11/23/08

The Doonesbury Special

It was November 27, 1977, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and A Doonesbury Special was playing on NBC. While Star Wars was number one at the box office that week, this show was not exactly for children. The special dealt with a Walden commune and characters reflecting back on their hippie days.

The 26 minute animated special was produced and directed by John Hubley, who had just been fired midway through production of Watership Down. Sadly, Hubley wouldn't live to see the Doonesbury project finished as he would die on the operating table.


As an interesting point of trivia, one of Hubley's daughters is the drummer and singer for the band Yo La Tengo. His wife (also an accomplished animator) would write a book on the project a year later in '78, but is currently out of print.

The special is currently unavailable on DVD and try to find it on YouTube and you get: This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Garry Trudeau. I would love to see this again, if anyone has a link to find it. One day, Trudeau will see fit to release this on DVD or air it again on television. Until then, we'll just have to whine and complain about it.

9 comments:

  1. I don't know what possessed me to think about The Doonesbury Special. But it just hit me. I absolutely loved it. I was hoping to find a way to get a copy of that but I guess it's not possible at the moment. But wouldn't that be AWESOME! I still remember the towel song!

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  2. Afropunk- I believe Elton John sang the opening, if I'm not mistaken. And yes, that would be AWESOME. You can get a crappy VHS on ebay, but otherwise we're S.O.L.

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  3. I've never seen it. It would be cool to see. I've never been as big a Doonesbury fan as some folks, but it would still be something interesting to watch.

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  4. Keith- I haven't been a big Doonesbury fan for a long, long time - his political stuff that got real popular during the Reagan Bush era just got tiresome.

    That being said, the stuff Trudeau produced in the 70s was some of the best comic strips ever made (in my humble opinion). It was still political, but not in a heavy handed humorless way. I loved the characters and it was quite funny - I recommend you give some of his early stuff a try.

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  5. I remember the Doonesbury special really well, I didn't understand one minute of it but it was animated and I was seven....

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  6. Actually, The Doonesbury Special is included on The Hubley Collection: Everybody Rides the Carousel, in addition to "Everybody..." and one other film by the Hubleys. Copies of that DVD, first published in 1999, appear to be running out, but there are still some used and new copies on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Hubley-Collection-Everybody-Carousel/dp/6305609322

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  7. Actually, the Doonesbury special is available as one of the films included on a collection of Paul and Faith Hubley's works, still available on DVD (though it appears copies are getting scarce).

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Hubley-Collection-Everybody-Carousel/dp/6305609322

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  8. It seems to be on YouTube again now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1Wzd0bBbWs

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  9. It's on YouTube again.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1Wzd0bBbWs

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