May 16, 2013 posted by

“Cheese Burglar” (1946)


There can be no better example of what Steve Stanchfield is trying to accomplish with his series of Thunderbean Archive DVDs than this cartoon Cheese Burglar (1946).

This public domain chestnut – a staple of PD tape compilations for years – always looked like this. The faded 16mm print has now been replaced by Steve’s restoration (below) and it reveals a minor classic. This is a Jim Tyer tour-de-force.

A friendly cat and dog, a clever mouse (Herman), a couple of knives and a bottle of booze. This was produced for the 1945-46 season, perhaps the last year of truly cartoony cartoons before Famous Studios fell into a locked mold of rigid mediocrity. This was the same season that produced the first Casper cartoon, The Blackie Sheep classic Sheep Shape, Tytla’s Popeye Rocket To Mars and several great Little Lulu films.

This print is off Steve’s Noveltoons Original Classics DVD – highly recommended indeed. A perfect way to spend Thunderbean Thursday:


  • The difference between ‘NTA Red’ and Steve’s print really is amazing.

    This is Jim Tyer’s only non-Popeye cartoon at Famous as head animator, where he’d almost always assign himself the biggest action scene (usually the final spinach-fueled scene in the Popeyes, but the knife fight here). It also shows the greater leeway Tyer had to be Tyer under Izzy Sparber than under Seymour Kneitel, who had him tone down his wildest drawings.

    His departure to Terrytoons marked the beginning of the end for Famous, as the cartoons started to look more rigidly polished, but the timing was still varied enough until about the 1948-49 season to continue to get laughs out of sudden changes in the animation action. That’s all but gone by the end of the decade.

  • wow! Now THAT’s how to start my Thursday!! Absolutely stunning! Thank YOO!! And Congratts!!!!!!

  • Now that we have Thunderbean Thursday, can we have Tyer Tuesday?

    : )

    • I like that idea! I’ll consider it.

  • I love my Noveltoons DVD. Steve puts out a great product and I’m looking forward to his next project.

  • I got three words for this cartoon since I’ve seen it: BEST CARTOON EVER !!!!!

  • Wasn’t Steve’s Lantz DVD supposed to hit Amazon two weeks ago. Wha’ happen?

  • Any news for the Lantz set?

  • Beautiful! I’d love to read a technical article on how Thunderbean locate, scan and restore these prints !!

  • What more can I add? I really look forward to these fantastic DVD’s, and I sure hope that, perhaps one day, Steve could even be commissioned somehow to go into the vaults of the major video companies/movie studios for that important archeological dig, because it doesn’t seem as if anyone else will do it these days!! Looking forward to Steve’s next all-commercials disk, if one were in the works. The first one is very entertaining, and I think that an all-commercials set should be created to show how surreal advertising can be, not just to seemingly celebrate the history of the visual advertising media…ah, but there I go again. I’m just glad that we have alternatives to what teh mainstream will allow, and I hope that Thunderbean can continue to give us such goodies, because he really cares about quality.

  • Whoopeeeee!!!!! I’m absolutely SICK and TIRED of having to watch splicey, NTA Red PD prints all the time! They are crappy & worthless. The black bars over the references to Paramount and the color processes make the cartoon ugly. I can’t imagine a kid in the ’50s and ’60s hating that junk. Hello! Earth to NTA and U.M&M! You could have restored the freaking cartoons at least! Thunderbean is WAY better than public domain garbage! It was worth the time and effort to make the collections they did.

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