Warner Bros. Discovery has reportedly removed half of its library of classic Looney Tunes shorts from the HBO Max service, despite the franchise being one of the signature works of its media empire.
The streaming service has removed Seasons 16-31 (1950-2004) of Looney Tunes from its library, 256 episodes in all, causing the total number of classic animated shorts available on the platform to drop from 511 to 255.
Seasons 1-15 (1930-1949) are still available, whilst related shows like Cartoon Network’s “The Looney Tunes Show” and HBO Max’s own “Looney Tunes Cartoons” remain available – the latter winning an Emmy the other week for Bugs Bunny’s current voice performer Eric Bauza.
The sixteen-season removal appears to be the latest casualty of the HBO Max cost-cutting content purge and follows in the wake of other animated shows abruptly pulled from the platform, including “Infinity Train,” “Aquaman: King of Atlantis,” “Close Enough” and more.
Others like the planned series “Batman: Caped Crusader” were scrapped and will be shopped to other outlets. Warner Bros. Discovery plans to license some of the removed shows out to free ad-supported third-party streaming services, but nothing has been announced in regard to the fate of the missing Looney Tunes shorts.
Warner Bros. has created just over 1000 “Looney Tunes” & “Merrie Melodies” shorts over the years, so originally the service only contained around half of the library’s titles anyway – that’s now been cut down to one-quarter.
Source: The Cartoon News