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Today's the Fourth of July, and because of that, Warner Bros. and Boomerang premiered a new episode of "Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?" this week (basically like a half-hour version of "The New Scooby-Doo Movies," sort of like the 2001 Halloween special "Night of the Living Doo" but less self-referential) where the guest star of the week is none other than the cast of "The Funky Phantom!"

A brief background: in 1971, two years after "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" premiered, Hanna-Barbera decided to start copying that show's formula, as the networks saw what a big hit Scooby-Doo was and wanted more like it, hoping for more big hits. The first of these Scooby-Doo knock-offs H-B did themselves was "The Funky Phantom."

From left to right, we have the brainy Skip, the beautiful April, the goofy mascot dog Elmo, the brawny Augie, the ghost cat Boo, and of course his ghost owner Jonathan Wellington Muddlemore, a.k.a. "Mudsy." They drive around in a dune buggy called "The Looney Duney" and solve different mysteries, including quite a few "Scooby-Doo Hoax" type of mysteries, but also some that just involved regular criminals that wouldn't bother to disguise as ghosts or monsters. Mudsy was voiced by Daws Butler, basically reusing his Snagglepuss voice and mannerisms.
Now, this was also somewhat different than the other Hanna-Barbera cartoons from around that time and before, because while development and pre-production (i.e. writing, voice-acting) was done domestically in L.A., much of the production process was actually carried out in Australia! In an attempt to lower production costs and lighten the workload on their L.A. studio, in the early 70s H-B set up a subsidiary in Australia for animation production, and this was their first project, in association with Aussie studio Air Programs International. So of course, the animation was REALLY poor most of the time. Hey, H-B was known for low-quality animation, but this was even LOWER quality than the stuff the L.A.-based studio was doing! And the editing was a mess, with some cuts and scene changes done in a rather sloppy manner, bizarre sound effects, and even improper use of recycled Scooby-Doo music cues! (Heck, I've seen a couple instances where the iconic Scooby "chasing" music piece is just playing under conversation between the characters!) I'm amazed nobody at the L.A. Hanna-Barbera studio freaked out at the results, to my knowledge. But then again, H-B didn't seem to have much of a quality control department...

The show's opening sequence also provides the unusual origin...

Right away, you can see what I mean about the sloppy animation and editing. Even at the start, when you hear that stock thunderclap effect that "Sesame Street" used to always use with The Count, a sound effect you normally wouldn't hear in an H-B cartoon (H-B instead preferred to use "Castle Thunder" most of the time.)

The show's had some unusual villains, too. One episode had the Hairy Scary Houndman, a dognapper who may as well be a furry!

His fursuit needed a bit of work, though...

So with the new episode this week, this is not the first time Warner Bros. Cartoons teamed the Scooby gang with the Funky Phantom crew; they also did so in 2011 in the "Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated" episode "The Mystery Solver State Club Finals," but that was just a dream sequence, and it didn't end so well for the Funky Phantom side of things, but I won't spoil it.

Anyways, back to the Scooby-Doo crossover. It was amusing how both mystery-solving gangs kept arguing and having a semi-bitter rivalry...

Mudsy, Boo, Elmo, Shaggy and Scooby weren't very amused by the arguing, naturally. I also wasn't keen on how they made Skip (the redhead) be a jerk to Velma. But at least by the end they are able to cooperate.

The funny thing is, a few months back I decided to check out "The Funky Phantom" series while on another one of my Scooby-Doo kicks. After seeing a few, I was inspired to write a fanfiction of my OWN Scooby-Doo and Funky Phantom crossover! And no, I had NO IDEA "Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?" was going to feature the Funky Phantom gang in an episode when writing this fanfic. I can tell you that it does involve some MINOR arguing, and that both teams are more than willing to work together in solving the mystery. I also wrote Skip's character more true to the original show, and while they still deal with the usual "Scooby-Doo Hoax" mystery, I came up with a completely different kind of monster and setting for this one: a Reptilian Beast haunting a drive-in movie theater! So I titled it "The Drive-In of Doom," like a typical "Scooby-Doo" or "Funky Phantom" episode might have.

And there's your retro animation post for tonight! And happy Independence Day!
20 June 2019 @ 10:47 pm
Well, today was K-O the Kangaroo's 16th birthday, and so we celebrated it at tonight's game!

We even invited his pal Wally the Green Monster from the Boston Red Sox to celebrate! It was lots of fun, even if Wally was a bigger celebrity than K-O (big league mascot, don't you know!)

So we had K-O throw out the first pitch before the game started, and then after the first inning, Wally gave K-O a birthday present...

A box full of rocks?! Apparently Wally thought "Rox" (as in the name of our baseball team) meant "Rocks!"
And yes, we had planned this as an amusing gag. Don't you just love baseball mascot antics?

We also had K-O and Wally participate in a Dance-Off competition after top of the second inning. Of course being a big-league mascot, Wally won, but K-O was a good sport anyways.

After all, K-O and Wally are good friends! (It also helped that Wally had the same performer from the games, like when K-O visited Fenway Park for Wally's birthday last month!)

After the Dance-Off, Wally and K-O went onto the concourse to greet fans, pose for photos, sign autographs, etc. It was pretty fun, and I did enjoy making K-O a little jealous of Wally, but of course, that's what happens when you have a big-league baseball mascot visiting! But it was all in good fun, of course.
With this game, this was probably the sweatiest I got so far this season as K-O, especially since I didn't take a hydro/cooldown break until after the fifth inning. (Usually I do so after top of the second, after the base race and before I go up to the concourse.) And of course I got to have some of the birthday cake, too!

Then after Wally left, we had K-O partake in an amusing "kangaroo trivia"-related on-field promotion and our Dizzy Bat Race, as usual. And then the Rox won the game, final score 3 to 1! As I said, the Rox have been doing VERY well this season, winning more games than losing, and even when they'd lose they'd still have a decent amount of runs. In fact, before early this week, the Rox had won eight home games in a row! Pretty amazing.
Here's a video of some of the antics from the game...

One thing I enjoy about being a baseball mascot like this is that I get to practically be part of both the team AND the crowds!
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: "Your Wildest Dreams" by the Moody Blues
12 June 2019 @ 11:15 pm
G'day, sport! I've been busy with the Brockton Rox baseball games, but so far there wasn't anything eventful for me to write about here, until today, when we had our annual Brockton Public Schools day game! It was another pretty big crowd, with kids and teachers from most of the elementary and middle schools in the city attending! A few of my old teachers came and were happy to see me do my job as K-O the Kangaroo. And boy, was it productive! The Rox won (again) with the final score being 10 to 8, and the large crowd of kids definitely kept me motivated. There were quite a few rough-housers and tail-pullers, and some kids that know I am a guy in a suit, even little ones (one group of kids started chanting for me to remove my mask, but I didn't do it), several kids asking me to do Fortnite dance moves (good thing my Floss is getting better!) and a few rounds of "Guess the Species." And there were also plenty of group hugs, tons of high-fives and numerous pictures to pose for! One kid even said that I kind of looked like "Big Chungus!" (In case you're not familiar, "Big Chungus" is an internet meme that uses a photo of Bugs Bunny impersonating the fat early 40s Elmer Fudd.)
Also, the guy in charge of playing music at the Brockton Rox baseball games at Campanelli Stadium wasn't thrilled with some of the versions of the classic song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" available, so last week I was able to convince him to play the Goo-Goo Dolls' alternative rock reworking of the song, which they performed in a 1996 Major League Baseball "What a Game!" commercial. The music guy liked it so much, he now plays it for our Seventh Inning Stretches! So here's a video from today's game (for the local elementary and middle schoolers) where K-O dances around to it!

Sometimes a little change is good, mates!
Good evening, folks! Tonight on my blog I am posting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the later Looney Tunes cartoons, and my personal favorite out of all the Warner Bros. -Seven Arts era: "Rabbit Stew and Rabbits Too!" released on June 7, 1969, directed by Warner Bros. Animation veteran Robert McKimson. Now with a title like that, you'd think Bugs Bunny would be the start. But you're WRONG!

This cartoon was to start an aborted series with Warner Bros.- Seven Arts's newest cartoon stars, Rapid Rabbit and Quick Brown Fox! (No relation to the late Rapid T. Rabbit; I can't beleive it's been almost two years now since he passed on. Sigh...) Note how this Rapid looks at lot like the Nesquik Bunny, but a little more "wild." Quick Brown Fox isn't actually brown; he just got his name from that "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" phrase that utilizes all the letters of the alphabet. But they were actually pretty much knock-offs of Warner's more familiar character duo, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote! You may be wondering why Warner couldn't just use the Road Runner and Wile E. since they owned the characters. I suspect this was because the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote were enjoying a healthy life in television reruns, currently on "The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Hour" airing on CBS at that time (only one season was produced in 1968-1969, and it was still rerun that way for several years), and Warner Bros.- Seven Arts wanted to limit the classic characters to television while attempting new characters for the new theatrical shorts, such as Cool Cat and Merlin the Magic Mouse. This resulted in one of the least popular eras of Warner Bros. Animation, alongside the Buddy era and the Sander Schwartz era. They knew how popular the Road Runner shorts were, but didn't want to make any new ones (they could've easily chucked them on TV after their theatrical runs, like the 1966 Road Runner shorts by DePatie-Freleng and Format Films), so they devised a similar character pair, but as a rabbit and a fox, and taking place in the woods.
More cartoons with Rapid Rabbit and Quick Brown Fox were being planned, but this ended up being the only one to go through production, due to Warner Bros. Animation closing later in 1969 after Kinney National bought Warner Bros., eliminated Seven Arts and decided to stop distributing theatrical short subjects, including cartoons (fortunately the studio reopened in 1980, now with Friz Freleng at the helm.) Similarly, WBA was devising other similar new characters that never got off the drawing board like the Super Snooper (no relation to the cat detective) and Jolly Roger, and an animated adaptation of Mack Sennett's Keystone Kops.
During Rapid Rabbit and Quick Brown Fox's introduction at the start of the opening credits here, you hear a brief snippet of funky sounds from part of the opening credits to Chuck Jones's "Now Hear This," badly edited in. And since this is inspired by the Road Runner cartoons, there is no dialogue here; the cartoon uses pantomime and visual humor, which is a welcome change of pace, as the other Warner cartoons of this period often rely on puns and dialogue to carry the story and humor...

The fact that this cartoon opens with the late '60s "Abstract W7" logo sequence should clue you in that you are not about to watch one of the classics from Warner Bros. Animation's heyday, complete with the Warner-Seven Arts corporate logo and Bill Lava's klunky arrangement of the Looney Tunes theme music. But at least Bill Lava's music score to this cartoon is VERY groovy and catchy, something he rarely accomplished during his tenure scoring the Warner cartoons. A lot of it has a very contemporary, twangy sound, and I sometimes find myself humming the score from time to time!

OK, so we start in Quick Brown Fox's den, where he's looking to make a rabbit stew. The cookbook proclaims in large letters that first you catch a rabbit. So of course, Fox spies Rapid Rabbit through his binoculars and decides to catch him...

When Fox tiptoes over to try and catch Rapid Rabbit, they used a Hanna-Barbera "running feet" sound effect, which doesn't fit with tiptoeing. I had mentioned several times that Warner Bros. Animation's sound effects library was more limited by this time. But the Cool Cat cartoon "Big Game Haunt" from the previous year had the titular tiger tiptoe with the proper cartoon tiptoeing sound effect (rapidly striking the same xylophone note over and over.)

But Rapid notices the snare trap Fox is planning, so he sneaks behind Fox, ties the rope around his tail, and blows his horn to mess things up. Did I mention that in an attempt to be similar to the Road Runner, Rapid keeps honking a bulb horn to mimic the Road Runner's "Meep meep"? Talk about unoriginality...

Next, Quick Brown Fix tries one of those old-fashioned rabbit traps, placing a carrot as the bait, which Rapid Rabbit is of course lured to..

But Rapid props himself on top of the crate so Fox thinks that it's empty, and tries to escape in the crate before jumping into a rabbit hole. Fox catches up and sees two rabbit ears sticking out of the hole and grabs them...

But they're fake rabbit ears fastened to a stick of dynamite! KABOOM!

After that, Quick Brown Fox tries aiming a cannon at Rapid Rabbit, nonchalantly sitting on a rock. The trouble is, the cannon won't stay in place and keeps rotating towards Fox...

Fox tries to escape, but the cannonball still hits him (with the Disney/Hanna-Barbera metallic "BONGGG!!!" sound effect) and causes him to knock over trees like bowling pins. Here's the aftermath, where he apparently swallowed the cannonball.

The next trap Quick Brown Fox sets involves a spring-loaded mallet quickly slams into the ground (with that H-B "BONGGG!!!" sound again) that is activated by pulling a cord to release the spring. Fox ties the cord around a carrot to use as bait and sets the trap...

But no matter how hard Rapid Rabbit pulls, the spring doesn't release, and he's determined to get that carrot. Fox gets so frustrated he knocks Rapid out of the way and tries touching the carrot with a simple finger...

And with yet another "BONGGG!!!" the mallet ends up hitting Fox.

Wow, look at how much Quick Brown Fox looks like Robert McKimson's take on Wile E. Coyote here. Now he tries simply throwing a large rock down on Rapid Rabbit from a cliff, but the rock just bounces off a branch and hits Fox instead (with yet another "BONGGG!!!" sound effect), sending him falling to the ground...

Rapid sees what happened and removes the rock. Fox lets out a blissful sigh (probably another stock sound effect), but Rapid just drops the rock on his head. "BONGGG!!!" (Monotonous, isn't it?)

Here's Quick Brown Fox's next trap; when you open the door through the side with the "FREE CARROTS" sign, it releases the support holding the platform loaded with rocks, dumping the rocks all over you.

The problem is, Rapid goes through the other side, and is unaffected. You can tell Fox is as much of a fanatic as Wile E. Coyote is.

And of course when Fox tries to reset the door trap, he ends up the victim.

Rapid Rabbit zips over, opens the door just to honk Fox's nose, and then does this Road Runner-like thing with his feet and dashes off again. Had this become a series, I assume Rapid would've done that at least once every short.

Next up, Quick Brown Fox builds a platform with a hole in it, with a cannon placed under the hole and a stool placed over it, and a sign claiming whoever sits on the stool will get a free trip to the moon...

But Rapid Rabbit pulls the cannon fuse out further, and holds it so from Fox's view it looks like Rapid wants a light for his "cigarette." So Fox lights it for him. No way would they be able to pull off that gag nowadays; it seems like an even worse smoking reference than the exploding cigars did! So of course, the cannon sends Fox flying in the air with a cannonball, and then back down (where the cannonball hits Fox on the head with yet another H-B "BONGGG!!!" sound effect.)

As Quick Brown Fox is pondering how to catch Rapid Rabbit, he briefly changes into Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker" statue. You know, just in case the audience can't tell he's thinking...

But Rapid runs by honking his horn, now actually running on a road ala the Road Runner! This gets Fox the idea to put a large clear piece of glass in between the tree and stump, in hopes Rapid will smack into it...

But a car comes and Fox ends up running right into the glass, which the car crashes through. Fox obviously has about as much common sense as Wile E. Coyote, too.

The car pulls up to a gas station, where this gas station attendant makes a walk-on role opening Fox's nose and pouring gasoline into it, thinking it's the gas cap.

Just the amusing sight gag that results from what happened.

Then we get to Quick Brown Fox's most elaborate (and final) trap...

Thanks to my friend FanimationXV for making this panorama shot! It's pretty much a full-on Rube Goldberg device that would make Rapid Rabbit into a full rabbit dinner. I guess Fox changed his mind on wanting to eat him as rabbit stew...

I enjoy Fox's funny little walk cycle here as he keeps going between each component of the trap.

But of course, it backfires spectacularly when Rabbit honks his horn, startling Fox and causing him to go through the entire Rube Goldberg trap! And we get a couple instances of that H-B "BONGGG!!!" sound effect, of course.

The end result. My question is, if Wile E. Coyote and Quick Brown Fox can survive those kind of things, what makes them think the Road Runner and Rapid Rabbit would die from them? (In real life they could kill someone easily, but of course this is a cartoon!)

Then Rapid blows up a large balloon and ties the tablecloth to its' bottom, sending Fox up into the air! (Apparently when cartoon characters blow up balloons, suddenly they're able to blow out helium.)

Rapid blows his horn and FINALLY gets to eat a carrot.

As I've noted before, by this time the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies no longer closed with the phrase "That's all, Folks!" They just had the "OO" in "CARTOON" bounce up and down weirdly to the klunky theme music.

Even with its' few faults, it's still the most entertaining out of all the Warner Bros.- Seven Arts cartoons to me, and not just because it's based off Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. It has no dialogue and thus uses pantomime and sight gags to show humor, and it has some nice character designs and flashes of nice animation (it's not as Filmation or Hanna-Barbera-esque as some of the other Seven Arts-era cartoons are!) and a great funky music score.
But back when this cartoon used to air on American television in the 90s and early 2000s, it had a REALLY crappy-looking print (the screencaps I used to describe the cartoon come from a more improved remastered print airing on a foreign Boomerang). Everything had this ugly sepia/reddish tint...

Even the "Abstract W7" logos looked pretty ugly as a result!

Compare this with the higher-quality version on top of this post. It kind of reminds me of how the original "Puff the Magic Dragon" animated special from 1978 looked when it was transferred to videotape for airing...

Also, this print wasn't framed properly, so you sometimes see animation cel numbers appear on the very bottom of the screen.

In this shot when Quick Brown Fox is preparing his elaborate Rube Goldberg-esque trap, we keep seeing these little black dots flashing on the bottom under the trampoline. I suspect they might be part of more animation cel numbers...

You can see this cartoon HERE for the time being (the higher-quality print, of course!)
And there's your obscure Warner Bros. cartoon post for tonight!
Current Music: The music to "Rabbit Stew and Rabbits Too!"
02 June 2019 @ 11:28 pm
So I worked two more home games; one on Friday evening and one on this afternoon. And this time, the Brockton Rox won both games, so I got to have K-O dance and prance around on the field in joy and high-five the players, coach and manager!
With the Friday game, we had a pretty big crowd, and it was such a nice day that I was able to walk to and from work, since I live so close to the stadium (a ten-minute walk from my house.)

Also new to Campanelli Stadium this year is a space set up next to the stadium in the grassy area behind the adjacent conference center, that they call the "Living Room." They have a Smoker grill for cooking, a tent to eat under, a little beverage stand, fun mini-games for kids, and nice seating (even another plastic couch!) Before and during the games, K-O the Kangaroo would visit the area to greet his fans.
At this game, like I said, we had a pretty large crowd, with maybe nearly 2,000 fans in attendance. The Rox won in a final score of 6 to 4, AND we had our first fireworks display of the season after the game. And then I topped it off with a nice walk home from the stadium in the cool evening air! And of course there were a few scared little kids, rough-housers and tail-pullers, but it was still lots of fun! But the kid I competed against in the Base Race thought I was a goat. Really? That's a new one! (The kid thought my ears were goat's horns.) The staff and I joked about that behind-the-scenes, to which I couldn't resist referencing Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. But I still get quite a few people think I'm either a camel, a llama or a rabbit, including today. So I often have to pull out my pouch and hop a bit to show I am a kangaroo. I'm surprised Tucker didn't try that as Hoppy the Kangaroo in "Characterz"... But so many kids wanted my autograph, and I didn't have a pen/marker with me so I had to borrow a lot, and sometimes the autographs could slow me down, especially if I need to soon get down to the field for a promotion! But at least I was able to do all that, and then during the fireworks after the game I sat on the couch next to the home dugout to watch them with some of the kids, and then sign a few more autographs afterward (it was much harder with the lights out, combined with my vision being more impaired in the mask, especially since I'm not wearing my glasses underneath.)

Today was also a nice day, and the weather was good enough for me to walk to and from work again! (I may soon get my own car, but even then when the weather is good I'll still walk to the stadium and back.) On Sundays, the games start at 3 PM, and are a "Family Fun Day" where after the game they let kids run the bases. The Rox won again, with the final score being 7 to 3. A friend of my brother and his mom came to the game as well, and said mom knew it was me in the suit. A smaller crowd was present today, so that made it easier for me to go through the concourse and even into the stands so I could greet fans sitting and watching the game!

Here's me killing time before the Tesla Race promotion by playing beanbag toss/cornhole with some children on the "Living Room" space. I love playing with kids like this.

Yep, we're still doing the Tesla Race on-field promotion at the Brockton Rox games, with two kids riding in electric toy Ride-On Tesla cars, and K-O gets to wave the flag to start the race and mark the winner! I bought the flag near the end of last season, after initially just using my arms. I like to sometimes accessorize with K-O, and this is no exception.

Now the Rox are away until Thursday evening, so that gives me a bit more time to work on building Zak Wolf's fursuit!
30 May 2019 @ 11:23 pm
Well, today was the Brockton Rox's first home game of the season! It was rather cool today and it rained lightly near the end, and the attendance was kind of slow and the Rox lost in a close final score of 9 to 8. But I had fun.
To start off, the games now start at 6:30 PM on Monday through Saturday (they used to typically start around 7 PM on Monday through Friday, and 6 PM on Saturday), so I had to get to the stadium at 5 PM to join the staff in going over the game schedule that evening. The owner of the Downtown History Organization I've done quite a bit of work with was here as well, where he has some of his operations currently set up, and he had several friends come to the game, some I haven't seen since last autumn's Downtown Fest!
During the season, if K-O is needed for any out-of-stadium appearances they typically have one of the interns they hired do it. Such a thing happened this morning, so when I put the suit on a half-hour before the game was to start, the inside of the body was kind of cold and clammy, and inside the head was a little damp at first (but I quickly aired it out using a fan), as they obviously didn't air out the costume after the gig like I typically do (and did so after this game.) Though once I began to warm up a bit in the suit, it wasn't too bad.

A photo I thought I'd do for the occasion. I had K-O wear boxing gloves up until after the Base Race after top of the second inning, since this was our first home game.
We have quite a few new interns and a few old ones that remember me from last year, and Cosmic Mike is back with his friend to emcee the promotions.

Also new this year, in the fenced-in area between the stands and the field facing third to home base, they set up some furniture that's mostly plastic, except for the couch cushions. It's largely for the Rox staff, including K-O, to use when waiting to do a promotion on the field, or for any promotion participants to relax on. Pretty neat stuff though!

So we had a pretty light crowd, what with it being Thursday evening (the public schools are still in session here until mid-June) and the cool air and possibility of rain in the forecast. Made my planning easy for when going between the concourse, on-field promotions, and the cool-down breaks though! Since after the Base Race (where K-O was distracted by the "Linus and Lucy" music and lost to the kid again!) K-O wouldn't be needed for any promotions until the Tesla Race promotion at the bottom of the fifth (using kids' battery-powered novelty Tesla "cars"), that gave me plenty of time to go on the concourse and greet fans, even going down in the stands to do so! But the thing was, there was a small crowd (like I said), and the game got a little long after a while, so I ended up going through the concourse twice in between the second and fifth innings! Then after the Tesla Race promotion I stayed out until after the bottom of the seventh inning and the "Dizzy Bat Race" promotion as that's when they had the most on-field promotions for K-O to partake in.
The clock above the scoreboard was also broken today, so I often had to gesture to other employees what time it was when out there.

So far, a pretty decent start for me in the season. It also helped that last week I brought in my glue gun to repair a piece of padding inside the head that came out last year, and that improved the comfort quite a bit! Tomorrow night will be busier, as it'll be Friday night, and the weather should be an improvement over this evening, and on Fridays we have fireworks after the game!
19 May 2019 @ 11:12 pm
Today was a really big K-O the Kangaroo job; I visited Fenway Park in Boston for Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster's birthday! Joining me were Wally's sister Tessie, Cuppy from Dunkies, Boomer of the Boston Cannons, Slugger of the Portland Sea-dogs, Canaligator of the Lowell Spinners, Slyde of the New England Revolutions, Paws and Sox of the Pawtucket Red Sox, and Blades of the Boston Bruins!
The Rox was going to have a handler/escort accompany me, but a change of plans led to me going in on my own. Though my father was able to drop me off at a Red Line subway station in Quincy and I rode in from there (I didn't want to risk it with the commuter rail this time after that railroad crossing incident on Anime Boston weekend!) In fact, when in Quincy, it was the first time I ever crossed a street at one of those H.A.W.K. traffic signal setups! Then among getting off the Green Line trolley at the Fenway stop, I walked the rest of the way to the stadium with the large black canvas bag containing my gear, and among arriving at Fenway Park, I met up with some other fellow mascot performers, and soon we got our passes and got inside! My first mascot gig in a big-league baseball stadium, and it was quite an experience! But I think for now I'll still stick with good ol' Campanelli Stadium.

At the start of the festivities, they had us mascots appear on the "NESN Clubhouse" TV program! You can see my shots in the episode HERE:

I've done a few events as K-O with Slyde, the fox mascot of the New England Revolutions, so we just had to get a photo together! The guy in the Slyde suit also played K-O at one time, too!
At one point I heard someone mistake Slyde for a wolf. I told him "Welcome to my world," since I have so many mistake me for a camel or llama or some other animal as part of their rounds of "Guess the Species" (and of course that happened with me today, especially those unfamiliar with the Rox or K-O.)

Here's all us mascots together with the birthday boy, Wally the Green Monster! It felt totally unreal, and was quite the experience! I haven't partaken in anything like this since the New England Revolution mascot night of 2014, five years ago!
So anyways, for this part at close to noon, we went to a space on the kids' concourse known as "Wally's Clubhouse," a family-oriented area, where we greeted fans and posed for pictures, especially as a group here.

The two mascot nights I did for the New England Revolutions in 2013 and 2014 also included Canaligator of the Lowell Spinners, so I figured we should pose for a photo together again! Canaligator got a new head since then with smaller eye pupils and visible eyelids, but he still does look kind of like Wally Gator! We noted how we can both wag our tails, too!

After that, we were supposed to go out on the field for a pre-game thing where we give Wally "presents" (i.e. large empty boxes all wrapped up). But it started sprinkling, and so a rain delay happened, and we couldn't do that. So some of us sat around in our break area (except Wally and Tessie at times), and some went to see some of the game until it was almost the third inning, when we returned to Wally's Clubhouse to give Wally said "presents" and pose for more photos together. After that, we took a quick cool-down break in a large refrigeration area (for beer and other drinks), and then crammed into an elevator to the concourse, where we got to greet fans! We did a long walk around the stadium's concourses, and at times it was like we were aimlessly wandering around in a line of mascots...

At this point, we stopped by Fenway Farms, where they actually grow crops, and so I figured I'd pose for a photo at such a Boston landmark!
After that, we went to another club area, where we sang the Happy Birthday song for Wally once again and served cupcakes!

While waiting for the elevator, I thought I'd get another photo with Paws of the PawSox, just like at the Canton Little League opening three weeks ago. Matter of fact, Paws and Sox had the same performers as that event! Don't you just love this small world?

And of course, K-O couldn't leave Fenway without giving the birthday mascot Wally the Green Monster a BIG birthday hug! He sure is cool!

We were going to have all the mascots go on the field for the seventh inning stretch, but the rain delay messed that up (I guess the field was still kind of wet, and could be hazardous for us mascots!) But I still had fun anyway. Quite a few people from Brockton came to the game and recognized me, and I enjoyed that, and other kids were happy to see me, though there were still a couple scared little kids (and their ignorant parents) and some "Guess the Species" kids (as I said.) But I'm surprised none of the kids I saw tried to pull my tail, like they often do! One guy that was greeting us mascots also asked me (K-O) if I had seen any bad wolves around lately. Hmm...

So I feel rather proud about how well this turned out. My family and friends enjoyed seeing me and my mascot friends on TV, and it was great to network with the other performers. I shared a few stories on how kids often ask me to do the Fortnite dances (surprisingly, none did here, but I still dabbed a few times to impress the little ones), and the whole "Guess the Species" thing. It sure was interesting! And the Brockton Rox baseball season starts in less than two weeks now...
18 May 2019 @ 11:18 pm
Yeah, I haven't been active on LiveJournal lately, largely due to schoolwork, and partly due to the K-O the Kangaroo out-of-stadium appearances I've been doing to promote the upcoming season!

Near the end of April, I did a couple more appearances at two more primary schools in Easton (primary because they house kindergarten to second grade). For the first one, I appeared during an assembly held in the cafegymatorium for all the students, and that was a pretty easy gig. The second one was visiting the cafeteria during lunch periods (yes, this school actually had a separate cafeteria, maybe because the building was originally built for the neighboring college before being repurposed into a public school in the early 80s). That was also fun, too. But sometimes it was a long wait between lunch periods...

Between the first two lunches, I was going to wait in the nurse's office, but that wouldn't work out, because two small boys got violent at each other during their grade's recess and were tended to in there, so I waited in the lobby outside the cafeteria. Luckily they provided some books to read, and I figured a sight like this may seem appropriate in a primary school. After a while, the two boys that fought had to also sit out in this lobby and be quiet, not going anywhere. The secretary told them not to talk to each other or anything, or bother me. And I didn't bother them as well. Usually as K-O I can't resist greeting kids and such, but since both these boys were in trouble (boy, do I remember school fights; luckily I never was part of any!) I just ignored them.

After that, I did a couple of Little League openings during the weekend; the first one here was in Canton behind an elementary school (and it wasn't that far from my therapist's office or where my dad used to work, either!) These Little League events are usually pretty fun, as there's often lots of kids and a few other things for K-O to do, like this Speed Pitch booth set up. The fastest pitch I could throw was 21 MPH (some kids threw up to the 40s!) but that's not too bad for a kangaroo!

I was also pleasantly surprised when Paws and Sox of the Pawtucket Red Sox (a.k.a. the PawSox) came to the event as well! Like I say, the more mascots the merrier! And I've worked with Paws in a few other gigs, too. (And I'll be doing one tomorrow as well; stay tuned on that!)
Unfortunately that weekend, it was hayfever season for me, so I was pretty sniffly and such all day due to my allergies. At least I didn't sneeze in the suit at all that weekend! But during these gigs, the vision part of inside the head (on the neck) would brush against my nose and get all snotty. Yuck! So afterward when I'd spray my fursuit disinfectant on the inside of the suit and head before airing it out, I'd spray a little extra and wipe down the snotty area in the head, and that would help. But it didn't help much that Saturday night to Sunday morning, my allergies kept me up for most of the night, so for the Whitman Softball League opening on Sunday I was a little out of it due to the lack of sleep, and it didn't help that there weren't as many kids at this event at times (the skies looked a little threatening throughout), but at least I gave a decent performance; the staff there did understand when I briefly explained about my allergies and the insomnia it caused. And I managed to wrap up before the worst of the rain came in that day! (We got a LOT of rain this April.)

Later that week, I gave the suit a good cleaning before the next gigs I'd do. Since I live close to the stadium, I would run the body, inner support and gloves in the stadium's large washing machine, and as it's going I brought the head to my place and I washed it in our bathtub with room-temperature water and a bit of detergent. Then after that I'd dry it off a bit, then return it to the stadium, take the rest of the costume parts out of the washing machine, and set them up in the mascot room in the main office area to be air-dryed with an electric fan or two. Kind of a tedious process, but it was worth it, as some people were noticing K-O was beginning to smell funny, and the fur felt a little rough on the head as well. And at the gigs that followed, kids were noticing how I was softer than ever too, thanks to the bath!

So my next appearance after that was at the intermediate school in Easton (housing grades 3 to 5.) It's a very modern building; well it was actually built in 1997 but it still feels like new, and was a big difference compared to the older schools in Easton I visited. (It reminded me a lot of the modern school buildings here in Brockton, built in the same style.) This school also had a large cafetorium, like both my elementary schools did, but this one was more modern than those. Again, I would go around the cafetorium during each lunch period and greet the kids. They were all so excited to meet me, it was a little hard to keep things in order; the faculty kept insisting the kids stay at their seats and that I'd go over to all the tables. But since this was a fairly large cafetorium, I was hoping I could visit all of them during each lunch period, and I was able to do so! When the principal would introduce me and the promotion with the Easton grade schools coming to a Rox game next month (on their last day of school, no less!) I'd come up onto the stage to make it easier.
At all these schools, some kids got a little rambunctions. They still like to pull my tail or bop my nose, but at least the faculty can often tell them not to do so. And a lot of these kids ask me to do certain Fortnite dances. Like I said, I don't play Fortnite, but I've been learning the dances. Dabbing is the easiest (and the kids love to see me do it), and I'm getting better with the Floss and "Taking the L", and improving with the Orange Justice. I do enjoy their reactions though; even if the dance isn't great I find it amusing when they'd try to show me how. As I said, as K-O I feel like I'm on the childrens' level, but not physically. (That seems to be one reason why my Asperger's Syndrome has greatly contributed to my success as K-O.)

And today, I appearance for a Little League Family Fun Day in Stoughton, and had quite a bit of fun partaking in some of the little games they had set up for kids as well.

One of them was a Plunger Challenge, where you race someone while you both hold a plunger with a kickball on it, and make sure the ball doesn't fall off during the race. At least the ball didn't fall off when I did this challenge, but I'd still let the kid I'm racing win anyways (just like the Base Races we do at the Rox games.)
As K-O, I like to join the kids in such games and fun activities; makes me a lot more of an interactive and involved mascot! The kids enjoy my involvement as well.
Again, lots of kids were happy to see me here. But there were still a few scared ones, and a few tail-pullers and rough-housers. Some kids were even throwing beanbags at me at one point, but I try to make it look like it hurts (and sometimes if it's close to the vision area, it can hurt a little, but I don't let it stop me.)

There were also quite a few that thought I was a camel or llama or some other animals, so I'd show my pouch like this to show them that I'm a kangaroo. They usually get it then.
As I said, a similar thing kept happening in that indie movie "Characterz" from a few years ago, when people visiting the amusement park did not know what animal Hoppy the Kangaroo is supposed to be (to the point where his performer Tucker said to himself, "Another round of 'Guess the Species.'")

But now I need to rest up for a VERY special gig I'm doing tomorrow!
29 April 2019 @ 11:18 pm
Two months ago I signed up to join the Disney Movie Club. The first four Blu-Ray titles I bought for my introductory purchase ("101 Dalmatians," "The Fox and the Hound," "Toy Story" and "Christopher Robin") were fun for me to own on Blu-Ray (it's amazing seeing "Toy Story" in high-definition; that first Pixar movie still holds a sentimental value to me because I loved it so much when it came out I saw it in the theaters TWICE!). But there was an even bigger reason I joined the Disney Movie Club, for a purchase I made last week when it came out, and it arrived in the post TODAY...

Yep, "A Goofy Movie" has FINALLY been released on Blu-Ray! It's a Disney Movie Club exclusive so far, and the reason it's an "anniversary edition" is because next year the movie turns 25 years old. The downside with this release is it's pretty barebones; no special features, no menus; pop the disc in the player or drive, and the movie starts up right away! (I can play Blu-Ray discs on my Mac Mini thanks to my LG slim external USB Blu-Ray burner and the Leawo Blu-Ray Player freeware application.) But the film's transfer itself makes up for that! It's presented in the original widescreen aspect ratio, which was previously only released in North America on the Laserdisc of the movie! It doesn't appear much of an extensive restoration was done; at first glance it appeared to be the same widescreen transfer used on international DVD releases (but not sped-up in PAL speed, of course) but the image is noticeably crisper, and I could even notice some details that I didn't on previous releases.
Prior to this, "A Goofy Movie" did get released on DVD in 2000 under the "Gold Classic Collection", but it used the same pan-and-scan transfer the VHS releases used. In a way, this DVD release felt very much like the original 1995 VHS ported to disc. It even opened with the same "gold" Walt Disney Home Video logo as the VHS!

Not bad, but it can't beat the "Sorcerer Mickey" opening logo!
Plus, when my family bought our first Blu-Ray player in 2014 (to replace the failing DVD player in our old living room; my dad figured we should wait until we have to replace the existing player to go Blu-Ray), the 2000 "A Goofy Movie" DVD would have a bit of trouble playing on said player and would mess up the settings a bit, because the DVD was so old by this time! For my brother and I's annual viewing together (as we grew up with this movie) with or without friends, we'd have to use our smaller mid-2000s DVD player hooked up to the den (now our new basement) TV, which is slightly smaller. But now that the movie finally got a new Blu-Ray release, we can watch it on the very large HDTV in the living room again!

Watching this Blu-Ray, besides providing me with the usual trip down memory lane, I also noticed some things that I didn't see on prior VHS and DVD releases...

Check it out; the music store seen in the "After Today" number is selling a copy of the soundtrack to "Aladdin!"
As I said, the print did look more crisp and clean. The movie used digital coloring and compositing in its' animation production, but generally it wasn't as obvious due to being transferred to film. Many of the 90s Disney Animated Classics released on DVD and Blu-Ray were remastered using the original digital animation files, making them look much newer than they really are. For this they obviously used a film print, but the quality is still amazing, and at times I could kind of tell the movie was digitally colored, something a little hard to do on film!

So apparently Max's high school has a "gymatorium." I thought that was a little unusual; virtually all high schools I've known were big enough to have a separate auditorium, including mine, and Max's high school campus looked pretty large. "Gymatoriums" are more of a thing for elementary and middle schools; though all my public schools had separate gyms, both my elementary schools had "cafetoriums," and at two schools I did K-O the Kangaroo appearances at this month they actually had "cafegymatoriums" they were that small!

Get a load of the dogface version of Ariel! She wasn't visible on the DVD and VHS releases due to the pan-and-scan cropping.

There's that prisoner wolf I showed you before on this blog; this time in this shot you can see Max as well! When Goofy imagines Max as a prisoner after the wolf's line in the "On the Open Road" song, I even noticed a few chin whiskers on Max in that shot! Either my eyeglasses made them more visible, or the movie's high-definition transfer, or maybe both.

There are those nuns that kept stalking Goofy and Max throughout the film!

Goofy and Max arrive at Lester's Possum Park, which as I mentioned basically combines Disney's "Country Bear Jamboree" with "Chuck E. Cheese's!" I was able to see that "Lester's Possum Park" sign more clearly on Blu-Ray; makes more sense with the sign visible like that when they arrive.

The animatronic show. I like how we can see Goofy nodding his head to the song in full view now!

The costumed version of Lester that harasses Max. Love that surly expression on Max's face, especially when Max angrily says "Don't TOUCH me" and the man in the Lester suit thinks Max is "sad" and needs a big hug.

After Max slaps Lester's mask backwards, some little kids pounce on Lester and start beating on him, to Max's amusement. I'm glad kids haven't been THAT rough to me as K-O so far.

I'm so happy that "A Goofy Movie" FINALLY got a home video upgrade after roughly 19 years! And now for all you furries out there...

Enjoy seeing Pete in a Speedo in high-definition!
Current Music: "I-2-I" by Tevin Campbell
20 April 2019 @ 11:51 pm

Well, this weekend is Anime Boston 2019, something I've been looking forward to after Anthro New England.
When I went in on Friday, it was a little slow despite the large crowd and not as many things for me to do at first. Today (Saturday) was much busier and fun! Of course, I went in my Big Bad Wolf fursuit, with the footpaws I made last summer. An advantage of the Big Bad Wolf fursuit is that it's rather flexible; I can wear it to Anthro New England, Anime Boston AND Fan Expo Boston Comic Con, and it isn't very out of place.

Here's me in a Japanese-themed photo stage setup at the convention center, trying to fit with the Japanese mood...

"Hey, you're not Mickey!"

There weren't as many furries at Anime Boston on Friday, but here's me with Afoofoo, whom also attended Anthro New England and recognized me.

Since there wasn't much else for me to do at Anime Boston today, later in the afternoon I headed to the In Your Ear! record store in fursuit once again and had some fun with the owners.
Then I headed to South Station, had Pizza Regina for dinner, and got on a train for home.
But this morning was more eventful. I got into Anime Boston 2019 quite later than I expected...

The train I would normally get on was delayed because some dumb motorist the next town over drove around lowered railroad crossing gates in a pickup truck and got hit by said train! Sheesh! Luckily the driver and passengers of that truck weren't killed, but they were injured (non life-threatening). But it was quite a hassle; I was waiting at that platform for close to an hour, and the MBTA's online train schedule mentioned a service delay due to the crossing accident. And since I was going to be waiting, I even put on my Big Bad Wolf fursuit while on the platform! (Nobody else was there at first.) It wasn't until around 9:15 when an MBTA crosstown bus (for shuttle purposes) and a commuter rail official came to the station, and then a few minutes later the scheduled outbound commuter train pulled into the station, and the bus shuttled said passengers to the stops further down, and then picked up passengers at said stops to get on this parked train, by which I already boarded, to take us to Boston. You see, when a railroad crossing accident like this happens, commuter train service is disrupted and they have to get shuttle buses while the NTSB files an accident report and they clean up the mess.
But then the train crew had us get off at the Braintree stop, where we all had to do a bit more waiting to get on a Red Line subway to continue the rest of our commute. It was after 11:30 AM when I finally got to the Hynes Convention Center.
Geez, if only people would be more careful at railroad crossings, stuff like this wouldn't happen!

As always, there were a LOT of Pokemon cosplayers at Anime Boston. I especially liked this Snorlax cosplayer! Some people go all out with their costumes and cosplays at this convention, and I am glad that I also stand out somewhat.

My good friend Nexus/Gale was also at Anime Boston, in the guise of DewShep. As always, it was great to see her again!

Here I am with another Boston-area fur, Clint Fox. He's attended Anthro New England as well, and has seen me there before in my Big Bad Wolf fursuit. There were quite a few furries at Anime Boston today, including some that didn't go to ANE!

"Hey, how come I'm not in this book?!"
While at the Prudential Center Mall as part of the convention, I bought a book at Barnes & Noble I never saw before: "Disney Who's Who: An A to Z of Disney Characters." It has entries of many characters from almost all the Disney animated features (except the 1940s "package" films and "Dinosaur") and the Pixar movies up to 2017, along with the continuity of Mickey Mouse and his friends. And there are still quite a few omissions; nothing Silly Symphonies-related is in the book, so that means the Big Bad Wolf isn't in it. It also leaves out characters from Disney's animated TV shows, and anything "Three Caballeros" -related or to the classic comics. But I still bought it anyways due to its' extensive information, even including characters from underrated Disney animated films like "The Rescuers," "The Great Mouse Detective," "Oliver & Company," "Atlantis: The Lost Empire," "Treasure Planet," and even (this is how deep it goes) "The Black Cauldron."

"Lemme at the sheep, Bo!"
As I've said, there are numerous Disney cosplayers at Anime Boston each year besides me, especially anything "Kingdom Hearts"-related. One girl was dressed as Bo Peep from the "Toy Story" franchise, and I couldn't resist wolfing out and trying to get her sheep for a photo!

At one point this afternoon they began doing group photoshoots for "Kingdom Hearts" cosplayers. When they announced the group of classic Disney characters to go up, I accompanied them, gesturing how I haven't appeared in any of the "Kingdom Hearts" games... at least not yet!

Of course, my good friend Rick Fox was at Anime Boston again. He even had some panels, but found time later today to go around in his cosplay of Gregg from "Night in the Woods!" It's always fun when us furries get together!

I also met with a few people that knew me from YouTube or DeviantART or whatever. It's fun when we get to meet in person like that!
Since I got in late, I stayed kind of late, until around 7 PM, after which I headed back to South Station (I had dinner at the convention), changed out of my fursuit, watched a bit of the railroading action and finally got on the train for home, running on schedule this time! (No railroad crossing incidents. Whew!)

Well, I'm pretty pleased with how my time at this year's Anime Boston went overall. I'm not going in tomorrow as it's Easter Sunday and we have my relatives from Rhode Island coming to visit! Plus, it'll probably be really slow at the convention on Easter Sunday anyways. But during next week I'll still need to clean my Big Bad Wolf fursuit and make a couple minor repairs to the head and footpaws, for whatever comes next. (Fan Expo Boston Comic Con's not until August, after all.)

Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Current Music: G.I.ジョー (Japanese "G.I. Joe") theme song