Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Woody Woodpecker!

Today we celebrate the 71st birthday of Woody Woodpecker. He first appeared in the Andy Panda film Knock Knock on November 25, 1940.  The idea for Woody was reported to have come during Walter Lantz' honeymoon with his wife. A noisy woodpecker outside their cabin kept the couple awake, and when it started raining, they found that the bird had made holes in the roof. Walter wanted to shoot the pest, but his wife Gracie suggested he make a cartoon about it instead. Of course that story is highly debated since Woody made his screen debut prior to their wedding. Nevertheless however it happened, Woody was born from the mind of Walter Lantz and his trademark  "Ha-ha-ha-HAA-ha!" came from the incredible voice of the legendary Mel Blanc. After Knock Knock, Woody proved to be a hit and Walter now had a replacement for the fading Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a character he took over from Walt Disney. Woody went on to great success during and after the war, going through redesigns and slight personality tweaks along the way. In 1948, the Woody Woodpecker song debuted in the cartoon  Wet Blanket Policy and went on to become his theme song. Woody successfully made the transition onto television in 1957 and continues to be ingrained in pop culture currently serving as the mascot for the Honda Motorcycle Racing Team and the Universal Studios theme parks.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

In honor of Turkey Day I bring you something to be thankful for, Tex Avery and his classic Thanksgiving cartoon...Jerky Turkey from 1945.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

I Love Norman Rockwell. From time to time i'll post some of my favorite paintings by the prolific artist. Since it's nearly Thanksgiving  I bring you one of his most famous images. Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy 83rd Birthday Mickey and Minnie

Today we celebrate the 83rd birthday of Minnie Mouse and her boyfriend, the most recognizable and iconic animated character in the entire world, Mr. Mickey Mouse. So ladies and gentlemen I present to you the animated shorts that started it all.

Steamboat Willy was the first Mickey cartoon released but not the first created. While Walt was still under contract to Universal for his Oswald cartoons, he turned to his best friend and animator Ub Iwerks to create the first two Mickey cartoons incognito. By the time the contract with Universal was up, he had two cartoons ready to go. The problem was no theatre thought they were worthy of being shown. Luckily the Jazz Singer was released, the first "talking picture", and Walt saw the opportunity to be the first to create a sound cartoon and Steamboat Willy was born. After its success, he went back and added sound to the original two and released them after, also to great success.

Until next time kiddies,
Brian James Fichtner

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Old Army Game

Well its 11/11/11 and it also just so happens to be Veterans Day. So in honor of those that have served our country I bring you a classic starring Disney's own war vet Donald Duck. Its no secret that the Walt Disney studios did alot for the war effort and one of those things was to entertain the troops and to bring them laughs where there were none. To do so they drafted the only guy in their roster that could handle combat...the Gable of their stable....Donald Duck. First they drafted him in the classic "Donald Gets Drafted" then they sent him on a series of adventures doing everything the soldiers had to do...except it was Donald. So for all those veterans out there I bring you "The Old Army Game" from 1943.