Restored Paramount “Noveltoons” on DVD

Okay, here is an unabashed plug for a video project near and dear to my heart. Animation archeologist/film-restoration hero Steve Stanchfield is ready to unveil his latest DVD masterpiece: Noveltoons Original Classics, a special DVD collection featuring twenty restored “Hollywood” cartoons produced by Paramount from 1943-1950.

Paramount’s in-house cartoon unit, Famous Studios (actually based in New York City), was staffed by a core group of artists from the former Fleischer Studio – in fact, just about everyone minus Max and Dave was still involved. The Noveltoons series became the launching pad for many well known (and not-so-well known) characters: Little Audrey, Baby Huey, Herman the Mouse, Raggedy Ann, Blackie Sheep, Spunky Donkey and others. Unlike other collections featuring some of this material, Stanchfield’s set features these cartoons digitally restored and mastered from original 35mm and 16mm film materials. For the specific cartoon titles, see Menu’s below (click thumbnails to enlarge).


You may have seen some of these cartoons before – but you haven’t seen them look like this. Pristine, colorful, with their original Paramount movie titles. Believe me, this library has been sadly neglected for decades. Previous available copies of these cartoons are usually faded 16mm TV prints with replaced titles, film splices and dirt lines. Your jaw will drop when you see the quality Steve has managed to achieve (check the two frame grabs above, center and right; click thumbnails to enlarge).

Bonus features include commentaries from animators (Bob Jaques, Mike Kazaleh, etc.) and animation historians (including me), Still galleries featuring original model sheets, publicity materials, animation art and comic strips, plus a unique Baby Huey storyboard/final film comparison reel (image below):

Noveltoons Original Classics. Buy it now. I highly recommend it. Help support this kind of film restoration – by a dedicated animation historian, doing the work the major studios do not feel worthy of its time. And if I haven’t convinced you yet, here are a few excerpts from the disc (You Tube does not do this justice):


  • eeteed

    must… have!

  • KS

    HOORAY FOR STEVE !!
    For preserving these gems and returning them to their original Paramount Glory.

    9/10

  • http://animationreview.wordpress.com/ Gijs Grob

    Very good news! I wonder if Terrytoons will ever follow…

  • http://artnote.blog.com Stephen Persing

    Famous made my least favorite theatrical cartoons, but I’ll hold my nose and get this. Steve Stanchfield does such excellent work.
    And I second the call for Terrytoons!

  • Fleischer Fan

    It’s been said before but bears repeating. Steve’s discs are absolutely top-notched and have helped preserve classic animation that was on the verge of extinction.

    Supporting projects like this ensures that Steve can keep working on preserving our animated heritage.

    • GhaleonQ

      It’s true. This is as close to subsidizing as I’ll go, though.

  • Kevin Martinez

    Most of the Noveltoons prints you see on YouTube and elsewhere are so colorless that they make the Kansas parts of The Wizard of Oz look like the Oz parts of The Wizard of Oz.

    So, Steve did the Lord’s work here by not only acquiring and restoring prime film elements of many of these cartoons, but by presenting some of the rarer shorts (Flip Flap, Bored Cuckoo), etc.

  • uncle wayne

    Oh, Wow!! Now this IZ great and juicy gossip. Thank YOO!!

  • uncle wayne

    omg! Just watched the peek-vid. No, NONE of us have ever (ever) seen THESE films in THAT condition! Can’t wait!!

  • http://youtube.com/user/Mesterius1 Mesterius

    I so have to get this.

    By the way, does anyone know if Thunderbean’s “Private Snafu Golden Classics” DVD will be back in print? It seems to be sold out everywhere, so a second printing certainly seems to be warranted.

  • uncle wayne

    and i THIRD the Terry request!!

  • Rick R.

    And just $16! Wow. Happy to say, purchase complete! =)

  • Steve Stanchfield

    PRIVATE SNAFU will be available again soon, likely within the month. I sold out of the first printing in early December. Thanks to all the help from the animation community, these releases continue! Jerry Beck, Mike Kazaleh, the essential Mark Kausler, Thad Komorowski & Paul Mular have been especially helpful on this one.

  • The Gee

    It looks fantastic.
    I hope it sells like hotcakes.

  • http://classiccartoonreviews.blogspot.com/ Nicholas Pozega

    Wow, this is fantastic! I’ll probably get this soon!

    Btw, when is that Modern Animation DVD from Thunderbean coming out?

  • Dr. Shrinker

    I remember when these came on the various afternoon kids’ cartoon compilation shows in the 70s, they always kind of frightened me. The wildly off-model drawings, and (especially) the incredible gruesomeness of some of the violence (Jesus, in the sample video, a wolf gets his FACE RIPPED OFF!) really made me uneasy!

  • Doug

    Some of the ’40s Paul Terry Mighty Mouse episodes were just as bad, especially the ones animated by Bill Tytla and Eddie Donnelly. They would never make it onto TV today.

  • JD

    This is great! I hope that some of the ‘Singalong’ Toons will be included. The public domain copies look and sound horrendous.

    • http://brayanimationweebly.com Tom Stathes

      Rumor has it a collection of Screen Songs will be Steve’s next project, but demand for it will probably be less.

      • Kevin Martinez

        Even if it isn’t in the IMMEDIATE pipeline, I too would like to see Steve do for Famous what he’s done for Van Beuren.

      • http://www.facebook.com/KRWDesigns Kerry Rockwood White

        been looking for the Screen Songs for ages. Want those more than the cartoons!

  • Steve Stanchfield

    Tom… those are some rumors! That isn’t the next project….or the one after that or the one after that even…that I do know.

    • GeneRasputinHole

      ah, but we can dream, can’t we?? :-)
      keep up the awesome work you do, Steve. We’re all grateful!

  • Jon

    A Terrytoons disc would be nice, but there aren’t that many of those in the public domain, are there? CBS seems to have been pretty meticulous about renewing the copyrights on them.

    I’ll definitely be picking up the Famous disc!

  • top cat james

    Anticipating wallowing in hurt gags and glorious WTFness.

    Thanks, Steve, and others involved for another stellar release.

  • http://www.classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

    I already ordered mine on Amazon almost a week ago!

    We’ve been following every tidbit, nitpicking every part (opening titles, menus, DVD covers) because STEVE LOVES US GUYS on the GAC/IAD forums. He even leaked a LOT, and let fellow forum members do so too. (one major feature Steve removed, thankfully).

    This is the “Star Wars prequels” of public domain DVDs.

    Let’s face it, no DVNR, no widescreen, no cut or edits, no added sound effects, no splices, no disc errors (I hope). And the “artificial coloring” is more natural than Disney’s.

    • Steve Stanchfield

      What major did I remove?? I don’t remember that! Artificial coloring? I put some disc errors in just to make you happy though, and an Old McDonald Easter egg….

      • http://www.classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

        I know you’re joking about disc errors and the Old Macdonald cartoon.

        Anyways, I said “artificial coloring” in a sarcastic manner, because your restorations are bright even with a little color adjustment, but they’re more “organic” than Disney’s. Heck they’re more organic than Hollywood put together with animation.

        And the major feature you removed was that Baby Huey Storyboard Comparison you once leaked on YouTube.

      • Mesterius

        What? Why was this removed?

      • http://ramapithblog.blogspot.com David Gerstein

        “Paramount” (and everyone), Steve tells me the storyboard feature is still included—it’s even pictured among Jerry’s screengrabs above.

  • Ignatz, Coconino County Menace

    I got a kick out of NOVELTOONS in my youth back in the ’70s and ’80s, but the toons don’t seem to hold up today, unlike Looney Tunes. I guess its “novelty” subsided as I matured and my taste for animation became more discerning.

    Nevertheless, I applaud Thunderbean for stepping up to the plate to release this classic animated show for fans and newcomers alike. Thunderbean is a class act!

    • http://brayanimationweebly.com Tom Stathes

      And a classic show it is!

  • Samjoe

    All I can say is “Very Nice”.

  • http://mitchellsketch.blogspot.com Brian Mitchell

    Did I catch some Jim Tyer animation in there?

  • http://trosper-ignatz-gentlegiant.blogpsot.com Diana

    Is there another ordering site? Amazon lists only one copy available from an independent seller, and I won’t be able to order it for another week. Like to know it would still be available!

    • http://www.classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

      Just because one copy is available does NOT MEAN there’s only one in stock. It’s to prevent spam or something on Amazon’s marketplace.

      Dont…be…fooled.

  • http://totald.blogspot.com/ Darlie

    Let me add to the call for the Terry Toon restorations , I was a Mighty Mouse nut and had all the ones available on 8mm :) Terrific job Steve.

    Ok, so what was the time frame of the Noveltoons vs Harveytoons and since they contain the same character what was the difference, or was here any ?

    • dbenson

      The answer is to be found within this very site:

      http://www.cartoonresearch.com/paramount.html

      Short answer: Harvey Comics — comic book home of Casper, Baby Huey and other Noveltoon characters — bought up a lot of old Noveltoons and rebranded them as Harveytoons for television. Harvey later produced its own Caspers for TV, emphasizing the comic books’ stories and recurring characters — while recycling the very familiar Noveltoon scores.

  • http://www.brucelaing.com Bruce Laing

    Fantastic news.

    I’ll be ordering my copy in the next couple of weeks :D

  • Steve Stanchfield

    The Storyboard feature is included on the DVD…nothing was taken out!

  • Justin

    I’ve seen these cartoons on public domain videos and on “Shining Time Station.” I’m excited that they’re finally being restored and remastered on dvd! This is one cartoon collection that I’m definitely gonna get!

  • Justin

    I didn’t see “Hector’s Hectic Life” on the list.

  • VIC JAURIQUI

    So happy to receive the NOVELTOONS in the mail soon. Thank God for Thunderbean. I can only hope for a Vol. 2, featuring some Little Audrey shorts in the public domain, especially my fav Audrey short, SONG OF THE BIRDS. I have a hunch a second boxed set is in the works!

  • larry

    Good on ya Steve, excellent DVD!!

  • Crazy R

    So Steven, where are the Casper cartoons?

  • mnmuskie

    there was a cartoon/comic book character, a gentle giant, can’t remember his name, done by the same folks, you could tell by the animation..he was always the good guy..any help in the ‘name’ would be nice.

  • Zane Swaldo

    Thank you for doing that im 12 and I love them so that’s saying that our generation of kids still love them I know an 8 year old who does too