THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
February 3, 2022 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Walter Lantz “Red Riding Hoodlum” (1957)

The Week in Thunderbean:

On the in-progress Aesop’s Fables, Volume 1:
I’m happy to be reviewing and working on cleaning up the remaining films for this set of Van Beuren cartoons. “Old Hokum Bucket” was heavily in progress today, a snow day with classes cancelled. Tomorrow is just as snowy here in Michigan as it is in a lot of places for these next few days and school remains closed, so I’ll be working to get as much done as possible on Thunderbean stuff.

On Flip the the Frog Blu-ray set:

This now forever and several days in progress set gets closer and closer to being finished. You can bet several Toby the Pups that it will be finished within the month! The very last films to be cleaned up for the set, Village Specialist and Little Orphan WIllie, are now all finished; the new 35mm material on Village. Collaborators David Gerstein and Devon Baxter have been hard at work designing pages for the still galleries. They’re really looking great.

Finally, here is the almost finished package for the two-volume set, by Alex Kirwan. Commentaries are still in progress, and then it’s off to replication. The next you’ll hear about this set here will be when its back. I’m excited and exhausted!


And.. onto today’s cartoon: Red Riding Hoodlum (1957) in IB Technicolor! Somehow, IB Tech makes pretty good cartoons great and not-so-great cartoons much more tolerable and sometimes even good.

I think the first experience with an actual Technicolor print was a water damaged 1939 Snow White Trailer, bought at a little shop in Roseville, Michigan called ‘The Nostalgia Nook’ in the early 80s. I was 14 when I bought this original trailer, of course on nitrate film! I remember taking it to my high school photo class and doing frame blowups on their enlarger, having no idea the material was highly flammable. The color was somewhat pastel on that trailer, even faded out somewhat. I had no idea it was Technicolor or nitrate of course.

At one of the first film conventions I went to I bought a 35mm trailer for $5. It was for the John Wayne movie The War Wagon, and now I understood something about Technicolor! The colors jumped off the film in a way that all the other color films I had didn’t – I was absolutely sold. When I was able to finally have a print in 16mm I could project it was this one — Red Riding Hoodlum (1957). This old rental print (with the number 53 punched right into the film) had color like I had never seen on a Lantz cartoon, having grown up watching them on TV in the usual broadcast Eastman prints. There was something so different and special about how it looked in projection when I first saw it – and, happily, some of that magic shows up when you scan these prints on a good scanner.

By 1957 the production qualities of the Lantz shorts were not once they once were, but when I was a kid, whenever this particular cartoon came on my brother and I were always happy, waiting for Smoky the Bear to show up! The timing of those particular gags (and the Lantz studio actually making fun of how he was in limited animation in the commercials of the time) was really, really funny to us. The gag about “That Pesky Malnutrition’, while in bad taste, is somehow still quoted by me once in a while when really hungry (or when we’ve eaten something especially bad).

So, here is that IB tech print. Note that the print looks pretty different in color content than any others you’ll see (somehow the teals in this print are blue in any other prints I’ve seen except for ones in IB). I wish I could show this to you in a big auditorium, but over the internet machine will just have to be good enough. Have a great week everyone!

19 Comments

  • Wow! Complete Flip the Frog on Blu-ray! Amazing cover!!

  • Great artwork on the blu-ray, it’s both faithhful and modern at the same time. It can appeal to old fogies like us AND to audiences accustomed to Cuphead or the latest Mickey shorts. Very well done, congrats to the artist.

  • Yes, a very beautiful print! And some darn funny gags with Smokey the Bear! Thanks, Steve.

  • Steve, you and your team deserve several rounds of applause for completing the Flip the Frog set. Truly a labour of love, and a service to all animation fans!

  • Steve, I’m really hyped for this Flip set! I preordered it last month with the bonus set of the raw scans. Ub Iwerks is smiling down from above for these restorations I bet.

  • That’s a nice cover illustration… though it would have been even nicer if it could have included the brunette from “Room Runners” and “The Office Boy”.

    “This picture doesn’t end anything like the book!” Van Beuren’s “Red Riding Hood” also ended with the wolf and Grandma getting married — at least, until Mrs. Wolf and her rolling pin showed up with the kids in tow….

  • Congratulations on finally completing the set! I preordered what seems like years ago and I’ll be interested in seeing if I actually receive one. I’ve purchased many special sets over the last 5 years and received exactly one.

    • Have you ever opened a ticket about any of them?

    • Bruce– I’ve sent a note to Dave Grauman and please send a ticket to him too at the Thunderbean Shop. He’ll make sure everything is sent your way– and anyone else that’s missing anything, please contact Dave with a help ticket (thunderbeanshop.com)

  • The zaniness and sheer number of gags in that Knothead and Splinter cartoon are overpowering! Just the way I like ’em…

  • Congrats, Steve! Had beat-up 16mm prints of several Flip cartoons that I ran over and over (beating them up further in the process), so I look forward to this set. No doubt there will be Flips on the new Blu-ray I have never seen before.

  • Thanks for all that you do, Steve (and also David and Devon).

    I will be ordering the great-sounding Flip set as soon as it’s announced.

  • Zippety Woppety Woo!! – Woo hoo – woo hoo – woo hoo!!!
    Doing ‘flips’ over here over getting Flip soon!!!
    Thanks for all your hard work sir!
    (and a big thanks to all the little elves that help you too Santa… I mean Steve)

  • When you have a chance to see one of those early nitrate black and white prints, the ones in that nearly square format, you understand the term “silver screen” is more literal than figurative.

  • So it volume one of Aesop’s Fables going to contain all of the 1929-1930 sound shorts?
    Or is it just going to be the same old selection of titles that have been released countless times?

    All Aesop’s Sound Fables listed below to from “Dinner Time” to “Old Hokum Market”

    1928
    Dinner Time
    Stage Struck
    1929
    Presto-Chango
    Skating Hounds
    Faithful Pup
    Custard Pies
    Wood Choppers
    Concentrate
    Jail Breakers
    Bug House College Days
    House Cleaning Turn
    A Stone Age Romance
    The Big Scare
    Jungle Fool
    The Fly’s Bride
    Summer Tune
    MillPond
    Barnyard Melody
    Tuning in
    Night Club
    A Close Cali
    1930
    Ship Ahoy
    The Iron Man
    Singing Saps
    Sky Skippers
    Good Old School Days
    Foolish Follies
    Dixie Days
    Western Whoopee
    The Haunted Ship
    Oom Pah Pah
    Noah Knew His Ark
    Bugville Romance
    A Romeo Robin
    Jungle Jazz
    Snow Time
    Hot Tamale
    Laundry Blues
    Frozen Frolics
    Farm Foolery
    Circus Capers
    Midnight
    The Big Cheat
    Gypped in Egypt
    The Office Boy
    Slone Age Stunts
    King of Bugs
    1931
    A Toy Town Tale (aka A Toyland Adventure )
    Red Riding Hood
    The Animal Fair
    Cowboy Blues
    The Radio Racket
    College Capers
    Old Hokum Market

    • It’s a mix of cartoons from various years- a few silent but mostly sound. Some are familiar, some are newer scans. If we’re actually able we’d like to eventually have all the sound fables on Blu-ray.

  • That Flip the Frog blu ray is going to be the greatest thing since The Cartoons That Time Forgot. I can not wait to see what elements you found and restored. I have the Complete Flip on dvd from some French company. It even had a doc in French on it. I haven’t watched it in years because it requires me to switch regions on my dvd player.

  • I may be alone on this but I personally prefer the original flip design to Natwick’s redesign

  • Looks like the Tex Avery set in that Lantz one. Yikes.

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