When this commercial first aired in the late 1970s it was The Avengers of cereal mascots. It really does capture the essence of a 30-minute Christmas special in 60 seconds.
Since 2001, Warner Brothers has released direct-to-DVD animated features featuring Tom & Jerry. The newest release is set for June 25, 2015 and features the cat and mouse teaming up with Jonny Quest in an adventure titled “Spy Quest.” It seems like such an odd team-up that I have to watch it when it is released. Other Tom & Jerry animated films have teamed them with Sherlock Holmes and The Wizard of Oz but this is the first to team them with another Hanna-Barbera creation.
Plus, I’m a big Jonny Quest fan so hopefully this will spark a renewed interest in that franchise and receive some animated feature films of its own. I don’t mind the straight-to-DVD format for these. The Scooby-Doo and DC Comics ones have been successful and Jonny Quest would fit that format.
Here is the trailer for the film.
It is common knowledge that Star Wars was influenced by the Flash Gordon serials of the 1940s. So how cool was it that Buster Crabbe (Flash Gordon in the serials) appeared on stage with Mark Hamill during the Science Fiction Film Awards telecast? It aired in 1978 to recognize achievement in science fiction film for the year 1977.
Hamill shows up at 3:46 of Part II to introduce him. The entire show is worth watching from the beginning, especially to see the opening song and dance number.
I’m just posting Part I and II just to show the flow leading to the Crabbe and Hamill appearance. The special itself is split into 10 parts on YouTube. Rather than blow up the blog with 10 embedded videos just search for “Science Fiction Film Awards 1978” on YouTube if you’d like to watch the entire special. This was the fifth annual but first televised broadcast of the ceremony.
Here is the entire award show in 10 parts:
or if you want to jump straight to Buster…here is part 2.
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In 1985, the best float in the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade made its debut. The “Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power” float graced the streets of New York City bringing the fight between good and evil to televisions nationwide. It was a good fit. Masters of the Universe lends itself to float theatrics and with the next day being Black Friday, of course, helps promote the toy line for the Christmas shopping season.
Pat Sajack has a “I really have to read this?” look on his face but does it in a way that still stays professional. A year later he was joined by Dolph Lundgren, who was filming Masters of the Universe at the time, to introduce the float again.
After seeing the Masters of the Universe float you can’t argue the similarities of the Turbo Man float in “Jingle All The Way.” Just as the movie was inspired by the Cabbage Patch Kids shopping craze of the mid-1980s, the float is a nod to He-Man and his cohorts welcoming the holiday season.
As fans of retro we can’t get through a Halloween season without revisiting Ben Cooper and Collegeville costumes. We all know the nostalgia these costumes have around the holiday. They’ve always been considered poorly designed costumes but today make great collectibles.
However, I’ve never thought the masks were that bad. They kind of cut into your face but the design of them at least resembles the character. It was the outfit that never made any sense. Why would a character have a picture of themselves on their chest?
King Kong was no exception. The 1976 movie had it’s share of merchandise and the classic flame-retardant costume was one. Like I said, the mask is fine. It looks like a gorilla. The outfit, however, is just a lame reprint of the movie poster. So am I dressing up as King Kong or am I dressing up as the movie? Why not just make the outfit look like a gorilla’s body? I guess no one would know you’re King Kong unless you say so but still.
King Kong hasn’t really made much of an impression on Halloween. Except for his size, he looks like a normal gorilla unlike movie monsters like Godzilla who have a unique look to them.
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As a fan of Frankenstein I remember being excited for “Struck by Lightning.” It sounded like a fun take on the character. It’s kind of like “Newhart” with George played by Frankenstein’s monster. It starred Jack Elam as the monster and Jeffrey Kramer as Ted Stein, a descendent of the original Dr. Frankenstein. Ted inherits an old New England inn that comes with the monster who coincidentally needs a serum recreated to keep him alive.
Unfortunately, it didn’t make it past three episodes even though 11 were filmed. Jack Elam was perfect casting to play Frankenstein’s monster. And similar to “Young Frankenstein,” I like the idea of a descendent of the doctor having to deal with the monster.
Debuting in September 1979, “Struck by Lightning” was slotted on Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. EST following “The Last Resort” and up against “Eight is Enough” on ABC and Real People on NBC. The latter two programs were ranked in the top 20 for that TV season. Wednesday night wasn’t CBS’s night.
Sitcoms with a fantasy element seem to be a hard sell. For the time only “Mork & Mindy” was successful. The TV sitcom ratings were dominated by M*A*S*H, Happy Days, Three’s Company, The Jeffersons and others. Still, it would be nice to see if the showed established itself with a style during those 11 episodes.