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Back to School (Part 1)

Like it or not, the nation faces a return, after a long hiatus, to a tradition as old as the hills – face to face, classroom education. Whether it be the alma mater of a prestigious university, the advanced training of a trade or graduate school, or the little country school house or middle school, everyone of all classes is heading back to classes....

Tubby the Tuba: 80 Years of Music & Animation History

A lonely tuba’s storied rise from one low-budget record to a star-studded history of award-winning fame and game-changing entertainment. Tubby the Tuba may be the most historically significant children’s recording ever made. The first version was inducted into the Library of Congress National Sound Registry. The George Pal short film version was...

“GUESS WHO??” Voice Artists in the Woody Woodpecker Cartoons

Woody Woodpecker at last on Blu-ray! To accompany this important release I would like to provide a guide to the often obscure actors heard as voices in this cartoon collection, presented in the same format as my earlier (and upcoming) pieces on Tex Avery’s MGM voice artists. First, some scene setting. In 1940, Universal Pictures, always teetering financially,...

The Art of the Pink Panther Movie Titles

Suspended Animation #337 Born from a movie title sequence, and featuring no voice so he must convey his thoughts through pantomime, the Pink Panther is perhaps the only cartoon character based on elegance and “style” and one of the few theatrical cartoon stars to be created after the 1950s. The Panther also has the distinction of being one of...

Reconstructing a Silent Cartoon “Reunion” (1922)

A Message From Steve: “It’s a little less Thunderbean this week and a lot more Cartoons on Film! I’ll be back next week, but this week Tommy Stathes steps in while I work on getting a film to final cleanup tonight! A new a pre-order is available at the Thunderbean Shop. It’s Harman/Ising Rarities – a Blu-ray set we’ve been working on already for...

Hit the Beach (Part 12)

Summertime is waning fast, and we again find ourselves running out of peak hours for sunbathing and peeling skin. The season for the beach bug migration discussed last week is rapidly coming to a close, despite several remaining beach cartoons yet to be discussed in our chronological review. I think it best at this time to save a small reserve of...

Talkartoons 1931: Do It Or Die

As 1931 progressed, the staff at the Max Fleischer studio began to refine their lead characters. Bimbo eventially settled on the “little huy” characterization that would maintain him, while Betty Boop was becoming much less canine, and much more attractive. By the end of the season, both Bimbo and Betty were getting occasional screen credit, which...

Popeye’s 65th TV Anniversary

The success of Toon In With Me has its origins in a certain one-eyed sailor. It was sixty five years ago this month the Paramount Pictures Popeye theatrical cartoons made their national television debut in 1956. First notice in the NY Daily News Nov 14th, 1955There were adult hosts for children’s fare prior to the release of Popeye’s film library....

The Jack Hannah Filmography at Walter Lantz

Suspended Animation #336 Previously, I shared a small portion of Jack Hannah’s memories of working at the Walter Lantz studio. It got me to thinking that maybe I should include a listing of his theatrical shorts for that studio so that you might get a better understanding of his contribution during his two years with Lantz. Freeloading Feline ...

Scrappy is not good with babies: “Park your Baby” (1939).

Things at Thunderbean is moving right along as the last elements on Flip the Frog are getting cleaned up and several other sets are at the forefront. The team is super busy for about another week on a rush project, but I can’t wait to get back to our usual routine. Since there’s nothing too new to report, let’s watch a cartoon! I’ll have a more exciting...

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