This week, I’m happy to show one of the Private Snafu’s from the new Blu-ay!
First, on the Thunderbean front, the two newest sets are neck and neck with each other, racing towards the finishing line – it’s not clear what title will make it back here first from replication, but I would guess Willie Whopper will be available a week or two before. SNAFU is completely funded now, with much thanks to everyone who has helped out! If you’d still like the ‘Special’ set, it’s available for one more week.
Willie Whopper masters are completely finished (with cutting master done and DVD in production). It’s waiting for funds to finish the production run of the Blu-ray. They’re at the replicators now, with Snafu not far behind-in the final stages. I hope to have the Snafu master finished over the weekend at the latest (it’s in finishing touches as of tonight). Since the Thunderbean Snafu DVD was finished (nearly five years back now), some new bonus materials have become available, and well as a little better material on some of the films (with a little coaxing to borrow a generation or two earlier from the National Archives).
One of the last things to do on the disc to finish the new bonus features. Animation researcher David Gerstein unearthed some incredibly cool new materials, including scripts and storyboards for a handful of Snafu cartoons. One of these is It’s Murder, She Says!
The final approved script is dated November 5, 1944. The finished cartoon was part of Army/Navy Screen Magazine #52, released the second week of May, 1945. The script that appears here matches the final film fairly closely. (click to enlarge)
The storyboards are unusual in this packet, with about half by David Rose (working at the first motion picture unit) and many of the boards looking very close to their final layouts. My guess is that there is direct involvement with Chuck Jones unit at Scheslinger’s, or these are a revisions of earlier boards, using some from First Motion Picture Unit. Perhaps they were working in collaboration throughout the board process on these later films with the studio. The title card and other elements are basically identical to what appears in the final film, making the idea that this is a revision of the boards. It’s possible some of the drawings are Chuck Jones – can anyone identify them or another artist’s work?
Rose’s beautiful boards are especially nice (as are many of the boards from the other cartoons). Al Curry seems to have boarded a good part of many of the other films in the series, but I don’t see his work on this particular cartoon. (click to enlarge)
This is an unusual Snafu in that he barely appears in it. The character animation is especially nice in this entry, by Ken Harris, Ben Washam and Phil Monroe (does anyone recognize any shots by Bob Cannon?).
Here is the newly digitally cleaned up version, as it will appear on the upcoming ‘Private Snafu’ Blu-ray.
Have a good week everyone!