Disney, Henson, Vinton, Rankin Jr. & Bass: What More Can You Want!

One day watching  The Adventures of Mark Twain by Will Vinton I started to piece the  puzzles of my childhood entertainment, and where it came from.  In the world where corporations are merging, going through bankruptcy, being bought out, having assets sold (intellectual rights ) or all of the above or combination.  In this case – even though the corporate end is worth knowing – I wanted to know the artist, and people that the legacy has lived beyond the life. After great thought and deliberation I have decided on four (five) individuals (No secrets, look at the title).

There were certain criterion when deciding on the top four (five), and that is placed at the bottom, so you the reader do not get completely bored while waiting for the list.

To the List:

Walt Disney, Jim Henson, Will Vinton,  and Aurthur Rankin Jr.Jules Bass have dominated my childhood cinematic and television existence more than anyone else.  These are the producers, directors, thinkers, and tinkers of different worlds with each style is different, the mediums which they tell their stories varies from each other.

Walt Disney: The Patriarch of the Animated Movie

Walt Disney with all his flaws (only human) created some of the most beloved programing that will remain at the top of the mountain.  The legacy that he created did not stop on  December 15, 1966  when he passed away.

He and his group of imagineers helped prepare me for the future genre of horror.  Movies such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty have some of the most terrifying scenes that one could watch (at any age). There are brilliant stories as well as the three listed,  but also (my favorites) Robin Hood, and The Sword in the Stone which I would argue are the best two adaptions (adult or children) for their particular parent story (Robin Hood & King Aurthur) in the history of film.  Other adaptations that I watched continuous as a child were from book to film were Winnie the Pooh, Marry Poppins, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.  The list can continue form the 90’s to the most recent revival.

Of course this is a brief list of motion pictures, and only one cartoon short that were created either to the producing skill of Walt Disney, or his legacy.  I also decided that anything made form a subsidiary company would not be on this time line.

Image 1. Of course this is a brief list of motion pictures, and only one cartoon short that were created either to the producing skill of Walt Disney, or his legacy. I also decided that anything made form a subsidiary company would not be on this time line.  All images were found on Wikipedia, some of the images might be in public domain, and others are owned by Disney.  I have manipulated the images to make a unique piece of coolness.

Jim Henson: A legacy of the Muppet from Kermit the Frog, Big Bird to Yoda

Jim Henson is another one that his legacy inspired others way passed his passing away.  The Muppets were the most awesome creature like beings of television and film for a child, and even today going to the theater with of child at age five or was it four the movie seemed more for me than for him.  When Kermit is walking through his mansion he sings “Pictures in My Head,” and watching the still framed pictures of the other Muppets become living 3d hallucinations make me (almost) tear up.

Jim Henson has did not just rely on Kermit the Frog, but also he used Muppets in other ways such as Yoda in two of the three Star Wars movie (the only three worth mentioning).  There were films such as the Dark Crystal, and the Labyrinth.  Then there were televisions shows such as Fraggle Rock, and The Storyteller.

The Jim Henson production team has kept on lending their expertise for television shows such as Farscape, Dinosaurs, Sid the Science Kid, MirrorMask, Dinosaur Train, and The Witches.

Will Vinton:  Singing Raisins, Dinosaur Christmas, Satan, Adam & Eve, and Mark Twain

Will Vinton is the most obscure and the most alive out the four chosen.  He pretty much lurks in the shadows, and unless you par take in a Google search or watch the extras in the The Adventures of Mark Twain most likely you will not know who he is.  He is responsible for some of the best motion picture with the use of clay that one could possibly create.  He even coined the term “claymation.”

He is the one responsible of the California Raisins, Christmas features that spotlighted dinosaurs, the claymation of Return to OZ, the M&M characters on the commercial (you know the sentient beings that will be eaten), a short version of Rip Van Winkle, and of course The Adventures of Mark Twain.  There are other projects as well he worked on.

Vinton was not always the most child friendly production and creation team, but his claymation saturated at least two decades of fun TV shorts, TV movies, and commercials.

© 2013, Vinton Entertainment All Rights Reserved.

Image 3. © 2013, Vinton Entertainment All Rights Reserved. “Claymation®” is a registered Tradmark of Laika Inc.

Aurthur Rankin Jr. & Jules Bass : Red Nose Reindeer, A Grumpy Santa,  Big Bosomed Trees, Hobbits, and of Course B. Franklin

Aurthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass has produced or/and directed a good portion of the holiday classic cartoon, and stop motion animation that were born in the 70’s to the 80’s.  They have not only gave life to those classic TV movies/shorts, but also gave life to tradition and current mythology.  Aurthur Rankin Jr. recently passed away in the beginning of 2014, and according to IMDB he was a “consultant producer” of the latest Thundercats.

Did you notice in the movie, Miracle on 34th Street the 1947 version, that Kris Kingle walks down the street all jovial then notices the store worker is placing the reindeer in the wrong order there were no mention of Rudolph “the most famous” reindeer?  Even though there has been references in the past, and even cartoon shorts before Rankin and Bass’s version that was aired in 1967 on NBC solidified Rudolph’s statue in the pantheon of as the “Savior of Christmas”.

They have re-told stories not only of the reindeer, but also colorful and extreme imaginative stories of  Santa, Jack Frost, Biblical stories, the Easter Bunny, and Frosty.  They were responsible to the best filmed version of the Hobbit (Peter Jackson has nothing), and of course created The Flight of the Dragons (Don McLean helped the soundtrack by performing “The Flight of the Dragons”), and of course  The Last Unicorn.

Rankin/Bass Productions

Image 4. This image was found by Google on the left side connected to Wikipedia.

Criterion:

  1. The introduction had to be at childhood.  This means twelve or younger.
  2. The relationship had to exist well beyond childhood as well in the form of either watching the clips on the internet, purchasing a copy, or/and introduce the article in question to my children.
  3. Quality and Quantity
    1. Quality: This can be subjective, and some of these products of art might be despised by others.  One (like myself) might love something that majority of the viewers want to tar and feather (Howard the Duck) the production and the people who say “wait a minute.”  In this case the quality is based on the (subjective) on going relationship, and the memories as a child.  There will not be comparing an adult liking something versus a seven year old.
    2. Quantity: The creative production has to be ten or more.  This can be done by the individual or the legacy that was left behind.  Adding distinct piece of works are up the author (me) of this list.
  4. There has to be one person that has dreamed up the foundation of the legacy.
    1. For Example: I would place Stan Lee & Jack Kirby together and have them the entire Marvel Empire.
  5. Corporations will be involved (this is unavoidable), but there will be some boundaries.
    1. For Example: Walt Disney will be part of the list (what a surprise) and certain  movies production will count and some will not just because Disney bought Marvel Studios or Lucas films does not mean bought subsidiaries will count toward Walt’s legacy.   There are films that has been created through Disney the main parent corporation such movies created after his death long into the 70’s through recent times that will count.
    2. Intellectual property rights do not decide the the creator, but only the owner such in the examples of Marvel.  All Marvel by-products would fall under Stan Lee & Jack Kirby.

 Extra Links

Notes

  • I have referenced six producers/creators/directors/writers with the help of IMDB.
  • I have reference to comic book artists (one was part of six), and the other was the help of Wikipedia.
  • I have referenced one composer with the help of IMDB.
  • I have listed 55 to 65 titles depending on how you count.
  • I have four images.  Each image as manipulate by me.
  • Image one and two were from Wikipedia, and manipulated by myself.
  • Image three are three separate images as a logo for Will Vinton’s Animation Art Collection, and I have merged them together.  The image’s copyright is such © 2013, Vinton Entertainment All Rights Reserved. “Claymation®” is a registered Tradmark of Laika Inc..
  • As far as having a works cited for this the majority of information was either discovered on IMDB or Wikipedia.
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Space Rangers: The Breakdown

Space Rangers is a show that has lasted for one season in 1993, and only six episodes while co-staring one of my favorite actors (Clint Howard).  This show is nothing special compared to all the other space adventures that came before and after, but I still wanted to own this.  I am a nut about space movies/TV shows.

Image 2. The Space Ranger logo from TV Share.

Image 1. The Space Ranger logo from TV Share.

Time Line

1993

Ranger Productions, Trilogy Entertainment Group, RHI Entertainment produced the TV show and in CBS broadcast the show for only six episodes.  Space Rangers was released not only in the United States but also Australia, Sweden, Germany, and Finland (IMDB).

1995

In 1995 three volumes were sold in the VHS format through RHI and Cabin Fever Entertainment.

1997

Released in Japan, under the distributor NHK (IMDB).  At this time a DVD was released as well under Region 2 (Japan, Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East, including Egypt) (Amazon) (Movie and TV Showing Devices: Part 2: By Region).

An image captured from Amazon.com under the listing Space Rangers.

Image 2. An image captured from Amazon.com under the listing Space Rangers.

2013

Then on October 15, 2013 a region 1 DVD was released by the distributor Mill Creek Entertainment (Amazon).  The current version that is being hold has two discs.  The first disc is all six episodes, and the second are all six episodes grouped together to make three movies.

Production & Distributors

Production Companies

Ranger Productions Inc. (Defunct)
RHI Entertainment (Name Change and Mergers)
Trilogy Entertainment Group

Distributors

Cabin Fever Entertainment (Defunct)
CBS
Mill Creek Entertainment
NHK (Japan)

Above is the list of production and distribution companies that have worked on Space Rangers according to IMDB.  Take into account that each company is linked to the IMDB page.  The problem with using only IMDB is that they list each episode separately, so for the Space Rangers, that would be six individual listings.

Image 3.

Image 3.

Ranger Productions

Ranger Productions is a defunct company without an official website.  Ranger Productions was formed to develop Space Rangers.

Cabin Fever, RHI, and Sonar Entertainment?

Cabin Fever Entertainment is both defunct and no website.  Cabin Fever Entertainment did distribute movies and television shows (on VHS), but mysteriously became null and void.  When one types “Cabin Fever Entertainment” into the search engine Wikipedia is one of the top results, but the link is for Sonar Entertainment.  This claims that RHI Entertainment and Cabin Fever Entertainment are both part of Hallmark Entertainment.

A Yahoo Answers from 2007, that someone asked how to contact Cabin Fever Entertainment.  The only reply said that Cabin Fever Entertainment did not exist, but Hallmark Entertainment has the rights to some of the properties.

I have not seen evidence of the ownership of Sonar Entertainment (at one-point  Sonar Entertainment was Hallmark and before that it was RHI Entertainment) owns Cabin Fever Entertainment.  It is true that RHI Entertainment was bought by Hallmark Cards (for the sappy programing), and then changed the name to Hallmark Entertainment (ADWEEK Eastern Edition 1994, May), then after a bankruptcy between 2010 through 2012 the name changed to Sonar Entertainment (Screen International 2012, April).  A distribution deal was made with RHI back in 1992, but only a deal (Billboard, 1992 Feb).  There is evidence of a distribution deal, which means they only held the rights to certain prints, but not the actual copyrights.

Part of piecing all the information together Cabin Fever Entertainment disbanded in 1997 or 98.  There is  an article from Video Business states that Cabin Fever Entertainment paid their debts in 1998 after being disbanded a year ago (Video Business 1998).

UPDATE (7/24/2014)

There as something that I missed, and I had a funky feeling that I could not throw away.  But I found it.  On March 2, 1998  Cabin Fever Entertainment sold all the rights to RHI/Hallmark.  The official date that Cabin Fever Entertainment kicked the bucket was on March 2, 1998 (Goldstein, S. 1998) (Reed V. Freebird Film Productions 2009).  This was not a merger, but just the rights sold.

Trilogy Entertainment Group

Trilogy Entertainment Group is an independent film company that has been around since 1984 founded by John Watson and Pen Densham (Trilogy Entertainment Group Website).

CBS

We all know about CBS.  I will be saving CBS for a later time.

Mill Creek Entertainment

They were founded in 2002 from Golden Valley, Minnesota.  This is the company that sells old seasons of TV programing for cheap, and pack deals that are partially or mostly in public domain for a decent cost.

Video Lists (Official Websites)

  1. Sonar Entertainment (RHI/Hallmark)
  2. Trilogy Entertainment Group
  3. CBS
  4. Mill Creek Entertainment

Reviews, Memories, Reflections, etc…

References

(1992, Feb.). Cabin Fever signs distribution deal with RHI. Billboard, 104(5), 54. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA11862383&v=2.1&u=drexel_main&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&asid=44d585f112b89505e62561e6f128d862

(1994, May).  Hallmark buys RHI.  ADWEEK Eastern Edition, 35(18), 12. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA15424329&v=2.1&u=drexel_main&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&asid=c1c8683dbcf77a4c1009b45ffce51d58

(1998). Despite disbanding, cabin fever gave promised $100,000 to retailers. Video Business, 18(28), 32. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/223923635?accountid=10559

(2012, April). Stewart Till named CEO of Sonar Entertainment. Screen International, Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic

fin73, A.Ryan (2007),  How can i contact cabin fever Entertainment?, Yahoo Answers, retrieved from https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070921164257AAGZLpy

Goldstein, S. (1998). Handleman loses handle on video; hallmark gets a case of cabin fever. Billboard, 110(12), 93. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/227085135?accountid=10559

Reed V. Freebird Film Productions, 1:08-cv-01761-CAB Doc #: 96 (09/22/09)

Space Rangers: Release dates. IMDB, retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106144/releaseinfo?ref_=tt_dt_dt

Space Rangers: Company details. IMDB, retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106144/companycredits?ref_=tt_dt_co

Notes

  • Image 1 is the Space Ranger logo from TV Share.
  • Image  2 was a captured shot from Amazon.
  • Image 3 is a creation by me, and it is mine.
  • I have 7 sources that I have created in the reference section.
  • I have reference one actor and and one TV show with the help form IMDB.
  • I have referenced 6 to 8  (depending on which ones you count) movie/TV (production/distributing) companies.
  • Some links are to IMDB, and some are to the corporations official site.

 

Movie and TV Showing Devices: Part 2: By Region

DVD-Regions with key-2.svg
DVD-Regions with key-2” by Monaneko (Previous Version Maker:MrWeeble, David Levy, Zntrip, David Levy) – Image:DVD-Regions with key.png,2006-07-08 17:30(UTC).. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

When searching and collection for DVDs can be a hassle when regions are concerned.  The main reason is the economy.  The idea is that if there is a movie still in theaters in Germany, but released into theaters, and have started to sell DVDs in the United States that could be problematic.  They do not want retailers to sell DVDs to other countries that still have that “summer blockbuster” in theaters.  The result is the differences in coding.   (Ebay, About.com)

Regular DVD

Region Code Country – Region – Use
1 U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and Bermuda
2 Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, Greenland
3 Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean
4 Mexico, South and Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Caribbean
5 Russia, Eastern Europe, India, Africa (excluding South Africa), North Korea, Mongolia
6 China
7 Unspecfic Special Use
8 Cruise Ships, Airlines
Region 0 or ALL Uncoded
AmazonEbayWikipediaAbout.com

Blu-Ray

Region Code Country – Region – Use
A North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
B Europe, Greenland, French territories, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand
C India, Nepal, Mainland China, Russia, Central and South Asia
AmazonABC Shop
NTSC and PAL

All rights reserved. This is another one of my “masterpieces.” Although there is a link to an article between the differences of NTSC and PAL.

VHS Formats

Region Code Country – Region – Use
NTSC United States of America Alaska, American Samoa, Antigua, Antilles (Dutch), Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Burma, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Diego Garcia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Jamaica, Japan, Johnston Islands, Korea South, Leeward Islands, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Midway Islands, Montserrat, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Okinawa, Palau, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Samoa, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Surinam, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Virgin Islands.
PAL United Kingdom, Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Ascension Island, Australia, Austria, Azores, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Cameroon, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, China (Peoples Republic), Christmas Island, Cook Island, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dubai, Easter Island, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Finland, Gambia, Gaza & West Bank, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece (also SECAM), Greenland, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Holland, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macao, Macedonia, Madeira, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norfolk Island, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Sardinia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Tristian Da Cunah, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Vatican, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zanzibar, and Zimbabwe
Armageddon Books

What does this Mean?

The customer has to be careful.  For example: Space Rangers

Space Rangers was produced in 1993, and lasted six episodes.  A series that follows space rangers across the known space frontier.   I enjoyed the TV show, but I guess not a lot of other views were.  A few years ago Netflix had this show streaming, but no DVD could be rented or purchased, even on Amazon.  That is not entirely true.  Space Rangers could be purchased, but only in in region two (Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, Greenland).

As one can see this is from Amazon. On the left side, this was the original product at region 2 then in September of 2013 the six episode series was released for region 1.

As one can see this is from Amazon. On the left side, this was the original product at region 2 then in September of 2013 the six episode series was released for region 1.

The second example: The Adventures of Mark Twain

Director Will Vinton brings together one of the first and only stop motion, claymation, full length movies.  This is a childhood memory, that the title was lost to me up til two or three years ago.  I could not remember the title, not one bit.  I even forgot that the old guy with the white hair is Mark Twain.  Until, I saw “The 6 Creepiest Videos Aimed at Children” by Michael Swaim even-though The Adventures of Mark Twain was more of a family movie versus straight for kids movie.

As the images shows above with one of the listings for “The Adventures of Mark Twain” that this was an import, and could be used for all regions.  Blue-ray DVDs can only be played on Blu-ray players.  Regular DVDs can be played on both Blu-ray and DVD players.  The important part of this title are the regions that this DVD covers, which is all three.  This had to be checked because United Kingdom is in Region B, but not Region A.

Notes

  • In this post, one movie, one TV show, and one director were referenced with the help of IMDB.
  • This might be a little boring to some…..
  • One is a Wikimedia Commons image.
  • Two images were captured from Amazon, and then manipulated by myself.
  • The fourth image is one of my creations, and I reserve the rights to my intellectual property.
  • The next few posts will be a re-hash, getting more depth of DVD and movie collection, of the post “Searching, Collecting, and Maintaining DVDs!
  • The next post will cover DVD counting and storage.

Movie and TV Showing Devices: Part 1

The next few posts will be a re-hash, getting more depth of DVD and movie collection, of the post “Searching, Collecting, and Maintaining DVDs!

Format Wars -  Yes, I drew that. (I know!)

All rights reserved.

Formats

VHS Vs. Betamax

I am not going to get into the nitty-gritty details of the rivalry between VHS and Betamax. Who really cares if Beta was better than VHS?  We can complain about the outcome, but that won’t change a thing.  What I do care about is the end result, and that the VHS was the product that changed the film industry.   Evidently, VHS took the lead and did not look back with the help of the porn industry (according to the geeky  character in Tropic Thunder played by the actor who caught pink eye from his cat (some episode of TMZ)).

Laserdisc

The Laserdisk had to be the black sheep of the family.  For every step forward there was a step backward having issues with compatibility between companies, being expensive, and quality was a blah (maybe, depending).

Transparent Recording Disc- March 4th, 1969 - Google Patents

Transparent Recording
Disc – March 4th, 1969

The laserdisc has a history spanning from 1967 until 2002/2009Improvements did happen and the technology did get better, but the cost was insane, and the cheaper and more compact DVD ended up taking over the market.   There is a whole lot of technology jargon, and I will not get into that (headachetastic).  The one important “historical” outcome is the “extra feature.”   This is a kin to the USFL introducing the “red flags” and instant replay.

Red Flag

Two Points about Special Features and the Laserdisc.

  1. In college, I started to purchase DVDs by the dozen (ok, maybe not that much) and Street Fighter was one those movies that subtly made its journey to my DVD player.  One time the commentary by Steven E. de Souza, the director, had mention that other special features (mainly sketches) were developed for laserdisc.
  2. Apparently, a Lazerdisc copy of Return of the Jedi was sold on Ebay for 699 dollars.  The reason because there is 30 minutes of  extra footage that has not been seen since the creation of Laserdisc.

DVD, Blu-Ray, and HD

HD did not survive the market, but Blu-Rays did, enough said.  The DVD beat out VHS and Laserdisc, and is evolving into the Blu-Ray.  This does not matter since a customer can play a regular DVD on a Blu-Ray player.

A single DVD shows his or her's dominance.

All rights reserved.

Boooo to Digital.  Maybe, not a hearty boo such as  when fanatics take a look at the opposing team’s quarterback.  Digital has been a trend lately, and will always be around.  I am not against digital or streaming.  I have an account with Netflix, Amazon Prime (before the digital streaming trend), and Full Moon Streaming.  I have only purchased one movie in the digital format, The Nutcracker, for my son.  The concern with digital is the ownership of the product.  When a consumer purchases a physical copy that customer owns that copy.  He or she can lend out that DVD to friends and family or sell it to a third party.  With the digital format, I pay for the right to watch the movie within the particular cloud that I am using or stored in my computer.  I do not pay for the full ownership of the product.  What if Amazon goes or that music cloud website goes bankrupt?  If the item is not stored on your computer, you no longer have that product.  I will be waiting until the copyright  laws are revamped for the digital times giving the consumer some rights.

The End

Know your devices and your formats.  I say this from experience.  Not all movies are on DVDs (Here is a Laserdisc niche website), and retailers such as Amazon sell multiple formats.  The main reason why we own The Nutcracker (1986, conceived by, Maurice Sendak) is the fact that this particular version is not sold on DVD, but digital and VHS.  Of course, we do not own a VHS player anymore.  Even though there is a part of me that does want to buy each device.

Notes

  • In this segment I have referenced one television program, four movies, and four individuals in the cinema profession with the help of IMDB.
  • The patent image was obtained from Google Patent Search.
  • The Red Flag image was manipulated from public domain from Openclipart by the user .
  • Two of the images were of my design and creation and I reserve the rights to my intellectual property.
  • Part 2 will be by Region.