In brief Thunderbean news: Work continues! There’s so many things on the plate that it’s best to just say we’re dubbing, sorting and sending. Noveltoons is back from replication now, but we’re finishing the package and getting the pre-orders ready first (with the bonus disc) Thanks to everyone for supporting the project. Next week I’ll finally talk about the Noveltoons set.
We’re also doing an additional disc of Noveltoons from 16mm prints. This won’t ever be an ‘official’ set, but I’ve come across too many nice prints in the course of the project to not scan them. Details here.
For the recent (unofficial) ‘Screen Songs’ special set, I was lucky enough to borrow some great old 16mm Kodachrome prints of Screen Songs from collector extraordinaire Paul Mular. The first of the ‘Official’ series, The Circus Comes to Clown (1947) might be my favorite of these.
Our own Jerry Beck once told me that a good summation of the quality of work in the Famous Studios cartoons was always ‘Professional’ The films were well produced and done to a level of quality in most areas. I wonder if the animators working on them thought of it as a good break since they were often animating non-speaking characters throughout.
The short is pretty inoffensive seen today, save an odd pair of stereotypes (how did they manage to make a Siamese twin joke?) and an unusual breast close up (I think this may be a shot unique in the golden age of cartoons) The clown design is one of my favorite things in any Famous Studios short, he somehow looks a little out of place with the rest of the designs in the film. I’m actually most fond of this one because of the character designs and the very odd appearance of Blackie the Sheep, unusually miserable in this one short. I sort of wish the three ragamuffins from the Popeye cartoon ‘The Man on the Flying Trapeze’ were here to liven things up.
Prints of the Famous Studio’s Screen Songs in 35mm seem especially rare in the collector’s world; every one I’ve borrowed has been beat up to death, even more so than the surviving Noveltoons prints. 16mm prints are generally reddish, except for some earlier prints that UM&M printed in Kodachrome. This is one of those nice, earlier Kodachrome prints. Make sure wot watch it in HD, and have a great weekend.