THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
March 18, 2021 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Paul Terry presents “Lucky Dog” in Cinemascope!

A little on the Thunderbean Scanning adventure:

Progress on a bunch of Thunderbean things took a nice step forward last week. I spent Wednesday and Thursday morning traveling a little over nine hours to do the longest scanning session ever. I drove back Friday morning and am still tired a half week later!

Over a twelve hour period, we did a ton on scans on a brand new Cintel 2/ Black Magic scanner. It scans 16mm and 35mm in 2k and 4k. We were able to scan almost my entire waiting list of 35mm prints that have been building up here over this past year and a half, and tackled a big batch of 16mm as well. During Covid, all of the scanning facilities near here haven’t been available to do 35mm- but one place had acquired a 16mm Lasergraphics scanner- and that has been very helpful.

Having the ability to have so many things scanned in a short period has been a dream. I brought many of the last batch of nitrate prints and negs that have been here for well over a year now, as well as many prints that were suffering from shrinkage due to Vinegar Syndrome. The new Cintel / Black Magic scanner is a great piece of technology, quietly handling all these reels beautifully and almost all in nearly real-time (in 4k for the 35mm). Even though I was only able to watch from a distance, I’m smitten with this machine. At some point I hope Thunderbean will be able to figure out some way to have one here.

One of the coolest things about the scanner is how well it defuses the surface on the film materials. It’s a game changer in terms of how well it hides abrasions and even some dirt on the material, making it much quicker to clean up the material when doing digital work. The results on this diffusion are beyond what I’ve seen before; I think it works much better on this machine than on the gold-standard Lasergraphics scanner (although a Lasergraphics machine is also a thing of beauty, and much more expensive).

Since we’ve been able to scan so many things this week, many projects are moving forward much quicker. More on that in these coming weeks. I’m hoping to travel again soon and do many more, including a lot more 16mm prints. Now that so many things are scanned and we’re near to finishing some of the special sets, we’ve put a few up at the Thunderbean shop. I’m still concentrating on the last pieces of Rainbow Parades, Volume 1– but working on the master.


The last time I was in California (in November 2019) our own Jerry Beck was kind enough to open up his film collection and lend a bunch of material. As we were going through some 35mm, one of the cans, when opened, sent both of our heads in the air to get away from the smell. Jerry suggested I try to scan it if there was some way to do so before it went back to the earth. That print is this week’s cartoon, Lucky Dog (1956). It’s a nice old original print, with all the original Cinemascope titles. Sadly, Vinegar Syndrome had set in pretty heavily (Vinegar Syndrome, or VS, was a polite way for Kodak to address acetate disintegration. It’s a term that doesn’t include what is actually happening to the material.

I was pretty sure this reel wouldn’t run through a scanner in the condition it was in. To relax the film, I soaked it in Film-Guard as well as using Camphor pieces (from an Indian grocery store) to plasticize the print. Both these things worked pretty well, and the print scanned like a dream.

So, here, back from the Vinegar Syndrome grave, is Lucky Dog (1956) Directed by Connie Rasinski. You’d never know this print was at film death’s door. It’s a pretty odd cartoon, even by Terrytoon standards- and lots of fun to run some of the stuff frame by frame (a quick trick: you can look at youtube frame-by frame by using the less than/more than keys ( < > ) on the lower right of the keyboard).

The use of Cinemascope is quite good at times, and it features some really fun animation (you’ll recognize Terry regulars Carlo Vinci & Jim Tyer’s work along with others).

Have a good week all!

14 Comments

  • God, it’s incredibly bizzare seeing a Terrytoon in Cinemascope. The widescreen format actually makes it look pretty handsome, all things considered.

    • In the 1980s I had scope Terrytoons on 16mm, super8, and retail videocassettes. None had any labeling that they were scope. I had a scope lens for the projectors, but I had to wait for this past decade to watch the video ones on widescreen TVs.

  • I saw “Lucky Dog” just a few weeks ago, but it was wonderful to see a fresh scan of it in the CinemaScope format with original titles — especially since the print was on its last legs. I like a lot of mid-’50s Terrytoons, and this seems to be one of the first to feature the accordion that would later become such a fixture of Phil Scheib’s scores.

    Thanks for that tip about using the “” keys to watch YouTube videos frame-by-frame. I’m going to apply this to “Mother Goose’s Birthday Party” right now!

  • As usual, you’ve astounded me! Between this and the stunning cartoons that you shared on “STU’S SHOW” last evening, I’m psyched for the future of THUNDERBEAN. Thanks for sharing these gems.

  • Oh, by the way, while you didn’t ask for such a list, the question was asked on “STU’S SHOW” last night, and so I’ll answer it: My favorite Thunderbean collections, thus far, are “PRIVATE S.N.A.F.U.” as it appeared on bluray, MID-CENTURY MODERN, VOLS 1 and 2, as they appeared on bluray, THE COMPLETE “CUBBY BEAR” on bluray, VAN BUREN’S TOM AND JERRY, with hopes that the resulting bluray re-release will blow that set out of the water! And I also liked ALL CANNIBALS for the oddities thereon. Here’s to more “special” sets and, especially, more acquisitions and wilder memories to become reacquainted with in the c oming months…or years, however long it takes.

  • Thanks Steve! Never saw this one before.

    Do we need a Terrytoons video collection, or what?

  • That was quite a treat….thank you! I find it funny that the wife, no doubt, seemed (distantly) related to the wife in “Crazy Mixed-Up Dog!” (lol)

    • I see the resemblance, though the wife in “Lucky Dog” has a decidedly top-heavy figure — or as we say in French, “il y a du monde au balcon!”

  • Beautiful work, Steve!!!!

  • Fantastic cartoon, and great work on scanning this film before it went away for good…Have never seen this one before! 🙂

  • Thanks for the tip on frame by frame on You Tube. Used it on Little Roquefort’s CAT HAPPY with Jim Tyer’s animation of Percy on the catnip and pepper sneeze!! And to think he actually spent a little time at Disney’s in the mid 1930’s! Great job on Lucky Dog, Steve. It looked great! Interesting how Terrytoons tried to keep everything in the center of the Cinemascope frame….easier to convert to the 4.3 screen format for TV

  • You know, I can’t help but think that this was Paul Terry’s first attempt at joining the Cartoon Modern bandwagon, just to give UPA a run for their money. Of course, this being 1956, when budgets for animation began to take a steady plummet downhill, and would eventually drive half the studios towards television, this seems like it came from the right place in time. And all bets are, a CBS exec was probably among the first to view this cartoon in it’s theatrical release, and was so impressed that it eventually led to the deal that would make Terrytoons a prime producer of television animation, alongside Jay Ward, Hanna-Barbera, Paramount, and (later) Filmation.

  • That is a cool cartoon, which I had not seen before. It must be one of the last ones that the studio produced before Gene Deitch became creative director. Great restoration job!

  • Steve….here is the TV version, all ihe action in the center of the TV screen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clGVmhwd4_E

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