November 27, 2014 posted by

The Second Annual Thunderbean Thanksgiving


So, in thinking about Thanksgiving related to animation and art, I went back to look at my article from last year. I’m still thankful for ALL those folks, but I was remiss in thanking perhaps the most influential person, my Mother. She always made sure I had a good shot at following my dreams, often supporting my whims even when they seemed more flight of fancy that anything else. Losing her this year has taught me to treasure smaller things as I get older, and that the moments we have with family are not forever; perhaps as humans we take too many things for granted. More than anything I’d love to have her over for Thanksgiving dinner as she did for the better part of the last quarter century, bringing with her lots of containers to snag up as many leftovers as possible. Sometimes I think she’ll show up; I’ll keep looking.

I’m sure many of you have lost someone close, someone you loved; in the bigger picture, people are the most important thing, your friends, your family. No ones life is perfect, but I know that these days I pause a little sooner, enjoy things as people as much as possible. I’ll continue to attempt to accomplish unusual things, like the DVD and Blu-ray collections. Those will hopefully be around past my own life, and I hope perhaps that someone will watch some of those films someday and be grateful the people in the 20s through the 60s made them, and perhaps even a nudge grateful that we made the collective effort to keep them around for another generation.

I ended last years with the thought of being thankful for this period in history and that we’re lucky to be able to have such access to so many of these films. For so many years it was so much harder to see so many things, and while there’s still ones that are not as available, there is hope that they may be at some point.

I thought it might be fun to make a list of things I’m thankful exist about cartoons and the creators. So, here’s my list- far from complete really, but a good start.

scrappy-boxList of Top Ten cartoony things Steve is thankful for this year:

1) Joe De Nat’s scores on the Scrappy Cartoons from the early 30s.

2) That 16mm film isn’t made of Nitrate

3) That Bill Nolan worked on so many series of cartoons, and even though he doesn’t get as much recognition, innovated so many timing ideas in his work, especially on the early Felixes. A true hero.

4) That Blu-ray and video projection technology has improved the accessibility of older films, and that film, still the best archival format, held out long enough to use digital technology to restore films, and to digitize BACK to film.


5) That the newer generations of animators and filmmakers includes members that love the older animated films, and seek them out. They’ll carry these into the coming century as we older folks let go of them….

6) That the animation community has a Jerry Beck to help move so many projects forward, a David Gerstein to continually unearth some of the rarest of the films, a Mark Kausler to save more films and help preserve history more that anyone has a right to, a community that is helpful and friendly, good friends like Chris Buchman and Rex Schneider to help with all sorts of details on the Thunderbean sets, and a Tom Stathes to save those smelly 28mm prints and so many more things….

7) That Technicolor existed. ‘Nuff said.

8) The 3D setbacks in the Fleischer Cartoons. has anyone EVER been grateful for those in on Thanksgiving?

9) That somehow MGM, Celebrity Pictures and Blackhawk Films managed to keep intact pristine 35mm Lavenders on so many of the Flip the Frog cartoons

10) All the wonderful years that my mother supported my efforts, and even though she wouldn’t allow a copy of ‘Snafu’ in her own collection (“It has a dirty word in it!”). I’m grateful she was always proud that I was doing them.

So, now it’s your turn- what are your favorite cartoony things you’re thankful for?

Since it’s Thanksgiving, we of course DO need a Thanksgiving cartoon. Here is one of my favorites- MGM’s classic Oscar-winning short, ‘The Little Orphan’ from 1949. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!



  • Animation-Wise I’m thankful that…………

    -Paramount Champions stopped refilming titles so we could have 35mm technicolor safety prints of Noveltoons……….
    -There isn’t a live-action Bugs Bunny movie
    -Collectors are out there to find credits not on DVDs
    -Cartoon Network still shows Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry
    -There is finally a Betty Boop DVD, and to add, the two Peanuts movies Paramount also released are coming to DVD soon…
    -We can get a glimpse of the Charlie Brown Christmas “Coca-Cola sign” on the frozen pond that Linus landed on
    -There are collectors with Blue Tracks of Disney cartoons and features to see rare RKO titles, epsecially in good shape!
    -That Cartoon Network toned down it’s live-action by 90 percent.
    -We have DVDs of Fleischer Popeyes
    -That the 2015 Peanuts and 2016 (?) Popeye movies use hand-drawn-like techniques
    -Mr. Magoo The Theatrical Collection is finally released to DVD
    -That one collector had a Ansco Color print of “Old MacDonald” with the Paramount logo.
    -That Steve has a super-secret BIG license that is happening
    Animaniacs Volume 4 came out.
    -The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show has a compelete series DVD

    and most of all:
    -to Steve, for understanding where I’m coming from, after years of people teasing me about finding Paramount and other cartoons.”

  • I’m thankful for the Thunderbean cartoon collections. And for my friendship with Steve.

  • What and who am I thankful for? That’s a big one…
    LCN TV: For airing classic cartoons when other networks don’t air them anymore.
    Newgrounds: For getting me into animation, music, etc. before it became a bad parody of other websites.
    Bronson and Tetsuo Hara: For Fist of the North Star
    Jessica Calvello: For proving that English-dubbed anime doesn’t have to sound horrible.
    Ralph Bakshi: For giving animators an alternative to terrible Saturday Morning shows.
    I have more, but it be best that I stopped here.


  • I’m thankful for many things, but this is a perfect opportunity to say (or at least remind) that I’m incredibly thankful for and to you, Steve! The reasons cannot be overstated. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mary and the pets 🙂

  • I’m thankful that when the TNT stick went off that blew me into a bunch of tiny copies of myself, I was able to reconstitute by glumping back together into one whole me. That was a close one!

  • I am thankful for the Internet. Without that, I would not have access to the wealth of knowledge and information that all of you wonderful people share. Without it, I would not have access to Steve’s great DVDs and Jerry’s awesome books.

    I am thankful that there are people who CARE enough to preserve our history and heritage that exists on film and to make it available to as many people as possible. I am thankful that there are people that share my obsession with film in all its forms and genres and that there are people who are intent on saving as much as possible. I wish I had more resources to assist in that endeavor.

    I am thankful for art and artists and how I have learned so much from them. And I’m thankful that I am around to enjoy it all.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to Steve and Mary and all the animals!
    Not to sour the party mood, but that’s a piece of Super Cinecolor blue track film you’ve used to illustrate Technicolor. It’s a clip from “What Makes Daffy Duck” from 1948, when Warner Bros. Cartoons dumped Technicolor for awhile. I don’t know if Super Cinecolor was any cheaper to use than Tech., but the saturation of the blues in Super Cine. are unique to the process.

  • I am thankful you traded me that print of Little Orphan a few Cinevents ago! And thankful I’ll work with you more in the future, dood.

  • I’ve been noticing these “original recreation titles” on youtube lately. I don’t know much about them or how you can do this sort of thing, but if they are authentic, then I’m grateful.

  • I kinda suspected that when I saw this one.

  • So sorry, first of all, to hear of your Mom’s passing. I, too, lost my Mom this year, and it still feels strange to me not having her here for the Holidays.

    But I am thankful for so many things regarding animation, thankful that there are folks like you who are as obsessive about animation and striving to preserve all that history. I, too, hope that all of your secret projects about which I’ve heard whispers achieve fruition. I *HUNGER* for so many of my favorite titles to finally be issued professionally. I thank all the private collectors who have been kind enough to share some of their libraries with me, and I’m thankful to the good hard work of all the big studios when terrific projects do come out and are supported, despite my amount of grousing about the unfortunate politics involved; I sometimes very much understand that politics, but I only want to see history preserved and not forgotten, not celebrate the bad treatment of many types of people. All films are out there to make you think, even at their most ill informed.

    I am thankful for my awkward opportunities to make my “statements” about animation history; hey, I even played VJ on the first cartoon network, and you know I gladly step aside to acknowledge those who know a heck of a lot more about the subject than I, and I only wish that the networks that deal in film restoration and animation will let these ladies and gentlemen have their say and screen animation as a genuine art form as versatile as filmmaking in general…and as irritating! It’s all relevant.

    I, too, am thankful when original credits and scores and soundtracks are discovered for classic cartoons. We know of damage to many master nitrates and such, but I never say never to finding relics hidden in dustry vaults or basements or some of the strangest places throughout the world. Keep digging when the opportunity arrives, and perhaps I can contribute to future kick-starter campaigns to get these jobs done and convince the big studios that we’re not out to just destroy them. We all just want the missing pieces of the puzzle seen the way we once saw them many years ago!

    And, again, it is wonderful to hear how much a part of your life your Mom was. You certainly won her over to your side, and I like to think that my Mom, too, in her last lucid years, began to understand how truly diverse and wonderful old films could be. We both were in awe of the careful research done to bring out all that history and I’m always happy I shared that with her.

    Here’s to many more years of new findings.

  • What am I thankful for?
    That we have awesome historians such as Steve Stanchfield preserving and saving our history! 🙂

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