The Case of Pete and Pete

Hey Sandy! This week we took a trip back in time to Wellsville, USA and visited with our favorite red-headed brothers! If you get a minute, sit with us a while and listen as we chat about Pete Wrigley, his brother Pete, Ellen, Artie (the strongest man in the world), Mom, Dad, Mom’s plate, and Petunia.

The Adventures of Pete and Pete is a beloved 90s Nickelodeon show with a cult following. This week we sat down to discuss what made this show so special!

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While we researched for this episode, we found A LOT of great resources. For example, we referenced this video by PushingUpRoses

We also highly suggest visiting any of the articles put out by The A/V Club on this show.

If you are interested in watching the show, there are episodes on YouTube! You can also buy seasons 1 & 2. Season 3 has never been released on DVD. We linked to a petition to have it released here.

One of the most important and special aspects of the show is the music. Here is a link to the theme song:

Episodes mentioned:

  • Yellow Fever
    • Big Pete is in for the ride of his life as he and his classmates embark on a school field trip with their unstable bus driver Stu Benedict
  • What I Did on my Summer Vacation
    • Big Pete and Ellen wonder about the mysterious town ice cream man, Mr. Tastee as summer comes to an end in Wellsville
  • The Call
    • On the hottest day of the year, a remote phone booth will not stop ringing. It’s been ringing for almost three decades and no one wants to answer the call
  • Inspector 34
    • Little Pete is determined to meet his guardian angel: the man who inspects his underwear. Once they’re together, he wants to become perfect just like his hero.
  • Grounded for Life
    • Little Pete is grounded after destroying his dad’s prized possession: his lawn. Will he be able to escape the house and see the fireworks on the Fourth of July?
  • Don’t Tread on Pete
    • Big Pete discovers that he forgot to study for a huge test on the revolutionary war! While he spends the last minutes of lunchtime trying to cram, little Pete is fighting for freedom in gym class.
  • Nightcrawlers
    • Little Pete doesn’t understand why he needs to go to bed. So, he and his friends resolve to stay up all night for several nights in a row, just to see if bedtime is necessary.

The Case for Public Broadcasting Services

Hey Cassettes! We’re back with another episode of The Black Case Diaries! After our five-week long discussion about the Disney Princesses, we switched gears to talk about PBS Children’s shows! This channel has taught, comforted, and amused us for so many years, we felt we should talk about it! Come on and ZOOM on over to 123 Sesame Street. We’re not quite sure how to get there, but we think it’s somewhere between Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and Elwood City. If we hurry, we can catch a train at Shining Time Station! As always, Thanks for listening!

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PBS: A short history

  • Early years of public TV in the US were dominated by Nation Educational Television (NET) which was founded in 1952
    • This relied on funding from the Ford Foundation (founded by Henry Ford)
  • In 1967 the Public Broadcasting Act was founded, creating the Government funding for Public Broadcasting
  • The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was established around the same time
  • In 1969, the Public Broadcasting service was established, which is a successor to NET
  • On May 1st, 1969 Fred Rogers appeared before a senate sub-committee to defend the 20 million dollars in federal funding that was proposed for Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Sesame Street

  • On November 10th, 1969 Sesame Street aired on PBS stations
  • Joan Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett conceived the show in 1966; their goal was to create a children’s show that uses the addictive nature of TV in a positive way
    • Jim Henson, although reluctant at first, agreed to do the show with his muppet characters after seeing the goals of the goals of the Children’s TV Workshop
  • After two years of research the Children’s Television Workshop received a grant of 8 million dollars from the Carnegie Corporation and Ford Foundation
  • This was the first television show of its kind to base its content and production values on educational research and the first to include a curriculum
  • Initially, the show received high ratings
  • By 2009, it was broadcast in over 120 countries and 20 independent international versions  

Mr. Rogers

  • After being ordained a Presbyterian Minister in 1963 with a charge to continue work with children through the mass media, he was invited to create a show the CBC in Canada
    • This was later made available in 1968 as Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood
  • Mr. Rogers Neighborhood began airing in 1968
  • In 1971 he founded family communications inc which is the production company behind the show
  • He made sure his staff included people who had expertise in child development as well as media
  • The show ran for nearly 33 years
  • The Children’s Corner was another one of his shows. It included characters that would later appear on Mr. Roger’s neighborhood

Shining Time Station

  • Created by Britt Allcroft and Rick Sigglekow
  • The show aired from 1989-1993
  • It incorporated footage from Thomas and Friends, a British TV show; This show is considered the American version of the British show that was based on a series of books

Arthur

  • Premiered in 1996 based on the Children’s books by Marc Brown
  • Since premier, the series has been accessible to viewers who are deaf
  • Made history in 1997 as the first daily program to be described for people who were blind or visually impaired
  • In 2002, TV Guide ranked it 26th on its list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time
  • It’s won the Peabody award and three Daytime Emmy’s for outstanding children’s animated program

Wishbone

  • Produced between 1995-1997
  • It starred a Jack Russell Terrier who daydreams about being the lead characters in various pieces of literature
  • Only the viewers and characters in daydreams can hear him speak
  • The show won four daytime Emmys and a Peabody Award
  • Exterior shots were filmed in Alan, TX

Zoom

  • A remake of the 1972 show of the same name, Zoom aired from 1999-2005
  • It featured pre-teens that performed skits and activities while teaching kids to “Turn off the TV and do it!”
  • Arts and crafts, cooking, science and technology, and games sent in by viewers.

Zoboomafoo

  • An American/Canadian children’s TV series 1999-2001
  • It had a total of 65 episodes
  • It was the creation of the Kratt brothers Chris and Martin and featured a talking lemur
  • It taught children about respecting animals and natural environments

The three of us had many shows that were influential in our young lives.  We briefly mention a few of these in the episode as well.

  • Barney
  • Bob Ross
  • Reading Rainbow
  • Between the Lions
  • Clifford
  • The Berenstain Bears (Which so many people really thought was spelled Berenstein)
  • Cyberchase
  • The Puzzle Place

Some Sources Used:

 

The Case of the Best Disney (or Pixar) Princess Part 5

Well Cassettes, it’s finally here! Thank you so much for joining us on our quest for the best Disney (or Pixar) Princess! After 5 weeks of discussion, we do have a winner!

Special Thanks to Kelly Tyree for joining us this week as a guest judge!56547376_411999092950777_7648564068084613120_n

Elsa v Tiana

Rapunzel v Eilonwy

We spent a lot of time discussing these princesses over the last few weeks, and our judges have brought us to the final four!

  • Elsa
    • With her groundbreaking character, showstopping signature song, and incredible ice powers, Elsa won over every competitor to make it to the final four
    • What really seemed to resonate with judges was the adversity Elsa faced through no fault of her own
    • Many times throughout the weeks, we discussed how Elsa was emotionally stunted by being kept in her room and unable to accept who she was until she finally freed herself
    • In this episode, we highlight the moment she breaks down on the ice at the climax of the film, showing true vulnerability as she succumbs to the fear that she is the monster Hans says she is
  • Tiana
    • Tiana is the last of the classically animated princesses, but still broke ground as the hardest working royal on the list
    • She won over Merida for being relatable as a woman who with a goal that many of us could see ourselves aspiring to
    • Her unique music, inspired by 1920s New Orleans also gives Tiana a special perspective that sets her apart from other princesses
    • Even though she finds a prince, she never intended to and never relies on him in order to reach her goals
      • Although she breaks the princess mold, Tiana teaches us that loving another and being part of a team can be just as important as achieving your personal dreams
    • Kelly ultimately decided that Tiana should win over Elsa because of her work ethic and devotion to her dreams; She felt that Tiana is the most relatable princess
  • Rapunzel
    • Much like Elsa, our judges connected with Rapunzel for the adversity that she faced
    • We noted her bravery for leaving the tower when all she knew of the world was what Mother Gothel had told her; Her sense of adventure outweighed her fear
    • Rapunzel is an upbeat character in a terrible situation, held back by the manipulation and verbal abuse afflicted on her by the only person she knows and trusts
    • We also noted in an earlier episode that Rapunzel doesn’t need to be rescued physically, having no issue with jumping from the the tower, she was only held back by fear and devotion to her mother
    • Rapunzel must learn to trust others, come to terms with the fact that she’s been lied to her entire life, turn on the person she’s loved most, and watch her die all in one movie; this sequence of events helped Kelly (this week’s judge) decide that she deserved a spot in the final two
    • Kelly noted that Rapunzel is an example that someone can come from a toxic situation and still make something of themselves
  • Eilonwy
    • In a lot of ways, Eilonwy is the dark horse of this competition
    • Coming from a movie made in the “Dark Ages” of Disney, she is the only princess in the final four that is not on the official list
    • Judges connected with Eilonwy for her bravery in the literal face of the Horned King, a terrifying villain by any standard
    • It was her action against him, her decision to help Taran find the black cauldron that got her to the semi finals of this competition
    • Eilonwy is strong, smart, and confident in her abilities
    • Even though we don’t know much about her from the movie alone, the fact that she made it this far shows that she is a character that still resonates

The Final Round

Final

For the final round, Kelly selected Tiana and Rapunzel. For the final, we all voted and Tiana came out on top! We believe Kelly put it best when she said it was because “She is a self-made queen.”

Thank you so much to everyone who read our blog or listened to our episodes the past five weeks. This was a great time, and we are excited to continue to bring you new episodes on different topics! We also want to thank everyone who came on to judge!

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The Case of the Best Disney (or Pixar) Princess Part 4

Welcome Back, Cassettes! This week we’re following up with our fourth episode of our Disney Pixar Princess March Match-Up!

Special thanks to Becky Hecker for being our guest judge! ALSO, check out our new website! You can find old episodes there and show notes as well: https://blackcasediaries.com/

In this penultimate episode we have all winners from past rounds so every Princess will have already been talked about before.  Next week will be our last round and the final winner will be announced!!  So even though March is over our March Match-up still has one culminating episode!!!

Special Thanks to Becky Hecker for appearing on this episode as a guest judge!

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Eilonwy v Ariel

Atta v Rapunzel

Elsa v Belle

Snow White v Tiana

To refresh everyone’s memories we have included some past information about the Princesses, along with a few new fun facts!

  • Eilonwy
    • Princess Eilonwy of Llyr appears in “The Black Cauldron” (1985)
    • Voiced by Susan Sheridan
    • Her first appearance was in the 1964 novel “The Book of Three” in the Chronicles of Prydain; she appears in four out of the five books
    • Does She possess magic?
      • Possibly. She has a magic orb called a bauble that the Horned King thought would show him where the cauldron was located
      • Instead of an animal side-kick she possesses a magical orb
    • Eilonwy is brave, never seeming to be afraid of the Horned King even when being trapped in his dungeon. She helps Taron escape and joins him on this mission despite the fact that she doesn’t have to
    • Eilonwy is opinionated and speaks up when things don’t seem right; she’s also affectionate to Gurgie when no one else seems to be
    • Her film The Black Cauldron (1985) performed poorly commercially which explains her lack of status as an official Disney Princess
    • Although Eilonwy is a lesser-known princess, she it notable for her bravery and intelligence; she never fails to believe in herself and will not tolerate nonsense from the people around her
    • Fun facts about Eilonwy!!
  • Ariel
    • First appearance in the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, though the character she is based on has no name
    • She is “officially” the fourth Disney Princess after Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora (although there were other princesses before her)
    • The Little Mermaid (1989) is the known as the film that started the Disney renaissance, and for that reason quite possibly the most important Disney animated classic; It saved the studio
      • It’s worth noting that without Ariel, no other Disney princess after the 1980’s would exist
    • Voiced by Jodi Benson, Ariel is a strong-willed and passionate character known for her beautiful singing voice
      • Although she follows the trope of falling in love with someone she didn’t know, her headstrong personality set the stage for Disney princesses of the renaissance and after
      • Ariel is loving–she has many friends that help her on her quest to be with her true love
      • Her song “Part of Your World”
    • The Little Mermaid was also the first Disney film scored by Alan Menkin, who’s music is partially responsible for making Disney the animation powerhouse of the 1990s
    • Fun facts about Ariel!!
      • She has six older sisters named Attina, Alana, Adella, Aquata, Arista and Andrina.  Ariel is the only one of her sisters whose name does not end in “A”.
      • Ariel is age 16
      • Unlike her sisters as a mermaid she does not tend to wear any hair accessories
  • Atta
    • The older princess and heir to the throne on Ant Island, Atta defeated Dot in our first round due to her relatability and leadership
    • Her film A Bug’s Life (1998) was only the second Pixar film
    • The survival of the entire ant population on her island is set on her shoulders, which is a tremendous responsibility
      • In all of these films, we see the princess face a struggle. However, that struggle rarely has to do with actually leading their people in the way that Atta is faced with the threat of the grasshoppers
    • Fun facts about Atta!!
      • Atta is named after the genus of ant of the same name.
      • Speculated to be about 27 years old
      • In bloopers, Princess Atta cracks up several times during her scene with Hopper.  These cracks ruin take after take until Hopper goes to his trailer in exasperation.  Julia Louis-Dreyfus was known to do the same
  • Rapunzel
    • Her character and story has loosely been adapted from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.
      • This movie expands upon why Rapunzel was locked away in a tower away from everyone else.
      • Disney added Rapunzel’s healing power which adds to her character
    • Rapunzel is the first Disney Princess that holds a magical power of her own with a movie centered around her and that power.
    • Voiced by Mandy Moore, Rapunzel is free-spirited and rebellious
      • Despite the fact that she is literally locked away, she doesn’t see herself as someone in need of rescue
      • When Rapunzel leaves her tower, she does so on her own and only because it’s her decision to do so
    • Rapunzel is a trusting person, never truly questioning why she’s been locked away until she finally sees the outside world
    • Her character undergoes a great change throughout the film, but her strong will and faith in others still stands, despite the fact that the person she trusted most lied to and manipulated her
    • Fun facts about Rapunzel!!
      • Purple is often seen as a color of royalty which may be why Rapunzel wears it for much of the film
      • Rapunzel is depicted as 18, which is an 8 year age gap between her and her love interest Flynn
      • Since no one had ever animated so much hair before, special software had to be employed to animate her 70 feet long hair
  • Elsa
    • The older sister to Anna and Queen of Arendelle, Elsa is voiced by Idina Menzel
    • In our first round, Jacob chose Elsa over Kida for her ability to overcome the fear of being herself and ultimately giving herself up for the kingdom that shamed and refused her in the first place
    • In a magical sense, Elsa is the most powerful princess on our list (the second being Rapunzel)
    • Elsa is a fighter throughout the entire film
      • She takes down the men that come after her with weapons
      • She only allows herself to be taken after deciding not to hurt anyone else
    • She distances herself from her sister despite the fact that she loves her; Elsa wants to be herself and believes this is only possible if she is to be alone
    • Elsa shows audiences how you can be happy alone and as yourself; she also demonstrates the dangers of not embracing your true self
    • Although many may see Elsa as the hero of Frozen, it’s Anna’s love for her that saves the day and teaches Elsa how to end the winter
    • Fun facts about Elsa!!
      •  In all of the songs she sings her magical powers are also present
      • Elsa is 21 by Coronation Day
      • Elsa as a child wore her hair in a braid, showing her carefree and innocent personality. As she grows up, her hair is put into a bun, revealing confinement and isolation. As soon as she sings “Let it Go” she pulls her hair back down to a braid.
  • Belle
    • Based on the protagonist in La Belle et la Bête, Belle is voiced by Paige O’Hara
    • She is known as the most beautiful girl in town despite the fact that she is also considered “peculiar”
    • It’s important to note that Beauty and the Beast (1991) was the first ever animated movie nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars
      • The critical acclaim this movie received helped cement Disney’s place as an animation juggernaut and put the Disney Renaissance in full swing
    • Belle is smart and kind, known for disregarding her own dreams of adventure in exchange for her father’s freedom
    • Because of Belle’s indifference toward conventional beauty, she is able to accept the beast for who he is and saves him and all the people in his castle from a lifetime of torment
    • Fun facts about Belle!!
      • She was the only Princess with Hazel eyes until the appearance of Vanellope von Schweetz
      • Belle is 17 years of age
      • Paige O’Hara has a website where she makes and sells fan artwork https://www.paigeohara.net/
  • Snow White
    • Based on the fairytale by Brothers Grimm, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was Disney’s first full-length animated film
    • This film paved the way for more animation and showed audiences in 1937 that animation was a legitimate art form
    • Although Snow White is young, she learns to adapt to a new life very quickly when she discovers that the queen wants her dead
    • Snow White is charming, innocent, and loving
      • Animals are naturally drawn to her because of her beautiful voice and gentle nature
      • Snow White has no issue taking care of the dwarfs in exchange for a place to live, which shows how resourceful she is and willing to do her fair share
    • Without Snow White, animation may not have been the same! Critics were sure that this venture was a mistake for Disney, only to be proven wrong
      • Snow White helped create a formula that has entertained and inspired many generations
    • Fun facts about Snow White!!
      • Her dance moves in the movie were infamously used for Maid Marian in Robin Hood
      • In 1987, Snow White was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
      • She is the youngest Princess in the line-up, being only 14 years old.
  • Tiana
    • Voiced by Anika Noni Rose, Tiana is the last of the 2D animated princesses
    • Tiana is arguably the hardest working of the princesses, her work ethic and restaurant dreams being a major plot point of the film
    • Tiana is not royal at at the beginning of the film and has no interest in being a princess, yet she eventually falls in love with Prince Naveen
    • It’s important to note that Tiana is the only princess from the United States (where Disney Animation is located); The only Disney princess in the 20th century, and the first and only African American Disney princess
    • Tiana is her own hero, determined to solve her own issues and ready to make her own dreams come true through hard work
      • Ultimately she learns not to focus too much on her dreams, but to find a balance between work and other important parts of life
    • Fun facts about Tiana!!
      • She is left-handed just as her voice actor Anika is
      • She is 19 years old
      • She was human for only 19 minutes of the movie

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The (Brief) Case of Clowning Around

Happy April Fools’! Special thanks to Jacob and Ariel for making the perfect joke intro as “The Podcast Wives.”

In this mini-sode, we discuss some famous clowns! Also, Robin talks about growing up with a clown dad.

Clowns/Shows mentioned

  • Jojo’s Circus
    • An early 2000s animated children’s show about a young clown named JoJo and her lion Goliath
  • The Big Comfy Couch
        • A PBS show that aired from 1992-2006
        • The show follows Loonette the clown who solves problems with her doll Molly on a Big Comfy Couch
        • Marci mentioned the clock stretch being her favorite part. Here is a clip:

      https://youtu.be/hqZoK1bq2hs

  • Emmett Kelly (1898-1979)
      • With his character Weary Willie, Emmett Kelly was the most famous tramp clown in the circus
      • He was a mascot for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1957
      • He appeared in the film The Clown and the Kids (1967) Where he performed his famous sweeping up the spotlight routine
    • A famous photo of him was taken during the Hartford Circus Fire in 1944
    • This day was also known as “The Day the Clowns Criedhartfordcircusfire
  • Glen “Frosty” Little (1925-2010)
    • Was in the first graduating class (1968) of Clown College by the  Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus. After graduating he went on to move up and be Boss Clown, Executive Clown Director, and finally Master Clown.  He became only the fourth and last clown to gain the title of Master Clown.
    • In 1991 he was inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame.FrostyLittle
  • Lou Jacobs (1903-1992)
    • Worked in the circus for 60 years
    • In 1989 inducted into Clown Hall of Fame
    • He was the only living person to have his face on a postage stamp
    • One of the first to ever use a rubber ball nose
    • Lou Jacobs
  • Red Skelton (1913-1997)
    • Also known as America’s Clown Prince, Red Skelton was a comedy entertainer
    • He appeared in over 30 MGM films in the 40s and 50s
    • He earned 3 Emmy awards and his show The Red Skelton Show ran for two decadesRed Skelton
  • Patch Adams 
    • Patch Adams is a 1998 film about an American physician of the same name
      • Hunter Doherty Adams was born in 1945
      • He founded the Gesundheit! Institute
    • Robin Williams played the title character

Robin mentions a Dick Van Dyke clown special that she watched growing up. Here is the link if you want to check it out!

Sources:

https://famousclowns.org/famous-clowns/frosty-little/