December 29, 2016 posted by

A ‘Fleischer Rarities’ Pre-Order – and A Terrytoons Sappy New Year


Happy last Thunderbean Thursday of 2016! It’s been a year of ups and down here, and that seems to hold true for a lot of folks I know.

On the Thunderbean front, There are many things in progress nearing the finishing line. The master for Abbott and Costello Rarities, Thunderbean’s first foray into an all non-cartoon set, is finally done and will be off to replication soon. Flip the Frog is coming right along, with more nitrate scans happening through January. As soon as we’re able here, I’ll share some images from the new transfers.

In the meantime, we’ve been pretty quiet about one little side project that is now up for pre-order on the Thunderbean Website. Fleischer Rarities – the second in the ‘Rarities’ series. This DVD/Blu-ray combo features cartoons from the great Fleischer studios that are rarely seen, including early song cartoons, advertising films, plus silent and sound shorts, all transferred from rare 35mm and 16mm prints. I’ve never seen any of these films looking this good- it’s a joy to transfer HD on films you’re used to seeing in only marginal or terrible prints. I’ve had a lot of fun working on this set during the break here, and looking forward to starting to finish the cleanup and get the remaining transfers finished. The short It’s the Cats (1926) starring Koko the Clown, has been taking up some time this week, and it’s been a really fun one to work on cleanup, from what might be the only existing 35mm nitrate print. Here are a few frame grabs:

cat-1 cats-2cats-3cats-4cats-5 cats-6

The Pre-order will be available for a few weeks on this title, including a special bonus disc. Details on how to order on the Thunderbean Website. We hope to send the replicated final in mid-March.

I’m looking forward to 2017, and hope that this is a year where it becomes easier to see some of the rarer films from the golden age. After a mad rush to get out Yuletide Flickers discs, I was happy to take a little breath of air and jump into tying the shoes (and putting some on) for the many projects here. I’m also looking forward to a little help on a handful of other project from other producers. It’s become a small community of them at this point- and that’s an excellent thing.

Funny, there are more projects in some stage going on now here than ever, and now more than ever that I can’t talk about yet. There are fourteen now in some stage of progress- and five approaching the finish line. I’m really looking forward to getting to the point of being able to discuss each here and will as I’m able. The hard part is that the ones I really want to work on are the ones that have the most hoops that I seem to be forever jumping through! There are a few that are overwhelming in scope, but I now have my head around most of them as they go into the next stage of production. I can see Thunderbean going back to growing this year and I hope so since that means more finished sets, leaving room for even more projects.

In the meantime, a cartoon is needed for New Year’s day. Our now somewhat limited animation friends, Heckle and Jeckle, want to help bring an excellent new year to everyone- or at least a bizarre one. Sappy New Year (1961) is a strange cartoon indeed, Our heros decide to give up all practical jokes, including their usual indiscriminate bombing of nearly anyone. There’s some fun timing and design ideas throughout- and inventive use of character design in animation and poses. I especially like the scene where the placement of H&J changes as each car goes by, obscuring them, and the funny poses of the horse character.

Do you know any other ‘New Years’ cartoons? If so, post about them in the comments section below!

Happy New Year everyone!


  • Happy New Year to you, Steve Stanchfield (and Jerry Beck), and all the contributors of Cartoon Research!

    • I remember this one, maybe the talking magpies’s last?

      Heckle(?): “People need a little time to get used to the ‘new’ us.”

  • The only New Year cartoons I can think of are the TV specials Happy New Year, Charlie Brown and Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, which just played on TV this week. The first one is not one of the great Peanuts specials, but still good fun (although you have to wonder what grade Charlie Brown is in that he gets assigned War and Peace over winter vacation). Shiny New Year is probably as great, if not better, than the original Rudolph special, with lots of catchy songs and fun Paul Cocker designs.

  • A happy New Year to you, Steve, and to Jerry and “all the gang”. One cartoon that immediately comes to mind regarding New Year’s Eve celebrations is “LET’S CELEBRAKE”, that wonderful POPEYE short in which Popeye insists that they take Grandma along when he sees that she’ll spend New Year’s Eve alone. With the help of Popeye’s handy can of spinach, the old gal becomes the hit of the dance contest and wins the cup! Otherwise, the only other New Year’s Day mention is an honorable one, a diversion that Bugs Bunny creates as Elmer chases him through the house in “THE WABBIT THAT CAME TO SUPPER” which, as it turns out, is really a cartoon that ends with an Easter reference and a whole lotta little wabbits that pop out of a large egg, yelping “What’s up, Doc?”

  • the definitive two that I always think of (& post) are, indeed, classic! “Let’s Celebrake” (Popeye), and “Rabbit Every Monday” (Bugs!) But thank YOU for the H&J!!!

  • Tying together the subjects of Fleischer’s and New Year’s… enjoy Popeye in 1938’s “Let’s Celebrake”

  • I remember Sappy New Year, truly a unusual Heckle and Jeckle. The craziest part was when Jeckle gets insulted by everyone – then he and Heckle try to help, while trying to keep their New Years Resolution of not being pranksters (including getting clocked by a old parrot with a cane while trying to get him on to a bus going the wrong direction!) – constantly reaching for that stick of dynamite!

    Another New Years cartoon was a Popeye cartoon called “Let’s Celebrake!” (In which Popeye, Bluto and Olive Oyl were going to celebrate the Ringing in New Year but Popeye felt sad when Olive’s Nana (the original Nana Oyl) was going to spend New Years Eve alone and invited Nana to celebrate the New Year with them. There was a song called New Years Comes Once a Year which was based on Christmas Comes Once a Year, that was also the title of the cartoon.

    And the old CCCP/USSR cartoons from Soyuzmultfilms that had a character called Grandfather Frost (who was similar to Santa Claus but since the CCCP/USSR was a Atheist country who didn’t celebrate Christmas) that they show around New Years.

    And the Peanuts special “Happy New Year Charlie Brown” as well.

    • And the old CCCP/USSR cartoons from Soyuzmultfilms that had a character called Grandfather Frost (who was similar to Santa Claus but since the CCCP/USSR was a Atheist country who didn’t celebrate Christmas) that they show around New Years.

      Those cartoon would probably be confused more with Xmas given the way certain elements are in place like decorating a tree. It’s like they just kinda skirt around it a bit with Grandfather Frost appearing as red as he is!

  • And the segment from The Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” showing the entire town of Springfield and the World celebrating the coming of the New Year (And New Millennium) 2000 but when Homer forgets to set the computer at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant all Chaos breaks loose thanks to Homer’s Fatal Error on the computer.

  • Money’s already sent for that Fleischer project, Steve!

  • I’ve sent in my order for the Fleischer DVD. Can hardly wait to see it!

  • Scarras: Heckle & Jeckle’s last cartoon at Terrytoons was “Messed Up Movie Makers” (1966). That’s where they ran a motel and a movie studio filming a TV series there causes collateral damage. The boys have to find a way to evict them.

    • Yes and it came five years after “Sappy New Year” I hope the new Terrytoons book will be able to explain some of the many things I’ve pondered over for so many years.

  • What about that Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam cartoon that ends with a live-action New Year’s Eve party inside a cartoon oven? I don’t remember the name of it. It’s one of the most surreal gags ever.

    • “Rabbit Every Monday” (1951)

    • I think that’s Freleng’s “Rabbit Every Monday.”

    • I remember that cartoon and the scene where Bugs told Sam that “The Girls were asking for him” and he “gussied” up with a bow tie and Bugs announced “The Life of the Party’s here!”, Bugs decided to add more logs to heat up the fire but a change of heart came over him and said “I couldn’t do that to the little nimrod ” so Bugs peered into the stove seeing if Sam was alright heard noisemakers screaming “EEEEEK!!!!!!!” And saw that a New Years party broke out and Sam whooping it up while Auld Lang Syne was playing in the background Bugs decided to join the party.

    • I haven’t seen either in a while, but I think the live action end from “Rabbit Every Monday” is from the Errol Flynn western, “Dodge City.”

  • This seems to be the sort of thing my qualifications would be called uppon for. It may surprise you that I have written a book on MAX FLEISCHER and have been at the head of the line for 40 years on this topic and could add a lot to your Blue-Ray release.

    • Yes, I pre-ordered a copy earlier today on amazon. Looking forward to it.

    • For the record for all following this to see, I did not make that post using my name since I have been off Internet sites like this for four days. I knew nothing about this announcement until the other day when Steve contacted me.

      Let it be known that I am being impersonated by someone with the agenda to discredit me. Intelligent people who know me, know that my tone is not as reflected in this post, and I have a better command of spelling and grammar when I am not tired. That said, I welcome the invitation of being of service as discussed privately with Steve.

  • Will the Paramount-era Fleischer cartoons have their original titles?

    • Hey Luke! Happy New Year.

      and the answer: Yes.

  • Just pre ordered a copy – Looking forward to it – Happy New Year!


  • The Fleischet set sounds great!
    Will there be some sort of soundtrack added to the silent ones (eg ‘It’s The Cats’ )?
    Or will they be left completely silent ?

  • Just pre-ordered.

  • Any Color Classics on the Fleischer rarities set with original titles?

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