Happy last Thunderbean Thursday of 2016! It’s been a year of ups and down here, and that seems to hold true for a lot of folks I know.
On the Thunderbean front, There are many things in progress nearing the finishing line. The master for Abbott and Costello Rarities, Thunderbean’s first foray into an all non-cartoon set, is finally done and will be off to replication soon. Flip the Frog is coming right along, with more nitrate scans happening through January. As soon as we’re able here, I’ll share some images from the new transfers.
In the meantime, we’ve been pretty quiet about one little side project that is now up for pre-order on the Thunderbean Website. Fleischer Rarities – the second in the ‘Rarities’ series. This DVD/Blu-ray combo features cartoons from the great Fleischer studios that are rarely seen, including early song cartoons, advertising films, plus silent and sound shorts, all transferred from rare 35mm and 16mm prints. I’ve never seen any of these films looking this good- it’s a joy to transfer HD on films you’re used to seeing in only marginal or terrible prints. I’ve had a lot of fun working on this set during the break here, and looking forward to starting to finish the cleanup and get the remaining transfers finished. The short It’s the Cats (1926) starring Koko the Clown, has been taking up some time this week, and it’s been a really fun one to work on cleanup, from what might be the only existing 35mm nitrate print. Here are a few frame grabs:
The Pre-order will be available for a few weeks on this title, including a special bonus disc. Details on how to order on the Thunderbean Website. We hope to send the replicated final in mid-March.
I’m looking forward to 2017, and hope that this is a year where it becomes easier to see some of the rarer films from the golden age. After a mad rush to get out Yuletide Flickers discs, I was happy to take a little breath of air and jump into tying the shoes (and putting some on) for the many projects here. I’m also looking forward to a little help on a handful of other project from other producers. It’s become a small community of them at this point- and that’s an excellent thing.
Funny, there are more projects in some stage going on now here than ever, and now more than ever that I can’t talk about yet. There are fourteen now in some stage of progress- and five approaching the finish line. I’m really looking forward to getting to the point of being able to discuss each here and will as I’m able. The hard part is that the ones I really want to work on are the ones that have the most hoops that I seem to be forever jumping through! There are a few that are overwhelming in scope, but I now have my head around most of them as they go into the next stage of production. I can see Thunderbean going back to growing this year and I hope so since that means more finished sets, leaving room for even more projects.
In the meantime, a cartoon is needed for New Year’s day. Our now somewhat limited animation friends, Heckle and Jeckle, want to help bring an excellent new year to everyone- or at least a bizarre one. Sappy New Year (1961) is a strange cartoon indeed, Our heros decide to give up all practical jokes, including their usual indiscriminate bombing of nearly anyone. There’s some fun timing and design ideas throughout- and inventive use of character design in animation and poses. I especially like the scene where the placement of H&J changes as each car goes by, obscuring them, and the funny poses of the horse character.
Do you know any other ‘New Years’ cartoons? If so, post about them in the comments section below!
Happy New Year everyone!