Tex Avery cartoon Tex Avery cartoon

New details have been announced about the upcoming Blu-ray release of classic MGM animated shorts directed by Tex Avery. The news was first teased by Warner Archive last Friday.

Warner Archive will release nineteen shorts in volume one of Tex Avery Screwball Classics. The quality of the films promises to be better than we’ve seen recently, as the prints are based on new 1080p HD masters from 4k scans of archival elements.

The disc will be released on February 18. Here is the cover art:

Tex Avery Screwball Classics

If there’s any downside to this release (besides the cheap and uninspired clip art-quality cover), it’s that the collection is a scattershot group of titles rather than a chronological volume. Any serious cartoon student who wants to understand and appreciate Avery’s development as a director at MGM will not be able to do so using this volume. They’ll have to wait for future volumes to get the rest of the shorts (that is, if Warner Archive even decides to release them all), and then they’ll have to do plenty of jumping around between discs to see the films chronologically. At this point though, classic animation fans are so starved for Avery films that we’ll take whatever we can get, even if it’s not the perfect collection.

The line-up on volume one, oddly categorized into four sections (shouldn’t they all be labeled classics?), offers plenty of quality:

Tex Avery Classics
  • Red Hot Riding Hood
  • Who Killed Who?
  • What’s Buzzin Buzzard?
  • Batty Baseball
  • The Hick Chick
  • Bad Luck Blackie
  • Garden Gopher
  • The Peachy Cobbler
  • Symphony in Slang
Screwy Squirrel
  • Screwball Squirrel
  • The Screwy Truant
  • Big Heel-watha
  • Lonesome Lenny
George & Junior
  • Hound Hunters
  • Red Hot Rangers
Droopy
  • Dumb-Hounded
  • Wags to Riches
  • The Chump Champ
  • Daredevil Droopy

Disc details:
Runtime: 138 minutes
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio Specs: DTS HD-Master Audio 2.0 – English
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1, 4 X 3 FULL FRAME
Disc Configuration: BD 50

Pre-order the set here.

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