Private Snafu – Coming!!

An evening pause: This was the first of a World War II cartoon series directed by Chuck Jones, voiced by Mel Blanc, and written by Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss and designed to with humor raise the work ethic of soldiers and officers.

Hat tip Lazurus Long, who adds that “it was a bit racy and [thus] popular with the servicemen.”

Today our military authorities probably consider our servicemen and women to be too fragile for such stuff. And hopefully this evening pause will air before Google’s YouTube decides it must be banned.

Canvas – The Simpsons theme song

An evening pause: About two years ago I said to Diane that I’d never seen any of The Simpsons animated TV show. Neither had she. Since then we have watched all the available episodes on DVD, covering most of the first twenty seasons.

What first impressed us about the show was how actually normal and family-oriented it was, in the beginning. It was not the “edgy” ugly portrayal of America its reputation had implied.

Over time that theme was more and more lost, though whenever the writers went back to those roots the show shined. Even so, what was most impressive was how the show managed somehow to remain fresh, for most of that time period. Except for a period around season nine, the satire and jokes remained solid for almost all of the first twenty years.

Since the last ten years have not been put on DVD, we won’t likely see them. No matter. Twenty years of The Simpsons was great, but it was more than enough.

Hat tip Diane Zimmerman, who used numerous musical quotes from the series to find many great evening pauses.

Ivashka and Baba-Yaga

A evening pause: An entertaining animated cartoon from Soviet Russia, 1938. It subconsciously reveals much about Russia’s rough society of that time between the world wars. Even in the 1930s Russia was still largely an illiterate peasant culture, less than three generations since the freeing of the serfs and now ruled by Stalin and the communists with an iron hand.

Hat tip Jim Mallamace.

Robots

An evening pause: This sequence from the animated film Robots (2005) is a very typical scene from almost every modern Hollywood film, whether real or animated (though the difference is getting harder to see as they put more and more CGI in every film). Regardless, it is fun, and takes the idea of a Rube Goldberg device to a very strange extreme.

Hat tip Bob Robert.

Walt Disney’s MultiPlane Camera

An evening pause: This was filmed in 1957, and was almost certainly made to be shown as part of Disney’s weekly television show series for kids that began in 1954 and was one of television’s most popular shows in the 1960s. It describes one of the most important technical developments in animation, developed by Disney, until the arrival of computers.

To repeat: This was made for kids, yet it is thoughtful, entertaining, educational, and quite detailed in the information being conveyed. It treats its young audience with great respect and dignity.

I generally do not watch children’s shows today, but the few that I have seen have generally been quite shallow, overwrought, and would have insulted me, when I was a child. I don’t know if today’s kids would react the same today, because when I was a child Disney’s show was somewhat typical. I expected to be treated with respect. Today’s kids might not have that expectation.

Hat tip Wayne DeVette.

The Amazing Paul Frees

An evening pause: You have heard his voice, many times. This highlight reel, suggested by Jim Mallamace, includes just a few, all amazingly different:

Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion
Boris Badenov
Pillsbury Doughboy
Lion and Mouse
Voyages Through Inner Space
Burgermeister Meisterburger
The Beatles Cartoon
Morocco Mole
Ludwig von Drake

He was a contemporary of Mel Blanc (most famous for providing the voices for Warner Brothers’ cartoons), was as good, but is far less well known.

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