Paramount Home Entertainment will release 1980’s Popeye for the first time on Blu-ray Disc Dec. 1.
The live-action musical version of the famed comic strip sailor was directed by Robert Altman and stars Robin Williams as Popeye and Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl.
The Blu-ray includes access to a digital copy of the film along with nearly 30 minutes of new bonus material, including excerpts from one of Williams’ final interviews, an interview with director Altman, as well as a newly conducted interview with his son, Stephen Altman.
“Return to Sweethaven: A Look Back with Robin and the Altmans”
The Warner Bros. studio home entertainment divisions are planning a major presence at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con International, with premieres of new animated and horror movies, celebrations of iconic character anniversaries, and immersive fan experiences for major theatrical releases heading to home video.
This year’s Comic-Con takes place July 18-21 at the San Diego Convention Center and other locations throughout downtown San Diego.
Popeye’s 90th Birthday Party will take place at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, July 18, in room 6DE, featuring a panel discussion and a look at footage from Warner Archive’s new and upcoming Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s Blu-rays.
A Birthday Bash for the 50th anniversary of “Scooby-Doo” is slated for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20 in Room 6A. A panel including Grey Griffin and Kate Micucci will preview the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! — The Complete Series Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Mystery Mansion boxed set due in stores Sept. 3 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
The new movie Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island, a sequel to Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, will have its world premiere at 10:15 a.m. Sunday, July 21, in room 6BCF. The film will arrive on home video this fall from WBHE.
A “Batman Beyond” 20th anniversary panel is set for 12:15 p.m. Thursday, July 18 in Hall H. The retrospective of the futuristic animated series will include producers Bruce Timm and Glen Murakami, casting director Andrea Romano, director James Tucker, writers Bob Goodman and Stan Berkowitz, and voice actors Kevin Conroy and Will Friedle.
The Warner Bros./DC Booth will hold an autograph signing for both Critters Attack! and The Banana Splits Movie at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18, followed by a panel discussion for both films at 4:30 p.m. in room 6DE.
Critters Attack! will debut on Blu-ray, DVD and digitally July 23 from WBHE.
The world premiere of The Banana Splits Movie will take place at 10 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at the Horton Grand Theatre. A horror-movie version of the classic kids show, The Banana Splits Moviewill be available digitally Aug. 13, and on Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 27 from WBHE.
Warner Archive will hold a panel to promote the upcoming Blu-ray of V: The Original Mini-Series, at 10 a.m. Friday, July 19, in room 6DE. On hand to celebrate the landmark 1983 sci-fi miniseries will be creator Kenneth Johnson and star Marc Singer, along with the Warner Archive Podcast team of D.W. Ferranti and Matthew Patterson, and moderator Gary Miereanu.
The world premiere of the DC animated movie Batman: Hush will take place at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, July 19, in Ballroom 20, followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and cast. An encore screening will follow at 9:30 p.m. WBHE’s Batman: Hush arrives digitally July 20; on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Aug. 6; and on the DC Universe streaming service Aug. 13.
Saturday, July 20 at 10 a.m. in room 6A will be a panel celebrating Hanna-Barbera in honor of the recent “Jonny Quest” complete-series Blu-ray and Warner Archive’s upcoming Blu-ray of The Jetsons: The Complete Original Series. The panel will preview the new releases with a look at the remastering process.
The new animated movie Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans will have its world premiere at noon on Sunday, July 21, in room 6BCF, followed by a panel discussion with the film’s stars and creators. The movie will be available on home video this fall from WBHE.
The world premiere of Lego DC: Batman — Family Matters will take place at 2:15 p.m. Sunday, July 21, in room 6BCF, followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and cast. The animated movie will be available Aug. 6 on Blu-ray, DVD and digitally from WBHE.
In addition, Warner will offer fan experiences for the films Shazam! and Pokémon Detective Pikachu adjacent to the Omni Hotel across the railroad tracks from the convention center.
The Pikachu activation will offer guests a chance to explore an immersive walkthrough pop-up of the film’s Ryme City, including photo opps featuring a neon cityscape, the marketplace, film prop displays, an infinity room and characters from the film. WBHE releases the film digitally July 23, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Aug. 6.
Fans can also visit the Chilladelphia Winter Carnival from the superhero film Shazam!, which will be available digitally and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from WBHE before the convention begins.
The world premiere of DC Spotlight: Shazam! will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at the Horton Grand Theatre. The documentary, which chronicles the history of the character, will be introduced by Asher Angel, one of the stars of the recent Shazam! live-action film. The documentary will stream later this summer on the DC Universe service.
The Warner Archive Collection will release Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s Vol. 1 on DVD and Blu-ray Dec. 11. The single-disc set contains the first 14 theatrical shorts starring the iconic character remastered from 4K scans of the original nitrate Technicolor negatives.
“This is a landmark moment in Warner Bros. providing animation enthusiasts with the ability to own treasured animated classics from our library with the best possible quality, aimed directly at the adult animation collectors,” said George Feltenstein, SVP of theatrical catalog at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. “Popeye is a beloved character whose popularity has endured for 90 years — starting as a comic strip, continuing as a headliner in motion pictures for almost 25 years, and cherished for decades on television.”
Many of the shorts have been unseen in their original form for more than 60 years and are making their home entertainment debut.
Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s Vol. 1 offers the 1943-44 and 1944-45 runs produced by Famous Studios, Paramount’s New York-based animation outlet at the time. The shorts start with “Her Honor The Mare” (originally released on Nov. 26, 1943) and continue with “The Marry-Go-Round,” “We’re On Our Way To Rio,” “The Anvil Chorus Girl,” “Spinach Packin’ Popeye,” “Puppet Love,” “Pitchin’ Woo At The Zoo,” “Moving Aweigh,” “She-Sick Sailors,” “Pop-Pie A La Mode,” “Tops In The Big Top,” “Shape Ahoy,” “For Better Or Nurse” and “Mess Production.” All the cartoons are uncut and retain their original titles, which were removed for TV in the 1950s.
“The animators at this time, during the war years, were allowed to push the Popeye character forward, creating particularly zany plot lines and funny situations beyond the classic Popeye/Bluto rivalry for Olive Oyl,” said animation historian and author Jerry Beck. “I’m particularly tickled over the cartoon where Bluto becomes a pseudo-Superman (courtesy of a licensed tie-in with DC Comics) and another where Popeye and Bluto romance Olive as marionette puppets. This was the ‘Golden Age’ of animation — and these are particularly strong cartoons that have been long in demand by animation buffs.”
The home video release comes amid a merchandising blitz by brand owner King Features Syndicate celebrating the 90th anniversary of Popeye in 2019, with support in retail categories including apparel, accessories, collectibles, health and nutrition, and publishing.