Monday, November 29, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #133

Today's Little Golden Book is Tweety and Sylvester in Birds of a Feather, from 1992. I didn't expect to like the artwork inside this book, as the generic Warner Brothers cartoon artwork of the 70's and 80's was pretty awful. But this book really surprised me with some very inspired artwork by Joe Messerli. I was also a little put off by the fact that it said Tweety and Sylvester on the cover, as I have come to dislike Tweety over the years. Don't get me wrong, he was a great foil for Sylvester in the old WB cartoons, but make no mistake, Sylvester was always the star of those cartoons.
I always saw Tweety as the character you needed to give Sylvester something to do in his cartoons. But Sylvester didn't 'need' Tweety, as was evident is the awesome 1948 Chuck Jones directed "Scaredy Cat". If you haven't seen it (or haven't seen it in a long time), you need to seek it out. I guarantee it will make you chuckle.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #132

Today's Little Golden Book is The Koala Brothers; Mitzi's Day Out. I didn't realize that the Koala Brothers was a Disney property until I opened the book and saw the Playhouse Disney logo inside. I had never heard of the Koala Brothers before finding this book, but I liked the cover. The photo of the 3D characters reminded me of the cool 3D View Master reels of my favorite Disney characters, Flintstones, Bugs Bunny and so many others that I enjoyed as a kid... and still do today!
Here is what a Koala Brothers View Mater reel might look like ;-)
Joe Liptak working on one of his sets for the View-Master reel of "Peter Pan."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Heckle and Jeckle Visit the Farm

Yesterday we visited a few of our local thrift shops and I came home with some really neat stuff including this Wonder Book, Heckle and Jeckle Visit the Farm. The copyright for the book is 1958, but this particular edition is from 1983. I have always been a fan of Heckle and Jeckle and back when I used to still get up early to watch cartoons, I used to get pretty excited when they would toss in a Heckle and Jeckle cartoon in the mix of usual Bugs Bunny, Casper and Popeye cartoons. I can also remember back in the 80's before VCRs became popular, you could actually pay to see cartoons in a little cartoon hut at the mall. Once I got this book, it got me to thinking about those little cartoon huts. I can remember that they had one in the Surrey Place Mall and than when I was working at the A&A Records and Tapes shop, I would use my breaks to run over to the Sears, where they had one such cartoon hut in their stairwell leading out to the parking lot. For just a quarter, you could sit and watch a full length (roughly six minutes) cartoon. I loved it because it only played Terry Toons and your odds of seeing a Heckle and Jeckle cartoon were pretty good.
After a short Google search, I found this guys site where he showed off his very own original Kiddierama Theatre. Be sure to check out his site to see who these things actually worked. Now a days, a quick YouTube search will instantly bring up a whole bunch of Heckle and Jeckle cartoons to view in the comfort of your own home. Pretty amazing to think back and realize how much things have changed in just 30 years.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #131

Today's Little Golden Book is Baby's Mother Goose Pat-A-Cake. This copy is a seventh printing from 1971, with the original copyright being 1948. The quality of this copy is not that great, but I had never seen it before and I liked the 50's style artwork on the cover. Inside the book is a cute illustration of a cat playing a violin with this note about the artist: While this is Aurelius Battaglia's first children's book he has done murals for children's rooms and worked in the Disney Studio. He studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., and now lives in New York City.
I thought it was funny that they listed his accomplishments as doing murals on children's room walls and working for Disney. It's pretty hard to decide which should come first on your resume.
Along with the cover, I have scanned a few of my favorite pages from the book, including a two page spread of Little Miss Muffet and the last page of the book, Rock-a-bye baby. I've always thought that so many of the young children's nursery rhymes and songs are kind of morbid and/or depressing. This one is a cheerful story of a little baby in a cradle stuck up in a tree, and eventually falling to the ground, bough, cradle, and all. I did learn something from this though, as I don't think I have ever included the word "bough" in the last line of the song when I have sung it. I'll have to remember to add that next time I have occasion to sing this tune.
[Ed note, here is the fun learnin' part of the blog. Bough -noun, a branch of a tree, esp. one of the larger or main branches.]
Lastly I have scanned the inside back cover and back cover of the book. The inside back cover lists the current titles for 1971 and the back cover is one I don't see very often. I love the 'eyes' in the letters GB. And by the looks of it, I would guess that the Donald Duck at the bottom left of the back cover was done by Aurelius as one of his bedroom wall illustrations.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Retro Cap'n Crunch

Not sure how I missed this, but apparently The Quaker Oats Company released Retro Cap'n Crunch boxes this past summer. Although I am a huge fan of sugary cereal box art, I don't spend too much time looking in the cereal isle anymore as there really hasn't been many new boxes worth adding to my collection over the past number of years. Here in my area, we only get the regular Cap'n Crunch. I used to have to travel down across the boarder into the US to pickup my Peanut Butter Crunch which was my favorite, along with what ever goofy new concoctions they would come up with such as Vanilla Crunch and Volcano Crunch. I'll be sure to have a look next time I visit the grocery store, but I won't hold my breath, as I am sure us Canadians will get hosed and miss out on there awesome looking retro boxes of sugary cereal.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Ding Dongs Ain't Ding Dongs in Canada

Sometimes you just gotta know! While surfing the Interweb Tubes tonight I saw a picture of an old Ding Dong package.
That got me to thinking about those tasty little cakes filled with magically delicious filling and covered in a chocolaty coating. Ok, I'll admit its been years since I've had one, but its not entirely the fault of the tasty little treat, but more to do with the fact that here in Canada we don't have Ding Dongs, instead we have the exact same tasty treat, but with a different name... King Don. I'm pretty sure that when I was a kid they were called Ding Dongs here in Canada, and I remember loving them. I was always begging mom to buy a box when we were in the bakery section of the local grocery store. But then as time went on and I got to be a teenager I can remember noticing the box in my local grocery store, and wondering why it said King Don? It looked a lot like a Ding Dong, so what had happened? Somehow a King Don just didn't seem as appealing as a Ding Dong, and I haven't had one since. So tonight when I saw the original package, I had to do a Google search to see just why that tasty treat had changed its name. Here is what I found on Wikipedia:
The Ding Dong is similar to other cream-filled cakes, such as Arcade Vachon's Jos. Louis introduced before 1934 and still in production. Hostess began marketing its Ding Dong in 1967. The name was given to coincide with a television ad campaign featuring a ringing bell. The company marketed the snacks on the East Coast as Big Wheels, to avoid confusion with the Ring Ding, a similar (and pre-existing) treat by Drake's Cakes. The names were consolidated in 1987, when a short-lived merger of Drake's with Hostess' parent company (then Continental Baking Company) briefly resolved the Ring Ding/Ding Dong conflict. When the merged company broke up, however, Hostess was forced to cease, once again, using the Ding Dongs name in areas where Ring Dings were available. The compromise sound-alike name King Dons lasted until Interstate Bakeries Corporation, which had recently merged with Hostess' parent company, bought Drake's in 1998. The Hostess product is now sold under the name Ding Dongs throughout the United States. However, the snack is still sold as the King Don in Canada.
Hostess created the "King Ding Dong" cartoon character to advertise the Ding Dong: an anthropomorphized Ding Dong sporting a crown and sceptre. He was similar to other Hostess characters Twinkie the Kid and Fruit Pie the Magician. Where King Dongs were marketed, the character, like the product, was known as King Dong. In areas that used the "Big Wheel" name, the character was an Indian chief named "Chief Big Wheel".
American Dings Dongs (recent packaging)
  Canadian King Dons (not recent packaging)

I'm pretty sure that after this post I am going to have to check out the bakery section of my local Safeway next visit to see if I can find a package of those tasty little treats to bring home with me.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Little Golden Book Monday #130

Today's Little Golden Book is Walt Disney's, Donald Duck's Toy Sailboat. Donald Duck has always been my favorite Disney character (followed closely by Pluto) and I find myself picking this book up every time I find it in a thrift shop, hoping to find a mint copy. This is definitely one of the books I seem to see most often, but almost always they are in pretty dog eared shape. This copy from 1990 is in decent shape and even with a bit of scuffing on the cover around the edges its still probably the best copy I have. Without looking, I would guess that I have 4 or 5 of this book in my collection from various years and differing conditions. Although I have not spent the time to catalogue my complete collection of Little Golden Books yet, I do regularly use my iPhone to visit this blog to check out what books I have already posted, which has actually saved me from buying multiple copies of a number of books!
This book, originally from 1954, has great artwork produced under the supervision of the Walt Disney Studio. The story  is adapted by Samuel Armstrong from the motion picture Chips Ahoy. I particularly like this illustration of a mischievous Donald pouring water onto the small toy boat as Chip & Dale try desperately to pump out the water before they sink!