Friday, 24 December 2010

One More Sleep 'Til Christmas

There is one day to go until Christmas! This song from The Muppet Christmas Carol (one of the best Christmas movies ever) always pops into my head when finishing work on Christmas Eve. And the other Christmas song is a great one to get you in the mood too. Listen and enjoy and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

A Muppet Family Christmas

It's a special featuring all the Muppets, Sesame Street gang and Fraggels and has a cameo by Jim Henson... what is not to love about this? Oh, and Swedish Chef also tries to cook Big Bird. Again, what's not to love?

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

This is some serious Christmas magic, the Sesame Street Christmas special from 1978. There are so many great bits in here, such as the kids explaining how Santa gets into the house on Xmas Eve, Bert and Ernie's story, the insane Cookie Monster bits and the amazing scene where Oscar gets brutally thrown down some stairs. It looks really harsh!

This should deffinately get you in a festive mood.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Remember when David Bowie introduced The Snowman?

If you were to watch The Snowman on the TV this Xmas, which you may very well do, the intro will be given by the animated Father Christmas, voiced my Mel Smith. However, once upon a time it was David Bowie who did the intro to this festive classic. Apparently he was the boy who made The Snowman. Who knew?

I'm sure there's a a snowman /cocaine / Bowie joke to be made somewhere in there...

Super Mario Xmas Decs

He-Man and She-Ra in the campest Christmas special ever!

Oh this one is a winner! You could say that this is possibly the campest Christmas specail ever made, but that would be wrong, because saying 'possibly' means that maybe something else out there could be camper than this, and that just ain't gonna happen. Watching He-Man now everything seems very tongue in cheek, and all the bad guys are the most whiney villains ever created, but this special turns it all the way up to 11. It has a big cast of characters from He-Man and She-Ra and also includes a bunch of new robot characters that look like crappy transformers, and my favourite, the imaginatively titles 'Beast Monster'. Worst monster name ever. We also see Skeletor realise the meaning of Christmas and cuddles a puppy. Oh, and She-Ra's girl hoarse with the big butch voice is pretty fun too. Good stuff.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Yogi's All Star Christmas Caper

Another classic Xmas Special from my childhood. This one is a great crossover of loads of Hanna Babara characters. It's the follow up to Yogi's First Christmas which is also good, if not better, but unfortunately doesn't seem to be easy to find online. Enjoy.

Here's one bi of Yogi's First Christmas that is online; it's Cindy's song about how she's gonna kiss Yogi under the misletoe, and boy does she want to kiss that bear BAD!

The crazy light up, musical, moving, Disney Christmas tree!

Tell me this isn't some crazy festive merch! It's just so tasteful. Go Disney!

Click here to see a big picture of this amazing tree.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Oh, it's nearly here! Here is one of my favourite Christmas tunes from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. The song has a lovly woozy shuffel to it, and Charlie Brown's dialoge is so sad. Poor little guy.

And while we're at it let's have a peek at the Christmas dance. Classic stuff!

If you ar looking for a great Christmas album that hasn't been played to death I suggest you go buy the soundtrack to this Christmas Special!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Popeye Xmas Decs

These are darn good Christmas decorations!

Popeye: Mister & Mistletoe

More festive toons, this time with Popeye. This isn't from my favourite era of Popeye but is still worth a watch.

Interesting for 3 things:
1 - Olive Oyl is a pretty easy lady. She's all over Popeye and then Santa shows up and you can't keep her away. Popeye must feel gutted.
2 - Bluto does not understand 'No means no'. This guy is gonna get in serious trouble one day.
3 - One of Popeye's nephews asks 'Did you bring me my gun Uncle Popeye'... a shocking sign of the times.

Ice Skaters and Kermit The Frog signing 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas'

Monday, 13 December 2010

Disney Christmas Carol

There are probably a billion versions of A Christmas Carol out there... or 2 billion, perhaps. One of the first I saw was the Disney version, and I'm not talking about that Jim Carrey one that looked all horrid a CGI:

I know Scrooge is meant to be all evil and old but that really does make me feel unwell.

NO! I'm talking about the Disney cartoon that had Scrooce McDuck playing Scrooge (inspired casting), and had Mickey and pals filling the other rolls, as well as character from Pinochio, Wind In The Willows and other Disney movies popping up too. It's a solid version. It's a bit short but it gets all the key plot points in there and this version has probably the best Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come in any version I've seen. For the most part this is a kiddie friendly telling of the story (for one thing you don't get Scrooge talking about people being buried with holly stabbed in their heart for liking Christmas), but the bit where Pete is the final ghost, laughing while Scrooge falls into his own grave while a flaming coffin tries to eat him is some DARK STUFF! Amazing though.

The one fault here is how short it is. Everything is present and correct in the story but nothing is really explored in enough depth. I'd have like a bit more of Scrooge beingn a total dick to everyone, more of the sadnes of his past and the Tiny Tim story, and a more of his redemption at the end... actually now I think of it, the one big thing missing from this version is the bit where Scrooge shouts out to the young lad on the street who says "Why today, Sir? Today is Christmas day." That should have been in there! Inspite of that, you should still watch this, it's a little bit of festive Disney magic. Think of it as the prototype for the Muppet Christmas Carol which is hands down my favourite version of this story.

Monday, 6 December 2010

It's a Turtle Christmas!!

Christmas is definitely on the way so it's time for me to start trawling for some festive treats. I've stumbled across this direct to VHS Ninja Turtles Christmas special, and special is definitely the word for it! This is some pretty offensive viewing. Bad to the point of being incredible and then quite possibly back to bad again. The 'live action' turtles just seem to open and close their big scary teeth filled mouths randomly, sometimes they wag along with the words, sometimes they don't, sometimes they are moving but no sound is coming out... but hey, that doesn't matter when you hear the ragga Turtle-centric rehash of 'Deck The Halls'. You will have far bigger questions that need answering.

Christmas is coming!!! Deck the halls with pepperoni!!!

Pokemon Xmas Decs

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Awesome Intro

Intro sequences to TV shows are a dying breed. They used to be a lovely set up for a show, give you a glimpse at the characters, maybe even explain things a little incase you are new to the program, but now the people making the shows realise that these intros are taking valuable seconds away from the main bulk of the show. As a result, sitcom intros go from something like this:

To this:

That Fresh Prince intro is nearly 2 minutes long! No way that would happen now. It did get cut down a bit in later episodes but it was still a hefty chunk of Will Smith and it does give you a good jist of what the story is and who the lead character is. By comparison the Ugly Betty intro is blink and you miss it, and it usually pops up a good 10 or 15 minutes into the show which just makes it seem all the more unnecessary.

This technique of chopping intro for seconds has also been applied to cartoons, most noticeably with sitcom-esque series like The Simpsons, American Dad and Family guy. As the series progress you notice them chopping the intro songs for a quick glimpse of the title as right on into the action. Now there's nothing wrong with ditching the intro everyone fast forwards through to make way for more story, but it is a bit sad that there aren't as many killer intro sequences about as there used to be. Half of the time these are the things people remember first, like the Fresh Prince intro for example. Mention that program to anyone and I guarantee that the intro song is the first thing they think of. The same goes for the Ninja Turtles or Transformers. Cartoon Network has been pretty good at keeping the awesome intro alive, with the likes of Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, Dexter's Lab and The Powerpuff Girls, which are all great shows with top notch intros. However, nothing quite holds up to the stuff you got in the 80s and 90s. This is partly to do with the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia but it also has a lot to do with the kinds of programs that were getting made then. There was a lot more action figure driven, high adventure shows on TV back then, or at least that's how it seems...

Check out the intro to the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, one of my favourite cartoon series ever. This intro packs a punch; average kids go on a ride, get thrown through time and space to some crazy world, get attacked by a badass dragon with loads of heads, get magic weapons, meet the evil wizard Venger and get sent on an epic quest... all that set up in the space of a minute. When you are a kid this is very exciting.

The same thing goes for the intro to Jayse and The Wheeled Warriors. This has a good deep voiced dude set the scene before following with an epic bit of 80s soft rock. The great thing is they explain things a bit, but none of it really makes sense. Who is Jayse? What are the monster minds? Why does Jayse have to defeat them? What's the magic root? what are the Lightning League? Who is Saw Boss? What does any of this mean? The answer is 'who cares'. There's all kinds of stuff getting smashed and some good synth-bass going on.

My favourite bit of scene setting is for Thundarr The Barbarian. The story is a bit of a mish-mash of Conan The Barbarian and Star Wars but has a really dark edge for a kids show. If you can find episodes online I recomend it highly. It's all set after the awful apocalypse of 1994 (damn!) and the settings often show destroyed landmarks such as Mount Rushmoore or Big Ben, just to scare the crap out of you that every things gonna go to pot in '94. The intro dialogue is so well written that literally everything sounds super badass. Bellow is the dialogue from the Thundarr intro and everything that is awesome is in bold and everything super awesome is in bold caps.

The year: 1994.
From out of space comes a RUNAWAY PLANET, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, UNLEASHING COSMIC DESTRUCTION !
Man's civilization is cast in ruin!
Two thousand years later, Earth is reborn...
A strange new world rises from the old:
But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice!
With his companions Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his courage, and his FABULOUS SUNSWORD against the forces of evil.
He is Thundarr, the Barbarian!

Now that is how you set up the story!

They may not really have much point after you've seen them more than once but you gotta love a good intro.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Monday, 15 November 2010

BIG Cartoon Balloons

I really want to go to America, and plan to do so in the next few years, and if I go in November there is no way I am going to miss the Macy's Thanks Giving Parade. Look at all these HUGE comic character parade balloons. It's just so freaking awesome and they've been doing this since 1924. It looks like New York is being attacked by a giant Spongebob Squarepants. They really need to make a Godzilla balloon. That'd be great.

Daffy Duck Car