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The Bootleg Files: The Wizard of Id

BOOTLEG FILES 619: “The Wizard of Id” (1970 animated short based on the long-running comic strip).

LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube and the Internet Archive.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It fell through the cracks.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Nope.

For every “Peanuts” or “Garfield” that made the successful transition from newspaper comic strip to film and television productions, there are plenty of other comic strips that failed in their efforts to get off the printed page. This is not difficult to understand: what can be charming and droll in a three-panel strip is often labored and contrived when voices are added and stories are stretched out to greater lengths.

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The Bootleg Files: Angel Puss

BOOTLEG FILES 609: “Angel Puss” (1944 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones).

LAST SEEN: The cartoon can be found on DailyMotion.com and Vimeo.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It has been removed from all commercial channels.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Unlikely.

When you think of family-friendly entertainment, it is not likely that you would consider productions full of attempted murder, emotional torture and racial intolerance. Back in 1944, the cartoon “Angel Puss” incorporated those unfortunate elements into its story – and even in that distant era, its excessive unpleasantness created controversy.

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How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

how-the-grinch-stole-christ

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect adaptation of a Dr. Seuss story than the 1966 Chuck Jones feature; perhaps, “The Butter Battle Book.” In either case, I was one of the many children that grew up watching the TV version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” It’s such a wonderful combination of talents and rich enthusiasm for the source material, that it’s tough to not like it. There’s Boris Karloff, Chuck Jones, and Dr. Seuss, not to mention the perfectly simplistic tale about anti-materialism and the true meaning of Christmas.

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