Check Out This Sneak Peek Of Netflix’s The Cuphead Show!

Friends, for as long as I can remember I have always been a fan of classic animation, whether that be theatrical shorts from Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, Silly Symphony, or those Saturday morning and weekday afternoon cartoon series of my youth. That is of course why when Gary Burton asked if I might be interested in being a co-host on his podcast about animation, I readily agreed to join the Toon In podcast. At that time we were having an issue getting our schedules to coincide so I asked if I might use the name of the show for a series of articles on the Retroist. Not just because Toon In is a brilliant title for a cartoon related podcast, but in addition I hoped that it might help drum up some interest for the then upcoming show.

All my joking aside by using that GIF taken from 1982’s The Toy, while the Toon In articles might have been a little more popular on the Retroist than here on the PCR site, we had to put the idea for the podcast on the back burner while we attempted to figure out a proper format for the show.

Having said all of that, you can probably imagine how absolutely gobsmacked I was when the Cuphead game was announced. Combining my love of classic animation similar to the Fleischer produced Popeye cartoons with video games – I truly started counting down the days until it was finally released on September 29th of 2017.


When Cuphead debuted for Microsoft Windows as well as the Xbox One, I was blown away by how beautiful the side-scrolling run and gun title looked, it truly was like a playable classic theatrical short. I was also taken aback by just how difficult the title was compared to the standard games being released. Like legions of other Cuphead fans though I totally accepted the challenge of the game, always giving it just one more shot at trying to clear a particular level. And that usually resulted in my failing over and over and over again…

Even with those gamers who were turned off by the difficulty level of the game, it seems that everyone fell in love with the characters from the title. All manner of merchandise for Cuphead has been released in the four years since it was released, including T-Shirts, Funko Pops, plush dolls, and apparently an upcoming animated series from Netflix. So enjoy this short teaser clip from the soon to be released The Cuphead Show!


That was none other than Emmy award wining Wayne Brady providing his voice as King Dice, and online it has been stated that Tru Valentino (Fast & Furious Spy Racers) will voice the titular Cuphead, with Frank Todaro (Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy) as Mugman. There has been no official trailer or release date for The Cuphead Show! as of yet, but we will be sure to pass along the information when it is made available.

Showtime, Synergy! Jem and the Holograms are now ReAction Figures!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVED Jem back in the day. I was very small, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-5 years old watching the show. Most of it went over my head, but I loved the music and all the color that came with each episode of Jem. That show was, and still is, truly outrageous. I had a Jem wristwatch, and while I never had any of the Jem dolls, my sister and I did get at least one of Mattel’s answer to Jem–Midge from Barbie and the Rockers. I can’t say with 100% certainty, but it’s even possible that the long-dormant subconscious influence of Jem led me to pursue music as a middle and high schooler. I still play music as an adult, and I may or may not have Jem to thank for it.

Gif provide by Giphy

When I was in college, I happened upon a box set of seasons one and two of Jem at my local Borders Books. This was after the set was out of print and I had some textbook buyback money burning a hole in my pocket and some end-of-the-school-year steam to blow off. Needless to say, I snatched up that DVD set like a mom going after the last Cabbage Patch Kid on the day after Thanksgiving. That summer, my best friend and I spent an entire day watching through several discs of the set, munching on snacks, and laughing hysterically at the cheesy delight and unabashed ridiculousness that is Jem

Gif provided by Giphy

Lines such as, “Jem, how does it feel to be the first rock star to win the Indy 500?” and song lyrics like, “We wear a sarong, but it looks so wrong!” from the song, “Misfits in Hawaii” brought the biggest laughs for us. Truth be told, I laughed just writing that down. 

Adventure Con, Knoxville, TN 2008

A few years later, we were fortunate enough to actually meet the voice of Jem herself–Samantha Newark–at our local comic convention. Ms. Newark is one of the kindest celebrities I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. She took time to speak to everyone, take pictures, shake hands, and genuinely seemed to enjoy meeting her fans. As you can see in the photo, we were quite ecstatic to have met our childhood idol.

Getting to watch Jem again as an adult reignited my love for the series. In fact, I turned Jem on my TV last Saturday morning, just because I was feeling nostalgic. By the way, you can watch the entire series for free with ads right now on Tubi TV via the web or your favorite streaming device, along with several other classic 80s Saturday morning cartoons. 

Image provided by Super7

All of this is to say, imagine my delight when I learned this week that Super7 is adding Jem and Pizzazz of The Misfits to their ReAction figure line! Jem comes dressed in her trademark pink dress and microphone, while Pizzazz is rocking out with her guitar, fully ready to shred the competition. The figures have 5 points of articulation and come packed in holographic packaging! Appropriate, right? These figures will set you back about $18 each. 

Image provided by Super7

Have you gotten your hands on these truly outrageous figures yet? I know I’ll be hitting up my local comic shop for a set soon. Thanks to Earl Green for sharing the link to the announcement for this release

Were you a Jem Girl or a Jem Boy? Once you’re a Jem Girl (or Jem Boy), you’re never the same, you know. Do you have fond memories of Jem? Share them with us in the comments. 

If Animated Adventure Has A Name, It Must Be The Adventures Of Indiana Jones!

Friends, when George Lucas and Steven Spielberg got together to craft a film that embodied the exciting elements of the adventure serials they grew up with – they delivered a masterpiece of a movie with 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. The screenplay for that iconic film was handled by Lawrence Kasdan (Silverado), based off a story idea by both Lucas and Philip Kaufman (Invasion of the Body Snatchers). The results of this amazing pool of talent helped to birth an iconic film character when combined with Harrison Ford’s performance as Indiana Jones.

The popularity of the first entry in what would become a series of films focusing on the adventures of Indiana Jones was enough to produce a toy line, book series, role-playing game from TSR, and even Marvel Comics supplied an adaptation for the 1981 movie. Eventually giving Jones his own series in 1983 – in addition to providing further adaptations for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as well as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Surprisingly with the likes of such Saturday morning cartoons like Droids and Ewoks we somehow never received an animated series for Doctor Henry Walton Jones Junior… at least until Patrick Schoenmaker made this fan made animated intro for The Adventures of Indiana Jones!


That ‘trailer’ took artist Patrick Schoenmaker and his fellow contributors five years to produce, and while it actually came out in 2016, today was the first time I stumbled upon it. Patrick is a character designer that hails from the Netherlands – in the past working with Lucasfilm itself in addition to Topps, Sesame Workshop, ACME Archives, and even Cartoon Saloon. You can check out some of his character design, illustrations and background on his official site. While there are plenty of illustrations from his intro for The Adventures of Indiana Jones – one that caught my eye was for a barbarian – while I have no idea if this was meant to be Conan the Barbarian… my mind couldn’t help but imagine how amazing an Adult Swim series would be.

In closing out this article I would kindly ask Disney+ to look into getting Patrick Schoenmaker on board for an actual The Adventures of Indiana Jones animated series. Can you imagine how awesome it would be with their clout to secure the voice talents of Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, John Rhys-Davies, and Alfred Molina for such a show? Even if that pie in the sky wish fails to come true we have this amazing piece of animation to enjoy, right?

The Majesty and the Mystery of Badgey

Star Trek’s new foray into animation has been a total delight.

First off – though it may not seem like the most retro of topics, you really need to be watching Star Trek: Lower Decks on CBS All Access. Now, one could argue that this, Star Trek’s second animated series, couldn’t be more different from the 1970s Filmation series if it tried, and there may well be some truth to that. But the new show, with its lovable (and very flawed) characters and its very modern comedy, may be just the Star Trek we needed in 2020. I really didn’t expect, in a year that brought Jean-Luc Picard back to our screens, that my favorite Star Trek show would be “the cartoon”, and yet here we are.

The most recent episode gave us a whole new gift, though. The episode Terminal Provocations shows us that one of our heroes, Ensign Rutherford, has written his own holodeck training program to help him and his crewmates keep their skills sharp. And at the center of that program is a floating, friendly-faced Starfleet badge named Badgey – the 24th century’s answer to Clippy, the omnipresent Microsoft paper-clip-with-eyes, the first “virtual assistant” many of us ever had to deal with. Badgey’s still a work in progress, though, and Rutherford has to give it a few kicks – both literal and metaphorical – to make sure it works. But this just means that Badgey gradually grows more unhinged, attacking its “father” and his crewmate.

I won’t spoil the rest of that story for you, except to say…it’s a good thing that Badgey is confined to the holodeck. (He…is…confined to the holodeck…isn’t he?) It’d be a mess if Badgey could somehow venture out into the rest of the U.S.S. Cerritos.

It’d be even more of a mess if Badgey could migrate to other animated shows. Consider the terrifying possibilities.

Even if Badgey simply escaped to other animated Star Trek episodes, the results would be… well… what is going on in this picture??!?
It looks like you’re trying to survive a perilous one-year journey to and from Iscandar! Would you like some help with that?
It looks like you’re looking for something really sharp to hurl at the Joker! Would you like some help with that?
It looks like you’re trying to utterly subjugate Homo Sapiens! Would you like some help with that?
It looks like you’re trying to rescue the Princess from Bowser! Again! Would you like some help with that?
It looks like you’re trying to accurately steer a Type 40 time travel vehicle! Would you like some help with that?
It looks like you’re trying to dial home on this Stargate! Would you like some help with that?
It looks like there’s a hungry Wookiee nearby! Would you like some help with that?
It looks like you need to summon the Cat Bus! Would you like some help with that?
It looks like you’re trying to have a contemplative moment after narrowly defeating Zoltar again! Would you like some help with that?

Very much like his inspiration, Badgey could be ubiquitous, and simultaneously somehow unhelpful. Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of him.

It looks like you’re trying to escape a long, unending LARP of Dungeons & Dragons so you can go home! Would you like some help with that?

Pop Culture Retrorama Podcast Ep. 014 – Godzilla And A New Direction

Friends, as the last episode of the first season for the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast was back in March – I am willing to bet that waking up to find a brand new episode was pretty low on your list of things to expect today. The reason for this new show as I mention in the podcast itself, is to not only remind folks that the show is still being produced – but to also give you a taste of the new direction the podcast is taking. I will still be doing in depth episodes on all manner of pop culture related subjects – case in point for this show – the animated Saturday Morning Godzilla series from 1978. However, for the second season of the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast I will be joined by fellow writers from this site – all discussing their own subjects. For example, Rockford Jay shares some history on Queen’s memorable “Don’t Stop Me Now” – which just so happens to have been released in 1978.

Also joining us on this episode we have Ashley Thomas aka The Nerdy Blogger of Fangirlish – who shares the sad news that we have lost Norm Spencer – the voice of Cyclops from the X-Men animated series. Thomas provides her own memories of the talented Spencer but also provides some remembrances of those who worked with him – such as Cal Dodd (Wolverine) and Lenore Zann (Rogue).

Allison Venezio-Preston has decided to give everyone the lowdown on the updated Mall Madness board game – which includes new characters and stores – but still sounds like it is just as fun as the original 1989 game.

The esteemed Earl Green is also on this episode – taking time out of his busy schedule at The Log Book and writing for this site to discuss 1978’s Star Bird by Milton Bradley. A science fiction toy that I too coveted in my youth.

Bear in mind that the second season of the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast will not start until we are finished with the current season of the Saturday Frights podcast. So we hope you will enjoy this sneak peek at how the new PCR show will presented in the near future.

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future episode -or possibly you have comments on the current show itself, email them to me at You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook. In addition I certainly hope you will take the time to visit the Saturday Frights Facebook Page. There you can find posts from Rockford Jay, Preston Griffith and myself on a daily basis.

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Check Out The Ruby-Spears Pitch Video For Mega Man!

Friends, last week it was announced we had lost Joe Ruby – the iconic animator, writer, and producer of such shows as Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, Thundarr the Barbarian, and Saturday Supercade to name a few. I was trying to locate some interviews with Ruby to share on my remembrance article when I stumbled on something special. An original sales pitch video by Ruby-Spears that most certainly has a more anime art style to it than the series that would air in syndication beginning on September 11th of ’94. In fact before we go any further with that sales pitch video for Mega Man – it might be a good idea to let you see how the actual series looked, right?

Video Provided by sillyjakechan.

For the record, while I was a little disappointed by the Mega Man animated series – I really loved that theme song – so much so that I actually bought the soundtrack cassette that was released when the show came out. For what it might be worth I was equally ‘let down’ when NBC began airing Captain N: The Game Master on Saturday mornings back on September 9th of ’89 – at least in regards to how Castlevania‘s Simon Belmont and Mega Man were presented. I hope you will not get me wrong – I quite enjoyed the Captain N television show… it is just that when I heard some of my favorite video game character were going to be in an animated series – I had expected something different.

Video Provided by Cartoonintro.

It appears that this 1994 sales pitch video for the Mega Man animated series was an attempt to convince TV stations of just how popular the video game icon truly was. As I understand it there had been ten games released by 1994 starring everyone’s favorite Blue Bomber – as a matter of fact the sales pitch video gets points for mentioning his nickname. You will also notice that some of the animation used in this particular video was incorporated into the intro for the actual television series.

Video and Article Image Provided by OKeijiDragon.

Toon In: Sleepy-Time Tom (1951)

Friends, as someone who has a sleep schedule that most would consider to be rather unique – let me say that I totally feel for Tom in the animated short we are sharing today. When scheduling some posts on Facebook this morning, I happened to notice one of my friends had shared some of his personal artwork – one of which was a key scene from Sleepy-Time Tom. This cartoon was originally released to theaters back on May 26th of 1951 and was directed by Joseph Barbera and William Hanna with music by Scott Bradley. To be completely upfront with you, what we are sharing today is a truncated version of the original animated short – although as with some of the early Tom and Jerry offerings it is easy to see why. In this case, WB Kids has decided to remove the beginning where we witness Tom and his friends coming home late in the morning from what appears to be a night of partying and quite possibly drinking. In addition you will find most of the scenes involving the character of Mammy Two Shoes, who was voiced by the legendary Lillian Randolph (It’s a Wonderful Life, Magic), have been excised for understandable reasons.

You might be interested to know though that in all, the character of Mammy Two Shoes or sometimes Mrs. Two Shoes, appeared in a total of 19 of the Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts. Her first appearance was in Puss Gets the Boot in 1950 and the last was in the 1952 short entitled Push-Button Kitty. Starting off as what appears to be a house maid, as the series progressed at the very least the character was shown to be the owner of the house where Jerry and Tom reside. I was not aware of this before writing the article – but apparently the legendary animator Chuck Jones oversaw new animation by way of rotoscoping for the ’60 television broadcast versions of the shorts, that replaced the racial caricature.

Will Tom be able to stay awake and avoid the attempts by Jerry to get him to fall back asleep – or will Thomas finally be kicked out of the house for failing to catch Jerry? Grab some breakfast and perhaps a giant cup of coffee yourself as we find out in Sleepy-Time Tom!

Video and Article Image Provided by WB Kids.

Orson Welles Narrates 1970’s Is It Always Right To Be Right?

Friends, it is an absolute fact that Orson Welles is one of my favorites – this impressive writer and director, performer, and voice artist had a legendary life that almost rivaled that of his character of Charles Foster Kane from 1941’s Citizen Kane. That is why for this Toon In offering I decided to share this 1970 Academy Award winning animated short entitled Is It Always Right to Be Right? In fact this was the last animated short to win under the category of Best Short Subject, Cartoons at the 1971 Oscars. Is It Always Right to Be Right? apparently was based off a short story by Dr. Warren H. Schmidt that was published in the Los Angeles Times on November 9th of 1969. The short was Directed by Lee Mishkin and co-animated with Dave Brain – while this was the only Academy Award that the former would earn, he absolutely had quite the career in animation. Getting his start as an uncredited animator on an episode of the Crusader Rabbit TV series entitled Crusader vs the State of Texas in 1950, Mishkin would end up working on the likes of King Leonardo and his Short Subjects, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, Halloween Is Grinch Night, the B-17 segment of Heavy Metal, and Bionic Six to name a few.

Is It Always Right to be Right might feel just a tad dated in some aspects but extremely timely too – a somewhat sobering animated short to say the least. Obviously the goal of any Toon In offering is to entertain but in addition it allows me to share the spotlight on worthy and memorable animation. That is exactly what Is It Always Right to Be Right? delivers, a memorable short with iconic animation and excellent narration by Welles – the fact that it also has a message is just a bonus.

The story for this 1970 animated short concerns a Land where no matter what your personal view might be – it is of utmost importance that you realize you are right and everyone else is wrong. This Land is full of citizens that refuse to show weakness by entertaining the possibility that those they oppose could be right too… or that they themselves might be wrong. Until one day calamity strikes the Land – is there any possibility of altering their course?

Video and Article Image Provided by Saturnome.

1987 Saturday Morning Preview Show – ALF Loves A Mystery

Friends, while I quite realize in this day and age that any child can practically watch their favorite animated series on streaming services or DVD whenever they feel like it – I find myself wishing the kids of today could experience the thrill of Saturday morning cartoons. How special and magical it now seems – having to make sure that you woke up early enough to catch your favorite series on CBS, ABC, or of course NBC. Although I am sure that many of us of a certain age can vividly recall the ‘anguish’ of having to decide which show to watch – when two series you liked happened to air at the same time on rival networks. In addition there was that excitement of catching the preview show – those sometimes evening special events that gave you a glimpse at what cartoons were going to be shown on each of the three big networks for that season. That is what we have to share with you today – the 1987 Saturday Morning Preview show entitled ALF Loves a Mystery.

First of all I want to thank Rockford Jay for giving me the heads up on this special – the upside of working down in the Vault with a friend is it makes finding pop culture related treasures a little easier. Now if you are curious as to why ALF is hosting this 1987 Saturday Morning Preview Show, you have to remember that the popular ALF TV series debuted the previous year. It was so popular in fact that ALF Loves a Mystery was giving us our first look at ALF: The Animated Series – a prequel to the sitcom that detailed the early years of the character on his home planet of Melmac.

The set up for ALF Loves a Mystery is that our favorite Melmacian is using his computer to write a story for Brian Tanner (Benji Gregory) – showing how with the power of imagination anything is possible. Since ALF declares he loves a mystery Brian is transformed into Kid Cameron and has to investigate a creepy mansion along with other stars of NBC shows – in an attempt to locate a missing fortune. ALF Loves a Mystery features the likes of Betty White, Danny Ponce, Heidi Ziegler, Stephen Furst, Douglas Seale, Jackee, and Shannen Doherty. While the cartoon characters from the shows that made up the 1987 NBC Saturday morning line up provide clues to the mystery of the fortune – the real treasure are the vintage TV commercials that have been left intact on this video upload!
Video and Article Image Provided by Josh Hadley.

Did you possibly catch ALF Love a Mystery when it originally aired back in ’87?

The Pink Panther in Think Before You Pink (1969)

Friends, as this is the 4th of July I do sincerely hope that each and every one of you are having a happy and safe Holiday. I figured a Toon In offering would be perfect for the 4th of July but to honest… what I could find wasn’t really up to snuff – that is until I stumbled across Think Before You Pink. No, it has absolutely nothing to do with the Holiday but it does feature the Pink Panther and a very large firework-like rocket. Plus if I am being completely honest here, I am always up for showing a Pink Panther animated short because they are generally so good. Think Before You Pink was originally released on March 19th of 1969 as a theatrical animated short but would be packaged as part of The Pink Panther Show – which I have discussed on previous Toon In articles.

Think Before You Pink was Directed by Gerry Chinquy who had a pretty huge career in animation beginning as an animator at Warner Bros. working on You Ought to Be in Pictures in 1940 and his last role was as animation Director for six episodes of Defenders of the Earth. Gerry wound up wearing a few hats in the field of animation – earning himself 210 credits as part of an animation department – with 138 credits as Director. Besides classic Warner Bros. and quite a few of the DePatie–Freleng Enterprises studio animated shorts – Chinquy would also have a hand in the likes of such animated series as Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Dungeons & Dragons, Muppet Babies, The Transformers, Jem, and InHumanoids.

Video Provided by fourchinnigan.

As for the synopsis for Think Before You Pink it is a rather simple one – in that the Pink Panther is trying to cross a busy intersection – the problem arises with the crosswalk light. The Panther finds himself getting stuck in the middle of the road when the light changes or being led into physical harm by the device – so our protagonist has to come up with some novel attempts at getting across the road safely.

Video and Article Image Provided by Official Pink Panther.