Monday, August 10, 2009

The CBS Children's Film Festival

Back in the days before federally-mandated children's programming, CBS was kind enough to expend some time each week for a presentation called "The CBS Children's Film Festival". Hosted by Fran Allison and Burr Tillstrom's famous puppets Kukla and Ollie, the show aired from 1967 to 1984. The show specialized in children's cinema from around the world. It must have been some coup for CBS to hire the services of Allison and the puppets away from their longtime home at NBC, where they appeared on and off from 1947-1966.

Phil of a Kukla, Fran and Ollie tribute site has been nice enough to put clips on YouTube of some of these films, many of which have become very hard to find over the years. These titles may sound familiar to people of my generation: "Skinny and Fatty", "Boy With Glasses", "The Magnificent 6-1/2", "On Snowhite" and "The Goalkeeper Also Lives On Our Street." Remember any of those?

Every so often, CBS would air a 1967 film from Czechoslovakia called "Lost in Pajamas" (original title "Tana a Dva Pistolnici"), in which a 10-year-old girl named Tanya (Dasa Pazderova) somehow leaves her sleeper train when a cow gets on the tracks and is stranded in the wilderness. There, Tanya meets up with two boys camping out overnight. I liked this one and always watched it whenever it was on. Unfortunately Dasa Pazderova didn't do too much more in the cinema, making only one other film, also in 1967. Here's a clip and if you click on the user name you will find more.

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