December 6, 2018 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Thunderbean Updates and “Sandman Tales” (1933)

It seems like a good time to give a quick Thunderbean update. It’s been a year of launches and not as many finishes as we’d like, but many things are speeding toward the finish line, often dependent on finances in how fast our little staff can finish and get them out to everyone. I’m excited to be wrapping up quite a few projects right now and getting them on their way into people’s collections. Here’s a pretty good rundown of where the closest to finished projects are right now:

Pretty Much Done:
Award Winners – Copies made and getting sent
Odds and Ends– Copies made and getting sent
I’m no Fool for IB tech– Copies made and getting sent

Almost finished:
Cartoon Paradise – this month
Screen Songs – this month
Popeye In Technicolor – January
Noveltoons – January
Grotesqueries – January (or sooner possibly)

Heavily in progress. Hope hope to finish these in the early months of 2019:
Flip the Frog
Rainbow Parades
More Stop Motion Marvels (only a few films left to scan)
Stop Motion Marvels
Cartoon Commercials (all scanned)
More Technicolor Dreams
Aesop’s Fables (only a few films left to scan)

Other projects are in scanning with various things getting cleaned up. We’re especially looking forward to continuing the scanning process on the Comi-Colors.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking if there will be a Thunderbean Thursday 2018 set; This is something I’d like to continue, so after a little thinking we decided to do one. Details are here.

This week’s cartoon is an especially bizarre one, and *almost* qualifies as an entry in the “It was only a dream” category of cartoons, except you know they’re having a dream from the beginning in this case. Sandman Tales (1933) is an ambitious entry for Columbia/ Mintz, remaining a fun watch 85 years after its creation. Scrappy and his kid brother Oopy fall asleep after reading a well-marked ‘Fairy Tales’ book. They have a magical fever dream that includes fairies and angels and lots of mushrooms for some reason. At one point, a series of elves that look like Oopy merrily dance around the pair, until an Ogre turns the whole situation in to a nightmare for a little while. Everything in Scrappy and Oppy dreamland turns out all right in the end, but I have to wonder how long the Ogre actually stays in the water. Watch closely for a funny shot of Scrappy and Oppy looking mad as they vanquish the Ogre, then return to their normal happy selves.

I wanted to see this cartoon for years and years without luck, after reading that it was a ‘classic’ in Mindrot (Animania) back in the 80s. I finally found a print maybe five years back, so I can share it, but sadly the print cuts off before the final conclusion, but at least it’s *close* to the end!

This cartoon seems a little more extravagant that most in the series. The higher production values give the film a really nice feel, especially in the background department. I have to wonder if Columbia was attempting to raise its production values at this point with an eye for awards. The results here are mixes, but it stands out from the rest of the series for its visuals. It tries hard to have the richness and whimsey of the Silly Symphonies without the storytelling ability. Columbia put Holidayland in the running the next year for best cartoon short.

Here’s a scan in HD, with a little missing on the end! Enjoy the cartoon and have a good week everyone!


  • There’s no sound? At least on the 1080p version,,,

    • Check your speakers. There’s sound—it’s just left channel-only for some reason.

    • The sound is coming out of the left channel for me, so that’s probably why.

  • Hopefully the Aesop’s Fables you mention will be some of the numerous ones that have never been properly released (“Dinner Time” 1928; “Bug House College Days” “A Stone Age Romance” “The Big Scare” “The Mill Pond” “Tuning In” “Summertime” “The Night Club” “Ship Ahoy” 1929; “The Iron Man” “Singing Saps” “Sky Skippers” “Good Old Schooldays” “Foolish Follies” “Dixie Days” “Western Whoopee” Oom Pah Pah 1930) and not the same old titles….

  • The film appears to be about to melt in the last few seconds; that may be why the ending was cut in this print.
    The fairy looks almost exactly like the one from the Silly Symphony ‘The Flying Mouse.” Back then, other studios weren’t above straight up stealing from Disney, apparently.
    Love that shot of Scrappy and Oopy on the swing, with the camera following them. Such a sophisticated camera move for the time.

  • Steve, how do I properly place an order for the “Special Set” available only ’til December 15

  • Wow! One more THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY 2018 disk? I’ve already sent a payment! Can’t wait to check out the full list of titles. I realize that MICKEY MOUSE is celebrating an anniversary or birthday, but that also means that so many of the “lost boys” in cartoons of the 1930’s are also celebrating–Bosko, Buddy, Scrappy, and even that sly little kid in Van Buren’s “A WAIF’S WELCOME”; I wonder if that cartoon will ever surface with its absolute original musical score and opening titles sequence.

    When it was part of CARTOONS THAT TIME FORGOT, it showed up with a recreated audio. I know this because I once had a VHS tape with a very splicey print of the cartoon, and it opened with only a portion of the titles intact, but it had a different score. I could tell it was the original scoring, because tehre was no splice sound as the iris opened on the cartoon; just thought I’d mention that, but hey, whatever is going to be on this disk will be appreciated.

    Happy Holidays and a genuine Happy New Year to you and your co-conspirators on all these beautiful and inventive cartoon projects. Glad you’re helping out the bigger deals that are whispers as of this moment, and I hope they do achieve fruition. I’m aging faster than these ideas are arriving in finished formw!!

  • As so often happens in cartoons, Scrappy turns the pages of the book the wrong way.

  • How about the Terry/ Lantz / Famous disc?

    • Steve said in Blu-Ray forums the other day: “In progress. ‘Terry/Lantz/Famous’ is waiting for EGGS DON’T BOUNCE right now.”

  • Hey Steve! Any chance of a reply to my recent emails please? You know I’ve been a loyal customer and friend of Thunderbean for years now, but after the stack of discs you sent this summer I’m now back to waiting on around twenty titles, some for almost two years (again…it does make me chuckle when I see some people complaining they’re waiting on one or two for a couple of months!).

    I know some are only nearing completion, but some have been going out to other folks for months now. I’ve remained quiet on various boards and the like due to not really being signed up to most, or wanting to make a public fuss, but now I’ve sent you a few emails and I’m waiting for a reply. I’d love to add the new TB Thursday ’18 disc to my order…but I’ve never heard back. I know what pressure you must be under and hate to add to it, but I’m at a loss as to what is up. I hope posting here gets a notice…it currently is my only hope! Thanks!!

    • Hi Ben…your emails were going in my Spam; I replied to you, and you have sets that will be coming your way…

  • We’re not missing much from this print, at least with it being a Samba print. I have a copy of this cartoon from another print, and the camera zooms in on Scrappy and Vontzy/Oopy, the background dissolves to another one, and then it abruptly cuts to the Samba end title (no cut in the soundtrack). I’m guessing it originally had a special ending integrating the end title/Columbia logo into the cartoon. (Wouldn’t be the only such Mintz cartoon; looks like Krazy Kat in Seeing Stars (1932) had a special ending with the end title information on the curtain that Krazy pulls, apparently with Harpo Marx then chasing women past it judging from the soundtrack. Alaskan Nights (1930) also has Krazy pulling the end title from off-screen.)

  • Will you let us know when Screen Songs and Secret Christmas are done?

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