Warner Home Video has announced, exclusively to toonzone, a major
initiative to release many of its most highly demanded classics on
Blu-Ray and DVD.
“To all of those wishing for fully restored releases of their favorite
cartoons – we’ve heard you,” stated Mackenzie Holstinenopp, sales and
marketing representative for Warner Home Video. “These three releases
will, sales permitting, hopefully open the doors for us to release all
of our vast animation library on Blu-Ray and DVD.”
First to hit stores is Goober and the Ghost Chasers: The Complete
Series, the very first classic from the Hanna-Barbera library to be
available only on Blu-Ray disc. This popular mystery series,
inspired by the successful Scooby-Doo, is more supernatural than
its namesake: the dog can turn invisible, and this time the ghosts are
Goober will be the first installment in Warner’s Swirling Star Series of
Hanna-Barbera classics. For this release, WB has painstakingly cleaned
up each frame of the classic 70’s cartoon, found the original
background and cel art for each frame, and rephotographed the missing
edges to create a seamless 16-by-9 transition. The sound has been
remixed in Dolby 7.1.
“To reflect the remastering, we’ve had to price this a little above our
standard TV box sets,” noted Holstinenopp. Goober and the Ghost
Chasers: The Complete Series will be released on July 22, 2010 on
Blu-Ray, at an MSRP of $179.99.
The second release is arguably Warner’s most requested animation
television series – Turbo Teen. The series will, remarkably, be
released with its full Udi Harpaz musical score intact.
This 1984 Ruby Spears series was about a teenager named Brett Matthews,
who accidently crashes his red turbo sports car into a secret
government laboratory, and into the path of a “molecular transfer ray” –
which fused Brett with his car. As Turbo Teen, Brett and his friends
go on a series of crimefighting adventures as they await a cure, while
also avoiding the mysterious “Dark Rider” that seeks to capture Brett
for some unknown purpose.
“When releasing a show as eagerly anticipated as Turbo Teen on
DVD, you need to do it right,” noted Holstinenopp. “And that meant
procuring all of the music licenses so fans old and new can enjoy the
series as it originally aired.”
The series score featured synthesized versions of several popular 1980s
hits, including Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Billy Ocean’s “Get Out
of My Dreams, Get Into My Car.” DVD releases of television shows that
featured popular music usually had that music replaced with generic
substitutes to avoid the high costs of procuring the rights. A notable
example was the WKRP in Cincinnati DVD set, and the move received
harsh criticism from fans.
As with the Goober remastering, Turbo Teen will be
released at a premium price point. The two-disc set will be released on
August 24, 2011 at a suggested retail price of $459.99.
Finally, the studio announced the release of Looney Tunes: The Lost
Treasures, a two-disc collection of rare Looney Tunes aimed at the
“We’ve shifted away from the Golden Collection release strategy, but
that doesn’t mean we’ve abandoned the core Looney Tunes fanbase,” stated
Holstinenopp. “With The Lost Treasures, we’re going to release
those sought after gems that are rarely, if ever, seen on television.”
Looney Tunes: The Lost Treasures will include all six unreleased
Looney Tunes shorts produced by Larry Doyle. In a tribute to recently
deceased director Rudy Larriva, the disc will include all 11 of his Road
Runner shorts. And, in a unique cross-licensing deal with Classic
Media, Filmation’s long-requested Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the
Groovie Goolies will be featured, with commentary, on the DVD set.
This disc will, unlike the others, be priced at a mainstream price point
of 99 cents and will be available at every mass market retailer across
the country “sometime in 2011”.
But what of the Tex Avery MGM cartoons, the Censored Eleven WB classics
including “Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves”, or other gems in the
Warner vaults? Holstinenopp says that sales depend on the success of
these three releases, so we’ll have to stay tuned…