Monday, September 6, 2010

Saturday School: Curiosity Shop (1971)

From the producers of Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp and the creative genius of animation legend Chuck Jones comes Curiosity Shop, which gets its title from a Charles Dickens story (The Old Curiosity Shop), but without the menace & malice. Pamelyn Ferdin, the voice of Lucy Van Pelt in the "Peanuts" specials at the time,  is the star. Here is the show open, courtesy of 70skidvid & YouTube:



It was a noble experiment, one of the first shows designed to educate and entertain at the same time for a Saturday morning audience. Unfortunately, it was ahead of its time, and was cancelled after 2 seasons. Pam Ferdin later would star in Filmation's Space Academy, and resumed her voice-acting career, working on such cartoons as Hanna-Barbera's Roman Holidays (1972) and Devlin (1974), among others. Jones, who had previously produced the Dr. Seuss specials for CBS and Off to See The Wizard for ABC, would not create another series for television. It would be interesting to see if a series like this can be revived, especially since it fits under the FCC's E/I guidelines.

Rating: B.

15 comments:

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

For some odd reason I associate Curiosity Shop as a Sunday morning staple...I think that may have been where ABC shipped it after its Saturday run. Don't remember a good deal about the show other than it was supposed to be educational...and I learned more from Bullwinkle (which followed) at the time, anyway.

hobbyfan said...

Oh, it certainly was a Saturday show, Ivan. ABC did move it to Sundays the following season to make room for the Saturday Superstar Movie, among others.

At the time, Bullwinkle was a lead-in for American Bandstand, but I seem to recall Curiosity Shop airing a wee bit earlier, like around 10 (ET).

gloria spohn said...

One of my favorite shows as a kid, I couldn't wait for it to come on! Sure do wish I could find it to watch on the internet somewhere.

hobbyfan said...

Aside from the open, the show is lost to the mists of time, unfortunately.

Unknown said...

I would guess if there is a copy of the opening credits, then there is a copy of the shows somewhere.

hobbyfan said...

Unfortunately, the open is all we have of Curiosity Shop as far as YouTube goes. Not sure about who has the rights overall, be it Jones' estate or someone else.

Uncle Sporkums said...

I'd personally love to find the episodes with the animated Dennis the Menace segments.

Billy in Seattle said...

I've always been curious about a song I heard on Curiosity Shop. It was from a cartoon seen there. One character looked through a telescope and saw a little cute girl creature standing on a small planet singing a song going "waa waa waaaaa, waa waa waaa". He took a rocket up there and joined her, and they sang it together.

I wonder if anyone knows what that particular song is, and if it is available outside the auspices of the Curiosity Shop episodes. Those who saw this should remember.

hobbyfan said...

Billy in Seattle: If you had a song title, I might be able to do a search on it and see what I came up with.

Uncle Snorkums: Thank you for pointing out that Dennis made his toon debut on Curiosity Shop. I think the fact that the strip's syndicators hold the rights may be part of why we don't have eps on YouTube or anywhere else.

Unknown said...

the episode i most remember is the one with vincent price. i loved the show but especially that one.

hobbyfan said...

Unfortunately, as I've noted, the show open is all that is available at present. I'd love to get full episodes, just for fun, especially with the ones that featured Dennis the Menace cartoon shorts.

marcarch62 said...

to Billy in Seattle
I remember the song!
If we are talking about the same one?
For some reason I was possessed to remember this song.
I whistled it again and again until it was burned into my memory forever.
It would be weird to think there was some other kid with the same experience?
Anyway, the best I could do would be to send an audio file of me whistling it!
Would be a trip if it was.
The only other clue I can offer is,
I remember them getting there in a washing machine (front loader type)
flying ship?
marcarch62@yahoo.com

hobbyfan said...

Hopefully, someone will come along and enlighten us all with "lost" clips from the show, including the song you speak of.

Auspuff Allen said...

Sandler Burns and Marmer were the producers of the show. I would imagine that they control whatever film there was. CFI did the film processing (I had to run back and forth with the dailys).

hobbyfan said...

SBM (Sandler/Burns/Marmer) produced only one other show for ABC, and that was Lancelot Link. After Lance and the Shop were cancelled, SBM was never heard from again.