Sunday, April 22, 2007

The TAGblog's Weekend Compendium of Links

Brant Parker, the co-creator of The Wizard of Id, died on April 15 after a long illness. Parker worked at Walt Disney Productions before and after World War II, contributing to Mickey and the Beanstalk and other shorts before moving on to the world of comic strips.

And Jim Thurman, writer and voice actor for Roger Ramjet passed away in Massachussets on April 14.

Moving away from obituaries, the Hollywood Reporters informs us that "BVI's animation title "Meet the Robinsons" grossed an estimated $3.7 million from 3,800 locations in 39 territories for an overseas cume of $42 million..." in its new article on overseas boxoffice.

Then there's this review of old Disneyland episodes featuring Walt Disney. Now, all the Disneyland/World of Color episodes of the long-running anthology show featured Walt Disney during the years he was alive (1955-1966). But these episodes have extended appearances of Walt. And at least one of them (probably more) were written by my boss/mentor Larry Clemmons.

Larry had written the Babes in Toyland episode for World of Color, in 1961, and when I mentioned to Larry in 1977 that I'd seen the episode the day before, he got excited thinking the show was airing someplace and he'd soon be getting a fresh residual check. Alas, I had to tell him that I'd watched his handiwork in a third-floor projection booth and no licensed re-broadcast was involved.

His shoulders, as I remember, sagged with disappointment.

Come July, Warners Home Video will be releasing a restored package of classic Popeye cartoons:

"Popeye is the only major theatrical franchise in film history that never received a legitimate home video release..." Jeff Brown, Warner senior vice president and general manager of Television and Franchise, commented. "For years Warner Bros. had been inundated by consumer letters demanding the release of Popeye, an underdog, a hero, a character who always represents good, and WHV is proud to bring this illustrious collection to DVD."

For years Popeye has cropped up in bargain basement video releases, as a lot of this material fell out of copyright and so made an easy target for cheap video packages.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Disney's largest shareholder will probably NOT be charged by the SEC for back-dating stock options...

The Wall Street Journal has this April 22 article about the threat to the entertainment industry posed by guerrilla video sites. (Long-term, this could impact everybody's livelihood):

As media companies fight to keep control over distribution of their shows, they have focused their guns on big sites like the YouTube unit of Google Inc. But little sites like this one in New Mexico collectively represent an equally thorny challenge. They are like guerrilla squadrons that are constantly shifting tactics to defy big media and keep offering consumers free programs.

Lastly, the Sonoma Index-Tribune has an informative piece on last weekend's tribute at the Sonoma Valley Film Festival for local resident John Lasseter:

On Saturday night, the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building was jammed with people attending a tribute to Sonoma resident and Pixar legend, John Lasseter. The lobby was appropriately filled with toys, movie posters and artist renderings from Pixar favorites such as “Toy Story,” “Monsters Inc” and “Cars.”

The tribute, hosted by John Ratzenberger, featured speeches from some of Lasseter’s close friends and colleagues, including Bonnie Hunt, Glen Keane, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub, Andrew Stanton and Robin Williams.

Have yourself a productive workweek, and don't let anybody grind you down.


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