Summer has me longingly looking outside and taking little breaks as I attempt to catch up with everything here! I’ve been lucky to have a good crew the last handful of days- helping dub, pack and clean up various films. It’s been the busiest early summer ever- literally dawn to late into the night attempting to make all these projects move forward as well as keeping with the orders. The swirl of activity is really fun in some ways, stressful in others- but the good news is that all things are working out pretty well. The ‘Fleischer Rarities’ set is now in full swing, with ‘Grand Old Toons’ and ‘Betty and Popeye’ all being out the door now. The pre-orders of ‘Abbott and Costello Rarities’ are all sent now, and new nitrate to transfer showed up Monday. The rest of the ‘Special’ discs are in the process and being dubbed as well.
With the last of the films being finished for one of my colleagues this week, it means that Flip and ‘Fleischer Rarities’ are the films getting the polish right now. Hurry Doctor is in progress now, and it’s fun to see that one looking so nice.
THE FLIP THE FROG ANIMATED KICKSTARTER PROJECT!
We’ve launched a Kickstarter to produce to help a little to finish the ‘Flip the Frog’ Blu-ray set, but the main purpose is to help with production on a special feature for the set- a two minute animated short featuring Flip (or any other Iwerks studio character) It’s a musical, traditionally animated short with different animators taking on 8 to 15 seconds set to a continuous piece of music. Each animator’s scene is unrelated to the others, so it will be a really fun little jam session of animation. It’s a short kickstarter (just 16 days left to go!). We can really use the help in getting the project to fruition! You can see the kickstarter here:
The other news is directly related to the nitrate that showed up here a few days back; some of them are Flip the Frogs, the others are stunning Technicolor materials on ‘Rainbow Parade’ cartoons! It looks so good that I couldn’t help but want to do a ‘sneak’ preview disc of the set.
VAN BEUREN’S RAINBOW PARADE PRE-ORDER!
A pre-order for the two disc Rainbow Parade Blu-ray set is available as of this week at Thunderbean’s Website. It comes with a ‘Sneak Preview’ disc that we’re trying to send within a month or so.
I only pulled a handful of things for comparison on the Rainbow Parade materials, and a few only-prints of things.
While the complete history of the print materials isn’t entirely clear, in a conversation I had with Mr Shepard after this visit, he confirmed what I had deduced about the materials that were still there. It seems that Commonwealth had made brand new 35mm prints of many of these shorts with the express purpose of using them as master materials. These included multiple prints of many of the Comi-Color shorts and Rainbow Parade Cartoons. Some of these have wear, while others are pretty mint, lab new. Just stunning, with no print-over problems or issues related to storage over the years. Among these materials were a mint print of Japanese Lantern in 35mm 2-color Technicolor (with all original music and titles intact), an incomplete print of The Sunshine Makers that includes the complete music and original titles, 35mm prints of other early episodes in the series in varied condition as well as at least one work print of one of the cartoons.The color on one of the Technicolor prints of the Felix title Bold King Cole looked better than any copy I’ve ever seen – and, funny enough, was way better than other Technicolor prints of the same title that I pulled. It’s possible that was a British print of that particular cartoon, so it could be that somehow that earlier print had made it into the collection of master material somehow. I can’t wait to do a 4k scan on that print. There were also prints of some of these films that had their titles removed and replaced by Eastman Color Commonwealth titles. I may scan a few of this just to show them. It appears that they were putting together a package of cartoons for television that lumped the Comi-Colors and Rainbow Parades together as one ‘Fairy Tale’ series.
After reviewing all of these, I’ve been starting to check around to the archives to see who may have other things we haven’t got for the set. I’m as excited about this title now as I am with Flip the Frog. I think David would be happy seeing all these things happening. I can’t wait to get this particular set finished, and the sneak preview disc will get some of these seen even sooner. More updates next week- have a great week everyone!