We’ll talk about Thunderbean stuff next week since progress continues, and it’s nice to take a little break from the who’s and what’s for a week. Things are going really well as we finish several projects, and we’ll be giving updates in the coming weeks. As we move forward, we’ll also be taking many of the special sets off the site, so visit the Thunderbean shop if there’s any special discs you’d still like.
Now — onto our cartoon!
I always thought it was funny that the Terrytoons were appreciated by a seemingly small group of people- and, like Famous studios, never with much attention to the art of the films. The internet age has, somehow, started to change the overall opinion of the shorts the studio produced, largely from various people posting copies of many of the films the studio produced.
I see the studio as having sort of five periods. Each partially spreads into another, and their timing is unusual compared to some other studios in terms of design eras. The longest of these eras seems to be from about 1941 through 1956, stopping as the studio was purchased by CBS. This later 50s period is especially appreciated these days, and rightly so— but the really nice qualities of early 50s cartoons are often ignored.
During this era, there is some variance in the product the studio produced, but it’s also sort surprising how many years the look and feel of the films stays amazingly similar, down to the layout’s color design, musical scores and sound effects. Watching films from the early 50s can be strange, especially when viewing cartoons from *any* other studio made during he same period (Even Famous Studio’s shorts show more changes in art direction and writing). That said, there’s still lots of really fun Terrytoon cartoons through all those years.
Growing up watching the Terrytoons, I was surprised to see new ones almost every time I saw them. For many years they were on TV in Detroit, broadcast on channel 20 (WXON). This particular one I was many times, and was always happy when it showed up. Some of the gags were chatted about on the grade school playground by my friends and I, especially the witch riding a Vacuum cleaner instead of a broom.
While Hansel and Gretel is pretty standard Terrytoons stuff, watching this film shows off some of the best qualities of the studio around this time: some beautiful backgrounds and entertaining animation by many of your favorite Terrytoons animators. You can understand why the films continued to be made for so many years. They are always enjoyable to a point, looking especially good on a big screen.
While this one isn’t from a Technicolor print, this 16mm print was pretty decent at least. I especially like the backgrounds in the beginning of the film and with our heroes in the woods and coming up to the witch’s house. I hope you enjoy it too! Have a good week everyone!