Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"Popeye" Making a DVD Comeback

Warner Home Video have reached an agreement with Hearst Entertainment and King Features Syndicate that gives the studio exclusive worldwide home entertainment distribution rights to all "Popeye" theatrical shorts and TV cartoons.

"During the entire videocassette era, the classic Popeye library was not available for legitimate release because of rights issues that have finally been resolved," said George Feltenstein, senior VP classic catalog marketing at Warner Home Video, about the abundance of "Popeye" public domain cartoons.

The new distribution deal covers all the original 231 "Popeye" animated shorts released theatrically by Paramount Pictures from 1933-57. Warner also has licensed the exclusive rights to 220 "Popeye" made-for-TV animated shorts produced from 1960-62, 65 episodes of "The Continuing Adventures of Popeye," produced from 1978-81 (and consisting of 161 animated shorts) and 26 "Popeye & Son" shorts produced in 1987.

The "Popeye" theatrical slate includes an incredible 120 black-and-white shorts (106 of them produced by Fleischer Studios, the other 14 by Famous Studios) and 111 Technicolor cartoons (three produced by Fleischer Studios and 108 produced by Famous Studios).

Warner Home Video said it will start work immediately on preservation and restoration.