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August 6, 2013 posted by Jerry Beck

“The Puppetoon Movie” on Blu-Ray

puppetoon_cover1

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.

The blu-ray set (two discs) will be availble 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_flyer570

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 – You Must Buy This! – and tell them I sent you.

And finally, for fun, here are some of the covers (click thumbnails below to enlarge) that were designed for the collection before the final image was decided on.

puppetoon_cover2puppetoon_cover3puppetoon_cover4puppetoon_cover5 puppetoon_cover6

36 Comments

  • Don’t have to twist my arm. I bought mine, already!! THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • This is awesome! I’m glad they’re including “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street” and “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.” I wish they would release this on DVD. They probably will if the Blu-Ray sales do good.

  • Will this also include the interview with animator Bob Baker and the trailer from the Image release?

    • Hi Anthony, yes, it will include the trailer and Bob Baker interview as well as most of the other bonus features from the Image discs. By the way, the Paramount Puppetoons look fantastic!

  • I love the Puppetoons, it’s exciting that new ones are included. I already have DVDs of The Puppetoon Movie, The Great Rupert, and The Fantasy Worlds of George Pal, I guess I’ll get them again; I’m probably not alone since this price tag will appeal mostly to hard core Pal fans.

  • Well, even though 99% of us are economically in the toilet, I gotta find a way to buy this. I’m a huge Puppetoons fan going back to the 1950s when they were actually broadcast on TV in my market.

    But… no Jasper Goes Hunting, with the Bugs Bunny cameo? Opportunity missed!

    Oh well, get it anyway.

    That last cover layout is super-cute; that shoulda been the one.

  • Region Free? Please say yes!

  • Screenshots please!

  • 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.

    • http://www.amazon.com/The-Puppetoon-Movie-Paul-Frees/product-reviews/B00004Z4VL/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_five?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addFiveStar&showViewpoints=0

      This Blu-ray has all the same stuff that was on the old dvd. Since the shorts are in standard def it’s probably the same prints from this old set. I saw a screening of Puppetoons at the Silent Movie theater in Hollywood a number of years ago. They were prints on lone from the UCLA archives or something like that. It’s a shame the Duke Ellington Puppetoon did not make it on this set. ( http://www.bcdb.com/cartoon/36574-Date_With_Duke.html ) I wish i could remember some of the other films screened then. Jerry, do you remember this screening?

      having said that, I am buying this set.

    • Jerry’s description reads “the set also contains seven HD Puppetoons never released on video before.”

      Plus the edition you linked to is out of print (and quite pricey).

    • According to the list of bonuses on the b2mp website, Date With Duke does appear on the set.

  • Yahoo! hardly begins to express it.

  • How many puppetoons are not one the set?

    • If you count “Tool Box Ballet” produced in 1970, there are 54 Puppetoons known to exist. Brief segments of some of them do pop up in the “Puppetoon Movie,” but only 24 shorts appear in their entirety – either in the movie itself or as a bonus feature. That would leave 30 Puppetoon shorts that do not appear in this set.

      Pal began by doing a fair number of early Puppetoons while based outside of the U.S. for commercial sponsors such as Phillips electronics, Horlick’s malt, and Overstolz cigarettes. There are at least 12 additional titles from this period that may be “lost.”

  • I already had the images discs, but the addition of 7 more Puppetoons and “The Great Rupert” as well as a chance to hear Jerry on a commentary track – well, I had to order it, even with the steep price tag.

    I guess this will have to do until someone either releases or makes available for download the entire Puppetoon filmography.

    My vote for a cover would have gone to the third design (Judy in a swimsuit with the dancing girls in the background).

  • Never mind the last post . I see that they have included additional Puppetoons in High def on this set. including “A Date with Duke” this is a must buy!!!!

  • Just ordered my copy. Thanks Jerry for letting us know about this!

  • I just checked my copy of the Image Puppetoon DVD and the bonus short there is “Mr. Strauss Takes a Walk,” not “Bravo, Mr. Strauss.” Am I correct in thinking this was a typo on B2MP’s part?

    • Yes, apparently that IS a typo. Thanks for catching that. The sell sheet has been corrected.

  • Thanks for the tip–just ordered it!

  • Ordered one!

  • And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street and The Great Rupert sold me for this release

  • I was never a fan of the Puppetoons. but I criticize this movie for shilling George Pal like a stop-motion Walt Disney.

  • Just ordered it. Thanks Jerry!

  • ordered!

  • I’ve ordered it. Now the hard part is waiting the 3 months for the delivery of the set.

  • Well, there goes $50. Jasper Goes Hunting would have been nice to have, for sure, but I have a watchable copy of that on a DVD, originally sourced from a 16mm print. I have the old Image Puppetoons DVD, but getting HD copies of the Seuss shorts (even though they don’t look so much like the characters he drew) is what pushed me over the edge.

  • It’s October and I still don’t know exactly when this is shipping. The ad just said late October, no specific date given. The order didn’t specify when it would be shipping. I’ve already ordered it…I don’t mind the wait… but I really want to know, how much longer do I have to wait?

    • I’ve just checked with the blu-ray’s producer and he says: “Most of Disc 1 and all of Disc 2 are in compression and authoring, I’m still hoping to start shipping them by the end of the month but it may be the first week in November depending on how quickly I can get them replicated.” He is promising to send me a check disc very soon – and when he does I’ll post frames in a new “update” post.

  • So … any updates on this? Has the disc been finished and/or shipped yet? I ordered it, and I want to make sure I get my money’s worth.

    • As soon as I get a copy of both discs (I personally have the check disc of disc #2) I will post an elaborate update with frame grabs. Blu-ray producer Bruce Venezia informed me on Wednesday: “…as of today, everything is now in compression and authoring. I should have check discs very soon and assuming everything is ok, they will go into replication, which only takes 3-5 business days. I will let you know a ship date as soon as I have it.”

  • Any update?

    • See above!

  • Thanks! I found the notice and immediately bought one. In addition to everything else I’m looking forward to finally seeing the 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins again after all these decades!

  • I had to wait until I had the money, but I finally ordered this and it’s fantastic! Well worth the money! Here’s hoping that it does well enough that the same company will license shorts for another set comprising most or even all of the remaining Puppetoons shorts. That means that they make money on this and we get more Puppetoon goodness-a win-win!

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