"From days of long ago
... from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend: the legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe!
" [more inside]
Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!
In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future
, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys
brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power
was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
Mr. Ira Stadlen (Stage name: "Captain
" Allen Swift) has passed away at the age of 87
. Throughout his career, Mr. Stadler voiced characters in more than 30,000 television and radio commercials, as well as cartoons such as Underdog
, Tom and Jerry
and Diver Dan
, but some might remember him most as the man who saved Howdy Doody
. His nephew has posted a remembrance
on his blog, which includes a link to a "novelty 45" mp3 recording of Swift's "Are You Lonesome Tonight
." [more inside]
Saturday morning cartoons
were once a staple of American television, but by the year 2000 they had all but disappeared
. Of course, the Internet never
forgets. Case in point: Cartoon Network Video
-- a free, searchable, ad-supported service that provides hundreds of full-length episodes of classic shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
, and The Powerpuff Girls
, as well as current offerings and scads of shorter material. Too recent for you? Then give Kids WB Video
a whirl -- it does the same thing with the same interface, but for older programs like Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Thundercats
, and the original Space Ghost
. If you're in the mood to learn (and don't mind some live-action), PBS Kids Video
has educational fare such as Arthur, Wishbone, and Zoom. And don't forget about Sesame Street
, The Electric Company
, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
, The Magic Schoolbus
and Schoolhouse Rock
! Now if only we had some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs
Is Doctor Who too scary for kids?
Parents surveyed by TheBabyWebsite
seem to think so. But is being scared a good thing
? (via io9
“He’s courageous, he’s optimistic, he’s representing everything that Mickey Mouse should have represented but never did. There’s even something Jesus-like about him
—a 9-year-old Jesus after 15 packets of Junior Mints.” SpongeBob SquarePants at ten years old.
Fantasy Meets Reality.
The very best works of science fiction illuminate controversial current events and the intricacies of human nature. So, it's no surprise that the United Nations Public Information Department and the Sci Fi (SyFy?
) Channel co-hosted a panel yesterday evening on "humanitarian concerns" at the UN, with the creators and actors of Battlestar Galactica
-- a show which regularly explores those themes
. A 2-hour video webcast is archived here
. (RealPlayer video)
. Entertainment Weekly has an additional write-up
. [more inside]
Can you say Hero? The Life and Times of Mr. Fred Rogers
One of the most influential people ever to grace television, Mr. Rogers was a neighbor to millions of children across the US. His legacy has left a long lasting impression on the fabric of society. With today's children being force fed Hanna Montana, and Joey 101, wouldn't it be nice if we could go to the kingdom of make believe, just one more time?
In The Night Garden
[Danger - lots of Flash and YouTube] is your new favourite TV show (if you're under 4). Meet Igglepiggle, Makka Pakka
, Upsy Daisy
, The Pontipines
, The Tombliboos
, The Haahoos
, The Ninky Nonk
and The Pinky Ponk. Brought to you by the creators
) of the Teletubbies
link for the confused. Oh, and the great Sir Derek Jacobi
narrates. [more inside]
Before purple dinosaurs
roamed the earth, back when sponges went pants-less, children in the US
had to rely on their local TV stations
for entertainment. Even “national” programs such as Romper Room
or Bozo the Clown
had a local component. From coast
and in between
, everyone ate their cereal in front of someone different
Yo Gabba Gabba
is a new concept for a children's television show, featuring a hip-hop edge, guest starring Biz Markie and Paul Frank's Julius The Monkey
, as well as the standard complement of day-glo monsters and songs
. Some children's programming is the product of serious thought
. Some is completely bewildering
. Some just plain rocks
House Appropriations panel eliminates ALL public funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS Ready To Learn.
From this morning's Cynopsis:Kids
e-newsletter: "In our nation's capital yesterday, a House Appropriations subcommittee voted to approve a new bill that will see budgets sliced for both public TV and radio. Specifically in the line of fire in the kid TV universe is the elimination of the full $23m in funding for Public TV's Ready to Learn initiative. Ready to Learn provides some funds for PBS series including, Sesame Street, Between the Lions, Arthur, Reading Rainbow, Clifford the Big Red Dog and could have Buster sending smoke signals instead of postcards. [...] Though the President proposed a small budget reduction for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting this past winter, yesterday's subcommittee vote would also eliminate all government monetary funds intended for the CPB over the course of the next two years, beginning with a $100m decrease in funding to $300m for next year."
Perhaps this will free up some money
for No Child Left Behind
Ultra scary puppets sing hymns of love
Via Boing Boing, the scariest tv show that I have ever seen in my life. The poor puppetry, the references to God, the organ sound it all comes together to burn into your brain. Children subjected to this will remember it forever. I think I may even have cold sweats about it in the night.
Its long but worth it. (Quicktime movie)
From MathNet to that silly song about the number nine, Square One
was one of my all-time favourite programs as a kid. It hasn't been released on video or DVD, but luckily there are plenty of fansites
with video clips, pics, and other media to take you on a trip down mathematical memory lane.
presents Ian MacKaye performing "Vowel Movement" for the kiddies. As a friend said, this site has "pancakes and indie rock and bob mould as a corporate goon all in one package." [via sullivan
A Requiem for Mr. Rogers
got me thinking about the TV shows that spoke to me as a child. Captain Kangaroo
was there and Mr. Dressup
was always great. But for me, no one surpassed The Friendly Giant
and "Look up. Look way up!" still makes me feel warm and safe. I did not have PBS available as a child but my sons did and for them Mr. Rogers
was a favorite as was TVO's Today's Special
with Jeff Hyslop's manikin who came to life each night. Who spoke to you via TV as a child? Parents, who is speaking to your children on TV these days?