December 10, 2015 posted by

Thunderbean Thursday: Some Little Holiday Films


It’s a week of busy stuff here, so it’s a simple TB Thursday this time… but some cool stuff never the less I think. I especially like showing some things that really haven’t been around too much… the one thing that would be better is to have showings of this kind of stuff with everyone gathered in a theatre….that’s what I really miss. So, darken the room while watching these and gather around some friends! I don’t think anything here will make your all-time favorite list, but it’s all pretty fun stuff.

A quick note: I visited my friend Luke Virgin yesterday, and he informed me that yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas‘. One of Luke’s lifelong goals is to see an excellent copy of the first broadcast version, with all the original Coca Cola sponsor tags and commercials intact.

Here are the opening and end credits on youtube- note the animation of the original version has Snoopy singing along. In the retake version (from 1966 on) Snoopy doesn’t sing with everyone.

I’ll have some things to show next week from upcoming sets. After this week I hope to enjoy just a *little* slower schedule – and a little time to put all the films back on their reels, get everything back that was borrowed, and maybe finally look at some of the films that are here that I’ve been dying to see.

On the recently released sets: I’m enjoying getting feedback from both the Willie Whopper and Snafu collections- thanks to everyone for the feedback, both on line and through emails. If you liked the sets, please put a review up on Amazon. I’m happy we were able to have a part in presenting the great work of the Iwerks and Schlesingers’ studios, and (hopefully) many more to come.

On current projects, we’re getting ready to have a dubbing festival here for the ‘Yuletide Flickers’ set, and not a day too soon! We’ll be sending out ALL the sets this Friday and Saturday. There are still some available, so if you’d like to buy one the details are on the Thunderbean Website. Thanks for everyone that bought the set- it’s paid for about 75% of the film transfers.

As we put the finishing touches on the set, I thought it would be fun to share some of the little films transferred for the set, so here they are:

Season’s Greetings (1946) This little trailer looks to have been produced for theaters, and looks to be most likely animated by Joop Geesink in Holland/The Netherlands, who continued to produce films for Phillips and others after George Pal moved to Hollywood, starting the Puppetoon series. These are the kinds of little lost films I love finding. This one is courtesy of Paul Mular.

Jingle Bells (1927). This almost didn’t get transferred for the set…and I’m glad I checked again, finding this tiny reel just in time to add to the head of the last transfer session. It’s a cute little song cartoon, sadly with the Fleischers name omitted:

1960s Season’s Greetings Trailers. This reel is also courtesy of Paul Mular, who sent along a reel of some of the funkiest 60s Season’s Greeting trailers I’ve ever seen. These were distributed by the National Screen Service. Here’s some of the animated ones. Dig that groovy fake British one!

And, finally, although a little early (or 55 years too late) … Happy New Year, 1960! This was also distributed by the National Screen Service, though I wonder what studio produced the animation. As in the others, it could have been a small studio or just a group of freelancers…. anyone have any idea?

Have a great week everyone!


  • My favorite from TV is the 1966 CBS Christmas message.

    • There was also a version of the Blechman film for theatres, with the CBS tag replaced with “Season’s greetings from the management” in hand-lettered text. The “16mm drive-in films” guy has a print of that version for sale on eBay right now.

    • Nice he’s offering that.

  • My favorites was from Mexico that was aired on KMEX 34 back in 1979 (where they aired Televisa programming direct from Mexico) where the Brewers of Carta Blaca beer had a commercial featuring a animated version of The Nativity as part of thier Christmas greetings, a commercial from Varig Airlines of Brazil featuring a sing a long in Brazilian Portuguese M&M’s very humorous commercial where Red & Yellow meets Santa and the ads from Norelco and the promo spots for General Electric featuring the elves from Ruldoph the Red Nose Reindeer when GE was a sponsor for Ruldoph the Red Nose Reindeer when it premiered back on NBC in 1964.

    • Hopefully I’ll never hear a peep about that Hershey’s Kisses ad that keeps getting played year after year since the late 80’s. That needs to stop!

  • Oh my dream is that we get “A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS” with its complete opening and closing which *CAN* be done, as so many people assume and are probably right, since I would imagine that you can now digitally block out the Coca Cola logo and sponsor mention without losing all that good footage. The same goes for *ALL* the CHARLIE BROWN specials that had to be altered because of that “offending” logo. Listen, to me, those are all time warps and it is fun, therefore, to have ’em all intact. My hope for the future would be to get the video companies to understand that it is, in the end, all art to us now, not extended commerce.

    Steve, it has been my absolute pleasure to help fund some of the projects. For the New Year, my hope is that you are able to cross-license like a fully functional *BIG* video company with deep pockets and really bring back the classic cartoon in a big way! WILLIE WHOPPER was proof that it can happen, but the so-called big boys just won’t understand that! Loved the videos connected with this posting today and, yes, I always like the PUPPETOONS and other types of stop motion, even when the stop motion figures are actual humans in the way that Norman McClarren had done it. It’s a hard thing to do with your actors and, probably very clumsy, but the end results are as surreal as the art form can get, depending on the kinds of gags you are trying to accomplish!

  • Many many years ago AMC (pre-commercials) ran an hour or two of theatrical holiday bits with no interruption or comment. Something Weird Video put out some DVD-Rs of random intermission fare. And Thunderbean’s Walter Lantz disc includes some nifty theatricals for Coca Cola.

    I keep hoping that somebody would put the pieces together for a disc or two of nice, curated intermissions.

    • I recall one of the Christmas trailers seen here showed up in one of Something Weird Video’s old VHS releases back in the day that featured a lot of intermission material. The piece used though was slighty edited to remove the 1968/69 sequence, I’m sure done by a theater that simply wanted to keep running it every year to stay relevant.

  • 1960s Season’s Greetings Trailers. This reel is also courtesy of Paul Mular, who sent along a reel of some of the funkiest 60s Season’s Greeting trailers I’ve ever seen. These were distributed by the National Screen Service. Here’s some of the animated ones. Dig that groovy fake British one!

    I like the implication they want your parents to show up together next year hopefully, followed by a drawing of someone holding onto his chick who’s disproportionately nude. That’s how you sell it!

  • The style on that “Happy New Year, 1960!” from National Screen Service REALLY looks like Chuck Jones. Maybe he was moonlighting?

    • There is indeed something about the little boy – his eyes, the eyelashes, his head shape – that looks like Jones may have had a hand in his design. A little like ‘Milo’ in The Phantom Tollbooth. It must be freelance because the rest of it just isn’t up to the standard at Warner Bros.

    • Yup that kid does look like Milo from MGM’s The Phantom Tollbooth even though The Phanthom Tollbooth didn’t hit the Big Screen until eight years later in 1968!

    • At least Chuck knew how to draw an appealing boy then.

    • Actually the animation was produced at National Screen Services inhouse animation department in NYC. The animation was directed by Paramount/Fleischer veteran Tom Golden. Artists on staff included Blondell Hilton, Joe Gray, Mitchell Rose, Dorothy Conner, Joseph Goldman, Arnold Levy, and several other artists likely freelancers. The April 1961 issue of Top Cel mentions that Golden and E.T Collins opened a new commercial studio TKT films following the closure of National Screen Services animation department in early 61.

  • Not only does Viacom negelect its Paramount Cartoons and Terrytoons but it failed to air the orginal version of Rudolph on its 50th aniveserry. Well that reveals how greedy the company is. If I ever submitt a show for nick I would want it to be like one of their cartoon complanations except with the Terrytoons and Paramount Cartoons.

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