A Science Fiction Pixie from a Strange Atomic Race

Here’s a clip from a cartoon I’ve never seen before: Dodo-The Kid From Outer Space. Produced in 1964 and originally broadcast in the L.A. area, Dodo was an alien child with a half-bird, half-computer friend named Compy (in this clip, he’s the one complaining about cake while everybody else wants to hear the story of… » 9/11/08 1:23pm 9/11/08 1:23pm

Was Josie & the Pussycats in Outer Space The Best Cartoon Ever?

Oh, don’t get your panties in a bunch—I think we all agree that Hanna-Barbera takes a distant third in the great Chuck Jones/Tex Avery smackdown. But seriously, an interracial all-girl rock band flies through outer space in a giant magic wand » 9/09/08 1:25pm 9/09/08 1:25pm, accompanied by their nemesis, her shit-stirring cat, and a cuddly alien…

C3PO to Parents: If You Love Your Children, You Will Buy These Toys

Pardon me while I have a MARF (momentary age-related freakout): I saw Star Wars in the theater when it first came out—and that was thirty-one frakkin’ years ago. Holy time warp! Anyway, here’s a commercial for the first round of Star Wars toys, in which C3PO speaks (and R2D2 whistles, gleeps, and trills) at parents,… » 8/11/08 1:00pm 8/11/08 1:00pm

A-Blasts Propel the Atomic Pulse Rocket Into Space (1960)

"This is the Atomic Pulse Rocket, a pot-bellied ship nearly the size of the Empire State Building, propelled by a series of atomic blasts." Sure, it sounds like a bad idea now but back then it was on the cutting edge: it only needed "a thousand atomic blasts-each equal to 1,000 tons of TNT" to push the 75,000 ton… » 6/27/08 2:33pm 6/27/08 2:33pm

RIP Janet Dietrich, One of the “Mercury 13” Women Astronaut Trainees

Janet Christine Dietrich has died. In 1961, along with her twin sister, Marion, and eleven other women, Dietrich passed the same battery of physical tests as the men chosen by NASA to become America's first astronauts. But Dietrich, and the rest of the so-called "Mercury 13" never flew in space-indeed, they were never… » 6/18/08 1:20pm 6/18/08 1:20pm

A Fleet of Atomic-Electric Space Ships Embark For Mars, 1957

Earlier this week we showed you the wonderful “cosmic soap opera” from Disney’s “Mars and Beyond” television show from 1957. This much more serious clip shows what a future expedition to Mars might look like. The spaceships (conceptualized by Ernst Stuhlinger and Werner von Braun) were 500 feet in diameter and powered… » 6/13/08 10:29am 6/13/08 10:29am

A Nerdy Scientist and a Hot Secretary on Mars in 1957

On December 4, 1957, the Disneyland TV show broadcast “Mars and Beyond,” a 53-minute exploration of the Red Planet’s history and future, as well as its impact on pop culture. A nerdy scientist, a hot secretary with a secret, and a Martian robot in tennis shoes (a la Warner Brother’s Marvin the Martian), plus awesome… » 6/11/08 12:49pm 6/11/08 12:49pm

The Cartoon that Introduced Sputnik to America, 1957

I love the industrial animation used in this newsreel introducing Americans to Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, launched by the Soviets on October 4, 1957. Despite fears of red space supremacy, Americans immediately started eating sputnikburgers and talking about pupniks (Sputnik II carried a dog into space),… » 4/30/08 12:30pm 4/30/08 12:30pm