THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
July 2, 2015 posted by

Essential Cartoons That Aren’t on Blu-ray

What are your essential films that aren’t available on Blu-ray?

800px-Gertie_the_Dinosaur_posterIn high school, I was a ‘film purest’. That is, I remember arguing with a friend how the merits of owning a film in Super 8 or 16mm is a much better proposition than having rented and dubbed the film on VHS (I think the film was Yellow Submarine). Now, that said, I *still* love film, and if I had my druthers I’d be producing sets of cartoons on actual 16mm film instead.

The lines are blurring these days in terms of what makes a good presentation though, with video projection looking amazing compared to even six to ten years ago. Recently running some of the 2k digital cleanups we’ve been doing makes me think the best presentation format is a quicktime movie or the like, where resolution can be set by the size of the video file. I *still* would rather be running a film print all the time, but understand the times are a changin’. The old-style ‘film societies’ on collage campuses across the country really are not there anymore, and if they are they generally concentrate on just Anime films rather than a broad range. In the 60s, 70s and 80s there were all sorts of places to rent films from, and because there were so many prints (and almost everything every made had been printed in 16mm) you could find some really cool and odd things if that was your interest. Chances are even independent shorts could be found without too much trouble- not everything, but a lot of things.

I was thinking about how so many films have now vanished in a good quality presentable format, and although this list dates me in some ways, here are some animated films that I think are really essential to get a release of some kind on DVD or Blu-ray. Most of these are on the list because I think they are things that should be seen for anyone interested in the history of animation, and should be seen in as good of a presentation as possible.

As a video collection producer, there are other things I’m not listing here that are think are essential- we’re either working on or trying to get rights to some of those, so I’ll be quiet for a while on those ones!

I especially like *your* comments on posts like these, so I’ll leave the floor open and ask ‘What are your ‘essential’ films that aren’t available in a high quality release?

My LONG list would take many days to write, so here’s my short list:

1) Frank Film by Frank Mouris. This 1974 Academy Award winner is truly an innovative classic, but on standard definition video it always looks murky, and not even close to a presentable as the turning red 16mm print I’ve had for many years. Here’s a not-great copy…


furies-2252) Furies by Sarah Petty (1977). A beautiful little colored pencil short featuring very active cats in an abstract and continually moving spectacle. I’ve always thought it was a shame it isn’t seen more- but this goes with most independent animated shorts.


3) Father and Daughter by Michael Dudock de Wit (1999). I think this is one of the most beautiful little films I’ve ever seen, and I’ve never seen it look as good as it needs to, except for the first time seeing it in 35mm at the Ottawa International Film Festival. Beautiful and haunting, with wonderful acting. This film deserved the Oscar in 2000. There is an good copy available on DVD from Acme Filmworks on one of their great compilations, but I think this needs to be seen in at least HD.


4) Song of the South – Disney (1946). An essential historical piece for the studio that, as we all know, has long been out of the public view. In running a print for my students in the animation history class I teach, I was amazed at their reactions and observations of the period, but moreover their pure disbelief that the Disney company would still be worried about public reaction to a work that was produced nearly 70 years ago.


HarmonIsingWeb5) MGM’s Happy Harmonies cartoons (1934-38).

As you all know, these Harman-Ising produced cartoons are some of the most lavish of the animated shorts produced in the 30s.

Funny that they should never see a DVD or Blu-ray release. Happily, some of the them have been released with a feature film here or there, but not on Blu-ray as of yet. With the market being as it is, it’s hard to say if there will ever be a point that it’s feasible to Warner Bros., who now owns them.

Here’s Hey-Hey Fever (1935) starring Bosko, an early entry in the MGM series…


scrappy326) Scrappy.

The Scrappy cartoon series from Columbia/ Mintz (1931-40). My favorite cartoons from the 30s. Absolutely bizarre stuff – delightfully so in the earlier Dick Huemer entries; just plain strange in the later releases. All in all, a series that deserves serious reevaluation by cartoon buffs.

I do hope that someday, someone will license these, or that perhaps Columbia will release these themselves.

Here’s one of the films, somewhat typical of the series. In The Great Experiment (1934), Scrappy is the victim of a mad scientist and is sent time traveling to a futuristic 1990 filled with inventions we still don’t have.


7) Winsor McCay’s work in HD (1911-21). There is a great DVD of these shorts, but nothing available in HD. I hope this is remedied someday!

So, now it’s your turn. Have a good weekend everyone!

66 Comments

  • Okay here’s my top 10 toons that aren’t “HD” yet
    1- Opera by Bruno Bozzetto
    2-Oumpah Pah Pah (Belgivision)
    3-The Chinese Nightingale (MGM)
    4-Safety Second with Tom and Jerry
    5-A Great Big Bunch of You (WB Merrie Melodies)
    6-Gumtasia (Art Clokey)
    7-Reskio (Poland)
    8-Musicland (Disney)
    9-The Nutcracker (Soyuzmultfilms-no narration version)
    10-any animated short film from Poland that used objects like glass shard to yarn (Imevision now TV Azteca has a animated showcase featuring animated short films from the Eastern Bloc countries like Poland,Czechoslovakia and others back in the mid 1980’s)

    • 10-any animated short film from Poland that used objects like glass shard to yarn (Imevision now TV Azteca has a animated showcase featuring animated short films from the Eastern Bloc countries like Poland,Czechoslovakia and others back in the mid 1980′s)

      You were lucky! That stuff barely got on cable TV during that time up here.

  • I think it should be noted that unfortunately, some of the Harman-Ising MGM shorts that have been released as bonuses with feature films have been marred quite badly by DVNR. Indeed, they are screaming for proper restoration and presentation.

  • The first word is Tex.
    You know the second one.

  • Thanks for the article & links Steve.
    I’d very much like to see the Scrappy cartoons & also
    the 1935 Soviet Russian version of Gulliver’s Travels called “Novyy Gulliver” ( “The New Gulliver” ) directed by Aleksandr Ptushko.
    Mix of live action & stop-motion animation – something like 1500 stop-motion puppets used! (It must have had a huge budget )
    Pretty sure its never been released –
    though I think I read some time ago
    that it was prepared for release on DVD
    In Russia (or maybe Finland ) but was
    withdrawn before the official release
    date (may have been copyright issues)
    but a very few copies had already been
    distributed.

    I saw some of it a few years ago on a complete version on youtube (from a pretty good print ) but when I went back (ie had more time ) to watch the whole thing it was no longer listed there.
    I haven’t searched the internnet for it lately so maybe its available somewhere by now.
    The bits I saw – especially the bits where the stop-motion puppets swarm around looked amazing.
    I’d love to see it on DVD!

  • 1. Most cartoons from the silent era. (Aesop’s Fables, Felix, Emil Cohl, Out of the Inkwell, etc.). We know that some have been released on regular DVDs, (example- “Before Walt” by Inkwell Images), but only a few have been released on Blu-Ray- except for those on Tom Stathes’ excellent “Cartoon Roots”. Pretty much all surviving silent cartoons should be released on Blu-Ray– before they disappear into nothingness.

    2. All Tex Avery directed MGM cartoons. This man’s work for one of America’s greatest movie studios set the standard for many future animators, writers, and directors to come. Ol’ Tex gave us cartoons with great gags, superb writing, crazy, in-your-face characters and lively animation that still brings a smile to many a face today. Many animation experts and hardcore buffs wish to get the great man’s MGM material on DVD, released by Warners. Hopefully, with the advent of Blu-Ray, they will release a collection of Avery’s stuff for the studio of the Lion.

    3. “Fractured Flickers”. This program, even though mostly live action (old silent film footage, that is!!) was produced by famed “Rocky and His Friends” creators Jay Ward and Bill Scott’s studio, Jay Ward Productions. It took excerpts from silent films with legends such as Lon Chaney, Houdini, and Stan Laurel and hilariously redubbed and given new titles (For instance, they renamed “The Master Mystery” with notable magican Harry Houdini, “The Clover Boys at Camp”.) Hans Conried, who voiced Snidely Whiplash for Ward, hosted the program, and interviewed celebs of the day. (Even the Bullwinkle puppet!!) The only animated footage were the opening and closing. An underrated masterpiece, despite what most others think. This has been released by VCI, but would look absolutely stunning in Blu-Ray.

    4. The output of Total Television Productions. This New York based studio, owned by Buck Biggers, Chet Stover, Treadwell Covington (YESSSS! That was his real name!) and Joe Harris, was set up to compete with Jay Ward on the West Coast, even using the same animation studio, Gamma Productions (which is probably why people think Ward’s studio produced them.) Their cartoons, such as “Tennesee Tuxedo and His Tales”, “King Leonardo and His Short Subjects”, and their best known creation, “Underdog”, are well-known among baby boomers today. They much deserve to be on Blu-Ray, maybe released by Paramount (Dreamworks is owned by them, and Dreamworks owns Classic Media, who owns these programs, and Jay Ward’s.)

    5. Animation segments produced for “Sesame Street”, and “The Electric Company”. These animations, provided by multiple studios and animators, such as Storyboard, Inc., Imagination, Inc. (They animated “Alligator King” and “8-Penny Candyman”, among others), Pantomime Pictures, and animator Cliff Roberts, have really stood the tests of time, the majority staying in the minds of people growing up in the 1970s, continuing to give us a good laugh. The majority, though, aren’t on DVD and can be found on Youtube, recorded off really old tapes dating back from the 70s and 80s. I’d love to see these in pristine condition on a Blu-Ray. They, in short, are timeless.

    Finally, 6. “Tiny Toon Adventures”, “Animaniacs”, “Pinky and the Brain”, etc. These cartoons, produced by Tom Ruegger and Steven Spielberg, were all created in the 1990s for Warner Bros., and gave us some of the most hilarious TV series of that decade. (“NARF!!!” ZORT!” “TROZ!”) They also gave such timeless characters as the Warner Bros. (and the Warner Sister too!) , Buster and Babs Bunny (no relation), Pinky and the Brain (“Are you pondering what I’m pondering?” “I think so, Brain, but if they called them Sad Meals, kids won’t but them!”), Elmyra, Rita and Runt, and others. Their stuff is already on DVD, but would look sexy on Blu-Ray.

    • 5. Animation segments produced for “Sesame Street”, and “The Electric Company”. These animations, provided by multiple studios and animators, such as Storyboard, Inc., Imagination, Inc. (They animated “Alligator King” and “8-Penny Candyman”, among others), Pantomime Pictures, and animator Cliff Roberts, have really stood the tests of time, the majority staying in the minds of people growing up in the 1970s, continuing to give us a good laugh. The majority, though, aren’t on DVD and can be found on Youtube, recorded off really old tapes dating back from the 70s and 80s. I’d love to see these in pristine condition on a Blu-Ray. They, in short, are timeless.

      You could think a lot of the original film elements to these would still be available to use (either in Sesame Workshop’s vaults or someplace else). Seems like all they have are those transfers made during the 70’s and 80’s without any real update. The ones made for the Electric Company that spoof 2001 would be especially interesting to see in 1080p.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucaxzsHkvz4
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKjV2SWWDas
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8zDaXgxiB4
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzL0U51A2a4
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpTZK3ibmzM
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fGbj-3G5tw
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc7RIEkL5CU
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XpaRrx2zq4

    • My favorite Sesame Street cartoons were from the first decade of the series 1969-79 that included Filmation’s Superman,Batman and Robin and Jughead Jones from Archie (voiced by Howard Morris), Lower case n, The I song,The O song (featuring a goat) “it’s Ok to be Mad” and “The Dog that wouldn’t say Yes” (animated by the same company who did”What On Earth?” for The National Film Board of Canada (known as The National Film Board of MARS) The Man Who Hated Frogs ( featuring Daws Butler as the Frog Hating man) F for Football ,KFS’s Beetle Bailey,Krazy Kat and Tiger, A Jazzy Triangle and B-Bug (one of the most violent cartoons ever to be broadcasted on Sesame Street to my opinion that is.)

    • The I song,The O song (featuring a goat) “it’s Ok to be Mad” and “The Dog that wouldn’t say Yes” (animated by the same company who did”What On Earth?” for The National Film Board of Canada (known as The National Film Board of MARS)

      Technically, that was the NFB that did those. I think the goat one was from Kaj Pindal while the dog is from Derek Lamb (going by one or two YT comments, they both worked in very similar styles), both shorts could’ve been done outside the NFB I suppose.

  • In addition to many you mentioned:

    Famous Studio Popeye cartoons – While not on the level of the Fleischer series, these are still very good cartoons and they’re in color!
    George Pal Puppetoons – We got some with the Puppetoon Movie DVD/Blu-Ray, but there are so many more that haven’t really been seen in years and the copies many of us hard core collectors have in our collections come from beat-up, faded 16mm television prints
    Famous Studios Little Lulu – As with the Puppetoons, there are copies of these if you look hard enough, but few of the available titles are presented in good prints with vibrant colors
    Terrytoons – At least a “Best of” set.

  • The excelent Walt Disney Treasures sets should totally be re-released in HD. A set of John and Faith Hubley’s fims would also be nice.

  • Well, how about all the Tex Avery MGM cartoons that didn’t star Droopy, for a start?

  • Another plug for Bruno Bozzetto… I’d love to see English language / Region 1 sets of the Mister Rossi features made available.

    • You’d think that would be easy to do but I suppose you do have to raise money to make all new HD transfers first (assuming the regular features like Allegro Non Troppo have already been done so).

    • Bozetto’s ‘Rossi’ shorts, such as ‘Mr. Rossi At Camping’, ‘An Award For Mr. Rossi’, and ‘Mr. Rossi In Venice’ would be a great start…

    • Good start there. I reminded Pinwheel once aired “Mr. Rossi at Camping” and I loved it every time it aired, but I didn’t realize how rather gruesome it got at the end, as Nick cut out the last bit where he kills the guy who sold him the tent.

  • I am not picky about BluRay. Standard DVD is fine if it is the most economical way of getting more stuff out. (I like my standard DVD players.)

    I would be satisfied getting any version of MOUSE CLEANING (Tom & Jerry)… and all of Tex Avery’s MGM stuff. There are still huge “gaps” in my cartoon collection, partially filled with a little VHS here and there. Also plenty of Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies still not accounted for like such masterpieces as BEANSTALK BUNNY and CATCH AS CATS CAN. (I have a poor copy of COAL BLACK.) A few of the great Zagreb and National Film Board of Canada cartoons have made the DVD cut, but most have not. The original theatrical versions of Winnie the Pooh (instead of edited in THE MANY ADVENTURES OF…) and the Oscar-winning IT’S TOUGH TO BE A BIRD would count among my most requested Disneys.

    Lately, I have become addicted to long lost theatrical LIVE ACTION short subjects made by the Hollywood studios. Only a fair selection of the MGM… and SOME of the Warner… short films that are NOT animated cartoons have seen the light of day after decades of obscurity. The day Fox decides to release some of their “Magic Carpet” travelogues before they rot away in canisters will probably be the day hell freezes over. However, there… may… be the possibility of Disney’s “People & Places” series making it , provided TCM’s Vault Disney series decides to dust some off.

    • Is there something wrong with me for preferring a regular DVD release of vintage films? I enjoy being able to zoom into portions of the image, into the background, up, down, side to side, etc., when I wish to investigate something further. (For instance, in old movies, I might zoom into a street sign, a storefront, cars in the background, extras, etc.)
      I’ve discovered I CANNOT zoom into film on a BluRay disc, with a BluRay player. Anyone else frustrated by this? I might give BluRay more consideration, if I could zoom into the picture.
      – W.

    • Hmmm, I didn’t know a Blu-Ray player doesn’t let you do that? (not having one myself)

  • I agree that “Song of the South” is way overdue for a DVD/Blu Ray release. If Disney is too squeamish about the live-action part of it, how about at least a truncated version showcasing the animated sequences? Although this would be a compromise, it would at least be good if future generations could see the animation that went into this production.

    Also some early Hanna-Barbera stuff–the second, third, and fourth seasons of Huckleberry Hound, including the Hokey Wolf cartoons and a full season of Yogi Bear cartoons, the entire run of Quick Draw McGraw, and the Ruff and Reddy series. The later Yogi Bear cartoons from the 1980’s have also never been released.

    Columbia’s Fox and the Crow series has not seen a release. There are also many of the Terrytoons that have only been available in public domain releases. Most of the Mighty Mouse cartoons are unreleased, as well as Heckle and Jeckle and the other Terrytoons. I remember the Mighty Mouse cartoons that were done operetta style and I haven’t seen any of those for years.

    There also needs to be at least one more volume of Woody Woodpecker and the other Lantz cartoons. I also would love to see a complete release of the Woody Woodpecker Show in its original format with Lantz as the live-action host interacting with an animated Woody. And while we’re at it, how about a complete run of the Oswald Rabbit cartoons, including the ones from the Mintz era?

    I also second the vote for the Famous Studios Popeye cartoons–while many of these have found their way into different collections over the past few years, there has still not been a comprehensive chronological release of the entire run. This would serve to supplement the excellent Fleischer collections of a few years back.

    There are still several Looney Tunes, such as the black and white Porky Pig cartoons, the Bosco and Foxy cartoons, and later stuff such as the Daffy Duck/Speedy Gonzales shorts, Cool Cat, and Merlin the Magic Mouse. The Road Runner cartoon set a few years ago consisted of later period cartoons–I think there are still many of the earlier ones that have yet to appear on DVD or Blu Ray.

    And while this is not exclusively animated, the Walt Disney anthology series deserves a season by season release, especially the early seasons. Even if a bit pricey, I would be very likely to purchase season sets of the Disneyland, Walt Disney Presents, and Wonderful World of Color shows. The Walt Disney Treasures series was a step in that direction, but it still only provided a few glimpses of the TV show.

    Thanks for providing this opportunity for doing a little wishing. There’s still a lot of good stuff out there!

  • The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut (a new edit for Blu).

  • Osamu Tezuka’s two feature films, 1001 Arabian Nights and Cleopatra.
    Ralph Bakshi’s Heavy Traffic
    Isao Takahata’s The Little Norse Prince
    Fist of the North Star (both the TV series and the ’86 feature version.)
    The Devilman OVAs (with a re-dub, I might add)
    Akira Toriyama’s Go Go Ackman!
    Rumiko Takahashi’s Maris the Super Girl
    Dirty Pair (The TV episodes)
    Cutie Honey Flash
    Both of the Riki-Oh OVAs

  • Some great stuff already listed! Here are some of mine:
    1. Complete Set of Talkartoons/Betty Boop shorts
    2. Yes on the Disney Treasures sets – can you imagine the complete Black and White and Color box sets of the Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and Silly Symphonies shorts? The few shorts Disney has put on Blu look stunning.
    3. Ruff and Reddy and Quick Draw are musts, but my dear pal (whom I’m still missing badly) Earl Kress told me that due to the music rights of the Capitol Production tracks, WB will never pony up the outrageous sums needed to bring these early HB cartoons to DVD or Blu. We’re lucky we got the first season of Huckleberry before they jacked their prices up.
    4. A Harmon-Ising box would be wonderful. Those cartoons like ‘Bottles’ are drenched with Technicolor and would probably leave color stains on our monitors. They would look glorious.
    5. ANYTHING Thunderbean puts out, I will buy… so bring on the Blu compilations and keep up the GREAT work!

  • Fleischer tops the bill: Color Classics, Screen Songs and Talkartoons. I would include Krazy Kat and Toby The Pup to your Scrappy entry. The first five years of sound (roughly 1929/30 to the end of 1935) at Mintz/Columbia were quite remarkable. Famous Little Lulu and the first three Casper cartoons. Also Famous Popeye (natch).

  • I actually watched FRANK FILM at UArts last year, as well as some of George Griffin’s animated shorts from Kathy Rose. She knew Griffin back in the 70s. Very wonderful stuff.

    In terms of what should be in HD, I could think of a few series and some individual entries. I’m pretty specific:
    1) The Fleischer Talkartoons (’29-’32; those that haven’t been released by Olive Films already)
    2) Walter Lantz’s Pooch the Pup
    3) Associated Animators’ Mutt and Jeff cartoons from ’25-’26
    4) Lantz’s Oswald Rabbit (pre-Moreno redesign)
    5) Mintz’s Krazy Kat (pre-’34; rights issues might make that one a little tougher)

  • Well, perhaps Blu-ray limited edition might make a COMPLETE LOONEY TUNES box set a distinct possibility. I can’t say it enough, but I’d love the remaining 1930’s cartoons, both black and white and color, all with original titles, if such a thing is even remotely possible.

    And, having said that, I’d also like the HAPPY HARMONIES as a kind of addendum to the BOSKO series begun at Warner Brothers. While those cartoons have their issues, they should not be swept under the rub because they have some spectacular visuals, even at their most chaotic; Steve, have you ever seen “CIRCUS DAZE”, yet? I would like a complete set of TIME FOR BEANY/THE BEANY AND CECIL SHOW, this time with all the “next week, folks…” segments, some of which were left off the VHS releases. I liked the quality of the shorts that made it to standard DVD, and I was hoping for VOL. 3 and beyond, but the video company must have gotten cold feet by now; oh, and getting back to MGM for a moment, I believe that “LI’L OL’ BOSKO AND THE PIRATES” is in the public domain, so if you ever found that and “BOSKO AND THE CANNIBALS” in far nicer prints than you’ve ordinarily seen floating around, you could include it on an upcoming volume of miscellaneous titles similar to that ALL CANNIBALS collection you released a while back, but there are so many wonderfully stunning visual gems in that MGM vault that I truly wish that we could see the entire output.

    Like your students who viewed “SONG OF THE SOUTH”, I think that most folks would agree that a big set around the remaining LOONEY TUNES and HAPPY HARMONIES is indeed essential collecting. Oh, and I’m seconding the desire for the entire King Features output, although Classic Media owns ’em and I recall Mark Arnold telling me how hard it was to get all the prints. He kept saying that he had to deal with prints that were without soundtracks, like the missing episode of “THE HUNTER” in which the imfamous Fox stole the Statue of Liberty…the remaining FELIX THE CAT television series and, in the same set, all other incarnations of Felix, perhaps the silent could have new soundtracks, although I realize that we’re running into cost there.

    I just like the work done on some of the ALICE comedies found on a DISNEY TREASURES volume called RARETIES…perhaps a reissue of the entire COURAGEOUS CAT AND MINUTE MOUSE series, this time with a PLAY ALL function, unlike the A&E release of the series where you get 10 or 12 cartoons and then you have to arrow down and to the right for the next layer!! I realize I’m a minority on that last wish, but hey, I grew up watching those toons with classic MGM cartoons (including BOSKO titles) on local TV and that is how I learned about the MGM’s and episodes of “Q. T. HUSH”, which I would also put high on my desire list for Blu-ray *OR* DVD. Maybe you could even get the rights to that one since so few people even know about the series. Dal McKennan does all the voices, so I once thought it was produced by the same folks that gave us “COURAGEOUS CAT”, but it is a fun serial type series, not quite Jay Ward funny, but fun nonetheless. I’d put it up there with early RUFF AND REDDY cartoons…oh, and I, too, would love to see a reissue on Blu-ray of “FRACTURED FLICKERS”, an incredible Jay Ward rarety from start to finish, this time with extras like the Jay Ward “NUTHOUSE” series.

  • ALL of the ‘Color Rhapsodies’ and some of the Bray studios cartoons that are still lost (basically, every lost cartoon that holds a important significant to history).

  • There’s a lot of stuff mentioned that isn’t even available on good old DVD. As somebody who was tickled to death to own silent 8mm releases of cartoons, and to have ANY opportunity to see something like “Shinbone Alley”, I do feel a big piggish complaining when I look at my packed bookshelf. That said:
    — All those animation festivals that came on on VHS, including the non-“Sick and Twisted” Spike and Mikes.
    — Good versions of “The Snow Queen” (every PD seems to use the same awful transfer), “Hansel and Gretel”, Jiri Trnka’s “Midsummer’s Night Dream” (and his folk tales), Mr. Wonderbird (the director’s completed version), and of course “The Cobbler and the Thief.”
    — At least a representative collection of theatricals from Terrytoons and Columbia, as well as more Puppetoons
    — A collection of the Disney hours with new animation (We’ve got nearly all the uncut shorts, but the pasteups with Von Drake and the like had their own appeal)
    — “The New Adventures of Huck Finn” (probably impossible, what with Ted Cassidy playing ethnic villains in so many episodes)
    — Filmation’s “Flash Gordon” movie, with the scenes about Ming providing Hitler with rockets.
    — “Raggedy Ann and Andy” — Richard Williams’ feature and the Fleischer two-reeler
    — ABC’s “Saturday Superstar Movies”

  • I have the VCI release of Fractured Flickers and it’s excellent. However, the print they used of episode 1 had sections with bad sound. They put a video title on that one asking for a better print they could use for a future re-issue of this set. Well, I loaned them my mint 16mm print of episode 1 which has excellent sound and picture. I never heard back from them, but they did transfer my print and returned it in perfect condition. I never got any compensation for their use of my print aside from shipping costs both ways.

    • Well at least you got your print back even if they couldn’t be bothered to update you on the matter (whether they updated their DVD master or not in this case).

    • Sadly, “Fractured Flickers” becomes weaker and weaker after the first few episodes. I recall reading that when the series was sold, the deal included a delivery date that compelled them to knock out most of the series at top speed.

  • Watch as Thunderbean licenses and releases 8/10 of these cartoons in future blu-rays.

    • Let’s hope! Some of things mentioned may actually be in the works!

  • The foreign animation shown on Nickelodeon’s Pinwheel in the early 80’s that hasn’t already been released, regardless of region. All the Terrytoons. I don’t buy new movies and the Thunderbean releases are only of value to me if they include a DVD. I think the licensee of any old cartoon should impose self control and restraint and clean up their prints to the “new” standard of the given time period. Smoothed-over old animation has the potential to look more like a video game cut scene than a restored film, so a standalone DVD release without the additional cost of a Blu Ray is just fine by me.

    • I see someone’s speaking my language!

      Speaking of Pinwheel, I recall someone out there did do some HD transfers of Professor Balthazar, though if you see the results, it looks like they’ve cleaned them up so much, they appear less a film and more a like something that was made last week (as I put it), a little TOO clean and perfect.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-V0QHltQBc

  • Richard Williams animated “A Christmas Carol” from the ’70’s. I have a VHS copy of it…but it’s never been released on DVD or Blu-ray; a real shame. (An Oscar winning film to boot!)

  • I wish I could think of a good list here, but many good choices were already picked anyway, but here’s what I thought about…

    – Terrytoons (any period/decade, though I would vouch for Gene Deitch’s tenure)
    – Halas & Batchelor Animation Shorts (I know they did Animal Farm already for the UK release, but I’d love to see those shorts in HD quality too, especially a 3-D version of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat).
    – David Hand’s Animaland and Musical Paintbox series (I’ve heard the negs for these are stored somewhere in England so I’m sure it’s a costly preposition to make)
    -Anything by Mike Jittlov, I’m serious, the man needs to get out of his shell for once and know he can’t last forever.

    Someone earlier suggested a number of Eastern European shorts they saw as a kid on a Mexican channel. I recall seeing a good number of such works as a kid I’d love to see also preserved if possible. Here’s some of my obscure faves..
    – Snowman’s Dilemma (Radka Buchvarova, Bulgaria, 1960) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg3n9pGbBYI
    – Pencil & Eraser (Gyula Macskássy, Hungary, 1960) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB-KD8byVSc
    – The Hand (Jiri Trnka, Czechoslovakia, 1965)
    – Friends of Goshko the Elephant (Donyo Donev, Bulgaria, 1968) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQzdOxAUBBI
    – Film, Film, Film, (Fyodor Khitruk, USSR, 1968)

    • A Blu-ray collection of Halas and Batchelor shorts was released a few days ago in the UK only: http://networkonair.com/shop/2190-halas-batchelor-short-film-collection-the-blu-ray–5027626801045.html

      Bob Furmanek mentioned over at the Home Theater Forum he tried to license some restored 3-D shorts from the BFI (including potentially The Owl and the Pussycat) but the rates they offered were “exorbitant”, at least the experimental 3-D Norman McLaren shorts from the NFB managed to make it onto the recent 3-D Rarities Blu-ray.

    • Actually I was in my 20’s and in college at around 1986 when I went with my parents visiting my grandmother in El Paso Texas when i saw these cartoons. The Imevision (now TVAzteca) station in Cd Juarez Chihuahua (XHMIT Ch 11 or XHDF CH 7 broadcasting in Mexico City ) that was showing the series at around 4:00pm local time. The three I remembered the most was (1) a story animated using yarn about a town where a stork was delivering babies boys to one household and girls to another until twins were delivered and Kaos assumed. (2) another using glass shards about a boxer and (3) a stop motion puppet cartoon based on a Eastern Europe (maybe Poland?) about a tailor and a King who had a dark secret ( the King had ears like a donkey and if other find out his secret, they were executed!). I wish my grandmother had a VCR so I could of recorded these shows when I got to my home but sadly she was old fashion and didn’t like anything modern like VCRs.

    • A Blu-ray collection of Halas and Batchelor shorts was released a few days ago in the UK only: http://networkonair.com/shop/2190-halas-batchelor-short-film-collection-the-blu-ray–5027626801045.html

      Didn’t know that, thanks! (if or when I get around to getting a BluRay player, and even then I’m sure unblocking the region is another challenge, but I haven’t been up on this for years).

      Bob Furmanek mentioned over at the Home Theater Forum he tried to license some restored 3-D shorts from the BFI (including potentially The Owl and the Pussycat) but the rates they offered were “exorbitant”, at least the experimental 3-D Norman McLaren shorts from the NFB managed to make it onto the recent 3-D Rarities Blu-ray.

      sad. (when they have to act that way sometimes, but I’m sure that was to be expected)

    • There was a US DVD of Halas and Batchelor, but it was a very middling assortment. I’m still waiting for “Ruddigore” as well as “The Owl and the Pussycat.” And perhaps the Hoffnung shorts.

    • “There was a US DVD of Halas and Batchelor, but it was a very middling assortment. “

      It was. I think Hen’s Tooth put out that release (which was also on VHS in my collection). It looked like regular prints were given to them to use for that. They definitely looked rather substandard for the most part. There was a similar release of Bod Godfrey’s shorts that had the same quality.

      “I’m still waiting for “Ruddigore” as well as “The Owl and the Pussycat.” And perhaps the Hoffnung shorts.”

      I didn’t have to wait for Ruddigore or Hoffnung as I had bought an R2 DVD of those years back from a website that catered to Gerard Hoffnung’s work. The one that really stuck out the most for me was “Professor Yaya’s Memoirs” as they use to play that a number of times on Nickelodeon to fill in time between programs. It just felt rather bizarre yet strangely amusing to me seeing it as a 8 year old. Another classic for me is “Hamilton the Musical Elephant”. I have that on 16mm!

  • The Night Before Christmas with The Norman Luboff Choir,
    The Night the Animals Talk,
    Pinocchio (animated in Italy)
    Soyuzmultfilm’s The Messenger Fish, Tchaikovsky’s Children’s Songs,
    Herself the Elf
    The Magic Train (also animated in Italy)
    Doctor Dolittle (DPE Films)
    Black Beauty (Hanna Barbera Ply Ltd)
    And
    Around the World in 80 Days (Austrailia’s first major overseas hit animated tv series)

    • The Night Before Christmas with The Norman Luboff Choir,
      The Night the Animals Talk,

      Good choices!

      Pinocchio (animated in Italy)

      If you’re talking about the film from 1972, there was a DVD release for it that came out in Italy that looked like a decent restoration. Not sure if it was an HD transfer they used though…
      http://www.amazon.it/Un-Burattino-Di-Nome-Pinocchio/dp/B00BT9PKGA

  • Since BluRay is HD, I’d like to see some of the CinemaScope releases from the 50s, most especially Terrytoons’ “The Juggler of Our Lady” by RO Blechman and Al Kouzel.
    And why hasn’t Disney re-released with “Inside Out” its visual antecedent, “Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom”?
    Maybe when its released for home video it can be an extra.

  • On the matter of releasing SONG OF THE SOUTH on video, in 2008 Warner Home Video released Popeye the Sailor Volume 3. This set contained the shorts from 1941 to 1943 including the infamous (then Famous) WWII films YOU’RE A SAP, MR. JAP, SCRAP THE JAPS, SPINACH FOR BRITAIN, SEEIN’ RED, WHITE ‘N’ BLUE. Also there were several cartoons containing throwaway gags done at the enemies’ race and nationality. The Warner empire is still standing, at last look, and if there are boycotts of their products, they don’t seem to be rattling the water tower in Burbank. Disney can release SONG OF THE SOUTH with a soft sell, then gauge PUBLIC reaction and not the talking head pundits who’ll probably be first in line to glom the initial copies for themselves. It’s time that SONG OF THE SOUTH stop being the whipping boy for racial tolerance. Maybe in 18 months it will have a better shot at release.

  • Cap’n Sailorbird

    Bucky and Pepito

    Spunky and Tadpole

    Any of the Magic Screen Pictures cartoons.

  • Wow, furies. Saw it so many years ago. Is it available in any video format?

    • I don’t think it’s available anywhere…. maybe it’s time to contact the filmmaker. it’s a little gem!

    • I don’t think it’s available anywhere…. maybe it’s time to contact the filmmaker. it’s a little gem!

      There’s plenty of stuff from the 70’s that deserves another watch Steven. For me, it’s Robert Swarthe’s Oscar Nominee “Kick Me” I’d love to see in HD.

  • And a few completist pipe dreams:
    — At least a handful of the HB Laurel & Hardy and Abbott & Costello shorts
    — “The Mouse Factory” season set
    — The Marvel Super Heroes, with a CD of the theme songs
    — “Banana Splits” and “Skatebirds”, complete with their live-action serials (I recall catching a bit of the Skatebirds serial, and it looked like a playful spin on a Republic sci-fi chapterplay)
    — Filmation’s “The Hardy Boys”, with its barely coherent “straight” mysteries, quasi-mod affectations and paisley/pop art scene changes.
    — “Q.T. Hush”, an animated serial

    And a few that I should have put in my serious dream list:
    — Karel Zeman features
    — The original “Bugs Bunny Show”
    — Zagreb
    — “The Gerald McBoing Boing Show” (original)

  • Here’s the cartoons that I feel need to be presented in HD on BluRay:
    1). George Pal’s Puppetoons
    2). The Max Fleischer Color Classics made between 1934 – 1938: The 3D backgrounds on these films would look amazing!
    3). Ub Iwerks’ Color Rhapsody cartoons. (“Merry Mannequins”)
    4). All of Chuck Jones’ Road Runner and Coyote Cartoons
    5). The Agfacolor Cartoons made by the Soyuzmultfilm Studio following World War II.

  • Two overlooked 1970’s features:
    “The Mouse and His Child” and “Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure”(music by Joe Raposo)

  • I can’t believe we got to the second day of this and nobody mentioned the most obvious, MR. BUG GOES TO TOWN. Hell, it’s not even currently available anywhere. It’s reputation has grown over the years, being made when the Fleischer Studio was in that marvelous Superman period, right before they crashed and burned.

  • 1. Fleischer and Famous “Screen Songs” on one huge boxset
    2. B&W Paramount/Fleischer cartoons/shorts with front-and-end original titles, none of that UM&M/NTA crap!
    3. Little Lulu/Little Audrey
    4. Pre-1974 Charlie Brown specials with original Coca-Cola/Dolly Madison sponsor plugs and commercials
    5.Fantasia with original Fantasound track
    6. The Winnie the Pooh shorts with the seperate title cards, not edited into one feature
    7. Color Classics (but please, I only want to see the 3-strip Technicolor ones)
    8. Technicolor versions of Gabby!

  • Zagreb cartoons.

  • Crusader Rabbit
    Mel-O-Dee Toons
    Hunky and Spunky (The original Paramount release NOT the UM&M/NTA versions)
    The Phantom Tollbooth
    Count Screwloose
    The Princess Knight (aka Choppy and the Princess)
    The Amazing Three
    Silly Sidney
    Le Petit Parade
    Van Buren’s Tom & Jerry
    &
    The Funny Company

  • Scrappy and the Columbia Krazy Kats. There’s much fun and delightful weirdness in that series, too.

    It would also be nice to have transfers of the black and white Popeye cartoons from better elements where possible. The original titles contained on the Warner sets were sourced from great elements, but the bodies of most of the cartoons were sourced from the shrunken elements that A.A.P. had!

    Disney animated features done right, faithfully (or at least close) to the original films, not like the revised versions/”restorations” that have been released so far.

  • Oh, and M.G.M. cartoons, ’40s-’50s Paramount cartoons… there’s so much good stuff that should be available.

  • The 4 animated Peanuts movies – A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Snoopy Come Home, Race For Your Life Charlie Brown, and Bon Voyage Charlie Brown have yet to see BLU-RAY release.

  • Anything with Bugs Bunny

    Anything with Porky Pig (Sometimes I get the impression that I’m the only Porky Pig fan in the world)

    Actually, anything and EVERYthing from Warner Bros. is fine with me.

    Oswald Oswald Oswald Oswald Oswald Oswald

    BTW, in the first comment above, BIGG3469 mentions “Gumtasia.” That’s “Gumbasia.”

    I think everything by Hubleys is overrated. I agree with Charles M. Jones on that subject. (I find myself agreeing with Charles M. Jones on a lot of subjects.)

    I don’t think TV cartoons are necessary on Blu-Ray because of the limited animation. I think whoever does Blu-Ray stuff should stick with fully animated theatrical cartoon shorts. (And I say that as a dyed-in-the-wool Peanuts fan!) Regular DVD is OK for TV animation.

    I’d like to see _anything_ with Pogo Possum, etc., in it on _any_ kind of DVD format.

    There are quite a lot of excellent suggestions here. It’d be nice to have everything Tex on one DVD set!

    • You’re not the only Porky Pig fan in the world–he’s actually my favorite Looney Tunes character. But I certainly get how you feel.

  • &
    Almost forgot –
    All the surviving Fleischer Clown animations of 1919 to 1929 – standard dvd would be fine –
    or at least a release of those not on
    the Inkwell Inc DVDs – & in chronological order with appropriate. soundtracks.
    Koko is my favourite US animated series – a lot of later Fleischer Brothers is great; but for me nothing compares to Out Of The Inkwell & Inkwell Imps.

    Something which especially needs a DVD or Blu-ray release is my all-time favourite short animation from any country:

    ‘Pisnica Pro Sklica’
    aka ‘Kaleidoscope’
    by Vaclav Bedrich, 1967,
    Czechoslovakia ( a short film about 10 & a half minutes long )

    I was very fortunate to record this as a very good vhs copy from a broadcast by UK station Channel 4 in the 1980’s.

    It is made entirely from animated pieces of coloured glass, has an incredible soundtrack, is fun & beautiful & very moving.
    It also captures many qualities of childlike wonder & is sort of simple while also being a creative tour-de-force.
    Quite psychedelic too in a gentle & in places excitable way.
    Semi abstract in content it has a loose narrative about a child-being & a dragony-being both brought into existence from disparate pieces of glass ( the dragon from a jagged broken bottle ).
    The dragon pursues the chid aggressively but the child playfully avoids & runs rings fround the dragon.

    I’m a huge Karel Zeman fan ( Baron Prasil ( Munchausen ) is my alltime favourite feature film ), but wonderful though his all-glass short film ‘Inspiration’ is I would rate ‘Kaleidodcope” higher in terms of its overall effect.
    Everyone else I know – of all ages – who have seen it – maybe about 10 people;
    have genuinely loved it also .
    I have seen maybe a dozen other shorts by Bedrich & although several are very good ( ‘The Little Chimney Sweep’ is very pleasant & charming, though not in the same league as ‘Pisnica Pro Sklica’ ) most though ok aren’t that good.
    In the last few years it is mentioned here & there in reference lists on the internet but I’ve yet to see the actual short on the internet.
    Although it’s probably a year since I last searched ‘Google videos’ & Youtube for it
    ( so perhaps it is now on the net? ).
    It cries out for a release because it is such a creative work full of texture, colour, and love.
    Ten minutes of bliss.

  • Apologies re my last post ! –
    I miss-spelt the original Czech title of the
    ‘Kaleidoscope’
    animation by Vaclav Bedrich which I was talking about –
    I left out a couple of letter k’s :

    The correct spelling is –

    ‘Pisnicka Pro Sklicka’

    3 k’s in all not just one!

    ( I wrote the wrong spelling down from what I’d written -incorrectly – on a dvd-r copy I made a few years ago.

    Looking it up on the net just now it didn’t turn up as a reference at all,
    so I checked the actual on-screen title on the film itself –
    & discovered l’d missed out 2 k’s.

    With the correct spelling it does indeed turn up;
    eg at Bedrich’s filmography at the BFI
    ( British Film Institute ) & elsewhere.
    Although it is not listed in his – much briefer thsn his actual film output -filmography at the imdb. )

    Having searched again for the actual film at ‘Google videos’ it still appears not to be online.

    However; searching for it –
    for the 1st time – on ‘Google images’
    some images do turn up – eg the 1st result there.
    It’s fairly clear which images in the search results are from it, as it’s all in coloured glass.

    Most interestingly – for myself at least – there appears to be a
    ( foreign language ) children’s book of it using actual stills.

    The image results do give a good idea of some of the look of the film – although of course not of its motion & some of the image-melding effects it uses towards the end.

    Thanks for reading this Steve & anyone else.
    And thanks for this week’s Walter Lantz piece – very enjoyable.

    Sorry again for any previous confusion to do with the spelling.

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