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.
I 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.
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)
I’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!