August 20, 2015 posted by

Thunderbean Update and “Let’s Ring Doorbells” (1935)

A frame from the restoration of the Pvt. Snafu cartoon, "The Goldbrick"

A frame from the restoration of the Pvt. Snafu cartoon, “The Goldbrick”

I promised Jerry that Thunderbean Thursday would be back with a vengeance, so here it is – updates, a new ‘special’ set, and a Scrappy cartoon to boot! I’m just getting back on my feet here, happily, but have to be careful to not lift anything too heavy for a few weeks! I guess that means no carrying large film cans around…

First, the update on all things Thunderbean:

• The masters for ‘Willie Whopper’ are all finished as of today. I’m very happy with how everything came together on the set, and am looking forward to continuing the Iwerks’ cartoon series of sets. Check out this sneak peek at the menus, below.


• Transfers have started on the Flip the Frog series, and although we’re further behind than I had hoped, we’re moving forward.

• Here’s a little bit of news: We’ll be doing the Comi-Color series as well, in HD.
• The Snafu Blu-ray is nearing completion as well. New material became available twice on the set, happily so. We finished the cleanup on the last film today, and will hopefully have a master this week as well for both the blu-ray and the DVD.

• Here’s a little bit of extra news on that too – some of the recently restored Snafus will be showing on Turner Classic Movies throughout September and October. Check TCM’s Schedule for times. They’re looking wonderful.

• The next few sets are turning the corner as well, with work progressing daily, and there will be some new announcements coming up finally as well. It’s been an expensive year here in transfers and all other production-related costs, with the pre-orders really helping to defray some of the costs (thanks everyone!). We’re so happy these titles are finally going out the door, but the expense is pretty high to replicate 2 blu-ray and 2 DVD titles at the same time! We will of course, though we hope to sooner than later!

To help get over this hump and without being too much a shill, we’ve decided to offer:

The ‘Thunderbean Thursday’ Special Blu-ray/DVD combo set!

I like doing these little extra sets, though this one is for a good cause!

This set is a BDR/DVDR combo, offered for the next two weeks only. It features something over 15 films, many never before available in HD. All proceeds will help in the replication of these two new Thunderbean Titles, Private Snafu and Willie Whopper.

This set is a partial ‘Sneak Peak’ of things that may be on upcoming sets, though some of them probably never will be. As I’ve been putting this together in the last few days, I’ve been smiling looking at so much of this often odd but cool material. We’ve transferred more film this year than any other so far and I’m happy to let folks get a sneak peek (or only peek possibly!) at some of these.

Here is the rundown so far:

• Reel of cartoon intros and previews from the 50s & 60s!

• Rare previews for animated films!

Hector The Pup – John Burton’s 1935 Stop Motion short, from the beautiful 35mm Nitrate print

King Algy

King Algy

• More Kinex Stop Motion shorts not included on Stop Motion Marvels

King Algy – 60’s animated TV cartoon that was likely never released – silent work print

• A lost Sam Bassett – Private Eye cartoon, recently found! See it before Jerry puts it in his “Worst Cartoons Ever” show next year.

• A Bubble and Squeak cartoon! Need we say more?

• Two Cubby Bear cartoons in beautiful new transfers! No “Brownie Bear” here!

Sammy Salvage – great little Ted Eshbaugh WW2 short, featured on Thunderbean Thursday a little while back.

• Rare silent animated classic cartoons from a famous series, transferred from 35mm nitrate for a set that may or may not happen!

• Other rare stop motion shorts!

• Some Mid-Century Modern goodness, in beautiful HD.

Tom Thumb in King Arthur’s Court– rare 60’s animated short from Coronet

…and some good surprises!

The set is $16.95 plus $2 postage, $6 postage outside the US. It comes in a standard Blu-ray case.
Further details on ordering are on the Thunderbean Website. Thanks to everyone for the continued support of these efforts. We’re still tiny, but working on growing, and still going through growing pains in our 11th year on DVDs….

Now, finally, to the cartoon!


Let’s Ring Doorbells is, at best, one of the strangest of the Scrappy Cartoons. The Scrappy that stars in this entry bears little resemblance to the earlier Scrappy, except that he still is willing to hit his brotherindiscriminately.

A publicity image from "Let's Ring Doorbells" (click to enlarge_

A publicity image from “Let’s Ring Doorbells” (click to enlarge_

This particular cartoon almost reaches greatness a few times, but given the opportunity doesn’t follow through as well as it could. The moralizing butterfly is especially annoying, I think, and really probably could have been eliminated- in fact, I think it would be a little bit better of a film if the kids had their own personal epiphanies rather than having to be lectured as they are about to do a bad thing.

The joke with the drunk always seems really out of place in this one as well. Unfortunate stereotype gag stuck in there too. Still, I have trouble not liking this little film, but just wish it could have been just a little better…. I think the same can be said for a lot of Columbia/Mintz shorts of this vintage, but I still love them. What do you think?

Here’s a transfer from a 16mm Official films print, in HD. Enjoy and have a good week everyone!


  • Steve-
    Menu for the Willie Whopper DVD looks splendid! Kinda like that drawing of the Devil- what color! Lemme guess on the silent cartoon series- Bobby Bumps? Paul Terry’s Aesop’s Fables?

    • The beautiful art on this set is by Stephen Destefano… the package design is nearly completed now too- we’ll show it soon!

    • Evan–those sound like potential Cartoons On Film releases! 😉

    • Hi Steve! Glad your recovering! No more than two cans at a time my boy! Might I suggest you just “flip” over to Blu-ray production and skip the combo DVDs to save on replication costs? The sets could be the same price but you would save a packet. Most people are buying these for the exquisite HD transfers anyway (and for those that don’t have Blu, go buy a player for the price of a single luxury box set!). Any news on the replacement (pressed) Van Beuren set from earlier this year? We heard August a while back… Thanks for all you do! CR.

  • Nice to hear about the Snafu shorts being shown on TCM. Too bad none of the other Warner Bros. cartoons can’t be shown there for the time being.

    • Is there some legal or licensing issue keeping classic WB, MGM, and Fleischer animation off of TCM?

    • Despite being part of the Warner Bros. family, TCM is a separate entity that must license the cartoons from Warner Bros. Television.

      TCM was founded in 1994 on the WB, MGM and RKO features Turner owned. The cartoons were excluded two years earlier to help found Cartoon Network. As TCM does not regularly run cartoons (at this time), and has plenty of live action shorts and other material to run in-between the movies, it doesn’t pay (at the moment) for TCM to license the package.

      I’m hoping one day that TCM (and Warners) will recognize the theatrical cartoons as classic American comedies… and establish a proper place for them on their regular schedule.

    • Thanks for the information, Jerry! Considering Cartoon Network is now well-established and makes little use of the classic WB library, I would hope that’s no longer an obstacle; now if there were only some way to convince TCM and/or TimeWarner that it would be beneficial to license the cartoons for airing on TCM…

  • ” I’m just getting back on my feet here, happily, but have to be careful to not lift anything too heavy for a few weeks! I guess that means no carrying large film cans around…”

    What happened, an accident?? This is new to me. Glad that you’re doing better, anyway.

    And I agree with you about the Scrappy film… it could be better, and the drunk/blackface gags really do come out of nowhere. Still, I couldn’t help laughing a bit at the utterly ridiculous dance scene, topped off with “Mammy!” (It was something else with the drunk guy. I don’t mind this type of humor in most Hollywood cartoons, but in this case, the scenes with him didn’t even lead to anything funny… he was just “there”.)

    All that said, I enjoyed the cartoon as a whole. Thanks for the HD share! 🙂

  • I’m not sure of the best way to relay this information, but currently the “Thunderbean Website” link in the article leads to the “DVD Sales” page of the website, which doesn’t have any information about ordering the Thunderbean Thursday set; I suspect it should lead to the home page of the Thunderbean site. At any rate, I’ve ordered my copy, and am eagerly looking forward to it!

    Also, great news on the Private Snafu cartoons being shown on TCM! It’s a real shame that, outside of occasional special programming, they no longer show animation.

  • Don’t criticize the “drunk guy” stuff too much in “Doorbells”, that’s Emery Hawkins’s great animation on him climbing up the statue.

    • Hi Mark-

      That’s great.. I didn’t know that was his work. Do you know who did the shot of the kids going up to the first doorbell? I really love Scrappy’s swagger in that scene, and their running around getting ready to hide, even though it’s all a little swimmy… for some reason action like this is always a favorite of mine.

    • Hi Steve,
      That’s Emery’s scene as well. He also did the animation and character design on the rest of the human characters, the fat man, old man with the beard and the old lady. You’ll note that Scrappy is imitating Curly of the Three Stooges with his ‘Woo-w00-w00″ sound effects after he rings the doorbell.

  • I wanted Scrappy to squash that judgmental butterfly at the end!

  • I think this was best Scrappy cartoon I’ve seen yet. (Though I’ve only seen the ones that were posted here recently.)

    But, yeah, the drunk guy scene doesn’t have any kind of pay off. Any chance there could be a missing scene in this print that would have presented a final gag with the drunk and statue?

    • I think the gesture of putting the suspender on the statue’s shoulder was the payoff. The drunk thinks he’s preserving her modesty.

    • Hi Dan,
      The “payoff” to the drunk guy and the statue scene is that the fat guy’s pants landed on the statue of Venus De Milo and the right suspender is hanging off her shoulder. The drunk guy thinks she is a real lady and modestly drapes the right suspender over her shoulder so that Venus is “dressed”. Sort of an art history gag.

  • Thanks for the post: Just pre ordered the Thunderbean Thursday set. Looking forward to it and all the other upcoming sets.

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