Friday, July 20, 2007

Terrytoons and Famous DVDs -- Where? When?

At the Animation Show forums, ParamountCartoons93 wonders why Viacom hasn't given Terrytoons and Famous cartoons any kind of DVD release. Jboschen notes that it isn't just cartoons that have been given the short shrift by Viacom:

If you notice however, it is not just classic Paramount and Terrytoons/Fox cartoons that are not being released, Lots old movies, shorts, which Viacom owns (such as the the old Republic movies ("She Married a Cop" for example) and Paramount Shorts have not been released to DVD or even played on television.

Brandon mentions that Viacom isn't alone in their treatment of classic cartoons:

Sony hasn't relased their Columbia cartoons yet either (not that their any better than Fleicher's), although Jerry Beck said some time ago that the Columbia cartoons were restored..... but.... isn't that a waste of money? Restore all your library and then NOT RELEASE THEM

Ray Pointer brings up the fact that some of these cartoons may just be lost forever:

As for Columbia restoring its cartoons, they have done so for foreign markets, and not everything was saved from what I understand. Certain early Krazy Kat cartoons are either missing tracks, or have serious Nitrate deterioration. In other cases they no longer have negatives, or color elements on cartoons such as BARNEY GOOGLE and LIL' ABNER. The ABNERS that were released on VHS were of the horrible color remake process used for the BETTY BOOP and LOONEY TUNES cartoons.

Then later in the thread, Pointer brings up the unfortunate fact that there isn't necessarily a big enough market for these cartoons to make it worthwhile for the big studios to release them:

I had a meeting with a representative of Buena Vista Home Video four months ago. She told me of the disappointing sales on the Walt Disney Treasures. They did only 25,000 units of sales. For me, that would be a tremendous thing. But when you consider the size and overhead of the Walt Disney Company, this is not a good return. It is because of reports such as this that these companies are so conservative about their older material. In the case of Disney, I don't believe they marketed it properly. At the same time, I don't believe the releasing on DVD was the right choice since they do own cable outlets which would have exposed the films to a fresh audience at less expense. The same applies to Viacom.

No comments: