Wrapping the Tom and Jerry set, What’s Next, and “Scrappy’s Television” (1934)

First, in Thunderbean news:

The long awaited Flip the Frog Blu-ray is through replication, and we’re working on the final aspects of the booklet. We’ll be announcing shipping soon.

We’re also doing our yearly Halloween special blu-ray This year’s entry is called Halloween Cartoon Party! It’s available on pre-order at Thunderbeanshop.com.

My own obsession with Van Beuren’s Tom and Jerry cartoons is about to end since the set is nearly done! It’s been a handful of very concentrated weeks trying to get to the end of the project, and we’re now at a point where that is happening. The final versions of all but two films are done as of this moment. One film, Polar Pals, is getting a revision this week from a new scan of a 35mm nitrate print, and the other film, Dough Nuts, has a new scan from a rare print with original titles, courtesy of Thad Komorowski. The set is really looking nice; I’ll be happy to see the set going off to replication in the next week or so.

I think I’ve said more than once here that I get sort of pensive as each of these Thunderbean Blu-ray things get finished. What I didn’t really talk about is that, after that, I tend to watch the whole set, smiling as I’m looking through everything, thinking about what other people are experiencing when they’re watching the first time. I think the important thing is the enjoyment of these films, so whatever we’ve had to do technically to give the film a good presentation should be hidden, really.

The three “major” projects that have been waiting in the wings and getting just a little work are the Rainbow Parades, Volume 2, Comi- Color Volume 1, and the Lou Bunin set. All of them will be starting major work in the coming weeks, and the small Thunderbean team is very welcoming of the challenges to come on these. All three of these sets include working with a lot of master materials in 35mm. The scans are looking great.

And… in an attempt to forget about Tom and Jerry for a minute— here’s a Scrappy cartoon!!

Scrappy’s Television (1934) is a cartoon I had a 16mm print ofmany years back, but lost to the ravages of Vinegar Syndrome years back. I’ve been lucky enough to get a print again and just scanned it. It’s a pretty strange one.

Television in 1934 was of course a reality, but not a reality to the general public. This sort of two part cartoon concentrates on Scrappy’s expertise (or not so much) in making a Television, then watching a boring violin performance and a series of noisy animals— then switches to Scrappy and Oopy (accompanied by his usual cat and bird friends) watching a prize fight between Max Baer (the Boxer, not the actor) and Ed Winn (the actor/ radio personality). Max Baer sure likes to eat!!

This cartoon, admittedly, is a bit of a pot boiler. At least there’s a lot of great poses and fun animation. I’m pretty fond of this period in the Scrappy series as Sid Marcus takes over direction after Dick Huemer’s departure. I think it is still pretty fun, and I especially love the idea that Televison was such a novel idea at this moment that it could be the subject of this film.

Have a good week everyone!