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Nitrate Technicolor Cartoons are Beautiful: Little Lulu in “Loose in the Caboose”

The Week in Thunderbean: With the college starting up with classes and committees, I’ve found myself sneaking time before and after classes to get this and that done on various projects, burning a lot of midnight oil on these chilly nights here. I’ve been trying hard to get five of the special discs out the door at the same time *this week* and finally...

Flights of Fancy (Part 5): When Pigs Fly

Another batch of aerial toons from the classic thirties. But this time, a rising star gets to really rise, earning his wings in solo flight twice within a matter of a mere four months. It’s none other than Warner Bros’ first true superstar, Porky Pig, finally liberated from the shadow of Beans the Cat, and holding his own in a series of episodes from...

Walt Disney’s “The Sword in the Stone” on Records

The last animated feature released during Walt’s lifetime resulted in two unusual LP albums, one very elaborate and the other running only 14 minutes! WALT DISNEY’S SWORD IN THE STONE Narrated by Karl Swenson and Junius Matthews Disneyland Records – Disneyrama Series ST-4001 (12” 33 1/3 RPM LP with Pop-Up Book / Mono) Released in 1963. Executive...

Yearbooks#5 – USC (El Rodeo) 1942

This will be the first posting of a yearbook with art directly from the Disney studio. I’d like to share a couple of these, which I’m searching to find copies of. This is the only one I’ve seen so far from a college, though (and the only one after the early 30s). This art in this yearbook was provided directly by the Disney studio. Unlike Douglas High...

In His Own Words: Willis Pyle

Willis PyleSuspended Animation #354 Willis Pyle (September 3rd, 1914 – June 2th, 2016) was one of the many journeyman animators who produced strong animation and worked at a variety of studios over the decades. His brother was actor Denver Pyle known for his work in television like the Dukes of Hazzard series. Pyle worked at Disney and UPA and...

Tracking Down Some of the Mysterious Mysteries in Finding Prints

Where did it all go and who has what? Tracking down some of the mysterious mysteries in finding prints — and where the original materials went. Late at night, often beyond what most of us would consider a reasonable hour, tireless Disney and cartoon scholar Dave Gerstein sends me a Facebook message. I’m a little blurry from not enough sleep and honestly...

Flights of Fancy (Part 4): Rising to the Occasion

Today’s batch of titles from the mid 1930‘s take up the subject of flying on a sometimes smaller scale – several literally scaling down the action to the world of toys, while others present full size aircraft in roles more incidental to their story plotlines. Yet amidst them, animal aviators continue to occasionally strive for distance and endurance...

Max and Dave: Betty Boop 1933… Things are Looking Up!

By early 1933, Betty Boop appeared to be on top of the world. She was not only enjoying great success on screen, but was even crossing over into the realm of the phonograph record. In 1933, a special picture label 78 was issued by Victor, billed as “A Cartoon on a Record”, in which Mae Questel performed versions of “Don’t Take my Boop Boop a Doop...

Yearbooks #4 – Two Off-Model Yearbooks with Disney characters (Or so they claim)

This is a post solely to show how off-model these can get. The off-model drawings of high schoolers couldn’t be more evident than in these two yearbooks. Both of these are amateurish in drawing and knowledge as one of these books with “Disney characters” features a character who isn’t even a Disney character at all. At this time in animation, every...

The Animated Marx Brothers That Never Were

Suspended Animation #353 The Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo and sometimes Zeppo or Gummo) are considered among the most influential and beloved comedy teams of all time. Mickey’s Polo TeamGroucho Marx used to joke, “There are more books about (Marx Brothers) films than there are films that we made.” While that is certainly true, Groucho was...

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