Saturday, 24 May 2014

Filmation's Ghostbusters

Not to be confused with The Real Ghostbusters, this supernatural cartoon was created by Filmation and was a sequel to a live action series from 1975 which had the same name!


Jake Kong, Eddie Spencer and Tracy the Gorilla are The Ghost Busters. Jake and Eddie Jr are the sons of the original Ghost Busters from the live action series of the same name; Tracy worked with their fathers. Their headquarters, termed Ghost Command, is located in a haunted mansion nestled between a number of tall skyscrapers (which resemble the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City) They are supported by a number of secondary characters including Ansa-Bone, a talking skull phone; Skelevision, a talking skeleton television; Belfrey, a pink talking bat; and Ghost Buggy, their talking ghost car. They occasionally enlist the aid of Futura, a time travelling Ghostbuster from the future, and Jessica, a local TV news reporter. Together, they have dedicated themselves to ridding the world of the evil ghost wizard Prime Evil and his cast of henchmen.
Prime Evil's headquarters, termed Hauntquarters (which resembles the British Houses of Parliament complete with a Big Ben-esque clock tower), is located in The Fifth Dimension. In a typical episode, Prime Evil uses his magical powers to open up a wormhole to enable one or more of his henchmen to complete a particular scheme that serves to help him take over the world.

Bureau of Alien Detectors

Aliens are among us. Only a few people know this and it's down to B.A.D to protect us. The Bureau of Alien Detectors!


To many, it's modern day folklore, to others it is simply tabloid headlines but to a select few it is the ultimate reality. Intergalactic aliens have arrived on Earth, now they move among us. Only one top secret elite group of trained professionals has the ability to detect these extraterrestrial beings. B.A.D.: The Bureau of Alien Detectors. Led by Squadron Leader Sergeant Ben Packer, military war hero. Special Agent Shane Sanderson, life science expert. Moose Trengganu, alien encounter survivor. Colin Marcus, computer specialist, and Casey Taylor, psychic communicator. Together, they have only one mission: To confront, control, and contain all alien encounters. Together they are B.A.D.: The Bureau of Alien Detectors

Friday, 23 May 2014

Courage the Cowardly Dog

Fear is a terrible thing. Can you imagine what it must be like to be afraid of pretty much everything? Ask Courage the Cowardly Dog about it!


Courage the Cowardly Dog follows a dog named Courage, an easily frightened canine who lives in a farmhouse with Muriel and Eustace Bagge near the fictional town of Nowhere, Kansas. "Abandoned" as a puppy, Courage was found in an alleyway by Muriel, a sweet-natured Scottish woman, who fell in love with the pink/purple puppy, and her husband Eustace, a grumpy, deranged, greedy farmer who constantly harasses Courage and is unfair to him.
Courage, Muriel, and Eustace frequently run into monsters, aliens, demons, mad scientists, zombies, and other supernatural perils that Courage must fend off to save his owners, unbeknownst to them. Although most of the creatures that the three face are frightening or disturbing, some turn out to be sweet and simply in distress. The plot generally uses horror conventions, common to horror films.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Donkey Kong Country

From his humble beginnings, Donkey Kong has carved his niche in the gaming world, now he has his own show! Spinning off from the game of the same name, it's Donkey Kong Country!


Donkey Kong is an ape who happens to find a magic coconut called the Crystal Coconut, which grants wishes and is capable of answering questions asked of it. Donkey Kong is the protector of the Crystal Coconut, which is housed in Cranky Kong's Cabin. King K. Rool and his minions want to steal the Crystal Coconut from Donkey Kong and company in order to rule Kongo Bongo Island, the setting of the show. Try as they may, King K. Rool and his minions never succeed in stealing the Crystal Coconut.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Famous Five

Time for some adventure with George, Julian, Anne, Dick and Timmy. The Famous Five!


The Famous Five is the name of a series of children's novels written by English author Enid Blyton. The stories always take place in the children's school holidays after they have returned from their respective boarding schools. Each time they meet they get caught up in an adventure, the location of which varies from book to book. Sometimes the scene is set close to George's family home at Kirrin Cottage in Dorset: Kirrin Island, a picturesque island owned by George and her family in Kirrin Bay, for example, presents many opportunities for adventure.
George's own home and various other houses the children visit or stay in are hundreds of years old, and often contain secret passages or smugglers' tunnels. In some books the children go camping in the countryside, on a hike or holiday together elsewhere. The settings, however, are almost always rural and enable the children to discover the simple joys of cottages, islands, the English and Welsh countryside and sea shores, as well as the adventures, picnics, lemonade, bicycle trips, home-made food, raspberry pop and lashings of ginger beer.
The Famous Five television series was produced by Southern Television and Portman Productions for ITV in the UK, in 26 episodes of thirty minutes. It starred Michele Gallagher as Georgina, Marcus Harris as Julian, Jennifer Thanisch as Anne, Gary Russell as Dick, Toddy Woodgate as Timmy, Michael Hinz as Uncle Quentin and Sue Best as Aunt Fanny. It also starred Ronald Fraser, John Carson, Patrick Troughton, James Villiers, Cyril Luckham and Brian Glover.
Of the original 21 novels, three were not adapted for this series; Five on a Treasure Island and Five Have a Mystery to Solve because the Children's Film Foundation still own the film and TV rights to the books, while Five Have Plenty of Fun did not fit in the production schedule.

Recess

Being in school was a tough time. You either had to rule the playground, or be ruled by the playground. These kid's know how to rule the playground with style. It's Recess!





Recess portrays the lives of six fourth graders — mischievous prankster and leader of the little "gang" T.J. Detweiler, hot-headed tomboy Ashley Spinelli, popular jock Vince LaSalle, awkward genius Gretchen Grundler, gentle giant Mikey Blumberg and upbeat yet unlucky military brat Gus Griswald — as they go about their daily lives in a highly clich├ęd school environment at Third Street Elementary School, where students have set up a microcosm of traditional human society complete with its own government, class system, and set of unwritten laws. They are ruled by a monarch, a sixth grader named King Bob, who has various enforcers to make sure his decrees are carried out. The little society has a long list of rigid values and social norms that imposes a high expectation of conformity upon all the students.
Recess is illustrated to be a symbol of freedom — a time when children can express themselves and develop meaningful relationships. Most episodes involve one or more of the main six characters seeking a rational balance between individuality and social order. They are often defending their freedom against perceived threats by adults and school administration or social norms. The group's leader, T.J. Detweiler, tends to have the most complete vision of this struggle, though even he has times when he inadvertently leads the group too far toward an extreme of conformity or non-conformity, and needs to be drawn back to even ground by his loyal friends.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch

Time for a spot of zoo breaking shenanigans now, in Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch!




The series depicted three fun-loving bears - the Afroed, fast-talking Hair Bear, confusing-talking Bubi Bear, and laid-back Square Bear — who are always trying to find a way to escape the Wonderland Zoo on some sort of get-rich-quick scheme, or a wild night of fun.
Trying to stop them are the constantly aggravated head zoo director, Mr. Eustace P. Peevly, and his hopelessly inadequate assistant Lionel J. Botch. Mr. Peevly and Botch work for the Zoo Superintendent, and both of them try to stay on his good side. Many episodes end with Hair Bear covering for Peevly, couching the shenanigans and disarray as a project initiated by Peevly for the zoo's welfare, which the Superintendent always accepts (and spares Peevly's job).
The bears have a modern "bachelor pad"-styled den at the zoo containing actual beds, Bubi's laboratory, a moving chair, a television, refrigerators, and a pizza maker. Yet they disguise it (via secret panels) from Peevly and Botch to avoid revealing their comfortable surroundings.
While the bears escape the zoo for larks and excursions, they cherish the easy life in the zoo and do not wish to leave permanently; Peevly, aware of this, often threatens to expel the bears from the zoo and into the North Woods - a prospect the bears dread, because they would lose their privileged lifestyle. In fact, it's an odd role reversal of a prison sitcom: the bears fear emancipation and make efforts to remain captives.

Monday, 19 May 2014

The Sooty Show

What do a little yellow bear, a grey dog and a panda have in common? They are all the bane of Matthew Corbett's life! It's Sooty, Sweep and Soo in The Sooty Show!




Sooty was originally devised by Harry Corbett, who bought the puppet as a present for his son, Matthew Corbett, from a stall when he was on holiday in Blackpool in 1948. Sooty, a small yellow bear with black ears and nose, is mute to the audience but can communicate with his operator by apparently whispering in his ear.
The original bear was completely yellow, and Harry covered his ears and nose with soot so that he would show up better on black and white television - hence the puppet's name. He would later be joined by other puppet characters Sweep (a dog who communicates by a saxophone reed type squeak), and Soo (a shy and sweetly spoken panda).
Following Harry Corbett's retirement in 1976, Sooty was operated by Corbett's son Matthew, and enjoyed a new wave of popularity on stage and TV. Like his father, Matthew took on a paternal role to the puppets, sharing a house with Sooty, Sweep, Soo (and latterly little cousin Scampi) and becoming the butt of many practical jokes. Matthew developed a well-meaning but slightly conceited screen character, whose boasting and pomposity was frequently punctured by the mayhem caused by Sooty and Sweep.

The Riddlers


I wonder what's going on down at Riddleton End? Let's visit Mossop and Tiddler and find out in The Riddlers!


The series centred around Marjorie Dawe and the two Riddlers (small humanoid creatures, portrayed by puppets, whose main aim in life was to "riddle things out") named Mossop and Tiddler, who inhabited her garden at Riddleton End. Tiddler was not the latter's real name, but a title given to young apprentice Riddlers: once they achieved full Riddler status there would be a special ceremony, at which they would be given their 'real' name. Tiddler's training included being told stories by a Riddlestone, usually one of 'Ees-Up's Foibles'- she would then have to 'riddle out' the moral of the story.
When Tiddler had achieved full Riddler status (by getting the morals of twelve stories correctly) she chose to be called Tiddlup at the ceremony. Marjorie wanted to go to the ceremony but was told by Mossop that only Riddlers and Tiddlers could go as it was a Riddler law. In order to go, she became a tiddler and started to study as a tiddler.
Other characters featured in the show included Marjorie's neighbour, Mr. Montgomery Grimley (a gardener), and several other riddler characters - including another tiddler known as Middler, Mossop's brother Glossop, and Eesup, a story-teller. Marjorie's sister Monica was also featured as a recurring character. Many of the plots featured in the series revolved around the male characters making mistakes which would then be solved by the female ones.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Chock-A-Block

Remember when computers were massive machines that used to take up the space of a wardrobe and functioned by slotting huge cartridges into them? If not, check out tonight's next show, Chock-A-Block!



"Chock-A-Block" was an extremely large yellow computer, modelled to resemble a mainframe of the time; it filled the entire studio and provided the entire backdrop for the show. The presenter of the show played the part of a technician maintaining the computer. There were two presenters, Fred Harris ("Chock-A-Bloke") and Carol Leader ("Chock-A-Girl"), but only one appeared in each episode. At the start of the show, the presenter would drive around the studio towards the machine in a small yellow electric car, before saying the catchphrase "Chock-A-Bloke (or Girl), checking in!").
The presenter would then use the machine to find out about a particular topic. The name "chock-a-block" was derived from the machine's ability to read data from "blocks" - which were just that, physical blocks painted different colours. A typical show would include dialogue from the presenter, a brief clip played on Chock-a-block's video screen, and the presenter recording a song on Chock-a-block's audio recorder (which resembled the reel-to-reel tape drives used on actual mainframes, but with a design below to cause the reels to resemble the eyes of a smiling face).

Godzilla The Series

To celebrate the release of the new Godzilla movie in cinemas this weekend, I give you an episode of Godzilla The Series, which was a spinoff cartoon based after the events of the 1998 Godzilla movie!



The series follows the Humanitarian Environmental Analysis Team (H.E.A.T.), a research team led by Dr. Nick Tatopoulos as they battle giant monsters which frequently appear in the wake of the events depicted in the film. Godzilla, the only hatchling of its species to survive in the movie, imprints on Nick and becomes the chief weapon summoned against the other monsters encountered by the human characters. Due to Nick's presence at his hatching, "Godzilla Jr." has imprinted on Nick as his parent, and as a result he is very protective of him. Nick also has the ability to control Godzilla to a certain extent, which allows the humans to use him as a weapon against other mutated monsters. He always seems able to sense when Nick is in trouble, and is quite willing to follow him and the rest of H.E.A.T. all over the world. Unlike his biological parent, he seems to be incapable of asexual reproduction, possibly because he is not yet fully mature; yet capable of breathing radioactive fire, much like Godzilla from the original Japanese franchise.