HOLIDAY GIFT SUGGESTION #1

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In the next several days I will point out a few gift suggestions for the cartoon freak in your family – or to buy yourself to counter those holiday depression blues… Thunderbean Animation has started releasing a series of DVDs of classic cartoons that are a must for your home animation library. I never thought I’d live to see the day someone would issue The Complete Adventures of CUBBY BEAR – and since no one else had the guts, Thunderbean has done it! This is a marvelous companion to the 99� Store Van Beuren Tom & Jerry dvds – Thunderbean has collected (from various private collector sources) all 20 Cubby Bear epics – including the three rare Harman-Ising productions (done in that period between leaving Leon Schlesinger and signing with MGM). Surreal gags, crazy animation and hot jazzy soundtracks!FELIX THE CAT And Other Rareties From The 1920s is great collection oddball silent animation well worth having. Despite Felix getting the top billing, there are only four of the Cat’s Otto Messmer classics here – the rest of the set contains early Laugh-O-Grams, Terry/VanBeuren, Lantz and Hurd curiosities. “Fresh Lobster”, a really weird live action/animation film, starring Billy Bletcher battling a giant crustation, is a true highlight. (This dvd is a little harder to find, and is being offered mainly through ebay)Finally, POPEYE Original Classics is an absolute must. It contains several 1930s Fleischer cartoons – all in excellent shape with “restored” original titles – and a wealth of bonus material. Interviews with Jack Mercer (by Michael Sporn!), Mae Questel, Jackson Beck, Shamus Culhane, and others, The 1939 Popular Science “Behind The Scenes at the Fleischer Studios” film, model sheets, a Soaky Bubble Bath commercial from the 60s, pencil tests, and much more. The VCI dvd (which I consulted on) has more cartoons – but the Thunderbean collection is excellent, and well worth it for the bonus materials alone.The packaging and menus are also wonderful. Steve Stanchfield and his Thunderbean crew have done a incredible job!