Monday, December 31, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #37

This is the last Little Golden Book Monday of the year. The book I am showing this time is one that I just picked up a few days ago at a local drug store. It's always a nice surprise to find a brand new Disney related Little Golden Book when you least expect it. You would think that the official LGB web site would be a good place to alert you to the release of new books, but they never seen to be up to date, so you just have to keep your eyes peeled whenever you are out shopping.
This one is called "Your Friend the Rat" and is based on the characters from the Pixar film Ratatouille. Just like last movie when they released a book called "Mater and the Ghost Light" which was based on the short film added to the Cars DVD release, this one is based on the short film that was added to the Recent Ratatouille DVD release.
Along with the story, you also get the music and lyrics to the song "Plan B."
Now if only they would release a LGB based on the movie The Incredibles. We already have the book based on the short film that was added to The Incredibles DVD, but they forgot to release the actual movie book first.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

LOG from Blammo!

What Rolls Down Stairs
Alone Or In Pairs
Rolls Over Your Neighbor's Dog
What's Great For A Snack
And Fits On Your Back
Its Log, Log, Log!

It's Lo-og, Lo-og
It's Big, Its Heavy, Its Wood.
It's Lo-og, Lo-og
It's Better Than Bad, Its Good.

Everyone Wants A Log
You're Gonna Love It, Log
Come On And Get Your Log,
Everyone Needs A Log.

New from Blammo!, its Log! 8 inches tall, 5 inches wide, 0 points of articulation! Just like read wood!

I am not a big collector of action figures, but here is one that I wish I had purchased! This is Log, as seen on the Ren & Stimpy Show.
This ad came from an issue of Previews a few years ago. If only I had ordered one of these, I could be playing with it right now instead of typing about it in my blog!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #36

Today, the day before Christmas, I present two more of my Christmas themed Little Golden Books. Here we have Walt Disney's Santa's Toy Shop. The book is originally copywrite 1950, but I have no idea what the date of this printing is. My guess would be some time in the 80's. Very strange that there is no date for when this edition was printed. The illustrations throughout the book are by the Walt Disney Studio and adapted by Al Dempster. This particular copy used to belong to Carlee Toth.
The second book is ABC is for Christmas and is copywrite 1974. This is the Fourth Printing from 1978.
A is for Angel
B is for Bell
C is for Candle and Carol, as well
D is for Donkey
E is for Elf
F is for Fun, filling Christmas itself
G is for Gifts we give
H is for Holly
J is for Jolly
K is for Kings who came
L is for Lamb
M is for Mary and Manger and Man
N is for Noel
P is for Presents and Playthings, also
Q is for Quiet times
R is for Rose
S is for Santa Claus, Sleigh bells and Snows
T is for Tree Trimmings
U is for US
V is for Village and Visits by bus
W is Wise men and Winter and White
X is a Letter the Sign of the Christ
Y is for Yule logs that Crackle and glow
Z is for Zither - for carols, you know
We could start over, again and again, For Christmas has meanings without any end.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Disneyland Records Christmas

Here are four great Disneyland Records Christmas records I picked up recently in my thrift shop travels.
The first is Disney Christmas Favorites - The Mouse Concert plus other Yuletide Favorites. Check out this great album cover. I just love the artwork of the mice on the front and back covers of this album. I didn't photograph it, but the back cover has drawings of the various mice playing their different instruments. This copy is made in Canada, 1973, and distributed in Canada by Walt Disney Music of Canada Limited. Songs on the album are your typical Christmas fare. There are two tracks by Cliff Edwards, and one by Ludwig Mousensky and the All Mouse Symphony Orchestra & Chorus.
Second is Walt Disney's Christmas Favorites. This one is from 1958, and is a product of Pickwick International Inc (GB) Ltd, and distributed under licence from Walt Disney Productions Ltd.
The back of the album jacket has some info on Ludwig Mousensky: "This is a record that embodies all the spirits of St. Nicholas, Santa Claus and Father Christmas. In song and story, some old, some new, Mickey Mouse Record artists bring you many delightful moments on this long playing record.
Discovered under a stairway at the Disneyland Studio, the unique all-mouse symphony orchestra under the able baton of Ludwig Mousensky is undoubtedly the first and finest rodent ensemble in the world. And, we here at Disneyland records are proud to present their first recording, The Christmas Concert. Here are Christmas hymns, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, O Little Town of Bethlehem, O Come All Ye Faithful, Jingle Bells, and the popular Winter Wonderland. The Mousensky group's rendition of these songs is truly a delightful experience for all. Under the maestro, the orchestra, consisting of Skueeky, Zeke, Horace, Henrietta, Tubby, Tootie, Clarence, Pinky, Stuffy, Zooty, Hans, Fritz, Otto (these three were formerly with the Vienna's famed eutschMICEster Band), Pee Wee and Frenchy give a new dimension to these Christmas favourites. All proving that Christmas is a time for both mice and men.
Next up is Rankin/Bass presents Frosty's Winter Wonderland, Complete Story and Original Soundtrack from 1976. The complete story from the second (and not nearly as good) Frosty Christmas animated special, told and sung by Andy Griffith. Other guest voices are Shelley Winters as Mrs. Frosty, Dennis Day as the Parson, Jackie Vernon as Frosty, and Paul Frees as jack Frost. This one is also made and distributed in Canada by Walt Disney Music of Canada Limited.
Finally, we have Disney's Merry Christmas Carols, starting Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy & Chop 'n' Dale, with Larry Groce and the Disneyland Children's Sing-Along Chorus. This one also has the usual Christmas songs, including The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't be Late), I Wish it Could be Christmas All Year Yong, Here We Come A-Caroling, Sleigh Ride etc. The nice thing about the album is that the back cover has the lyrics for all eleven songs on the album so that everyone can sing along. The date on this one is 1980.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

He Sees You When You’re in Sleep Mode...

If you are a Mac or Rankin/Bass fan (or both), then you will want to check out the new “Get a Mac” ad Apple has posted on their web site that delightfully salutes the Rankin/Bass holiday specials of the past. The TV spot has animated versions of 'Mac' Justing Long and 'PC' John Hodgman accompany Santa Claus as they proceed to sing the classic Christmas tune 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'. Partway through the song, however, 'PC' decides to interject his own lyrics. The fanciful stop-motion homage is directed and animated by Drew Lightfoot, and designed by Shane Prigmore. See the ad here.
For those of you who would like to sing along, here are the lyrics to the classic song:

You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout, I'm telling you why,
Santa claus is coming to town.

He sees you when you're in sleep mode,
He knows when you're awake,
He knows when you've been bad or good, so buy a PC and not a Mac this holiday season, or any other time for goodness sake, ohh!

Who knew!?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #35

Today's Little Golden Books is Ho-Ho-Ho Baby Fozzie! by Louise Gikow and illustrated by Lauren Attinello. The book is from 1977 and features what looks like a an early version of Baby Fozzie from the Muppet Babies - the Muppet Babies didn't didn't appear on TV until 1984 and ran until 1990 on CBS.
In the story, Baby Fozzie receives the "Big Book of Jokes" from Santa Claus. Apparently Satnta got Fozzie started early with the lame jokes. Kinda makes you wonder what would have happened if Santa had given him a ventriloquism book instead.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #34

Today we have another Christmas themed Little Golden Book. This one is Donald Duck's Christmas Tree. The book is originally from 1954 - this copy is from 1993.
I love Donald Duck and Pluto, so this one is a winner. The artwork throughout the book is great, something you don't always get from some of the older Disney Little Golden Book titles. Here is one of my favorite pages from the book, which shows Pluto growling disapprovingly at Chip who is hiding out in Donald's Christmas tree.
Once again, poor old Pluto gets blamed for the shenanigans of Chip 'n' Dale, but luckily everything works out in the end.
"Well well" he said, chuckling, as he lifted them down. "So you're the mischief-makers. And to think I blamed poor Pluto. I'm sorry, Pluto," said Donald.
Pluto marched over to the door and held it open. He though Chip 'n' Dale should go out in the snow.
"Oh, Pluto!" cried Donald. "It's Christmas Eve. We must be kind to everyone, even pesky chipmunks. The spirit of Christmas is love, you know."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Original Hand Drawn Captain Canuck Artwork

original hand drawn Captain Canuck artwork
Here is a cool drawing that I received from Richard Comely some years ago when I was a member of the Captain Canuck fan club. Along with the usual fan club items such as membership card, signed comics, cards, pins etc, I also received some great hand drawn artwork by Richard Comely including this drawing of Captain Canuck with what looks like lasers coming out of his gloves - something he never had in the comic. If you look closely, you will notice that the drawing of the hand with the lasers coming out of it is on a piece of paper that has been stuck on top of the original drawing of his regular hand. Not sure why he did this drawing, but its a nice piece in my collection.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Stuffed Animal Day, 2003

Stuffed Animal Day, Teddy Bear Toss, call it what you will, but the practice of throwing stuffed animals onto the ice at hockey games has become all the rage each Christmas season, as hockey teams help to collect the stuffed critters for charity by having a Teddy Bear Toss night where fans are encouraged to bring 1 or more stuffed animals to the game and then toss them onto the ice after the home team scores the first goal. Here is one of my all time favorite photos, which shows the Hamilton Bulldogs goalie hiding in his net as the teddy bears rain down onto the ice around him.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #33

To celebrate our first big dump of snow over the weekend, I have decided to kick off our Little Golden Book Christmas. Over the next few Monday's leading up to Christmas day I will be focusing on Little Golden Books with a Christmas theme. Today's book is Frosty the Snow Man from 1969.
The book is adapted from the song of the same name and retold by Annie North Bedford, with pictures by Corinne Malvern.
I just love how the snowman is supposedly walking in his red boots, even though he has no legs and they boots are not really attached to him in any way.
And much like our large dump of snow was gone this morning when I work up for work, "Frosty the Snow Man has gone away where all snow men go on a sunny day. But he'll be back at your bidding and call whenever great heaps of snowflakes fall."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mad about Magic

I picked up this great Mad Magazine pocket novel "The Mad book of Magic and other Dirty Tricks" by Al Jaffee (1970) at a local thrift shop the other day. Bing a huge fan of magic and Mad, I was thrilled to find this amongst a bunch of romance novels and out of date computer books. Well worth my 65 cents, as this book is filled with great magic tricks, and other dirty tricks.
The forward to the book reads: [If there is one word that is the byword of all magicians that word would have to be SECRECY. In the foreword of every book ever written by a magician, the reader is always constrained never ever to reveal a trick's secrets. The reader is told that this is some sort of unwritten but nevertheless inviolate magician's code. And somehow, this code is honored by millions of readers of millions of books that show how millions of tricks are done.
But as far as we are are concerned, this is all nonsense. Our tricks do not need to be kept secret. Our tricks do not have to be hidden. Our tricks do not have to be reserved for a chosen few. Why...? Why do we fly in the face of tradition? Because our tricks do not work, that is why.
Anyway, we just don't go in for sill codes and restrictions. Go ahead and tell anyone whatever you want from this book. Tell them all you like to your heart's content. Just one little thing we ask you not do do with this book. Don't lend it. Lending means not buying. Not buying means that not only won't the tricks in this book work, but the author of the book won't work either.
And now on this entertaining, engrossing, fascination, and ofter diverting volume about which one reviewer said, "Once you've started reading, you'll certainly want to pit it down."]
Ok, I know what they just said, but I don't want to get in trouble with the Secret Magic Society, so do me a favour and don't tell any one you just read this blog.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My New Blog

If you are a fan of Disney Records, then you will want to check out my new blog, the Disneyland Records blog. Check out my most recent blog about the great Sleeping Beauty album I picked up and the great little extra I found inside!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Let's All Do the Bunny Hop

Here is another recent thrift shop find. I am always digging though the old LPs hoping to find something to add to my collection. This one was actually inside a banged up copy of a Winnie the Pooh LP. I didn't end up buying the Winnie the Pooh LP, but couldn't resist this great Peter Pan Records 45 of the "Bunny Hop". I have not listened to it yet, but I'm sure it must be good, as it is sung by Vicki Dale with the Peter Pan Orchestra. The record is from 1952 and manufactured by Synthetic Plastics Co., of Newark, NJ, and should last forever, as it states right on the record, "NON-BREAKABLE (with Normal use)."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #32

Today's Little Golden Book is Walt Disney's Peter pan and the Pirates, the 1969 (Seventh printing) edition. From the Motion Picture "Peter Pan" Based on the story by Sir James M Barrie, Illustrations by the Walt Disney Studio, Adapted by Bob Moore. I absolutely love the cover, it has such a great retro look. The quality of this copy is pretty good, but like many of the older LGB's I have, the spine is in bad shape, with pieces of the shiny coating starting to peel off.
This book also has a different back cover from what I am used to seeing. Here is a scan of the back cover which shows many of the LGB characters around the edge and the following text; "MORE THAN one billion Golden Books have gone into home of children of all nations. They are far and away the best-known series of books for young people ever published.
The Subjects of Golden Books are chosen to entertain and delight children. Many of them are about the young child's own environment, giving him a feeling of belonging. Others begin to acquaint the child with the lives of people around him and extend his awareness of the world.
Although their gay and colorful appearance does not always immediately show it, a number of Golden Books are packed with information. And behind the amusing stories in many of them is the serious purpose of helping the child prepare for difficult adjustments.
The Golden Books include versions of modern children's classics told for young listeners and, of course, a good share of the beloved fairy and folk tales.
So look closely at the Golden Books you choose from they have many imitators. You will find a listing of some of the books in the Little Golden Library on the reverse of this cover."
Here is the list from the inside back cover: "How many of these LITTLE GOLDEN BOOKS have you read?
21. Tootle
25. Taxi That Hurried
42. Little Red Riding Hood
45. Words
47. The Three Bears
101. Little Golden ABC
205. Prayers for Children
282. Animals of Farmer Jones
285. How to Tell Time
301. Five Little Firemen
305. White Bunny and His Magic Nose
309. Three Bedtime Stories
319. Little Red Caboose
337. Numbers
352. We Help Mommy
361. Counting Rhymes
369. Picture Dictionary
381. Three Little Kittens
384. Happy Birthday
385. Saggy Baggy Elephant
393. Happy Little Whale
414. Little Cottontail
415. Lassie Shows the Way
428. Home for a Bunny
343. My First Counting Book
436. Color Kittens
437. Gingerbread Man
456. Golden Egg Book
460. Manners
463. Wait-for-Me Kitten
464. Baby Farm Animals
468. We Help Daddy
473. Nurse Nancy
480. Tommy Visits the Doctor
481. Smoke the Bear
487. Golden Goose
491. Hansel and Gretel
493. A Child's Garden of Verses
498. Rumpelstiltskin
504. Seven Little Postmen
505. Peter Rabbit
506. Poky Little Puppy
511. A Visit to the Children's Zoo
512. Chipmunk's ABC
514. Thumbelina
517. Baby Animals
519. Little Red Hen
521. Fun for Hunkydory
523. Bow Wow! Meow!
528. My Kitten
534. First Golden Geography
538. Bedtime Stories
543. ABC Rhymes
548. The Little Engine That Could
550. Good Humor Man
551. Lively Little Rabbit
552. We Like Kindergarten
558. Hop Little Kangaroo
559. Betsy McCall
560. Animal Friends
561. Tom and Jerry
567. Play With me
568. Where Is the Bear?
569. Little Mommy
570. Things In My House
573. Animals On the Farm
574. So Big
576. Animal Daddies
577. Sleepytime
578. When I Grow Up
D3. Dumbo
D63. Scamp
D66. Snow White
D67. Seven Dwarfs Find a House
D78. Three Little Pigs
D79. Mother Goose
D90. Bambi
D110. Peter Pan and Wendy
D115. Cinderella's Friends
D116. Whinnie-the-Pooh, The Honey Tree
Only Golden Books bring you all these famous characters. Ask to see the newest Little Golden Books"
I own, and have read 27 of these books... How many of those have you read?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #31

Tonight's Little Golden Book is the Sesame Street, The Together Book from 1971. When I saw this one at the junk store, I immediately loved the cover. I have always loved Sesame Street and the Muppets, and this cover has a certain charm about it. It's so simple and yet so familiar.
Upon opening the front cover we see that this book features Jim Henson's Muppets. There is a large text box with the following words; "The Sesame Street Together Book was created to entertain your child as he (1) tests his logical thinking by choosing the object that will prove useful in each set of circumstances, and (2) discovers that things go more smoothly when we cooperate with each other.
This educational product was designed in cooperation with the Children's Television Workshop, creators of Sesame Street. it has independent educational value, and children do not have to watch the television show to benefit from it.
Workshop revenues from this product will be used to help support CTW educational projects."
So what did we learn from that... (1) that only boys are ready this book, (2) that we were being tricked into learning while enjoying Sesame Street as kids, and (3) that luckily for those unfortunately few souls without televising sets in the 70's, they could read this book and enjoy it, even without watching the Sesame Street TV program.
I'm not sure, but I bet I owned this book as a child.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #30

Today's Little Golden Book is Jim Henson's Kermit, Save the Swamp! from 1992. Any book with Fozzie Bear on the cover has to be part of my collection! I happen to think Fozzie Bear is the funniest bear ever, even if Statler and Waldorf give him so much grief during his comedy routines.
The story finds Kermit and Fozzie heading on vacation to the swamp, just in time to find that it is being turned into Swamp World, a big shopping mall and amusement park. Kermit aranges a Good-Bye Swamp party for the friends of the swamp, where Kermit reminds all the animals who live there that they are about to lose everything including their homes, as the whole thing gets paved over to make way for the mall and amusement park.
"Well, there's just one thing to do," Fergus the beaver says in his loud growly voice. "tell them we don't want Swamp World here after all!"
"Kermit, you did it" said Fozzie as everyone cheered. "You saved the swamp. But I still feel bad about one thing."
"What's That? Kermit asked.
"I really like amusement parks," Fozzie replied.
"Well, Fozzie," Kermit answered, "look at it this way. There are lots of amusement parks. But a good swamp is hard to find!"
That may be true, but you usually don't have to worry about getting eaten by an aligator while ridding the merry go round!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Tonight is Halloween night. What am I doing to celebrate Halloween this year? I am doing to Seattle to see one of my favorite bands, Nightwish, live. If you have not heard of Nightwish, they are an amazing metal band from Finland that combines melodic metal with operatic vocals. I saw them in 2004 when they did a handfull of shows in the US, and it was one of the best shows I have ever seen. They have a new singer now, so I am looking forward to seeing how she handles the vocals on all the old songs, as well as hearing the new songs. Should be an amazing show!
Seen here is the cover to a Casper the Friendly Ghost and Wendy the Good Little Witch book from Wonder Books, 1974 (originally printed in 1963).

PS: ABC aired It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown last night, so I recorded it while I was at work and then came home and watched it with my son. He doesn't usually sit though TV shows, but he got on the couch and sat quietly and intently watched the show with me. When it got to the part where the Peanuts kids go Trick or Treating the kids all announce what they received, Charlie Brown says "All I got was a rock", Kaden began to giggle, which I thought was funny since that has always been a favorite line of mine, and I was surprised that a 2 year old would get the humor. I guess he really is my son!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #29

Today's Little Golden book is The Pink Panther in the Haunted House. I have always been a big Pink Panther fan and I also love anything to do with haunted houses, so this book was a great find. This copy is a third printing from 1980.
The story has the Pink Panther buying a new home, which happens to be haunted by a ghost I especially like the real estate salesman in the story who is the character from the Pink panther cartoons. I'm not sure of him name, but he's the guy that always ends up being tormented by the Panther in each cartoon.
The story is a fun read, and I found myself being reminded of the Cat in the Hat book I enjoyed so much as a child. A great addition to my collection, and a fun read to boot!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Linus Believes! He keeps the faith every October 31st. And Sally's right there with him in the pumpkin patch. They don't care who laughs - Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy - what do those skeptics know about the transcendental mysteries of the Great Pumpkin?
Perhaps the greatest Halloween tradition of them all, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It's not Halloween if you don't watch this classic cartoon on TV before Halloween night. And last year I even found a down loadable copy of the Great Pumpkin record which is now in my iTunes library ready for listening again this year. I also picked up this neat paperback edition of the story which I will share with my son this year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Some Great Halloween Comic Reading

Being that Halloween is less than a week away, I thought I would post some recent comics that would make for some great Halloween reading.
First off we have Slave Labor Graphics Haunted Mansion comic which is based on the famous Disneyland attraction of the same name. Shown here is the most recent issue, #6. SLG obtained the rights to some great Disney properties including Tron, Gargoyles, Alice in Wonderland and the Haunted Mansion. Being a big Haunted Mansion fan and collector, this series was a no brainer. I was a little disappointed that SLG went with an anthology series instead of a continuing story, but each issue still manages to provide some fun reading.
Second we have another of SLG's Disney comics, Gargoyles. Again, I was a big fan of the show when it was on TV back in 1994, so when I saw this title I was also very interested. This series is very cool, as it is written by Gargoyles creator Greg Weisman and is written as a continution of the TV series as the creator envisioned. They have done a great job of creating stories that really feel like they have come right out of the cartoon series. The illustrations are done by David Hedgecock, Karine Charlesbois and Gordon Purcell and and looks great!
And finally we have the most recent comic version of Jason Voorhees and the Friday the 13th series. After comic runs in Topps, Avatar, Chaos Comics, the series now finds a home at Wildstorm, where already more than a handful of series titles have been released. This most recent one is titled Friday the 13th: How I Spent My Summer Vacation, a two issue limited series. This one is suggested for mature readers, and for good reason, as it is filled with lots of what you would expect from a Friday the 13th film - suspense, nudity and gore!
Check them out at your local comic shop this Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #28

It's Higitus-Figitus magical mirth!
Ok, I'm back... did you miss me? For today's Little Golden Book, I decided to go with something to go along with the Halloween theme since Halloween is just nine days away. What I came up with was the 1974 "Walt Disney's Donald Duck and the Witch Next Door".
The story here dose not have anything to do with Halloween directly, but it does feature a witch, who's house is made of candy, and Huey, Dewey and Louie do find some spiders and cobwebs in the attic.
While flipping though this book, I knew I recognized the witch character, but could not figure out why? A quick trip to the web site, and a quick flip though my copy of "Disney A to Z" by Dave Smith, and I figured out that she was the witch from the 1963 Disney animated film "The Sword in the Stone" and her name was Madam Mim.
I realized that although I am a big Disney fan and own most of the Disney animated films in one form or antoher (including this one), I have never actually sat down and watched this one all the way though. I guess I will have to dust off my VHS copy of "The Sword in the Stone" and watch it with my son Kaden some time in the next 9 days.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday will Return...

My computer is at the shop being upgraded, and my digital camera just died, so putting together something for today isn't working out. Everything should be back to normal next week. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #27

Today's Little Golden book is "The Three Bears" (1981 printing). The reason I am posting this one, is that I thought it was kind of a unique find.
So, today I present for you the 3 "The Three Bears" books!
First off, back on Monday, September 10th, I posted the Little Golden Book "The Three Bears" for the Little Golden Book Monday #24. But this new copy was totally different. I had never seen this Little Golden book before, and I was amazed to find two copies. I thought it was pretty odd that after never seeing this version of the "Three Bears" before, I would find two copies at my local thrift shop, both on the same day. But then I was even more puzzled to see that both these new copies had belonged to the same person!
If you check out the picture (to the left), of the inside front cover, you will see I have placed the second books signature along with the first signature, and they are obviously the same signature. Both copies belonged to Kimberly.
So this then is the puzzle... Why would a child (I assume it was a child) have two copies of the same book?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Shopping in the Mall is a Family Affair

Shopping in the Mall is a Family Affair... who knew? Apparently the owners of this mall in Fremont, Nebraska knew this in the 60's, as they put out this lovely postcard for the Fremont Mall letting everyone know that malls indeed are a great place for families to spend some quality time together!
Judging from the empty parking lot in the picture, I would guess that the owners of the Fremont Mall would like a whole lot more families to show up and enjoy their mall!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

More Black Hole

I found another great Black Hole item the other day. This one is the illustrated adaptation of the exciting Walt Disney productions film The Black Hole. Its from Golden and published by Western Publishing Company, Inc, 1979 with a cover price of $1.50. Its the size of a magazine, and looks like a comic book inside with typical comic book artwork and text.
Text from the inside front cover: Imagination, Black Holes, and Disney. Do black holes really exist? Can we travel to, through, and beyond them? What will we find if we do? Nobody really knows! It took some brilliant imaginations (Einstein and his contemporaries) to come up with the concept, but that concept is still just talk.
Scientists tell us black holes are formed when a star burns out, and collapses on itself. it becomes so dense that it exerts a tremendous gravitational pull, so great that nothing, not even light, can escape!
Nobody has ever seen a black hole. They are the ultimate monster man's imagination has produced. Some scientists claim that black holes will eventually devours the entire universe.
Walt Disney Productions has taken this monster and made it frighteningly real, in the movie "The Black Hole." The special effects show us, up close, what it might be like to journey to a black hole.
Disney has always made use of special effects and animation to make the unbelievable seem true. In "Mary Poppins", Mary's combination of live action with animated characters added a dreamlike quality to the film.
Fifteen years later, in "The Black Hole" special effects play an equally important role in giving the deep space setting a chilling sense of reality. Suddenly the scientist's dream has come alive as a terrifying truth!
A new automated camera has been developed to give the models of spacecrafts more realistic movement though the stars. The models look so realist, that you will believe they could fly. In fact, as you watch, they become fully functioning spacecrafts, carrying you vast distances away from Earth, and across the galaxies. And once again, that most magical element of all - imagination - has got the better of you!
Imagination. It's the thing that makes a shadow into an evil creature about to pounce - that turns a neighbor's squeaking footsteps into an approaching intruder, and it's the element that allows us to be so frightened, thrilled, astonished, and entertained at the movies.
Black holes do not exist as far as we know, but as log as imaginations do we can travel with the crew of the Palomino as their journey becomes our journey, and the story of The Black Hole unfolds.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #26

Tonight the Fall TV season kicked into high gear, with some great season premiers. In honor of all the great TV viewing I was going to be doing tonight, I wanted to present a Little Golden Book with a TV on the cover. When I realized that wasn't going to happen, I started looking my collection of a picture of a TV inside one of the books. After flipping though more than 30 of them, I found Disney's Goof Troop Great Egg-Spectations (1992) which has the following two page spread showing Bubbles the dinosaur watching TV and eating munchy marshmallows.

Goof Troop was an animated series created and produced by Walt Disney Television Animation from 1992 until 1993 on ABC and on The Disney Afternoon. It centers around the families of the classic Disney characters Goofy and Pete. The character voices in the series were provided by Bill Farmer (Goofy), Dana Hill (Max), Rob Paulsen (P.J.), Jim Cummings (Pete), April Winchell (Peg), Nancy Cartwright (Pistol) and Frank Welker (Waffles the Cat & Chainsaw the Dog). I was a big fan of Goof Troop when the show originally aired on TV. Next door neighbors Pete, Max, Peg and Pistol were always great for a laugh.
I look forward to Disney releasing the series on DVD, as I would love to share it with my son.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dumpy the Turtle

Here is a silly little book I picked up recently at a thrift shop for 10 cents. I picked it up simply because the cover made me giggle. Dumpy the turtle. I thought that Dumpy had to be the name of a turtle from Europe or some other country where perhaps Dumpy meant something completely different from what it meant to me. But when I opened the front cover I found that the book was published by the Samuel Lowe Company, Kenosha, Wisconsin, 1970. Written by Lucy Macdonald and illustrated by Cathryn Taylor.
Here is what is says about Dumpy on the inside front cover:
Once there was a little turtle who lived in the woods at the edge of a pond. He had a heavy shell which weighed him down so that he got around very slowly. He was SO slow that he was called Dumpy.
So... next time one of your friends or co-workers seems to be going in slow motion, you can now call them Dumpy! Makes sense to me.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

2007 TV Guide Fall Preview: Returning Shows

The 2007 TV Guide Fall Preview Returning Shows issue came out last week. As I did with the previous New Shows issue of TV Guide, I purchased this issue online via the
Zinio web site. This issue covers 130 of the hottest returning shows. Here is a list of the Returning shows I am going to be tuning into each week:

1) Heroes
2) How I Met Your Mother
3) Two and a Half Men
4) Rules of Engagement

5) 'Til Death

6) My Name Is Earl
7) 30 Rock
8) The Office
9) Supernatural

10) Jericho
11) Monk
12) Psych

Just watching these 12 returning shows this season will take up 8 1/2 hours a week... Looks like I have a lot of TV watching to do. I am off now to watch the first two shows I recorded tonight, Back to You and 'Till Death.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #25

Today's Little Golden Book Monday, I present a pair of books based on Walt Disney's 1940 animated feature Pinocchio. When I saw the second book with a different cover, I thought that it was the same book with a new cover, and was surprised to see that it was totally different from the first version with completely different text and drawings.
The first version was originally printed in 1948 (this edition is the fifty-first printing from 1981). This story was adapted by Campbell Grant from the Walt Disney motion picture "Pinocchio", based on the story by Collodi, with illustrations by the Walt Disney Studio. Inside the front cover it says, "Little Golden Books here bring you, in gay color, delightful stories and illustrations adapted from the world-famous Walt Disney Motion Pictures. In them you will find Pinocchio, The Three Little Pigs, Bambi, Dumbo, Cinderella, Peter Pan, as well as many other well-loved Disney characters.
The second was originally printed in 1953, and this newly released edition looks wonderful. It has been digitally scanned and restored by Tim Lewis of Disney Publishing Worldwide and Ron Stark of S/R Labs. This second version of the story includes a few scenes that are not in the first book including the scene with Monstro the whale.
This must be a great book, as on back cover there is a "Best Classic Toys" Winner stamp from Dr. Toy, and I am sure Dr. Toy doesn't just give these stamps out willy nilly to any old thing.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

2007 TV Guide Fall Preview: New Shows Issue

Ok, so as I have blogged before there is no more TV Guide in Canada. But that hasn't stopped me from checking out the TV Guide Fall Preview; New Shows issue. Since there is no print edition in Canada, I decided to download the electronic version (cost $2.49) from Zinio, an online electronic magazine distributor. I have also got a friend in the US picking up a copy of the American version of the magazine to mail to me - but for now, I have the computerized edition.
Let me just say that as long as I can pick up hard copies of my favorite magazines, I will continue to do so. I much prefer having the hard copy lying around the house, which I can pick up any time I feel, as opposed to having to sit at my computer to read. I also find it a bit absurd that they charge almost the same price for the downloadable version as it cost for the hard copy editions. For TV Guide, you save 50 buying the online version as opposed to the hard copy edition. I guess they feel that this new electronic version is the way of the future, but for me, I feel that the online version should be cheaper than the hard copy... a lot cheaper! Until the cost of the online versions drops drastically or the hard copies go away all together, I will stick with picking up my magazines at the local news stand
Now on to the issue at hand... or computer screen as it were. The cover says "the scoop on 78 hot new shows!". How many of those 78 do you think will make it past a few episodes before the networks pull the plug on them? It seems they are giving new shows less and less time to establish a following before they decide to cancel them. One exception would be last seasons Jericho, which was canceled after the first season, but then brought back to life as a mid season replacement show this season after a large amount of pressure from its fans - me included! I was greatly disappointed to find out it had been canceled after the first season, especially since the last episode of season one was left as a cliff hanger! Luckily the show will get to give the show a conclusion this season. something not all shows get to do... don't get me started on Gilligan's Island!
Here is the full 2007 Prime Time show grid. It will be fun to check this out in a few months to see which of these shows are still on the air and which have been given the axe.

PS: If anyone reading this would like a copy of this issue or the following issue (Returning shows), just post a message in the comments and I can send you a copy. Part of the purchase agreement from Zinio says that I can send the issues I purchase to other people - they even give me a button at the top of the Zinio reader which allows me to do it. So go ahead and ask!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Happened to Fraidy Cat?

While flipping though some old pictures I had collected from various Disney web sites, I came across this great desktop I had made (at the bottom of this story) for a Disney movie that was to have been released in 2009. The title of the film was "What Happened to Fraidy Cat?"
From Jim Hill Media: It was to have been Ron'n'John's first computer animated feature. A comedy thriller that affectionately paid tribute to the films of Alfred Hitchcock. And -- according to WDFA insiders -- the rough story reel version of this picture was playing as well as anything that Ron Clements & John Musker had ever produced.
(For those of you who haven't figured out who Ron'n'John are yet: Ron Clements & John Musker are the writers / directors of such Disney animated hits as "The Great Mouse Detective," "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "Hercules" and "Treasure Planet." Over the past 20 years, these gifted filmmakers are personally responsible for billions of dollars pouring into Disney's corporate coffers.)
So if a picture that these two guys (with their proven track record) have helped create is playing this well in story reel form, you have to assume that Walt Disney Feature Animation is naturally going to be putting that project in production, right?
Well, that's where you'd be wrong, folks. "Fraidy Cat" (which was originally scheduled to be released in late 2009) isn't going into production. In fact, this project was actually shelved last month. Which is the main reason that Musker & Clements -- after 31 years of working for Walt Disney Feature Animation -- are exiting the studio on September 11th and heading for ... parts unknown.
"Wait a minute?," you sputter, "If people inside WDFA are saying that 'Fraidy Cat' actually looked that good, then why isn't Disney then putting this picture into production?" Ah, that's where this cat's tail ... er ... tale gets interesting.
To read the rest of the story about this film, click over to Jim Hill Meadia to read the rest of the story.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #24

Tonight's Little Golden book is The Three Bears. We all know the story of the three bears. Nothing new here, but it does have some great artwork. I especially like the front cover. The look on the little girls face is priceless. Just what exactly is little bear doing to her?
This book is originally from 1948, and reprinted in 1976. "This is one of the Little Golden Books which bring children the best of the world's folk tales with fresh illustrations by outstanding children's book artists. Feodor Rojankovsky's pictures for books published in this country and in Europe have endeared him to children the world over."
...Goldilocks opened her eyes and she saw the three bears. "Oh!" said Goldilocks. She wa so surprised that she jumped right out of the window and she ran all the way home. And she never saw the house in the forest again.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Couple of Disaster Novels

Ok... who doesn't enjoy a good disaster movie? I know I do! Here are two great novels I found recently based on a couple of disasters. One is based on a movie, and the other is the basis of a movie "coming soon".
Roller Coaster is a novel by Burton Wohl and based on a screenplay by Richard Levinson & William Link. I am actually very interested in seeing this movie as I am a big coaster fan and was a subscriber of the Coaster Radio podcast. When the movie was rereleased on DVD a year or two ago, they did a podcast commentary that you could listen to while watching the movie. Being as I found the Coaster Radio guys so much fun to listen to, I am dying to get a copy of the movie so I can watch the flick while listening to their commentary. The problem is I am having a tough time finding any video rental places around town that have a copy of Roller Coaster. It looks like I will have to finally break down and buy a copy from
The second novel is The Tower by Richard Martin Stern. The cover of the book says "Coming soon as Irwin Allen's productions of The Towering Inferno. A film based in part on this novel". This movie I remember seeing the Towering Inferno at the Drive In back in the 70's, and still enjoy watching it any time its on TV.
Since I found these, I have been keeping my eyes open for novel versions of Earthquake and Airport to fill out my disaster novel collection.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #23

Today's Little Golden book is a great Walt Disney World 25th Anniversary collectible. It's from 1997 and called Disney's Special Collectors Edition Mickey's Walt Disney Wold Adventure. I picked this book up this weekend at a local thrift shop. The strange thing is that I had never seen this book before, but ended up finding two copies at two separate thrift shops on the same day. I bought both.
The book shows Mickey and Minnie Mouse touring around WDW, and riding all the rides. At one point in the story when they are on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, Huey, Dewey and Louie show up in the boat with them. And at the end of the book, Goofy shows up to give Mickey his brand new drum major's hat that he had misplaced.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Fall TV Preview Issue

It's September and that means the new TV season is just about here. Usually this means I am excited about two things; 1) all the new shows to check out, and 2) the special editions of the TV Guide with the Fall Previews. But as I blogged back in November 2006, the Canadian edition of TV Guide ceased publication, so, there will be no TV Guide Fall Preview issues this year. So instead, I picked up the TV Week Fall Preview issue. Although it has a listing of new shows etc, it really doesn't seem the same... it's just not the TV Guide tradition I am used to for the past 20 years.
Enough of my disappointment in the folding of TV Guide... let's get to the new shows.
This issue of TV Week lists 45 new shows, and these are the shows I will be tuning in to and checking out this fall (I'll give each show a rating out of 5 for how much I am looking forward to it - 5 being the ones I am most excited about):

CHUCK (5) - A nerdy computer geek accidentally downloads a secret government computer program concealing all the agency's intel within coded images, giving him instant recall of classified info and a unique ability to connect the dots to thwart all manner of terrorist threats. While keeping his busy day job at the "Nerd Herd" within a big-box electronics store, Chuck covertly assists his feuding NSA/CIA handlers.

THE BIG BANG THEORY (3) - In this geeky sitcom, a pair of brilliant nerds can tackle the toughest mathematical equations, but are completely stymied by their sexy - and not particularly smart - new neighbor.

SAMANTHA WHO (3) - After emerging from an eight-day coma following a car accident, Samantha Newly has total amnesia - and is horrified to discover what a nasty piece of work she it. This comedy follows her not-always-successful attempts to repair the mistakes of the past while learning about the rotten person she used to be.

JOURNEYMAN (2) - A San Francisco newspaper reporter mysteriously stars travelling back in time (but only within the confines of his lifetime), and discovers he must alter events in the past to effect changes in the present. Along the way, he reconnects with his estranged former flame, which complicates his rocky relationship with his wife, who doesn't buy the time-travelling excuse to explain his frequent disappearances.

CARPOOLERS (4) - A quartet of male suburban neighbours band over java and a lame Air Supply songs during their morning commute to work.

REAPER (5) - On his 21st birthday, a chronic underachiever discovers his parents sold his soul to the devil when he was just a baby, and now he must work for Lucifer as a sort of bounty hunter, tracking down evil souls who have escaped from Hell with the help of his wisecracking slacker buddy.

BACK TO YOU (1) - After an on-air meltdown derails his career, pompous LA anchorman Chuck Darling returns to the mid-level Pittsburgh station he abandoned 10 years earlier, where he wasn't exactly beloved by caustic co-anchor Kelly Carr, and the sparks fly in this workplace sitcom.

PUSHING DAISIES (5) - In this quirky comedy with a procedural crime twist, a shy pie-maker has the power to bring the dead back to life with a single touch - then sends them back to the great beyond with a second - a skill that he lends to a PI by briefly reviving murder victims so they can recall who killed them. But when he re-encounters his long-lost love (unfortunately, at her funeral), the gift of life he gives her will only last if they never touch.

BIONIC WOMAN (3.5) - Less a remake than reinvention of the cheesy 1970's superhero series, grad student/bartender Jamie Sommers is almost killed in a horrific car crash, but is then rebuilt with top-secret technology that requires she and her awesome new powers to be at the disposal of a shadowy government agency. But all bets are off when she meets her bionic predecessor, who's broken away and gone rouge.

MOONLIGHT (1) - Mick St. John is a Los Angeles PI with a secret - he's actually a vampire, but chooses to use his dark powers to help the living.

There is also a mid season replacement show I am excited about called THE IT CROWD, which is a remake of the hit Britcom following computer nerds as they keep the bits and bytes flowing at a major corporation. I have been watching the original British episodes on Tech TV and its one of the funniest new shows I have seen in a long time. Hopefully the American remake is as good.