barneybenny barneybenny

More MUST-HAVE stuff from Stanchfield and Yoe

I know, I know… you think I’m simply a shill for everything Craig Yoe and Steve Stanchfield produce. I admit I’m a minor contributor to many of their projects… but ya gotta believe me: their stuff is great! Both are back this week with two new items I can’t recommend highly enough:

Making ‘Em Move:Rare Behind the Scenes footage of Vintage Animation Studios, is the new DVD from Stanchfield’s Thunderbean Animation studio. I really thought I knew of all the classic studio “behind-the-scenes” films – like the Paramount Popular Science short (from 1939) at the Fleischer Studio (included on the Warner Bros. Popeye Vol. 2 dvd set), Disney’s Reluctant Dragon feature (1941), the Universal Cartoonland Mysteries (1936) short that goes to the Walter Lantz studio, heck even Gertie The Dinosaur (1914)… but none of those are included here. Instead Steve packs this disc with ten rarely seen films made from 1919 through 1967 that are equal parts educational, entertaining and eye-opening!

The set begins with the long lost educational film, How Animated Cartoons Are Made (1919), featuring animator Wallace Carlson showing us how they did it at the pioneering Bray Studio. This print has been gorgeously restored from an uber-obscure 28mm original! Other incredible finds on this disc include the Jam Handy Drawing Account (1941) featuring animator Robert Allen explaining the nuts and bolts (literally) of cartoon production in the 1940s; Old Chinese Proverb (1941) featuring a look inside the Jerry Fairbanks (Speaking of Animals) Studio; rare color footage of animators at work at Terrytoons in the 1940s; Disney animator Clair Weeks setting up a modern (1956) animation studio in India; and Otto Messmer animating the giant electric Time Square billboards. There is also a Disney behind-the-scenes promo from a forgotten RKO Newsreel; a rare Paul Terry Social Security sales pitch; and just for fun, Van Bueren’s rubber-hose animation classic Makin’ ‘Em Move (1931) – which is probably the most accurate film in the whole bunch!

This is a must-have video compilation for everyone reading this blog – yeah, even you! Animators, educators, students, vintage cartoon collectors. They don’t make ’em like this anymore – here’s everything you need to know about how they did it. Buy it today.

Wowie-KaZowie! Speaking of “not making ’em like this anymore” – The Carl Barks Big Book of Barney Bear is the latest Craig Yoe hardcover collection of classic comic book stories, this time bringing together the 1940s Barney Bear comics – written and drawn by Disney Legend Carl Barks (Uncle Scrooge)! Barney Bear was an MGM animated cartoon star and these stories originally appeared in Dell’s Our Gang Comics. They feature Barney teamed with one Benny Burro – a team that began on screen in MGM’s The Prospecting Bear (1941) and ended with Half Pint Palomino (1953); though Benny also appears solo in Rudolph Ising’s short Little Gravel Voice (1942). Barks was a major creative figure in comics: an outstanding gag writer and story-teller who’s work has gone on to influence comic artists, filmmakers and animators. Everything he did is worth a read – and this is no exception. Barney and Benny may not been Disney characters, but these stories are pure Barks – superbly drawn, cleverly staged and very funny. My favorite is one where Barney tries to catch an escaped convict, Klepto Klippo – a character designed to look like a 8-foot Mickey Mouse. I almost forgot to mention that Jeff Smith provides an Introduction and a wonderful tribute cover. If you love cartoons, MGM cartoons in particular or Carl Barks you need to buy this right now.
  • Mark Sonntag

    Love the Barney Bear book, I wish the cartoons would be released on DVD or BluRay. Will get the behind the scenes DVD.

  • You forgot one, Jerry. Dick Lundy used Benny Burro in Barney’s ‘Half-Pint Palomino’ (1953). Benny even goes in drag.

    • David Gerstein

      Damn. Beat me to it.

      • Thanks Jim (Yowp) and David – you guys are correct. I forgot to mention that latter cartoon – which is actually the closest animated film relating to the comics series. I have now amended my post. Here is Half Pint Palomino on You Tube:

  • Just placed my order for the Steve Stanchfield disk…and look forward to a possible NOVELTOONS collection (?) and, boy, do I wish I could appreciate the BARNEY BEAR book. I dimly recall BARNEY BEAR panels being featured in later TOM & JERRY comic books, and this was before I realized that the cat and mouse were also part of the MGM theatrical cartoon roster. Are these comics reproduced in full color?

  • Fleischer Fan

    The comics are indeed reprinted in color. The book is, as are all of Yoe’s projects, a labor of love. I’d also recommend his book of Sagendorf Popeye comics and one spotlighting Archie’s Madhouse.

    And to answer your (?) regarding NOVELTOONS, Steve is currently at work on a volume of same and currently projecting that he’ll have that set ready to go by the end of October.

    Jerry, never worry about promoting Steve or Craig’s work. They deserve as wide an audience for their projects as possible!

  • Jerry, never worry about promoting Steve or Craig’s work. They deserve as wide an audience for their projects as possible!

    • joe


    • Fleischer Fan

      Where have I seen that before?

  • Way to go Steve looks like a pretty amazing new DVD!

  • R.J. Laaksonen

    I wonder why the rest of Barks’ work about the MGM characters (Benny Burro solo stories and the Droopy stories), not much more than thirty pages altogether, are not in this collection. It surely would make sense to have them all in one volume.

    Jeff Smith’s cover does not look good to me: Barney is malformed (especially his neck) and the composition is bad. Adapting a Barks drawing would have made a better cover.

    • R.J., I agree with everything you say here about the “Carl Barks’ Big Book of Barney Bear and Benny Burro”! …Yes, that is what the book SHOULD have been called, as all its stories are starring BOTH of these characters, not only Barney Bear. But yeah, these annoying details that you mention might actually prevent me from getting this book altogether. Jeff Smith’s cover is really lousy (and this is coming from a HUGE Jeff Smith fan – I love so to speak everything I’ve read by Smith, but he certainly can’t draw Barney Bear). The worst thing about the cover is that it feels like it was commissioned just for a quick cash grab. After all, why DIDN’T they use an illustration by Barks himself, which undoubtedly would have made for a far better cover? Probably because the publishers figured that Jeff Smith is more well-known to young comic book audiences in the U.S. than the legendary Carl Barks, and so there might be a bigger chance that these readers would pick it up if the cover was drawn by JEFF SMITH, creator of Bone. But to me, this does the book a big disservice. Smith’s rendition of Barney doesn’t hold a candle to Barks’ drawings. (Sorry, Jeff, that’s just the way it is.)

  • Steve Stanchfield

    Noveltoons is very much in progress..and running a little behind! Hopefully this set is ready sometime in November at this point….

  • Jorge Garrido

    Craig, stop providing excellent products, I’m broke enough as it is!

  • I have to get my hands on Steve’s new DVD. It sounds like it’s an essential must-have. He turns out so many great discs, it’s hard to keep up.

  • gosh, just carefully read over the description of steve’s “make ’em move” dvd–it sounds totally bad-ass as the young people say! i LOVE that kind of stuff! ME MUST HAVE! hey, steve, wanna trade your “make ’em move” dvd for “carl barks’ big book of barney bear”?!?

  • Steve Stanchfield

    Hey Craig! I LOVE your books! Of course I’ll trade!!

  • xevo

    Of course, that wasn’t the only Barney Bear in comics:

    Why Al Hartley hadn’t been sued is anyone’s guess.