THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
March 31, 2022 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Thunderbean Survey, News and “Pots and Pans” (1932) in HD!

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!

CLICK HERE TO READ SURVEY RESULTS

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!

12 Comments

  • “Don’t want sweet music! Must have mean music! Loosen up that minor key! Dirty up that harmony! Louse it up, don’t keep it clean! I want it low and mean!”

    Personally I think “Wot a Night” is the ideal introduction to the Van Beuren Tom and Jerry cartoons, being the first in the series (as well as the first one I ever saw). “Pots and Pans” is a great cartoon all right, and it has a little bit of everything — everything, that is, except for a story, and distinct personalities for its two leads. Oh, but that mean music….

  • Wow, that IS a great-looking transfer of a great-looking print! Kudos to you, Tommy and all involved.

  • This particular scanner is just about a year old, and the new sound head really reproduces these tracks to full advantage.

    Except that it incorrectly reads them as “stereo”, instead of the entire track area as one channel…

    • Yeah, I was wondering myself why the audio has been converted into fake stereo. Sounds really weird in an old 1930s cartoon.

    • That’s not the scanner’s fault Zac, the scanner would’ve scanned the track normally. It’s merely the quicktime produced off the raw scan making the audio go stereo. The final set will be perfectly fine with the audio

      • So the Van Beuren Tom and Jerry cartoons are coming to Blu-ray?

        Anyway, it should be simple enough to replace the audio in the YouTube upload with the proper mono track (audio tracks in YouTube videos can be replaced after uploading). Weird that a Quicktime export would by default force the mono audio into stereo.

      • Film can have mono or stereo/multi-channel optical tracks. In an optimal transfer of the former, the entire space for the track should be read as one channel, even if the optical track consists of multiple copies of the waveform in parallel for improved fidelity. With stereo tracks, the parallel waveforms are not identical, and the portions of the track area for each channel are read separately. Unless someone in the pipeline is intentionally running the audio through some stereo conversion filter, the problem here is with the scanner or how it was configured—and you’d think a scanner as high-end as the Cintel would support reading mono tracks correctly if Steve would just make sure they configure it to do so, but for all I know, maybe it doesn’t.

        Relevant and interesting forum thread here: http://www.film-tech.com/ubb/f1/t011227.html

  • “Pots and Pans” has been my favourite Tom and Jerry cartoon, largely because of the snappy rendition of “Mean Music.” Gene Kardos’ version is a lot of fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cG6TmtLo_Yk

  • I think that was the print Tommy played at Cartoon Carnival, it went over pretty well. I think the highest laugh that screening was was the sounds the quartet makes when their spoons are in their mouth. “Ding-Dong-Ding-Dong-Ding-Don-Dingn”

  • Reminds me of the animated opening titles to the Wheeler and Woolsey film, “Caught Plastered”.

  • In case you were wondering who owns that 16mm Kodachrome print of “Bon Bon Parade” with full original titles (mentioned in Question 4), that person would be me! Color fading or not, I am still really happy to own that print!

  • Pots and Pans was such a joy to watch! Thanks!
    Loved the Bean/Mean Music tune and the HD looked great!

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