Let’s take a break and watch a Willie Whopper!
One of the wonderful things about working on sets of classic animation is having a really good archive to look back on, knowing you have pretty good copies of lots of stuff — AND going back to past Thunderbean Thursdays is a reminder of just how many cartoons we’ve posted here over these 10 years — and how exciting it is to add new things to that group.
On the Thunderbean end of things, Flip the Frog is nearly in the can and just waiting for a few things, Aesop’s Fables Volume 1 is nearly done too, and the “special” disc release called “The Other Betty Boops, Volume 1” is nearly done. They’re all taking up all my time when not at the school, so when all three are actually out I may have some time to watch Ray Pointer’s Toby the Pup cartoon set again— plug intended!
I’ve been happy to take a little break here and go back to visit the “Ub Iwerks’ Willie Whopper” Blu-ray set. In hindsight, there’s things I’d fix a little more, with steadying everything being the one major difference, but overall I think the collection turned out pretty good.
One of the last of the series is The Good Scout. It’s a great example of the advancements of the studio at that time- well animated and timed, enjoyable in its simplicity. It also features a great version of Jelly Roll Morton’s “Milingburg Joys” by McKinney’s Cotton Pickers — a great way to save some money on the last releases for MGM (this is the second to last Iwerks cartoon produced for release by Metro). There’s a really funny inside joke at the beginning of the cartoon featuring Bosko waiting in line. Bosko *was* waiting in line, or more accurately Harman/Ising were- to replace Iwerks as MGM’s cartoon studio after the next short.
There’s great background layout throughout this film, especially impressive near the end of the film. It’s mostly dialogue- free through the majority of the short, leaving the jazzy music to cheerfully supplement the action.
It was a challenge finding a really good print of this one. It’s one of the two without a 35mm element as part of the masters, and the Blackhawk negative (a reduction in 16mm) was just fuzzy. Several sharp originals were found and lent for this cartoon, with the body being mostly a sharp old original 16mm printdown from David Shepard.
While not a perfect presentation, I think it’s a really fun entry in the series…
Now, You tell one! Special Thanks to Serge Bromberg and Lobster Films, and of course to David Shepard, who is missed greatly as Flip the Frog leaps forward.
Have a good week all.