In Survey News:
A friend of mine (who goes by the name of “Paramount Cartoons”) insisted I share the ‘Cartoons Most Wanted’ survey this week, and as I was attempting to summarize it I found that I could just share the results with everyone — so here they are. I’ll be looking over it in the next few days. A bigger conclusion seems to be that its a pretty good snapshot of things the cartoon and animation community really wants to see and have better copies of. It’s a really interesting read – thanks to everyone that responded!
And, In Thunderbean travels:
This past weekend was a flurry of activity and still somewhat of a blur. I headed out east on a trip to drop off a carload of film to one New York destination, a Mutoscope to another, and rare Vitaphone discs from one of those destinations to yet another. Then, after all that, Tommy Stathes was nice enough to lend some films for the Stop Motion Marvels, Volume 1 upgrade as well as some of the best prints I’ve seen on several Van Beuren Tom and Jerry cartoons. The next morning this little batch of vintage entertainment was scanned. Driving all those hours was worth it, but I’m happy to be driving a lot less for at least a little while.
On returning I was greeted by new commentaries and some wonderful work on the still galleries for the Flip the Frog set. David Gerstein and Devon Baxter are doing a wonderful job curating and presenting the best collection of Flip related materials I’ve ever seen.
Over the past few days the menus and the last of the bonus material has been finished on the Aesop’s Fables volume 1 set- and there’s a small piece of one film still in cleanup. It will be less than a week before this set is off to replication, with Flip not far behind.
This first quarter of the year has already been pretty busy at Thunderbean, jumping between our own projects and colleagues as well as special discs. Some newer special discs have been available at the shop since late last week. We’ll be retiring some others in the coming week to help concentrate on new ventures. More updates soon!
Technology has really improved since we started scanning things some 34 years ago. The newer scanning systems diffuse the light on the film in ways I can’t even believe— making my old trick of faux wet-gating (having film cleaner on the prints to hide scratches) obsolete. Still, working with great material is the best way to get great results, so the challenge has remained similar- finding the best print of things that were printed in various versions over the course of decades.
One of the Tom and Jerry Van Beuren shorts that is still hot off the scanner is Pots and Pans (1932). Tom Stathes’ print is easily the best I’ve ever seen on this title. It’s 16mm but could fool you into thinking you’re looking at 35mm.
I think this cartoon is a perfect primer to introduce someone to the Tom and Jerry cartoons. It’s fun, musical, has one bare butt gag, and has only one potentially offensive gag. and features inanimate objects coming to life.
This particular scanner is just about a year old, and the new sound head really reproduces these tracks to full advantage. I really like the soundtrack on this particular cartoon. It’s full of fun synchronization moments.
Officially, this is the *third* time I’ve had Tommy scan this same print for me. The first time was in 2008, then again in 2009, and now in 2022.
Make sure to watch in HD! Enjoy the cartoon and have a good week everyone!