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Obscure Trivia Fact about TV's ADDAMS FAMILY
Posted on Oct 31 2008 by Greg
While reliving the fun of all the episodes of The Addams Family -- not the movie versions, but the Filmways TV comedy that ran on ABC for two years starting in 1964, I was especially enjoying Vic Mizzy's iconic music,  some of which was re-recorded for this RCA LP album, released on CD and available here used on amazon.

What I did not know was that one of the background themes did not originate on the TV show, but was an instrumental version of a song from a public service TV spot called, "Don't Cross the Street in the Middle of the Block." You can hear this music in several second season episodes (the DVDs have split the two seasons into three volumes and a nicely priced complete set).

The "Cross the Street" music is not on the RCA album, but was presented from the actual TV spot with the vocal on the TeeVee Toons Commercials album, now out of print on vinyl and CD. Could not find this one on amazon.

The fun of revisiting favorite shows and music is that there's always something you never noticed before.

It's a Jolly Holiday with Tinker Bell, That Girl & A Side of Hamm
Posted on Oct 13 2008 by Greg

This just in...Tinker Bell touched down with Hollywood stars last Saturday when Dick Van Dyke, Hilary Duff, Jaime Pressly, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Selena Gomez, Cybill Shepherd, Victor Garber and others appeared at a combination dinner gala/fashion show/Disney animation salute called "Runway for Life" to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Dick and Tink
The event also celebrated the October 28 release of the new Tinker Bell animated feature on DVD and Blu-Ray, thus the hobnobbing fairy.

Tink and Event Co-Chair Marlo Thomas

Tink and "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm

Since 2002, this event has raised over $6.5 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded by Danny Thomas, which is finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

Deborah Norville Sings Disney!
Posted on Oct 12 2008 by Greg

On the audio version (disc one, track five) of her new book, Thank You Power, TV anchor Deborah Norville sings "The Lord is Good To Me," originally sung by Dennis Day in the Johnny Appleseed segment of Walt Disney's Melody Time.

It was a song she learned in camp, and it's still sung in many a Sunday School though few may realize its showbiz origins.

Another little tidbit along the same lines -- Albert Hay Malotte, who composed the classic musical setting of "The Lord's Prayer," was a composer for Disney in the early short subject days.

Posted on Oct 08 2008 by Greg
Just a few of my own observations and some off-the-wall thoughts:

The narrator you hear in the reconstructed "alternate opening" and in the newly-restored Disneyland castle walk-through is the astonishingly talented Corey Burton paying tribute to original narrator Marvin Miller, whom you may remember from the TV show The Millionaire or those narrated station break cartoon clips on The Pink Panther Show.

Legendary Hanna-Barbera animation director/character designer Iwao Takamoto was an assistant designer on Sleeping Beauty. He went on to design the majority of HB characters in the late 60s and early 70s. Sleeping Beauty has always looked sort of HB-ish to me, including Aurora's overall look and especially her Jetson-like wedding gown. Other great artists like Ron Dias and Walt Peregoy did lots of work for HB and I can't help comparing the spongework of the castle to the Flintstones' cave.

Audrey Hepburn has been mentioned as an inspiration for Aurora, but does anyone but me see Donna Reed too? The hair, the dark brows. Aurora was like Donna as we saw her on her TV show.

In the Sleeping Beauty castle documentary, they mention that Shirley Temple helped Walt open the walk-through attraction. It is also likely that she was cross-promoting her NBC Shirley Temple's Storybook TV series, hence the princess dress. She also had a series of books that tied in with the show. Just call her synergistical Shirley. It's an interesting show to watch and it's on DVD, she even has a soundtrack CD on her website.

Speaking of soundtracks, Sleeping Beauty has two different soundtrack albums! The newly repackaged CD, restored by Randy Thornton at Walt Disney Records, contains music directly from the film (and in some cases, from source materials superior to the film prints). However, the 1959 soundtrack album produced by Tutti Camarata, released on Disneyland Records as WDL-4018, contains vocals and some orchestration that varies from the actual film. Mary Costa's performance is entirely different from the movie version (which seemed to surprise the lovely Ms. Costa when I told her about it several years ago), Bill Lee sings Bill Shirley's part, and the chorus is clearly different. Both are well worth having, but you can only get the 1959 album version here on iTunes.

Again, maybe it's just me, but in the scene where the fairies weep over the sleeping Aurora, doesn't the music here sound a little like the 'verse' portion of the Herbie the Love Bug theme, also composed by George Bruns, or does the Herbie theme have its roots in Tchaikovsky? I know, it's probably just me.

Legendary Disney Animator BURNY MATTINSON on "Sleeping Beauty"
Posted on Oct 03 2008 by Greg
The great Burny Mattinson did a recent interview in which he answered questions by several fans about his work on Maleficent, including l'il ol' me (what else? I asked about voices and stuff). Here is the complete transcript on















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