“Eh, What’s Up with That, Doc?”

That’s my take on Bugs Bunny’s famous catchphrase. I direct it at the folks in AT&T’s Warner Media group and their soon-to-bee HBO Max streaming service. Specifically, I want to know what’s up with all those classic cartoons, past and nearly present. I think they should all be available on HBO Max when it premieres. I’m talking everything on there all at once; I don’t want to wait for new episodes to be dribbled out over months or years. What reasoning do I have to justify these demands? Well… well… well… Disney is doing it too!

Okay, I’m Done Being 5 Years Old

Now I can tell you why HBO Max needs the entire Warner Brothers cartoon catalog up front. I can give you a few reasons for this. First, most Gen Xers grew up watching Looney Tunes episodes. Names like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig are just as iconic as any of Disney’s popular characters. Secondly, the Animaniacs series (1993-1998) is also considered a treasured classic to many in my age bracket. There are two great reasons right there, but I have another…

…Disney Plus, when it finally launches, is supposed to feature 34 of its animated films and direct-to-video sequels. Back in March, Disney CEO Bog Iger announced that Disney Plus will host the company’s entire motion picture library. This flies in the face of Disney’s past policy of keeping its releases in a “vault” and releasing them in cycles. Here’s how it works:

  1. Disney’s classic films are kept in a “vault.”
  2. These movies are released on home video once every 10 years.
  3. Once those DVDs and Blu-Rays sell out, new copies will only be printed on its next cycle.

Let’s be honest, Disney does this to pump up the demand for its DVD and Blu-Ray sales. Many people, found this frustrating. You might be able to find a copy on a certain online retailer named after a huge river in South America, but most people want to stream these days. (It’s immediately available whenever you want to see it.) Disney Plus subscribers won’t be ordering DVDs, they’ll be watching those classics whenever they (or their kids/grandkids) want to. HBO Max should do the same with its Warner Brothers cartoon catalog.

We’ll Have to Wait and See

I know, I know… you’re probably tired of me using that phrase in this column. (I’m tired of typing it, to be honest.) Unfortunately, streaming developments is a waiting game. Since we have to hold out until spring 2020 for HBO Max, why not make the premiere a big one with all of that animated content? It would give fans a single source for all those classic cartoons. Who knows? It might even introduce younger generations to the sublime comedy of Yakko, Wakko, and Dot… and all the rest of them. Personally, I’d get a kick out of seeing my nieces and nephews come up to me and say, “Eh, what’s up, doc?” while nibbling on a carrot. (Kids need more fruits and veggies after all.)