August 30, 2018 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Back To School!

It’s back to school for me, so the rest of the Thunderbean crew has been taking a bigger role in helping get titles closer to the finish line. Things are going well, but always slower than I’d like. We’ve had a good week of a lot of pre-order things finally shipping, and I’m always happy to see a small stack of things to go rather than a large one!

Funny enough, most of the projects I’m working on the rest of the week are for others, rather than on actual Thunderbean titles. One if these is Grotesqueries..sort of a Thunderbean title in that we’ll be distributing it; that will be the next official set out the door, followed close by two others. There is cleanup on no less than six sets right now- and more waiting for the team to get to! Several Noveltoons came back this week as well, pretty clean, but I’ll be tweaking some things on some of them…

23 of the 38 Flip the Frog cartoons are now cleaned up, and I’ll be working on the final edit in the coming weeks on some of them. 9 others are in some form of cleanup; Flip is being worked on the most right now, and getting it to the finish line is a priority here.

On the ‘Snappy Video’ side: here’s the cover for The Snappy Video Party Disc. It was fun to spoof the old Hollywood tabloid “Confidential”, and seemed like a good choice for this particular set. The pre-orders are getting sent on this one, finally, and we’re debating an Amazon release for the title. At the moment it isn’t available beyond the original pre-order.

Over the weekend I spent a lot of time cleaning up ‘Parrotville Post Office’, from the only known 35mm print. The cleanup was especially difficult on this short (and many on the Rainbow Parade set) because of what appears to be a printing flaw — lots and lots of tiny blue dots on every frame of the film! This could be the result of Cinecolor using their older printing matrices for a later printing of these films. In our digital restoration program, the auto cleanup does a pretty good job overall, but still requires extensive manual work, both in fixing things that are ‘overfixed’ and fixing things the program didn’t. I’ll be attempting to address some series issues with the scan of ‘A Picnic Panic’ this next week; I’m hoping it won’t involve rescanning the material in a different way, but it’s looking pretty likely at this point. The Rainbow Parade set is full of these sorts of challenges.

Here’s a sneak preview of a section of ‘Parrotville Post Office’. Cleanup isn’t quite finished, but getting closer. I’ve left this uncropped (and in 2k) so you can see the whole frame , including edges of backgrounds and the peg bar at the top in some shots, since that’s kind of fun. The final version will be cropped to its correct Academy aspect ratio (1:33).

More news soon on other Thunderbean projects in progress.

Now, here’s something completely different!

A little while back Back in January of last year, we did a post about “Marty the Monk” and his creator, Boyd Le Vero. This post included Mere Maids (1932), largely a retooling of ‘Marty the Monk’ (1931). Mexicali Lilly (1932), a third film, appears to be the last of the series. Le Vero seems to have given up in animation after these early ventures; one has to wonder if Pat Powers had made a similar deal with Le Vero as he had with Walt Disney, giving him a much larger stake in the profits of films for use of the Cinephone system.

I patched together a version of Mexicali Lilly that appeared on the now out of print ‘Cultoons, Vol. 3’ DVD. The base of that version was from a rare 8mm print of the short, missing its title card. Printed into the leader of this are print was the title ‘Mexically Lilly’, so I called this version by that title. The better quality footage here is pieced together from rare 16mm home movie prints from Mark Kausler’s and my own collection, if memory serves. Since none of these prints had sound, I pieced together sound from the other two Marty the Monk cartoons on the set, borrowing sound effects and voices from other shorts. The result isn’t perfect by any means, but it gives a pretty good idea of what this short was like. Since this effort back then, a much better print has emerged, with sound, and hopefully this will be available at some point for all of us to see!

Have a good week every one!


  • I missed the pre order on this one, so if you do release it for Amazon, I AM THERE! 🙂

    • Same

  • Hey I had a dream about recreating the title cards faithfully to the 16mm Rainbow Parades.

    • That would be a beautiful thing! They’re hard to get right- but we do now have a better idea of what the missing ones look like most likely…

  • It will be nice to have the Rainbow Parades looking as good, or better, than when released.

  • lookin real good, a shame (for me at least) its being cropped for the final release though. open matte is so much fun to look at, its like seeing the nitty gritty of films being put to life
    wouldnt the correct ratio be 1.37 and not 1.33 though?

  • These are looking good, Steve!

  • I’ve never seen a better looking Parrotville Post Office! I liked your sound track to “Mexicali Lilly” as well. Did David Gerstein do the sound effects? Boyd Le Vero’s animation always looked like he was having a difficult time figuring out actions. His characters take too many steps or get into really awkward contortions, like when Lilly is doing her fan dance on the bar. I like the primitive quality of Le Vero’s work, though, much better than CG, and more sincere. I enjoy how he puts himself in live action at the beginning of the cartoon, spinning the globe.

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