Friday, October 13, 2017

The Keeper of Memories

If you grew up in the late 60's through early to mid 70's you may have fond memories of the Rankin/Bass T.V. specials. "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Mad Monster Party", were just a couple of holiday main stays for children. I have to admit, even though these came before my time there are a few that I still watch every year. That's why I was excited when I recently had the pleasure of briefly meeting the keeper of those memories, Rick Goldschmidt, at Wizard World Chicago. Rick is the official historian/biographer for the body of work produced by Rankin/Bass productions. He's written books on the making of these holiday classics as well as the production company and it's founders Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. He has dedicated much of his career to everything that is Rankin/Bass. Aside from being a published author, Rick's also an illustrator and musician. He has even recorded with members of Gin Blossoms, One of my followers. He's also an avid collector of T.V. and movie memorabilia. Rick happily makes personal appearances to share his knowledge and sell Rankin/Bass merchandise to anyone wanting to keep their childhood memories of The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass alive, at least in their personal collections.

For those of you in the West Hollywood, CA area on October 14th, Rick will be at his long-time friend and famous artist Shag's store to celebrate Mad Monster Party starring Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller! The festivities will begin at 7:00 pm. Rick has also informed me that he will have two screen used Animagic figures from Rankin/Bass with him: Smokey the Bear, from their 1966 T.V. special starring James Cagney and Octavia (voiced by Hilary Momberger, who Rick says may also be in attendance) from Rankin/Bass' The First Christmas from 1975. These will be appearing courtesy of Screen-Novelties in Hollywood. Screen-Novelties has animated A Spongebob Christmas, Elf T.V. special as well as a new Nickelodeon Halloween special that will premier this season. Rick says he will also be appearing at The Shag Store in Palm Springs, CA on October 22nd at 12:00 pm for a Mad Monster Party Brunch. Be sure to attend in costume! They have lots of surprises in store and Rick will be signing books and selling various Halloween themed Rankin/Bass merchandise. From there he will be heading to his second appearance at Chiller Theatre in New Jersey the weekend of the 23rd. He will be appearing alongside Michael Nesmisth of The Monkees, Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers from Leave It To Beaver to name only a few. At this appearance he will be featuring the Animagic figures of Rankin/Bass' Father Time (Red Skelton) from Rudolph's Shiny New Year and Sister Theresa (Angela Lansbury) from The First Christmas courtesy of Deep Archives. There will also be Photo Ops with the puppets available!


If you can't meet Rick personally you can always follow his blog at www.enchantedworldofrankinbass.blogspot.com or check out Rankin/Bass items not available any where else, at www.miserbros.com 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Memories to Draw From

If you approached a group of twenty somethings on the street and started a conversation about "Rugrats" I could almost guarantee that they would all light up and begin to reminisce about their childhoods. Although most millennials will remember this show as well as "Rocked Power", "The Wild Thornberrys", and "Aaahh!!! Real Monsters". They would not be able to tell you what all these shows have in common aside from them all being produced by Nickelodeon. However these classic shows do have something else in common. They all had David Fontana working on their creative teams. Whether he was directing or storyboarding he brought a creativity to these shows which made them memorable. Currently in semi retirement from television David is now having fun by lending his immense talents to the caricaturist team at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Which is where I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with him. It is an unfortunate truth that we (the fans) too frequently leave the creative teams of our favorite shows unrecognized. So thank you David Fontana for being a part of my childhood, by helping bring the characters I love to life. Because of your work I have a big part of my childhood to pass on to my children someday.



P.S. I bought my Reptar Bars today and yes they do turn your tongue green.

Be sure to check out David's website here: http://www.davefontana.com/

Also follow him on Twitter: @DjScungilli

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Voice of Many

When you grow up watching cartoons as I did, there are certain voices you continue to recognize from show to show. However until recently there was one voice I could never quite pin down. The voice I am referring to is that of Nancy Cartwright's. I was totally surprised when I realized that the voice of so many of my favorite characters had come from the same person.

Starting in my early childhood watching the "Animaniacs" excited to see what wacky antics Mindy and her trusty dog Buttons got into this time. Then later in my preteen years finding a kindred spirit in Chuckie Finster and wanting a Naked Mole Rat as a pet just so I could name him Rufus. Even now in adulthood when I watch the "Simpsons" just to see what Bart's gonna say this time as she has been speaking for Bart for the past 29 years as well as providing the voice for other characters on the show. Needless to say Nancy Cartwright has had quite the impact on my life and I'm not the only one.


Image result for nancy cartwright voices

Not only has she made a difference through her talent but also through her charity work. Nancy supports many non profit organizations centered around helping children including but not limited to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Famous Fone Friends and The Way to Happiness Foundation. Not to mention she is the co-founder of Happy House, an organization that teaches kids the fundamentals of life and being part of a family in fun and exciting ways.

Nancy, congrats on the Emmy nomination! Thank You for being one of my followers.
https://twitter.com/nancycartwright?lang=en

Be sure to follow Nancy on Twitter: @nancycartwright
and check out her non-profit organization here: https://happyhouse.org/

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Princess By Any Other Name Is Karen David

I'm still enjoying thinking about all the great things that happened at the Once Upon A Time convention recently. One of which was my meeting Karen David who you may know as Princess Jasmine from "Once Upon A Time" but that's not the only role she is known for. She has also played Princess Isabella in, the unfortunately short-lived T.V. show "Galavant". Some of you may even remember her guest appearances on "Castle". Currently she has played Meera in her latest project "Amar, Akbar & Tony" now airing on Netflix worldwide. I still haven't had a chance to watch it but I am really looking forward to seeing her in it.


Not only is Karen an extremely talented actress but she is an amazing singer and one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. Even though she was pressed for time on the day that I met her, she still engaged in conversation with the fans as much as time would allow. I'm proud to welcome her as one of my newest followers.


Be sure to follow her on Instagram @karendavidofficial

and Twitter @KarenDavid

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Once Upon A Convention

About a week ago I was able to have an amazing experience which came in the form of a three day convention. More specifically the "Once Upon A Time" convention in Chicago. Not only did I finally get to meet some of the actors that I look up to from one of my favorite t.v. shows but I made a lot of new and interesting friends as well! This convention was truly put together with the fans in mind. Creation Entertainment started in 1971 by two sci-fi fans so you know that anyone affiliated with this company totally gets where we, the fans, are coming from. Every day of this con was scheduled to the minute with autographs, photo-ops, panels and so many other fun activities. But the scheduling was not so strict that show activities suffered at all. A great time was had at the karaoke party and the Once Upon A Concert that ended the first two nights of the convention. At the karaoke party fans were actually able to sing side by side with Michael Coleman, Gil McKinney and many more. The energy was kept high at the concert where we got to enjoy the musical stylings of artists including but not limited to Karen David, Beverly Elliot and Lee Arenberg. Samurai Fish, the house band for the weekend, also did a great job of entertaining the crowd between events. I personally really enjoyed their brand of music.

Celebrities were extremely gracious, taking a good amount of time with each fan who went up for autographs and photo-ops. In fact Lana Parilla rescheduled her flight to New York so she wouldn't disappoint any of her fans who waited in line for her autograph. That's something that I have never seen a celebrity do at any show I have been to. From what I observed, the Creation Entertainment staff was very accommodating, as they went out of there way to make sure fans were happy.

If you are a true fan of the "Once Upon A Time" show and have never been to this convention, this is definitely an event you should try to attend.

Be sure to check them out on Twitter: @CreationEnt

Check out other conventions they produce here: https://www.creationent.com  

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sassy and Classy



As a child I would watch Hercules all the time, whether it be the original Disney movie or the animated series. The character I looked up to most from that movie would have to be Megara, voiced by Susan Egan. I believe she resonated so much with me because of how independent she is, her sense of humor and the sheer sassiness that she brings to this character. Being that I was a kid with a similar sense of humor, that most of my peers didn't understand. I really feel that I could relate to this character of hers. Then as I got older I was able to appreciate Susan's other projects. Including the DCOM, "Gotta Kick It Up" and her work on the live stage playing another beloved Disney Princess, Belle. Today the younger generation can enjoy her latest work in Cartoon Network's "Steven Universe" as Rose Quartz. 

Not only is Susan an incredible actress but she is an amazing singer too. Her in concert performances incorporate not only her amazing voice but also her storytelling skills as she paints a vivid portrait with music and her unique anecdotes, as evidenced in videos on her website. She recently came out with her newest album "Susan Egan Softly". Which can best be described as an acoustic show tune experience. Susan is also instrumental in the teaching of up and coming actors through her musical theatre Master Classes. She has now combined both of these experiences into one incredible opportunity with her new program "On Stage with Susan". In this program you are first taken into a rehearsal setting and the outcome is a concert performance showcasing all their hard work. I have to say as someone who has a very special place in their heart for musical theatre participating in this class would be a Complete Dream Come True. Susan Egan is one of my acting role models and now I am honored to say this very classy performer is also one of my followers!


To learn more about what Susan is up to check out these sites!

Twitter: @IAmSusanEgan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialSusanEgan/ 


IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0250743/

Susan Egan's offical site: http://www.susanegan.net/  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Picture Worth A Thousand Words



I recently took a trip to Orlando, Florida where I spent a lot of time in Universal Studios. I finally got to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and to revisit some old attractions too. There are many parts of that trip I liked but I have to say my favorite was when I had my caricature done. Not only did I get an awesome piece of artwork from it that will now be my featured photo for this blog, but I also got to talk with other very interesting creative people as well. Each had some very cool experiences to share with me. One of whom being the very talented Artist who drew me, Regis Brinston. The coolest part of the caricature process is how he incorporates each individuals personality into their drawing. I feel like this drawing captured me perfectly and he then enhanced it with airbrush colors and highlights. His talent doesn't stop at caricatures either, he is also incredible at airbrush art. Making for some of the most unique t-shirts and hats I've ever seen. To his credit he is mostly self taught. I could go on but why don't you take a look for yourselves!

You can check out more of Regis' work on Instagram: @sbnunltd

He is also on Twitter: @SBNunltd