One of the great joys in life is that there are always, always, fascinating things to discover and share, new or new-to-you. I am particularly interested in entertainment technology of the last century, so when I came across this amazing little animated film from 1933 on TCM, I was excited to bring it to you here.

Ted Eshbaugh (1906-1969) was a pioneer in animated color cartoons, and an independent name often buried in history by more-famous and corporatized cartoon competition (cough-Disney-cough). The legendary film processing company Technicolor commissioned Eshbaugh to produce author L. Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz," a one-reel color cartoon testing its new three-strip dye-transfer technology. Note the beginning of the cartoon, as Dorothy's bland Kansas morphs into the Land of Oz's super-saturated riot of color -- an idea that was replicated six years later in the groundbreaking and beloved 1939 MGM version of "The Wizard of Oz," which also featured the arduous Technicolor three-strip process. For reasons unknown, Eshbaugh's gorgeous, historic cartoon was never offered to the public (cough - Disney had a contract with Technicolor at the same time - cough), so remained largely unseen, only circulated underground in poor quality until its first commercial release in Canada in 1985, also in less-than-ideal condition.

Fortunately for us, Thunderbean Animation has fully restored Eshbaugh's cartoon to its proper glory this year, and you can purchase it along with several other delightful and historic cartoons of the era on Blu Ray and DVD. (hint: the holidays are coming up like NOW). It's worth seeing on your big screen HD TV. For now, please to enjoy!

Ted Eshbaugh's "The Wizard of Oz" (1933)