December 30, 2021 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Happy New Year! Watch a Reel of Mid-Century Modern-ish Commercials with Me!

It’s the last post of 2021 (for me) — and every time I type “2021” I think about how futuristic it sounds – almost like a number you’d expect to see in a Tex Avery “of Tomorrow” cartoon.

In The last Thunderbean News of the year:

I’ve been pretty single-minded in working on the final versions of the Flip the Frog cartoons. At this point is almost all little stuff— but it’s been days and days of fixing lots of little stuff! Digitally cleaning things up like missed splices and scratches as well as re-steadying problem shots has been sort of the main thing they need. It’s been going really well, thanks to extensive notes the ‘Brain Trust’ has sent to me about fixing this or that little thing. Right now I’m managed to do version “2” on everything but The Village Specialist. In addition to fixing some splices on that film, there are some some additional fixes on Little Orphan WIllie and School Days, but otherwise very close to having the films all done for the set.

The Van Beuren Tom and Jerry cartoons are following close in Flip’s footsteps. There isn’t as extensive of work to do on these cartoons (or quite as much scrutiny honestly) although some of the prints do need a good amount of clean up. This and Aesop’s Fables are most likely be the next official sets to go to master since they’re already well in progress. The rest of the Rainbow Parade series has been getting scanned, a good part of the Stop Motion Marvels set is done and waiting for the last films to be scanned. The Comi-Colors are scanning slowly as well. Work continues on the special sets too- nine of them will be completed soon- and we hope to have multiple sets dubbed and shipping in the coming week or so.

After such a concentrated time looking at these particular cartoons, a big part of my brain wants to step away from any of the projects over break and just enjoy some cartoons! So – in the spirit of sharing…

I bought some films a little while back and am just getting the chance to watch them during breaks working on the Flips. It seemed a shame to only watch this stuff here with Mary and the cats and dogs, so I thought I’d share it here. So, rather than the usual post about New Year’s related cartoons (see past end-of-the-year posts for some of those!) I thought I’d shoot a little video. It’s not super high quality, but at least I hope I’m properly dressed for this occasion!

This reel looks like it’s full of local commercials – I’m guessing they’re all medium-to-low budget spots. Some of the character design looks a little like Shamus Culhane productions to me, but hard to say of course. I think you’ll recognize Bill Thompson’s voice in the Sealy spot early on in the reel. Thompson of course was Droopy for MGM along with many voices at Disney through the years. It’s always fun to see things that have disappeared from history.

Have a good last few days of the year everyone!


  • To my ears that “uncomfortable” Safeway lady sounded like Penny Singleton.

  • It’s hard to make out much detail, but the Auto Show spot appears to give the year as 1957, which seems about right for all the ads in this reel.

    I don’t think it’s all that surprising that Dorothy Lamour would appear at an auto show. When I was growing up, the Detroit Auto Show used to have a lot of big name entertainers like Dean Martin and Tony Bennett. On the other hand, I once saw Roy Orbison at a regional auto show, but the poor guy was at a slump in his career, and nobody paid any attention to him.

    I swear it sounds as if the milk announcer is saying: “For Riley teenagers who want to bounce back quick, a glass of fresh milk always does the trick!” But it couldn’t be “Riley”, could it? It doesn’t sound like “wily”, and that doesn’t make sense either. Three tall glasses of moo-juice to whoever can decipher the adjective in that jingle!

    • I think the word is “lively”!

      • You’re probably right, though I don’t hear any “V” in there, and the teenagers at the beginning of that spot are anything but lively. I was actually wondering if it might be a slang synonym for “lethargic”!

  • Sounds like Hal Peary with Bill Thompson.

    • Good ear! (Or possibly it’s Willard Waterman..?)

  • Steve:

    I’m having a difficult time ordering three of your special sets. One is Funny Bunnies, another is the rare Warner set, the third is Cartoons Most Wanted.

    The site is rejecting my email, and it won’t even let me create a new password.
    Is there a way to check out as a guest?

    Also, I imagine we’ll be getting Flip in January or February. Did I ever place an order for that? Please answer

    • On the Thunderbean site, Go to the mid/top right and “Submit ticket.” you will get a quick response. (At least I did!)

  • Happy New Year!

  • Is 240p meant to be the maximum resolution?

  • Steve, How does one take part of the Cartoons Most Wanted poll?

  • Your cat stole the show again, loved hearing him purr! Happy MEW year!

  • Steve, I love it when you do this type of post — except this one was so out of focus and with constant black flashes that I had to stop watching it. Any chance you can redo it? Also, why was it not available in HD? The 240 DPI it’s presented in is pretty poor quality.

    Again, I applaud the concept! Just didn’t work for me this time.

    Happy New Year, though!

    PS — The quality of “Christmas Time Comes Once a Year” in last week’s post was out of this world!

  • Really enjoyed the video, thanks! Be even better of course in higher resolution, but that was probably an upload glitch or some other etc. Happy New Year!

  • This was a great post, and it is always nice to know that your kitty was enjoying the cartoons with you. Mine do the same; in fact, my Sandy Paper is sitting in the chair where I usually enjoy such binges; I’m enjoying the “ALL CENSORED” disk as I compose this end-of-year message, and am looking forward to that seemingly bright future ahead for Thunderbean and cartoonal knowledge in the quality I usually expect from you. The “special” disks are always a surprise. Maybe soe of this reel that you’ve shown us today will end up as part of a new MID-CENTURY MODERN collection or classic commercials disk or two? Otherwise, I hope you’re all staying as clear of viral life as humanly possible while getting things done. If things move a tad slower, hey, I’ll certainly understand. Happy 2022 and here’s to the light at the end of all tunnels!

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