“Popeye” Comes to DVD From Warner Home Video

(June 6, 2006 - Burbank, CA) – Warner Home Video (WHV), Hearst Entertainment and King Features Syndicate have reached an agreement for the exclusive worldwide home entertainment distribution of both the classic Popeye theatrical animated shorts and the Popeye made-for-TV animated shorts. The announcement was jointly made by Jeff Brown, WHV Senior Vice President and General Manager TV and Franchise, and T.R. (“Rocky”) Shepard III, President of King Features Syndicate. WHV will be the exclusive worldwide home entertainment distributor for all classic Popeye theatrical and television properties. The new agreement has cleared Warner’s home video distribution rights for the original 231 Popeye animated shorts released theatrically by Paramount Pictures between 1933 and 1957. In addition, WHV has licensed the exclusive rights to 220 Popeye made-for-TV animated shorts produced from 1960 to 1962, 65 episodes of "The Continuing Adventures of Popeye," produced from 1978 to 1981 (consisting of 161 animated shorts) and 26 Popeye & Son shorts produced in 1987. Warner’s first Popeye DVD release is expected to street in 2007. The theatrical library consists of 120 black & white shorts (106 of these were produced by Fleischer Studios, the remaining 14 were produced by Famous Studios) and 111 Technicolor cartoons (three produced by Fleischer Studios and 108 produced by Famous Studios). Warner Home Video plans to commence preservation and restoration activities immediately. Regarding the announcement, Brown remarked, “We are extremely excited to bring fans one of the most recognized, iconic characters who has spanned seven decades. Popeye is the only major theatrical franchise in film history that never received a legitimate home video release.” He added, “For years Warner Bros. had been inundated by consumer letters demanding the release of Popeye, an underdog, a hero, a character who always represents good, and WHV is proud to bring this illustrious collection to DVD.” King Features and Popeye go back 77 years, from the minute he walked into Elzie Segar's "Thimble Theater" comic strip and muttered his famous "D'ja think I'm a cowboy?" line, to his recent primetime CGI special, Popeye has captured the hearts of millions of fans around the world. Shepard said “In all my years at King Features and with the Hearst Corporation, I have yet to experience the enthusiastic outpour of support and love for a dynamic character as I have witnessed with Popeye. That’s why I’m thrilled to be able to give the fans a chance to relive some of their favorite Popeye, Bluto, Olive Oyl, Wimpy and Swee’ Pea moments on a soon to be released Warner Home Video DVD. Fans can now own, enjoy and share Popeye with many spinach-loving generations to come.” With operations in 90 international territories Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video's film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Video and New Line Home Entertainment. King Features Syndicate is a member of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group, which combines The Hearst Corporation’s cable network partnerships, television programming activities, newspaper syndication, and licensing. King Features Syndicate is the world’s premier distributor of comics, syndicated columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games. It is also one of the largest licensing agencies in North America representing both classic and new properties such as “Popeye,” “Betty Boop,” “Krazy Kat,” “Dennis the Menace,” “David & Goliath” and “Mutts.”
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