April 26, 2018 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Scanning Animation You’ve Never Seen or Heard Before

Happy Thursday all!

It’s just after midnight as I write this, having wrapped up senior reviews tonight and just finally getting home. I was greeted by some uploads from scans that happened today, and was excited all day to see what they looked like! Since it’s late already here, this post will be a bit shorter one than usual… but I think it makes up for it in cool stuff!

Some brief other Thunderbean news:
Since Fleischer Rarities isn’t yet back from replication, I’ll skip talking about it for now, and, instead concentrating on some fun images and soundtracks you probably haven’t seen or heard before!!

This Friday brings four other of the ‘special’ sets to completion in transfers. Late, but getting done! To help with the scanning costs (and because the Telecine may not be here in Detroit much longer) we’re doing yet another special Blu-ray set. This one is called “Odds and Ends” that features sponsored animated films and other cartoons, all scanned from original 16mm prints, including ‘Pestroy’ by Jerry Fairbanks productions and ‘PM Picnic’ and John Sutherland’s Why Play Leapfrog in HD! It’s pretty unlikely we’ll release most of this stuff on any of the ‘final’ sets, but it’s good that they’re getting transferred. Details are HERE.

The new scans are coming out terrific. More Flip The Frog’s are getting done (getting every close to wrapping up many parts of this set now). Here’s a few stills:

The hardest thing about the scanning process is, honestly, location. If I can have everything back here and supervise a scan, I can always be sure that everything is looking like I’d like it to. When it’s further away, it’s harder, but a good scanner or Telecine person can usually do what I’m looking for. In the case of the Rainbow Parades, most of the material are prints, and I can see how many of them could really use some TLC and a very careful cleaning before a scan. Because of this, I’ll be shipping many of them here to do in 4k. I’m looking forward to each new surprise as I see and hear the original title sequences. Here are a few things to share from the Rainbow Parades and recently started Comi-Color scans.

This is what the Motion Picture Association of America logo looked like on Ub Iwerk’s Comi-Color Cartoons. I haven’t gotten far enough into scanning the Comi-Color project to know how many have this MPAA logo on them, but so far it’s at least four.

I’ve been enjoying watching some of the transfers coming in from a distance on these… and looking forward also to cleaning and scanning some things out here as well. I’ll be doing that for some of the Comi-Colors and most of the Rainbow Parades that we haven’t done yet.

Here’s a few stills from Japanese Lanterns one of my favorites of the series. It was a real treat to see this film this week, with all original titles and in Cinecolor.

Here’s something you haven’t seen or heard: the whole opening titles and music from The Sunshine Makers. For many years, many people thought that this film was originally a sponsored short for Borden’s since all prints of the film had the Borden’s title on them. Since the film was originally released as a Rainbow Parade cartoon, it made sense that somewhere there had to be a print of the film that had its original title. I was happy to find an incomplete print of the film as part of a reel of scrap clips that came from the Commonwealth materials on the Comi-Colors and Rainbow Parades. The great news is that the piece of the Sunshine Makers had the complete original titles and music, including the original production code. Here is the opening from that material, complete with the rest of the usually missing beginning music:

Have a good week everyone!



    Sorry, couldn’t contain my enthusiasm for these. Seriously, it’s a cool find and something I thought would only be a pipe dream.

  • I’ve always noticed that the Borden’s tile fades out too late so you see the entire sunrise in the Van Buren titles. But this begs the question why is milk prominently featured in the cartoon? Anyways great post Steve can’t wait to get the Blu-ray.

  • Oh, it is always fantastic news to hear that certain major sets are nearer to completion, and it certainly must be harder for you to deal with restoration when those helping you out are further away. I did receive my copy of CARTOONS TO THE RESCUE, and I loved the choices here. I wish all the studios would choose to either farm the restoration jobs out to you or get the job done themselves. The now fully restorable “SUNSHINE MAKERS” gives me hope for a future where we could see most of the cartoons you’ve included on some of these “special” disks looking more complete than we ever could imagine in the past.

  • When are the Comic-Colors going to go up for pre-order, Steve? And since they’ll be split, will both volumes be up for pre-order at the same time?

    • Soon on the Comi-Colors! Just volume 1 will be available first….

    • Ok. Will we have to wait long for a pre-order on Volume 2, then?

  • I KNOW I paid for a copy of Fleischer Rarities so long ago. Please don’t forget to send me mine! I’m so excited.

    • Hey Glen!

      I see it here so it is remembered!

  • Ah, we’re getting close. Thank you for your dedication, Steve.

  • Japanese Lanterns, as “Chinese Lanterns”, ended up in the unlucky batch of redrawns produced by Radio & TV Packagers in the 70’s (stripped of both the original color AND sound…)

  • Mouthwatering stuff here, seriously. Keep up the good work!

  • WAT???!! Burt Gillette did not direct Sunshine Makers…. maybe his name was added on for PR ??? Only Eshbaugh is credited on the Borden special release. Been wanting to see that Japanese Lanterns print for ages, definitely a must buy Blu-Ray!!!

    • Hey Del! Looking forward to working with you on these things!!

      It looks like Burt got his name on the front of at least all the early Rainbow Parade cartoons, perhaps in a way as the ‘front man’ of the films (ala Dave Fleischer). In this one, it appears that both names are the same size, as is the case with Steve Muffati’s name on Parrotville Fire Department. On Japanese Lanterns, Gillet’s name is not only first of course, but BIGGER than Eshbaugh’s name!

  • Those are some lovely scans of Flip & Japanese Lanterns, Steve. And great to see the original opening for Sunshine Makers – which is an outstanding cartoon & a ‘true classic’, if ever there was one.
    – Thanks!

  • Love me some Flip!

  • And the nice thing is we have reason to think that you’ll keep these MPPDA cards intact as they should be on the final sets. Can’t say the same for Warner Home Video. It’s more than a little suspect that not only the likes of I Haven’t Got a Hat but all of the mid 1934-mid ’35 Popeye cartoons (which have their real original Paramount titles) lack the MPPDA cards in their “restored” versions. The MPPDA cards, the appearance of which varied depending on the distributor (or sometimes the production studio), are as much a part of the original title sequences as anything else, not to mention probably the only way to find out these films’ MPPDA certificate numbers (for those interested in such things), and it does a disservice to film history to, er, censor them.

    Enjoyed the other frames and the original titles to The Sunshine Makers as well. Keep up the good work bringing these rarities out of obscurity and into accessibility, Steve.

    • Where they exist, of course we’ll leave them! I’m just excited that so many of them are there. Perhaps the hardest thing about any of these projects is to weed through as much material as possible to get things are complete at possible. Among a whole series of things today, I did a scan from a 16mm British print of the Flip the Frrog cartoon ‘The Goal Rush’ earlier today to reinsert 4 seconds inexplicably missing from all the extant 35mm versions of the film; it was David Gerstein’s eagle eye that found that one and so many other things…

    • A lot of those early films had their cert #’s (or code seals) noted in trade paper reviews. By late 1934, the industry finally permitted this info to be moved onto the actual film titles, because of all the film stock that was being wasted doing it the other way.

  • Is there a reason why Eshbaugh left after directing at least 3 cartoons? It seems he was just as or even more important on these shorts than Burt.

    • That is one thing I wish was clearer; history does point out (largely thanks to those who recorded this history from those that were there) that it was a revolving door at that moment, and that Gillette was difficult to work for. Eshbaugh’s work is easily among the best (or the best depending on your opinion) of the Rainbow Parade series, and I have to wonder if Eshbaugh’s departure was related to that.

  • So are is there data to back up the work that you are doing re;;; the general audiences that want to view these old ‘toons on a big screen of a special viewing at an independent theater is what some of us are now asking, for the right quest to preserve these in their original film stocks….and should anyone care at this time and date nowadays, is what some of us ask….we mean no disrespect for the films, but……..

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