To every YING there is a YANG. You cannot have light without the dark. And if H.R. PUFNSTUF was like a wonderful dream then surely LIDSVILLE was the stuff of NIGHTMARES!
Sid and Marty Krofft are responsible for more than their fair share of Saturday morning television. Some good, some bad, but one thing we call all agree on, ALL WEIRD! Weird beyond words at times. I mean look at the opening for LIDSVILLE. The concept is SOOOOOO left of center that it required a 2 MINUTE LONG, detailed introduction with narration to explain the premise. And ultimately, it’s about hats. HATS PEOPLE! A kids show about HATS!!!
Oh and Charles Nelson Reilly is in it. And while he’s infinitely appealing in, oh, anything, his character in LIDSVILLE, Horatio J. HooDoo has haunted me since the day I first laid eyes on him.
Thankfully we can all cleanse our palette with “Weird Al” Yankovic’s loving tribute to Charles, CNR.
Holy Shrimp! What I wouldn’t give to read this comic book! This cover alone makes me tingle with excitement. What strange occurrence could have brought together this random collection of characters? A misfire of the M.A.S.S. device? A spell gone wrong by Skeletor? An unfortunate coincidence at Munden’s bar?*
At any rate, this would be a top notch read under whatever contrived circumstances brought this group together.
Art by Rocky Davies.
*no one can possibly know what Munden’s Bar is but me right?
Here’s a brief work in progress sequence from Cartoon Lagoon’s episode 2, MOBY DISC. The art was designed and painted by MANNY GALÁN and meant to recreate the look of a Golden Book, as seen in the title card art above. And in keeping with our goal to load the show with as many homages to the past of retro pop culture as we can the animation in this sequence is meant to appear as if it were being viewed through a VIEWMASTER. The voices are rough and only there for timing purposes. The final voices are laid in much later in the process.
We even fabricated an adorably small GOLDEN BOOK for the Captain puppet to be able to hold during several sequences in the episode.
It should come as no surprise that we love Saturday Morning Preview shows as we’ve mentioned them many, many times before.
Personally I only remember the ones from the 80′s but they did exist prior to that. Here’s one from 1973 called SATURDAY MORNING SNEAK PEEK and its hosted by Jack Burns and Avery Schreiber and it showcases a bunch of special guests like…BUGS BUNNY!
"Sorry Doc, I can't hear you over your jacket."
The show also featured SUPERMAN played by CHUCK WOOLERY!?…
Chuck actually makes for a pretty good Superman. Weird.
…BATMAN! That’s not ADAM WEST by the way. Can’t tell who that is, anyone know?
I think this might be the first on screen pairing of Batman & Superman.
…Lassie, YOGI BEAR and even RICK SPRINGFIELD???????!?!?!?!
This scene brought to you by Peyote!
Yes, THAT RICK SPRINGFIELD! This is one trippy preview special you have to watch. ENJOY.
WHAM-O used to make some of the best and imaginative stuff, and usually for very cheap. There was always a sense of mystery to the toys they’d make. From SUPER BALLS:
It's almost alive!
… to FRISBEES…
"A flying saucer that you command!"
… to the AIR BLASTER…
Somehow I doubt this worked as well as they made it look...
These were all the types of toys you wanted and in most cases you didn’t even know why. That was the power of the kookiness they were marketing.
They knew they weren’t selling toys, they were selling MAGIC! It wasn’t just a mere rubber ball, it was a SUPER BALL, made of exotic ZECTRON! They turned something like a simple magnet into a plastic Monster that looked like a genie from space that granted kids tremendous strength of up to 20 pounds!
What's the connection between a Genie and strength?
I know WHAM-O is still around but they just don’t seem to make stuff that stands out anymore. For more information on WHAM-O, how they got started and all the amazing things they made pick up the “Wham-O Super-Book: Celebrating 60 Years Inside the Fun Factory” by Tim Walsh.
It’s a great book filled with a comprehensive history of the company and wonderful pictures and art of their entire toy line. It’s currently $10 on Amazon.
The Super Friends underwent a major refresh in 1984 in order to compliment the totally stellar SUPER POWERS line of action figures that were introduced by KENNER.
This reinvention of the Super Friends was essentially a commercial for the toys but it also advanced the series pretty dramatically for the time. It introduced slightly more sophisticated stories like the death of Superman and a fairly accurate retelling of BATMAN’s gruesome origin. They also introduced new characters ripped right out of the comics and never before seen on celluloid, including FIRESTORM, CYBORG and DARKSEID. But the one change they made that we LOVED the most was having ADAM WEST as the voice of BATMAN.
Enjoy this neat documentary discussing the history of the SUPER POWERS series.
Epic Turd? Maybe. Still there was something hugely appealing about watching the writers of this show try to depict adventures of these wrestlers who were already larger than life, flesh and blood cartoon characters. More cartoonish in real life than any cartoon could ever hope to be. I’d say most of the wrestlers in the mid 80′s felt like escaped villains from the 1966 Batman series. BOOKWORM, EGGHEAD and the RIDDLER would have easily felt at home in the wrestling ring.
As bad as it is it still brings back good memories of snapping into many a SLIM JIM! Rest in peace Macho Man!
Continuing our behind the scenes look at Cartoon Lagoon we present a couple of sequences that were featured in the first episode but deserve a chance to shine on their own. First is a fantastic, high speed drive through the lagoon. We follow the Manta Ray as it crashes through a school of clustered classic cartoons on DVD and sometimes VHS. You see, in Cartoon Lagoon the old cartoons tend to hang out in packs and even move like schools of fish.
This second sequence is a fun, atmospheric scene of the Manta Ray approaching a classic cartoon and capturing it for the Captain and the boys to watch in the theater.
These scenes were animated by KEVIN GIRONDA and we’re particularly fond of the attention to small details he paid to the scene like the inclusion of a giant rack of bones in the bottom left and the way the lights on the ship move ever so slightly to shine on the cartoon it’s about to retrieve. Not to mention the atmospheric haze he gave all of the underwater scenes.
Who was DAWS BUTLER? Watch this small sampling and see…
And then enjoy this RARE behind the scenes tour around DAWS home studio with DAWS himself as your guide.
Not many people remember that the show “I DREAM OF JEANNIE” had an animated spin-off courtesy of HANNA-BARBERA, but it did. For those of you old enough to remember did you know that MARK HAMILL played the role of the young “MASTER”?
This was Mark’s first professional voice over job and it took place about 4 years prior to his starring role in Star Wars. Mark has said that he ended up singing the opening theme song merely by accident. Hoyt Curtain, the composer, had asked casually asked him if he could sing and being a little nervous about saying “no” he decided to say “yes” and while he was never happy with the result they left his vocals in place.
It would be almost 20 years before Mark Hamill would return to voicing cartoons with the JOKER on the highly regarded Bruce Timm series, BATMAN ADVENTURES.
FUN FACT (update): JOE BESSER, who replaced the original CURLY as CURLY JOE on the original THREE STOOGES (not to be confused with the tribute movie from 2012) was the voice of Junior Genie and comic relief, BABU.