Saturday, 28 December 2013

Samurai Pizza Cats

Today's next show is a quirky entity. Imagine cats, running an italian food establishment, whilst moonlighting as cyborg samurai warrors of justice...
Yep, I must be talking about Samurai Pizza Cats!!

The series is set in the mechanical city of Little Tokyo, a mechanical city which fuses feudal Japanese culture with contemporary culture, and is populated by cybernetic anthropomorphic animals. The city is notionally led by Emperor Fred, a doddering eccentric. The city's actual leadership lies in the hands of his daughter Princess Violet and a city council. The council is headed by the ambitious prime minister Seymour "The Big Cheese", a rat, who constantly plots to overthrow the Emperor. He is aided by his inept minions: trusted adviser Jerry Atric and Bad Bird, the leader of an army of ninja crows.
Unknown to the prime minister, council member "Big Al" Dente, the commander of the Palace Guard, learns of his designs on leadership, but is unable to prosecute him for treason because of the plausible deniability he maintains. Instead, Al Dente enlists the services of Speedy Ceviche, Polly Esther, and Guido Anchovy, three cyborg cat samurai who work in the city's pizzeria, along with their operator Francine. Known collectively as the Samurai Pizza Cats, they are assigned to stop Big Cheese and his evil henchmen's plans to take over Little Tokyo.

Fun Fact - The guy who sings the theme tune had a few drinks before the recording session for the song started, and as a result, accidentally stuttered on one line ("this cat gets down down with a love hangover")

Children of the Dog Star

Hey everyone! Today the Saturday Matinee Serial continues with Children of The Dog Star, a New Zealand series from 1984!

On holiday at her uncle's farm in New Zealand, Gretchen befriends Ronny, a Maori boy with a troubled city past, and Bevis the birdwatching son of a loathed developer. Tension is already high as the developer wants to buy and drain a local swamp for a housing estate, but Ronny's uncle is the guardian of a traditional Maori tapu (taboo/curse) upon the swamp. The swamp must not be touched—something sleeps there that must not be awakened. Something unnatural.
In the story, twelve-year-old Gretchen has a passion for science and a talent for all things mechanical, which is why the strange old brass "weathervane" (referred to as the "daisy rod") on her uncle's farm fascinates her. But the brass daisy rod has a complex and terrifying significance, and Gretchen and her new friend Ronny discover its links with the far distant Sirius, the Dog Star.
Gradually, the children discover the pieces of an ancient alien space probe named Kolob. During the series they assemble the missing parts and strange things start to happen.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Stoppit and Tidyup

Stoppit and Tidyup!!

The short running series is about cartoon characters who live in the land of Do As You're Told, which is a strange and colourful place whose inhabitants are named after all those little chastising phrases, comments, commands and demands directed at children by their overbearing parents.

Apart from the main characters Stoppit, a red ball of fluff, and Tidyup, a gherkin-loving purple lump, the supporting characters included Comb Your Hair, Wash Your Face, Hurry Up, Go and Play and with his favourite toy, poor little Calm Down, nasty little Not Now, the two bees (Beehave and Beequiet), sleepy old Go to Bed, Don't Do That, Take Care, Eat Your Greens, Clean Your Teeth and the big, bad I Said: "No!"

The storylines are notable for their random, abstract nature, and the fact that frequently an episode will end without any moral message at all!

Eerie, Indiana

Hey everyone! This morning, things are going to get strange, a bit weird and a lot of Eerie!

Eerie, Indiana to be exact!

Marshall Teller's family moves to the small country town of Eerie, Indiana (Pop. 16,661). There, Marshall discovers that Eerie, as he puts it, "is the center of weirdness for the universe".

While moving into his new home, he meets Simon Holmes, one of the few normal people in Eerie. Together, they are faced with bizarre scenarios, which include discovering a sinister group of intelligent dogs that are planning on taking over the world, and meeting a tornado hunter who is reminiscent of Captain Ahab. They also confront numerous urban legends such as Bigfoot and a still-living Elvis Presley. 

Fun Fact - This episode posted here was directed by Joe Dante, who also directed Gremlins!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Astro Farm

Today's next cartoon is Astro Farm!

Astro Farm features the adventures of the Foxwoods, a small family who work on an asteroid, which is covered in farmland.
The principal characters are Lizzie; Lizzie's husband Sam; their son, Tom; Dinko, a dog; Daisy, the big moo and Clucks the blue chicken; featuring Gorps, Splodger and Biff, three miscreants who steal food and cause trouble at the farm.
The Foxwoods live in a small cottage with a barn nearby. Daisy, the cow lives in a separate farm. The atmosphere is artificial and is controlled by the weather machine in the cottage. The Gorps live on a nearby asteroid known as 'Gorpdale' which is dark and wet.

Mysterious Cities of Gold

It is the 16th century. From all over Europe, great ships sail west to conquer the New World, the Americas. The men eager to seek their fortune, to find new adventures in new lands. They long to cross uncharted seas and discover unknown countries, to find secret gold on a mountain trail high in the Andes. They dream of following the path of the setting sun that leads to El Dorado and the Mysterious Cities of Gold.

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Kicking off today's posts, we have The Mysterious Cities of Gold! One of the true cartoon greats!

In 1532 a Spanish orphan named Esteban joins Mendoza, a navigator, and his associates Sancho and Pedro, in their search for one of The seven Cities of Gold in the New World, hoping to find his father. They are joined on their quest by Zia, an Incan girl (who was kidnapped by Mendoza), and Tao, the last descendant of the sunken empire of Hiva.
The series is a mix of ancient South American history, archaeology, and science fiction. The travellers encounter the Maya, Inca, and Olmecs during their journey. They discover many lost technological wonders of the Mu Empire, including a solar powered ship (the Solaris) and The Golden Condor, a huge solar-powered mechanical bird, capable of traveling considerable distances under the sun's power alone. They are constantly pursued by antagonists Gomez and Gaspard, who are also in search of the Cities of Gold.

Earlier this year, over 30 years since the original series was aired, a second series was shown on UK TV on the Kix Channel, and is due for release on DVD early next year!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Christmas Raccoons

Our second festive video is another much loved show, The Raccoons!

This Christmas Special was the first of four specials that were produced before the regular TV series was made. The story takes place in the Evergreen Forest, home of the forest ranger Dan, his children Tommy and Julie, and their pet sheepdog, Schaeffer.

It's the day before Christmas Eve, and Ranger Dan receives a call that all the trees in the forest are disappearing. Tommy and Julie are concerned, but Dan is doing the investigating. Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, a trio of raccoons (married couple Ralph and Melissa and their friend Bert) prepare their home, The Raccoondominium, for Christmas. Their joy is cut short when they see in the news that all the trees in the forest are disappearing. Nearby, local aardvark millionaire Cyril Sneer is revealed to be the tree thief hoping to make a profit out of the lumber. His college-educated son Cedric tries to talk him out of his crazed plans to destroy the whole forest. Cyril ignores Cedric and chops down a whole line of trees, including the Raccoondominium.

Will Cyril's money grabbing scheme be stopped? Will the Raccoons get a new home for Christmas? Will we get to hear lots of excellent songs in the way only the Raccoons can give us?

He-Man & She-Ra A Christmas Special

Merry Christmas Everyone! I have two Christmas posts for you today, and first up we have The He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special!

In this special Christmas episode of the He-Man and She-Ra cartoons, their sidekick Orko accidentally gets beamed to Earth during a test of a new spy satellite. Orko manages to get back Planet Eternia, but brings along two Earth children, Alisha and Manuel, with him. Since it's Christmastime on Earth, the kids are naturally filled with the holiday spirit, but this overflowing goodwill attracts the unwelcome attention of the Horde Prime and Skeletor. Will the combined power of He-Man, She-Ra and the spirit of Christmas be enough to stop them?

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A Garfield Christmas

In our last few hours before Christmas arrives, I give you A Garfield Christmas!

Garfield, Jon, and Odie go to Jon's family's farm for Christmas, where Garfield finds a gift for Grandma and learns the true meaning of Christmas. Filled with wonderful holiday music, this is sure to brighten your holiday!  

See you tomorrow after Santa has been for some more Christmas Goodies!

The Box of Delights

Today is Christmas Eve, and as a celebration of the season, I bring you the entire serial of The Box of Delights. All Six episodes in one post! This serial was originally shown on the BBC in 1984 and many consider it a Christmas classic!

The plot follows young Kay Harker as he is returning from boarding school, when he finds himself mixed up in a battle to possess a magical box. It allows the owner to shrink in size, to fly swiftly, to go into the past and to experience the magical wonders contained within the box.
The current owner of the box is an old Punch and Judy man called Cole Hawlings whom Kay meets at the railway station. They develop an instant rapport which leads Cole to confide that he is being chased by a man called Abner Brown and his gang. For safety, Cole entrusts the box to Kay. The schoolboy then goes on to have many adventures as he protects the box from those who wish to use it for bad deeds.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Would you take a trip into the forest with a group of friends in the middle of the night, with the purpose of telling scary stories, and to ask the question 'Are you Afraid of the Dark?'

These guys would!!

Are You Afraid of the Dark? revolved around a group of teenagers who referred to themselves as "The Midnight Society". Every week, at a secret location in the woods, one member would tell a scary story to the group. The actual story, rather than the telling, was displayed to the television viewer. The story was shown between the group's arrival at the site and their departure. Each storyteller would begin their story by saying "Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story..." at which point he or she would toss a handful of "midnight dust" from a leather pouch into a campfire to heighten the flames and produce an eerie white smoke. The storyteller would continue by announcing its title (The Tale of...).

I purposely chose one of the creepiest stories that was made for the series, because we are all grown ups now and we can handle a decent scare (just make sure you know what's behind you!!)

Fun Fact - Quite a few people who appeared in this show went on to become rather big stars in their own rights in recent years, some of which are Ryan Gosling, Neve Campbell, Hayden Christensen, Laura Vandervoort, Jay Baruchel and Mia Kirshner!

The Paw Paws

Today's next post is one of Hanna Barbera's lesser known, but still equally charming characters, The Paw Paws! (aka Paw Paw Bears)

The Paw Paws are a group of small bears that live in a tribal society, the cubs spend every day defending themselves from their enemies, The Meanos, led by the evil sorcerer, Dark Paw. The antagonist bear and his henchmen are seeking to claim the Paw Paws' three large wooden totems, Totem Bear, Totem Tortoise, and Totem Eagle. The totems also serve as the tribe's protectors, coming to life when needed through means of Princess Paw Paw's Mystic Moonstone, which she wears around her neck, to defend the village.

Shoe People

Today's first post is one of those shows where once you've heard the theme tune, it stays with you for days!

In a shoe repairs shop, the Shoe Mender tries to repair all of the shoes he gets, but sometimes cannot repair them all. But he does not throw away these shoes, he puts them on the back room of the shop.

These join the other shoes and boots he could not bear to throw away and the ones where their owners never came back for them but this room has a secret. Every night when the Shoe Mender locks up the shop, he makes sure the back room door is shut. This door does not shut very easily and when he slams it shut, the strangest thing happens. A large cloud of dust from the room fills the air and when it settles, the shoes come to life and the back wall disappears and Shoe Town appears!

Just below Toecap Hill is Shoe Town, where all the shoes and boots live!

Fun fact - The theme tune was written and sung by Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues!!

Sunday, 22 December 2013


Today's next post is fondly remembered by many, many people. Bagpuss, the old, saggy cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams!

Each programme began in the same way: through a series of sepia photographs, the viewer is told of a little girl named Emily who owned a shop. Emily found lost and broken things and displayed them in the window, so their owners could come and collect them; the shop did not sell anything. She would leave the object in front of her favourite stuffed toy, the large, saggy, pink and white striped cat named Bagpuss.
When Emily had left, Bagpuss woke up. The programme shifted from sepia to colour stop motion  film, and various toys in the shop came to life: Gabriel the toad, and a rag doll called Madeleine. The wooden woodpecker bookend became the drily academic Professor Yaffle, while the mice carved on the side of the "mouse organ" woke up and scurried around, singing in high-pitched voices.
The toys discussed what the new object was; someone would tell a story related to the object (shown in an animated thought bubble over Bagpuss's head), often with a song, accompanied by Gabriel on the banjo, and then the mice, singing in high-pitched squeaky harmony as they worked, mended the broken object
The newly mended thing was then be put in the shop window, so that whoever had lost it would see it as they went past, and could come in and claim it. Then Bagpuss would start yawning again, and as he fell asleep the narrator would speak as the colour faded to sepia and they all became toys again.

Come repeat with me now and see if we can wake Bagpuss up together!

Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss
Old Fat Furry Catpuss
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring
Wake up, be bright, be golden and light
Bagpuss, oh hear what I sing!

The Adventures of Tintin

 The Adventures of Tintin is a series of comic albums created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name of HergĂ©. The series is one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century.

Here is an episode of the 1990's adaptation that used to be shown on Channel 4!!

Tintin is a young Belgian reporter who becomes involved in dangerous cases in which he takes heroic action to save the day. The Adventures may feature Tintin hard at work in his investigative journalism, but seldom is he seen actually turning in a story. He is a boy of neutral attitudes with whom the audience can identify.
Tintin is aided by his faithful dog Snowy. Later, popular additions to the cast included the brash and cynical Captain Haddock, the highly intelligent but hearing-impaired Professor Calculus, and other supporting characters such as the incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson.