I've posted during several other Thanksgiving seasons on The Mouse and the Mayflower. The finest legacy of this classic Rankin-Bass TV special (first broadcast in 1968) is the wonderful songs by Maury Laws and Jules Bass. You can read a report on the only recording of these beautiful songs ever released —and it was a promotional recording, at that, never released to the public—by Greg Ehrbar as part of his not-to-be-missed weekly Animation Spin column at Cartoon Research. (The record was only released to employees of the Gas company, which as you can see below, was the sponsor of the premiere broadcast of the "delightful new musical tale" on NBC.) Two of the most The Mouse and the Mayflower beautiful songs are mashed up for the big climax, for in telling of that first Thanksgiving feast, the animated special showcases the lovely "November," leading into a reprise of the majestic "Mayflower," all richly sung by the always excellent Tennessee Ernie Ford. You can see and hear that part of the special here. The special also incorporates Psalm 100, proclaimed by Tennessee Ernie Ford in his rich, expressive voice. Much has been made of the inclusion of a scripture reading in A Charlie Brown Christmas, and rightly so, but The Mouse and the Mayflower does it too. Here is what Ernie proclaims, a perfect "joyful noise unto the Lord" for Thanksgiving Day: Make ye a joyful noise unto the Lord. Come before his presence with singing. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise. Be thankful unto him and bless his name, for the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth to all generations. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
How does a band of Jungle Book buddies celebrate a holiday associated with cooking and baking when they don't have "Man's red flower"? Simply celebrate with bananas, of course—even though Kaa and Shere Khan seem as if they might be considering Mowgli as the main course. This unusual Disney artwork comes from the cover of the Disney Studios in-house newsletter, Disney Newsreel, for November 26, 1982. No credit is given so the artist is unknown—but whoever created it, this unique take on Thanksgiving reminds us there's more than one way to celebrate even the most tradition-bound holiday.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Today sees the release of The Peanuts Movie in theaters nationwide. This much-anticipated animated film is the first feature film starring Good Ol' Charlie Brown and his friends in 35 years, the last being Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!) (1980). To celebrate the new Peanuts movie let's look back at the FIRST Peanuts movie, A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1968). The publicity material included the comic strip-like series of promotional drawings seen below, an arrangement quite appropriate for an animated film based on a comic strip. Only the top middle drawing is actually drawn by Charles M. Schulz, artist/writer of Peanuts, the world's most popular comic strip; all the rest are adapted from the film's animation. It's interesting to see in the captions words not normally associated with Peanuts, such as "whimsical" and "frolic"—but it's fun how Snoopy is referred to as a 'super-beagle."
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Friday, October 30, 2015
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Anyone who has spent enough time in Tulgey Wood during October knows (if they didn't know before) that Peanuts (featuring "Good Ol' Charlie Brown") is an important part of Halloween. The comic strip celebrated the frightfully festive fun of Halloween every year, one way or another—or did it? The Peanuts comic strip began on October 1, 1950—yes, Peanuts is celebrating 65 years this year—but that first month did not present the strip's first Halloween-themed installment. Those first strips from October 1950 were drawn up by artist/writer Charles M. Schulz as "sample" strips designed to sell the feature so they were all of a generic, non-seasonal nature. Did it feature a Great Pumpkin-themed story? Of course not. Linus, the primary (and only) proponent of the Greart Pumpkin had yet not even been "born." He was introduced in the strip as a baby on September 19, 1952 (though he was first mentioned on July 14). The first Halloween-themed Peanuts strip from October 31, 1951 (the strip's first full year) is pictured below. This classic comic starring Charlie Brown and Snoopy is part of the Countdown to Halloween 2015.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Thanks to the enormous popularity of the Universal Monster movies that started airing on local TV stations in 1957, the classic monsters became a big part o pop culture, serving as less than frightful fodder for parody in movies, TV and comics. This February 1962 issue of Archie #125 features Frankenstein's creature front and center with the titular teen. It's all part of the October fun in the Countdown to Halloween 2015.
Monday, October 12, 2015
On this cover from the Halloween 2002 Disney Catalog, Mickey is unmasked as the Beast while a series of other Disney characters are wearing masks of, well, other Disney characters. Enjoy this classic, clever and only-in-October-offbeat Disney artwork as we continue our Countdown to Halloween 2015.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Since we're celebrating the Countdown to Halloween 2015 here at Tulgey Wood let's also take a spooky second to also celebrate Halloween Comic-Fest 2015. This year, make sure you stop by your local participating comic book shop on October 31 and pick up some free comic book goodness just for Halloween. Described as "a celebration of comics, comic shops, and pop-culture in October," the fourth annual Halloween ComicFest offers free Halloween and horror-themed comics and mini-comics. This year, there are 21 specially published titles— thirteen full-sized comics and eight mini-comics—available to choose from, including Donald Duck’s Halloween Scream! #1 (shown below). And this year, why not give out comic books instead of candy as treats for trick-or-treaters? Halloween ComicFest 2015 offers Mini-Comic Polypacks, a pack of 25 copies for fans to purchase and pass out on Halloween— a great way to give out an entertaining story to kids that will last longer than any Halloween candy. These fun treats are a lot healthier for mind, body—and teeth! So plan on sinking your teeth, vampire or otherwise, Halloween ComicFest this year.
Friday, October 9, 2015
In this charming cover from the Fall 1989 issue of Mickey Mouse Magazine Minnie welcomes three trick-or-treaters at her door. And in the best tradition of costumed revelers (especially when they are licensed characters) the sheet must be lifted to reveal exactly which candy collector is hidden beneath. It's Mickey of course—bu standing by his side there's also Morty and Ferdie. It's always a treat to see Mickey's nephews for the trick is that these two supporting characters in the Mouse's posse. This post is just another step in the Countdown to Halloween 2015.