When the pilot episode of NBC’s Saturday morning animated series Kidd Video debuted on September 8, 1984. I was hooked. The premise of a garage band getting sucked into an animated universe was right in my wheelhouse.
Kidd Video scratched that itch I was beginning to develop, which was obviously a desire for music. Music videos in fact. Please keep in mind that music wasn’t a big thing in my household when growing up. It wasn’t banned or anything like that – we just didn’t listen frequently.
Having said that, Kidd Video came out at the perfect time. While it would be a couple of years before I would get access to the likes of MTV. I had already been introduced to the music video by way of Nick Rocks!
Now as I just mentioned, I really dug Kidd Video. I apparently wasn’t the only child of the 80s who took to it either. As the show was the most popular new children’s show of 1984 as well as coming in third in the Nielsen ratings for all Saturday morning cartoons.
It wasn’t until many years later that I learned that the cast who played the members of the band. Also lent their voices to the series as well as the original songs they sang. Kidd Video was portrayed by Bryan Scott, Carla was played by Gabrielle Bennett. The band’s resident tech head, Whiz, was Robbie Rist. Yes, none other than Cousin Oliver from The Brady Bunch.
Last but not least was Ash, the keyboardist for the band, played by Steve Alterman.
Furthermore with the exception of Bennett, they could actually play their instruments. So this made Kidd Video something of a powerhouse for both DIC and Saban entertainment. Which is how the band members and even Haim Saban were interviewed on the program, 2 on the Town.
While the animated series was quite popular, they didn’t have much of a marketing impact in the USA. Although this wasn’t the case in Israel where the group in fact toured. Kidd Video spawned a record album, coloring books, a card game, and even candy bars and yogurt. So why not treat yourself and listen to a track from said album. The song from the intro of the cartoon – Video To My Radio!
Dragon’s Blood is a 1985 animated movie or episode of the CBS Storybreak.
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!
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?
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!
What can I say about Kidd Video? …seriously, somebody help me out here! Okay, at the risk of making myself sound like an absolute imbecile, I know nothing about this cartoon. In fact, upon the few occasions where I accidentaly ran across pictures of it, I believe that I thought it was the same show as Captain N the Game Master. You know…videos…games…video games? It makes sense right. Anyway, now I’m older and wiser and ready to let what Im sure is a great cartoon, stand on it’s own two feet.
I present Kidd Video episode #23: Twilight Double Header.
HOLY CRAP ladies and gentleman I appear to have stepped into a goldmine! This intro is one of the single greatest things I have ever seen! It’s like some kind of amazing part animated part super cheesy teenager focused 80’s commercial and part super cheesy 80’s music video. There’s the greatest group of teenage stereotypes ever and there in a band together and the keyboardist is super nerdy and they have a preppy girl drummer and the lead singer looks at himself in the mirror while he sings…and the bassist has keyboard suspenders! Haha! Sorry I have to geek out about this for a moment. So they get pulled to the “flipside” and become cartoons captured by some fat businessman looking guy who says they’re going to be his “musical slaves” but a fairy in 80’s hair and legwarmers. Legwarmers! Sneezes and frees them! Seriously sorry to spaz out but I could honestly write a whole blog just about these opening credits. And the theme song is amazing! “From my video to my radio!” Does anyone out there know if this was a real song or just the theme to Kidd Video?
The episode opens with that awesome Flash Dance looking fairy getting chased by a very Dr Seuss looking elephant.
Then some weird creature throws a banana peel on the ground and it slips and flies about a hundred feet into the air and comes down, landing on a cactus…bad…luck. Then it runs away screeching and Glitter (the fairy) is safe and the band (kidd video) finally shows up. They try to think the creature (a member of an underappreciated race known as the jelly bellys) but he freaks out and runs away. Apparently they are a sweet but very shy people who noone ever does anything nice for. Kidd Video is gonna change all that and give them a concert! We get a little bit of an introduction of some of the characters at dinner. The girl drummer is a fitness freak and into vegetables and tofu, bean sprouts wheatgrass…you get the idea. The keyboardist is the nerdy complaining guy with the sarcastic quips, the lead singer is totally full of himself and the bassist is insensitive less talented and always trying to get the spotlight (Think Reggie to the lead singer’s Archie)
The band arrives in some random town full of weird random weird creatures that are hard at work rebuilding the concert hall and just generally being awesome. Unfortunately, this world has other plans for them. The heat is on, the fish are frying in the lake the thermometers are busting and the sun from the raisin bran commercials has appeared to have gone evil. We get this whole trippy “world getting hotter” scene all done to the tune of “Shout”
We get this long crazy scene with a jelly belly creature trying to drink water but the sun eye zaps it and turns it in to steam and all that’s left is one drop. He chases it all over the place even tunneling underground after it. Finally I think he gets carried away on a river of water (it’s kind of hard to tell) but the song ends and we are now watching the Reggie guy obsessively working on the song he’s writing and a two bodied one headed character that looks straight out of Yellow Submarine
shows up and criticizes him. Apparently, everything is hot because the nights are short. The nights are short because the guy who controls the night is that one eyed two bodied freak (who, by the way, is waaaaay bigger than he looked before) can’t sleep. And he can’t sleep because the bass player keeps working on his sucky song, in what is apparently the monsters bedroom! Way to go Reggie!!!
Reggie feels bad and apparently doesn’t want an entire race of giant jellybean people to melt and die so he takes it upon himself to risk his life and go on a quest to retrieve the one woman who can put the monster guy back to sleep.
We finally get treated to the bad guy. He must have been to busy to be in the show up until now…he does look like an executive after all. He’s addressing his trusted army of a…cat band?
He entrusts the cat band with the mission to stop kid video from finding the wonderful and mystical Sylvia. So they set a bunch of Wile E Coyote traps for our heroes.
The nerdy guy with his trusted assistant Flash Dance Fairy, climb the mountain with a siren singing machine in their own unstoppable quest to find Sylvia, and bring the land of the Belly Jellys some long overdue nighttime!
Only a couple minutes into part three and Reggie is being chased by a giant arachnid bush/tree monster
And Kidd and his Drummer Girl are being chased through the sky by…wait for it…twin giant cats riding tricycles. Holy acid trip Batman!
Kidd and companion find a giant wind-up playing card queen woman (sheesh!) who claims to be Sylvia and they take her into the ship. Meanwhile the evil tycoon guy is berating his cat thugs. These cats are pretty cool but they really don’t feel like they belong in this cartoon at all. They don’t act like they should, the fact that they’re anthropomorphic cats doesn’t make any sense and the don’t even look like the same animation. In fact, it seems like the bad business man kidnapped friends of The Cadillac Cats and made them work in a different cartoon!
So he yells at them to stop the heroes in a scene very reminiscent of Scar yelling at the Hyenas in The Lion King but unfortunately he doesn’t sing “Be Prepared” (one of my all time favorite Disney Villain songs)
By this time Ash (the Reggie guy) has caught up with Kidd and the drummer and they are trying to get their ship off the ground but one of the tricycle kittens damaged a fuel tank (are you following this guys?) the only way they can take off is if they move a giant ice-cube shaped boulder so wind can blow on the ship…because wind can help a rocket ship take off? Kidd starts juggling rocks and then throws them one by one at the boulder which finally starts to roll off into the distance despite the fact that it’s square… Then we get treated to this fever dream version of the back of a dollar bill, that I assume is an establishing shot of the Evil Villains hideout.
Insert dollar bill
We get a bunch of random shots of weird characters that im not even gonna go into and then we join nerdy keyboard guy as he works hard on a piece of Seussian equipment that I don’t remember seeing. He apparently fixes it because onto the screen pops! The live action music video for The Monkees, Daydream Believer???
Insert daydream believer.
Apparently the gizmo was supposed to replicate a Siren song…which I thought was the whole purpose of looking for Sylvia. Not that I minded hearing some Monkees, loved them since I was a kid!
After some pointless, wacky highjinks from the fake Cadillac Cats Sylvia finally arrives to work her magic. She winds up her head begins to play sweet music and suddenly starts can-can dancing with three legs! This cartoon is going to give me some amazing nightmares folks!
There also appears to be money blowing around and I have absolutely no idea why. So she’s doing this cancan dance and caterwauling like Yoko Ono and it puts the big mutant guy (and Ash) right out! The day is saved and our prize? A live action Kidd Video Concert!
Did I mention live-action Ash plays the KeyTar? Best cartoon ever!
I really don’t know what else to add here. This show had great music, nonsensical plotlines and the visuals were weird as hell! Throw in that thing I love where live action characters turn into cartoons, some awesome keytar playing and The Monkees and you have by far, one of the greatest things I’ve seen in a long time. Go watch Kidd Video. Now!
On the way to Neon City, the gang finds out that residents are speeding up and in danger of burning out, thanks to the Master Blaster. Can the gang foil his plans? Video: Lionel Richie, “All Night Long”