Last week I expressed some concern over the news that Warners had censored the Tom And Jerry: Spotlight Collection, Volume 3 DVD release by the removal of two cartoons that contained racial humor, wondering what effect this might have on upcoming releases in their classic Looney Tunes series.
Fortunately, the answer comes from animation historian Jerry Beck- None at all.
According to a post at Beck’s CartoonBrew blog, Beck states that both the Looney Tunes and Popeye DVD collections, which he contributes to, will remain safe from the censor’s scissors.
By example, Beck posted a frame (above left) from the Frank Tashlin’s 1938 cartoon Porky At The Crocadero, in which the stuttering pig briefly imitates noted big band leader Cab Calloway. It is this one gag that many feel has kept the cartoon off television for years. It should be noted that no one seems to take offense to a similar joke in the short where Porky imitates another band leader, the appropriately-named Paul Whiteman.
Beck also posted another two frames from the final suicide gag from Bob Clampett’s 1944 Hare Ribbin’, another joke that had been cut from television screenings of the cartoon in recent years. Beck promises an alternate ending for the cartoon will also be on the disc where it’s Bugs Bunny who pulls the trigger on the pistol.
Some fans had expressed concern for the ongoing chronological Popeye DVD releases as the next volume enters into the early years of World War II, when less than politically correct depictions of the Japanese and Germans were often included as a way of building homefront morale.
Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume Five goes on sale on October 30.
The second volume of Popeye cartoons does not have an announced release date, but is expected before the end of the year.