Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Blu-ray Review: Fleischer Rarities: Treasures from the Fleischer Studios by Thunderbean

I love animation from the early days of film. There was no precedent, so the animators and filmmakers had to be trailblazers and experiment. Some of those experiments paid off brilliantly, and others are lessons in what NOT to do.

Fleischer Rarities: Treasures from the Fleischer Studios by Thunderbean is a 2018 blu-ray compilation of animation work by Dave and Max Fleischer for various clients. It is appropriate for all ages.

The Good

Restoration. When you consider how old these films are and that they were never meant to be viewed more than for their initial purpose, it's really incredible that they exist and that they were able to be restored to such a high-quality presentation. Thunderbean did an excellent job making these look just as good they they could.

Bonus Material. The bonus material was my favorite part of this set. The main group of people who would be interested in a collection like this are those who love film, animation, and their rich history, so seeing all these posters, trade ads, production photos, pencil layouts, and other behind the scene treasures is truly wonderful.

To the Moon. This was a short in two-color technicolor and using models for the backgrounds producing a 3-D effect behind the hand drawn animation. It is a really unique look, and I enjoy it on the rare occasions I can find a film that used it.

The Bad

Blu-ray only. This is blu-ray only which limits how one can watch it. I'm sure it was a cost issue, but I do like more flexibility with my movies.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

I would love to see a print edition with all of the extras: layouts, posters, promos, ads, photos, etc.


Fleischer Rarities: Treasures from the Fleischer Studios by Thunderbean is a fun assortment of animation from the early days of film. Some of the films are great, others just interesting artifacts from another era. All are beautifully restored. But the real treasure is all of the bonus material from posters to trade ads to pencil layouts to production stills and much, much more. If you are interested in film history or animation history, this is an incredible collection. I give this blu-ray 4 out of 5 boxes of popcorn.


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