THUNDERBEAN THURSDAY
November 18, 2021 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Winter Surprise: Casper in ‘Ice Scream’ (1957)

It’s wintery some places, so why not pretend to be a snowman? Casper is here this week with his mildly entertaining schtick! I can imagine an audience looking at the screen with the same level of enthusiasm at the beginning and the end of this particular picture.

First some news from the Thunderbean camp:

Right now, Dave, Ciara and I are all been running uphill a bit with a Frog. Flip the Frog that is – as he continues to attempt to leap into his proper, er, discs, with each jump taking longer than one would hope. It’s still a little bit of a race to get it out this year, but it’s nice to be so close to finishing the set.

As you’re reading this, I’ll most likely be driving quite a distance to get some scanning done related to all this stuff, including some nitrate things I’ve been wanting to scan for some time. Lots of special discs continue to be finished right now as well as a lot of cleanup on several official sets. Some of the new material we’ve been able to get recently is pretty spectacular- things that none of us have seen before. Most are parts of long-in-progress projects re-brewing here; several getting their light of days after being a little mothballed. News on some of these soon along with some fun things to look at.

We’ve been making a special Holiday/Christmas BDR set each year, and this year is no exception. We hope to get this one sent in a week or two; it’s titled Christmas Bear-Nan-Za! It’s available here at the Thunderbean Shop, as are the older special holiday discs for a little while.


Now, onto a Ghost of Christmas present, or past, or at least a ghost from 1957!

I think Ice Scream is as pleasant of a watch as you could imagine.. but really *only* that. It’s well produced and, well, it’s well produced. I feel like this particular short is pretty similar to Casper Genie from a few years later, with Casper pretending to be something other than a ghost. In this one, Casper helps his little friend Billy to skate by making him a marionette, and when he’s knocked out by falling, Casper drags him along from under the ice to victory in a skating contest.

Perhaps the most unusual thing about this entry is a amount of restraint the Famous Studio’s staff has: there’s only one ‘A Ghost!’ gag, even though there are plenty of possible situations for it possibly happening. It’s really straightforward in its storytelling, so much so that you’re just longing for a turtle or mean person or something to show up and poke a hole in its direction.

I always wonder what Casper does between each cartoon to lose the friends he’s made so thoroughly. You’d think that at least a few of them would on occasion be curious about what happened to him and make him a care package or something, or rescue him from a freezer he’s been forced to stay in!

Here’s Ice Scream from an original theatrical 35mm print, in glorious IB Technicolor. Have a good week all!

10 Comments

  • This is so exciting! I’m definitely more excited about this than I was about the Rainbow Parades Blu Ray, and that’s saying a lot. It really is amazing how much time you put into these sets. Without people like you, the Flip the Frog shorts and many others would sadly become lost films. Your Blu Rays have never failed to impress me, and I know this one will be no exception. Great job and thanks for all your hard work!

  • “Mildly entertaining shtick”? You may be overselling it a bit.

    The opening shot of Casper’s disembodied footprints appearing in the snow reminds me of a little stop-motion film my brother and I made one winter. Unfortunately I spoiled it by falling over in the snow while walking backwards to retrace my footsteps.

    As to how Casper manages to lose every friend he makes — well, gee willikins, let’s gloss over the fact that he slammed Billy into a fence and then tied his wrists and ankles up with rope, and concentrate on the fact that he cheated to help Billy win the skating race. By rights that Silver Skate trophy should have gone to Johnny. If you think Johnny’s just going to accept defeat meekly, you don’t know big brothers. How do you think he’s going to feel when he opens the freezer to get a popsicle and sees that pasty-faced spectre smirking at him? My brother used to build snowmen just so he could smash their heads with a baseball bat, and I expect Johnny would enjoy inflicting similar treatment on “Mister Snowman”. Now that’s “mildly entertaining shtick”!

  • Very good! It’s one of a growing compilation by Win Sharples of future recycled cues, as any fan of FELIX, POPEYE, SNUFFY SMITH (the Paramount cartoon ones),etc., would know. In fact, they are among some IN-STUDIO reused cues.., at least TWO TIMES more… in Little Audrey’s swan song DAWG GAWN and Casper’s GOOD SCREAM FUN, plus that classic laid-back string cue is reused in the otherwise originally scored Spunky comeback solo, OKEY DOKEY DONKEY.(whew).

    PATRIOTIC POPEYE’s happy baseball music was yet another Seeger-Sharples [SCROLL] cue that got reuse (a lot actually) before being leased to other studios..

    Music cues aside, Billy putting “snowman” Casper in the fridge would really keep Casper cool…

  • I thought no color Flip the Frog cartoons had ever been found, but isn’t that a color strip of Flip in the photo above?

    • Yes it is.

      It’s Fiddlesticks, the first “Flip The Frog” cartoon – mentioned frequently in Steve’s previous columns, most recently two weeks ago: https://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/wrapping-up-a-6-year-restoration-project-reflections-on-the-flip-the-frog-blu-ray/

      • Thanks for the confirmation, Jerry!

        (I still don’t remember ever hearing that a color Flip had been found, though. I remember all the speculation as to whether or not there was even a color Flip made, but I don’t remember ever hearing the good news that one had finally been located! What a treat this will be!)

        And that print of Casper was probably the cleanest Casper print I’ve ever seen! I’m so used to crummy Caspers that it looked too clean to me, as if DNR had been used! LOL!

  • Jes’ wondering, Steve:
    When shall we finally see the cartoon that allegedly made your brain break? Dyin’ ta’ see that ‘un in action sometime soon!!

  • I am very happy to see another Christmas compilation being offered. Oh, and I like this cartoon. By the way, I hope my order went through as I see there are problems with the server on your site. Otherwise, I can’t wait to receive this collection. Thank you, as always for all you do.

  • Ghosts shouldn’t be able to feel cold. That little punk Billy caused Casper more trouble!

  • Hey Steve, checked the store
    The other Secret Christmas discs aren’t there – nor is Yuletide Flickers
    please remedy this asap

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