The title of my column this week is: The 35mm Parrotville Fire Department Arrives – or– Rainbow Parade cartoons could be an unhealthy obsession- unless you’re putting together a Blu-ray set of them.
It’s the week before spring break here, and, honestly, it’s coming at a good time. A bunch of projects are wrapping up here, or at least I’m *trying* to wrap them up; the little details left to fix at the end of the Fleischer Rarities project have me behind as usual. Happily, it’s almost there, and I’m hoping it’s off to the replicators by the time you read the next post here.
The Rainbow Parade set is scheduled to be scanned right after the Flip the Frog cartoons are finished scanning, and I’m excited to see how so many of them look in 4k scans. Looking over the material at UCLA was exciting, but I need to take another trip and select the best prints on the later films from the series.
When David Shepard (Blackhawk Films) talked with me about the Rainbow Parades, he said there were no negs on *any* of them, just ‘master’ prints. These 35mm masters were used to make pretty much all the material we’ve seen on the films. These ‘Master’ prints were struck much later than the films were made; my guess (based on stock dates) is that they were all struck between 1944 and 1948. They are all on Nitrate film stock, but it’s the later Cinecolor and Technicolor stock with a Lateral (Linear/Parallel) soundtrack rather than the density tracks I’ve seen on 1930s Cinecolor and Technicolor material.
Here’s a cool little film clip showing the difference in two types of soundtracks used.At about 9 minutes in they show the different types of optical soundtrack reproduction.
The first version shown here is the older Variable Density track, and the second track is the Variable Area. From what I’ve read, the Variable Area soundtracks were not introduced until 1936. It has a higher frequency range than the Variable Density tracks, and is a more ‘modern’ way- although some people really love the earlier Density version more!
Sound Recording and Reproduction from EB films:
As far as material on the Rainbow Parades – Here’s the best material that exists on the films that we know of so far:
Pastry Town Wedding-1940 35mm print with Cushman’s titles
Parrotville Fire Department– the newly acquired 35mm Cinecolor
Sunshine Makers– two 35mm prints; one with Bordon’s titles, the other with original title but incomplete
Parrotville Old Folks– 16mm Cinecolor
Japanese Lanterns– 35mm Cinecolor
Spinning Mice– 35mm Cinecolor
Picnic Panic– 16mm Cinecolor
Merry Kittens – 16mm Cinecolor
Parrotville Post Office– 35mm Cinecolor
Rag Dog– 16mm Cinecolor
Hunting Season– 16mm Cinecolor
Scotty Finds a Home– 16mm Cinecolor
Bird Scouts– 16mm Cinecolor
Molly Moo & The Butterflies– 35mm IB Technicolor
Molly Moo & The Indians– 35mm IB Technicolor
Molly Moo & Rip van Winkle– 35mm IB Technicolor
The Toonerville Trolly– 35mm IB Technicolor
Felix & The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg -35mm IB Technicolor
Molly Moo & Robinson Crusoe– 35mm IB Technicolor
Neptune Nonsense– 35mm IB Technicolor
Bold King Cole– 35mm IB Technicolor
A Waif’s Welcome- 35mm IB Technicolor
Trolly Ahoy-35mm IB Technicolor
Cupid Gets His Man– 35mm IB Technicolor
It’s A Greek Life– 35mm IB Technicolor
The Toonerville Picnic– 35mm IB Technicolor
Here is a little video we shot last night showing the Parrotville Fire Department print. I’ve never had some many people informing me about an Ebay auction before. I’m just happy to get lucky enough to win it. I thought it would be fun to show the print on the rewinds this week and talk just a little about the Rainbow Parades material that exists. Scan and stills coming soon!
Have a good week everyone!