The Mouse on the Mayflower

Remembering The Mouse on the Mayflower

I am a creature of habit.

Every year when November 1st rolls around, I open the Holiday Special Cabinet in my entertainment center. (Yes, I have a Holiday Special Cabinet. Don’t you)? I put away my Halloween specials and bring my Thanksgiving specials to the forefront. The Mouse on the Mayflower

My favorite is 1968’s The Mouse on the Mayflower. The Mouse on the Mayflower was a staple of my Thanksgiving viewing during my elementary school days. I can hardly remember a Thanksgiving where we didn’t watch that particular Rankin-Bass special during class. It’s stuck with me all these years. Rankin-Bass owns a good portion of the holiday special landscape in my head, but The Mouse on the Mayflower is special to me. I am most taken by the narration and songs performed by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

There’s something comforting to me about the special. It hearkens back to a time when things were simpler. Thanksgiving meant good food, cartoon specials, a few days off from school, and playing with my cousins after the feast.

Unfortunately, I think The Mouse on the Mayflower has gone by the wayside in recent memory.  I’ve not seen it on the air since the 90s and it has never seen a DVD release. According to Wikipedia, the last VHS release of the film was by Sony Wonder and Golden Books Family Entertainment in 1998. I have a copy of the VHS, which I found by pure accident in a free bin outside one of my favorite used book/movie stores. Fortunately for us, we have YouTube.

[Via] Kevin Burns

Do you remember The Mouse on the Mayflower? What is your favorite part? Do you have another Thanksgiving special that’s been forgotten? However you celebrate, I hope your Thanksgiving is full of nostalgia and good food.

(I have to chime in here and admit that the very first time I watched this special was at school as well. On actual film in fact! -Vic)

Dragon's Blood

CBS Storybreak: Dragon’s Blood (1985)

Dragon’s Blood is a 1985 animated movie or episode of the CBS Storybreak.
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Which was a Saturday morning anthology series presenting animated adaptations of children stories. Debuting on March 30, 1985 and lasting until 1987 the series was hosted by Bob Keeshan – Captain Kangaroo himself!
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Besides Dragon’s Blood other stories that were adapted included How to Eat Fried Worms, and Chocolate Fever. To name just a few of course. I must be completely honest and admit that I didn’t watch CBS Storybreak on a regular basis. While I certainly can’t remember exactly what was was taking my valuable viewing time I do know it was a rare occasion that I switched to the anthology series.

However I did see Dragon’s Blood when it aired – possibly there was a rerun of Kidd Video or something? Whatever the reason, I watched it and quite enjoyed it. Dragon’s Blood was adapted from the novel by Jane Hyatt Yolen. Part of the Pit Dragon Trilogy of books in fact. The story took some liberties it would seem with the source material. So much so that is has been said that Yolen remarked “it looked as if someone had waved the book in the direction of the camera and done little else.”

While that may be the case I have to argue that while not having had the pleasure of reading the books it still holds up. Entertaining and an incredible score to say the least. The story concerns a young slave named Jakkin. Who is a slave or a Bonder, who takes care of the mighty dragons used in pit-fighting events. The young man harbors a dream of stealing a dragon egg before they hatch in the hopes of training it, earning enough coin to pay his bond. To become a free man.

Fate it would seem agrees with that plan as an unhatched egg comes into his possession. Naming it Heart’s Blood the two form a friendship…but can they overcome the odds and win in the arena?
Dragon's Blood

Find out for yourself as you watch Dragon’s Blood!


By the way, there are some wonderful vintage commercials included in the video below. Such asRainbow Brite, Pop-Tarts, and My Little Pony!

[Via] Adrian Forte

Looney Tunes

Bugs Bunny And Friends By Jerrod Maruyama

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I’m a big fan of Jerrod Maruyama artwork. When I’m not blogging on the Retroist, I can be found at my Pop Culture / Food Blog – Between the Pages. My blog’s mascot – Ace – was created by Jerrod.
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Jerrod just released a wonderful print called Bugs and Friends for Dark Hall Mansion.


Bugs and Friends - Jerrod Maruyama - Dark Hall Mansion
The detail on this print is amazing!

The silver carrot holder beside Bugs is engraved with his initials.

There is a framed picture of Playboy Penguin from ‘8 Ball Bunny’ over Bug’s TV.

In addition to his most famous foes like Marvin the Martian, Yosemite Sam, & Elmer Fudd, this print also includes the Gremlin (from Falling Hare), Witch Hazel, Gossamer (the heart shaped monster), Pete Puma, “Babyface” Finster, and Rocky.

This print brings a smile to my face and makes me long for Saturday Morning Cartoons.

(Karen’s post and lament for the lost days of Saturday morning cartoons made think we need to watch Playboy Penguin. So for your viewing enjoyment we present 1950’s “8 Ball Bunny”! – Vic)

[Via] Alex Webb

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Lords Of Light! A Thundarr The Barbarian Lunchbox!

Thundarr the Barbarian was a show that was ahead of it’s time. Perhaps some kids just weren’t ready for the shattered Earth of 3994 AD. As a matter of fact I doubt that the parents were happy with the sword and sorcery violence either. I’m not truly sure why it didn’t survive past two seasons…or why it took 24 years to finally get some action figures!
Thundarr The Barbarian

On the other hand I can tell you in all honesty that I ate up Thundarr The Barbarian with a spoon. A spoon covered in stuck on Boo Berry marshmallows mind you but a spoon nonetheless. Furthermore I beg you to answer the question how anyone couldn’t love this show. You had character designs by the likes of Jack Kirby and Alex Toth. Then the whole series was dreamed up by Man-Thing and Howard the Duck creator, Steve Gerber!
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On the other hand my love of the show may have had a little something to do with seeing 1982’s Conan the Barbarian in theaters. I will admit I was probably too young for it at the time…or maybe I was actually at just at the right age?

Now Thundarr The Barbarian was produced by Ruby-Spears and aired on the ABC television network from 1980 to 1982. In all the series had 21 episodes. However that isn’t where I saw the show. I actually watched it in 1983 when it made the jump as a rerun on Saturday Morning on NBC.
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If you frequent The Retroist I’m sure when you think of Thundarr the first thing that pops into your mind is that stunning intro!

Jedi Juggernaut

Now check out this Thundarr The Barbarian lunchbox!


Thanks to the generosity of none other than RetroArtBlog we can totally drool over this vintage Aladdin produced lunchbox. I believe that RetroArtBlog picked it up on an online auction. A thing of beauty I bet you will agree – even it it was manufactured after the age of metal lunch boxes!
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Thundarr the Barbarian - Thermos
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I want to point out something odd about this 1981 lunchbox and thermos. The folks at Aladdin decided to forego the villainous Gemini. Instead as is evident they went with the King of the Groundlings! Not complaining, just addressing an interesting design choice.
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A super thanks to RetroArtBlog once again. Not just for granting me permission to share his recent acquisition with you but for also taking the photographs!

Want to know more about Thundarr The Barbarian?


You are totally in luck as The Retroist Podcast #48 is totally all about that classic cartoon series!

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Did you go as TV’s FANGFACE for Halloween?

In 1978, you could have gone trick or treating in this Collegeville Halloween costume as the title character from the Ruby-Spears Productions cartoon, FANGFACE.

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FANGFACE premiered in the ABC network’s 1978 Fall Saturday morning lineup. Fangface is the moon-induced alter-ego of Sherman “Fangs” Fangsworth, a tall, lean, awkward teen who reluctantly helps solve crimes with his friends Biff, the handsome leader, Kim, the smart and attractive girl and Puggsy, a short and stocky tough guy. They drive around in the Wolf-Buggy, their open-top dune buggy.

The plastic, vacuformed mask to this costume is a really good rendition of the cartoon character with some attention paid to the black line work.

This plastic, vacuformed mask is a really good rendition of the cartoon character with some attention paid to the black line work.

Unlike the typical lycanthrope who is affected only by the light of the full moon, Sherman transforms into a werewolf by simply seeing a picture of a moon. The crime-solving gang use his easy trigger to their advantage in order to replace the cowardly Sherman with the more aggressive Fangface. The flip side though is that Fangface can just as easily change back into the bumbling Fangsworth by seeing any kind of representation of the sun.

Here’s the show’s opening to acquaint yourself…

[source: youtube.com/user/cronocari }

The vinyl costume, usually worn over top your regular clothes as you headed out to score candy, has a sleeveless top with yellow pants which end just above the knees. As with most boxed costumes depicting licensed characters, the costume itself helped identify exactly who or what you were supposed to be dressed up as. This one is definitely no exception what with a full body image of the goofy werewolf and the title FANGFACE emblazoned across the top of your chest.

fangface_costume_topThe FANGFACE title deserves a closer look. There is some really nice illustration work going on in it, much more than seen in your average dimestore Halloween costume.

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The original series ran for 16 half-hour episodes for the ’78 season. It was retooled for the 1979 Fall season by adding Fangsworth’s baby cousin, Fangpuss.

Wonder if Collegeville bothered to follow-up with a Fangpuss costume as well?

Other Retroist post about FANGFACE:

There Was A Fangface Novelization?!

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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!

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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.


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

Karulovecat

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.