Recently by Brandie

By virtue of their respective species, Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse are sworn enemies. Tom chases Jerry, and Jerry outwits Tom; sometimes, it's the other way around, as Jerry ends up on the receiving end of Tom's revenge. They give each other hell and, on the rare occasion, team up to thwart a common foe. It's a simple conceit, and one that has the potential to run very dry, very quickly. Yet over the course of eighteen years and more than one hundred cartoons, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera were able to do the seemingly impossible: keep the Tom and
Since the 2006 release of the popular documentary series Planet Earth, the BBC has produced a number of similarly-themed documentaries focusing in greater detail on various regions of the planet. Marked by extraordinary camerawork and unprecedented access to the most far-reaching corners of the world, these documentaries are justly lauded for exposing viewers to the intriguing inner workings of the natural world. The latest release in the series, simply titled Africa, is the result of nearly four years of filming in some of the remotest areas of what host David Attenborough calls "the world's greatest wilderness," and reveals new insight
In the history of the modern world, challenging male authority has always been something of a hit-or-miss venture for women. Those who tried rarely succeeded; those who succeeded were labeled traitors to societal expectation. With few exceptions, the development of the western world was guided largely by men, who sought and maintained power through demonstrations of their might and male authority. For those few women who did manage to find themselves within the reach of power, casting aside "womanly virtue" to don the mantle of a king generally came at a price. In the recent BBC documentary series She-Wolves: England's
Upon its controversial publication in 1957, Dr. Zhivago—an epic tale of love and betrayal set amidst the turbulent Russian conflicts of the early twentieth century—virtually begged for a film adaptation. British director David Lean complied in 1965 with a lush, ambitious version that won five Academy Awards, including one for its iconic musical score (indeed, the film’s main leitmotif, “Lara’s Theme,” remains an immensely popular tune that rivals “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for its prevalent use in music boxes). The Oscar-winning screenplay by Robert Bolt plays quite loosely with the novel, borrowing and discarding some characters and plotlines almost at
Yeah, yeah—Christmas is over, the holidays have passed once again, and it’s too late (or too early, depending upon how you look at it) to start thinking about them once again. But, hey—there’s never a bad time of year for a great Christmas cartoon, right? Right …? Christmas specials are an indelible part of the holiday entertainment for many families. Over the years, gathering around the television to watch Charlie Brown learn about the true meaning of Christmas, or to witness the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes with love, or to sympathize with Rudolph as all of the other reindeer
Early twentieth-century artist and cartoonist Winsor McCay is not exactly a household name, at least in comparison to other stalwarts of early animation like Walt Disney (though this fall’s Google Doodle honoring McCay's pioneering comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland went a long way towards familiarizing him with modern audiences). But there is no denying his groundbreaking influence in the development of the animated genre. In fact, McCay, whose work predated Disney's by more than a decade, practically invented the concept of animated film, spending thousands of hours producing, directing, and drawing every frame of his cartoons by hand, usually
In my review of Happiness is…Peanuts: Go Snoopy Go! in October, I mentioned that the disc included an episode of the 1980s series The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show, containing short segments revolving around the abridged adventures of various characters. Though this episode was admittedly somewhat bland, it was nonetheless the highlight of that particular DVD (as the featured presentation, It’s Spring Training, Charlie Brown, was relatively underwhelming in comparison).   Although several other episodes of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show have also been released previously on DVD as special features on the various Happiness is…Peanuts compilations, Warner Archive
By the mid-1970s, the Warner Bros. animation studio was long past its golden days, having peaked in the 1950s under the auspices of such Warner animation stalwarts as Chuck Jones and Bob McKimson. The animation department was shuttered in 1969, when the studio ceased producing short subjects as a cost-saving measure. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and their pals found their way to new generations of children through frequent television airings, but many of the original cartoons were edited or censored due to violent or insensitive content, and the production of new material was infrequent, at best. Enter Larry Jackson, a
Dennis Carson (Clark Gable) has plenty of trouble: the rubber trees on his plantation in Indochina (modern Vietnam) are not producing, he is dissatisfied with the lackluster performance of his workers, and monsoons threaten to shutter the entire operation. And if that's not enough, a wayward prostitute, Vantine (Jean Harlow), has taken refuge from the law on his grounds. The gruff and demanding Carson is nonetheless charmed by Vantine and gradually gives in to a romantic relationship with her; but while Vantine falls in love with Carson, he looks at their time together as nothing more than a “business transaction.”
Since 1969, the inarguable standard-bearer for educational entertainment for children has been Sesame Street. Winner of 143 Emmy Awards over the course of its four-decade-plus run, the show and its iconic characters have become invaluable denizens of the pop culture landscape, not just in the United States, but around the world. The show’s combination of humor and educational curriculum has long made it a valuable means of introducing young children to basic concepts like the alphabet and counting, while also teaching real-life lessons about the importance of sharing, compassion for others, and tolerance. In 2006, Sesame Workshop released some of