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.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Though it isn't the best television special Rankin/Bass ever produced (see here for evidence), The Mouse on the Mayflower is held afloat a lot of charm, autumnal atmosphere and wonderful songs, many of them sung by the great Tennessee Ernie Ford. For a bit more info, here is the TV Guide Close Up salute to the animated program from its debut on November 23, 1968. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Here Comes The Parade—And Once Again Snoopy

Tomorrow, the 87th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade once again marches through NYC—and once again features that world famous beagle, Snoopy. The imaginative pooch, created by Charles M. Schulz, has been featured in the parade as a ballon in seven different designs, more than any other character.
In what has become a Tulgey Wood tradition, here is the poster for this year's parade, the colorful design of which puts Snoopy (and Woodstock) front and center.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Permanent Record Of What We Watched On Television From Nov.22 To 25,1963

To mark the 50th anniversary of the tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy, here is the special issue TV Guide published two months later, on January 25, 1964. It is fitting that this is perhaps the most unusual issue of TV Guide ever published, for that weekend in November was the most unusual ever experienced on TV (at least until 9/11). The "special section you will want to keep" featured an excellent account of what and how network television covered. (You can read the article here.) As part of this historic and truly unique issue, JFK's successor, President Lyndon Johnson wrote a piece praising TV's coverage of the assassination and its aftermath. For a fascinating interview with  Marc Ryan, the author of a richly detailed look at television coverage of that November weekend, Three Shots Rang Out: JFK's Assassination and TV's First Global Story, visit Mitchell Hadley's excellent TV blog.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

40 Years Of Popcorn, Jelly Beans and Toast

Forty years ago today, the Peanuts TV special A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving made its debut. A fan favorite and an Emmy Award-winner, this animated special features some Snoopy slapstick as Charlie Brown's beagle battles an quarrelsome lawn chair. Charles Schulz wanted the sequence—a real novelty in the Charlie Brown specials—as a tribute to the animation seen in Walt Disney's cartoons; we can assume that Sparky was thinking in particular of the classic 1940 short, Donald's Vacation in which the Duck takes on a somewhat similarly stubborn folding chair.  Ever wonder who's warbling the "Llttle Birdie" number composed by Peanuts animation maestro Vince Guaraldi to honor Snoopy's pal, Woodstock, in this special? It's none other than the jazz great himself.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Birthday Boy, Uh, Mouse

It's Mickey Mouse's birthday and to mark the occasion (as I did for Donald Duck's birthday) here is part of the profile I wrote for the Disney Standard Character Guidebook. It was a great honor to write this "bible" used by Disney Consumer Products and Disney Licensees throughout the world in creating just about any type of memorabilia involving these beloved characters. (How incredible that 85 years on, Mickey remains one of the most—many would say the most—well-known and well-loved characters. (Just look at that smiling face—irresitable.) Hopefully, I have done Mr. Mouse justice in writing this profile. Happy B-day, MM, and many more. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A View Of the Peanuts Voices

'Tis the season for the classic Peanuts TV specials so here, thanks to TV Guide, is a look at the kids (along with Peanuts animation director Bill Melendez as the"voice" of Snoopy) who performed the voices for He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown (1968).  Included are Peter Robbins and Chris Shea are the original voices of their respective characters, having originated the vocal roles even before A Charlie Brown Christmas in the Ford commercials of the early 1960s. I like the way TV Guide had the actors mimic the facial expressions and physical attitudes of the animated characters. (Peter Robbins expression in the color photo is especially good—you can really see, as Andy Griffith might say, the actor in the man, er, boy.) The talents of these young actors are one reason the special as featuring their voices are so outstanding—they weren't simply kids cast to get a certain sound, Peter and Chris were actually actors with true performing skill. Just think of  Linus proclaiming the Gospel's Nativity story or Charlie Brown saying, "I got a rock,"and you'll see—and hear—why their original vocalizations remain the gold standard.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Miss Piggy, Colorforms Glamor Puss

Once upon a time at least, Colorforms was a primo licensee, creating all kinds of celebratory play sets centering on Disney, Snoopy, Marvel (Spider-man), DC (Superman) and more. In 1981, Colorforms started releasing a wonderful line of Muppets toys and sets starring the white-hot troupe of fuzzy and furry players. Everything was of course created in associate n with Jim Henson and the Muppets Worksop, this assuring imagination, "play value" and quality. One of their most creative (and unusual for Colorforms) releases was the Miss Piggy Paper Doll. The Muppet Workshop created six different outrageous outfits (as well as six fashion wigs) for that glam gal Piggy (a large 16 inch Stand Up Doll) to wear. These were real costumes that were photographed to be placed on the Miss Piggy "paper" doll (an actual photograph, not a drawing or painting); as Colorforms put it, "Miss Piggy, herself, modeled all the fashions in-person." This is believed to be the first paper doll to ever use a photographic image as the doll, as opposed to an illustrated figure. Piggy's Theatrical Trunk on the back of the package (also a real object that was photographed) served as an envelope to hold the dresses and wigs; look closely (as always click on the image for a larger view) at the trunk's travel stickers, also created by the Muppet Workshop, and you'll see some fun touches, such as the patch from "Frogstaff," Arizona.  Enjoy this classic Colorforms creation and Muppets memorabilia, and be sure and check out my regularly published Muppetology articles at, including this profile of Miss Piggy.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Even More Blondie Memorabilia

Here is another piece of merchandise released as a tie-in with the 1968-69 CBS TV series adaptation of the Blondie comic strip. This comic book features a larger version of the color publicity photo seen on the "Trace and Color" box in yesterday's post. You can see the cast, including Peter Robbins (the original voice of Charlie Brown)  and Pamelyn Ferdin (one of the original voices of Lucy) as the Bumstead kids, Alexander and Cookie, and Jim Backus as Mr. Dithers. Interestingly, Backus's wife, Henny, played Mrs. Dithers on the series. She's not pictured here, but she was included in the back-cover of the Blondie paperback, seen here.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

More Blondie Memorabilia

From my collection, here's an unusual and fun item using art from the Blondie comic strip as mini-coloring books of sorts. (I like the "animated" drawings of Daisy on the side of the box.) As you can see (under the plastic wrap—this 1968 issued activity has never been opened), this was a tie-in with short-lived Blondie TV series I mentioned in the previous post. In the color publicity photo featured on the box you can see Peter Robbins (the original voice of Charlie Brown)  and Pamelyn Ferdin (one of the original voices of Lucy) of the Peanuts specials. Stay tuned to Tulgey Wood for more about the vocal cast of the classic Peanuts TV specials.

Alexander and Cookie or Charlie Brown and Lucy?

The venerable Blondie comic strip is currently the subject of a deluxe hardcover reprinting project by IDW's Library of American Comics—but once upon a time, Chic Young's popular comic was the subject of another, more modest republishing. This 1968 paperback went back to the beginnings of the strip (it debuted in 1930), publishing early strips detailing (no doubt to the surprise of many) the courtship and wedding of Blondie Boopadoop, a flapper, and Dagwood Bumstead (heir to the Bumstead millions). What was the reason for this unusual paperback? The back cover answers that question: it was a tie-in with the CBS live-action TV series based on the strip that premiered in 1968. (The fact that only two of these Blondie reprints were published had something to do with the show lasting only one season.)  ]A closer look at the photo on the back cover reveals TV favorite Jim Backus (this was the year after Gilligan's Island ended) as Mr. Dithers, but also young actors Peter Robbins and Pamelyn Ferdin as the Bumstead kids, Alexander and Cookie. This presents another entire dimension of comic-strip/animation interest as at the time, Peter was in the midst of providing the voice of Charlie Brown in the Peanuts animated specials (he originated the vocal role of good ol' Chuck in the first special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, in 1965, but Peter had vocally portrayed the character in the early 1960s Ford commercials which predated the holiday special). As for Pamelyn, she was about to join Peter as one of the Peanuts players, vocalizing Lucy Van Pelt for several productions starting in 1969. Doesn't their roles in the Blondie series and the Peanuts productions make these child actors the only two performers who together portrayed two sets of famous comic-strip characters in two separate sets of productions?

Brought To You By

The season for the classic Peanuts television specials is here! Ushered in with the annual broadcast of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for Halloween, the seasonal specials will continue with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas. To celebrate, here is a 1968 classic print ad—starring a delightfully in-character Lucy Van Pelt—from one of the Peanuts specials's sponsor mainstays, Dolly Madison. The Peanuts characters even appeared in animated commercials for Dolly Madison baked goods, such as Zingers (for which, in the 1980s, Snoopy appeared as the insatiable Zinger Zapper).

Friday, November 1, 2013

All Around The Cathedral

If Halloween is All Hallow's Eve, then today, November 1st, is of course All Hallow's, or All Saint's Day. In honor of this occasion, we bring you this Mary Poppins sheet music booklet, featuring "Feed the Birds." The hymn-like song  by the Sherman Brothers is perfect for All Saint's Day because of its reference to "all around the cathedral, the Saints and the Apostles..." as well as its gentle theme of giving and charity, and how kindness in reality costs very little. "Feed the Birds" was famously Walt Disney's favorite song. What is my favorite Sherman Brothers song? I know you are simply dying to find out... Do you think you can guess? I will reveal the answer in an early 2014 post here at Tulgey Wood.