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smurfwreck
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Joined: 11 Jul 2009
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Location: Rednecksville, GA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:37 am    Post subject: Saturday Supercast, podcast about 80s cartoons and more... Reply with quote

Hey guys and gals, just wanted to take a second and announce the relaunch of the Saturday Supercast podcast over at Sugary Serials. Starting with Episode 19 we’re introducing a new format for the show, taking time out between creator interviews and news for the all-ages comic anthology to delve into one of the main influences behind the stories at Sugary Serials: cartoons! Basically we’re going to try and set up a roundtable discussion that seeks to deconstruct the various cartoons we love, taking them apart and seeing what makes them tick; what works well, what doesn’t, and what it is we love about the medium. It’s hopefully going to be a love letter to animation and what makes cartoons so great.

Joining Jerzy Drozd (editor and one of the creators of Sugary Serials) in this episode (part 1 of a 2 part discussion) are Kevin Cross and Shawn Robare. In this episode we decided to tackle one of the mainstays from our younger years, the first 5-part mini series of the G.I. Joe cartoon called A Real American Hero, which originally debuted on network TV in the fall of 1983. This first story arc featured the introduction of the conflict between G.I. Joe (the codename for America’s daring, highly-trained special mission force) and Cobra (a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.) This mini series effectively set the tone for the episodes that would follow, not to mention having a drastic impact on the decade of animation that made their debut in its wake.

The cartoon was produced by Sunbow who also went on to work on other series like the The Transformers, Jem, Visionaries, and Inhumanoids. Though the title screens were left off for this mini series, the episodes talked about in this discussion include, Part 1: The Cobra Strikes and Part 2: Slave of the Cobra Master.

We also talk about the show’s theme song, Marvel Cartoon Productions and the G.I. Joe comic book series (including the origin of the animated series in the comic commercials), as well as the toys and file cards, Steve Gerber, Buzz Dixon & the G.I. Joe Writer’s Guide, He-Man and Star Wars toy commercials, Action for Children’s Television, a couple of the releases of the Mini Series on DVD (Battle Packs and the Shout Season 1.1 DVD), and backlit animation techniques.

If you'd like to give the episode a listen you can find it here: http://sugaryserials.com/blog/2009/07/10/saturday-supercast-19-gi-joe-a-real-american-hero-pt-1/



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smurfwreck
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Location: Rednecksville, GA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The second episode is now available for download. It finishes off the discussion of the 1st G.I. Joe mini series...

Again, joining Jerzy Drozd (editor and one of the creators of Sugary Serials) in this episode (you can find part 1 here) are Kevin Cross and Shawn Robare. This first story arc featured the introduction of the conflict between G.I. Joe (the codename for America’s daring, highly-trained special mission force) and Cobra (a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.) This mini series effectively set the tone for the episodes that would follow, not to mention having a drastic impact on the decade of animation that debuted in its wake.

The cartoon was produced by Sunbow who also went on to work on other series like the Transformers, Jem, the Visionaries, and the Inhumanoids. Though the title screens were left off for this mini series, the episodes talked about in this discussion include:

Part 3: The Worms of Death

Part 4: Duel in the Devil’s Cauldron

Part 5: A Stake in the Serpent’s Heart

We also talk about the FHE VHS home video release of this first mini series, Larry Hama (writer of the comic series as well as a consultant on the show), Ron Friedman (writer for this and a handful of other Sunbow shows), Arthur Burghardt (voice of Destro), Chris Latta (voice of Cobra Commander), Frank Welker (voice of Wild Bill), Michael Bell (Voice of Duke), and Rob Paulsen (voice of Tripwire). We also get into the underused original line-up of characters, in particular Steeler who gets a nice send off in the episode World’s Without End (parts 1 and 2), the myth of Hercules and Linus, Transformers Animated, the new live action G.I. Joe movie, The Rise of Cobra, the recent G.I. Joe cartoon Resolute, Warren Ellis, unmasking mysterious characters, the original Star Wars Clone Wars cartoon, Lancelot Link, Hasbro, getting into anime as a teenager, antihero boredom, and the great Jack Kirby. [/url]



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smurfwreck
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Joined: 11 Jul 2009
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Location: Rednecksville, GA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:15 pm    Post subject: Third episode of the Saturday Supercast is up! Reply with quote

We’re back this week with episode 21 of the Saturday Supercast! In this episode, the first of a 2-part series, Jerzy, Kevin and Shawn begin exploring another touchstone of 80s animation, season 1 of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Aside from talking about three of our favorite 1st season episodes (The Diamond Ray of Disappearance, Teela's Quest, and the Wizard of Stone Mountain) we touch on a lot of the talent that made He-Man possible including series producers Lou Scheimer (who also voiced half of the cast of characters including Orko and Stratos) and Hal Sutherland, voice actors John Erwin (He-Man and Beastman), Alan Openheimer (Skeletor and Man-At-Arms), and Linda Gary (Teela, the Sorceress and Evil-Lyn), and some of the writers, directors and artists such as Paul Dini, Larry DiTillio, Tom Sito, Bruce Timm, Robby London, and Michael Reaves.

We also discuss the Masters of the Universe toy line, its inventor Roger Sweet, and its packaging, as well as Star Wars, Clash of the Titans, and Space 1999 toys, getting toys when you’re home sick as a kid, Jack Kirby’s 4th World, the MOTU mini-comics, rotoscoped animation, Barbarian fantasies in the early 80s (including Thundarr and Conan), the 2002 Mike Young Productions He-Man cartoon, how easy and boring it is to make fun of the He-Man cartoon, alter egos and how Prince Adam is an important aspect to the ideal of the He-Man mythos, the myth of Robert Johnson and his fight against the devil, and Andy Mangel’s excellent special features on the BCI Eclipse editions of the original He-Man cartoon on DVD.

You can find the episode here.



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smurfwreck
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Location: Rednecksville, GA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m really excited to be announcing episode 22 of the Saturday Supercast this week! In this episode Jerzy, Kevin and Shawn finish off our exploration of the first season of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

The series, produced by Filmation Studios in 1983, was a landmark cartoon mixing fantasy and science-fiction, reinvigorating children’s television with a sense of action and adventure, as well as helping to instill a solid sense of morality for an entire generation of kids. Masters of the Universe was also one of the first series to break through the governmental ban on interweaving existing toy lines and cartoons, not to mention paving the way for first-run syndicated animation, defining the distribution format for shows through the 80s and 90s.

Join us as we deconstruct the series, diving into another four of our favorite episodes. One of the most highly regarded in the series, Evilseed, as well as The Dragon’s Gift, Quest for the Sword, and Prince Adam No More.

We also dig into the immediately identifiable synthesizer music of He-Man (as well as its Wagnerian themes, lush quality, and a debate on whether or not it helps to bind the sci-fi and fantasy genres of the series or if just dates it), the series’ budgetary constraints as both boon and bane, 65 episode syndicated seasons vs. the more traditional (at the time) 13 episode Saturday morning seasons, jump-scares, Evilseed’s secret under his robes revealed, Billie Holiday’s haunting rendition of the tragic song “Strange Fruit”, Star Trek the Animated Series, solving problems with book smarts and the RIF (Reading is Fundamental) program, Ray Harryhausen, the Rankin/Bass Hobbit cartoon, horrible Irish stereotypes, the Trash Heap from Fraggle Rock, Ents, the Visionaries, He-Man inspiring public office, Andy Mangels and his awesome work on the BCI Ink & Paint editions of He-Man on DVD, Bustatoon’s He-Man & She-Ra Blog, Matty Collector’s amazing new line of Masters of the Universe action figures, and the insanity of the Bollywood He-Man stage show!

You can get to episode 22 of the Saturday Supercast here.



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smurfwreck
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Location: Rednecksville, GA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This time out Jerzy, Kevin, and I are filled with the spirit of the Great Pumpkin as we discuss some favorite Halloween specials from their youth. Throughout the 60s, 70s, & 80s kids all around the western hemisphere were treated with all sort of cartoon and claymation specials in celebration of the creepiest of holidays. From branded mainstays like It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and Garfield's Halloween Adventure, to one-off movies and shows like the Rankin/Bass Mad Monster Party or the Devil and Daniel Mouse, cartoons have become a really great part of celebrating the season. In this episode we focus on a couple of obscure gems that we feel gives a nice overview of the genre as a whole, Chuck Jones' Raggedy Ann & Andy in The Pumpkin that Couldn't Smile and Witch's Night Out.

Direct Download here!

We also spend some time discussing the stable of General Mills' Monster cereals, in particular the wonderful commercials, toy premiums, and the actors that the characters pay homage to including Peter Lorre, Bela Lugosi, and Boris Karloff (as well as some missed opportunities in using Vincent Price, Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing for the characters Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy.)

This episode is chock full of content including some reminiscing over great voice actors like Daws Butler, June Foray, Les Tremayne, as well as the voice talents of Gilda Radner & Catherine O'Hara. We also talk about James Mason's wonderful performance in the UPA Studios amazing rendition of Edgar Allen Poe's The Telltale Heart, the resurgence of the Universal Monsters in the late 50s through the 70s, Marvel and DC monster comics, Aurora monster model kits, Famous Monsters of Filmland, Mego Monster figures, Ben Cooper and Collegeville Halloween Costumes, the awesome skeleton costumes worn by Johnny and the Cobra Kai in the Karate Kid, the Drak Pack, the Groovie Goolies, Mary & Vincent Price's Treasury of Recipes cookbook, Tom Sito's Drawing the Line, the patented Chuck Jones devilish smile and his 60s & 70s specials including How the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, A Cricket in Times Square and Rikki Tikki Tavi, Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Banjo and Harmonica music, some Halloween history nuggets, Canadian animation and Canada's National Film Board, Nickelodeon, Doug, Mr. Men & Little Misses, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, the Halloween Specials website, the Paul Lynde Halloween Special, the iconic CBS Specials intro, the Toon into Animation podcast, Halloween is Grinch Night, and the Ghettomation podcast.

You can get to the Sugary Serials Saturday Supercast site here.



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smurfwreck
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Joined: 11 Jul 2009
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Location: Rednecksville, GA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the holiday season upon us, The Saturday Supercast is back with episode 24. In honor of the very merriest of seasons Jerzy, Kevin, and Shawn decided it was the perfect time to tackle some Rankin/Bass specials from the 70s & 80s. This episode is the first of a two part exploration taking a look at the magic and wonder of some amazing stop motion animation (Animagic for those Rankin/Bass-o-philes out there.)

Though Stop Motion Animation has been around since the turn of the 20th century (with some of the earliest work attributed to Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart Blackton’s The Humpty Dumpty Circus in 1898, not to mention notable live-action/stop-motion pastiches such as The Lost World in 1925 and King Kong in 1933), it wasn’t until the 50s & 60s that the medium really enjoyed a golden era. Between the work of Ray Harryhausen & Willis O’Brian in films such as Mighty Joe Young (’49) and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (’58 ), and Art Clokey’s Gumby (’57) & Davey and Goliath (’60) series on television, stop motion was wowing audiences all over the world.

Beginning with The New Adventures of Pinocchio in 1960 Rankin/Bass established themselves as one of the foremost pop culture animation houses in America. Arthur Rankin Jr. & Jules Bass (along with a bevy of puppeteers, seamstresses, artisans, animators, musicians and talented actors & voice actors) spent the better part of thirty years bringing exceptional all-ages entertainment into our homes and theaters. In fact, from the debut of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1964 Rankin/Bass became synonymous with the Christmas season. Between 1964 and 1985 the studio produced 18 beloved Christmas specials and feature films including Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town, The Little Drummer Boy, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Jack Frost.

For this special holiday episode of the Supercast we decided to kick of the discussion with a look at the 1974 classic inspired by Phyllis McGinley’s poem of the same name, The Year Without a Santa Claus…

In the episode, aside from an in depth summary of the film, we also mention some comic strip inspired seasonal specials such as Ziggy’s Gift, Blondie & Dagwood, and Cathy, as well as some other 80s Christmas cartoon specials like Garfield’s Christmas, Pac-Man: Christmas Comes to Pacland, and the He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special. We also discuss the swell Rankin/Bass tradition of casting wonderful narrators for their specials including Fred Astaire, Burl Ives, Jimmy Durante, Red Skelton, Buddy Hackett, and of course Shirley Booth in The Year Without a Santa Claus, as well as the interesting choices for voice actors including Robert McFadden (best known for playing Snarf and Slythe on Thundercats), Paul Frees, Bradley Bolke, Dick Shawn, George S. Irving, and the number one star in the world Mickey Rooney.

In addition we dig into some of TYWaSC merchandising, the newly produced sequel from Warner Brothers called A Miser Brother’s Christmas (which reunites Mickey Rooney and George S. Irving), how Rankin/Bass has that It’s a Small World vibe from the famous Disney attraction, growing up with and without a white Christmas, epic adventure (Rankin/Bass) vs. schmaltzy storytelling (e.g. Olive the Other Reindeer, Growing Pains Christmas special, and Santa Claus: The Movie) in holiday specials, the Boris Karloff reading of McGinley’s original poem, The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus, other Rankin/Bass productions (such as Thundercats, Silverhawks, Tigersharks and the Hobbit), the weird storytelling aesthetics and well-drawn villains of Rankin/Bass productions (Kubla Kraus, Burgermeister Meisterburger, MonStar, Mum-Ra, and the Winter Warlock), the very high degree of craftsmanship in the R/B productions, The differences between the original poem and the animated special, trying to figure out when the special is set (using references and homages like the Charlie Chaplin cameo and the Keystone Cop-like police officer), the connection to the previous Christmas special Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Murray Laws & Jules Bass’ musical collaborations, as well as replacement animation.

You can get to the Sugary Serials Saturday Supercast site here.



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