I want everyone to get into the holiday mood with the help of a video I made back in 2004. I have been trying to upload this 30 minute video for a long time, but a certain video site would shoot me down and hit me with all kinds of copyright issues. Well, this video, A Multimedia Christmas Card, which I made in 2004, is finally online. What’s it about you ask? The Christmas holiday, okay, that’s obvious, but what it includes are classic holiday songs and clips from movies like Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Story. I even snuck in a photo of me celebrating Christmas in the late 1980s. If you like it, let me know. If you don’t…um, try to phrase your disdain nicely. Season’s Greetings!
Most fans of Netflix’s Stranger Things would naturally agree that Millie Bobby Brown was the breakout star. Her performance as Eleven certainly blew us fans away and that is fact. In addition however I will claim that Shannon Purser’s role of Barb is Stranger Things most memorable character.
I would say that in addition to a great character, it was Purser’s bittersweet performance, that has garnered such fans. So much so that I am quite excited to announce that those geniuses at ThinkGeek have released a new book. Patterned after the global phenomenon of Where’s Waldo line of object-finding puzzle books. Where’s Barb? gives us a Stranger Thing’s twist!
Where’s Barb? images courtesy of ThinkGeek.
Here is what ThinkGeek has to say about Where’s Barb?: “The 1980s hold a lot of great childhood memories for us. It was a time when phones were still tethered to our wood-paneled walls. A time of Choose Your Own Adventure books. Of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Of Cabbage Patch Kids and Trivial Pursuit. And in the late 80s, we were introduced to a phenomenon known as “Where’s Waldo?”
It seems only right that a series which so effectively evoked the atmosphere of the 80s, Netflix’s Stranger Things, would team up with the creators of Where’s Waldo to produce this crossover, Where’s Barb? Search the little town of Hawkins for Barbara Holland. Maybe she’s studying with Nancy. Wait. Why’s her car a couple of blocks from Steve’s house? The police are pretty sure she just ran away. But is that her Trapper Keeper peeking out from under that bush? We promise searching for Barb will be hours of fun for the whole family!
I direct you to any of the ThinkGeek links if you too feel like ordering a copy of Where’s Barb?
Of course you crafty folks already know this is but an April Fool’s Day joke. However, this is ThinkGeek, so you can in fact hop on over and vote for it to become a real product. Not only that but also you might want to check out the Bicycle Horn of Gondor first…of course you can vote for both! In other words, share this with your friends so we can get Where’s Barb? actually made!
I do believe that after almost seven years with The Retroist I have made it clear I love Halloween. As well as movies and older film technology like 8 mm projectors. So when PlCary contacted me – telling me he picked up two 8 mm reels. I was interested, but then he told me one was a 1966 Halloween party, I was all ears.
Be that as it may, there was one problem. Phillip didn’t have access to an 8 mm film projector. Thankfully I could help with that issue and we agreed to meet up at the arcade. As I felt my co-workers would certainly want to see this bit of history.
However, as fate would have it, my 8 mm projector chose that moment to break. Under those circumstances you can understand how disappointed we were. Having said that though, Phillip was able to secure a projector all his own. One that I might add cost him the staggering sum of fifty cents!
So Phillip and I agreed to meet up again. Furthermore he had made sure to check the mechanical aspects and the bulb itself. All was good to go. In addition to the 1966 Halloween reel we would be able to watch something called “Kay’s Navy”.
On the contrary, it seemed fate was aligned against us one more time. I will let you take a look at the Bell and Howell projector yourself. See if you can spot what the issue might be.
Despite our best efforts of checking everything, the projector that Phillip purchased didn’t have the actual lens. In the light of this predicament I rushed home and stole the lens from my non-working projector.
In spite of all these difficulties we were able to overcome the obstacles at last. As a result we were totally treated to this Cub Scout 1966 Halloween short film. Furthermore both it and the “Kay’s Navy” were filmed at Grand Lake in Oklahoma, just about an hour and a half away.
It was an amazing treat for Phillip and myself to finally see the film.
The Cub Scout 1966 Halloween party was the real treasure although having said that we were all shocked at how well the film has survived.
Coupled with what looks to me to be a Ben Cooper or Collegeville skeleton costume it is certainly an undeniable pleasure. In fact if you look closely at the moment where the costume is shown there are vintage lunchboxes too!
In salute to the ongoing and unending appreciation for Retroist by the people that are the heart and soul of the site, I (among others) was asked to tell the world (preach from the rooftops, if you will!) what Retroist means to me. Give me eleven minutes, and I’ll be happy to tell you why!
Not exactly short, sweet, and to the point, but it is important to remind our readers and contributors about why we do this.
As we move into 2017, I’d love to continue to give unending thanks for the opportunity that has challenged me, made me excited to write, and given me a huge source of pride and contributed to the happiness I was able to find within myself.
And if my response wasn’t short, this one is:
Allison has been contributing to Retroist since July 2015, and has published a new article almost weekly since then. She has bragger’s rights to a large collection of retro commercials, plus she has a knack for finding the obscure nostalgia we may have forgotten…or never knew about. If you like everything you’ve seen here (check out her Retroist writer’s profile), she has her own blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her blog on Facebook, and her on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.
Please express your appreciation for Retroist (and what it means to you) with #ThankYouRetroist. She is huge on solidarity, and feels this is a great step in that direction. She’ll see you in 2017!
I mentioned in the last of the Retro Radio Memories Podcasts – I love A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens 1843 novella really gets to me. I’ve as a matter of fact have pretty much loved all adaptations of the classic tale. Just a few of my favorites include 1951’s Scrooge, 1983’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol, 1984’s overlooked made for TV version featuring George C. Scott and of course 1970’s version of Scrooge!
It most certainly has a bit to do with the supernatural elements…I mean I AM a monster kid. But more than that is the message that a person can be saved from a destructive path, they can better themselves. The act of redemption of course is what keeps me coming back to A Christmas Carol again and again.
Now having said all of that. There appears to be a version of the story that I’ve not seen before. An 1971 animated special that aired on ABC on December 21. But proved so popular that it was later given a theatrical release. Then secured an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1972!
Which by the way the Academy changed the rules right after that win – so a made for TV short film cannot be eligible. A bit of humbug with that, right?
While the stunning animation style was based on the illustrations provided by John Leech and Milo Winter. Who in fact provided the artwork for the 1930’s version of Dickens’ novella. The short film also had legendary Chuck Jones as a producer with direction by Richard Williams.
Another key point to remember about this adaptation of A Christmas Carol is the sometimes frightening images. Whether it be the likes of Jacob Marley – shocking Ebenezer to keep him silent.
Or the Ghost of Christmas Present’s charges Ignorance and Want. Memorable and visually striking to say the least.
Another feature in the short film’s cap is the vocal talent they secured. For example you have Michael Redgrave as the narrator, Michael Hordren as Jacob Marley, Joan Sims as Mrs. Cratchit, and Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. Yes, it is true that Sim reprises the role he played in 1951’s film adaption!
So sit back and Toon In for 1971’s A Christmas Carol – and from all of us at The Retroist have a Happy Holiday!