Last week, I looked out on Thursday morning to my animation history class, and everyone looked exhausted! For some reason, around this time, everyone is really tired at CCS — and often, turning out the lights in the auditorium is a sub-optimal situation… or optimal if you need some sleep and don’t mind missing amazing cartoons!
For this particular week, I was running 16mm prints of 30s cartoons, a sort of evolution from the early 30s into the late 30s, ending with The Old Mill, one of my all time favorites. Lots of original Technicolor prints shown. Now, of course, I wouldn’t be falling asleep since I love this stuff, but many of these animation students are burning the midnight oil to get their own films done. I understand. It was a great showing and the folks that were awake seemed to really enjoy them.
Here on the Thunderbean side of the brain (and work life), the last week and a half stretch has been really busy with one thing: trying to get a scan of a rare 35mm print cleaned up / restored for a showing along with other cartoons. I was happy to have worked on the project— and, for the record, it was the single hardest film I’ve ever had to clean up. It shows this weekend with a live orchestra- so, if you are in the area, go see it!
Here’s the information, from Animation Scoop.
In other Thunderbean news, February is a busy release month for many of the ongoing projects.
The Flip the Frog project is taking a nice frog leap forward, thanks to a grant from ASIFA Hollywood to help cover the expense of 4k/5k scanning for the remainder of the project. Thanks to their help, the rest of the Flips will be scanned in the next month or so. It was an honor to have this Flip the Frog collaboration mentioned last week at the Annie Awards. A special thanks to Jerry in championing the project!
In Thunderbean disc news:
At this point, all the ‘special’ stuff that is finished is out the door, with the ones going out of the country finally all sent out. Cartoons to the Rescue will be out the door likely this next week. We’re doing another ‘Special’ set, perhaps the last of them, called “Award Winners”. It’s a BDR and will be available for order for a week. Details are here: at the Animation Internet Database forums.
We’re about to scan the very last film for the almost otherwise complete Fleischer Rarities set. I’ve really enjoyed working on this little set that has a bunch of Fleischer animated films on it- with many much harder to see. I’ve had a lot of help on the set — and will go into further detail as soon as its out for replication.
One of the coolest items (at least to me…) is this last film to scan – a short called The Vacationer’s Paradise, a “Traveltoon” produced by Hal Seeger, using the Fleischer crew, for the Miami Tourist Bureau, circa 1938. It is likely the only one of this particular series.
Here’s an article that Jerry posted on Cartoon Brew back in 2010. Jerry was instrumental in helping us borrow the film for this set:
Sadly, as with more than one film I’ve seen come from Florida (and elsewhere), the print, now around 80 years old (!), is suffering from the early stages of disintegration. This is often referred to by the much cuter name, Vinegar Syndrome, since the acetate starts to smell like vinegar as it deteriorates. The fortunate part is that this spliceless print isn’t in bad shape as of yet, and I think the curve of the print will be relaxed enough that we can get a flat scan on the Laser Graphics scanner. A regular telecine likely would roll on this print since it’s pretty shrunken.
I’ve gently cleaned the print and have it with Acid sieves as well as some Caphor (to relax the base of the film). The film is relaxing well (it was way worse last week) and it will be scanned soon in 2k, the full quality of the original print. I haven’t seen the film as of yet, and as excited to finally see it as anything else! We’ll be cleaning it up and adding it to the Fleischer Rarities set, and then that set is off to replication, finally.
Here is the cover art, sans the final type, for the set, by artists Dragan Kovacevic and Antea Ratkovic. Dragan a huge cartoon fan and the only person from Croatia I know that has all the Thunderbean stuff. The final version may vary a little in its final layout.
Have a great week everyone — more Thunderbean Video details coming soon!