Tom Whalen Has Released Transformers Miniprints

I may not know art but I know that I like Tom Whalen’s artwork. I bet if you do a quick search here on The Retroist you will see we dig his style. The Wolf Man, Popeye, The Great Pumpkin, The Goonies, The Twilight Zone, Gigantor, and even Soundwave from the Transformers.

They have all been subjects of Tom Whalen and to a one are beautiful illustrations. He has managed to capture the spirit – the essence of each subject perfectly. The other day at the Acidfree Gallery they began to sell limited edition prints of Tom Whalen’s take on the Transformers. Some of the iconic Generation One Transformers that is!


So which Transformers made the cut?

Tom Whalen has split the miniprints into two different sets. The heroic Autobots and the dastardly Decepticons of course. First up let us take a look at which of the Autobots were chosen…
Optimus Prime. Hey, can you really pick a more iconic character than the leader of the Autobots?
All images courtesy of Tom Whalen and Acidfree Gallery.

All images courtesy of Tom Whalen and Acidfree Gallery.

Also included and as the Acidfree Gallery states on their site – Tom Whalen’s illustration for Ironhide will be randomly inserted. Only twenty of the Ironhide miniprints will be made by the way. So he is the chase miniprint I guess you can say?

Which Decepticons did Tom Whalen choose?

I think that the artist went with some rather interesting choices with the ‘Decticreeps’. It is completely understandable of course that Megatron was picked – especially with Prime chosen for the Autobots.
All images courtesy of Tom Whalen and Acidfree Gallery.

All images courtesy of Tom Whalen and Acidfree Gallery.

Starscream is a solid choice as well…
As is Soundwave. Three solid characters that make up the core of the Decepticon forces.
Tom Whalen might have went with another of the Seekers like Thundercracker or even Skywarp but chose Shockwave
The artist also chose to shine the spotlight on Rumble instead of say Laserbeak or Ravage.
For the Decepticons it is Frenzy that has been given the honor of being the chase Miniprint.

So that makes actually three of the illustrations for the Decepticons that involved Soundwave in one form or another. Which if Transformers: The Movie taught us anything is logical as Soundwave is superior…


Each set of five miniprints will cost fifty dollars and there are some variant versions that run a little higher. I can only tell you that there are differences in what looks to be the material it is printed on. Although some of the higher priced sets include original sketches by Tom Whalen. So if your home or office need some beautiful Transformers artwork I suggest you hop on over to Acidfree Gallery.

Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids

Listen to the music from Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids

The recent posts featuring the instrumental music from Star Trek: The Animated Series and the 1966 animated series of Spider-Man inspired this entry.

I love cartoons that feature characters who have bands and sing during the episodes. Instead of blatantly explaining the moral of the episode, the characters explain it through song. The best is Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, or as their band is known, The Junkyard Band. The band uses junk and every day objects as instruments to entertain us with their positive message.

For the most part, each episode featured a laugh track and applause at the end of each song to enhance the energy and message the band provided. Michael Gray provided Fat Albert’s singing voice and died at an early age of 35 in 1988.

01 – ‘We’re All Together’ – (Creativity) – 3:16
02 – ‘Don’t Look Down On A Small Guy’ – (The Runt) – 5:35
03 – ‘Everybody’s Different’ – (The Stranger) – 7:59
04 – ‘One World’ – (Fish Out Of Water) – 10:23
05 – ‘Friends’ – (Moving) – 12:48
06 – ‘Playin’ Hookey’ – (Playing Hookey) – 14:44
07 – ‘The Hospital’ – (The Hospital) – 17:09
08 – ‘Begging Benny’ – (Begging Benny) – 19:36
09 – ‘The Hero’ – (Hero) – 21:46
10 – ‘A Joke Isn’t A Joke If You Hurt Someone’ – (The Prankster) – 24:11
11 – ‘Four Eyes’ – (Four Eyes) – 26:24
12 – ‘She’s A Tomboy’ – (Tomboy) – 28:51
13 – ‘Stage Fright’ – (Stage Fright) – 31:16
14 – ‘The Bully’ – (The Bully) – 33:44
15 – ‘It’s Not Easy (But You Can Make It If You Try)’ – (Smart Kid) – 36:08
16 – ‘Dope Is For Dopes’ – (Mister Big Time) – 38:07
17 – ‘Lean On Me’ – (The Newcomer) – 40:36
18 – ‘Everybody’s Job Is Important’ – (What Does Dad Do?) – 42:53
19 – ‘You Can Be Together And Still Be Miles Apart’ – (Mom Or Pop) – 45:19
20 – ‘Check It Out’ – (How The West Was Lost) – 47:40
21 – ‘Signs’ – (Sign Off) – 50:04
22 – ‘Don’t Mess With The Man’ – (The Fuzz) – 52:27
23 – ‘Ask Your Momma’ – (An Ounce Of Prevention) – 54:48
24 – ‘There’s A Whole Lot Of Fish In The Sea’ – (Fat Albert Meets Dan Cupid) – 57:13
25 – ‘Stealing Is Uncool’ – (Take Two They’re Small) – 59:32
26 – ‘Take A Look Around You’ – (The Animal Lover) – 1:01:58
27 – ‘Everybody Has A Song To Sing’ – (Little Tough Guy) – 1:04:20
28 – ‘Believe It Or Not’ – (Smoke Gets In Your Hair) – 1:06:42
29 – ‘Listen’ – (What Say) – 1:09:05
30 – ‘Your Teacher Can Be Your Friend’ – (Readin’, Ritin’, and Rudy) – 1:11:28
31 – ‘Soap And Water’ – (Suede Simpson) – 1:13:58
32 – ‘Look Before You Leap’ – (Little Business) – 1:16:29
33 – ‘Tv Or Not Tv’ – (Tv Or Not Tv) – 1:18:59

Hey, Hey, Hey! If you’re not careful you might learn something before it’s done.

Self Defense...For Cowards

Toon In: Self Defense…For Cowards (1962)

Welcome back friends to another installment of Toon In, this week we have an offering from Gene Deitch entitled Self Defense…for Cowards that was originally released back in 1962. This short is actually an adaptation of Alice McGrath’s 1961 book with the full title Self-Defense For Cowards: A Guide To Non-Combative Action For The Rational, Resourceful Man.
Toon In - Self Defense for Cowards
Why You Should Know Gene Deitch
I would hazard a guess that Gene Deitch is certainly not a household name for fans of classic animation. Not as recognizable as the likes of Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, or Ub Iwerks to name a few but I feel you will know of a few classic animated short series that he had a hand in. Like the UPA Popeye television series or Krazy Kat and about a dozen of the Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts.
Self Defense for Cowards - Gene Deitch
Gene Deitch also was responsible for directing a previous Toon In entry that I shared back in April, the Oscar nominated anti-war short Munro – as well as the interesting adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
Gene Deitch - The Hobbit

So Why Is Self Defense…for Cowards Important?
I am very glad you asked that question. For one thing Self Defense…for Cowards was nominated for the 1962 Oscar for Best Short Subject, Cartoons. More importantly though is the fact that the short is incredibly funny. While I thankfully have only found myself in some of the same situations as the protagonist – I feel we can all relate to these situations in way or another.

Micah Hambrick
The short was produced by Rembrandt Films which was originally founded in 1949 by William L. Snyder. Gene Deitch actually left America to move to Prague in Czechoslovakia to join Snyder’s animation studio. Deitch had been let go from his position at Terry Toons in 1958 and this was after he had helped deliver the Academy Award nominated short Sidney’s Family Tree.

So perhaps Gene Deitch knew a thing or two about bullies himself?


Listen to the background music from Star Trek: The Animated Series

The music from cartoons, especially the stuff made in the 60’s and 70’s is criminally underrated. Many big time talents made beautiful tunes that set the mood for low quality animation, often carrying the story forward when budgets were tight.

A few weeks ago, I talked about the talented Ray Ellis and on persons amazing work trying to reclaim his music from the Spider-Man Animated Series. Ellis also worked on other great shows. One of my favorites is Star Trek: The Animated Series. It has deep stories, new characters and music that we just didn’t get in the original Star Trek. Sadly, they never did a full release of the soundtrack to the show.

That is where the internet comes into play. Intrepid YouTuber Grimbot2 took a stab at editing together the available music and put together a great 15 minutes of audio that is full of great songs and musical cues. Here is a rough breakdown of what you will hear courtesy of another YouTuber, MetaRed Coding and Gaming.

0:00 Theme Song
1:00 Intro to episode #1
1:15 Intro to episode #2
1:27 Mystery #1 Music / Part of Intro to episode #2
2:20 Mystery #1 Sound
2:28 Mystery #2 / Romance Music
6:10 Action #1 Sound
6:15 Action #1 Music
6:43 Action #2 / Surprised Sound #1
6:58 Surprised Sound #2
7:14 Action #2 Music
8:41 Mystery #3 Music
9:20 Mystery #4 Music
10:14 Action #3 Sound
10:19 Action #3 Music
11:10 Action #4 Sound
11:13 Action #4 Music
11:57 Intro to episode #3 / Action Music #5
12:30 Mystery #5 / Part of Action #5
13:02 Mystery #6 Music
13:43 Mystery #7 Music
14:41 Action #6
14:54 Closing theme

While not as long as the Spider-Man music, this is great stuff and if you are a fan of Star Trek, it will really trigger some great memories.

Thanks to Geekfilter, the Co-host of Saturday Morning Trek, for sharing this with me.

Menasor - Machinima

Machinima’s New Transformers: Combiner Wars Cartoon Looks Awesome!

The war that was waged on the planet Earth has been over now for forty years. Both Autobots and Decepticons have put aside their differences…mostly…to return to Cybertron and live in peace under the leadership of Rodimus Prime, the Mistress of Flame (From the IDW comic book series), and Starscream. But what will happen when ancient Cybertronian technology is uncovered that allows groups of Transformers to merge into powerful Combiners?
Rodimus Prime - Mistress of Flame - Starscream - Combiner Wars
Well…judging by that image of Menasor from the new trailer that just went live on Machinima’s YouTube channel, rampant amounts of destruction and mayhem will be caused and lead to all out war with the Combiners!
Menasor - Combiner Wars

It certainly looks like that the council of three will have to send out the call to Optimus Prime, who has either been banished or has walked away from the burden of leadership since the end of the War.
Optimus Prime - Combiner Wars
Judging by that trailer though it also looks like perhaps Optimus Prime and Megatron will have to put aside old grievances in the hopes of saving Cybertron from the Combiner Wars!
Megatron - Combiner Wars
The new series, which is eight episodes will debut on August 2nd exclusively on go90.

Skeletor - Beast Man

First New He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe Cartoon In 31 Years?!

The last Filmation episode of the classic He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was entitled The Cold Zone and aired back on November 21, 1985. It’s been almost 31 years since we’ve last had a look at He-Man and the Masters of the Universe in that retro animated style but thanks to those mad geniuses over at Super7 we are about to get our chance to see a new bit of animation with…

[Via] Super7’s Store Channel
Of course if you watched that video you will noticed that the “bad” news is you can only see this at the San Diego Comic-Con next week…until it’s released on August 1st on iTunes and Google Play for those us that can’t make the trek to see it.

That isn’t the only thing Masters of the Universe related from Super7 at the Comic-Con this year, not by a long shot. First of all you will need this nifty Power Token to gain entry into Skeletor’s Lair…

All images courtesy of Super7.

All images courtesy of Super7.

…where you can grab Super7’s Masters of the Universe M.U.S.C.L.E. Multi-Color Trash Can Assortment…
Masters of the Universe - MUSCLE - Super7
…or the exclusive San Diego Comic-Con 24 figure pack!
MUSCLE - Masters of the Universe - Super7
There isn’t a whole lot of information from the Super7 camp on the Masters of the Universe cartoon just yet…or even if it’s a cartoon or just a bit of short animation. At least we do know that Beast Man, Mer-Man, and of course Skeletor will be in it and there are rumors from Super7 that the dastardly villain is going to try and take over Comic-Con!

Screenshot (195)

Video/VCR Test #2 – “The Land Before Time”

Previously, in an Allison Venezio-penned article:

Video/VCR Test – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie

So I logged onto my You Tube Channel, and was greeted by notifications. Now, for me, on a normal day, notifications on my You Tube Channel are usually someone +1’d a comment I made, a comment someone else made on a video I commented on, a comment someone else made within a conversation I also made a comment for, and in more rare cases, someone subscribed to me. I’m well aware that critics are around, especially among nitpickers on You Tube, so I’m always prepared for that. And spam comments. I’m always on the lookout for that. I remember having to put something about spammers on my old You Tube Channel.

But today, it was a comment, and an interesting one. It was from someone who also owed a 1990 print of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, and how he had a different type of edit that ended the Pizza Hut commercial on his video. This type of error is always intriguing, and he said he thinks it was a mistake made on the production end when the VHS was made. I guess no two copies are alike, wouldn’t you say?

When I was in my basement a two weeks ago, doing the laundry (I promise, that’s really what I was doing), one of the other tapes I grabbed from the shelf was my 1989 print of The Land Before Time. Not one of those sequels, but the original film. This was another one of those “Mommy and Daddy Take the Kids to the Movies” things, except instead of turtles with mad ninja fighting skills, it was about little dinosaurs trying to reunite with their families in the face of tragedy. Ever want to upset my entire family into silence? Watch Littlefoot’s mom die. Boom. Quiet.

That actually happened – we were watching the movie for the second time (when we got it as a birthday present for our seventh birthday in 1989), and the death of Littlefoot’s mother put the hush-hush over our living room.

And if this was a spoiler to you…where have you been since 1988? We ’80s babies all know this was that other tragic animated death, the other being the death of Optimus Prime.

Wait…you didn’t know that either? Where have you been since 1986?!

I’m not sure what it is with Don Bluth movies, but apparently he likes children (even the anthropomorphic animal kind) to suffer some kind of harsh tragedy – remember how Fivel got separated from his family in An American Tale? How about all the tragedy that happened in The Secret of NIMH? The only thing that wasn’t tragic about that film was the fact that it was so well-done, and beautifully animated despite the story and dark nature of the film. Littlefoot’s mother dying wasn’t the first tragedy to befall a Don Bluth-animated anthropomorphic animal child.

This is slowly turning into a mucho depressing piece. And we’re also getting sidetracked – let’s get to the real reason you are here, which is not to read about all the times we were emotionally scarred by Don Bluth movies and Optimus Prime dying.

Let’s shift away from all of this, and look at something we all seem to love around here – old VHS tapes!

Yes, this is much better!

The video itself is one of the original prints, and much like my copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, Pizza Hut ran a promotional campaign around the movie. Now, unlike that video, the Pizza Hut commercial on this one actually has tie-ins from this movie in the commercial.

That commercial was featured over on my blog as Throwback Thursday’s commercial pick for last week, and involves a birthday party and the practicing of good etiquette. But since this is Pizza Hut, we only have to proclaim that we used good manners, ‘cuz we’re gonna party!

Screenshot (193)

And don’t forget, “Share, share, use your silverware!”

Trust me, you read my articles for the educational value they provide!

The video reminds us to stay tuned after the feature for more previews. Which is proof that MCA Home Video was the Marvel of its time!

Then we see this…

Screenshot (194)

For a Universal-based home video label, the logo is pretty low budget…but starry! Which makes it somewhat pretty.

And if you followed the instructions and watched after the film, you were reminded of what we paid for a VHS tape back in 1989:

Screenshot (195)

I never complain about the cost of boxed sets on Blu-Ray when I know what my parents paid for me to have movies in the late 1980s-early 1990s.

So, it’s a video you want to see, is it?

Then press play, and relive 1980s home video glory!

Don’t ever complain about how much anything costs again – you saw

Allison’s videocassette collection isn’t a thing of beauty, but it sure is nostalgic. If you like what you’ve seen here, you can also find more like this on her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her blog on Facebook, and she’s on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

She did not have An American Tale on VHS.