May 19, 2016 posted by

Thunderbean Is Back! New Updates, Old Cartoon Stuff, and ‘Mother Goose’ too!

The semester in finished here, and all the obligations of the school year finishing up, allowing more time to work on Thunderbean DVD and Blu-ray titles as well as figuring out how to grow the company. At this point, my head is thoroughly stuck into two projects: finishing the Cubby Bear Blu-ray and helping my good friend Tom with some finishing touches on the Bray set. Both titles are looking just dandy. Poor Flip is sitting in the waiting room at the moment, at least until the next group of Nitrate arrives here, along with a host of other almost-going projects. I find that I’m always the bottleneck on these things, and some aspects can move forward without me at other times.

cubby_bear_posterI want to thank everyone for the great lists a few weeks back… it’s a great snapshot of what you are all thinking in terms of what should be out. It’s funny how on the same page most folks are in terms of what we’d like to see. Nothing would make me happier than working on a fantastic release of Mr. Bug, and so many of the other titles suggested.

Since announcing the Cubby project here, some really cool things have shown up in terms of prints as well as bonus features. I’m very grateful to everyone that has been contributing! The set is rounding the corner toward completion, with only a handful of prints to clean up now,

The Bunin Alice project is about to be on the front burners soon, but Cubby is taking the lion’s share of the finances and time right now. We’ll be working with the Museum of Modern Art on the Bunin project, and are looking forward to sharing more news about this in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, as I was checking sequences from various silent films this morning, Fedex showed up with a hard drive containing some films I’ve been waiting to see for *years*. This was a trade deal, and I couldn’t be happier. All together four films from the series showed up here today, with two films from another project long in production. I’ve started thinking about what a set of these would look like with this rare series of sound shorts. The quality rages so far from acceptable to outstanding, and there are a few others I now about that we may be able to get sooner than later.

Here’s a little guessing game for you folks- Since this particular shot has been missing from the versions we’ve all seen, I’ll let you folks guess what it’s from. I’ll give a hint: It’s from 1930, and made in the states:


I’ve been thinking about another ‘Thunderbean Thursday’ type-disc with some of the films from upcoming projects again. When new things show up I’m always eager to share them- and putting together a collection of not-yet digitally cleaned up materials is a nice break from the labor intensive work of cleaning up a whole set like Cubby, Snafu or Willie.

queen-600Now, onto some animation candy to share!

Here’s a print of Mother Goose Stories produced by Bailey films and Ray Harryhausen in 1946. It will likely show up on an all stop-motion Blu-ray sometime in the near future.

Ray had been an animator at the Puppetoon studio as the war began, and during the war made several shorts with animated tanks and maps. He also made the Snafu Maquettes that appeared on the covers of ‘Yank’ Magazine during the war.

After the war, Harryhausen made this short for the Bailey Educational film company, to be distributed to schools. In addition, he made a one reel Hansel and Gretel short after this film before joining the special effects team on Mighty Joe Young (1948)

spider-600I’ve always loved Ray Harryhausen’s work. I was 13 in 1981, and I must have seen Clash of the Titans, his last film, five or six times back then. Those years of course were an excellent time for fantasy films, but there was nothing like the beautiful Stop Motion animation that Ray and his animation team produced.

I’ve had several prints of this Mother Goose short in my own collection over the years, usually bright red. Those are always the prints you trade off first or give to a new collector for free! I’ve had one that was really beat up Kodachrome as well. This particular print, borrowed recently from collector and film hero Dennis Atkinson, was printed in IB Technicolor, even though the original short was made in 16mm Kodachrome. My guess is that it was struck in the early 50s. It has better resolution than any of the prints I’ve seen, and great color. It’s missing the beginning titles, starting at the Mother Goose book opening. Have good week everyone!



  • So, Mother Goose runs a 16mm projector now. Clever gal.
    Those rhymes are a bit thin plot-wise, but then the short is quite handsome, and I like the trick of getting characters to change expression by doing a quick dissolve.

  • I think I’ve seen some of the Ray Harryhausen Mother Goose Stories on a DVD called Extreme Fairy Tales which I proudly have in my collection. Also several scenes of Ray Harryhausen’s Old Mother Hubbard was shown in the MTV series Wonder Showzen as part of the Funny…Not Funny segment.

  • Toby? Could the original titles finally make a showing..?

    • Craig! You’re my hero! The whole film is there for the most part- but not US titles!

    • Well, the original SNAPPY VIDEO titles can’t be improved upon, so no biggie.

  • This Mother Goose short comes from 1946? I only hear a music score similar to that which would accompany the original GUMBY adventures by Art Clokey and *NO* sound effects. I’m puzzled, but hey, it sure sounds good that there will be a terrific stop motion set coming out real soon and, yes, I’d thoroughly enjoy another THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY disk. The last one, with actual network promos of “THE FLINTSTONES” first season and MATTY MATTEL bumpers was just amazing!! I get chills whenever I hear something close to the MATTY MATTEL’S FUNDAY FUNNIES which I watched on Sunday nights on our ABC affiliate, especially when Beany and Cecil took over, although it was nice to see the Famous/Harvey cartoons in there at the beginning; that and “THE BUGS BUNNY SHOW” were my weekend refuge from the “real world”. I’m always glad for anything from Thunderbean, and I can’t wait to hear news of future projects as well as getting my mitts on that FLIP THE FROG set…oh yes, and the CUBBY BEAR collection and other Van Buren cartoons.

  • “Toby in the Museum”?

  • The Harryhausen’s Mother Goose film is one of personal favorites! I use to experiment with stop motion (photographing my old stuffed toys with my father’s digital camera and then arranging the t pics in PowerPoint) when I was a kid and this film was one that heavily influenced me with those ventures; the fact that Harryhausen made it in his home without any large studio was part of that influence. 🙂

    BTW- Looking forward to seeing those Toby’s!

  • Oh no, I still have those Harryhausen’s Mother Goose shorts (thank god for collecting public domain cartoons!)! But of course, I never saw In this print (I can’t decide if I like this print or the one’s already floating around)…..

    And I still love the fact that the music was also use in a couple of Cornet educational films.

  • Here’s some vintage toons that I want to see in the future:

    Molly Moo Cow
    Van Buren’s Tom & Jerry (before they were renamed Dick & Larry)
    The Funny Factory
    Pre WWII anime from Japan (especially one comical Japanese ghost tale involving Tanookies (a type of raccoon dog) and a nine tail fox.

    • There are a couple of Japanese shorts from the 1930’s that I also want to see restored, such as “The Routing of The Tengu”, which features a Betty Boop lookalike, and “Evil Mickey Attacks Japan” (you heard right).

  • Toby The Pup….? A good print of The Museum at last?! Yipeee, can’t wait for footage of it in the future!

    Also that IB print of Mother Goose looks fantastic!

  • I want to see a Screen Songs collection.

  • How about Mutt and Jeff – and Gabby?

  • IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, you gotta do a TEX AVERY collection. It’s overdue, and the French DVD boxed set is a disappointment. Some of the shorts are censored, while others have WAY TOO MUCH DVNR.

    • Not that anything can’t happen, but a friend of mine, who works for a DVD/Blu-Ray reissue label, has mentioned to me in the past that Warner has had, for quite some time, a policy of not licensing out titles they own to other companies. He says their standard response is that they plan to, eventually, release everything themselves. The question, I suppose, is whether or not that will happen in any of our lifetimes.

    • Let’s hope that we do get a Tex Avery collection within the next 10 years.

  • I just want a second commercial DVD. The first is my favorite Thunderbean title.

  • I have a John Randaloph Bray collection of filme strips of mother goose nursery rhymes – set of 6 in a box. Has anyone heard or seen of this – interested to get it to the right archive or collector

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