THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
May 17, 2018 posted by Steve Stanchfield

“Fleischer Rarities” blu-ray Finished – and Ready To Ship!

The first week off from the school has been incredibly busy here, and I’m trying to cram as many things in each day in an attempt to catch up with everything– and to give a little extra much to quite a few projects.

The first news:

When the last piece is done on each of these projects, I feel a pretty great relief; the coming few weeks are therefore one relief after another, with no less than five sets coming to completion. On the ‘Snappy Video’ side of things, the ‘Party’ disc (featuring Reefer Madness (1936) as well as the infamous cartoon Buried Treasure and other stuff) is in cleanup and will be out the door within a week and a half. Also from Snappy are Missile to the Moon and a disc of rare ’Soundies’ that just sparkle on Blu-ray. Third, a collection called ‘Vintage Education’ featuring live action instructional films from the 50s and 60s, is one film transfer session from being complete.

The big news:

Finally, a new Thunderbean title is out! Thunderbean’s Fleischer Rarities set took a while to get finished, but I think it turned to be a pretty fun disc. It’s finally back from replication now, and has started shipping to the pre-orders (along with the special bonus disc of things that didn’t make it on the set). It features a whole bunch of films, including some that are especially hard to see.

I feel like the set is a really good companion piece; a sort of ultimate bonus feature disc to other complete sets of Fleischer Cartoons. I very much enjoyed finding things for this set that were pretty impossible to see. I’m especially in debt to Mark Kausler and Jerry Beck, who provided both content and contacts on some of the rarest of the material. Thad Komorowski and Tommy Jose Stathes were also amazingly helpful in providing materials, and JJ Sedelmaier, the quintessential New York animation scene historian, helped round out the set with stills and photographs from the studio that are all gems, and are featured in the ‘Behind the Scenes’ gallery. Finally, the cover art by Dragan Kovacevic and Antea Ratovic gives the set a nice look on the outside. In the end though, we really owe all the artists and creative people that worked at Fleischer’s over those years to make so many fun little films. I think everyone would be amazed that their films are still being enjoyed eighty years later!

We showed this a little while back, but this menu gives an idea of the bonus features on the set:

Here’s a little reel featuring many of the films on the set:

For all those that pre-ordered, thanks so much for helping ‘produce’ this set! You’ll be getting your copy soon! For anyone that didn’t order, it’s available on Amazon as of today. And if you still need to be convinced, here are a few more frame grabs from the set:



On other notes, The other sets in progress are coming along as well. Flip the Frog and the Rainbow Parades are moving forward very well now and are taking most of my time. More folks are stepping in to the Thunderbean summer team this next week to help with cleanup, and I’m very excited to see things getting there fast-especially the beautiful Flip the Frog material.

A few days back, I scanned the best known color print of Bird Scouts, a 16mm Cinecolor print. The print is in pretty good shape, except for one major problem: the alignment of the Cinecolor is off throughout the print. Looking at the scan, I wondered if I could someone separate the two color records digitally, and recombine them in closer registration.

I discovered that it is at least partially possible to separate the two colors into separate channels in Adobe Premiere by making two ‘tracks’ of the film and adjusting the RGB values to match the original Cinecolor layer as much as possible. Because of how the misregistration jitters and how it changed the color where the overlap mistakes are, it doesn’t seem to work perfectly, but it’s much, much better. It’s only at the first stage of playing with it at this point, but I’ll keep trying!

Something I’ve noticed on the black and white Official films versions of the Cinecolor Rainbow Parades is that they seem to have been made with only one of the two Cinecolor color records. This has me wondering if I took my new color seperation and combined it with one of the Official prints (with that black and white print tinted correctly) could I end up with an improved version of the film? It’s worth experimenting, because when will someone try this madness again?

Here is an example of trying to line up the elements:

..and the first experiment in re-combining the elements to fix the color alignment:


Here’s a youtube of someone projecting a black and white Official Films version of The Hunting Season. It looks like the Blue-Green Layer is the one used here:

More soon! Have a good week everyone!

34 Comments

  • Do you have any idea about when we’ll see the 15 other discs we all paid good money to preorder and support? They’re all massively behind schedule with no release or even updates in sight. The only one that’s made anything resembling progress is Fleischer Rarities, and that was only after massive delays.

    Not looking forward to waiting another year and up for these.

    ’Official’ Sets in pre-order/progress:

    Fleischer Rarities- Mid February
    Mid Century Modern 1-Late February/March
    Mid Century Modern 2-Late February/March
    Cartoon Commercials Volume 2-March
    Flip the Frog-May
    Rainbow Parades-June
    Noveltoons-June
    More Technicolor Dreams-July
    More Stop Motion Marvels-July

    “Special” sets:

    Award Winning Cartoons- Late Feb/ Early March
    Screen Songs-February
    Cartoons to the Rescue-February
    Missile to the Moon-February
    Soundies-February
    The Thunderbean blu-ray Party Disc (with Reefer Madness)-March
    Animated Education (April)

    • Working on them!

    • ..and, if you’d like a refund for any of the sets that are delayed, I’m happy to send one; working hard to get all these things finished, daily. Cartoons to the Rescue is out and sent, Missile to the Moon goes late this week, as does Soundies. The Party Disc and Animated Education are almost done. You can also see updates to these on the Thunderbean and Snappy video threads at Blu-ray.com.

    • @John David
      Waiting is hard but, like Flip The Frog, just relax, man.

  • I remember the recent restoration of SPARTACUS was forced to use a similar technique: retrieving the yellow colour layer information from a separation master to compensate for a faded negative. Must have a taken a considerable time to get the scan of the separation element perfectly aligned and geometrically correct with the o-neg.

    I’d imagine, though could be completely off-base, that a scan of a B&W Official Films print might actually end up yielding a slightly sharper image to a 16mm Cinecolor print?

    Also going by the trailer, great job at reinserting the Texaco bit! Can’t wait to receive my pre-order 🙂

    • I may very well attempt that if I can get a clean enough black and white print,,,,

  • Wonderful post today, Steve!..Can’t wait to receive my pre-order. The wait was worth it!

  • Hello Steve. I believe the set was a Blu-ray / DVD combo, right? Thanks.

    • I wonder. The cover just says “Blu-ray”. Usually on Thunderbean’s releases, it says “Blu-ray and DVD Combo” if that’s the case.

  • There are not many people working to bring this material to us. Some of them (who shall remain unnamed) do the absolute minimal amount of work required. Others do no work at all (Alpha). Meanwhile Steve labors away producing truly exceptional results on material that in terms of financial return probably does not warrant the effort but then that rarely is the case with much we love. So I am more than willing to wait, wait and wait again. When folks tell me to speed up I slow down. When they tell me twice I say, “Do you want to see how slow I can really go?” I do that not out of contrariness nor rudeness but because I have learned if I let myself be sped up I will make mistakes and have to start over.

    • Truth. I agree that we should all calm down, appreciate, and applaud. Nothing but gratitude.

    • Double agree. Through Steve and his company we get things nobody else would do in such high quality or in many cases not at all. I don’t pay him for speed, I pay him for quality and the otherwise unobtainable. He’s always delivered everything I’ve ordered.

    • Excellent reply

    • That’s OK. People defended John K. over Cans Without Labels, too.

      In fact, I wager we’ll see Cans before any of these Blu Rays.

    • John David:

      I’m not a gambling man, but that’s one wager I’d gladly take.

    • I’ll take that wager too. Steve just bites off more than he can chew but his intention is to always follow through on his releases. And he always does. John K.’s intention is to never finish a picture because he’s too busy being a GENIUS at abusing coworkers and finding teenage girls to “mentor.”

  • Oh wow, I always wondered if misalignment with the layers ever happened in Cinecolor/Technicolor prints. This post answers my question. Good to hear that there is a way to (at least partially) fix this, though.

  • A couple things:
    1) Hooray! It’s finally finished! I’m excited for the pre-order disc, too!
    2) I never thought “Red Pepper Sam” made his own recording of “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic”…
    3) Outstanding work on that Texaco sign!!
    4) I wonder what print gauge DANCING ON THE MOON is presented. I saw it last month at the Film Forum from a 35mm print (I believe, sourced from UCLA), and the color looked pretty much the same as it does here.
    5, and lastly) Good luck on fixing up the Cinecolor on BIRD SCOUTS!

  • I have paid for this set. If you have lost my payment, or believe that somehow I have not paid for it, please contact me so we can set things straight and get this wonderful set in the mail (to ME) ASAP! Yours truly, Me.

  • Will some of the Fleischer shorts have the original Paramount titles?

    • YES!

  • Those clips and screenshots look immaculate, Steve.

    I’m particularly impressed by the marvel that is the restored Hurry Doctor. You can’t even tell that the Texaco Sign was pieced back together and re-edited into the film.

    And those Dancing on the Moon grabs make me pine for a Color Classics set that would be to Somewhere in Dreamland what your Iwerks sets are to Cartoons That Time Forgot. The Fleischer (and Famous) library is so overdue for proper treatment that I hope it eventually gets.

  • Just my two cents – I don’t pre-order anything unless it is 100% COMPLETED and ready to get kicked out the door. Learned that the hard way with Amid Amidi’s “Animation Blast” #9 . Took four years from the time I ordered till it was published, with numerous delays and content changes along the way. And when it was finally sent out, the folks who submitted their orders at a more recent date received their copies weeks before I did. Never again. While I believe Steve has the very best intentions, his customers have a right to be concerned that these projects will ever see the light of day.

    • I do agree that those that ordered should be given an update and that I should try to be as accurate as possible on a timeline of things moving forward; I’ll continue to keep everyone updated on the progression of all the titles, and will always keep the offer open to refund any pre-order if someone didn’t want to wait. With these small, niche products, the pre-orders and special discs have literally acted as the ‘Kick-Starters’ to keep scans happening and replication moving forward. It’s sometimes a little precarious in production running the projects this way, and there are things I do need to improve, but I don’t regret the decisions made since there have often been small windows to make certain things happen and acquire certain films. I’ve produced nearly 40 titles at this point, with some titles breaking even and others not– but there’s a solid track record of completion and an attempt to get the best quality product. These recent titles, although behind, are coming along beautifully… as I often show in the updates.

      The point of the company was never large profit, although it would be nice to expand the market a little more to have the revenue help more in funding. I appreciate the community’s concerns; you’ve all helped support these things – and that support has made them happen. I’ll continue to finish the projects as soon as possible, and happily, this little period has many things coming together. Having the summer off from the school is a huge help. Thanks all.

  • Are the features for everyone who buys the set or just those who preordered it?

    • All the buyers get the bonus features in the Blu-ray disc, the image you see above. But in this case, those who pre-ordered get an additional BD-r disc with cartoons that didn’t make it in the final selection.

  • The quality looks amazing – the detail & restored look in the display reel is superb.
    In other words; another Thunderbean classic!
    Have just ordered via amazon
    – would have pre-ordered but my funds were a bit low at that point; a shame as I’ll bet the pre-order bonus disc is a corker also!

    • Tim- you’ve been a great customer over all these years- thank so much for supporting these sets!

  • Will you be at Cinevent next weekend with copies available?

  • Yes- and with Missile to the Moon, The Soundies disc, and, with any luck, another one too!

  • Fleischer Rarities ordered today, shipping to Canada. Thanks for you diligent, adept and high quality work on this new set and all the other classic cartoon discs you work on, bringing rare cartoons back to life!

  • Steve,
    How does one order the “Snappy” special titles?

    • Look for the ‘Snappy Video’ thread on blu-ray.comforums. The easiest way to find it to hit the ‘studios and distributors’ button. There’s a Thunderbean Thread there as well.

  • The pre-order for FR was in December 2016 — and my PayPal history search only lets me go back to January 2017. !!! I *think* I pre-ordered this set. Steve, is there any way to tell? (The first part of my email address, before the @ sign, is the word “follower”.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *