Thunderbean updates: I want to thanks everyone for all the emails, both this week and over the last few months. I’m so happy people like the Snafu and Willie sets – and even happier they’re done! I’ve been a little overwhelmed here with all the Snafu orders- a good problem to have-but thankful everything has been sent now and arriving- so if you ordered and didn’t get yours yet, it should arrive within a few more days.
The little break from production was short-lived- as I was waiting for Snafu to come back from replication, we continued on film transfers for upcoming sets. I’ve been working on a blu-ray/ DVD combo set called Yuletide Flickers with my good friends Chris Buchman and Rex Schnieder for a little while. They suggested the idea of putting out a ‘special’ version of the set now rather than next year, with the films not completely restored yet. I agree…
Over the past few weeks we’ve been busy transferring the rest of the material. It won’t be all cleaned up, but the prints looked quite nice.
So, here is Yuletide Flickers offered for the next few weeks only. It features rare films from 1920 through the late 50s (including a lot of cartoons) with a Christmas holiday theme. They’re transferred from mostly 16mm prints, but some really nice 35mm too. Here are the titles:
Live action shorts:
A Visit from St. Nicholas -1922
T’was Night Before Xmas- 1928
The Toyshop – 1928 2 color Technicolor short
Christmas Time in Toyland
The First Christmas
Night before Christmas
Five Orphans of the Storm -VB/ Terrytoon
Pals- Little King-Van Beuren
The Shanty Where Santa Claus Lives- Harman/Ising
Suzy Snowflake-Stop Motion
Frosty the Snowman-UPA
Hardrock-Coco and Joe-Stop Motion
Toys Will Be Toys- Famous Studios
Hector’s Hectic Life- Famous Studios
Christmas Daze- Australian
Santa’s Surprise- Famous Studios
We are limiting it to 120 copies, and is a BDR (blu-ray) and DVD-r (DVD) combo. We’ll be sending them by next week so that everyone has them for the holidays. This set is limited to US customers for now. It’s $14.95 plus $2 shipping. If you’d like to order, visit the Thunderbean Website here for details.
This week’s cartoon is one of the films on the set, Hardrock-Coco and Joe, the Three Little Dwarfs (why is it never the correct spelling ‘Dwarves’?). It’s a odd little favorite- a sort of pre-curser to the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials. My good friend, author, Stop Motion and 2D animator Ken Preibe seems to especially like this little short – when we started to transfer things I insisted on a good print of this. This was one of a series of little shorts produced as bumpers between programs for local Television stations. Three of these are stop motion, and one (Frosty the Snowman) is animated by UPA productions. Castle films released some of them later to the home movie and rental markets. I really like both the song and the oddness of this little film. The design of Santa always reminds me of the early Beany and Cecil puppets.
I find I always like the underdog in animation, and maybe that’s why I like this otherwise happy little film. There is barely a plot, so the thing to remember is the single mention of Joe being the useless Dwarf- so I find I really feel bad for him. He really gets a bad wrap in his only starring role. The lyrics of the song at least mention him, but the fact that that Santa really has no use for him is both funny and tragic. At least he brings him because he loves him. That’s very nice, but somewhere on that trip I bet otherwise happy Joe sheds a tear at the lack of confidence Santa has in him.
Then again, maybe it’s justified. It leaves me to wonder if Joe really isn’t capable of following directions or something. I would think we would at least be able to help Hardock or Coco when they got tired. If I were him, I would have asked for a rewrite.
Have a good week everyone!