THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
July 29, 2021 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Thunderbean’s “Rainbow Parade Cartoons, Volume 1” is back!

I’m happy to say that the long-in-progress (and often talked about) Rainbow Parade Cartoons, Volume 1 Blu-ray is finally back from replication! I’m happy to finally have the project out of my hands and to everyone. The pre-orders are going out this week, and it’s available here on Amazon as of today as well as at thunderbeanshop.com.

For folks that are regular readers here, you’ve seen this Blu-ray and the Flip the Frog project in progress for many years. The Rainbow Parades have been in progress the better part of four years- mostyly waiting for this element or that to get scanned. It’s a great relief to have this done – with Flip close on its heels. Soon time will be entirely freed up to work on and finish the other projects that are in progress at Thunderbean.

A ton of people helped to make volume 1 a reality. They all helped to get things looking as good as I think we possibly could at this moment in time, and it was a good time to get it done since the materials were still in good enough condition to do the set, and the quality of scanners allowed to get them scanned very nicely. This list of people to thank is long (really much longer than here) but I’m especially appreciative of Jerry Beck for his continuous support as well as this space to talk about these projects, Todd Weiner and the folks at UCLA Archives, the late David Shepard, Lobster Films’ Serge Bromberg, George Willeman and the folks at the Library of Congress, the multi-talented Devon Baxter for help with music, still galleries and support, Chris Buchman and Rex Schneider for their thoughtful help throughout the project along with Chris’ wonderful section in the booklet about Winston Sharples, Mark Kausler for his continuing invaluable help through all these projects with prints as well as lending rare model sheets, Evan Schad for his tireless search in finding small pieces of music to use in the music-only bonus features, the element / film cleanup team including (again!) Devon Baxter, Thad Komorowski and Ciara Wagoneer, and Shawn Dickinson for his lovely cover art.

Special additional thanks to the animation team that worked on the title menu animation with me. While the set isn’t perfect, I think it’s as good as could be done, and I think we’ve done a good service to these films and the artists that made them. Maybe someday the negs will show up in a wall of the former Kinex Studios. Finally, the set is dedicated to Jazz record mart founder and cartoon collector Bob Koester. I’ll forever hear you singing ‘There’s going to be a wedding— a wedding in Pastrytown!!’. I’ll also always imagine you singing it late at night while secretly skinny-dipping at some pool somewhere in Chicagoland.

Since I don’t have to work on the set any more I can get back to enjoying just watching the cartoons, finally! I’ll be doing another big scanning session as soon as a few more things arrive here, and as the next batch of things are getting cleaned up I’m going to concentrate on a few projects I’ve been trying to make happen for a long time, including a show that isn’t animated but has all shorts of animation connections. At the suggestion of a reader on Blu-ray.com, we’ve also just grabbed a bunch of films to create a ‘Grab Bag’ BDR set, available at the Thunderbean shop on preorder this week.

Here’s a little sneak preview of the Rainbow Parade Volume 1 set. Have a good week everyone!

15 Comments

  • Checking my mailbox like an impatient Daffy Duck, wondering “when will it get here?!” Seriously, the trailer looks amazing!! I’ve been following this project since it was announced, and I’m sure it’ll live up to my expectations.

  • Amazing news, can’t wait to see the set for myself! Congrats to Steve and the whole Thunderbean team!

  • Congratulations to the Thunderbean crew for all their hard work in bringing this about. And now the world looks bright and fair, because there’s sunshine everywhere!

  • Oh boy! Yes, this has been long in coing, and I’ve groaned with you every time I hear of another “snag” here and there that wasn’t expected, but it has to be understood that you’re dealing with elements that have “been left out in the rain”, so to speak for years and years, and those things are not always restorable. Yet, I hear of miraculous things being done even at the major entertainment companies, so I’m delighted whenever I hear of good news like this.

    I not only can’t wait for this and soon-to-come FLIP THE FROG but also more about these secret projects that will undoubtedly surprise us all real soon. You know, I always have my nagging Holy Grails, and I still hold out hope, even if fleeting, that they will surface and nicely surprise. Thankfully, one or two of these are also seen on video sites, unrestored, but I can enjoy ’em on that level until something better comes along.

    Good luck for the very near future…and that also goes for any news that Jerry Beck has coming through that pipeline…sooner than later, I hope, but we’re all still being careful as a nation, so I remain waiting.

  • Steve, I believe that I’m one of those people who preordered, is that right?
    Please reply.
    -Chris

    • I think you might have better luck submitting a ticket on the Thunderbean website; I submitted one to ask about making sure they sent the set to my new address, and got a response within a few hours. There’s a drop-down menu where you can specify that yours was a Paypal order.

  • Congratulations. Finally having something released must be quite a relief.

    • Very much so. So far this year the Official releases are More Stop Motion Marvels and this one..and lots more to go! I really like how it’s growing and shaping up as a little company.

  • Congratulations to everyone who was involved. Can’t wait to receive my copy. Also looking forward to the Flip collection.

  • wow and thank you cant wait for the flips will there ever be a harmon ising restoration ? i want you to know steve youre saving our childhood if this was the uk you should be knighted no kidding

  • The films are looking great in the trailer! Thanks Steve and team for all your work on this.
    I only pre-ordered back in April but have been aware of the set’s progression since the time of the original pre-order (maybe money was a bit tight that month) and it’s wonderful that Volume 1 has now reached fruition.
    Also, look forward to Volume 2 when completed & especially to those colour Felixes!

    I did wonder:
    Has additional restoration been done on “The Sunshine Makers” since its most recent appearance on a Thunderbean disc?

    I can’t remember if that was a Special Disc or official release but I remember thinking, probably largely because of the amazing quality of the print used, that I couldn’t imagine it looking much better than the outstanding look it had then.
    But if even better then still more fab and groovy and a further Thank you to Steve and the other restoration wizards at Thunderbean.

    • (In case anyones anyone’s interested 😂):
      I asked my question about “The Sunshine Makers” again on the Thunderbean thread at Bluray.com.
      Steve gave a very helpful reply, not long after (towards the bottom of page 329 on that thread) and this is what he said:

      “It does look better on the new release. The original titles have been restored, and the first handful of shots are from that same partial print, so the few splices at the beginning are now gone. Devon Baxter did an excellent job in color correction on this one, and the balance looks really nice.”

      Great news that it’s now even better! And thanks again Steve for the info – Cheers!

    • And no doubt sounds better than ever, too. It’s hard to believe that the rich, complex, and extremely difficult musical score to “The Sunshine Makers” was recorded by an ensemble of (as far as I can determine) only a dozen players: five winds, five strings, piano, and one percussionist, along with the male vocal quartet. Yet it has the effect of a full symphony orchestra. Thanks to Thunderbean for presenting it in a format where it can be appreciated as a masterwork.

      • Interesting to read your summation of the musicians used & their effect, Paul.
        I’ve now received the blu ray – as perhaps you have too – and it is indeed looking and sounding great (not that my ears are particularly well tuned!).

  • Nice to see George Willeman thanked. He’s one of my favorite people. Taught me so, so much about film when I was blessed with the opportunity to volunteer for him in the nitrate vaults at the LoC back in the late 90’s. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *