August 18, 2016 posted by

Tashlin’s “Tale Of Two Mice” (1945) – and an Abbott and Costello pre-order

It’s a short one today, but I promise something more involved for next week (and earlier too, so Jerry doesn’t have blurry eyes posting it in the middle of the night…)

costello-filmsIt’s 2 in the morning here as I write this, at the last minute before attempting to get the rest of the things ready for a trip to LA tomorrow morning. The week is a bit of a blur, but lots of things are moving in good directions. I managed to get most of the Cubby Bears out the door with the bonus discs, but not all, and am hoping to get the rest packed on Sunday (on the red eye) when I return here to Michigan. It’s funny how the end of summer has been both about wrapping things up and starting new things here.

One of the things I’ll be doing while out is looking through the Comi-Color Iwerks cartoons say UCLA Archives. Most of the successive exposure negs (original camera materials) are gone on these, but many have the 35mm color separation materials. They were made in 2-color Cinecolor, so there’s only a red and a Blue neg, both on separate reels. Some titles don’t have any of the camera materials, but rather a series of original Cinecolor prints that were used as the masters, and safety negs made from those. Often there are multiple original Cinecolor prints of these, so the evaluation is in what to pull to scan- and hopefully avoiding the yellow ‘print through’ that happened to some of the prints from the silver frame line (printed with the soundtrack in black and white) affecting the dyes. I’m super exited to get a chance to look at what is there.

On other notes, even though it’s not animated, the Abbott and Costello set is available for pre-order on the Thunderbean website.

tale-of-two-miceI’ll be showing some little things from the set next week here and talking a little more about the project. The set is nearly in final mastering at this point, about to be looked at by all the collaborators. It’s fun of interesting and really rare materials. The highlight for me is a rare Colgate Comedy Hour from 1953, shot when Lou was sick, so he doesn’t host, but Bud is Joined by Martin and Lewis. Lou does appear in the show though via pre-filmed sequences from a show they did in England… and it’s great stuff. There’s a bonus disc with the pre-order as well.

Since Abbott and Costello are on the mind here, I asked Thad Komorowski if it would be ok to share a transfer I did a year back from one of his rare 16mm prints- Tale of Two Mice (1945) with it’s original titles – one of the Blue Ribbon releases that are missing their original titles, cut from the neg.


I like the Abbott and Costello caricatures here a lot, and like them as cats as well in the earlier Clampett-directed A Tale of Two Kitties (1942). Frank Tashlin directs, although as what seems to have been a usual practice, his name is left off the film since he had left the studio during production. Watching it again tonight was fun. I’m pretty fond of McKimson’s The Mouse-Merized Cat, also with Babbitt and Catstello. It’s worth a look for it’s sheer bizarreness. Back to back they’re a nice little two-reeler.

Have a good week everyone!


  • “This video contains content from WBTV, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.” Rassen-frassen-rassen-frassen…

  • Wow, that could be a record in speed for Warner Brothers blocking a YouTube video.

  • I agree.TRIPLE Rassen-frassen-rassen-frassen!

  • May I suggest a re-upload to Dailymotion?

  • Too bad about the cartoon being blocked, but have fun going through all the Comi-Color materials at UCLA!

    • And speaking of ComiColor, I have all 15 cartoons and they are distributed by Castle Films. They’re all silent and they are in black & white. I’ve shared all 15 of these black & white ComiColors that Castle distributed in the 1940’s and I put them up on YouTube. And I hope Steve would keep an eye on these titles.

  • I betcha you’ll be like a kid in a candy store sifting through those Comi-Colors. I know I would be.
    (Even though it’ll take a while, I can’t wait to see the materials on JACK FROST.)

  • As many of you have pointed out, Warner Bros. has pulled Thad’s print of A TALE OF TWO MICE which Steve posted to You Tube. Since writing this post, Steve has been en route to Los Angeles to continue his research and restoration activities. We will work to get the proper (and promised) version of A TALE OF TWO MICE online later today. In the meantime, as a place holder, is a horrible copy of the Blue Ribbon version. Commit it to memory and compare it later on to the original release version. Check this post again tonight for further updates. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

    • Thanks for the info Jerry. I hate the way YouTube is blocking one of the WB cartoons for copyright issues. This is ridiculous, but I’ve seen videos of people ranting about the YouTube’s copyright system which is #WTFU (Where’s the Fair Use?)

      And as for the cartoon itself, I have not seen this cartoon with the original LT titles. The “Blue Ribbon” MM was reissued in 1953 with the odd end title where it says “The End” instead of “That’s all folks”. That was used for a limited time, but this is the version that has never been restored onto DVD or Blu-Ray and none of them are in the “Looney Tunes” sets. I hope if the Warner Archive would like to see it restored in the future.

  • I, too, look forward to the eventual release of the COMI-COLOR cartoons. The Ub Iwerks filmography in animation will be amazing. Still looking forward to the FLIPs. Oh and quadruple rasan-frasan-rasan-rasan-and worse!

  • Why is it so hard for WB to launch their shorts up to YouTube? Look what MGM did with the Pink Panther shorts; they’re all up there, and The Pink Phink (the first Pink Panther short) has about 53 million views! Also, I understand why WB would remove Tom and Jerry (and even Tex Avery) since they’re on official WHV DVD somewhere in the world, but Barney Bear?!

  • Hunh. Another case where the Blue Ribbon changed the title. Cp. Book Review/Book Revue.

  • Always nice to see original titles – another great Tashlin ‘toon!!

  • Frank Tashlin directs, although as what seems to have been a usual practice, his name is left off the film since he had left the studio during production.

    Always a groaner! It’s funny how long they kept that going (if you consider the two Road Runner shorts carved out of Chuck Jones’ Road Runner Show pilot to be a later example).

  • And, I can promise you, the cartoonizations are farrrrrrrrr funnier than the 2 humans!!

  • Oh, this is magnificent to check out, finally. I always enjoyed the scene in which Mousetello toys with the cat’s front paws, dancing on them as he watches the claws go in and out until he realizes that he’s doing this to a live cat! Thank you, Steve and Thad, for a terrific post. Original titles are always worth seeing (and hearing, in my case). Makes me wish that you had such originals (and overall interest) in some of the BUDDY and BEANS cartoons!

  • Tale of Two Mice has been re-uploaded to Vimeo and is working for me.

    For how long, I don’t know. But it is up once more. Thanks to Thad/Jerry/Steve.

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