In Thunderbean news:
It’s been a week of surveying what there is to catch up on in the immediate here. I’m behind in brand new ways in nearly everything at the moment, and at some point, I think, you just need to keep trying to move ahead and hope the stacks of things don’t tumble too badly. These few weeks are going to be only about catch up, and making an attempt to get everything back on track. Know that we’re working on it, and will get any of the finished pre-orders sent as soon as humanly possible.
In restoration news: A whole series of scans have been showing up here for various projects, and I’ll be taking some films to get scanned myself in the coming week as well. The coolest thing has been seeing some of the Lou Bunin materials finally getting a first pass (at least *some* of them) and hoping to be able to raise revenue for the other materials.
I’ll be taking a trip to LA when things are caught up to finally look at the remaining Rainbow Parade cartoons, and deciding what materials to pull for the scans of the rest of the last half of the series. The majority of the series only exists in prints, so there are not negs to go back to for the most part. We’re trying to do 4 or 5k scans on most of them to insure preservation in the future while tackling this project. I’ll also be looking at the rest of the Comi-Color negs to determine what to pull, and when to pull back up materials.
Since it’s almost Halloween, I’ll continue the tradition of posting some favorite Halloween films. Here’s the ones that are on my must watch list (again) for this year. Some of these will very likely be projected for the kids on Halloween night. What films are on *your* must see list this year?
I think I’ll star this year off with Woody’s Spook-A-Nanny (1964). This Walter Lantz TV special seemed to have endless 16mm prints on the collector’s market in the 80s, all in IB technicolor. Oddly, the special included the Andy Panda cartoon ‘Playful Pelican (1948). A lot of people cut the cartoon out of the special and sold it separately.
Anyone that has followed this blog knows that I show Midnight Frolics (Columbia/ Iwerks 1938) every year. This scan in from my super beat up IB tech print that I’ve had since I was 14 or 15. When I used to show cartoons at my mom’s house on Halloween, she insisted that I bring ‘The Flora Dora Girls’, her name for this cartoon!
Of course, the Skeleton Dance (1928) is always a must. Disney put up a pretty copy of the short on youtube in 2015, oddly, with the end title ‘Minnie’s Yoo Hoo’ music :
And, of course, Haunted House (1929, Disney) is also a must. I love Mickey is this cartoon; He’s funny in all the right ways. “PPLAYYYY!!!!!” “I c-c-can’t play!” “PLAAAYYYYYY!!!” This feels much more like a Fleischer or Van Beuren cartoon than a Disney short, and of course reuses some animation from The Skeleton Dance.
And, we always need to see the original opening for It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, with the original Coke and Dolly Madison credits, and some re-appropriated Bill Littlejohn Snoopy animation..
I always thought the first of the Casper cartoons was the most charming. I’ve had an absolutely horrible copy for many years. This one ain’t any better, but here is it- and a good Halloween showing:
Here’s a wonderful series of animation tests of Jack Skellington, done for the Tim Burton/Henry Selick movie Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Then, there is the Chuck Jones’ Raggedy Ann and Andy Special, “The Pumpkin that Couldn’t Smile” (1979) with June Foray and Daws Butler doing the rag kids. I was 10 when I saw this special and, since I was such a fan of the feature, I of course watched it as a kid. Are there any animators here who worked on this special that could give us a word or two of insight? ??
I really do like Iwerks’ Headless Horseman short from 1934. We’ll have a very different copy a year from now:
And, while not technically a Halloween cartoon, I’ve always loved the spooky Cab Calloway Scarecrow in Jack Frost (1934):
Ok, Broomstick Bunny fans: name your favorite Halloween shorts! Happy Halloween everyone!