Thunderbean Update: First, thanks for everyone’s patience on *all* the stuff coming up from Thunderbean that has been ordered. I’ve been truly enjoying working on these sets, and am happy that the bottleneck of dubbing and sending is almost over for at least the first batches of things. It’s still quite busy, but knowing that the pile is getting smaller is gratifying.
The coolest thing I got was from my friend Stewart McKissick. ‘Constrained Caricatures’. It’s full of beautiful, fun illustrations. It’s a great little mini-coffee table book that is fun to pick up over and over- it’s available on Amazon.
After a few years, I’ve finally finished fixing up my mother’s old house- it’s going to be rented to one of my colleagues. It’s been an incredible process in some ways, and as it was happening I’ve been working on a personal animated/live action film, ‘Where I found Her’. I’ve been enjoying getting back to animating a little more in recent days, and haven’t shown anyone *any* of the work on this film as of yet.
After last week’s post I got a lot of emails asking to do a Little King Blu-ray. I decided to do something small, really only available for a week, but I’ll extend it a few days in case anyone here would like the offer. You can find it on the IAD forum here.
It’s interesting to me that the late 30s Lantz cartoons are so hard to see. When I first started collecting 16mm in the early 80s, it seemed like there was no one else my age collecting- it was all older collectors, and some of them would get the Big Reel sent express mail, beating me EVERY time to certain cartoons. One of these collectors was Collin Kellogg, who became a friend after many late night conversations about what cartoons are good and what isn’t. When I would tell him as a teenager what cartoons I just bought, he’d go done the list of why each of them was either ‘common’ or ‘lame’. heck, they were new viewing to me and exciting- and I especially loved the 30s cartoons, so finding a ‘common’ Castle print of a Lantz cartoon in my teenage price range was still a wonderful discovery. What films were exciting to you when you first saw them?
Keeper of the Lions is one of the more ‘common’ prints that collectors used to to come across..and like many others it must have been a staple of rental libraries big and small. There were Castle16mm prints of a particular group of Lantz Oswald cartoons from 1936 and 37 that they cold for many years- and so, these became the most common ones to see from the series.
Keeper of the Lions is still a little hard to see. I’ve always liked this cartoon, from the opening (where somehow Oswald’s lip-sync didn’t manage to get on the exposure sheets- or for some other reason wasn’t animated) to the team relationship between Oswald and the ‘The Dumb Cluck’. Stop Motion animator and designer Charlie Bowers had joined the Lantz staff, contributing this particular character. Although ‘Dumb Cluck’ didn’t take off, it does appear that this character is an inspiration of sorts for Woody Woodpecker in design.You’ll also never find another cartoon that has a sign that says ‘Beware Patagonian Wild Crabs’ in it. Although there’s a few splices at this point on this print, my favorite shot is near the end of the picture where the lions are ‘boxed’.
Although the animation quality varies throughout the film, I think it’s a lot of fun and overall pretty nicely animated. It’s a real action picture, What did you folks think of this one?
Have a good week everybody!