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Category Archives: Video

Greetings from Termite Terrace

Even if it’s not strictly a Thanksgiving cartoon, I always associate Friz Freleng’s 1940 Merrie Melodie The Hardship of Miles Standish with the holiday. An overlooked fave in the Warner Bros. canon, maybe because I just can’t resist a good Edna May Oliver impersonation. Keep an eye out for the cursing Indian:

Like many others, we at are taking a little break during the holiday. Have a great weekend, people!

Oh the Humanity

I’m thinking about starting a regular video post here every Wednesday — sort of like what Mark Evanier does, only with 1/100th of his audience. It makes sense, since I come across so much intriguing stuff on YouTube and elsewhere. Today we have a clip from what many believe is the nadir of Peanuts specials, It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown. Somebody thought it would be a good idea having a breakdancing Franklin and Snoopy outfitted in headband and leg warmers trolling the disco like sleazy Euro-gigolos. A thumping, generic song plays on the soundtrack, but I believe buried in the mix you can hear the sound of Charles M. Schulz turning in his grave … which is amazing considering he wouldn’t die for another sixteen years. Check it out.

Mod, Mod Monsters

Happy Halloween — as good a time as any to give props to the cult Rankin-Bass stop motion feature Mad Monster Party, doncha think? For all its spooky mystique, however, this movie is actually kind of dull (Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller give their all in the voice department). Perhaps the best part of the movie is the opening credits — did you know Mad magazine’s Jack Davis designed the creatures? The lovely title song sung by jazz singer Ethel Ennis sounds like a lost James Bond theme, only … Halloweeny. Listen to Ethel without competing sound effects here.

So Wop On Your Feet

“Can’t Stop Moving” by Sonny J might be my new fave song/video — love the dancers, the wonky animation, and the overall infectious, Free to Be… You and Me vibe of the thing. For further research, view the Mirwais remix or the original 2007 viral video in which the tune is paired up with imagery from the old Jackson 5 Saturday morning cartoon. Funky.

Friday Miscellany

Kind of a dull week, huh? I uploaded the Viewmaster pics and created a new Two Bunnies and a Duck solely for the one person who was looking forward to it. And designed lots of manga comics for Viz. That’s about it. We’re getting ready to go on a trip to an undisclosed locale this weekend. This meant boarding our cat Eero, who responds to unfamiliar situations by burrowing under towels and shirts in her pet taxi. She’s a feisty kitty, always nipping at us and running around the house excitedly — but on the other hand she’s also a skittish thing who jumps at the slightest noise. I hope she’s okay. (p.s. Weekly Mishmash might now show up ’til later.)

I just stumbled across Cranky Lesbian today and feel like I have a blogging kindred spirit. Apparently Ms. Cranky and myself have 22 books in common in our LibraryThing libraries, which is the third highest out of everybody on that site. Yeah, those 22 books are soooo gay …

What else … how about some more Motown funkiness with Martha Reeves and the Vandellas performing “Bless You” on Soul Train? The ebullient, Jackson 5-esque “Bless You” marks the trio’s final hit single before the ladies hung up their wigs up for good in 1972. I love the energy of the Vandellas (l-r: the gorgeous Sandra Tilley and Martha’s sister Lois), along with their stylin’ afros. But what was Martha thinking with that huge hair? Dig:

Norman Whitfield’s Funky Business

With the passing of legendary Motown producer and songwriter Norman Whitfield at the age of 67, now is as good a time as any to celebrate his life and music. With what else? Crappy quality video clips! Going back to the beginning, even Whitfield’s earliest Motown productions stood out for having tighter instrumentation and danceability. His work on the Marvelettes’ 1964 hit “Too Many Fish In The Sea” was an especially hot example. Here are the ladies (L-R: Wanda Young, Katherine Anderson, Gladys Horton) lip-synching that tune on Teen Town:

Next we have the culmination of Whitfield’s celebrated union with The Temptations: 1972’s “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” This is where the funk went from psychedelic to epic, with all of the Tempts (even basso Melvin Franklin) trading bravura leads. To best appreciate Whitfield’s production, you really need to hear the original LP-length version on headphones. But I suppose this Soul Train performance, with some mesmerizing dancers in the audience, would be a good second choice:

R.I.P. Norman Whitfield.