Monday, January 6, 2020

Here Comes Garfield (1982)

Welcome back everyone! I hope your holiday season was a great one! Mine was good, if a bit rushed, with the late start and too many non-related activities getting in the way, but even a less than stellar holiday season is better than no season at all.

But enough of that; we have a whole new year ahead of us. New opportunities, new challenges, and new resolve to take life on. Let's do it!

My first new article of the year features someone who does just that--in his own lazy, selfish way. Today I present the TV special Here Comes Garfield, the first animated special for the famous fat cat. Debuting October 25, 1982, the special finds Garfield unwittingly getting Odie captured by the local dog catcher, leading Garfield to break him out and get him home. It's interesting to see him actually care about Odie, whom he usually tortures, showing his true affections for the slow-witted canine.

Although nearly forgotten now, this special paved the way for his other specials, most notably his beloved Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas specials. It all started here.

Enjoy! Stay tuned all year long!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Night Court, "New Year's Leave"

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas Day or Hanukkah. We have one more holiday left in the season, and we celebrate it with an episode of the great sitcom Night Court.

In "New Year's Leave," the crew deal with an elderly man who escapes a hospital to spend New Year's Eve in Times Square in memory of his late wife, as well as a man dressed as the Baby New Year who claims to be the real thing.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Nutcracker Fantasy (1979)

Today's feature looks like a Rankin/Bass production, but it isn't (although it is obviously heavily inspired by them).

Nutcracker Fantasy is a Japanese-produced stop-motion animated film released in 1979 by the Japanese studio Sanrio. This adaptation is a loose one, but there are still nutcrackers, evil mice, swordplay, and the usual stuff you associate with the story. The Nutcracker has been adapted almost as much as A Christmas Carol has, and your mileage may vary regarding your interest in the story, but if you're a fan, this one is for you.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Pac-Man Christmas Album

The Pac-Man Christmas Album was released in 1982 by Kid Stuff Records, a children's record label that came and went in the 80s and was similar to Peter Pan Records. They did several Pac-Man related records including this Christmas one. 

I didn't have this record as a kid, but if I had, I would have loved it. I was deep into anything Pac-Man or Christmas, so put the two together and I was all in. I didn't listen to it until last week, and I have to say, even as a 45-year-old man, I enjoyed the record un-ironically. It's corny of course, but it's cute, earnest, and totally early 80s Christmas.

Plus, I really love the cover art.


Monday, December 9, 2019

Caroll Spinney, 1933--2019

I couldn't let the death of legendary Muppeteer Caroll Spinney go by without mention here. As anyone who knows me personally or follows this blog with any regularity knows, I am as huge a Muppet fan as anyone, and Spinney was one of the all-time greats. Even moreso than Bert and Ernie, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch were Sesame Street. The characters were the perfect yin and yang of Muppet personalities on the show, and their existence defined Sesame Street for three generations.

The great thing about the Muppets is that the characters will live on long after their creators and performers will, but a little bit of them will always be lost in translation without them.

Rest in peace, Caroll. Say hi to Mr. Hooper for us.


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