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?


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

Freakies News!

I love Freakies! So I’m super excited to let you know there are great things happening with the Freakies. One, Guy Himber has licensed the rights to do a Freakies Playing Card Deck — but he needs our help. Support the Feakies at Kickstart! More freaky news about the Freakies coming soon, so stay tuned.

freakies playing cards

Image via Himber at Flickr.

May I Interest You In Some Retro Merchandise?

I have a thing for old photos of retailing situations. These two, featuring a Disney Donald Duck bag and a Muppet Show lunchbox and thermos, are from a lot currently listed on eBay.