Saturday, June 1, 2013

Captain Kangaroo and His Pals

I can't even begin to imagine what my childhood would have been like without the awesomeness of Captain Kangaroo in it every morning. For the uninitiated, Captain Kangaroo was the grand host of a children's tv series that aired on CBS from 1955 until it was finally cancelled in 1984-- and I watched it religiously every chance I could get. Fun and games, cartoons and songs, and a handful of crazy cool characters (find out more about it HERE), these days, I suppose the closest thing kids have is Yo Gabba Gabba starring my fellow St. Louis MO buddy, DJ Lance. Anyway, in 1970, Bristol Myers teamed up with MGM and produced today's fun Cap'n K story "Adventure on Pirate Island", nicely written by Jean Conder Soule and featuring gloriously awesome illustrations by Stanley Wilde and Beatrice Kehoe. It originally came with a record to play and read along with, unfortunately it's become lost over the ages. Oh yeah, and the "pals" of this tale are both children and funny talking animals-- but the talking animals are actually the colorfully tasty, aka PALS Vitamins characters, which I also remember being quite fond of (see one of their early 70's commercials HERE!) Yep, it's obviously all a big product tie-in but who cares-- sit back, and set sail with a tale that's 100% fun, you see! All hail the Captain!


Crafty C said...

wow - this is just incredibly cute. the whole thing made me smile :)

i love all the images but i really love the hide and seek in the woods one. and the cover image where you can see the ship way in the back. and the kids doing ring around the rosie. and the groovy ocean waves.

man - seriously cute!

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Well that's one of the most appealingly illustrated books I've ever seen - I was going to mention the hide-and-seek-in-the-trees page too!

Interesting stuff, up until now I only knew of Captain Kangaroo through the reference in that Statler Brothers song (what with being not from the USA and all that).

Mykal Banta said...

Ah, one of my favs, too. Mr. Greenjeans, Mr. Moose, Mr. Bunny Rabbit. What a great show. Remember Mr. Moose and the ping pong balls?

Mr. Karswell said...

A shower of ping pong balls is always a great way to start off the day :)

I can't say I like any one page here better than another, they're all pretty amazing!

JMR777 said...

I remember the good captian well, how the bunny rabbit never ate the greens from the carrots, The Town Clown, the dancing bear, I recall a frog puppet Ms. Frog (Kirmit's grandmother?) And Grandfather Clock.
I remeber they tried to bring back Captian Kangaroo with a new captian and crew but it didn't last long.
Bob Keeshan was the only Captian Kangaroo ,they didn't realize you can't recreate the magic no matter how much they wanted to or trid to spened on the new version.

Mr. Cavin said...

Good morning Captain!

This is fantastic. I had no idea there were Captain Kangeroo books. I'm totally geeking out. I love the huge amount of design chops that went into crafting this book. All the art is totally great (I too noted the awesome trees, though it's the two-page boat action spread at fourteen and fifteen that takes my cake), but the whole idea of making something like this, with three distinct illustration styles juxtaposed from page to page, is seriously rewarding. Typically, scans six, seven, and eight would not coexist side-by-side in the same book. I'm not sure I've seen very much like it, at least it's not a look used narratively all that often.

Mr. Karswell said...

I don't remember a new CK show, JMR-- I'm afraid to check youtube now!

I have a couple more Cap'n K books in my collection, Mr C... I'll post another one soon! Thanks for writing in while in the midst of your big move!

Mr. Cavin said...

Thanks for posting! All the major moving parts of the relo are underway, and I'm now free to enjoy my summer vacation. As long as this dinky netbook holds out, I shouldn't miss too much timely post reading between now and September when the other shoe drops.


I seem to remember someone named Sandy, with a guitar!