Saturday, May 23, 2009

Surprise Package



I'm gaining a lot of respect for the multidisc DVD collection of old public doman work that Mill Creek puts out. I bought a 12-disc set called Dark Crimes and that has turned out to have in it not only a few classics like The Naked Kiss, and D.O.A. but rare Oscar Micheaux and James Whale films and five episodes of the legendary 50's TV series, Studio One.

The other day I ran across a collection of old cartoons by the company called "Super300 Cartoon Colection". I studied the cover for a minute and around familiar faces like Popeye, Clutch Cargo and Felix The Cat, I saw some surprising figures. In one corner was Hoppity Hooper, the one Jay Ward cartoon star the world seems to have forgotten about. An even bigger shock was the presence of Calvin And The Colonel, stars of a one season ABC prime time cartoon show from the Sixties where the creators of Amos 'n' Andy, Freeman Godsen and Charles Correll, tried reviving their famous characters as animated animals.

This was all a shock as I had given up hope of ever seeing either of these obscure series on DVD. Needless to say I knew I had to have this set either if there was only one episode each of the shows. I bought it and though I haven't watched any of it yet, I'm very happy to see there are eight Calvin and The Colonel episodes and ten of the four-episode Hoppity Hooper adventures. There's also a bunch of various other series like Gumby, Clutch Cargo, Van Bueren Studio's Aesop's Fables, some Disney Alice cartoons and stuff by characters I've never heard of like Fraidy Cat and Wacky And Packy. It will be fun going through all this I hope.

And wouldn't you know it? Mill Creek has put a Calvin & The Colonel excerpt on YouTube to plug this collection. I've always thought some of the Jay Ward staff must have worked on this but I've never seen any confirmation of that.

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