Tuesday, May 24, 2016

From Comics to Toons: Josie & the Pussycats meet Dr. Greenthumb (1970)

Sometimes, Alexandra Cabot (Sherry Alberoni) is too clever for her own good.

After Josie & the Pussycats are booked for a gig in Nashville, Alexandra tries diverting Josie (Janet Waldo) away by putting her on a cargo plane bound for the Amazon Jungle. Unfortunately, the rest of the gang boards the plane, too, and fly headlong into adventure, and an encounter with eco-terrorist Dr. Greenthumb.

Stripped of her witchcraft, which she had in the comics, Alexandra was reduced to a jealous, scheming beyotch whose plots always backfired. As we've noted before, the reason she lost her powers was that Archie Comics' other witch, Sabrina, was starring in her own series, which, at the time, was shared with the Groovie Goolies, that season.

We'll see the Pussycats in the CW's forthcoming live-action drama, Riverdale, due in the winter of 2017.

Rating: B.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Toonfomercial: Sport Billy presents Hiking (1983)

You will notice in the following video that the return of Sport Billy to introduce the following PSA wasn't a Filmation project. The Sport Billy Foundation had commissioned another studio to produce this ad. Billy and his partner (and girlfriend?) Lilly only appear at the start, as this is more about the two kids going "Hiking":

Getting Schooled: The Flintstone Kids' Just Say No Special (1988)

The Flintstone Kids wrapped their ABC run (1986-8) with a primetime special about the dangers of drugs.

The Flintstone Kids' Just Say No Special aired 12 days after the final Saturday morning broadcast of the series. As we documented previously, the show moved to the syndicated Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera (and to Sundays in my neck of the woods) later in September 1988, but there were no more new episodes.

On to the plot. Wilma (Elizabeth Fraser) is torn between her friends and some allegedly cool kids, led by Stoney (Dana Hill), but when Stoney raises the ante, if you will, by offering some pot, well, I think you get the idea. Singer LaToya Jackson guest stars, and while brother Michael also adopts an animated form for the first time since the 1971 Jackson 5ive series, another actor provides the speaking voice for the so-called King of Pop.

Unfortunately, the complete episode is not available on YouTube, and Dailymotion's been having some embedding issues lately that have knocked quite a few videos out of availability here for the duration. What is available, however, is the closing segment, leading to the credits. This time, Michael Jackson is heard from, with some new lyrics for his 1982 hit, "Beat It".

No rating.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Looney TV: Daffy Duck's Fire Safety Quiz (1982)

Daffy Duck (Mel Blanc) shows a different side in this PSA, first shown in 1982. Daffy gives two kids a quick pop quiz on fire safety.

The date shown on the video above is incorrect. When you click on the video, you will see a 1982 copyright date, as that was the original date of this video.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Literary Toons: Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? (1980)

DePatie-Freleng's adaptation of Dr. Seuss' Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You?, which premiered on ABC in 1980, was one of the last entries for the studio before it was acquired by Marvel and rechristened Marvel Productions a year later.

In addition to composing the music, noted tunesmith Joe Raposo also does some acting, as he plays the owner of a pickle factory where Pontoffel Pock (Wayne Morton, Fred & Barney Meet The Thing) had been employed very briefly at the start of the show.

I never saw it, so there's no rating. As you'll doubtlessly notice, Universal owns the rights.

Animated World of DC Comics: Lois Lane cooks French fries for Superman, but what's the main course? (1981)

Remember this Ore-Ida spot from 1981?

Not sure if that was Danny Dark (Super Friends) voicing Superman this time around,  but if anyone can ID the actress playing Lois Lane, I'd certainly appreciate it.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Daytime Heroes: DuckTales (1987)

Disney kickstarted a new era in television animation for themselves with the launch of DuckTales, which lasted three seasons total (1987-90), and a grand total of 100 episodes.

Huey, Dewey, & Louie, normally accompanying their uncle, Donald Duck, were left in the care of their other uncle, Scrooge McDuck (Alan Young, ex-Mister Ed) while Donald served in the Navy. Well, it would justify Donald still wearing a sailor's uniform after all these years. This led to all kinds of adventures with Scrooge's personal chauffeur/pilot, Launchpad McQuack, as well as Scrooge himself. The series spun off a feature film, "Treasure of the Lost Lamp", during the course of its run.

Six years after the series ended, the three brothers would return, this time with Donald, having grown up a wee bit, like Jonny Quest that same year, in Quack Pack, but, just as viewers wouldn't accept Jonny or his BFF Hadji as teens, they wouldn't accept Huey, Dewey, & Louie as adolescents, either, and so Quack was cancelled after its one and only season.

Posting a sample episode in memory of Alan Young, who passed away today at 96. Here's "Scrooge's Last Adventure", from 1990.

Rating: A.