Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition (2-Disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) was released yesterday on Diamond Edition Blu-ray. To tie-in with the release of one of Walt Disney's most visually striking animated feature, here is a Halloween-themed piece of eye-candy for your treat bag: a charming Disney Catalog cover featuring Briar Rose's woodland friends trick-or-treating. There's no reason why these forest animals shouldn't dress up for some treats from Princess Aurora (who is a masquerade-type outfit of her own)—after all, they came up with this very costume in Sleeping Beauty. Many thanks to Disney collector Dan Alexander for supplying this delightful Halloween cover for display here in Tulgey Wood. I have a Disney Catalog collection but somehow I could not find this particular issue so Dan came to the rescue to keep our Halloween spirits high. Be sure and visit Dan's fascinating blog.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks is an apt subject for Halloween, what with the witchcraft and all. But October is Bedknobs month, as the superspectacular musical fantasy (with those marvelous Sherman Brothers songs) premiered on October 7, 1971. In honor of that date, here's the View-Master reel set of the film. This is one of the best live-action sets View-Master released. If you ever have a chance to check it out—and read the excellent booklet, also shown below—be sure and gaze in wonder in some Disney magic in "stereo pictures." Want more Bedknobs? this Academy Award-winning film was recently released on Blu-ray as the Bedknobs & Broomsticks [Blu-ray]. (Unfortunately, the new Blu-ray release includes the original theatrical release with the restored sequences from Disney's extensive 1996 restoration effort—including complete songs and extended musical numbers—included only as bonus features.) And be sure and take a look at the article I wrote for D23.com featuring 13 fascinating facts about this musical, magical motion picture. It's all part of the Countdown to Halloween, bobbing along here at Tulgey Wood right through October 31, 2014.
Monday, October 6, 2014
Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost was the inverse of his fellow Harvey comics star, Casper the Friendly Ghost—equally cute as Casper, Spooky had no use for "friendliness," he wanted nothing more than to scare people (or anything else). Though Spooky often succeeded the joke often was that he ended up scared himself. Here is a ghostly gallery of some classic Spooky covers (like Casper and all the Harvey comic-book stars, the Tuff Little Ghost appeared in a bewildering number of titles). Note the first cover, which is from 1966, features the classic Monsters emerging from the TV (where the Universal Monsters were incredibly popular), in yet another reference to the Monster phenomenon. Spooky's frights will take us one day closer to October 31st as the 2014 Countdown to Halloween scares up some more fright-time fun here at Tulgey Wood.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
The 2014 Countdown to Halloween blogathon continues at Tulgey Wood. Here to add some macabre merriment are Lock, Shock and Barrel from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). This illustrated version of these silly-yet-sinsiter stop-motion characters (by Disney artist par excellence John Loter) haunted the cover of the Disney Catalog during Halloween-time 20015. Hope you enjoy this art as much as that terrible trio are enjoying their Halloween treats.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
That wickedly funny foe of Bugs Bunny, Witch Hazel, made a rare appearance on the cover of Looney Tunes Issue #167. This frightfully fun cover, drawn by Scott Gross for this issue cover dated December 2008, features that demonic dame offering some very twisted treats (including a Daffy Pez dispenser). Below is the cover and then the cover art as created by Scott without the logs, text and the dreaded barcode. (As always, click on each image for a larger view.) You can read more about Witch Hazel—the Disney counterpart, that is— here. And don't let Witch Hazel scare you away—come back all through October for more treats at Tulgey Wood's 2014 Countdown to Halloween.
Friday, October 3, 2014
Yesterday, October 2, 2014, marked the 64th anniversary of Charlie Brown and his pals (and pooch) for on that October date in 1950, the Peanuts comic strip made it's debut. The classic strip written and drawn by Charles M. Schulz is closely associated with Halloween because of that nonexistent entity known as the Great Pumpkin. Linus's belief in this mysterious Halloween gift-giver (always a no-show no matter how sincere Linus's pumpkin patch is) began in 1959. Comics publisher Fantagraphics has just issued for Halloween 2014 a sweet little gift book collecting the classic strips delineating the boy-with-the-blanket's Halloween night vigils. Waiting For The Great Pumpkin is all part of the 2014 Countdown to Halloween blogathon here at Tulgey Wood. More Halloween tricks-and-treats, Peanuts-style, to come so be sure and stop by all through October.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
The "monster kids" era of the famed Aurora model kits featuring the Universal Monsters. Introduced in 1962 with the Frankenstein Monster, these plastic model sets created a sensation so by 1964 the phfrightful phenomenon was satirized by Mad magazine—and can there be any other greater honor? Painted by prolific Mad cover artist Norman Mingo, this September 1964 cover for Issue 89 amusingly portrays the Monster who started it all as a monster kid deeply immersed in his hobby: assembling the truly "scary" figure of Mad mascot Alfred E. Neuman. For me, one of the best details is the Monster (remember, he's not Frankenstein—that's the name of his creator) wearing that strange, furry vest/jacket/overcoat/life-prserver that he first wears in House of Frankenstein. This monstrously mad Mad cover is part of the 2014 Countdown to Halloween blogathon. Stop by Tulgey Wood all through October for more Halloween madness.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Welcome to the 2014 Countdown To Halloween blogathon! To regular readers—thanks as always for dropping by. To new visitors—I hope you find Tulgey Wood to be full of treats and only the best kind of tricks! To get things started, let's party like a princess. This Disney Catalog cover depicts a fancy dress ball theme that reminds us that Halloween needn't always be monsters, ghosts and ghouls. It does help to have a pumpkin on hand, however, especially if you are Gus. And by the way, who better to carve your jack-o-lantern than the very mice who pulled Cinderella's pumpkin coach? At the same time, the designer and artist behind this lovely piece found a way to subtly include a touch of Halloween spookiness with the bats circling the castle turret in the background. I hope this touch of Disney enchantment gets October off to a good start for you. Be sure and check out all the blogs—197 as of this writing, including Tulgey Wood—who are "crypt keepers" in this year blogathon. These are the houses giving out the best candy this year. It's also a great way to discover new blogs you will keep reading all year long. I have found new favorites through Countdown to Halloween—a number of them have been added to the blogroll at the right. And be sure and stop by throughout October right through October 31st itself as we Countdown to Halloween here at Tulgey Wood.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Have you noticed the new badge at the right? The Creature from the Black Lagoon celebrates 60 years since he first surfaced on the silver screen. So this classic Universal monster is this year's mascot for the Countdown to Halloween 2014 blogathon! That's right, it's creeping up on us tomorrow, October 1. I participated in this epic internet event in 2012 and 2013, and I'm horrifically happy to be a "crypt keeper" again this year. Last year almost 200 blogs had tricky Halloween treats, so this Halloween-time there will be plenty of candy corn and popcorn balls for all, as well. (As usual, be aware that some of these blogs sometimes use less-than-family language and content, dealing as they do with the truly "horrific" side of Halloween, so blog-cruiser discretion is advised.) All through October, right up through the 31st itself, I hope to have some fun visuals and interesting info for you along the way, along with a few spooky surprises. Do come by and countdown to Halloween with Tulgey Wood, but as, I noted last year, as Dr. Waldman (Edward Van Sloan) says in the "friendly word of warning" at the start of Frankenstein (1931), "I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even horrify you." So don't say you weren't warned. The Countdown to Halloween begins tomorrow—step right up and ring the doorbell by for some Halloween fun, Tulgey Wood-style.
Monday, September 29, 2014
September is back-to-school time, as we have seen here in Tulgey Wood, and that means lunch-box time. Of all the many classic lunch boxes created over the years, do you know which was the top-selling "lunch kit" of all time? It's the dome-style Disney School Bus, first issued in 1961. Cleverly designed by Disney artist and Disney Legend Al Konetzni, the unique lunch box features children (Alice, Donald's nephews) or childlike (such as Thumper, Dumbo and Bambi, who is actually carrying the lunch box on which he appears) characters boarding the yellow bus. The adult characters are on hand to see the kids off or in the case of Goofy drive the bus. Perhaps the most interesting inclusion is Jiminy Cricket, not because of his presence—Pinocchio is one of the students aboard the bus—but because of his size. Instead of his usual cricket size, Jiminy is seen out of scale as the same height as Mickey and Donald. This amusing anomaly was corrected in the Canadian version of this box on which Jiminy was replaced by Practical Pig. How big a seller was this little school bus? By 1976, 9 million of these cheerful boxes had been manufacture by lunch-box giant and Disney licensee Aladdin.