Saturday, February 03, 2018

You Gotta Be a Football Hero

Kicked off a sunny morning before Super Bowl Sunday with breakfast and a football-themed Tiny Toon Adventures episode. "The Acme Bowl" pits Acme Looniversity against Perfecto Prep. The Toons haven't won all season, and Perfecto hasn't lost yet. Buster's new playbook may help the Toons to expose Perfecto for the cheaters they are...if Plucky doesn't set them up for a fumble by turning it over to their rivals.

Headed out for a nice walk around 11. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The sun was out, and while it was chilly and breezy, it wasn't as windy or as cold as yesterday. In fact, it was just about what it should be in early February, probably mid-30's. The trees here are bare now, black lines reaching for the powder blue sky. Pale yellow grass and brown bushes make up most gardens. A few people have Eagles or Valentine's banners flying in the breeze. Others haven't even gotten around to taking down their Christmas decorations. Most settle for their crunchy gold lawns.

My first stop was Oaklyn's Fire Station. I saw a sign for a Soup and Craft Fair next to the City Hall on my way back from Westmont on Thursday. Thought it might be fun. The room was pretty crowded when I arrived. A long row over the main show held two long tables of raffle items. I had just enough money to buy two tickets for smaller items and one ticket for a large item. Dropped the large item ticket in the paper bag for a Vera Bradley purse; the smaller ones went to a gift certificate to Haddonfield toy store The Happy Hippo and a set-up with a teddy bear and a green knitted tissue box cover. (Never heard from them, so I'm assuming I didn't win. It was still nice to donate.) Couldn't afford anything else, so I browsed a bit around the tables, then headed back out.

The House of Fun is right across the street from City Hall. Since I was there, I took another look around. Found a 12-inch Power of the Force Darth Vader from the late 90's. The black cloth on his upper and lower armor was flaking; otherwise, he was in perfect shape, including his cape and red lightsaber. As he was a loose doll and one of the more common earlier ones, he cost me a mere 12 dollars. 

Strolled down the White Horse Pike to WaWa for a treat. Bought a Mint Cream Smoothie in honor of the Eagles, then got some money for the week. Took the long way home down Kendall, passing Rose's house on the way, then over to Woodlawn Terrace. WaWa was fairly busy, and I saw a lot of people out for a stroll or a bike ride on Oaklyn's side streets.

After breakfast, I made a marble cake using a mix I've had for a little too long, then had vegetable soup for lunch. Ran a couple of cartoons set around the gridiron as I worked. "Touchdown Mickey" turns him into the world's least-likely Nick Foles as he dodges massive cats to impress Minnie and Clarabelle in the stands. 

The Fleischers did two football shorts featuring Popeye in two years. The first was the more typical "You Gotta Be a Football Hero." Popeye jumps into the big game against Bluto to impress Olive. "The Football Toucher-Downer" is a story he's telling Sweet Pea. He relates how he first ate spinach to win a football game as a kid in order to encourage the baby to eat his greens. (I love mini-Olive with her tiny little braids here!) 

Hello Kitty Furry Tale Theater turned their version of Cinderella into a girly gridiron tale. Hello Kitty proves that a girl can be a cheerleader and a wide receiver - and win the princely penguin quarterback in the process - in "Cinderkitty." 

Played Lego Star Wars for an hour while the cake was in the oven. "The Pit of Carkoon" is another very long round, and one that takes a while to figure out. Some parts of that ship are so dark, you're likely to miss the opening if you don't look carefully. I came so close to True Jedi on "Speeder Showdown!" This is a two-part round. Luke and Leia first have to shoot out bike troopers and a barrier on their speeders, then take out an Imperial base and an AT-AT walker. Got almost all the pieces on that one, though.

Jumped on the computer around 3:30 and did some writing. As the sun shines down on Leia and the frozen King Han, it flows through her, allowing her to defrost him. Luke joins her as she tries to awaken the royal fairy. It'll do no good, bellows the fat old toad. The Emperor Beetle put the king under a sleeping spell. The blue-green toad joins him, intending to give Luke to several female toads and turn Leia over to his boss. 

The tiny girl has had enough of being forced into unwanted unions. She manages to throttle the old toad with a vine. Chewbacca tosses the other toad to a gull looking for lunch. 

Broke at 6:30 to frost the cake and make Mango Chicken for dinner. This is chicken breasts in a sauce made from onions, yogurt, coconut milk, tomatoes, mangoes, and spices. It didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped. I used canned tomatoes and onions instead of scallions, and the yogurt curdled when I added it. Oh well. It still tasted pretty good, if soupy.

It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown was the first of two football-themed Peanuts specials. Peppermint Patty's hoping to lead her team to victory, but Lucy keeps pulling the ball away from kicker Chuck and making them miss points. Chuck is more worried about escorting the Little Red-Haired Girl to the school dance after the game and having to kiss her. 

The Three Stooges also got onto the gridiron twice. "Three Little Pigskins" are mistaken for college football players by gangsters who want them to win a big game for them. The Stooges would rather flirt with their ladies (including a blond Lucille Ball). It's "No Census, No Feeling" when the boys become census takers and do everything they can to count as many people as possible...even in the middle of a game!

Returned to Lego Star Wars after dinner. "Battle of Endor" is probably the single longest round in the game, with three distinct parts. Part one is set in the Ewoks' village. The second, longest part takes Han, Leia, Chewie, Wicket, and the droids through the woods to the bunker. The third part takes place within the bunker itself. You have to open the area with the chargers and blow it all to smithereens. "Duel on the Death Star" is a boss round. Luke and Vader have to work together to take on the Emperor. Got close to True Jedi in "Endor," but still couldn't get there.

Moved on to The Red Turtle after a shower. This is the simple, touching story of a man who is shipwrecked on a tropical island. His two attempts to build a raft and escape are destroyed by a huge red sea turtle. He kills the turtle, but regrets it and tries to revive it. When the shell splits open, he's surprised to discover a lovely woman. They eventually develop a relationship and have a child together. The little boy grows up able to swim as a toddler, as comfortable around other turtles as he is with his parents. After a tsunami devastates the island, they're fine, but the jungle has mostly been destroyed. Their son is nearly grown now. Though he does help them burn the remaining bamboo, he eventually leaves with the other turtles. His parents grow old together, the woman always by the man's side, not leaving him until after his death.

Sweet, simple tale of love, survival, and family on an isolated island. The clean lines and simple shades are perfect for this gentle and beautiful independent animated film. There's no dialogue, and no need for it. Everything you need to know is told through the stunning visuals. 

Not for action junkies or those who are looking for a more typical kiddie cartoon romp, but if you're looking for something different and lower-key in your animation, this is worth looking out for. 

Here's more football cartoons to enjoy while waiting for the big game:

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