25th Anniversary For Jurassic Park - Title

Today Is The 25th Anniversary For Jurassic Park!

Oh boy. I am definitely feeling a little old today. Some might even say I am feeling a bit like a dinosaur? Certainly understandable when you realize that today is the 25th Anniversary of Jurassic Park, right?

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I have mentioned many, many times before how I have always loved movies. As well as how in my teenage years I began to think seriously about a career in entertainment. From the long afternoons after school with my fellow students in the Video Production Club. I began to indeed play around with the idea of becoming a film Director. Then on the evening of June 11, 1993. It was all but cemented as my friends and myself, sitting in a packed auditorium, were treated to Steven Spielberg’s new science-fiction adventure.

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My word, friends. That opening scene, giving us our first taste at what is going down on Isla Nublar. If anyone in the audience had been disrespectful, talking after the auditorium lights had gone down. The ending of that scene definitely had everyone completely silent. It also happened to feature my favorite character from Jurassic Park. Robert Muldoon, the park’s game warden. Expertly played by the late and great Bob Peck.
25th Anniversary For Jurassic Park - Robert Muldoon trading card

Yes, I do in fact have that trading card sitting on my desk as I type this.

With this being the 25th Anniversary for Jurassic Park, I couldn’t let it pass without writing something about it. Sitting in the audience that night, it was like a curtain had been pulled back by Spielberg. At least for myself. While I was thrilled and even scared in some scenes…something clicked. I not only wanted to learn everything, every thing I could about how the film was made. I also felt an overwhelming desire to want to entertain people the same way. I walked out of the Razorback Theater that night and certainly knew what career I wanted to follow.
25th Anniversary For Jurassic Park - Steven Spielberg

I devoured every single making of book as well as magazine featuring Jurassic Park. In addition I found a T-Shirt that I loved so much…I wore it until it was all but a rag. I have spent so long trying to find one and tonight, just minutes after sitting down to write. Ebay came through and while it is indeed meant for a youth I might have to drop the 85 bucks to put it in glass and hang it on the wall.
25th Anniversary For Jurassic Park - Raptors shirt

Jurassic Park was a worldwide phenomenon and for good reason. You had not only just the talent of Spielberg leading the charge. But an astounding cast of actors such as Laura Dern, Sam Neill, Martin Ferrero, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Richard Attenborough, and of course Jeff Goldblum. Let us not forget however that sweeping and moving score by John Williams.

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Of course another reason, a huge reason Jurassic Park became such a hit. Was naturally thanks to the dinosaurs. Both the groundbreaking CGI work by Industrial Light & Magic.

But in addition the astounding physical effects by the Stan Winston Studio as well!

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Now I hope for this 25th Anniversary for Jurassic Park you are able to revisit the 1993 film. It still holds up to say the very least. On the other hand you might be doing the very thing I plan on doing to celebrate. Playing the new Jurassic World Evolution!

On this 25th Anniversary for Jurassic Park, I want to take a moment and thank you.

25th Anniversary For Jurassic Park
I did not in fact become the Director I had dreamed of in my youth. I did however still find a way to do what little I can to entertain others. By way of this very site, sharing my feelings on all things retro. Through the Saturday Frights, Diary of an Arcade Employee, and Retro Radio Memories podcasts. Thanks to the Retroist himself I hope myself and others have achieved a little of that dream I had in 1993.

[Via] John Williams

Air Raiders - Title

The Power Was In The Air For 1987’s Air Raiders!

1987 was a time of hard choices for myself. My desire for toys, for action figures was finding itself being challenged by games being offered on the NES. I was still picking up G.I. Joe figures though. In addition to getting bit by the bug for the most futuristic sport ever known. I am referring to Lazer Tag of course. Then there was the lure of the Captain Power toy line. Throw in Hasbro’s possible attempt at edging into Galoob’s Micro Machines with Air Raiders and you can see why the shelves were getting crowded.

Air Raiders - The Toyark

Thank you to The Toyark for this vintage photograph of shelves of 80’s toys!

Much like Hasbro did with their Transformers and G.I. Joe line. Air Raiders commercials totally made you sit up and take notice by way of some nice animation in their ads.

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One of the other reasons that the toys struck my fancy was because of a little 1984 film. David Lynch’s film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune!

[Via] Movieclips Classic Trailers

While it would be a few years later before I discovered the source material for myself. I think you can certainly see why the settings of Airlandia seemed comfortably familiar.

Air Raiders - Formation of Airlandia - Air Raiders 1987

Courtesy of the Air Raiders 1987 fan page.

With all those other toys and games that I mentioned at the top of the post, there was indeed another reason that Air Raiders became a thing for me. I have told you before that growing up in a single parent household, money was rather tight. By 1987 that had all started to change a little. Quite frankly this new toy line from Hasbro was very affordable.
Air Raiders - Battle Squad

One of those reasons has to do with the fact you weren’t buying action figures like G.I. Joe. You were instead raising an army with 5-packs of soldiers. The villainous Tyrants of Wind and the defiant Air Raiders.
Air Raiders - The Enforcers

Picking up a vehicle would generally gain you a few more soldiers as well as special leaders. Case in point, with the Wind Seeker you add Master Sergeant Blot and Private Blight to your Tyrants of the Wind army!

[Via] The Toys Channel

Sadly and probably due to how crowded the toy shelves were at the time. Air Raiders didn’t find the demographic it was seeking. Beyond the handful of people like myself that is. However at the very least we fans got a few comics from the Marvel Star Comics line as well as two coloring books.
Air Raiders - Star Comics

Of course we shouldn’t forget that the Air Raiders TV commercials survive to entertain us too. To show us the promise of what could have been a long lived toy line!

[Via] Keith Richardson

The Wizard of Speed and Time - Mike Jittlov

Toon In: The Wizard Of Speed And Time (1979)

Friends, this Toon In offering is a little different. To say the least. 1979’s The Wizard of Speed and Time is not traditional animation. Nor in fact is it even stop motion, well, not completely. Of course it is in fact all manner of visual tricks that are used to make The Wizard of Speed and Time so absolutely charming.

The titular character of the 1979 short is Mike Jittlov. As well as being the Director, Animator, Special Effects Maestro, and Chief Dreamer.
The Wizard of Speed and Time - Mike Jittlov - 1979

Jittlov got his start in animation in the 70s at UCLA. With many of his short films making it into festivals. After designing his own multiplane animation system he caught the eye of the Walt Disney Studio. Where Mike would appear in the Mickey’s 50th two-hour TV event. Entitled Mouse Mania it features Jittlov as he visits a psychiatrist to discuss his mania of Disney related collectibles.

[Via] Parcset Compaigne

Besides the astounding stop-motion work that Jittlov and his partner Deven Cheregino put into the short. That 1978 short film also is wonderful to watch just because of the amount of vintage Disney merchandise is shown in it. Another thing to keep in mind while watching it, is every single effect was done in-camera.

The Wizard of Speed and Time was introduced on another Disney episode. In this case on an December 1979 airing of Disney’s Wonderful World. For a special episode entitled Major Effects. A documentary of sorts of how films and movies use all sorts of special effects to bring magic to life. By the way the special was released around the same time as The Black Hole!

[Via] Cartoons Intros

This is where I actually was able to first catch The Wizard of Speed and Time. I can also say in all honesty that this was one of those TV specials that made me want to become a filmmaker in the first place. I think after you watch the short film for yourself you will certainly see why I was so captivated by the idea.

[Via] Bevis 29582

Now then, a mere ten years after the short film debuted. Mike was able to produce a feature length film starring his charming special effects Wizard!

While available on VHS as well as Laserdisc…the fact this beautiful film isn’t on Blu-Ray is an absolute crime.

[Via] Night of the Trailers

Children’s Home Video Companies You May Remember!

For every Hi-Tops and Children’s Video Library, there’s a Clubhouse Pictures, Atlantic/Kushner-Locke, Maltese Companies, Playhouse Video, and Southern Star Productions. Never heard of these children’s home video companies? By the time you’ve finished this article, you will have!

Previously, on Retroist…

We’ve covered the short life and history of Hi-Tops Video, as well as the shorter life of Children’s Video Library. We watched their logos, found out where you’ve seen them, and taken a trip down memory lane with some “coming attractions.” We laughed, we cried, we all remembered Rainbow Brite.

It was beautiful!

We knew these children’s home video companies. They graced many a VHS box, their releases were numerous, and their releases were memorable programs and movies. Plus, how could we ever forget a shoe lacing up before it jumps to the background, or a bunch of balloons flying toward us as the Irish Jig plays?

But, for these well-knowns, what about the little-knowns?

Children’s Home Video Companies: The Little-Knowns

My friends, not all nostalgia is beautiful or well-remembered. Take, for instance, children’s home video companies that are not as well known.

Not everything is Hi-Tops and its lacing shoe, or Children’s Video Library and its balloon-bouncing Irish Jig.

In fact, there existed…

Clubhouse Pictures

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I’m surprised by this one. Clubhouse Pictures was a sublabel/children’s home video company imprint of Atlantic Entertainment Group. Atlantic released children’s movies – Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (aka A Weird Animated Star Wars Ripoff), The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, He-Man and She-Ra: Secret of the Sword, and Here Come the Littles.

Hey, I never said they put out good children’s movies!

But Atlantic figured on why leaving well enough alone, when they could have a children’s division? Enter Clubhouse Pictures, whose releases included television shows (the animated Teen Wolf  Saturday morning cartoon), Heathcliff: The Movie, The Adventures of the American Rabbit, and Go-Bots: Battle of the Rock Lords. Again, not the greatest output. The sublabel only lasted from 1985 until 1987, with its parent company ending operations in 1989 amidst financial troubles.

Of the rare bunch, I love this logo. The animation is very 80s, there’s no music to detract from the “simple, but cute and effective,” and now very nostalgic nature of it. And who doesn’t love the sound of kids laughing?

Related to Clubhouse Video (and its parent company, Atlantic Entertainment Group/Atlantic Releasing) was another sublabel, Atlantic/Kushner-Locke.


The Kushner-Locke Company existed as an independent film and television production company, handling children’s fare such as The Spiral Zone, the animated Teen Wolf TV series in its second season, The Brave Little Toaster movies, Pound Puppies: Legend of Big Paw, and Nutcracker: The Motion Picture. 

Founded in 1983, this company was independent of Atlantic, but combined with them for several films, and outliving them before meeting their end via bankruptcy in 2001.

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I actually like this logo, despite the flashing. I think it is the music not hitting me over the head that helps too.

And since some of these companies seemingly were connected, there was another related company called The Maltese Companies

The Maltese Companies

Founded in 1986, The Maltese Companies stayed afloat until 1990. I actually remember this logo from my days of watching Maple Town. This logo was also seen on The Spiral Zone. It also appeared on movies during the late 1980s (notably the 1988 TV-movie remake of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial). Of the logos I’ve named so far, this one is probably among the rarest, though it does get some stiff competition from Clubhouse Pictures in the “rare” department.

And it has nice logo music.

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Pretty bird. :-)

Oh, and this is the version used in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial:

I like the animation on this one.

Playhouse Video

Playhouse Video was actually part of 20th Century Fox’s CBS/Fox Home video, used from 1985 until 1991 to release children’s and family movies. They’re the only one on this list to be a sublabel of a higher profile (read: not independent film) company.

Playhouse Video releases included the Planet of the Apes movies from 1968-1973, Shirley Temple’s films, The Muppets, Mr. Rogers, and Dr. Seuss specials by DePatie-Freleng Enterprise. And for us Whovians out there, Playhouse Video also released the earliest Doctor Who videos.

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That’s pretty cool too!

I have enough of a memory to remember all of the logos in this article, but this one in particular is one I fondly remember from those aforementioned Dr. Seuss and Shirley Temple movies, as we carried those movies in our “catalog” section at the video store (movies split by genre that are over one year old).

I particularly like the colors and even the music is none to shabby. It has a pretty standard 80s sound.

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And finally, a production company that was actually the foreign counterpart of a well-known animation company in the United States…

Southern Star Productions/Hanna-Barbera Australia

Why ease you in? This logo is a “seeing is believing” sort.

In Australia, Southern Star Productions (now Endemol Australia, so yes, in some way it still exists) was Hanna-Barbera’s Australian division (called Hanna-Barbera Pty. Australia), established as such in 1972, with the Hamlyn Group acquiring 50% of Hanna-Barbera Australia in 1974. In 1984, Hanna-Barbera Australia established a Los Angeles division, bringing them to the United States as Southern Star Productions.

Programs produced by this company were animated in Hanna-Barbera’s Sydney, Australia studios, carrying the name Southern Star Productions/Hanna-Barbera Australia. In the United States, their programs included the animated Teen Wolf Saturday morning cartoon, Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, The Berenstain Bears Show, Peter Pan and the Pirates (totally remember this!), Mad Scientist, and CBS Storybreak.

In 1988, the company’s Australia animation facilities were sold after Taft-Hardie’s buyout, and Southern Star Productions/Hanna-Barbera Australia operated until 1991, and sold to Turner Broadcasting System.

As for their logo, well, let’s just say Hanna-Barbera’s Australian cousin is a little freaky…

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Yikes, freakin’ lightning!

Also, this version, without The Berenstain Bears Show music (Upload via LogicSmash, I’m having trouble embedding the video).

Children’s Home Video Companies: The Little-Knowns Become the Now-Knowns

You know, I’d like to think that every logo is well-known by the nostalgic sort that remember them best, no matter how rare. Before doing the research for these logos, they were all ones I was familiar with from some passing point in my life. That is, with the exception of Southern Star Productions/Hanna-Barbera Australia, that one managed to slip the deep recesses of my mind until a decade ago, when I spotted it on YouTube. Yeah, I didn’t like it. Still don’t.


It’s like the Screen Gems of the children’s world…with lightning!