Archive for the ‘classics’ category

A Darker Pinocchio…

January 29, 2022

We’re all familiar with Disney’s 1940 adaptation of Pinocchio, and Pinocchio’s conscience Jiminy Cricket, complete with formal clothing and umbrella. In a new retelling of the Pinocchio tale by Guillermo del Toro, the cricket is just as verbal but far more insectile, telling his audience that he “lived in the heart of the wooden boy.” Vaguely chilling, right? He’s even got a revised name…Sebastian J. Cricket! Plus this bug looks almost alien.- – I Iike him already!

Set in Italy in the 1930’s with Mussolini’s fascist power rising, this Pinocchio is depicted as a lost soul in a world he cannot understand. Disney sanitized the original Carlo Collodi tale, which included the cricket being killed early on and his ghost serving as Pinocchio’s conscience! Guillermo del Toro promises to return some of the original Frankenstein or nightmarish elements to the story, which included boys being turned into donkeys on Pleasure Island.

So for a darker, scarier version of Pinocchio that’s “about as far removed from Disney as you can get,” you may want to check out this Pinocchio coming to Netflix in December 2022…and tell them that Sebastian J. Cricket sent you,buwahahaha!

Tex Avery’s “Reginald Fox”

October 5, 2021

He’s an obscure character but a memorable one, appearing just once in Tex Avery’s 1949 cartoon, “Out-Foxed.” Reginald Fox is stereotypically a sophisticated Brit, speaking with an accent, wearing a monocle, and drinking tea throughout the production.

You just gotta love a fox who reads Fox News, and reassures his audience that they needn’t fear for his safety, because he is, after all, a fox. Very nonchalant even when pursued by hounds promised steaks for his capture, Reginald turns their ploys against them in a mocking manner reminiscent of Bugs Bunny.

Although a Droopy Dog cartoon, it’s Reginald who dominates the film, entering into an alliance with Droopy that becomes mutually advantageous with all enjoying steaks as the “captured” fox clan sings Droopy a rousing chorus of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.”

The moral of our story is that few things age as well as a Tex Avery cartoon… 🦊

Flo Meets the Addams Family…

September 17, 2021

In a crossover commercial event, Progressive Insurance’s Flo, Jamie, and others show up in cartoon form at the Addam’s Family mansion. All of the Addams characters are there, including Lurch, Thing, Kitty Kat, and even Cousin It. It’s just hard to tell if you pitted Flo against Wednesday, who would come out on top. My money’s on Wednesday, although Flo is scary, too, and far more annoying. Wednesday harbors, however, a vast and formidable darkness that is absent from Flo.

But there is no confrontational relationship to be had here as both Progressive and the Addams Family are playing on the same team. The Progressive agents are unswayed by the eccentricities of the Addams Family, and begin doing their protective and safeguarding duties at the mansion, such as Jamie sliding a coaster under a glass of Grandmama’s green brew. All the while, a parody of the classic Addams Family theme plays, this time relating to the Progressive players… “They’re helpful but annoying, they always leave us snoring, their accidents are boring, the Progressive Family!”

“So when do you all go home?,” questions Morticia Addams. “Never!,” chirps Flo, “We’re here for you 24/7.” “How terrifying!,” replies Morticia. The commercial concludes with a promo that Addams Family 2 is coming to theaters and On Demand October 1st. While some translations of live action to cartoons are dreadful, the first version I actually found rather worthwhile. I’ll take all of the Addams Family that I can get, especially on Wednesday 🦊

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