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Blu-Ray Buzz: "The Puppetoon Movie"

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by Jerry Beck
August 6, 2013 9:00 AM
14 Comments
  • |
Puppetoon Movie

It's tough-sledding these days for classic animation collectors with less and less being made available on DVD and Blu-Ray. But here's some good news. A boutique video producer/distributor, B2MP, Inc. has licensed Arnold Leibovit's 1987 compilation feature The Puppetoon Movie and is making it available exclusively on blu-ray. 


Here's a heads-up for this blu-ray set of vintage, Academy Award winning Paramount  Techincolor animated shorts from the 1940s. The two-disc collection will be available in October - and only 3000 copies will be produced (that's the attractive cover above). In addtion to a newly re-mastered High-Def copy of Leibovit's feature - which bridges ten classic Pal Puppetoons with an all new stop-motion framing story starring Art Clokey's Gumby and Pokey (voiced by Dal McKennon), narrator Paul Frees (as Arnie the Dinosaur) and cameos by Speedy Alka Seltzer, King Kong and Spielberg's Gremlins - the set also contains seven HD Puppetoons never released on video before - restored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and sub-licensed from Paramount Pictures. 

The set also contains a newly remastered in HD Pal feature The Great Rupert (starring Jimmy Durante), as well as standard-definition bonus material including 12 complete Puppetoons (from 35mm masters), Leibovit's fine Pal documentary, The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal, rare interview footage with Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Wah Chang, Roy Disney, etc. - not to mention an all-new audio commentary by Arnold Leibovit and... me

This is a must-have for anyone who cares about animation history, stop motion fans and animation students, George Pal devotees (of which I am one of) and cartoon buffs. Here's the sell-sheet:

  puppetoon_flyer_550


This release will NOT be available on DVD - nor will it be sold on Amazon (or anywhere else). I highly recommend you order from B2MP today. What else can I say? Here's Dorothy Lamour posing with one of the Puppetoon figures (in her likeness) featured on this set: 

Lamour - puppetoon


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14 Comments

  • gene schiller | November 14, 2013 5:42 PMReply

    DVD holdouts - do yourself a favor and get a blu-ray machine, and not just for the increased definition of blu-ray - your standard DVDs will uptick significantly in quality as well. It's worth the investment.

  • Reg Hartt | September 24, 2013 6:57 AMReply

    I already have the older dvd of this title. I ordered the Blu-ray at once. With only 3000 being produced this is no time to quibble. Blu-ray players have come down so low in price that having to buy one to view this is not a burden.

    The up in picture quality is a huge bonus. I (and Jerry and many others) once paid more for a single 16mm print of a cartoon than this collection costs. The Blu-ray, unlike the 16mm,won't get emulsion scratches. It's color won't fade. The disc it is on won't warp with the passage of time (or, worse, get vinegar syndrome and start to dissolve). There are so many positives about this format that I am amazed when people complain.

    Buy the thing now before it is sold out and you have to pay way more for (remember when dvds of Pasolini's SALO were going for anywhere from $600 to $1,000.00 ?).

    While you are at it get GULLIVER's TRAVELS from Thunderbean.

  • Eric Graf | August 8, 2013 12:46 PMReply

    To the folks complaining about there not being a DVD edition: This is just going to keep happening. At this point, why wouldn't you just replace your DVD player with a Blu Ray player? All Blu Ray players also play DVDs.

  • William | August 8, 2013 2:58 PM

    That's beside the point. Why should we need to question whether we can play their disc? Our only concern should be selecting the proper edition at checkout.

    If this keeps happening, it's likely to be at B2MP. Other independent labels continue to release both formats.

  • Robert Fiore | August 8, 2013 1:03 AMReply

    I'm back now. I just ordered mine, the minute I saw this post.

  • Andy Decker | August 7, 2013 12:29 PMReply

    sexy cute cover! It's too bad they're alienating the fans like me who have no Blu-Ray player,but would gladly purchase it on DVD.To compel those of us sans Blu-Ray to buy a player just for this set isn't right ! I've still got VHS tapes that I don't plan to get rid of anytime soon!

  • William | August 9, 2013 6:25 PM

    I agree with almost everything. There is still material on VHS that never came to DVD, so no medium has had complete coverage. However, in my opinion DVD, Blu-ray, downloading and streaming will continue to coexist as it currently does. There are too many options with enough consumer support behind each, and no one wants to be out material (such as DVD titles unavailable on Blu, which will always be a problem). If the trend was such when DVD came out, VHS would have stuck around for the same reason.

    I disagree about the shanghai aspect though. From a marketing standpoint to a production standpoint (such as Blu-only bonus material), there has definitely been a concerted effort to get consumers to migrate.

  • droosan | August 9, 2013 3:41 PM

    Laserdisc and VHS co-existed in the U.S. market for nearly 15 years. LD was the superior media in terms of video quality, but VHS was the more-successful 'mass-market' format.

    Several titles (including some animated ones) were released on one format, and not the other .. with 'collector-oriented' titles tending to end-up on LD-only.

    IMO, Blu-ray and DVD are likely to share a similar fate, going forward.

    Certainly, one is entitled to express a 'dislike' of the situation, when a particular title is not offered in one's 'preferred' format (indeed, enough such sentiment may convince a small publisher like B2MP that a sufficient audience might exist for a future limited DVD release of this BD set) .. but please realize that -- while DVD may not be 'obsolete' in terms of sales -- it kind-of is, in terms of tech. Hi-Def is the new video standard -- and has been, for awhile, now (you'd be hard-pressed to find a 'new' non-HD-capable television in stores).

    No-one is trying to 'Shanghai' anyone into a different format. DVDs are still quite functional; I still have a few thousand of them, myself .. with no plans to replace most (or necessarily any) of them.

    I hear ya about completing a Looney Tunes collection on a singular format. That would be nice .. but WB / Turner never came close to doing that on Laserdisc, either. -_-

  • William | August 9, 2013 2:41 PM

    Droosan,

    VHS has been rendered obsolete by DVD. DVD has not been rendered obsolete by Blu-ray, no matter how hard the studios try. Many people do not have the setup for HD, many may still not be able to afford the cost (prices have fallen but DVDs are still cheaper) and some, like myself, prefer to continue on a single format rather than be shanghaied into another one (especially when series such as the Looney Tunes can't even finish their run on the first).

    Based on what continues to come from small labels and big studios alike, DVDs aren't going anywhere.

  • droosan | August 9, 2013 12:34 AM

    So, if DVDs and VHS titles can peacefully 'co-exist' within your own video collection .. why would Blu-ray discs not be welcome, as well..?

    This is directed as an honest, non-provocatory question.

    As pointed out by others here -- Blu-ray players can also play DVDs, and need not be paired with a 'giant' HDTV screen; all that is required is an HDMI input (which most video devices made within the past five years have). The cost of Blu-ray players and the majority of disc titles have fallen in recent times, as well (this particular 'limited-edition' set being somewhat of an exception).

    DVDs will still be around, for several years to come .. but 'Blu-ray-only' releases will only increase in number, from this point; after all, no-one is complaining that there is no 'VHS' option available ..

  • Randall Cyrenne | August 7, 2013 1:24 AMReply

    The best news of the year for animation! Wow, I can't believe how excited I am for this release. Looks AMAZING.

  • jordan reichek | August 6, 2013 2:00 PMReply

    Yes! Great news!

    So much laborious pain and suffering went into every Puppetoon...kinda like an animated Fitzcarraldo. So glad to have Blu-ray quality versions.

    How's the transfer?

    Anyhow, thanks for the heads up...definitely pre-ordered!

  • Eric Graf | August 6, 2013 1:40 PMReply

    Ordered. Thanks!

  • William | August 6, 2013 12:43 PMReply

    What a shame there's no DVD. It sounds like a misstep to me, but I guess they're confident their audience of a mere 3,000 has all moved to Blu.

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