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Disney’s Grammy-Nominated “Aristocats” Storyteller Album

The cats with the finest address in Paree made their debut 50 years ago this year, so here’s a look at the Storyteller album that recreated the story of the film on two continents. From the WALT DISNEY STUDIO The Story of THE ARISTOCATS Disneyland Records – Storyteller Series STER-3995 (12” 33 rpm LP with Book / Stereo & Mono) Released...

7 Things You Didn’t Know About “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”

The seminal stop-motion animated film Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas originally started as a poem written by Tim Burton while he worked at the Walt Disney Studios. He had always intended that the poem to be turned into a film like his stop-motion short Vincent. But instead, the poem and Burton’s drawings for it were relegated to the Animation...

The Enchanting Magica De Spell

Suspended Animation #285 Magica De Spell is a Disney witch who is distinctly Italian and was created by Disney Legend Carl Barks in 1961. She became even more popular when she moved from the comic book page to the animated DuckTales series. In an interview with Klaus Strzyz in 1980, Barks recalled: “I thought at the time Disney has always had witches...

What Are Your Favorite Great (and not so great) Moments From Animation History?

After a rough week here, I thought it would be fun for some Cartoon Research participation! I was thinking about some favorite events I’ve read – and some that I’ve heard about – in animation history. It’s pretty fascinating that there’s so many *little* stories along the way that are really obscure, and some really well known ones. Now, when you’re...

Toons Trip Out (Part 8)

We start out this week’s travel tales with a couple of Terrytoons – one revisiting old ground, but another a unique original. Plus some multiple doses of wanderlust for Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, and visits from Pluto, Popeye, and Magoo. The Stowaways (Terrytoons/Fox, Heckle and Jeckle, 4/1/49 – Connie Rasinski, dir.) – Many early commercial aviators...

Merrie Melodies 1941-42: Bugs Bunny Takes the Lead (Part 2)

Continuing with the Merrie Melodies for 1942, as the mood sways from the traditional to some periodic patriotic flag-waving – topped by a theatrical version of a PSA which goes all-out to rouse the audience’s patriotic spirit. Hop, Skip, and a Chump (1/3/42) – A rural grasshopper, known as Hopalong Casual, demonstrates his skill at evading a bumbling...

My All-Time Top Ten Favorite Cartoons – Part 1

“Acrobatty Bunny” (1946) Over the years, many people have asked me “What is your favorite cartoon?” It’s a question I could never really answer. I have so many favorites, I can’t name only one. But it’s a question I’ve kept in mind throughout the years – a question I ask myself frequently. Slowly, over time, through films I curate for video collections,...

The Return of Dragon’s Lair

Suspended Animation #284 In March 2020, it was announced by many media outlets that actor Ryan Reynolds would produce and star in a live-action film for Netflix based on the popular video arcade game Dragon’s Lair. Roy Lee will co-produce through his Vertigo Entertainment with Trevor Engelson of Underground Films. Don Bluth, Gary Goldman and...

On Various Projects and “Crop Chasers” (1939)

It’s been a week of classes, classes, film transfers, freelance animation, dealing with sensitive freelancers and doing various things to move Thunderbean forward. We’re in the middle of launching a Thunderbean shop, and orders are all but out of my hands and in the much more capable hands of my shipping folks. In the new shop, we’ll be keeping much...

Toons Trip Out (Part 7)

The late ‘40’s were a period when the gag was king. Warners’ and Avery’s rapid-fire styles carried the day, and had their influence on nearly every studio. While Disney would still find occasion to concentrate on a story of charm, even its ranks were now populated with the likes of Jack Hannah and Jack Kinney, who could match gag timing with the best...

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