I spoke with my friend DOROTHY IVES (Burl's widow) on MEMORIAL DAY and it was great to catch up BUT was sorry to hear she lost her daughter Barbara about a year ago. We are both very commited to keeping Burl's memory alive and there are a few projects on the horizon. Check www.burlives.com
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Hopefully my very dear friend, PHYLLIS DILLER, will be able to do an interview for the DELUXE MAD MONSTER PARTY DVD. She is the one that turned FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER into FANG! We are also trying to get the participation of ALLEN SWIFT and GALE GARNETT...the entire living voice cast for the classic film! BORIS is well missed!
The NEW DELUXE MAD MONSTER PARTY DVD is coming to a store near you this Halloween from LIONSGATE! I think the documentary by SPARKHILL is going to be something special. MAURY LAWS is doing his interview this weekend too. We covered alot of ground and are sharing some cool stuff for the disc! Many will be involved with this one. This is the way a RANKIN/BASS DVD should be!
Friday, May 29, 2009
I loved this film! You have to see it in it's 3D version too. It reminded me alot of another great film...Clint Eastwood's GRAN TORINO. The focus is on an elderly gentleman CARL FREDERICKSON (Ed Asner) and a wonderful character named RUSSELL (Jordan Nagai)...a modern day CHARLIE BROWN. Make sure you bring some tissues...the montage towards the beginning is REALLY well done. PIXAR has another ACADEMY AWARD winner here. I rank it high up there with THE INCREDIBLES. PIXAR is light years ahead of all the other PIXAR wannabes and the one half hour of trailers before the feature were proof of that. Don't animation companies realize that it takes heart and warmth in these films (like RANKIN/BASS films have) to make them a masterpiece as PIXAR does? There was a trailer for an AWFUL upcoming DISNEY computer animated film called G FORCE, that the theater showed three times?!?!? The trailer ended with hamsters saying "Poop in his hand"? I heard small kids in the theater repeating that line after the trailer. Total garbage. Anyway, do not miss UP! TOY STORY 3 in 3D is next and they are redoing TOY STORY 1 and 2 in 3D!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Legendary actor PAUL FREES was in most everything RANKIN/BASS did and one of the greatest voice actors of all time! Arthur loved his sense of humor and Paul said the only two Producers he would get on a plane to do work for at the end of his career were JAY WARD and ARTHUR RANKIN.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
My friend TONY PETERS did pass away in New York this past Sunday. Tony designed many wonderful things for RANKIN/BASS in the early days of the studio. He gave me the picture above and designed these elves and this style of ANIMAGIC. I devoted a chapter in my book THE MAKING OF THE RANKIN/BASS HOLIDAY CLASSIC: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER to him and he was proud of it and said his grand children were too. He will definitely be missed. He loved to talk about his work on the GRANTRAY-LAWRENCE cartoons too. He developed ROCKET ROBINHOOD and also worked on the classic MARVEL SUPER HERO cartoons. I love the work he did on THE NEW ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO, TALES OF THE WIZARD OF OZ, WILLY McBEAN & HIS MAGIC MACHINE and of course RUDOLPH!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
These were a GREAT pick me up to a not so good day! I was hoping they would contain the opens and closings to the shows and they do! THE PETER POTOMUS SHOW was REALLY cool. The open was from a fair print BUT never saw the color version with the audio together and the close looks really good (re-mastered). It has Ricochet and Droop-a-long, so it was from the syndicated version BUT it looks AWESOME as does the QUICK DRAW McGRAW open/close! Still watching the discs BUT was glad to see THE PORKY PIG SHOW open and close. It was from a pretty damaged print BUT still great to have. Hopefully, there will be future volumes and full sets of these series!
Not a good day... Just learned that TONY PETERS may have passed away over the weekend. Will find out more details shortly. I also learned my Dad is very ill. I talked to Burl Ives' widow last night...Dorothy and she lost her daughter Barbara about a year ago too. Hope things get better.
Monday, May 25, 2009
I love the early work of JIM HENSON. One of the RAREST things I have in my collection is this 1965 IDEAL TOYS Kermit the Frog puppet. I have never seen another one. I bought it from my friend Ron Murphy's brother, who had it since 1965. I love that he is wearing the red turtleneck, as he did on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. He also has the early round feet.
I ran into DAVE GOLDSMITH, a viewer of my blog, and his wife at the last TOY SHOW in St. Charles, IL and he gave me one of his new FUNKO nodders that he Produced with my friend Brian Mariotti from FUNKO. YOU GOTTA HAVE FAITH, BOY!
I love these guitars. I have loved all the RICKENBACKER guitars I have had and THE BEATLES put them on the map. I am probably most comfortable playing my 12 string. One of my favorite subjects to talk about. We are getting lots of rain on this MEMORIAL DAY holiday.