SEEKING MORE FILMSTRIPS TO PRESERVE: I am the only person on earth preserving American filmstrips. The media format is largely forgotten and very endangered. If you have any American filmstrips, or can rescue any filmstrips from a school, college, business, industry, or elsewhere, please contact Uncommon Ephemera immediately at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weston Woods Studios of Weston, Connecticut, was known for their faithful, high-quality adaptations of children's stories, and an excellent illustration of this is their 1984 adaptation of the 1947 Margaret Wise Brown classic "Goodnight Moon." Slowly becoming a bestseller, it had only sold four million copies between 1947 and 1990; by 2017 that number had increased to almost 50 million.
Weston Woods' adaptation for sound filmstrip was published in 1984, and the visuals are comprised entirely of the original illustrations for the book by Clement Hurd. Especially pleasant here is Weston Woods' efforts to create every frame of the filmstrip from Hurd's full-color, full-bleed illustrations, replacing the cutout-style, black-and-white detail illustrations from some pages of the book with full-color, full-frame versions presumably taken from full-size versions of the original color artwork. Every frame is full color and takes up the full size of the filmstrip frame.
While it is an enjoyable perk of the job for this preservationist to poke fun at the shortcomings and cost-cutting decisions that make filmstrip media so often hokey, it's also good to remind historians and viewers alike that filmstrips could also be beautifully and lovingly produced when the producer wanted them to be, and "Goodnight Moon" is a stellar example. Yeah, the music is a little avant-garde at times, but independent jazz is an enticing bargain when most of your budget is tied up in intellectual property rights.
Goodnight filmstrip, "Goodnight Moon." And goodnight preservationist, who just finished his releases for June.
"Goodnight Moon" was published in 1984 by Weston Woods Studios, Inc. The filmstrip is catalog number 298, and the soundtrack cassette, which has separate manual and automatic-advance versions, is catalog number LTR298C.