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)

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A Day of Thanksgiving…For Short Films (And People Who Riff Them!)

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving, Retroist Readers!

As you bow your heads and express your thankfulness for everything you have right here and now, remind yourself of how lucky you are for the food you eat, the clothes you wear, and the people you have in your life. Not everyone is as fortunate, and it is important to keep all of that in mind as you eat your turkey and fixings.

I don’t say all of this to make you feel guilty, of course.

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Parents always set out with the best intentions when teaching their children to be grateful for the things they have in life, whether they be material pleasures or their given talents. As for me, I’m grateful for my family, friends, boyfriend, my job, and the things I have – both material and talent-wise. As a nostalgia writer, I tend to live in the past, but try not to dwell too much on anything negative that happened in the past. It isn’t always easy to forget things, but it is easy to remember the good things of the past.

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Also good about the present (and the past)? Having Brad Jones (The Cinema Snob) to riff on a few educational shorts to remind us how thankful we are and that there really is more than one way to cook and carve a turkey.

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I’d say I’m making all this up, but there it is, cooking and carving.

Enjoy a few riffed shorts courtesy of the snobbish host who thinks “Gee wiz!” is a profanity, makes ramen noodles for Thanksgiving, and proclaims that 35 cents an hour in the 1950s is “the 1%.”

I expected his kitchen to be more snob-like.

These shorts are guaranteed to tickle the wishbone, and not just because they are hokey without the riffing.

It is easy to think of the good things of life, as not demonstrated (initially) by the kids in this short film about Thanksgiving. When the Johnson family is not able to have a turkey for Thanksgiving, the family reflects on what they are thankful for in the short film A Day of Thanksgiving.

Let’s talk turkey! No really, let’s talk about all the ways to prepare turkey, and the kinds that exist, in this short film called – wait for it – Let’s Talk Turkey!

All Uploaded by Stoned Gremlin Productions

Turkey as a luxury foodstuff of the gods? Well, this short film seems to think so, and then they carve it all up like that’s a socially acceptable and humane way to treat a turkey!

Well, it is…once the bird has been killed and plucked!

BARBARIAN!

Uploaded by Valerie Garcia

Gee wiz, with all of these wonderful shorts, we have a bountiful feast with all the fixings and all the family time we’ll ever need…until Christmas.

Hey, can the people in Carving Magic share some of that turkey with the Johnsons? Those kids really hate going without.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Allison is a lover and consumer of all things nostalgic and geeky, but holiday nostalgia holds a very special place in her heart. Combine that with riffing, and you’ve got one happy geek. If you like what you’ve seen here, she loves to share holiday nostalgia over on her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her blog on Facebook, and her Twitter handle, @AllisonGeeksOut, is afire with, well, hashtagging fun everyday.

Gee wiz!

LANGUAGE!

All images courtesy of Vintage Everyday.

Look Into The Scary Past Of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons

All images courtesy of Vintage Everyday.

All images courtesy of Vintage Everyday.


As you can see from that first image which was taken in 1931…the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons didn’t look too friendly, this was of a dragon though it looks like a cat to me. The way the parade attendees are swarming the balloon it looks like it is fighting for it’s life.

Thanks to the Vintage Everyday site that uploaded these photos you can take a look at much scarier and to be fair awesome images of the famous parade throughout the years.

How about a 1940 parade balloon that looked like the late great Eddie Cantor?
Eddie Cantor - Macy's - Everyday Vintage

[Via] Your Eddie Cantor Channel

To be honest this 1945 pumpkin balloon is probably my favorite, I wouldn’t say it was scary except for the strange little character near the lower right corner.
Pumpkin - Macy's - Everyday Vintage

What is that? The Green Goblin of the future? Was it actually part of the parade and not just some supernatural imp caught on camera?!
Green Goblin - Macy's - Everyday Vintage

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Did you know kids used to “Trick or Treat” on Thanksgiving??

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When I was a kid, my Grandmother one time casually mentioned that she remembered when kids used to Trick or Treat on Thanksgiving. When I pressed her for details about it, she was vague, and it made me wonder if she was pulling my leg. It has been decades since she brought that up and I think I finally found out what she might have been talking about, it was a tradition called, “Thanksgiving Ragamuffins” or “Ragamuffin Day”.

Robert Martens posted this video on YouTube showing kids in 1940s New York, dressing up like paupers and going door to door “begging” for money. As you can see, their costumes are almost Halloween-like, some almost look like clowns. No explanation is given as to why they tradition went away, but this article from the New York Public Library, which has more info about this New York tradition, states that people seem to be annoyed with the practice and just wanted it to go away.

So what would you do if kids, trying to restore this tradition, showed up on your doorstep on Thanksgiving in a tattered but colorful costume and asked if you could spare, “Anything for Thanksgiving?” Would you slam the door or dig in your pockets for a few coins?

1987 Marvel Comics Parade Float

He-Man And The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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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.

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Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

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I am not sure how you spend your Thanksgiving, but this year I am doing something a little different and not going back to NJ to celebrate. Instead I will be home enjoying Turkey at my own Thanksgiving table. I will go for a morning constitutional, come home and watch the parade and then I plan on eating until I pop and marathoning TV shows until I fall asleep. So I guess while the venue changes, some things will remain the same…

I hope that everyone out there, no matter what sort of Turkey day you celebrate is having the best time. Maybe you go out and play some football? Maybe you will go shopping in the newfangled 24/7 shopping madness? Or maybe you will just be on the couch letting the day inch by surrounded by good food and loved ones. No matter which path you choose, just make sure you go turbo on that path and make it the best Turkey Day you can. You only get one of these a year, make it count. I’ll see everyone tomorrow.

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A Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Old Time Radio

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Well, the turkey is almost thawed, so I thought I would continue to cue up some Thanksgiving-themed entertainment for my upcoming turkey coma couch session. Archive.org uploader WA4CZD has put together a fantastic playlist of 100 Thanksgiving old time radio programs.

Included are plenty of the top shows, including Jack Benny, Amos and Andy and others. I will always recommend The Great Gildersleeve and Lum & Abner holiday shows, so be sure to check those out. There are also three Jean Shepherd shows that are in there, including an episode that talks more about the hillbilly neighbors next door, the Bumpuses and their turkey-thieving hound dogs. Enjoy!