Van Beuren’s Toddle Tales and Rainbow Parade

Steve Stanchfield has done it again. An animator, educator, cartoon historian and film preservationist, Stanchfield has spent the last few years curating several first-class DVD compilations devoted to the long-forgotten New York-based Van Beuren Studios. His previous efforts include sets devoted to their Aesop’s Fables, Little King and Cubby Bear series. His latest DVD is his best yet: Van Beuren’s Toddle Tales and Rainbow Parade Cartoons. This collection features the best from Van Bueren’s latter years, 1934-1935, when Burt Gillett, Tom Palmer and Ted Eshbaugh were brought in to revitalize the cartoon shorts. They came up with Toddle Tales, which combined live action-and-animation with sometimes disturbing results, and the Rainbow Parade cartoons, which used a limited two-color palette in the most garish ways imaginable. Highlights of the set include the best versions of these cartoons I’ve ever seen (many with long lost original titles). The Sunshine Makers, in particular, never looked so good – it’s worth the price of the set alone. There are rare model sheets, home movie boxes, deleted scenes and more in the Bonus section. Stanchfield puts a lot of TLC into these DVD collections – and it shows. I recommend this highly to anyone, especially those who love 1930s-style animation.


  • Pedro Nakama

    I think I have some of these on a DVD I bought a few years ago at the 99 cent Store.

  • Brooke Keesling

    Can’t wait to see this collection.
    Three cheers for Steve Stanchfield; Hip hip hooray!

  • Bill Cross

    Steve’s compilations are nothing like the $1 DVDs.

    Steve tracks down the best copies of these cartoons he can find – sometimes creating his finished version from several different sources. The results are always the best looking versions of these titles available.

    This set is well worth the price!

  • Andrew

    Was Steve the guy who attended JJ’s panel at this past NYComicCon?

  • Michael J. Hayde

    Oh, boy! Now I know for sure I’ll get at least one great item at this year’s Cinevent! Thanks, Steve!

  • http://www.orphantoons.wordpress.com Kevin Wollenweber

    I’ve just placed the item in my “shopping cart”, as it were, on Amazon. This is a dose of good news at a time when the bigger entertainment companies are not taking very many chances, and I know that there are many, many as yet undiscovered films in animation from the 1930′s, and even some that we are all too familiar with, that need to be unearthed and dusted off for public display. Thanks, as always, Steve Stanchfield!!

  • http://scuzzbopper.blogspot.com Ken Priebe

    Hooray for Steve and ’30s cartoons!
    The Toddle Tale film included called ‘Grandfather Clock’ is one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen.

  • http://bobjinx.blogspot.com Bob Flynn

    Perfect! I’ve been meaning to catch up with Van Beuren animation. Will definitely check this out.

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com/gerstein David Gerstein

    Andrew, maybe you were thinking of Tom Stathes.

  • Thad

    Andrew: you’re thinking of Tom Stathes. Both men operate their businesses out of their respective mom’s house though. :)

  • http://www.thunderbeananimation.com Steve Stanchfield

    Huh? Out of my Mom’s house??!? Oh Thad; always stirring! I moved out when I was a teenager; I think both my Mom and Dad were throwing 35mm nitrate prints at me as they chased me down the street.

    Tom Stathes produces some nice collections of DVDs (google Tom Stathes dvd) as does Ray Pointer (google Inkwell Images Ink)

    I’m not sure if Tom still lives with his folks, but Thunderbean has a small office space in Ann Arbor; we produce animation as well as the series of DVDs. Ken Priebe (see above) is helping with an excellent stop motion set that will be out later this year.

    Thanks for all the nice comments about my DVDs… they’ve been a labor of love, though my mom has yet to watch any of them!

  • mike matei

    This seems like a rehash of DVDs that have already been released for the most part.

  • http://rockitpack.blogspot.com :: smo ::

    thanks for adding me on twitter jerry! i would have missed this otherwise!

    i think you found my secret music project twitter though, my general rambling/animation complaining twitter is twitter.com/tommyrocket i followed you on there too.

    anyway thanks!