Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ollie Johnston, Last of the Nine Men

Ollie Johnston, the last of Disney's nine men, died April 14, 2008 at the age of 95. (NYT Obit)

Back in the day, when FDR called the nine Supreme Court Justices his nine men, Walt Disney, as a joke called his top nine animators his Nine Men. The group included Marc Davis, Milt Kahl, Les Clark, Eric Larsen, Ward Kimball, Woolie Reitherman, Frank Thomas, John Lounsbery, and of course Ollie Johnston. Here's more on the Disney's Nine Men.

All the Disney greats we remember - Snow White, Bambi and on and on. Thank the nine men. If you want to see a terrific example of Ollie Johnston's animation work, watch Susie the Little Blue Coupe. Narrated by Sterling Holloway, the voice of Winnie the Pooh.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

TV Classics about the Tax Man

Time to serve up some TV comedy classics about the tax man. First place goes to Granny, who is ready to shoot the revenue man since he might also wanna mess with her still by the cement pond that makes her Spring Tonic. The episode is called Jed Pays His Taxes. Now imagine the I.R.S. has a worst nightmare, what would that person be like. Well look no further - I think Grace Allen would win this prize. Check out 2 hilarious episodes where Gracie's spacey intellect get the best of The Tax Man and the Property Tax Assessor.

You might also want to check out the Frank Random preview of My Man Godfrey, where Eugene Pallette laments that his family spends 50% of his income while the federal government want 60% for taxes. One final tax video concerns Al Capone, who went to jail for tax evasion.

Ooops, we forgot to mention this yesterday - but April 14th is the day the Titanic sunk after it hit an iceberg. Make sure you check out the One Step Beyond episode about the Titanic called the Night of April 14th. We offer that episode with 2 other episodes as a DVD iso download to subscribers or a la carte. But no worries TV fans, the Flash and Real streams are free to watch.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Olympic Tradition - Politicians and Terrorists

We continue our mini blog series on Olympic Furor over the years. This last part looks at how the Olympics has been used by politicians and terrorists to attempt to make a point, but in the end it usually is a pretty futile and silly gesture. A bunch of countries (Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland) boycotted the games way back in 1956 because of Soviet aggression in Hungary. Cambodia, Iraq, Lebanon, and Egypt boycotted the same games because of the Suez Crisis. In 1972 & 1976, a bunch of African nations boycotted the games because South Africa, Rhodesia and New Zealand were not banned from the games. And there's other instances as well. So by the time the USA boycotted the games in 1980 (we were livid over the USSR invading Afghanistan... kind of ironic huh?) it was old hat. And yes, Russia responded along with a large group of Eastern bloc countries by boycotting the 1984 games in Los Angeles. Remembering all this as a kid, it really stunk. The Olympics were much less fun with only one of the big boys. I mean what's the point? That's like an ACC tournament with only Duke or UNC showing up, but not both. This year looks to be no different as a bunch of countries are considering boycotting the games because of Chinese human rights violations. Come on folks - you got 4 years between the games to talk all you want and work it out.

But politicians are the only ones who have chosen to disrupt the games, terrorists have too. Back in 1972, the Munich games were really creepy as a bunch of terrorists killed Israeli atheleles and then blew themselves up at the airport.