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poster courtesy of Thirty years? Real for sure strange…”

1977 saw the release of the animated film Raggedy Ann & Andy. Directed by Oscar winner Richard Williams, music by Sesame Street cmposer Joe Raposo, animators included Art Babbitt the creator of Goofy, Tissa David the animator on the wonderful John Hubley shorts, Grim Natwick who created Betty Boop and Jerry Chiniquy who animated Yosemite Sam. It was produced by Broadway impresario James Horner who had just scored a major success with Richard Burton in Equus. Voices included Didi Conn, who was Frenchy in the film version of Grease, Mark Baker and Joel Silver. It was the most impressive team of talent for it's time outside of the Walt Disney studio.

Other animated films released that year included Disney's Rescuers and Bakshi's Wizards. Oh and there was that little thing called Star Wars. But Raggedy Ann is special for me, because for me and artists of our generation, it was like finishing school.

Funny how for a film that didn’t seem to do a lot of business back in 1977, a lot of people remember it as a fond childhood memory.
It was done at a time when the most advanced new technology in animated film was a Boston electric pencil sharpener.

The thirty year anniversary screening of Raggedy Ann & Andy, a Musical Adventure will be tomorrow at the American Film Institute at 3:00PM. We will see a 35mm scope print followed by a panel discussion of the film. Check the ASIFA site on my links for further details.

On hand will be Eric Goldberg, who created the Genii in Disney’s Aladdin, Barney Posner who was the cleanup artist of Jerry the mouse dancing with Gene Kelly in MGM’s Anchor’s Aweigh, John Kimball ( Ward’s son) who worked on Star Trek the Motion Picture, Darkwing Duck, Chalk Zone, Carol Milikan who later directed the Beavis & Butthead Show and many more veterans of the crew.

All proceeds will be to benefit the ASIFA/Hollywood Animation Archive. You are all welcome to join us, as we share memories of this flawed gem of a film.

My section that i worked mainly was the Taffy Pitt, animated by Warner Bros veteran animator Emery Hawkins.
Today’s Quiz: Why are prostitutes known as Harlots, Whores and Hookers?

Yesterday’s Question below: What is a faux-pas?
History for 11/16/2007
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Tiberius, Paul Hindemith, George S. Kaufmann, W.C. Handy, Burgess Meredith, Daws Butler , Bob Watson, Zina Garrison, Dwight Gooden, Maggie Gylenhall

HAPPY SADIE HAWKINS DAY! Fictional hillbilly race made famous by Al Kapp in his comic strip Little Abner.

1532- THE MASSACRE OF CAJAMARCA- Pizzarro tricked the Inca Emperor Athahualpa and his court into a narrow corral apart from their massive army with promises of a peace conference. The monk Fra Francisco Valverde gave a bible to the Great Inca declaring 'this is the voice of the Living God!" Athahualpa, who had never seen a book or European writing before, examined it over a minute, said "It says nothing to me" and dropped it in the dust. Then Valverde signaled and the Spaniards rushed out from all sides, slaughtering 9,000. Athahualpa was kept as a hostage and later strangled. Valverde became Archbishop of Lima, supervised the destruction of much of Inca culture, then was finally and eaten by cannibals in Ecuador.

1632- BATTLE OF LUTZEN- Largest battle of the Thirty Years War, the great European war where Protestant and Catholic countries chose up sides and battled for the dominance of their religions. The Catholic German-Spanish army of Archduke Wallenstein and the Protestant German-Swedes and of King Gustavus Adolphus pound each other all day. Gustavus had been shot out of his saddle while leading an attack and was on the ground when the Croat cavalry surrounded him. Recognizing a leader they said:"Who are you?" According to legend Gustavus answered:"I am the King of Sweden, who do seal the religion and freedom of all Germany with my blood!" Thereupon the Croats obligingly stabbed him to death. Duke Bernard of Saxe Weimar assumed command and the revengeful Swedes swept all from their path. Lutzen was the highpoint of the religious conflict. Wallenstein continued to lead the German Emperor's armies until his boss the Emperor assassinated him. The Thirty Years War continued until Catholic France joined the Protestant side and the Protestant Germans fought the Protestant Swedes and everyone who started it died and nobody could remembered what it was all ever about to begin with.

1788- KING GEORGE III COLLAPSES IN CONVULSIONS, the first signs of mental illness that would make him a blind shut-in for the last years of his reign. His condition is now known as a rare blood disorder called Porpheria, but then had no known cure. Bleeding and ice water dowsings was the standard 18th century medical treatments. He recovered for a time but the last ten years of his reign are called Regency Period, because even though he still was king his son the Prince of Wales ruled for him. George III's aides sensed something was not right with the King when while riding in his carriage in Hyde Park, George leapt out and called a large oak tree as the King of Prussia. He embraced the tree and shouted in French: "Aah, Le Roi du Prusse!"

1801- The first issue of the New York Post. Alexander Hamilton and his Federalists wanted a paper to print their views. Editor James Coleman once had to kill a man in a duel that morning and get back to the office to get the afternoon edition out. But the elitist snobs of 1800 could not see the lowbrow tabloid the NY Post would become in our time.

1906- Opera superstar Enrico Caruso was charged for pinching a ladies butt while visiting the Bronx Zoo. Caruso claimed a monkey did it.

1907- Oklahoma and Indian territories became a state.

1915-BIRTH OF THE COKE BOTTLE- The owners of Coca Cola were concerned that the success of their soft drink was being subverted by all the various cheap imitations. They decided if they had a distinctive bottle people would recognize genuine Coca Cola. This day the first Coca-Cola appeared in their distinctive curved little green bottles, created by the Ross Glass Co. of Indiana and bottled in Vicksburg Mississippi.

1924- THE MURDER OF THOMAS INCE- Thomas Ince was a film director and early Hollywood studio owner who’s property later became the site of MGM. This day he boarded William Randolph Hearst’s yacht Oneida for a birthday party in his honor. On the boat among the guests was Charlie Chaplin and Hearsts’ mistress Marion Davies. When the boat docked Ince was dead and everyone very troubled. The official cause of death was a heart attack but there was no autopsy or investigation and the Hearst press quickly hushed things up. The legend goes Hearst discovered Chaplin and Davies in flagrante-delicto and in a jealous rage shot Ince when he came in between them. We’ll never know for sure.

1932- VAUDEVILLE DIED- Vaudeville was the generic name for one admission to a showcase of short theatrical acts- singers, comics, jugglers, trained animals, etc. Vaudeville gave their first opportunities to many great twentieth century performers like Chaplin, Jolson, the Marx Brothers, Mae West , Gypsy Rose Lee and W.C.Fields. But it was slowly supplanted by more modern forms of entertainment like Movies and Radio. If you asked experts to pinpoint a date for the official end of the popular venue, many it would say it was the date that the New York Palace Theater on Broadway, the premiere palace for Vaudeville, switched from live shows to purely Movies.

1946- The Television Academy of Arts and Sciences founded. Fred Allen once said: "We call television a Medium because nothing on it is Rare or Well Done."

1960- CLARK GABLE DIED- The 59 year old star had just completed the film the Misfits, a film in which director John Huston demanded a great deal of physical exertion. Gable had told his agent that the unprofessional antics of his moody co-star Marilyn Monroe had driven him so nuts they were going to give him a heart attack. Clark Gable then had one after shooting and on this day while convalescing in Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital while reading a magazine a second heart attack killed him. He wrote his own epitaph but it was never used- "Back to the Silents."

1990- Disney’s feature film the Rescuers Down Under premiered. The first traditionally animated film to be painted digitally on computer instead of acetate cels and paints.

2001- The film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone premiered to great fanfare and massive box office. Harry Potter’s creator J.K. Rowling had been so poor she at one time had been on relief, now she was one of the richest women in the world, in England second only to Madonna and the Queen.

YESTERDAYS QUIZ-----------------------------------------------
Question: When John McCain in South Carolina the other day didn't apologize or correct the person who called Hilary Clinton a b*tch, that was called a Faux-pas. What is a faux-pas?

ANSWER: In Fencing it meant a false move, later at the Royal French court it meant a false step, which could mean a serious breach of etiquette and lost of status at court. When mistresses like Madame La Pompadour were presented at court, all would watch the way she bowed and withdrew from the throne, for hope of a faux-pas, that would drop her from favor.