Wednesday, December 22, 2010
He didn't know who Yogi Bear was!!
YOGI BEAR'S ALL STAR COMEDY CHRISTMAS CAPER is a good introduction to Yogi.
This 1982 special finds Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Quick Draw McGraw and the rest of the Hanna Barbera gang arriving at Jellystone Park at Christmas to visit with Yogi and Boo Boo. They find out that Yogi has gone to the city to visit them.
In the city, Yogi hides out as a department store Santa and befriends the disillusioned daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the city. Will Yogi teach her the true meaning of Christmas?
This is truly an "All Star" special. Even Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble make cameos. It is a fast paced 23 minutes.
Also on the DVD is a 1961 special YOGI'S BIRTHDAY PARTY. This time, Yogi is told that there will be a birthday party thrown for him. He prepares while the rest of the Hanna Barbera gang show up for a sort of THIS IS YOUR LIFE tribute to him.
Both of these specials are good overviews of Yogi and the rest of the Hanna Barbera characters. While Hanna Barbera was never at Disney level as far as the animation goes, they should be nostalgic fun for parents wanting to introduce the characters to their familes.
YOGI BEAR'S ALL STAR COMEDY CHRISTMAS CAPER is available now on DVD from Warner Home Video.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Other Peanuts Christmas specials have aired throughout the years, but none have caught on like the original.
Now being rereleased on DVD is CHARLIE BROWN'S CHRISTMAS TALES.
This special, first airing in 2002, is made up of various vignettes featuring Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and the rest of the gang. It is a collection of shorts, about the length of a Sunday cartoon. While a fun cartoon, it isn't as memorable as the original.
Also on the DVD is 1983's IS THIS GOODBYE, CHARLIE BROWN?.
IS THIS GOODBYE finds Lucy and Linus moving away when their father gets a new job. While I may not be an expert on the entire Peanuts series, this seems a bit of a departure as in a few scenes, adult characters are shown. From the movers, to in one scene Lucy and Linus' parents driving a car, they all appear as characters, not just as offscreen trombone voices.
While both of these cartoons may not be true Peanuts classics, they are sure to be entertaining for family audiences.
CHARLIE BROWN'S CHRISTMAS TALES is available now on DVD from Warner Home Video.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Confession - I was a huge DUKES OF HAZZARD fan. From season one, I never missed an episode on Friday nights. I had a poster on my wall. I had the 45 single of the theme song. Even today, I have all the season sets on DVD. While I was never a car guy, whenever I see a Dodge Charger, especially one painted like the General Lee, I still think it is pretty cool.
That said, if I was aware of the animated series, I had forgotten it. By 1983, when the show aired, I think I had outgrown it.
The series which aired on CBS in 1983 features Coy (voiced by Byron Cherry) and Vance (Christopher Mayer), the Season five cousins who stepped in when Bo (John Schneider) and Luke (Tom Wopat) were on a salary dispute. Bo and Luke joined THE DUKES in the second season, with episode 14.
The rest of the Dukes cast is present. Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach), Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle), and my favorites Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best) and Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) are all here with their original voices.
The premise is sort of WACKY RACES meets SCOOBY DOO. The Dukes are racing Boss Hogg and Rosco around the world. The boys want to use the money to save their farm. Told in letters back home to Uncle Jesse, each episode has the teams in a different country. From Australia, Africa, Venice, Morocco, London, India, Hong Kong, Switzerland, they travel the globe.
The show is typical of the “limited animation” of the early 80’s Hanna Barbera cartoons. Storywise, it is like SCOOBY DOO, with different evildoers in each episode out to get the gang.
One note about the transfer, while the episodes look fine, I don't know if all the copies are like this, but I found that the sound effects track on the episodes were louder than the dialogue and music, making it sometimes a bit difficult to hear. This could have been my copy, or TV, but thought I would mention it.
Is this a great series? No. But if you grew up watching it, you should enjoy the set.
THE DUKES is available now from the Warner Archive