Merry early Christmas and holidays to everyone! I’m properly dressed for the occasion to write this week’s post.
First, news from Thunderbean world headquarters (a tiny office in a former ball bearings factory):
I’m enjoying some really busy weeks here, but it’s at least less busy than when I’m teaching. After wrapping up several projects here with Thunderbean (Van Beuren’s Tom and Jerry is in replication right now) we’ve been spending the week shipping things and finishing cleaning up the second half of the original camera material on Fleischer’s Poor Cinderella (1934). Devon Baxter is finishing the first half of the film at the same time; It’s a pretty decent way to finish things out for the year in terms of projects I think.
Mid Century Modern, Volume 3 is the next thing we’re finishing up. It’s already pretty close, but I’m hoping to add a few more things to round the set out. Rainbow Parades, Volume 2 and the Lou Bunin set are not far behind, and one other yet unannounced project will get a lot closer to finish before I chat about it here (and proper dress will be required).
Since the next time I’ll write here will be after Christmas, here are a few things that are fun to watch- and a film I bet most of you haven’t seen!
First, here is the ‘Happy Holidays’ program we put up in 2021. I imagine most of you have seen this back then. I enjoy watching these ones each year:
And, on to an interesting little film: Christopher Mouse. This fourteen minute religious short, produced by Cathedral Films, seems to have originated as a filmstrip. Sometime after that, it was turned into a film with the same soundtrack from the filmstrip and distributed in 16mm. It appears be have been shot on Kodachrome in 16mm. I had never seen this film before or even had heard about it, so it was a great surprise to find a print on Ebay not too many month’s back. We put the film on this year’s holiday special Blu-ray. This particular print was part of the 16mm rental library at Modern Sound Pictures.
The end credits list “Animation Effects by Technamation, Hollywood, CA”. In searching for the studio on-line, I found a scan of a 1969 student paper from Kansas State University called “Essentials of Producing 16mm Animated Films” It has a fascinating list of current studios at the end. It lists Technamation as being at 3445 Cahuenga (across the street from Universal and near where Hanna-Barbara would build their studio) in Los Angeles. Ray Patin’s studio was nearly next to it, at 3435 Cahuenga. Here’s the link to that paper [LINK].
The story for the filmstrip and short is by Bill Hanna, with artwork by MGM cartoon layout artist Gene Hazelton. For most of you, I’m sure you would recognize the design sensibility as being from MGM’s Hanna-Barbara unit.
The narration/voices are by Bud Stefan, longtime performer on all sorts of radio shows, including the Great Gildersleeve. Here is a fascinating interview with Stan Chambers, talking about performer and director Bud Stefan and his career [LINK].
I hope you enjoy this little animation-related film. Wishing everyone great holidays!