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UPA Cartoons Are Coming to DVD

Here they come – at long last. Columbia Pictures classic collection of UPA cartoons will soon be available as you’ve never seen them before. These revolutionary mid-century cartoons, in restored form – with as many of the original theatrical titles returned as possible – are a revelation. Full vibrant colors, clean sharp prints, crystal clear sound. The complete library of these films will be available on two separate sets, from two separate companies (sub-licensed from Sony). First up, TCM will make available on March 5th UPA Jolly Frolics. This 3-disc set contains 38 cartoons, including Gerald McBoing Boing, Rooty Toot Toot, The Tell Tale Heart and the rare Ham & Hattie shorts, a video introduction by Leonard Maltin, audio commentaries on select cartoons by Maltin and yours truly, Jerry Beck, UPA studio art consisting of model sheets, concept paintings, storyboards, background paintings and more. This set will only be available via mail order through TCM’s website. Pre-order it NOW!

On June 19th, Shout Factory will release The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection which will include all the original Magoo theatricals, including the Oscar winners When Magoo Flew and Magoo’s Puddle Jumper (both in letter boxed CinemaScope). Bonus materials include rare pencil tests, audio commentaries by the likes of Emily Hubley, John Canemaker, Charles Solomon and much much more. I will be telling you more details about these two amazing DVD collections as we get closer to each release date – but it wouldn’t hurt to pre-order them now. Here’s the Magoo Amazon link.

  • droosan

    *passes out from happiness*

  • amid

    It’s about friggin’ time!
    Thank you, TCM and Shout Factory!

  • dbenson

    I’m aboard for both.

    That leaves Betty Boop on the Holy Grail list.

  • Best news I’ve read EVER!!! Thank you guys!


    @dBenson: The complete Betty Boop is available on a French DVD set, even including a cd with songs. The quality is okay, if not excellent. The films are complete and have optional French subtitles.

  • Andrea Ippoliti

    Is “1001 Arabian Nights”, the Mr. Magoo feature, included in the Theatrical Magoo set?

    • James Fox

      I wish.

    • Based on what I know at the moment, “1001 Arabian Nights” is planned to be on the Magoo Theatrical dvd set. Things may change, but I plan to do updates about each of these dvd sets as we get closer to their respective releases.

      • dbenson

        1001 Arabian Nights is supposedly a Sony Columbia Classics MOD release for Dec. 6. ClassicFlix is taking orders, but haven’t seen elsewhere yet.

  • Billy polard

    the hellboy special edition DVD had a few Gerald episodes included, as well as the tell tale heart. which is my personal favorite.

    they were added as a special feature because they were very briefly shown on hellboys television in the movie. ha

  • JP

    I’ve been thinking of also ordering the Magoo set that contains all of the television cartoons. Has anyone else purchased this collection? While I much prefer the theatrical shorts, I’m curious if the TV cartoons are worth ordering as well.

    • Bobby Bickert

      Some of the TV Magoos with “Charlie” are still the redubbed USA Network versions, same as the old Classic Media set, even though Shout Factory said they wanted to release them with their original audio. I guess they just slapped on whatever they got from Classic Media, just like they did with their Casper set.

    • If you are a big fan of Mr. Magoo, I would say the Magoo TV box set is worth having despite the redubbed cartoons with Charlie. The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo was quite an ambitious project. Even if the episodes aren’t always spectacular, I am impressed that they’d take a chance on such a series. Uncle Sam Magoo is also a must-see title. What’s New Mr. Magoo certainly wouldn’t be of interest to UPA enthusiasts as they were produced by DePatie Freleng, but these are fun shows. They don’t break any new ground, but they are a welcome return to the basics of Magoo’s personality after all the experimenting in Famous Adventures and Uncle Sam.

  • Justin Delbert

    Jerry, I have a question about the TCM UPA set. When it comes out, will it eventually be avaliable through amazon, or is it strictly just the TCM website?

    • I can’t answer that, but I recall that Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood (made by TCM) was only available at the TCM website for about two months, but now is available at Amazon for $6 less and free shipping.

    • paolo

      I would like to ask the same: if the TCM UPA set were available in amazon, I could order both this and the Mr. Magoo set together

      • As far as I know, the UPA JOLLY FROLICS set is exclusively available through the TCM website. This may change, but that’s how they are set up now.

        My take: with DVD sales down, if TCM can make a profit sub-licensing classic cartoons from Sony (or other studios) by selling them exclusively through their website – more power to them. Who knows what further cartoon classics TCM could make available?

      • Not so great if you live in England. The TCM website doesn’t seem to ship outside of North America. Blast.

      • Kristjan

        All the none-UPA Columbia cartoons perhaps?

      • paolo

        which is a very good reason to hope to have them available in amazon

  • Wonderful news!!!

  • Yay_for_Kari

    Wow!!! That is fantastic news to wake up to!!!!!!!

  • Excellent news about UPA, inspired work.
    The Betty Boop set is in region 2 PAL so you can’t play it on most DVD players, but PAL plays fine on my computer (and can easily be converted to NTSC). Also the set is available at Amazon France, which might be more reliable (at least you don’t get the same song repeated).

    The whole box set is not available, but each individual disk is.

  • matt

    Please tell me they were mastered in HD and coming to Blu-ray too. Pleeeeeeaaaase! I understand Shout doesn’t have the biggest budgets, but would be a crime not to!

  • Lucas

    It’s a great moment in DVD history!

  • Rob T.

    Yes! I’ve been waiting for news like this since 1995 (when I first started watching UPA cartoons on VHS). Thanks to both companies and everyone involved in putting these together!

    • Chris Sobieniak

      For me, probably 1984!

  • Does it have the shorts from the Gerald McBoing Boing tv show on it?

    • No. The Boing Boing Show TV shorts are owned by Classic Media. Perhaps if these sets sell well, Shout Factory may be convinced to make those available.

      • James Fox

        Which would be a hard sell for many reasons namely
        – These cartoons aren’t on TV anymore leaving lack of knowledge of who UPA is
        – the S.O.P.A bill is in the way of any form of viral marketing for either of the two sets
        – Cureent Gen of Youth don’t care for these toons

      • An online piracy bill isn’t an issue when a company is promoting its own property, however virally.

        Who are you to speak for the “Current Gen of Youth”? IMHO, if kids are exposed to a property they think is funny, they’ll jump aboard regardless of its age. That’s why Gerald McBoing-Boing (a major character in these films) got a new series of cartoons to himself just five years ago. It lasted several seasons—which it wouldn’t have, had kids rejected the character.

      • Thad

        Are you on the Planet Moo? That new show lasted 14 episodes. Not up to your usual standards.

      • James Fox

        It lasted for 14 episodes for a reason
        CBS canned it due to budget reasons

      • Thad: There was more than one season of the new series (about which, admittedly, I know little—except that Gerald now has too much hair on his head). Straight from the horse’s BOING:

        When the page mentions 26 episodes, maybe it just means the second season, or maybe both first and second combined (?). The ever-reliable (ugh) Wikipedia is vaguer, listing 14 episodes in one place and citing 26 elsewhere on the page.

        There; I’ve now written more than I ever dreamed I’d write about the new McBoing-Boing show. By George, you’ve done it to me again!

    • I’ve been curious about the GMB TV show myself for years and would love to see it.

      • Thad

        Yes, but the idea you’ve introduced – that Gerald McBoing Boing is a recognizable property and the star of a popular TV series – is seriously questionable when a) nobody can find any concrete information about the show, and b) nobody’s seen it. Jumped the gun again!

      • Jumped the what, now?

        “[T]he idea you’ve introduced – that Gerald McBoing Boing is a recognizable property and the star of a popular TV series…”

        Rephrase. Forget how recognizable Gerald is or was now or in 2004, because the real answer is “not very.” All I meant is that the 2005 revival made Gerald quasi-popular in 2005, if the show’s getting renewed is any evidence.

        So, my actual point (originally meant for James above, not you): as long as a preexisting property is funny/interesting, it can grab kids regardless of whether they already recognize it.

        Same goes, theoretically, for new UPA DVD releases, regardless of James’ contentions. (Same goes, also, for the success of any all-new property, come to think of it.)

        Enough. I’ve got pink and blue blues.

  • Brian O.

    Good deal!
    Now people can watch these and judge for themselves whether they are as good as historians tout them to be.

  • Great news!

    My wish list for future sets includes the Gerald McBoing Boing Show, pre-UPA Columbia cartoons, and (my Holy Grail) Terrytoons! There must be enough of a market for a 2-disc set of each.

    • dbenson

      Again, Betty Boop! . . . and George Pal Puppetoons, especially the Dr. Seuss ones . . . and Jiri Trnka’s folk tales, plus “Midsummer Night’s Dream” . . . and the all-animated episodes of the Disney TV hours, including “From All of Us to All of You” . . . and good prints of “The Snow Queen” and “Hansel and Gretel” . . . and an American release of the restored and completed “Wonderbird” . . . and Ward Kimball’s featurettes . . . and all those festival compilations, like pre-Sick-and-Twisted Spike & Mike . . .

      Between this news and the recent Laurel and Hardy box, my inner collector is awake and screaming “More!”

  • Lippy

    I’ve been waiting for these sets for 35 years.

    Looks like I’ll be doing A LOT of sitting, watching, and sipping TEQUILA!

    • eeteed

      if you’re watching old upa cartoons, shouldn’t you be sipping piel’s beer?

  • tonk82

    All this time… and it seems the TCM shop does not ship to Europe =_= At least… i can’t find anything about international shipping. Sigh

  • Lippy

    Jerry — Will these UPAs also be released on Blu-Ray?

    • Sony has restored and remastered the cartoons both on film and in 1080p for future hi-def (and blu-ray) use. But there are no plans for releasing blu-ray discs at this time.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Thank goodness!

      • Doug Nichols

        Yay! I can buy them twice!

      • steven

        Would love to see the HD versions released either on blu ray or digitally distributed. I’d usually wait for an HD version but it seems likely that their future release depends on the success of theses DVD sets.

  • mcrowther

    Great news. I also would like to see the Columbia toons like Fox and Crow (my father animated on some of those)- but one thing at a time. Cannot wait!

  • Great news indeed.

    I’m old enough to have made the short drive from Disney to the UPA studio located over by the Smoke House. This was back in the fifties, and UPA was always an inspiration even for us Disney guys. Often, they were doing cooler stuff than we were. A truly awesome studio.

  • Great! Now maybe Tee Busustow’s UPA documentary will be made!

  • Robert Schaad

    Great News! Yesss!!! Etc. Finally, they get the respect they deserve (unlike Rodney Dangerfield).

  • Jon Hawthorne

    Will the set from TCM be real, pressed DVDs, or will they be DVD-R’s?


  • Anthony D.

    About time we got Magoo and UPA on DVD!!! The screenshots look amazing!

    Though are certain June 19th is the official release date for the Mr. Magoo set? Cuz I read on DVDaf that the release date is Valentine’s Day (which I would love for that date to be cuz I really want it now! LOL!) And will the cinemascope shorts on the sets be anamorphic 16×9?

    This is just the first step into getting the lesser known cartoons of the Golden Age (Forgive me if you disagree) on DVD.

  • CJ

    I have seen very few of the UPA cartoons. But that plaid horse really has me interested. :D

  • Terry Walsh

    My love for UPA cartoons began when I was an art major at Michigan State University ’53-’57 and one of the local theaters regularly showed UPA cartoon shorts.

    Now we fans have Adam Abraham’s book, a 3 disk set of UPA’s “Jolly Frolics” and a 4 disk set of “Mr. Magoo’s Theatrical Collection” coming out next year.

    Cue Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

    P.S. Mae West said it best – “Too much of a good thing is wonderful”.

  • Andrea Ippoliti

    Jerry,any possibility that if these sets will sell well for TCM they could release the Columbia classic cartoons?
    I’m thinking about Scrappy, Krazy Kat, the various one-shots of the 30s and 40s etc…..

    • All I can say is… anythings possible! ;)

  • eeteed
  • Ignatz the Brick Pitcher

    Wow! After receiving this news I believe ANYTHING is possible!!! I never thought UPA cartoons would see the day on DVD. What’s next, finally my 30 acres and a mule? LOOL Thanks, Jerry. You rock.

  • “…the UPA JOLLY FROLICS set is exclusively available through the TCM website.”

    So… does the TCM website store ship overseas? I certainly hope so. American citizens are far from the only ones interested in such an amazing collection.

  • James Fox

    The reason i’m worried that SOPA will get in the way
    Is that the bill is so broad it puts fair use and free speech in jeopardy

    Meaning Word of Mouth is at risk
    in other words, spread the word about these sets while you can and hope SOPA drops like a hot brick in Congress

  • Kristjan

    Just went over the TCM listing of cartoons I couldn’t find Kangaroo Courting in the listing. So I only found 37 of 38 cartoons that are said to be on the TCM set.

    • “Kangaroo Courting” is a Mr. Magoo cartoon and will be on the Mr. Magoo set – not the Jolly Frolics TCM set.

  • Art Binninger

    Oh, you’re being cagey, Jerry. After seeing those beautifully restored Scrappy cartoons at Asifa a number of years ago, I was convinced the nice folks at Sony didn’t do that just for a one-shot show. I still get a chuckle from the “cootie-spraying” scene in THE FLOP HOUSE. Looking forward some form of Scrappy/Krazy Kat video release eventually.

  • Anthony

    How annoying. I want to buy the first set especially but they won’t ship overseas. It’s this sort of thing that drives people to download this stuff illegally (not that I’m promoting that). I actually want to buy this and they don’t want my money!
    The Magoo set is already preordered. Hopefully these cartoons will come on blu-ray soon. The cartoons would look magnificent in hi-def!

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Now you see what it’s like to be me sometimes. :-P

  • Robert Fiore

    In making their wish list everyone seems to be missing the elephant in the room: Tex Avery.

    This is something I’ve been waiting for ten years. Any chance a 3D version of The Tell Tale Heart will be included?

  • Keith Patterson

    I contacted TCM about shipping to the United Kingdom and had the following response

    Thank you for your email. Sorry for the inconvenience, the TCM Shop currently ships orders to U.S. and Canadian addresses only. We’re continuing to make improvements, so please check back soon. If you need any further assistance, please let us know.

    So there’s hope.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      At least you guys have that if or when such a service may happen eventually.

  • Torsten

    I have pre-ordered the Magoo set and I hope that some clever people buy the first set and resell it on ebay to fans outside of North America. If TCM doesn’t want my money, maybe someone else does.

  • Mario

    I’d like to know if the UPA boxsets will contain subtitles or closed captions. I ardently hope so. I’m awaiting for years the DVD release of UPA cartoons, perhaps the only major outpout of the Golden Age animation not covered at all by the medium and I’m really salivating for what could be the release of the year – and my love for cartoons is only a part of my love for cinema. However, seems the policy about subtitles is becoming from day to day more stingy (even the recent Laurel and Hardy “definitive” collection doesn’t contain at all!) and I’m beginning to fear…

  • TheForbiddenDBag

    No ability to pre-order it for Canadian customers at the moment I see. Shame, hopefully something turns out in some time. If not, there a select number of local Vancouver DVD stores are beginning to sell titles from the Warner Archive and Sony’s MOD service, it’s only a matter of time before the MOD services of TCM, Universal, and others slowly begin to be offered in small chains.


    I feel as if I’m dreaming. Finally!!! The UPA and Mr. Magoo theatrical shorts on dvd??? At first I thought it was a joke. Checked on Amazon – nope there they were. This is something to look forward to, even if it isn’t until June (lonnnnnng wait). Better then than never. Thanks for the great news, Jerry Beck!

  • Wow, the restoration looks great! I never imagined that the Unicorn had a bluish tint , the color palette is astounding.

    Hope we can get it soon!

    Please, make Avery next!

  • Ed Kirk

    Hurrah, at long flippin’ last!!!

  • Andrea Ippoliti

    I really hope Shout will not add copyright infos imposed on the cartoons like they did in the Magoo TV set.

  • That little picture with the unicorn and the yellow background: did they do a version of Thurber’s story, “The Unicorn in the Garden”?


    I posted a review of the Mr. Magoo theatrical shorts on Amazon. Most of the info was from your website, Jerry. I was just wondering: Is the Mr. Magoo film, 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS, on the boxed set? Is it on there, or not? Thanks, VIC JAURIQUI

  • Here’s what I want to know. Why would you post a review BEFORE you have the product?


    Because I trust what I THINK you said?

  • Keith Patterson

    Movies Unlimited has the Jolly Frolics set on pre-order and ships abroad – $34.99 & $10.00 shipping.

  • Okay, the moment is there: this precious DVD is out! But unfortunately, for North-Americans only. TCM still has no international shipping whatsoever. Anyone any idea what I, being a European, could do to purchase this product?

    • Okay, I should read more carefully. Thank you, Keith Patterson!

  • I went to buy the UPA set from the TCM website, and they want to charge me $23 for shipping to CANADA (*which is on the same continent as the US). When I sent them a nasty e-mail, they made some excuse about calculating the average rate for items in that price range, which means they overcharge sometimes and undercharge other times. In contrast, I just hopped on Movies Unlimited, and they estimate the charge to be $8.00 to my postal code.
    I guess this is what happens when you let Ted Turner design an online store.

  • John

    This morning Amazon cancelled my pre-order for the Mr. Magoo: Theatrical Collection. This comes after a couple of weeks ago they told me that they were able to get the product earlier than the original pre-order date.

    What’s going on here?


    • Anthony D.

      The Magoo set has been delayed to the fall but for good reasons; they’re trying to restore the cartoons better from high quality sources (including newly discovered elements!). Jerry, wanna know, will the post-53 Magoo shorts be in original full screen (the cinemascope shorts being the only obvious exception) as well as 1001 Arabian Nights? Because since we have 1001 Arabian Nights in widescreen through Sony’s MOD program, I think it’s only fair for the film to be in original full screen for the set just so we can have the best of both worlds.