Friday, August 17, 2007

Olive Oil Popeye Cartoon

The version of Olive Oyl most widely familiar is the version from the theatrical animated cartoons, first created by Fleischer Studios, and then produced by Famous Studios. Unlike most modern damsels in distress, Olive Oyl has short hair, is tall, skinny, with enormous feet and not particularly attractive. In the films and later television cartoons, Olive Oyl is Popeye's girlfriend. She constantly gets kidnapped by Bluto (aka Brutus), who is Popeye's rival for her affections but Popeye always rescues her.

Olive Oil Popeye Cartoon
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Though Popeye and Bluto both were infatuated with her, Olive wasn't exactly a particularly attractive individual at times, both physically and personality-wise, as she would be extremely fickle depending on who could woo her the best, who had the flashier possessions, and was prone to get angry over the tiniest things. Yet she always ended up with Popeye at the end, showing that his good nature would always get the ladies' attention. In the cartoons, she helps to take care of a baby named Little Swee'Pea; it is not made clear if Swee'Pea is Olive Oyl's own son or an adopted foundling. In the comics, Swee'Pea is a foundling under Popeye's care. Later sources (mostly in the cartoon series) say that Swee'Pea is Olive Oyl's cousin that she has to take care of from time to time.

Olive Oil Popeye Cartoon
Olive Oil Popeye Cartoon 4

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Olive Oil Popeye Cartoon

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tweety happy picture

Tweety happy picture 1
Tweety happy picture
Tweety bird is one of Warner Brother’s most popular characters and is a great icon to use and hold a Tweety party! This party theme is not solely for kids because adults even love this little yellow bird and the sass he provides to Sylvester on a regular basis.

Obviously the theme color for a Tweety party should be yellow. This canary yellow is an easy find for plates, streamers, balloons and utensils. Print and color pictures of Tweety off the internet and attach them to the wall for added decoration.

Tweety cakes are a cinch for a Tweety party. If you don’t feel like paying a bakery to create the cake, shop around for a Tweety cake pan. Once the cake is baked you can decorate the cake with yellow frosting and add the colors for his beak and eyes.

Tweety happy picture
Tweety happy picture 2

Tweety happy picture

Don’t leave Sylvester out in the cold, as he is a great addition to a Tweety party. This black stuttering cat is always trying to catch Tweety but fails time and time again. If you are having children at this party have them color pictures of these two beloved pets. Goodie bags for this party can have rings, stickers, tattoos and other Tweety items to take home.

For an extra fun decoration, get a bird cage and have a stuffed Tweety sit inside and place on a table or hang from the ceiling. Have a large stuffed Sylvester near by peering at the bird. This will make for some great conversation and will add to the decorations of your party.

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Tweety happy picture

Monday, August 13, 2007

'SpongeBob SquarePants' Talent and Characters

SpongeBob SquarePants Talent and Characters Sponge Bob
What makes "SpongeBob SquarePants" popular everywhere? It starts with the characters themselves.

SpongeBob SquarePants is a sea sponge who looks very much like a kitchen sponge. He lives with his pet snail, Gary, in a two-bedroom, fully furnished pineapple. He loves his job at a "burger" place called the Krusty Krab, where he serves up Krabby Patties. He is an optimistic sponge who always looks on the bright side of life despite his real knack for getting himself and others into sticky situations. Although his best friend, Patrick, is a starfish, SpongeBob is the real star of the ensemble cast of undersea characters.

SpongeBob is the lead character of Nickelodeon
SpongeBob SquarePants is the leader of the ensemble cast.

Patrick Star is SpongeBob's neighbor and best friend. He's quick to offer advice and even quicker to help his best buddy end up in trouble.

Sandy Cheeks is a sea-dome-dwelling squirrel who lives for action and adventure. Having attempted just about every death-defying stunt under the ocean, she has accepted the ultimate challenge: living underneath it in an oxygen-filled dome. Sandy is Bikini Bottom's only resident rodent, and SpongeBob's karate sparring partner. For Sandy, SpongeBob is the sea bottom's best stunt buddy, and when they get together, crash helmets and parachutes are usually required.

SpongeBob SquarePants Talent and Characters 3SpongeBob

Squidward Tentacles is as mean as his name sounds. He's annoyed by everything and everybody, especially SpongeBob. He also works at the Krusty Krab and lives next door to SpongeBob. SpongeBob seems unaware of Squidward's feelings toward him and even likes listening to him playing the clarinet. SpongeBob believes he and Squidward make a great team at the restaurant.

Mr. Krabs (Eugene H. Krabs) is SpongeBob's boss and the owner of The Krusty Krab. His biggest concern is making money, and he spends his day counting up the cash from the Krusty Krab receipts. Mr. Krabs likes that SpongeBob is willing to work long hours for little pay, even though he is usually annoyed with SpongeBob. Mr. Krabs hates his fast food rival Plankton, the owner of the Chum Bucket, but not as much as Plankton hates him. The only thing more important to Krabs than money is his teenage daughter, Pearl.

Plankton is Mr. Krabs's nemesis. Plankton is a little guy with a big attitude. He's the owner of a rival restaurant, the Chum Bucket, and he's always scheming to take away the Krusty Krab's customers.

Gary is SpongeBob's pet snail. Even undersea, he leaves a trail of slime, but that doesn't make him any less lovable to his master.

Pearl Krabs is the teenage daughter of Eugene H. Krabs. Although her father is a crab, she herself is a gray whale. How or why this is the case has not been explained. She's popular, likes shopping, and acts like a typical human teenager.

Barnacle Boy (actual name Kyle) is a semi-retired superhero. His powers include being able to summon creatures from the deep sea. He also has a sort of laser vision referred to as "sulfur" vision. The Emmy Award-winning comedian and actor Tim Conway is the voice of Barnacle Boy.

Mermaid Man is the mentor to Barnacle Boy. These two characters add physical comedy in the genre of old comedy teams such as Laurel and Hardy. Ernest Borgnine is the voice of Mermaid Man.

Mrs. Poppy Puff works as a Boating School Driving instructor who teaches students (including SpongeBob) how to drive a boat. She is a pufferfish who inflates herself when something bad happens.

Tom Kenny is the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants.
Tom Kenny is the vocal talent
who brings SpongeBob, Gary,
Mr. SquarePants, and others to life.
Larry the Lobster is a lifeguard at Goo Lagoon, the beach at Bikini Bottom. Larry is good friends with SpongeBob and Sandy.

Meet the Voices Behind the Main Cartoon Characters
in "SpongeBob SquarePants"

Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants/Gary/Mr. SquarePants/Narrator/Patchy the Pirate/Others)
As a youngster, Kenny was a fan of comic books and animated shows. Although he did everything he could to learn about animation, he never imitated the voices of others, but preferred to create his own voices. He began his career in entertainment as a stand-up comedian. One night when he was performing stand-up in a California club, executives from Nickelodeon and Hanna-Barbera offered him the opportunity to work for them doing voices. Kenny's life hasn't been the same since. And here's a little inside info: Tim Kenny is married to minor SpongeBob character Karen the Computer ... better known in real life as Jill Talley.

Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick Star)
Fagerbakke is a television, film, and Broadway actor who currently lends his voice to the character of Patrick.

Rodger Bumpass (Squidward Tentacles)
Bumpass is a voice talent with credits that go as far back as "The Jetsons." He has more than 120 films to his credit and he is the father of eight children.

Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy Cheeks)
Lawrence is a voice actress who may also be recognized as the voice of Cindy Vortex on "The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius."

Doug Lawrence (Plankton/Larry the Lobster/other voices)
Lawrence is the voice of the crotchety Plankton, but has also been known as Filburt from "Rocko's Modern Life." In addition to doing voice work, he is a cartoonist.

"SpongeBob SquarePants" Cast List

* Clancy Brown (Mr. Eugene H. Krabs)
* Rodger Bumpass (Squidward Tentacles)
* Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick Star)
* Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants)
* Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy Cheeks)
* Mary Jo Catlett (Mrs. Poppy Puff)
* Mr. Lawrence (Plankton)
* Tim Conway (Barnacle Boy)
* Ernest Borgnine (Mermaid Man)
* Charles Nelson Reilly (The Dirty Bubble)
* Lori Alan (Pearl Krabs)
* Jill Talley (Karen the Computer)
* Patrick Pinney (Painty the Pirate)
* Carlos Alazraqui (Scooter/Teen-age Fish/Dr. Fish/Announcer
* Brian Doyle-Murray (The Flying Dutchman)
* Sirena Irwin (Mrs. SquarePants)

Sponge Bob
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SpongeBob SquarePants Talent and Characters 5Sponge Bob

Friday, August 10, 2007

Winnie The Pooh In Russia

Winnie The Pooh In Russia 1My wife went to the Soviet Union six weeks before the military coup in 1991. While she was there, she bought a lot of books to bring back with her to the U.S. I discovered this one for myself recently while we were going through our bookshelves to thin out our stock. For some reason, for me Piglet was the first giveaway that these are characters from A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh.

The book is more of a booklet, 8 1/2 x 11" sheets that are folded and saddle-stitched (stapled). The paper is Bible-thin and the print quality is poor. The book's single spot color is brown, and all the pictures are brown, and look like they were generated on some sort of early computer or just run through one in the printing process. But they reflect a very different view of Winnie the Pooh than the one we are so familiar with in the United States. Looking at it - especially when being unable to read a word of it - is an interesting study in how visuals can come to seem embedded within the words, and how works of imagination can be taken over, wholly consumed, and stuffed and mounted by their copyright holders.

Potentiality and Actuality
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The accretion that is Winnie the Pooh, built in my lifetime and just before it by Disney, wore out his welcome in my life long ago. For the past ten years or so he has stood simply as a logo for moms in sweats who wear the mark as a kind of visual cipher signifying Gemütlichkeit in the same way that Mickey Mouse apparel signifies Gemeinschaft.

If we rephrase the Wikipedia entries for these two Germanic terms, we could produce our own lexicon of Disney wear:
Mickey-wearers are broadly characterized by a moderate division of labor, strong personal relationships, strong families, and relatively simple social institutions. In such societies there is seldom a need to enforce social control externally, due to a collective sense of loyalty individuals feel for society. Historically, Mickey-wearing societies were racially and ethnically homogeneous.(Adapated from the Wikipedia entry for Gemeinschaft)

The underlying concept of Winnie-the-Pooh-cladding is that social tensions and certain environments can cause stress, resulting in a feeling of alienation. Winnie-the-Poohism is an active way of preventing such negative influences by going to places and/or meeting with people that are regarded to be Winnie-the-Pooh-ish. A Winnie-the-Pooher is one who takes part in this lifestyle and knows about the tensions he/she is able to cause, and thus tries to avoid these things actively. This way an agreement is established to make an "environmentally cosy" site (Heuriger, garden, cellar, backyard restaurant, living room...) "socially cosy." One characteristic of a Winnie-the-Pooh situation is that one could blind out everything else (past, future, other places and absent people) and yet everything would be fine (an eternal "now and here"). Winnie-the-Poohists describe that as "leaving everything at the doorstep" (though a Pooh-ish place doesn't necessarily have to be inside a house). (Adapated from the Wikipedia entry for Gemütlichkeit)
Now that I have a young daughter, however, I have had occasion to reread the original Milne and find it far less cloying and obnoxious than the Pooh Bear I remember. The seeds of Disney's visual interpretation are certainly there - the warmth of tone and rounded edges - but I have been pleasantly surprised by the book's scattered illogic and circuitous whimsy, elements Disney has eroded into mere absent-mindedness as they fit Pooh into the well-worn ruts all of Disney's early, charismatic characters have traveled as they shifted from the world of stories to that of brands.

Even E.H. Shepard's illustrations from the original Milne feel refreshing after a lifetime of Disney.

Winnie The Pooh In Russia 3Pooh meets Tigger in The House At Pooh Corner.

Winnie The Pooh In Russia 4The Russian edition I've been browsing lately is now helping me reimagine Pooh even further, and got me wondering about how such characters become fixed in our minds in a certain style, and what it takes to break them out of that form and regain our perception of something more abstract which might truly interest us.

At left, Pooh is falling from the tree in the first chapter of the book, after using a balloon to attempt to get at their honey. This is also the first chapter of the English-language version of the book.

In the 1930s the image of Pooh was a fairly fluid thing. A variety of illustrators in the U.S. took a crack at him when the stories were serially published there, and although the subsequent book editions had been given a strong imprint by illustrator E.H. Shepard (the illustrations you will undoubtedly see today), Milne welcomed Pooh's exportation to children's theatre, sound recording of Pooh stories by Jimmy Stewart and Gene Kelly, in "early animated paper films" (Wikipedia's wording - I'd certainly like to see those!) and in adertising various goods and services.

Neither Milne nor Shepard considered these characters to be their legacy. Both were leading contributors to the political magazine Punch and felt their most significant work was done there. Shepard reportedly grew to "hate" Pooh, and Milne wished to be remembered as a playwright rather than as the author of "four trifles for the young."

This may help explain why Milne left the rights to Winnie the Pooh to four different groups, who became quite confused over how to best carve up this golden-egg-laying goose. Disney bought rights from one of those groups and has more or less won the slugfest over who can legally employ the characters.

Death and Rebirth

Winnie The Pooh In Russia 5Here, in the second story in the book, Rabbit entertains Pooh in his home prior to Pooh getting stuck in Rabbit's hole on the way out. In the Disney version of the stories all of the characters are heavily caricatured versions of those in the book, and the mean-spirited Rabbit takes to drawing on Pooh's rear end, if I remember correctly. In fact, this is one of the few Pooh stories (along with the bees and the balloon) used by Disney in the company's cartoons and videos.

The rest of the stories the Russian editor used appear to come from The House at Pooh Corner, Milne's second book of Pooh stories, which introduces Tigger (who became a leading character in Disney's cast) and which ends with Christopher Robin leaving Hundred Acre Wood forever, too old to play in the forest with stuffed animals. It's the perfect culmination to what is effectively an exercise in nostalgia. I mentioned earlier that parental influence helps suppress bad children's characters, but it also props up others artificially, like a welfare state's subsidized television stations might take the peaks and valleys out of a free market of popular expression. If you have any doubts about the role parents play in keeping children's books alive, you need only look to the persistence of nostalgia - a concept that is completely irrelevant to young children - as one of only a handful of the most influential themes in the history of children's literature. Sometimes this powerful source of inspiration, spoken by and largely to adults, is transformed into something of real, authentic relevance to young children. Sometimes it isn't. In the case of A. A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh, I can come down on either side of this question depending on my mood.

Winnie The Pooh In Russia 6The things which tend to push me towards a hatred of Pooh are the things that Disney has done to him. I am a friend of Gemütlichkeit and the idyll of comfort, love, and total understanding that it promises. Such moments and experiences do exist, and they can be among the most important experiences of our lives. But when such things are turned into commodities, things always get ugly. At left we have the most extreme caricature Disney has come up with, from the live-action children's show The House At Pooh Corner, which I remember watching with my little sister back in the 1980s. Back then, I was just bored. Now, I see things, tragic things, in Pooh's face. The pinched, pained face of Pooh in this show reminds me of the freakish, post-plastic surgery Catherine O'Hara in For Your Consideration. The weathering of Pooh's visage - the theatrical revues of the 1930s, the shared inheritance of rights among multiple, entrepreneurial parties, the sellouts to Disney, the lawsuits - these have all been washed away, leaving a horrific hybrid between product and product packaging. This expression, this grimace - it is a death mask. This is the face of a character trapped in a kind of living death. He is a frozen image, begging for release.

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But I see this Russian Pooh, and I wonder if my hatred is misplaced.
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Winnie the Pooh has been quite popular in Russia. And unlike in the United States, no one exclusively owned the right to draw him. Above, Winnie the Pooh nesting dolls. Below, one of the popular Winnie the Pooh cartoons from Soviet animation powerhouse Soyuzmultfilm.
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But still, the Disney image remains. I can see these other figures while I look at them - examine them, even attempt to refresh my image of who Pooh might be by using them, following their lines, absorbing their colors. But when I turn away, this remains.
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Characters can't always be brought back from the brink. Sometimes they should just be allowed to die. And when market forces prevent this from occurring - when there is still money to be made from the mask, from the shell of the creature that animates the books - the words, which bear no responsibility for the evolved image, suffer anyway. And we read, and try to forget.