Archive for November 27, 2008

One thing that I abhor more than anything else is racism. Here in Australia we all like to think that racism does not exist anymore, but as the rise of Pauline Hanson showed in the 1990s and early 2000s, that isn’t necessarily true. I know that we Aussies don’t like political correctness, but there are also still some of us also think that we should be allowed to use racial slurs to describe those who do not have white skin. This all brings me to this advertisement which I found on Danny Boy’s blog.

This brand of licorice apparently lasted up until the mid-1960s, but fortunately no longer exists. This perfectly illustrates how unenlightened we were just 40 years ago.

Mickey Mouse – Steamboat Willie

Posted: November 27, 2008 in Disney

Someone else is having an anniversary in 2008. On November 18, 1928, Steamboat Willie was released. Steamboat Willie was not the first Mickey Mouse cartoon ever made, that was Plane Crazy, but it was released first. This cartoon was also one of the first to use a synchronised soundtrack. (It is not the first sound cartoon, as Fleischer released some ‘follow the bouncing ball’ sing-a-long cartoons a few years earlier.

I see that at Australia Post they are selling a special Raggedy Ann and Andy gift set to commemorate Raggedy Ann’s 90th birthday. Actually it is 93, as the first doll created by writer Johnny Gruelle in 1915, whilst the first Raggedy Ann story book was published in 1918. (Raggedy Andy was not introduced until 1920!)

Raggedy Ann has appeared in quite a few cartoons over the years, the first being in a 1941 two reeler for the Fleischer studio. She also appeared in two Famous Studios cartoons in the 1940s, an animated feature in the 1970s, and two Chuck Jones holiday TV specials.

This is the Enchanted Square, a 1947 Famous Studios cartoon.

*Did you know that the Raggedy Ann doll was used as a symbol by the anti-vaccination movement. Johnny Gruelle, who created Raggedy Ann for his daughter, Marcella,  suffered a tragedy  when Marcella died at age 13 after being vaccinated at school for smallpox without his consent. The authorities blamed a heart defect, but her parents blamed the vaccination, which is how Raggedy Ann became the symbol of the anti-vaccination movement.