March 24, 2022 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Thunderbean News and “The Family Shoe” (1931)

Happy Spring everyone! Wishing everyone some good weather and peace in a difficult time in the world. I think entertainment helps us all stay sane, even in times where the world is tilted.

Commentaries for the Flip the Frog set have been coming back, and they’re really lovely. So far, commentaries from Mark Kausler, Milton Knight, Alex Kirwan, Leonard Maltin and our very own Jerry Beck have been really fun (and informative) to listen to – and there’s many more to come back still! Menus and the still gallery bonus features have been making great progress too.

As I’ve been waiting for final things to come in from Flip, I’ve been putting the finishing touches on the Van Beuren Aesop’s Fables set, and really enjoying seeing everything looking pretty sparkly and cleaned up. I hope at some point there’s the ability to have all of the sound fables in available in good quality. One can dream!

Seeing two blu-ray sets getting completed right now is forcing me to be myopic on one hand, and really, really looking forward to the rest of the year’s work to get other releases out. I’m looking forward to both visiting archives and scanning things over these coming months. There’s lots of special discs along with nine official releases that we are aiming to have all out this year- while it’s an ambitious schedule- let’s see if we can manage to keep up with it! I can’t work fast enough to get it all done so we’re wishing for success but I’m so happy these ones are almost in the can. We continue to put new special sets in the Thunderbean shop, and that’s been helping keep things moving forward a little quicker. Thanks everyone for your support through all these years.

Since I’m busy putting finishing touches on Aesop’s Fables, here’s one that just got cleaned up over the last handful of days The Family Shoe (1931). This is a pretty nice print down of the film from Official films, lent by film collector Chris Buchman for the set. This lovely print isn’t perfect — there’s some flaws and it has a few splices that I’m working on fixing from the scan I’ve done from my own, not-as-good overall print. It still has the Official Films logo and “Golden Goose” title right now.

I like a lot of things about this scrappy little cartoon. It’s exuberance in simple design and execution makes it hard to not smile while watching. The Woman in the Shoe song and the opening animation is a great way to start a fable, and I wished they had done these sort of intros more often.

Here’s a nifty version of the song, written by Nacio Brown and Arthur Freed:

Van Beuren cartoons are often unintentionally disarming. There’s a whole series of moments in this one that are enjoyable over and over. I especially like the duck’s ability to have his body spin completely around and float back to the ground. The Golden Goose itself seems to be satisfied with any of its owners, and I always thought it was sort of sweet that the goose is cuddling with the giant. I wonder why it wasn’t upset at the giant’s demise… but maybe I’m asking too much of this six and a half minutes of ephemeral entertainment. They’re meant to be enjoyed- so I hope you enjoy it!

Have a good week all!


  • Steve:
    Will the Flip Cartoons have the MGM logo restored? Please say yes. And where are the results of the survey for Cartoons Most Wanted?

    • Yes they will

  • ummmm……what happened to most wanted results?

  • That recording of “The Woman in the Shoe” is from the 1930 MGM musical “Lord Byron of Broadway”, also released under the alternate title “What Price Melody?” The sequence, filmed in two-component Technicolor, was later reused in the 1933 comedy short “Nertsery Rhymes”, starring Ted Healy and the Three Stooges. Before the film came out, the song had already been recorded by Ben Selvin and his Orchestra in 1929. Selvin’s first big hit, “Dardanella”, was featured in a 1930 Van Beuren cartoon, “Jungle Jazz”, starring Waffles and Don and a really freaky-looking dancing snake.

    As for why the goose snuggles up to the giant, maybe she’s just cold. Or maybe she finds the vibrations of his bass voice pleasantly soothing. Who knows. Good luck trying to make sense out of every detail in a Van Beuren cartoon.

  • Oh you MUST have the picture with that “Lord Byron of Broadway” clip!
    Not the greatest quality YouTube video, but still a blast to watch.

  • Looks like there’s a small audio splice in the beginning that removes “shoe” during the first line, judging by this pretty poor print on YT

    • Yes; I have that audio from the other print. It’s one of a few splices in this print that I’m fixing up a little from the other hd scan I did. Thanks for noticing though! The first set we did used this same print, with the same splice…

  • Speaking of Thunderbean, I see by the status that the Lou Bunin animations I pre-ordered in 2019 is still in progress
    Think we could get a more specific update?


  • That was fun.

  • You’re so right about the charm of the old Van Beurens! It’s easy to overlook when just seeing stills, because of the less refined inking maybe. But these are solid characters in a 3D space, and have such an appealing design as far as proportions, facial expressions and acting. It’s sort of rubber hose design plus something extra. The whimsical nonsense moments just make it perfect. Who needs slow-in / slow-out?

  • There seem to be two types of cartoon beanstalk. There’s the thick-like-a-tree type, and then there’s the kind you see in this picture, with two or more thin stalks intertwined. Can’t see how t hat would support a giant, though.

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