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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » Goldmine of old cartoons for $1 a collection

   
Author Topic: Goldmine of old cartoons for $1 a collection
-FP-
IE # 13
Member # 914

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Yesterday my brother showed me excerpts from a stack of 17 surprising DVDs he bought from DOLLAR TREE earlier in the week.

Each DVD, packed in a cardboard envelope and sold for $1 each, contained about an hour of cartoons from the early 1930s to the late 1950s. This type of public-domain compilation isn't rare, but the care with which these collections are assembled is unusual for bargain-bin videos. The cartoons are sorted by studio and character, and the quality of the original prints and the transfers is very good - as good or better than that of many collections for which I've paid over $25 each.

Although these are ostensibly in the public domain, there are some films included which I suspect may bear copyright, such as the Fleischer SUPERMAN prints with crazy loud sound effects added. I believe the incorporation of new sound effects create a newly-copyrightable work, and the SUPE shows are ripped from a previous commercial release featuring those "enhancements". The cartoons are particularly well-presented. The prints look brand-new, which is jarring after seeing battered copies for many years.

Among the compilations are works by Van Beuren, some of which are bizarre and racist such as the TOM AND JERRY cartoon, PLANE DUMB. There are quite a few Famous Studio DVDs in this series, which are TV prints in pretty good shape, but probably the least attractive of this odd bunch. There are many cartoons on these discs I've never seen despite a lifetime of compulsive cartoon watching. Many of the early 1930s cartoons have crystal-clear soundtracks.

The brand name on the DVDs is CARTOON CLASSICS, an original and distinctive name, and each volume in each numbered series has listed as the manufacturer's address a different mail drop. The opening video bears the logo GENIUS ENTERTAINMENT. The numbering on the jackets suggests that there are many more in each of these "series" than arrived in the local store.

There is very little money to be made selling DVD's for a dollar, so I suppose there's a maniac animation fan assembling these possibly infringing products for the sheer joy of it.

You may want to look for these.

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JDC
IE # 116
Member # 1993

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I've seen these, they are pretty cool. On another note, I picked up 17 episodes of the Fleischer Supermans for $6 bucks at Best Buy. I believe there is a Popeye out there too!

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Graphiteman
IE # 218
Member # 2092

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It's worth it to spring for the few extra bucks (and I do mean only a few) and get the Bosko Superamn DVD.
Seeing those on video for the first time 10+ years ago was like seeing them for the first time ever after seeing pd tapes and once or twice on the big screen.
Even if is a rip-off from another's superior print with sound added, the sound serves as a distraction to what is visual in most cases.

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Greg B
IE # 118
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Yeah! I was wondering about those bargain bin DVDs! A girlfriend brought me a Mighty Mouse compilation with a Little Audrey toon, another was vintage Felix where it looks like someone held a video camera up at a movie screen, and finally a Beverly Hillbillies DVD.

I thought they were bootlegs or something but people stampeded to the store to get more.

So these are legit???

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http://www.spacefool.com

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Trev
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There are no Dollar Tree stores around here (there are "dollar" stores, but not Dollar Tree). Any idea if these volumes (Genius Entertainment) are available to buy on the web? A quick search show a couple available through Amazon, but I'd like to get all (or most), if possible.
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-FP-
IE # 13
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Even the local stores don't seem to have complete series, going by the numbering on the sleeves. These stores usually deal in tonnage - the specifics of the merchandise do not matter to the buyers. So, it's doubtful that info on these DVDs will be easy to find. A quick web search last week turned up no info about these particular $1 DVDs, although I did find VHS editions of Van Beuren cartoons on Ray Pointer's site. Those tapes have lineups very similar to those of the Genius DVDs. The quality of the $1 DVD transfers is too good, so I suspect there's some kind of vague fishiness involved.

One thing I discovered - the menu music for the Ub Iwerks DVDs, which I bought for $18-$25 each from Amazon, is from the Van Beuren cartoon MAKING 'EM MOVE, which is on one of the $1 DVDs. Van Beuren output is generally pretty sucky, but the studio occasionally made up for its lack of quality with freaky weirdness and nonsense. MAKING 'EM MOVE is a "how cartoons are made" film. Apparently, cartoons are animated by cows and other barnyard animals.

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monkeydad
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These DVDs are also available at Target (at least, at mine) in a new $1 section they've started.

I doubt they are bootleg - most likely public domain. I doubt a big retailer like Target would take a chance on a questionable distributor.

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intergalactic
IE # 195
Member # 1760

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Walmart has them to, thats where I got mine. I was just talking to a buddy about it and then read this post today. Another buddy just came in and he bought a few of the collections from Target. So yeah pretty cool and looks like more than a few stores have them, dig the old Supermans!

...I

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Greg B
IE # 118
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Intergalactic, then I'm on my way! The Beverly Hillbillies is too funny to pass up. I'm gonna look for the 'Little Audrey' collection too. Got one of them but am looking for the one where she fights the martians in their flying tea cups and saucers.

Also Courageous Cat. Capt. Nice, Mr. Terrific. They've gotta be out there.

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