Woodpecker Show when I was a kid. Mr. Lantz always brought his wife Grace out at the end of the show and introduced her as Woody’s voice!
    I’ve been wanting copies of THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, LEGEND OF ROCKABYE POINT, and CRAZY MIXED UP PUP for years along with the Swing Symphonies!
    Wow indeed. There goes my budget…

  • You mean to say TEX AVERY directed CONFIDENCE? That may be why it’s so surreal!
    And it will be so nice to have a print of it!

  • Thanks a LOT Jerry!!! You are the MAN!!!

    From Chile (southamerica)

    We love the Woody Cartoons

  • Frank Young

    I am THRILLED to see these long-neglected cartoons being treated right! This is destined to be one of the finest collections of theatrical American animation ever assembled! I’m excited to have all the good Woody Woodpecker material, and the majority of Shamus Culhane’s fine directorial efforts, on this set. I hope they’ll do a second set, in a year or two, that takes Woody through the ’50s, and includes Culhane’s remaining Lantz efforts. Those are a severely neglected and important body of animation work. His use of depth-of-field is stunning in cartoons such as MOUSIE, COME HOME and GREATEST MAN IN SIAM.
    I could go on, but let me just add to the choir of praise… Hallelujah!

  • John Carr

    Great news! I haven’t seen any Woody ‘tunes since the 1950s! Sign me up for more sets.

    Good to hear we’re getting some Tex Avery… I’m still waiting for Warner’s to open their vaults for a Tex set — what’s the hold-up?

  • Brad Constantine

    Wow! I learned how to animate from watching an 8mm print of “The Great Who Dood it” when I was a kid using the family projector. Lot’s of classic “takes” and very squashy,and especially stretchy animation. I recomend any of these cartoons for the serious and humorous animation student. They don’t make em like that anymore…Can’t wait to see the restorations..Thanx ,Jerry forthe good news….It’s like christmas every day on “the Brew!”

  • MaRk

    Hallelujah! Popeye and Woody Woodpecker all in the same year? I’ve been waiting 15 years of more for this to happen. Now if only Paramount would release the Betty Boop collection on DVD that they put out on VHS in the ’90s!

  • When did the color of his neck change? At least they had his eyes the appropiate green.

  • Bryan – The box art I posted yesterday was not the final version, color-wise. I’ve since updated the box art image with final “key art”.

  • Cyber Fox

    I’m proud that this piece of my childhood is coming to dvd
    I hope Jerry Beck will convince NBC Universal even further to release Calvin and the Colonel on DVD

  • Walter Malo

    Thanks Jerry from Mexico!!!!

    At last, So long the old memories!!!

  • Robert A. Porrazzo

    You know what I can say about this? I’m HA-HA-HA-HAPPY! Woody Woodpecker and the gang were seen weekdays on channel 5 here in the NYC area at I think 2:30PM.

    Popeye last week, Woody Woodpecker this week–cartoon fireworks are sure popping this July!

  • Thank God for this.

    For me, it was watching “Ray Rayner” in Chicago when I was a punk. If I buy it for my wife’s birthday in June, is it obvious it’s for me?

  • DVNR put in the hands of someone who knows how to use. There are some video facilities that have people who only do DVNR (mostly using ASC III) and they know how to get the most out of it or when to turn it off completely. The whole animation vs DVNR is not as relevent as it used to be. Technolgy has improved and so has the skill level. It’s like with anything else, you can get a bad colorist, but it does not mean all telecine or scanning is bad. Just my two cents.

    Thank you for your website. It’s my all time favorite site on the web.

  • John Seebeck

    Thanks, Jerry! I’ve been wanting to see a Woody collection on DVD for a long time. Now, if only – if only – Jerry, could you possibly get with the appropriate people about a Terrytoons collection with Heckle&Jeckle and Mighty Mouse? Especially that red-and-yellow-clad staunch crusader against the evil Oilcan Harry and The Claw, and his two girlfriends Pearl Pureheart and Mitzi? I’m so tired of the cheap “cartoon collections” that have ONE episode of Mighty Mouse!

  • Eddy Brock

    Next to “The Dover Boys at Pimento University or The Rivals of Roquefort Hall”, “SHH-H-H-H-H” is the best cartoon I ever saw. That short showed me that Tex Avery was absolutely brillant in taking small things like not getting any sleep and making them hilarious. Thank goodness that this set is coming out. I’ve been a Walter Lantz fan since I was growing up watching the “Woody Woodpecker Show” in the 80s.

  • Robin McLaughlin

    I have looked for classic Woody forever! I’ve especially spent lots of time looking for Spook-A-Nanny! Every Halloween I take a trip down memory lane and remember watching it on tv right after we got back from trick or treating. I can’t wait to buy the set. I want to show my kids (both grown) what real cartoons look like! Not the stuff they call cartoons today!!!

  • Paul

    This is fantastic news, Jerry and I simply can’t wait. The combination of the early Woodys and the United Artists Woodys and of course the Avery cartoons is a home run. Still, I hope you keep on Universal for a Volume 2 if the first set does well (and you animation fans, I hope you make sure to buy it so it does do well)! After all, Woody cartoon #46 is the exremely fondly remembered “Termites from Mars.” I recall that all the outer space-themed Woody’s (like “Woodpecker from Mars” and “Woodpecker on the Moon”) were quite entertaining. Fans are also very fond of the crime drama spoofs “Bunco Busters” (“If Woody had gone straight to the police, this would have never happened!) and the Dragnet spoof, “Under the Counter Spy” (“The story you are about to see is a big fat lie. No names have been changed to protect anybody!”). So a volume 2, even if it were a single disc, to include the cult classic Woody’s from the ensuing years would definitely be welcome as well.

  • Blaiyan

    What I wanna know is, is this just a collection of the best episodes or the complete series of the show in order of original air date? Why i ask is because I hate collection disc and if i’m gonna spend my little money on tv show sets I at least wan’t them in season sets or if the complete series.

  • NBC must be doing some early promotion. Last monday’s episode of Heroes synced a scene to a Woody cartoon. Not sure which one, but it had Buzz Buzzard and a shark The name of the episode was “The Hard Part – Part One”. It can be seen here: http://www.nbc.com/Video/rewind/full_episodes/heroes.shtml

    (search for the episode and view part four)

  • Gary

    I’ve been looking for spook a nanny forever. I saw it only once in grade school and fell in love with it. Please contact me where I can buy the whole collection. You made my day!

  • Fredde

    Great news, I am from sweden and this sounds awesome.
    Just one stupid question. What does DVNR stand for and what is it?

  • rich hoff

    i hope this woody set is only the first one from universal i’d love to get all the walter lantz cartunes on dvd..
    hopefully whoever owns the terrytoons will get cranking out their stable of characters..
    i’d also love to see all of the fleischer and famous studios toons released on dvd and lets not forget puppetoons…

  • Sam

    Greetings from HomeTheaterForum.com. Just reviewed this set and it is GREAT. I gave it a hearty recommendation. You can read my review here. PLEASE NOTE! Under the Counter Spy is on disk 3 as part of Spook a Nanny!

    Please also note! I cant wait for the other shoe to drop and to finally get Bunco Busters on DVD as part of a part two to this collection! Please do it Universal! If Woody had gone straight to the police, this would NEVER have happened!

  • ravi nathwani

    i think we all should file our complaints to universal pictures in hollywood, california and ask them what’s taking so long for the rest of the other woody woodpecker cartoons from 1959 to 1972 to be released on dvd from universal pictures and we are not gonna wait any longer at all here’s the phone number to reach them the phone number is 1-818-777-1000 i suggest you call this number right away