Sunday, December 10, 2017

Animated World of DC Comics: Freedom Fighters: The Ray (2017)

CW Seed's latest animated DC offering is Freedom Fighters: The Ray, which focuses on a modern-era itineration of the Golden Age hero, who was introduced to viewers during Crisis on Earth-X 2 weeks ago.

Russell Tovey (ex-Being Human) reprises as Ray Terrell, aka The Ray, as this series is a prequel to the recent live-action 4-parter. On Earth-1, Terrell is just an ordinary dude who just lost his job due to corporate downsizing, after a fashion. When his Earth-X counterpart arrives on Earth-1, well, as the series shows, we'll see how Earth-1 Ray ends up joining the Freedom Fighters.

Jack C. Harris, a long time writer-editor at DC, and Joe Quesada, now at Marvel, were credited with creating the modern Ray, ignoring the character's Golden Age history. Meh. Sometime after that late 90's miniseries ran its course, Terrell was rebooted as gay, I think, by a different set of creators. Harris & Quesada had teased a hookup between Ray & Black Canary in their book, as I recall.

Anyway, the first 6 episodes were released on Friday, with more to follow to complete the bridge to Crisis on Earth-X. Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) reprises as Overgirl. However, Stephen Amell & Grant Gustin (Arrow & The Flash, respectively) chose not to play their evil counterparts, although The Flash co-stars Carlos Valdes & Danielle Panabaker are heard here, as is Iddo Goldberg, who reprises as the voice of Red Tornado from an earlier appearance on Supergirl.

Let's scope out a sample clip.



I'm guessing the remaining episodes won't be out until after the holidays, although I could be wrong about that. What we have now is totally slammin'.

Rating: A.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Countdown to Christmas: Christmas Rules (2012)

From season 2 of The Looney Tunes Show:

At the tail end of the Christmas episode, the cast joins together for an in-episode tune, "Christmas Rules".



Proving once again just how badly miscast Daffy was in this series, this song makes him sound even more like an imbecile.

Dog chow: Rude Dog & the Dweebs (1989)

Rude Dog & The Dweebs has the distinction of being the last series Marvel sold to CBS, back in 1989. Ever hear of going out with a bang? I'd say Marvel's last CBS entry went in and out with a whimper.

Rude Dog (Rob Paulsen) shares an apartment with the 7 Dweebs, and regularly has to deal with an evil cat named Seymour. Hey, I don't make this stuff up. Additional talent includes Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, and Dave Coulier (The Real Ghostbusters, Full House).

If Marvel was aiming at a canine-driven clone of Hanna-Barbera's Top Cat, which also ran for 1 1st run season, it failed. Badly. Rude Dog was designed largely to promote a clothing line, not toys, which might have made things a little too upscale for the target demographic.

Here's the intro, narrated in character by Paulsen.



Episodes are available on YouTube, but not in full-screen for obvious reasons. From what we could see, this show should never have gotten out of the kennel.

Rating: C.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Toons After Dark: Beavis & Butt-Head in The Great Cornholio (1994)

Mike Judge must've known that he needed to spice things up for Beavis & Butt-Head, so he created a wacky alter-ego for Beavis in "The Great Cornholio".

The fun begins when the boys visit Mrs. Stevenson to deliver Stewart's homework to school since Stewart is sick and can't go. However, Beavis raids the cupboard and gets a severe sugar high......



Cornholio was last seen in the short-lived 2011 revival of the series, which might be just as well. You can only go so far with this gimmick.

Rating: B-.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Toonfomercial: Remember Sharpie the Parrot? (1950's)

Today, Gillette is a component of Procter & Gamble, and their slogan is "The best a man can get" when it comes to their shaving products.

Back in the early years of television, however, Gillette had a mascot for their razor blades.

Sharpie the parrot was introduced to television audiences in 1952, appearing on Gillette's Cavalcade of Sports and the Saturday baseball Game of the Week. In the latter instance, an animated Sharpie would appear on the screen, and the jingle would play in between innings while the cameras were still on the field.

This spot, with a very British fellow, is narrated by baseball legend Mel Allen.



I wish I could tell you who did the speaking and/or singing voices of Sharpie, but that info is unavailable at the moment.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Countdown to Christmas: A Snow White Christmas (1980)

Rare was the occasion when Filmation produced a primetime special. The first came in 1969, Archie & His New Pals. 11 years later, they produced what would be their last, and, like Archie, aired on CBS.

A Snow White Christmas was billed as a sequel to the classic tale. Snow White is now the queen, and Prince Charming is now King Charming. Their daughter, also named Snow White, is the protagonist here, voiced by Erika Scheimer (ex-Brady Kids, Mission: Magic). The Wicked Queen returns to extract revenge, but instead of 7 Dwarves, there are 7 Giants, most, if not all, voiced by Arte Johnson, in what may have been his only job for Filmation, as he did most of his voice work at DePatie-Freleng (i.e. Misterjaw, The Nitwits, The Super Six). In fact, one of the giants does sound a little like Tyrone, doesn't he?

Unfortunately, this hasn't seen the light of day on TV in years, ignored by cable. Scope!



The poster had the date wrong, and as you watch the video, you'll see why, as the copyright date looks a little smudged.

No rating. I didn't watch this the first time, so this is more or less a public service.

Krofftverse: Show Biz Witch (H. R. Pufnstuf, 1969)

H. R. Pufnstuf, as well as some of the other early Krofft entries, had a laugh track, which at the time was rare on Saturday mornings. Had NBC really had any faith in the show, they could've repurposed it as a primetime replacement, which wouldn't have ensured renewal, but....!

Anyway, Lennie Weinrib, the voice of Pufnstuf and some other characters, co-wrote "Show Biz Witch", in which Witchiepoo (Billie Hayes) tries to get into show business in another vain effort to steal Freddy the flute.



Hard to believe that a few years later, Witchiepoo actually got better material to work with (Krofft Superstar Hour), but by then most viewers figured her 15 minutes were up.

Rating: B-.