Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Let's Revisit Dinosaur Pop Culture in 1993

We're finally finished with TV Guide's Summer 1993 Parent's Guide to Children's Entertainment Issue!  It's been a wild ride, hasn't it?

Now as we've seen over and over, the summer of 1993 was dominated by "Jurassic Park".  But lest we forget, there was another dinosaur who was damn near inescapable back then.  Now, normally, I'd say, let's not remember "Barney".  But this article is a lot more nuanced than I expected and worth a read.

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But this next article, about the wider world of dinosaur pop culture in the early '90's, is far more exciting.  Goodness, just look at this double-page spread illustration!

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This is pretty informative but I love how it's a time capsule of what was available to a dinosaur nut at the time and the general public opinion of "the ungainly beasts" (er?)  Also, that bit about the difference between the Triassic and Jurassic...

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Art of the Day!

6.7.16 Sketch Montage

Not a lot of dinosaurs in this sketch montage but loads of Fairies from "Legend of Zelda", "Final Fantasy" and others.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Big Summer Kid's Movies of 1993!

Summer, 1993 was the summer of "Jurassic Park" and of other movies that aren't "Jurassic Park".   That's us looking back on it from 2016 with the benefit of hindsight.  And as TV Guide's Summer 1993 Parent's Guide to Children's Entertainment Issue printed in the moment proves, when it comes to which movies are and are not going to be popular - especially with children, nobody knows s**t.

I'm going to have to break this one down month-by-month.

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May: Okay.  The "Super Mario Bros." movie.  It's specifically described here as a *Disney* movie based on the Mario games, which helps explain why many of us were -eh- juuuuust a little put-off by what actually happens in the film.

But never mind that.  Does anyone remember when Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson were an item?
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It's been said that the '90's were our '70's, and I believe it.  Because I swear if there's anything consistent about the entire 1990's decade, it's the moments that, upon being reminded of them, feel more like a shared hallucination than something that actually happened in real life.

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Early June: "JURASSIC PAAAAAAAARK"!!!

Also, "The Last Action Hero".  Which, as a reminder, was the cover story for this issue.  Yup.

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Late June: You have to feel sympathy for the films with kid-appeal that arrived in the immediate wake of "Jurassic Park".  I could swear I saw "Dennis the Menace" as a kid but what little I can remember of it cannot possibly have been actual events in the movie, right?  (Note: I have revisited enough movies made for children from the '90's to say that oh, they absolutely can.  Even the bit where a very creepy Christopher Lloyd taunts a toddler by slicing up an apple with a scary knife. NO!!! photo ohnoes.gif)

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Early July: This was back when Disney was re-releasing movies from that damn Vault of theirs theatrically instead of on home media.  While I'm glad to finally own a copy of "Snow White", I rather miss the days of the high-profile vintage Disney movie revival.

It's weird how many movies that some people have nothing but the greatest nostalgia for while other people... don't... were released in this one summer.  Along with "Last Action Hero" and "Super Mario Bros.", we have "Hocus Pocus".  Full confession, I haven't watched this movie since it was released all those years ago (same with "Coneheads" and "Once Upon a Forest" - the Random '90's Animation movie that got away), but there's no way a Disney movie had so many jokes about a preteen boy being a virgin, right?  (Note: See above note, RE: "Dennis the Menace". NO!!! photo ohnoes.gif)

I haven't the slightest clue why "True Romance" warrants a mention here.

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Late July: Seven Hells, what a wasteland!  Only "Josh and S.A.M." sounds intriguing and... damn, I'm going to have to find the notoriously boneheaded "Tom and Jerry Movie" for Random 90's Animation aren't I?  I would like to meet the person who is nostalgic for any of these movies; they'd be bound to be interesting.

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August: "The Secret Garden" and "The Fugitive" are the prizes in this pile and "Men in Tights" has it's fans. 

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Art of the Day!

6.2/3.16 - June Fae!

June Fairies of all kinds for JuneFae!  Yes, I know it's August but since when did Fairies conform to silly humans?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What Did Gene Siskel Think of Children's Films in 1993?

There are a lot of great articles in TV Guide's Summer 1993 Parent's Guide to Children's Entertainment Issue but I think this one might be my favorite.
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I dearly miss Roger Ebert.  His yearly Movie Guides were a huge influence on me, and I'm sure they are how I learned how to write a good essay.  Funny, I wasn't really into the "Siskel and Ebert" show.  In fact, I think this article was my main interaction with Gene Siskel as a critic.  I miss him too, but here he comes across as the crankiest of cranky old men.  I'll let it speak for itself but I really want to see the alternate "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid" he proposes...

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Art of the Day!

5.31.16 - Mermaids for MerMay

More MerMay Mermaids!  Goodness knows what we're drawing for August!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What Other Shows Were We Watching in 1993?

Saturday mornings weren't the only time to watch animation on the networks back in the early '90s.  Remember racing home from school to catch your favorite shows on weekday afternoons?  This Parent's Guide to Children's Entertainment Issue article lists some well-loved classics like "Batman the Animated Series", "Reading Rainbow", and even "Mystery Science Theater 3,000".  Honestly, there aren't too many duds in this list, just shows that I remember being very popular at the time that have since been forgotten.  Let's get that "Avonlea" nostalgia train rollin', girls!

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Art of the Day

5.31.16 - More Mermaids for MerMay!

The perils of posting art week-by-week is that art I made for MerMay and JuneFae is finally appearing here in the middle of... AngeLy?  Ah well.  That's a pretty rad cliff I painted, IMO.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What Were we Watching on Saturday Mornings in 1993?

Saturday Morning Cartoons were still a thing back in 1993, which is worth noting in itself.  According to TV Guide's Summer 1993 Parent's Guide to Children's Entertainment Issue, the shows available ranged from tried and true classics (Looney Tunes compilations), updates of classics ("Tiny Tunes", of course, but also the... less fondly remembered "Tom and Jerry Kids"), attempts at recreating the success of the Ninja Turtles (the insane "C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa"; honestly, I'll never get used to minotaurs riding horses), and mostly forgotten oddities like the "Super Dave" cartoon.  And a cartoon with Scooby Doo in it because there has always been a cartoon with Scooby Doo in it.

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Draw of the Day

5.21.16 - "She ran callin' (or screaming?)..."

On an ill-advised nostalgia kick, I watched a few episodes of the all-but-forgotten 1986 Hanna-Barbera series "Wildfire" and it is... something else.  Starring magnificent monstrosities meant to be magical talking horses, droopy-winged fairies, Maleficent-with-the-copyright-cropped-off, and a really boring protagonist.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What Were We Listening To and Playing in 1993?

TV Guide's Summer 1993 Parent's Guide to Children's Entertainment Issue had some... interesting recommendations as far as what kids would be jamming out to in the summer of 1993.  Speaking for myself, I'm pretty sure I was still wearing out "Rhythm Nation" and my New Kids on the Block tapes back then.  I didn't really start geeking out on music until a year or two later, then became disillusioned with current popular music shortly after graduating college.  That's when I really started liking the mentioned bands I grew up with like Van Halen and Duran Duran but they just weren't on my preteen girl radar back in '93 (even though this article is weirdly insistent that we dug those bands because they were cute, to which I can only say "Euw, they're so old!")  Of course now, I really want to track down that Coverdale/Page record.  I also wonder what happened to all these kid-led bands...

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You know what entertainment writers really had a hard time writing about back in the day was video games.  This article emphasizes the potential educational value of games, which is fine; parents really did need to be assured that this new media that they did not understand and that their children were obsessed with wouldn't rot their brains.  It also suggests that the big hit games of the summer would be "Bubsy" and "Mario Is Missing".  Um...

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Draw of the Day

5.24.16 - Little Miss Dinosaur

This was from the day we all learned about Tyco's short-lived (and I cannot for the life of me imagine why) Little Miss Dinosaur toys...

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Celebrity Parents! What Are They Concerned About? Are They Concerned Parents? Let's Find Out!

Moving along in TV Guide's Summer 1993 Parent's Guide to Children's Entertainment Issue, we've an article about the big stars (of 1993) talking about what their kids enjoy watching on television.  And it turns out celebrity parents are just like us!  They are concerned about what their children watch, flip out when their babies catch something inappropriate, and debate when to introduce their work to their kids.  And because it's 1993, they also have a hard time playing video games and will pitch a fit if they have to encounter "Barney and Friends" again.

(I'm not ashamed, I would watch Bart Simpson's version of "Dr. Quinn".)

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Draw of the Day


5.19.16 - Tenwrecked

This was from the day we all learned about Tenrecs on Twitter!  How is this even a real animal?  I'm very upset right now!