Monday, January 26, 2015

Tooniversary: Secret Squirrel in England (Scotland Yard Caper, 1965)

Secret Squirrel marks his 50th anniversary this year, so let's take a time-trip with Secret (Mel Blanc) & Morocco Mole (Paul Frees, who also narrates), as they travel overseas in "The Scotland Yard Caper":

Jolly good, wot?

Rating: B.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Animated World of DC Comics: Batman vs. the Clock King (1992)

In the 60's, Batman fought the Clock King in a 2-part episode that marked the only appearance of the villain in the series. Truth was, the character was more closely associated with Green Arrow, not the Caped Crusader.

26 years later, a new Clock King was introduced on Batman: The Animated Series. This time, efficiency expert Temple Fugate, who was meticulous with his scheduling, was convinced by then-lawyer Hamilton Hill to take a coffee break so he wouldn't look so "haggard" before an important court date. That proved costly, and Fugate returns a couple of years later to exact revenge on Hill, now the Mayor.........

Just what we really didn't need. An anal-retentive villain, but every generation seems to have one.

Rating: B.

Mind the fact that the poster uploaded this off a camera-phone, and edited off part of the open to avoid the copyright police.

Toon Sports: Kim Possible steps into the ring (2002)

A pro wrestling grudge match becomes a secondary attraction when a disgruntled non-combatant mutates into a monster to inject himself into the mix, forcing Kim Possible to try to stop him. Real-life pro wrestlers Bill Goldberg and Andrew Martin guest star in "Pain King vs. Cleopatra":

Should we be at all surprised that Ron Stoppable (Will Friedle) was a wrestling fan? Hmmmm, well, of course not.

Rating: B+.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Rare Treats: (They Long To Be) Close To You (1970)

"(They Long To Be) Close To You" is more closely associated with the Carpenters, who scored a mammoth hit with it. However, believe it or else, it turned up as an album track on the lone album of Josie & the Pussycats, produced by Danny Janssen's La-La Productions for Capitol in 1970. I'm not entirely sure if it's Patrice Holloway (singing voice for Valerie) or Cherie Moor (Cheryl Ladd, Melody's singing voice) doing the honors here, but give a listen.

8 years later, while on Charlie's Angels, Cheryl Ladd went back into the studio and cut her first solo record. Considering her country music roots, I'd say she might've gone for the crossover audience, but we'll never know, as other than the obligatory special, not much came out of it. Holloway was the only other one who went solo, both before and after being a part of the band.

Game Time: Double Dragon (1993)

In the 80's & 90's, DIC was more than willing to produce shows based on just about any video game they could find that wasn't already licensed to another studio.

Double Dragon lasted 2 seasons (1993-5), airing mostly on Sundays, and, as with the game, told the tale of the Lee twins, Billy & Jimmy, the latter of whom had been raised by his evil uncle, the Shadowmaster, until discovering the fiend had lied to him all along.

Here's the intro:

Comics artist Chuck Patton directed most, if not all, of the episodes. However, the series today sits in the vaults, a forgotten relic of its time.

No rating.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

You Know the Voice: Tress MacNeille (1983)

Tress MacNeille is one of the modern generation's best known voice actors, but did you know she actually appeared in a music video? Not only that, she also "sang" on the accompanying record.

The song in question is "Weird" Al Yankovic's "Ricky", which mashes together Toni Basil's 1981 hit, "Mickey", with the classic sitcom, I Love Lucy. In the video, Al plays a dual role, appearing clean shaven as Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz) opposite Tress as Lucy. Tress actually did go into the studio to record the track with Yankovic, and that, friends, might be what got her started on a successful voice acting career. Al also appears as himself with his band in scenes that were taped separately.

Before anyone asks, I think another actress was hired to play Lucy, or an analogue thereof, six years later for Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire".

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: The Three Musketeers vs. the Puppetmaster (1968)

Puppeteers have often been used as villains in fiction, for various reasons, chief among which seems to be they want to have their crack at power.

That seems to be the case in this Three Musketeers episode.......

It's too bad this series doesn't merit a stand-alone DVD.

Rating: A.