Mr. Nostalgia…getting nostalgic on gifts he once gave…

Posted on: December 30, 2013

With Christmas just finished and presents still underneath the tree, it made me think about presents I once gave. I’ve mentioned my good friend, my collector-in-arms, the thousandth man Rich here on my blog tons of times.  As you know, he isn’t doing very well and each day sometimes is a struggle when it comes to hearing this sort of information. I was looking at the presents and it made me think of two gifts I gave Rich and I thought I would share them.

The first is a vintage R2-D2 from the 12 inch doll line. One night when I had my first house Rich and I were sending links of vintage Star Wars toys that were being auctioned on eBay. Rich sent me one that said “Buy me this” and had the R2 toy in the link.  It was going for $25.00.  I didn’t let him know, but bid on it, won, and gave it to him for his birthday.  What’s cool is that it came with the Death Star plans.

 

Rich was really excited over this present and said there would be no way to top a gift like that.  I agreed, but took it on to prove him wrong.

Which leads me to his second gift.  A few summers ago Mrs. Nostalgia and I went to Disney World for vacation.  We came home on Rich’s birthday, and the good friend he is, he picked us up from the airport. A week before I had been watching an auction to get him a birthday gift, something I knew he would like.  I wound up winning the auction and paid right away, and it just worked out that when I was away the payment was received and the toy sent out. It was waiting for us with all the other mail we had coming to us.

Rich is a sci-fi geek and loves robots. Any kind of sci-fi he digs and he is always trying to get me to watch it. When I was a kid I liked this movie, but only for the robots, and now, I really can’t stand the movie, though I still think the toys are cool.  What movie? Disney’s The Black Hole which came out in 1979. The movie was in development for 5 years, took 14 months to make and cost Disney $20 million.  It didn’t make its money back by a long shot.

My favorite, as well as Rich’s, robots were V.I.N. CENT., voiced by Roddy McDowall and “Old” B.O.B. voiced by cowboy great Slim Pickens. V.I.N.CENT stood for Vital Information Necessary Centralized and B.O.B. stood for Bio-sanitation Battalion.  The V.I.N.CENT toy could cost you lots of money for a mint version, and the B.O.B. will cost you even more. I got lucky in being able to find him this toy for $40.00 plus shipping.  It came complete with the stand.

 

(V.IN.C.ENT and “Old” B.O.B. from The Black Hole movie)

(V.I.N.CENT toy)

Rich never saw this toy coming.  He was so shocked. He said when he was a kid he had this toy and he would put it in his pocket when he would do homework, and when he mother wasn’t looking, take the toy out to play with.  He lost it long before I met him.

I was really glad to give him this gift.  It really made his day and totally topped the gift of R2-D2.  I really don’t know what would top this gift, maybe a toy of B.O.B. or life-size replica’s of the robots.

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 11:44 pm

Mr. Nostalgia: The Disney Store News…

Posted on: December 30, 2013

While Disney is closing down some of their Disney Stores it seems to be “business as usual” for others with new merchandise coming in.  Expect to see in your local Disney Store Star Wars toys.  This won’t be the first time Disney has sold Star Wars merchandise, Walt Disney World has been selling it for years in their Disney’s MGM/Hollywood Studios theme park and their Down Town Disney Village stores.  Their “park stores”, when there used to be some (New York City’s 5th Ave store was one) used to sell the same park exclusive merchandise of Star Wars, but now since Disney owns it, expect to see Star Wars everywhere, especially with a new movie coming out in 2015.

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 11:38 pm

Mr. Nostalgia: Something cool of Thor…

Posted on: December 30, 2013
My sister got me this. A wallet of The Mighty Thor. I like the design on it, it has a nice old-school feel to it. The wallet itself was actaually affordable, costing only $16.97.
Mr. Nostalgia
Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 1:21 am

Mr. Nostalgia talks video games and screams, “MORTAL KOMBAT!”…

Posted on: December 29, 2013

This past weekend my sister had a surprise for me when I get to my mothers.  Sunday was a crazy day to begin with due to us finding out my wife’s car needed to go in the shop for some work when the check engine light came on.  It was 70 degrees that day and we were in the midst of weather-schizophrenia with snow on the ground, 70 degree temperature, rain and fog coming from the warm rain melting the cold snow.  On our way to church we saw the light for the engine, then turned around to get my car.  After church we food shopped, dropped off the food, then went to my mother’s house to see my family and cousins for a Christmas get together.

My sister said she had a surprise for me, and when I walked into what was once her bedroom she turned on the TV and there on the screen was Mortal Kombat 3.  My mind suddenly filled with trying to remember the way to make Subzero freeze someone, memories of summer nights spent playing this game before going out, my brother, sister, some friends and I trash talking each other, seeing someone run on screen and say “toastie” and of controllers being thrown when someone lost (and my sister saying, “Don’t throw the controller!” as we did). A grin much like Han Solo would use crossed my face. “Yes,” I thought to myself, “we will play the Mortal Kombat.  We will trash talk, and we will win.” The rest of the day was lost in playing Mortal Kombat 3.  While there was some trash talking, no controllers were hurt in the loss of a game.

My brother, sister and I started out old school on video games.  We had an Atari 2600.  We rocked that thing for years, playing games that were great (Pitfall, Berserk, Spider-man, River Raid) and some that were not so great (E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark (sorry Indy)). One of our cousins had a Coleco Vision, which I never liked for two reasons.  The first was I hated the controller, it seemed so awkward compared to the Atari one, second was my cousin had a Coleco converter, or whatever it was called, that allowed him to play Atari 2600 games on it.  So not only did he double his games when we came over, but he knew his games well enough to beat us, so we had to really concentrate on winning with our games.

We also spent some time in dark places called “arcades”.  While the word sounds familiar to some, younger readers might not know what one is.  That’s cool.  Mr. Nostalgia will explain.  An arcade was a place that held arcade games in them that only cost one quarter for three lives. Not only were the games reasonably priced, but they were full of games everywhere.  I remember once playing a table top version of an arcade of Popeye. (Table top versions of arcades were just what they sounded like, the screen was in a table and you would play looking down at the table top instead of looking straight into a standing machine. If you don’t know who Popeye is I might have to write a blog about him so you know.  Not only were the cartoons great, so was the video game, and Robin Williams once played him, very well too I must say, in a really stupid movie.) One of the best arcades ever was the original Star Wars one where you flew and destroyed Tie-fighters then into the Death Star itself to destroy. This was a standing game, though there was also a sitting down version which was so much cooler.

In an arcade there was one simple type of etiquette.  This was for whoever got “the next game”. This was decided by saying, “I got next game” and placing a quarter on the console window.  By placing the quarter there you were getting “dibs” on the next game, and there was no discussing it.  Someone could walk up and say, “I got next game” and you could refute that by saying, “Dude, I do, see my quarter?”  The quarter on the console was binding, much like a legal document is binding when buying a house. (To see what this looks like I recommend watching the Disney movie Wreck-it Ralph, 2012, which shows the kids doing this in the movie.)

Mostly our parents didn’t want us hanging out in arcades, though my mother did take us to one once to meet my Coleco-cousin there.  When we wanted to play arcades we would either go to “The Candy Store” down the street to play (now long gone, the candy store sold candy, drinks, and some other crap I totally don’t remember.  I DO remember the stupid owners telling us we had to be seventeen to play the arcade, which we knew was crap since we’ve played them before and knew there was no age-limit on the things, and I remember my sister and I going there once, possibly with other friends, and me buying a Coke and my sister trying to pay fifty-cents for a can of non-alcoholic beer.  When the lady told her to put that back my sister tried to reason with her with, “But it’s non-alcoholic.”) or when we were older in the movie theatre.  There were also places like “Show Biz Pizza” that we went to or when we were much older a place that was called “Sports World” that charged five dollars in quarters to get in before it got busy and then would charge ten.

We had the Atari for several years before it finally lost its coolness.  While we were video game-less my buddy Rich did have the Atari 7200.  This was a newer model, it could play all the old games, plus had this game called Robotron (which was basically just a cooler version of Berserk) where you had to shoot robots before they shot you.  Rich’s parents were NEVER home which meant I was always over there and we were playing video games.  To play Robotron, for some reason, we had to do this.  Have some Coke to drink.  Make microwave popcorn to eat.  When the microwave went ding Rich would get the bag of steaming popcorn, and before serving it, for some reason I don’t know why to this day, would throw it into the room. No steaming hot kernels ever flew into my eye thankfully, and never did the bag ever rip open in flight causing us to be popcorn-less.

Around 1988-1989 my sister got the NES Nintendo.  Ever the trend setter, she followed that with a subscription to Nintendo Power magazine. A year later I would get my own Nintendo, and many nights while in high-school were spent playing Super Mario Bros 2 or Zelda.  While Mario was a great game, it did not have a save feature at the time, so when you’re trying to beat the game and it was past midnight and you were tired, you couldn’t save where you were, which meant you either shut it off and start over the next day because you lost where you were (which was not an option), or, you paused the game and shut the TV off. This was THE only option.  When we got Zelda (the cartridge that looked like it was in gold no less) this came with the save feature, which meant we could play the game and save the levels we won until we got the silver arrow and could beat Ganon, restoring the Tri-force.

In 1992 Disney released the film Aladdin.  Great movie.  Great video game too. The winter of 92 (I sound like a crazy old man talking about the worst winter ever, don’t I?) I was a senior in high-school. I also got mono that winter.  I was off from school for one week.  My week home consisted of the following: waking around 9, eating some breakfast, watching reruns of Muppet Babies on Nickelodeon, then playing Aladdin on my brother’s Sega Genesis, having a bowl of orange and cream ice cream, resting on the couch before my dad and brother came home for lunch (they worked down the street), talking to them during their lunch, then playing more Aladdin when they left, having a snack, watching TV until my mom came home and then going upstairs when she did.

Aladdin was a great game.  One thing I remember commenting on about the game to my two younger cousins was how it looked like a cartoon.  You have to remember, I lived during the 80’s, population for a video game 224X256 (the most common resolution for the classic 8-bit video game) and was able to go from seeing my godfather have a Pong game in his basement to NES.  Impressive.  Like going from silent movies to “talkies”, or seeing black and white TV’s then get a color one. I don’t remember much about Aladdin except one thing, I believe it was on level two, but there would be a clothes line starting out pretty early in the level, and on that clothes line was a pair of “mouse ears”.  If you let Aladdin stand in just the right spot, when he looked to his right, the “mouse ears” would look like they were on his head, and you’d get an extra life. I thought that was pretty cool.

I’d also get a Super Nintendo while visiting my cousin that spring.  I was to be in his wedding the summer of 93, which is when I would graduate, and had to drive out to Long Island with my parents and grandparents. After getting fitted for my tux I was waiting and spent the time in a Toys R Us (same one where I years before bought a Raiders of the Lost Ark Well of Souls Kenner play set) and bought the Super Nintendo on a whim when I saw the Super Nintendo Star Wars game.  Coming home that day and playing the game got me hooked.  I would spend many nights getting to the point where I would beat the game, and when I did, I would have to wait for Super Empire Strikes Back and Super Return of the Jedi to come out.

Despite liking my Super Nintendo I didn’t go nuts buying games.  I had the Super Star Wars trilogy as mentioned above (this was BEFORE George Lucas would ruin the franchise) and had the Indiana Jones Greatest Adventures for the Super NES, I think a few more. But the one game that would be the most time consuming, the one game that would have my sister shouting, “No throwing controllers,” as she ducked for cover, the one game that would have us trash talking each other like a celebrity roast, was MORTAL KOMBAT 3 (caps for shouting effects, folks).

Mortal Kombat 3.  I can say the game name and look off into the distance, almost hearing the trash talk, hearing the controller keys going, the cursing at losing, the inevitable cry of my sister with “No throwing controllers”.  The game haunts me like a war veteran. In 1995, when the movie Mortal Kombat was released I was out of work. A friend took me and his little brother to see the movie, and when we went to sit down I looked at the floor and found five dollars.  I looked at my friend and said, “I’m keeping this.” Free movie and found five dollars, pretty good day.

I don’t know where the trash talking came from.  We never started out to try it, it sort of just happened. Like a mysterious kung fu form long thought forgotten, trash talk became as valuable a tool in this game as knowing how to control your character. In the game of Mortal Kombat 3 where I come from, if you don’t trash talk, you don’t bother showing up. Trash talking was more than just talk, it was more than just saying things to piss my brother off, it was a way to get inside his head, into his psyche, and really mess with him while playing. Not only did you get him riled up before or during a game, which would mess with his playing, but you could also make him laugh, which also messed with his playing.

The best bouts of trash talk came from my brother and me.  One time, I kid you not, I beat him in forty seconds with trash talk.  He was already pissed from playing the game with my sister, and when “I got next game” I started out instantly with the trash talk saying, “Dead man walking. We got a dead man walking here.” My brother never stood a chance.  I got into his mind, got him to lose thought, and the next thing he knows he’s getting his spine ripped out in a fatality. He got up, walked out of the room, closed the door, then turned around and opened it once more within seconds not wanting it to end the way it did.  For him, it only got worse. My brother may have beat me at lots of thing in life, both beating the crap out of me or in games, but the one time I could always get him was when playing Mortal Kombat 3.  This weekend proves this, and proves the power of trash talking.

But trash talking took on a whole new level when my buddy Rich and I started playing Godzilla for the Nintendo GameCube. Godzilla Destroy all Monsters Melee was THE game to do battle as one of Toho’s monsters, the game where Rich and I would kick the crap out of each other in different cities and choosing from 14 classic Toho creatures (I was always either Godzilla or Jet Jaguar while Rich could take any character from the movies and learn to master them.  Rich is a Godzilla nut and whether it be movie or video game the guy just digs his Japanese monsters). Rich was good at this game.  He was good at trash talking too.  When we played, we didn’t just trash talk, we commented on the game, giving titles to moves that we didn’t know the name of, so when Jet Jaguar jumped and kicked in the air I’d shout, “It’s the Tommy Tune!” or when we’d be kicking the crap out of each other one of us would shout “It’s a battle royale!” (yes, we said “royale” because it sounded cooler than “royal”) as we gave a fight that Godzilla fans never saw their radioactive tyrannosaurus hero do. But to talk about Godzilla means I need to start at the beginning of that game for Rich and me, and to do that, we need to go to the year 2002, the night before I got married.

It was Saturday night when Rich picked me up.  I saw my future-bride-to-be earlier that day and now we were both getting ready for our wedding the next morning in our own unique way, what I didn’t know at the time was that mine would be playing video games all night.  When Rich picked me up we headed to my favorite (my wife’s too) Chinese restaurant for some take out, then went back to his place and watched the best Star Wars movie ever, The Empire Strikes Back. After eating the food and watching the movie Rich and I spent the next several hours playing Godzilla Destroy all Monsters Melee. Then something happened.  We started trash talking.  It was the first time we ever did that, and it just seemed to come natural.  Perhaps all the hours of playing Mortal Kombat 3 prepared me for it, but Rich and I never trash talked when we played.  Next thing I know insults are being thrown eat each other, comments on the lack of talent, stupid names for moves we just did but had no idea how were created, and a ton of laughter was heard.  We’d play until midnight before I finally went home to marry the best woman ever.

After my wife and I married and came back from our Honeymoon we bought our first house and moved in a couple months later. A tradition started where every Saturday Rich would come over, I’d cook the three of us dinner, and Rich and I would play Godzilla all night.  Trash talking included.  We’d start trash talking with everything we did. Play Godzilla, 500 Rummy, when we painted my second house, the trash talk just kept going as did the laughter.

Cut to this year and several months ago when my sister and I are talking through email while at work. For some reason the thought of screaming “MORAL KOMBAT!” came to mind and I told my sister this.  We then began talking about the old days when we played MK3, how my brother reacted to “trash talk”, and of course the controllers being thrown (for those reading this and think we’re crazy for throwing a controller when we lost, I have this to say, I know you threw yours too, it’s part of the video game experience, so don’t judge). She told me that there was an anniversary for Moral Kombat and toys released on the game, one of which she saw in the store was Nightwolf, one of the two characters I always used (the second being Subzero).

She’d wind up surprising me with the figure weeks later, as well as with this game this past Sunday.  We weren’t playing the game on a Super NES.  It was a system called Retro Game and though it looked like a Super Nintendo, it could play both classic NES and Super NES games.  Our friend and fellow blogger to this site Tommy bought it for her for Christmas, and they then drove to several video game stores just to find MK3. While my brother and I played, me trash talking him and my cousins looking up how to have the character perform his weapons to help my brother, I couldn’t help but think how nice it was to be playing again.

Sure it has been quite some time since we last played, and sure the controller felt odd to use not that I use a Nintendo Wii, but it was nice to trash talk again, to see the words fatality on the screen, and see my brother get twisted from not only losing but from being trash talked, in front of his kids no less. Revenge is sweet.

So remember, those classic and Super NES games you got could still be used, and don’t underestimate the trash talking.  Just don’t throw the controller when you lose and you’ll be fine.

Mr. Nostalgia

 

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 12:16 am

Mr. Nostalgia: Disney/Pixar Cars toy…

Posted on: December 28, 2013

My wife got me this for Christmas. It’s a die cast pick up sold exclusively at The Disney Store of John Lasseter called John Lassetire. This is the chase figure from the series. It’s titled “Surf’s Up” and has a few cool things. The first is the fact that it’s modeled after Pixar genius John Lasseter not only in name but in design also. The paint design resembles a Hawaiian shirt, something that John Lasseter is well known for. On the surf board is the ball from the Pixar short Luxo Jr (this ball can be found in many Pixar films and shorts). The surf board itself I like as a nod to something I really want to do: surf.

Living in the colds of Jotunheim, NJ makes me wish for warm weather. While I have a goal of getting to that, this little pick up will serve as a reminder of that goal and keep me moving towards it.

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 11:13 pm

Mr. Nostalgia in Return of the Lunch Box…

Posted on: December 28, 2013

Return of the Jedi was released in 1983 and I took my lunch to school in a metal Return of the Jedi lunch box. This would be my second to last lunch box I owned (the last being an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom one from 1984, I was 9).  You can note the beating the lunch box went through in the pictures provided.  Metal lunch boxes. Who would have thought so much of a child’s school year would be decided on what kind of lunch  box or trapper keeper to bring to school for the year.  Such decisions shouldn’t be placed on a grammar school child.

     

 

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 2:52 am

Toy-lines wishes you a Merry Christmas…

Posted on: December 24, 2013

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them. And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

Merry Christmas from Tommy and Mr. Nostalgia

 

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 10:42 pm

Mr. Nostalgia: Hobbit PEZ!

Posted on: December 24, 2013

Hobbit PEZ dispensers. Not the greatest detail, and I’d prefer Gandalf with his hat, but these are currently out.

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 3:24 am

Mr. Nostalgia and his trusty Indiana Jones hat…

Posted on: December 23, 2013

No, it isn’t a fedora, though I did have one when I was 13. This is an Indy baseball hat I got when I was 13, though I can’t remember if it was from the Indy Epic Stunt Spectacular at Walt Disney World’s Disney MGM Studios (now known by Disney Hollywood Studios) or from the movie theatre I saw Last Crusade in where I got the Indy t-shirt I blogged on a while back.

Either way, I found the hat yesterday going through a bin of winter clothes.  I forgot all about it until yesterday.

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 2:32 am

Mr. Nostalgia: Winsor McCay – “I couldn’t stop drawing anything and everything.”

Posted on: December 21, 2013

With every creative genius that has done something to advance their field of interest beyond what one thought was possible, there were always pioneers who came before and brought the field to the point where the next generation could take it and move it further.  While the world of animation owes forever a debt of gratitude to Walt Disney for the tremendous amounts of achievements he and his studio created, every once in a while we should stop and look back to the genius’ of a bygone era.

When it comes to the world of animation, we need to look no further than Winsor McCay.

Zenas Winsor McCay (1869-1934) was a cartoonist and animator whose most popular creations were Little Nemo and Gertie the Dinosaur. Equally talented in each field, McCay’s style was highly detailed, breaking artistic boundaries in his Sunday comics that other comic artists wouldn’t begin to use for years, while his animation was as fluid as moving water, and would not be matched until Walt Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

An extremely fast artist, McCay kept himself busy drawing editorial and comic strip cartoons, creating animated films and working on vaudeville.  While McCay started out on newspapers, it wouldn’t be until he moved to New York that his most prolific comic work would begin, working for James Gordon Bennett Jr’s The New York Herald and William Randolph Hearst’s New York American. Besides doing editorial cartoons, where McCay displayed brilliant cross-hatching work, McCay would draw ten different comic strips, which included:

A Tale of the Jungle Imps by Felix Fiddle (1903)

Mr. Good Enough (1904)

Sister’s Little Sister’s Beau (1904 – 1 comic)

Phurious Phinish of Phoolish Philipe’s Phunny Phrolics (1904 – 1 comic)

Little Sammy Sneeze (1904-1906)

Dream of the Rarebit Fiend (1904-1911 – under his pen name “Silas”)

The Story of Hungry Henrietta (1905)

A Pilgrims Progress by Mister Bunion (1905-1910 – “Silas”)

Little Nemo in Slumber land (1905-1914, 1924-1926)

Poor Jake (1909-1911)

It would be Little Nemo in Slumberland that would be McCay’s most famous newspaper comic work.  Little Nemo in Slumberland originally appeared in the New York Herald between 1905-1911, then moved to the New York American between 1911-1914, where it was renamed In the Land of Wonderful Dreams. In 1924 McCay returned to the New York Herald and returned Nemo to its original title until 1926.

The concept of Little Nemo was that when Nemo went to bed each night he would dream that he was on his way to Slumberland, the kingdom of King Morpheus, who wanted Nemo to play with his daughter Princess Camille.  While Nemo tried to reach her, each Sunday comic ended with Nemo waking up in the last panel. When Nemo eventually did read Slumberland, he’d be woken by a character named Flip (who wore a note on his hat that said “Wake up”). Other characters included Dr. Pill, the Imp, the Candy Kid and Santa Claus. Nemo would have journeys to other places besides Morpheus’ Slumberland, including the Moon, Mars, and even into the real world, made exciting by the dreamstate.

From the very first comic that appeared in the Sunday newspaper McCay was experimenting in the medium to help tell the story he wanted to tell. He’d bring continuity to the series, a trick that helped McCay have Nemo’s adventures span over 500 comics, some stories lasting for weeks or months.  He’d use the panels themselves to help tell the story too by changing the dimensions of the boxes if needed, and even listed the specific colors for each comic.

In 1906, just one year after Little Nemo started his slumber, McCay would begin his brief vaudeville career, performing his “chalk talks”, in one event drawing twenty-five drawings in fifteen minutes while the pit band played a melody titled “Dream of the Rarebit Fiend”, or in “The Seven Ages of Man” where McCay would draw two faces and continuously age them. He would also introduce his animation, and none were more exciting than when McCay would introduce and interact with his dinosaur, Gertie.

While not the first person to bring his sketches to life through animation, McCay pioneered this early art form with the use of inventions such as the “McCay Split System” (now known as Key Frame Animation), where he would draw striking poses first, then go back and draw the in-between sketches leading to that pose, as well as use the Moto scope Action Viewer to watch his previous sketches come to life (a small machine with a handle that when the sketches were placed in it and the handle turned, the sketches would come to life like a flip-book),  and animation loops (repeating the same footage over) to help keep the look consistent throughout the film. Many of these practices are still used in one way or another in two-dimensional animation today.

McCay never patented his techniques and would show them to others. His feeling about patenting can best be summed up in this quote, “Any idiot that wants to make a couple of thousand drawings for a hundred feet of film is welcome to join the club.”

His first animated film in 1911 was based off his Nemo comics and simply titled Little Nemo. In 1912 his next film was How a Mosquito Operates (sometimes called The Story of a Mosquito). It would be McCay’s fluid lifelike movements that he brought to his sketches that would have people thinking he tricked them by using “Little People” for the Nemo cartoons or tracing pictures to bring the figures to life. Projected onto the screen the characters looked real and in Nemo’s case, you can just feel the weight of the characters as they fall to the ground, or even feel the sting of the mosquito as he stings the sleeping man.

Essentially calling the man a liar due to his films looking too life like, I can’t help but see that as the ultimate, yet ironic, compliment. Frustrated , McCay set out to create an animated film that no one would say he did not draw, and chose a dinosaur as his main character, making the first ever dinosaur cartoon and giving birth to Gertie.

With 16 drawings to make one second of film in the 1900’s (compared to what would become the norm of 24 drawings for one second) it would be 10,000 sketches to create just five minutes of film, and these 10,000 sketches McCay would do all on his own. Drawn on rice paper (thin enough to place over the last drawing and see the sketch) McCay would bring Gertie to life, the only help being that from John Fitzsimmons tracing the backgrounds.

Using Gertie for part of his vaudeville routine, McCay would interact with the cartoon in one of the earliest performances of live action and cartoons combined. Projected onto the screen to look life-size, Gertie interacted with McCay who used a bullwhip to train her, like a circus trainer would do with an elephant. Gertie lifted her legs, caught a pumpkin when thrown to her, and to really stun audiences, McCay would walk offstage only to appear once more IN the cartoon, and ride off on Gertie.

Despite its’ success, newspaper owner William Randolph Hearst would soon put an end to McCay’s traveling with the show to keep him focused on his editorials. McCay made a short film to introduce Gertie, and replacing the parts where he would command her what to do, he used title cards. Gertie comes to life right before our eyes as she shifts her weight from one leg to another, throws a mammoth into a lake, drinks the lake gone and scratches her nose with her tail. McCay planned a sequel to Gertie, but only drew one minute worth of footage.

McCay would go on to inspire such cartoon geniuses like Ub Iwerks, Walt Disney and even Chuck Jones. Disney once said, “Winsor McCay’s Gertie and other animation novelties stimulated a great public interest and created a demand for this new medium. This, in turn, encouraged other pioneers to creative efforts that in time, led to the establishment of the animated cartoon as an industry.”

From one cartoon genius to the next, Walt Disney’s words are a great way to end this entry and to thank and applaud McCay for his comic and cartoon work.

Mr. Nostalgia

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Mr. Nostalgia: Star Wars Weekends

Posted on: December 21, 2013

Long before Disney bought Star Wars they were having great events called Star Wars Weekends in its Disney MGM now Disney Hollywood Studios Park. It was much smaller when it first started, and I must say, I really enjoyed those Star Wars Weekends to what they’ve become today.  When Star Wars Weekends first started they used to be in the month of May only and were very small, had great exclusive merchandise, stars from the movie attended, and had a great parade.  Disney, realizing the money maker they had, soon began expanding the weekend events, having them go into June when many families first come down to Florida to kick their summer off, and have ever since been growing these things into something unidentifiable.

Disney has announced the dates for the 2014 Star Wars Weekends.  Guests have yet to be announced as well as the new logo, but expect that to be released as May comes closer.  The weekend dates are:

Weekend I – May 16th – May 18th

Weekend II – May 23rd – May 25th

Weekend III – May 30th – June 1st

Weekend IV – June 6th – June 8th

 

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 1:13 am

Mr. Nostalgia: How to Train Your Dragon 2 official trailer…

Posted on: December 19, 2013

Coming out June 2014 is the sequel to Dreamwork’s How to Train Your Dragon.  Click the link below for the new trailer:

http://www.totalfilm.com/news/new-how-to-train-your-dragon-2-full-length-trailer

Mr. Nostalgia

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 11:58 pm
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