These have been busy weeks, and the good news is that there’s some cool things to look at in the world of classic animation- two on TCM *tonight* and a new Blu-ray from Eric Grayson back from replication.
In very brief Thunderbean news:
I’ve built an *almost complete* master on disc 1 of the Flip the Frog set. I felt like a kid doing a brief run through today at the school. Sharing with a few animation students was pretty cool too. It will be done very soon and getting off to replication.
The intrepid staff toiling at Thunderbean is hunkering down and working on getting special discs out the door over this next few weeks. We’re all grateful for all the support over these years, helping make the official sets happen as well as scan a lot of things that otherwise wouldn’t have been.
I’ve been working with Tommy Stathes along with a small cleanup crew over the summer (and especially in these last few weeks) to finish cleanup and restoration on a series of films. Tommy made some of these priorities for a special showing on TCM— and that special showing is tonight!
The program blocks start with “Before Mickey Mouse” (1982), presented by Cartoons on Film. This one hour documentary, concentrating on silent animated films and their creators, was the first of its kind. Filmmaker Ronald Schwarz chose great examples of early animation for presentation, and this film was many people’s first exposure to silent animation. I enjoyed working with Tommy on presenting this in HD for the first time as close as it was originally produced as possible. It’s showing at 5:30 EST/ 2:30 PST.
Cartoons on Film created a short preview of the show:
The second hour long program is “Century Animation Showcase- 1922” presented by Cartoons on Film. It features eight cartoons released one hundred years ago. The show has many highlights. The silent Disney “Bremen Town Musicians”, an early Laugh-O-Gram, isn’t an uncommon film, but this particular showing really is. Becca Smith and Ciara Waggoner did a great job cleaning the film up (along with some help from myself) so it looks nicer than you’ve seen it—but the real highlight is the soundtrack. Tireless researcher David Gerstein, along with Tommy Stathes managed to find the nearly-lost 1929 reissue soundtrack for the film, and Dave carefully synced it for this presentation. It’s an incredible find and probably hasn’t been seen with this track since then. In addition, two Out of the Inkwell cartoons are presented with their 1930 reissue tracks, thanks also to Mr. Gerstein. David Grauman and I worked on many of the other films presented, and are happy to have contributed. I’ll leave the rest of the program as a surprise, but it’s a really fun watch. It starts at 6:45 EST/ 3:45 PST.
In additional news:
Eric Grayson’s Cinema Gems from the Vault of Dr. Film is now back from replication. It’s a great little disc, with animation and live action shorts, including one of my favorite films of all time- a tour of Disney Christmas displays from 1934. It also features ‘Bungle in the Jungle”, a super rare Jerky Journeys cartoon, Willis O’ Brien stop motion animation and Monsters of the Moon, a nearly-lost demo reel for a Sci-Fi feature that never made it into production, along with many more.
Have a good week everyone!