It’s just humming away here at Thunderbean, attempting to get a master closer to completion on ‘Fleischer Rarities’ and other things. Next week is the first week of classes here as well, so I’m working a lot to prepare various things for the new school year.
This next week, I’m happy to announce a little program of rare films we’re doing for the Cinecon Festival. For those familiar with this blog and some of the ‘Special’ sets, you’ll be familiar with many of the films, but I always like to have something that hasn’t been shown anywhere yet as part of that show. This year, that film is Buster Bear (1930), an incredibly rare ‘Vitaphone’ cartoon, from the ‘Scarfoot’ McCrory Studios! It appears that the film was made in 1930, and released (likely limited) at the end of January 1931. The short appears to not have had any distribution in its complete form since this first release, so we’re happy to present it from the original camera negative. Many thanks to our friends at the Library of Congress. Here are some stills. More about this film soon in coming post!
In other news, there have been several scanning/telecine sessions in the past week or so, and more coming. We’re kicking many sets into high gear, and excited to see them coming to fruition. It’s a long path at times- and there’s a lot of things in progress, with more on their way soon.
At the risk of this seeming like ‘Scrappy Thursday’, here’s another Columbia this week, and an interesting and really fun one. Minding the Baby (1931), Is fun in all the ways the other early entries are in the series, and starts to firmly establish Scrappy firmly in Mickey Mouse’s territory as a fall guy in an unjust world. Poor Scrappy does his best to mind his little brother, ’Oscar’ (the first mention of the character that would eventually be called ‘Oopy’). It’s actually unclear if ‘Oscar’ is actually Scrappy’s brother- it seems here that he’s been hired as a babysitter (being paid a nickel for his watchful eye). Whether it’s his mother or not isn’t certain (Scrappy responds with a ‘Yes Ma’am’).
The direction of Scrappy’s personality starts to be refined in this last short of 1931. Scrappy reacts to the events that befall him in a similar matter as Mickey Mouse, although Mickey is clearly an adult reacting as a child to the events surrounding him, while Scrappy really *is* a little kid.
This particular cartoon seems a little more rushed to me than others in the early part of the series. Scrappy’s design various greatly throughout the film, depending on animator. There’s some really fun posing throughout, but nowhere near as strong as in some of the other early shorts.
More soon! Have a good week everyone!