July 17, 2014 posted by

Coming to Blu-Ray: SNAFU!

Really short post this week, but I’ll make up for it next week!

On Technicolor Dreams, the long awaited Blu-ray/DVD set, it looks like I’ll be back with big news about it next week. It’s always nice to usher one out the door, and with that ushering, I feel that it’s always time to announce some new classic animation titles – so, here’s one (with two more next week).


One of the collections I had hoped to do a Blu-ray of has now kicked into production: Private Snafu, the classic animated series from WW2, produced primarily by Warner Brothers/ Schlesinger Studios. I believe this will be the first time these films have been available in HD – we’ve just started their restoration in HD. I had done a good amount of digital restoration work to them in SD for the DVD Private Snafu Golden Classics, so at first I was reluctant to revisit them again. We had done the transfers in HD the first time around, and when I ran this cartoon at the auditorium of CCS (where I teach) I knew it was be a great set to have in the higher quality format. I hope to have the set out later this year. It will include some bonus WW2 animation in HD as well.

In the time since we produced the DVD of the Snafu cartoons, other rare material has shown up, happily. These include both films and original documentation. I’m especially looking forward to putting these documents, films and art on the bonus features of the disc, and I welcome suggestions to help make this a nice set. Maybe Veneral Disease, the one missing (completed) animated film from the Army/Navy Screen Magazine, will finally show up. Look at a much earlier post from Cartoon Research about the previously hard to find Voting for Servicemen.

Here is a sneak preview of what Snafus look like in HD- Payday, from the fine grain 35mm master:

Next week: a sneak preview of “Technicolor Dreams” as well as another new Blu-ray announcement!


  • VERY CLEVER SNAFU CARTOON! But I just wonder if it’s a Paramount cartoons release next………I just HOPE SO!

  • Weren’t the SNAFU shorts (or, at least, some subset of them) also on one of the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection shorts? Or were those unrestored/not-BR-quality?

    • The SNAFU extras on the WB sets are bootleg garbage quality. What’s on the Thunderbean collection is on the restoration level of the officially restored theatricals. Thanks for caving into my ball-busting to get SNAFU out on Blu-Ray, Steve, but you know I won’t rest until you issue the LE of The Complete Pudgy.

    • The SNAFU extras on the WB sets are bootleg garbage quality.

      God those were laughingly bad. Up there with the old Rhino VHS tape I once had of them.

  • Ah, Steve, ya got me interested, even though I have the standard definition of the “PRIVATE S.N.A.F.U.” films. And, oh, I can think of a big bunch of World War II cartoons as extras. I’d always considered “BUGS BUNNY NIPS THE NIPS” to be a cartoon that plays well only when you understand its link to the war. Otherewise, it now remains a title now not meant for mainstream audiences. Yes, I could reel off titles as suggestions, but I’m not sure of what is in the public domain or not, but how about also adding the HOOK cartoons. “THE DUCKTATORS” would also fit nicely, even though it is restored for LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION 6, absolutely the *BEST* of all the sets in my opinion! I wish you luck on finding genuinely uncut prints of the “S.N.A.F.U.” cartoons for this release. Improved quality overall will no doubt mean improved audio quality, so I’m already in! And I cannot *WAIT* to hear news of the TECHNICOLOR DREAMS AND BLACK AND WHITE NIGHTMARES. Yet, most of my suggestions for that would have you sub-licensing; I don’t suppose the “big boys” will give you an inch, even if they find our favorite golden age of cartoons to be an albatross around their collective necks!

  • Hi Steve, great news as usual on every Thursday, thanks! A nice addition to the snafu blu ray would be Walter Lantz’ Take Heed Mr Tojo.
    All the best Martin

  • Bonus cartoons: Tokio Jokio (1943), the four “Mr.Hook” cartoons, Bugs Bunny:Any Bonds Today?,

  • I wrote an article on the Snafu and Seaman Hook series for Animato! some years ago. Steve, if you’d like to borrow from the article, feel free.

  • By the way, that print of “Payday” is lovely. I’ve always thought that it was one of the very best Freleng cartoons, and certainly one of Stalling’s outstanding cartoons as well. Gets the point across with punch and wit.

  • Since you asked for suggestions I’d like you to revisit the special feature of Commentaries. I would have liked to have had commentaries for more of the shorts. The one suggestion I would make is to avoid using John K. for commentary in the future. I’d even go so far as to say have someone else redo his commentaries particularly “Booby-traps”. Sorry if he’s a close friend but I want more from a commentary than someone just yelling BOB McKIMSON every 5 seconds or so. And Bob Clampett. He likes Bob Clampett. I get it.

    I had really hoped that after John K’s (and friends) useless commentary on the first release of the original Popeye cartoons people would have taken notice and stop hiring this guy.

    For a younger audience you need someone who can point out vintage references like Jerry Colonna or even Stan Laurel in that short. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Eric Goldberg’s commentary on Snafuperman was almost worth the price of the DVD because (among other things) I finally learned the name of that Warner Brothers running sound is called a Trombone Gobble. That’s what I want in a commentary. Not someone going, BOB MCKIMSON! BOB MCKIMSON! and he likes Bob Clampett too.

    • I agree with this 100%! After listening to a John K. commentary I always feel like I have wasted my time.

    • It did that to me too, I feel I had enough of that now that I’m older!

  • Mr. Stanchfield….This was GREAT!!!! Thanks for sharing this Sneak Preview. The clarity is SUPERB!!! Your technical comment of it being transferred from a “Fine Grain” 35mm Print is much appreciated by this follower. I’m a fan of classic animated cartoons since I was a kid~kid and just never outgrew my affection for them, but most of the technical aspects are unknown to me, although of great interest to learn. I have one of the DVD’s of SNAFU, but sadly have to admit I have not had a chance to watch it yet…although I’ve had it for some years. I also have a VHS-version I acquired quite-a-ways back. My library is comprised of so much “stuff” I don’t always immediately get to watch, or read, many of them until sometimes years later. Thanks again for posting this. /:o)

  • Steve, the SNAFU print is lovely. If you’re looking for suggestions, which you’re probably not, why just do the CENSORED cartoons? We’ve talked about them forever. Are there rights issues? I don’t even remember how many there are now.

    • If you’re referring to “the censored eleven”, that’s virtually impossible. Only three of the titles are in the public domain, but duplicating them for sale still hits a legal wall due to mechanical rights for music content.

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