November 5, 2015 posted by

Terrytoons’ “Red Hot Rhythm” (1937)

Today: A Terrytoon break for some Red Hot Rhythm!


But first in Thunderbean news, it’s been a good week of catching things up, and some new projects that we hope to announce before too long. The *big* projects are all set for the year at the moment, though it’s a debate to put out one of the others that is close to being finished. We’ve started some transfers for a few others as well. Several projects got the green light in the last week or so, and another was discussed in detail over the phone earlier today.

Terrytoons stock one-sheet poster from 1937 (click to enlarge)

Terrytoons stock one-sheet poster from 1937 (click to enlarge)

One has been in a long holding pattern that we hope to get back into production soon, another is waiting for paperwork to be found from the licensor (for nearly a year!). With a good amount of Irons in the fire it’s sometimes hard to have enough resources to fan the flames of all of them. We had hoped to get four to six titles out this year, but have to be happy with the three we did complete at the moment. Who knows though – it’s always possible that another will see the light of day- but we need to catch up here first! I think some of you will be pretty excited about some of these… I can’t wait to be able to talk about more of them!

The growing pains continue as does the juggling of everything, but moving forward. We’re very busy over here packing and sending stuff, including the ‘Thunderbean Thursday’ set, finally (we hoped to have it out a week and a
half back or so). The Willie Whopper glasses are getting finished finally as well. By the end of the weekend, we hope to have everything sent to everyone, just in time for Snafu to come back and fill our tiny shipping area. In the meantime, here’s a little Jazz music from your friend and everyones, Kiko the Kangaroo!

Red Hot Rhythm (1937) is a fast paced 30’s Terrytoons, and I think a pretty enjoyable one. I think the Terry staff was especially good at all musical cartoons around this time. The basic plot involves a live performance that’s just a little too hot, causing a fire that fireman Kiko needs to somehow extinguish.

It’s funny that the station broadcasting the music has a giant temporary looking sign that says ‘Station Kiko’. I wonder fi Kiko himself would have noted the irony of putting out a fire at a station named after him. The beginning of the cartoon is almost non-stop music, accompanied by some really nice Connie Rasinski animation.


This was one of the first ‘Kiko’ cartoons I bought as a young film collector.. I must have been 13 or 14… same print too! It was run to death before I got it, and I ran it some more. Since this is a forum full of collectors, what were some of the first films you got, and what format were they in? 8mm? 16mm? VHS? CED disc? Nitrate?

Have a good week everyone!


  • “Mickey in Arabia”, “Hollywood Daffy”, “Bugs Bunny Rides Again”, “Barber of Seville”, “Termites from Mars”; all silent 8mm, given to me the same Xmas I got my first projector (age 10), and not a bad bunch at that. The Mickey Mouse cartoon had a bit with a drunken camel that I would run over and over.

  • That scene with the dancing cars…. Audio Productions’ “Once Upon A time” come to mind for some reason….

  • The burning building bears a strong resemblance to the Pershing Building in New Rochelle where Terrytoons was headquartered (building still standing at the corner of North Ave. and Huguenot Street). The distinctive-looking church steeple in the background at about 4:50 resembles the one on one of the oldest churches in New Rochelle, and which would have been visible from the Pershing Building, a couple of blocks away.

  • and how can one not love Kiko!???

  • When I started collecting 8mm movies as a kid in the sixties, Castle Monster Films and Blackhawk Laurel and Hardy comedies were my primary objective, but Blackhawk Films had a monthly used print list featuring excellent bargain prices. You had to give six to ten alternates when ordering by mail (!) and many of mine would be cartoons. That’s how I ended up with plenty of Hollywood Enterprise Disney, Castle Lantz and AAP Warners. Which was great by me! Just a few years later when I graduated to 16mm sound, I went straight to the cartoons. I had a great connection with an older collector who passed on many black and white Sunset Production Warners TV prints at prices even I could afford (although, always one at a time). THOSE WERE WONDERFUL DAYS, THE CARTOONIST’S NIGHTMARE, AIN’T NATURE GRAND, BUDDY’S THEATER, INJUN TROUBLE, AFRICA SQUEAKS, and many others, these were the foundation of my film collection. And I still have most of them!

  • Since you asked – the first film I ever bought was a 200 foot silent, black and white silent home movie of THE FLINTSTONES, followed by a similar 200 ft. silent Castle Films print of TARANTULA. Ran them over and over again but I was unsatisfied. I soon discovered 16mm while in high school. First print I ever bought (and I still have it) was the theatrical trailer for A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN. Also a TV spot for “YOG, MONSTER FROM SPACE”. Still have that too. Bought them at a local Comic Con before I had a 16mm projector. Brought them into school and the AV Club let me project them. Watching those trailers blew my mind. I had to have a projector! The first cartoon I ever bought was a 16mm black and white dupe of BUCKAROO BUGS. As horrible as that print was, it was thrilling!

  • Ah, memories! I used to get the monthly Blackhawk Films catalog starting in 1969. What a great resource that was…amazing photos and articles in addition to some bargain deals on 8mm and Super 8 films! The first two films I purchased were Winsor McCay’s “Gertie the Dinosaur”(1914) and a hand-colored version of “Little Nemo”(1911). I ran these prints occasionally for the next 25 years!

  • I had some 8mm Castle Woody Woodpeckers, and some Ken Films. What they titled WOODY PLAYS SANTA stands out in my mind. Later, I remember buying an old DeVry 16mm sound projector at a garage sale for around 25 bucks. My parents thought I was nuts! Among my first 16mm titles were A CORNY CONCERTO, what was titled MOVIE STAR MICKEY, and a Blackhawk print of HELPMATES. As Jerry said, it was a thrilling experience to fire up these reels and hear that old speaker come to life.

    Going WAY back, I loved my Kenner Easy Show projector, and had several of those cartridges, including Bugs, Daffy, Bullwinkle, Yogi Bear, Huck, Secret Squirrel, Atom Ant, etc. I would run those things for hours.

    • My first was a silent 8mm Castle print of Woody Woodpecker’s “The Great Who-Dood-It,” which was retitled “The Great Magician.” I also had one of their Abbott & Costello excerpts, I forget which one. A friend had a silent print of the old Columbia “Batman” serial; we had a few laughs over that one. I also had the Easy Show projector, with snippets of Bugs Bunny’s “Acrobatty Bunny” and a fragment of a ’50s Superman episode.

      And of course it was “Ski for Two” that Castle renamed “Woody Plays Santa Claus” – no improvement whatever on the original title, as Woody only played Santa in the last part of the cartoon. If Castle released WB cartoons, “Daffy Duck Hunt” would have been called “Daffy Plays Santa.”

      In middle school I discovered the Blackhawk Films catalog, thanks to one of my teachers. I ordered a few Laurel & Hardy films in Super 8, including the “Battle of the Century” pie fight, and “Big Business.” Even when I never ordered anything, the catalogs were an enjoyable read.
      Unfortunately, when the Hunt brothers cornered the silver market in 1980, Blackhawk’s prices doubled – and remained high even when silver prices returned to normal.

    • I got my first 8mm projector that I’ve got at a yard sale for $20 and it’s a Kodak Super Showtime 8 projector which is an 8mm only projector and my first 8mm film that I’ve got online is my all-time favorite Bugs Bunny cartoon “Buckaroo Bugs”. In addition, I have a collection of Castle Film releases on 8mm and 16mm and three projectors including my Kodak Instamatic Super 8 projector M110, my Argus slide projector, and my newest addition, my Bell & Howell Filmosound Specialist 552 16mm sound projector which runs both silent and sound.

      And in addition, I have a total of 15 ComiColor cartoons in black & white on silent 8mm and 16mm from Castle Films, and they are all by Ub Iwerks. I’ve seen it so many times and it was an insult to the original ComiColor cartoons that Ub Iwerks did back in the 1930’s. Castle Films licensed all 15 of these ComiColor cartoons into the home market during the 1940’s, and it had some mistakes throughout the entire run of the series. They’re all completely silent, but they kept interrupting the inter title cards that flashed on the screen and I said “Gee, what’s wrong with this picture!” In the 1933 ComiColor short “Jack and the Beanstalk”, the silent version from Castle Films, the giant comes out where he said nothing, so they went to an inter title that says “I smell hot dogs!” and it doesn’t looked right. In the original version, he said “Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum I smell a blood of an Englishman”, and that’s what he said in the original, but not “I smell hot dogs” and it doesn’t look right.

      A lot of Ub Iwerks cartoon from his ComiColor days since Castle Films came into existence doesn’t lived up to the original cartoons from 1933 through 1936 since Castle licensed the ComiColor library.

      I also have another Kiko the Kangaroo Terrytoon on 8mm which is “The Big Fight” which was originally titled “Battle Royal” and they are all silent with Castle Film titles. I have to get more Kiko soon.

      To sum it all up, these Castle Film releases are “Complete” editions, I have a few of these that are the same cartoons and they are the “Headline” editions of the Ub Iwerks cartoons that they were chopped out and the inter titles kept changing slightly for the edited version, and then it reduced it down to 3 minutes instead of the usual 10 minutes. If any collector out there has seen the Castle Films “Headline” editions on either eBay, or Etsy, I advice everyone to stay away from them. Get the “Complete” editions instead.

  • It turns out that there actually ARE radio stations out there using the KIKO call–both of which (as in AM and FM) are oldies stations out of Arizona, as per the link).

    Meanwhile, Joe Barbera recalls in his memoir My Life In Toons that Terrytoons had considerable hopes for Kiko the Kangaroo as their new Farmer Al Falfa, so to speak … and Barbera even storyboarded a Kiko episode (which, sadly, was never produced) which had Kiko in a cross-country air race.

  • Yeah, kids these days don’t appreciate the thrill of having a piece of entertainment we saw on the television box right in our hands to look at whenever we wanted. They got them danged new-fangled smart dee-vices. My first store-bought cartoon was a B&W condensation of Popeye’s I YAM WHAT I YAM in silent super 8. But it didn’t stay B&W for long, by gum! I took me some magic markers and colorized a section. If they made razor point markers back then, I’d have really done some work. Gotta go. Time to take my pills.

  • My first film purchase was an Abbott and Costello Castle Films reel titled “Knights of the Bath,” a one reel extract from their feature “High Society.” My first ever cartoon purchase was a 16mm print of “Donald and Pluto,” which I bought at a film collector’s convention. That’s still one of my favorite Disney’s. Since he was charging a fairly high price for the Disney cartoon, I remember that the collector I bought it from threw in three black and white cartoons for free, all Columbia’s. Second cartoon purchase was a black and white TV print of the Famous Popeye “House Tricks.”

    Of all the films I bought early on, probably the one I ran most often was Laurel and Hardy’s “Big Business,” which I bought new from Blackhawk. That one was popular.

    • Second cartoon purchase was a black and white TV print of the Famous Popeye “House Tricks.”

      Okay, stupid question (probably) for somebody, but why would there be such a thing as a black and white TV print of a color cartoon?

    • Because TV was mainly broadcast in black and white in the 1950s – before color TV was invented, or widespread – it was cheaper for TV syndicators to make black & white prints of color cartoons to supply to local TV stations who were not transmitting in color.

    • Jerry is correct. Many TV stations in smaller markets didn’t convert to color till the mid-late ’60s, a move that entailed the purchase of all-new equipment. And even after they went to color, some stations would continue running B&W prints of movies and shows originally shot in color.

  • What’s interesting to me is that Disney’s “Tortoise and the Hare” Silly Symphony – as good as it is in color – seems better to me in black and white. I watched my reg 8mm silent version over and over in the 70’s, only recently seeing it in color. The colors seems too sweet or something. It’s got more moxie in black and white, and the skies seem sunnier, too.

    • My parents bought that silent B&W 8mm version of “The Tortoise and the Hare” in the 1970’s to show at a birthday party. (And my mom still has it.) After my family got the Disney Channel in 1985, I recorded the audio of “The Tortoise and the Hare” with a cassette recorder and tried playing it with the projected print. But the projector speed was slower than the TV version, so it quickly went out of sync.

  • Steve: Grrrr! Aarrrgh! Hearing about projects nearly given the green light, and big projects like that, and not knowing what they are is driving me *NUTS* (read that line in Billy Bletcher voice)–I can’t wait to hear what licensing you’ve been waiting a year for, and I’m sure it is as eagerly awaited as product by me as well! Still lovin’ the WILLIE WHOPPER and hoping soon for news of pre-order on the FLIP THE FROG to complete my collection of the earliest Ub Iwerks titles…Jerry: Could that earliest FLINTSTONES silent possibly be the episode in which Dino meets Sassy? I once had a print o of that and used to run it forwards and backwards, practically memorizing each frame and am glad, now, that I have a good to fair quality sound print of it on DVD. The other FLINTSTONES silent that I remember running a lot was the one in which Fred’s old conniving buddy goads the Flintstones and the Rubbles to come visit his hotel, only to be conned into becoming the working staff, but I only had a great coming attractions sample of that episode. I still can’t recall the title on that OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT cartoon with the bloodhound, the standard hunting cartoon. I wanted to get a sound print, if the WOODY WOODPECKER AND FRIENDS collections continued, but, alas…Well, anyway, folks, thanks for the terrific Terrytoons title. If this is perhaps a hint of what’s to come from Thunderbean, well, I’ll just dream on this until we get news!

    • Kevin, there is a solid chance that you are thinking of “The Quail Hunt” a 1935 Oswald. Strange cartoon, not one of the best, but notable for it’s almost slow motion pacing, Elmer the great Dane actually turns on Oswald at one point…

  • Yes I also had the Kenner Give-a-Show projector plus their Easy Show TV…the TV and projector are gone now but still have all the films. Next was a Bell & Howell Reg 8mm/Super 8 mm projector and a Canon Super 8 projector…a regular customer at Blackhawk Films and K-Mart (Ken Films’ cartonns). Still proud of having Aboot and Costello’s Who’s On First and Lady Play You Madolin (1931 Warner Brothers Merrie Melodie) on Super 8 sound..among others.
    Shortly after came VHS VCR and at the same time the ABC station in Colorado Springs began showing the AAP Warner Brothers cartoons (pre Ted Turner) on weekdays. Between that station and Turner’s WTCG/WTBS Superstation 17 Atlanta was able to get most all of the cartoons..except for the Censored Eleven. A good start to any cartoon-film library.

  • I started pretty late with film collecting, and it was actually Steve Stanchfield who got me interested in it. While the DVD medium was still in it’s infancy I first met Steve while reviewing his first releases, a great Popeye collection, and ‘Attack of the 30’s Characters”. I had previously been a Laserdisc archivist, having all WB, MGM and Disney box sets. My first 16mm print was an Oswald TV print from the 1950’s titled “The Navy”. Badly spliced with a few missing sections; it was still magical. (since replaced it with an A+ print) First color title was “Toyland Broadcast”, unfortunately on Eastmancolor filmstock. Bought it not knowing that it was doomed to fade to a red/pink monotone…. Still looking for a Kodachrome replacement on that one 🙂

  • My first movies were in 8mm and came with a clattering handcranked Brumberger projector with a 50-foot capacity and a flashlight bulb for illumination. (Brumberger was an odd Brooklyn-based company that made both photographic equipment and toys; this item sort of straddled both sides.) It was terrible, but it was wonderful too. It came with 25 feet each of Popeye, Betty Boop, Laurel and Hardy and Tom Mix films. My life was ruined from then on! Just last year I saw an identical projector on ebay and bought it…guess what…it came with the same films. Maybe I’m living my life backwards now. (Didn’t George Carlin do a routine about that?) I recall having a Kenner Easy-Show at one time too that came with clips of Lassie and David Seville and the Chipmunks among others; but the film loop cartridges those used never lasted long before jamming and shredding. But you really felt like a showman with one of those toy projectors, and that’s something today’s hi-tech just doesn’t deliver.

  • Really enjoyed ‘Red Hot Rhythm’,
    I love the look of moving water in old cartoons whether in monochrome or colour; and there’s some of that here amongst its many other charms.

    Would love to see a DVD of Kiko – I’d definitely buy a copy!

    Also I’d love to see a complete edition of the late Terrytoons production
    ( the adventures of the little green/blue alien in the tiny spaceship & his pal Oscar Mild );
    as the versions on the DVD-r (bought on the internet) I have,
    are in fairly poor condition ( although certainly watchable ).

    I don’t know if that’s an edition Thunderbean might be considering,
    either for now or in the future!

    And Thanks Steve for the ‘Willie Whopper’ set which arrived a couple of weeks back, to me here in the UK – about half are absolute classics & great to see them looking so clear & detailed.
    A fantastic set indeed.

  • My first was an 8mm B&W silent castle films print of Woody Woodpecker’s CHEW CHEW BABY. Yes, we ran it over & over. Surprisingly it is still in decent shape. Since we had a B&W TV, I didn’t miss the color.

    Ironic that this Kiko cartoon gets an article, I just got a 16mm sound print of it and thought it was wonderful.

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