You’ve wandered into the topsy-turvy world of Tulgey Wood, the blog of writer and historian Jim Fanning. Tulgey Wood celebrates artistry and creativity (and sometimes just plain madness): movies, animation, TV, books, comics—and of course Disney, lots and lots of true-blue, through-and-through Disney, including D23 and Disney twenty-three Magazine, and Sketches Magazine and the Walt Disney Collectors Society. Tulgey Wood is so fun, fascinating and full of frolicsome photos and facts, it’s scary. So wander through the wonder of it all, and enjoy.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Which Hazel Is Which?

As we continue to Countdown to Halloween 2020, here's a fun Halloween issue of Looney Tunes Magazine from 1990. The ghostly cover is drawn in the classic Chuck Jones style by Juan Ortiz and Bob Pasquale from a concept by Eric Doescher. Inside, is another Jones-style feature, starring Witch Hazel, in which the old bag (pardon me, I mean old hag) teaches trick-or-treaters how to make wind chimes that make some Halloween-friendly chain-like clanking sound. This soundly spooky article was written by Rob Dinsmoor with excellent art by Dan Haskett and Bob Pasquale. Witch Hazel was introduced in Bewitched Bunny (1954), voiced by the great Bea Benaderet, and later by the leading lady of animation voices, June Foray. But in case there is any doubt, Disney's Witch Hazel came first, in Trick or Treat (1952), where she is voiced by (who else?) June Foray. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

A Phantasmagorical Vision Of Oz (Complete With Talking Hen)

Much has been made of the darker vision of the Land of Oz seen in Disney's Return to Oz (1985).  So as the film celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, it only seems appropriate to incorporate all the spookiness and scariness of this often-overlooked Disney film into our 2020 Countdown to Halloween. A vintage article from the employee newsletter Disney Newsreel details some of the work of Creature Design Supervisor Lyle Conway (who had worked with Jim Henson on The Dark Crystal, among other projects), including electronically controlled figures of Billina, a talking hen who accompanies Dorothy on her new trek though Oz. A glimpse at one of the Little Golden Books retelling of the film's story gives us an indication of Billina's devotion to Dorothy when she is confronted by the evil Mombi. Will these Ozian wicked witches ever learn? Don't mess with Dorothy—or her Plymouth Rock Buff laying hen. 


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

October Means Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks premiered in London (in England, you might say) on October 7, 1971. The debut of this Oscar-winning musical-fantasy was accompanied by some captivating memorabilia. Not least among the magical merch is the Aladdin lunch kit, complete with some charmingly interpretive art. Lucky for us this winningly witchy movie debuted in October because that earns it an honored place in our annual Countdown to Halloween. Come back throughout October for more magic. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The Phantom Blot Blots Things Out For Halloween

Though not a Halloween cover specifically, the cover of the 2017 one-shot Donald and Mickey comic book qualifies as a spooky-season entry for its atmospheric scariness—and especially for its inclusion of the sinister Phantom Blot. As indicated back here, the Blot is a bona-fide Disney villain who is something of comic superstar. Here, in cover art by Andrea Freccero, illustrating the 2006 story, "The Big Fat Flat Blot Plot," the shrouded baddie helps us continue in a singular sinister way, our Countdown to Halloween 2020. 

Monday, October 5, 2020

The Focus Is On Hocus Pocus For Halloween

It's fun to see that Disney's Hocus Pocus (1993) has taken to the full moon-lit skies as a fan-favorite, especially during Halloween time. And that of course means some fun merch and tempting tie-ins. Box Lunch offers a line-up of delicious Hocus Pocus memorabilia, including a game that has gotta be fun to play on Halloween night (or any night). One of my favorite websites/blogs, Dinosaur Dracula (if you haven't visited this spectacular site full of fun videos, photos and finds, hop on your vacuum cleaner and fly over there right now), has spotlighted Hocus Pocus cookies, an unexpected but perfect Halloween treat. And at his Dinosaur Dracula Instagram account, Mad Matt features a Carvel ice-cream treat themed to the cult favorite. I love the cartoony art of the silly-but-sinister Sanderson sisters used on all three of these themed examples. Enjoy these wonderfully witchy finds as part of our Countdown to Halloween 2020 celebration. And be sure and check out the Hocus Pocus article I wrote for D23

Sunday, October 4, 2020

TCM Scares Up Some Scares That Don't Compare To 2020

October is always a hoot at Turner Classic Movies, but this year there are more scares off the TV screen than on. TCM assures that in a fun (in a twisted kind of way) trailer that still emphasizes the classic movie channel's Halloween-time lineup of all manner of menacing movies. It's with noting that, after a number of years that saw October's TCM Star of the Month as the Monster of the Month, this year the cable channel is back to a Star, but a Star who has played a monster or two, Peter Cushing. So check out TCM's spooky season lineup, especially on Fright Favorites on Fridays, hosted by author and horror movie expert, David J. Skal.  It's all part of the Countdown to Halloween 2020. Be sure and click on the preceding link and visit some of the other participating Crypt Keepers for more spook-time fun. 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Hi To You And Hi To Me, Hi to Everyone Who's Celebrating The 65th Anniversary Of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club

 On Monday, October 3, 1955, Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club was on the air! On that day, 65 years ago today, one of the most famous (fa-mouse?) figures in show biz/pop culture/film invaded TV and introduced a slew of child actors that just about no one had ever heard of. By the end of that first week, Annette, Bobby, Darlene and the rest of the Mouseketeers, were stars (especiallyAnnette). To celebrate this milestone anniversary, and to tie in with our Countdown to Halloween 2020, here's a reminder that adorable mini-Mouseketeers Karen and Cubby recorded a cover of the theme from Trick or Treat (1952). Happy Halloween-time to all, happy 65th anniversary to Mickey Mouse Club!


Friday, October 2, 2020

Hallmark Plans-a-Party for Peanuts' 70th

70 years ago today, on October 2, 1950, saw the debut of the Peanuts comic strip. To celebrate the acclaimed classic by Charles M. Schulz, here are some vintage party goods from 1968, produced by longtime Peanuts licensee Hallmark. These "Plans-a-Party" wares capture the fun of the strip's beloved Great Pumpkin sequences. Makes the perfect October party for this all-time classic comic strip's platinum anniversary. It's all part of the 2020 Countdown to Halloween. Happy 70th, Charlie Brown! 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Welcome To October, Foolish Mortals

To welcome us to the spookiest month—and Day One of our 2020 Countdown to Halloween—let's turn to a few of those happy haunts at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland Park. One of the best but still least-know artistic appearances of those lovable Hitchhiking Ghosts comes to us on the Fall 1974 cover of Disney News. A true Disney classic, this atmospheric painting is by Disney artist Dan Martinez, who added such creepy touches as bats, an owl and a rat—and in the Haunted Mansion itself, looming in the background, a mysterious light in a window or two. Dan achieved the spectral glow of the spooks with egg whites,  conveying a very appropriate Halloween spookiness. This deliciously ghoulish art starts off our Countdown with a kick, but it's the only start. So please visit Tulgey Wood often throughout the month (and all the other participating blogs, too), all the way through October 31st. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Countdown Starts...Tomorrow

Hop aboard the hayride, Fall is here in Tulgey Wood...and since tomorrow is October 1, it's time for Countdown to Halloween 2020! This cover for the Fall 1990 issue of Mickey Mouse Magazine reminds us that its time for some autumnal fun, and starting tomorrow, its time for tricks and/or treats.  To regular visitors, welcome back and I hope you "eat up" the sweets I offer for your glow-in-the-dark trick-or-treat bag. Don't worry, there are no uncandied apples or toothbrushes. And to new visitors, a special welcome—Tulgey Wood is full of fun treats and even a few ghostly tricks, so I hope you enjoy your Halloween-time trek through the madness. Be sure and visit the other blogs participating in this online spook-a-thon. These dedicated "crypt keepers" have decorated their front porches with scarecrows and flaming pumpkins so be sure and ring the bell on their front doors for some candy corn and popcorn balls. (Some may wish to be mindful that some participating blogs may focus on the more horrific side of this holiday, including strong language and mature themes.) Most of all, be sure and drop by this here blog throughout this macabre month right through October 31st as we Countdown to Halloween 2020 here at Tulgey Wood.