Thursday, May 10, 2018

Bing Crosby in "Goldilocks"

Here is a 1970s made-for-TV cartoon/live action special record album starring Bing Crosby. And it costars his whole family. The title on the record reads

Evans-Black Carpets
by Armstrong
Presents Bing Crosby
Mary Frances Crosby
Kathryn Crosby, Nathaniel Crosby
A DePatie-Freling - Sherman Bros. Production

So, as you can see, you got Crosby times four, the people who did the Warner Brothers and Pink Panther animation, and those song-writing Sherman brothers. Despite this, the special is forgotten. At least, I never heard of it, nor knew anyone who had recalled it with any sort of wistful nostalgia. The oddball thing is that, when it came out and I was a wee tot who was totally into ANYTHING that combined live-action people with animation. I must have seen Gene Kelly dance with Tom and Jerry on our old RCA black and white TV. There was an odd Tom Sawyer show that combined live actors playing Huck, Tom and Betsy in a cartoon world that would make Mark Twain spin. I watched that for sure! But I don't remember seeing this at all.

I bought this at a thrift store in Somersworth, NH. And when I did I had no idea until I Googled that Mary Frances Crosby was the actress most well-known for the Dallas TV show. Her brother Nathaniel became a golfer. 

The cool thing about the LP is that it opens up in the middle, giving us a storyboard-like sequence. So here's what it looked like. Do your best Bing Crosby impression when reading the text to get the feel for it. Or go down to the end here and you can click on a video of a few minutes of the 1970 special.

Here's a bit of it from the Bing Crosby channel on YouTube:

1 comment:

Donald Benson said...

Gene Kelly danced with Jerry the Mouse in "Anchors Aweigh", Esther Williams swam with Tom and Jerry in another feature. The animation for both was directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbara, who created the Tom and Jerry shorts.

Kelly worked with Hanna and Barbara again on a segment of "Invitation to the Dance". Kelly is a sailor who finds a magic lamp, and wishes himself into an animated Arabian Night. Like the rest of the film it's all dance and pantomime with no dialogue.

Eventually Kelly did "Jack and the Beanstalk", a one-hour special produced by HB. The animation is a mixed bag, and the optical insertion of live performers is often flawed, but the songs are nice and Kelly is still sprightly. It's available from Warner Archive.

The complete "New Adventures of Huck Finn" is also available from WA. The optical work is much better, although the show is much less ambitious in how live performers interact with cartoons. Each episode has the kid heroes dropping into a different genre or literary pastiche. Ted Cassidy, who plays Injun Joe in the live-action opening, voices villains throughout the series. Every villain has a scar across his face and a broken chain dangling from one wrist, as sported by Cassidy in the live action. At worst it's ordinary Saturday morning with a bit of gloss; you wish they could have been a bit more ambitious in story and effects.