The Saturday Morning Cartoon Show Blog

Welcome to the online home of 89.1 WIDR's Saturday Morning Cartoon Show, hosted by DJ Beta and DJ Muppet every Saturday from 9-11am.

Our podcasts contain the same cartoon episodes, theme music, rocked out covers, and in-show musical acts you've come to love on the air. The Saturday Morning Cartoon Show is definitely a part of this balanced breakfast.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Peter, my boy, you've got to shape up and reform if you want to be The Saturday Morning Cartoon Show.

What a great weekend for an egg hunt! There's no snow or anything. Last year there was snow. Yes, California listeners, I can hear you laughing at us with pity and bemusement, but I'm still happy. :) Today is one of our holiday specials and we couldn't be more pleased.

Here Comes Peter Cottontail may at first glance seem like a mediocre offering from the bursting coffers of Rankin-Bass, but it soon becomes apparent that this Easter cartoon is a whirlwind ride that asks us to reevaluate everything we thought we knew about physics, food preservation, prosthetics, and the space-time continuum. I'm not kidding. This puppy takes us careening from one holiday to another in a hot air balloon thing of unstable engineering with a basket of eggs that, by all rational standards, should've become a mass of sulfuric stench, yet remains fresh as the daisies painted on the shells. There are appearances by witches and ghouls, talking worms and hats, and even Santa Claus. Don't try to understand it; let the cartoon wash over you and surrender to the journey. I say this with my tongue only partially in my cheek. ;)

A great deal can often be said about the cultural impact of holiday specials, but with the exception of it's signature song, this particular cartoon never reached the levels of influence that it's peers (like Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town) did. It did spawn a direct to video sequel, but what little I've seen of it doesn't indicate much improvement in writing or animation style, though both are updated for the modern audience. It kind off rips of a handful of Christmas specials...well, I think it does, you ought to judge for yourself. I would like to see flaming nougat though.

Next week is going to rock, because one of our listeners will be taking the reigns for the day. He was generous enough to Adopt-A-DJ during WIDR Week and he picked The Saturday Morning Cartoon show. An active and interactive listener of many moons, he's picked a day of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for his special visit and we're all pretty geeked about it. Even though he's in control, you can still get your requests in by calling during the show or by e-mailing and commenting here throughout the week. We'll take 'em however we get 'em!

Have a happy Easter and enjoy!

- DJ Muppet

P.S. For those who might be wondering, this is xkcd. It's amazing, but not for kids, so be ye warned. Make sure that you don't start in on the archives unless you have several hours free. Even when work calls, you may find it hard to tear yourself away. XKCD is geek crack. Sexy, sexy geek crack.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ten billion ants in this world, and I'm having trouble with just The Saturday Morning Cartoon Show.

Good morning, cartoon fans young and old! You know, I feel a bit like The King of Cartoons when I say that and I like it. Hopefully you've all had a decent week and are in the mood for some old school, jazzed up, dare I say hep animation goodness.

Today we're geeked to bring you an underrated, but nonetheless wonderful cartoon from 1969-1971, The Ant And The Aardvark. In addition to being one of the first productions from Depatie-Freleng Enterprises, this cartoon has the distinction of being one of the only shows we've aired that was created for theatrical release. When making quality pre-feature shorts became financially untenable, most animation studios stopped making them and theatre owners either used old cartoons or eliminated them all together. However, William Hanna and Joseph Barbara, not to mention David Depatie and Fritz Freleng, realized that they could make short/television animated pieces without investing the massive amounts of time and money Disney had by simplifying the process. They cut down on detail in the animation and essentially created a new paradigm for the mass consumption of cartoons.

Knowing this, the quality of The Ant And The Aardvark becomes even more impressive. I normally just post links, but to fully appreciate this cartoon, I really do believe you need to see how much comes through in the simplistic art style used, so I'm embedding. Watch this episode, then see how your perspective on the audio changes.

Isn't it pretty? You can see the Depatie-Freleng works had great influence on animation for the next decade. Part of it is certainly the Chuck Jones influence, but it's bigger than him and that's pretty cool. Seeing it all together makes John Byner's voicing of almost every character in the series infinitely more impressive. I'll be honest, a man who can mimic both Dean Martin and Paul Lynde has a special in to my heart.

That's all for now, but come back next week for our Easter episode, which promises to have more time travel and Maurice Chevalier impersonating than any other Easter even this year! Seriously, we're airing Here Comes Peter Cottontail. It's bizarre and wonderful, and it has Danny Kaye, Casey Kasem, and Vincent Price. How many varieties of awesome is that? In the meantime, get today's show, leave a comment to let us know what you think, and enjoy!

- DJ Muppet