Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kibbles and (tid) bits

There’s not much new TV-on-DVD news to report, but does have a heads-up that the Route 66: The Complete Season 3 is currently available at a Best Buy nearest you as part of an exclusive early release. (I’m going out on a Publix run tomorrow, so maybe I’ll swing by and see if one’s available.)

But the big news is that following in the wake of WHV’s cartoon DVD releases—Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960s Volume 1 and Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1970s Volume 1—two sequels are in the works for release on October 27th:

Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960s Volume 2

1) Johnny Cypher in Dimension Zero – Attack From Outer Space/Rhom, Super Criminal/The Eye of Ramapoor

2) Peter Potamus – Fe Fi Fo Fun

3) The Flintstones – The Flintstone Flyer

4) The Porky Pig Show – Scaredy Cat/Baton Bunny/Feather Dusted

5) Frankenstein, Jr. & the Impossibles – The Shocking Electric Monster/The Bubbler

6) The Adventures of Aquaman – Menace of the Blanc Manta/The Rampaging Reptile-Men/The Return of Nepto

7) The Herculoids – The Beaked People/The Raider Apes

8) Space Ghost & Dino Boy – The Heat Thing/The Worm People/Zorak

9) The Adventures of Superman – The Force Phantom

10) The Jetsons – A Date with Jet Screamer

11) The Road Runner Show – Beep Beep/Satan’s Waitin’/Chili con Carne

12) Magilla Gorilla – Gridiron Gorilla

13) The Tom & Jerry Show – No Bones About It/An Ill Wind/Beach Bully

I don’t have much to comment on here—most of the shows in the above collection have been released in previous sets and I hate when companies double-dip like that. Also: that Tom & Jerry Show was the new incarnation created by Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s (I suspect that if you broke into Thad Komorowski’s place one night and replaced all his animation treasures with prints of that show it would hasten his descent into madness) and not the CBS version which showed (and sanitized) the old theatrical cartoons. I suspect that a press release will come along any day now with a revised list because the artwork on the 1960s prominently displays Touché Turtle and Breezly & Sneezly—and if I bought the damn thing and discovered there were no cartoons starring these characters…I’d be a mite pissed.

As for Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1970s Volume 2

1) Yogi’s Gang – The Greedy Genie

2) The Bugs Bunny Show – Whoa Begone/To Itch His Own/Gee Whiz-z-z

3) Hong Kong Phooey – Cat Thieves/Zoo Story (Note: I have actually heard they’re planning to make a live-action feature film based on this series…R.I.P, imagination in Hollywood.)

4) Pebbles and Bamm Bamm – Gridiron Girl Trouble

5) Scooby Doo – What a Night for a Knight

6) Shazzan! – The Living Island

7) The Jetsons – Jetson’s Night Out

8) The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour – Snow Business/Two Crows From Tacos/Ready, Set, Zoom!

9) Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines – Stop That Pigeon

10) Wacky Races – See-Saw to Arkansas/Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist

11) Banana Splits – Joining the Knights/The Littlest Musketeer/”Danger Island” Episodes 1 & 2

12) The Flintstones – No Biz Like Show Biz

13) The Perils of Penelope Pitstop – The Diabolical Department Store Danger

14) The New Adventures of Superman – The Mermen of Emor

Oh, yeah – there’s definitely a correction coming forth soon (and if not, there should be). Shazzan! premiered in 1967, and though it may have ran in the 1970s in reruns, technically it’s not a 1970s show. The same goes for The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, Wacky Races and Banana Splits—both of which premiered in 1968 (notice that the Splits will contain two chapters from its narcotics-inspired serial Danger Island, which was directed by some guy named Richard Donner), and Scooby Doo and Dastardly & Muttley first appeared on TV screens in 1969. (And I’m not even going to get into how The Bugs Bunny Show, The Flintstones and The Jetsons qualify…even if they were endlessly rerun in the 1970s.) Again, the box art for this set spotlights images from Help! It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!, Inch High, Private Eye, Sealab 2020 and Valley of the Dinosaurs—so there’s something hinky about these two releases (though Mr. Lambert does say the artwork isn’t finalized). I’m just glad that the late Sam Johnson is no longer around to witness this kind of atrocity—if he were here, his first words would be…”Are you going to finish the rest of that bacon?”

On the serial front, I sorta kinda promised that I’d tackle one of the wackiest of the Universal cliffhangers, Jungle Queen (1945)—which features the likes of Eddie Quillan, Douglass Dumbrille and Ruth Roman as the title monarch. While I have a good many serials in the dusty Thrilling Days of Yesteryear archives, most of them are being held hostage in my father’s storage area right now, so I’m kind of forced to pick from what I currently have here at Rancho Yesteryear:

Dick Tracy Returns (1938), Dick Tracy's G-Men (1939) and Dick Tracy vs. Crime Inc. (1941) – The second, third and fourth serials in Republic’s phenomenally successful Dick Tracy franchise.

The Rustlers of Red Dog (1935) and Flaming Frontiers (1938) – Two rootin’, tootin’ shoot-‘em-ups with Saturday matinee hero Johnny Mack Brown. (Cliff Weimer, who sweeps the sticky floors at In the Balcony, jokingly refers to the first one of these as “Rustlers of Wet Dog.”)

The Phantom Empire (1935) – One of the wackiest sound serials on record, and the one that helped catapult Gene Autry to singing cowboy fame and glory,

The Painted Stallion (1938) – Another western chapter play, this one featuring Ray “Crash” Corrigan, Hoot Gibson, Duncan Renaldo and stunt man extraordinaire Yakima Canutt.

Red Barry (1938) – Larry “Buster” Crabbe plays the famous comic-strip detective created by Will Gould.

White Eagle (1941) – Still another tale of the sagebrush, with cowboy great Buck Jones in his penultimate serial appearance.

I’ve also got Lost City of the Jungle (1946) and The Black Widow (1947) on hand, but since I’ve done write-ups on them previously I’m going to eliminate them from the choices. But we do have two late-breaking entries: I was fortunate enough to receive my copies of the two new VCI serial releases, The Green Hornet (1940) and The Green Hornet Strikes Again! (1941).

So, here’s how this will work – in the comments section, channel your inner Spencer-Tracy-in-Inherit-the-Wind and make a convincing case for which serial you’d like to see me gently mock and ridicule (keep in mind that even though I kid…I kid because I love, as Totie Fields used to say). I’ll tally up the responses on Friday night and decide then and there who’s made the solid argument for the latest sacrificial lamb classic cliffhanger on TDOY’s Serial Saturdays.


Laughing Gravy said...

Somebody with more ambition than me should photoshop some cowboys herding dachsunds to illustrate "Rustlers of Red Dog".

In any case, I vote for THE GREEN HAIRNET as your... *checks notes* Sorry, HORNET as your serial of cherce. It has Myrtis Crinley playing Clicker Binnie, something you can't say about LAWRENCE OF ARABIA or BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA or other films of that ilk.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Actually, LG -- I was thinking about this in the Publix checkout line and I'm leaning toward doing the Har-nut, mainly due to its old-time radio connection. Of course, this will also allow me to plug yours and Martin Grams, Jr.'s contributions to the DVD...but don't let that get out. (pause) D'oh!!!

Anonymous said...

Hold off on buying the route 66 box set. Purchasers are reporting that half of the 8 disc collection will not play due to a manufacturing defect.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Many thanks for the warning. my anonymous friend. What made me decide against the purchase this morning is that our nearest BB is down the road a ways in Bogart, GA...and I decided I can wait until January.

Laughing Gravy said...

Yeah, it's true that half of the ROUTE 66 discs will not play. But here's an exclusive from In The Balcony: Best Buy intends to simply re-label the set as "ROUTE 33" and sell it as is.

Anonymous said...

Anything but the Green Harnutt; I bought those last year at Dragon-Con in Atlanta, and when I got home, The Green Hornet wouldn't play, so of course I couldn't very well watch Strikes Again now could I? It is my hope said vendor will replace the flawed copy at this year's convention. Long shot, I know, but with only a few weeks to wait, what have I got to lose? - Philip Schweier

hobbyfan said...

I just got one of the Green Hornet serials on VHS via trade the other week, haven't played it yet.

I think I can solve your problem with the SatAM DVD's, Ivan. In the case of the Banana Splits, which does belong in the 1960's volume 2 set, it enjoyed a healthy run in syndication when H-B decided to package it with Secret Squirrel, Atom Ant, New Advs. of Huck Finn, & Adventures of Gulliver as a larger anthology collection. I spent many a day watching it as a teen. Whomever is packaging these DVDs for WHV probably doesn't know any better. Haven't bought the volume 1's yet, but will soon do so.