April 17, 2014 posted by

Some Sneak Previews – and News on New Sets!

As the snow vanishes (and reappears here!).

My ‘real’ job is as a professor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, and as classes wind down each year I look forward to spending time on the Thunderbean projects. It’s the biggest year for this little company yet, and the first time I’ve had a little staff working daily to help put some of these things together (especially in digital restoration, the most time-consuming part of the process).

I find I’m getting more excited about the various sets soming up and in progress at Thunderbean. There are some I can talk about already, and a few I can’t quite yet, so it’s a little cryptic in description for some right now. Here is a rundown of current projects on the burners, in approximate order of release:

Technicolor Dreams and Black and White Nightmares (Blu-ray/DVD Combo).

A collection of cartoons featuring some familiar faces as well as some rarities. It’s finally off to replication later this week, and while it’s taken a lot longer than planned, it’s a really neat compilation. Stephen DeStefano drew the really fun cover art for the set. The background as of today is off to painting, but I couldn’t resist showing this work in progress, in black and white:


I’ll be happy to have the pre-orders sent to everyone soon (It was worth the wait) and I’ll write more about the set when it’s back from replication. In the meantime, here’s a treat from the set – The Magic Mummy, a great Van Beuren Tom and Jerry. Here’s our digital cleanup/ restoration in HD, a bit compressed for youtube (make sure to click on the full 1920×1080 option). It’s from a 1947 16mm print, and the best I’ve seen on this title- it’s looking fantastic.

A Conversation with Walter and Gracie Lantz (DVD) is also off to replication. This extensive set (with cartoons, essays and bonus materials) has been in progress for four years, and is a production of the Blue Mouse Studio (Chris Buchman and Rex Schneider) in collaboration with Thunderbean. We’ll devote this space to this title either next Thursday or the Thursday after.


The Lou Bunin Collection featuring Alice in Wonderland (Blu-ray/ dvd combo).

Thunderbean is working with Amy Bunin (Lou Bunin’s daughter), Thad Komorowski, Screen Novelties and others to produce a collection featuring Lou Bunin’s Alice, along with commercials, short films and bonus features, restored from his original materials preserved at the Museum of Modern Art.


shhhAnd now for some “Top Secret” projects in the works I need to keep a lid on temporarily

Licensed project #1: This project has been in progress for three years, and has involved gathering materials from around the world. More news on this as it progresses. Our priority above all the other projects to to have Volume 1 completed this year, though there are some recent factors that may change the distribution of this particular title.

Licensed project #2: This project involves a series that has never been available on DVD or Blu-ray before (or any home video format for that matter!) and haven’t been shown on Television since the 60s. They’re all in Black and White, and most if not all will be from the original negs.

Licensed project #3 (Blu-ray/ DVD combo) This project involves TWO series of cartoons produced by a major studio in the 30s.Their first film was in 2 color Technicolor, and it’s possible that more films than have been thought were actually made in color, especially early in the series. We’ll be able to announce this one next week.

Other projects in the pipeline:

Cartoon Commercials, Volume 2. More animated commercials from the 50s and 60s.
Stop Motion Marvels, Volume 2 (featuring most if not all of the rest of the Kinex shorts, and others)

More details soon.. and for those that are finally getting nice weather, Happy Spring!


  • That is great news! I’m looking forward to all of these projects.

  • Steve, you are a treasure. I’m looking forward to your coming announcements.

  • Magic Mummy is one of my favorite Tom & Jerry’s, though I’m not sure why.

  • Awesome! I can’t wait to see what the licensed projects will be. I hope that there will be a Noveltoons Volume 2 set.

  • Steve, I’m a long time buyer of thunderbean dvds. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am that you do these sets. I look forward to the new releases. I wish you would let out more clues but all in good time. Please keep up the great work and thanks so much again.

  • Ermine Calloway on the Magic Mummy vocals?

  • Great stuff.

    The Lantz package is intriguing. Will Babyface/Willy Mouse ever appear on home video?

    Thunderbean Thursday makes the rest of the week tolerable.


  • It’s Margie Hines doing the Mummy herself…

  • Ooh, I’m going to want to own all of these sets, especially the hush hush licensed items which I’m waiting to hear about. Shame that some of the studios (and we know which one in particular) would *NEVER* allow an outside party to license their very, very large animation library, even though they consider that library an albatross around their necks, along with the fans of that very large library! You, I bet, could do it proud. Curiosity, though: Why aren’t the disks longer? I know that most small PD companies often put two hours or less on their DVD’s, because they may not have the facilities to do otherwise, like the bigger companies, but I wondered if Thunderbean may ever become as big as the majors. Boy, I’d like to think so, and then you can become *REALLY* creative…and I’m not talking fancy menus. You know the reason I really don’t like those, although I’ll suffer through them. Good luck on all these projects and, yes, some have me guessing, but I won’t bore you and your readers with my assumptions.

  • Finally, there is officially going to be a “Cartoon Commercials! : Volume 2”!
    (I already have the “Cartoon Commercials! : Volume 1” dvd)
    I can’t wait to buy this!

  • Wonderful news. Very excited about each of these projects, and can’t wait to hear more!

  • A very solid line-up you got there. I was wondering when we would get to “Cartoon Commercials!: Volume 2”.

  • I can’t wait for the licensed project #1, if that’s what I’m thinking about ! 🙂 Great news anyway

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