THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
September 3, 2020 posted by Steve Stanchfield

On ‘Linus the Lionharted’ – and watch episode #2239!

School has started on good notes overall here— and it’s been really great to work with students again. I’ve been over at Thunderbean to get basics done this week, but that’s about it. Nights have been filled with getting things put together, and I’m smiling the whole time enjoying the progress. Scans continue weekly and I’m really digging so many projects moving forward at the same time.

We’ll be sending seven sets together that folks pre-ordered in the coming few weeks, and I think we’ll be able to get Rainbow Parades and More Stop Motion Marvels replicated sometime in September if we can mange to swing the costs. There are an additional nine sets that we’re slated to finish this year — mostly ‘special’ sets. Thunderbean will also be launching a web site in the coming weeks, and it will include a page that shows the current status of each of the projects. David Grauman, a long-time Thunderbeaner, has taken the reigns of the website and store there, and I couldn’t be happier (!). It’s an exciting time.

One of the sets that is just getting finished is “On Hold” – a compilation featuring things from a bunch of projects that are, well, still on-hold or not finished for one reason or another. I really like all the projects, but thought it would be good to allow at least some of these things to be available before the actual sets are completed since they’ve all found various ‘snags’. Thanks to all that helped with the pre-order on this one. I hope to start dubbing the set before weeks end, and debating on having it available on Amazon for a little while for those that missed it.


Original 1967 advertisement for ABC’s Sunday cartoon line-up.

For you Linus the Lionhearted fans this week — or, hopefully, some new fans too— here’s a mini-treat: a complete broadcast a network episode with commercials.

I’m a relatively newcomer to Linus, having seen many of them for the first time just a handful of years ago. They have a strange history, being made for General Foods by Ed Graham Jr. productions. The original negatives remain missing, although there are many prints of the shows in the hands of collectors as well as some negs. It’s possible I discovered where the negs are this past week.

Mark Kausler wrote an excellent article on ‘Linus’. If you haven’t read it, it is essential reading on the show- and I think one of the best posts ever on Cartoon Research. Make sure to read the comments as well.

I put this film up yesterday (knowing today would be really busy), and in that time there’s been informative comments by our own Devon Baxter and Barry Grauman. Grauman notes: “1967 Sunday morning repeat, as “Sugar Crisp” became “SUPER Sugar Crisp” that summer.”

The ‘On Hold’ set has two complete Linus the Lionhearted shows on it, both from ABC broadcast negatives. I have nine of those negatives here and just learned about a handful more in the hands of another friend. On examining the negs (and edge codes) it appears that they are the black and white ABC negatives that have been updated with newer commercials.

I chose this particular episode from the ones we have because it includes ‘Shadow Theif’, one of Mark’s favorites for good reason. It’s a funny story with really fun animation and voice performances. One of my favorites as well now.

Although these episodes are in black and white, it’s fun to see how these were broadcast, even in the second iteration Sunday morning versions shown on ABC. I wonder how many parents chuckled along with the humor on the show at the time. While I wish these were in color, scanning them at least provides a good base for what will hopefully be a set at some point in the future. So many projects….

Now, imagine tuning into ABC to see this show, hopefully with a de-lish-ious bowl of some sugary cereal from Post, of course:

Have a good week all!

24 Comments

  • Wow! I haven’t seen an episode of Linus since the early 70’s. I intend pre-ordering the “On Hold” set soon.

  • Ah, this takes me back to when I sat in front of the TV watching cartoons while eating breakfast cereal…. But then, I still do that most mornings.

    Re Frank Cuddleback: Cuddeback (without the L) is an actual surname. Col. William Cuddeback was an officer in the War of 1812, and the town of Cuddebackville, New York, is named after him. Maybe one of the writers knew somebody by that name. In any case, I think Cuddleback and the svelte Miss Keel (a takeoff on “The Avengers”, highlighted by the musical score) made a great team. Did they appear in any other episodes?

    I remember another commercial for Alpha-Bits cereal where the kids spelled their names in their spoons. In this one, a boy with glasses struggles with the letters, but in the end proudly holds up his name in a big soup ladle: “Hollingsworth!” Every time I saw director Hollingsworth Morse’s name in the credits on H. R. Pufnstuf, I thought about that commercial.

    When Sugar Bear sang an entire stanza of “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”, I found my “Laughing Place”!

  • I watched lots of Linus as a kid and certainly fit the sugary cereal demographic but I never heard of Corn Crackos. And isn’t it amazing that Carl Reiner and Sheldon Leonard did some of the voice work.

    • I watched a lot of it,too..I remember Corn Crackos, unlike you..:)

  • “Linus” was one of my true joys of Sat. morning!! Clever, greatly-paced, and a cast that could NOT stop!! (And did i go ka-raaazy when HE was “the new balloon” on Macy’s big Day!!) TY!!!

  • I was wondering also how the rendition of “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” snuck past Disney lawyers, maybe the studio was still too busy dealing Walt’s passing.

  • Reiner’s “Dick Van Dyke Show” was pretty much the only one out of the Danny Thomas-Sheldon Leonard sitcom production factory in the late 1950s-early 60s that was not sponsored mainly by General Foods on CBS, and the connection between the company and Leonard continued with Linus (I had forgotten they already had drastically shortened the open and closing animation and music for the show by the time it moved from CBS to ABC — I was remembering the shortened versions as arriving when ‘Linus’ went into syndication).

  • So what’s the Latest Update on the Blu-Ray Reissue of Stop Motion Marvels as well as the Lou Bunin Set ????

  • Poor Jesse White doesn’t get a voice credit. And that sure sounds like Jean Vander Pyl in the Loveable Truly segment.
    I’ve always been puzzled by Hoyt Curtin’s credit. The series leaned toward stock music but in this particular Linus segment, the music is different than what I’m used to hearing and could very well be Curtin’s.

    • Irv Spector also goes uncredited in the credits here, which may only be the case on the shortened end title sequence here, as opposed to the original 1964 credit sequence (something similar happened at Warners, where the further and further away the studio got from the original 1960 “Bugs Bunny Show” credits, the more and more mistakes that snuck in).

    • Spector is credited under Storyboard.

    • Not sure what season it was,but I recall the uncredited voice actors referred to as the “Bashful Big Shots”.

  • IF the original color negatives don’t exist, this might be the one and only time I’d champion careful computer “colorization” as a compromise to restoration! Nice seeing the show after all these years!

    • I never got to see the show as a kid- Len– how old do you think you were when you were watching? The episodes, I think, all exist in color prints- faded, but that can be (somewhat) corrected digitally….

  • I’ve seen enough EGPI animation to know that they didn’t do the SSC ad.
    RAY FAVATA PRODUCTIONS did.

    I can tell by the almost ED EDD N EDDY-esque approach to Bear, Goodwitch, Vicious and the rest of the “Vitamin Stealers”.

  • Ah, the memories! Nice seeing the show and those commercials looking brand new! By the way, was the Bugs Bunny commercial one of Tex Avery’s?

  • You know it’s bad when I think of the show as “Crispy Critters” and not “Linus the Lionhearted.”

  • Love Linus the lion, I collect a lot of toy memorabilia, hand puppet in box, the puppet set, bank, stuffed doll, lunchbox, can’t post photos here, thanks for the memories, I loved crispy critters so much as a kid, I used to eat it without milk

  • I enjoyed this show, but I guess I liked the earlier episodes, where the character of Lovable Truly the mailman sounded like Gomer Pyle, or that voice used for Milton the Monster; it just fit the character better, and I’d always liked Richard Harry-Nearly as a foil.

    Steve, I’d really like to know when the ON-HOLD disk is put up on Amazon, just so I can snag those two shows that are included. Also, I wanted to let you know that I got the copy of ANIMATED COMMERCIALS, VOL. 2 on blu-ray, although I hope you’re still working on a “special” edition of that disk that includes that extra disk of ads that didn’t make it onto the main set. The selection of ads that did make it are wonderful!

    As I’m always saying, however, I recall ads from the 1960’s that were live action, but the antics and special effects made the ad seem more like an animated cartoon, right down to using stop motion on the live actors or actually air-brushing the images so that they look as if they belong in a cartoon; I hope my comments from memory are making sense to those of you who collect and might actually have such memorable wacky ads in your private collections.

    Steve, you did a fabulous job on this as usual, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to see some little-known or classic ads the way we remember them. Perhaps, in the future, you can seek out some of the wilder Stan Freiberg ads as well…hey, I’m always hoping that these turn up someday, so I toss the ideas out there as suggestions. I look forward, as always, to the amazing results, and the new website which will, hopefully, be easily navigated by a limited techie like me!

  • Something tells me “Discovery 67” wasn’t very funny. (Okay, kids, enough watching standing-still cartoon characters’ mouths move, time to learn something.) Or, depending on your point of view, maybe it was the funniest of the lot.

  • Loved it! Do all the episodes exist in color?

  • Lots of viewers likely liked “Linus the Lionhearted” because he and his co-stars had reputations as Post cereal mascots.

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