You've probably went into a thrift store or a garage sale at some point, gone straight to the VHS tapes, and seen animated short collections in less then stellar packaging. 25¢ a pop, or so, for usually 3 shorts or even a complete hours worth of them. Usually under an ambiguous series title such as, "Klassic Kartoons," "Kid Klassics," "Classic Cartoons," "Cartoon Collection," "Classic Kid Cartoons," "Cartoons R. Fun," and so on.
So what's the deal with these tapes?
Well it's a very boring answer and one that just needs one sentence. Let alone a feature on them like this one! All the cartoons are in the public domain. So countless companies would package the shorts for release and a quick buck. Dishing out cover art by people who had nothing to do with the original productions. This is all why you usually see the same shorts and series crop up over and over.
Let's take a look at a few that have come into my possession...
How unfortunate for them...
Now here's a cover that doesn't look so bad!
Sadly, I can't actually go into what the tape itself is like with this one because it came with a copy of "The Magic School Bus: Inside the Haunted House" instead. Sigh.
Moving right along...
Take a look at the back of this one.
They could have easily drawn these manual-labor apes with giant smiles on their faces to indicate how much fun they're actually having! But no, they chose to make them look miserable. The one's even sweating under the weight of lifting the sign. Why do they look so defeated and depressed?Cartoons don't look too "fun" for them.
Take a look at these next two covers and tell me if you think they're from the same series of tapes.
Can't you tell? Of course they are!
But these two are special...
You start one up and you-
...and at the end of the tape...
Apparently, this Michael Jackson outfit wearing hamster was from an Alvin and the Chipmunks knock-off that didn't get very far. Reportedly due to a lawsuit by the Chipmunk camp.Images from Discogs.com
They covered 80's hits like The Ghost Busters' Theme, Somebody's Watching Me. Michael Jackson cornerstones like Thriller, Billie Jean, Beat It, and Human Nature. As well as instrumental hits such as The Imperial March. Want some Carol Anne's Theme from Poltergeist? They do that one too.
With a range like that, I don't know how they didn't take off!
Side Note: I got these tapes from an elderly person's garage sale, and these were the labels on the tapes themselves. I hope these were made by the old person I bought these from, but you never know...we can only hope.
Basically most of these tapes consist of animated shorts that have fallen into pop culture's gutter. You can easily watch all of them online these days. Figured I just write up something small that doesn't take a lot of research for a change.
So, now that this is over, I'm going to go wash my hands from rifling through all of these...So long, and remember...You bet they are!