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Tag Archives: Krofft

Think Different

Earlier today I watched the 1970 Syd and Marty Krofft opus Pufnstuf, the theatrical feature based on their psychedelic Saturday morning show. I vaguely remember seeing this movie a long, long time ago. The story revolves around a boy named Jimmy (Jack Wild) as he journeys to Living Island, a land of talking animals, trees, clocks and other objects presided over by the Southern-accented dragon named H.R. Pufnstuf. The characters spend most of the time evading the evil Witchiepoo (wonderfully hyper Billie Hayes) as she attempts to steal Jimmy’s talking flute, Freddy. This is about as weird as you’d expect, shrill and directed in a jumpy, disjointed manner that doesn’t hold up too well. It is worth a look for the wild production and costume design, however. Probably the most impressive part of the film is Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel’s groovy music, a highlight of which comes when Cass Elliot (as a witch) lends her soaring alto to an ode to individuality called “Different.” It’s a strangely touching moment in a film that otherwise goes down like two dozen boxes of Lucky Charms.

Another thing I noticed — Trey Parker and Matt Stone totally based South Park‘s Towlie on Freddy the Flute. Even the voices are the same! Onward to our musical entertainment: