Episode #249 and Like a Hood Ornament 9 – Welcome Jim O’Kane and Hal Bryan of The Rocketeer Minute! (Part 1/2)
On this week’s show, I had the opportunity to connect with Jim (of TVDads.com) and Hal (of the Experimental Aircraft Association) from the Rocketeer Minute podcast, which if you never heard of the Movies by Minute podcast movement (I hadn’t until stumbling upon their show), it’s where people dissect a movie, generally one minute at a time. So one minute of the movie = 1 episode. The 1991 Rocketeer film, based on the original comic by Dave Stevens, screenwritten by Paul De Meo and Danny Bilson, and directed by Joe Johnston, is 108 minutes long. But there are actually 116 Rocketeer Minute Podcasts if I counted right, making for over 60 hours of listening. That’s one hell of a DVD commentary! (Rocketeer fans have long had to deal with a dearth of any substantial extras on the official DVD releases of the film, but even if there had been a DVD commentary, the amount of material on the Rocketeer Minute podcast would be over 30 times whatever was on the disc!)
As mentioned, I found their show totally by accident. Ever since I learned about the internet in the mid 90s, I would occasionally type “Rocketeer” in whatever search engine was used at the time just to see what popped up. As I recall, there was really only one Rocketeer site in the mid 90s (when I first realized that the internet was someone more that those AOL Online floppy discs that used to come in the mail – we never had AOL Online, but for awhile, that’s what I thought this “internet” thing was). While there was never a ton of info online about the film and comics, there were always a few sites and fanart pictures on places like Deviantart. Earlier this fall, I was doing what I usually did, this time typing in “Rocketeer” in Twitter (which I only half understand), and lo and behold, something called The Rocketeer Minute popped up. (I’d looked around on iTunes in the past, back when I did episode 53 on my first rewatching of The Rocketeer since childhood and hadn’t found any podcasts devoted to the Rocketeer; turns out I was about a year too early.) I listened to the first few episodes that night and was hooked.
It took about a month and a half to listen to all the episodes, and like when I was a kid watching the film over and over again (more on this next week), I was kind of sad when it was all done! (I’ve come to wonder if that is the mark of any meaningful work of art – you miss it when it’s gone.) This was also around the time that the Disney Jr Rocketeer cartoon was released, allowing me to introduce my children to the Rocketeer. The timing of both made me realize there was so much I wanted to talk about when it came to The Rocketeer and also hammered home the realization that there were quite a few other Rocketeer fans out there lurking under the surface that might also like to be interested. And since so much of The Rocketeer influenced my writing of The Thirteenth Hour, I figured, why not just keep it as part of the same podcast as its own recurring segment:
Before we sign off for this week, I’ll leave you with this little spread of pictures from a 1991 issue of the kids’ magazine, Disney Adventures, which thanks to the magic of eBay, I was finally able to read ~thirty years after originally wanting to.
I totally remembering wanting the water rocket Rocketeer as a kid but never being able to find one.
Next week, we’ll talk a little bit more about the EAA, Hal’s employer, in the intro and during the episode. In the meantime, please check out The Rocketeer Minute’s Bulldog Cafe Facebook Group for more pictures and behind the scenes info from the movie as well as the episodes.
This little animated .gif is, of course, from the point in the movie where the Rocketeer, not above a little self conscious vanity, asks how he looks. Peevy, not above a little blunt honesty, says “Like a hood ornament!” The Rocketeer blasts off for the first time, Peevy gets blown backwards into the hangar, and I get a name for this part of the podcast!
Stay tuned for more Rocketeer talk next week! Stay safe!
There are now Thirteenth Hour toys! If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.
If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!
Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.
Stay tuned. Follow along on Spotify! There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.
As always, thanks for listening!
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