First, some Thunderbean news:
I spent yesterday morning with film collector and archivist Eric Grayson, helping with the scanning of some film materials. Eric presents rare films all over the country, and has been producing a series of Blu-rays and DVDs as well. It was a rare occasion where I wasn’t transferring things from one of the various projects for Thunderbean, and it gave me a little time to think about where many of the projects are without having my head stuck behind a computer screen or worried about the film being transferred. It’s sort of a tranquil place if you’re not the one spending the money per minute of film rushing through the Telecine!
Quite a few things are wrapping up at the same moment here; while it’s mostly special sets that are heading out the door in the coming week or two, there’s also a few ‘Official’ sets that are pretty close, so I’m enjoying whittling away at many things this week. Next week is spring break at the school I teach at, so it’s all in for getting things done, including a trip to New York to pick up some rare material. I’m also hoping to get some actual new animation much further along on two projects.
Animator Melanie Mrozek, one of the graduating seniors in animation this year at CCS, did a really cute key-out for the Rainbow Parade menus that I saw today, inspiring me to work faster and get all my ducks in a row for the sequence. Pencils out!
A few reels of new UPA commercials came in last week – and these are super fun. The two reels were full of spots I had never seen before. Clearly some were produced in Los Angeles, others in New York. I’m excited to have them on the now almost-finished Cartoon Commercials, volume 2 Blu-ray. Here’s some stills:
Getting a bunch of things to the finish line is a huge relief as well as exciting, since it means more time to finish some of the other things. One of the things I’m especially excited about is a handful of films arriving from one of the archives in the next week or so as well.
And so – today’s thing to watch! My favorite find on the internet this week is this: The Popeye Club Ooey Gooey Special. Those of us of a certain age fondly recall those local kids show hosts from the 1950s and 60s, who first introduced us to Popeye, Looney Tunes, The Three Stooges – even Terrytoons. Here’s one of them – From 1956 to 1970, Don Kennedy was ‘Officer Don’ in Atlanta who, with his pal Orvil the Dragon, would host a daily kid’s cartoon show on channel 2, WPIC, featuring, of course, Popeye. This is a wonderful little look into the history of the show, with footage from over the years. Make sure to watch the other four parts!
Of course, in addition, many of you will remember Tom Hatten. For those who don’t know, he was well-known to Los Angeles audiences for hosting the Popeye show on channel 5, KTLA. Here’s a nice little tribute to him:
And here’s some silent footage from the show I had never seen before:
And, to end things today, here’s Officer Don leading the countdown to a Popeye cartoon! It’s a Fleischer one in this case…can you guess what the cartoon was from the tiny bit of title music here?
Now, do *you* have a favorite cartoon show host that you remember?