A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. This first premiered on November 20, 1973, on CBS and won an Emmy Award. Great Thanksgiving special as always with the earlier Peanuts.

The Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Peanuts specials I always looked forward to. The way their world was only for kids where grownups were heard but only as noise in the background.

It starts off with Lucy tempting Charlie Brown with that football. Just one time I wanted to see Charlie kick the football…or Lucy.

It’s Thanksgiving and Peppermint Patty invites herself and Marcie over to Charlie Brown’s house but Charlie and Sally are ready to go to their grandmothers. Charlie talks to Linus and he suggests having two Thanksgiving dinners.

The only thing Charlie can come up with is feeding his friends toast and cold cereal which does not make Peppermint Patty happy whatsoever. She lets Charlie have it really bad until Marcie reminds her that she invited herself over.

Not going to give it away for those who have not seen this wonderful holiday cartoon. The music by Vince Guaraldi is excellent and makes every Peanuts cartoon special.

Dr Seuss – The Sneetches

It only lasts around 12 minutes and it was squeezed in between Green Eggs and Ham and The Zax. They were packaged in a program called Doctor Suess On The Loose.

The Sneetches teaches us all that we are all the same no matter who we are or what we look like… and the stupidity of discrimination. I would wait all year for these 3 great segments…

There were two different types of Sneetches that live near the beach. The Star-Belly Sneetches have stars on their bellies. They believe that the star makes them more important than the Plain-Belly Sneetches who do not have stars. The Star-Belly Sneetches brag that they are the best on the beach and will not play games or socialize with those without the star.

sneetches.jpg

One day Sylvester McMonkey McBean arrives and announces that he can solve the problem for the Plain-Belly Sneetches for a small price. They agree to his offer. The Plain-Belly Sneetches enter a large machine and pop out with a star on the bellies. The Star-Belly Sneetches are angry because they no longer feel superior. They decide to pay Sylvester McMonkey McBean to take off their stars. The Sneetches pay to put on, take off, and put on the stars for the rest of the day.

Eventually, the Sneetches run out of money and Sylvester McMonkey McBean leaves with all their money. He leaves saying that a Sneetch never learns. However, the Sneetches did learn a lesson that day. They decide that no kind of Sneetch is better than another. They forgot about the stars and became friends.

A toast! Raise your marshmallow stick!

A toast! Raise your good fellow stick!

A toast to the silly gimmick-ick

That we have here and thar

Sound off and let the welcome ring

So what to your star-spangled thing?

A toast! Raise your marshmallow stick!

A toast! Raise your good fellow stick!

And pooh pooh pooh to your bellied star!

https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Selected-Works-of-Dr-Seuss/the-sneetches-summary/

Wait Til Your Father Gets Home…

An adult primetime cartoon in the early seventies. The father is voiced by Tom Bosley who is better known as Mr. C or Mr. Cunningham. In this show, he voices Harry Boyle.

This program was about the Boyle family who had a common-sense father, a loyal wife (Irma), a lazy hippie son (Chet), a progressive thinking daughter (Alice) and a younger more conservative son (Jaime) who predated Michael J Fox on Family Ties.

Harry has conservative views from the fifties but he is not overboard while his two oldest children have no intention of following the rules and morals of their father’s generation. The youngest son is just out for money.

The show also features an ultra-right winged conspiracy-minded McCarthy influenced neighbor (Ralph Kane) who resembled Richard Nixon (to me anyway) and he is always thinking the communists are out to get him and his neighbors.

The show ran 3 seasons from 1972-1974 with a total of 48 episodes.

If you lived in the seventies or if you are a student of that time… you might enjoy it. What I remember most about it was the theme song. I was too young to get the references…I just remember, hey it’s a cartoon and it’s not Saturday morning or a Disney special.

One thing that struck me about this show was the minimalist animation. The backgrounds were simple but effective.

The show is topical just like the show that inspired it…All In The Family.

It is a fun time capsule…and I still watch it from time to time.

wait til adver.jpg

The Peanuts

The Peanuts lived in a world where adults didn’t matter as much. The world was for kids only and anytime an adult came around and talked… all you heard was a wah, wah, wah wah… no words. All the kids owned their day to day activities. The Peanuts didn’t talk down to us…no they talked to us. They were also clever enough for adults to like.

Nobody ever wins every time in this life. Everyone loses sometimes…therefore everyone is Charlie Brown to an extent. Every person has failed at a big moments or at small moments. We felt for Charlie Brown because we felt for ourselves.

When my son was born…I thought oh great…Now I’m a grown up and I’m a wah, wah, wah, wah adult…My son will live his life and sometimes I will be just noise in the background.

Growing up, there was no other cartoon I looked forward to more than the Peanuts. Every holiday and any time one of the networks decided to show one… I was there. I would also read the occasional Sunday paper to see the Peanuts strip.

Everything from Linus telling us the true meaning of Christmas, Sally and Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, Lucy pulling that football from Charlie Brown, Snoopy being cool and taking care of Woodstock, Lucy being a Psychiatrist and Charlie Brown getting that sad looking Christmas tree…we got to peek into that world and listen to the wisdom that was going on while propped up on that brick wall.

Charlie Brown and Linus wall

Charlie Brown, one day when you grow up… I hope you end up with the little red head girl that you like so much and win just for once…for all of us.

Little Red-Haired Girl | Charlie brown characters, Charlie brown and  snoopy, Charlie brown cartoon

When The Winds Blow 1986

The animation is wonderful in this movie. I want to thank Dave for mentioning it in his blog.

I was moved by this movie. It brought back the Cold War that even as kids we thought about from time to time. I watched this movie Wednesday night and I have been thinking about it ever since.

It’s not a movie to cheer you up by any means. It’s about an elderly British couple named Jim and Hilda Bloggs who read that war was about to begin. This was made during the cold war and Jim comes home with government brochures on how to prepare for a nuclear attack. They both keep thinking of WW2 and neither were knowledgeable on the horrors of nuclear war.

You really get invested in this couple and as the story unfolds and it’s terribly realistic. Jim keeps reading the brochure and both are optimistic about it all without fully understanding it…Even after the worse happens they remain confident that all will be well…it’s worth a watch. When the Wind Blows was based on a 1982 graphic novel, by British artist Raymond Briggs, that shows a nuclear attack on Britain by the Soviet Union.

It looks like a stop-motion background but with cartoon characters for the bulk of the movie. A technical crew employed a striking combination of hand-drawn and stop-motion animation to bring to life Briggs’ characters, the numerous fantasy/dream sequences, and the soon-to-be nuclear-ravaged, picture-postcard surroundings of the Sussex countryside.

The music… David Bowie sings the theme “When The Wind Blows” and he was going to give more tracks but decided to back out to focus on his album. Roger Waters came in and finished it up. Squeeze also adds to the soundtrack.

Why apocalyptic animation When the Wind Blows is still devastating ...

Why apocalyptic animation When the Wind Blows is still devastating ...

 

One Froggy Evening

Steven Spielberg called this cartoon short “the Citizen Kane of animated shorts.” It was written by Michael Maltese and directed by Chuck Jones.

This is my favorite cartoon short. The short story is told without dialog…just singing in parts.

If you want to teach someone about Greed… watch this short. Instead of appreciating what he had…he wasn’t happy unless he could make money off of the frog.

The story is great. A 1955 construction worker is on a demolition site and pries open a box from 1892 found in the cornerstone of the building. Out of the box comes an old frog that climbs to the lid. The frog looks up at the construction worker and suddenly pulls up a top hat and coattails and starts singing “Hello my Honey, Hello my Baby…” and continues with the song.

The worker then starts dreaming of a theater marque with the picture of the frog…”He Sings”, “Talks”, and “Dances” with a picture of the frog.

He rents a theater and presents his frog to the audience. Right before the crowd settles in with the curtain down…the Frog starts singing and dancing away but stops the instant the curtain rises. The audience boos and throws vegetables.

That is his dilemma.  The frog will only sing for this one guy. Not for paying crowds, not talent agents, ONLY HIM. Slowly he is driven mad, not so much by the frog but by his own failed plans with the frog. Failing to recognize the special gift he has, he sees the building going up and sticks the frog back into the cornerstone. Years pass, and when the laser demolition-man is vaporizing the building with his 21st-century technology, what does he find? Our friend the singing frog. The space suited construction worker from 2056 starts dreaming of the money he can make from the frog… And so the cycle continues.

 

Let’s All Go To The Lobby!

“Let’s All Go To The Lobby” is an animated short from the 1950’s that was played before movies and during drive-in intermissions.

This advertisement is beyond catchy. It’s hard to get it out of your head. Plus, who doesn’t want to see singing popcorn, candy, and a drink? I KNOW I DO!

I see this occasionally at the theater when they are showing an older movie.

In 1957 Chicago-based Filmack Studios released the trailer animated by the producer of Popeye, Dave Fleischer, as part of a series of similar Technicolor shorts to promote the newly installed concession stands in theaters across the country.

Filmack has continued selling copies in the decades since its production. The company estimates that 80% of independent theaters have screened the film at various points.

In 2000, “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

So everyone… Let’s Go Out To The Lobby!!!!

Let’s All Go To The Lobby

Let’s all go to the lobby
Let’s all go to the lobby
Let’s all go to the lobby
And get ourselves a treat

Delicious things to eat
The popcorn can’t be beat
The sparkling drinks are just dandy
The chocolate bars and nut candy
So let’s all go to the lobby
And get ourselves a treat
Let’s all go to the lobby
And get ourselves a treat

The Simpsons

I could write pages on this show but I’ll keep it short.

I’ve covered a lot of cartoons but this one is special. This Simpsons is probably my favorite of all time. It has influenced countless TV shows. This show appealed to young and older audiences alike.

The Simpsons was created by Matt Groening, who thought of the idea for the Simpsons in the lobby of James L. Brooks’s office. He named the characters after his own family members, substituting “Bart” for his own name. The family debuted as shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. In 1989, the shorts were spun off into the series The Simpsons which debuted on December 17, 1989.

The family members’ animated bodies have changed shape a bit since, but they have not aged much, aside from shows that looked into characters’ futures. In fact, most people would agree that Matt Groening’s goofy humor hasn’t gotten old either.

The town of Springfield has a cast of characters that really made the show. You get to know them weekly from Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Disco Stu, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Moe Szyslak, Marge, Lisa, and the list goes on.

Other shows such as Family Guy, American Dad, and South Park were influenced by The Simpsons but they are cruder and use more shock value. Nothing wrong with that but I always thought the Simpsons was more clever. The two cartoons that I have really liked since the Simpsons started are King of the Hill and Futurama, the later also created by Groening.

In the early stages, the show revolved around the young Bart Simpson’s trouble-causing antics, making it appeal to a younger crowd. Over the years, however, the writers, which have included Conan O’Brien, found viewers responded more to the father figure Homer Simpson, and he became the show’s main character.

In 2007, the family finally made its way to theaters in the Simpsons Movie.

The Simpsons have ran for 31 seasons and nearly 700 episodes (676 as of this writing). The show is the longest-running scripted series in TV history.

A few of the Catchphrases that have worked into our everyday life.

Don’t Have a Cow, Man

Eat My Shorts

Mmm, donuts

Release The Hounds

Hidely Ho…Okily Dokily

D’oh!

Woo Hoo!

Eeeeeeexcellent

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! 1966

You’re a mean one…Mr. Grinch.

The cartoon was released in 1966 and has been shown every year since. This one along with Rudolph, Charlie Brown, and a few more were a part of Christmas. These specials would prime you for the big day.

One cool thing about the cartoon was that Boris Karloff was the narrator. Thurl Ravenscroft (voice of Tony the Tiger) sang the great song “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch. ”

The citizens of Whoville looked and acted like the others of Dr. Suess’s universe. They were all getting ready for Christmas while a certain someone…or thing looked down from Mt. Crumpit. The Grinch has hated Christmas for years and sees the Whovillians getting ready for Christmas and is determined once and for all to put an end to it.

He dresses up as Santa Clause and makes his poor dog Max act as a reindeer to swoop down and steal Christmas. The Grinch sleds down the hill almost killing Max and they soon reach Whoville. He is busted by one kid…Cindy Lou Who, who asks him questions as the Grinch took her family tree. He lies to her and sends her to bed.

In the morning after he has everything including “The Roast Beast,” he listens for the sorrow to begin.

You need to watch the rest or rewatch…

A live-action remake came out in 2000 but I still like this one the best. You cannot replicate Boris Karloff.

The Budget – Coming in at over $300,000, or $2.2 million in today’s dollars, the special’s budget was unheard of at the time for a 26-minute cartoon adaptation. For comparison’s sake, A Charlie Brown Christmas’s budget was reported as $96,000, or roughly $722,000 today (and this was after production had gone $20,000 over the original budget).

You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch The famous voice actor and singer, best known for providing the voice of Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, wasn’t recognized for his work in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Because of this, most viewers wrongly assumed that the narrator of the special, Boris Karloff, also sang the piece in question. Upset by this oversight, Geisel personally apologized to Ravenscroft and vowed to make amends. Geisel went on to pen a letter, urging all the major columnists that he knew to help him rectify the mistake by issuing a notice of correction in their publications.

Mr Grinch

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch
You really are a heel
You’re as cuddly as a cactus
You’re as charming as an eel
Mr. Grinch
You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel
You’re a monster, Mr. Grinch
Your heart’s an empty hole
Your brain is full of spiders
You’ve got garlic in your soul, Mr Grinch
I wouldn’t touch you with a
Thirty-nine and a half foot pole

You’re a vile one, Mr. Grinch
You have termites in your smile
You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile
Mr Grinch
Given the choice between the two of you
I’d take the seasick crocodile

You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch
You’re a nasty wasty skunk
Your heart is full of unwashed socks
Your soul is full of gunk
Mr Grinch

The three best words that best describe you
Are as follows, and I quote”
Stink
Stank
Stunk

You’re a rotter Mr Grinch
You’re the king of sinful sots
Your heart’s a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots
Mr Grinch

Your soul is an appalling dump heap
Overflowing with the most disgraceful
Assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable
Mangled up in tangled up knots

You nauseate me, Mr Grinch
With a nauseous super nos
You’re a crooked jerky jockey and
You drive a crooked horse
Mr Grinch

You’re a three-decker sauerkraut
And toadstool sandwich
With arsenic sauce

 

 

 

http://mentalfloss.com/article/72593/13-spirited-facts-about-how-grinch-stole-christmas

 

Frosty The Snowman

“Frosty the Snowman,” debuted in 1969. It was by Rankin/Bass Productions, the same company that produced many holiday specials. Most of us had favorite Christmas specials we would watch. Mine was Rudolph, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch, and this one…Frosty The Snowman.

Narrated by the legend Jimmy Durante, the special involves a magic hat that transforms a snowman, Frosty, into a living being. The magician who owned the hat wants it back now that he knows it contained actual magic, so the kids had to get together and find a way to bring Frosty to the North Pole to keep him from melting. However, once there, Frosty sacrifices himself to warm up the little girl, Karen, who took him to the North Pole. He melts, but Santa Claus explains that Frosty is made out of special Christmas snow and thus can never truly melt. Frosty then comes back to life and everyone has a Merry Christmas.

The song was written in 1950 by Walter “Jack” Rollins and Steve Nelson. They wrote it for Gene Autry, especially, after Autry had such a huge hit with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” the previous year. It was later recorded by Jimmy Durante as we hear in this wonderful cartoon.

This wasn’t the only animation of Frosty…

In 1954, United Productions of America (UPA) brought Frosty to life in a short cartoon that is little more than an animated music video for a jazzy version of the song. It introduced the characters mentioned in the lyrics visually, from Frosty himself to the traffic cop. The three-minute, black-and-white piece quickly became a holiday tradition in various markets, particularly in Chicago, where it’s been broadcast annually on WGN since 1955.

 

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer every year is the same as setting up the tree. Every year I would look forward to seeing this along with the others but what a fantastic durable show this has been. When I hear Burl Ives in anything…I think of him as the narrator Sam the Snowman of this program.

The characters are wonderful. Well except those other young reindeer who really come down on Rudolph when his nose lights up.

Hermey the elf who wants to be a dentist
Clarice – The reindeer who likes Rudolph just as he is red nose and all.
Yukon Cornelius the prospector who loves silver and gold and has a tongue that can find his silver and gold.
Abominable Snowman – The bad guy of the show who only needs a dentist to make him a good guy.
Head Elf – He leans on Hermey to get his elf self-act together and discourages him from being a dentist…I never liked him too much.

Throughout the special, Yukon Cornelius is seen throwing his pickaxe into the ground, taking it out and licking it. It turns out that he is checking for neither gold nor silver; Yukon was actually searching for an elusive peppermint mine. In a scene right at the end of the special’s original broadcast, deleted the next year to make room for the Misfit Toys’ new scene, Cornelius pulled his pick from the ground, licked it and said, “Peppermint! What I’ve been searching for all my life! I’ve struck it rich! I’ve got me a peppermint mine! Wahoo!” The scene was restored in 1998 and has been reinstated in all the subsequent home video release except for the 2004 DVD release. However, this scene is still cut from recent televised airings.

The Island of Misplaced Toys got to me when I was a kid. I really felt sorry for these lonely toys. King Moonracer was over the island and tried to convinced Rudolph to tell Santa about them so he could pick them up and find kids who would play with them.

Related image

The original 1964 airing did not include the closing scene where Santa picks up the misfit toys. That scene was added in 1965, in response to complaints that Santa was not shown fulfilling his promise to include them in his annual delivery.

The stop animation in this works really well.

The songs are really good. Silver and Gold, Holly Jolly Christmas, Jingle Jingle Jingle, We Are Santa’s Elves, There’s Always Tomorrow, We’re a Couple of Misfits and The Most Wonderful Day of the Year.

https://christmas-specials.fandom.com/wiki/Rudolph_the_Red-Nosed_Reindeer_(Rankin/Bass)

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Peanuts were my favorite cartoon growing up and I would never miss their Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas specials. Everyone can relate to Charlie Brown because we lose more than we win in life. He doesn’t get to kick that football, his dog has more things than he does and he is forever trying to get the elusive little redhead girl to notice him.

The Peanuts inhabit a kid’s world where grownups are felt but not heard. At least not in English.

This 1965 special has everything good about them in one show.

The gang is skating and Charlie Brown is telling Linus that despite Christmas being a happy time he is depressed. Linus tells Charlie that is normal and Lucy pipes in with “Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.” That sums it all up.

Charlie gets to direct the Christmas play and his main job was to get a spectacular Christmas tree under Lucy’s orders. …He picks the only real tree there…more like a branch but he is sure it will do the job. Most of the gang do not agree when he comes back with the tree but Charlie persists. Linus gets up and reads from the Bible and the inflection he lends to the reading is great.

After that, you will need to watch because it will be worth it.

Aluminum Christmas trees were marketed beginning in 1958 and enjoyed fairly strong sales by eliminating pesky needles and tree sap. But the annual airings of A Charlie Brown Christmas swayed public thinking: In the special, Charlie Brown refuses to get a fake tree. Viewers began to do the same, and the product was virtually phased out by 1969. The leftovers are now collector’s items.

Actors and Actresses The early Peanuts specials made use of both untrained kids and professional actors: Peter Robbins (Charlie Brown) and Christopher Shea (Linus) were working child performers, while the rest of the cast consisted of “regular” kids coached by Melendez in the studio. When Schulz told Melendez that Snoopy couldn’t have any lines in the show—he’s a dog, and Schulz’s dogs didn’t talk—the animator decided to bark and chuff into a microphone himself, then speed up the recording to give it a more emotive quality.

Love the Christmas Dance.

 

 

 

 

 

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. This first premiered on November 20, 1973, on CBS and won an Emmy Award. Great Thanksgiving special as always with the earlier Peanuts.

The Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Peanuts specials I always looked forward to. The way their world was only for kids where grownups were heard but only as noise in the background.

It starts off with Lucy tempting Charlie Brown with that football. Just one time I wanted to see Charlie kick the football…or Lucy.

It’s Thanksgiving and Peppermint Patty invites herself and Marcie over to Charlie Brown’s house but Charlie and Sally are ready to go to their grandmothers. Charlie talks to Linus and he suggests having two Thanksgiving dinners.

The only thing Charlie can come up with is feeding his friends toast and cold cereal which does not make Peppermint Patty happy whatsoever. She lets Charlie have it really bad until Marcie reminds her that she invited herself over.

Not going to give it away for those who have not seen this wonderful holiday cartoon. The music by Vince Guaraldi is excellent and makes every Peanuts cartoon special.

 

Super Friends

This was a must on Saturday morning. I wouldn’t find out till later but…Ted Knight did some of the dialogue such as “Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice…” I think the first year (16 episodes) was the best. Altogether the show was on and off during its 13-year run and they ended up with 109 episodes.

Super Friends was produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1973. The show brought all the DC superheroes together and it told their stories. The first season was comprised of only 16 episodes, which were re-run through August 1974. The show was then canceled. Presumably from less than anticipated ratings.

The success of the Wonder Woman TV show in 1975, and probably the early development interest in the Superman movie led ABC to reconsider Super Friends. The original 16 episodes were re-run beginning in early 1976, while production began on a new series. To help promote the new series, DC also began publishing a Super Friends comic. While the stories there were independent of the show, they followed much the same style of the original series.

Beginning in mid-1977, E. Nelson Bridwell, writer of the Super Friends comic, learned of some of the cast changes (notably, the replacement of Wendy and Marvin with Zan and Jayna) after working on the book for several months and wrote the change into his stories, so by the time the new season of the show began in September 1977, the comic had already made the transition to the new characters.

The comic only survived until mid-1981, while the show continued into 1982. However, the show was only re-runs for the 1982-83 season and was canceled outright in the fall of ’83. The show was brought back again in 1984 and ran until September 1986.

The below link will give much more history to the show.

http://www.kleefeldoncomics.com/2016/12/on-history-super-friends.html