Monday, March 24, 2008

Pogo's Special Birthday Special (by Chuck Jones)

Part 1 (08:25)

Part 2 (08:58)

Part 3 (07:41)

Made in 1969, for the 20th anniversary of the Pogo Strip, Pogo's Special Birthday Special was Chuck Jones'(along with Ben Washham) faithful adaptation, similar to the more famous Grinch Special. But while the latter was universally hailed, Birthday Special is a matter of debate among both fans of and not of the original strip(as well as Jones'); some viewing it as a failure to capture the spirit of Walt Kelly's original work(it should be noted that Kelly himself contributed to the story,as well as voicing some characters).

Personally I find it very much an enjoyable program, with the small caveat of it being rather wordy, which is odd considering how critical Jones was of illustrated radio animation, the guidelines of which Birthday Party rarely deviates from.

Tell you what, you decide whether it trashes the source material or not, with scans of it courtesy from the asifa archive, and an introduction from Mike Fontanelli.

Walt Kelly's Pogo

Concept Art
(From Abe Levitow's site)

1 comment:

Weirdo said...

I thought it was okay. Chuck Jones does the voice of Porkypine and I think BunRabbit. It just didn't sound right for him to do it. I always thought Porkypine's voice would be more gravelly.