July 26, 2018 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Ted Eshbaugh’s “Tea Pot Town” (1936)

Tea Pot Town2090708

I’m taking a break from talking about Thunderbean or giving a progress report this week, and will give updates in the coming weeks. Suffice to say things are incredibly busy, with orders and producing new titles. News soon.

The last copies of the ‘Technicolor Dreams’ Blu-ray went out the door in the last few days, so I thought it would be fun to show Tea Pot Town (1936) by the Bray Studios for the International Tea Growers Association. Ted Eshbaugh’s studio produced the actual animation for the short.

I tired to find a print of Tea Pot Town for many, many years. 16mm collector Collin Kellogg would often tell me the film was high on his must-find list, and that a theatre in New York would rent a 35mm print from the then still-in-business Bray Studios. They claimed that print at some point vanished, and that’s possible… but my guess is that it really ended up in one of the other archives, and that is somewhat bared out by paperwork.


This version was scanned and cleaned up from the rare 35mm Technicolor print at the Library of Congress. It’s a beautiful little short, although this particular print is missing some footage. There are more complete prints in existence; perhaps we’ll finally be able to have access to a more complete print at some point. Tea Pot Town was given to theaters free to show, and a color book was given out as well.

Some of the themes in Tea Pot Town are pretty familiar, following in the footsteps of The Sunshine Makers. I have to wonder what animators worked on the film, and if Eshbaugh hired other animators and artists also formally employed by the Van Beuren Studio to complete this little short. I’m looking forward to seeing the film with credits to see if they’ve listed the The full Technicolor palette of this short just makes me think how beautiful Sunshine Makers would have been in full Technicolor.

Tommy Jose Stathes has posted the ‘Tea Town Painting Book’ as part of the ‘Bray Project’ Click Here.

Have a good week everyone!


  • Steve, I think it’s a good idea not to include Thundebean news with EVERY post. Hearing about the slow-but-sure progress every week can be exciting, but it can also make the time until one of the many projects are actually finished and released feel much longer. I honestly wouldn’t mind if you only gave progress reports every month or so.

    Also, considering how you tend to fall behind schedule with sending people their pre-orders and special discs, maybe it could be an idea to limit the Thunderbean Thursday series OVERALL to once a month… if that could free up some of your time. Just a thought. Blogging regularly can be stressful if you have tons of other stuff on your plate at the same time.

    • Though I’ve come to look forward to seeing the latest updates on Mr. Stanchfield’s current projects, I agree with you.

    • I don’t agree with you at all. The nonexistent progress of these sets is infuriating enough, but the lack of updates adds insult to injury? If not enough progress has been made to warrant an update, what has Steve even beeing doing these last two years?

  • Looks good. The Teapot looks like something out of a Rainbow Parade.

    Steve, you wouldn’t consider an extension on the Famous/Terry special set, would you? Finances have been punishing for me this month, but they’ll be better soon.

  • Thunderbean makes Thursdays worthwhile. I look forward to this every week.

    Steve, do you know what footage is missing from this print? Any chance we might see a complete version included in a future Thunderbean release? A Ted Eshbaugh set perhaps?

  • The snide insinuations in some published comments make me wonder what the moderation standards are.

    • Since you asked — the “standards” here is that I’m open to a free exchange of ideas and thoughts, including criticism, directed at our contributing writers. It is to the credit of our writers that they too invite corrections and feedback from the readers. I do on occasion edit comments (usually to fix spelling errors or make a sentence more legible), but not often. I also delete comments that are particularly rude or uninformed.

      The latest tirades from Mr. John David (a pseudonym to be sure), in particular, are immature – and I am currently looking into his true identity.

    • I would imagine you’re probably aware – but worth mentioning in case you’re not – that ‘John David’ has also been ranting over on the Thunderbean thread at, using the user name ‘JohnDavidSalinger’ :

      A few weeks ago (on page 112 on that thread ) he was particularly insulting – his comments here were just a bit ‘off’ by someone feeling rather miserable. His comments now come across as a lot more like basic trolling.

    • I agree with Jerry that it can be tricky to balance a free exchange of ideas vs abuse or trolling and I agree that the “John David” comments are unfortunate. The Thunderbean discs are consistently worth the wait. I have my own method of tracking my orders and am now able to update my document more accurately using Steve’s weekly updates on this forum. A few times that I was pretty certain I missed something Steve has been fairly consistent in getting back to me. My suggestion might be to have a separate board on one of the forums with a list of the Thunderbean projects that Steve or another member of the Thunderbean team could update each time a special disc, a pre-order, or a final version is shipped to all customers. It would be a bit more work but might also lighten Steve’s load of emails. STEVE – If you see this please let me know your thoughts.

    • I probably wasn’t very clear in my previous post –
      Just to clarify :
      I found JD’s past comments here on Thunderbean a bit ‘off’ & by someone feeling miserable,
      but more recently after reading his more over-the-top comments on p112 at his posts ( especially that one at ) seem a lot more like common garden trolling.
      Hope that’s clearer.

  • Thanks, Jerry. Sorry for sounding a bit snide myself, but I was ticked off.

  • A 16mm print with original Bray titles popped up on eBay recently. Hopefully, it’s in the right hands…

    • Of course I know about these things.. I work with Tommy on projects, both his and mine, as do others that write here. It’s a small animation world.

    • Excellent, looks like a fully restored Tea Pot Town might really be a possibility for a future Thunderbean release!

    • All right. You and Tommy are the men. Can’t wait to see a complete reconstruction.

      I bought the Famous/Terry set on credit, cause I was afraid I’d miss the deadline otherwise. Worth it.

  • Everything I’ve ever ordered from Thunderbean has always arrived and was always worth the wait. Some of the waits were long, but we were warned of those long waits and offered a chance for a full refund. This isn’t a full time business and isn’t a business the big guys care to be in. We should all be grateful for what Steve offers us.
    Dan VanOrden

  • “Technicolor Dreams” is now in the Thunderbean Vault!

  • Honestly, I enjoy reading these posts. I learn more about all sorts of things that I wasn’t aware of or never gave much thought to.

  • It’s hard not to think of Cuphead when watching this cartoon.

  • Also look forward to reading Mr. Stanchfield’s posts every Thursday. I’m delighted to read anything Steve cares to write about.

  • i’ve pointed this out before, but I notice a strong family resemblance between the teapots in this short and the one in the Red Raven Movie Record “I’m a Little Teapot”.

    This series of mid-50s releases (a toy that used a faceted mirror to view the animation on the record’s oversize label) is intriguing since whoever drew them was never credited, and I thought there might be an interesting story to tell. Even if Ted Eshbaugh or one of his cohorts had nothing to do with these, the best ones are good enough that whoever did them must have had some professional experience. Yes?

  • @John David

    Jeez, must you always flip (the frog) out? It’s really boring, man.

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