March 16, 2017 posted by

Original Titles, “Bridge Trouble” (Jam Handy, 1949) and “Happy New Year 1952”

Thunderbean Update: I owe a much longer article coming up for sure. Things are humming along with lots of cleanup in progress here as we’re busy working on the launch of a big project this next week.

Abbott & Costello Rarities, the first out of the new Blu-ray titles, may very well be back from replication either late this week or early next. I’ll chat about it a little next week here. As that project has come off all the hard drives and archived, the new projects have started to fill them back up. We’re busy preparing some films for the upcoming TCM Fest in Hollywood, and looking forward to finishing scanning the batch of Nitrate here of Flip the Frogs so we can get the final batch of Flips to scan for the set.

The Van Beuren Rainbow Parade set is starting here along side the Comi-Color Cartoons. So far, it’s been really fun to see material I have never seen before, including many original title sequences. I’ve very much looking forward to getting the various elements from these to scan. Some exist only as prints, others have their original negs.

Sunshine-makers-original-title Directed-by-eshbaugh
Frames from what may be the only existing print with original titles of ‘Sunshine Makers’ (1935).

Frames from what may be the only existing print with original titles of ‘Sunshine Makers’ (1935).

There are many projects in various stages. I tend to meander through a handful of projects at a time, concentrating on bringing everything together as the films start to all be cleaned up. Mid Century Modern 2 has started to be built, and this one is likely to go to mastering early next week as well, with Volume 1 following soon after. Flip has easily been the hardest to get finished here. Fleischer Rarities is next in line after that, and perhaps Flip will be ready to flip if all the elements come together.

We’ll be reissuing the Gulliver’s Travels Blu-ray set sometime soon (it’s been out of print for the majority of this year).

The Blu-ray Stop Motion Set moved forward a little this week, with several things showing up here I’ve never seen before. The Lou Bunin set had been in a deep sleep for a little while, but there’s some movement now on this project as well. All told, thirteen sets are in some sort of active progress- hard to keep up with, but it’s a busy year!

Here is a scan of a rare German title from the Comi-Color series, from a print of ‘Balloonland’. (Courtesy Library of Congress)

Here is a scan of a rare German title from the Comi-Color series, from a print of ‘Balloonland’. (Courtesy Library of Congress)

There are other projects that I’d dearly love to get going as well – though various hurdles are delaying their progress currently. I’m really hoping to have news on those soon.

One of the small advantages of being a film collector living in Michigan is that, on occasion, something from Jam Handy is more likely to show up more than in other states. For YEARS it would run through my mind that I had a little roll featuring what looked like a Jam Handy Commercial, and I’d only think about it as a fleeting thought. I finally went looking for this little reel just before a transfer session, and was glad I did – it turned out to be a crisp print of a little theatrical commercial touting the advantages of used cars. This short was made right down the street from where I teach – about a mile and a half away.

I’m not sure of the staff at Jam Handy when this was made (“…calling Jonathan Boschen!“) but the paperwork for Handy’s productions exist, so at some point it would be fun to research and find out who worked on each particular short. This one advertises OK Used Cars on Chervolet Dealer lots. It’s not terribly well animated, but still fun.

On the same little roll was a “Happy New Year, 1952” spot.. so I left it on the transfer and here.

Have a good week everyone!


  • I love the original titles for Sunshine Makers and Balloonland. Really quite pretty.

    (Which does make me wonder if Jerry B. will sometime do a comprehensive update — and preview here? — of his great webpage which shows a lot of original titles. It does seem like progress has been made on a number of fronts since the page was last worked on.)

    • I agree wholeheartedly, those German titles look neat and that “Sunshine Makers” print is a stunning find! Wonder if anymore Cinecolor Rainbow Parades will surface with original titles.

      As always, keep up the good work, Steve, can’t wait for more “sneak peeks” on upcoming projects.

  • According to the Jam Handy logs, “Bridge Trouble” was made in 1940. It was completed along with a handful of other advertisement shorts/’minute movies’ made for Chevrolet (cartoons possibly?) in 1940: “Ace In the Hole”, “Captain Courageous”, “A Gold Rush”, “The Ranch” (Technicolor), “On The Camps” (Technicolor) “After The Swim” (1940). Samuel Benavie certainly did the music to “Bridge Trouble”. I’m going to guess that the animation was by Jim Tyer since it is nicely animated.

    • I agree – earmarks of Tyer’s animation are throughout the short, especially the animation of spinning hat.

    • Keep in mind that there could have been a delay, for some reason, in registering the copyright. It’s possible that for some reason, it was discovered that the song itself had not been copyrighted, and action was taken to correct the oversight.

  • Man! I love the character design In BRIDGE TROUBLE!

  • Those original Sunshine Markers titles are something to behold. I’m very happy that you uncovered a lone survivor to use on the project.

    I’m normally not a VB guy, but I’m definitely on board for the Rainbow Parades. Here’s hoping we see other original titles and maybe even Japanese Lanterns in color. on the Blu-Ray.

    Also looking forward to the Comic-Colors.

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