May 6, 2021 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Van Beuren’s Tom and Jerry on the Brain: “Rabid Hunters” (1932)

I really wish there was a collection of pristine 35mm Tom and Jerry somewhere. Heck, I’d take half beat up ones as well!

In Thunderbean news:

Student Reviews have been taking up the whole week here, but Dave, Becky and Becca have all been diligent in getting orders out the door as well as five special discs that are going right now.

When reviews are over I’m taking another scanning road trip to finish up another six sets and more. I’ll be posting some things here and on when I’m back from that scanning trip. I’m excited to see the list of special discs getting smaller as things move forward, even as we add some. The big goal is to get as many things finished this year as possible. Right now it’s looking very good, with most if not all scheduled to wrap this year.

The sound Van Beuren Aesop’s Fables set have been on my mind a lot. I hope to visit Chris Buchman in the coming weeks, now that we are both vaccinated. I haven’t seen him in person in well over a year now. They will be helping move the set forward with some films as well as updating the extras if I can convince him to!

The other set that’s on my mind a lot is Van Beuren’s Tom and Jerry. There is a lot of work on these right now, and I’m really enjoying revisiting them.

Now, onto Rabid Hunters!

Finding prints with the original titles on Tom and Jerry cartoons isn’t a completely rare thing; many of them exist, but there’s some titles that haven’t shown up with the original titles. This print of Rabid Hunters (1932) showed up on Ebay some years back in a finely beat up old 16mm original print with a Kodak edge code from 1942. We scanned it in HD back at the end of 2014. The print is a little beat up, but overall pretty watchable. We’re debating what print to use on the set at this point. I really like the sharpness on this one, but there’s some heavy lines here and there. It’s the only print I know of at the moment that has the original titles (so we’ll use though for sure!)

This little slapstick cartoon moves right along, following our heroes as they attempt to catch a slippery rabbit. Gags are fast and silly, and there’s a rollicking jazzy score to keep the action company.

I’m always hoping someone will post a print of any of these films on youtube with original titles, and then I might get lucky enough to borrow it!

Have a good week everyone!


  • “Rabid Hunters” and “Joint Wipers” are my two favourite Van Beuren Tom & Jerry cartoons. That water-spitting, log-rolling, propeller-eared, trombone-faced skunk in rabbit’s clothing cracks me up every time!

    What I like most about this print is that less of the upper part of the frame has been cut off compared to the one on the DVD collection. This is most apparent during the scene with the duck, and the later scene in the tree. Of course, it would be wonderful if we had a pristine 35 mm print in the original aspect ratio, but we’re lucky that these cartoons are around at all today — and that Thunderbean has made such a fine presentation of them for us. Keep up the good work!

  • I feel like I just watched the prototypical Bugs Bunny cartoon.

  • Thanks Steve! I’d never seen this extra-good T&J toon before.

    Really looking forward to the Bluray.

  • Why would the skunk disguise himself as a rabbit? The thrill of the chase? That ending doesn’t make any sense to me at all…. I did however like that Rodemich’s band is playing “Milenburg Joys”, one of Jelly Roll Morton’s tunes during the final chase sequence!

    • Make sense? When has that ever been a consideration? (I thought the skunk was a honey badger at first.)

      Hey, so happens I have all the original cels and backgrounds, so maybe you could just rephotograph the whole thing (kidding). But if you think this print is beat up, I’ll show you beat up! I think it looks fine.

    • Andre, the skunk-in-disguise gag was used in other hunting cartoons, for example Disney’s “The Fox Hunt” (1938) with Donald Duck and Goofy, and also Terrytoons’ “The Fox Hunt” (1950) with Heckle and Jeckle. Thanks for identifying “Milenberg Joys”; it sounded like a Jelly Roll Morton number to me, but I couldn’t place it.

  • I enjoy the “animal-in-disguise” gags. Probably one of the best is the one Chuck Jones had Bugs and Merlin the Magician do in – what was it? – A CONNECTICUT RABBIT IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT?

    • That sequence was originally in “Knight-Mare Hare” (1955) and later incorporated into the TV special “A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur’s Court” (1978), which was retitled “Bugs Bunny in King Arthur’s Court” for subsequent broadcasts.

      • I’ve only seen the special as Bugs Bunny In King Arthur’s Court never as A Connecticut Rabbit ,,,,
        It features all new animation, unlike the special that would follow like Howl-O-Ween, Thanksgiving, etc.

  • old movies like these remind me of the past a lot. they have a distinct charm that the current cartoons don’t have and for me, they live forever with time that I will never forget.

  • I’ve been thinking a lot about the sound Van Beuren Aesop’s Fables set. Now that we are both immunized, I expect to see Chris Buchman in the upcoming weeks. He and I haven’t actually spoken in well over a year.

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