Thursday, September 8, 2016
Public Domain Highlights: Digiview Entertainment
This next highlight comes from one of the last PD companies to highly promote the public domain Looney Tunes. And a very cheap company too.
Digiview was formed in the early 2000's. Their primary goal was to release many titles for a cheap price. This included family entertainment, classic films, and classic TV shows, and the public domain cartoons were no exception. For about a buck per disc, you get at least one hour of entertainment (or so they say) on their discs.
Our primary goal is to cover the cartoon section. Their first line of cartoons were the Cartoon Craze.
Digiview took a step further by somehow sub-licensing animation cheap......REAL cheap. Remember, it's one buck per disc. So....the cartoons aren't even B's, but maybe C's. They were cartoons made in Australia or kiddie anime shows and movies. Some of these titles includes Dot and Kangaroo, animated adaptations of Treasure Island or Westward Ho, and Thumbelina. Even Monster Rancher was part of the deal, which was on Fox Kids, so it really was a matter of what was fast and cheap. The Thumbelina anime was the US version which means that the entire series was cut into an 80 minute movie. Very bad.....
Now I wouldn't scream ripoffs of Disney with these titles however, because these were not original productions. To anime fans these are not what we wanted. These bad dubs were bad back then as anime did not have the treatment it has today with companies like Funnimation. Still, there's more bang for that buck.
Digiview ended up folding soon after. They couldn't keep up with what the main owners were doing with their library and not to mention the downhill spiral of DVD's thanks to streaming, but boy did they release a lot, and by God they tried....they really really did. They just didn't have someone who knew these things involved.
UPDATE: Anime News Newtork's Justin Sevakis just talked about Digiview's handling with anime. This was a specific studio called Enoki Films. Here's what he had to say:
"Digiview Entertainment had a deal with Enoki Films to release some of their old dubbed kids-friendly titles such as Thumbelina: A Magical Storyand Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventures. Digiview also released several Korean-produced features from the 80s that were made with cels clearly bootlegged from mechaanime TV series that were in production at the time and partially outsourced to Korea. Given fake American credits and dubbed horribly, these films (given laughably generic names like Space Thunder Kids and Defenders of Universe) were pretty much unwatchable. (I had copies of all of them before selling them on eBay last year.) These films were being sold by a Hong Kong-based company called IFD Films and Arts (infamous among bad movie aficionados for producing incoherent kung fu and ninja movies by schlockmeister Godfrey Ho). "
Ohhhhh yeah. I know about these rip offs. One of my good friends, Chase Pritchard and his animation buddies streamed one of these one day. Believe me when I say, YOU DON'T WANNA WATCH THESE. The other anime shows like Thumbelina and The Wonderful Galaxy of Oz, sure they may be good, but remember, this is not Funnimation. These are edited down to a movie (probably in the 90's). You get a taste at how bad anime adaptations (or fake anime stuff like Solar Adventures) really were in the 80's.