Be Happy, Be Healthy (1963)

It’s the last week of school here, so looking at animation from students and grading is owning my life— so it’s simple this week!

On the Thunderbean side of things, it’s been really busy too. I took a *very* quick trip to New York on Saturday (and returned Sunday) to both drop some films off and scan a bunch of things, including getting the Special Holiday Blu-ray set done. On returning we quickly finished authoring it and dubbed it on Tuesday. All the copies of it were sent Wednesday! The Stop Motion Marvels pre-orders are going out with more special discs, and that will continue for the next day or two. Check out the Thunderbean Shop when you get a chance – lots of good last-minute Christmas gifts there.

I’m looking forward to the end of this week since it means being able to work on a lot of Thunderbean stuff. Getting to turn the page on several projects is really exiting to me since it means others can now get more attention. The Tom and Jerry VB cartoons and the Little Kings are being worked on daily as they edge closer to having their sets finished. The second half of the Rainbow Parades continue to be scanned too. I’ll be sharing some of those here soon.

Onto today’s cartoon: Be Happy, Be Healthy (1963)

Many years back, at my first full-time animation job, I met an animator named Loch Campbell. Loch had worked in illustration and animation in Michigan for a few companies. I met him at Media Station, a company producing CD-rom games for Disney, Hasbro, Mattell and other companies. I worked there from 1994 through mid-1996, and Thunderbean was contracted after I was back from LA to work on more games with them into the early 2000s. Loch and I both animated on quite a few games together and I struck up a friendship with him. One of the things he told me he had animated on was Be Happy, Be Healthy at a little company called Portafilm in Ann Arbor. The version he worked on must have been a revision of an earlier film since he worked on it in 1979. The later version was distributed near the end of Educational Films being distributed in 16mm. Before I worked at Media Station, I had worked at the University of Michigan’s educational film library, but I had never seen this particular film- either version!

I’ve lost track of Loch for many years, but somehow I remembered he worked on that film. Many, many years later I saw someone list the film on Ebay and got the print for a song (well, really for 9 bucks or so). This last weekend I finally scanned that print and discovered that this version of the film was made much earlier. I have no idea who worked on this version– but I thought I’d share it here with you. The film has no credits (looks like it was distributed that way) but after finally seeing the film, it sort of reminds me of Fred Crippen’s TV work in some ways and of course other studios. Clearly a small budget on the film. Funny enough, Fred was from Michigan as well.

So, here is Be Happy, Be Healthy from that print. Enjoy and have a good week all!

* This article was originally published here


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