Saturday, December 30, 2006
I usually have nothing nice to say about CLASSIC MEDIA/SONY WONDER DVD releases for the obvious reasons...missing the RANKIN/BASS name on the front cover, no RANKIN/BASS extras, etc. I really like this DVD release for many reasons. The cover design is very nice and I like the white case used. The art is almost as nice as the art my friend PATRICK OWSLEY did for the DVD releases on TENNESSEE TUXEDO & HIS FRIENDS and GO GO GOPHERS! It looks like they did use info from my first book (uncredited) on the back cover BUT at least it is correct and mentions ARTHUR RANKIN and JULES BASS. The art on the disc is well designed too. This is the very first RANKIN/BASS TV Special which appeared on NBC's GENERAL ELECTRIC COLOR FANTASY HOUR in February, 1964. Another thing I like about the DVD is the price! You can find it for $9.99 or less. Always check www.amazon.com for RANKIN/BASS DVDs. If you don't have it yet, pick it up!
Friday, December 29, 2006
Our NUDE HIPPO segment is now on-line at YOU TUBE. The ending may be too disturbing for small children and involves some RUDOLPH toys. Check it out at www.youtube.com/nudehippo
As the NEW YEAR Rings in and the old year moves out... I want to THANK everyone again for the successful year we had! All the GREAT RANKIN/BASS fans and friends made it possible! I apologize for the lack of updates at www.rankinbass.com BUT stay tuned here and you will see plenty of updates. There are alot of exciting things coming in 2007 from the world of RANKIN/BASS! Stay tuned!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Arthur Rankin, Jr. & Danny Kaye look over Danny's ANIMAGIC figure for THE ENCHANTED WORLD OF DANNY KAYE: The Emperor's New Clothes. This 1972 ANIMAGIC/Live-Action/Cel Animated special came out on DVD about 4 years ago BUT most RANKIN/BASS fans aren't even aware of it. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it because as a BONUS there is an original 8 minute documentary on the MAKING of the special with ARTHUR RANKIN, JULES BASS, MAURY LAWS & DANNY KAYE! It also features JACK DAVIS artwork that shows the other stories they were going to do with the series THE ENCHANTED WORLD OF DANNY KAYE. The DVD was not handled properly once again by CLASSIC MEDIA, because they just called it THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES and instead of putting DANNY's image on the cover (Which everybody knows from HERE COMES PETER COTTONTAIL), they put a picture of the KING? This was done out of fear of a lawsuit from the KAYE estate. Seek this DVD out...you won't be sorry.
I did a radio show very early this AM in Denver, Colorado with RICK CRANDALL just as they were getting hit with another blizzard (3 inches of snow per hour)! Then I got hit with my bad chronic Asthma. Oh well.... The show was alot of fun and we talked about RUDOLPH & SANTA, www.timeandspacetoys.com, the CENTER FOR PUPPETRY ARTS, etc. My New Year's resolution is to get going on the 3rd printing of my book THE ENCHANTED WORLD OF RANKIN/BASS and write the updates and layout the cover for PAUL COKER, JR.. We are going to need decent printing time to have it out in plenty of time for the holidays of 2007!
This article was reprinted in THE BARKER MAGAZINE (A magazine for VERTRILOQUISTS) from my first book THE ENCHANTED WORLD OF RANKIN/BASS: A Portfolio. Click article to enlarge.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
YES....I am sure. ARTHUR RANKIN and I had a discussion recently about my booklet in the MAD MONSTER PARTY DVD (Anchor Bay). JULES BASS picked the DVD up in the Fall of 2006 at BARNES & NOBLE and felt that the booklet had some errors. The DVD was originally issued in 2002 and luckily the 2005 Re-issue contains the same 24 page booklet. One question was if FRANK FRAZETTA really had anything to do with the films' poster art and ad art. YES...he definitely did! ARTHUR & JULES do not remember him. They know that the art was similar to JACK DAVIS' art in design and style BUT weren't sure who actually executed it. JACK did the character designs and an alternate poster design for the film. When I researched THE ENCHANTED WORLD OF RANKIN/BASS: A PORTFOLIO, I called Frank and talked with his wife Ellie, who confirmed he did the art. Later, ARNIE FENNER released a book called LEGACY (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it!), which unearthed this color piece and confirmed that his two black and white preliminary drawings were used as the final poster and design art for the film. Arnie and I also talked about the origin of the art. I believe that it was JOSEPH E. LEVINE that chose and paid for the art and not RANKIN/BASS. FRAZETTA was doing many "Jack Davis style" posters during this era and both did work for MAD MAGAZINE. Once JACK hit on his parade style one-sheet poster for IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD, It started a trend in cartoon posters for the next decade that DAVIS and FRAZETTA split between them. In fact, Jack's first RANKIN/BASS work was the parade style poster for WILLY McBEAN & HIS MAGIC MACHINE (1965)! JULES is definitely correct about one error with the MMP DVD. On the back cover of the DVD, it states FORREST J. ACKERMAN (FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND) assisted with the screeplay. He did not. ANCHOR BAY got this information from a movie database loaded with errors. I pointed out, that no research I did confirms his involvement in my booklet. In fact, I talked with LEN KOROBKIN (Writer of the screenplay) at length about it and he never worked with him. HARVEY KURTZMAN (Founder of MAD MAGAZINE) was brought into the project after LEN wrote the screenplay and added in some of his Kutzmanisms at the very end, such as the VEEBLEFETZERS that Felix had Mr. Cronkite buy for his Pharmacy. There you have it.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I finally received a seperate DVD copy of the RANKIN/BASS' TV Special CRICKET ON THE HEARTH tonight. Get this! CLASSIC MEDIA/SONY WONDER didn't even bother to credit ARTHUR RANKIN, JR. and JULES BASS on the back cover either???? In fact, there is no mention of RANKIN/BASS on the entire DVD? AND to make matters worse, they included those videos of MARIAH CAREY and DESTINY'S CHILD as BONUS Extras on this disc? This is VERY hard to believe BUT it is TRUE!!! RANKIN/BASS filmed a wonderful introduction and ending with DANNY THOMAS that is LIVE-ACTION. The special is worth getting even though it was NOT properly issued. What a shame.
Monday, December 25, 2006
What would you think of a RANKIN/BASS LAND? Complete with a RANKIN/BASS museum? It is an idea we have been kicking around.... We had a nice, relaxing CHRISTMAS DAY today with Family and friends. This season was quite busy and I would like to THANK everyone for everything! I enjoyed the RADIO and TV Shows and the many wonderful articles that were written about what we do. It is hard for me to enjoy the holidays with everything that is going on BUT I do enjoy being busy. Also, THANK YOU for all the many orders we received! Hope SANTA was good to you this year! Keep an eye on the blog for many updates and information that you will not find anyplace else. ENJOY!
Sunday, December 24, 2006
PAUL COKER, JR. is a HUGE part of the RANKIN/BASS Legacy! His name appears as CHARACTER DESIGNER at the end of just about every RANKIN/BASS show that aired on ABC FAMILY today. PAUL called me today and the NEW cover to the 3rd printing of my book THE ENCHANTED WORLD OF RANKIN/BASS: A PORTFOLIO is a go! GREAT to hear from PAUL on CHRISTMAS EVE! PAUL signed some HEAT MISER & SNOW MISER cards that I have up on EBAY under seller ANIMAGIC1 and MISER BROS. We also have them back in stock at www.rankinbass.com PAUL designed the HEAT MISER, SNOW MISER, FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, NESTOR THE LONG-EARED DONKEY, etc. etc. etc.
Dolls of the RANKIN/BASS Characters can be found almost anywhere these days! We went to BROOKFIELD ZOO yesterday and to my surprise they had BUILD-A-BEAR type dolls of all the RUDOLPH characters and some of them were nice! We picked up a YUKON and my son JOSH stuffed him and put a star inside. Their version of these dolls are called ANIMALAND and made by a company called NANCO. They have a small HANG TAG on them and what we liked about the YUKON doll was the fact that he had a MAROON hat on. My son liked the BUMBLE too. They were sold out of the RUDOLPH and CLARICE dolls. They also make a HERMEY, SAM THE SNOWMAN and SANTA CLAUS. The SNOW MISER doll picture to the left was sent by NOVA GREENSOCKS! It was handmade from materials at WALMART.
'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS was one of those RANKIN/BASS classics that aired on CBS for many, many years. You may be able to spot it on ABC FAMILY today! It is available on DVD! It is paired up with FROSTY'S WINTER WONDERLAND from WARNER BROTHERS. I especially like the very end of the special with the wonderful PAUL COKER re-design of SANTA! It is the voice of ALLEN SWIFT that you here as SANTA saying "Merry Christmas to all! AND to all a good night!"