23 August 2011

I Taut I Taw New Posts Coming

"You bet you sthaw new posthts coming!"

Er—thanks, Sylvester. As my close friends are well aware, I've been up to my eyeballs in work lately—but that's not to say it hasn't been a lot of fun. I've been editing Fantagraphics' Floyd Gottfredson Library of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse and writing for Tom Stathes' Bray Animation Project, and I'm looking forward to blogging about both.

But first it's time to welcome you back! As a preview of what's coming, here's a recent find that may not be in its most presentable form, but still answers a few old questions:

The original titles for Tweetie Pie (1947) still don't exist as a whole in any one place—but apart from color, now we know approximately what the viewing experience was like. After I located an unprojectable silent, black and white nitrate neg in a private collection, I fixed up a facsimile by mating still frames from it with the audio located by Larry Tremblay awhile ago (yes, some older TV prints included this track—completely out of sync with the new picture element).

A color element on these original titles has yet to surface. Thad Komorowski has already located other previously unseen color elements from this period, so Tweetie Pie can't be far away.

The credits for Tweetie Pie had been lost for a long time. I'm glad to share them.

The brick wall pictured at the bottom of the Merrie Melodies card was apparently Warners' 1940s method of concealing the "In Technicolor" credit on some black and white prints of color cartoons. I've seen it on a couple of other elements from this period. It fades in and out of view with the Merrie card; it is never (to my knowledge) on other parts of the title sequence.

Here's hoping I don't have to fade out for too long before blogging some more. Thanks for your patience, fellas. (And yours too, Sylvester. Some day you'll eat that darn canary. Weird foods rule.)

Update, August 24 (2011): Above, I said: "Thad Komorowski has already located other previously unseen color elements from this era, so Tweetie Pie can't be far away." Sufferin' succotash... the guy moves fast. Thad noticed that Bugs Bunny Superstar (1975) actually showed the title card Tweety image in color, identified there only as a random "Hays Office-approved" character design. Thhanks, Thad:

Update, June 9 (2012): Element located in a private collection, though discolored and in terrible shape. At least we can get the basic idea...