Seth MacFarlane & Martin Scorsese join forces to restore vintage animated shorts

Seth MacFarlane & Martin Scorsese join forces to restore vintage animated shorts with some set to premiere at the TCM Classic Film Festival.

Seth MacFarlane, Martin Scorsese

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and Goodfellas director Martin Scorsese may not seem like the most likely match, but Deadline reports that the pair have joined forces to fund the restoration of historically significant animated shorts from the 1920s to 1940s.

I’m so grateful to Seth MacFarlane for his enthusiasm and his support on these restorations,” said Martin Scorsese. “What an astonishing experience, to see these remarkable pictures that I experienced for the first time as a child brought back to their full glory. Imagine the reactions of children today! Because the films now seem as fresh as they did when they were newly made.

In his own statement, MacFarlane added, “The work Martin Scorsese and his Film Foundation have been doing is essential cinematic preservation. I’m honored to partner with them in restoring their first-ever collection of storied animation.

Among the animated shorts being restored are nine from Max and Dave Fleischer, best known for their work on Superman, Popeye the Sailor, Betty Boop, and Koko the Clown. The shorts were “selected and restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation, in collaboration with Paramount Studio Archives.” Funded by the Seth MacFarlane Foundation, the restorations “were completed using unique original pre-print elements and/or print sources, mostly nitrate, held at UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Martin Scorsese is well known for championing the restoration of forgotten movies from around the world through the Film Foundation and the World Cinema Project. A large percentage of movies made before 1950 have just been lost to time, while others risk deterioration as they age. Preserving and restoring these movies helps keep our cinematic history alive.

A handful of these restorations will premiere at the 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival on April 20th, with Seth MacFarlane making an in-person introduction. The shorts set to be screened include Koko’s Tattoo (1928), Little Nobody (1935), The Little Stranger (1936), Greedy Humpty Dumpty (1936), Peeping Penguins (1937), The Fresh Vegetable Mystery (1939), So Does An Automobile (1939), The Three Bears (1939), and and Two-Gun Rusty (1944).

Source: Deadline

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.