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Warner Brothers

Overture, Hit the Lights

Warner Brother Studios are celebrating their 90th anniversary, and in honor of that are releasing a series of DVD collections known simply as The Best of Warner Brothers. Around here, the collection most folks are likely to find interesting is The Best of Warner Brothers: 50 Cartoon Collection — Looney Tunes. This 2-DVD set is coming out this week. Here’s the skinny, from CD Universe: “It’s always ‘wabbit’ season now that the best Looney tunes Cartoons from the Warner Bros. vault are available in this wild two-disc collection! Reunite with Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester, Daffy Duck and all the Looney Tunes gang in an animated assortment of hits that have tickled the funny bones of cartoon lovers for generations. There’s something for everyone in this must-own collection of 50 Looney Tunes classics that helped contribute to 90 years of Warner Bros. cartoon magic. ” There are bigger box-set collections out there, but this best-of collection brings together many well-known favorites like Rabbit of Seville, One Froggy Evening, Duck Amuck, and more, all in one set.

image c. 2013 Warner Brothers

Coming from the 24th-and-a-Half CEN-tury…!

The Duck Dodgers TV series — based, as if you didn’t know, on the Chuck Jones-directed cartoon Duck Dodgers in the 24th 1/2 Century — ran on Cartoon Network from 2003 to 2005. [My, was it really that long ago?  Sheesh… Ye ed-otter] Besides the obvious cast of Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig as The Eager Young Space Cadet, and Marvin the Martian as the terrible Commander X-2, the show featured a host of Warner Brothers characters in bit roles — not to mention new characters like the dreaded Martian Queen. The regular voice cast included well-known voice actors like Joe Alaskey, Bob Bergen, Richard McGonagle, and John O’Hurley, as well as Michael Dorn (from Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Tia Carrere (as the Martian Queen). Now Warner Brothers Home Video have (finally!) released the first 13 episodes on DVD in a collection entitled Duck Dodgers – Season 1: Dark Side of the Duck. It’s available now in stores and on-line everywhere.

image c. 2013 Warner Brothers Animation

Hong Kong Phooey — For Real

Back to our friends at Cartoon Brew again, swooping in on one of their scoops. Not long ago they reported about an in-development Hong Kong Phooey live action/CGI feature, starring the voice of Eddie Murphy. The film is being developed and directed by Alex Zamm (Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2) and Alcon Entertainment for Warner Brothers.  Now, Mr. Zamm has posted a short test-film of the CGI lead character on line, and Cartoon Brew has the link.  See what YOU think. (In case the footage gets taken down, Cartoon Brew were kind enough to embed it in their article).

image c. 2012 Alcon Entertainment

That’s a Joke, Son!

If you don’t know about the McKimson brothers, you should — especially if you love anything about 20th Century animation. Chuck, Bob, and Tom might not be the household names that Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng have become, but they probably should be as they had their hands in an amazing number of animation projects. Now there’s a new book by Robert McKimson Jr., I Say, I Say… Son! that attempts to fill you in on their amazing story. This new hardcover book is arriving from Santa Monica Press in early July, but here’s a preview from Amazon: “The first survey dedicated to the work of the McKimson brothers, this book offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the upper echelon of 20th-century animation and examines the creative process behind the making of numerous popular characters and classic programs. Featuring original artwork from the golden age of animation, this book includes a wealth of material from many professional archives—screen captures, original drawings, reproductions of animation cels, illustrations from comic books, lobby cards, and other ephemera from the author’s collection—while surveying the careers of three groundbreaking animators whose credits include Looney Tunes, the Pink Panther, and Mr. Magoo. Beginning in the 1920s and then tracing the brothers’ work together at Warner Brothers Cartoons in the following decades, this history details Robert McKimson’s creation of such beloved characters as Foghorn Leghorn, the Tasmanian Devil, and Speedy Gonzales; Tom McKimson’s work at Warner Brothers, Dell Comics, and Golden Books; and Chuck McKimson’s long career working in comic books and then later at Pacific Title, creating animated film titles and commercials, including his award-winning work on Music Man, Cleopatra, and The Sound of Music.” The book’s forward was written by John Kricfalusi of Ren & Stimpy fame.

image c. 2012 Santa Monica Press

Chuck Jones takes over Las Vegas

Well, at least the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino… We want to thank the folks at Cartoon Brew for turning us on to this new press release: “For generations of animation fans there is no greater legend than Chuck Jones. The creator of the famed Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for Warner Bros., Tom & Jerry cartoons, the TV version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and many other well-known classics, Jones was a pioneer in the art of animation and a fine artist in his own right. His life and legacy will be celebrated on January 19 with the official grand opening of The Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus Las Vegas… The Chuck Jones Experience is a nearly 10,000-square-foot destination that provides kids and animation fans of all ages with an extraordinary place to not only learn about the art of animation, but to discover the creativity and magic that’s inside us all. Designed to ‘Educate, Inspire & Entertain’, The Chuck Jones Experience takes visitors on a unique journey through Jones’ life, engaging guests with interactive exhibits, displays and learning experiences along the way. The Chuck Jones Experience is also home to the largest collection of original Chuck Jones animation and fine art anywhere in the world with more than 250 pieces on permanent display.” Check out the rest of the press release at Cartoon Brew to find out more details about this new exhibit, including features like the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Learning Center, Animation Alley, the Acme Workshop, and more.

image c. 2012 Circus Circus Hotel & Casino

Zee Best of Pepe Le Pew

Thanks to the folks at Cartoon Brew and TV on DVD, we now know that the next release in Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes Super Stars series will be Pepe Le Pew: Zee Best of Zee Best. In spite of what this single-DVD collection’s box cover says, it actually contains 17 cartoons: All 15 of Chuck Jones’ Pepe cartoons, a one-off directed by Art Davis (Odor of the Day), and one Tweety Bird cartoon (Dog Pounded, directed by Friz Freleng) in which Pepe makes a cameo appearance. Everyone’s favorite romantic skunk with zee accent of LOVE comes to DVD on December 27th.

image c. 2011 Warner Brothers

Snuggling Like Cats and Dogs

You’ve seen Feed the Kitty, right? The well-known Warner Brothers cartoon short (directed by Chuck Jones) starring Marc Antony (the big, burly, barking dog) and Pussyfoot (the ridiculously adorable kitten)? Well if somehow you haven’t, get your paws on any number of Warner Brothers cartoon collection, because this cartoon is a must for any and all furry fans! Marc Antony starts off trying to frighten the tiny kitten, but overcome by a wave of cuteness, the dog ends up falling in love with… him. Yes, him. Though the Wikipedia entry refers to Pussyfoot as a female, in the cartoon Marc Antony’s human owner distinctly refers to Pussyfoot as “he” and “him”. So, why bring all this up now? Because the Looney Tunes comic book (published by DC Comics) is featuring our smitten canine and feline pair in issue #202, on the shelves right now. It’s written by Bill Matheny, with cover art by Dave Santana.

image c. 2011 DC Comics

Thundercats: The Original Series

More news from Warner Brothers and Cartoon Brew: In anticipation of the brand new Thundercats TV series coming to Cartoon Network this July, Warner Brothers will release the original 1980’s Thundercats series to DVD on July 12th. Thundercats: The Original Series, Season 1, Part 1 is a 2-disc set that features the first 12 episodes, “as well as a special featurette entitled Feel the Magic, Hear the Roar, where fans speak out about their incredible passion for the classic animated series.”

 

image c. 2011 Warner Brothers

Big Movie News for the Fall

A pair of big announcements from our friends at Cartoon Brew: Warner Brothers has just released the first teaser trailer for Happy Feet 2, set to premiere this November. No word yet on the sequel’s plot, but it has been confirmed that Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, and Magda Szubanski will reprise their roles from the first film, along with new voices Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Hank Azaria, and Pink. Also from Cartoon Brew recently: “Simba, Mufasa, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa are back and better than ever this fall when Disney’s The Lion King roars into theaters and homes in breathtaking 3D. A special two-week theatrical extravaganza kicks off Sept. 16, 2011, showcasing the Oscar®- and Golden Globe®-winning film on the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™ for the first time ever, and its highly anticipated home entertainment debut kicks off October 4, celebrating the Diamond Edition release of the epic movie The Lion King in high-definition Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D™.”