Happy late summer everyone!
On the Thunderbean Front:
I was happy that the show of cartoons last week at Cinecon went well, and especially grateful that Jerry Beck was able to introduce and present the show. The audience there had the first sneak peak at the restored Iwerks’ The Caveman, from the original 35mm camera negative, and many other shorts as well. I wish I could have been there.
I’ve heard from some folks that they’re enjoying the Private Snafu shorts are being shown on TCM this month. It’s a nice sneak peak of the new cleaned up HD versions that will also be on the nearly done Snafu Blu-ray. Check TCM’s schedule for the time they’re on in your area – there’s 15 showing all together through this month and early next.
I’m finding I’m carving out small minutes to get done the final touches on Private Snafu Blu-ray set. Everyone has done a great job in helping get the set done, and looking at the final results, I can honestly say
that it would be hard to make the set much better quality-wise. Most of thefilms are from the best material that still exists (mostly fine grain master positives), and the cleanup work looks very nice.
Since these projects are working on winding down, I’ve been putting time toward some of the others as well – mostly in coordination, but also in the area of licensing materials and inquiring about others. The Abbott and Costello Rarities set (though not-so animation related) is also getting near the finishing touches, so that’s next. The Flip the Frog set will be going into full swing before too long (there are negs here waiting to be scanned…) We’re waiting for material on the Lou Bunin Alice set as well, and have several new announcements pretty soon (maybe I’ll wait until all the other stuff is sent). The official count of projects in some sort of production here is 9. While everything is taking much longer than we thought, we’re quite happy with them.
Now, onto the cartoon for the week!
I’m obviously a fan of Terrytoons in the 1930s. Terry gets a bad rap but he did turn out an entertaining product, and as the 1930s rolled on his films – thanks to some pretty incredible talents on his staff – got better and better. In 1937, Terry had Joe Barbera, Jack Zander, Dan Gordon and others producing some pretty good looking films (before losing them all to MGM by the end of the year). Mark Kausler (by way of his brother) found this 1937 article about a Terrytoon exhibit being offered to schools, libraries and assembly halls, from an obscure publication called The Motion Picture and The Family (3-15-1937). (click to enlarge)
Pink Elephants (1937) is one of my favorite of the late 30s Terrytoons. Until more recent years, It was pretty impossible to see a lot of the black and white Terrytoons. If you knew film collectors who had some, the ones Castle films released for home movies and rental were the most likely titles to see. Still, to this day, I still haven’t seen all of the early sound ones, and look forward to finding time to see more.
Like many of the TV prints of the Terrytoons, this cartoon has been edited for time, so it’s hard to say what the beginning of the film looks like. Most of the plot is intact, but the goat’s motivations may have been clearer in the original version. Perhaps the reason for the Pink Elephants in the first place was explained by the other shots near the beginning.
I especially like this cartoon for the fun, Cab Calloway-inspired music. It’s not a top cartoon, but completely enjoyable for what it is – maybe not a classic, but a fun little film for those of us who love animation. Make sure to turn it to HD if your computer is fast enough! Have a good week everyone!
(Thanks, Mark Kausler)