December 19, 2019 posted by Steve Stanchfield

“The Dog Ate My Homework” Rambles— and “The Snowman” (1931/33)

One of my friends pointed out that last week’s article was less about what was being done and more about why things were not finished. I’ll take the lumps on that and get back to working. It’s a short one today so I can get back to that work. I promise much more next week once I’m ‘unburied’. For now, here’s a somewhat rambling post, concluding with one of my favorite cartoons of all time.

In Thunderbean news:

Getting back from a short trip this weekend, I was happy to get back to the little office. The staff made some good progress on getting stuff out the door, but still not to the place I’d like. For this next week though at least, its all hands on deck trying to finish a few special discs as soon as possible.

At the end of the semester, I’d like to say there is downtime; there really isn’t this year, but I am starting to get back to the technical aspects of some of the projects.

When I was in Baltimore, I got a chance to talk with Tommy Aschenbach of Video and Film solutions/ Colorlab in Rockville, Maryland. Tommy did many of the beautiful scans of the Private Snafu cartoons for our Blu-ray set, and is sort of a mad genius of video and film. I really love touching the tech side of these projects, but I know I can only aspire to have a fraction of the knowledge of Tommy. One of the things he pointed out to me is that the frame size of 9.5mm film isn’t much smaller than that of 16mm film. It isn’t until more recent years that there has been a great improvement in scanning 9.5mm film to the same quality as 16mm, but now that there is, I’ve been collecting more 9.5mm to scan of many harder to find things. A film showed up today with rare original titles, and I’m excited to see what this one and it’s family of other reels looks like when I send them Tommy’s way. More on this soon.

I’m looking forward to some scans this week, including some things coming out of soaking to hopefully make a decent scan. Vinegar Syndrome strikes again! Project evaluation will be somewhat explored next week here. To be continued. After much packing of orders for the next few days, I’m most excited to be finalizing a lot of things on the first volume of ‘Rainbow Parades’. Finally.

And — today’s cartoon: The Snowman (1931/33)

I was especially excited to have a chance to scan the preservation negs that the Library of Congress had made for the Ted Eshbaugh short The Snowman. I always think it’s funny when I’ve seen the cartoon included in Christmas DVDs full of happy films, since it’s such a nightmare! So, in the spirit of the holidays, enjoy Eshabugh’s happy, dark vision. I always wish Eshbaugh had made more cartoons since they are all full of surreal and magical moments, giving them a jaunty and unique flavor. I’m glad that ‘The Snowman’ is available in color- something I had wanted to see since I was a teenager.

I wrote about this film here back in 2013, when we were working on the Technicolor Dreams and Black and White Nightmares set.

This is one of my favorite films, and one that I’ve never posted, but luckily, someone else must’ve done a rip from the Thunderbean Blu-ray, so here it is for your viewing enjoyment.

Have a good week everyone!


  • Frosty’s evil brother!
    I love this film!!

    • Me too,

      I love early Technicolor stuff

  • Why didn’t everything else melt?

  • Seeing this cartoon in the Thunderbean “Technicolor Dreams” collection was a revelation. The Arctic setting suits the two-strip Technicolor better than, say, any environment with green plants would have.

    The music at the climax of the cartoon is from the final scene of Wagner’s opera “Die Goetterdaemmerung”, where Valhalla and all the Norse gods are consumed by flames — a nice in-joke for us opera lovers. Bravo to Carl, bravo to Steve, but most of all, bravo to Ted Eshbaugh!

  • Thank goodness I didn’t see this cartoon as a child. It would have given me nightmares for years.

  • It’s so entertaining to read about all the crazy excuses that kids come up with when they don’t do their homework. The Snowman is such a classic, I never get tired of watching it!

    Julie Sinner

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