Wednesday, July 07, 2004

More Cartoons on DVD

The always-vigilant TV Shows on DVD has the official press releases for two new Warner Brothers box sets of cartoons, covering the work of Hanna-Barbera. The first is the long-awaited Tom and Jerry collection, featuring a format similar to the Looney Tunes Golden Collections except with 40 cartoons on only two discs. It doesn't have a complete list of cartoons, but these will be from the duo's Golden Age at MGM, not those crappy nonviolent made-for-TV cartoons. I can't say I'm the biggest T&J fan -- I prefer Warner Brothers' "Rhapsody Rabbit" to T&J's "The Cat Concerto", which had the same plot and was released at the same time (nobody knows who came up with the idea first, but it was "Cat Concerto" that won the Oscar) -- but it's great to have them on DVD nonetheless, and hopefully a Tex Avery collection will follow in due course.

The other set is a TV-on-DVD collection, all 34 episodes of Hanna-Barbera's version of The Great Race, Wacky Races. One of the last "comedy" Hanna-Barbera TV cartoons, before they got into superheroes and kids solving mysteries; most of the episodes were written by Mike Maltese, best known for the many cartoons he wrote for Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng; you can definitely tell, from the failures of Dick Dastardly, that it's from the guy who wrote most of the Road Runner cartoons.

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