Warner Home Video has become the official distributor of not only the original theatrical Popeye animated shorts produced by both Fleischer Studios and Famous Studios, but also Popeye's TV series such as The Continuing Adventures of Popeye and Popeye and Son. The result is hundreds of animated shorts featuring the lovable but unintelligible sailor man getting their first legitimate release since the character first appeared on movie screens in the early 1930s. Popeye actually started out even earlier as a breakout character in E.C. Segar's "Thimble Theater" comic strip. Currently, Warner Home Video is working on restoring the cartoons, but no word on exactly when the DVDs will be available, other than some time in 2007. I just hope they release the theatrical shorts separately from the TV shows, as I'm not quite as interested in his made-for-TV stuff. Nevertheless, this is a very cool thing, and fans should be thrilled.
Within the next couple years, both A&E and the History Channel plan to launch individual high-definition channels. A&E's offering, called A&E HD, will come first, premiering this September. The channel will kick off with a CSI: Miami marathon on Labor Day weekend, so get ready to become intimate with David Curuso's pores. After the launch, the channel will simply simulcast A&E's programming. The History Channel's new high-def channel, which has the similar unoriginal name of History Channel HD, will launch next year. I'm not sure how the History Channel plans to take advantage of high definition, but I'll bet you'll be able to see mites crawling around inside Hitler's mustache. That's actually a really good idea for a Disney cartoon. Or maybe not.
[via Lost Remote]
Well, sort of. They're not getting rid of the actual live pageant, which will air again on CMT in 2007. This time however, the contestants will also take place in a seven part reality series which will lead up to the pageant. The way it sounds, the reality series will utilize many of the same methods of elimination as the actual pageant as the girls live together and take place in swimsuit competitions, judge interviews, and various talent contests. Home viewers will also be able to vote for the remaining finalists.
I'm not a fan of reality TV, nor do I care all that much about the Miss America pageant, but this idea just might work. The pageant has been losing its audience for several years, and turning it into the kind of calculated human drama that is the stuff of so many reality shows may actually garner the audience it needs. Or, it could be a total failure. I'm sure it will be one of those things.
Aardman Animations, the studio behind Wallace and Gromit, are creating a Flash-animated series called Flowerheads aimed at two and three year olds. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until 2007 to see Flowerheads. Also, you'll have to move to the UK, because that's where the show will be airing. I mention it here because I figure Aardman is popular enough in the states that perhaps it might wind up here eventually. The series will chronicle the adventures of Daisy, Twig, and Poppy as they meet new friends in a magical land.
[via Cold Hard Flash]