From this date in 1950 comes a Disney feature film based on a story by Charles Perrault. Cinderella really marked the return of the Disney studios top the animated feature film, and marked the beginning of the middle period of the Disney oeuvre.
Released two years ago today, and last year’s winner of the Academy Award for best feature animated film, the cartoon oif the day is Rango. Directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp– wow, that sounds like a couple of pirate films we know– this stylish western was on the tops of many lists last year. Let us know what you thought of this one.
A short so funny we could make it a cartoon of the week, Ali Baba Bunny released on this date in 1957. One of the classic Chuck Jones Bugs Bunny pairings, this one also included the running gag about “I knew I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque…”
After a goofed up left turn at Albuquerque (on their way to Pismo Beach), Bugs and Daffy end up in Ali Baba’s treasure-filled cave. Hassan Chop!
The end is absolutely hilarious! If you haven’t seen this one in a while, it is worth a watch again today on BCDB!
A sprightly young bird gets up early, the better to get the jump on his neighborhood worm, but he finds his quarry elusive. The worm, for his part, sets off with a flute and jazzes along happily, out-finessing the bird repeatedly. Then a pair of shiftless crows debate the virtues of early rising and decide that no worm is worth it (clearly, these are shiftless “Negro” stereotypes, though the ethnic angle isn’t stressed here so much). Finally, a rattlesnake practices some hypnotic moves on both bird and worm before getting tied up in knots.
The two lazy crows are caricatures of then-famous blackface comedy team Moran and Mack. Much of their dialogue is directly lifted from their hit 1920s comedy recording “Two Black Crows.”
Who is celebrating their twentieth anniversary today? The two stone-age kids that grew up next door to each other– Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm! In 1993, ABC aired I Yabba-Dabba Do!, a special directed by animation giant William Hanna. How tough was it for Fred to give away the bride?
Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm get married but not before enduring all the antics and confusion that seem to accompany every Flintstones affair.
From a sort of informal series, How To Ride A Horse is one of those Goofy shorts that just make you laugh. Goofy is amazing, he can carry a whole short and even a whole series, all by himself.
In this short, Goofy has a difficult time trying to ride a horse.
Originally released as part of the feature “The Reluctant Dragon.”
From 1950 we have this classic pairing of Daffy Duck and Porky Pig in Boobs In The Woods. This Looney Tune was directed by Robert McKimson and written by Warren Foster.
Porky sets out to the great outdoors to paint landscapes, but Daffy claims that the lake and mountains are his, and he refuses to let Porky paint them.
Songs include: “The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down” (Cliff Friend, Dave Franklin), Performed by Daffy Duck.
From Columbia and UPA films, Gerald McBoing Boing was an Academy Award Winner in 1951. For such a highly regarded short, it is not rated high at BCDB. What do you think, is this worthy of an Oscar, or is the BCDB rating justified?
Gerald, who doesn’t speak words but goes “boing boing” instead, finds his talents unappreciated by family and friends, and so he runs away from home. However, a kindly radio station boss is quick to spot his potential…
At age 2, the little boy, instead of starting to talk, produces sound effects. The desperate father calls on Dr. Malone, who, after examining Gerald, declares that there’s nothing he can do. The parents are constantly being scared by Gerald, so they send him to school, hoping that he’ll learn words, but he’s sent home. When he tries to play with boys and girls, he’s rejected.
Depressed, Gerald runs away from home, but he’s found by a radio program producer, who hires him to do sound effects for his programs. As the announcer describes the action, Gerald produces the appropriate sound effects, using a script. He becomes a big hit, signing autographs for his fans, and his now-proud parents accompany him in a gigantic new car.
In 1995, Gerald McBoing Boing was one of 25 films added by the Library of Congress’ National Film Preservation Board to the National Film Registry.
European title: “The Boing-Boing Boy in Planet Moo.”
Today’s CotD is Rebel Rumble, an episode from The Peter Potamus Show. Hana and Barbera took a new tack with this show, one that would pay of for years. The studio began selling animated half-hour blocks directly into syndication. The new outlet grew the studio faster than anyone thought possible. After winning in syndication, ABC saw the light and brought this show back to network television.
Peter and So-So land in America during the time of the Revolution. Peter and So-So spread the word that the redcoats are coming from their balloon. They are shot down by British soldiers. They escape pursuit donning British uniforms but then are chased back to their balloon by American troops.
This show began its run in syndication as Peter Potamus and his Magic Flying Balloon, but was picked up by ABC on January 2, 1966.
Probably the least known and least watch Disney animated film of all time, So Dear To My Heart is even less watched than Song of the South. Most people cab at least sing Zipitty Do Dah from Song of the South.… who can even tell you who starred in So Dear To My Heart?
This live-action and animation feature stars Burl Ives, telling a story of a determined young country boy and his mischievous black lamb. While daydreaming of winning a blue ribbon at the county fair, Jeremiah’s scrapbook comes to life with animated sequences.
The fifth incarnation of Scooby-Doo began on this date in 1978 with Watch Out! The Willawaw! from Scooby’s All-Stars. WHen the series started, no one thought it would go to five shows, much less the thirteen shows it has spawned to date. Five curious teens and their dog and going on almost 50 years.
Grey Fox perpetrates the legend of The Willawaw with a hot air balloon painted like The Willawaw to frighten people away from his smuggling operation. He kidnaps Velma’s Uncle Dave Dinkley, a lawman, when he gets too close to the operation. Red Heron, with the help of his friend Snapping Turtle, follows Grey Fox’s trail and releases their friend Dave, while Shaggy Scooby-Doo, Velma, Daphne and Fred capture Grey Fox and prove to the frightened Chippewas that the Willawaw is literally just a bag of hot air.
It all began in 1969 as Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? The traveling companion of four hep-cat teenagers, Scooby-Doo helped solved mysteries while simultaneously murdering the English language (though the fact that he could even speak should count for something). Scooby’s best friend was the skinny, goofy Shaggy, with whom he shared a love for Scooby snacks, among other delicacies. Also along for the ride was the much hunkier Freddy, the babeslicios Daphne, and Velma, the brainy girl who did most of the mystery cracking.
The inexplicable fivesome tooled around in the Mystery Machine (a groovy painted van), ending up in some pretty creepy towns menaced by ghosts, ghouls or mummies. Freddy would “take the girls,” leaving Scooby and Shaggy to fend for themselves, usually ending up in each other’s arms out of fear. After an extensive chase scene/musical sequence, the villain would be caught, reveal his true identity and curse those meddling kids for foiling his plans.
This incarnation lasted for two seasons before reruns took over. From 1972 to 1974, the show became The New Scooby-Doo Movies. This format had the kids meeting up with such guest stars as Mamma Cass, the Globetrotters, Sonny and Cher, and Don Knotts (all playing themselves) to solve more mysteries.
For one season in 1976, the gang became half of The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Show, sharing the bill with the “robonic” Dynomutt and his human superhero partner, The Blue Falcon. Scooby’s gang was joined by Scooby’s cousin Scooby-Dum, who (you guessed it) was dumb.
From ’76 to ’80, Scooby was granted ninety minutes under the title Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (later renamed Scooby’s All-Stars). This show featured a plethora of Hanna-Barbera characters—dating as far back as the 50’s—engaged in a variety of competitions.
In addition to rerunning Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? in 1978, ABC paired Laff-A-Lympics with a new show, Scooby and Scrappy-Doo. This show introduced Scoob’s short and confident nephew, who, though younger than Scooby, had much clearer speech. In 1980 the cowardly elder Doo was paired with a famous mini-millionaire in The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show.
Scooby and Scrappy were still together in 1982, but now they split their time with another canine in The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo/Puppy’s New Adventures Hour. Joining these new shows were airings of reruns now called The Best of Scooby-Doo. In 1984 The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries (which brought back the teens as well as holding on to Scrappy) were aired, as were a bunch of reruns, this time called Scary Scooby Funnies.
In The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985–86), Scooby, Scrappy, Shaggy and Daphne were joined by 9-year-old Flim Flam. The group, helped by warlock Vincent Van Ghoul (Vincent Price), fought off wicked sorcery. That season the Great Dane could also be seen in another rerun collection, Scooby’s Mystery FunHouse. In 1986 Scooby could only be seen in reruns of Laff-a-Lympics.
The airwaves were deprived of Scooby for two years. Then, in 1988, a new show called A Pup Named Scooby-Doo was produced. Like many cartoons of the time, this show took familiar characters back to their early years. Thus, Shaggy, Freddy, Velma and Daphne were now preteens. Scooby, of course, was but a pup. This version had the kids constantly running into the character Red Herring (wink, wink), whom the gang always suspected of committing crimes. This show ran in reruns until 1993, when it finally left network television.
And then, the Scooby dry spell. Ten years of now new Scoobs. OK, sure, we had the occasional direct-to-video releaese with the Mystery Crew, but no more reegular television. Ninally, in 2002, we got What’s New, Scooby-Doo?. This is also the first show since Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo to contain the gang in it’s original format: Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo.
Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! saw the first real redesign the crew has ever seen. The best way to describe the new look is to just avoid it altogether.
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is the most recent version of the show. Back to the original models (thanks GOD!). Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and their talking dog Scooby-Doo are back, solving mysteries in the spooky town of Crystal Cove, a sleepy coastal village that boasts a long history of ghostly sightings, werewolves and glowing deep sea divers.
It’s interesting to note that while the show itself underwent many changes, the characters did not. Aside from a modified Daphne appearing in The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, the gang retained their late-sixties garb well into the eighties and nineties. This included knee-highs, a mini-skirt and lumpy turtleneck sweater for Velma, a rockin’ minidress and head scarf for Daphne, and groovy bell-bottoms for the guys. Scooby remained in his natural canine glory.
Scooby-Doo may have left Saturday morning, but his work is far from over. Scooby continues to answer the call, appearing semi-regularly in direct-to-video cartoon features. As long as mysteries need solving, Scooby-Doo will come through (and then he’ll have himself a Scooby Snack… that’s a fact).
Disney is quoted as saying, “It all started with a mouse.” Disney was always inventing, always trying new things, pushing the animation envelope. Today is the seventy-fifth anniversary of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, and while it was not the first animated feature film, or even the first in full color… it was certainly the first commercially successful animated feature film, and it’s legacy is still being felt today.
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.
The first animated feature film to be nominated for an Academy Award.
In 1989, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs was the first cartoon to be added by the Library of Congress’ National Film Preservation Board to the National Film Registry (it was the registry’s inaugural year).
In England the film was deemed too scary for children and no one under 14 could go and see it by themselves.
This film was released to video in the United States in 1994 (beginning its “Masterpiece Collection” line) and in 2001 (a DVD of this film was also released that year).
I am REALLY on the fence about The Emperor’s New Groove. Sure, it has it’s moments… it has Eartha Kitt… it also has Patrick Warburton and Wendie Malick. On the down side, it does have the barely one-dimensional David Spade in the lead role, and it was directed by Mark Dindal who was still perfecting the art of really screwing up an animated film here (his Masters thesis was Chicken Little in 2005, easily the worst film ever from Disney.)
The Emperor’s New Groove began life as the much more serious in tone and epic in scope Kingdom Of The Sun. Originally, the music was done by Sting, and Roger Allers was the director. Sort of a Prince and the Pauper story at first, Allers just could not bring the story to life.
To breath new life into the project, Disney execs hired Mark Dindal, who brought in the comic element. This resulted in a very uneven production… half light and half dark. In the summer 1998, under a time crunch for a 2000 release date, Allers was forced off the film. Dindal retooled the film, dropped the Sting songs, and retitled the film.
In this comedy, the vain and cocky Emperor Kuzco is a very busy man. Besides maintaining his “groove,” and firing his suspicious administrator Yzma, he’s also planning to build a new water park just for himself for his birthday. However, this means destroying one of the villages in his kingdom. Meanwhile, Yzma is hatching a plan to get revenge and usurp the throne. But, in a botched assassination courtesy of Yzma’s right-hand man Kronk, Kuzco is magically transformed into a llama. Now, Kuzco finds himself the property of Pacha, a lowly llama herder whose home is ground zero for the water park. Upon discovering the llama’s true self, Pacha offers to help resolve the Emperor’s problem and regain his throne– only if he promises to move his water park.
So what do you think? Would you like to have seen Allers original film, or do you like the comedy version by Dindal?
One of Chuck Jones’ specials from the 1970’s, A Very Merry Cricket featured Les Tremayne as Chester C. Cricket and Harry the Cat and Mel Blanc as Tucker the Mouse. Chuck wrote and directed this sequel.
Harry tells of Chester, a famous cricket who plays the violin to soothe everyone. With all the hustle and bustle about New York around Christmas, it’s become commercialized. Tucker and Harry have to find Chester in order to put the spirit of Christmas back into the citizens.
This TV special was a sequel to “The Cricket in Times Square.”
What would the holidays be without great Rankin-Bass animated specials like Frosty The Snowman? 43 years young today, Frosty The Snowman is not that horrible sequel Frosty Returns (which was cel animated), but proper stop motion animation and narration by none other than Jimmy Durante.
A discarded silk tophat becomes the focus of a struggle between a washed-up stage magician and a group of schoolchildren after it magically brings a snowman to life. Realizing that newly-living Frosty will melt in spring unless he takes refuge in a colder climate, Frosty and a young girl who he befriends stow away on a freight train headed for the north pole. Little do they know that the magician is following them, and he wants his hat back. This animated short is based on the popular Christmas song of the same name.
June Foray was recorded as the voice of Karen (along with the Teacher), but only her voice as the Teacher remained in the finished cartoon, as she was replaced as Karen by another actress. “To this day, I am unsure of the reason,” Foray recalled.
The story of Frosty the Snowman had earlier been animated in a five-minute, black and white cartoon originally shown on “Garfield Goose and Friends.”
One of the sequels to this cartoon, “Frosty Returns,” was not produced by Rankin/Bass.