At some point I said I’d stop talking about Rainbow Parade cartoons I think- or at least the first 13. That time is almost here since the first volume of the Blu-ray is nearly finished after much wrestling and fixing. I’ve been a little obsessed about getting this project as nice as it could be within a reasonable time— and it’s officially too long now- but I’m very happy with the results. The best news of this week is a collector friend agreed to lend the last needed “Holy Grail” for the set- a black and white print of ‘Bird Scouts’ that has the opening music. It’s the last of the ‘Official Films’ complete or nearly complete versions of tracks missing from the 16mm Cinecolor print versions of the film. I think at this point the beginning soundtracks are otherwise as complete as I’m able to make them— at least until a print of ‘Spinning Mice’ with complete music shows up. But it’s time to wrap.
In the meantime, we’ve been working on getting the films finaled and some of the bonus material. I’ve been on other projects for a bit, so jumping back into the timeline with all the cleaned up and color corrected films was really cool. There’s still some little issues to resolve, but I was surprised at how nice they look- I somehow had it in my head they were not quite there.
Our own Devon Baxter has been a good ‘right hand man’ on getting the final things done for this Blu-ray disc. When we did the DVD about 10 years back, we went through a bunch of silent cartoons that used a ‘Mood Music’ Library. This included some pieces of soundtracks from the Rainbow Parade cartoons. Devon and I gathered as many as we could find from prints of silent cartoons, and I spent part of this week matching the speeds of the pieces (they were on record then a mag track before being an optical track again).
At this moment, was only one that we had been able to find an (almost) music-only soundtrack for. It was reassembled from lots of small pieces of stock music on various silent cartoons. Here’s the article we did a whole back on Along Came a Duck.
There might be another whole cartoon or close in the stuff I still have to evaluate this week.. let’s keep fingers crossed!
Even though we don’t have full soundtracks for most of them, these clips make a nice little ‘bonus feature’ to showcase some of Sharples’ great scoring. They also will give you a first peek at what the Rainbow Parades are looking like as they get ready to be finaled. There’s a few more ‘music only’ film clips to be finished- and if we’re lucky we’ll be able to assemble one more film in a music only version— but I’m not quite sure yet.
Sharples is a genius. I especially enjoy how great the syncing is when there’s singing or dialogue. So much brilliant work gets obscured by the characters or sound effects in these films. He continues to be one of the most under-known brilliant composers in all of cartoon land.
I hope you enjoy these clips — and sing along if you know some of the lyrics. Have a good week everyone!