Some quick updates from the land of the Thunderbeans:
• Technicolor Dreams and B/W Nightmares is chugging along. We hope to have a master in the next few weeks.
• Fleischer’s Gulliver Travels on BluRay/DVD has arrived here! Now, he’s leaving, one BluRay/DVD set at a time. I hope to have all the pre-release copies sent in the coming 3 or 4 days. It will be available on Amazon sometime in the next week or so, and next week’s Cartoon Research Thunderbean Thursday article will be all about the release.
For this week, we’re staying with the stop motion theme. Here’s a Kinex short that has turned up since the release of Thunderbean’s Stop Motion Marvels, a collection of stop motion films, featuring the most complete selection of shorts from the ‘Kinex Films’ studio.
The Kinex Studio was somewhat of a mystery for many years; they were made from 1928 through 1930 directly for the home movie purchase and rental market as part of Kodak’s ‘Cinegraph’ series. John Burton (who worked on these silent films) went on to make several more shorts with sound, and one in color before joining Warner Brothers. It’s difficult to say if these sound incarnations were produced by Kinex or if Burton had now struck out on his own; trades show Kinex as still in business in the early 30s when the first of the sound shorts were made.
Stuart McKissick’s research into the Kinex films made for a wonderful booklet as part of the set. One of the trails in tracking down the origins of these films led him to Orville Goldner’s notes. Goldner (who worked on King Kong making miniature sets) was attempting to research the Kinex films himself in the 70s, having worked on them in the earliest part of his career. Even HE didn’t remember much about the studio himself, but did remember it as a haven for illegal activities. His letters are well-documented as part of his notes. He eventually found a few of the short films, but sadly, very little information about the studio that he had started his career at.
The Kinex films often are connected chronologically. This short, Cave of the Wobbly Wizard, was made directly after the much more common The Land of the Wooden Soldiers, and explains why Chip the Wooden Man is riding a dinosaur at the beginning of the next film. I wish it has shown up a few years earlier…
I had been saving it for a new set of stop motion shorts, but when I recently ran across it while archiving files I thought it would be nice to show. It features some of the ugliest monsters in any of the Kinex films. This film, along with Candyland, will complete the Chip the Wooden Man series of films. Enjoy.
Bonus Short: Here is the aforementioned Land of the Wooden Soldiers as well, to watch before (or after) Cave.