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HBO Max Removes Half of Its Classic Looney Tunes Shorts

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HBO Max removes Seasons 16-31 of Looney Tunes, cutting the number of classic shorts available on the platform in half.

Warner Bros. Discovery has snapped its fingers, causing half of its library of classic Looney Tunes shorts to vanish from HBO Max.

As of Dec. 31, 2022, HBO Max has removed Seasons 16-31 of Looney Tunes, causing the total number of classic animated shorts available on the platform to drop from 511 to 255, with a total of 256 having been taken down. At the time of writing, Seasons 1-15 of Looney Tunes are still available on HBO Max, as are related shows like Cartoon Network’s The Looney Tunes Show and HBO Max’s own Looney Tunes Cartoons.

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The latter 16 seasons of the original Looney Tunes are the latest casualties of Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max content purge, which seems to have disproportionately affected animated content. Other animated shows to be unceremoniously removed from the platform include Infinity Train, Close Enough, Aquaman: King of Atlantis, OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, Victor and Valentino, Uncle Grandpa and Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs, among others. Additionally, the planned animated series Batman: Caped Crusader is no longer slated to premiere on HBO Max as originally intended, and is instead being shopped to other outlets.

The HBO Max Content Purge Continues, Doc

That said, live-action content has certainly not been immune to the HBO Max purge. Most recently, the acclaimed HBO original series Westworld was removed from the channel’s sister streaming service, as were a number of other shows. Warner Bros. Discovery plans to license these shows out to free ad-supported third-party streaming services. It’s currently unclear if other removed content — such as the aforementioned Looney Tunes shorts — will go a similar way.

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Warner Bros. originally debuted the Looney Tunes series of animated short films in 1930 — nearly a century before the Discovery merger. Seasons 1-15 account for shorts that were released from 1930 to 1949. Meanwhile, Seasons 16-31 — the ones removed from HBO Max — account for shorts released from 1950 to 2004. HBO Max’s culling of its Looney Tunes library seems especially reminiscent of August 2022, when roughly 200 episodes of Sesame Street were removed from the platform as well.

Source: HBO Max, via Twitter

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