Monthly Archives: December 2011

Lonesome Ghosts (1937) — Mickey Mouse Theatrical Cartoon Series

Lonesome Ghosts (1937) - Mickey Mouse Theatrical Cartoon Series

Lone­some Ghosts (1937) — Mickey Mouse The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

CotD: Not exactly a Christ­mas car­toon, but “Lone­some Ghosts” is a won­der­ful and fun car­toon in it’s own right.

Lone­some Ghosts (1937) — Mickey Mouse The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Four green phan­toms want some fun, so they invite ghost busters Mickey, Don­ald, and Goofy over to their haunted home with the aim of dri­ving them crazy.

Watch “Lone­some Ghosts” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Rooby-Roo robber on the roose in St. Petersburg

Scooby Doo robbery

Scooby Doo robbery

Instead of help­ing that quar­tet of kids fight vil­lains, Scooby-Doo has joined the wrong side of the law in St. Peters­burg, Florida.

Detec­tives say that a sus­pect wear­ing a dis­tinc­tive brown Scooby-Doo ski mask robbed the Farm Store at 5511 Dr. MLK Street North on Decem­ber 9. They hope that some­one may rec­og­nize the mask and pro­vide infor­ma­tion on the suspect’s identity.

At about 3:22 p.m., the sus­pect entered the store and pointed a black semi-automatic hand­gun at the clerk, who allowed the sus­pect to take an unspec­i­fied amount of cash from the reg­is­ter. No sus­pect vehi­cle was seen.

The video doesn’t pro­vide a clear view of the suspect’s face, but does show him dis­guised as the famed quasi-Great Dane.

The sus­pect is described as a black male from 18 to 25 years old, 5’8″ to 5’10″ tall, 160 to 180 pounds, wear­ing a black short sleeve shirt over a white long sleeve shirt, beige knee-length shorts and black sneak­ers with white trim. He also wore gloves with a white design on the back and may have been wear­ing white ear buds for an MP3 player dur­ing the robbery.

Any­one with infor­ma­tion is asked to call the St. Peters­burg Police Depart­ment at (727) 893‑7780 or use the Tip Line at (727) 892‑5000.

A sur­veil­lance video of the rob­bery has been released by the police depart­ment at

Stingray actor, voice coach Robert Easton dies, 81

Robert Easton

Robert Eas­ton

Char­ac­ter actor Robert Eas­ton, known as the “Henry Hig­gins of Hol­ly­wood” for teach­ing dialects to such lumi­nar­ies as Charl­ton Hes­ton and Anne Hath­away, died Fri­day at his Toluca Lake, Cal­i­for­nia home. He was 81.

While liv­ing in Britain, the Milwaukee-born Eas­ton voiced Lieu­tenant George Lee “Phones” Sheri­dan and Sur­face Agent X-2-Zero in the 1964 Gerry Ander­son Pro­duc­tions puppet-animated series Stingray. He had numer­ous other voice roles in the series, as well.

He was a mem­ber of the voice cast of Ralph Bakshi’s 1973 fea­ture film Heavy Traf­fic. In addi­tion, he had a live-action role as the store pro­pri­etor in Disney’s partly ani­mated 1977 movie Pete’s Dragon.

Eas­ton knew a huge range of for­eign and Amer­i­can regional accents. He taught actor Robert Duvall a Vir­gin­ian accent for his role as Con­fed­er­ate com­man­der Robert E. Lee in the movie Gods and Gen­er­als sev­eral years ago.

They said, ‘We want Vir­ginia accents,’” Duvall remem­bered in an inter­view Wednes­day. “Bob said, ‘Which one? There are 12 dis­tinct accents, from the Pied­mont to the ocean.’ He knew them all.

He was a won­der­ful man, a very unique per­son­al­ity, and a mas­ter at his craft.”

He was born Robert Eas­ton Burke on Novem­ber 23, 1930. When he was 7, his par­ents split up. He and his mother moved to San Antonio.

At age 14, he toured the United States with the cast of young geniuses on the pop­u­lar radio pro­gram Quiz Kids. The young 6’4″ per­former was get­ting Hol­ly­wood roles by 18, usu­ally play­ing coun­try hicks due to his heavy Texas accent. He was on The Burns and Allen Show, Father Knows Best, The Jack Benny Show, The Red Skel­ton Show, Wagon Train, Rawhide and Gunsmoke.

Wor­ried that he would be type­cast, Eas­ton widened his range of accents and learned var­i­ous regional speech patterns.

After mar­ry­ing June Bet­tine Grim­stead in 1961, he moved with her to her native Eng­land and started study­ing pho­net­ics at Uni­ver­sity Col­lege in London.

He found a way to spell things,” said For­est Whitaker, whom he taught to speak like Idi Amin. “We estab­lished our own language.”

Between his coach­ing jobs, Eas­ton taught at UCLA and USC. His movies included Paint Your Wagon, Pet Sematary II and Pri­mary Col­ors. In 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undis­cov­ered Coun­try, he por­trayed a Klin­gon judge.

I’m a great believer in the prin­ci­ple that there’s no wastage in the uni­verse,” Eas­ton told the Los Ange­les Times in 1992. “So when I work with some­body who is for­eign who’s try­ing to lose their accent, I can always give their old dialect to some­body else.”

Pre­de­ceased by his wife in 2005, Robert Eas­ton is sur­vived by his daugh­ter, Heather Woodruff Perry, and a granddaughter.

A memo­r­ial ser­vice will be announced later.

San Bernardino police seek help identifying toon

Cartoon Snippet

Car­toon Snippet

Inves­ti­ga­tors for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Depart­ment are seek­ing pub­lic assis­tance in iden­ti­fy­ing the car­toon shown on this TV screen, or the net­work or sta­tion “bug” on the bot­tom right.

Sheriff’s inves­ti­ga­tors want to iden­tify the car­toon, which appar­ently depicts an Asian male.

There are six dif­fer­ent col­ors to the sym­bol. Clock­wise from the bot­tom seg­ment, they are white, green, red, blue, orange and yellow.

Detec­tives are not ask­ing for help iden­ti­fy­ing the TV make or model.

Any­one with infor­ma­tion is asked to con­tact Detec­tive Tyson Niles by call­ing (909) 387‑3622 or email­ing tniles(at)

Good Will To Men (1955) — MGM Theatrical Cartoon

Good Will To Men (1955) - MGM Theatrical Cartoon

Good Will To Men (1955) — MGM The­atri­cal Cartoon

CotD: A remake of 1939’s Peace On Earth, “Good Will To Men” with mice instead of squir­rels… and a bit more graphic point to the hor­rors of war.

Good Will To Men (1955) — MGM The­atri­cal Cartoon

A group of young mice is in the ruins of a church, prac­tic­ing singing for an upcom­ing ser­vice. After singing an adul­ter­ated ver­sion of “Hark! The Her­ald Angels Sing,” the mice won­der about the last line, “Good will to men.” One of them asks the cho­rus mas­ter, an old mouse, “What are men?”

The old mouse explains that they all killed each other off by build­ing big­ger and more destruc­tive weapons, first guns, then mis­siles, then bombs. At the end of the fight­ing, clouds are seen, imply­ing that nuclear weapons were used by each side.

The old mouse shows the boys some rules to live by that men seem to have for­got­ten. He is read­ing from a Bible.

Watch “Good Will To Men” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Gulliver’s Travels (1939) — Fleischer Studios Feature Animated Film

Gulliver's Travels (1939) - Fleischer Studios

Gulliver’s Trav­els (1939) — Fleis­cher Studios

CotD: Yes­ter­day we had Snow White; two years and a day later, “Gulliver’s Trav­els” was released.… the sec­ond fully ani­mated fea­ture film.

Gulliver’s Trav­els (1939) — Fleis­cher Stu­dios Fea­ture Ani­mated Film

Ship­wrecked by a storm at sea, normal-sized Lemuel Gul­liver washes up on the shore of Lil­liput, where the cit­i­zens are no larger than Gulliver’s thumb.

Dis­cov­ered by excitable town crier (and gen­eral fuss-budget) Gabby, Gul­liver is roped to the ground by Lil­liputians, only to escape with ease upon wak­ing up. While long­ing to head home to Eng­land, Gul­liver becomes involved in a feud between Lilliput’s King Lit­tle and Blefuscu’s King Bombo. On the eve of the wed­ding between Little’s daugh­ter, Princess Glory, and Bombo’s son, Prince David, the two mon­archs have a falling-out over which national anthem will be played at the ceremony.

Gul­liver attempts to pre­vent war between Lil­liput and equally minus­cule rival Ble­fuscu, as well as smooth the way for the romance between David and Glory. In this, he is alter­nately aided and ham­pered by Gabby.

After a series of mis­un­der­stand­ings and intrigues, Gul­liver solves everyone’s prob­lems by sug­gest­ing that both anthems be played together, result­ing in the song “Faith­ful Forever.”

Watch “Gulliver’s Trav­els” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Chicago critics name “Rango” Best Animated Feature



The Chicago Film Crit­ics Asso­ci­a­tion declared the trippy com­edy Rango on Mon­day to be the best ani­mated fea­ture of 2011.

Rango won out over chal­lengers The Adven­tures of Tintin, Arthur Christ­mas, Puss In Boots and Win­nie the Pooh.

After years of spec­u­la­tion and delays, The Tree of Life, Ter­rence Malick’s long-awaited film that took view­ers from the begin­ning of time to 1950s Texas, proved to be worth the wait, accord­ing to the asso­ci­a­tion. The CFCA gave Tree of Life four awards, includ­ing Best Pic­ture, Direc­tor, Sup­port­ing Actress for new­comer Jes­sica Chas­tain and Cin­e­matog­ra­phy for Emmanuel Lubezki.

The vio­lent neo-noir Drive won Sup­port­ing Actor for come­dian Albert Brooks for his change-of-pace turn as a ruth­less crime boss, and Orig­i­nal Score for com­poser Cliff Mar­tinez. With two wins, Drive tied with Martha Marcy May Mar­lene, the moody indie drama about a young woman haunted by her expe­ri­ences with a cult. Star Eliz­a­beth Olsen won Most Promis­ing Per­former. Direc­tor Sean Durkin received the Most Promis­ing Film­maker award.

Michael Shan­non was named Best Actor for his per­for­mance as a man tor­mented by visions of the pos­si­ble apoc­a­lypse in the drama Take Shel­ter. Michelle Williams won the Best Actress award for her stun­ning turn as Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe in My Week with Marilyn.

The Artist, the black and white silent com­edy from France about an actor unwill­ing to make the tran­si­tion to talkies, won Orig­i­nal Screen­play for Michel Haz­anavi­cius. Screen­writ­ers Steve Zail­lian and Aaron Sorkin won the Adapted Screen­play prize for Mon­ey­ball. (This marks Sorkin’s sec­ond con­sec­u­tive vic­tory in his cat­e­gory. He won last year for The Social Network.)

The Iran­ian drama A Sep­a­ra­tion won Foreign-Language Film. The Inter­rupters, the pow­er­ful film fol­low­ing a group of peo­ple try­ing to stamp out vio­lence in Chicago’s most vio­lent neigh­bor­hoods, won Best Documentary.

The CFCA will hand out hon­orary awards to some well-known recip­i­ents to cel­e­brate their con­tri­bu­tions to cinema.

Leg­endary actress Shirley MacLaine will receive the Com­mit­ment to the Craft Award. James Earl Jones will be pre­sented with the Oscar Michaeux Award. The Com­mit­ment to Chicago goes to beloved char­ac­ter actor Den­nis Farina. The Big Shoul­ders Award will be given to Chicago’s com­edy insti­tu­tion Sec­ond City. Finally, the newly cre­ated Com­me­dia Extra­or­di­naire Award, to acknowl­edge work in the often over­looked field of screen com­edy, will be given to Jason Segel for his past achieve­ments and for his efforts to bring the Mup­pets back to the big screen.

The awards cer­e­mony is sched­uled for 6 p.m. Sat­ur­day, Jan­u­ary 7 at Chicago’s Broad­way Play­house, 175 East Chest­nut St. Tick­ets are now on sale and can be pur­chased through Tick­et­mas­ter at

Animated tunes vie for Oscars’ 2011 playlist

Oscar Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Oscar Acad­emy of Motion Pic­ture Arts and Sciences

Thir­teen songs from six ani­mated or partly ani­mated films are among the 39 tunes from eli­gi­ble feature-length motion pic­tures in con­tention for nom­i­na­tions in the Orig­i­nal Song cat­e­gory for the 84th Acad­emy Awards, the Acad­emy of Motion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences announced Monday.

The orig­i­nal songs include “Col­li­sion of Worlds” from Cars 2; “Hello Hello” and “Love Builds a Gar­den” from Gnomeo & Juliet; “Bridge of Light” and “The Mighty Sven” from Happy Feet Two; “Life’s a Happy Song,” “Man or Mup­pet” and “Pic­tures in My Head” from The Mup­pets; “Hot Wings,” “Let Me Take You to Rio” and “Real in Rio” from Rio; and “The Back­son Song” and “So Long” from Win­nie the Pooh.

On Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 5, the Acad­emy will screen clips fea­tur­ing each song, in ran­dom order, for vot­ing mem­bers of the Music Branch in Los Ange­les. Fol­low­ing the screen­ings, mem­bers will deter­mine the nom­i­nees by an aver­aged point sys­tem of voting.

If no song receives an aver­age score of 8.25 or more, there will be no nom­i­nees in the cat­e­gory. If only one song achieves that score, it and the song receiv­ing the next high­est score shall be the two nom­i­nees. If two or more songs (up to five) achieve that score, they shall be the nominees.

A DVD copy of the song clips will be made avail­able to those branch mem­bers who are unable to attend the screen­ing and who request it for home view­ing. A mail-in bal­lot will be provided.

Under Acad­emy rules, a max­i­mum of two songs may be nom­i­nated from any one film. If more than two songs from a film achieve a score of 8.25 or more, the two songs with the high­est scores will be the nominees.

To be eli­gi­ble, a song must con­sist of words and music, both of which are orig­i­nal and writ­ten specif­i­cally for the film. A clearly audi­ble, intel­li­gi­ble, sub­stan­tive ren­di­tion of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the first music cue in the end credits.

The 84th Acad­emy Awards nom­i­na­tions will be announced live at 5:30 a.m. on Tues­day, Jan­u­ary 24 in the Academy’s Samuel Gold­wyn Theater.

Acad­emy Awards for out­stand­ing film achieve­ments of 2011 will be pre­sented Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 26 at the Kodak The­atre at Hol­ly­wood & High­land Cen­ter, and tele­vised live by ABC. The Oscar pre­sen­ta­tion also will be tele­vised live in more than 225 coun­tries worldwide.

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937) — Walt Disney Studios Feature Animated Film

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937) - Walt Disney Studios Feature Animated Film

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937) — Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios Fea­ture Ani­mated Film

CotD: They say it all started with a mouse; well then it was the seven lit­tle men in “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs” pushed it into high gear! Show us how much you love this clas­sic Dis­ney film– the one that started it all.

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937) — Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios Fea­ture Ani­mated Film

In her effort to be “fairest in the land,” a jeal­ous and evil queen attempts to be rid of her beau­ti­ful step­daugh­ter, Snow White. Fright­ened and scared, Snow takes refuge in the for­est cot­tage of the seven dwarfs. The queen, dis­guised by magic as an old ped­dler woman, tempts Snow White with a poi­soned apple, which puts her into an enchanted sleep until the spell can be bro­ken by love’s first kiss.

Watch “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase