Word is, there will not be a Blu-Ray release of Space: 1999- Season 2 in 2014 or 2015. Which essentially means never. Whatever Network Distributing is doing on high-definition mastering of Space: 1999's second season, it is NOT being undertaken for release on Blu-Ray. At some later, much later date, there may be available-over-the-Internet high-definition episodes for viewing only (not owning), and that would be the ultimate outcome.
Why announce a Blu-Ray way back in 2011 if it was never going to happen? This sort of thing is happening all of the time. Need I remind my readers that LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTIONs were supposed to go to a tenth volume before they would be ended? MGM and Twentieth Century Fox have evidently mothballed a planned release on Blu-Ray of the Pink Panther movies and cartoons. There are other examples. In the case of Space: 1999, I cannot help but think that this has been a cruel game being played to torment the already put-upon and demoralized fan base (if any such does yet exist) of all of Space: 1999, but even if it is not, the fact remains. Fans of Space: 1999- Season 2 have nothing to look forward to-- unless they simply want to watch the episodes in high-definition on a World-Wide-Web-stream. Video Rental Library. Remember that abomination vis-a-vis the first release of Star Wars on videocassette, along with several other movies? Here it is all over again.
Will people out there finally put to rest their ridiculous extension of unlimited patience? There will be no Space: 1999- Season 2 Blu-Rays in 2016 either, folks. Or 2017. Or 2018.
But I do not believe there are many people who care either way. We all know that the lion's share of Space: 1999 fans would be content to see the second season incinerated.
I have nothing more to say today, other than that those 2001 DVDs by A&E will be all that will henceforth ever be owned in my home of Space: 1999's second season.
April 20, 2014
Another spiel, this time more "cool-headed", I would venture to say.
I really should not "come down too hard" on Warner Brothers, the company. It is simply acting in reaction to market forces. The problem is the people responsible for assembling the cartoon configurations of the DVD/Blu-Ray releases and their peculiar biases that they insist on imposing upon the consumer, those biases in many cases being validated by the vocal minority on the Internet. It has been the DVD releases in which those people have had little or no involvement, that have arguably been the superior ones of recent years, them being some of the LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS DVD series. While I am none too keen on DVDs concentrating solely on one character or pair of characters, these DVDs have given to the consumer a generous portion of post-1948 cartoons not released in the GOLDEN COLLECTION DVD range. Of course, there have been disastrous missteps, such as the cropped-for-widescreen cartoons on the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck SUPERSTARS DVDs and the inclusion of post-1969 cartoons on the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote SUPERSTARS DVD and wasting the Sylvester and Tweety DVD on "double dip"cartoons. But when the DVDs were done right, as with the others in the SUPERSTARS DVD series, they were quality offerings, and I mourn the loss of further releases, such as for Yosemite Sam, Sylvester cartoons apart from Hippety Hopper, and, say, a further Bugs Bunny DVD.
Back in the days of VHS videocassettes, I did occasionally write to Warner Brothers with ideas for videotapes. One was "All's Hare in Love and War" and would have included "Hare Spiltter", 'Forward March Hare", 'Napoleon Bunny-Part", "Rabbit Romeo", and one other. I cannot recall what the fifth cartoon was. This was before these cartoons saw release years later in STARS OF SPACE JAM, BUGS AND FRIENDS, etc.. I had a few other clever notions, if I may say so myself. But Warner may have been contractually obligated to other individuals and could not endorse or even respond to my ideas. Fair enough. But after so many abortive attempts to put the cartoons out to the public on optical media, surely it has become apparent that the individuals responsible for advising have not been providing consistently good advice. It should be primarily the post-1948 cartoons that receive attention. Some pre-1948 cartoons can be "thrown in for good measure", but they should not be the primary provision in any commercial release. I know. MGM/UA had no choice, as the pre-1948s were all to which it had access. But Warner Brothers in its laser videodisc releases of the 1990s had the right idea. The proper configuration. Mostly post-1948 with a taste of the earlier material.
That vocal minority persistently tries to turn upside down the history of 40 years of broadcasting and the proven popularity of the post-1948 cartoons. I do not subscribe to the idea that the abundance of cartoon animation for the pre-1948s automatically deems those to be superior and more deserving of attention. It was a reduction in budget that prompted the cartoon directors and their writers to raise their creative game, as it were. To do more with less. And it was in that creativity that the cartoons gained their aura of sophistication and the adversarial pairings that defined the Looney Tunes characters in popular culture of many decades. This was after Clampett, Avery, and Tashlin had left the cartoon studio. The fact remains that the cartoon studio, guided by Freleng, Jones, and McKimson, continued for 16 to 17 years, outputting nearly 500 cartoons, most with the defined versions of the 12 major characters, and that fact should not and MUST not be ignored, despite the best efforts of a minority to obfuscate it. The output of the cartoon directors is not equal, and equality in representation on the DVDs does do a grievous disservice to the much more substantial oeuvre of the stalwart three directors of the cartoon studio and to the aficionados of that oeuvre.
And bottom lines are that before 1948, there were no Road Runner cartoons. There were but two Sylvester-versus-Tweety cartoons, and they were quite generic in their setting and situation. There were but three Yosemite Sam cartoons with Bugs Bunny, and while the three were funny and established the characters as an effective adversarial pair, the more elaborate, more entertaining scenarios for that pairing (e.g. "High Diving Hare", "Bunker Hill Bunny", "Ballot Box Bunny", "The Fair-Haired Hare", etc., etc.) came later. Before 1948, there were but two Pepe Le Pew cartoons, both rather generic and unremarkable. There were but two Foghorn Leghorn cartoons. A cartoon series still "finding its legs" and which would not flourish until such cartoons as "The Leghorn Blows at Midnight" or until the introduction of characters such as Miss Prissy, Egghead Jr., the Weasel, etc.. The directors were only just starting to understand the character of Bugs Bunny and the vast creative potential to be had in moving him out of the woodland hunting scenario. Before 1948, there was no Speedy Gonzales. No Tasmanian Devil. Daffy before 1948 could be indistinguishable from Woody Woodpecker in temperament and irritability. It was the attributes that he was gaining in the late 1940s that gave to him an "edge", as it were, and there was released a vast potential for sophisticated cartoon comedy. Porky was a nondescript character, and the directors were right in using him less and less. Elmer too, for that matter, though I do mostly like what was done with Elmer in the 1950s. The popularity of the post-1948 cartoons on television for four decades does 'bear this out". Much as the effort persists by the minority to obfuscate such. It is the characters and their situations and their dialogue that have become widely beloved in popular culture. Less so the indulgent "rubber-iness" of earlier cartoon animation. All of this was sadly ignored or obfuscated in the DVD releases of this century. The worst thing that happened in the history of distribution of the cartoons was for the two packages (the pre- and post-1948s) to be merged back in 2000. This enabled the minority to begin their obfuscation in earnest. We started receiving the "bunk" of equal representation of all of the directors, despite their unequal tenure and creative time periods, and the DVDs, when they were finally released three or four years late, were guided by that blinkered mindset. It is not blinkered on my part to regard the pre-1948 time period as an agonizingly long development stage, with many "false starts" and dead ends and over-indulgent forays along the way. I was always prepared to respect that development phase and allow for some representation of it. But it should not dominate the established stage in the history of the cartoons. And it should definitely not supersede it.
These are my two or three or four cents for today. And to the minority who can claim their victory yet again, all I can say is, "Enjoy it, as you no doubt will, but the cost of your victory will be unacceptable to a great, many people." Said cost being no more optical media releases and incomplete cartoon collections.
April 17, 2014
Above is an image of the cover for LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION 3. And below are the cartoons that will be included in it. Read and weep.
"Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt"
"A Corny Concerto"
"Little Red Riding Rabbit"
"The Big Snooze"
"A Hare Grows in Manhattan"
"Gorilla My Dreams"
"High Diving Hare"
"Bully for Bugs"
"Bugs and Thugs"
"Knighty Knight Bugs"
"The Hep Cat"
"Pigs in a Polka"
"A Ham in a Role"
"Dog Gone South"
"A Bear for Punishment"
"Porky Pig's Feat"
"Scrap Happy Daffy"
"The Stupid Cupid"
"The Stupor Salesman"
"The Swooner Crooner"
"Life with Feathers"
"Tree for Two"
"Mouse and Garden"
"The Pied Piper of Guadalupe"
"A Gruesome Twosome"
"Walky Talky Hawky"
"Rhapsody in Rivets"
I had to scroll down an unacceptably long way before I reached the first post-1948 cartoon on the list. And our worst fears are confirmed. Except for the three or four new-to-DVD/Blu-Ray cartoons already known to be in the box set, there is nothing to add to one's collection of cartoons on optical media. They could not even put "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide" in the box set to have a complete Spike and Chester. Oh, that would be too much to ask. After all, Freleng's cartoons of the 1950s are feces, are they not? Of course they are. The "experts" say so. Therefore, it must be true. Then again, this box set defecates on all who watched and enjoyed the cartoons in their network television presentations for 40 years. It is a big "screw you" to anyone who prefers the post-1948s and a "forget it, kid" to anyone hoping to augment their collection of post-1948 cartoons to an appreciable degree.
That appears to be that. No hope now of pristine optical media release for "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide", "Hyde and Go Tweet", "Beanstalk Bunny", "Hare Brush", "Hopalong Casualty", "Rabbitson Crusoe", "Cracked Quack", "His Bitter Half", "Tweet and Sour", "Hare Lift", "Feather Dusted", "A Fractured Leghorn", "Stooge For a Mouse", "A Mouse Divided", etc., etc., etc..
We can thank the Clampett-philes and the Avery-philes for this. They at least have all of their favorites with adulating commentaries to boot. Why not just release complete Clampett and Avery collections with documentaries declaring the Jones-Freleng-McKimson oeuvre to be unmitigated garbage or a more colorful metaphor starting with the alphabet's ninteenth letter? Nobody on any Internet discussion forum will complain, and those are, after all, the only repository of opinion that counts for anything. As far as the powers-that-be are concerned, yes?
I am washing my hands of this and relinquishing my already very feeble grip on any hope for improved conditions for my favorite works. I have my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour reconstructions, and it seems that I must repurchase as many of the VHS videocassettes and laser videodiscs as I can and do a DVD-R transfer of them, and even then, a complete collection will be out of reach.
I hold no hope for any further volumes on the LOONEY TUNES SUPERSTARS DVD range. They could not even bother to include corrected versions of any of the cropped-for-widescreen cartoons of the first two SUPERSTARS DVDs, in this final PLATINUM COLLECTION. A further insult.
It goes without saying that I cannot, I will not, endorse this box set, and I will not be buying it on release day. The haters of my favorite body of cartoons can be satisfied. They won. At the end of the day, they won. The final official commercial optical media release of cartoons pandered mainly to them.
And it is snowing today. A perfect way to enhance my mood.
A dejected Kevin McCorry,
April 16, 2014
Another short update.
I have completed an arduous task on upgrading the images for The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show Page. The sheer number of images to be improved was tremendous! But what there is there now is a Web page that looks visually on par with The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, etc..
Further word on potential (I say again, potential) Space: 1999- Season 2 Blu-Rays. Network Distributing is said to have unearthed behind-the-scenes footage of the production of the Season 2 episode, "The Mark of Archanon", which is supposedly being assembled for some "later release". Again, if any readers wish to speculate on this meaning imminent Blu-Rays, feel free to do so. For myself, I remain persistently skeptical.
No further information on LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION 3, other than that it is certain to contain almost nothing but "double-dips" from the GOLDEN COLLECTION DVD range. And that it will be the final release to physical media of any classic Warner Brothers cartoons. Sad news. But not altogether unexpected. Once again, the ball was dropped. The wrong people were listened-to. The denizens of the Internet discussion forums are not representative of the viewing public. The people who post comments and comments and comments on discussion forums are usually people with an agenda contrary to what I must term as normal opinion. Where Warner Brothers cartoons are concerned, it is not normal opinion that the cartoons released after 1948 are inferior and unworthy of concentrated release on DVD or Blu-Ray. It is not normal opinion that the cartoons that aired on Bugs Bunny & Tweety, etc. are not quality cartoons deserving of appreciation and dedicated release on commercial optical disc media. When the people on Internet message boards post wish lists consisting solely of pre-1948 cartoons, those people ought not to be given credence when deciding upon configurations of Warner Brothers cartoon DVDs to be released. Sadly, such were the primary people given consideration in the decisions on which cartoons to restore for release on DVD/Blu-Ray. And so, we have seen both GOLDEN COLLECTION and PLATINUM COLLECTION fizzle away long, long before many outstanding cartoons could be released. It was folly to listen to those people a second time and to load the second PLATINUM COLLECTION volume with "dusty oldie" cartoons like the earliest Bugs Bunny cartoons (if that is what they should be called). For what it may be worth, I finally did relent and purchase PLATINUM COLLECTION 2, but I have watched it but once, and not every cartoon in it.
My Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends Page is the latest of my Web pages to receive the deluxe treatment as regards image improvement. It is looking very nice indeed. More image improvements will be coming for other Web pages.
April 13, 2014
Brief update today, before I have some breakfast and ready to enjoy this small glimmer of springtime that we in snow-dump-of-the-world New Brunswick will be having today before winter rears its disgusting head again tomorrow. Worst winter of my life, this has been. Bar none. And there is no end in sight to it as the snowbanks are as high as ever.
Word is that a high-definition remaster of both parts of "The Bringers of Wonder" of Space: 1999's second season will be screened at an upcoming Ander-Con convention in England. I will extrapolate nothing from that (I dare not) other than the fact that Network Distributing has been working on high-definition transfers of some of the second season Space: 1999 episodes. If anyone wants to interpret this as meaning that a Blu-Ray box set is coming, have at it. The way that fate likes to punish me for entertaining optimistic thoughts, I am not going to tempt fate's contrary and treacherous hand, thank-you very much.
That is about all of the news that I have to share today. If it prompts anyone to have a look at my woefully neglected Space: 1999 Page, then it is not a total loss, whatever the outcome.
You know. There are times when I do wish I was not such an outcast and an undesirable and that conventions were just a car-drive away. I do envy the people who go to those and see all of the gorgeous items on display and meet many actors associated with the television series. It would certainly liven up my depressing, rut-ified (I do not care if that is not a word; I wish to use it; so, deal with it) existence.
All for now.
March 29, 2014
Bugs Bunny wishes to be at once virtuous and carefree and must repel antagonists (e.g. Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck, et al.) intending his demise or the usurping or undermining of his property or principles. Wile E. Coyote and Sylvester Cat have carnivorous desires for, respectively, the rapid Road Runner and the clever Tweety Bird. Rooster Foghorn Leghorn enjoys his fun and his bachelorhood, an existence complicated by a tiny chicken hawk, a barnyard dog that wants revenge for Foghorn's playfully violent attacks on his posterior, and a lovelorn hen. Daffy Duck vainly aims for fame and fortune. Pepe Le Pew seeks romance, despite his skunk's stench. Speedy Gonzales strives to provide nourishment for himself and his fellow Mexican mice, often in conflict with a mice-craving or cheese-defending Sylvester. Etc..
I have admired Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies animated cartoon shorts (to which I will refer on this Website as cartoons) since pre-school. Vibrant, variable color, impressionistic design of characters and settings, and showy slapstick coinciding with subtly sophisticated humor endeared the Warner Brothers cartoons to me through my formative years- and they are therefore nostalgically cherished, plus appreciated on an increasingly mature level. I watched these cartoons on television and retained remarkably precise memories of their broadcast order in various compilation television series, having been intrigued by the combinations of particular cartoons with similar themes, motifs, etc., and I have chosen to share my factual knowledge of these television shows and impressions of the cartoons with the world.
Available here are information articles and episode guides for the television series by which Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies and their anthropomorphized animal characters have been seen and enjoyed by several generations of people by the millions.
|Televised Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies|
The Bugs Bunny Show
(1960-2; 1971-5) Page
The Road Runner Show
(1966-8; 1971-2) Page
The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour
(1968-71; 1975-85) Page
The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show
The Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends
The Other Television Shows Starring the Warner Brothers
Of course, Warner Brothers does not have a monopoly on vividly imaginative animation, and I am not limited to Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies in my cartoon fancies. Kindred spirits are rare for many of my preferences, such as for the mind-bending weirdness and desolate visuals of latter seasons of some of the television series listed below. Necessary, introspective, and often solitary journeys into extraordinary or alien locales happen frequently in my favored entertainments.
As with the Warner Brothers cartoon compilation television series, format of treatment here consists of articles and episode guides. The episode guides in a few cases do acknolwedge some of oft-stated criticisms of certain aspects of production or story-writing and do express my quibbles with some occasionally less imaginative story premises, but are on the whole reverent and, if I may say so myself, quite intelligently profferred.
|Other Animated Cartoon Television Programs|
The Rocket Robin Hood
The Pink Panther Show
The Star Blazers
Polar explorers, especially the ill-fated Scott of the Antarctic, a real-life man who ventured fatally into inhospitable territory, have fascinated me, too. I am mystified and awed by the frontiers of the Earth and of the universe and the dangers and unknown elements that exist beyond our everyday lives. So, conceptual science fiction (or science fantasy) has been a love of mine since age 10, and classic films and television series of the genre have been most stimulating.
|Live-Action Fanciful Entertainments|
The Space: 1999
The Littlest Hobo
The Last Place On Earth
Dr. Jekyll's Many Hydes:
The Film and Television Versions of the Horror Tale
The James Bond
From Big Screen to Small Screen: Earthquake and
Sci-Fi Soap: Dallas' "Dream Season"
or Pamela Ewing: "Sleeper of the Year"
The Dream That Died:
The Late 1980s Television Show Reunion Movies
And here are my often controversial master writings of study and interpretation of certain productions.
|Articles of Observation and Interpretation|
"Hyde and Hare": An Overlooked Masterpiece
"Deconstructing" Bugs: The Bugs Bunny Cartoons of 1955
Nuance and Suggestion in the Tweety and Sylvester Series
The Alien Savior: Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still
Dystopic Future: The Set Design of Alien
In my work on constructing this Website, I have had the opportunity, privilege, and pleasure of interviewing people of considerable importance in the production of some of my favorite entertainments.
And I have written personal tributes to the three directors of the Warner Brothers cartoons that have entertained and impressed me very much in the many eras of my life.
What life experiences could incline a person to so enthusiastically embrace all of these productions? My aspired television channel is indicative of the broadcast schedules on television during my childhood, and I also have a Weblog, updated periodically. However, I prefer to be thorough. To this end, I have written my own biography.
McCorry's Memoirs Era 1:
A Pre-Schooler in a Sheltered Cage (1966-72)
McCorry's Memoirs Era 2:
Where am I? In the Village of My Childhood (1972-7)
Space: 1976-8: Boy Meets Alpha
(supplementary memoirs from the time period
(1976-8) of CBC Television's full-network
Space: 1999 broadcasts)
McCorry's Memoirs Era 3:
Massive Family Move...
Boy Removed From His Roots...
Hurled into Suburban Maze (1977-82)
McCorry's Memoirs Era 4:
He's a Pitcher and a Scholar and a Sci-Fi Fan (1982-7)
McCorry's Memoirs Era 5:
Blasts From the Past (1987-92)