Several blogs back, I talked about the DVD release of the 1966 NBC TV musical special
-- she talks at length about Mackie and especially the hysterically funny Scarlett O'Hara "curtain dress" that she wore in a sketch called "Went with the Wind" on her legendary variety show.
In the book, Ms. Burnett says she and her then-husband Joe Hamilton learned of Mackie from watching the credits after a mid-sixties
(she calls it "Alice in Wonderland," but we know she means this special because her own show premiered in 1967). It pays to read the credits. Why would folks want to leave the theater before they're over? The credits are a treasure trove -- and sometimes offer extra surprises.
"IRON MAN" GETS ANIMATED -- AND SO DOES BILL CLINTON?
Posted on May 10 2010 by Greg
The second time Marvel's Iron Man
was adapted for a TV cartoon (the first being the kind of cheesy 1966 version), was in this two-season syndicated series that premiered in 1994 as part of The Marvel Action Hour
. Stan Lee
appeared onscreen as host, and though these intros are not included on the new DVD, Iron Man: The Complete Animated Series
, the end credits mention it.
This is actually, in effect, two series with the same actor, Robert Hays
, as the voice of Iron Man. The first season was produced by Rainbow Animation with scripts largely by Ron Friedman
. The animation is a sort of lower budget ThunderCats
, with recycled action and somewhat limited scope. The stories are a bit overloaded with characters so numerous they weigh down the chance to develop them.
There are also plenty of pop culture references (David Letterman
?) and Bill Clinton
himself is depicted rather than a generic President (voiced by none other than Jim Cummings
, the voice of Tigger, Pooh, Darkwing Duck and many more including Ray, the beloved firefly in The Princess and the Frog
). This set of episodes also allows you to see the origins of Iron Man and his arch nemesis, Mandarin and his henchman, MODOK (also Cummings).
Once you hit episode 14, there is a distinct difference in style and a totally different theme song. This season was produced by Koko Animation and written by such comic book veterans as Len Wein
. The animation is more elaborate but what is particularly noticeable is the dialogue. While there is a lot of action, an effort seems to have been made to flesh out the personalities, conflicts and, most of all the inner turmoils that are the Marvel trademark.
The cast, by and large, provides outstanding performances of what could potentially be campy. Robert Hays is given the opportunity as the voice of Iron Man to deliver more depth and complexity than many of his best-known characters in TV shows like Angie
and the movie Airplane!
Most of the voices were recast in the two series. James Rhodes (aka War Machine) is played by James Avery
in season 1 and by Dorian Harewood in season 2. Ed Gilbert
(Baloo in Disney's TaleSpin
) as Mandarin is recast with Robert Ito
In season 2, when the Incredible Hulk appears in an episode, Ron Perlman
(of the Bill Bixby
live action series), voices the Hulk and Dr. Banner. Also this season, Wanda/Spider Woman is voiced by Jennifer Hale
, who is the current voice of Disney's Cinderella.
The episodes look and sound great on the three discs. It would be nice if there was a printed episode guide in the package. I know budgets are an issue, but surely one panel of the enclosed Blu-Ray flyer could be used. That way, it's less likely to be tossed away!
THE SCARECROW OF BENSONHURST
Posted on May 09 2010 by Greg
As a special feature on the new Honeymooners Valentine Special
DVD, there's a sketch from ABC's The Hollywood Palace
in which host Ray Bolger introduces guest star Audrey Meadows and wonders out of the blue, what it would be like if "Alice Kram-Dom" was the bus driver and he was the husband at home.
The sketch opens with the music, "Love Nest," which was actually the Burns & Allen theme, but fittingly ends with "Always," just as the early Honeymooners sketches did. The show was broadcast in 1967 so Bolger does some groovy dancing and refers to the "LBJ Ranch." Cool stuff!
ANNETTE'S MUSCLE BEACH PARTY - NOW ON AMAZON.COM
Posted on May 06 2010 by Greg
The second of three albums released by Disney's Buena Vista Records division based on American-International "beach party" movies has just become available as an mp3 download on amazon.com (Annette's Beach Party
is available on iTunes; the third, Annette at Bikini Beach
is not yet released on CD or download, though it was a title in the short-lived Wonderland Music system in the Theme Parks).Muscle Beach Party
was the second film in the wildly successful low-budget series directed by William Asher
, who also directed most episodes of Bewitched
. Asher's then-wife Elizabeth Montgomery
made a cameo in Beach Blanket Bingo
, which is considered by afficionados as the Citizen Kane
of the beach party series (but Annette did not do an album from it -- that was left to Donna Loren
on Capitol Records).
And yes, that is Peter Lupus
of TV's Mission: Impossible
on the right. Don Rickles
co-starred in Muscle Beach Party
as a fitness coach. Neither Lupus nor Rickles appears on the album, of course. The album is actually a re-creation of the movie songs, including "A Girl Needs a Boy" and "Surfer's Holiday," with additional songs that include the theme from the Disney comedy Annette made with Tommy Kirk
, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones
. Kirk himself is heard on the very last track, "The Scrambled Egghead," one of Kirk's few appearances on Disney records.
The music was produced by Disney Legend Tutti Camarata
at his renowned Sunset Sound studios, a Hollywood landmark that is still very much an active entity
under the direction of Tutti's son, Paul Camarata
. Sunset Sound hosted many music giants from Herb Alpert
to The Doors
-- in fact it is the actual studio that Jim Morrison
trashed with a fire extinguisher (the setting you may have seen in The Doors movie was a studio re-creation).
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