THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
June 2, 2022 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Van Beuren’s “Red Riding Hood” (1931)

First, in Thunderbean news:

This is already shaping up to be a busy summer at Thunderbean, but happily so.

Aesop’s Fables, Volume 1 is now available on Amazon here. Thanks to everyone for supporting this project. We’ll be continuing the series with a Volume 2, on pre-order next week.

It was really great seeing so many friends at the Columbus Moving Picture Show last week and over the weekend. I had great conversations with many people, and had a chance to chat for a while with artist and Art Professor Stewart McKissick, who has done covers for many recent Blu-ray releases for various producers, including Thunderbean titles.

The work is wrapping up on the Blu-ray revision of Stop Motion Marvels, and Stewart played a large part in both researching the Kinex films as well as designing the booklet and cover for the collection. The set will be completed this month, even though we’re still missing *two* rather than just one of the Kinex shorts: “The Thrilling Rescue” and “The Goose and the Golden Egg”. It’s sad that we were not able to locate and acquire all of them, but it’s as complete of a collection as I think we’ll ever be able to do.

There’s a bunch of the’ special’ discs wrapping up right now, and I’m enjoying gathering all the scans for each and getting them done between rendering this or that for so many projects. I’ll be working with Dave Grauman this week to retire many of the special discs as we finish some of the newer sets. Thanks again for all that have supported these projects- it’s made a huge difference in how long it takes to finish so many things.

I managed to nearly wrap a project for a colleague last week, and this week has been largely about helping another colleague’s stuff along with lots of delegating. Many scans are in progress right now, too.

David Gerstein and Devon Baxter have been doing a wonderful job on the Galleries for Flip the Frog. I got a chance to show many of the finished shorts to friends at the Columbus show. It was fun to see their eyes light up!

There’s no perfection in creating any of these collections, but its heartening to know how many people are enjoying classic (and not-so classic!) cartoons.


Now, this week’s cartoon:

I’ve been looking over a lot of the scans we’re doing right now. Here’s a scan I’m not sure if we’ll be using, but I’ve always enjoyed the cartoon itself. Red Riding Hood (1931) is a lurid tale as told by the Van Beuren staff – and it seems like the tale of Red Riding Hood lends itself better to being spoofed than almost any other. This Van Beuren’s early sound effort takes as much advantage of the oddness of this well-known story as a later version. It’s the only one that features ‘Jazz Tonic’, and a wolf with swirling eyes and characters with heads that engulf the camera on the last shot. The merry awkwardness of some of these early sound Van Beuren cartoons is wonderful. Chris Buchman was nice enough to lend his vintage print to scan. While its not ideal, we’ll likely combine this print with another, and we’ll be using the 35mm soundtrack we scanned back in 1991.

Have a good week all!

12 Comments

  • The extreme closeup of the characters’ faces in the final shot isn’t unique to “Red Riding Hood”. It was done in a lot of Van Beuren cartoons of this period, for example with the barbershop quartet of drunken turtles singing “Sweet Adeline” in “The Haunted Ship” (1930). If any two cartoon characters are long overdue for a reboot, they’re Waffles and Don.

    By coincidence I was watching the Secret Squirrel take on the Little Red Riding Hood story from 1965 earlier today. I much prefer this one. That’s “some grandma,” indeed! I love that ragtime music that plays in counterpoint with the traditional Wedding March from “Lohengrin”; very clever scoring by Gene Rodemich. And I think it’s sweet when couples write their own wedding vows: “Diddly yum da tee de lum dum, de yum dum, de dum?”

    • those heads coming toward the screen at the end used to scare me when I was a kid, and they don’t do me much good now–60 years later!!!

  • Just ordered my copy!

  • Hi Steve,
    My name is Sean Bradley. I am a young classic animation fan and an avid reader of Cartoon Research. As I was reading today’s Thunderbean Thursday article, I noticed that you said you are currently missing the Kinex short, “The Goose and the Golden Egg”. Knowing that it was one of the Chip the Wooden Man shorts, I went on YouTube and searched “chip the wooden man the goose and the golden egg”. The first video that popped up was a video from the Huntley Film Archives entitled “The Goose and The Egg, 1920’s – Film 33509”. The video’s thumbnail image clearly showed that it was indeed a Kinex short featuring Chip the Wooden Man. I’ve included a link to the video right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hed_dLAeGpA. When you have a chance, please look over the video and verify whether this is the short you are looking for. Thanks.

    Sincerely,
    Sean Bradley

    • I’m pretty sure both Kinex films exist… but are impossible to access without funds that are not worth the price. Huntley wants nearly 3K for that film!

    • Hi Sean— thanks to for pointing to that print. We did see they had it years back, and offered them all sorts of things in exchange (including more original Kinex 16mm prints) but to no avail! They’re determined to get 3k for the use of those three minutes no matter what, and it’s just too far out of our budget to get. Sigh.

      Keep up the good research work though! You never know what may turn up and when!

  • Red has been a favorite since the Snappy Video days. (That print was from 35mm, right?)

    As always… keep up the good work!

  • I’ll be happily ordering V2 next week, along with the two Stop Motion Marvel sets!

    What a fun cartoon, print quality aside. Love the weird, twisted ending that shows how delusionally hilarious these cartoons are. Whatever happened to that 35mm you scanned in 1991? I can’t imagine it would be hard to find, decomposition aside

  • One of my favorites! They should’ve called this one “Bigamy Bad Wolf”. I love the ragtime tune the Wolf plays on the organ – Gene Rodemich used it in other VB Fables (CIRSU CAPERS, THE ANIMAL FAIR, COWBOY CABARET). I wonder if it’s an original, or an old ragtime tune Rodemich remembered in his younger days.

  • Don’t bogart that Jazz Tonic, Grandma!

  • Given the crudity of the artwork & animation, I was surprised at the detail devoted to the wolf’s hands as the character plays the keyboard. The motion is actually in time to the rhythm and includes some keystrokes corresponding (generally) to the chords and melody.

  • I could use a shot or two of that jazz tonic. Love those early cartoons made before the code ruined everything.

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