As the last days of the school year are wrapping up, I find myself not buying the usual pizzas for a whole class; instead, I’m hauled away in my basement, next to a rack of films, trying to be at least somewhat enthusiastic! The best of the student work is still pretty wonderful this year, so that’s helped. This semester has been difficult and exhausting just the same. At least I’ve been appropriately dressed for all occasions.
Getting close to the last pieces on many Thunderbean projects at the same time helps my enthusiasm. It’s been a long journey of progress on many of the things on deck right now, but a decent one. Getting out of the holding pattern waiting for one thing or the other is the biggest goal, and clearing the plate of other projects that I’ve been helping with for other producers. With some resources still limited (I can’t replicate anything currently), I hope to get as many things though production as possible in the coming weeks. Looking forward to sharing as each is finished. There are some things to share soon that are truly eye opening. I’m excited to write those articles in the coming weeks.
And now, a cartoon you may have not have seen!
I’ve been looking at some of the older Thunderbean DVD releases and enjoying watching a film or two each night. The Iwerks ‘Gran’ Pop Monkey’ cartoons are included on Cultoons, Volume 3. I was never able to find all three in color, although we managed to get two out of the three almost complete in color. I posted Beauty Shoppe here. The third, Baby Checkers, may be the least seen of these rarely screened shorts.
Gran’ Pop was of course an already established character in a series of beautiful Illustrations by British artist Lawson Wood. The cartoons seem to try and capture the raw charm of his work, but that’s a tall order, honestly. Gran’ Pop’s mild personality and lumbering movement make him an unlikely star, so all the characters around him have to carry the overall plot and action, leaving Gran’ Pop to react to the craziness around him.
While it’s not earth shattering in any way, it’s pretty cute and has some nicely executed animation at times. The other two are pretty similar in tone and content, but look especially nice in color. As far as I know, a color print has yet to show up on this title, although it does appear that 16mm prints were made in the mid-40s. This print is courtesy of the preservation efforts of Mark Kausler.
Have a great week everyone!