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Is Jon Stewart JUST directing a movie -- or negotiating?
Blog, TV
Posted on Mar 30 2013 by Greg

In general, many of TV's pillars are showing signs of cracks. It was news when Katie Couric anchored the CBS News, the results were mixed, now no one really talks much about the new guy.

Today is getting attention for backstage drama but not for the show, which is sagging.

As for late night, here's my view for all it's worth:

Jay is a poor little rich man. He's never really been accepted as the new Johnny, his early Tonight Show history was marred by Kushnik Kapers and no matter how he delivers and tries to be a company man, they don't seem to care.

I don't think he's terrible at interviews, depending on the guest. I skip over Jaywalking because too many of the people seem to be acting hopefuls who say dumb things to get on camera and be discovered.

My question for NBC is: what ever happened to the grand celebrationary sendoff? Johnny had a week of clips and tributes, Jay's going out angry.

Surely his departure this could have been managed in a more dignified, positive and ratings-getting way than Jay being treated like any old cog in a corporate wheel that's downsizing.

Fallon has a lot going for him -- impish nonthreatening looks, not-too-edgy, not-too-snarky humor, contemporary pop and rap and an easy, reassuring manner. I only wish he'd been given just a little more time to mature into the role. He tends to loooooove everyone and seems sincere about it, but sometimes the guest just isn't worthy.

The key thing that NBC is counting on with Fallon, beside ratings, is social networking. He has tweeted to fans from day one. The networks aren't sure where the new media is going but they want to be as ready as they can be. That's as big, or bigger, then demographics.

Conan can chug along as long as he wants in his little pond as the biggest fish. When he has a good guest, he does fine, but he's best in some sort of fringe, whether at 12:30 or on cable. He has a great band, though I miss Max.

Letterman still is a master of the craft, but he's not as passionate about pushing the envelope as he used to be. I respect the fact that he doesn't seem to be hiding his opinion about his guests.

His is the only show upon which I would watch an interview with Paris Hilton or a Kardashian because only Letterman can interview on two levels, seemingly deferential, yet letting his audience know just what he and they really think.

Ferguson is the most brilliant of all of them, an incredible mind so dynamic he can hardly get the words out fast enough. He is a curious blend of "vulgar lounge comic" as he puts it, sophisticated and intellectual ("Oh sure, another late night comic talking about Proust and existentialism!")

On the other hand, I love Secretariat and the vocal talents of the robot, but Ferguson sometimes falls into the repetition that affects Letterman. I miss "Murder She Wrote."

Not sure if Ferguson can -- or even wants -- Letterman's spot. He seems destined for other avenues for his talents. And he'd have to tone down the naughtiness.

That leaves the mystery of Jon Stewart. "The Daily Show" lacks some of its punch when there isn't an election, just like Saturday Night Live, but it still scores often. But is Jon Stewart REALLY leaving JUST to direct a film, or also to make some career negotiations?

Gotta wonder. His current show gives him a Peabody winning platform, but a bigger show and bigger audience (perhaps retaining some Daily Show elements) has got to be tempting.

My two cents.

A page turning "holiday" mystery thriller from a "Dark Shadows" icon
Blog, TV, Books
Posted on Mar 28 2013 by Greg
Kathryn Leigh Scott continues to amaze with Down and Out in Beverly Heels, the latest example of her many creative talents. In addition to being a pop culture icon ("Dark Shadows," "Police Squad"), publisher of a vast array of nonfiction/showbiz books and author of several books on the DS phenomenon, Scott has created her second novel -- this one a crisp, page turning mystery thriller in the grand tradition of TV series like "Columbo" and movies like "The Net."

Told in first person (which creates an uneasy feeling, at least to me, that the character may not survive the story), the lead character is Meg, the star of a classic TV light mystery show called "Holiday." The glamorous dream life she has lead, from the series and her marriage to Mr. Perfect to her beautiful home and seeming financial security, it all comes crashing down all over her. In a short time, she's alone, broke and a suspect of a costly fraud scheme.

As Scott unfolds the story and Meg searches for the truth, we get a glimpse of Hollywood through a prism of location filmings, lavish parties and nostalgia shows, every setting described in meticulous but never oppressive detail. She uses the traditional mystery simile, but with a nod and a smile. As a character, Meg is never at a loss for humor and irony.

Perhaps the most affecting world we explore is that of the downtrodden former Hollywood individual: a former director, a stuntman and sex symbol, to name a few. Each of these folks has carved out a life after the cameras stopped rolling for them, some very comfortable, some not so much.

I was touched when reading about the "street stars," a community who cling to former glory while living through soup kitchens, park benches and public restrooms. Meg is particularly close to one lady whose makeup and clothes are deteriorating as much as she and her mind are -- and of course, Meg is a breath or two away from becoming like her, as we all might be should we hit similar circumstances.

Surely this underground of Hollywood life is sadly a reality. And what an amazing nonfiction book or documentary it would make -- or maybe it has and I am not aware of it.

This is just the sort of book to relax with, to take on a trip, to read by the pool. This is page turning romp, filled with fiction fun, humor and heart.

The post-"Lion King" Disney story as told through 3 recent releases
Blog, Movies, TV
Posted on Mar 18 2013 by Greg

Disney has been releasing Blu-rays and DVD's of their animated features at a rapid rate lately, perhaps anticipating the new big format change. Only the tried and true standbys, like Peter Pan and soon, The Little Mermaid, are receiving lots of notice, while these other features are popping up in retail outlets relatively quietly.

With the release of three sets of features and their sequels last week, the sequels no longer standing on their own but now almost as bonus material, it makes one think back to the time when even a Disney direct to video sequel was a big deal and could even inspire a Happy Meal.

If you haven't seen The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan and Brother Bear lately (and who has time with everything else competing for our time and attention?), it's well worth rediscovering them, all of which look sensational in the crispness of high def. Now you can easily see the Belle cameo in Hunchback!

You can also see how they have held up since their release. While their technological advances have been surpassed in the years since (such as the then-miraculous CGI crowd scenes in Hunchback and Mulan), each retain their own power and artistry.

More than that, they exemplify the drama that was going on behind the scenes at Walt Disney Animation that picks up where Waking Sleeping Beauty left off. Jeffrey Katzenberg had departed, Pixar was on the rise, Disney had opened studios around the world and animators were starting to come down from the euphoria and attention they had enjoyed during the Beauty and the Beast and Lion King days.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Disney Blu-ray & DVD (March 12, 2013)
Directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
The Voices of Tom Hulce, Demi Moore, Kevin Kline, Paul Kandel, Tony Jay, Mary Wickes, Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough
Original Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz


Making an animated film as ambitious as The Hunchback of Notre Dame was a bold move when you consider that the film leaves less opportunity for Disney to enrich its other divisions than say, another princess movie. Hunchback might have made a great Broadway show (and still would, as it was very successful on stage in Germany), but it's more adult than perhaps any Disney feature since Fantasia and less conducive to plush toys (though there were a few). But Disney Animation was riding so high at the time, there seemed to be no limit to how high they could reach, and are to be admired for pushing the boundaries given the chance.

And push it does. Hunchback has some highly electrifying scenes, especially for a mass-market animated film. The human animation is downright astonishing, especially considering that, according to the commentary, while there was some modeling done, this is not that watery rotoscope stuff.

Frollo is the most purely evil of all Disney human villains, with no redeemable features and a creepy depravity that is brought to a boiling intensity in the set piece, "Hellfire." Animator Kathy Zielinski, again according to the commentary, dressed as the villain to get the details of the outfit right. I suspect that there was also a strong influence from the animation of Maleficent and Lady Tremaine as well. You could almost imagine Eleanor Audley's voice coming out of Frollo!

This score is perhaps the pinnacle in Alan Menken's already spectacular music career. Few songs reach into your heart and soul like "God Help the Outcasts," sung to perfection by Heidi Mollenhauer as the singing voice of Esmeralda (Demi Moore delivers a superb speaking performance as well.)

This is a film, which, like the novel, explores heady material about life, death, religion and politics, thus perhaps too pithy for everyone who saw it back then. Hunchback wasn't the hit that Lion King was, though it would have been somewhat unrealistic to expect so much. I do think that of all Disney features produced during this period, Hunchback may be much more revered in the future than it ever was in its own time.

2013 Blu-ray Bonus Features:
- Audio Commentary with Producer Don Hahn, and Directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale
- The Making of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- "A Guy Like You" Multi-Language Reel

2013 & 2002 DVD Bonus Features:
- Audio Commentary with Producer Don Hahn, and directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale
- The Making of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- "A Guy Like You" Multi-Language Reel
Topsy Turvy Underground Game
- Topsy Turvy Sing-Along song

The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002)
Disney Blu-ray & DVD (March 12, 2013)
Directed by Bradley Raymond
The Voices of Tom Hulce, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Demi Moore, Kevin Kline, Paul Kandel, Michael McKean, Jane Withers Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough
Music by Carl Johnson
Songs by Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Chris Canute, Randy Peterson, Kevin Quinn, Walter Edgar Kennon

How do you follow the eye-filling spectacle and tireless detail of the original Disney Hunchback, perhaps the most elaborate feature since Pinocchio? First, you make the script strong to overcome the time and budget restrictions on a made-for-video sequel. You also get a skillful director, in this case Bradley Raymond, who has done miracles since with his second Tinker Bell movie and Return to Never Land.

Retaining the original voice cast, albeit relegating Esmeralda and Phoebus to cameos, what would seem to be unthinkable actually works. It takes on the task of following up on a Disney epic as well a Hugo classic. Instead of taking a somber, pompous approach, this film tells a more intimate story in a remarkably convincing way. You start out thinking, "Oh come on! Quasimodo gets a girlfriend? Please!" but Jennifer Love-Hewitt's character is just enough of a non-conformist to make it plausible.

The songs are pleasant but not as memorable as the ones in the original. That was one tall order that was just too insurmountable. And even though the sequel repeats some of the same elements as the first film, particularly having yet another festival, the result is very entertaining.

2013 Blu-ray Bonus Features:
- Behind the Scenes with Jennifer Love-Hewitt
- A Gargoyles Life: It's Not Easy Being a Gargoyle

2002 & 2013 DVD Bonus Features:
- Behind the Scenes with Jennifer Love-Hewitt
- A Gargoyles Life: It's Not Easy Being a Gargoyle
- Festival of Fun Activity

Mulan (1998)
Disney Blu-ray & DVD (March 12, 2013)
Directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook
The Voices of Ming Na Wen, B. D. Wong, Eddie Murphy, George Takei, June Foray, Miguel Ferrer, Harvey Fierstein, Jerry Tondo, Gedde Watanabe
Music by Matthew Wilder
Lyrics by David Zippel
Music Score by Jerry Goldsmith


Mulan is significant in that it was the first feature produced almost completely by Walt Disney Animation Florida, a top-flight studio that doubled as a Theme Park attraction. Guests could wander along picture windows and watch animators at work on real shorts and features. It was a wonderful thing to see while it lasted.

Mulan was also my daughter's first movie. Even though she was just a baby then, she has seen it many times since and it is one of her all-time favorites. This is a great dad and daughter movie, in any case.

The strength of Mulan is that its a story that makes a strong statement without beating it over your head. The sense and reason of equal treatment arises through character, situation and example. Within the context of a patriarchal society, the film is able to make its case without compromising its time or place. There is no question about what Mulan must do, yet she is not trying to "prove" anything,doing what she has to do for her fathers and her family's honor.

Mulan herself is one of the most engaging Disney heroines of all time. She only doubts herself once, but most of the time she just figures out what to do because it has to be done and it's right. Mulan emerges as the strongest and smartest of her fellow recruits. Rarely is such compassionate, unselfish motivation seen in film or TV.

Not one song stops the action. Mulan is not a musical, but it has extended musical sequences that are carefully planned. Donny Osmond and Lea Salonga sing their roles beautifully (this being Donny's first Disney project since he and his brothers appeared on the Disney TV show to promote The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in 1969. (It was very groovy.)

Marni Nixon, famed Hollywood ´¿½┬¿┬½´¿½┬¬´¿½Ô€œghost singer" who dubbed Marilyn Monroe, Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood and even Margaret O'Brien, sings for Grandmother Fa, whose voice is none other than our Lovely Lady June Foray.

2005 2-Disc DVD Bonus Features
- Audio Commentary by Pam Coats, Tony Bancroft & Barry Cook
- Deleted Scenes (Keep 'Em Guessing, The Prologue Chronicle, Shadow Puppets Prologue, The Betrothal, Shan-Yu Destroys the Village, Mulan's Daydream, The Emperor's Dream)
- Music & More ("True to Your Heart" Video with Stevie Wonder; "True to Your Heart" Video with Raven; "I'll Make a Man Out of You" Video with Jackie Chan; Video with Christina Aguilera;  "Reflection" Video in Spanish)
- Backstage Disney: The Journey Begins (Discovering Mulan, The Ballad Of Hua Mulan, 1995 Presentation Reel, 1996 Presentation Reel); Story Artists' Journey (Storyboard to Film Comparison, Introduction, Storyboard Only, Final Film Only, Storyboard to Final Film Comparison), Design (Art Design, Character Design, Ballad of Color, Still Art Galleries); Production (Progression Demonstrations, Digital Production); Music (Songs of Mulan); International Mulan (Mulan's International Journey, Multi-Language Reel, Publicity Art)
DisneyPedia Activity: Mulan's World
Mulan Fun Facts

2013 Blu-ray Bonus Features:
Audio Commentary by Pam Coats, Tony Bancroft & Barry Cook
- Deleted Scenes (Keep 'Em Guessing, The Prologue Chronicle, Shadow Puppets Prologue, The Betrothal, Shan-Yu Destroys the Village, Mulan's Daydream, The Emperor's Dream)
Classic Backstage Disney: Mulan Fun Facts, The Journey Begins (Discovering Mulan, The Ballad Of Hua Mulan, 1995 Presentation Reel, 1996 Presentation Reel); Story Artists' Journey (Finding Mulan, Storyboard to Film Comparison: Mushu Breaks the Dragon); Design (Art Design, Character Design, Ballad of Color); Production (Mushu Awakens, Matchmaker Meets Mulan); Digital Production (The Hun Charge, Digital Dim Sum);
Classic Music & More("I'll Make a Man Out of You" Video with Jackie Chan;  "Reflection" Video with Christina Aguilera; "Reflejo" Video with Lucero; Songs of Mulan

2013 DVD Bonus Features
- Audio Commentary by Pam Coats, Tony Bancroft & Barry Cook
- Deleted Scenes (Keep 'Em Guessing, The Prologue Chronicle, Shadow Puppets Prologue, The Betrothal, Shan-Yu Destroys the Village, Mulan's Daydream, The Emperor's Daydream)
Classic Music & More ("True to Your Heart" Video with Stevie Wonder; "True to Your Heart" Video with Raven; "I'll Make a Man Out of You" Video with Jackie Chan; "Reflection" Video with Christina Aguilera; "Reflejo" Video with Lucero; Multi-Language Presentation; Mulan's International Journey; Multi-Language Presentation)
Classic Backstage Disney (Finding Mulan, Mulan's Fun Facts)

Mulan II (2004)
Disney Blu-ray & DVD (March 12, 2013)
Directed by Darrell Rooney and Lynne Southerland
The Voices of Ming Na Wen, B. D. Wong, Mark Moseley, George Takei, June Foray, Harvey Fierstein, Jerry Tondo, Gedde Watanabe, Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh
Music Score by Joel McNeely
Songs by Alexa Junge and Jeanne Tesori

Making a sequel for Mulan seems, unlike those of other Disney features, a natural. You might not be able to duplicate the epic battle scenes, but you could make more of the characters and their relationships. Sadly, Mulan II falls far from what it might have been.

A better title could have been How I Met Your Mulan. Countless rom-com clich´¿½┬©s abound. Sure, it's a contemporary take on an ancient legend, but do Mulan and Shang really have to do that "men never ask directions" routine? Sure to be dated phrases are spoken, like "Why the face? and "He's gross."

Most of the songs cover the same ground as in the first film. One might especially take exception with the song that appears to be intended as the breakout, "I Want to Be Like Other Girls." Yes, the song is about sheltered young ladies wanting to break free, but in this day and age, does every parent want their daughter to follow the crowd as these lyrics also imply?

A lot of work goes into films like these, and I regret deeply to sound so negative. There is a lot of talent evident in Mulan II, particularly the dazzling color palette. It's just that there must have been some behind the scenes disagreement about what the film was supposed to be. This is largely a comedy with most of the characters reduced to types.

In this film, Mulan makes an anachronistic speech about being shocked at arranged marriages, even though in the original film, she was fully aware of the cultural norms of her time. She went to the matchmaker fully prepared to face this situation.

This film goes on to depict a pat Brady Brides pairing of the three recruit characters from the earlier film with three princesses, perhaps suggesting that marriage is the only way for a person to be happy, as long as you can choose your partner (and get to know them for a couple of hours). Even when the princesses had discovered their independence, they reverted to another social convention and so did Mulan. Trying to have it both ways, modern and traditional, the story just gets lost in itself.

It's nice, though, to hear June Foray again, though we get to see precious little of the Fa family in the sequel.

2005 DVD Bonus Features
- Deleted Scenes (Battle Sequences, Mei Flirts, The Escape Part 1, The Escape Part 2), "I Wanna Be) Like Other Girls" Video with Atomic Kittens
- Voices of Mulan
- Mushu's Guess Who Game
- The World of Mulan Activity

2005 DVD & 2013 Blu-ray Bonus Features
- Deleted Scenes (Battle Sequences, Mei Flirts, The Escape Part 1, The Escape Part 2)
"I Wanna Be) Like Other Girls" Video with Atomic Kittens
- Voices of Mulan

Brother Bear (2003)
Disney Blu-ray & DVD (March 12, 2013)
Directed by Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker
The Voices of Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Wanda Sykes, D. B. Sweeney, Joan Copeland, Michael Clarke Duncan, Harold Gould
Music Score Phil Collins and Mark Mancina
Songs by Phil Collins


Surely it was not intended to reissue Mulan and Brother Bear at the same time because they bookend the peak and the valley of Walt Disney Animation Florida. But they are connected by their history as the first and last films produced at is now called Disney's Hollywood Studios (Lilo and Stitch was the middle feature). There is still an animation walk-through attraction at the Park, but there are no longer glimpses at working animators.

Brother Bear could be considered one of the most overlooked of the post-Lion King era. Some critics made comparisons, which are not untrue, but this is a very different film in style and pretension. It is a very simple fable rather than a sweeping saga.

Like a classic fable, the theme is broader than the story depicted. This is really a story about intolerance and hatred that is counteracted when the protagonist walks in the other's shoes, or in this case, paws. Another film that invites comparison is the more recent Brave, since both showcase humans that become bears, but again, the focus is very different here, aside from mutual understanding.

It is fortunate that Joaquin Phoenix was available at the time to do the voice of Kenai; it is an excellent performance. SCTV's Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas are pitch perfect as moose versions of their McKenzie brothers (and deliver comic gold on their in-character audio commentary).

But the star of Brother Bear is Jeremy Suarez as Koda. He's still very much a working actor all these years later, and rightly so. Koda's not just cute, he commands the scenes in which he appears and directs the emotional pull of the story.

Phil Collins, who is one of the best musical partners to work in Disney films, according to what Disney music president Chris Montan told me (Collins would make himself constantly available even from his Switzerland home), again creates songs that have a viable pop sound but don't sound dated it all today.

2004 2-Disc DVD & 2013 Blu-ray Bonus Features
- Koda's Outtakes
- Rutt & Tukes Commentary
- "Through My Eyes" Video
- Brother Bear Games (Bone Puzzle; Find Your Totem)
- "On My Way" Sing-Along Song
- Bear Legends: Native American Tales
- Making Noise: The Art of Foley
- Art Review
- Paths of Discovery: The Making of Brother Bear
- Deleted Scenes (Where's Koda?; Confession; Muri the Squirrel)
- "Fishing Song (Never Before Heard Song)
- "Transformation Song" with Original Phil Collins Lyrics)

2013 DVD Bonus Features:
- Koda's Outtakes
- Rutt & Tuke's Commentary
- "Through My Eyes" Video
- Brother Bear Games (Bone Puzzle; Find Your Totem)
- "On My Way" Sing-Along Song
- Bear Legends: Native American Tales
- Making Noise: The Art of Foley
- Art Review

Brother Bear 2 (2006)
Disney Blu-ray & DVD (March 12, 2013)
Directed by Benjamin Gluck
The Voices of Patrick Dempsey, Jeremy Suarez, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Mandy Moore, Michael Clarke Duncan, Wendy Malick, Kathy Najimy
Music Score by Dave Metzger
Songs by Melissa Etheridge, Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil

The sequel to Brother Bear falls between  "what were they thinking" and "that was better than I expected."

The overall look, though not quite as detailed, is very accurately captured from the first film. Joaquin Phoenix is replaced by Patrick Dempsey, only a breath away from his big TV splash as TV as "McDreamy."

Dempsey's voice is noticeably higher than that of Phoenix, but it stands him in good stead for his squabbles with his leading lady, voiced by Mandy Moore, who later voiced Rapunzel for Disney.

Brother Bear was about tolerance and tradition, the sequel is more of a rom-com triangle that isn't exactly full of surprises but at the same time a nice way to spend some time with some wonderful characters again. It avoids most of the deadly rom-com clich´¿½┬©, thanks to a solid script and some nice tunes by Melissa Etheridge.

Best of all, we SCTV fans get two more legends to enjoy, now Andrea Martin and Catherine O'Hara play lady moose who are wooed pathetically by the goony moose we met in the first film, again voiced by Moranis and Thomas. They provide the true highlights. I would have liked to see more of them in one form or another, these are great animated comic characters voiced by four of the best in the business.

2013 Blu-ray Bonus Feature
- Behind the Music of Brother Bear II

2006 & 2013 DVD Bonus Features
- Behind the Music of Brother Bear II
- Trample Off, Eh? Game

The world is saved thanks the efforts of one playtpus and occasional guest animal agents
Blog, TV
Posted on Mar 03 2013 by Greg
The new DVD, Phineas & Ferb: The Perry Files - Animal Agent is a fine collection of cartoons from the superb Disney XD series has a loose theme of animals, many of them secret agents like Agent P.

Each episode runs about 12 minutes. Here's a guide:

1. Journey to the Center of Candace
(Season 1, Episode 11b, 
February 29, 2008)
Phineas & Ferb take the sub for a Fantastic Voyage; Doofensmirtz creates the "Make-Up-Your-Mind-Inator".
Guest animal: Pinky the Chihuahua
Memorable song: "Just The Two of Us, In An Esophagus"

2. Traffic Cam Caper (Season 1, Episode 21A, July 12, 2008)
Candace tries to use the disc from a traffic cam to bust her brothers.
Guest animals: dog, chicken
Memorable line: "Carl, remind me again why the agents are all animals?"

3. Vanessassary Roughness (Season 2, Episode 12B, August 7, 2009)
As everyone is shopping in the same giant warehouse store, Doofensmirtz and Agent P try to find lost pizazzium infinianionite, which passes from person to person.
Guest animals: dogs
Memorable line: "No one really is really sure of what it does, but look to the future for hover-vehicles powered by pizazzium infinianionite in the world of tomorrow!"

4. Isabella and the Temple of Sap (Season 2, Episode 16B, October 29, 2009)
Isabella moons over Phineas; Agent Pinky thwarts Professor Poofenplotz's scheme to capture a discontinued brand of hairspray.
Guest animals: Pinky the Chihuahua
Memorable line: "I can't very well take over the world until I'm drop dead gorgeous."

5. Cheer Up Candace (Season 2, Episode 17A, October 24, 2009)
A step-by-step magazine article is the guide to cheer Candace after Jeremy breaks a date; Doofensmirtz creates an army of Perrys.
Guest animals: monkeys, bulldog and eagle
Memorable Perry secret passage: dog and doghouse
Memorable line: "Candace has a great sense of humor! Remember when she got her face caught in the sink?"

6. Robot Rodeo (Season 2, Episode 20, October 24, 2009)
P&F dream up robot rodeo; .
Guest animals: agent raccoon, owl, cat, dog, chicken & frog
Memorable line: "Remember that time when I pretended to be Irish for a whole week?"

7. Lotsa Latkas (Season 2, Episode 20, October 24, 2009)
P&F create the Spudsalot, Doofensmirtz creates a potato-powered Historical Army Retreivanator and mutant Buford potatoes crop up as the town prepares to presnt its Latka Festival.
Guest animals: dog threatened by mutant potatoes
Memorable line: "Have you ever seen senior citizen riot? It's like a slow, gray tornado of canes and false teeth!"

8. Agent Doof (Season 2, Episode 20, October 24, 2009)
Candace takes over while Mom is away; Doofensmirtz claims to have given up evil but creates a ray that turns P&F into babies..
Guest animals: Agent kitty,  Doofensmirtz is, by law, an ocelot
Memorable gag featuring Doofensmirtz: "Wow! My own cubicle! How nice! I'm going to put a poster, right here, of a kitten that says 'Hang in there.'" (Agent kitty walks by, pauses and leaves.) "No offense. It's not like I think that's all you guys do or anything, it's...oh great. Now he's going to Human Resources."

9. Where's Perry, Part 1 (Season 2, Episode 20, October 24, 2009)
P&F, their friends and family take a trip to Africa; Doofensmirtz plots to turn Major Monogram evil.
Guest animals: bulldog and eagle
Memorable line: "Hey Carl, does my uvula look unusually large to you?"

10. Where's Perry, Part 2 (Season 2, Episode 20, October 24, 2009)
Now evil Carl tries to use evil Flynn and Fletcher robots for evilness.
Guest animals: Monkeys
Memorable song : "I'm Living With Monkeys"

11. What'd I Miss? (Season 2, Episode 20, October 24, 2009)
Phineas and Baljeet (filling in for Ferb) help squirrels earn their necessary squirrel skills; Doofensmirtz causes a peach shortage to embarrass his more successful brother.
Guest animals: squirrels, rhino
Memorable line: "There is is, the big showoff, with his big smile and his keys in his pocket and his lumberjack-like..."

12. Bowl-R-Ama Drama (Season 1, Episode 38, July 12, 2008)
Candace pilots Phineas & Ferb's bowling ball; Doofensmirtz sends giant penguins to attack the tri-city area.
Guest animals: bulldog and eagle
Memorable line: "As they say in Mexico, 'dos vandanya!' Down there, that's two 'vandanyas."

Bonus Feature:
Take Two with Phineas & Ferb
(Season 2, Episode 20,
October 24, 2009)
P&F interview celebrities in short interstitials created for Disney XD.

One of TV's all-time greatest anthologies in the biggest DVD set ever...
Blog, TV, People
Posted on Feb 22 2013 by Greg
Loretta Young was one of Hollywood's biggest stars and one of the first to transition to television. Her much-imitated (and parodied) trademark was to come sweeping through a door in a designer outfit. But there was much more to the show that a grand entrance.

Young was to early dramatic TV what Lucille Ball was to comedy. She and her husband, Tom Lewis, partnered in this "Lewislor Productions," much as Lucy and Desi Arnaz did with Desilu. Ironically, The Loretta Young Show was filmed, at least in the early stages, at "D-P-I," which was Desilu, with many of the same crew members as I Love Lucy. Like the Arnazes, both the business and personal partnerships did not end happily, with the respective actresses, both strong, skilled and assertive, took over the reins of their shows.

Anthology shows were common in early television, but most were live, not filmed. The Loretta Young Show was filmed on a fairly tight budget, relative to its ambitious attempt to use different characters in different setting every week. While many of the episodes are dramatic, some are light romances, some family stories and a few are out-and-out comedies. There are even some creepy ones, like The Mirror, co-starring the voice of Cruella DeVille, Betty Lou Gerson.

Each episode (a few are two-parters) is like a little movies, making up for their limits in scope with vivid characters studies and the indomitable presence of Ms. Young, who seldom played a submissive woman, whether in the role of a mother, executive, sheriff's wife, performer or political activist. Even when the story called for a woman in a position of being dominated (such as "The Bronte Story," in which she was oppressed by an unmoving father), it's seldom a permanent situation. For this series, Young won a Best Actress Emmy award three times.

One of the reasons Young chose the anthology form was to be able to play more than just the saintly characters she played in the movies. Her characters run the gamut of psychologically disturbed to bitter and insolent. By and large, though, she plays lots of good, hearty people, including a hospital nun named Sister Ann in several shows (based on a real-life friend) and a Swedish farm lady reminiscent of her Oscar-winning character in The Farmer's Daughter.

For baby boomers, film fans and TV enthusiasts, The Loretta Young Show is a treasure trove of familiar, beloved character actors (Jeanette Nolan, Kathleen Freeman, William Frawley, and iconic performers who were either well-known at the time (Hugh O'Brien, Jock Mahoney, Eddie Albert, George Nader, Beverly Washburn) or became so when they got their own series a few years later:  Hugh Beaumont and Eric Osmond (Leave it to Beaver), Alan Hale, Jr. and Natalie Schaefer (Gilligan's Island), Craig Stevens (Peter Gunn), Sandra Gould (Bewitched), Shelley Fabares (The Donna Reed Show), Frances Bavier (Tbe Andy Griffith Show) and many, many more -- playing roles sometimes very unlike the ones that they later became identified. Even Sally Field's actress mother, Margaret Field, appears in at least one episode.

The series ran from 1953 to 1961, producing 257 half-hour episodes. This new collection,
100th Birthday Edition: The Best of the Complete Series, is the most comprehensive collection ever released, with a total of 144 episodes on 17 discs. Some were omitted because Young fell seriously ill and several superstar Hollywood star friends stepped in to host the show -- but they didn't enter through "the door." Perhaps someday it will be economically feasible to include those shows in a future set, if they exist in good enough condition.

The estate tracked down as many classic episodes as possible in the best condition available (a few have short bouts of missing audio). Many episodes appear for the first time on this collection, including The Accused, which was entered into the Congressional Record.

Loretta Young had a complicated personal life but sincerely held to strong beliefs. The shows definitely convey positive messages and are largely family-friendly. Young once even lost a sponsor because it didn't want to advertise on her extra-length, extra-budget episode, The Road, about an agnostic woman with cancer who visits Lourdes. The sponsor balked, Young wouldn't back down and the episode was produced and aired with other sponsors.

The new collection contains all the episodes of previous DVD releases, without just a few of the bonus features, but you still get lots of rare home movie footage, interviews and more.

What you don't get is a booklet with a complete episode guide -- and the episodes are not all in consecutive order. The 17 discs are packed in two plastic cases in a slipcase. Here is the entire list of shows as they appear on the set:



1. Trial Run (Season 1, Episode 1, September 20, 1953)

2. A Family Out of Us (Season 1, Episode 21, February 7, 1954)

3. Prisoner at One O'Clock (Season 1, Episode 3, October 4, 1953)

4. Girl on a Flagpole (Season 1, Episode 4, October 11, 1953)

5. The Turn of the Card (Season 1, Episode 5, October 18, 1953)

6. Earthquake (Season 1, Episode 6, October 25, 1953)

7. The One That Got Away (Season 1, Episode 7, November 1, 1953)

8. Kid Stuff (Season 1, Episode 8, November 8, 1953)

9. The Bronte Story (Season 1, Episode 9, November 15, 1953)

10. Laughing Boy (Season 1, Episode 12, December 6, 1953


1. Love Story (Season 1, Episode 12, November 29, 1953)

2. Thanksgiving in Beaver Run (Season 1, Episode 10, November 21, 1953)

3. The Faith of Chata (Season 1, Episode 13, December 13, 1953)

4. The Night My Father Came Home (Season 1, Episode 14, December 20, 1953)

5. Hotel Irritant (Season 1, Episode 15, December 29, 1953)

6. Inga #1 (Season 1, Episode 16, January 3, 1954)

7. Lady Killer (Season 1, Episode 17, January 10, 1954)

8. Secret Answer (Season 1, Episode 18, January 17, 1954)

9. "The Mirror" (Season 1, Episode 2, September 27, 1953) 

10. The Hollywood Story (Season 1, Episode 20, January 31, 1954)


1. Act of Faith (Season 1, Episode 22, February 14, 1954)

2. Big Little Lie (Season 1, Episode 19, January 24, 1954)

3. The New York Story (Season 1, Episode 23, February 28, 1954)

4. Man's Estate (Season 1, Episode 29, April 11, 1954)

5. Nobody's Boy (Season 1, Episode 24, March 7, 1954)

6. The Count of Ten (Season 1, Episode 25, March 14, 1954)

7. The Clara Schumann Story (Season 1, Episode 26, March 21, 1954)

8. Son, This is Your Father (Season 1, Episode 27, March 28, 1954

9. First Man to Ask Her (Season 1, Episode 28, April 4, 1954)

10. Forest Ranger (Season 1, Episode 30, April 18, 1954)



  1. Dr. Juliet (Season 2, Episode 2, August 29, 1954)
  1. Double Trouble (Season 2, Episode 3, September 12, 1954)
  1. The Lamp (Season 2, Episode 4, September 19, 1954)
  1. You're Driving Me Crazy (Season 2, Episode 5, September 26, 1954)
  1. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (Season 2, Episode 6, October 3, 1954)
  1. On Your Honor, Your Honor (Season 2, Episode 8, October 17, 1954)
  1. The Girl Scout Story (Season 2, Episode 9, October 31, 1954)
  1. No Help Wanted (Season 2, Episode 10, November 7, 1954)
  1. Something About Love (Season 2, Episode 12, November 21, 1954) 
  1. Our Sacred Honor (Season 2, Episode 13, November 28, 1954)


  1. Feeling No Pain (Season 2, Episode 33, April 17, 1955)
  1. Three Minutes Too Late (Season 2, Episode 17, December 26, 1954)
  1. Evil for Evil (Season 2, Episode 15, December 12, 1954)
  1. The Girl Who Knew (Season 2, Episode 18, January 2, 1955)
  1. The Flood (Season 2, Episode 19, January 9, 1955)
  1. The Refinement of 'Ab' (Season 2, Episode 21, January 23, 1955) 
  1. Decision (Season 2, Episode 20, January 16, 1955)
  1. 600 Seconds (Season 2, Episode 22, January 30, 1955)
  1. The Case of Mrs. Bannister (Season 2, Episode 23, February 6, 1955)
  1. Dickie (Season 2, Episode 24, February 13, 1955)


  1. Option On a Wife (Season 2, Episode 25, February 20, 1955)
  1. Tale of the Cayuse (Season 2, Episode 26, February 27, 1955)
  1. Case Book (Season 2, Episode 27, March 6, 1955) 
  1. Inga #2 (Season 2, Episode 29, March 20, 1955)
  1. Dateline Korea (Season 2, Episode 28, March 13, 1955) 
  1. Mink Coat (Season 2, Episode 30, March 27, 1955)
  1. Let Columbus Discover You (Season 2, Episode 31, April 3, 1955)
  1. He Always Comes Home (Season 2, Episode 32, April 10, 1955) 
  1. The Little Teacher (Season 2, Episode 34, April 24, 1955)
  1. I Remember the Rani (Season 2, Episode 35, May 5, 1955)



  1. Christmas Stopover (Season 3, Episode 17, December 25, 1955)
  1. Inga #3 (Season 3, Episode 17, January 19, 1956)
  1. The Secret (Season 3, Episode 22, January 29, 1956)
  1. The Pearl (Season 3, Episode 23, February 12, 1956)
  1. Gesundheit (Season 3, Episode 25, February 26, 1956)
  1. His Inheritance (Season 3, Episode 27, March 18, 1956)
  1. But for God's Grace (Season 3, Episode 29, April 1, 1956)


  1. Double Partners (Season 4, Episode 1, August 26, 1956)
  1. The Question (Season 4, Episode 2, September 2, 1956)
  1. Little League (Season 4, Episode 4, September 16, 1956)


  1. Now a Brief Word (Season 4, Episode 6, September 2, 1956)
  1. The Years Between (Season 4, Episode 7, October 7, 1956)
  1. Goodbye, Goodbye (Season 4, Episode 9, October 21, 1956)
  1. The Great Divide (Season 4, Episode 10, October 28, 1956)
  1. The End of the Week (Season 4, Episode 12, November 11, 1956)
  1. Inga #4 (Season 4, Episode 13, November 18, 1956)
  1. Somebody Else's Dream (Season 4, Episode 15, December 9, 1956)
  1. Three and Two, Please (Season 4, Episode 15, December 16, 1956)
  1. Imperfect Balance (Season 4, Episode 17, December 30, 1956)
  1. Queen Nefertiti (Season 4, Episode 18, January 6, 1957)


  1. My Favorite Monster (Season 4, Episode 19, January 13, 1957)
  1. Miss Ashley's Demon (Season 4, Episode 20, January 27, 1957)
  1. Tension (Season 4, Episode 22, February 17, 1957)
  1. Wedding Day (Season 4, Episode 21, February 3, 1957)
  1. The Room Next Door (Season 4, Episode 26, March 31, 1957)
  1. So Bright a Light (Season 4, Episode 27, April 7, 1957)
  1. The Legacy Light (Season 4, Episode 29, April 21, 1957)
  1. The Countess Light (Season 4, Episode 31, May 5, 1957)
  1. A Mind of Their Own (Season 4, Episode 32, May 12, 1957)
  1. Royal Parners, Part 1 (Season 4, Episode 33, May 19, 1957)
  1. Royal Partners, Part 2 (Season 4, Episode 34, May 26, 1957)




  1. A Dollar's Worth (Season 4, Episode 1, October 7, 1957)
  1. Innocent Conspiracy (Season 4, Episode 3, November 3, 1957)
  1. The Little Witness (Season 4, Episode 5, November 24, 1957)
  1. Friends at a Distance (Season 4, Episode 7, December 8, 1957)
  1. The Demon and Mrs. Devon (Season 4, Episode 8, December 15, 1957)
  1. The Accused (Season 6, Episode 29, April 26, 1959) **FROM SEASON SIX
  1. Dear Mr. Milkman (Season 5, Episode 29, February 9, 1958)


  1. A Greater Strength (Season 5, Episode 17, February 23, 1958)
  1. The Oriental Mind (Season 5, Episode 19, March 9, 1958)
  1. Time of Decision (Season 5, Episode 21, March 23, 1958)
  1. To Open a Door (Season 5, Episode 23, April 6, 1958)
  1. Dangerous Verdict (Season 5, Episode 25, April 20, 1958)
  1. South American Uncle (Season 5, Episode 27, May 4, 1958)
  1. A Strange Adventure (Season 5, Episode 28, May 11, 1958)


  1. A Day of Rest (Season 5, Episode 29, May 18, 1958)


  1. The Near Unknown (Season 6, Episode 2, October 12, 1958)
  1. A Visit to San Paulo (Season 6, Episode 4, October 26, 1958)
  1. The 20 Cent Tip (Season 6, Episode 6, November 9, 1958)
  1. In the Good Old Summertime (Season 6, Episode 3, October 19, 1958)
  1. The Woman Between (Season 6, Episode 8, November 23, 1958)
  1. Black Lace Valentine (Season 6, Episode 19, February 8, 1959)


  1. The Happy Widow (Season 6, Episode 10, December 7, 1958) 
  1. Sister Ann (Season 6, Episode 15, January 11, 1959) 
  1. Incident in India (Season 6, Episode 17, January 25, 1959)
  1. The Portrait (Season 6, Episode 21, February 22, 1959)
  1. Mr. Wilson's Wife #1 (Season 6, Episode 26, April 5, 1959)
  1. The Prettiest Girl in Town (Season 6, Episode 23, March 8, 1959) 
  1. The Tenderizer (Season 6, Episode 24, March 21, 1959)


  1. Mr. Wilson's Wife #2 (Season 6, Episode 27, April 12, 1959)


  1. The Road (Season 7, Episode 1, September 20, 1959)
  1. One Beautful Moment (Season 7, Episode 2, September 27, 1959)
  1. Mask of Evidence (Season 7, Episode 4, October 11, 1959)
  1. A New Step (Season 7, Episode 7, November 8, 1959)
  1. Lady in a Fish Bowl (Season 7, Episode 9, November 22, 1959)
  1. Alien Love (Season 7, Episode 12, December 13, 1959)


  1. Little Monster, Tell Tales (Little Miss Tell Tales) (Season 7, Episode 15, January 10, 1960)
  1. Mrs. Minton (Season 7, Episode 17, January 24, 1960) 
  1. Second Spring (Season 7, Episode 20, February 21, 1960)
  1. The Trouble with Laury's Men (Season 7, Episode 22, March 13, 1960)
  1. Faith, Hope and Mr. Flaherty (Season 7, Episode 27, May 8, 1960)
  1. The Eternal Now, Part 1 (Season 7, Episode 28, May 15, 1960)
  1. The Eternal Now, Part 2 (Season 7, Episode 29, May 22, 1960)



  1. Long Night (Season 8, Episode 1, September 18, 1960)
  1. Fair Exchange (Season 8, Episode 3, October 2, 1960)
  1. Love Between the Acts (Season 8, Episode 6, October 23, 1960)
  1. The Seducer (Season 8, Episode 8, November 6, 1960)
  1. Conditional Surrender (Season 8, Episode 10, November 20, 1960)
  1. These Few Years (Season 8, Episode 12, November 11, 1960)

Bonus Features: "In her Own Words," Movie Trailers


  1. Quiet Desperation (Season 8, Episode 17, February 5, 1961)
  1. Subtle Danger (Season 8, Episode 17, February 5, 1961)
  1. Doesn't Everybody? (Season 8, Episode 15, January 15, 1961)
  1. Emergency in 114 (Season 8, Episode 26, April 23, 1961)
  1. The Forbidden Guests (Season 8, Episode 30, May 28, 1961)
  1. Not in Our Stars (Season 8, Episode 31, June 4, 1961)

Bonus Features: Loretta Young's Home Movies; Beverly Washburn Interview

"...Well, goodnight. See you next week?"

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