Thursday, July 31, 2008

kiddies, it's time for the show!

Almost any kid (even if just in their heart) of the television era remembers coming home from school and going straight away to do their home work, brush their teeth, take their cod liver oil....ah, who am I kidding? We raced to catch the afternoon TV shows. Most inevitably reruns from other eras, you watched anything from comedies like Gilligan's Island or The Three Stooges and animated cartoons. Sometimes in the 80s and 90s there was new, syndicated cartoons like G.I. Joe, Thundercats and the like. Well, with the rise and dominance of DVD many kids and nostalgic or not-quite grown up adults can have their own collections of these shows. I just happened to notice a few favorites looming on the horizon that all Shelfers might want to take notice of:

Little Rascals: The Complete Collection-
Release date: October 28, 2008
Trapped in many public domain or less than superior quality "best of" DVDs for a long time, The Rascals are finally getting their due come October. This set boasts "all 80 of the original Little Rascals theatrical talkies in their entirety; fully Remastered, Restored and Uncut" according to amazon. com and comes in an 8 disc set with bonus features. Some of you may not be familiar with the work of Mssrs. Spanky, Alfalfa, Stymie and the rest, but rest assured - it is rascally indeed. They don't show too much of this on television anymore, even with cable- so this is a real treat.

Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6-
Release date: October 21, 2008
It is billed as the last in this series, but do not despair- Cartoon Brewmaster Jerry Beck has stated that more Looney Tunes on DVD will continue to be released and details will be forthcoming at a later date. And that includes previously unreleased to DVD Looney Tunes. (Perhaps a different banner collection or release strategy. Who knows?) Nonetheless- this is a no-brainer here. 60 great Looney Tunes classics, plus at least 15 bonus cartoons, tons of extra features- and all on 4 discs. I have the other 5 volumes, and they find regular rotation in the Loophole household. I am sure that will be the case with Volume 6. Each of the discs will feature a different theme; Disc 1: Looney Tunes All Stars; Disc 2: Patriotic Pals; Disc 3: Bosko, Buddy and Merrie Melodies (yea!); and Disc 4: Most Requested Assorted Nuts (including two of my faves: Fresh Airedale and The Oily American.)

Popeye the Sailor:1941-1943, Vol. 3-
Release date: September 30, 2008
I have absolutely loved these Popeye DVD sets. The remaster prints are fantastic and the bonus features are great. And the cartoons? Well, nothing short of pure animated goodness. My kids love 'em (as they do the other products mention here) and so do I. And having another set released so soon is great. I think in this case, releasing them in smaller, less expensive increments makes it more accommodating for the budget- so I don't mind as much. It's different with long running theatrical shorts, than say when they split TV seasons sets in two. That' s kind of a pain. What's the lowdown on Volume 3? Over 30 cartoons from the World War II years, with tons of extras. And the bonus features in these releases have been top-notch. What's great is that these are remastered and uncut- including some War -era cartoons that haven't been on television for years, due to PC concerns. So put it on your "to buy" list!

The Three Stooges Collection ,Volume 3: 1940-1942- Release date: August 26, 2008
Speaking of wartime shorts, it seems we've just started to enjoy Volume 2 when Volume 3 of The Stooges is right around the corner. I wouldn't have it any other way; keep 'em coming! When some genius finally decided to release the complete library of the Stooges oeuvre, he put an end to the four to six random shorts on a disc hell that the world had been in. These sets may skimp on the extras (and we would love to see some, believe me!), but the fact the shorts are being remastered and the fans are being treated with some respect is enough for me. By the way, as with the Popeye Vol. 3 set, some of the shorts included here, haven't been seen for years, and some may be decidedly un-PC because of the war era. Delicious. But nonetheless- this set also includes some legendary stooge shorts- including A Plumbing We Will Go, Nutty But Nice, An Ache in Every Stake, Matri-Phony, Three Smart Saps and so much more. And with an Amazon pre-order price of under $20, there is no reason you shouldn't make space on you shelf for this one as soon as possible.

And guess what- Amazon already has a pre-order page for
The Three Stooges Collection Vol.4: 1943-1945- Release date: October 7, 2008!
No cover yet, but that will come soon. These shorts include more Stooge classics like: Dizzy Detectives, Spook Louder, Crash Goes the Hash, Idle Roomers and more. Curly had a stroke in 1945, and the evidence of his slowing down is tragically evident in the last few shorts. The next volume in this series will have the last of the Curly shorts and the beginning of the great Shemp stuff. If this release schedule keeps up - expect Volume 5 in the first quarter of 2009.

Well kiddies- that's it for this afternoon! Be sure to mark these release dates down and tell your parents to pick you up some of these great goodies. Or heck, buy 'em yourself. You're old enough, right?
Stick around- we've got more reviews (Popeye Vol. 2 review is up on deck) and other Shelf madness coming up! Stay tuned!

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

Well, doc I've a terrific pain right here. Everytime I squeeze my Adam's Apple I can taste cider.


Sherl said...

That's great news about two more Stooge sets this year! Hopefully the will do something about the stooge movies once they finish the shorts.

Robert M. Lindsey said...

Oh how I remember after school TV! Gilligan's Island, Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies, and cartoons!

A friend gave my kids about 12 VHS tapes of the Little Rascals. One thing we noticed right away when our kids started watching tapes and DVDs of old shows is that they laughed out loud A LOT! They watch modern cartoons on Sat. morning, but they don't laugh.

J.C. Loophole said...

RE: the movies- I haven't read anything as far as their plans for those. Most, if not all, are already out on stand alone DVD so who knows. If we find out, we will report.
I've noticed the same thing with my kids in regards to lots of older cartoons and shorts. They love the stooges, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Looney Tunes, Popeye and even the old Fleischer Superman cartoons!
I rarely see them laugh harder or enjoy anything else quite as much, except- perhaps- for Spongebob. And I like ol' Spongebob meself. I am partial to Plankton.


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