Friends, Norman Normal is a different offering for Toon In. For one thing it happened to be scored by none other than Paul Stookey. Indeed, the very same Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul, and Mary. In fact it was co-produced, co-written and even features voice work by Stookey as well. Norman Normal also is one of the lesser seen Warner Bros. animated shorts.
I mention that Norman Normal hasn’t been seen by many. That could be because it was released as a cartoon special for it’s adult sensibilities. Nothing to worry about of course in regards to language or the like. It is because it follows Norman as he basically confronts the issues of life that are weighing heavily on his mind.
Our main protagonist in Norman Normal is a ball bearing salesman. Right off the bat he shares with us, thanks to the many doors in his mind, an ethical quandary concerning his Boss. Who by the way is voiced by Stookey as well, actually most of the characters that Norman encounters are voiced by the singer-songwriter.
While his Boss wants him to land a new client by getting him to drink too much, we see that Norman Normal is thankfully of stronger morale character. Not that he isn’t finding himself confused by what is expected of him. So he decides to visit his Father to seek advice. I will naturally leave it to you to decide if he has been given sage advice or not.
Finally we get a chance to visit Norman at a company party. Where as you can probably guess, things aren’t exactly peachy-keen. On display is more of personal issues of others that they try to foist on their co-worker.
The part of Norman Normal is voiced by Dave Dixon. It really is an interesting animated short. Certainly worthy of your six minutes of time. While it was originally released on February 3, 1968 there are still powerful as well as relatable messages within it.
Since 2001, Warner Brothers has released direct-to-DVD animated features featuring Tom & Jerry. The newest release is set for June 25, 2015 and features the cat and mouse teaming up with Jonny Quest in an adventure titled “Spy Quest.” It seems like such an odd team-up that I have to watch it when it is released. Other Tom & Jerry animated films have teamed them with Sherlock Holmes and The Wizard of Oz but this is the first to team them with another Hanna-Barbera creation.
Plus, I’m a big Jonny Quest fan so hopefully this will spark a renewed interest in that franchise and receive some animated feature films of its own. I don’t mind the straight-to-DVD format for these. The Scooby-Doo and DC Comics ones have been successful and Jonny Quest would fit that format.
Just got an email informing me about a new Disney short Halloween-ish cartoon called “Ghoul Friend”. As a lover of all Disney’s Halloween offerings (Disney’s Halloween Treat/A Disney Halloween, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow), I had to check it out. It’s not as Halloween as I like, but it’s lots of fun.
I’m halfway through vacation, and I’m still finding some great retro ebooks. I just found (and read) two about the 80s or G1 (and only real) Transformers.
The first is a brief memoir of one man’s experiences with the G1 Transformers. That man is Charles Smith and his book is called Transformers: Memories From Childhood. This is a short, self-published book, so it might not have the polish if professionally edited books. But it records some sincere thoughts about things that were important to the author. That’s what I look for, so I highly enjoyed it. Find it for 99¢ at Amazon.com.
The second is called Bumblebee and Me: My Life As A G1 Transformer. In it, Dan Gilzevan, the voice if Bumblebee from the original cartoons, gives his experiences recording the show. Some have complained that the book is too short, but I enjoyed it for what it was. Find it on Amazon.com fir $2.99.