Petes-Dragon

Pete’s Dragon

With the popularity of films like Mary Poppins and Song of the South, Disney proved that they could successfully mix live-action and animation. For their next such endeavor, they would once again meld the two mediums in 1977 for Pete’s Dragon, a comedic film about a boy and his invisible, fire-breathing friend. Continue reading...

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

With rare exception, longevity isn’t a word often associated with Saturday morning cartoons. Most only last a couple of years at best. Put comedian/educator Bill Cosby at the helm, however, and you have a recipe for success. Such was the case with Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, a beloved series and a staple of Saturday mornings for over a decade. Continue reading...

Song of the South

Song of the South

The “Uncle Remus” stories penned by Joel Chandler Harris provided a perfect vehicle for Walt Disney to employ a technology he had long experimented with – the merging of animation with live actors. The cartoon pioneer first explored the possibilities in a short called Alice’s Wonderland as far back as 1923. It was finally time to put the techniques to the real test in a feature film, the result of which was The Song of the South. Continue reading...

The Magic School Bus

The Magic School Bus

Scholastic's The Magic School Bus had the ability to traverse the ocean floor and zoom through the intricate chambers of the human body. If only we could all get out of rush hour traffic and go where the Magic School Bus goes, the world would be a happier and better educated place. Continue reading...

Ludwig Von Drake

Ludwig Von Drake

There seems to be an unwritten rule that anyone who is a genius must also be eccentric. The same holds true for the duck with all the answers, Ludwig Von Drake. While he may never have possessed the same star power as his beloved nephew, Donald, he is certainly enough of a character to warrant his inclusion as a Retroland icon. Let’s take a look back. Continue reading...

Gumby

Gumby

Friends to the end, Gumby and Pokey, the clay-made cohorts of green boy and orange pony have been entertaining kids ever since Art Clokey created the malleable characters back in the early 50s, utilizing a strange new technique called 3-D Claymation. Gumby first appeared in the 1953 short, Gumbasia, and within four years was a regular on the highly-popular Howdy Doody. Following his success, the Gumbster was given a short-lived series of his own called The Gumby Show, which lasted a mere six months and was hosted by Howdy Doody’s own Bobby Nicholson and later, Pinky Lee. Continue reading...

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

There are almost as many similarities between Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Mary Poppins as there are between the Kennedy and Lincoln administrations – although those of the former are certainly less coincidental. Both films incorporated animation into live-action sequences. Both had magical guardians who managed to spellbind the precocious children under their care. Both took place in London and actor David Tomlinson had a supporting role in each film. Other than that, they were completely different. Continue reading...

Davey and Goliath

Davey and Goliath

Saturday mornings in the 60s and 70s provided hours upon hours of kid-friendly entertainment, with every network vying for their young audience's attention. On the other hand, when Sunday rolled around, the TV often seemed like a vast wasteland by comparison. Still, there was a charming little show that offered moral guidance to the kids that didn't happen to be attending church, and thy name was Davey and Goliath. And, let's face it - after a few hours the previous morning watching Wile E. Coyote try to destroy the Roadrunner, a little moral guidance probably couldn’t hurt. Continue reading...