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...

16 comments:

Mike Matei said...

Not a bad title card. At least there's a character on it. Many are bland with just text. I'm looking at you Nips the Nips!

Yowp said...

Terry Lind?! I'll be damned. I don't think anyone knew she worked on more than one cartoon at Warners.

Mr. Cro said...

Well, it was a long time, but it was worth it!

Valentin M. said...

Very nice job as always, David.
Looking forward to seeing Buddy the God!

Thad said...

Those dissolves could have been timed better. Shame on you. (Check your email!)

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous!!!
I LOVE "Tweetie Pie"
Thanks a LOT!

Anonymous said...

I KNEW that Tweety picture was supposed to be on that title card! Nice find, Dave!

-Devon

Anonymous said...

That still from Bugs Bunny Superstar looks like a vintage cel that Bob Clampett held onto and photographed in color after the tempera based cel paint cracked over time.

Jerry Beck said...

FYI - I printed a color image of that Tweety cel - identified as from TWEETIE PIE - in my book I TAWT I TAW A PUTTY TAT (1991) on page 48.

Michael Barrier said...

For what it's worth, there was a complete color nitrate print with original titles in the Warner vaults in 1980, when I was working on my ill-fated Warner Bros. art book. I saw a few such nitrate prints at WB in 1979, and the next year Mark Kausler checked a lot of them for me, reading the original credits (for cartoons that otherwise existed only as Blue Ribbons)into a tape recorder. I still have the notes I took from Mark's tape, for Tweetie Pie and a few dozen other cartoons. The last I knew, those nitrate prints were housed at UCLA--I remember seeing a few cartoons there back in 1993--but you're probably more up to date on that than I am.

J Lee said...

Went to a birthday part at Age 4 where the entertainment was a bunch of mid-to-late 40s B&W silent 16 mm Warners shorts from the by-then United Artists 16 package. But not this one. Great find, David.

jjsedelmaier said...

Great find, David ! Color one can't be too far behind !!

Terry Border said...

Thanks for doing what you do. Just found you through Cartoon Brew.

Anonymous said...

Wow! The original titles of Tweetie Pie are like the Holy Grail of titles!

Anonymous said...

Good Post, Dave, Looking forward for More Great Lost to History elements and titles find posts.

Big Apple.

Mykal said...

David: A bit off topic - just wanted to chime in on the Gottfredson Library (I disciplined myself and waited for the box set to come out with both volumes included) and congratulate you on a magnificent job. I've waited many years for a FG retrospective like this, and you and Fantagraphics did it up right. A tremendous addition to comics history.