THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
October 20, 2022 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Scrappy in “The Great Experiment” (1934)

There’s a stack of hard drives in front of me, and a small basket put on its side with small hard drives on the ‘shelves’. It’s an attempt to organize an area that tends to be ungainly a day after each organization. Cords strain around in front and behind this area- another reminder of the hasty tear down and set up between these machines traveling to the office or the school and back. Attempts to organize what is on each of them tends to favor whether a file is needed at a particular time, and each new drive is purchased at first to gather projects that have managed to have assets on multiple drives. Consolidation and organizational days are especially nice here since all works stops while the transfers are happening and the actual chores of the house take over, as they should.

At times the level of chaos that is Thunderbean is something I need a little break from, but, just like the school, I get an itch before too long to jump right back in. These are weeks where that little break really isn’t possible, but I’m hoping by week’s end the hard drives will have found their place in the media cabinet in the upstairs closet, leaving only the things currently in progress. With many projects closing in on completion, I’m finding I’m getting restless to get the new ventures started or moving in that direction- but I’ll get these current things out before taking further dives into those new ventures at the moment. I’m hoping to do a more extensive article sometime soon detailing a few of these.

In Thunderbean Shipping News:
Dave, Becky and Becca are doing an excellent job getting all the things out the door this week. The things that are currently shipping (or already shipped as of today) are:

*Secret Halloween 2022, *Stan, Ollie and Islands with Lost People,*1941 Feature, *1955 Feature

Thanks to all for supporting these sets over the years and happy early Halloween!


And- this week’s sort of spooky cartoon: The Great Experiment (1934)

When I was borrowing some films for the ‘Secret Halloween’ set, I saw this particular Scrappy cartoon on the shelf, and since I had never it, I had to borrow it!

Mad scientists and being jolted into the future are as much science fiction as spooky Halloween, but the current holiday is a good enough excuse for me to show it. In this short, Scrappy and his brother Oopy have been captured by a crazy scientist and are being kept in a glass container in his lab. This mad doctor has somehow discovered time travel and jolts both Scrappy and his sibling all the way into 1990 – where the world is actually pretty close to looking like Toronto, Ontario these days. Somehow, from flying around with their Beany-esque copters, they spot Margie, Scrappy’s sometimes girlfriend, being chased on a building by some sort of monster. I won’t give away the rest, but it shares a kinship with some other easy-out endings from the series.

I’m not a good person to ask whether one Scrappy is a lot better than another since, at this point, *any* new Scrappy to me is a treat. That said, even though this isn’t a top entry in the series, it’s enjoyable if you’re in Scrappy cartoon mode.

Have a good week everyone!

12 Comments

  • I enjoyed this very much! Thank you for sharing.

    I wonder if any by then foggy memories of this inspired The Old Grey Hare some ten years later? It also reminds me of some of Osamu Tezuka’s work, particularly Metropolis; those Disneyesque characters in a futuristic landscape that we would now describe as “retrofuturistic”. It seems unlikely Tezuka would have ever seen this, but you never know. This could secretly be a very influential cartoon we’ve got here!

    • Hugo Plotz bears an extremely strong resemblance to Tezuka’s stock villain Acetylene Lamp. And now that I think of it, early Kenichi does look more than a little bit like Scrappy. You never know.

    • Speaking of “Old Grey Hare,” which you were, I’ve never forgiven Cartoon Network or Boomerang for not playing the clip announcing “When you hear the sound of the gong, it will be exactly 2000 AD” at 11:59pm December 31, 1999 (and I checked). Maybe they were afraid of a Y2K snafu.

      • Big missed opportunity for sure.

  • Thanks for sharing this wonderfully weird and utterly unpredictable cartoon. Most experiments yield negative results, but not this one. Fan-Scrappy-tastic! I thought it was more shake-your-head-in-bewilderment than laugh-out-loud, until the flying Car of Tomorrow came along — and then I couldn’t stop! I’m laughing so hard, I could plotz! Hugo Plotz? No, I go plotz! Good night, everybody!

  • Come take a ride in my airship, I love that song.
    Great little cartoon, thanks!👍

  • A few random observations: I love the vertiginous effect created by the two-level “multiplane” effects during the chase on the rooftop. Very effective. Also, it was nice to hear the 1904 song, “Come Take A Trip in My Airship” used prominently in the retro-futuristic 1990 section. The same tune was used in two Max Fleischer shorts, first in 1924, then remade as a ScreenSong in 1930.

    Though this is the best I’ve ever seen this short look, probably from a quality 2K scan, 16mm Samba prints have got to be the worst! Grimy with both negative and positive dirt, tons of scuffs and scratches, copious printer weave, and above all, wretched sharpness like it was printed through the bottom of a coke bottle. When will decent 35mm show up on these things?

  • That’s exactly the kind of thing that made me think, “It only seems bat**** crazy because I’m a dumb little kid.” Now I’m all grown up and I realize a lot of stuff I saw really was bat**** crazy.

    In the early 60s old Columbia cartoons, from Scrappy and Krazy Kat to Fox and Crow, were run on the Captain Satellite show on KTVU Oakland. They weren’t shown anywhere else. When Captain Satellite went off the air (star Bob March was later a disc jockey on a classical music station) those toons vanished from my life for several decades. Were the Columbia toons running on TV anywhere else?

  • Since we don’t see a hypodermic, that has to be animation’s first enema.

  • When the BOZO SHOW was still running in Chicago, my younger brothers wee watching it when I came into the living room. I saw one of the new “colorized” versions of – I think – a Columbia KRAZY KAT cartoon. Man, did that look horrible!

    I don’t remember seeing any of the Columbia cartoons ever on Chicago TV – except for the UPA product, like MR. MAGOO.

    I think Samba Pictures leased the rights for the SCRAPPY cartoons, etc. in the late ’50s, right Steve? I never saw any of them on TV as a kid anywhere, but I think they were re-released for TV, not theatrical showings?

  • The Krazy Kay and Scrappy cartoons got seen on Boston TV in the late 50s – early 60s, though I don’t recall which station. A bit later, the Phantasy one-shots showed up on Rex Trailer’s Saturday and Sunday morning shows, along with Pow Wow the Indian Boy. Gosh, did they ever repeat those, and repetition did not improve them.

  • Charming cartoon! Thanks for the post, Steve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.