Saturday, September 27, 2008
The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and staunch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
And his musket moulds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
And the soldier was passing fair;
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.
"Now, don't you go till I come," he said,
"And don't you make any noise!"
So toddling off to his trundle-bed,
He dreamt of the pretty toys;
And, as he was dreaming, an angel song
Awakened our Little Boy Blue--
Oh! the years are many, the years are long,
But the little toy friends are true!
Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
Each in the same old place--
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
The smile of a little face;
And they wonder, as waiting the long years through
In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our Little Boy Blue,
Since he kissed them and put them there.
--Eugene Field (1850-1895).
Eugene Field was famous for his poems of childhood. You might remember him most best for Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, and The Duel, or The Gingham Dog and The Calico Cat. As you can see from his dates he wrote in the hey-day of Victorian feeling and that he died at only forty-five. It's all rather sad, but there it is.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I went into a CVS store on an unrelated matter and found them there: Lucy and Peppermint Patty. Apparently Charlie Brown and Snoopy as the more popular characters had been scooped up already. I am going to check again later in case they get re-stocked, or at any other CVS I get close to. Each cost $6.99.
Lucy comes with a pointed red hat with stars, a white sheet costume, and a tub of bobbing apples. She is as she appears after the trick-or-treating at the Halloween party.
Peppermint Patty is an interesting case. The show was actually made before Peppermint Patty was established as a character. But somebody was in the hat and green mask and sheet costume that comes with the figure; it could have been Shermy or Patty or Violet or some other secondary character. But Peppermint Patty is more popular now, more well known, so it seems she was slipped into the anonymous role.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The Ghost Kings
The ghost kings are marching: the midnight knows their tread,
From the distant, stealthy planets of the dim, unstable dead:
There are whisperings on the night-wind and the shuddering stars have fled.
A ghostly trumpet echoes from a barren mountainhead;
Through the fen the wandering witch-lights gleam like phantom arrows sped;
There is silence in the valleys and the moon is rising red.
The ghost kings are marching down the ages' dusty maze;
The unseen feet are tramping through the moonlight's pallid haze,
Down the hollow clanging stairways of a million yesterdays.
The ghost kings are marching where the vague moon-vapor creeps,
While the night-wind to their coming, like a thund'rous herald sweeps;
They are clad in ancient grandeur, but the world, unheeding, sleeps.
Monday, September 15, 2008
This action figure stands 5 1/2" from paw to ear-tip, and is articulated at the neck, arms, and legs. He comes with a basket of brightly colored eggs (not shown) and the weird little human-headed caterpillar/aviator Antoine. This action figure very accurately reproduces Peter Cottontail as he appears in the 70's Rankin/Bass animagic holiday saga, Here Comes Peter Cottontail.
In that show, Peter was voiced by Casey Casem, of radio and Shaggy of Scooby Doo fame. His nemisis, Irontail (whose figure I've had for some time), was voiced by Vincent Price. And of course Seymour S. Sassafras (as well as Colonel Bunny and Antoine) was voiced by Danny Kaye.
The only figure I do not have in this set is Dolly, Peter's somewhat perfunctory love interest, who comes with Bonny the Easter Bonnet. I saw on an old site several projected figures, mostly variants of Peter and Irontail, that never got made.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
He stands seven inches tall, and comes with the mechanical glove key he used to open the dimensional gate at the beginning of the movie. The glove is removable. Included with the figure is one of the Young Hellboy, which stands about four inches tall. Hellboy seems slightly larger in proportion than he did in the movie.
There are other figures in the series: Kroenin, Samaael (don't quote me on those spellings!), and Hellboy as he appears with his full horns and fiery crown. I wouldn't mind getting them, but they're nothing I feel the need to go hunting after. My jones at the moment are for the Series Two from Hellboy 2. Can't wait!
The picture above isn't mine, of course, but a nice display.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
He was a remarkable man. Born in Mexico in 1916 (full name Jose Cuauhtemoc Melendez), he worked at the Disney studios from 1938 to 1941, on short cartoons and Bambi, Fantasia, and Dumbo. He left as part of the animator's strike. He then worked at Warners Brothers on Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck cartoons. He worked for UPA on many commercials and on the Gerald McBoing-Boing shorts. It was his work on commercials that led him to work on the Peanuts specials.
It was while animating the Peanuts characters for commercials for the 1959 Ford Falcon that he met Charles Schulz. Together they produced A Charlie Brown Christmas whose unexpected success started an animating empire, producing over 75 half-hour specials, four movies, and a mini-series. Bill Melendez did all the vocalizations for Snoopy and Woodstock.
In 1979 he directed the animated version of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
This man's efforts touched so many points of my enthusiasms. All too often you only realize that one of the good one's was still alive when you hear they've passed away. Ninety one years old. It was a good run.