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Posts Tagged ‘cartoons’

Repost: It’s Official. I am Really Only Five Years Old

Posted by purplemary54 on July 4, 2016

Thanks to Final Jeopardy tonight, I now have a certain theme park’s certain ride’s song stuck in my head.  Thanks to this repost from the early days of the Jukebox, y’all can suffer along with me.  Consider Super Chicken an extra gift.  You’re welcome.

Although I got the initial inspiration for today’s post from Dan and Val, really, you all have no one to blame but me. I take full responsibility for inflicting this on my poor, innocent readers. I’m sorry.

Except for the part where I’m really, really not.

I am well aware that I am one of, maybe, five people on the planet who actually like this song. But “It’s A Small World” will always be a sweet and special experience for me. As a little girl, I was enchanted by the dazzling array of cute, chubby-faced dolls dancing in native costumes from around the world, singing about how “It’s the world that we share, and it’s time we’re aware, it’s a small world after all.” As a not-so-little girl, I am still enchanted, in spite of the fact that the whole thing is kind of cheesy, and my awareness that the world is not such a happy, dancing and singing kind of place. Maybe I still love this ride because of those things. Because even if the world is kind of screwed up, it’s nice to be able to disappear into a magical place where people really do get along and live in peace. It’s nice to believe that this kind of world is still possible.

(Yeah, it’s that same song, over and over, for 10 plus minutes, but this is how I’ve always experienced it. With some updates after the ride was renovated.)

This next clip is a reminder of when I used to watch cartoons instead of football on Sundays. It’s also an example of the surreal and stupid genius of Jay Ward (you know, the guy who blessed us with Rocky and Bullwinkle?). There is no other reason for it. It does, however, feature one of my favorite cartoon songs ever.

There’s a lot of Super Chicken cartoons available at YouTube. I’ll bet there’s some George of the Jungle and Tom Slick, too. These were a big part of my formative years.

There. I’m not sorry for still loving any of this. (But you might be. Feel free to not watch the Small World clip at all. I totally understand people’s aversion to this song.) And consider yourselves fortunate that I didn’t decide to post any Schoolhouse Rocks shorts.

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Repost: The Best Cartoon You’re Probably Not Watching

Posted by purplemary54 on November 29, 2015

I’m reposting this one (with a couple of edits) because I noticed the original video I attached was “no longer available.”  That happens a lot, but I really want people to notice Steven Universe if they haven’t already.  So I found the clip I like again, and here it is.  Steven Universe isn’t currently in Cartoon Network’s lineup, but it should be back soon.

I want to share one of the television shows I’ve been using to avoid thinking lately. Steven Universe was created by Rebecca Sugar, a former writer for the wonderfully surreal Adventure Time. The show is about the adventures of the sweetly naive and optimistic title boy as he navigates the world and tries to figure out how to use his powers as a crystal gem. The other crystal gems are aliens who came to earth thousands of years before, and decided to stay and protect the planet from others of their kind. I thought it looked kind of silly from the commercials, but then I saw a couple episodes and got hooked.

For a cartoon, this is pretty sophisticated and adult stuff. There’s romance and conflict and struggles with difficult emotions like guilt and obsession. It’s even kind of sexy. The gems can fuse together to create new gems; one of the main characters, Garnet, is actually a fusion of two other gems who are, quite clearly, in love (you’ll see it in the clip). Fusion becomes a metaphor for relationships, both good and bad, as well as sex between the characters.

What’s any of this got to do with music? Plenty, because Steven Universe is full of pretty catchy tunes. Steven’s mother, a crystal gem named Rose Quartz, fell in love with his father, a wannabe rock star named Greg Universe. But all the characters sing on occasion; music is usually used as a way to quickly express some of the more complicated emotions the characters experience, or sum up plot points or action. This clip is one of my favorite musical moments as Garnet comes back together after Steven and the rest of the gems were captured by evil invading gems.

It really is a fun show. Longtime followers know I’m a big fan of cartoons, but this one definitely isn’t just for kids.

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The Best Cartoon You’re Probably Not Watching

Posted by purplemary54 on July 16, 2015

Mom’s doing somewhat better.  She had a small stroke a couple of weeks ago, and we’re dealing with the recovery from that.  Physical therapy, new ways of doing things, and general worry have been keeping us both busy.  It’s been easier to lose myself in TV or games than to think, but I’m going to try to get back into the swing of things.

Appropriately enough, I want to share one of the television shows I’ve been using to avoid thinking lately.  Steven Universe was created by Rebecca Sugar, a former writer for the wonderfully surreal Adventure Time.  The show is about the adventures of the sweetly naive and optimistic title boy as he navigates the world and tries to figure out how to use his powers as a crystal gem.  The other crystal gems are aliens who came to earth thousands of years before, and decided to stay and protect the planet from others of their kind.  I thought it looked kind of silly from the commercials, but then I saw a couple episodes and got hooked.

For a cartoon, this is pretty sophisticated and adult stuff.  There’s romance and conflict and struggles with difficult emotions like guilt and obsession.  It’s even kind of sexy.  The gems can fuse together to create new gems; one of the main characters, Garnet, is actually a fusion of two other gems who are, quite clearly, in love (you’ll see it in the clip).  Fusion becomes a metaphor for relationships, both good and bad, as well as sex between the characters.

What’s any of this got to do with music?  Plenty, because Steven Universe is full of pretty catchy tunes.  Steven’s mother, a crystal gem named Rose Quartz, fell in love with his father, a wannabe rock star named Greg Universe.  But all the characters sing on occasion; music is usually used as a way to quickly express some of the more complicated emotions the characters experience, or sum up plot points or action.  This clip is one of my favorite musical moments as Garnet comes back together after Steven and the rest of the gems were captured by evil invading gems.

It really is a fun show.  Longtime followers know I’m a big fan of cartoons, but this one definitely isn’t just for kids.

 

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Scooby Dooby Doo!

Posted by purplemary54 on June 23, 2014

I have a confession to make.  I’ve been watching way too much Scooby Doo lately.  Boomerang, the channel where old Hanna-Barbera and Cartoon Network shows go to be endlessly rerun, has been playing the most recent weekly incarnation of the Mystery, Inc. gang, and I’ve gotten hooked.

The next thing I have to acknowledge is that Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated is actually pretty good.  The show ran on Cartoon Network from 2010 to 2013, and it managed to update the characters to current times without diminishing the innocent charm of the original.  There’s more realistic problems plaguing the gang in addition to the usual monsters and mysteries–things like romance and friendship and parents.  People who were kids when Scooby and company first burst onto the scene could watch with their kids, and everyone would have something to identify with (which I suspect was kind of the point).

One of the things that got me interested (besides the multi-faceted story arc that seems to run through the entire show) was the way they pay homage not just to the Scooby gang’s past, but to other kids-and-a-nonhuman sidekick mystery shows that sprung up in the wake of the success of Scooby Doo, Where Are You?  Classics like JabberjawSpeed Buggy, and Captain Caveman were worked into one episode.  The gang’s past mysteries were part of a Spook Museum that Velma’s mother ran.  But the shows writers also cleverly worked other pop culture phenomenon into the show (the Twin Peaks references were my personal favorites.  For a Scooby Doo cartoon, this was pretty highbrow stuff.

The only thing this version lacks is a catchy, top-notch theme song.  They got Pop maestro Matthew Sweet to compose the opening music, but it just didn’t have the same pop as other Scooby songs have had.  The show really did have a long history of incorporating music that wasn’t half bad.  Well, at least we still have the original theme (and it was even performed by Matthew Sweet for Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits).

The mystery will finally finish tomorrow afternoon, when the latest string of airings shows the last episode of Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated, and I’m looking forward to it.  If you’ve got cable (or if Netflix/Hulu/streaming service of your choice), I suggest you try this version out.  It’s a lot more fun than you might think.

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Casey Kasem

Posted by purplemary54 on June 15, 2014

Legendary DJ Casey Kasem has passed away after a long illness and much family drama.  Like many people, I grew up listening to Kasem’s iconic countdown program, America’s Top Forty, on the radio.  He adapted his countdown to the video age by playing America’s Top Ten in syndication television.  Kasem’s countdown’s was a great introduction to popular music, and his voice made everything a little easier to listen to.

Of course, Casey Kasem was more than just a DJ to my generation.  He was an accomplished voice actor in a number of cartoons, including voicing Shaggy on the many incarnations of the beloved Scooby Doo cartoons.  (His final performance as Shaggy was in 2009’s Scooby Doo! and the Samurai Sword.)

Kasem seemed to be a man who held good values, although I don’t know much about him personally.  I used to see him and wife Jean Kasem on the entertainment news as “personalities” and “celebrities.”  It was sad to see all the family infighting over his declining health and medical care.  I hope his family can make some peace with each other, and find comfort in knowing that the man they all loved enough to go to court over is at rest.

Posted in Music, Obituaries | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

As Seen on TV: “Josie and the Pussycats”

Posted by purplemary54 on June 2, 2014

I’ve been a little heavy lately, so I thought I’d lighten things up a bit.  I’ve also been kind of anti-social.  There’s several blogs I regularly read and comment on, but I haven’t been for several days.  (There’s one or two I’ve been keeping up with, but mostly I just haven’t wanted to engage.)  I know I’ll have a lot of catching up to do when I do come back.  Soon.

But right now, I just want to go back to Saturday mornings and tap my toes to some surprisingly good theme music.

Josie and the Pussycats began life as a spin-off from Archie comics.  The cartoon was apparently quite different from the comic book  (maybe I’ll look up some old issues just to see how different), more like another famous Hanna-Barbera show (ruh-roh!)  The cute all-girl band and their friends were constantly chasing various criminal elements bent on taking over the world.  The chase sequences were set to some pretty catchy tunes that a lot of bands in the 60s would’ve given their eye teeth for.  (Here’s a link to one I really enjoyed.)  Since the characters were in a band, the music made sense.  Too bad they didn’t put as much effort into the animation and other elements; the show might’ve been more successful.

It’s something of a cult classic now.  Boomerang was airing the show after midnight during the week until just recently, but I don’t think there were enough episodes to keep that up for very long.   A movie version came out in the early 2000’s, but everything I saw told me that the “updated” version just didn’t cut it.  Josie and the Pussycats was probably always going to be an also-ran, but I thought it was pretty keen when I was a kid.

Posted in As Seen on TV, Music, Pop, Soundtracks | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Arthur Rankin, Jr.

Posted by purplemary54 on February 5, 2014

No, it’s not Christmas again.  I saw in the paper this morning that Arthur Rankin, Jr. passed away yesterday at 89.  I’ll confess that I didn’t know he was even still alive.  I never did much research on the man who helped create some of the most enduring animated Christmas specials ever, and who helped make my childhood (and adulthood) just a little bit happier.

The stop-motion style that Rankin and partner Jules Bass used for many of their cartoons was called animagic, and it sure seemed like magic to the five-year-old me.  It was enchanting, made even more so by his use of articulated dolls and puppets instead of paper cut-outs or clay.  Sure, it looks kind of cheesy by CGI standards, but felt and googly eyes were used quite effectively, I think.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is still one of the most popular Christmas cartoons around, some 50 years after it was made.  There’s something to be said for keeping the story simple, having good characters, and catchy music.  Rankin and Bass knew what they were doing.

 

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“Yakko’s Universe”

Posted by purplemary54 on June 1, 2013

I haven’t acted like a child in quite some time, mostly because I haven’t felt very much like being a child.  Well, actually I really do wish I could be a kid again.  But I have to pretend to be a responsible adult for the foreseeable future.  So I’d like to take this opportunity to post a kiddie song from a cartoon I watched when I was actually in my 20s.  Animaniacs was ostensibly a show for children, but it kept with the great Warner Brothers tradition of including jokes for the adults as well.  I would come home from my college classes, turn on KTLA, and watch this seriously twisted little show.  Made my day, every time.  I still find myself singing the chorus to this irrepressibly catchy song sometimes.  Heck, it’s even sort of educational.

 

Posted in Music | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

It’s Official. I am Really Only Five Years Old.

Posted by purplemary54 on September 16, 2012

Although I got the initial inspiration for today’s post from Dan and Val, really, you all have no one to blame but me.  I take full responsibility for inflicting this on my poor, innocent readers.  I’m sorry.

Except for the part where I’m really, really not.

I am well aware that I am one of, maybe, five people on the planet who actually like this song.  But “It’s A Small World” will always be a sweet and special experience for me.  As a little girl, I was enchanted by the dazzling array of cute, chubby-faced dolls dancing in native costumes from around the world, singing about how “It’s the world that we share, and it’s time we’re aware, it’s a small world after all.”  As a not-so-little girl, I am still enchanted, in spite of the fact that the whole thing is kind of cheesy, and my awareness that the world is not such a happy, dancing and singing kind of place.  Maybe I still love this ride because of those things.  Because even if the world is kind of screwed up, it’s nice to be able to disappear into a magical place where people really do get along and live in peace.  It’s nice to believe that this kind of world is still possible.

(Yeah, it’s that same song, over and over, for 10 plus minutes, but this is how I’ve always experienced it.  With some updates after the ride was renovated.)

This next clip is a reminder of when I used to watch cartoons instead of football on Sundays.  It’s also an example of the surreal and stupid genius of Jay Ward (you know, the guy who blessed us with Rocky and Bullwinkle?).  There is no other reason for it.  It does, however, feature one of my favorite cartoon songs ever.

There’s a lot of Super Chicken cartoons available at YouTube.  I’ll bet there’s some George of the Jungle and Tom Slick, too.  These were a big part of my formative years.

There.  I’m not sorry for still loving any of this.  (But you might be.  Feel free to not watch the Small World clip at all.  I totally understand people’s aversion to this song.)  And consider yourselves fortunate that I didn’t decide to post any Schoolhouse Rocks shorts.

Posted in Music | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »