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Warner Bros. has also had controversy over Turner Entertainment's "dubbed version" prints, used on every cartoon but about twelve pre-1948 cartoons beginning in 1995.
In addition to the 1995 Turner prints, Warner Bros. created new transfers from 1997-98 featuring select cartoons and are all released on European tapes. Some of them are even featured on DVD, without the dubbed notice.
These "dubbed versions", which continue to be shown on cable and broadcast television to this day, are not representative of the original theatrical release versions of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts. Despite Warner Bros./Turner's best efforts to include the best available versions of the shorts possible on classic film DVDs, several "dubbed version" cartoons have been released on DVD as bonus features, either in special 2-disc editions of the WB/Turner classic films or on The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Volume 5 LaserDisc, if no better version does exist or is undiscovered. The ones released on the Golden Collection are bonuses as well, although some post-1948 versions are restored.
These versions were actually new ones derived (hence the "dubbed" moniker) from earlier-generation prints of whatever versions of shorts were available in the Turner vaults at the time, even if they were the altered "blue ribbon" prints or oldest a.a.p. prints. These prints were created to restore quality in the cartoons to make them marketable for the modern television era.
These dubbed version transfers, unlike the older transfers preceding them (such as the Oldest a.a.p. prints, Cartoon Festivals tape prints and Cartoon Moviestars VHS/Laserdisc prints), in terms of aspect ratio they have the picture displayed in full wide and enlarged views, as opposed to the cropped "pan-and-scan" screen method used in the older transfers preceding them. Very often, despite the enlarged picture, the 1995 dubbed versions rarely-to-never show any visible frames at any part of the edges of the screen from start to end, unlike the oldest a.a.p. prints preceding them. This is perhaps because when the 1995 dubbed versions were created, the 16mm duplicate film negatives (based on what was available in the Turner vaults at the time) were re-scanned, and modern film scanning technology of the 1990s had enabled more picture exposure than previous film scanning technology. "Yankee Doodle Daffy", "Daffy Duck in Hollywood", "Rhapsody in Rivets" and "Page Miss Glory" are among the 1995 dubbed version prints that benefited this full wide viewing advantage.
Some cartoons air as prototype-Turner dubbed versions on EU networks, with most of them airing on Cartoon Network and Boomerang in the UK. They have the same color corrections as the dubbed versions, but do not have the dubbed end card or altered ending music cue rather, they have the regular end card and the original ending music cue intact. Examples include "Two Gophers from Texas" (with part of the a.a.p. opening music intact), "Scent-imental Over You" (with part of the a.a.p. opening music intact), "Along Came Daffy" and "Odor-able Kitty".
Some cartoons that portray stereotypes of black people or cartoons that feature WW2 propaganda like "The Early Worm Gets the Bird", "Flop Goes the Weasel", "Plane Daffy", "Herr Meets Hare", and the first four Inki cartoons are known to have USA dubbed versions, but these versions were never released. However, they are known to have European dubbed versions.
While the MGM 1987 prints sometimes got rid of the opening, and while Turner did edit the ending cards, Turner never omitted the cartoon's opening titles. Two cartoons had their opening restored from Blue Ribbon reissues, such as "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt" and "Hop, Look and Listen". "Bars and Stripes Forever", which had its original production code hacked upon the copyright being sold and replaced with the "Gold Rush Daze" opening title. "The Bear's Tale" got its BR reissue title restored, which was hacked off by AAP when copyrights were sold.. Also, "Pop Goes Your Heart" got the opening titles restored, which was hacked off by AAP when copyrights were sold. All three of these however, had their original ending titles hacked off in return.
These "dubbed versions" had many alterations. They always kept their original opening card, except "Daffy Duck & Egghead" and "The Night Watchman", but some of the cartoons had red, purple, green, or other color borders in the opening titles.
- 1931-1933 Harman-Ising MM, original end card, with dubbed notice.
- 1934-1935 Color MM, Jester end card, with original audio, with dubbed notice. If the cartoon was released between "Honeymoon Hotel" and "I Wanna Play House", but was not given a blue ribbon reissue, the Jester sign off from 1935 ("My Green Fedora") was present but the original audio still played.
- 1936-1944 Color MM, or Blue Ribbons, crediting Schlesinger, 1938 ending card (sourced from "My Little Buckaroo"), with dubbed notice. The 1938 ending cards have slightly different color corrections for the USA and European dubbed prints. The USA dubbed card has a reddish color tint while the European dubbed card has a more golden color tint. Released by Warner Bros Productions Corp. is digitally removed.
- 1935-1948 Color MM, or Blue Ribbons, crediting Warner Bros, 1948 ending card (sourced from "Bugs Bunny Rides Again"), with dubbed notice. The 1948 end cards had slight color corrections and different font corrections, see below.
- 1943-1944 Color LT, end card with red borders and dubbed notice. Released by Warner Bros Pictures Inc. is digitally removed.
- 1944-1946, Color LT, end card with red borders and dubbed notice.
- 1946-1948 Color LT, 1948 ending card, with dubbed notice. The 1948 end cards had slight color corrections and different font corrections, see below. The 1948 ending card was sourced from "Haredevil Hare".
- Dubbed versions with the cartoons reissued in the 1952-53 season would have THE END replaced with the 1947-48 dubbed card.
- Two cartoons, "Good Night Elmer" and "Peck Up Your Troubles", have their original ending cards intact on both USA and EU dubbed versions because they don't have any dialogue.
They also had a disclaiming copyright to Turner, and Warner Bros., thus replacing the original end card or original blue ribbon end card, although a few dubbed version cartoons such as "Good Night Elmer" and "Peck Up Your Troubles" do not have altered end cards for either US or EU dubbed because the cartoons don't have any dialogue. The dubbed disclaimer seen on almost all dubbed version prints reads as follows: DUBBED VERSION (C) 1995 TURNER ENTERTAINMENT CO. MUSIC (C) 1995 WARNER BROS. (P) WARNER BROS. ALL LOGOS AND CHARACTERS ARE TRADEMARKS OF WARNER BROS.
Some of the EU dubbed versions had altered ending cards, such as "I Only Have Ice for You", "A Feud There Was", "Hobo Gadget Band", and "Fox Pop" having the 1938 card instead of the 1948 card. Others have the opposite effect, such as "Count Me Out", "Dog Daze" and "The Heckling Hare" having the 1948 card instead of the 1938 card, the latter had its ending restored for its DVD release. In addition, the USA dubbed transfer of "Tortoise Wins by a Hare" has the 1948 end card instead of the 1938 one.
Some cartoons after 1935 such as "Dog Daze" and "Baseball Bugs"'s USA copies, "The Cat Came Back", "Snowtime for Comedy", "The Old Grey Hare", and "The Bird Came C.O.D."'s EU copies keep their original ending cards, but their counterparts do not.
Aside from the transfer color change and title alterations, the soundtracks (especially the English Audio Track) in the 1995 dubbed versions have been partially remastered and restored, resulting to better sound quality than their previous a.a.p. counterparts. "Back Alley Oproar", "The Penguin Parade", "Birdy and the Beast" and "What's Cookin' Doc?" are among examples of 1995 dubbed version prints that benefited with better quality soundtracks in comparison to their older a.a.p. transfers preceding them.
The 1995 dubbed version foreign language dub soundtracks contain altered music cues taken from other Looney Tunes cartoons (particularly from the post-1948 shorts produced within the 1950s) and sometimes replaced sound effects from Warner Bros.' sound archives due to the pre-1948 Looney Tunes shorts lacking their original music-and-effects track for foreign dubs, hence why the dubbed disclaimer seen at the end of the altered ending cards credits the copyright notices MUSIC (C) 1995 WARNER BROS. (P) 1995 WARNER BROS. Sometimes the original ending track has been changed for some 1995 dubbed version prints (see 'Controversy' for more details).
Many animation fans have believed that changing the end card was a bad move on many of the pre-1948 cartoons, especially "The Old Grey Hare". Because of the generic end card, the shaking ending card gag was not present in the USA dubbed version, though the explosion was still heard. However, in the European dubbed version, the original end card shakes, and the Turner disclaimer fades up at the end.
Due to the release of The Golden Age of Looney Tunes, Volume 5 LaserDisc, all cartoons but two on this set are all USA dubbed versions and some of them are now completely shorn of their original ending cards, such as "I Wanna Play House", "At Your Service Madame", "Shop, Look and Listen", and some of the 1934-35 2-hue color titles, and thus have been out of circulation since 1995. These cartoons were released as dubbed versions on LaserDisc, obliterating the 1987 MGM prints, thus many of these cartoons are only viewable in their 1995 USA/EU dubbed versions.
In almost all cases, the original ending music was kept, although sometimes, an earlier or later version of the closing theme is heard on the titles (some reissued Looney Tunes had their ending music changed to that of the Merrie Melodies series). In addition, some European and American foreign tracks have different ending music, but their English USA/EU counterparts do not.
In 1997 and 1998, Warner Bros. began to restore selected post-1948 cartoons, with a similar dubbed card. Unlike the 1995 Turner dubbed versions, these are derived from the original negatives, keep the original Color Rings, and use "THIS VERSION" instead of "DUBBED VERSION" dubbed disclaimer. These prints do exist with and without the dubbed disclaimer. A few of these 1997-98 dubbed versions are present on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Looney Tunes Super Stars, and Looney Tunes Platinum Collection DVD sets, without the disclaimer.
While their NTSC versions (which is often rare in availability) present the dubbed version prints in normal-pitched audio and NTSC playback speed, their PAL versions however for some reason present the dubbed version prints in normal-pitched audio instead of high-pitched audio despite playing at PAL playback speed. Some NTSC versions also exist in lower-pitched audio like "Kit for Cat", "Bully for Bugs", "High Diving Hare", and "Golden Yeggs".
These dubbed prints were first released on some European VHS tapes, and even showed up on the Turner networks as well (usually aired overseas). VCD (Video CD) versions of these tapes are said to exist in some countries outside the USA.
VHS releases containing THIS VERSION 1997 prints
These are the first dubbed version prints created by Warner Bros. in 1997. The VHS tapes here are released in Europe and are not available in the United States. The contents in these tapes are the same as the Bugs and Friends Japanese laserdisc set. All dubbed prints here exist uncut except "Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24 1/2th Century".
Each tape (hence the Bugs and Friends name) consists of a selection of Bugs Bunny cartoons (covering mostly through the 1950s till 1964) and a selection cartoons featuring Daffy Duck, Speedy Gonzales, Road Runner, Tweety and Marvin the Martian, depending on the tape. Unlike the THIS VERSION 1998 WB dubbed print compilations which succeed this Bugs and Friends tapes, a small selection of the lesser-known Depatie-Freleng era cartoons of the mid-1960s were given THIS VERSION 1997 WB dubbed prints.
1. Bugs and Daffy
- The Abominable Snow Rabbit
- Suppressed Duck
- The Million Hare
- The Iceman Ducketh
- Bugs and Thugs
- Daffy's Inn Trouble
2. Bugs and Tweety
3. Bugs and Road Runner
- Lighter Than Hare
- Highway Runnery
- The Unmentionables
- Run Run Sweet Roadrunner
- Big Top Bunny
- Beep Prepared
4. Bugs and Speedy
5. Bugs and Marvin
(NOTE: Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24 1/2th Century is presented as an edited-for-TV version, hence all copies of the cartoon only exist edited)
- Napoleon Bunny-Part
- Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24 1/2th Century
- Hyde and Hare
- From Hare to Heir
- Mad as a Mars Hare
- Bonanza Bunny
VHS releases containing THIS VERSION 1998 prints: First batch
These are the second dubbed version prints created by Warner Bros. in 1998. The VHS tapes here are released in Europe and are not available in the United States. All dubbed prints here exist uncut except "Wideo Wabbit".
Five tapes were released in this batch. The first four tapes were mainly dedicated to characters Bugs Bunny (From Hare To Eternity), Daffy Duck (Superior Duck), Tweety & Sylvester (Tweety's S.O.S.) and Elmer Fudd (Wideo Wabbit) respectively. The last tape of the batch (Cheese Chasers) is mainly dedicated to the minor characters.
1. From Hare To Eternity
- From Hare to Eternity
- High Diving Hare
- Bully for Bugs
- Rabbit Fire
- My Bunny Lies Over the Sea
- Ballot Box Bunny
2. Superior Duck
3. Tweety's S.O.S.
- Greedy For Tweety
- Tweety's Circus
- Tweety's S.O.S.
- A Street Cat Named Sylvester
- Bad Ol' Putty Tat
- Muzzle Tough
4. Wideo Wabbit
NOTES: The 1998 THIS VERSION master copy of Wideo Wabbit is censored to remove all references of "You Beat Your Wife" in one scene. Kit for Cat has its original opening and ending titles restored. The 1998 THIS VERSION on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD also restores the original opening titles, but for some reason keeps the Blue Ribbon ending.
5. Cheese Chasers
VHS releases containing THIS VERSION 1998 prints: Second batch
These are the third dubbed version prints created by Warner Bros. in 1998. These batch of tapes are also known as the "Looney Tunes 2000" series. The VHS tapes here are released in Europe and are not available in the United States. All dubbed prints here exist uncut.
Five tapes were released in this batch. The first four tapes were mainly dedicated to characters Porky Pig (The Prize Pest), Foghorn Leghorn (A Fractured Leghorn), Bugs Bunny (Big House Bunny) and Sylvester (Scaredy Cat) respectively. The last tape of the batch (Feed the Kitty) is mainly dedicated to the minor characters.
1. The Prize Pest
- Dime to Retire
- The Wearing of the Grin
- The Ducksters
- Dough for the Do-Do
- Deduce, You Say
- The Prize Pest
2. A Fractured Leghorn
(NOTE: "The Foghorn Leghorn" has its original titles restored for the dubbed version.)
- Lovelorn Leghorn
- The Foghorn Leghorn
- Of Rice and Hen
- A Broken Leghorn
- Strangled Eggs
- A Fractured Leghorn
3. Big House Bunny
4. Scaredy Cat
(NOTE: "Scaredy Cat" has its original titles restored for the dubbed version.)
5. Feed the Kitty
1997-98 Dubbed Versions on DVD
Some of these 1997-98 transfers show up on official Warner Home Video DVDs. They have the same color corrections and some have their audio taken from the 1997-98 remastered audio, but do not have the dubbed notice at the end.
These are only available in standard definition, so some of them had to be restored again in high definition for the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Blu-Rays.
Note: All of these cartoons do both exist in normal and low-pitched audio, depending on the language you choose.
- "Bully for Bugs" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "The Foghorn Leghorn" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Scaredy Cat" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "High Diving Hare" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Golden Yeggs" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Ant Pasted" (LTSS: HH, with the cue mark)
- "Awful Orphan" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "The Wearing of the Grin" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Early to Bet" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "The Ducksters" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Deduce, You Say" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Dough for the Do-Do" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "A Broken Leghorn" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Canned Feud" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Bunker Hill Bunny" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Baton Bunny" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Water, Water Every Hare" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Big House Bunny" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Rabbit Seasoning" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Mouse Mazruka" (LTMC)
- "Lumber Jerks" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Feed the Kitty" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "The Hypo-Chondri Cat" (LTGC: Vol 1)
- "Don't Give Up the Sheep" (LTGC: Vol 1)
1997-98 Dubbed Versions on Television
While only a few WB 1997/1998 dubbed versions were aired on the USA Turner networks (such as "Don't Give Up the Sheep", "The Wearing of the Grin", "Wideo Wabbit", "Dough for the Do-Do", "A Mouse Divided", "Big House Bunny", "From Hare to Eternity", Shishkabugs", "The Million Hare", "Daffy's Inn Trouble", "Bugs and Thugs" and "Robot Rabbit"), most of these dubbed versions are currently aired on Cartoon Network overseas, and even turned up on a selection of European VHS tapes. Most prints that are currently aired on Boomerang USA come from the LaserDiscs or the Warner Bros. Cartoons Golden Jubilee 24 Karat Collection VHS.
Although only a few WB 1997/1998 dubbed versions were aired on Cartoon Network in the USA, Cartoon Network Latin America airs a slightly larger selection of 1997/1998 dubbed versions than the USA counterpart. Examples of post-1948 1997/1998 dubbed prints CN Latin America airs which CN USA doesn't air: "The Unmentionables", "From Hare to Heir", "Lighter Than Hare", "Foxy by Proxy", "The Iceman Ducketh", "Little Red Rodent Hood", "Mouse Mazurka", "Rabbit Seasoning", "Deduce, You Say", "Cheese Chasers", "Napoleon Bunny-Part", "Assault and Peppered" and "Dog Pounded".