Monday, April 29, 2013

Coming This Week: Porky Pig in “Phantom of the Plains”!

Surf on over to TIAH Blog this Wednesday…
 …for some “hair-raising” adventure…
…that you “do-nut” want to miss…
…when we finally review DELL FOUR COLOR # 271 PORKY PIG in “Phantom of the Plains”! 

They’ll be excitement-a-plenty…

…though, maybe not like this! 

See you then! 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Say WHAT, Mel?

So, there I was, working my way through LOONEY TUNES SUPER STARS: SYLVESTER AND HIPPITY HOPPER: MARSUPIAL MAYHEM, enjoying the shorts and taking notes for a future “Loooong DVD Review”…

I’m in cartoon # 13 (one of the 15 “New-to-DVD” shorts), “Freudy Cat”.  This 1963 “cheater”, lifting scenes from two prior Cat and Kangaroo toons, finds Sylvester being treated by a German-thick-accented, stereotypical psychologist over his fear of the dreaded “giant mouse”. 

Did I say the psychologist’s German accent was THICK?  Yes, indeed… Thick enough, it would seem, to apparently allow Mel Blanc to get away with a then-unprecedented word for an animated character. 
Check out these two consecutive images with English subtitles on.  You may click to further enlarge. 


Subtitles don’t lie (…well, sometimes they DO on matters of content, and I’m quite surprised Warners didn’t alter this one) because, as the second subtitle shows, Mel Blanc clearly says “Smartasses” (or, maybe he doesn't -- see our Comments Section), amid all the other random nonsense, with that thick German accent in the cartoon’s soundtrack!  (...Anyone ever notice that on TV?)
Get a copy, and check it out for yourself! 

…Aw, just get a copy, anyway.  The set’s quite good, considering all those “giant mouse” plots contained therein!    We’ll have a full review in the not very distant future. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sweet 16… er, 15! (Down from 18)


A key point to which was Warner Home Video’s declaration that…

17 OF 18 SHORTS ARE NEW TO DVD!  (Or, so says the packaging!) 

Here’s a quote from the back of the package: 

Now, together for the first time on DVD, it’s the best of the failure-prone feline and spring-loaded little marsupial in 18 classic cartoons remastered to all their Golden Age of Animation glory!  Featuring 17 shorts never before seen on DVD…”

17 new shorts?  That’s reason enough to buy any package, even one as chock-full of “giant mouse” plot repetition as this! 

But, “Hooold on Thar!”, as Quick Draw McGraw might say, and let’s examine the list of titles a bit more closely:

Hippity Hopper” appeared on LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION Volume 6. 


And “Goldimouse and the Three Cats” appeared on LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION Volume 5. 

So, I have no idea which “one” WHV regards as the lone “double-dip”, do you? 

Still, 15 of 18 is a worthwhile purchase – just not as much as indicated by the packaging.

 Needless to say, I have the set and will eventually post a full-blown review. 

Hopefully, it'll be a review that Sylvester, Jr. won't be "Sooo Ashamed" of!

Friday, April 26, 2013

“Not” in Cleveland!

More bad news for prime-time animation fans, as our friend Joe Cab said in the comments to THIS POST, THE CLEVELAND SHOW has been cancelled, joining other prime-time animated favorite, FUTURAMA.  MSN is reporting the cancellation this morning.

I wish they were waving HELLO, instead of GOOD BYE!

 I had a feeling this might be the case because the series didn’t seem to have a regular “8 PM-or Later” timeslot on FOX Sunday.  It was shunted around, or was run at 7 or 7:30, a timeslot that always gave way during NFL Football season.  Ironically, this is exactly how FOX treated FUTURAMA at or near the end of its FOX run. 

Something feels familiar about this, Bender!
Perhaps just as telling, the Third Season DVD for THE CLEVELAND SHOW has been made available only on an MOD basis, just like Warner Archives.  As my previous POPEYE post indicates,  a MOD DVD collection is not the greatest vote of confidence in a property of any sort – much less one currently on the air. 

It was better to be "MOD" in the sixties, than now!

I ordered that MOD DVD this week, unaware that it may be one of the last times I get to see “...his happy, mustached face – on THE CLEVELAND SHOW!"

I may be mustached, but I'm really not happy, trust me!

On the bright side, THE SIMPSONS, FAMILY GUY, AMERICAN DAD, and BOB’S BURGERS are all being renewed by FOX, so that may be enough for a whole Sunday prime time (8-10 PM Eastern) for “Animation Domination” to continue. 

2014 UPDATE: Well, maybe not AMERICAN DAD... see HERE. 


Sure hope they finally find a spot for Seth MacFarlane’s proposed FLINTSTONES, though.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I Yam What I Yam, an’ I Ain’t Finishked Yet!

Yes, I am pleased to report that Popeye the Sailor Man on DVD is indeed not “finishked” yet! 

But first, to set the stage, HERE’S a post on Popeye’s glory days on Warner DVD… and HERE’S another! 
Them's were th' days, all right!

After a FIVE YEAR hiatus (!), not unlike a similar such gap for ANIMANIACS, Warner Home Video is returning POPEYE THE SAILOR to DVD!  …With some key differences, though. 

ANIMANIACS Volume Four was a standard WHV release, while Popeye will continue via the Warner Archive Collection. 
We're Aaa-ni-maaiin-nee-acks... and we're "standard" to the max...
And, while ANIMANIACS picked up exactly where the previous releases left off (to complete the series),  POPEYE will skip ahead nearly two decades – bypassing the Famous Studios / Paramount color cartoons of the ‘40s and ‘50s, to present the Paramount produced Popeye cartoons that were made for TV in the early 1960s.  Read about this HERE! 

Now, I’m not exactly disappointed at the news… Sure, I’d have preferred a “general release” over one from Warner Archives, for all the reasons cited in my standard WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION link.  It would also indicate some more confidence in POPEYE as a property than a WAC release does. 

Also, the ‘60s Popeye cartoons were not as numbingly repetitive as the Paramount theatricals became – with some of them actually adhering more closely to the work of the Sailor Man’s creator E.C. Segar and subsequent comics, than anything Paramount released in the ‘50s.  Sure, the animation was “down a bit” (I’d go as far as “down a lot”), but certain other virtues helped make up for that. 

Did Popeye get back to some basics in the '60s? Just ask The Sea Hag!
I have seen very few of these Popeye cartoons since their original run in the ‘60s – and I’m looking forward to seeing how they stack up to my youthful memories.  …And, I think it’s a safe bet that we’ll have a post discussing exactly that!    

And, maybe I'll be there, too!

Monday, April 22, 2013

No “Future”… Once Again!

"Bad News, Everyone!" Matt Groening’s FUTURAMA has been canceled! 

What will become of Ruth and Esther?  Will they move on to trashy Robot Reality Shows?

No, it’s not 2003 – but, ten years later, future history has just repeated itself.   Read about it HERE! 

Let's go BACK IN TIME, and undo the cancellation!

For what it’s worth, I’m extremely pleased that, ten years after its original ending, there are still a handful of new FUTURAMA episodes to be enjoyed, coming up in 2013.    

Let's call 'em "The 13 of 2013"!

And, as both FUTURAMA and FAMILY GUY have proved, cancellation (maybe even SECOND cancellation) is not necessarily The End! 

How come every guy YOU drink with gets cancelled?

I’ve enjoyed getting a new FUTURAMA DVD set at the end of every year since 2010 (reviewed HERE) – and, alas, 2013 will be the last. 

There's still VOLUME EIGHT to come!

But, I’m not about to give up hope that Professor Farnsworth may, once again, greet us anew with: “Good News, Everyone!” 

Never give up hope, meatbags!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Yogi Bear Goes to Disneyland!

No, that was never a real Dell Comic (How COULD it be?) but, today, we link to some excellent posts on a classic-era Yogi Bear TV special and the Disneyland theme park as presented in Dell and Gold Key comics.

It isn’t often that I learn something completely new about a Golden Age Hanna-Barbera TV show – or about Disney comics from the equally “Golden Age” of Dell and Gold Key. But, here are some recent posts, from two great Bloggers, that I found fascinating.

YOWP, discusses the YOGI BEAR BIRTHDAY SPECIAL, produced and broadcast in 1961 – though I never saw it until the 1988 syndicated YOGI BEAR SHOW. It also concludes the YOGI BEAR SHOW DVD set of 2005, so you can all see it there. I always had the comic, produced by Dell for the occasion (at top), but never knew of the show!

Because I never missed the YOGI BEAR SHOW in its original early ’60, Kellogg’s-sponsored, syndicated edition, the fact that this apparent one-shot broadcast special somehow completely escaped my notice makes it all the more fascinating. Indeed, I wonder if it was broadcast in the New York market at all! You’ll notice comments from me and our pal “Scarecrow33” in that post.
Put down that BOOK, Boob, and read a Blog!

Read Yowp’s Yogi Post HERE!

And read a second Yogi Post HERE!

Enough BEARS!  Whadda 'bout ME?!
Dan Cunningham has published some amazing stuff on Disney comics HERE, and in a series of two more recent posts on the relationship between Disneyland and Western Publishing. …And, when you can educate me to THIS extent on Western Pub., you’ve really done something!  You’ll also find some really cool art at Dan’s Blog as well.

Was a Disneyland deal directly responsible for the startup of Gold Key Comics? Let Dan be your guide to this fog-shrouded aspect of comic book history!

Read Part One HERE!

Read Part Two HERE!

Here too, you’ll find comments from me and “Scarecrow33”.  (...You can't escape us, try as you might!) 

Blogging is (or should be) a wonderful two-way street of sharing knowledge on “the things that interest us”. And, I’m happy to offer further exposure to these fine efforts!

The Junior Woodchucks would REWARD such Blogging efforts!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Demographics Research with Annette!

In our last post, mourning the passing of Annette Funicello, we noted her appearance in an “unusual venue” -- the Gold Key comic WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 289 (October, 1964), and posted the cover image (above) of the lovely Ms. Funicello, with an adorable little puppy dog!

Today, we look at the BACK COVER of that same issue, to find Annette and the puppy (…I WANTED that puppy so much, in 1964!) inviting us to participate in a rare example of Demographics Research on the part of Western Publishing, K.K. Publications, or whichever entity was then behind the WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES comic magazine.

Click on the images to enlarge, and get all the details!

For your participation, you (Yes, YOU!) could win a trip to Disneyland or the New York World’s Fair! Surely, a dream for any kid reading this!

And, all you had to do was name Annette’s puppy, provide some personal and family information, and (presumably) help the editors of the book by telling them which characters you most wished to see.

For anyone wondering how I would have responded:

A: If a male, I would have named the puppy “Butch” and, if a female “Lily”, or “Tawny”.

B: I would become a subscriber with the very next issue.

C: No one else read my copy… I was never the “sharing” type of kid! That’s why I still have my old comics today, Nephew! Snort!

D: Favorite Disney Characters (at the time – and not much different today, for that matter) 1-4:

1: Donald Duck.

2: Mickey Mouse.

3: Uncle Scrooge.

4: In “Others”, I would have written in “The Phantom Blot”.

I’m guessing Annette didn’t poll too well, as she would only have one more appearance in WDC&S.

 As for “The Scarecrow”, he’d have to wait two more years, and appear in this comic! (Yeah, I know...) 

E: Favorite of ALL comic book characters: In 1964, I’d probably have answered Donald Duck or The Phantom Blot. Imagine if they asked two years later, and I said “Batman”! …Much less in the ‘90s, when I’d say “Lobo”!

F: Comments for Improving WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES: Back then, in the throes of my youthful exuberance, I’m sure I’d have said “Publish it EVERY DAY!”, completely unaware of the work-related trauma, I’d be inflicting on poor Carl Barks, Paul Murry, and Tony Strobl! …There’s a question that I’d really like to have seen the general responses to.

All are welcome to retroactively answer the survey right here!  Go on, try it... It'll be fun! 

I seem to vaguely recall a one (or so) line blurb in a future issue of WDC&S naming the winner – but I don’t recall where, and it’s hardly worth looking up.

But, the bottom line is that Western got a rare look into the demographics of its consumer base (…Wonder what they did with that?) – and we got one more look at Annette Funicello, and that wonderful puppy!

I may have had my fun with this "contest business", but Annette will be missed by all.  Rest In Peace, Annette Funicello!