YOUTUBE SIGHTINGS...More stuff that I've noticed recently on YouTube.com, "The Web's finest source of copyright-infringing video content for those of us who are too pussy to use file-sharers anymore".
Here's the opening for Cats Toninden Teyande, the original Japanese version of the anime series that got transmutated into Samurai Pizza Cats in North America. A few shots in this opening got re-used in the English opening, but there's a lot that English viewers never saw, like one shot of the three main characters waving their tushes in the air. What is it with cats shaking their butts in old cartoon opening segments? The opening for the ALF cartoon from DiC also had cat butts featured prominently.
The song, performed by someone named Rena Yazawa, is nothing like the English opening. It's light "old school pop" that reminds me very much of the song "Yasashii Jealousy" ("Tender Jealousy"), the Kimagure Orange Road "image" song (not actually used in the cartoon) sung by Kyosuke's sisters Kurumi and Manami (Chieko Honda and Michie Tomizawa).
By the way, whenever Samurai Pizza Cats is brought up, someone invariably wonders when it will be available on DVD in Region 1 (North America). There's this one single-disk release from 2003 that's coded as Region 1, but I have no idea whether or not it's legitimate, I can't find any company called "Jade Entertainment" that's relevant to releasing cartoons on DVD, and, even if it was a legitimate release, it appears to be long out of print, and there were no subsequent volumes.
I wrote a couple of months ago in this Rotten Tomatoes thread why I'm skeptical that we'll get a release of the show in its North American format (which was dubbed in Montreal!) anytime soon.
While it's not inconceivable that someone else might re-license Cats Toninden Teyande for the nostalgia value and do a new dub, whether or not Samurai Pizza Cats will ever get a North American DVD release with the Canadian dub that North Americans remember is very hazy, considering that Saban Entertainment got bought out by Disney in 2001 and became BVS Entertainment and it's very unclear if the rights to the dub got transferred, and, even if they did, there's a reasonably good chance that they've expired (possibly even before Saban got bought out). That's the same reason you won't be hearing the original Sailor Moon dub again anytime soon, since DiC's rights expired.
Any company that wanted to put out Samurai Pizza Cats on DVD as seen on early 1990s television would have to not only negotiate with Tatsunoko Productions for the rights to the animation, but also with whomever controls the rights to the original dub soundtrack, which may not even be Disney/BVS Entertainment, and those sorts of negotiations can get awfully convoluted once they figure out exactly how many people they have to send money to for it to be possible to put it out on DVD.
If a company's determined to put one out, the rights issues can be dealt with, but there's a question of whether or not there's really enough of a market for Samurai Pizza Cats on DVD for it to be worth the expense, and, if the rights are still in the hands of Disney, it might be just too niche a product to be worth their while releasing (whereas a smaller niche-oriented company like ADV Films would be more likely to put one out if it could acquire the rights, since it's used to selling DVDs in smaller quantities).
And, yes, I am aware that a lot of people spell the name of the Japanese version Kyatto Ninden Teyande, but I don't think "Kyatto" has any meaning in Japanese other than being a transliteration of "Cat", so, in my opinion, spelling it that way makes no more sense than spelling Dragonball, "Doragonboru", or spelling Sailor Moon, "Seramuun". Anime News Network spells it "Cats Toninden Teyande", and, if that spelling's good enough for ANN, it's good enough for me.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that you can now watch the entire Star Wars Holiday Special on YouTube.com (or just the animated segment if you can't stomache the rest), but YouTube now has another infamous piece of late 1970s televised Star Wars arcana up for viewing, and, this time, it's something I just barely remember having watched when it was new.
Here's a long collection of scenes from the two episodes of Sesame Street where R2D2 and C-3PO visited Big Bird (and R2D2 falls in love with a fire hydrant). These are the complete scenes somehow taken directly from raw footage from Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) and not taped off television, so you get the timecode and the clapboards, and you sometimes see studio technicians at the beginning of the clips (one of the backdrops with a fire escape appears to be just a bedsheet with a set of stairs painted on it!).
I thought I remembered seeing an article somewhere or other about this, so I Googled it, and Matt Caracappa himself did an entry about it at X-Entertainment way back in 2000, and he had the same clips, but in Real Video format, so it's not new to the Internet, but at least you don't have to open Real Player to watch it now. Though the YouTube version of the footage has one terrible sound problem, not so much that the audio is mono (just like everything else on television in 1979), but rather that the audio is something like half a minute ahead of the video, so Big Bird's beak only matches what he said thirty seconds prior.
Anyway, I have more interesting YouTube links to share, but I think I'll do another entry after I get back from the job interview at the Merivale McDonald's in just over an hour.
By the way, considering that NBC lawyers had "Cease & Desist" bahleeted the Saturday Night Live "Lazy Sunday" (Chronicles of Narnia) and Natalie Portman Gangsta Rap, I wonder how long it will take for ABC/Disney lawyers to notice that you can pretty much see the entire series of Lost for free at YouTube? That's a far more egregious example of copyright infringement than the SNL vids, considering that ABC sells episodes of Lost through iTunes. I would not be at all surprised if ABC/Disney puts the legal kibosh on YouTube's hosting of those files imminently.
EDIT: Just to cover my ass and not be an "accomplice", I contacted ABC about it myself.