"Twice Upon A Time." (Click to expand.) "Twice Upon A Time." (Click to expand.)

Exclusive: John Korty’s ‘Twice Upon A Time’ Coming To Home Video


Warner Archive will release the cult 1983 feature Twice Upon A Time onto home video this spring. The news was confirmed last night in Brooklyn, New York, during a film screening at BAMcinématek, with director John Korty in attendance.

"Twice Upon A Time." (Click to expand.)
“Twice Upon A Time.” (Click to expand.)

Executive produced by George Lucas and co-directed by John Korty and Charles Swenson, the film was produced using Korty’s distinctive cut-out animation process called “Lumage.” Though flawed in the story department and sounding dated due to its ’80s-pop score, Twice Upon A Time is nonetheless a tour de force achievement in animation art, featuring contributions by many artists who would go on to big things, including Henry Selick (Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas), David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en), and Harley Jessup (production designer on Ratatouille and Monsters Inc.).

Both versions of the film—Korty’s original and the “adult” version made without his knowledge—will be released onto home video. There are no other details yet, but Warner Archive confirmed in a tweet last night that it’ll be coming out this spring:

The story of film’s production is almost as interesting as the film itself, and it was exhaustively documented in a 32-page piece by Taylor Jessen in Animation Blast #9, a magazine I used to publish. A shorter piece about the film by Taylor can be read on his website.

"Twice Upon A Time." (Click to expand.)
“Twice Upon A Time.” (Click to expand.)
"Twice Upon A Time." (Click to expand.)
“Twice Upon A Time.” (Click to expand.)
"Twice Upon A Time." (Click to expand.)
“Twice Upon A Time.” (Click to expand.)
"Twice Upon A Time." (Click to expand.)
“Twice Upon A Time.” (Click to expand.)
"Twice Upon A Time." (Click to expand.)
“Twice Upon A Time.” (Click to expand.)
"Twice Upon A Time." (Click to expand.)
“Twice Upon A Time.” (Click to expand.)
  • Justin Dike

    But Warner, I only have a DVD player in my car. And I can only watch that when I put it in park at traffic lights. And half of that time I’m in blinding pain from disjointing my shoulder to fish out toys that fell in the back seat. Hopefully it comes to Apple TV too

  • Toonio

    I don’t know you. If they don’t scan the original print, I’d rather keep my VHS bootleg.

  • This is great news! Seeing this film for the first time when it aired on Cartoon Network really peaked my interest to see the film, and to have it finally on DVD format is just great! I would have to watch it on YouTube (I think they finally took it down), and it was awesome to watch.

    Definitely looking to picking up a copy!

  • James Fox

    But will both versions be in 1 set or are they planning to release them separately?

  • Pedro Nakama

    I’ve heard a lot about this but never saw it. I met someone who worked on it years ago. He said Dave Fincher did animation camera work on it.

    • white vader

      Yes he also worked at ILM as a matte department cameraman.

  • It’s about freakin’ time.

  • Anthony DiPaola

    The greatest DVD news of tonight!!!
    Thank you Warner Archive!!!! :D

  • Mapache

    I wonder if it would have dubbed audio tracks? I remember my animation teacher had a pirated vhs copy of the spanish version of this film, wich is very rare.

  • slowtiger

    Uhm, why not BlueRay if it’s mostly because of the art?

    Other than that: better late than never.

  • Andy Dursin

    Terrible job by Warner nixing a Blu-Ray release. I asked them about it and they answered “nope” and that the DVD would be “well mastered”. At this point I’m not sure I’d be up for a standard definition release, I’ve had a DVD-R of the laserdisc forever.

  • Landon Kemp

    Sweet! I’m excited for this, and my brother would definitely love to hear this, since we’re both fans of this highly underrated movie.

  • Zekey

    That explains why the film was removed in its entirety off Youtube quite a few months ago after having been up there for years and years and years.

    This is great news as it’s always been one of my favorites.

  • Inkan1969

    Great news for the movie, a lost gem.

    But I’ve been wondering, is there any consensus among fans as to which version is better?

    • Baelzar

      I’ve seen both, and frankly the original Korty version is funnier. Comedy requires more than just spicing up the language.

  • Alan Groening

    WARNER — please release this on ALL PLATFORMS for such a GREAT MOVIE it truly deserves a special DVD/Blu Ray!!!
    this is almost as rare as when Heavy Metal wasnt released on DVD for many years….

  • James Fox

    I just talked to Warner Archive on twitter – they confirmed that both HIS version and the HBO version will be releasing in one set

    • Spence

      HALLELUJAH!!!!!!! Thank you so much James!!!!

  • white vader

    They just forgot to say “and Blu-ray”, right? RIGHT?

  • Baelzar

    Holy crap! I’m so glad. I gave up hope on this years ago.

  • Mister Twister

    Sadly, there will never be a soundtrack release.

  • Look, I’d love a Blu-ray, but I’d be happy to just have a copy even of the censored cut (or of the hybrid, partially-uncensored version that aired on TCM a month ago). We should be grateful for what we are getting – we’re getting both versions, and we’re getting them on DVD. I don’t know about you, but I’m ordering this ASAP.

    That being said, it would still be cool to have a special edition with further deleted/alternate scenes, a documentary or two, commentary, interviews, music videos (there seems to be at least one floating around the Internet for the title track), etc. Still, this is amazing news – this pretty much just made my week.

  • Chris

    The best news I’ve heard all week! This has been a favorite of mine for years and very excited that both versions will be released. Thank you Warner Bros!

  • Elaine Jensen

    Of course we’d all rather have blu-ray, but hey, it’s better than nothing. It does make me wonder, is it because of the price of blu-ray, or just laziness on Warner’s part?

  • Lyle Petersen

    Finally. Though the idea that the coarser version of the film was made completely “behind Korty’s back” is nonsense. The original script always had rough language which Korty did not care for. Lines were recorded a number of different ways, always with Korty present, and he was always aware that Bill Couturie was fond of the dialog as originally written as was pushing for it to be in the final film.

    Now, the final cut with adult language that was assembled for the (three) theatrical showings may have indeed been assembled without Korty’s supervision, but nothing contained within it was new or a surprise to him.

  • Carole Bartolini

    It’s September now and I can’t find any available DVDs for sale. Did the deal fall through?