Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wuzzle Sighting!

The other day while I was checking out the used video tapes at my local Goodwill establishment, who did I see stareing back at me from one of the shelves but a couple of old friends of mine from The Wuzzles. What the heck is a Wuzzle, you ask!? They are perhaps one of the most obscure groups of Disney animated characters to ever come from the Mouse House.

But before I go on, let me just say this...I would never in a million years buy a stuffed animal from Goodwill (or a yard sale or any other type of thrift store for that matter!) I don't know why, but there is just something remarkably disgusting about owning someone else's stuffed animal. Stuffed animals are a personal thing. Once you are done loving your stuffed animal it should be taken out in the backyard and burned. 'nuff said!

But moving on...The Wuzzles were a group of animals that were part of one animal mixed with another. Pictured above are Bumblelion who is part Bumblebee and part Lion (he was very athletic and liked to work out) and Eleroo which as you could now guess was part elephant and part kangaroo (he was very worrisome too!) There were others like Moosel and Rhinokey and they all lived on The Isle of Wuz where they got into all sorts of wacky adventures.

The TV show came on Saturday mornings on CBS in 1985 and was one of the first shows on in the morning. The 8 and 8:30 shows were always kind of like hidden gems because not everyone was up and watching TV yet, so they weren't as widely known. My Saturday mornings always started off in the 7:30 show...sometimes earlier so I was just a huge fan of this new Disney cartoon that nobody knew of. At the time, Disney animation had been pretty quiet for a number of years and they had never done an animated series for television. As a young Disney nerd, it was all pretty exciting.

The Wuzzles not only had their TV show, but there were books and action figures and of course the plush toys seen above. Thirteen episodes were only ever made of The Wuzzles, and they reran them for two years over two networks - I'm sure I watched each episode at least 5 times. Then the Wuzzles disappeared as quietly as they arrived under the radar. The Wuzzles however paved the way for Disney's The Gummi Bears, Ducktales, Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers and all the other great cartoon shows Disney put out for the next decade!

Yes, I can keep going...

According to Wikipedia, there were characters that appeared in the books and as toys but never made it to the television show. They include Pandeaver - part panda part beaver; Dragonpus - a dragon octopus mix; and Ladyfish - half ladybug half swordfish (I don't even think they were trying with that one!) Perhaps it was a wise decision to leave them out of the cartoon show. I suppose somewhere in the history books of The Isle of Wuz there are tales of a time when the inhabitants of Wuz went on a wild crazed sex binge and species of all sorts mated without regard of the consequences. It was a dark time for the Isle of Wuz, I'm sure!

Monday, February 15, 2010

All Hail 80's Saturday Morning Cartoons

This promises to be one of the sweetest DVD releases of the year! Saturday Morning Cartoons 1980s is a two-disc set of old school animation set to be released May 4. Warner Bros. has already put out two volumes each of cartoons from the 60's and 70's, and now they are adding another decade worth of toons to the collection. Some of this stuff is super awesome; here we go:
  • Mister T - I loved this show! Mr. T ditches the A-Team and instead travels around with a gymnastics team solving crimes. Oh, that's good stuff!

The Flintstone Kids - The Bedrock gang as little kids wasn't quite as fun as the earlier adventures but it was a law in the mid-80's to turn every franchise into a baby or kiddie version. It was still a pretty good show and the end of 20 years of Flintstones spin-offs.

The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley - Martin Short's SCTV/SNL character came to Sat AM in this pretty funny show which featured a great voice cast and some live action skits spun off from SCTV classics. I can't wait to see this one again!

The Kwicky Koala Show - Even though as a flat rule I hate koala bears, this early morning show was a real gem. A throwback to the cartoon shorts of decades earlier, Kwicky was produced by animation god Tex Avery - who did the original (and side-splittingly hilarious) Droopy cartoons.

Thundar The Barbarian - My tastes always leaned towards funny animal shows, I always loved this action packed fighting show with Thundar and a bunch of other pelt-clad dudes riding around on various winged creatures and saving the world from some pretty ugly bad guys. It don't get much better than this, folks!

The set also includes episodes of Chuck Norris - Karate Commandos (which I'm pretty sure wasn't actually on Saturday mornings, it was strip syndicated for afternoons), Dragon's Liar (the cartoon based on a video game that was also a cartoon), Galtar and the Golden Lance, The Monchhichis, The Biskitts (which I believe was syndicated to Sunday mornings), and Goldie Gold and Action Jack (which I remember nothing about except it had a really cool announcer!)

If you're not like me and don't have to have every major cartoon title on DVD in your own personal collection, you should also be able to rent the two discs from Netflix. I'll definitely be pouring myself a big bowl of dry cereal and vegging out with these Saturday Morning Cartoons real soon!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Vintage Cereal: Inside and Out

We like to think of ourselves as big cereal fans here at WWoB. And of course, we love all things old school. So, we were pretty excited to get a heads up on these new...or should I say old, cereal box designs that General Mills is rolling out exclusively at Target this month. They are indeed pretty cool and a extra warm, fuzzy way to start off any day. We didn't receive much information beyond the time and place, but the picture provided above does indicate that they are also throwing in some retro prizes inside these specially marked packages! The cereal premium has been a dying art form for many years and perhaps General Mills is on to something that some good ol' fashioned free prizes might jump start sales a bit!

I'm very anxious to see what goodies are in store with a box of Cheerios. Besides the fact that I've pretty much regulated my daily morning diet to a bowl of Cheerios and some yogurt, the Cheerios box features their one-time spokesmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose! Bullwinkle used to appear in commercials for the cereal as well as make often appearances on their box. A Bullwinkle themed prize would be the cat's meow...don't you think.

You'll also notice on the Honey Nut Cheerios box there is an Atari 2600, the greatest video game system of all time. My Internet research indicates that it's actually the new Atari Flashback 2 which is pictured. It's a new Plug n' Play system that duplicates the look and feel of the old Atari with 40 games programmed into it. Honey Nut Cheerios is running a contest where you can win one of these old school retro Ataris as well as a pretty neat looking Atari prize pack. Keep your eyes open for details on that!

Another interesting sidenote that I discovered about these boxes...while the art work and design is retro, by law the photographs of the actual product on the box must be up to date. So you might be looking at the 1950's Trix Rabbit, but he's eating a bowl of 2010 cereal. As long as the cereal inside isn't from 1950...it's all good!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Week In Movies - They Don't Make `em Like They Used To

Fletch (1985)[PG] What a great movie! It's been a while since I'd watched this classic comedy and it was so much fun to see Chevy Chase in his prime. The one-liners are so quick in this movie as Chevy dons disguises and alter-egos to get to the bottom of two intertwining stories. There's a great supporting cast here including Joe Don Baker, M. Emmet Walsh, Tim Matheson, George Wendt and Geena Davis. This was probably the 30th time I've seen this film but only the first time that I actually was able to follow the plot.

Jaws 3 (1983)[PG] One of my all-time favorite movies! First off, it was filmed at Sea World in Orlando...any movie that takes place at an amusement park automatically has something going for it. It's nice to have a record of early 80's Sea World, even if it's not a park I'm particularly fond of. The best thing about this movie is that it was released theatrically in 3-D, as so of course there are tons of unnecessary 3-D shots just to utilize the 3-D gimmick. The film probably played for a few months in theatres and then has spent the last 27 years on television and home video where it is not in 3-D. (In fact, the actual name of the movie is Jaws 3-D, when it's on TV or video the title card says Jaws III.) Anywho, the absence of 3-D makes this one goofy movie because there are so many odd shots that linger on for no reason at all, except that in theatres it was a 3-D shot. In the opening, Jaws attacks a school of fish and in the aftermath a large fish head floats by the screen for at least 30 seconds. In 3-D I can only assume the fish head was floating about the audience, but in a living room the fish head scene is just puzzling. There's another shot later in the movie where I guess it's supposed to look like Jaws is coming right at ya, but in 2-D it just looks like one of the world's worst special effects. The story here is pretty silly too, as Bess Armstrong (what ever happened to her?), Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett Jr. and a very young Lea Thompson all scramble to save Sea World from one angry, two dimensional mommy shark.

Seems Like Old Times (1980)[PG] One thing is for sure, they certainly don't make them like this anymore. This type of "epic sitcom" or farce used to be standard fare from the likes of Neil Simon and Blake Edwards, but you just don't see this kind of situational comedy on the big screen anymore. This is also one of Chevy Chase's early under appreciated roles. Chevy gets framed for a bank robbery, he seeks the help of his ex-wife, Goldie Hawn. Hawn is now married to Charles Grodin who happens to be up for District Attorney. Then the comedy ensues! There is a stellar supporting cast including Harold Gould, Robert Guillaume (Benson!), and T.K. Carter. I watched it on a DVD I recorded a while back, but it's currently playing on Encore and TCM often shows the letterboxed version.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Great Pics

I'm always snapping stupid pictures - sometimes just for the family album but more often than not they're for Facebook, Flick, Twitter or this blog. Every once in a while I click off one that just stands out above the rest. Here's two that I've taken recently that I really love:

Here's my kids being perfect angels playing a board game all by themselves one weekend morning. I recroped this picture and I just really love the way it turned out.

Saturday night, after we had six tons of snow dumped on us, I was outside taking a few shots and was playing around with the settings on the camera and grabbed this nice shot of our snow covered abode:

That one be fit for a Christmas card, I do declare!

Friday, February 05, 2010

It's An Obscure Ride, Charlie Brown

I've mentioned before not to ask me why I search for the stuff I do on YouTube, but one of my favorite subjects to find videos of is cartoon themed amusement park rides in other countries. I recently discovered a place called Snoopy's World, an outdoor playground which can be found on a balcony of a 49 acre mall in Hong Kong called New Town Plaza. This place actually looks more like the kids section of an amusement park than it does a simple playground. There's some play areas for the kids and some shops and even an eatery...and it's all surrounded by giant statues of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. What caught my eye is the playground's boat ride, which appears to just be called Boating Canal. I gotta tell ya...the ride looks pretty sweet. Guests board a canoe with Beagle Scout Snoopy as your guide as you travel through a few Peanuts inspired scenes. Here's an overview of the ride:

It's kind of simple looking but you gotta applaud what they're trying to do.

Now, here's the video that tipped me off on this whole Snoopy's World venture. This clip is just someone's private home video but it shows off the scenes of the ride nicely. Just give the video 20 or so seconds to get to the footage of the ride...

I'm not quite sure what any of that really has to do with Snoopy...especially the scene where Snoopy reenacts Saving Private Ryan, but I'd be willing to hop on an 18 hour flight to Hong Kong - just to check it out!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Cooler Than Those Golf Pants

Here's a fun game to play on the weekend, take your kids to the neighborhood Dick's Sporting Goods store and see how long it takes you to get yelled at for letting your kids putt around a few golf balls on their little practice green. I know it's there for serious golfers to test out $500.00 golf clubs, but seriously, you can't put what is essentially a miniature golf course hole in the middle of a store and not expect kids to want to play on it! Gimme a Break!

Anywho...check out these sweet golf club covers featuring the likenesses of true honest-to-goodness classic cartoon characters. There was no Spongebob or South Park characters on display here...just old fashioned cartoon heroes like Popeye and Wimpy and even a one Mr. Rocket J. Squirrel! They also had Bullwinkle, Dudley Do Right, The Pink Panther, Snoopy and Sherman and Mr. Peabody. Very nice! Here's a link to a site that won't yell at your kids which features these and a few more toon golf club covers.

After being told to put down the golf clubs in the golf section, we like to mosey on over to Dick's footwear department and let the kids blow off their un-golfed steam on a half dozen laps around the running track they have painted on the floor!

Great Customer Service, Dicks!
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