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.