I've posted during several other Thanksgiving seasons on The Mouse and the Mayflower. The finest legacy of this classic Rankin-Bass TV special (first broadcast in 1968) is the wonderful songs by Maury Laws and Jules Bass. You can read a report on the only recording of these beautiful songs ever released —and it was a promotional recording, at that, never released to the public—by Greg Ehrbar as part of his not-to-be-missed weekly Animation Spin column at Cartoon Research. (The record was only released to employees of the Gas company, which as you can see below, was the sponsor of the premiere broadcast of the "delightful new musical tale" on NBC.) Two of the most The Mouse and the Mayflower beautiful songs are mashed up for the big climax, for in telling of that first Thanksgiving feast, the animated special showcases the lovely "November," leading into a reprise of the majestic "Mayflower," all richly sung by the always excellent Tennessee Ernie Ford. You can see and hear that part of the special here. The special also incorporates Psalm 100, proclaimed by Tennessee Ernie Ford in his rich, expressive voice. Much has been made of the inclusion of a scripture reading in A Charlie Brown Christmas, and rightly so, but The Mouse and the Mayflower does it too. Here is what Ernie proclaims, a perfect "joyful noise unto the Lord" for Thanksgiving Day: Make ye a joyful noise unto the Lord. Come before his presence with singing. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise. Be thankful unto him and bless his name, for the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth to all generations. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
How does a band of Jungle Book buddies celebrate a holiday associated with cooking and baking when they don't have "Man's red flower"? Simply celebrate with bananas, of course—even though Kaa and Shere Khan seem as if they might be considering Mowgli as the main course. This unusual Disney artwork comes from the cover of the Disney Studios in-house newsletter, Disney Newsreel, for November 26, 1982. No credit is given so the artist is unknown—but whoever created it, this unique take on Thanksgiving reminds us there's more than one way to celebrate even the most tradition-bound holiday.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Today sees the release of The Peanuts Movie in theaters nationwide. This much-anticipated animated film is the first feature film starring Good Ol' Charlie Brown and his friends in 35 years, the last being Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!) (1980). To celebrate the new Peanuts movie let's look back at the FIRST Peanuts movie, A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1968). The publicity material included the comic strip-like series of promotional drawings seen below, an arrangement quite appropriate for an animated film based on a comic strip. Only the top middle drawing is actually drawn by Charles M. Schulz, artist/writer of Peanuts, the world's most popular comic strip; all the rest are adapted from the film's animation. It's interesting to see in the captions words not normally associated with Peanuts, such as "whimsical" and "frolic"—but it's fun how Snoopy is referred to as a 'super-beagle."