THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
February 20, 2020 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Cinderella and Jiminy Cricket “Nash Spots”

As I sit here on a Wednesday night, thinking back about the past weekend and week so far, I’m looking forward to a time when there isn’t quite as much of a variety of things going on at the same time. Then again, maybe I’ll look back and *wish* there were more projects happening at that magical point. Currently, the pieces for each of the things are exciting and very much in flux. Many ’special’ sets are getting closer to being done, three of the ‘official’ sets are coming together quickly, and other projects are getting some of their many needed pieces into place.

In Thunderbean News:

I’m happy to say we’re finally finished with our films to clean up for Arnold Liebovit’s Puppetoon Movie 2 set. It’s been a heavy lift to make them as beautiful as possible. I think Arnold will have a wonderful set when it’s all finished.

The ‘Thunderbean’ closet upstairs started to be cleaned out this weekend, leading to the discovery of many cool things I had forgotten about on various tapes over the years. I’ve started putting a lot of these things together. It’s amazing to look at how many cool things you own and forget about. We’re assembling a special disc called ‘Steve’s Closet’ Details here.

Being able to have a regular small staff scheduled at Thunderbean has helped to free up time to work on so many of the sets. I’ve happy to be switching gears so many times through the week, and even happier to send whole projects out the door.

Quite a few 35mm Technicolor prints of Popeye cartoons have been showing up as of late, and scanning them has been really fun. It’s always nice to see Paramount cartoons in Technicolor; it’s such a stark contrast compared to the 16mm versions that often didn’t have very good color.

The Stop Motion Marvels sets are getting more and more films closer to the finish line. The *only* films we’re still on the lookout for are some of the few missing ‘Kinex’ shorts. If you have in your own collection any of the following, we’d love to borrow them (with compensation of course!):

The Goose and the Golden Egg (An archive/ stock footage company has a super rare print of this, but wants $25 a second! That’s $3,500 for this one cartoon! I wish I was that rich!)
Down on the Farm (Chip the Wooden Man)
Candyland (Chip the Wooden Man) (Someone contacted me about this one, but I can’t find your message)
The Thrilling Rescue (Daffy Doings in Doodlebugville series)
Down in Mexico (Chip the Wooden Man)
The Vaudeville Show (Daffy Doings series)

I think we now have all the rest covered. Thanks to everyone that has helped to track these rare shorts down all these years…

I’m hoping to record some commentary tracks in the coming weeks for the Rainbow Parade cartoons… and then the first half set will be almost in the can!

I met a collector friend in Ohio over the weekend and borrowed two reels full of commercials. I haven’t looked at these yet, but they’ll supplement the Cartoon Commercials, Volume 2 set we’ve had in progress for many years (and likely some will be on Mid Century Modern, Volume 3. These reels are labeled ‘UPA Commercials’ but I’m not sure if they all are or not (the front leader of one of the reels *does* say UPA, though. Both of these 1600’ reels are ‘going vinegar’ at this point, so it’s good they’re getting scanned before they’re unscannable.

My friend Luke, who holds both Paramount and color Van beurre shorts close to his heart, reminded me to not use the same MPAA production number for the credits on any of the recreated Rainbow Parade titles. He’s keeping me honest now that I’ve posted this publicly.


A Nash Rambler

Now, onto *this* week’s — commercials!

I think it’s only fair to have full disclosure: My parents were in an accident in a little Red Rambler just before I was born while turning into a Big Boy’s Restaurant. So, I was either saved – or almost never born, depending on your take, thanks to that Red Rambler. Either way, here’s a little thanks to Nash. I wonder if there’s a connection to my liking of these spots that were produced at Disney by Hurrell and Bounds (as independent producers utilizing Disney’s production staff). The Cinderella and Jimmy Cricket commercials are two of my favorites. These beautiful prints were lent for the Blu-ray Mid Century Modern, Volume 1, courtesy of cartoonist, cat scratcher, Walter Brennan impressionist and jazz music aficionado Mark Kausler. Here they are, complete with purposeful sprockets:

And, a little bonus found on the ‘net:

Interestingly, A CG artist took Tom Oreb’s Mickey Mouse Design from the Nash ads and made a CG model!

Have a good week all!

5 Comments

  • My family always had AMC Ambassador station wagons when I was growing up. It’s nice to see Lee Meriwether extolling their virtues, many years before her appearances in Batman, Star Trek, the Irwin Allen shows… and The Munsters Today!

  • Look in any Merriam-Webster dictionary for the term “butt-ugly” and you will find a picture of a Nash Rambler.

    True story : )

    Homely then (I was there), homely now.

    Thanks for the retro spots Steve. Though I’m completely wired to the 40s, I’m mesmerized by the retooled Disney character designs in those 50s commercials.

  • Thanks to Didier Ghez’s research, here are the credits for these two Nash spots, via animator drafts.

    Seq 22. Miss America – Cinderella (Dec 11, 1954) (90”)
    Animator draft dated: 11/17/1955
    Director: Nick Nichols
    Assistant Director: Judd Cox
    Layout: Tom Oreb
    Secretary: Mulhern
    Animation: Jerry Hathcock, George Nicholas, Jack Buckley
    Talent: Bill Ewing (announcer) and Verna Felton (Fairy Godmother)

    Seq 28 Jiminy Cricket (Dec 29, 1954) (50”)
    Animator draft dated: 1/20/195?
    Director: Nick Nichols
    Layout: Tom Oreb
    Secretary: Mulhern
    Animation: Bill Justice, Jack Buckley

  • Believe me, Steve, you will *NEVER* run out of projects to do. I look forward to that third volume of MID-CENTURY MODERN, and I’m always pondering that second volume of animated commercials, and I hope that includes odd bits of live action tampering, sometimes using live humans as bits of stop motion animation. This sort of thing was used in some classic TV commercials that I’d seen, although there are always interesting retro ads from that same period. Glad to hear that the PUPPETOONS restorations are coming along nicely. Whenever Arnold posts frame grabs on Facebook, even though I can’t really appreciate them, I am sure he’s knee deep in films to go through, as well as further possibilities.

  • Jim Korkis has written about the Hurrell and Bounds commercial studio and the connection between American Motors and Disney. Apparently AMC has happy enough with the response to the Disney ads that they agreed to sponsor the 360-degree Circarama attraction at Disneyland, designed by Ub Iwerks, which cost a fortune to bring to fruition. AMC CEO George Romney visited the Disney studio at the time with his children, including current U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

    Tom Oreb’s weird Mickey Mouse design was the beginning of the end for the commercial studio. Background designer Victor Haboush told Amid Amidi:

    “There was a little kid who used to write Walt, telling him to stay away from modern art because it’s communistic. So when the commercial came on, he got a letter from this kid, a little malcontent somewhere, who wrote: ‘I’m disappointed, Walt. I never thought you’d succumb. What happened to you?’ And Walt went crazy. He stormed down there and outlawed us against using any of the Disney characters in commercials. I remember at the time everybody was incensed that we couldn’t use them, and it basically spelled the end of the unit.”

    I strongly doubt that an actual child wrote that letter. Compulsive anti-Communist letter-writers of the fifties, like their Internet-trolling counterparts today, always come across as cranky little children regardless of their chronological age.

Leave a Reply to Paul Groh Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *