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Looney Tunes Redrawn Colorized Cartoons

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You're better off watching the original black and white versions of the cartoons, because red is the redrawn version's favorite color.

During the Warner Bros.-Seven Arts era of Looney Tunes, Sunset Productions held the rights to black and white Looney Tunes cartoons, along with the 1933-1934 black and white Merrie Melodies cartoons. Due to the increase in demand for colorized cartoons to air for television, Warner Bros.-Seven Arts requested Sunset Productions to colorize the black and white cartoons. Produced in South Korea as a commission for Color Systems Inc. (headed by Fred Ladd), 79 black and white cartoons were redrawn to include color in 1968 and 1969. The redrawn colorized versions of these cartoons were heavily criticized for the reasons stated below.

Why They’re Un-colorful

Note: This only applies to the late-1960s redrawn colorized versions of the cartoons.

  1. Due to the low budget of the Warner Bros.-Seven Arts era, this also applies to the redrawn versions, making them suffer tremendously.
  2. Tight deadlines for completing the redraws resulted in rushed animation.
    • For example, every second frame (12 frames per second) was redrawn instead of every frame (24 frames per second), making the movements and animation look jerky.
  3. There are TONS of animation errors, even more so than the original versions of the theatrical cartoons (yes, even the Seven Arts era cartoons), including anything that gets stuck on the animation cels used. For example, in the redrawn version of "Ali Baba Bound", in one scene when Porky exits the Brown Turban bar, there appears to be a dead fly stuck on one of the animation cels used in the background.
  4. Some redrawn versions omit background details or effects from the original versions. On top of this, parts of animations are constantly altered, e.g. in the redrawn colorized version of "The Timid Toreador", when Porky first appears in said cartoon, the chickens in the background do not move unlike the original B&W version.
  5. Some of the cartoons have washed-out, dull, or overly bright colors.
  6. There are constant occurrences where black is replaced with a different color, such as both Beans the Cat and Daffy Duck being drawn brown in a few cartoons.
    • Similarly, some of the color choices used in these redraws make absolute zero sense, even by Looney Tunes standards. For example, in "Porky's Cafe", both the coffee and toast which Porky serves the customer are colored pink instead of their more appropriate brownish colors.
  7. Mostly, the original opening/ending titles are completely cut and replaced with the Sunset Productions titles, while some cartoons keep their originals. After the closure of the Warner Bros.-Seven Arts animation studio, most of the titles were replaced with the 1956 orange rings, or the W7 titles.
  8. The shorts "Porky's Badtime Story", "Injun Trouble", "Scalp Trouble", "Daffy's Southern Exposure", "Notes to You" and "Puss N' Booty" received redrawn colorized versions, which are somewhat pointless as these shorts have Technicolor remakes ("Tick Tock Tuckered", "Wagon Heels", "Slightly Daffy", "Along Came Daffy", "Back Alley Oproar" and "I Taw a Putty Tat"), which have far superior animation and color choices.
    • To be fair, at the time these B&W cartoons were redrawn colorized in the late-1960s their respective Technicolor remakes were still under ownership of United Artists via sales to a.a.p. (Associated Artists Productions) in 1956 and therefore most television networks at the time did not have the rights to show most of these Technicolor remakes (along with the other early color Looney Tunes cartoons from before 1948 and the B&W Harman-Ising Merrie Melodies of the early-1930s) alongside the WB-owned black-and-white (1930-1943) and color cartoons (1948 onwards) until at least the 1996 Time Warner-Turner Entertainment merger, but following the 1996 Time Warner-Turner Entertainment merger television networks such as Cartoon Network, Boomerang and MeTV have the rights to air nearly every single cartoon from the Looney Tunes series, including the Technicolor remakes of these aforementioned shorts from the a.a.p. package, hence making these B&W originals' respective redrawn colorized versions even more pointless as the years progressed.
  9. The overall look of these redrawn versions is incredibly ugly, hideous, and low quality.

Redeeming Qualities

The computer colorized version. Much better!
  1. In 1990, 1992, and 1995, the same 79 cartoons (along with 23 other cartoons not yet colorized back in 1968) were re-colorized using a computer software, hence keeping the original animation quality. The end results were so convincing that it made it seem as if they were originally produced in color instead of black-and-white back when they were originally released in theaters. In addition, these computer-colorized versions tend to have much better color palette choices than the redrawn-colorized versions.
    • Of all the three batches of 1990s computer-colorized Looney Tunes cartoons, the 1995 batch has the absolute best-looking computer colorizations, mainly due to the better, richer color choices used for these batch of cartoons.
  2. The redrawn cartoons still keep the original audio, and the animation is still faithful to the originals.

Reception

  • While most of the Looney Tunes cartoons themselves which were selected for this redrawn colorization were well-received by critics, fans and animation buffs alike (with a minor exception of the cartoons from the 1939-mid 1940 era and the earliest black-and-white cartoons directed by Chuck Jones between 1941-early 1942), their redrawn colorized versions are often criticized for their inferiority to the original animation.
  • These problems as mentioned above do apply to not just the Looney Tunes redrawn colorized versions of the 1960s, but also other redrawn colorized versions of other popular classic animation produced at the same time such as Mickey Mouse (from Disney), Betty Boop and Popeye (both from Fleischer Studios and Famous Studios), amongst others.

Trivia

  • The earliest cartoon that was redrawn from the original 1968-69 era was "Plane Dippy" from 1936 while the latest was "Puss n' Booty" from 1943, which was the last Looney Tunes short made in black-and-white.
    • However, multiple redrawn cartoons were also created in the 1970s by Radio & Television Packagers, which even spans to the Harman-Ising era of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. The redraws went even earlier to "Ain't Nature Grand!" from 1931. These redraws are much worse and therefore are criticized more than the ones done by Color Systems and later Entercolor, as these redraws had choppier animation, loss of original title cards in favor of renames, and the occasionally use of stock music (spliced or bootleg prints were the most chosen when sent to be redrawn). Among one of the redraws done by Radio & Television Packagers included "Country Boy", which originally was a Merrie Melodies cartoon in Technicolor.[1]
    • In 1988, Turner commissioned Entercolor Technologies to redraw cartoons from the Harman-Ising era of Merrie Melodies, complete with dubbed ending cards in 1995. While still criticized much like the previous redraws, they were often considered better than the Color Systems and Radio & Television Packagers redraws.
  • While none of the redrawn colorized versions of the Looney Tunes cartoons have been officially released on home video (presumably due to their negative reception), some of the cartoons have lapsed into the public domain as the result of copyright neglect, and therefore some of these redrawn colorized versions of the Looney Tunes cartoons have turned out on some unofficial bootleg VHS and DVD releases from various low-budget bargain-bin home video labels.
    • In contrast, only a small handful of 1990s computer-colorized versions of the Looney Tunes cartoons have been officially released on home video. These include:
      • "Porky's Hero Agency" (1937) (appears on the "Porky Pig: Days of Swine and Roses" VHS)
      • "Porky's Party" (1938) (appears on the "Porky Pig: Days of Swine and Roses" VHS)
      • "Porky & Daffy" (1938) (appears on the "Daffy Duck: Tales From the Duckside" VHS)
      • "The Lone Stranger and Porky" (1939) (appears on the 2015 Blu-ray release of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939, not to be confused with the 1996 Disney animated film of the same name))
      • "Pilgrim Porky" (1940) (appears on the 2007 DVD release of The Fighting 69th (1940))
      • "You Ought to Be in Pictures" (1940) (appears on the "Carrotblanca: Looney Tunes Go To The Movies" VHS)
      • "Patient Porky" (1940) (appears on the "Porky Pig: Days of Swine and Roses" VHS)
      • "The Impatient Patient" (1942) (appears on the "Daffy Duck: Tales From the Duckside" VHS)
      • "Porky Pig's Feat" (1943) (appears on both "Daffy Duck: Tales From the Duckside" VHS and "Ham on Wry: The Porky Pig Laser Collection" Laserdisc set)
    • Due to historic preservation of the original black-and-white media, none of the colorized versions are available on HBO Max and haven't aired on US television since the late 2000s, although some of these 1990s computer-colorized versions of the Looney Tunes cartoons are still shown on certain non-US Boomerang feeds such as Italy, as well as the Latin American channel Tooncast as of today.
    • A small handful of computer-colorized Porky Pig cartoons have been made available for streaming on the Boomerang app as of 2019.

Videos

A riff on the negative impact of the redrawn colorized versions of the B&W Looney Tunes cartoons and how they do not do their original B&W source materials justice.

See also

References

Comments

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