Song of the South

Song of the South

The series of “Uncle Remus” stories penned by Joel Chandler Harris seemed a perfect vehicle for Walt Disney to finally employ a form of technology he had long experimented with – the merging of animated images with live actors. The concepts had been toyed with in films such as The Reluctant Dragon and The Three Caballeros, and Walt had first explored the possibilities in a cartoon called Alice’s Wonderland as far back as 1923. It was finally time to truly put the techniques to the test in a feature film, and the result 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...

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web

From the mind of author, E.B. White came this touching animated feature about the tale of a pig and the spider that saved him from becoming dinner, in the timeless 1973 musical classic, Charlotte’s Web. The cartoon (and the book, for that matter) remains one of the most beloved children's stories of all time. Continue reading...

Punky Brewster

Punky Brewster

Only the most hardened heart could refuse to soften a little when faced with a little orphaned girl. Just ask Annie, just ask Pippi, just ask Heidi. Now, put a spunky and self-confident little orphan alongside a cantankerous old codger, an odd couple if there ever was one, and you have a recipe for heart-string tugging like no other. Such was the power of Punky Brewster. Continue reading...