But first — The Complete Animated Adventures of Van Beuren’s Tom and Jerry is now back and shipping!
This is a set that seemed to never be getting closer to the finish line for a while as I kept trying to get better versions of many of the films. We scanned more prints for this set than any other up to this point- with more material scanned and then not used than any other. Until I started to gather all the HD scans in one place I hadn’t realized just how many prints went into eventually finishing the set. As you try to upgrade things that’s not so unusual to scan more than one when you don’t have master material, but the variance on prints was astonishing through the process. Most of the material was 16mm for the set, but in the end we were able to get three in 35mm – Polar Pals, A Swiss Trick and Piano Tooners.
Over all the years I’ve been collecting, good prints of the Tom and Jerrys were always on my want list. Some of the prints I’ve had for many years that ended up on the set, and the best prints that other collectors had found over the years were *still* the best prints that we’ve found on many of the titles.I’m particullly indepted to Mark Kausler, who had beautiful material on some of the hardest to find good prints on, and Tommy Stathes for generously letting me use his as well. Chris Buchman, Jeff Missinne, Alice Savage and Thad Komorowski came through with the best material on some titles, Jay Diaz lent a rare print of Redskin Blues that fixed some splices and improved scenes, and George Willeman at the Library of Congress help navigate me through getting some key things, as he has over all these years. I’m especially grateful for Jerry Beck, who has championed even my craziest DVD and Blu-ray ideas over these years. Once in a while I think we’re on the right track.
All the pre-orders are going out this week-so if you pre-ordered you’ll get yours first — and if you didn’t pre-order you can get the set on Amazon.com
…or at thunderbeanshop.com
Here’s a little preview, with a shot from every cartoon in the series, in order:
Yesterday (January 17th) was the 95th anniversary of the first appearance of Popeye — in Thimble Theatre.
The website Comics Kingdom did a nice article on Popeye— with some of the new comics as well as his first appearance.
Popeye is, arguably, the best adaption of a comic strip character into an animated cartoon— and certainly the most prolific. I know many of you have loved the Fleischer cartoons since first seeing them, and many generations have. Popeye is a rare creation that seems to work with each new generation. When I first saw the cartoons on TV, it was a curiosity that they were in black and white since, even as a child, we had a color TV. They were the *only* black and white cartoons still on TV in the early 70s in the Detroit market, but they were of course paired with the color Famous Studios output. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I really saw Segar’s work. I remember pouring over several of the longer stories for week, thinking about how the story construction worked and especially how the Fleischers had managed to get some of the comic strip ideas into the films (especially one my favorites as a kid, Goonland (1938). So, if you get a chance, sit down and watch a classic Popeye cartoon, and find some of Segar’s great work from the early years of the strip. They’re wonderfully entertaining, and Popeye lives every time we bring him back to life.
Have a good week everyone!!