Sunday, 31 October 2010

Disney does Sleepy Hollow

Here's a nice bit of soothing Halloween viewing for anyone who has been out partying over the weekend; it's Disney's version of The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow from the 1950s. I remember watching this as a youngster and really enjoying it but I think is one of those more "off the radar" Disney productions that aren't so well remembered now.

It's soothing viewing because it's narrated by Bing Crosby, and voices don't get much smoother than that, and there's also the damn fine classic Disney animation to enjoy. Think of it as the Halloween version of a Christmas special, it's familiar but always enjoyable and gets you in the mood for the season.

This bares very little resemblance to the Tim Burton film of recent times (which I actually like, which is surprising considering how much toss Tim Burton has made lately). It's got Ichabod, Sleepy Hollow and The Headless Horseman but the whole set up is completely different. Ichabod is a school master, there's no unsolved murders and the main conflict is between Ichabod and local tough guy Brom Bones (a prototype Gaston from Beauty & The Beast if ever I saw one) over the local rich girl, Katrina. Ichabod is more of an anti-hero as he comes of as greedy and self serving, always stuffing his face and pursuing Katrina for her wealth. He's a sneaky one, and also not quite as swoon inducing as Johnny Depp, but he does have a great scene where he wears a chicken on his head and eats his hat. Brom Bones also says 'Odds bodkins, gadzooks!' which has to be the best line in it.

It's classic stuff. Now I hand you over to Bing. Enjoy...

note: the title of the Youtube clip says that this cartoon was banned but I can't find any reason or explanation as to why so I'm not sure this is really true. Disney do like to keep a large amount of their classic films unavailable to buy so there is always demand when they are released every seven years or so. I guess this film has been deleted for a long time, but that's not the same as banning something.

Cosplay of the day #12

Mickey Mouse (again) - My Halloween 2010 costume


Saturday, 30 October 2010

A Halloween costume I wish I had made - yip yip yip yip yip yip yip

One of my favourite characters in Sesame Street have got to be the Yip Yip Martians. They may not be on merchandising or the most instantly recognizable characters from the series but they are pretty darn lovable. Basically they repeat things a lot and go 'yip yip yip yip yip yip yip'. It's great stuff.


Now that's good television!

Now imagine how I feel with Halloween upon us and a costume already sorted when I come across all these videos and photos of people in Yip Yip costumes. Gutted, that's how I felt. Well, I don't have time to make one of these but damn it I want one.

Well, there's always next year.
Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


After my last WRASSELING themed posted I've spent an alarming amount of time watching The Macho Man Randy Savage's coke fueled promos on youtube, like this, this, this and this. That's some top quality entertainment right there! So you could say that Macho-Mania is running wild with me right now, and after checking out Hulk Hogan's entry into the cartoon world it seems only right that we have a little peak at the works of Mr. Randall Mario Poffo aka The Macho Man. OOOOH YEEEEAAAAAAH!

The first thing to set him apart from the Hulkster is that Savage does his own voice over work. While he may not have a cartoon that bares his name and likeness like Hogan, he has contributed his unmistakable vocal style to a number of cartoons and some of the results are pretty great.

Here Randy provides the voice to Rasslor, the most powerful being in the universe in an episode of Dexter's Lab spin off Dial M For Monkey. Dexter's Lab was a great show so it's good to see Randy appear in a quality 'toon. They make you wait for the obligatory 'OH YEEEEAH' but if you wait you will be rewarded.

I give it 7.5/10 on the Macho-Mania Scale

We also have Randy popping up as a drill instructor with a girls name in Duck Dodgers. This isn't such a good show and it uses guest stars and celebrity references quite strangely, because what kid is gonna know who Randy Savage and former Tonight Show host Ed McMahon are? You get the feeling there are too many nods to the older viewer without it being adult or edgy enough to really work. But Macho Man is in it so it's worth a look.

I give it 5/10 on the Macho-Mania Scale

Lastly we have Randy on Space Ghost: Coast To Coast as Space Ghosts crazy grandpa and this one takes the cake. The show is one of the Adultswim shows that went out late on Cartoon network and re-used existing Hanna-Barbara characters and twisted them into completely random satires. So in this Space Ghosts is out of the crime fighting game and is a chat show host (also see Harvey Birdman for similar greatness). This episode is great because the show is already so off the wall that Randy's character fits in perfectly. There's OH YEEAAAHS galore and he even picks a fight with Rob Zombie and interviews the girl from Hanging With Mr. Cooper! Watch it and enjoy the madness.

Space Ghost - Piledriver

Rob "Louisiana" | Myspace Video

I give it 10/10 on the Macho-Mania Scale

So there you go, that should hopefully put any Macho-Mania you have at ease. The big man has also appeared in an episode of King Of The Hill, the Nickelodeon show The X's and in the film Bolt but unfortunately I've not been able to find any clips of those.
So 'till next time...

Sunday, 24 October 2010


As a young lad I was well into a bit of WWF WRASSELING! It was like a pantomime that lasted all year, just with fighting men in tasseled boots, and when you're a kid that is totally cool and not questionable at all. Of course the big dog was Hulk Hogan; a balding super star with bleach blond hair and handle bar mustache who would rip the shit out of any vest he put on. Hulk Hogan wasn't just a man, it was a brand, and Hulkamania was running wild and taking all your parents cash.

Of course there was cartoon to be made somewhere in all this hype, and it came in the form of 'Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling'. The title is inaccurate in that the show features a minimum or wrestling and rock isn't overly prominent either. You instead get a lot of capers and wacky situations involving the good guy wrestlers, led by Hogan, and the evil foreign wrestlers, led by Rowdy Roddy Piper, the most un-Scottish Scot ever (he's actually from Canada but has some Scottish roots so they lied and said he's from Glasgow). Despite not having much actual wresting in it the show did tick a lot of the same boxes that you find in the world of 'sports entertainment'; the characters are one dimensional, broadly drawn stereotypes (Tito Santana calls everyone 'amigo'), the plot set ups are ridiculous (Hulk and the gang form a band to play at the school dance?) and when there actually is any 'fighting' it's not even what you'd call a real fight (a group of muscle men have a snowball fight in a walk in freezer rather than kick the crap out of each other). So you see, it's just like wrestling... sorry, WRASSELING! Kinda.

The wrestlers in the show didn't actually do their own voices so Hulk isn't really Hulk and the Junk Yard Dog sounds kind of like Harvey Fierstein. They did, however, do some lovely live skits like this:

What the hell is up with that music? It sounds like someone's about to get stabbed. I also like the way Andre The Giant rocks up in his short shorts and the fisherman is just like "Hey, w'sup? Nothing out of the ordinary here". Well as fantastic as that little skit is the long and short of it is that this isn't a great show. It's lazy and seems a bit like Scooby Doo on steroids. For proof of the badness of this cartoon check point 1:15 on the video bellow and see how the animators can't be arsed to have the train even run on the tracks drawn in the background... super lame but super funny! At least the artists are kind enough to give Hulk a full head of hair.

So that's Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling, and if you think wrestlers doing battle of the bands and having snowball fights with kidnappers on trains is an odd thing to do with the franchise then you should take a look at how bat shit crazy the source material is! Honestly, wrestling in real life is way more loopy than this cartoon. Just check out Hulk Hogan plugging PASTAMANIA:

Still not strange enough? How about Chucky from Child's Play threatening Rick Steiner and plugging his new movie?

No, still need more... RoboCop rescues Sting from a giant cage maybe?

Maybe you'd like to see Booker T call Hulk Hogan the N word? The instant look of 'Oh shit what did I just say' is priceless!

I think the point I'm trying to make is that compared to the real life spectacle of WRASSELING, the cartoon just seems pretty normal and totally grounded in reality. Nothing sums this up better than The Macho Man Randy Savage on a major coke rant.


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Cosplay of the day #11

Mickey Mouse - DOG SPECIAL!

Oh Yogi, what have they done to you?

This was drawn to my attention late last night while moving heavy pieces of sound equipment out of a church (don't ask) and now I have had a chance to see it for myself I must say I am not amused... Yogi Bear The Movie starring Dan Akyroyd as Yogi, Justin Timberlake as Boo Boo and some dude who was in Scrubs for a bit as Ranger Smith.

It seems like Akyroyd and Timberlake do some ok-ish Yogi and Boo Boo voices but they don't sound like themselves and they don't really sound like the original cartoon characters so what's the point? Does it make it that much more of a draw to have their names at the top of the poster? Do the 6 year olds who will watch this know who Dan Akyroyd is? Do they even know who Yogi Bear is? You know they could just get some seasoned cartoon voice actors to do it near perfect any way.

Plus the trailers look painfully bland and drop in the 'IN 3D' bombshell at the end which pretty much guarantees my loss of interest. Thanks but no thanks.

Let's go back to the old school.

I must find a copy of Yogi's Christmas Special by December.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Cosplay of the day #10

Doctor Zoidberg from Futurama

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Scrooge McDuck Medallion

Sooooooooooooooooooooo pimped out!

Rock Reflections of a Superhero

I feel bad for Spider-Man these days. He's the first superhero I got into and has always been my favourite but it seems like he's not as cool as he used to be, and that doesn't make sense 'cause the man is bad ass! I've not been reading the comics for a long time but from what I gather some very dodgy stuff happened with the Civil War story where he revealed his identity, Aunt May got shot and then he made some magic deal to go back in time and un-do it, but it meant he never married Mary-Jane. Sounds messy and kinda lame. There's also been the films, which have been entretaining but that last one really dropeed the ball. How do you have some many villains and yet have them do nothing? Why the hell did you have Peter Parker go emo and do that fucking dance routine? It's also the film where Toby Mguire being a total pussy and banging on about 'great power... great responsiblity' reached saturation point. What the hell Sam Rami? Let's hope for good things with the reboot.

A lot of wrong has also been done to Spider-Man musically speaking. Not only was there that dance, but there was the soundtracks. The main song from film one was by Chad 'please punch me' Kroger from Knickleback. It's pure American growling man soft rock filth and the rest of the soundtracks don't get much better: Corey Taylor, Maroon 5, Hoobastank, Wolf Mother, Snow Patrol, Jet... I mean this is really bad. The thing about this that irks me is that this is the sort of music that they think represents Spider-Man. When I think of Spidey, American radio-man-rock does not spring to mind... but then I'd love a Spider-Man film sound tracked by Japanther but I know that's not gonna happen. Peter Parker never drove around in a jeep blasting out the Kings Of Leon damn it!

But this isn't the end of the Spidey-M.O.R. shit rock collision. No, the Spider-Man Broadway musical is coming soon and all the music has been written by FUCKING BONO AND THE EDGE from bloody U2! Why, why, why, why, why! I mean look at this man:

But wait! There's an actually decent piece of Spider-Man related music out there in the form of an album called 'Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero' released in in the 70s. The songs are all about the origins of Spider-Man, how he deals with his double life and the death of Gwen Stacey. It's full of glam-rock, prog synth wig outs and acid folk... it's pretty trippy, rather camp, full of odd lyrics and totally fun! It walks the line of serious and completely over the top perfectly. Definitely the only album you want to listen to that has a picture of Spider-Man's face on it... and the back cover is pretty incredible. Check out that backing band! Listen to the Doctor Octopus track, It's hot!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Cosplay of the day #9

Spongebob Squarepants

Sunday, 3 October 2010


A fine tradition in cartoons has been "the faceless character"; the recuring member of the cast who is never revealed on screen and makes the audience puzzle over just what the heck they really look like. So much mystery!

Some fine examples of this are:

Adults in Peanuts
To my knowledge an adult has never been shown in any of the Peanuts strips or tv series, nor are they ever heard, or at least in a way anyone watching can understand, instead there is that amazing horn sound in place of speech. The lack of a real grown up presence definitely contributes to the innocence and charm of the Peanuts series... I heart Peanuts.

The Thing Upstairs in Trapdoor
One of my all time favourite programs as a child, Trapdoor was amazing! It had lovable characters in a creepy, gross setting and there was tons of stuff going on on-screen in some great claymation. The main character, Berk, is the servant to the hideous Thing Upstairs who is never seen but can be heard yelling orders from the upper reaches of his castle. From verious bits of dialogue from Berk we get the jist the him upstairs is a pretty unsightly fellow, perhaps with lots of eyes, or arms, or mulitples of other stuff you just shouldn't have. Do we ever see any of it? Do we hell!

Nanny in Muppet Babies
Wow, another great show! While the Muppet Show had special guests every episode the Muppet Babies would take footage from famouse films and TV shows, as well as well know paintings and photos and re-use them as backgrounds or in gags. Basically there's pop culture references all over the place and with Nanny there's even a nod to the character of Mammy Two Shoes from Tom and Jerry with her bright stripey leggings and never seeing her face. Thankfully Jim Henson didn't make her a great big racial stereotype! The closest thing you get to seeing Nanny's face is in the episode 'From a Galaxy Far, Far Away' where she is revealed as a massive alien (see from 3.22 on the clip bellow).

Mammy Two Shoes in Tom And Jerry
Perhaps the archetype of the faceless character, Mammy Two Shoes is recognizable for her stripey leggings which always fall down and for yelling 'THOMAS' really loud and smacking Tom with a broom. She's also one of the many examples of cartoon racial stereotyping, it's not just Tom and Jerry who are guilty of this, it's in Disney and Warner Bros cartoons, Tin Tin and lots of others, but she is different in being a prominent recurring character rather than one who pops up for a one off unsavory joke. Mammy Two Shoes is also one the few faceless characters to have her face revealed in an episode, which happens once for a split second in the episode 'Saturday Evening Puss'. Blink and you'll miss it.

Doctor Claw in Inspector Gadget
Only ever visible as a metallic arm, Doctor Claw was the gravel voiced bad guy in Inspector Gadget. He never was shown in the cartoon but when it came to making a toy line and video game for the program it suddenly became necessary to give the bad guy a face for you to smash. When the toy came out the face was obscured in the packaging to keep you in suspense until you'd actual bought the thing.

The result is just not what I expected. Did you really think that Doctor Claw would look like an old man in a wind tunnel? No, me neither.

I think the lesson we can take from this is that if the face is hidden, keep it hidden. Let us dream.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Sesame Celebrity Highlight #3

As promised more Sesame Street musical guests and more of Mr. Ray Charles. Two amazing performances.