This one reads more like a journal entry than post this week, but it ends with Betty Boop, and that can’t be all bad!
It’s late on Wednesday as I write this, with the last few days being swamped entirely. So many films being worked on means days of trying to organize and evaluate various shorts in the various stages of work. We’ve still be doing finishing touches on many Puppetoon shorts. Most of that I’m doing personally, so I’m seeing these films in my sleep, happily. Scans should be coming back from a few other rare 60s shorts that I’ll talk about soon, and we just scanned another rare short on the verge of leaving the planet from Vinegar Syndrome.
A fellow animation professor and I are leaving for the Ottawa Animation Festival at 3 in the morning to catch a 5am train in Windsor, Ontario, just across the bridge from Detroit. If you’ve never been, it’s one of the best animation festivals in the world, with the chance of meeting and talking to talented creators from around the world— as well as seeing newly created and rare animated shorts. I’m excited for the festival, and happy that the festival is showing the newly restored version of the Flip the Frog cartoon The New Car. If you’re not going and love animation, consider a visit at some point. Here’s info: https://www.animationfestival.ca/
These weeks here are filled with teaching and working on getting various sets done. The Rainbow Parade’s are getting all sorts of TLC; these finishing touches are some of my favorite moments working on a set like this, seeing the films getting ready for the final release. There’s the possibility of improving some of the soundtracks with a recent discovery of 35mm fine grain material on some of the Van Beuren shorts; more on that soon.
I had hoped to talk about Grotesqueries this week as well as the newly replicated Noveltoons Blu-ray, but both will have to wait until next week. The pile of finished things rises, and I can’t wait to have all the done things out the door entirely. My cluttered work area is going to have to wait to be cleaned up until after the festival, sadly. This area includes a stack of new film arrivals that I can’t wait to take a look at. Things just after the festival will be as hectic as ever; I’m grateful for the small Thunderbean crew taking up the lion’s share of the shipping duties as I concentrate on finishing touches and building official and ‘special’ sets. So many things to get done….
Cleanup started this week on some of the Van Beuren Tom and Jerry shorts as well as pulling scans from some of the Betty Boops we have since there’s a new stack of Boops here.
And now, this week’s cartoon!
I had a chance to watch Grampy’s Indoor Outing (1936), one of the shorts scanned for the Popeye and Betty ‘special’ disc a little while back. It’s easy to forget how beautifully produced the Betty cartoons are, even in the later years of the series. I always enjoy Grampy showing up in a cartoon. While not a top Fleischer in any way, it’s still a very enjoyable ‘outing’, featuring a really cute setback at the end. I’m pretty sure the ‘Fleischer Kiddie’ voice is the same ‘kid’ that voices the little cat in Van Beuren’s Scotty Finds a Home (1935). Is there documentation of that actor/ actress?
At any rate, to be continued….. have a great week everyone!