Kangaroo - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Kangaroo (1982)

Kangaroo is the pick this week for Christopher Tupa’s Retro Arcade Art project. Much like with Dig Dug this is another classic arcade game that many of you will remember. Developed as well as published by Sun Electronics in 1982. It was in fact distributed by none other than the legendary Atari. And when you get down to it, Kangaroo shares some slightly similar aspects to 1981’s Donkey Kong.

I have to say that as a protagonist. A mother Kangaroo wearing boxing gloves might seem like an odd choice. That is of course until you read the description of the game. Your little joey has been abducted by some rather nasty acting monkeys. So it’s up to you to get your baby back…by throwing a few good jabs.

As a ten-year-old I can certainly say I felt up to the task. Although my first experiences with it were at the fabled Showbiz Pizza of my youth. It was well past the point it was in the “showcase” row. It had been placed down in the lower level of the arcade alongside Donkey Kong Jr. and Popeye. However I really took a shine to the gameplay.

Kangaroo is a platformer. You have to jump, climb, and hop up a variety of stages in your attempt to rescue your joey. All the while you must contend with those monkeys. Who enjoy nothing more than rearing back and hurling apple cores at you. Thankfully the Player can duck the edible projectile or hop over it if tossed across the ground. Of course you can also punch the apple cores too for some bonus points but your timing better be pretty good.
Kangaroo - Stage 1

Besides the thrown apples, a monkey will move back and forth across the tops of the four stages. His job is to try and drop apple cores down upon your head. I’ve always found this occurs generally when you are making a jump or scurrying up a ladder. Also there is a pink Gorilla that will occasionally appear. His goal is to steal the boxing gloves from our hero. No boxing Gloves means no ability to punch monkeys or thrown fruit.
Kangaroo - Stage 2

Kangaroo - Stage 3

Stage 3 is one of my favorites. You have to knock out a row of monkeys holding joey in a cage!

Fun fact. I have never actually made it to the fourth stage.

Now how about you take just a couple of minutes and watch Kangaroo in action?

[Via] Mame Player

Kangaroo may not have been as popular as the likes Donkey Kong or Pac-Man but it did well enough to receive home versions. Ports were made available to the Atari 8-Bit computers as well as the Atari 2600 and 5200. Most fans prefer the 5200 which I will admit I’ve not had the pleasure of playing before. However if you happen to feel like reading what I thought of the 2600 port back in 2010 – just click here.

Now remember that with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s official site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

At the very least, Kangaroo was popular enough to warrant a spot on CBS’ Saturday Supercade!

[Via] Kiddo Cabbusses

Remember to check out CTupa’s past entries for the Retro Arcade Art Project!
(Beezer)
(Bomb Jack)
(Devil Fish)
(Dig Dug)
(Inferno)

Retroist Scoreboard: Tangerine Dreams and Space Spinach

Retroist Scoreboard fans, we’ve hit one of those lulls in releases that happens during the summer, but fear not, there’s some classic movie music on CD to get you through the end of summer vacation.

Intrada has reached into its back catalog to reissue a title that sold out quickly upon its original release in 2009 – Jerry Goldsmith‘s score from Ten Little Indians (1973).  The contents are the same as the 2009 release, so this is just an instance of a label giving collectors who missed out on the first limited release a second chance.

If you’re looking for something a bit further afield, there are also swingin’ sixties  superspy sounds aplenty on the live concert recording The Jazz From U.N.CL.E., performed by the Summit Six Sextet to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Man From U.N.CL.E.  Music from the classic series is rearranged for a six-piece jazz group.  This title is also available from Intrada.

Dragon’s Domain has put Tangerine Dream‘s score from 1989’s Miracle Mile back in print for the first time in nearly 30 years, now as a 2-CD set: the first CD presents the complete score for the first time ever, as well as some isolated “music effects”, while the second CD duplicates (and remasters) the original 1989 album.

BSX Records is releasing, on CD, an album that was previously a digital-only release, Music From The Star Trek Saga.  The album consists of new re-recordings of music spanning the entire history of the franchise, from classic TV Trek through the ’80s and ’90s spinoffs, and up to the first of the new movies.

Varese Sarabande is taking pre-orders for a late-September deluxe expanded release of the music from the cult classic 1980 live-action Popeye movie starring Robin Williams.  Though scored (and featuring songs) by Harry Nilsson, Popeye was originally set to be scored by composer Thomas Pierson, and his never-before-heard rejected score will be heard on this release for the first time, along with two Nilsson-composed songs written for, but not used in, the film.

Is that all?  No, that is not all – both Intrada and La-La Land Records are having end-of-summer blowout sales, with Intrada knocking 25% off the price of such titles as 48 Hrs., Cocoon, Edward Scissorhands, Red Dawn, Silent Running, SpaceCamp, and Jason And The Argonauts.  La-La Land is offering discounts on the soundtracks from the first three seasons of the 21st century Battlestar Galactica series (which are about to be out-of-print), as well as markdowns on such titles as The Shawshank Redemption, Krull, and Creepshow.  With many of these titles officially in low quantities, these sales are excellent chances for you to get those classic soundtracks you’ve been holding out on.

Happy listening, soundtrack fans – the Retroist Scoreboard will be back in a couple of weeks with a whole new batch of releases.

Sweethaven

1980’s Sweethaven from Popeye Is A Malta Tourist Attraction?!

I was taking a break from a Retroist video podcast that I’m working on to view some random videos on YouTube. Then I came across a video about abandoned movie sets.

[Via] Yesterworld Entertainment

In 1980, a film adaptation of the cartoon Popeye hit the theaters. It got mixed reviews from the critics, but many people, myself included, fell in love with the film. One of the interesting things about this movie was the setting; an old fishing village in Malta called Sweethaven (though the movie doesn’t say it is in Malta). Most of the film’s budget went to the construction of this unique set. Like most movie sets, Sweethaven was slated to be destroyed after filming ended. In fact, the prime minister of Malta, at the time, wanted it destroyed. Members of Malta film community convinced him to keep Sweethaven for tourism purposes. I know what you’re thinking…Popeye film set as a tourist attraction? I wrote a post a while back about this film & the character and worried that both were going to be forgotten, but I may have been wrong.

Sweethaven

Map courtesy of Bing Maps

Sweethaven

Aerial shot courtesy of Google Maps

Popeye’s movie set has become a theme park! People have weddings here! Simply put, the place is gorgeous. There are people running around in costumes as well. I don’t want to spoil it here so go on to the Popeye Village website to see the amazing photos and packages they have. I have got to convince my wife to take a trip there.
Sweethaven

Popeye

Toon In: Popeye – Cookin’ With Gags (1955)

Welcome back, friends, to a new Toon In. This week we have Popeye the Sailor in a 1955 Associated Artists Production short entitled Cookin’ With Gags. An appropriate selection I think you will certainly agree as today is April 1st.

When I was growing up, I would watched quite a bit of A.A.P. Popeye cartoons. Whiling way the hours until it was time to race down to the bus stop. This was possible in fact thanks to the block programming by TBS in the early 80s.

Besides the likes of Popeye, that TBS block of cartoons would generally include Looney Tunes. As well as the King Features Syndicate characters Krazy Kat, Beetle Bailey, and even Snuffy Smith and Barney Google.

[Via] Angel Casusol

I think you Toon In fans might find it interesting that both Snuffy and Barney, were voiced by none other than Paul Frees. Of course you should recognize Paul’s distinct voice from his work on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and myriad Rankin/Bass specials. Of course he was also well known for voicing animated features and shorts for Walt Disney!

Read: Mars And Beyond (1957)

I apologize, friends. As usual I have let my train of thought run away with me. In our offering today, we find Popeye attempting to remain calm while attending a picnic with Bluto and Olive Oyl. The pranks range from the common industrial spring on an axe.
Popeye

To the addition of pouring gasoline on an open flame.

While it may indeed be April Fools Day, there is however only so much a Sailor Man can take. Will Popeye be able to thwart Bluto with a prank of his own? Furthermore will Olive Oyl see that she is being rather mean to our favorite Sailor Man? Toon In and let’s find out together!

[Via] Just For Fun

Popeye Met The Defenders Of The Earth In 1972?!

Back in 1985 one of my favorite animated series was Defenders of the Earth. Numerous times on The Retroist I’ve mentioned my fondness for pulp characters. Of heroes of the Golden Age – like The Shadow, The Phantom and others.

Thanks in fact to the 1980 Flash Gordon film. I came across an old collection of comic strips from King Features Syndicate at my local library. Which is of course how I was introduced to the likes of Mandrake the Magician and Lothar. Which like The Phantom was a creation of Lee Falk as well. They even had old Popeye collections from the E.C. Segar strip days!
Popeye

So you can easily imagine my joy when the Defenders of the Earth series debuted one morning. Bear in mind that if you didn’t have access to a TV Guide you were generally caught unawares about a new animated weekday show.

Themecstasy

Until last night however I wasn’t aware that the Defenders of the Earth had grouped together before 1985. Back in 1972 in fact for Popeye Meets The Man Who Hated Laughter – which was part of ABC’s Saturday Superstar Movie!

[Via] Muttley 16

When I stumbled on this I felt for a moment like I was reading an issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Moreover these early Defenders were joined by another King Features Syndicate hero – Milton Caniff’s Steve Canyon.

That is not even the most interesting part of it. The group that we would come to know as the Defenders of the Earth were brought together for a very special mission.

The Defenders of the Earth circa 1972.

In Popeye Meets The Man Who Hated Laughter, the US government asked the team to locate missing comic strip characters. Such as Blondie and Dagwood.

Beetle Bailey and Sarge.

As well as Popeye and Olive Oyl of course!

To say nothing of characters from Henry, Hi and Lois, Tiger and Prince Valiant. In addition to Bringing Up Father, Little Iodine, Snuffy Smith, and more.

Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter concerns itself with the villainous Professor Morbid Grimsby. A wretch who plans on banishing all laughter in the world – aided by a super computer as well as Popeye’s nemesis, Brutus. Inviting the cast of comic strip superstars aboard a yacht – the S.S. Hilarious. Taking them to the island hideaway of Professor Grimsby, where they will be his prisoners.

It’s up to the proto-Defenders of the Earth to locate the missing characters. Now in view of just how awesome this TV special really is, I should warn you about something. The sound isn’t that good. But in all honesty we are all incredibly lucky that Stupid Dim Bulb was able to upload this rare 1972 movie.

While it would take the Defenders of the Earth 13 years in fact to return to animation. Popeye was back in action in 1978 with The All New Popeye Hour!

[Via] Cartoons Intro