Category Archives: Podcasts

Branded Microcast Episode 22, Soda suicide to suicidal soldiers!

I’m back with episode 22 of the microcast.  This time I have a couple of topics.  First off I continue the discussion of soda nostalgia and nerdery from last episode by looking at the crazy concoction known as a Suicide

…but I spend the majority of this episode talking about the Rambo cartoon and how there was a perfect storm in the 80s that would lead to an R-rated film being adapted into children’s animation.

I also throw out a couple nods to other podcasts, namely the Roboplastic Podcastalypse and the Retroist Podcast.

 

Episode 21: Dusting off the Branded Microcast for an anniversary…

I’m not that big on anniversaries, but Branded in the 80s turns 5 years old this month and since I’ve been getting prods to record some new episodes of the podcast I thought this would be a good opportunity. 

This time I invite the listener to peek behind the curtain a bit as I share a silly story about the debacle of my Soda Pop Culture column here at Branded.  I talk a bit about why I started it, what the plans were, and how it all fell flat (oh puns.)  Will I do more shows?  Nobody knows…

Some of the links mentioned in this episode:

Liz Vitale and her Puppatoons site

Charles over at Eclectorama

The Retroist

Some pictures of the insane amount of soda I purchased

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!

Subscribe Through iTunes
Podcast RSS

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.