In Thunderbean News: We’re busy dubbing various new special sets right now and are working hard to get the current batch out the door. There’s lots of progress. Some new things are up at the Thunderbean shop and we’ll be listing the new ‘Official’ sets as well as they become available.
The one that is taking up most of my own time right now is the second oldest in progress. A lot of work has been going into the Rainbow Parades V1 set for some time now – and I really end up with my head pretty absorbed in a project when it gets to these final stages. I’m still shy of the 35mm track for one more cartoon, and I’m recompiling some of the animated titles for the set to improve things a little, but it’s coming together really well. Chris Buchman informed me today that he has the liner notes for the music almost finished. I’ve been working on finishing touches and fixes on a lot of the bonus features this week, and the new cover is coming along nicely (by artist Shawn Dickinson). The nice little piece of art already done for the set will be used for the booklet cover as we get closer to finish. So, as we turn these corners, we’ll share some of the things here.
One of the great finds this year was a series of original model sheets from the series that started to show up on Ebay. I was lucky enough to get a bunch (most) of them and, combined with the other ones that have been lent to us, we have a pretty good collection. I thought it would be fun to share a bunch of those this week here. Many of these belonged to animator Al Stahl at some point. I think it’s really cool to know who had used this particular sheets to animate on these films. Although there’s still a little adjustment to do, we thought it would be a good week to share them. Our very own Devon Baxter has done a wonderful job helping to assemble the final still gallery.The model sheets designs evolve over the course of the production of the series- especially since the series was produced in keys years of remarkable growth in animation produced in the states. Early films reflect the look of Ted Eshbaugh’s and Van Beuren’s previous efforts as well as individual artist’s work from Fleischer’s and Iwerks’ studios. Design sensibilities take a cue from the earlier films but continue to be more refined though the Technicolor entries in the series.
It appears that Eshbaugh was involved in more films than his name is on. It’s likely that he was working on Grandfather’s Clock (1934) before moving over the Pastrytown Wedding (also 1934). There’s a pretty good chance that he was directing The Picnic Panic (1935) before leaving the studio. The film has many of his touches all over it, especially in design.
The Model Sheets for Along Came A Duck, Grandfather’s Clock and Pastrytown Wedding feature inked drawings. By the time Parrotville Fire Department, was made (the second in the Rainbow Parades series), the sheets were no longer inked, but instead featured construction models drawn in pencil.
Better, more structured drawing is really being pushed on some of the sheets in terms of handling details; something that must have been difficult for some of the more seasoned Van Beuren staff. Special thanks to Mark Kaulser, Jerry Beck, Ted Watts and Mark Newgarden for their help with the images in the galleries for the set.
PASTRYTOWN WEDDING (click to enlarge)
ALONG CAME A DUCK
A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME
THE PARROTVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT
THE SUNSHINE MAKERS
PARROTVILLE OLD FOLKS
SPINNING MICE (click to enlarge)
THE MERRY KITTENS
PARROTVILLE POST OFFICE
THE HUNTING SEASON
SCOTTY FINDS A HOME
And Don’t forget…