I saw this pin on DisneyStore.com today, and quickly bought it. This is part of a Disney High School series, and features the Goons from Sleeping Beauty as football players.
I'm not a football fan, or necessarily crazy about the 1959 film, Sleeping Beauty (I did think it was beautifully done, and Maleficent is without a doubt one of the best Disney villains ever). The Goons are just fun, and I love obscure characters.
My favorite Goon is the one on the far left (holding the football). I wonder if he has a name?
I'd love to see more of these monsters. Maybe they could be part of a line of collectible figures (like Zizzlingers or Dino Magic).
Dolly Parton is more than just a multi-talented living legend. She is also a genius with her own highly successful theme park.
In 1961, a small tourist attraction called Rebel Railroad opened in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The property changed hands and names a few times, and was known for years as Silver Dollar City. In 1986, Dolly Parton became a co-owner of the attraction, and the park was renamed Dollywood.
The charming map you see here depicts Dollywood in 1989. A visit to the park's website today shows that little remains the same. Originally focused on arts and crafts, someone at Dollywood must have started playing the Rollercoaster Tycoon computer game. The park is now a force to be reckoned with, and as Dolly once joked, they "shut down Opryland." The newest ride for 1989 was the Thunder Express mine train coaster, which is no longer at Dollywood.
In 1990, Dollywood was in negotiations to open a theme park in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. It's too bad that deal fell through, as it would have been surreal!
My first and only visit to Dollywood was in 1991, when the new attraction was an Eagle Sanctuary. I had a great time there with my Mom. We enjoyed the Mountain Slidewinder (now closed), the Flooded Mine dark ride (gone) and the Log Flume (also gone, but the park introduced a new log ride called Daredevil Falls in the old location of the Flooded Mine ride).
Dollywood continues to expand, and to the delight of theme park enthusiasts, frequently presents attraction concept pitch surveys online. Many of the new attractions (like the 2008 interactive water ride addition, River Battle) are very creative in their design.
If you find yourself in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, be sure to check out the "Homespun Fun" of Dollywood!
I have spent a great deal of free time creating Muppets on the Muppet Whatnot Workshop on the FAO Schwarz website. It is quite addictive. I especially love having the monster parts in the mix. I do not own one of these puppets yet. If you do the math, you will see that for most people, one puppet is the limit, and even then, it is a very, very special treat. Maybe some kind soul at Disney or FAO Schwarz or the Muppet Whatnot Workshop will read this and feel the need to send me one (or all) of these characters. Please. Pretty please?
Do I need to beg? Because I will! I will change my name to Whatnot, or to Schwarz or Muppet McGee if it gets me all these puppets.
The Muppet Whatnot Workshop is planned for Walt Disney World and Disneyland in the future, and no doubt we will see some special pieces for those locations. Start saving now!
UPDATE 10/27/2013: The rumored Workshops planned for the Disney theme parks never happened. I did notice recently that Muppet Workshop merchandise showed up in the FAO Schwarz section of Toys R Us.
The 1982 film ET prominently featured Reese's Pieces Candy (ET's favorite treat). I guess Reese's couldn't get ET for their ads, so they came up with this alien character as a substitute. In the commercials, this character was portrayed with a puppet and an actor in a costume, just like ET was.
I thought ET was much cuter and more appealing than this creature.
As a kid, I had a stuffed ET that I loved and I was so excited to get it for Christmas. He was stored in the attic years later, and when I found him again, his leather-like skin had cracked off the plush body and peeled away. So if you have an ET doll in your attic, he may have shed his skin!
Last weekend, I was at Blockbuster and browsed through their used DVD bins. I found and bought a movie I remember from my youth, Troop Beverly Hills.
In this film from 1989, Shelley Long plays a pampered Beverly Hills housewife who is in the process of divorcing her husband (Craig T. Nelson). She decides to lead her daughter's Wilderness Girls troop (hence the title of the movie).
Velda Plendor, the villain, was played by Betty Thomas. She is now a director, working on films like Howard Stern's Private Parts, and most recently on Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel.
The cast features many familiar character actors. Mary Gross (Saturday Night Live--she did a great Alfalfa) is Velda's assistant. Audra Lindley (Mrs. Roper from Three's Company) is in charge of the Wilderness Girls operations. Shelley Morrison (Rosario, Karen Walker's maid on Will and Grace) plays Rosa the housekeeper. Some of the girls in the Troop include Amy Foster (the rich girl on Punky Brewster), Emily Schulman (Harriet, the neighbor girl from the robot-child show, Small Wonder) and Kellie Martin (from Life Goes On). Tori Spelling plays one of the girls from the rival Redfeather Troop.
What I remember most about this movie is the animated title sequence designed by animator John Kricfalusi (the creator of Ren and Stimpy). The drawings are so exuberant and wild! I also love the Beach Boys song, "Make It Big", that goes along with the cartoon.
For many teenagers, when it comes to clothing, it's all about the labels. This was generally not the case for me. I do remember being very happy about getting a jungle animal shirt that I wanted from Banana Republic.
As far as jeans went, I'm pretty sure my Mom got me the "Husky" variety from Sears.
If you watched Saturday Morning TV in the 1980s, you could not avoid the animated commercials for Levi's Jeans. They were very well done, featured a wild assortment of characters, and were clearly aimed at older kids and young adults.
If you liked those ads, you probably would have decorated your Trapper Keeper with these stickers, and had this poster that you colored yourself on your bedroom wall. These offers could be found in comic books like Heathcliff and Fraggle Rock in 1985.
Darrin is the authority on what is cool (he has his own theme song, and a stylin' collection of hats and shirts) so I will take these awards with great pride and run with them. Thank you for these awards, Darrin!
I am supposed to list 7 interesting facts about myself. Here goes:
1) One of my first "real jobs" was working as a Cast Member at the Disney Store when I was in high school in 1992. Aladdin was debuting then!
2) Lady and the Tramp is one of my all time favorite movies ever! I have a cat, but I love dogs, too. My cat is trouble just like Si and Am, but he is very affectionate.
3) I never collected toy cars as a kid, but I love Disney Racers die cast toy cars. I have been collecting them since they were released by Hasbro as "Disney's Wild Racers." My prize from this line is the Team Shere Khan Transport big rig, which comes with two Shere Khan cars (the Tar Tearin' Tiger and the Striped Speeder).
4) One of my favorite shows on TV is Clean House. It is a great way to keep me from buying more collectibles, and it is also hilarious. My favorite line from host Niecy Nash: "Stop taking everything people give you, Traci. That's how you got pregnant." Ha ha!! Clean House does get dirty sometimes.
5) Blogging is helping me sort through an out-of-control collection. It would be fine if I only collected one type of thing, but that is not the case with me. At least it's good fodder for a blog, I think.
6) I love animals, and my favorite animal is the dolphin. I feel a little sorry for them, because they can never get a full night's sleep. They always have to be alert so they can surface to breathe. That would make me crazy! No wonder they are always jumping out of the water. Maybe that's why you see so many beached whales---they are exhausted!
7) My favorite music spans the decades. I love songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and today. I cannot seem to get enough of the group 311. I listen to some of their songs over and over again. I saw them in concert last year, which was fantastic.
Now I need to nominate 7 Blogs for these awards! I'm discovering new Blogs all the time. Here are some of the ones I've been following for a while that I think are especially outstanding:
Blue Sky Disney has the latest news and rumors related to the wonderful world of Disney.
I got off work early today because it started to snow.
Snow is a big deal in the South. A light dusting can shut cities down. The threat of snow is enough for schools to close. Most schools here decided not to open today before a single snowflake fell. We could be getting 6 inches of snow, so things are pretty wild where I live.
Lots of folks are getting snow right now. My parents, my brother and his family live in Dallas, Texas, and right now they are covered in snow. So now is the perfect time for everyone to learn how to build a Snow Fozzie! These instructions are from the Winter 1986 issue of Muppet Magazine (with the Cosby Kids!!!). I have included a picture of the cover because the Snow Fozzie instruction guide mentions the Snow Gonzo, and you just had to see that!
I took a picture of myself to prove that it is snowing at my house. That's not dandruff---it's genuine snow!
A Goofy Movie debuted in April of 1995, but these Valentines were available in February of the same year. Goofy and his son Max were the stars of the 1992 Disney Afternoon series, Goof Troop. The father and son spent the film traveling across the United States, ultimately arriving at a high-energy rock concert featuring Max's favorite musician, Powerline.
A Goofy Movie ditched the setting and most of the elements of the Goof Troop series. The film retained Goofy, Max, neighbor Pete, and Pete's son, PJ. Gone were Pete's wife and daughter (Peg and Pistol) and Waffles (Goofy's cat) and Chainsaw (the Pete family's pet dog).
Max later appeared in An Extremely Goofy Movie, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, and the TV series, House of Mouse.
Max has been regularly featured in merchandise for Disney's California Adventure and the Tokyo Disney Resort.
"Hey! Yo! It's Lion-O! He's the bravest ThunderCat that you'll ever know!"
Andrew Lloyd Webber composed these lyrics for ThunderCats, a musical intended for the Broadway stage. The intent was to build off of the success of his hit production, Cats, but to target a younger audience.
Before Julie Taymor directed the award-winning Lion King Musical, she cut her teeth on this project based on the popular 1980s Rankin-Bass animated series, ThunderCats. The stage show featured elaborate, avant-garde costumes representing the colorful characters living on the alien world of Thundera. Actor Ron Perlman starred as Lion-O. The character Snarf was represented by an actor manipulating a Banraku puppet.
Ok, so I made all that up.
ThunderCats Live! was an arena stage show promoted in 1988, probably much like Walt Disney's World on Ice show, but without the skating. Wouldn't you like to see that? I bet you'd want to see it if Gumby, Pokey, the Street Frogs, Karate Kat, the TigerSharks and the Silverhawks were also involved.
This ad is from the Winter 1988 issue of Muppet Magazine (with Jason Bateman on the cover!).
With Walt Disney World in Florida preparing for a revamped Fantasyland, the big question is what will happen to the Barnstormer roller coaster. The Dumbo ride is moving right next to it, and the word is that the airplane themed coaster will sport a new a clown theme.
The Disney artists themselves came up with a Pink Elephants on Parade roller coaster---it's in the movie!! Wouldn't this be perfect next to Dumbo? The surreal Pink Elephants on Parade should be represented in the Disney Parks. This could be a perfect opportunity for a very wild ride!
The stills above are taken directly from the movie. There is a roller coaster car and a standard car they could choose from if clearance for the cars is an issue.
Please Disney, no scary clowns! Give us scary pink elephants!
Edit on January 18, 2011: Disney announced today that Goofy's Barnstormer will be re-themed to "The Great Goofini." Do you remember that Goofy cartoon? I don't! Oh well, at least it's not a clown coaster.
Since it is February, and since I spend so much time at McDonald's, I thought now would be a good time to show off these unused McDonald's Valentines from 1974.
Most of the McDonaldland characters seem to have been retired. Besides Ronald McDonald, I think only Grimace can be seen these days at Mickey D's, and only on rare occasions.
These Valentines feature Ronald McDonald and some characters unknown to kids today (they were introduced in the 1970s and phased out in the 1980s). Here's Officer Big Mac (the cop with a hamburger for a head), the Professor, and The Hamburger Patch (in McDonaldland, the hamburgers grow like plants).
I love how wacky some of the McDonaldland characters were---especially Big Mac here. Too bad there wasn't a Mayor McCheese Valentine here (he may be my favorite). Like Officer Big Mac, he had a hamburger for a head.
When a friend of mine named Scott became the Mayor of his community (that's cool!), he received a Mayor McCheese toy from someone (also cool!).