Wednesday, July 26, 2017

POP-Alooza Salutes June Foray

Legendary voice actress June Foray, who provided the voices to hundreds of classic animated characters has passed away at age 99.

Ms. Foray worked for just about every Hollywood studio, including Warner Brothers, Disney, Jay Ward Productions, Hanna Barbera and so many more. She was the voice of Rocky the Squirrel, Natasha Fatale, Nell Fenwick, Talky Tina, Granny, Magica De Spell, Ma Beagle, Grandmother Fa and Lucifer the Cat, just to name a few. Chances are, if you have seen any animated productions produced in the last 75 years, you've heard her voice. 

June's contributions to our common popular culture are immeasurable and her loss is a huge one. Ms. Foray never really retired and still found work in recent years. Her voice gave life to so many characters and she will never be forgotten. 

Fake Family Circus

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

McPop: Ronald McDonald Takes Down Batman

In 1989, the modern comic book superhero film was reborn- Batman made people forget all about the sputtering Superman franchise that was all but left for dead a few years earlier, courtesy of Cannon films. Despite some initial skepticism in Hollywood, Batman broke records and made millions for Warner Brothers and Jack Nicholson. Outside skepticism, however, led to the film only bagging Taco Bell as its fast food partner, with the bigger chains sitting things out. When Batman Returns burst onto the scene, the biggest chain of all quickly snapped up the rights- McDonald's would use its marketing powers to take advantage of the Bat's newfound popularity.

At first, everyone involved was overjoyed. Then the movie premiered. Catwoman's sexy outfits and Penguin's vicious violence angered McDonald's, who came under fire from the typical "family groups" who lambasted the company for helping promote the dark film. Warner Brothers took notice and insisted that Tim Burton produce a more campy, light hearted film for the third outing. He refused, which resulted in the departures of Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer from the project. The Big Mac was deemed more important to the franchise than its director or stars. As a result, Joel Schumacher was brought in, driving Warner's once mighty Batman franchise into the ground. All because of McDonald's.