The Hole - 1962 - ICBM

Toon In: The Hole (1962)

It has certainly been a while since the last Toon In offering, friends. You might have thought we’ve dropped into The Hole perhaps? I have definitely missed sharing what I believed to be worthy animated shorts of course. However it was getting a little discouraging to constantly find the subjects of the posts getting yanked. Especially when they are Academy Award winning shorts like in the case of 1962’s The Hole!

The Hole was written by Faith and John Hubley. While some say they also animated the short I have in fact found sites that claim it was Bill Littlejohn as well as Gary Mooney. For the Hubley’s legendary animation studio, Storyboard Studios, of course. If that studio sounds familiar it might be because you remember their work on The Electric Company!

Nanto Vision 1

By the way, Littlejohn also worked on the likes of 1965’s A Charlie Brown Christmas and other Peanuts TV specials. With Mooney being involved with Jay Ward’s George of the Jungle and Underdog to name just a few of the projects they had a hand in. Furthermore the animation for the short is rather different for the time. Instead of animation cells the short was shot using watercolors on paper.
The Hole - Toon In

Certainly giving it a very unique look I would say.
The Hole - Dizzy Gillespie

Also of note are the voice actors that were hired for The Hole. None other than George Mathews (Gunfight at the O.K. Corral). And the iconic jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie. Furthermore the dialogue in the short film was improvised. Which indeed suits the two characters quite well.

In The Hole we listen to two construction workers talk about a myriad of subjects. Dirty dishes, citizenship, dancing, Saints, as well as nuclear war. It’s an enjoyable short to say the very least. The humor coming not from hijinks but ‘real life’ conversations between two co-workers. It also feels incredibly timeless. Which is probably why the Academy Film Archive preserved it in 2003. With the Library of Congress inducting it in the National Film Registry in 2013!

You have a little information on The Hole now, friends. So set aside fifteen minutes of your time and enjoy the short.

[Via] Amesea

Here on Toon In we have shared the work of John Hubley before. Back in February of 2016, the Oscar nominated short Rooty Toot Toot. It’s a little lighter than The Hole and also worthy of your time.

H.P. Joelcraft - Billy Joel

Put Your Tentacles Together For H.P. Joelcraft!

Friends, the World can be a tough place. Certainly most of us are aware of this. Frequently unfair and mean as well as cynical. Granted when we step back and look at it logically. We know of course that we can count on friends and family to offset the woes we experience. To say nothing of the simple joys one might discover on the internet. Say like the merging of the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and the musical skills of Billy Joel? Or as singer and song-writer, Julian Velard, so eloquently described it. H.P. Joelcraft…of course!

H.P. Joelcraft - H.P. Lovecraft
“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”

I’m not sure if H.P. Lovecraft would be as enamored with H.P. Joelcraft as I am. But I can at the very least say this mashup of Lovecraft’s Nemesis with Joel’s 1973 Piano Man is incredibly entertaining.
H.P. Joelcraft - Billy Joel - Piano Man

We have to thank Birth. Movies. Death. for the heads up on this delicious madness. Who in turn were surprised to find a tweet by Captain Video. Who posted a rather interesting discovery a few days back. The good Captain realized that Lovecraft’s 1917 poem Nemesis possessed the same meter as Joel’s Piano Man!
H.P. Joelcraft - Nemesis - Captain Video

Thanks once again to Birth. Movies. Death. the wheels were put into motion to have this actually put to music. Except to their surprise it had already been accomplished. Julian Velard had in fact just uploaded H.P. Joelcraft to SoundCloud. Just the other day, H.P. Joelcraft, was released on YouTube as well. While Julian Velard admits he had to trim a few lines of the poem to work – the spirit of the poem is still intact.

Now without further ado, my friends. Straight from his headlining performance for a third Eon in R’lyeh. Enjoy H.P. Joelcraft’s hit Nemesis!

[Via] Julian Velard

I hope the chanting has calmed down enough by now. So at the very least you might indeed listen to a reading of the original 1917 poem as well.

[Via] Gusburne2000

Snap Crackle Pop Tunes

Snap Crackle Pop Tunes Rice Krispies 7 Inch Record

In 1983 Rice Krispies ran a promo for a 7 inch record full of their classic jingles, their Snap Crackle Pop Tunes. Getting it was simple, you would cut out UPC codes and send them shipping money and 6-8 weeks later your record would arrive.

I wanted this album, but it was a problematic proposition for me. I can’t remember, but I think you needed more than one UPC code. My family only bought so much breakfast cereal per month, which meant I needed to keep my young brain focused on this reward for multiple months. Which was even harder in 1983, when new cereals would sweep into stores and be gone almost every month.

Somehow I persevered and sent away for the record and was not disappointed. It had all of Snap Crackle Pop best jingles and I pretty much wore the record and my family’s patience out listening to it over and over on the main stereo of our home.

Most of my record collection is gone now, but I was happy to find multiple people’s uploads of the record online.

Listen to the Snap Crackle Pop Tunes Record Online

The album has six track in total. They are:

Side 1:
1. Snap! Crackle! Pop! Rice Krispies
2. Wakin’ Up
3. Snap! Crackle! Pop! Medley

Side 2:
1. Rock & Roll
2. Western
3. New Wave

Side one pretty much captures the history of the Rice Krispies jingles up to the point this record was released. Track 1 is the famous jingle from the 60s and Tracks 2 and 3 represent the 70s and 80s respectively.

The flipside is where this album really shines. It contains genre specific jingles. It is here where I spent most of my time. The new wave track, which I know sounds campy, was all I would listen to for a month straight after getting this album.

If you do not own a copy of the album, but have a record player, it is pretty easy to find a copy online. It is very affordable with copies going for under 5 bucks.

Be aware when shopping around that Rice Krispies also released actual pop songs singles starting in 1984. So read the label carefully when making your purchase.

stay alive

Stay Alive the Board Game

Stay Alive was originally published by Milton Bradley in 1971. The idea of the game is pretty simple. You must “stay alive.” The game consists of a 7×7 grid with random holes and sliders. You place marbles in the sliders in positions that have no holes and then take turns sliding the sliders, hoping that slide your opponent’s marbles into one of the holes.

We had 3 games in my house growing up that two players could play easily. Stay Alive, Stratego and Battleship. Stay Alive was by far the most popular of the three. There was just something satisfying about the tension of the shifting and disappearing marbles. That combined with not needing to be too strategic, made it a perfect game for young people. It also explains why I was into the game much longer than my older sisters.

Another compelling reason to like Stay Alive? This commercials! This one starring Vincent Price is my favorite. Ominous in tone, the commercial is a pitch perfect match for Price and the goal of the game.

Stay Alive the Board Game Commercial with Vincent Price

Another one has a Lord of Flies vibe that is a pretty perfect match for the game as well.

Lord of the Flies Stay Alive Commercial

In 2005, Stay Alive was republished with a smaller board by Winning Moves Games USA. While it was nice to see the game back on the market, I found the smaller size and color scheme of this game reboot off-putting. This version of the game is no longer in production. So if you would like a copy, either 2005 or original recipe, you will need to check out the secondary market.

I encourage you to do so. Let’s face it, sometimes you don’t want to think too much, but still want to play a game. Now you can play a lot of other games, but I doubt they will match the novelty and tension of Stay Alive. Its a simple game, but can be hours of fun for 2-4 people.

You can find it for under $30 (shipping included) on eBay and even cheaper at Flea Markets and Garage Sales.

tina yothers

Tina Yothers sing “Baby I’m Back In Love Again” on Family Ties

Sometimes I find myself singing a song that I cannot for the life of me place. Over the years, I have learned that most of these songs are either jingles from old commercials or phantom songs recorded for TV episodes. Last weekend I found myself singing “Baby I’m Back In Love Again” as sung by Tina Yothers in the “Band on the Run” episode of Family Ties.

It is a peppy little song and Yothers does a pretty good job on it. It sort of has a watered down early Madonna/Go-Gos vibe and while not the most memorable phantom sitcom pop song, it has managed to stick with me for many years.

“Band on the Run” is from the 5th season of Family Ties. In it, Jennifer starts a band and auditions to play at the Leland College Dance. Their band is chosen, and Alex sees it as a money-making proposition and becomes their manager. Naturally Alex has very little talent for managing a “modern” band and wacky hijinks ensue.

It culminates in the band casting off Alex’s notions and performing their song to much acclaim.

Watch Tina Yothers sing “Baby I’m Back In Love Again” on Family Ties

Check out those Mtv style shots! This is not you parent’s episode of Family Ties!

For you eagle-eyed watchers, that is Christina Applegate and Rain Phoenix making cameos as members of the band. Sadly neither of them have much dialogue, but it is interesting to see a pre-Married with Children Applegate. She would land her career making role just a few months after this episode would air.

A longer version of the song got a release, in an attempt to maybe start a pop career for Yothers. Sadly it did not set the world on fire and the song did not get much play. Although, Yothers did go on Solid Gold to perform it (still trying to track that down).

Listen to the full verion of “Baby I’m Back in Love Again” by Tina Yothers