Front and back covers to the VHS release of GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords, starring the voices of Margot Kidder, Roddy McDowall, and Telly Savalas! Yay? Well, I do like Roddy McDowall…
This is by far my favorite NFB short and maybe my second favorite cartoon ever (after Disney’s The Band Concert, which does SO much for me).
I just found out that the filmmaker who made it, Frédéric Back, passed away last year. Very sad.
I used to watch this over and over. So amazing! During CSSSA one summer, we took a field trip to an exhibition of his art and animation. They had frosted cels from his films, each one was like a detailed painting. Everyone should be familiar with Frédéric Back’s films. Such an astounding body of work, with so much heart.
So Croatia had an animation industry in the 1980s. I was unaware of this fact, but was aware of the fruits of their labors, a little headtrip of a film called The Elm-Chanted Forest. I believe it used to play on the Disney Channel in the days you had to pay extra for it and it was commercial-free.
Anyway, here is a psychedelic musical number from the film, featuring a breakdancing mushroom caricature of Michael Jackson.
Hey, remember when I posted the title cards to the first five episodes of Defenders of the Earth? Well, here are the title cards to episodes 6-10! Of particular note here is the writer of “Cold War”, Anthony Zalewski. Under a slightly altered spelling of his first name, Zalewski is known among Transformers fans as the guy who drove Red Alert insane and brought Optimus Prime back to life as an undead horror - then killed him again. So “Cold War” may be worth checking out, considering those credentials! (I remember him doing an episode of Sky Commanders that wasn’t half bad, either…)
As for the art itself, the “Root of Evil” Ming the Merciless feels kinda Vincent Price-y to me, while on first impression I thought Astra kipped Jem’s font… except I think Defenders of the Earth was produced before Jem and the Holograms was. Regardless, that is some incredibly ’80s typography.
Gears-colored Wheeljack is probably not high on the list of Masterpiece Wheeljack redeco possibilities, but here he is, existing anyway! (The red ears are admittedly kinda neat.)
Screenshots from “Changing Gears”, The Transformers season two.
I can’t decide if that expression in the lower right is a wince, or Arcee slowly counting to stop herself from killing everyone around her.
Model sheet for Count Duckula, a reluctant vampire with an aversion for blood who tries to find fame and fortune in show business. The British-produced series was a hit in the United States on Nickelodeon. © 1988 Cosgrove Hall Productions, Inc. (COURTESY: COSGROVE HALL PRODUCTIONS)
Count Duckula model sheet, adjacent text transcribed as written (image itself slightly adjusted). Scan from Jeff Lenburg’s Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons.
I was not a British child of the 1980s (despite exposure to Dangermouse and Count Duckula via Nickelodeon), so I’d never heard of The Trap Door until fairly recently. Here is an episode where the main character finding a radio is used as an excuse to play the full-length theme song. Well, who can resist an adorably creepy New Wave musical number?
Title cards to episodes 1-5 of Defenders of the Earth. While the majority of the show’s title cards were unique, they would use the same ones for multi-part stories; since “Family Reunion” was a follow-up to “A House Divided” (both focusing on the Phantom’s renegade older brother), the reuse on display here is appropriate.
The “written by” font on “Escape from Mongo” feels sorta embarrassing. IIRC, it’s super-imposed over the image and not actually a part of it.
What better way to celebrate American Thanksgiving than with an animated special by Nelvana, Canada’s (once?) premiere animation studio? Also included: derivatives of The Devil and Daniel Webster starring funny animals and Romeo and Juliet starring robots, plus a Christmas special with the ’70siest-looking Three Wisemen aliens ever.
Another ex-rental VHS cover scan. On this one, the store had cut the front off the box and slipped it into a clear plastic cassette case, so I don’t actually have a copy of the rear.