Thursday, June 30, 2022

Movie Review: Minions: Rise of Gru


Michael's Movie Grade: B

One of the best of the Despicable Me movies. 

It is obvious that the folks at Illumination have gotten these films down to a science. They have come to know exactly what audiences'' want from these films and just how to provide it. Director Kyle Balda keeps the movie moving at a very fast pace and never lets up on the laughs. Not every joke may land, but in the Marx Brothers tradition there will be a brigade of jokes following and many of them will make up for the few clunkers. It doesn't hurt that this movie has some of the strongest set pieces done with these characters. The scenes involving them taken over the plane or learning kung-fu are really good and certainly made me laugh. I love that unlike many animated features today, this franchise truly embraces its inner cartoon and is not afraid simply to be a series of feature length cartoons. The art of pure cartoon insanity is sadly fading, and I love to see it be able to take center stage in a major movie franchise. While this may not be up to the standards of Looney Tunes or Tex Avery, it is still delightful. Despite this though the film still has pretty good story. While it is true that you can see what is coming, the story still hits all the marks it needs to. Despite his villainy, Gru remains a very likable character and one that is easy to root for. His want to become a very feels so sincere and real that we actually kind of root for him. It doesn't hurt that he works against villains that are worse than he is, making him seem like a hero in comparison, while still letting him do villainous things. The emotion beats of this movie may not make you tear up, but they do their job in making you care about what happens in the story. Plus there is a really fun action scene at the climax. The film also delivers a nice message about letting others into your life and to always stay true to those you care about. Surprisingly this message is delivered in an effective way that never feels heavy handed and never takes away from the silly cartoon comedy.

As much as the fast pace works for the comedy, it can make much of the story feel a little rushed. There is also the fact that as much as this story can work, it is very similar to many other movies, and you can always easily see what is coming next.  

I doubt that this movie is going to make fans out of those who hate the Minions, but for those of us who had a good time with the previous films, this movie delivers exactly what we want. 

The Reformation of Henry B. Walthall


The following is a 1917 article from Photoplay Magazine. If you have any trouble reading click on the pages and use your touch screen to zoom in. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Movie Review: Phantom of the Open


Michael's Movie Grade: A-

A completely delightful British comedy-drama. 

This is a movie that does exactly what it sets out to do. It is a feel-good story and it truly makes you feel good. This film is based off a true-life story and it is easy to see why this story had to made into a movie (okay, it was made into a book first). The basic story is irresistible. A man who has never played golf before, decides he wants to play in the British Open and when he gets the chance to, he plays the worst round in the history of the Open. Yet despite this and being labeled "the world's worst golfer" he does not let this stop him from his dream. Too often we don't do things that we know we would truly love, because we also know that we might fail or that the odds are against us. Yet as this film shows us, sometimes it is enough to simply live our lives to the fullest and still "reach for the stars" when we do fail.  In a world that has become so cynical this is a type of movie that we need right now. Because as much as we may laugh at his failed attempts at golf, deep down we truly admire this man and wish that we could be more like him. With this incredibly effective sweetness and optimism it is no shock that the writer, Simon Farnaby, also co-wrote the wonderful Paddington 2

Of course, for a film like this much of it relies on its stars. Luckily this movie has a truly fantastic cast. Mark Rylance is always incredible with any role he is given, and I don't think I have ever seen a movie with him, where he didn't give a great performance. However, he is at the top of his game here. No matter how familiar you may be with this actor, he so becomes the character that you forget you are watching an actor play a role. He brings so much warmth and humanity to the role that only makes this already charming movie, more charming. The always great Sally Hawkins is also incredibly charming as his wife, and she brings a sweet charm to this movie that results in some of its finest moments.

This is also a very funny movie. This is not only a film that will make you smile but one that will make you laugh out loud. While I expected the film might give me a few laughs, I did not except to laugh as much or as hard as I did. Yet all of this comedy is at service to the story and adds to the story the film is telling rather than distracting from it. Plus, any modern movie that has a comedy scene referencing the Keystone Kops has easily won my heart.

If you want to leave a movie simply feeling good, this is a must see. 

Movie Review: Jug Jugg Jeeyo


Michael' Movie Grade: C

An okay romantic drama from India.

Where this film best works is as a look at divorce and what can lead to it. Despite much of the over-the-top comedy, this subject is treated in a mature and realistic way. While this movie favors characters staying together over getting divorced, it does not paint anything as having easy or simple solutions. The characters wanting a divorce is treated in a way that is easy to relate to and in a way where you can obviously see why that sounds right to them at the time. This is especially shown in a quite touching and effective scene late in the film between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. I like that this movie also explores how these situations effect those who are also around. This is shown very well through the main character's little sister (a very likable person and my favorite character), whose thoughts and decisions about her upcoming marriage are based on the marriages of her parents and her brother, both of which she doesn't know are going through hard times. There are actually quite a few touching scenes here that work quite well. The movie also never rushes these issues and gives them time to play out. This movie like many Bollywood films is also a very good-looking movie. This is especially true during the musical number scenes, which are simply wonderful to look at.   

Unfortunately there is a lot of comedy in this movie and most of it falls flat. I may have had one or two laughs watching this, but the rest simply didn't work. Much of this humor was truly terrible and really hurt the film. There are also moments that are meant to be funny, but instead just feel mean spirited and make the characters a bit unlikable. This movie is also full of dialogue that is too on nose and obvious. There are also times when the film can really drag. 

This is not a great movie by any means, but there is enough that worked that I am glad I saw it.   

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Movie Review: Official Competition (Competencia oficial)


Michael's Movie Grade: A-

A hilarious comedy from Spain. 

This movie is based off a simple but effective premise. An eccentric arthouse director (Penelope Cruz) decides to put two actors who would obviously have friction on the set in the same film, hoping to catch that friction in her movie. These two actors are a pretentious actor who views himself as a great artist and above common audiences who "don't understand" his art (Oscar Martínez), and an egotistical and very commercial movie star, who is most concerned with awards and living the movie star life (Antonio Banderas). Yet from this simple premise directors Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat (who also wrote this film with Gastón Duprat) create an incredibly smart and entertaining movie that also keeps us not knowing what will happen next. Of course, a comedy like this heavily depends on its stars. Luckily for us the three leads are at the top of their game here. They not only make these incredibly over the top characters somehow believable, but they are simply having so much fun making this film. I will say as much as I love both Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, I have rarely seen them have this much fun before a movie camera. It is simply impossible not to get swept up into the sheer energy and fun in these performances and this guaranties that its audience will have a great time. It doesn't hurt of course that the script is incredibly funny. To do comedy as over the top as this film is always dangerous, because when it fails it can really fail. However this movie shows just how delightful over the top comedy can be when done right. I laughed out loud several times watching this film and so did the rest of the audience in the theater with me. The humor became especially daring towards the end when it took a very risky dark turn but one that worked very well. 

This is simply a great movie and extremely funny.   

Cowboy Church #178

 Hello my friends and welcome back for another service of Cowboy Church. 

Today's musical selection begins with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans with The Lord is Gonna Take Good Care of You. This recording is the B-side of a 1955 Little Golden Record made by Roy and Dale (the A-side was Jesus Loves the Little Children). 

Next comes Randy Travis with a song that has become a staple at many Christian churches today, Here I am to Worship. The song was written by Tim Hughes, a worship leader in Britian. As well as being a worship leader and an ordained minister, he has also released six worship albums, the first of which was titled, Here I am to Worship and introduced this great song.  

This is followed by Lynn Anderson singing Put Your Hand in the Hand. This song was written by Gene MacMellan. Music fans would have first heard this song when Anne Murray recorded it for her 1970 album, Honey, Wheat and Laughter (MacMellan had also written Murray's signature song, Snowbird). Yet it became a major hit when the rock band Ocean recorded it in 1971. Ocean was not a Christian band and felt no strong connection with the message of this song. Because of this they were hesitant to record the song, because people might misunderstand what kind of band they were. They did record the song and many people did view them as gospel band much to their dismay. After this version became a major hit, many other recorded the song including Elvis Presley, Joan Beaz, Johnny Cash, Tennesse Ernie Ford and even Bing Crosby. Lynn Anderson's version is one of my favorite recordings of this song and appeared on her 1971 album, You're My Man

Next comes The Sons of the Pioneers with their 1937 recording of Power in the Blood. This recording is to me a perfect gospel recording. Gospel means "good news" and therefore it only makes sense for gospel to be a joyous genre and this wonderful recording executes joy at every turn. When I am down this version of this classic hymns always picks me up. I may use this quite a bit on these Cowboy Church posts, but there is completely a reason for that.

Then comes Barbera Mandrell with I Love to Tell the Story. When recovering from a sickness, Arabella Katherine Hankey wrote a poem about the life of Christ. This poem was broken into two parts the first being called The Story Wanted (published in January, 1866) and the second called The Story Told (published in November, 1866). I Love to Tell the Story comes from this second part. In 1869 William G. Fisher put this text to music and that is the version we know today. Still it is worth noting that Hankey wrote her own music for these words, but her music was seldom used and is now forgotten. 

Afterwards comes The Gatlin Brothers with It is Well With My Soul. Though this is a hymn of hope and peace it was written in a time of great sadness. The song was written by Horatio G. Spafford in 1873. He had planned a European trip for himself, his wife and four daughters, however because of his work he was unable to go, and he let his family go without him and after he finished his work, he would meet them there. However, the ship was hit and quickly sank. Though his wife was saved all four of his daughters had gone down with the ship. Amazingly he wrote this hymn when approaching an area near where his daughters had sunk.

We continue with The Statler Brothers with Less of Me. This song comes from their 1969 gospel album, Oh Happy Day and was written by none other than Glen Campbell.  

Today's musical selection ends with The Carter Family with their 1937 recording of Hold Fast to the Right

Today's movie trailer is a classic John Ford directed film starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda, Fort Apache (1948). This movie also features a more grown-up Shirley Temple. I am different from many people as these more grown-up movies were my introduction to Shirley Temple. This film along with She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and Rio Grande (1950) made up John Ford's cavalry trilogy. 

Radio Flash, 1948

Next comes the C.S. Lewis essay, Myth Becomes Fact.

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy. Proverbs 12:20

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4 

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, ‘surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand. Isaiah 14:24

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  Colossians 3:23-24

Thanks for joining me. Come back next week for another service of Cowboy Church. Happy trails to you until we meet again. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Some Cartoons For Saturday Morning #181

 Hello my friends and welcome back for another selection of classic cartoons. 

Today's cartoon selection begins with Sylvester in Peck Up Your Troubles (1945). This short film is certainly a forerunner to the later Tweety and Sylvester cartoons, the first of which would be released in 1947. However instead of Tweety there is a little woodpecker and dialogue is kept to a minimum. This movie was in fact only Sylvester's second cartoon, the first of which was Life With Feathers (1945). Peck Up Your Troubles was directed by Friz Freleng who would later direct nearly all of the Sylvester and Tweety shorts. Friz would later say about Sylvester, "I designed Sylvester to look subtly like a clown. I gave him a big red nose and a very low crotch which was supposed to look like he was wearing baggy pants. But gradually he changed because the construction restricted his animation."  

Up next comes Goofy in The Big Wash (1948). Rather than being directed by Jack Kinney, this short film was directed by Clyde Geronimi, who by this time was mostly working on Disney's feature films. This often causes his work as a director of shorts to get overlooked. Yet his work in shorts was often incredibly delightful and this movie is no exception. This may not be as wild as the Goofy cartoons, Jack Kinney directed, but in its own way it is just as fun. This movie relies heavily on character-based humor and it has really been done better. In this cartoon Goofy washes an elephant named Dolres. This elephant would later appear in the Donald Duck cartoon, Working for Peanuts (1953) and in that film Donald would sing the same song as Goofy does here. 

Next we join Mutt and Jeff in Westward Whoa (1926). This movie was directed by Charles Bowers who also had an unjustly forgotten career staring in live action silent comedy shorts. 

The Betty Boop cartoons from the early 1930's were some of the most risqué cartoons from the golden age of American animation. Anyone who thinks of old cartoons as sweet, innocent and squeaky clean may be surprised to see scenes in these cartoons. One of the most risqué images from one of these cartoons comes from Red Hot Mama (1934), where we are given a look through Betty's dress. Though admittedly the rest of this cartoon is not exactly innocent either. The setting for this film is Hell, where Betty's sexiness excites the various demons. Not everyone back then was fine with what happens in this film as the following exhibitor's review from Motion Picture Herald shows. "Red Hot Mama: Betty Boop - I can remember several years ago after sound had been established that a great cry arose within the industry that the youngsters of that day ( and the show patron of tomorrow) were unable to find any entertainment in the movie palaces because the biz had gone high hat and no entertainment for them. I screened 'Red Hot Mama,' a cartoon yesterday on my Sunday matinee hence this letter. I have always felt that in booking these cartoons the youngsters were getting a treat. I enjoy their hearty laughs and suppressed excitement when their favorite cartoon is on the screen. However 'Red Hot Mama' must have been drawn when the guy was drunk. Betty Boop starts out sweetly, is suddenly transported to Hell and pursued and tortured by all sorts of fire devils, imps and what have you. One variety, the ability to bound in the air and come down on a spear studded tail stabbed in the floor. A grand subject for your juvenile trade? Naturally my Sunday matinee was without a cartoon. The only recommendation I have for this is that the one responsible for it be compelled to sit through a screening every time he has a pink elephant fantasy. Some exhibitor's have said they hesitate to report on products through the Herald for fear of getting in bad with the local exchange. My opinion is that the people who are sincere in this business welcome constructive criticism. Report fairly on pictures with merit and likewise that class of product which is detrimental to our investments. I'm not a crank but it is cartoons such as the Symphonies and 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and 'Little Red Hen' that are in demand and not such a thing as 'Red Hot Mama'. -E.A. Reynolds, Strand Theatre, Princeton, Minn. Small Town and Country Patronage." With the praise of the Silly Symphonies, I am wondering what this exhibitor would have to say about the Silly Symphony, Hell's Bells (1929). The following is a much more positive exhibitor's review from the Motion Picture Herald, "Red Hot Mama: Betty Boop - This is a great cartoon comedy that will please everyone. It is full of good clean entertainment and much better than the average comedy. More time should be given to shorts in order to fill in a poor feature and everything would be better. Running Time eight minutes. -J.J. Medford, Orpheum Theatre, N.C. General patronage."

Now for a commercial break. 

Motion Picture News, 1913

Next we join Popeye in I Don't Scare (1956). This was towards the end of Popeye's career in theatrical cartoon shorts. The last of these shorts was released only a year later in 1957.

Now for Colonel Heeza Lair in Knighthood (1924). The Colonel's cartoon career began in 1913. After 1917 he briefly vanished from movie screens. Yet in 1922 the series returned. New cartoons with the character would be made through 1924. This cartoon coms from the later run of films. These later shorts would combine live action and animation (something the earlier shorts did not do) in way that resembled the Fleischer Brothers' Out of the Inkwell shorts. 

Film Daily, 1924

Up next is the Pixar short film, For the Birds (2000). This cartoon premiered at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 2000, but most movie lovers first saw it play before the Pixar feature film, Monsters Inc. (2001).

Now to end with a song. 

Resources Used

I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat: Fifty Years of Sylvester and Tweety by Jerry Beck.



Friday, June 24, 2022

Movie Review: Elvis


Michael’s Movie Grade: A-

This is honestly one of my favorite music Bio-pics to come out in quite a while. 

Let me get this out of the way, I am a huge Elvis fan. With that said I have to say this movie did a wonderful job of reminding me just why I love Elvis so much. Much of this is due to Austin Butler’s incredible performance. While no one can quite capture the magic of Elvis, Austin Butler comes as close as anyone else can. He oozes pure charisma every second he is on screen and watching the scenes where he is performing on stage it is easy to understand why the audiences are going so wild. Yet he never feels like he is doing an Elvis impersonation because he feels so natural. This true not only of his scenes on stage but also in the scenes showing Elvis as a person. He even seems perfectly at home singing some of the king’s songs. Some of the songs use Elvis’ actual voice and some use Austin’s voice. While if you are Elvis fan you can easily tell which is which, there is no doubt that Austin’s versions still sound quite good. 

A problem with many biopics is they simply try to cover too much and lose focus. While certain scenes can feel rushed, the movie remains focus quite well despite covering such a long time period. That is because the film focuses on Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker's relationship first and foremost. This works great because it keeps the film from trying to do too much and that there is a lot of great drama in the relationship between these two men. The Colonel is played by Tom Hanks in a very different role for him. As much as he is known for playing incredibly likable characters, here he plays "the villain of this here story." While his accent takes a while to get used to, once you get used to it, he does a great job. The character himself maybe a little over the top, but so was the real Colonel Parker and he never becomes an outright caricature. This relationship also gives the movie some of its best and most heartbreaking moments. While the movie can be over the top the heartbreak in the last act of this film is very effective. 

Those familiar with director Baz Luhrmann, know that nearly all his films are filled with visual extravagance and this movie is no exception. Here it works very well, because Elvis himself was no stranger to visual extravagance. More than that though this film is simply a joy to look at. It looks and feels larger than life and if you don't see it in theaters than you are missing out. Yet all of this still feels in service of the story and never distracts from but only heightens the emotions. 

Of course, the music is also very important to an Elvis film and it is excellent here. Many of the songs that Elvis recorded are loved for a reason and they are showcased incredibly here. There are a few remixes featuring modern artists, which I admit are a bit distracting considering the time period the movie takes place in but they still sound great. I would definitely say that if I wasn't already a fan of Elvis' music beforehand, I would have left the theater as one, and I hope that this movie has that effect on many people. 

I will admit that there are some scenes that feel too over the top, considering this movie was based on real events but they never take away from how great the rest of this movie is. 

If you are an Elvis fan or even if you aren't, you should definitely see this movie. 

P.S. As a country music fan I can tell you the depiction of Hank Snow was kinda disappointing for me. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

Movie Review: Brian and Charles


Michael's Movie Grade: B+

A fun and surprisingly heartwarming quirky comedy.

This movie is about a man (that is an amateur inventor and has invented many silly and useless as well as failed inventions) who builds a robot friend and likes cabbages. This may seem quite silly and it is. The movie though perfectly embraces this silliness and therefore it become easy for us to do the same thing. The film is full of strange and quirky humor, that may be plain weird but is still quite funny. What makes this movie work as well as it does is though is how much we truly care about these characters. Underneath all the silliness this is a film that constantly has its heart in the heart place. In a world that has become so cynical, it is always wonderful to visit a movie as good-hearted and non-cynical as this. Because of this is the type of film that you leave the theater with a smile on your face, not just because some of the jokes made you laugh but because it made you simply feel good. The relationship between the two title characters is very heartwarming and despite the silliness of the friendship existing is completely believable. Even when the two argue, you can still feel how much they care about each other. There is also a romance in this movie, and it is also well handled. It is very sweet and heartwarming, yet never distracts from the main relationship in this movie. All of this leads to a surpassingly exciting (if still silly) climax that works beautifully. Yet none of this gets in the way of the weird quirky humor, that most moviegoers would see this film excepting. 

On the downside despite the quirkiness, this movie's plot follows a very conventional thread, and it is always easy to predict what will happen next. Also, the mockumentary approach doesn't really add much and leads to the film's least funny gags.

This is simply a delightful and charming movie that is also really silly. 


Sunday, June 19, 2022

Cowboy Church #177

 Hello my friends and welcome back for another service of Cowboy Church.

Today's musical selection begins with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing Thank You God. Something we too often forget to do is to give God that thanks he deserves. It is impossible to overstate just how blessed we are. We have our friends, our family and a breathtakingly beautiful world to live. Too often we take these things for granted and don't reason, just how much God loves us and just how much he has given us.

Hank Williams Jr. has always been very influenced by blues music. Even though he is better known for his country and southern rock songs, blues has always been a strong part of his music. Ever since the 1980's Hank has been talking about making a blues album. Well, he finally has. Earlier this month, Hank released his first full length blues album, Rich White Honkey Blues. This album mostly consists of covers of classic blues songs. Today's musical selection includes a song off this album. It is his cover of Lighting Hopkin's  Jesus, Won't You Come By Here

Next Leadbelly sings Let it Shine on Me. In this great version of the hymn, Leadbelly shows how a hymn was sung differently by different churches but the same basic message stayed the same. 

This is followed by The Sons of the Pioneers with their 1948 recording of The Old Rugged Cross. The song dates back to 1913 and was written by evangelist, George Bennard. Actually the first verse was written in 1912. It was written while Bennard was a part of a series of revival meetings in Albion, Michigan. He was worried about the complete disregard for the gospel around him and wrote this verse as a repose. Of writing it Bennard said, "I seemed to have a vision ... I saw the Christ and the cross inseparable." The song wouldn't be completed for several months, when he was leading meetings at a local church in Pokagan, Michigan. He played it for Rev. Leroy (the sponsoring pastor) and his wife, Ruby Bostwick, both of whom found themselves moved to tears. It was then incorporated into a service at that church on June 7, 1913. The song has the same effect today as it must have back then. 

Next is Glen Campbell with He's Got the Whole World in His Hands. It is unknown who exactly wrote this song because it had been passed down through oral tradition long before it was ever published. However we do know that it was first published in 1927 in a Hymnal titled  Spirituals Triumphant, Old and New. In 1933 Frank Warner, a folk art collector and singer, heard Sue Thomas sing this in North Carolina. Frank Warner then preformed and introduced this song throughout the U.S.A. In 1941 Robert Sonkin recorded a version of this wonderful hymn. Glen Campbell's version comes from his 1970 gospel album, Oh Happy Day.

Now Randy Travis sings The Heart of Worship.

Now Loretta Lynn sings Softly and Tenderly. The song was written by an Ohio businessman named Will Thompson in 1880.  As well as writing gospel songs Thompson also wrote quite a few secular songs and parotic songs. When the songs he wrote were rejected by publishers he created his own company, Will L. Thompson & Company. This company would not only publish music by sell musical instruments. Softly and Tenderly first appeared in 1880's Sparkling Gems, Nos. 1 and 2, a collection of songs from the company. When evangelist Dwight L. Moody was on his death bed he told the songwriter, "Will, I would rather have written ‘Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling’ than anything I have been able to do in my whole life." This was appropriate as Will decided to make songwriting his career while at a meeting held by Moody. 

Today's musical selection ends with Gene Autry with his 1946 recording of When its Round Up Time in Heaven

Now for the trailer for one my favorites among the John Ford and John Wayne westerns, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949).

And here is John Wayne in a radio version of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.

Showman's Trade Review, 1949

Next is C.S. Lewis' essay, Myth Became Fact.

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4

 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Hebrews 11:7

And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. Mark 10:52

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:6

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:5

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  Isaiah 26:3

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Thanks for joining me. come back next week for another service of Cowboy Church. Happy trails to you until we meet again. 

Happy Father's Day

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Movie Review: Lightyear


Note: There was no short film before Lightyear and you are darn right I am upset at that. 

Michael's Movie Grade: B

This may not be up to par with the Toy Story films, but it is still a lot of fun. 

This is not one of Pixar's most daring movies, nor one of their most touching, but not every Pixar film needs to be Inside Out, The Incredibles or Toy Story. This movie sets out simply to be a fun adventure film and it does a really good job being just that. That is not to say there are none of the touching moments that Pixar is known for. In fact there is one death that hits pretty hard. Still this is not in anyway the focus, which is instead the adventure. Buzz himself is handled quite well. This is not the same Buzz we have seen in the Toy Story movies, instead this is a real space ranger and that Buzz was a toy. This movie manages to make this character feel real and differentiate him from the toy, while still keeping enough of the Buzz we love. This Buzz is also headstrong and has a hard time listening to anyone else, but still deep down has a kind heart and cares for those in his life. In other words even if this is still not the same character, he captures the essence of who Buzz Lightyear is. However the show is stolen by Sox the cat. While the previews made me think this character would be a forced in and annoying comedy relief, he was anything but. For one thing his comedy is quite funny. He made me and the audience I saw this with laugh out loud multiple times. Plus Peter Sohn's voice acting was fantastic. Yet he also works great into the adventure part of the film and works as a great ally for the team. Yet the heart of the film lies in Buzz's teammate Izzy Hawthrone, who counterbalances with Buzz perfectly. You can feel a real connection with these two growing over the course of the film. The scenes between these two have a real feeling of authenticity behind them that does a great job grounding the adventure in reality. The adventure itself is conventional but it works quite well. It captures the feeling of simple Sci-fi fun and if it lacks the complexities of most Pixar movies, there is still a real charm to it. 

On the downside Buzz has two other team members he works with here. They simply seem to serve as comedy reliefs, and although they get a few moments they never really justify their existence when we already have Sox the cat here. They also have very one note personalities. There is also the fact that this movie's message is very easy to get, even for the smallest of kids, yet they have to keep stating it over and over. The reveal of the villain also didn't fully work for me but may work for others. 

Chris Evans did a good job voicing Buzz here and I got so caught up in believing in who this character is that I didn't think about how the voice sounds different. Still I am not sure replacing Tim Allen was necessary (I am a fan of Tim Allen). True this is technically a different Buzz, but I think he would have felt just as much like a different Buzz. And Tim Allen may be a comedian but he handled the more serious scenes of the Toy Story films well and could have handled a less overtly silly version of the character. At the same time, I can't deny that Chris Evans did a really good job with this and having a diffrent voice actor proved to not be distracting at all. 

This may not be Toy Story but it is a lot of fun.      

Some Cartoons For Saturday Morning #180

 Hello my friends. Happy Saturday morning and welcome back for another selection of classic cartoons. 

Today's cartoon selection begins with Hop, Look and Listen (1948). This is the first cartoon to pair Sylvester and Hippety Hopper (it is also his debut appearance). After this cartoon the two worked together in 12 more short films. Each of those cartoons followed the formula set by this film, where Sylvester mistakes Hippety for a giant mouse instead of a baby kangaroo. This cartoon was reissued to theaters in 1955.

Casper the Friendly Ghost was created by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo. The character was created with the intention of staring him in a 1939 children's book. However there was little interest in this idea. During World War 2, Oriolo sold the rights to the book to Famous Studios, the animation studio which was making the Popeye cartoons at this time. The studio originally viewed this as a one shot cartoon, but Sam Buchwald liked the idea and by 1950, Casper cartoons would officially become a series. Animator Myron Waldman worked on the majority of the Casper films would later state, "The boys at the studio used to kid me when we were doing the Caspers; they'd call them the 'ooh-ahh' pictures, but I always felt those pictures would last much longer than a picture that was just based on gags, because nobody can remember the gags. When they go to see it again, or talk about it, I think they like a story - kids especially."  Up next is the first Casper cartoon and one that was also an adaption of the book. So enjoy The Friendly Ghost (1945). 

Broadcasting, 1957

The cartoons continue with The Grocery Boy (1932) starring Mickey Mouse. This is a sweet simple little cartoon of the type that the Disney studio excelled at. The movie is helped by some truly excellent character animation and a great cast of animators. David Hand (who would be the supervising director for Snow White (1937) and Bambi (1942)) animates the film's opening. Tom Palmer animates Mickey and Minnie on the phone, a long sequence that begins with Mickey and Pluto entering the house and ends with Minnie kissing a bump on Mickey's head and the closing moment. Ben Sharpsteen (who would be the supervising director for Pinocchio (1940) and Fantasia (1940)) animates Pluto pulling at the table as well as the statue falling on Mickey. Rudy Zamora animates Mickey and Pluto running to Minnie's house. Future Donald Duck director, Jack King animates Minnie stirring and Mickey shelling the peas. Les Clark (one of Walt's Nine Old Men and one of the studio's top Mickey animators) animates Mickey getting the stuffing out of the turkey. A review in Variety stated, "Nothing outstanding in this one, but a good example of the Disney product." The climatic ending of this cartoon would later be adapted for the Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip. 

Now for a delightful early Terrytoon, Spring is Here (1932). 

Now for a commercial break. 

Now comes a delightful short film from Pixar, Lifted (2006). This cartoon premiered at the 42nd Chicago International Film Festival. However most moviegoers first saw it play alongside the Pixar feature Ratatouille (2007) in movie theaters. 

Have you every wondered "What makes the moon shine." Well after watching Felix Finds Out (1924), you won't have to wonder anymore. 

Let us close with a song.

Thanks for joining me, come back next week for more animated treasures. Until then may all your tunes be looney and your melodies merry.

Resources Used

Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons by Leonard Maltin

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: The Ultimate History by J.B. Kaufman and David Gerstein

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (1981)


In 1979 Chuck Jones made a compilation movie, The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979) that combined new animation with Chuck's classic Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies short cartoons. In 1981 it was now time for another great Looney Tunes director to do the same thing, this was the great Friz Freleng. Friz Freleng had worked with Looney Tunes from the beginning and received an animation credit on the very first Looney Tunes cartoon, Sinkin' in the Bathtub (1930). Though he may not always receive the same accolades from film buffs as Chuck Jones or Tex Avery, I would argue that Friz was easily their equal. His sense of comic timing is still to this day unequaled when it comes to comedy cartoons. He also played a large role in the creation of Porky Pig, Sylvester and Yosemite Sam, as well as being the one to team up Sylvester and Tweety. In 1981, Friz's DePatie-Freleng studio (which was run by him and David DePatie) had been bought by Marvel Comics and became Marvel Studios. DePatie-Freleng had been responsible from the Pink Panther, Inspector and Ant and the Aardvark cartoons. This left Friz Freleng available, and he soon rejoined Warner Brothers. After rejoining Warner Brothers, Friz set out to make a series of feature length Looney Tunes compilation movies. These films would have around 20 minutes of new animation and the rest of the runtime would be taken up by classic cartoon shorts. The first of these movies was The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie. Like Chuck Jones earlier compilation movie, this film would feature only shorts by one of the Looney Tunes directors, Friz himself. 

This movie is made up of three separate, almost unrelated acts, that were only tied together by Bugs' narration. The first of these acts was titled Satan's Waitin' and features Yosemite Sam ending up not in heaven but the other place after an unsuccessful battle with Bugs. Here he pleads the devil and the devil agrees that Sam doesn't have to stay there if he can bring someone else down to take his place. Sam naturally thinks Bugs is the perfect candidate for the job. This is problem the least original of the three acts. It had been done before as an episode of The Bugs Bunny Show called Satan's Waitin' (1961) and as a short Merrie Melodies cartoon, Devil's Feud Cake (1963). Surprisingly only a couple of very tiny clips from Devil's Feud Cake were used in this segment. However just because something is not original does not make it bad. In fact this act is extremely entertaining and I'd argue that it is actually better than Devil's Feud Cake. This segment shows just what you would want from a movie like this and many of the cartoons used are downright hilarious. Also because of the similar theme and a tried but true wrap around story, these all fit together very well. The classic shorts used in this segment include Hare Trimmed (1953),  Roman Legion-Hare (1955), Sahara Hare (1955) and  Wild and Woolly Hare (1959). The title Satan's Waitin' was also used for a 1954 Sylvester and Tweety short and a tiny clip featuring some bulldogs was reused from that short. 

The second act is entitled The Unmentionables which shares its name with a 1963 Bugs Bunny cartoon. In this segment Bugs under the codename Elegant Mess (a play on Elliot Ness) is a detective after gangsters Rocky and Mugsy. This segment is probably the least of three. This is because all the cartoons aren't put together perfectly and when another cartoon starts it can feel like a break in the story. For instance focusing on Bugs Bunny to focusing on Daffy Duck feels like an abrupt change that comes out of nowhere. Yet this is not to say this segment is bad as it still very entertaining. The classic cartoons here are fantastic. One reason I have such a fondness for these movies is because they introduced me to Looney Tunes cartoons that I didn't see on TV much. This movie is where I first saw and fell in love with the Slyvester and Tweety cartoon, Catty Corned (1953). Some of the new animation is quite good too. Daffy in fact gets a line to Bugs Bunny in a newly animated moment that cracks me up every time. The new courtroom scene is also a lot of fun. Cartoons in this act include, The Unmentionables (1963), Golden Yeggs (1950) and Catty Cornered (1953). 

The third and best act is entitled The Oswald Awards. This act has an award show for cartoon characters and all of the Looney Tunes are there. This segment is a representation of Looney Tunes at their best. I simply love everything about this act. The newly made scenes are quite excellent and really made me laugh. They almost feel as if they could have come from a 1950's Looney Tunes short (though the animation differences and Mel Blanc's aging voice give away that it isn't). Not only this but the classic cartoons are truly some of Friz Freleng's best. The cartoons in this act include Three Little Bops (1957), Birds Anonymous (1957), High Diving Hare (1949) and Show Biz Bugs (1957).

This movie may have its faults, but I couldn't love it more if I tried. It is a complete delight and I think any Looney Tunes fan will find themselves having a great time watching this. 

Resources Used

The Animated Movie Guide edited by Jerry Beck

Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Brothers Cartoons by Jerry Beck and Will Friedwald 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Movie Review: Jurassic World Dominion

 Michael’s Movie Grade: D-

This franchise needs to end. 

While I didn’t care for the previous two Jurassic World films, I must admit that the last one ended with a good cliffhanger. The idea of dinosaurs breaking out into our world is a fantastic idea for a Jurassic Park movie. So what does this film do with that great idea? Pretty much nothing. We get a few opening scenes with this idea and then the film abandons it. Instead the focus turns to giant locusts (which not surprisingly aren’t as exciting as dinosaurs) and a boring human villain. The human villain seems to exist simply to spout cliché after cliché and to reinforce the same moral that the past 5 movies had. Only this time it is more heavy handed than ever. When the dinosaurs do appear they don’t do anything they didn’t do in the previous movies and none of these scenes actually deliver on the great premise that this movie should focus on. Also disappointing is that there is no sense of awe and wonder here. The feeling of awe and wonder was what made Jurassic Park such a good film. Yet here the dinosaurs lack everything that made the special in the first place.  The movie is also nearly two and a half hours long. The problem is it feels twice as long. I admit it was really cool to see the old gang from the first movie back together again but I just wish it could have been in a better movie. 

Just watch the original Jurassic Park again. 

Cowboy Church #176

 Hello my friends and welcome back for another service of Cowboy Church. 

Today's musical selection begins with The Sons of the Pioneers with their 1937 recording of Heavenly Airplane. This song was written by Bob Nolan, one of the group's founding members and one of my favorite songwriters. As well as writing this song, Bob also sings lead. Also in the group at this time was Leonard Syle, who would later become known as Roy Rogers. This was towards the end of his time as a member of The Sons of the Pioneers. He would leave the band with dreams of movie stardom and dreams that he certainly would reach. Roy would later write, "Seventy-five dollars a week, each and every week! That's what Republic agreed to pay me for the next seven years. I was sitting on the top of the world. Before I signed, I had to wrangle out of the contract the Sons of the Pioneers had only recently signed with Columbia Pictures. Actually that was easy. Harry Cohn the studio boss, was happy to release me so long as I promised to find someone to replace me in the group. His decision made my move to Republic possible, and also underscored why I wanted to be at Republic rather than Columbia. I would have been just another cowboy singer at Gower Gluch - easily replaceable - rather than the potential leading man the way they were talking at Republic. Besides Republic made the best most action packed westerns in those days." To replace him in the Sons of the Pioneers, Roy got Pat Brady, who would later become his "comical sidekick" on Roy's TV show. There was no hard feelings between Roy and the Sons of the Pioneers. Though Roy was no longer a member of the group, they would appear together in many films and record many songs together. This is followed by Charlie Rich with Amazing Grace. This hymn was written by John Newton in 1772. It is no coincidence that John Newton wrote this hymn, as he was someone who badly needed God's grace. Looking at his life before he gave it to God, there is not much to find that is admirable and in fact some of what we see is downright horrific. He played a part in one of the darkest (if not the darkest) parts of American history. He was a slave trader. To say that slavery in the United States was a tragedy and a horrible part of our history is an incredible understatement, and this man was a part of that horrific system. Later he even admitted that he treated the human beings that he was bringing over harshly. If there is anyone, we in our humanness would think is beyond God to reach it would be this guy. Yet God did reach him and being God completely changed him. He not only abandoned his job, but he gave his life to God's ministry and helped fight slavery every step of the way. If God could do this with him who is to say that any of us or anyone we know could possibly be out of God's power to reach. Next comes the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet with There's Power in the Blood. This song was written in 1889 by Lewis Edgar Jones while at a camp meeting taking place at Mountain Lake Park, MD. This is followed by George Jones with Give Me Just One Day. We only have so much time on this Earth and none of us know how long we will be here. Therefore it is important for us to let God use us any way he can, during our time on Earth. Now for Randy Travis with Precious Memories. Though this is a sweet uplifting song, it was based upon a tragedy. In 1922, John Wright lost his five year old son. Wright would later say about this song, “’Precious Memories’ was born in the midnight hours as I bathed by pillow with tears, likewise all my songs came through life’s severest tests.” Though this is a very famous hymn, John Wright only received $36 for writing it. He would remain a janitor that was always struggling to make ends meet for his entire life. Next comes The Charlie Daniels Band with Jesus Died For Me. This song cam from their first gospel album, The Door.  In his memoir, Never Look at the Empty Seats, Charlie Daniels wrote, "I think the most pressure I was ever under as a songwriter was when I wrote the songs for our first gospel album, The Door. It was such a special project to me. I wanted it to be much more than just another gospel album. I wanted the lyrics to have impact and hopefully speak to some of the people who, like me, had such a hard time understanding the gospel message and were falling through the cracks." Charlie worked very hard on each song and rewrote some multiple times. The effort paid off. This fantastic 1994 album shows The Charlie Daniels Band at their best and it won them their first Dove Award. Next we join the Maddox Brothers and Rose for their 1949 recording of the southern gospel classic I’ll Fly Away. This song was written by  Albert Edward Brumley and was first published in 1932. He grew up in Oklahoma and when he wrote this song he was living in Rock Island, Oklahoma where he was helping his family plant and pick cotton. This was hard and grueling work and Brumley later admitted, “Actually, I was dreaming of flying away from that cotton field when I wrote ‘I’ll Fly Away.’” Today’s musical selection ends with Roy Rogers singing Peace in the Valley. he hymn was written by Thomas A. Dorsey who later explained the origins of this song, “Peace in the Valley,” “It was just before Hitler sent his war chariots into Western Europe in the late 1930s. I was on a train going through southern Indiana and saw horses, cows and sheep all grazing together in this little valley. Everything seemed so peaceful. It made me question, “What’s the matter with mankind? Why can’t men live in peace?” Out of those thoughts came “Peace in the Valley.” 

Now for a discussion of the classic western, 7 Men From Now (1956).

Motion Picture Daily, 1956

Now a message from Pastor Greg Laurie. 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:43-48

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" Matthew 6:24-25

Thanks for joining me. Come back next week for another service of Cowboy Church. Happy trails to you until we meet again. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Some Cartoons For Saturday Morning #179

 Hello my friends and welcome back to another selection of classic cartoons. 

Today's cartoon selection begins with Donald Duck in The Hockey Champ (1939). This short film is an early cartoon with Donald Duck's nephews, Huey, Louie and Dewey. They had first appeared on movie screens only a year earlier in Donald's Nephews (1938). Even this early in their cartoon career, the relationship between them and Donald was firmly established and this film could have been released years later and still fit the mold of what these cartoons would still be. A review in The Showman's Trade Review said of this movie "This subject is one of the funniest Disneys we've seen and that's saying a lot." The magazine then went on to tell movie theater owners how to advertise the short, "Display skates and hockey sticks in the lobby. A burlesque story about the hockey game on the sports page would be a good bet. Use a standee of Donald in the lobby." A review in Boxoffice magazine stated, "There's more comic ingenuity in this subject then you'll find in a carload of cartoons. And just about every foot of it is good for gales of laughter." This film would make its TV debut on the Walt Disney Presents episode, Highway to Trouble (1959). It would air again as part of the Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color episode, Kids is Kids (1961). 

Up next comes Slyvester and Tweety in Tom Tom Tomcat (1953). This short film pits the classic rivals up against each other in the old west. The basic plot of this movie is very similar to that of the later Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam short, Horse Hare (1960). Both cartoons were directed by Friz Freleng.  

The most famous film animator/comic strip artist Winsor McCay made is easily Gertie the Dinosaur (1914).  This film was actually a vaudeville act before it was in theaters. The act consisted of Winsor McCay talking to his animated dinosaur Gertie. He would tell her what to do and Gertie would do it (most of the time). This was translated to theaters by having an off screen narrator, who speaks through intertitles (since this was a silent film). This film has often times wrongly been called the first cartoon ever made. While this is not true (It isn't even McCay's first cartoon, it is his third), its place in animation history is still extremely important. The reason for this is Gertie, herself. She is one of the first animated characters that the audience was allowed to see think. Unlike most earlier silent cartoon characters, Gertie does not seem like she is just moving drawings projected on a screen, but instead like a real character that we know and relate to over the course of the film. This was the beginning of character animation, and one of the first successful attempts at it. Like McCay's earlier short  Little Nemo (1911) this film begins in live action. Winsor McCay bets his fellow cartoonists that he can make a dinosaur come to life and boy does he. This cartoon still holds up incredibly well today and received the number 6 spot in Jerry Beck's book, The 50 Greatest Cartoons

Another Froggy Evening (1995) is a much belated sequel to one of the most beloved short films of all time, One Froggy Evening (1955). Though it doesn’t live up to the original, the film is quite entertaining in its own right. Like the first cartoon, this film is directed by Chuck Jones. There are cameos here by two of Chuck Jones’ Looney Tunes characters including Pussyfoot the kitten and one whose identity I will not spoil here. 

Now for a commercial break. 

Next we join Colonel Heeza Liar in On the Jump (1917). The Colonel is considered one of the first cartoon character to star in his own series of short films. 

Next comes one of my favorite of Pixar's short films, Knick Knack (1989). I love this film because it is unashamedly a cartoon and resembles very much the type of shorts Chuck Jones was making for Warner Brothers in the 1950's. This cartoon was made before Pixar went to making feature films with Toy Story (1995). Therefore it did not originally play before a Pixar feature film. However the film would later play before Finding Nemo (2003) in theaters. 


Next we join The Pink Panther in Star Pink (1978). This film's title is obviously a play on Star Wars, which premiered a year earlier. 

Before Pluto received his own cartoon series he made a couple short films without Mickey that were released as Silly Symphonies. These were Just Dogs (1932) and Mother Pluto (1936). Up next is the first of these, Just Dogs. In this cartoon, the animation of Pluto is mostly split between two animators, Norm Ferguson and Tom Palmer. However Les Clark animates a brief scene were Pluto and the little pup hide in a barrel and Dick Lundy animates them digging up the bone. The pup Pluto costars with did not appear in any other animated cartoons, but Floyd Gottfredson would use him in the Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip. A song used early on in this film is Guy Massey's The Prisoners' Song. This song was prominently used in the Mickey Mouse cartoon, The Chain Gang (1930), which many people believe is the first appearance of Pluto. A review in Motion Picture Reviews stated, "Amusing for Children but not up to the usual Disney standard." A review in The Film Daily disagreed stating, "Right up to the standard of the Walt Disney shops [sic]" The following are two exhibitor's reviews from The Motion Picture Herald, "JUST DOGS: Silly Symphony—This is a fairly s:ood cartoon comedy but still no better than some of the others. United Artists should produce better cartoons or cut the price of these cartoons. Here's hoping to get better cartoons in the future from United Artists. Running time 9 minutes. -J.J. Medford, Orpheum Theatre, N.C. General Patronage." " JUST DOGS: Silly Symphony—Didn't think that this was any too good. - Mayme P. Musselman, Princess Theatre, Lincoln, Kansas, Small Town Patronage." Working titles for this film were The Dog Pound and The Dog Symphony

Thanks for joining me. Come back next week for more animated treasures. Until then may all your tunes be looney and your melodies merry. 

Resources Used

Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series by Russell Merritt and J.B. Kaufman

Friday, June 10, 2022

Judy Garland Birthday Poem

 Today marks what would have been the 100th Birthday of one of my favorite movie stars of all time, Judy Garland. Below is a special birthday poem written specifically for Judy's birthday by poet and novelist Robert Nathan. Film fans might know him for writing the novels, The Bishop's Wife and Portrait of Jennie, both of which would be turned into great films. The poem was read to Judy by Clark Gable, who Judy had sung a tribute to in the movie Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937). As this poem was written in 1944, Judy would have just turned 22 years old. To read the following page click on it and use your touch screen to zoom in. 

Photoplay, 1944

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Happy 88th Birthday Donald Duck

 Donald Duck is the consummate movie star and one of Hollywood's greatest character actors. Though it is easy to simply classify him as a duck with a temper problem, there is more than his character than this. He may be an adult duck, but he is in many ways an overgrown child. Like a child, when he is happy, he is extremely happy and when he is angry you better watch out. And he can transition from being very happy to throwing one of his famous tantrums in a heartbeat. This is something about this childlike approach to life that is very appealing and relatable. Because of this despite Donald not being exactly a role model, it is hard not to like him. He is easily one of Disney's most appeal cartoon characters and whether he is on the big screen, the small screen or in comic books he will never stop entertaining cartoon fans the world over. 

Despite Donald's birthday being accepted as June 9th today (due to the release of his first film, The Wise Little Hen (1934)), this day was not always accepted as his birthday. Like many classic cartoon characters, back in the 1940's, Donald's birthday was constantly changing. However the most common birthday he was given was Friday the 13th (of any month of course), due to him getting stuck with all the bad luck. This is evidenced by the articles from movie magazines below. If you have trouble reading any of them click on the pages and use your touch screen to zoom in. 

Motion Picture Herald, 1946

Showman's Trade Review, 1942

Motion Picture Herald, 1938

Showman's Trade Review, 1943

Now for some highlights from Donald's long career.

So if you see Donald today, be sure to wish him a happy birthday. 

Movieland 1949