Happy New Year everyone!
In theory, the break from school should give me a lot more time to work on Thunderbean stuff; that has *sort of* been true, but progress while you are touching lots of projects never feels like much is happening, at least not right away. The reality is I’ve been basically doing nothing else but working on this stuff; I’m looking forward to getting back to the school year and being able to draw a little more.
In the world of Thunderbean, some of the things I’d *really* like to talk about are the things that are moving along like molasses at the moment. But heck, it’s still early in the year, and soon I’ll be able to show a lot of this stuff and talk about them here.
Earlier today, I finished working on the master for a project of films featuring the poetry of Edgar Guest. This one has been in progress off and on since May – so I’m happy to get it all set! It’s a special project for Dennis Atkinson, a great film collector and friend and the top donor of all time of films to the Library of Congress. It has turned out to be a pretty cool set, consisting of the Poetic Gems series.
The really fun thing was finding all the bonus materials to put on the set near the end. Dennis provided a lot of them, but I found more- and one especially good find was a series of 15 minute radio shows from the early 40s. I managed to fit 26 of those in the bonus features! I put together this project as if it was an ‘official’ release, but I really don’t know if it will be. I’ve found that right at the end of the project is when I started to enjoy the films themselves rather than just look for the technical problems to solve.
Phantom Planet (1961), another live action release, was finished a few weeks back, and I’m happy getting reports back that people like it. It’s available on on Amazon here.
The Fleischer Rarites set has been pretty close to finished for a little while; I’ve been doing some additional cleaning up and even adding a few other shorts to it. Looking forward to finally getting this set out- it’s been a year!
As I write this on the 3rd day of 2018, I’m largely thinking about all the possibilities of the year. While there are a lot of projects on deck here, as I was sitting down and looking through each project’s binder (and digital files), it’s clear that they’re all in really good shape, except for one (!). So, happily I can set aside talking about these for a minute!
The project that is in limbo at the the moment is Mr. Bug Goes to Town. We have a tentative license deal that got muddied up in the business office. Until “Thunderbean” is a bit bigger (and can offer more substantial guarantee money) it looks like this project is staying in a holding pattern. One of the reasons to have so many titles in a short period of time is to get “Hoppity” further along. Let’s see what happens…
Since it is the beginning of the year, I can probably get away with musing about what I’d like to do beyond what we actually are doing. So, I thought I’d ask a question that I usually ask around this time – what films are high on your want list? And, to add, what would you like to see Thunderbean do?
THESE are what I’d put high priority on given the ability to do so. Heck, maybe at some point we’ll be able to. There are some other things that we are doing that would be on this list if we weren’t working on them. I wish the list below all had that status! I’d love to hear what everyone is wanting to see. Be brutal. Be truthful! Let it all out! I am!
Here are my top 10 for 2018 that I’d like to see as a Blu-ray release:
1) Beany and Cecil – I’d love to see the cartoon series available on Blu-ray in its entirety. I’d even more like to see the surviving ‘Time for Beany’ puppet shows- the more the better!
2) Columbia’s Scrappy Cartoons. While some people like the Krazy Kats even more, I have a soft spot for Scrappy and Oopy (as if that wasn’t apparent here). The negs on these shorts are, for the most part, in remarkably good shape, at least the ones I’ve seen. If this could happen, of course, it would be great to add all the other Columbia shorts after this.
3) Fleischer’s Color Classics. With their almost all- Public Domain status, it’s clearly not a priority for an ‘official’ release of these shorts. That said, a set scanned from the original negs on these would be nothing less than a revelation. A majority of these have their successive exposure negs fully intact. There’s no reason to store all this beautiful stuff if there’s never a possibility of seeing it.
4) Fleischer’s Talkartoons. These would be the 38 or so cartoons from the every 30s; the series eventually evolved into the Betty Boop series. For the most part, the negs on these are in beautiful shape as well.
5) The Black and White Terrytoons! I know this would *never* be a top seller, but heck, I managed to break even on Willie Whopper, so anything is possible! I’d love a set of *all* the Black and Whites, but I’d take a set of all the early shorts probably first- I really love their bizarreness.
6) The Gerald McBoing Boing Show. While it’s pretty hit or miss, I really love the varied art styles and fun stories.
8) A Blu-ray of Richard William’s Commercials. Now, here’s something that probably could never happen, but it’s so disheartening to see blurry copies of the on youtube; and those copies look *better* than the crappy many-generations down VHS tapes I have.
9) The rest of the Betty Boop Cartoons! Olive Film’s sets, while not perfect, are pretty darn nice.. but most of the ‘Public Domain’ Bettys are missing. Wouldn’t it be great for all of them to be out?
10) Tom and Jerry Golden Collection – Volume 2. The first volume was of course not perfect, but so nice to see them looking that good. To me, the rest can wait if this was to become a reality!
So, for today anyway, we can dream! Now it’s your turn – what are your wishes for classic cartoons restored and released on disc? Have a great end of the first week of the year everyone!