THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
April 6, 2017 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Terrytoons Always Look Better in IB Technicolor

Hi Folks… it’s good to be back!

On the Thunderbean front, things are jam-packed, with two transfer sessions in a row, one in HD, one in 4k. These start to bring some of the things in progress closer to being finished. The Flip the Frog’s looked especially nice, but honestly that’s been almost all of them since they’re mostly negs and master positives. Here are a few stills from the Master Positive (fine Grain) on Stormy Seas (1932). The camera neg gets transferred in the next session for comparison. Things are lined up in the hopper, and we’re working to get each project closer to finish and out the door as fast as possible, funds permitting.

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Speaking of Iwerks, our own Jerry Beck will be hosting a show of Ub Iwerks shorts at the TCM Fest, tomorrow at 9am at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Leslie Iwerks will be in attendance; her company continues the family tradition of great filmmaking. I was happy to provide some of the new scans of Flip, Willie and some Comi-Color shorts for the show, along with some help from the Library of Congress.


As many of you know, I very much enjoy transferring cartoons with original titles… especially if they are shorts that are otherwise hard to see in their original form (or often at all). One of the shorts from a recent transfer session has what appear to be reissue titles for the Iwerks short Happy Days titled ‘Hook, Line and Sinker’. It does include something that is suspiciously missing from the ‘real’ title sequence- a credit to the ‘Regular Fellas’ comic strip that short is based on – but no credit to the Iwerks studio! My guess is that there are actually three different title sequences for this short – this being the last of them. Perhaps further looking through those particular negatives at UCLA will reveal the other possible title sequence… we’ll hopefully know soon.

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Lastly, I thought I’d share one of the films scanned earlier today. Sadly, just after this short was scanned, something major went wrong with the Telecine here in Detroit – the computer program that works with the controls stopped working entirely, bringing the session to a screeching halt. There’s been talk of not fixing the system again here since Thunderbean is one of the very few clients that even transfer film here, so I’m hoping this wasn’t the last thing to ever run on this very nice system!

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So, here is a really fun Heckle and Jeckle short from 1951, looking as it should in beautiful IB Technicolor. I remember seeing this short frequently in the 70s on TV, but in the usual Eastman color prints. I feel like Terrytoons have never had their proper evaluation since good copies were so hard to see. See if you can identify some of the Terry animators. I’m especially fond of some of the Jim Tyer sequences – I don’t think I’ve seen this short since I was a kid. Enjoy this in HD, and have a good week everyone!

16 Comments

  • It is indeed so seldom that one ever gets to see a Terrytoons cartoon complete with title sequence and without edit overall. The prints we often saw here in the New York area often had glaring cuts, often ruining gags for whatever reason. And, if viewed on a color set, they often looked as if originally produced in a kind of two strip technicolor, often blue and red or strange combos of both. Now, of course, you don’t see ’em at all, not even on cable TV’s spots for cartoons, something else becoming more and more scarce. Let’s hope that a full and complete restoration of such films can soon freely happen.

    • IIRC, by the mid-1960s “Sno’ Fun” had its ending removed in the print shown in New York, to where you never did see Pierre crushing the rocks on his head with the sledgehammer.

  • I was just thinking to myself where the music from that “Terrytoons” intro came from. I used to have that sixth sense all the time especially with Spongebob episodes where I’d think about an episode, not long after, there it is on TV. Great transfers today. Thunderbean Thursdays are always my favorite

  • WOW – what a great print of “‘Sno Fun” and with original titles too!! Thank you for posting!!

  • I always loved Philip Scheib’s music.

    • My father grew up in New Rochelle in the 1930’s-1940’s and lived a few blocks from Phil Scheib. He remembers Scheib coming to his elementary school and playing his cartoon music on the piano in the auditorium. He also remembers Terrytoons cartoonists drawing character sketches on big pads on easels from kids’ requests. Too bad nobody saved any of those drawings.

  • I’ve always loved Heckle & Jeckle, and that is a beautiful print and transfer. It’s basically a remake of Avery’s Droopy cartoon Northwest Hounded Police (and the first Droopy, Dumb-Hounded, for that matter).

  • Once again I am outraged that Terrytoons are unavailable on DVD or Blu-Ray – but many thanks for sharing Snow Fun.

    • Every little bit helps.

  • One of the shorts from a recent transfer session has what appear to be reissue titles for the Iwerks short Happy Days titled ‘Hook, Line and Sinker’. It does include something that is suspiciously missing from the ‘real’ title sequence- a credit to the ‘Regular Fellas’ comic strip that short is based on – but no credit to the Iwerks studio! My guess is that there are actually three different title sequences for this short – this being the last of them. Perhaps further looking through those particular negatives at UCLA will reveal the other possible title sequence… we’ll hopefully know soon.

    That always seemed very odd about “Happy Days” not having a credit to Gene Byrnes or his strip in that “real” title sequence. Could they not fit another page into that book that mentions that or stick it right underneath the title. I suppose we’ll never know, but nice that the reissue thought to mention it anyway.

    • Is there any surviving info on the contract Iwerks had for rights to the strip? Was Byrnes involved with the cartoons, or was it a syndicate deal? Maybe there was some legal uncertainly when “Hook, Line and Sinker” was released, so they couldn’t or wouldn’t credit the strip at that time.

      I understand there was some kind of expiration date on the original deal to animate Popeye; when that approached Paramount and King Features possibly colluded to freeze out the Fleischers. And somehow King Features owns the Flash Gordon serial outright but evidently not other adaptations of their properties (the later TV stuff was produced by King Features itself). If King Features somehow had rights to the cartoon after the Iwerks studio closed, it makes sense they would want to brand it with the still-running strip.

    • “Boy Meets Dog” also used the Reg’lar Fellers characters, and I believe they gave Byrnes onscreen credit.

  • Ah oui, eez it not zat Powairul Pierre has become ze human adversairie of ze Hockleberry Hound some years lateaire, yes no?

  • If there is an entry that reads “animated cartoon” in Webster’s Dictionary, it should always be accompanied by an illustration of a Jim Tyer shrink-take.

  • With all due respect to Heckle and Jeckle, Tex Avery did a much better job with that story and those gags. Terrytoons have this habit of looking like second-string imitations of what the other guys were doing better two or three yearsr earlier.

  • That H&J cartoon looks amazing. And so do those Flip screenshots.

    Thanks for opening the pre-orders back up. I’m glad to finally get on the Flip train.

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