Today I’m just going to sit back and rave about a new DVD I watched this past weekend. This is a an unabashed plug for Steve Stanchfield’s latest DVD release, a co-production with Del Walker’s Retroflections, featuring a collection of Walter Lantz/Universal Oswald Rabbit cartoons (and several Disney Oswalds with Lantz soundtracks). It also features some rare Theatrical and Television commercials from the 50s, plus a collection of cartoon shorts from many of the Lantz studio’s other series. All mastered from original film prints, with hundreds of hours of restoration, Lantz Studio Treasures starring Oswald is a must-have.
Here, take a peek:
If the clips above didn’t convince you to order this today – I’ll discuss some of the contents, each of which is worth the price of the DVD set alone. Let’s skip the main attractions: eight jazz-age early Oswald Rabbit cartoons, beautiful transfers, each with original titles, covering nine years that reflect the growth of the animated cartoon during its golden age. These are great, but it’s the bonus materials that will leave you gasping.
Nine bonus Lantz theatrical cartoons are included – ranging from early silent Bray Jerry on The Job/Col. Heeza Liar shorts, extremely rare Dinky Doodle and Unnatural History films (starring Lantz himself), 1930s Meany, Miny, Moe and L’il Eightball films and the best darn print of the Ipana-sponsored Boy Meets Dog you’ll ever own. There are also art galleries that collect the posters, drawings and model sheets, information on Lantz’s history and a 1967 Walter & Gracie newsreel.
But forget all that – Stanchfield has collected an array of oddball Lantz commercial/industrial films, most of which I’d ever seen before. Here’s the real gold in this collection (in my humble opinion). These include:
• Team Play with Andy Panda (1952) for the Electric Autolite Company, stars Andy, girlfriend Miranda and Oswald Rabbit (all voiced by Dick Beals) – a beautiful Technicolor theatrical commercial.
• Ali Baba And The Thieves (1953) and Little Red Riding Hood (1953) beautiful, fully animated theatrical cartoons for Coca-Cola.
• Carnation Quick Oats (and an alternate version for Alber’s Quick Oats) features Woody Woodpecker showing you how to draw a woodpecker!
• A 1958 Kelloggs Rice Krispies one-minute TV spot that is more entertaining than any Woody theatrical from the era.
It’s going that extra mile that makes the Thunderbean DVDs so great. If you are a Lantz collector, an animator studying classic cartoons, or simply a fan of cartoon history – you need this collection of archival material. Lantz Studio Treasures starring Oswald is now available on Amazon for a measly $14.95. Buy it and help preserve classic animation.