May 16, 2013 posted by

Technicolor Cartoons


Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm I’ll be introducing a program of Technicolor 35mm cartoons, projected on the big screen at The Cinefamily (aka Silent Movie Theatre) in Hollywood. If you happen to find yourself in this neck of the woods on Saturday, we’d love to see you there. I can’t post the titles of what we are showing, cause they are donated from private collections. In fact, private collections are the only places Technicolor exists today.

For those unfamiliar with what Technicolor is and why this is a big deal, here’s a quick refresher. From 1932 till about 1972 a wonderful company named Technicolor created a unique way of photographing and printing color film, using a 3-strip method breaking the color down (Cyan, Yellow and Magenta) that allowed for vibrant permanent (and non-fading) color. The old prints that survive are a record of what these films looked like when they were originally released – and they are just plain gorgeous.

Watching them projected on a big screen in a theatre IS different than watching them on television or on You Tube. If you saw the print of Mr. Bug Goes To Town that TCM ran last October – and I heard many rave reviews of that broadcast – that was off a Technicolor nitrate print. The cartoon below is transferred from a (16mm) Technicolor print as well. But archivists, collectors and film buffs will tell you the same thing – seeing 35mm Tech projected in a theatre is a special experience.

We will be showing cartoons from the Screen Gems studio, Terrytoons, Universal, Paramount, and other studios from Hollywood’s golden age. We will not be showing this 16mm print Professor Small and Mr. Tall (1943, John Hubley and Paul Sommer), but I found this video on You Tube and I love this guy’s enthusiasm for his Technicolor print. If you come to The Cinefamily on Saturday, you may walk away with the same enthusiasm as well.


  • I have a few Technicolor cartoons on 16mm as well, and yes, they are gorgeous. I love it!

  • It only goes to show you, that even Columbia’s Screen Gems could “slip up” and make a good cartoon!

  • Gonna get me a shrimp po boy from Farmer’s Market and then get my buns up Fairfax to the Silent Movie Theater for some Technicolor Toons.

  • Its obscene how the Technicolor company has fled film so quickly . Should be renamed Thomson , the parent company .

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