There are several areas of animation history which still need to be throughly researched – television commercials, industrial and educational films and World War propaganda (entertainment and military, foreign and domestic). Steve Stanchfield – a champion of among animation historians for his archaeological research in locating and restoring lost cartoon prints and forgotten films – is on the front lines of this research. And with this new release, he’s done it again.
Stanchfield, through his Thunderbean Animation label, has just released a second volume of rarely seen (and literally buried) animated films: More Cartoons For Victory! These films weren’t just lost – no one even knew of the existence of some of them until Steve found them!
Among the gems on this set, Steve has restored several of the A Few Quick Facts series, produced as part of the Army Navy Screen Magazine. Let me tell’ya – you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Private Snafu in A Few Quick Facts about Diarrhea and Dysentery. Steve has also located rare propaganda animation from Nazi Germany as well as Italy. Most of the films here have been transferred from the original master materials at the United States National Archives, many of these films have never been available in any format to the general public.
The highlight of this collection is the beautifully restored UPA Navy cartoon The Sailor and The Seagull, (1949) directed by John Hubley, which features some of the sexiest female character animation ever created. There are lost films (featuring incredible art) from Disney, MGM, Warner Bros. and the famed First Motion Picture Unit – and in fact there is a terrific 1943 documentary about this Army Air Force unit, included here, showing exactly how our animators did their bit for the war.
Other films included are Dr. Churhkill (Italy, 1942), Did you Buy that Bond Today? (USA, 1945), Tokio Jokio (1943, Warner Brothers), Criminal at Large (USA,1945), Another Chance (Disney, 1945), Six Legged Saboteurs (Cartoon Film Ltd, 1945) – and much much more. Special bonus features include a 4-page liner notes booklet and storyboard-to-film comparisons.
Here is a special trailer (below) Steve prepared to show of some scenes from the DVD. This You Tube video does not do the quality of this release justice. The actual DVD looks ten times better: