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Olive Films To Release "Betty Boop: The Essential Collection"

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by Jerry Beck
May 31, 2013 9:38 PM
21 Comments
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Olive Films, a small home video label who sub-licenses classic movies from Paramount Pictures, has announced via its Facebook page a July release for Betty Boop: The Essential Collection, Vol. 1 (1932-1937) on Blu-Ray and DVD. 

Olive claims that the cartoons are "newly remastered in HD from 4K scans of the original negatives and fine grains". That's great and I hope so. I would have liked if they would have restored the original Paramount logos - if they remastered from the UCLA Archive negs, they most likely will have the UM&M TV titles. 

That said, I'm delighted that someone finally decided to make use of the goldmine of classic animation material in Paramount's vaults. This is a tiny first step, but I'm grateful for movement in this direction - especially as DVD sales are on the wane. 

Volume One will contain these titles (below). All are protected by copyright (thus not on Public Domain collections) all except Betty Boop's Rise To Fame

CHESS NUTS (1932)
BETTY BOOP, M.D. (1932)
BETTY BOOP'S BAMBOO ISLE (1932)
BETTY BOOP FOR PRESIDENT (1932)
BETTY BOOP'S PENTHOUSE (1933)
BETTY BOOP'S BIRTHDAY PARTY (1933)
BETTY BOOP'S MAY PARTY (1933)
BETTY BOOP'S HALLOWE’EN PARTY (1933)
BETTY BOOP'S RISE TO FAME (1934)
BETTY BOOP'S TRIAL (1934)
BETTY BOOP'S LIFE GUARD (1934)
THE FOXY HUNTER (1937)

Suggested Retail Price hasn't been announced, nor is it on Amazon yet. I wish this release well - I want to see more. 


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More: Betty Boop, DVD / Blu-Ray

21 Comments

  • xxgrendelxx | August 27, 2013 4:19 PMReply

    This seems like another attempt to grab a piece of Betty's market without doing justice to the whole. I sincerely hope the restoration is in earnest; the low quantity of films (12 per set) and relatively high price ($19.99 per set on dvd) suggests it may be.

    Speaking only for myself, I'm exasperated with the attempts to bring Betty into the 2Ks - two French attempts (both as a complete collection and five individual discs, those still available at Amazon France on dvd region 2 PAL proved to be merely the exact same content as the Republic VHS/laserdisc editions and have the DVNR issues.

    An honest attempt at resoration would be appreciated, but leaving out films because they happen to be in the public domain is absurd as no first rate edition exists. Those currently available look like dollar store knock-offs and Olive should raise the bar.

  • Jessie | June 19, 2013 8:41 PMReply

    I am so excited about this!!! All I have are old vhs tapes from when they first officially released the Betty Boop Collection in the mid-90s.

  • Robert Barker | June 5, 2013 1:25 AMReply

    Let's just wait and see. Of course the idea of a gussied up high def Blu-ray Betty Boop release sounds great, but not all things look good on Blu-Ray. I'm more concerned with how they crop the image and if I'll get the whole frame on my television. Here's hoping.

  • Roberto Severino | June 2, 2013 11:56 PMReply

    I'm sadly not so sure about this one. I tend not to trust too many of the smaller, independent producers of classic animation DVDs except for Thunderbean of course! I would feel a lot more confident about this release if people like you, Thad Komorowski, David Gerstein, Mark Kausler and others who are adept animation film historians work on this sort of DVD and making sure that as much material is properly restored as possible and with care and passion.

  • Brenton Clark | June 2, 2013 10:41 AMReply

    Betty is always my "guilty" pleasure.

  • Toonio | June 2, 2013 12:23 AMReply

    boop boop de doop, the queen of toons is back! Happy happy, joy joy!

  • elmickeyman | June 1, 2013 11:15 PMReply

    Does anyone know if the collection will include any special features?

  • William | June 1, 2013 6:39 PMReply

    It's great this kind of attention is being given to BB, but it's unfortunate Olive has decided to play it safe with the copyrighted films only. Despite their argument that the risk is twice what they're doing, fans have proven they know real collections when they see them (i.e. Popeye). Logic should conclude that such a base is the target for this kind of effort (and advertising), and that they will recognize the value in what promises to be a dramatic upgrade. General consumers should be the presumed wild card, not the collector.

    While pleased at the focus, my inclination is to skip a collection only half-done.

  • Andy Decker | June 1, 2013 4:55 PMReply

    Let's hope that Olive doesn't short change the BB and Fleischer fans (like me) and only release selected shorts.Also,like you Jerry, I'm hoping the shorts have the original Paramount titles.The shorts always looked their best with original titles.Now,if someone would take the initiative and collate maybe Terrytoons or Columbia Screen Gems shorts.They may not be up to snuff in terms of animation and story, like Warners or MGM,but there are quite a few Van Buren-RKO collections,like the human Tom and Jerry,Cubby Bear and the wildly entertaining Molly Moo Cow.LOL P.S. Sorry Molly,but I personally prefer the antics of Clarabelle Cow!

  • Justin | June 1, 2013 3:29 PMReply

    I think I'm gonna get this. I so hope that they have the original Paramount logos and titles.

  • Kevin Martinez | June 1, 2013 12:50 PMReply

    The list of cartoons Olive Films said they'll release omits numerous films that most definitely are protected by copyright (outstanding entries like MYSTERIOUS MOSE will be denied restoration) and puts the public domain BETTY BOOP'S RISE TO FAME and POOR CINDERELLA in the mix. This is sloppy research that animation historians could have easily corrected.

    Olive Films was probably the wrong place to be handed the rights to release these; their chilly, dismissive attitude towards film preservation folks pointing out flaws in their releases (particularly Richard Harris and Bob Furmanek) has been off-putting at best, the height of arrogance at worst, and this is the kind of release where that simply cannot happen.

    I weep for what could have been if they brought you and David Gerstein and Ray Pointer and Steve Stanchfield on board to tackle these Fleischer's. Maybe we would see some original titles restored.

  • Tony McCarson | June 1, 2013 11:04 AMReply

    I wish someday that WB can produce the chronological "Betty Boop" blu-ray/dvds vol. 1, 2, & 3.

    They already produced the chronological dvds of black-&-white "Popeye".

  • Richard | June 1, 2013 10:44 AMReply

    Man, I expected the shorts in chronological order.

  • pablo | June 1, 2013 8:04 AMReply

    This seems to skip some shorts :(

  • Loco the Clown | June 1, 2013 6:56 AMReply

    I have Olive's release of 'The Space Children' and was very pleased with the quality. There is quite a lot in Paramount's vault (Screen Songs, Color Classics, 2 Reel Specials, Little Lulu and others) that even the bootleggers don't have. More importantly things cartoon fanatics would happily dump the bankroll on. Here's hoping Olive will see a future beyond just Betty Boop. That said, a good selection of cartoons-can't wait to see 'em!

  • NAT | June 1, 2013 5:59 AMReply

    When do we actually get a complete collection of all the black and white / rubber hose Fleischer cartoons? I'm still waiting.

  • Retro00064 | May 31, 2013 11:06 PMReply

    Jerry, you said: "I would have liked if they would have restored the original Paramount logos - if they remastered from the UCLA Archive negs, they most likely will have the UM&M TV titles."

    It was my understanding that the original titles to most of the Betty Boop cartoons (and other black-and-white Fleischer cartoons) are not known to exist. Is this incorrect? You kinda make it sound like the original titles exist.

  • Jerry Beck | June 1, 2013 1:08 AM

    I'm not sure I implied that the original titles exist for all the Betty Boops (and other Fleischer b/w cartoons). They don't. But original titles for black & white Fleischer cartoons DO exist on a few prints. Personally, I hope they put a little effort into replacing the meaningless UM&M TV logos with the appropriate Paramount logos - but I'm not holding my breath.

  • Kevin Coffey | May 31, 2013 10:43 PMReply

    These are excellent titles.
    Olive films is getting outstanding blu ray reviews from very discriminating critics for the picture quality of the Republic John Wayne black and white pictures they're releasing.
    That said- releasing Betty Boop cartoons to blu ray without consulting our own Jerry Beck?
    Cover art by anyone other than Leslie Carbarga?
    Well, the show's the thing- they have plenty of room to grow if they get the transfer quality right on this first issue.

  • top cat james | May 31, 2013 10:10 PMReply

    Aww, none of BB's Talkartoons-those are my favorites.

    I'll still purchase a copy and hope for their addition on future volumes.

  • Jesse Jacobson | June 1, 2013 4:44 PM

    Actually Top Cat James, Chess Nuts is a Talkartoons!

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