July 14, 2016 posted by

“Flip the Frog” Sneak Preview and Preorder


First off, some news on the Thunderbean front: The Thunderbean Thursday 2016 set has started shipping finally, and I hope to get all of them out the door by Friday. Thanks to everyone for supporting this little set – it helped to get Cubby out the door a little faster.

Next – and speaking of Cubby, the master is off to replication! When it’s back the pre-orders will go out first, and I’ll announce it here as well. Abbott and Costello is nearly all together now, and I hope to have that off to mastering next week if all goes well. The 1953 Colgate Comedy Hour show where Bud appears alone (Lou was sick) is a real gem- Lou still appears in pre-filmed skits, with Martin and Lewis stepping in to help host. It’s just one of many really rare things on the set, and as a big Abbott and Costello fan, I’m thrilled to help put it together.

Third: Another batch of nitrate Flip The Frog’s will be coming in the next week or two, and all materials for the set should be scanned by the end of August. I’ll be taking a trip to LA to look through the Comi-Colors and other materials, and hopefully will have more announcements then as well.

flip-forest-creaturesI’ve completed the inspection of the Flip materials here, and they’re overall just beautiful. The MGM fine grains are things of beauty. On the original negs though, I’ve removed tape, a staple, a bandage used as a splice (I wonder who’s DNA that has on it?) and various gunk as well as carefully tape slicing and reinforcing some splices as I prep for more scanning. Happily nothing has been too difficult, and the deterioration has been very minimal on the 37-plus reels so far. We’re lining up the digital restoration team to start working exclusively on Flip. It’s actually much easier to clean much of the Flip material up compared to Cubby, since the Flips are so clean overall, and almost all 35mm. There are several we don’t have 35mm on yet, but have found that there is an archive that they exist at in 35mm.

Right now we have about 70% of them either ready to be scanned or scanned already. Since last week’s post, I’ve been getting lots of requests for a ‘special’ sneak preview set on Flip, from the new materials we’ve been scanning.

The set is looking fantastic. Here are some stills from Fiddlesticks:



As has become the custom here on Cartoon Research, I’m happy to announce this week the ‘Pre-order’ on the Flip the Frog Blu-ray set.. with a special ‘Sneak Preview’’ Blu-ray featuring 10 of the 38 cartoons. The pre-order of course also includes the final 2-disc Blu-ray set when it’s finished. The offer is only good through the end of this month, with the ‘special’ disc being sent on August 1. There will also be a very unusual special feature on the set- to be announced soon…

The pre-order is $20, plus $3 shipping. You can see the details at the Thunderbean Website here.


Now – onto this week’s cartoon clips!

A little while back we featured a short reel of Technicolor nitrate clips, featuring some animation. This week, we have another one of those Cinema-Paridiso-style reels, with this one looking as if the projectionist or whoever saved these was interested in getting celebrity caricature clips. I like the way the reel is edited- it seems like they were paying attention to the sound in the clips. It’s also a cool chance to see what the color looked like on these original Technicolor release prints. An additional bonus is seeing a clip from one of the ‘lost’ Barney Google cartoons… as well as bits of hard-to-see Columbia Color Rhapsodies like Hollywood Graduation (1938) and Hollywood Sweepstakes (1939). I only wish it was longer! This little reel appears here courtesy of patron film saint Dennis Atkinson, who was kind enough to lend it for transfer.


See if you can identify some of the clips! I was going to list them – but I thought I’d let you test your cartoon knowledge!

I hope you like this little fun reel! Have a good week everyone!


  • Oh my goodness! Hearing about the forthcoming FLIP THE FROG just made my week! I’ll pre-order as soon as I get the chance! As I’ve told you, this is a set that I’m highly anticipating since I liked the WILLIE WHOPPER set. I know, from the special previews you’ve already given us, that I’ll thoroughly enjoy the FLIP cartoons, too.

    And oh, that nitrate reel! I recognized “VIVA BUDDY” and “SWING WEDDING” among them, and I know that there were others like “MR. AND MRS. IS THEIR NAME” from the MERRIE MELODIES filmography that has also been featured. Aren’t 1930’s cartoons the best!!

    Anyway, I am psyched to receive my THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY disk and I await the CUBBY BEAR set as well; I hope I did put in my pre-order. I’ve no way of checking on that one, but I definitely want that disk, too, just to hear the improvements in the soundtracks of each one.

  • At 1:00 on the Bitrate reel, are those Technicolor fragments to a Screen Gems “Barney Google” cartoon?

  • Any plans to release the Flips on DVD?

  • This has been a VERY happy day man!!!!!

  • Will the final Flip the Frog set have a DVD included or will there be a DVD version of the set? I don’t have a Bluray player.

  • Wow, I’m off to pre-order Flip right now. As to the clip reel, what a delightful smorgasbord! I’m sure folks much sharper than yours truly can identify some of the more obscure clips. The shot that pops out for me is the guy trying to grab his own index finger from one of my my favorite unfunny Color Rhapsodies THE MAD HATTER.

  • I was hoping Flip (and in time, the ComiColor set) would follow Willie’s precedent by including a DVD with the Blu-ray … as well as the fun collectible drinking glass!

    Tell me, are the shorts on the “sneak preview” disc also included in the final two-disc set? Or are we just receiving part of the final set early? If they’re duplicates, I might like to share the bonus disc with a friend.

    • It’s been a debate to still make DVDs here; we’ll consider it, but then there would be four discs in the DVD case- and it starts to get expensive to make and keep the price of the sets reasonable….Blu-rays do look really nice too 😉

  • At last! I’ve been looking forward to these Flip restorations ever since you mentioned the project. These are the cartoons that fill up my “cartoon tank” anytime the well starts getting dry. I just now placed the order!

    • Me too Sherm! Seeing some of them transferred a few days back was astonishing in HD.. I really love being able to go back to original negatives and fine grains. Puppy Love is getting done next session- and I can’t wait to see what ‘extra’ footage it has and compare the four different versions I know of…

    • Steve, sell the DVDs as a separate package.

  • The clip of Donald asking the ice skater for an autograph is from “The Autograph Hound”, I believe. Also, really cool to see a color clip from a Barney Google- WITH SOME SOUND!

  • Wonderful news. My pre-order is in and I’m looking forward to all the upcoming discs. The color footage is amazing looking. I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate the dedication that you and your team have.

  • @2:29 Was that? Could that be? Is that the lost ending to Hollywood Steps Out!?!?

  • This is off-topic but kinda noteworthy. 83 years ago today Popeye strutted across movie screens for the first time. Spinach smoothies for everyone!

  • Sonja Henie rotoscoped ice-skating from “Land of the Midnight Fun” – One of my favorite WB cartoons of all time!

  • Is that the lost ending of HOLLYWOOD STEPS OUT in the reel?

    • Yes.. a piece of the missing piece!

  • This is the most you’ve said about the ABBOTT AND COSTELLO RARITIES disc, though you keep mentioning it. I know it’s live-action and not animation, but would love to hear more about it. That’s one I definitely want to get!


    • I’ll try to talk more about the A&C project this next week… it’s been in progress forever….

  • I’ve already pre-ordered! And I’m astounded as to how you keep the prices so low on these sets! Thank you so much! If you can make money from these niche collector sets, why can’t the big studios make money from more mainstream animation sets? I wish the big companies would just allow you to do all their sets!

    In regard to an earlier Thunderbean set: I would like to know if we are ever going to get a manufactured Blu-ray and DVD to replace the Blu-ray-R and DVD-R in the “Classics from the Van Beuren Studio” set? My DVD-R in that set went bad many moons ago!

  • My Pre-Order is done! I’m looking forward to this!

  • I’m back! I placed my pre-order. Like some of you, I also wish that these were Blu-ray/DVD combos, but I’m just glad that the FLIP cartoons are coming out at all! I know they will look and sound terrific, and I’m anxious to even get the sneak preview disk and find out what extras are in store for the main 38-cartoon set, if any. I’m sure that commentaries on some of the cartoons are in order, too. The only reason I stress the combo pack idea is that I know of someone who has been eagerly awaiting this set but he hasn’t a Blu-ray machine.

  • I don’t have any way to play blu-rays. I don’t own a TV, and my computers only play DVDs. 🙁

  • BUT… the color on the color Flips is gorgeous, and I dug the mystery clip reel. If only the guy had saved the complete HOLLYWOOD STEPS OUT!!!

  • Got my money down and my Playstation ready and waiting!

    I’m curious though, when the Abbott & Costello set is completed, do you plan to do more projects with live-action film in the future?

    Nevertheless, it’s a pleasure as always!

  • Got my preorder in for the Flip the Frog set! What a great idea to give us a preview to hold us over until the set is finished!

    Did I miss the preorder for the Abbot and Costello set, or hasn’t it been offered yet? I would like to get one if they are available.

  • Steve got my pre-order in for the Flip the Frogs also. Thanks for that opportunity.
    And the nitrate clip film is very interesting. The clips have outstanding color and sharpness..too bad the TV prints did not employ the same standards.

    And for Snuffy Smith..too bad the prints were “contractually” destroyed after a specific time frame . But because of good judgement such series as the Popeye cartoons and the Flash Gordon movie serials were spared.

  • Oh, crud… Now the introductory music to the Flip the Frog cartoons is going through my head. Thanks a lot, Stanch.

    Onward and upward… those cartoon fragments are pretty short! I’m surprised so few people gave it a crack. I figured youse guys and gals must be a lot smarter about this than I am. I can’t swear to it, but the fragment with the Frankenstein monster _might_ be the 1935 Warner Bros. cartoon “Hollywood Capers” (black and white Looney Tune), starring Beans the cat.

    Similarly, I think Kevin Wollenweber’s first entry above is correct – almost. The one with the Charlie Chaplin “merman” character might be the 1935 WB cartoon “Mr. and Mrs. is _the_ Name” (color Merrie Melody; not “Their” Name), starring Buddy as a “merboy” (imitating Chaplin in the fragment) and his girlfriend Cookie as a mermaid (not in the clip).

    The one with Betty Boop in the grass skirt might be the introduction to the first cartoon with Popeye the Sailor, entitled… wait for IT… “Popeye the Sailor” (1933). But I’m not sure… I know she dances in a grass skirt at the beginning of “Popeye the Sailor,” but…

    I thought of “Viva Buddy” (WB; 1934, I think) when I saw the clip with the caricature of Wallace Beery, but I haven’t seen the cartoon, so I shouldn’t “opine.” Wallace Beery was caricatured in at least one other cartoon. The color one with Clark Gable and the big ears… and the scene with the stars around the table (HAH! Now I know that Buster Keaton was caricatured in at least one cartoon!) … yeah, that might be “Hollywood Steps Out.” The clip with Katharine Hepburn: “Mother Goose Goes Hollywood?”

    W. C. Fields as a balloon … “Balloonland”/”The Pincushion Man?”

    OK, ’nuff of that! I’ll put in my order for the Flippies posthaste. Thanks!

    • The Betty Boop clip was from Betty Boop’s Bamboo Isle. (the sequence also appeared in “Betty Boop’s Rise to Fame”)

  • Clips in that reel I could identify:
    -Mickey’s Polo Team (’36)
    -Hollywood Steps Out (’41)
    -The Autograph Hound (’39)
    -Popeye Meets Sinbad the Sailor (’36)
    -Mr. And Mrs. Is the Name (’34)
    -Mother Goose Goes Hollywood (’38)
    -Land of the Midnight Fun (’39)
    -Betty Boop’s Bamboo Isle (’32)

  • Pre-ordered! I can hardly wait!

  • Here are the cartoons I have been able to identify

    1. Skeleton Frolic?
    2. Popeye the Sailor meets Sindbad the Sailor
    3. Popeye the Sailor.
    4. Betty Boop’s Bamboo Isle
    5. Who Killed Cock Robin
    6 Broken Toys
    7. Mickey’s Polo Game
    8. Mother Goose Goes Hollywood.
    9. Hollywood Picnic
    10. The Autograph Hound
    11. Hollywood Steps Out.

  • Was this “special Sneak Preview Blu-ray featuring 10 of the 38 cartoons” from the FLIP set ever sent out??

  • Hello- I have a Flip The Frog home movie on 8 mm reel. Does anyone know what it might be worth? It has several cartoons on it : the cuckoo murder case, movie mad, stormy seas… seems in good shape but I’ve never watched it.

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