Category Archives: Podcasts

Saturday Supercast 25 – Christmas, Part 2!

Like a playful snowball to the face, The Saturday Supercast is back again with episode 25!  In honor of the very merriest of seasons Jerzy, Kevin, and I decided is was the perfect time to tackle another Rankin/Bass special from the 80s as well as revisiting the G.I. Joe cartoon series.   This episode is the second of a two part exploration taking a look at the magic and wonder of some amazing Christmas themed stop motion animagic.

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 obscure 1981 Rankin/Bass special, The Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold

…and we follow that up with a special guest to the round-table, Mark Rudolph of CV Comics, the Art & Story podcast, and the creator behind the Curse of the Pharaohs, to talk about a very merry episode of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Cobra Claws are Coming to Town

In the episode we also talk about Christmas episodes of other 80s/90s era cartoons like Batman the Animated Series (Christmas with the Joker), Justice League (Comfort and Joy), Batman: Brave and the Bold (Invasion of the Secret Santas, Part 1 & Part 2), the He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special, the Flintstones Christmas special, the insane Star Wars Holiday Special (Find all 15 parts of the special here), and the one G1 Transformers Christmas story we can recall.  We also mention the new online video service called Jaroo.com which features free viewing of such great cartoon series as Paddington Bear, Pole Position, the Littles, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Ulysses in the 31st Century, StarCom, Inspector Gadget, and Captain N the Gamemaster.

As for the Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold we also get into some more great Rankin/Bass voice acting from Robert McFadden and a surprisingly well-done Irish brogue from Art Carney, Bing Crosby’s rendition of Christmas in Killarney, 80s era political correctness keeping the Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold a little more obscure, banshees and the folklore and superstitions that arise in different regions of the world (including banshee combs and the concept of not directly passing the salt to another person), folklore hero and villain archetypes, battling the Devil, the lack of traditional Christmas lore in the LCG special, Czech shadow puppetry, the chroma key effect, the Last Unicorn and Rankin/Bass’ tradition of great animated water/waves, and Rankin/Bass’ clever use of common household items in their stop motion work.

While discussing the Cobra Claws are Coming to Town we also mention our previous round-table episodes on the G.I. Joe series in episodes 19 & 20 of the Saturday Supercast as well as getting into the very tenuous Christmas message in this episode, Toys for Tots, some more of the excellent voice-work by Frank Welker (who plays Polly in this episode), Neil Ross (Shipwreck), Arthur Burghardt (Destro), Morgan Lofting (the Baroness), & Liz Aubrey (Covergirl), the impending Shout Factory DVD re-release of G.I. Joe the Movie, Covergirl’s make-over as the cartoon series progressed, the writing chops of Gerry & Carla Conway and Roy & Dan Thomas, Trojan horses, the awesome costume changes of characters in 80s cartoons that feature very obvious seasonal and location changes, Joes out of costume in The Viper is Coming, revealing the real names of the G.I. Joe characters (or the hilarious lack-there-of) in episodes such as Cobra Claws are Coming to Town, The Trader, Flint’s Vacation, and Captives of Cobra.

If you’re interested in watching The Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold, it’s available as part of the newly repackaged Classic Christmas Favorites set from Warner Brothers as a special feature on the How the Grinch Stole Christmas DVD.  As for the Cobra Claws episode of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, you can also view it for free via Veoh, or you can find the episode on the Complete G.I. Joe series footlocker set, or on the individual season 1.3 release scheduled to hit store shelves on February 2nd, 2010.

As for us, well you can find more of Jerzy’s work at:
Make Like a Tree Comics
jdrozd.blogspot.com
Art & Story Podcast

Kevin is freelance illustrator, comic creator, and podcaster whose work can be found at:
Kevin Cross.net
Big Illustration Party Time Podcast
Ghettomation Podcast
Money Mod Webcomic

…and I am a blogger and irregular podcaster whose stuff you can find, uh, here.

If you have any questions, comments, or heck, even complaints, you can drop us a line at Saturday Supercast!

Become a fan of the Saturday Supercast on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

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Direct download of the episode is available here.

Saturday Supercast 24 – The Year Without a Santa Claus!



Jiminycrickets these past two months have been hectic.  As you’ve probably already deduced there won’t be anymore Boris Karloff posts as I’m way off schedule for that week of celebrating and the year is steamrolling over regardless.  On a positive note, Jerzy, Kevin and I had a chance to record some new Saturday Supercasts.  With the holiday season upon us, we 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 (parts 1, 2, & 3), Blondie & Dagwood, and Cathy (parts 1, 2, & 3), as well as some other 80s Christmas cartoon specials like Garfield’s Christmas (parts 1, 2, & 3), Pac-Man: Christmas Comes to Pacland (parts 1, 2, & 3), 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 (parts 1, 2, & 3), 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.

If you’re interested in watching The Year Without a Santa Claus it’s available in both a stand-alone release as well as part of the newly repackaged Classic Christmas Favorites set from Warner Brothers.  You can also view it for free via youtube (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5.)


As for us, well you can find more of Jerzy’s work at:

Make Like a Tree Comics

jdrozd.blogspot.com

Art & Story Podcast

Kevin is freelance illustrator, comic creator, and podcaster whose work can be found at:

Kevin Cross.net

Big Illustration Party Time Podcast

Ghettomation Podcast

Money Mod Webcomic


…and you probably know where you can find my stuff…


If you have any questions, comments, or heck, even complaints, you can drop us a line at Saturday Supercast!


Become a fan of the Saturday Supercast on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!


The Sugary Serials theme song was preformed by Umberto.


Subscribe Through iTunes

Podcast RSS


Direct download of episode 24 is available here!

Branded Microcast Episode 20, Dudikoff!

Wow, two double-stuffed episodes in a row.  Weird.  At first I was struggling a little to get these up to 10 minutes, now I’m trying my best to keep them below 20 minutes.   Micropodcasting indeed.  Anyway, in episode 20 I spend some time discussing the 1993 action TV series Cobra

I also talk about the show’s prolific creator Stephen J. Cannell, the new FCC rules regarding “payments” for reviewing, the budget Millcreek DVD release of this series, and the soft-spoken, face-kicking Michael Dudikoff!

Branded Microcast Episode 19, You’ll believe Richard Pryor can fly…

As promised in yesterday’s Peel Here column, today’s microcast is a double stuffed conversation/rant about Superman III.  From the madcap romp of an opening…

…to the uncomfortably underachieving comedy of the usually much better Richard Pryor…

There are still a couple of good moments though, including my favorite Superman movie moment, dark Supes versus Clark Kent (even if it doesn’t make any logical sense)…

…and the seriously creepy Braniaic-like robot villain lady…

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Branded Microcast Episode 18, Indian Guides make me feel like Ned Beatty in Deliverance…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this episode of the microcast I’m reminded of my tenure in the YMCA sponsored Indian guides program.  Fake bearskin ponchos, gaudy feathered necklaces, goofy yellow headbands, and some great memories of my Dad.  Here’s another interesting recollection of the Guides as well

That’s me in the middle with the tacky plaid shorts…

Again, me on the back of the fire truck and my dad marching alongside with the walking stick…

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Branded in the 80s Microcast Episode 17, diverting the Scorpio comet your way…

Oh my god, three microcasts in a row?   I suppose in this post Halloween afterglow it’s sort of nice to just talk about some of the stuff that’s on my mind rather than try and jump right back into writing columns.  I do have a Peel Here that I want to get to this week though, so look for that later on.  Anyway, in this episode of the Branded Microcast I ramble on about the Pryde of the X-Men cartoon for a bit

If you’re interested in watching this beauty of a one-shot cartoon, it’s up on youtube in nice bite-sized chunks (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.)  I also talk about the X-Men arcade game that was sort of based on the cartoon…

Right click and download episode 17 of the Branded in the 80s Podcast here

Branded Podcast Episode 15, introducing the microcast…

In trying to get myself podcasting again I’ve decided to try and stop being so precious with the recording and research and just do it.  My new idea to is too keep these episodes short, like under 15 minutes.  Micro-podcasting.  Anyway, here’s the first microcast which is all about the great golden age we’re living in as far as toys are concerned…

In this episode I talk about all the properties and characters that have toys these days like the Goonies, Akira, Edward Scissorhands, Snake Plissken from Escape from New York, Ash from Army of Darkness, the new Matty Collector Ghostbusters figures, the new Matty Collector He-Man figures, as well as some older stuff that could use some new figures, namely the Karate Kid and V.

Saturday Supercast Episode 22: A continuation of the discussion on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe!




I’m really excited to be back this week with episode 22 of the Saturday Supercast!  In this episode Jerzy, Kevin and I finish off our exploration of the first season of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  Again, for those not familiar, in the series He-Man and his friends, the Sorceress, Man-At-Arms, Teela, Ram Man, Orko, and Stratos wage an endless battle defending Castle Greyskull and the planet Eternia against Skeletor and his evil warriors, Beastman, Evil-Lyn, Trap Jaw, Merman, and Triklops, who want to conquer and rule the world.  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:


The fan favorite Evilseed




…as well as the Dragon’s Gift




Quest for the Sword




…and Prince Adam No More.




In this Saturday Supercast episode 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), voice actors John Erwin (He-Man and Beastman) and Alan Openheimer (Skeletor and Man-At-Arms), as well as some of the writers and artists such as Larry DiTillio, Tom Sito and Michael Reaves.


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 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, 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!


If you’re curious about watching this great series you can purchase a copy of season 1-part 1, or season 1-part 2 at Amazon, or head on over to Hulu where you can watch 13 of the 1st season episodes for free.


As for us, well you can find more of Jerzy’s work at:

Make Like a Tree Comics

jdrozd.blogspot.com

Art & Story Podcast


Kevin is freelance illustrator, comic creator, and podcaster whose work can be found at:

Kevin Cross.net

Big Illustration Party Time Podcast


And you’re probably already familiar with my work here at Branded.  

If you have any questions, comments, or heck, even complaints, you can drop us a line at Saturday Supercast

You can find the direct download for the episode here, or you can subscribe to the show via iTunes and find out more over at Sugary Serials.

Also, the Saturday Supercast is on Facebook and Twitter, so if you’d like to stay up to date with the goings on at the podcast, go on over and become a fan or follow us.  You won’t be sorry!


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Saturday Supercast Episode 21: Deconstructing He-Man and the Masters of the Universe!




The Saturday Supercast is back this week with our 3rd cartoon deconstruction episode.  This episode is part one of a two part discussion on the landmark 80s cartoon series He-Man and the Masters of the universe.  Join me and my co-hosts, Jerzy Drozd and Kevin Cross as we dig into the He-Man cartoon, trying to figure out why we like it so much, what could be better, and why the show was so important to an entire decade of animation that followed in it’s wake.





For those who may not know, He-Man and his friends, the Sorceress, Man-At-Arms, Teela, Ram Man, Orko, and Stratos wage an endless battle defending Castle Greyskull and the planet Eternia against Skeletor and his evil warriors, Beastman, Evil-Lyn, Trap Jaw, Merman, and Triklops, who want to conquer and rule the world.   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 overall series, and dive into three of our favorite episodes:


The Diamond Ray of Disappearance





Teela’s Quest




and The Wizard of Stone Mountain




In this episode we touch on a lot of the talent that made He-Man possible including series producers Lou Schiemer (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, it’s 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, Andy Mangel’s excellent special features on the BCI Eclipse editions of the original He-Man cartoon on DVD, and our friends at the Horror Etc. podcast.


If you’re curious about watching this great series you can purchase a copy of season 1-part 1, or season 1-part 2 at Amazon, or head on over to Hulu where you can watch 13 of the 1st season episodes for free.


As for us, well you can find more of Jerzy’s work at:

Make Like a Tree Comics

jdrozd.blogspot.com

Art & Story Podcast


Kevin is freelance illustrator, comic creator, and podcaster whose work can be found at:

Kevin Cross.net

Big Illustration Party Time Podcast


…and well I’m Shawn obviously, and if you’re reading this than I guess you know my work can be found at Branded in the 80s.com.


We’re keeping the podcast’s feed over at the Sugary Serials site, so if you want to subscribe to it, you can do it over there or you can use this link. I’m really excited to be podcasting again, and can’t wait to dig into more cartoons.  So head on over to the Sugary Serials and check out episode 21 of the Saturday Supercast today or you can download it by right clicking and selecting save here!


If you have any questions, comments, or heck, even complaints, you can drop us a line at Saturday Supercast!

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