Disney: It’s A Living, Gretel

Going through stacks of records, I redisc-overed this gem from 1964: Walt Disney Presents The Story of Hansel and Gretel, with music from the opera by Humperdinck.

vintage disney hansel gretel lp

At first I thought it was this Engelbert Humperdinck, but it turns out it was by this one; thanks NPR. As disappointing as that was, there was another delightful discovery…

Along with Laura Olsher (narrator), Michael Donahue (Hansel) and Martha Wentwoth (Witch), the voice of Gretel was Ann Jilliann!

story of hansel and gretel disney record

That’s a variant spelling of Ann Jillian — the extra “n” was also how she was billed for her portrayal of Little Bo Peep in Disney’s Babes In Toyland. Ann, of course, is to be adored for many things — among them It’s A Living.

The 16 year-old me adored that show; the adult me wants to watch it again. I can’t be the only one… Why isn’t that show available on DVD or Netflix or something?

Its_A_Living

The Roof Is On Fire, Oh, And The IRS

We’ve been listing old Model Railroader magazines lately, and I loved my little model railroad when I was a kid.  I had all kinds of funky buildings and stuff, and I even threw in some Robotech stuff that was the right scale, and all sorts of things that were wildly not to scale. On one hand, realism is a goal, on the other hand having weird stuff is par for the course.  Hence, the existence of this:

the-irs-is-on-fire

Why the IRS?  Who cares!   Why not just a plain and austere IRS building for the train set?  Of course not – burn that sucker down!

You can still buy the set today from Model Power, complete with flashing fire lights and a tiny smoke machine, all of which you can see here, with a special appearance by King Kong.  Why not?  Model railroad guys are freakin’ crazy.

A Puzzling Big John, Little John Flashback

Do you remember watching Big John, Little John — “your favorite Saturday Live TV show” on NBC? The short-lived Saturday morning television show featured Herbert Edelman as John Martin aka Big John, a 40-something science teacher, who drinks from the Fountain Of Youth, resulting in being randomly changed into a his 12-year old “Little John” self (played by Robbie Rist; who also played Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch). Since no one can tell when the rejuvenation will begin — or end — hilarity ensues. The series producer was Sherwood Schwartz (writer, creator, & producer of Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch & other classics).

This is one of the few merchandizing items from that 70s TV show, a jigsaw puzzle made by H-G Toys Inc. (puzzle number 440-06), now available for purchase in our Etsy shop.

I personally do not recall this show; if you do, you can reminisce by watching the old episodes on DVD (finally released last October).

big john little john puzzle