Minnie Mouse is Bosom Buddies w/Fannie Flagg

It was all just one big happy (dysfunctional) family on the Match Game during the 1970’s. Game shows were all the rage and many stars were eager to gain the exposer they could provide. One such star was the American actress, comedian and author, Fannie Flagg.

COOL FACT: Flagg wrote the original book and did the Academy-Nominated screenplay for the movie adaption of Fried Green Tomatoes.

I’ve seen her on the show dozens of times, but this time I noticed something a little different:

Match Game Set w/Stars

This game featured Gary Burghoff from M.A.S.H. (upper right) and of course, the man who would later host The Family Feud, Richard Dawson (lower center).

But take a look at Fannie Flagg in the anchor position (bottom right). She is sporting a Minnie Mouse sweater! I guess they must be bosom buddies.

She Got a Match!

At the beginning of the show, there was some discussion as to whether her sweater had Mickey or Minnie on it. But all agreed it was indeed Minnie.

You can watch vintage game shows like Match Game and the Family Feud on the Buzzer channel.

ILLUSION OF LIFE Plugged on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life is a book by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two Disney Legends of animation counted among the famous group of Walt Disney’s  Nine Old Men. The book topped the list of “best animation books of all time” in a poll at AWN, and is still used as a reference for inspiration on character animation.

I have this book and can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone who wants to better understand the animation process. After reading it, my own drawing skills improved noticeably!

In 1980, they appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to plug the book and chat about animation. Here they are on stage:

During the interview, Carson mentions that they are almost unknown, despite the fact that they had worked on some of the most famous animated films of all time. They replied that they liked it that way!

Frank Thomas

They mentioned that when they would sit in a theatre to watch their films with children, they would almost die. Why? Because children could be so cruel! No wonder they preferred to hide back in the studio.

Ollie Johnston

Carson asked about the rumors that Walt Disney was a cold man and hard to work for, among other things. Both men answered that he was all of those things. However, they clarified that it was also a great pleasure to work for Walt because he was so inspiring, albeit awfully tough! Perfection was expected at all times.

Carson next marvels at how animators are able to give life to even inanimate objects, so Frank and Ollie pulled out the following drawings to illustrate the point:

And last but not least:

Who Wouldn’t Be?

It was great to see these Disney Legends chat about their passion for animation. But it almost wasn’t to be! Frank wanted to be a landscape artist and Ollie was heading towards a career in magazine illustration. But Disney put out a casting call and both answered, arriving at the studio to become lowly In-betweeners before rising in the ranks to full-fledged animators.

The Interview Ends

Look to the left in the above picture and you’ll notice another Disney Alumni, Suzanne Pleshette (January 31, 1937 – January 19, 2008). You may remember her for her roles in The Ugly Dachshund, Blackbeard’s Ghost, and The Shaggy D.A.

Also, if you look to the far right in the above picture, you can see Carson holding up the book in question (blurry though it is).

For the full interview (5:54), please take a listen. It’s well worth it:

Frank and Ollie on Carson

Mr Bean Tells Time with Mickey Mouse

I recently purchased a DVD set of the complete Mr. Bean shorts. You’ll recognize this name as the mime-like character created by Rowan Atkinson. And of course I noticed immediately that there was a Disney tie-in!

In the very first episode, where Mr. Bean has to take a math test, he begins to empty his briefcase, bringing out three funny objects. One is (perhaps) an English Bobby, the second thing is a bendable Pink Panther figure, and the third is:

Well, hello Mickey!

Yes, even Mr. Bean is a Disney fan! He brings out a vintage Mickey Mouse alarm clock to time his test. Of course he messes up the whole affair but the alarm clock does go off right on time!

The Windsor Star Weekend Magazine

This large format 28-page magazine supplement was quite an impressive publication in its day! The two copies that I have were inserted into the weekend edition of The Windsor Star newspaper in the late 1970’s. It had both black and white and color pages.

September 17th and November 5th, 1977

I found these at a yard sale just outside of Windsor, ON. I paid $2.00 a piece for them which is funny when you consider that they were given away free with a newspaper almost 40 years ago!

But I think you can guess why I bought them?

    

10 1/2″ x 12″

Obviously Mickey and Minnie caught my eye and so buying that issue was a no-brainer. I also love vintage television programs so the other issue also became a must-have.

So let’s take a look at the content of the article entitled 50 Years of Mickey Mouse:

This was a fun but brief article which you are welcome to read by enlarging the pictures above. I especially enjoyed page 11 as I have some of the merchandise pictured there!

Apart from the cover story in the second issue of this set, I found another Disney reference inside. Disney placed an advertisement on pages 14 and 15:

Who wants some cookies?

The contest would award 40 vacation trips to Walt Disney World, 100 authentic Mickey Mouse watches, and 200 Fantasia soundtracks. All you had to do was state how many cookies you could see in the jar. Disney even made it easier by giving the possible answers in the form of multiple choice on the entry form.

         

Enlarge and read those rules!

Unfortunately we are all 39 years too late to enter. Just our luck, eh! But it is still fun to see these old promotions and product tie-ins.

So just how many cookies were in the jar? Was it 9, 14, 21, 35, or 49? Who cares, just give me one! Hey, stale or not, I love me some cookies!

Disney’s Dopey the Dwarf on Match Game 78

Disney celebrities show up in the strangest places. In 1978, Dopey hadn’t had a movie gig in over 50 years and was looking to promote himself. It was common in the 70’s to do the game show circuit to maintain or resurrect a career, so:

The “all-new, star-studded, big-money” Match Game 73 returned to TV on CBS, with Gene Rayburn returning as host. The year in the title was updated on the New Year’s Eve broadcast for the next six years. This run of the game ended in 1979. The game play for this version had two solo contestants attempting to match the answers given by a six-celebrity panel.

Of course, Dopey can’t talk, so he needed an interpreter:

They made a great team

Unfortunately, this appearance didn’t do much for Dopey’s career but it is a nice addition to his body of work!