KIDS KLASSICS Vol 1 and 1-6 (Passion Productions/PMC Corp, 2002)
Here are all seven covers from PMC’s Kids Klassics collection (no known relation to the Goodtimes “Kids Klassics” label). Enjoy these collages made with squashed, stretched, and digitally-recolored versions of screen captures, clip art, and preexisting character art (some of it from eras different.
As you can see, this series has two “Volume 1” entries. I have found no proof that they added any more volumes before resetting their counter with an “…and Friends” format. (There are at least five additional “Kids Klassics” DVD’s, but they are unnumbered, released a year later, and distributed by PMC’s Miracle Pictures, instead of Passion Productions.)
Also of note is the "Little Mermaid" artwork which, rather than use an actual shot from the 1975 anime version featured on the DVD, decided to swipe images of Disney’s mermaid, change her hair from redhead to blonde, and call it a day. Gotta love those budget labels….
(Pics compiled from Amazon, Ebay, and other sale or auction sites.)
When 3-G wasn’t putting out tapes of public domain cartoons, it was releasing pre-WWF matches of World Wrestling Federation superstars. These tapes all seem to date from 1989. I remember buying the Andre, Hogan (pre-headband), and Savage (pre-glasses) tapes (black, not yellow) as a three-pack, from our local mall, in the early 1990’s (the peak of my family’s fascination with professional wrestling). I later got rid of the tapes, but wouldn’t mind seeing them again someday. for nostalgia’s sake. They were certainly entertaining enough for me at the time. (Pics from Ebay, Amazon, VHS Collector, and Retro Daze.)
I do plan on a week dedicated to animated releases by Star Classics. Till then, here’s 1973’s “The Mad Bomber" (a.k.a. “The Police Connection”), one of their live action releases from 1987. I haven’t sat down with this one yet, though I’m certain this is sourced from the edited TV print of the film. Since there don’t seem to be any high-quality scans of this VHS release elsewhere on the internet, I present it here in all it’s bizarrely busy and gruesome glory.
CARTOON CARNIVAL: 6 Hilarious Videocassettes (Exclusive Pictures, 1995)
I spotted this on Ebay last month and had to have it. The artwork is comprised entirely of actually screen captures that have been digitally painted over (mostly) and combined with other pictures. I wouldn’t consider it awful, but it’s far from a seamless job, especially with the text placement of the character names, and twice billing the public domain cartoons as “publuc domain”. Still, it’s a step up from Exclusive Pictures’ other VHS artwork from the same year.
It’s worth noting that there are only four Warner Bros. cartoons on this set, all of which only feature one-off characters (in other words, no Bugs, Daffy, Porky, etc). This is another example of major Looney Tunes characters having disappeared from public domain based VHS releases by the mid-‘90’s.
What's your favorite company who put out public domain tapes? Also, do you happen to own any Wonder toons tapes? thanks in advance!
Without putting too much thought into it, and relying hugely on nostalgia, I’d say that my top three (in alphabetical order) are Burbank, Goodtimes, and United American Video.
I do have a handful of Wonder Toons tapes, but have only watched one (“Droopy”). The quality on it is just okay. Since it doesn’t carry the same nostalgic value for me as the earlier 24-tape Cartoons R Fun series, I don’t see myself trying to collect them all, but do consider the artwork collectible. I would like to someday know exactly how many Wonder Toons tapes are out there (and see all the covers). At this time, I’ve spotted pics of only 22 online, one of which I’ve yet to see the front artwork for (“Jack & the Beanstalk”).
(I share a similar sentiment with CRF’s Wonderworld series, of which there are at least 21—possibly 28, if every title that I’ve seen a cover of for Cascadia’s “Magical Memories” DVD’s is a carry-over from the CRF VHS releases.)
I have two CRF cartoons r fun volumes,and I haven't played them(not once). One is sealed. Should I sell it,keep it just for the sake of adding to my collection,throw it out,or play it and give it the same treatment my other tapes get?I'm all puzzled. I know the HVS volumes are better,but are these tapes good enough to be treated normally,or just keep,or get rid of somehow. Please answer.
If you want them solely or chiefly for the artwork (especially if you don’t have an HVS version), keep the tape. If you want a tape that you can watch, try it out. There are CRF tapes that play well (or well enough) to be viewed, so you never know…. :)
LITTLE LULU: A BOUT WITH A TROUT
(United American Video, 1991 and 1995)
I’m not sure who else would find this interesting, but in my secondhand store excursions, I managed to find two different versions of the same Little Lulu release. Aside from the different labeling and wildly unique tape design (to date, I have seen no other cassette that looks like that), the second Lulu release moves much of its text into black boxes, changing the copyright info and replacing “Hamateur Night” with “Bars and Stripes Forever” (neither of which are Lulu cartoons, btw). Despite the revisions, “Bargain Counter Attack” is still incorrectly listed as “Bargain Center Attack”! (It’s also worth noting that Little Lulu is mostly never drawn with whites in her eyes. Also, where’s her hat?)
(I’m guessing that the removal of “Hamateur Night” may have had to do with “major” Looney Tunes characters—in this case, Egghead—no longer being considered as public domain by 1995. Correct me if I’m wrong.)
Dedicated To Classic Cartoons: Past, Present & Future
Given that the first VHS tape I ever watched (or that my parents ever owned) of public domain material contained the Max Fleischer version of “Gulliver’s Travels”, knowing that a truly complete and definitive transfer of it finally exists really warms my heart. I couldn’t resist sharing the news about the Thunderbean version, and look forward to doing a “Gulliver’s Travels”-themed week in the near future (perhaps with some Gabby thrown in for good measure).
THE DOVER BOYS OF OLD P.U. (United American Video, 1991)
ROBIN HOOD MAKES GOOD (United American Video, 1993)
Two UAV tapes featuring one-off characters from the public domain end of Warner Bros’ Merrie Melodies library. The first release (drawn by John Melion) is the only time I’ve ever seen the Dover Boys featured on a front cover, while the squirrels (and fox) of the Robin Hood-inspired cartoon (drawn here by Tim Williams) had previously been on the front cover of a Kid Flicks release in 1987.
Note that the previous owner has removed the label for my copy of the “Robin Hood” tape, only to write “Robin Hood and Friends”, in pen, on the sticker area.
BETTY BOOP: Betty in Blunderland (United American Video, 1991)
BETTY BOOP: Vol. 2 (United American Video, 1993)
UAV’s star treatment continues with some really swell box art interpretations of Betty Boop. The covers for a more estate-approved release would likely avoid making her look as shiny as she does here. Still, an admirable job (save for the printed-on Wal-Mart $1 tag synonymous with re-releases of UAV titles. More on those later). Notice how the labels refer to Sterling Entertainment instead of UAV (and that the stamped title is in grey rather than the more common red/maroon).