Associated_Artists_Productions

Associated Artists Productions

Associated Artists Productions (a.a.p.) was a distributor of theatrical feature films and short subjects for television.

History

a.a.p. was founded in 1953 and headed by Elliott Hyman.

In 1956, a.a.p. purchased the pre-1948 Warner Bros. film library which included every feature film and most short subjects the studio released prior to 1948 including Casablanca, Rope (later reverted to director Alfred Hitchcock), all Merrie Melodies (except Lady, Play Your Mandolin!) and color Looney Tunes cartoons released prior to August 1948. Former Warner cartoon director Bob Clampett was hired to catalog the Warner cartoon library. Also in 1956, a.a.p. bought the black and white Popeye theatrical cartoons from Paramount Pictures through Popeye owner King Features which were produced by the Fleischer Studios and Famous Studios. Also a part of this package were a few post-1948 features originally released by WB, such as the 1956 version of Moby Dick. The following year, a.a.p. also acquired the color Popeye cartoons.

On the WB productions, a.a.p. simply inserted their logo at the head of each reel (on feature films, the logo featured an atom spelling out the company's initials set to a bongo piece, while at the beginning of cartoons, the logo featured the initials in the center, between the full name of the company, with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd above or below the company name). On the Popeye cartoons, a.a.p. was told by Paramount to remove any references to the studio (since at the time, Paramount did not want to be associated with television). As such, the a.a.p. logo would plaster over the Paramount logos, while leaving in the copyrights on the actual title cards (on the color cartoons, a.a.p. created a new card to show that Popeye was a Famous Studios production while on the black-and-white cartoons, a.a.p. retained the title cards not bearing the Paramount name and made new cards which credited either Max Fleischer or Famous Studios replacing the title cards which bore "Paramount presents..."). However, a.a.p. did slip on a few occasions, where part of the Paramount opening could still be seen for a few seconds, such as on Private Eye Popeye and Cooking with Gags (both of which the copyrights lapsed in the U.S.). The color cartoons had the same opening and closing music, so, on each cartoon, the music would make an abrupt jump because the original opening (and closing) music was different (the music used on this logo was actually the 1943-52 version of the Popeye theme). A peculiarity resulted from the use of the color opening on the Popeye Color Specials, which at the beginning were said to be produced by Famous Studios, but were actually produced by Fleischer.

The company was acquired by United Artists in 1958 and absorbed into United Artists Television (UATV). In 1981, the library was incorporated into the merger of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists. Rights of Rope were sold to Universal Pictures, although UA continues to hold the film's copyright. Turner Entertainment took over the library in 1986 after Ted Turner's short-lived acquisition of MGM/UA. When Turner sold back the MGM/UA production unit, he kept the a.a.p. library for his own company.

The WB film libraries were reunited when the studio's parent company Time Warner bought Turner in 1996. Warner Bros. holds the a.a.p. properties today, although technically they are under the ownership of Turner, with WB handling distribution. However, Moby Dick would be the only film in the a.a.p./UATV package that would be retained by United Artists, and thus UA (via sister company MGM) continues to own this film today.

In recent years, many of the shorts in question have now excluded the a.a.p. logo in order to bring them closer to what they looked like when they were originally released. For the DVD release by Warner on July 31, 2007 of the first set of Popeye cartoons (1933-1938), they were restored to include the original Paramount logos. However in the second volume, Popeye the Sailor: 1938-1940, Volume 2, two of the cartoons in the initial batch of discs bear a.a.p.-created Popeye title cards by mistake.

Dominant Pictures Corporation

Dominant Pictures Corporation was a subsidiary of a.a.p. which distributed the features that the company purchased to theaters. It re-released a number of films from the pre-1948 WB library, as well as a number of British films which a.a.p. bought the rights to.

The subsidiary was later dissolved into UA's main theatrical distribution arm after the company was sold to UA.

Popeye cartoons sold to a.a.p.

234 Popeye the Sailor cartoons were produced for theatrical release by Paramount Pictures between 1933 and 1957.

List of Warner Bros. Cartoons sold to a.a.p.

Note: All cartoons listed under 1931-41 are Merrie Melodies. Titles in boldface are (or will be) available on DVD as part of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection.

1931

1932

1933

1934

1935

1936

1937

1938

1939

1940

1941

1942

Looney Tunes

Merrie Melodies

1943

Looney Tunes

Merrie Melodies

1944

Looney Tunes

Merrie Melodies

1945

Looney Tunes

Merrie Melodies

1946

Looney Tunes

Merrie Melodies

1947

Looney Tunes

Merrie Melodies

1948

Looney Tunes

Merrie Melodies

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