December 31, 2018

DON LUSK DEAD AT 105



You can read the full story here.


His career spanned from early Disney through Hanna-Barbera's later output. He provided animation for The Secret Squirrel Show, The Atom Ant Show, Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears and Droopy: Master Detective. His work was also seen in a short included in Mickey’s House of Villains direct-to-video movie. He served as an assistant director or director on Shirt Tales, Monchichis, The Dukes, Pac-Man, The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, The Biskitts, Pink Panther and Sons, Snorks and The Smurfs, Galtar and the Golden Lance, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, The Flintstone Kids, Foofur, Wildfire, Popeye and Son, Yogi’s Treasure Hunt, Pound Puppies (1986), The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, Tom & Jerry Kids Show, Rick Moranis in Gravedale High, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Yo Yogi!, The Addams Family (1992), and The Pirates of Dark Water. 





































 




December 29, 2018

GALIDOR: DEFENDERS OF THE OUTER DIMENSION


GALIDOR: DEFENDERS OF THE OUTER DIMENSION
(FOX, February 9-August 24, 2002)

CinéGroupe, Tom Lynch Company, LEGO Group




MAIN CAST:
Matthew Ewald – Nicholas Bluetooth
Marie-Marguerite Sabongui – Allegra Zane
Sam Magdi & Michael O’Reilly (voice) – Jens
Jeff Hall & Georges Morris (voice) – Euripides
Claude Giroux & Walter Massey (voice) – Nepol
Randy Thomas – Samuel “The Stranger” Bluetooth
Sean Devine – Bala
Karen Cliche – Lind
Tara Leigh – Queen Riana


            It’s hard to imagine a time for LEGO before everything truly was awesome, but in the early part of the 21st century the company was on a steady decline towards bankruptcy. The market was changing and LEGO was slow to adapt. It began making moves to try and correct this by bringing in a new generation of innovative designers to oversee their set creations and began acquiring licenses to hit franchise properties like Star Wars and Harry Potter.

Allegra with the map.


            In 2001, LEGO decided to enter the growing build-a-figure market by creating a toyline tying into and financing a new upcoming science fiction program: Galidor: Defenders of the Outer Dimension. Created by Thomas W. Lynch, the series focused on average teenager, Nick Bluetooth (named for Danish king Harald Bluetooth and originally named Christian by Lynch, played by Matthew Ewald), who had been having strange dreams about a completely different place. He was given an electronic map that led him to a spaceship called the Egg that took him and his best friend, Allegra Zane (Marie-Marguerite Sabongui), to the Outer Dimension—the place from Nick’s dreams. It turned out that Nick’s father, Samuel (Randy Thomas), had created the Egg and had adventures in the Outer Dimension where he met Nick’s mother, Queen Riana (Tara Leigh). He was brought to the Outer Dimension to help stop the invasion forces of the sinister Gorm (performed by Derrick Damon Reeve and Steven P. Park, voiced by Ian Finlay), a former royal advisor who was banished and spent his time amassing a huge army and conquering various worlds; leaving a wasteland in his wake. However, in order to conquer Galidor, Gorm must find and assemble a shattered key that will open a gateway to that world.

Promo shot of Euripidies, Allegra, Nick, Jens and Nepol by the Egg.

            Aiding Nick was Jens (performed by Sam Magdi, voiced by Michael O’Reilly), the chief royal scientist whose original plant body was destroyed by Gorm resulting in his being placed into a robot body; Euripides (performed by Jeff Hall, voiced by Georges Morris), a frog-like creature called an Amphibib who was the royal scholar capable of using telekinesis and generating heat through his staff; and Nepol (performed by Claude Giroux, voiced by Walter Massey), a blue-furred Siktari that was shrunken by Gorm and could run at great speeds or freeze things with his spear. Riana would appear in holographic messages only Nick could see to provide cryptic guidance on his journey. Eventually, Lind (Karen Cliche), a Galidorian that could dissolve into a purple gel and was trained by Gorm to take his place in the royal court, would join the team. Aiding Gorm was Tager, a being with mind control abilities; Caliphonic, the leader of the Aquarts; and Bala (Sean Devine), a cyborg bounty hunter. Gorm’s primary army was composed of Boges; human-sized bug-like creatures that could fly.

Gorm.

            In the Outer Dimension, Nick discovered he gained a special ability: the ability to glinch. Glinching meant he was able to channel an energy that allowed him to shapeshift parts of his body to resemble those he had come in close contact with, temporarily gaining whatever skill was associated with them (such as super strength with Jens’ robotic arms). Gorm also possessed this ability, but to a lesser extent than Nick necessitating his use of a device to increase his power. This glinching ability was used to explain the core aspect of the toyline, where the character’s body parts could be swapped for others. While Nick and Gorm, and to an extent the Egg, which was revealed to be partially sentient, were the only ones on the show who could do this, all of the characters in the toyline were able to be mixed and matched. It was a simplified version of their more-successful BIONICLE line.



            Galidor: Defenders of the Outer Dimension debuted on FOX on February 9, 2002. It was one of the last programs to debut as part of the Fox Kids programming block, which was replaced by the 4Kids Entertainment-produced FoxBox that September. Along with LEGO, the show was produced by CinéGroup and the Tom Lynch Company. The series was filmed digitally to reduce the time required to add in the computer-generated imagery. It was also filmed in a wide aspect ratio, although only the previews were broadcast as such. The series was written by Lynch, along with Chad Fiveash, Damian Kindler, Erik Saltzgaber, Jonas E. Agin, Tom Chehak, Alex Epstein, Shari Goodhartz, Vijal Patel, Terry Saltsman and James Patrick Stoteraux, with music composed by Andrew R. Powell.



            Unfortunately, Galidor failed on two fronts. Not only did the show underperform in the ratings, but the toyline was selling poorly. This was due in large part to LEGO’s miscalculation of making the toys incompatible with other LEGO sets and doing away with the construction style they were best known for. Only 15 of 17 planned sets were made before sales saw the line cancelled. Without the toys to draw revenue from and the ending of Fox Kids, Galidor ended on a cliffhanger after two seasons; which aired without a break in between. Reruns would air on ABC Family following its conclusion.



            To promote the series, a set of five toys and a mini comic book were included with McDonald’s Happy Meals that year. Nick, Jens, Euripides, Nepol and Gorm were all present with fully interchangeable parts. LEGO also published a single issue for a proposed comic book series, Galidor: Danger in the Outer Dimension. A poorly-received tie-in video game was developed by Tiertex Design Studios for the Game Boy Advance and released by LEGO Interactive and Electronic Arts in October of 2002. Asylum Entertainment was developing a version for PlayStation 2, GameCube and PC with an early 2003 release date, but financial instability caused them to cancel the game and lay off the development team. A flash game was also featured on the Fox Kids website. One of the toys, the Kek Powerizer, featured a built-in game that could be controlled by moving the toy’s limbs in certain ways. It also had a special sensor that allowed it to interact with the show when it was on by playing sounds, screen animations and activating new missions for the game.



            Although LEGO eventually rebounded, the blunder with Galidor almost pushed the company over the edge. It wouldn’t be until 2010’s Hero Factory that they would again attempt a tie-in television series to one of their toy lines. The Galidor concept was eventually reused for the Ben 10: Alien Force toyline, which met with similar success (or lack thereof). Galidor was later mentioned as a location in the Guardians of The Galaxy: The Thanos Threat series of shorts and was seen as a t-shirt worn by Rufus McCallister in The Ninjago Movie Ninjago City set.



EPISODE GUIDE:
“Identity” (2/9/02) – Nick receives a map on his birthday that leads him and Allegra to a ship that takes them to the Outer Dimension.

“Euripides, Please” (2/16/02) – Nick, Allegra and Jen search for Euripides, a Aphibib philosopher who can show them how to read the map.

“All for One, One for Nepol” (2/23/02) – Nick meets the warrior Nepol and Vilda, Gorm’s henchwoman who collects slaves to become part of Gorm’s army.

“Bouncing Off the Walls” (3/2/02) – Nick finds but is unable to acquire the first key fragment.

“Dust til Dawn” (3/9/02) – The team runs into a problem when they locate the key.

“Belonging” (3/16/02) – Nick and Allegra are a little homesick and Nick discovers his team are plastered on wanted posters.

“A Crack in the Map” (3/23/02) – Nick’s friends must save him when he’s sentenced to 30 years of community service after a dumb mistake.

“Seeing is Just Seeing” (3/30/02) – The team finds the secret hideout of infamous break-in artist Colash, and Gorm finds them.

“Truth, Lies and Videotape” (4/6/02) - Jens’ old friend Britta has the next key fragment, but she believes Gorm is good and alerts him to their presence.

“Just Because You’re Paranoid” (4/27/02) – Nick plans to expose Gorm on television, but Gorm jams the signal and ends up damning him and his team instead.

“Frozen Feud” (5/4/02) – The next key fragment is located in the icey home of Euripides, which necessitates him and Allegra to find a special plant that will keep them warm.

“Relativity” (5/11/02) – The team deals with attacks from the Boges and snow beasts while retrieving crystals to repair Nepol’s goggles.

“It’s Déjà vu All Over Again’ (5/18/02) – Nick believes he found a nest of key fragments, but that’s put on hold when Gorm has Allegra kidnapped.

“The Road to Kek” (5/25/02) – Allegra manages to escape and get a message to Nick to tell him that Gorm’s defenses are weak, but that appears to be nothing more than a trap.

“A Room with No View” (6/1/02) – As the team continues to come for Allegra, Gorm uses illusion technology to make her believe her adventures were just a dream.

“Escape from Kek” (6/8/02) – Gorm finally captures the team and wants Nick to join him in rebuilding the Outer Dimension.

Season 2:
“Pieces of Nick” (6/22/02) – Nick is forced outside of the material world and Allegra decides bringing the Egg back to Kek will bring him back.

“A Tale of Two Nicks” (6/29/02) – A Nick from another reality is pulled into theirs and because two of them can’t exist in the same one Nick begins to fade out.

“Go for the Bronze” (7/6/02) – The next key fragment ends up being in the grand prize of a fierce battle competition.

“State of the Art” (7/13/02) – Bala manages to download the map and the next key fragment, putting Nick’s crew into a race against his.

“The Great Glinch Switch” (7/20/02) – The final key fragment is located on Earth, but Tager steals the Egg and all of their fragments before they can go after it.

“Mr. Tager Goes to Earth’ (7/27/02) – The team heads to Earth for the last key fragment, and Tager uses his mind control powers to send everyone after them.

“Area 51” (8/3/02) – Nick sets out to rescue Euripides from a secret laboratory and discovers that Lind is trying to do the same.

“Recalling the Past” (8/10/02) – As the team reminisces over their adventures, Nick reveals to them how Allegra is an important member of it.

“The Gates of Galidor, Part 1” (8/17/02) – The team locates the Gates of Galidor where their enemies wait to take them down.

“The Gates of Galidor, Part 2” (8/24/02) – As Lind confronts Gorm, the team discovers Nick’s father’s secret laboratory which may hold the solution to all their problems.

December 19, 2018

INTERNET TROUBLES FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Hey, folks, this is just to let you all know out there in internet land that we here at SMF HQ are experiencing internet issues that are becoming a bear to resolve. We'll try to update things as best we can in the meantime, but expect some delays. Sorry of the inconvenience!

December 18, 2018

PENNY MARSHALL DEAD AT 75




You can read the full story here.


While having a long career as an actor and director, Marshall was primarily known for her role of Laverne DeFazio in the hit sitcom Laverne and Shirley. She would reprise that role for the show's animated spin-off, Laverne and Shirley in the Army.




December 17, 2018

RODNEY KAGEYAMA DEAD AT 77



You can read the full story here.


While primarily an on-screen actor, Kageyama did provide additional voices for a couple of animated productions; one of them being Lazer Tag Academy.




December 15, 2018

A DATE WITH JUDY


A DATE WITH JUDY
(ABC, June 5, 1951-September 30, 1953)

American Broadcasting Company




MAIN CAST:
Jimmy Sommer – Ogden “Oogie” Pringle
Gene O’Donnell & John Gibson – Melvin Foster
Anna Lee & Flora Campbell – Dora Foster
Judson Rees & Peter Avarmo – Randolph Foster


            A Date With Judy began its life as a comedy radio series on NBC as a summer replacement for Bob Hope’s show. Starring Ann Gillis as Judy, the series focused on the teenaged girl who was deemed the most datable in town, but had a habit of attracting trouble and causing chaos. The show began on June 24th, 1941 and ran until May 25, 1950; with Louise Erickson taking over as Judy in the third season and the final season being broadcast on ABC.

The radio cast photo from an article after Erickson took over the role.


            The show proved immensely popular, gaining a movie adaptation from MGM in 1948 starring Elizabeth Taylor in the title role. The movie was also a hit, earning over $4.5 million at the box office. When the radio show ended, ABC decided to adapt it again; this time for their television network. The show first aired on Saturday mornings, beginning June 5th, 1951. Patricia Crowley played the title role, with Gene O’Donnell and Anna Lee as her parents Melvin and Dora, Judson Rees as her brother, Randolph, and Jimmy Sommer as Judy’s boyfriend, Ogden “Oogie” Pringle. The series was produced and written by Aleen Leslie.

Judy and Oogie sharing a shake.

            After a single season, ABC decided to retool the show and move it to primetime on Thursdays and later Wednesdays for the remainder of its run. The entire cast was replaced, with Mary Linn Beller as Judy, John Gibson as Melvin, Flora Campbell as Dora, and Peter Avarmo as Randolph. Only Sommer was retained as Oogie, and Leslie continued to produce and write for the show. It ended after three seasons on September 30, 1953, replaced by Saber of London.

Judy's first comic appearance.

            While the radio show was on the air, National Periodical Publications (the precursor of DC Comics) began publication of a comic based on the series. It ran for 79 issues between 1947 and 1960, outliving every incarnation of the show. As for the show itself, clips and stills have not yet found their way online assuming any had survived their initial broadcasts.



EPISODE GUIDE:
Unavailable at this time.

December 08, 2018

RUN, JOE, RUN


RUN, JOE, RUN
(NBC, September 7, 1974-November 30, 1975)

D’Angelo Productions




MAIN CAST:
Heinrich & Gus (stunt double) – Joe
Arch Whiting – Sgt. William Corey (season 1)
Chad States – Josh McCoy (season 2)
Paul Frees - Narrator


Ever wondered what The Fugitive would be like if it starred an animal—say, a dog? Well, wonder no more!

Corey training Joe.


Created by Richard H. Landau, the show centered on a German Shepherd named Joe (Heinrich, the pet of producer William D’Angelo) who was being trained by army Sargent William Corey (Arch Whiting). However, one day Joe was framed for attacking Corey; the punishment for which was for him to be euthanized. Joe escaped, and the army put a $200 bounty on his head. Joe traveled the country, trying to keep ahead of the army and the various bounty hunters looking to collect the reward, while also helping those in need he encountered along the way. Corey also gave his own pursuit, believing Joe to be innocent and wanting to find him before the army did.

Joe helping a blind girl.

Run, Joe, Run debuted on NBC on September 7, 1974. Landau had presented the idea to D’Angelo during production of Love: American Style and the pair tried for years to sell it as a prime-time show, but the networks weren’t interested. NBC head of children’s programming, Joe Teritoro, suggested doing it as a kid’s show. Although D’Angelo had never produced a show for children before, he saw it as a chance to open D’Angelo Productions and developed the concept for their Saturday morning schedule. Writers for the show included Landau with Harte Catlin, Arlene Stadd, Leonard Stadd and Martin Donovan. Richard LaSalle composed the music. Because it was a traveling hero show, it featured a number of guest-stars including Chuck McCann, Robbie Rist, Robert Carradine, Leif Garrett, James Gammon, James Hampton and Pat Priest, amongst others.



The show was renewed for a second season. Whiting left the show; his character being written out as having to return to active duty after being unable to find Joe. In his place was hiker Josh McCoy (Chad States) who became Joe’s traveling companion. While Joe would continue to help those he encountered, Josh would end up often becoming involved in the plots by taking jobs in the places where something would go down; be it driving a car targeted by thieves or slinging hash in a joint invaded by bank robbers. While the show was not renewed for a third season, it remained on the network’s schedule until the fall of 1976. Stills from the episode “Little Big Bear Hunter” were turned into a ViewMaster set in 1974.



EPISODE GUIDE:
“Bounty Hunter” (9/7/74) – A ruthless bounty hunter and his attack dog pursue Joe.

“Yardbirds” (9/14/74) – Joe helps a railroad station guard put an end to freight car thefts.

“Bon Voyage” (9/21/74) – A fisherman relies on Joe to get his nephew to stop skipping school.

“Missionary” (9/28/74) – Joe takes refuge on a bus to escape two motorcycle-riding bounty hunters.

“False Alarm” (10/5/74) – Joe’s tenure as a fire dog comes with stopping two boys from setting false alarms.

“The Big Race” (10/12/74) – Joe encounters criminals at a race track.

“Homecoming” (10/19/74) – A girl finds and takes in Joe but runs away with him when her stepfather wants to get rid of him.

“Six Seals, Two Whales and a Dog” (10/26/74) – Joe ends up at a wild animal park where he becomes part of the dolphin show.

“Little Big Bear Hunter” (11/2/74) – To prove his manhood, a city-raised Indian boy confronts a wild bear.

“Sunken Treasure” (11/9/74) – Joe finds valuable jewels on a boy he just saved from drowning.

“The Mute” (11/16/74) – A mute boy helps Joe after he’s hurt in a fall.

“Blind Girl” (11/23/74) – Joe leads a blind girl lost in the woods to safety.

“Little Old Lady Antique Dealer” (11/30/74) – Thieves take an interest in the doll purchased by an elderly antique dealer.

Season 2:
“Joe’s New Friend” (9/6/75) – Two hunters mistaking Joe for another dog leads him to meet his new traveling companion, Josh.

“The Secret – Part 1” (9/13/75) – Josh gets accused of robbing the house where he has been working as a handyman.

“The Secret – Part 2” (9/20/75) – Joe and Josh end up in the middle of a truck hijacking.

“Rip Off” (9/27/75) – Motorcyclists come for the stolen diamonds they hid in Josh’s backpack.

“The Prisoner” (10/4/75) – Joe looks for a prisoner who escaped from a crashed prison plane.

“The Town Hero” (10/11/75) – Joe ends up in a pound and is adopted by a man who plans to use dogs for robberies.

“Trackdown” (10/18/75) – A thief seeks to lure Joe into the swamp as he gives chase.

“The Hitchhiker” (10/25/75) – Josh gets hit by a camper and falls into a ditch with a broken leg.

“The Wild Stallion” (11/1/75) – Joe and Josh take jobs at a farm where the owner is obsessed with catching a wild stallion.

“The Runaway” (11/8/75) – Josh meets a female hitchhiker who ran away from her life.

“The Long Wait” (11/15/75) – Josh tries to stop a feud while stumbling upon a real estate scam.

“The Scrap Heap” (11/22/75) – Josh gets a job driving a vintage car that ends up stolen.

“The Hunters” (11/29/75) – Josh gets a job in a café that ends up being taken over by bank robbers.

December 02, 2018

KEN BERRY DEAD AT 85



You can read the full story here.


He appeared in the “Valentine’s Second Chance” episode of ABC Weekend Specials as Jimmy Valentine, and voiced Seymour Grey in an episode of The New Batman Adventures. He was also married for a time to Jackie Joseph, who voiced Melody in both Josie and the Pussycats animated series.



December 01, 2018

BIG JOHN, LITTLE JOHN

BIG JOHN, LITTLE JOHN
(NBC, September 11-December 4, 1976)

D’Angelo-Bullock-Allen Productions, Redwood Productions




MAIN CAST:
Herb Edelman – Big John Martin
Robbie Rist – Little John Martin
Joyce Bulifant – Marjorie Martin
Mike Darnell – Ricky Martin
Olive Dunbar – Bertha Bottomly
Cari Anne Warder – Valerie


Middle school science teacher John Martin (Herb Edelman) got the shock of his life when, while on vacation in Florida, he took a sip from a spring that changed him into a 12-year-old (Robbie Rist). Yes, John found the legendary Fountain of Youth. But because he only sipped from it, the change wasn’t permanent. Unfortunately, neither was its reversal as John continued to shift between both his ages at the most inopportune times. Only his wife, Marjorie (Joyce Bulifant), and son, Ricky (Mike Darnell), knew about the changes.

Big John's first transformation into Little John.


The series’ central focus was on John trying to find a cure for his condition while also trying to hide the fact from everyone (why this was a secret that needed to be kept instead of actively seeking outside help or fame with the revelation of the Fountain is never addressed). To explain the presence of his alter-ego, the Martins called Little John a nephew (also named John) who was staying with them. To further complicate things, Little John attended the same school where Big John worked. As Little John, he was able to gain a unique understanding of what his students were going through since they would befriend and confide in him. Of course, there was also the ongoing avoidance of the suspicions of Big John’s boss, Bertha Bottomly (Olive Dunbar), and an effort to keep Big John employed.



Big John, Little John debuted on NBC on September 11, 1976, at a time when networks were looking for live-action programming on Saturday mornings to fight off the negative stigma cartoons had brought from parent groups because of their content. The series was created by Sherwood Schwartz and served as a way for his to make amends to two stars who had a connection to The Brady Bunch. Namely Bulifant, who was set to play Carol Brady until the studio decided on a different direction leading to her replacement by Florence Henderson, and Rist, who was cast as Cousin Oliver in the final season before the show’s unexpected cancellation. To make Edelman and Rist resemble each other better, Rist’s hair was dyed brown and Edelman was given a hairpiece.

Marjorie learns about her husband's second childhood.

The series also became a family affair as it was written and produced by Schwartz, along with his son, Lloyd, and brother, Albert. Other writers included Philip Taylor, Bruce Kalish, Ron Sellz, William Freedman, Ron Friedman, Alan Dinehart, Herbert Finn, Mark Fink, Sam Locke, Paul Roberts, Ben Gershman, Harry Winkler, Bruce Howard, David P. Harmon, and the comedy team of Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker (who would go on to produce their own hit films, including Airplane! which featured Bulifant). The theme, which laid out the plot of the show, was written by John Thomas Lenox and Schwartz and performed by Jerry Whitman. Richard LaSalle handled the rest of the music.

Lucky John now gets to spend even MORE time in the classroom.

Unfortunately, the series didn’t have the staying power of Schwartz’s prior productions. It was made on a very tight budget and the scripts were extremely simplified for the Saturday morning audience. It was also visually unappealing as it was filmed on videotape before being transferred to film. The show was cancelled after a single season of 13 episodes, although Edelman and Rist would reunite the following year for the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. In 2009, Fabulous Films released the entire series to DVD in the United Kingdom, becoming the first Schwartz flop to be released in the format. A North American release was delayed by legal issues until VCI Entertainment managed to acquire the distribution rights in 2012.  



EPISODE GUIDE:
“A Sizeable Problem” (9/11/76) – When John Martin finds and drinks from the fountain of youth, he gains the involuntary ability to shift between his adult and child self.

“Peter Panic” (9/18/76) – John ends up having to play both Captain Hook and Peter Pan in the school play at the same time.

“Very Little John” (9/25/76) – John’s attempt at curing his condition leads his family to believe a baby left in his care is actually him.

“The Great Escape” (10/2/76) – Misplacing his ID leads to John being detained by a sheriff, at least until his form shifts.

“Big Scare, Little Scare” (10/9/76) – When John learns one of his students is afraid to pass by a particular house, he goes to investigate it.

“Big Shot/Little Shot” (10/16/76) – John’s shifting form winds up getting him vaccinated twice, but at least he was asked to join the basketball team.

“Time for Change” (10/23/76) – Believing he discovered the secret of the Fountain of Youth, John holds a press conference that doesn’t quite end up like he hoped.

“The Principal Who Came to Dinner” (10/30/76) – Something happens that ends up putting big and little John’s voices into their respective bodies.

“Bully for You” (11/6/76) – Big John talks about facing down bullies just as his alter-ego ends up the target of one.

“Off the Wall” (11/13/76) – John investigates who’s vandalizing the school.

“The Missing John” (11/20/76) – Little John plays a joke on the principal that lands him in big trouble.

“Speak for Yourself, John” (11/27/76) – Little John gets asked to the school’s Thanksgiving dance that Big John is asked to chaperone.

“Abracadabra” (12/4/76) – One of John’s students prepares a magic act for the school’s annual party.