How to buy and watch Tex Avery on DVD


This week, Cartoon Brew mocked Warner Bros. for a press release about an old animated Tarzan video being made available on DVD.  They suggested nobody cares about Tarzan, and what they should be releasing is the complete Tex Avery collection.  I couldn’t agree more.  Warner Bros. should release the great 5 disc collection in the United States.

However, you don’t have to wait.

The DVD’s are easily available from Europe.  I used  to order mine using my regular Amazon account.  With shipping, it cost me about $40. Some sellers won’t ship to the US, but others will, so check carefully.  You can also get them on Ebay, but they will cost a lot more.

Here’s an important point.  The European DVDs are encoded for region 2, meaning they won’t play on North American DVD players.  That’s okay, though, because there are two solutions for that.  You can spend a small amount of money on a “region free” DVD player, just search Amazon for that.  Samsung makes one that currently sells for about $35.  Or, there is a free option for use on computers with DVD drives.  VLC is a video playing software available for Mac and Windows. Animation studios often use VLC because it plays just about anything.  It is highly reliable.

Mac computers will allow you to change regions, but only a limited number of times.  It is the Apple DVD playing software that has the region controls, so you use VLC instead.  I changed my preferences so that when I load a DVD, it doesn’t automatically open the DVD player.  I open VLC, choose the disc, and play.  It works like a charm!

And on this same subject, I highly recommend this sweet item which is also not available in North America.  A 21 disc collection of Laurel and Hardy films, about $50 before shipping.


Eating: The elements of comedy for animators


I am happy to present my latest video.  Eating is all about the subject of food in comedy.  Great comedy is about common things that all people understand, and food is the most common subject of all.  It has been explored by comedians for centuries, if not millennia.  This video is filled with examples of how comedians have used the various elements of food, such as cooking, table manners and simply being hungry to create laughs.

One topic I didn’t include in the video is the idea of “signature” food.  That is, characters who have specific foods associated with them, such as:

Popeye – spinach

Wimpy – hamburgers

Wallace – cheese

Cookie Monster – cookies

With a lot more research, I could see a part two video that would include “food out of control”  The Three Stooges and Little Rascals, for instance, have had created crazy food in the kitchen.  I fondly recall a scene from The Beverly Hillbillies where Ellie May cooked up some popovers that literally breathed as though they were alive.  I avoided pie fights, as they are well known and practically a topic to themselves.

I would very much appreciate any feedback and suggestions about this topic!  Please comment.

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