November 28, 2019 posted by Steve Stanchfield

A Small Gauge Thanksgiving

I’ve been advised by Jerry to avoid Pilgrim cartoons since there’s already some excellent coverage here yesterday (and next week) via Wednesday’s columnist Charles Gardner. So, here’s a Thanksgiving post that isn’t about Thanksgiving so much!

I’ve been especially grateful this year for the opportunities and really good luck in pursuing the creation of the Thunderbean sets, both in accessing rare films and having enough of a sales market to keep them going. While several of these big projects have stymied and delayed things at times, they’re all still getting there, slowly but surely. The experiment continues.

On the Thunderbean news front: A majority of the ‘special’ stuff is out the door, but we’ll still working on some. I’m looking forward to trying to get all the loose ends no longer loose. I’ve been away so much lately that getting to sit down and finish a project seems almost like a break at this point.

I was in Los Angeles this past last week for the CTN animation expo. The best part of that trip for me is seeing familiar faces: getting to visit former students from CCS working at various studios is much fun as was visiting friends.

Our own Jerry Beck was very was kind to lend some choice 35mm cartoons for the upcoming cartoon show this week at the Redford Theatre. Going through a bunch of stuff in his collection was amazing and fun. There’s a Technicolor goldmine behind his garage door, and some of them creeped out and jumped on a plane with me back to Michigan. At the LAX airport they opened a particular Terrytoon that has vinegar syndrome (acetate degassing/deterioration) and the TSA agent jumped back saying ‘whoooaaa’ at the smell! Once I explained that I was taking the print to be scanned, she smiled and said it would be ‘a good idea to open that can as little as possible’!

Speaking of that, If you’re in the Detroit area, we’re doing our annual Cartoon Show at the Redford Theatre in Redford, Michigan. Details are here. We’ll be running a lot of stuff in nice old 35mm Technicolor prints (the are not suffering from Vinegar Syndrome) and well as some of Thunderbean things in digital presentation. We’re highlighting Felix the Cat this time around Details are here:

An additional highlight was visiting Mark Kausler and Cathy Hill – and seeing the absolutely beautiful original comic art by Cathy. Mark has been scanning and posting the unpublished “Raccketty Ann and the Lost World” since June, and its been a wonderful discovery. I especially love the Dinosaur designs and the creative, dynamic layout in these pages. I’ve been showing my students these since the beginning of the semester, but if you haven’t seen the story yet, it starts on this page. Click the top right words to see each new post.

Scans continue for both special sets and official ones. We have a little ‘unofficial’ Christmas one for this year that is about half sold out. Details Here.

The Rainbow Parades are now going through final color grading (with approval from many friends), so I hope to have those all locked down in the coming few weeks. Funny, I remember working on a lot of these a year ago on Thanksgiving. Working on bonus stuff once again, and really looking forward to having the project finalized.

A Little Thanksgiving Story: When I was first collecting films (around 12-13 years old) I would show my newly acquired super 8mm cartoons at the holiday gatherings to my younger cousins. Somehow the holidays always remind me of running things on super 8mm. Maybe it’s time to haul some of them out and dust off the super 8 projector for a show. I still have some of them, although at this point many have been given aways to other collectors.

Here’s someone that has a choice collection of shorts from Derann Films, who licensed Disney shorts and others:

More Disney. I especially liked this ‘Cartoon Classics’ reel. I remember borrowing this from the library near my grandmother!

And, some Mighty Mouse in Super 8mm prints:

Here’s a fun reel of super 8 scope films, including Tom and Jerry:

Collector and longtime cartoony supporter Craig Davison put up a Krazy Kat — Barnyard Frolic – from a rare super 8mm print:

And, honestly, what could be more bizarre than a (not so great) recolored Krazy Kat on Super 8mm film with a 70s Columbia logo! It honestly makes the black and white version of the cartoon look great!

And, to end things with lots of Turkey, Here’s A Happy Family (1935) with Krazy Kat. The headless Turkeys singing with their necks is bizarre in the way only 1930s cartoons can be. Thanks to Milt Knight for posting!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a really good week, everyone!


  • Holiday greetings from Holt, Michigan.

  • See you Saturday at the Redford! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Surprised to see Carrotblanca in the first batch of Super 8s. Didn’t realize they were still producing titles in 1995.

  • Please,please, please either send my Screen Songs disc or credit my Paypal account. It’s been how many months since it’s release? I’ve got about $100.00 in pre orders and have passed on several special discs because of this. this is my Third or fourth reminder I’ve didn’t want to post this on the message board but my emails are no longer being acknowledged. Thanks, Thomas Enberg.

    • Don’t feel bad. He won’t reply to me either, and I’ve left several messages.

    • We seem to be in the same bout brother. I prepaid for Cartoon Commercials Vol 2 on August 17, 2017 (over two years ago!) Other projects that seemed to have been announced way after that date have been completed. His Thursday updates are usually like “limited animation” and tell very little at times. Only once did he mention the title I am referencing and the info provided was useless! I made a similar comment a while back and you know what I got? I got flack from another reader on this site telling me to “chill out” since Steve does so much for the industry…”he’s really busy”…yada yada yada…. The guy had no place making that sort of comment. Looking at this legalistically, I am a PAID customer inquiring as to the whereabouts of my merchandise. I’m sure Steve is busy…but I am too, but no excuse for the lack of communication.

  • I used to subject visiting friends and cousins to movie shows, with the encouragement of grownups who wanted us all in another room.

    My 8mm collection was entirely silent and mostly B&W, and I held out against Super 8 despite having a projector that took both — I figured Super 8 was a passing fad and Regular 8 was the future. I’d stack lively LPs on the record-changing stereo and set a mood, if not appropriate accompaniment.

    Never encountered any of those 400-ft Disney reels; didn’t know they existed until well after I decided VHS was the future. I made my own compilations: First, I spliced together a half dozen 25-ft Popeyes and Betty Boops — the kind meant for little hand-crank toy projectors. Then, more ambitiously, I assembled six cartoons into two 400-ft reels, each with two 150-ft AAP releases of Looney Tunes, separated by a 50-ft Andy Panda or Bozo.

    The big thrills were action highlights from Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty and Peter Pan — still silent, but in stunning Technicolor. Also a few Donald Ducks. They didn’t have intertitles, and didn’t need them.

    Then I became a snob and shifted to silent comedies from Blackhawk Films. Cartoons came back to my shelf with VHS and RCA Selectavision discs.

  • Please reissue Yuletide Flickers

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