Friday, November 9, 2018
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, so it's not inappropriate for me to present this cartoon. "The Voice of the Turkey," produced by defunct cartoon studio Harvey Films in 1950, features a game of cat and mouse between human and turkey on Thanskgiving. There is running, there is ax grinding, there is cartoon slapstick. Plus, it stars Arnold Stang as voice of the turkey, so you can't go wrong.
I have a surprising wealth of Thanksgiving material at the blog; simply search the term "Thanksgiving" in the search bar at the top of the page or click the tag in the "May I Help You Find Something" section to the right. Some video links are broken, but if you leave a comment requesting me to repost it, I'll be happy to do so.
Enjoy! Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Ah, the McDonaldland playground. Many a child of the 70s and early 80s has fond memories of playing in this burger-inspired wonderland. Or perhaps they scraped their knee or broke a bone there. Nevertheless, playing in the McDonaldland playground was a required Generation X childhood activity. Although many locations still have some sort of play area for kids, they're not nearly as elaborate and ornate as the playgrounds of yore.
The following is a promotional film made by a company called SetMakers, the original manufacturer of the playground equipment. This film was sent to McDonald's franchisees to entice them to improve their restaurants' sales via the McDonaldland playground attraction. This was made in 1972, and I have to say, the playground depicted in the film is the most elaborate I've ever seen!
Of course, SetMakers put their best foot forward in trying to sell as much of their equipment as possible, but franchisees were allowed to order as many or as few of the attractions as they wanted, so if you were of age to experience a McDonaldland playground, your experience may not have been as grand as the one demonstrated in this film.
I visit McDonald's all the time, but I really wish they still had these playgrounds. I'd squeeze my old butt on them today!
Sunday, November 4, 2018
Even though we haven't completed our first full week of November yet, many eyes and ears are already focused on the holiday season. From Christmas TV commercials already airing to new holiday music hitting stores and streaming services, the holly and the ivy are already hanging everywhere. The local movie multiplex is no exception. Here are some new holiday movies coming to a theater near you!
The first new holiday movie is already playing: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. This new take on the classic story is a a special effects-laden spectacle, possibly the biggest production of it we've seen so far. Starring Morgan Freeman and Kiera Knightly among others, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is playing in theaters now.
Opening this Friday November 9th, a new animated version of The Grinch debuts. This long-awaited version stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular Mean One.
On Friday November 16th, Harry Potter fans will enjoy the latest installment in the prequel series, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Eddie Redmayne returns to the series and is joined by Jude Law and Johnny Depp.
Another sequel hotly anticipated is Ralph Breaks the Internet, with John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman. Ralph returns to wreck it on Wednesday, November 21st.
Marvel fans awaiting the return of Spider-Man from the grave, or wherever he went to at the end of a certain flick, can take some comfort from the new animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, featuring Peter Parker, Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy, and a host of other Spider characters. Spider-Verse swings into theaters Friday, December 14th.
Just a few days later, Mary Poppins Returns. 50 years in the making, this sequel stars Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and opens Wednesday, December 19th.
Lastly for theaters, both Aquaman and Bumblebee grace theaters Friday, December 21st. Aquaman stars Jason Mamoa and Amber Heard, while Bumblebee stars Hailee Steinfeld and Justin Thoreox.
Not to be outdone, Netflix has a few holiday films in its queue. One such example is The Holiday Calendar, in which a young woman inherits an Advent calendar from her grandmother, which seems to hold magical power. The Holiday Calendar is now streaming.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 22, Santa comes early in the form of Kurt Russell in The Christmas Chronicles.
Finally, on Friday, November 30th, Netflix debuts a sequel to their surprisingly successful holiday film of last yea,r A Christmas Prince, with A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding. Rose McIver and Ben Lamb return to their previous roles in this Christmas charmer.
Clearly we have a lot of viewing to do this holiday season. Enjoy, and thanks!
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
All good things must come to an end; this is no less true of the Countdown to Halloween.
I want to thank John Rozum for organizing the Countdown for yet another year on his own. I also wish to thank all the Countdown contributors who bring us amazing content all month long. I'm honored to be a part of such "spirited" company!
Thank you most of all to you readers for making this season a great one. We've had laughs, scares, and of course, candy--at least we'll have candy tonight, anyway. The Countdown is the biggest season of the year for this blog, so I genuinely appreciate all the support you give me. Don't be a stranger. I post the best stuff I can find all year long and as my time allows.
Please give the blog some shares on your social media; I really appreciate it. Of course, if you want to give the blog's advertisers a try, I won't complain. I'll leave up the Halloween "decorations" on the blog for the next few days and take a short break. I hope to return to the blog next Monday looking forward to the great month of November and beyond. I'm sure most revelers will keep the party going through the weekend anyway.
Be safe, have fun, and most of all--HAPPY HALLOWEEN!