HBO Max Kicked Off The New Year By Removing Hundreds Of Looney Tunes Cartoons From Their Service

For the first couple years of its existence, HBO Max was arguably the best streamer. They had DC stuff, yes, but that was just the start. They had a deep archive of movies, stretching to the infancy of cinema. They had Studio Ghibli. They had selections from TCM and the Criterion Collection. And they had possibly the most famous Warner Bros. product of them all: Looney Tunes. They still have most of this, but as 2022 came to a close, suddenly half of the latter went AWOL.

As per /Film, HBO Max quietly removed 256 of the 511 “classic” Looney Tunes shorts that had been part of their coffers. The service organized the shorts as “seasons,” with “Season 1” comprised of the earliest shorts, from 1930 to 1936, and everything else sectioned by year. Mere days after Christmas, though, anything after “Season 15” — from 1951 on — was no longer present.

That means some of the most famous Looney Tunes cartoons — Duck Amuck, For Scent-imental Reasons, What’s Opera, Doc?, etc. — were suddenly no longer online. (Many of them still live on the cartoon streamer Boomerang.) There are still plenty of all-timers, including Rabbit of Seville, Long-Haired Hare, and the first Wile E. Coyote-Roadrunner entry, The Fast and the Furry-ous. But those who paid money to have easy access to over three decades of some of the greatest comedic cartoons no longer have that luxury.

The move is another reason to worry about HBO Max, as well as Warner Bros. Discovery in general. Since the company was taken over by David Zaslav, it’s been thrown into turmoil, with shows abruptly cancelled and nearly completed movies sadistically shelved. What is Zaslav’s game plan? That’s unclear, but if it was to make customers unhappy, he seems to be succeeding beyond his wildest imagination.

(Via /Film)