I think that 2021 won’t be a year that’s missed too much, honestly. As I sit here helping to check steadying for a series of beautiful nitrate films from a colleague’s project, I’m heartened to think about how the ball continues to roll on making classic animation available. I’m really looking forward to seeing the things that end up happening over these next years, and especially this coming year.
It’s the first week off from an incredibly busy semester, and having some days to just sit down and concentrate on Thunderbean projects has been wonderful. Flip is taking up most of that time here as the year wraps, and soon *won’t* be since it will finally be done!
Each of the Flip cartoons are now going through a final technical pass, looking at each of them again, double checking each aspect. Out of the process has come only a few big things we missed, but there’s lots of tiny things we’ve cleaned up that makes it look just that much better. I really am enjoying the process of working on these little details just before we final. Our own Devon Baxter’s list of little things to fix has been really helpful— and it’s made me scrutinize technical things even more honestly— trying to get it a final pass everyone is happy with.
What I’ve been most impressed by in this project is seeing how amazingly good the studio’s animation is on many of the films, and how carefully synced most of the action is. There’s a lot of (at the time) mastery of the craft of animation through the early films, and it hasn’t been noted as much as it should be. It’s really caused me to re-evaluate the series after spending so much time with them.
There’s so many possibilities in the coming year as well as projects already in the hopper. A couple Van Beuren Tom and Jerrys just got finished in cleanup, and another tomorrow, and Aesop’s Fables are all getting finished too, so as soon as I’m less *Flipped* I’m looking forward to diving into those.
And, since its Christmas time.. onto some Christmas cartoons!
We’ve done ‘special’ Christmas / Holidays sets for years, scanning all kinds of things. Here’s a few of things we’ve had scanned for your holiday enjoyment:
The first is Christmas Cartoon– a 16mm release from Castle Films. Castle and Official Films released a lot of Holiday films in 16mm and 8mm over a 25 year period, some featuring old cartoons, some new productions. This one is unusual is that it features a 30s Terrytoon wrapped in a new (in the 40s) live action opening and closing. There’s another earlier Castle short that features a silent Terry/Van Beuren short as well. They’ve called this cartoon ‘Toyland’- but I’m not sure what short it is. It seems like it is from around 1932… someone here knows!
The second is the Fleischer Classic Christmas Comes But Once a Year (1936). We’re still working on cleaning this short up to be on an official release, but for now here’s the really nice scan from a rare 35mm nitrate print. It’s one of my favorites each year. Film collector David Locke was wonderful in providing this rare print. We’re all able to see this how it should look thanks to him!
Next is The Bon Bon Parade, and 1935 Columbia Color Rhapsody. This scan is from my really, really beat up 16mm Kodachrome print. I got this print many years ago from Jerry Nelson, and it looks like it’s been lovingly enjoyed until it was tattered beyond belief.
I hope you enjoy the Holidays and hopefully these old, little cartoons will bring you some cheer!
Have a good week all – and Season’s Greetings!