The first of these is a replicated (pressed) disc set of Christmas Yuletide Flickers set, a Blu-ray/ DVD combo featuring cartoon and live action shorts from the 20s through the 50s. You can see some of the shorts on the set from the posts last year.
We’ve had a chance to get the films cleaned up and looking nice now as well, and so it’s going off to replication just in time for the holidays. We’re offering it for pre-order this week, and hope to have it back here at the end of this month or sooner. The pre-order also features an additional disc of things that didn’t make it onto the set, not available after this special pre-order. It’s $15.95 plus postage. Take $5 off the price if you bought the BDr/DVDr version last year. Details are on the Thunderbean Website.
Here are some stills from the set:
Since it’s been a pretty exhausting election season here, I thought a little bit of Sunshine couldn’t possibly be a bad thing. Ted Eshabugh’s Classic The Sunshine Makers (1935) was a favorite of the baby boomer generation from it’s run on TV, burning a faded memory into their heads with it’s magical lands of ‘Joy’ and ‘Gloom’.
Here’s a simple breakdown of this simple story:
The happy Sunshine Makers deliver delicious milk, made directly from the sun through a fantastical machine operated by their identical brother elves. It’s possible this machine was used at one time to eliminate evil snowmen created by accident. During a typical morning milk run, a member of the community next to theirs senses danger and launches a preventative attack on a milk cart, declaring his dissatisfaction with the competing culture, uttering “Sunshine. Bah! Joy. BAH!”.
This illegal attack prompts retaliation by the milkman. He tosses a jar of the Sunshine Milk, seemingly caustic to the members of Gloom.
This insult is met with panic by the member of Gloom, who runs as fast as he can back to his village. The sight of his back fully lit up prompts an emergency burial of the coat as the member of Gloom returns to his village. We hear the fellow villagers chant (as they walk like a pensive Felix the Cat) “We’re happy when we’re sad”. This damage to the traditional clothing of the villagers is taken as a clear act of war; this leads to a bigger retaliation.The village of gloom gathers four of its members together to suck up caustic pond water with atomizers, presumably to spray the members of the Joy village. Joy, however, is on the side of good, and they are better fortified and prepared for war, utilizing sophisticated machinery as well as giant flying locusts (perhaps from the dustbowl).
They beat back the invading forces, but don’t stop there; they invade and eviscerate the culture of the glooms via aerial attack. They continue their well-organized assault by ground, attacking the remaining members with Sunshine Milk, forcing the liquid down their throats, it’s radioactive properties exposing their skeletons through their clothing, stripping them of their free will. They chant and sing in unison that now there is ‘sunshine everywhere’, the subtext being that the world is now better since all other competing cultures have been eliminated.
Of course it’s possible I’m reading a little too much into this charming film, so forget about all of that and enjoy the happiness of Ted Eshbaugh’s little classic, from a beautiful 35mm Cinecolor print, preserved by our film heroes at the United States Library of Congress. Here it is in HD, as presented on the Van Beuren Classics Thunderbean disc:
Have a good week everyone!