Friday, April 3, 2020

The All-New Adventures of Herbie, The Love Bug

****Editor's Note (written on my 16th consecutive day of "self-isolating" at home):

As some of you might have noticed by now, I usually publish only one post per month (and on rare occasions, two). I just got in the habit of doing that years ago and it's what works for me. I do work on some of my posts pretty far in advance. They are usually a work in progress and I am often adding things to them and tweaking them, before they ever get published.

This post was already written and pretty much ready to go, but it wasn't set to publish for several months from now. I thought I would bump it up to an earlier date, because of the current situation with so many people at home, either "self-isolating" or "self-quarantining." This particular post has multiple videos to watch, for anyone who is looking for something to keep themselves and/or their loved ones occupied.

I would like to thank you in advance, for reading my post. And if you read my blog regularly, thank you so much for "following" it. I appreciate all of you! Please stay at home, if you are able to. Please be safe! And please stay well! -TokyoMagic!

In 1982, the Walt Disney Studios produced a "limited-run" television series (only 5 episodes), based on it's successful Herbie/The Love Bug movies. The TV series reunited the titular Volkswagen, with Dean Jones, who starred in two of those previous movies.

Here is the Wednesday night listing for the premiere episode of the All-New Adventures Of Herbie, The Love Bug, from the March 13, 1982 issue of TV Guide.

Let's take a look at what else was on TV that week! On Saturday night, Walt Disney was airing the 1964 film, The Moon-Spinners, starring Hayley Mills. This was the fifth, of six films that Hayley Mills did for Disney (not counting her three Parent Trap sequels, which were all made-for-TV movies).

T.J. Hooker, starring William Shatner and Adrian Zmed, was also debuting that night.

On Monday, Carol Burnett was starring in a TV special, featuring her "Eunice" character from The Carol Burnett Show. The success of this special, led to the series, Mama's Family, one year later.

Later in the week, an 18 year-old Rob Lowe was playing a 16 year-old, in the ABC "After School Special," School Boy Father. This was seven years, before he sang and danced with Snow White at the Academy Awards.

The Facts of Life was in it's third season, and Jack Klugman and Tony Randall where together again on television (just not in the same show).

KCET was airing a "Making Of" special, for the soon-to-be-released film version of the Broadway musical, Annie.

Police Squad was a TV series, from the creators of the film, Airplane. The series was cancelled after only 6 episodes, but it led to the creation of the successful The Naked Gun films, 6 years later.

The 1981 film, S.O.B., was available to "rent" on videocassette. This was the movie in which Julie Andrews says, "I'm going to show my boobies!" and then actually does it!

Here is the cover story article on actor, John Ritter:

The back cover of this issue featured an ad for cigarettes. I guess they wanted us to believe that smoking would lead to all sorts of "adult" fun and hijinks....instead of disease and death.

By the some point, all five of the All-New Adventures Of Herbie episodes re-aired on The Disney Channel and they are all available on YouTube. I'm including a link to each episode, below. I also just happened to have the 1982 TV Guide listings for each episode, so I've included those as well.

Dean Jones sang the show's theme song, "Herbie, My Best Friend." If you would like to watch just the show's opening credits and theme song, here it is:


Episode 1 - "Herbie The Matchmaker" (Produced by Disney child star, Kevin Corcoran - Originally aired on March 17, 1982.)

Here again, is that ad and listing from the March 13, 1982 issue of TV Guide:


Episode 2 - "Herbie to the Rescue" (Originally aired on March 24, 1982.)

Here's an advertisement and the listing from the March 20, 1982 issue of TV Guide:


Episode 3 - "My House is Your House" (Originally aired March 31, 1982.)

The listing from the March 27, 1982 issue of TV Guide (there were no special ads for the remaining episodes):


Episode 4 - "Herbie, The Best Man" (Originally aired April 7, 1982.)

The listing from the April 3, 1982 issue of TV Guide:


Episode 5 - "Calling Dr. Herbie" (Originally aired April 14, 1982.)

The listing from the April 10, 1982 issue of TV Guide:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

What Were They Thinking? - A "Politically Correct" Pirates of the Caribbean (1997 and 2018)

Today is the 53rd Anniversary of Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean! In honor of the anniversary, let's go back to 1997 and take a look at some newspaper articles, about Disney's first major altering of the attraction.

This first article is from January 1997 and talks about the changes that were being made, 23 years ago:

This next article was also written during the refurbishment:

And this one was written in March of 1997, after the attraction had reopened:

Here's a link to a short news story about the 1997 reopening of Pirates of the Caribbean and the response from guests.

If you look closely in that video, you will see three pirate figures and at least three animal figures, which were all being added to the attraction at that time (and were all removed when the attraction underwent another rehab in 2006, for the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow). Those new figures which were added in 1997, all came from an EPCOT attraction that had recently closed. I had previously done two separate posts about the "new" pirate figures, so rather than include photos of them here, I will just provide the links to my earlier posts:

- "EPCOT in Anaheim"

- "More EPCOT in Anaheim"

In June of 2018, even more "politically correct" changes were made to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. It seems that the "auction scene," which had been a part of the original ride for 50 years, was suddenly found to be offensive.

A local newspaper article by Mark Eades, dated July 2, 2017, talked about the changes that would be made to that scene, which included making the "Redheaded Wench" into a "Plundering Pirate." A senior vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering is quoted as saying, "We think this keeps to the original vision of the attraction as envisioned by X Atencio, Marc Davis and the other Disney legends who brought this classic to life." Personally, I beg to differ! I just wish the two legends who were mentioned, were still around today so that we could ask them for their opinions. Actually, X Atencio had already been quoted, calling the 1997 revisions to the attraction, "The Boy Scouts of the Caribbean." Maybe we should ask Rolly Crump, Bob Gurr and Alice Davis, for their opinions!

This was the official Disney concept art, showing how the scene would be reworked:

And here is the finished product:

Below, is another local newspaper article dated, October 1, 2017. The author of this article was predicting that Disney wasn't going to do very much to the auction scene, other than give the Redheaded Wench some new pirate garb and hang a new banner behind her. It would have been nice if that was ALL that they did to the scene, but unfortunately they changed far more than that, including giving dialogue to the new "Redheaded Pirate."

I would like to know who wrote the new script for this scene! It doesn't even make sense. She now interacts with the Pirate Auctioneer, who is trying to sell chickens (WHY?) to the group of pirates seated across the way. He asks them, "Do I hear ten? A ten for a hen!" The Redheaded Pirate then interrupts him and while holding up a bottle, tells him that the men aren't interested in the chickens, but rather, "It's the rum they want!" The men start chanting, "We wants the rum! We wants the rum!" Excuse me, but aren't these guys pirates? Aren't they looting the town? If they wanted rum (or even a chicken), wouldn't they just go steal it for themselves? The entire dialogue seems so inane.

Again, I think it would have been better if they had only made the minimal changes, which the author was predicting. Actually, it would have been better if they had just left the auction scene as it had been, for the past 50 years! I am all for political correctness, but I think their attempt at updating this scene was a huge FAIL.

And not that I want to give Disney ideas for ruining the attraction any further, but if they are truly attempting to be politically correct, isn't it hypocritical to make that one change, but then leave all of the pirates who appear to be drunk and holding bottles of booze....AND ALSO HOLDING GUNS? Maybe they should just make all of the pirates hold hands and sing Kumbaya? After all, aren't the lyrics of the attraction's theme song, A Pirates Life For Me, really just encouraging people to "drink, pillage, loot, extort, kidnap, embezzle, hijack, and burn up the city"?

The author of the article goes on to say, that she feels changing the one female to a pirate isn't enough. She thinks, "If Disney really cared about embracing diversity and creating better representation of women and minority groups, there is a lot more they should be doing." When it comes to Disney's live action and animated films, she would like to see them focus on creating new stories about "people of color, women, LGBT individuals, and other underrepresented groups." I totally agree with her, but when Disney tried to do that with the Star Wars franchise (The Last Jedi), didn't many of the "fanboys" scream and cry?

I better end my rant here!

Happy 53rd anniversary, to the "ORIGINAL" Pirates of the Caribbean!

****Post Update****

I forgot to include the following information in my post:

So far, the "auction scene" has been updated in three of the Disney parks, worldwide. Both Anaheim's and Orlando's versions have the plus-size "Winsome Wench," also known as "Tiny," holding a chicken in one hand and a basket of eggs in the other. (Again, why on earth would the pirates be bidding on eggs???) At least in the Disneyland Paris version (seen below), she is holding jewelry, which makes just a little bit more sense, in my opinion. I wonder why Paris received a different version than Anaheim and Orlando? As of right now, Tokyo Disneyland still retains it's original auction scene.

And no, you are not seeing things! The pirate auctioneer has lost his head, here. Coincidentally, this happened on the exact same day that the animatronic "Ursula" lost her head, in the "Little Mermaid" ride in Anaheim.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Vintage Disney Valentines - 1970's

Well, it's February. That means Valentine's Day is just around the corner!

These vintage Valentine's, are from "boxed sets" which my mom purchased for me, back in the 1970's. Almost every year that I was in elementary school, I gave out Disney-themed Valentine's to my classmates. And I always ended up saving the extra ones, which weren't used:

It appears that someone left off Minnie's eyelashes on this next one. At least, I'm assuming that's Minnie.

I remember a few of the Valentines had very old-fashioned sayings on them. For example, this next one says, "You'll Be Sitting Pretty"....that phrase was outdated, even when I was a kid! I remember another Valentine featured Daisy Duck, knitting something from a ball of yarn and the caption said something like, "It's no yarn! I want you to be my Valentine." My mom had to explain some of the phrases to me!

I've saved all of these Valentines for decades, now. However, I only recently "reacquired" this one. After my dad passed away, I found this Valentine with some other cards he had been saving. Printed on the back is, "To Dad. Love,...." and then my name. I'm not sure how old I was when I gave it to him, but I'm guessing by the way I had printed my name, that it was some time between Kindergarten and 2nd grade.

The Valentines above were large and had to be folded, in order to fit into the provided envelopes. As the years went on, they made the Valentines smaller.

Note the "Dumbo" Valentine below, addressed to "Teacher." The boxed sets of Valentines usually included one special card, to give to the teacher.

And these Valentines were even smaller and required no folding at all. I believe these were from when I was in sixth grade, which was my last year of elementary school and also the last year of a classroom "Valentine exchange."

I found some boxes of Valentine's on ebay, which are very similar to the kind that I gave out. The cellophane wrapper around the boxes always had a clear area, where you could view some of the cards inside.

With this package, you can even see a portion of the "Goofy On Roller Skates" Valentine (as seen above), through the clear window.

In every grade throughout elementary school, my teachers always had us make a folder, to hold the Valentines we would be receiving from our classmates. We made the folders out of construction paper. (I wonder if they still do this in elementary schools today? I wonder if they even exchange Valentines today?) My mom saved every single folder that I ever made. Here is my Valentine folder, from when I was in Kindergarten:

Happy (early) Valentine's Day, everyone!

****Post Update!****

I decided to look for (and scan) some of the Valentine's that I received over the years, from fellow classmates. These span a period of seven years (Kindergarten through 6th grade).

First, we have a few more Disney Valentines:

These are two of my favorites, just because of the wonderful graphics. These were printed on heavier card stock and each card has two slits in it, which were used to hold a sucker.

Another one of my favorites, is the Valentine with the mummies. Now I'm wondering if they ever made sets of Valentines, entirely with monster graphics. I bet they did!

I'm a little surprised by the slightly adult text, "You Turn Me ON!" and "Let's Do Our THING Together!" But hey, we were kids. We were innocent. I think it just went over our heads!

Some of these are definitely, "of their time" the Valentine below, which claims, "You're GROOVY!"

Hallmark made these next four Valentines. These were larger in size and printed on a paper that was thicker than the "die-cut" Valentines (like the ones above). These could be folded over and actually "sealed" by placing the bottom edge of the card, into the three slits along the top edge.

I went to school with "Robbie," from first grade through twelfth grade. He was at our last high school reunion and won the award for, "having the most children"......NINE!!!

Hallmark also made this "puzzle" Valentine. I think this was a neat idea. You didn't know what the front of the Valentine looked like, or who had signed the back of it, until you put all of the pieces together.

Here's another Valentine with the, "YOU'RE GROOVY" sentiment. I wonder if in the eighties, these companies made Valentines which stated, "YOU'RE RADICAL!" or "YOU"RE TOTALLY TUBULAR!"?

I'm familiar with the Scottish use of the word "bonnie," but I just had to look it up for it's exact definition, which is "pleasing to the eye; handsome; pretty." So whoever was giving the Valentine on the far left, was asking the recipient (me) to be their pretty (or handsome) "luv!" Again, too adult, in my opinion! But it sure went past me, as a kid. And "HI, HOT STUFF!"???? Okay, I'm sure I'm just reading too much into these.

I think these Valentines are much tamer! ;-)

The back of the "caveman and cavewoman" Valentine below, was signed "From A Friend." And I found another Valentine which just had, "From Me," on the back. It appears that a couple of my classmates, were attempting to be wisenheimers!

I can't remember if I was able to figure out back then, who it was that didn't sign their Valentine. The person who gave me this, might have slipped it into my folder, along with another Valentine that they did actually sign, just to cover up their tracks. I wonder if they did this to other people in the class, or just me?

I still remember the little girl in Kindergarten, who gave me the "Teacher" Valentine, below. I also remember wondering why she gave it to me. I don't think I asked her. Maybe at that age, she wasn't able to read the word, "Teacher"?

These next three sets of Valentines (as well as some individual ones seen earlier in this post), appear to have used an older style of graphics. In a comment left below by Mike Cozart, he states, "I recall as a kid being aware that many of the designs seemed “old style” or reprinted designs."

I was also aware that some of the Valentines I was receiving as a kid, had an older style to their artwork. I'm assuming that some of the manufacturers, continued to print the same Valentines for many years, while other's updated their designs with a more "modern" look. If you look closely at the Disney Valentines in the first half of this post, you will notice a change, even in their style. The Disney Valentines had remained the same for many years, but by the time I was in 6th grade, they had completely changed their designs and style of artwork.

This Valentine reminds me of Knott's BERRY Farm and the old Knott's BEAR-Y Tales ride (which is actually making a return to Knott's this year, after a 34-year absence!) Whoever designed this Valentine, should have really completed the "double pun," by including a berry somewhere in the artwork!

The small bouquet of flowers in the basket (on the right), is inserted into a slot in the card and is actually removable.

My best friend in elementary school, gave me these Valentines in 5th and 6th grade. They originally had a bit of a 3-D aspect to them, but have been flattened from years of storage.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day!