December 28, 2023 posted by Steve Stanchfield

A Workprint of ‘Sweet Tooth Sam’ (1957)

We’ll end the year short and sweet — sweet tooth, that is!

In the Kingdom (or Dungeon) of Thunderbean:
I’m enjoying a week that’s somewhat relaxed even though it’s still busy. Working away on the finishing touches of a film cleanup/restoration right now, and this leaves a pretty clear plate for the next things to come. In terms of Thunderbean releases, this next year will start with the Van Beuren Tom and Jerry set being released, followed not too far behind by Mid Century Modern, volume 3, Rainbow Parades, volume 2, The long-awaited Lou Bunin set and more. We’re in excellent shape to finish all the already announced projects this coming year. I’m also excited to do some animation as the year starts and am looking forward to other projects that are in progress as well. The year is ending on a good note in the world of Thunderbean, and here’s wishing good things in your world as well, Cartoon Research readers and participants! Thanks to everyone for your comments, support and help through this year!

I’m especially looking forward to working on the Comi-Color set, and as I’ve started to assemble the material, I’m really honored I get a chance to work on them. The material is just beautiful since almost all are from the original camera materials. I’m also honored that I had a chance to work on a bunch of films for the Fleischer restoration project this year. So great to see beautiful materials on so many films getting seen.

Since it’s the end of the year, I thought it might be fun to do something different for the last post! Here’s a really neat find: a work print of a Tom Terrific cartoon: Sweet Tooth Sam, parts 1 through 5. As you can see from the workprint, it was produced with all the episodes sequential first, without the titles, bumpers or recaps— just the story moving pretty straight forward. I’ve taken the sound from an episodic print and added it in— it was pretty close to correct in edit on this workprint. I think it’s really interesting to see this cut, and enjoyable to see a Tom Terrific in 35mm (although in 16 they look pretty good, generally). I don’t know if any other work prints on the series exist.

The Tom Terrific cartoons were made by Terrytoons on a shoestring. See if you can recognize any of the animators. They’re pretty fun to watch with that in mind. I can imagine watching Captain Kangaroo and seeing a new episode each day, as they aired.

Hope you have better luck with your own candy stashes at the end of the year, wishing everyone a happy new year!


  • I enjoyed this simply animated cartoon back in the day. Yes, I watched “Captain kangaroo“ in the morning, and it was the extra icing on the cake when animation appeared! Thank you for this memory! Happy new year to you and the gang at. Thunderbean! We need to see more terry tunes these days!

  • Tom Terrific must have been sold as a separate entity in Australia.

    I remember watching Tom Terrific weekdays around 5.30 pm.
    (I think they may have grouped 5 segments together to form a half hour show – but I could be wrong)

    Captain Kangaroo did not air here – (certainly at least not in my state ).

  • What’s the story behind this workprint? Was it part of Gene Deitch’s personal collection, or did someone else salvage it from the flotsam and jetsam of Terrytoons when the studio closed? In any case, it’s remarkable that this film still exists. Even though I personally find the adventures of Tom Terrific hard to sit through, I appreciate the opportunity to view this rare artifact from the Terrytoons studio. Now, Tom Morrison — that guy was terrific!

    Happy New Year to the entire Thunderbean team, and all the best in bringing your currently in-progress projects to fruition!

  • I mean this in the best way possible: This show looks like it was made with Sharpie markers and a dream.

  • I’ve always loved the scales-on-his-eyes dynamic between the über gung-ho Tom and the ultra-slothful Manfred. These cartoons are my favorite of Gene Deitch’s work.

  • After seeing WALT DISNEY’S WONDERFUL WORLD OF COLOR and then discovering LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES and then the work of the Fleischer Studio, i wanted to learn how to make animated cartoons. The TOM TERRIFIC series I saw on CAPTAIN KANGAROO made me think that: “Hey, I could learn how to do this!” A perfect show for kids to watch on TV – in my opinion. I’m glad you found this Steve, and best of luck with all your projects for 2924!

  • I remember watching these “Tom Terrific” cartoons on “Captain Kangaroo” when I was a kid in the 1960s.

  • I edited the daily episodes of Tom Terrific into continuous stories years ago. I was criticized for doing it. Now, it is revealed by the workprint to Sweet Tooth Sam that the shows were MADE as continuous stories in the first place! The preview segments must have been produced separately and cut in separately. So now who’s wrong?

    • That is so funny! They must have been cut in afterwords. It’s turns out you were putting them back to how they were originally made!

    • This looks suspiciously like a network approval cut. Studios would submit a version for the network’s standards & practices executives to review. If approved, the studio would then finish the episode with previews & credits. This was a common practice in live action & animation. Some shows ran out of time and often would submit a workprint of the previews which the network would air. An easily accessible version of this is the original “Star Trek” series. If I remember correctly, all of the previews of next week’s episodes were spliced 35mm color workprints. They were never finished prints.

  • Jim Tyer was definitely one of the animators.

  • I think the way people and things looked in this episode was how a child would have designed it. I never considered that when I was five years old, but something akin to wisdom kicked in as I aged. Still Tom was and still is a hoot to watch.

  • Used to watch Captain Kangaroo back in the day, and I LOVED Tom Terrific and also Lariat Sam.

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