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Well, December is here, so it's time for a Christmas post on my journal!
I'm sure many of you are familiar with the 1983 Oscar-nominated Disney featurette "Mickey's Christmas Carol." But what many people don't know is that it originally started out as an LP album from Disneyland Records in 1974!
It starred the late Alan Young, whom passed away over six months ago, in his first performance as Scrooge McDuck, and he'd go on to be Scrooge's main voice actor for several decades. In fact, his final performance before his death was voicing Scrooge in one of those new Mickey Mouse shorts on the Disney Channel! Fitting, isn't it? Young also voiced Mickey Mouse (sounding a little strange, I will admit) and a few other characters. Also included in the voice cast is the also recently-deceased Janet Waldo, whom did all the female voices on this record. It was released as a "Storyteller" album, with the story played out and six original songs (none of which appeared in the animated version), along with an 11-page illustrated booklet to visualize what's happening on the record.
This album is pretty similar to the animated version, but a major difference is some of the casting. We have Merlin of "The Sword in the Stone" play the role of the Ghost of Christmas Past (Jiminy Cricket played him in the cartoon), and the Wicked Queen in her witch disguise from "Snow White" play the role of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (played by Peg Leg Pete in the cartoon version.) Additionally, two charity collectors on the record are played by Foulfellow and Gideon from "Pinocchio" (rather out of character for them, too!) In the cartoon, Ratty and Moley from "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad" played the charity collectors.
You can hear this album HERE, on mousevinyl.com. A great website for fans of Disney's old record releases. Highly recommened!

In 1982, when the animated version was in production, an updated version of the album was released, with a new song at the start (the same song heard during the opening credits of the cartoon version), and some modified/replaced audio, changing it so we have Jiminy Cricket, Pete, Ratty and Moley play their respective parts.

The booklet also had a few new illustrations, and a transcription of the record program and lyrics to the songs.

I have both versions, and I reviewed the latter today in what may be my longest Big Bad Wolf video to date, in memory of Alan Young and Janet Waldo...

Yep, and the Big Bad Wolf did make a cameo in the animated version too, as I mention in the video.
26 November 2016 @ 10:35 pm
Today was Brockton's annual holiday parade, which always comes the day after Black Friday. And of course, K-O the Kangaroo got involved!

Here's the kangaroo putting on a Christmas record at Hogie's Hobbies. As I said, every year the hobby shop is involved with the parade and Brockton's other Christmas festivities. He had his Lionel train layout up and running, and a couple of the other hobby shop/model railroad club volunteers had the N-scale train layout running as well.
K-O also greeted with various kids and families before the parade, hugging and high-fiving kids (and grownups too!) and posing for pictures. There were a couple of scared little kids, and a few tail-pullers (of course), but a lot of kids loved my presences, and I enjoy making them happy. I also popped into the main public library for a quick visit, and a couple of librarians that know me well were happy to see K-O there. I am surprised we never had K-O visit that library before! (I know I am a regular patron there, I usually go every other week.)

Again this year, K-O rode with some kids on a float through the parade. They sure enjoyed my company! And all the people in the crowd watching the parade enjoyed seeing me as well. This year it was easier to wave to everyone with both hands, since I wasn't holding an umbrella like I was last year.

It was still pretty chilly out today though. But it doesn't matter for K-O, since he's got all that kangaroo fur to keep him warm! (He's hugging himself enjoying the warmth his fur gives him, and after the parade he put the Christmas hat in his pouch.)

Overall, it was a fun parade, and a great way to kick off the Christmas season here in Brockton.
In the meantime...Collapse )

I hope the rest of this holiday season goes well...
15 November 2016 @ 08:58 pm
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the original theatrical release of the Warner Bros. animated movie "Space Jam." While I'm not really a fan of the film, I am still a big fan of Looney Tunes and Wile E. Coyote, so I thought I'd take this pic for you all!

Yeah, like I said, I was really hoping to show off this look for Anthro New England 2016's SportsBall theme, but it never happened due to the jersey not arriving in time, but at least I got to show it off at Anime Boston and on my LiveJournal!

There are rumors floating a "Space Jam 2" may be in the works. I don't know if it's such a good idea; after all, when "Looney Tunes Back in Action" bombed miserably in 2003, it pretty much jeopardized the popularity and future of the Looney Tunes, and led to stuff like "Loonatics Unleashed" and "The Looney Tunes Show," while Warner favors Scooby-Doo and Tom & Jerry, which they only got via the Turner merger, as they overlook their OWN creation: the Looney Tunes!
Sorry, needed to get that out. But Looney Tunes milestones sure are fun! However, other than that rumor, Warner Bros. has often been acting like Space Jam doesn't exist. Heck, even "The Looney Tunes Show" blew a good opportunity for a reference: an episode was called "Spread Those Wings And Fly," and not one reference to R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly," which was written for the film!
07 November 2016 @ 10:43 pm
Today is my 28th birthday, so I thought I'd share an interesting tidbit involving the now 30-year-old "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday." Look at one of the party games they play for Sister Bear at her sixth birthday party...

Seriously? SPIN THE BOTTLE AT A SIX YEAR OLD'S BIRTHDAY?! Spin the Bottle is for teenagers, not for little kids!!! OK, I just don't know WHAT the heck Stan and Jan Berenstain were thinking there.

At least I got a funny YouTube Poop out of the animated adaptation of this story, and today I uploaded a new music video of it that I put together on YouTube, featuring the 1963 song "It's My Party," which fits appropriately with the story...

Unlike Sister here, I had a pretty good birthday!
31 October 2016 @ 11:06 pm
I was looking forward to today for a good bulk of the month: Halloween! It started out at my college. Since I had my class there that morning, AND there would be a Halloween party in the Student Union as well, I just HAD to go there wearing my Big Bad Wolf costume!

It turned out to be quite a hit, especially with the new fursuit head I built, complete with moving mouth! There were some that did mistake me for Goofy, of course. ("Does Goofy have fangs like this, and a tail like this, and does he chase after the Three Little Pigs?!")

Had to get a photo of the Big Bad Wolf sneaking around outside my college campus!

I even attended my computer class in my Big Bad Wolf costume this morning, too!

Just the Big Bad Wolf pulling off one of those Kennedy Cartoons animation poses often seen in their work on "Tiny Toon Adventures," "Darkwing Duck," "Goof Troop," "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo," etc.

Now for pics of the Halloween party. One girl there was dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, so of course, it makes a great photo op for a Big Bad Wolf like me!

Yeah, I was kind of in a "Kennedy Cartoons" mood today, so I thought I'd have the Big Bad Wolf do some of the kick dancing moves at the party.

I actually came in first place at the Halloween party's costume contest! The prize was two tickets to a game of a sports team I'm not too crazy about, but I'll probably give them to a friend or something as a token of my appreciation.

Another funny photo op. One guest had one of those neat inflatable full-body Godzilla costumes, so of course, we had to confront each other like this!

I also shot a video there, including when I danced with the other to "Thriller," while one partygoer was dressed like Michael Jackson and dancing like him as well!

It was so much fun!
I also stopped by the hobby shop while still in costume. First time I was there as the Big Bad Wolf! (Usually when I'm there wearing a costume or fursuit, it's K-O!)

The Brockton Rox didn't have their annual trick-or-treat party at the stadium, so no K-O this Halloween. But I DID pass out candy to the little and not-so-little trick-or-treaters that evening at my house...

I decided to sit on my porch to do it, instead of being in the doorway so I don't pop out and scare the little ones. Some of them were quite impressed when I told them I made the head myself (except for the hat.) But there were still quite a few that mistook me for Goofy (again?)
Overall, I think it was a successful Halloween! Another thing I like about the holiday is that one week after it comes my birthday! Something else for me to look forward to!
30 October 2016 @ 11:45 pm
It's the night before Halloween, so here's another appropriate subject to post about. This year marks the 40th anniversary of "The Muppet Show," and one memorable episode in its' first season had Vincent Price guest-starring (as the show's schtick included a special human guest star in every episode.) It's a really fun Halloween-themed episode, and it also introduced one of my favorite Disney-owned Muppets: Uncle Deadly!

He's a blue gargoyle-like creature that occasionally served as the "Phantom of the Muppet Show," and was often around for anything macabre-related.

The late Jerry Nelson originally performed him, and he sounded very similar to the Count on "Sesame Street," but with an English accent instead of Transylvanian. By the 80s, he mostly faded into obscurity, but Disney brought him back into the spotlight again with the 2011 film "The Muppets." At that point, Matt Vogel began performing him, and he does a really great job following Jerry's footsteps.

Here is Uncle Deadly's debut sketch, appearing as the "beautiful assistant" to Vincent Price, playing alongside an early Fozzie Bear and Gonzo...

Here's another number that Vincent and Deadly did together in the same episode...

Uncle Deadly also played a prominent role in that "The Muppets" TV show on ABC last year, as the wardrobe guy to Miss Piggy.

Matt Vogel really nailed the role here. It doesn't happen often when Muppets get recast, but here it did. (Vogel's voice for the Count on "Sesame Street" sounds a bit more similar to his Constantine voice from "Muppets Most Wanted.")
Vincent Price may be long dead now, but at least Matt Vogel can keep Uncle Deadly alive!

I like Uncle Deadly so much, I bought the Action FIgure made by Palisades!

Now I wish Disney would make an Uncle Deadly plushie. I'd definitely buy one!
29 October 2016 @ 11:39 pm
Yep, today I went to another Halloween party. This time, it was the annual BAMSI Halloween party in Hanover, MA. They didn't hold it last year for unknown reasons, but I went to the ones for 2012-2014. And my brother wanted to go with his girlfriend. Since I now have a driver's license, I volunteered to tag along and drive him there, and meet his girlfriend and her mom there.

Of course, I went as the Big Bad Wolf again, with my new fursuit head. It sure impressed everyone, especially the moving jaw! I had a lot of fun here today! Mingled with some others, danced, even did a little DJ-ing too! (It was actually a computer with Internet access providing the music, but so what?)

Me with my brother and some other partygoers...

My costume really stood out next to my brother's cheaper "king card" costume for this party (he usually goes for cheaper or cheesier costume ideas for he and his girlfriend, but he said after this year he may be dropping that practice). Here we are dancing to the Monster Mash!

"...What? I'm reading 'Calvin and Hobbes.'"
Just another amusing pic from the Halloween party, where the Big Bad Wolf is checking out a "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip collection (one of my favorites, too!)

One of the guests at the Halloween party was dressed as Belle of "Beauty and the Beast," so we had to get this photo, also partly to commemorate the movie's 25th anniversary this year!

Here's a video of us dancing to the "Werewolf Rock" song from "Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf!"
Current Music: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" as performed by Babs Bunny!
28 October 2016 @ 11:18 pm
Yesterday, Apple had a new event that included new MacBook Pro laptop computers. But as part of this, they discontinued the "regular" 13" MacBook Pro, which was the last Macintosh computer on the market to have a built-in optical disc drive!
Ever since early this decade, the optical disc drive (for CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays) began disappearing from computers. The MacBook Air became the first Mac in 2008 to not have the drive. As the "New Tens" progressed, other Mac models followed suit. Apple stupidly thinks optical discs are obsolete, and that everything is now done wirelessly over high-speed Internet.
And it isn't just Apple, either. Many PC manufacturers are abandoning the internal disc drive as well. Many "traditional" PC towers still have one, but the number of laptops, all-in-one and "mini" PCs with disc drives is rapidly decreasing.
If you still want to work with discs, your best bet is an external USB drive. Apple makes a slim external DVD burner to use with their Macs, but it costs $80, and isn't always reliable. For that same price, I bought an LG external slum USB BLU-RAY burner to use with my 2012 Mac Mini (which also lacks an internal drive.)

It works great, but I can't play Blu-Rays on the Mac easily, due to the older display I am using, and because Macs can't play Blu-Rays without the aid of third-party software.

The new MacBook Pros do look tempting, with that "touch bar," fast processors, graphics cards, slim form and high-quality Retina displays, but I'd have to have a lot of cash, and a few adapters. Aside from a single headphone jack, they only have two (on the base 13" models) or four (on the rest of them) Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. They are supposed to be way faster than their predecessors, but use a port style that isn't widely universal yet. But I've seen some nice USB-C hubs that include USB 3.0 ports, even an SD card slot. You're also supposed to charge the laptop via the USB-C port now, eliminating their cool magnetic MagSafe power cord (I fear a lot of these new MacBook Pros will be damaged from tripping for this reason.)
A new version of Final Cut Pro X also came out, not surprisingly. I plan to install it on my Mac Mini soon, as it's great for video editing, with its' 16 GB of RAM and a powerful quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (the 13" MacBook Pros and the current Mac Minis only have dual-core processors.)

My current Mac laptop I use at my college or when I'm on the go is my mid-2009 MacBook, which is the last model to use the old polycarbonate 2006 MacBook design:

I recently got a new battery for it, as the old one was falling apart and it didn't look so good that way. The new battery improves its' physical appearance for sure. But it is a little sluggish at times, compared to my Mini. I may eventually try and hunt down one of the "regular" 2012-2016 13" MacBook Pros to use as my next mobile Mac.

Two years ago, I also made this funny spoof of those old "Get a Mac" commercials from 2006-2009, spoofing Macs no longer having disc drives and user-serviceable parts...

Yes, I used GoAnimate for it, but it's a lot better than many of the other GoAnimate videos out there.
27 October 2016 @ 11:55 pm
Tonight I went to the annual A.A.N.E. Halloween party in Watertown, MA, with my brother and my female friend that accompanied me to Anime Boston and Boston Comic Con this year...

We decided that I could be Scooby-Doo, my brother be Shaggy, and my friend be Velma (ala this year's Anime Boston.) We sure had fun tonight!
There was a donut-eating contest, dancing, cookie-decorating, a murder-mystery game, quite a bit to do!

Another friend of mine at the Halloween party had this cool Deadpool costume on, so we just had to pose for a photo together!

"Jinkies!" "Zoinks!" "Ruh-roh!"
One of the partygoers was dressed up as one of those shadowy green ghosts from the classic Scooby-Doo episode "A Night of Fright is No Delight." So naturally, we had to do a photo of Mystery Inc. reacting to it!
We joked that Fred and Daphne were too busy making out to be with the rest of the gang. :P

Here's me as Scooby and my friend Velma dancing at the Halloween party.

My Scooby-Doo costume and mask got me the "Funniest Costume" award at the party's costume contest! And I got a Dunkin' Donuts gift card as a prize as well. That'll come in handy on the mornings I get up early to go to my college computer class.
I remember how last year at this party, my Big Bad Wolf costume (with the old rubber mask) won the "Most Creative Costume" award in the contest. It's great when my costumes and fursuits get some recognition!

Enjoying this Halloween while I can, here! eeHEEheeheeheeheehee! Scooby-dooby-DOOOOOOO!
Every Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises out of his pumpkin patch, and flies through the air with his bag of toys for children everywhere... at least, according to Linus.

Yep, today marks the 50th anniversary of the famous Peanuts animated special, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," which is of course one of my favorite animated Halloween specials. I first saw it on CBS near Halloween 1996, around its' 30th anniversary, and have loved it ever since. I especially enjoy the trick-or-treat sequence, with Charlie Brown getting nothing but rocks, along with Snoopy appearing in the pumpkin patch and making Linus faint!

Did you know the opening sequence to the special originally ran longer? During its' initial airings on CBS, the special was sponsored by Coca-Cola and Dolly Madison.

After they weren't sponsoring them anymore, the opening now cuts off at the owl flying into the camera, making it a bit creepier than it originally was.

Unfortunately nowaday, the Great Pumpkin now just plays second fiddle to Pixar's "Toy Story of Terror," which now seems to be ABC's favorite animated Halloween special and the main attraction, while "Great Pumpkin" is chopped up and edited, so "Toy Story of Terror" can always play uncut every time. ("A Charlie Brown Christmas" gets it worse, and is hacked up REALLY badly in favor of "Toy Story that Time Forgot.") Of course, Disney owns ABC, which would explain it. ABC's Facebook page was loaded with negative comments from people complaining about them chopping up the Great Pumpkin special, just to make room for ABC's main attraction, "Toy Story of Terror."
I wouldn't be surprised if Pixar soon began making more TV specials for ABC, like ones with the "Inside Out" or "Finding Nemo" characters (like DreamWorks has been doing for a while, doing TV specials based off their movies), and the Peanuts specials are more and more overshadowed by them, until ABC eventually gives up the rights to the Peanuts specials and gives them to another network (like FOX or something.) It wouldn't be the first time it's happened; the Peanuts specials originally aired on CBS prior to 2001.

Besides that, last week I uploaded a video of me as the Big Bad Wolf, listening to and reviewing the read-along book-and-tape adaptation of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," distributed by Disney/Vista Records in 1978...

It's edited even MORE than ABC's airings of the special, of course, due to the read-alongs generally only running for ten minutes.

As you may recall, two years ago I reviewed the 1978 Disney/Vista "Storyteller" LP record adaptation of the special, but for this milestone, I decided to go with the read-along version (it's also available on record, but I went with the cassette version to be more different from the "Storyteller" album) to show how REALLY different it is.

Here's to a happy 50 years of Linus's childlike belief of a magic pumpkin on television.

Now to get ready for a Halloween party I am going to this evening!