Warner Bros. and Turner announced on Tuesday that they’re launching a Boomerang online streaming service. The service, launching this spring, will offer 5,000 episodes of Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera, and MGM cartoons available for ad-free, on-demand streaming. The service will cost $5 a month (plus a seven-day free trial) or $40 a year (with a 30-day free trial).
Initially, Boomerang will run on the Web, iOS, and Android devices. It’ll expand to other platforms, including Roku, Amazon, and Apple TV, later in 2017.
This is pretty big news for fans of classic animation. On the positive side, it expands the Boomerang library’s availability past its limited cable company carriage. (Comcast unfortunately doesn’t carry the channel.) It’s also the first time that a sizable portion of the Hanna-Barbera and Looney Tunes libraries will be available for streaming. There’s also no ads, unlike other streaming services like Hulu’s entry-level tier. Finally, it’s cheaper than services like CBS All Access.
On the negative side, it’s yet another streaming service one will have to pay for, though it’s cheaper than even CBS’ new service. There’s also concern that the shows aren’t on an already popular platform like Netflix or Hulu. A separate, non-free platform might not help Bugs Bunny, Fred Flintstone, and others’ visibility among new/younger viewers.
From Boomerang’s website, the shows offered for streaming, among others, include:
- Looney Tunes
- Tom and Jerry
- The Flintstones*
- The Jetsons*
- Yogi Bear
- Richie Rich (the 1980s series)
- Wacky Races
- Huckleberry Hound
- Courage the Cowardly Dog
- My Gym Partner’s a Monkey
- Magilla Gorilla
- Atom Ant
- Barney Bear
(* Shows marked with an asterisk are “coming soon”)
No surprise for the first several shows, as they’re the most popular classic Boomerang shows. They’ve also been Turner network mainstays since even before Cartoon Network was created. It does seem odd to not have “The Flintstones” or “The Jetsons” at launch, though (if that “coming soon” banner means such), though might explain the site stating “over 1,000+ episodes” instead of the press release’s 5,000.
Boomerang’s site states there’ll be new episodes available of “Looney Tunes” (presumably “Wabbit”), “Be Cool Scooby-Doo,” “Tom and Jerry” (presumably the 2014 “The Tom and Jerry Show”), and “Bunnicula.”
I wonder if it’d make Boomerang even more attractive to offer some popular 90s and 2000s series. “Tiny Toon Adventures,” “The Powerpuff Girls,” “Static Shock,” “Batman: The Animated Series,” etc., combined with the classics above, might get even more people paying for the service.
“Wacky Races” reboot, “Wizard of Oz” series coming
Also mentioned in the press release is there’ll be two new series appearing on Boomerang: a “Wizard of Oz” series, and a reboot of “Wacky Races.” Turner owns the classic 1939 film version of “The Wizard of Oz,” so I’d expect this series to be faithful to that, along with the other original (now public domain) “Oz” books.
As for “Wacky Races,” a reboot was proposed, but not followed up on, in the 2000s; I gather Boomerang/Cartoon Network’s changed its mind? I do wonder if the original cast will be used, or if there’ll be all-new racers.
Do you plan to subscribe to the new Boomerang service?