Archive | October, 2008

“WHEN’S IT GONNA GET HERE??” (BRING ON THE POP CULTURE PARADE!)

20 Oct

by Kevin Wollenweber and Rachel Newstead

Foreword from Rachel:

Acting according to the maxim that it’s better to have good content than frequent content, a very burnt-out Kevin and I have stayed away for awhile. But nothing provides quite the motivation to write as new DVD releases, and we have a video bonanza in the coming months. The latest Looney Tunes Golden Collection goes on sale today, with the third volume of Fleischer Popeye DVDs soon to follow. Kevin talks about the new releases in his latest “musings”, written a couple of days ago (and only now posted by procrastinator me–sorry, Kevin).

Jimmy Weldon, Tom Hatten and friends

Jimmy Weldon with "Webster Webfoot"--above him, Tom Hatten poses with a friend who shall remain nameless...

Not that we haven’t been busy during our hiatus. We’ve been spending far too much of our time haunting the best undiscovered treasure on the Internet, namely Stu Shostak’s Shokus Internet Radio. Every Wednesday the esteemed Mr. Shostak interviews a different legendary figure from the world of animation and pop culture. This past week he spoke with two children’s show hosts well-known to generations of former kids in Southern California (and those fortunate few in other parts of the country who had cable): Tom Hatten and Jimmy “Webster Webfoot” Weldon.

I never had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Weldon in his prime, though I have heard him, and very likely you have too (Weldon took his vocal talents to Hanna-Barbera in the early sixties, as the voice of Yakky Doodle). Weldon’s a good old southern boy (Texas, to be exact) who’s enough of a character to fit in with my crazy South Carolina family–he may have made his fortune providing voices for ducks, but he himself is something of a live-action version of a certain, I say, certain animated chicken. Rooster, that is. Interviewing Jimmy Weldon has to be the easiest job in the world for any interviewer–all one need do is sit back and let him do the talking.

Tom Hatten hardly needs an introduction here, as my admiration for the man knows no bounds–and I never miss an opportunity to say so. I’ve written about him extensively in this blog, as he was the catalyst for my own interest in animation and animation history.

If you want to catch Mr. Weldon and Mr. Hatten, you’ll have to hurry, no thanks to me. (Procastination strikes again). Shostak airs repeats of his program all week, meaning the Weldon/Hatten edition will air just one more time: tomorrow at 4 P.M. Pacific time (adjust accordingly for your particular corner of the globe). Just follow the link I’ve provided above. Mr. Hatten and Mr. Weldon will thank you.

If you stick around to the end, you might catch a phone-in comment by a certain humble toonkeeper expressing her heartfelt admiration for Hatten.

What’s that? Oh, yes–Kevin. I haven’t forgotten him. He’s interrupted his Daffy Duck-like vigil at the mailbox to express his boundless enthusiasm for the upcoming and newly-released flood of video headed our way. Pardon me while I go pace for him.

Well, folks, “ah-go-ny, ah-go-ny!!”  I feel like DAFFY DUCK at the opening scene of “DAFFY DOODLES”, as he impatiently paces in front of his mailbox wondering aloud the phrase that I’ve used as the title of this piece.  In the cartoon, a classic by Bob Clampett if there ever was one, Daffy is referring to his morning paper as he eagerly awaits the day’s comic adventures of DICK TRACY.  I use the over-anxious question as my impatient cry for October 28th or eventual due date of the arrival of LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION, VOL. 6!  I cannot wait for this stuff to hit the shelves and I am perhaps as anxious to find out how well it sells in hopes that, like the WALT DISNEY TREASURES collections, we see a sudden revamping of the series and news that it will indeed continue!  Oh, right now, the news is still that the series is halted after this volume, but that Warners cartoons are still on hand for future restorations and collections, delving deeper into the vaults, but this series is just too good to just flop here as the absolute overview.  I don’t say that there are no other interesting in-depth possibilities, but this volume just seems so good that to cut the series off here is like axing an entire fourth of a very good major motion picture!  I still hold out hope that the decision-makers can be convinced that, even in these hard economic times, people are throwing down their cash for this wonderful series and genuinely look forward to its arrival each year in our video collections.

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