Rarities (1922 -
1952/Flicker Alley Blu-ray 3D)/The
Puppetoon Movie (1987
compilation/B2MP Limited Edition Blu-ray Set)/Thunderbirds
(1968/United Artists/MGM/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)
Picture: B+ Picture: B Sound: B-/B-/B Extras: B-/B+/B
Films: B+/B-/B & C
limited edition Blu-ray is now only available from B2MP at the link
below and is unfortunately
limited to only 3,000 copies,
while the Thunderbirds
double feature Blu-ray
is from our friends at Twilight Time, is limited to only 3,000
strongly upon arrival and copies are still left. We'll talk about
how valuable it is and update you on the release of the original TV
series on Blu-ray worldwide in the meantime. Both can be ordered
from the links below.
TV finally started to arrive in the late 1940s in U.S. homes, the
Hollywood Studio System (which was on the way to slow collapse for
reasons to long to go into here) started mixing things up. Some of
the studios sold their old films & catalog to TV (Paramount to
Universal, Warner to a third party), while all but Disney started
shedding their animated shorts divisions, plus live action shorts and
other specialty films. This included some of the most important
animation ever made and extended to other animated artforms like
stop-motion animation, some still under copyright, others not. The
three releases here are all terrific new releases all serious film
fans need to know about...
(1922 - 1952) is a remarkable new collection from the great
independent home video company Flicker Alley,
issuing this new Blu-ray 3D collection (also here in 2D) that
features a priceless collection of 3D as an art, technical
innovation, technical breakthrough and great entertainment. Running
a never-long-enough 147 minutes, it is a crash course and history
lesson on how early and how good 3D was in the beginning and how out
of the way filmmakers had gone to present it.
contents on this great disc (to extrapolate on the press release)
the earliest extant 3-D demonstration film from 1922 with incredible
footage of Washington and New York City.
test by Jacob Levinthal with William T. Crespinel (1924 - 1927) &
John Norling (1935).
the first domestic full color 3-D film originally shown at the
World's Fair in 1940 showing the stop motion animated construction of
a Chrysler/Plymouth automobile in color.
a promotional film for the Pennsylvania Railroad meant to promote the
technology all over the place.
a 3-D animated gem by Norman McLaren.
in polarized 3D from Canada (both 1952).
(1952) promotes the legendary movie camera company's effective,
successful 3D attachment you would attach to their highly engineered
expensive to this day!) 16mm cameras and make instant 3D movies. The
aspect ratio now looks like a cell phone, but it works and this
attachment is also still very expensive, but Bolex's advertising was
always top rate too. This shows you how much!
Gunzberg Presents Natural Vision Three-Dimension
(1952) is a great short to demonstrate and promote the format, which
was a success and worked well, as this short proves.
Theatrical Trailer for Universal Pictures' It
Came From Outer Space
(1953) which is in 3D and the film remains one of the greatest 3D
films ever made.
Marciano vs. Jersey Joe Walcott,
the only 3-D newsreel.
Theatrical Trailer for Hanna
(1953) from the troubled Pathecolor independent Western in 3D, save a
few seconds. Now I really want to see the film!
In Your Eyes,
a hilarious standup routine by Slick Slavin.
Theatrical Trailer for The
with fantastic production design by the legendary William Cameron
Menzies, who was also a film director himself.
a controversial anti-atomic testing film mysteriously pulled from
Adventures Of Sam Space,
a widescreen puppet short considered lost at one time.
Sell My Shirt,
a burlesque comedy unseen in 3-D for over 60 years.
Theatrical Trailer for Miss
(1953, Columbia Pictures), a 3D, Technicolor, stereophonic, musical
remake of Rain
with Rita Hayworth that has yet to be issued on Blu-ray 3D restored
itself, but is oddly interesting.
Casper in Boo
an excellent example of color stereoscopic animation, one of the most
expensive animated shorts ever made and one of the greatest
appearances of Casper ever!
incredible collection, these are all must-see films and this disc is
worth going out of your way for!
(1987 compilation) was an attempt to reintroduce the amazing stop
motion animation shorts by George Pal, an animator who eventually
became a major film director, producer and legendary fantasy
filmmaker in Hollywood. The film only lasts 79 minutes, but it is a
great documentary intro that includes entire shorts to show what was
made and how amazing it remains, especially more than ever in this
era of a glut of usually really, really bad digital animation. The
great independent B2MP label has issued the film in a Limited Edition
Blu-ray set that includes a bunch of the original shorts in their
entirety and much more. Here's all the goodies you also get, to
paraphrase the press release...
And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street
Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
The Sky Princess
Date with Duke
Jasper and the Beanstalk
Rhythm in the
(High Definition, B/W) starring Jimmy Durante, Terry Moore, and the
unreleased interview footage (Standard Definition) with Ray
Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Gene Roddenberry, Roy Disney, Wah Chang,
Duke Goldstone & Russ Tamblyn.
(Standard Definition as better prints need to be found and were not
available, for now we hope):
What Ho She Bumps
Takes A Walk
Olio for Jasper
Aladdin and the Magic
The Magic Atlas
Jasper and the Haunted House
Philips Broadcast of 1938
The Ship of the Ether
Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal
(Standard Definition); Arnold Leibovit's inspired tribute to George
commentary by Arnold Leibovit and Jerry Beck
Philips shorts actually are incredible, elaborate ads for their
amazing cathedral radios that are worth serious money today and are
ever stunning, while the Jasper films are considered politically
incorrect and can be on the racist side, but like animated cartoons
from the major studio catalogs of MGM, Warner, Disney and others, it
is a product of its time. At their best, they are also remarkable
and not always racist, but the worst parts can get ugly, so parental
discretion is advised. Otherwise, the use of color, amazing puppet &
model design and visual tricks make watching these like entering
another world as they should be and deserve serious rediscovery. Too
bad the dated, controversial side of Jasper holds them back, but the
same can be said for Disney's Song
Of The South,
though I am 100% against the censorship and pleased these are not
being hidden. Like the Sam
short in the Rarities
set, the art of puppeteering is not seen enough and people love it
more than current studios give them credit for from these shorts to
to recent TV commercials and music videos and some British TV series
that landed up becoming hits and a few classics from Lord Lew Grade
and ITC in England.
theatrical film versions
of the hit ITC British SuperMarionation TV series Thunderbirds,
David Lane's Thunderbirds
(1966) and Thunderbird
(1968) had received rare DTS DVD releases from MGM, which we reviewed
at this link:
Twilight Time reissued the films on Blu-ray with missing footage
added to Go!
And limited to only 3,000 copies, it sold out quickly. However, it
looked and sounded better, had more extras and is a great set fans
should track down with footage only shot for these films and not
recycled from the TV show. More on the tech side and extras, but we
should also address the TV show briefly.
Twilight Time did not issue the Blu-ray version of the TV show in the
U.S., but Shout! Factory did. While the picture and sound were
reportedly good and the aspect ratio was correct at 1.33 X 1, it
lacked extras. That was still better than earlier European Blu-rays
which horrified fans by cutting the image to 1.78 X 1 for fake
widescreen, ruining the show. Still, more extras are out there and
unless you are a hardcore diehard fan of the show buying/owning
several sets, turns out a special Japanese box set with 1.33 X 1
transfers has a ton of extras and a big price tag. All the
SuperMarionation shows are being upgraded to HD transfers and their
live action sister shows U.F.O.
(which git its own Japanese mega Blu-ray box set) and Space:
(see the Season
Blu-ray set elsewhere on this site as the second & final season
is still being restored as we post this review), so the demand is out
there and being met. I just hope we see more Blu-rays in the U.S.,
especially as the A&E DVD box sets sold well years ago and were
not just stuck with DVD repackagings in 'The States' as it were.
1080p 1.78 X 1 MVC-encoded 3-D - Full Resolution digital High
Definition images on the Rarities
shorts have various aspect ratios, usually 1.33 X 1 until the early
1950s arrive, looks remarkably good throughout and have been
carefully upgraded to look great via 3D Blu-ray set ups by a great
team of serious 3D fans and scholars who really deliver the goods and
this release belongs on the same shelf as any and all the other major
Blu-ray 3D releases we have ever seen. Yes, it is that good.
1080p digital High Definition image transfers across all the Blu-rays
here look really good throughout and rarely show their age. It
likely helps that the color in most of the shorts in both sets and
the 2.35 X 1 Techniscope presentations of the Thunderbirds
films are from films originally issued in dye-transfer,
three-strip Technicolor. In the best shots, which are many, you even
get demo shots including on the 3D
short, many of the vintage Puppetoons
and both Thunderbirds.
Since the shorts have been almost lost, orphaned or abandoned, it is
all the more amazing in the case of the shorts, but the two
features look much better here than they did in their decent, if soft
DVD presentations. The black and white 1.33 X 1 1080p Rarities
shorts don't disappoint either with nice sharpness and clarity that
can defy their age at times. That makes all three releases true
collectors items just based on the visual playback quality, which is
impressive, surprising and delivers.
is also as good as it is going to get with most of the Rarities
shorts in lossless DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mixes to push the sound as much as possible,
with silent films often with stereo music and newer shorts in true
stereo. The main Puppetoons
film is presented in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) in a 4.0 lossless mix
and PCM 2.0 Stereo, while the rest is in PCM 2.0 Mono. The
films offer DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes from their
DTS DVD presentations, upgraded a bit (by default?) with a little
more warmth and detail, though a key battle scene in the first film
loses some impact in a slight mixing error that you can hear more
clearly in the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 1.0 lossless mix included on
the film, featured on both films for purists.
in in all three cases include well illustrated booklets (a nice
foldout in the Puppetoon
case with a Jerry Beck essay) on the films including informative text
that are excellent complements to the Blu-rays. Essays by Julian
Antos, Hillary Hess, Thad Komorowski, Donald McWilliams, Ted Okuda,
Mary Ann Sell and Jack Theakston are in the Rarities
booklet, while Julie Kirgo writes on Thunderbirds
in it's booklet. With all the shorts in the first two sets, the
makers had to distinguish how to say what is an extra, so Rarities
includes an introduction
by Leonard Maltin and Trustin Howard, 3-D photo galleries on
of Notre Dame
(1923, reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site from Flicker
Alley), New York World's Fair (1939), Sam
Sawyer View-Master reels (1950, later known as the GAF View Master
before current owners Fisher Price/Mattel bought it up) & 3-D
Comic Books (1953), 3-D footage directed by Francis Ford Coppola from
Bellboy and the Playgirls
(1962) and audio commentary tracks by Thad Komorowski and Jack
Theakston. See the Puppetoon
review above for its extras, which I kept with its main content
because the shorts are from the same series.
repeats many of the DVD's extras including animated photo galleries,
their original theatrical trailers, and full-length audio
commentaries by Sylvia Anderson and director David Lane ans three
featurettes. The first film offers History
Of Dolls & Rockets,
while the second offers Lady
New extras on both films are Isolated Music Scores, the first film
newly adds a feature length audio commentary by film historians Jeff
Bond & Nick Redmond, Excitement
Is Go! - Making Thunderbirds
documentary, previously unseen test footage of Cliff Richard &
The Shadows, Come
With Me To The Rushes
Does FAB Mean?
featurette and the second film adds A Call From Stanley Kubrick and A
Television Tribute. Needless to say these extras far exceed the U.S.
Blu-ray set for the series.
can order The
limited edition Blu-ray at:
to order the Thunderbirds
Twilight Time limited
edition Blu-rays, buy them while supplies last at this link: