"Kit.....Kit Cloudkicker.." - Kit, Plunder and Lightning "Plane for Keeps".
July 4th,1998 is usually the day where America celebrates the birth of a country. However; for me it was officially the birth of a new website. The birth of a TaleSpin website......However; this was no ordinary TaleSpin website by any means. (Although no TaleSpin website is 'ordinary'.) This is the very first website which pays homage and respect to Disney's #1 character. He is the cutest, most in-depth young man ever designed by Disney: Kit Cloudkicker. Yes; Disney's answer to drama and excitement from a character who didn't get much respect from Disney. I chose Kit Cloudkicker because I simply loved him as a character and also because there was no website that in fact focused on him. I always figured that there were as many people who loved Kit as there were many people who loved Don Karnage.
Five years has now officially pasted and I'm still around after all this time. Most websites these days would be shut down after this time because life usually intervened; but I decided not to shut this site down. I plan to continue the TaleSpin fandom in general in the future and I hope everyone is ready for more. I must admit; I expected this year to be a down time kind of year considering that I was dealing with a job for the last year or so and the sad revelation that I became a Type II diabetic on March 14th, 2003. The pain of realizing that I had a diease and the physical pain as a result of it has changed my diet and since then I have kept this problem completely under control. I am losing weight (at least 59 pounds from last weigh-in which was last October I think from 409 lbs. down to 349.8 lbs.) and feeling much better than I have had in years. Plus; unlike the last time, my pain has forced me to stick with the program I'm on now. As for my job; I got some good news. I will be working over the summer on a three day a week bid with Safe Communities and Emergency Measures Organization. So my work outside this page will continue; although with a lighter menu. However; I have been lobbying for a data entry position that will pay me at least twice as much per hour and if I get that job (and the prospects are looking good) then my work on this website will be gravely limited to weekends.
Despite all these problems; I have done many projects for the Unoffical Kit Cloudkicker Homepage over the last year. I'll start with the fanfics: Part One of "Klangs of a Feather" was completed and posted, Chapter One of the Dreamflyers Saga "The Gentlewoman" has been completed and posted and Chapter 5 of AeroStars "The Dorf Formally Known As Raven" was completed and posted. As for fanfics in progress: Chapters Four and Five of "Unforeseen Impact" has been completed in story script and the dialogue has been converted to HTML. "Plunder Project J4306", Chapter Three of "Unforseen Impact", Part Two of "Klangs of a Feather" and Chapter Two of Dreamflyers has progressed slowly in story script. I've also started the fanfic "Flight of Reunion" and it has been progressing well in story script. "Rebecca's Diary" has stalled for the third year in a row; however, with "Unforeseen Impact" nearly ready to complete in story script; I intend to work on that fanfic over the next year. In the editorial side of things; I have written various works which include the following: "Disney and Fox Family Devalued Part Deux", "What in Limbo's Dance Happened to Writing?", "What's Inside the DirtBox?", "Kim Possible Does the Impossible & Other Things", "Lost Episodes & Kingdom Heart", "From Dirtbox to Sandbox", "All I Want For My Birthday Is D-V-D!" and "Disney's Excercise in Scarying Uneducated Television Critics". I've also began to reviews actual television episodes and I might extend that to comics as well. I have completed eight episodes of TaleSpin: Plunder and Lightning Part I, II, III, IV, Stormy Weather, Captains Outrageous, Mommy for a Day and It Came From Beneath the SeaDuck. I've also redid the entire TaleSpin International Voices portion of the website to include the entire TaleSpin Cast & Crew Page (which is the main page now with the International Section as secondary webpages). I'm currently in Phase III of the TaleSpin Crew Talent Tribute Page pluggin the names and credits as we speak. I also updated the TaleSpin Links Page which is in need of a massive cleaning up again (Williams O'Brien's Disney Archive website has been reinstated, Juan F. Lara website has moved and Yesterday Land has been removed for example). By the last count since this website debuted in 1998 the unofficial Kit Cloudkicker Homepage now has 48,000+ hits.
This year is going to be very different from the previous four address in that I will _not_ be the only one who has written a editorial. In June; I addressed the High Flight Comment Board about the fifth anniversary of the Unofficial Kit Cloudkicker Homepage and I decided that for every time that this website celebrated five years online; I would let the people who visited my website and/or contributed a piece of work that has landed onto my website to be the writers for this address to the Cloudkicker nation. While I realize that I'm probably the best writer for the job when it comes to editorials; I was very impressed with the written works of the people who make the Unofficial Kit Cloudkicker Homepage the success it has become for the TaleSpin fandom and the Kit Cloudkicker fandom in particular. Since I have said too much already as it is; it is time to give the spotlight to those who made this website possible:
Congratulations to Gregory Weagle on the fifth anniversary of his website, one which has well-pre-dated my arrival upon the TaleSpin fandom yet certainly plays key to it.
I joined the fandom in early 2001, following my viewing of Toy Story 2, a film which ended my disassociation with Disney products for a long time (long and personal story there). Suffice it to say, with my interests in the Mouse reawakened I remembered my principal Disney past favorites in the media and decided to explore TaleSpin sites online. Initially cynical about what I thought I'd find, I came upon Gregory's site.
I discovered, to my happy surprise, an intelligent, comprehensive, expertised, insightful and genuinely and respectfully emphatic site dedicated mainly to my favorite TS character, Kit Cloudkicker, but equally respectful to the other TaleSpin characters, shows, creators and plotlines. Constructively critical,humorous and serious in the appropriate amounts and areas of discussion, I decided to write him an e-mail discussing how much I enjoyed his site and TaleSpin and shared my views about Kit and TS. He responded politely and with much expertise, and we soon developed a friendship and rapport which I had not imagined I'd find and quite thoroughly looked forward to.
One thing led to another, I met other Spinners (Wouter Servaas ["Molly's Suite"] and Jeff Mika [the TaleSpin Sourcepage] at first) and found their websites, and the high quality of their sites and friendliness toward me personally led me to the fandom. I learned about the HighFlight board, joined it and was initiated in "the club". Many friends and many good times later I can safely thank Gregory for introducing me to this community, while my colleagues know where to place the blame. (Just kidding!!) ;-)
(*puts my ego away before people trip on it and break a limb or three* ;-)
Kit is a complex but likable character in a complex yet likable show, and Gregory's site proves to be a truly worthy tribute to one of the most underappreciated characters in Disney history. Not only a boon for Kit-fans as myself but TaleSpin and animation fans in general, TUKCHP makes a point of honoring those persons behind the scenes and the voice actors behind the microphones, and offers useful and informative reference material, excellent screengrabs, and great fanfiction to boot. And judging from his recent announcements it'll just keep getting better!!! :-)
So, happy fifth anniversary to your site Gregory, and good luck and many more years in the future for you! *gives site birthday cake and Frosty Pep* Ya done good, Gregory!!! :-)
You like?!? :-)
Clear Skies, and thanks for all you've given me, *hugs*
Gregory, congratulations on the five years of the Unofficial Kit Cloudkicker Home Page and many years to come of course! Best wishes from Molly & Me. What to write? I don't know, since you have written almost everything there is to be written about Kit. So, there is no task for me there. Actually I am suffering a attack of the "how to avoid my study virus" while writing this editorial. Maybe a bit more Molly is worth to be written, so here it goes.
It is already three years ago: after a too busy day at university I switched on my television and I discovered TaleSpin, just out of nowhere. Since then many things changed, but even although I do not know many things about TaleSpin - my biggest lack is probably the fact I never watched the P&L episodes - I keep on following TaleSpin related subjects.
But how does TaleSpin exist in the Lowlands (Netherlands, Belgium)? In fact, TaleSpin does not exist there. The Lowlands do not have a Disney Channel as in Northern America and therefore TaleSpin is relatively unknown. It was purely coincidence that I found TaleSpin on Ketnet Television (www.ketnet.be), and the rest of the story is known: I liked watching TaleSpin and before anyone could intervene, Molly had her own website. My family and friends knew I could get carried away with certain movies or music, but this affection with TaleSpin was something entirely new.
In the first week of June, I went to Norway, to participate in an European Youth Music Festival. Since my orchestra couldn't afford the flight, we went by bus and boat. Trust me, it is already a long ride from Schijndel (the Netherlands) to Hirtshals (Denmark), but then you still have a night on the ferry Hirtshals - Kristiansand - Moss. Finally arrived in Moss, it is again about 500 kilometres to Trondheim.
"Okay, fine!" I can hear you think. "What does this have to do with TaleSpin??" This is where my TaleSpin-mania really got started. You see, it was about 36 hours on the road and sea, so I started to draw some scenes from TaleSpin-episodes. Jan, one of my friends of the orchestra, watched my drawing my first fanpic of Molly, and he told me Disney-characters always have the same basic model. The head is as a circle and the body has the shape of a pear. While we were crossing Jotumheinen, I discovered I could draw more than only already existing fanpics and it was fun to do. Every time there was some time, I was exercising the drawing. Molly became more and more important to me, like the first step towards the Anthropology of Childhood.
By the time I got back in the Netherlands, everybody thought the TaleSpin-mania would be over, but it was not. On the contrary, I went to Antwerpen by train a few times and in a shop near Antwerpen-Berchem I bought my first TaleSpin-tapes. These Dutch-spoken tapes were followed by English-spoken tapes I found in Nottingham. I can still remember me drawing Molly dressed as Danger Woman when I sat in front of my tent in Trentham Gardens, England. It was fun to do, because not only people stopped to watch the drawings, also some ducks could not resist their curiosity.
The next step was Molly's Suite. Now friends and family really knew I got a kind of carried away. Actually, it was meant as an exercise for my Portuguese, but Molly's Suite became one of the first sites dedicated to Molly. To be honest, I was flattered by these remarks and in fact it is still unbelievable. For me Molly was and is one of the main-characters in TaleSpin, while many Spinners only thought of her as 'necessary evil', 'a spoiled brat' or in the most positive way 'just a sidekick'. But remember, Kit and Baloo would never have been how they are if Molly was not around. She forced Baloo to take her with him and she made Kit feeling responsible and/or a true good friend. Again it is possible to write about Molly, her place in TaleSpin, but I think everyone already made up their mind. Some like Molly, some hate her. As recently been written down at High Flight: "Molly, love her or leave her" and to quote Molly's Suite:
What I like even more about Molly is that she is not "just the little girl". Often, girls and women are in movies and cartoons just sidekicks or those who need to be rescued by a (masculine) hero. It is rare that a girl rescues a boy from danger. Molly is on her way to break through this gendered pattern of roles. She is not the passive girl that needs to be rescued. No, with her keen perception and her intelligence she keep Kit and especially Baloo out of troubles (with Rebecca...).
However, although the love for TaleSpin never has been gone, study took most of my time, and I could hear Molly's voice in my head: "You always have to work!" It is true, since discovering TaleSpin in the Lowlands, I have been to Portugal, Canada and Brazil for study. TaleSpin is at the moment primarily a passive hobby, there is still my first fanfic to be finished, the Brazilian version of Molly's Suite still has to be finished, Molly's Suite needs a general update and I need a new vcr. TaleSpin is still unknown in the Lowlands. For a short time it has been on Ketnet Television and on Net5, but again it is locked up somewhere in the archives of television land. Molly is one of the main-characters in Flight of the Snowduck, Mommy for a Day, Incredible Shrinking Molly, Molly Coddled, Jolly Molly Christmas and Her Chance to Dream. Not many episodes, but she knew how to get into the spotlights. I have not seen all of these TaleSpin-episodes, but one of the prospects for the future is to see them all, starting with these Molly-episodes. Soon I will be a graduate, ready 'for the real world', but TaleSpin is a part of that real world. Molly's Suite needs to be updated and most likely to be moved too. Lycos uk is driving me nuts with all their commercial pop-ups and columns, so maybe one day we can all witness a site as www.mollyssuite.be... First thing I want to do is to finish the fanfic. Earlier in this editorial I wrote about going to Norway. The names of people and places in A Northern Gold Rush are based on this first but surely not the last time I visited Norway.
Funny thing is that people still ask me whether I am still drawing fanpics. At the moment I am not, since there is a graduation paper to be written, scholarships will end and so I am looking for a job. If anyone would have told me in 1998 that I would be joined by Disney while getting through university education, I would have laughed at it. But this is how it got. Prospects for the future are still very vague, but there is however one major challenge for TaleSpin: to colonise the Lowlands so that people would dare to say "Oh, Molly, is she one of the Gummibears?" That is a time for Danger Woman to treat them as Covington. That will teach them. But for other things, it is still vague. Who knows where this Spinner will become employed. It might be somewhere in the Mediterranean, so one day one can ask: "Molly, parli italiano?" By that time, Molly's Suite will be in Italian too.
As the bright green background lights up my screen I know just where I'm at: The most informative website about Kit Cloudkicker out there. Not only can I find every fanfic and art of this prodigy; but I can also find educational information regarding the shows air dates and even the writers of the best animated show in history. The editorial are intriguing. You can tell the passion and love for TaleSpin through their words.
TaleSpin in my opinion made my year better. Before I came to realize how much I loved this show; life was a dull existance online with hopeful outcomes for my inbox. Thanks to TaleSpin I look forward to my online experience. Great people who I never would have met, wonderful memories that I hope to share for a long time.
Most important to me in TaleSpin was the story. Seriously; I never have been more touched by anything than I was by Stormy Weather. That was a denfenite appeal to Kit. Sure he may be dark at times; but he can break your heart. He was so vulnerable in Stormy Weather. Everyone hides a facade of emotions and his just came bursting out in those few seconds. Like I said; Kit made TaleSpin what it is today a show with heart.
The Unofficial Kit Cloudkicker webpage made me realize many things. The editorials opened my eyes to how other people felt about the series. The edits, the characterizations, the whole nine yards. I was blown away to see this page has been around for almost five years. As I stated before; it's an excellent well made tribute to the best child character ever created by Disney. I hope I'll be around when the ten year anniversary comes around; this page deserved enternity. Keep up the great work Mr. Weagle, you've did an outstanding job.
Over and Out.....
PB28 (Logan Johnston)
Congratulations to you Greg on the fifth anniversary of your website. When I came back to TaleSpin recently after an eight year "break", you were the one that came up first on my searches on the internet. You have (and continued) to provide clear and concise analysis of episodes and character development. We are all grateful for your contributions and wish you many more years of success. I hope my website will be just as solid as yours - and I will be grateful to be in good company.
Happy Anniversary Ace!! Peace
Joseph "Bear" Goria of SoCalSpinner.com
I guess I'm sort of late to the party so to speak. I've only known about TaleSpin since October of last year. Not sure how I found it, I was channel surfing late at night and ended up watching the last ten minutes of one episode. I think it was Plunder and Lightning Part 2. Not sure; but I was hooked from the beginning. A few days later I discovered your page from a web search, and found the rest of the fandom from there....
Suffice it to say that I've never seen anything like TaleSpin...the show's got everything: drama, action romance, comedy and it is integrated together so well. I'm also amazed that the TaleSpin fandom is still ver active after 12 year. There are some amazing writers and artists out there. I was immediately drawn to Kit, and was delighted to find so much great fanfic surrounding his character. We both share a number of traits: we both have our passions (his is flying, mine is music), we're both very sensible and we've both been through a lot in life. The rest of the cast is just as good in my opinion, all the major characters have depth that you don't often see in a cartoon and that really makes the series. Jymn Magon and Mark Zaslove should be proud, not onlt for having created a great series; but also something that fans can embrace and make their own through fanfic and fanart. I would I would be.
Anyway; here's to another five years of Cloudkicking!
"Those who go through life walking in the footsteps of others will never leave their own impression."
Thank you to all that have written to me and to all the people who have written an editorial over the last five years here on the Unofficial Kit Cloudkicker Homepage. I mena that in a serious way. This website started as a dream that was nearly ten years in the making.
In 1990; I saw the show for the first time and like so many people back then, I didn't quite get it. I thought that it was only another Disney show featuring spin-off versions of Baloo, Louie and Shere Khan. It didn't get into my head. However; when I saw Kit being tickled-tortured by the Air Pirates in Polly Wants a Treasure; I quickly dennounced the show right there. There was a period where I hated the show and wanted _nothing_ to do with that show. I was getting over the traumatic experience from two previous tickling scenes (from Gummi Bears and TMNT) that I wasn't in the mood to see another on television and yet there it was and it completely turned me off. I now feel foolish for doing what I did back then now that I've mentioned it. I never wanted any part of the show after that until the early part of the 1990's where I started to watch the show Samurai Pizza Cats. That was my favorite show of all time during that time and it spelled awesome back then (and it's still on my top ten favorite non-Disney cartoons which is quite a feat). Everything from Big Cheese exploding to Polyster's antics were just plain priceless. I once considered that show to be the start of the reivial of anime to North America. Anyway; during that time (I think it was 1992'ish) I unintentionally switched channels and saw an episode of TaleSpin that I didn't see before (Stormy Weather) and watched it with interest. I actually enjoyed that episode and for the first time; I was starting to think twice about TaleSpin as a whole (I saw Plunder and Lightning off and on in 1990 and it was only remotely interesting back then. I also saw Jolly Molly Christmas at that time and it was enchanting to say the least.). It looked interesting now. I also saw "Captains Outrageous" in 1991 during a visit to the IWK. It looked okay back then.
Between 1992 and before the Christmas of 1993; my interest in TaleSpin waned quite a bit as I was watching shows such as Tiny Toons (which is far worse now than I thought it was back then) and ABC's Sonic The Hedgehog (which is still the best Sonic in the world). However; this was the setup for something big, that would change my mind for TaleSpin completely. On Christmas of 1993 and after I defeated the Mana Beast in Serect of Mana the hard way (the half-hour without Mana Sword trick); I saw "Flight School Confeditial" on television just to cool off and I saw Kit Cloudkicker once again acting like a jerk. However, for some reason I started to enjoy episode and right there I started to realize that this was a very good series after all if only because of Kit. Then I started to see commerical promos for TaleSpin on MITV during the first half of 1994. I think there was one for Baloo and one for Don Karnage which were pretty cute and all involved mostly clip footage. However; the one promo that got me right into the heart of what TaleSpin was about and the one that nearly described Kit prefectly without getting into the 20-minute or so explaination that I did during my internet career.
>>>>>>[CGI Castle of the Disney Afternoon appears]
Announcer: Attention all pilots! Keep you eye on the sky for the slickest hero of Cape Suzette.
[Clip footage from Plunder and Lightning, It Came From Beneath The SeaDuck etc.]
Baloo: Hey; you're alright!
Announcer: Kit Cloudkicker is his name.
Kit: Rodger skipper!
Announcer: ...and skysurfing is his game.
Don: Stop that boy!
Announcer: So if you want to hang ten....
Louie: Count on it cuz.
Announcer: Join Kit Cloudkicker. Riding againest the crimewave on Disney's TaleSpin.
[Ends at the Don Karnage missing Kit with his sword in Plunder and Lightning Part 1]<<<<<
WOW! That was all I could muster at that time and I realized something. I _have_ to watch TaleSpin now. So on Victoria Day week (mid May) of 1994; I finally watched Plunder and Lightning in it's entirely. I never saw part one until I started watching the show and I was in shock. This was the best episode I ever watched in my life and it was the best thing I have ever seen period. (If you like; you can read my running commentary on Kit in my editorials and my Plunder and Lightning Rant) I never saw the show in this way ever before and I began to see the connections right away with Stormy Weather and with Flight School Confedential. Kit Cloudkicker wasn't really a jerk after all; nor was he just another kid, he is in reality a troubled kid who tried to show is mature side at a young age because his childhood was shattered by the lost of his parents. I also found the riding againest the crimewave line to be ironic since he rode with the crimewave for an entire year. Talk about being an expert. He was more than just a kid with a dangerous gimmick. Everything was laid out in detail without even having to say much. The characters, the emotion, the heart, the soul, everything was starting to come into place. Bart Simpson has nothing on this kid nor will be ever be. I would pick Kit over Bart anyday because Kit does at least try to care about the people around him...for real. Although I wasn't able to watch the english version of TaleSpin that much since it was on before I got home from school; I was able to watch it on CBC-French in Moncton called Looping. Even then; the show was perfect for me; even if my french wasn't any good. I would dream of TaleSpin every chance I got; just like Kit dream about flying every ten seconds. I was able to watch Polly Wants a Treasure without cringing at it now. Although I now don't like the episode very much still for a entirely different reason- lack of continuity; it was all right now.
When TaleSpin went off the air in 1994; I went into deep despair until TaleSpin returned to air on Family Channel Canada in 1996. Lucky for me; the channel was unscrambled for a year and I took it upon myself to tape every single Kit-focused episode in TaleSpin and I would watch them with prejudice (I'll explain why in a moment because I have a letter to share with you.). I loved the show and I didn't care about any other character at the time. I completed my public schooling in 1996 in Grade 12 which was my least favorite year because I was in a grace period between evolving from a math wizard to a writing warlock (something along those lines) and I was in the CompuCollege School of Business as a Computer Support Specialist. After I finished work in 1997; I was called to jury duty (most painful memory of that decade) which ended quickly in that there was only one case and I wasn't picked to sit on that one. I got lucky there I guess; but I thought I was going to be picked because I was so disconnected (even with media consumpation levels at record levels) that I would be perfect to sit on since I didn't know anyone in those cases to begin with. But enough of those days.......
I got my internet connection in the Summer of 1997 and folks; it was the worst. Auracom was a waste of my money and it showed. My computer would lock up in the evenings or worse there would be no connection to the server at all. I'm surprised that the company didn't go under quicker than it probably did; however, I jumped ship to Netcom to escape (or ATT Canada depending on the changed name of the year) and have used their servers ever since in December of 1997. I was using the web at the time for Nintendo-related issues and nothing else. However; Nintendo news was almost non-existant compared to today although the signs of that returning are getting there. So in December of 1997; I decided to do a web search for my favorite cartoon show TaleSpin. I did it because I felt like a fool and I was hoping that I felt lucky because I was given the impression that nobody liked TaleSpin at all. (More on that later)
I went to Yahoo and did my search and I found one website. That was TaleSpin On-Line run by Michael J. Gollihue (sadly; that website has been disbanded for quite some time). I went there and I was surprised by the amount of information and work put into the website. While the website didn't always work; I enjoyed the site as a whole. This destroyed any of my thoughts about being alone concerning my favorite cartoon. We e-mailed during the Spring of 1998 and I got a chance to shake my fears of people making fun of me because let's face it: I'm obessed with TaleSpin. The response was very positive. I also shared my experiences that I'm sharing with you right now. I read the first fanfics such as "Halloween Island" among them; and looked at the fan art that several artist's drew. They were beautiful (you can see them on DAFT's Archive website) . There were screengrabs which I was impressed by them.I then discovered TaleSpin On-Line's Link page and found two other websites at the time: TaleSpin: High Flight and The Don Karnage Shrine (formally a TaleSpin Shrine). I turned to High Flight first and met such great people as Constance, Susan C. Mitchell (who inspired me to write the Kit Cloudkicker Profile/Editorial), and many of the DAFT allumi including Honywumpus, Chris Barat among others.
I discovered the DAFT from this website and started to search through the TaleSpin material. The one thing that stopped me in my tracks; was a poem written by Steven Martindale called "To Dare To Dream" which dealt with Kit Cloudkicker, my favorite character. I was getting interested because at that time; I _wanted_ to create a TaleSpin shrine of my very own. I also meet Luara Ann Trombley from her shrine on Ed Gilbert and I got into the realms of voice actors, actresses and the crew behind TaleSpin. This website addressed the very thoughts that I was thinking when TaleSpin was in 1990. Rebecca was voiced by Sally Struthers; someone I know quite well from her CCF days. Kit was voiced by a 12-year old kid R.J. Williams (who was born on the same day as I was; and only one year apart). Baloo wasn't voiced by Phil Harris (which I thought at the time because Baloo's Jungle Book voice was the same as Baloo's TaleSpin voice) but by Ed Gilbert. They actually got real actors instead of cartoon voices. Men voiced men, women voiced women and children (for the most part) voiced children. It was a match made in heaven. I also met Debbie Madden who owned TaleSpin Collectables (which hasn't been updated in four years) and I also met some of the people on the High Flight Comment Board (as a guestbook at the time) such as Chance Wolf (who had a lot to say on Usenet) Terrance Biggs, Jeffrey Mika (of TaleSpin Sourcepage fame and the one who first reported on TaleSpin being edited) and Juan F. Lara, who was considered in my opinion to be the walking authority of Disney Television Animation (and because he likes TaleSpin too.).
At that point I realized that I needed to do something. All these people helped me so much to get over my fears of being rejected simply because I loved TaleSpin. Now it was time to help them by contributing to the cause....and that's when I decided that it was time to create a TaleSpin website. The planning started on June of 1998 and I was thinking about what kind of TaleSpin site should I create. There were already at least three TaleSpin websites that were dealing with general TaleSpin information and there was already a Baloo/Ed Gilbert shrine and a Don Karnage shrine courtesy of Marie Kelly. Luckly for me; there zero websites concerning my favorite character Kit Cloudkicker. So it became clear that I should create a Kit Cloudkicker shrine. That was the easy part. However; the hard part was not deciding where to host my site (Geocities was too tempting at the time and I'm in no interest of moving) but what to do about content. After all everyone had screen grabs, fanfics, fanart, episode guides and TS Collectables had the original idea of TaleSpin items. I acessed my talents and I found something missing from the other websites: no editorials. Since editorial writing was considered my forte; I finally had something to contribute to the website. I also started writing my first fanfic at that time: Terror of TerraStone along with my first editorial which was a three pager on Why TaleSpin? This was the editorial in which I attempted to justify the reasons to watch TaleSpin.
On July 4th, 1998; The Unofficial Kit Cloudkicker Homepage was born. At first it was a site with a start page, What is TaleSpin? and the TaleSpin Links page. I added the webcounter and guestbook at about the same time. It didn't take long for fans to see the site. Adam Davis was one of the first fans to contribute to the website with his pictures of Kit and several other characters (some which came from Terror of TerraStone). I finally posted my Kit Cloudkicker Profile/Editorial about a month after the website was launched along with Why TaleSpin? The results were beautiful; I got 15,000 hits in the first year and made many friends on the web. People like Dan Green, Joseph Greenlee, Ted (the Kit & Karnage theologist), Susie Walton, Kristof, and many others. In September 1998; I was greeted by the one person that I didn't expect to meet on the web. He wrote a counter editorial to my Kit Cloudkicker Profile/Editorial which I glady posted onto my website. Yes; TaleSpin's Supervising Producer, Story Editor, Writer of "Bad Reflection On You Part II" and Co-creator Jymn Magon visited the website. That was a priceless event to be sure. Other TaleSpin allumi included R.J. Williams and Len Smith (who did Kit's character design; bless his heart). The website increased in size during this period as well with fanfics galore such as Kristof's Air Freedom, Dan Green's amazing TaleSpin fanfic run (Thicker Than Water is still my favorite; although no longer on this website due to space limitations at the time). I enjoyed Alyson Terry's work with fanfics such as Essence on You and her two editorial offerings which are must-reads for any TaleSpin fan who wants to understand the ture meaning of the series. There are so many people to thank for contributing to this website over that I don't know where to start or to finish. I have met people from around the world who are clear TaleSpin fans. I won't mention most of my work because it has been mentioned before in the other x Years of Cloudkicking addresses over the years. I would like to say Thank You to everyone who was involved in making this website the best TaleSpin website on the net throughout these years.
While I was watching TaleSpin over the last five years; I started to gain something else during that time. As I stated before; the reason I created the Unofficial Kit Cloudkicker Homepage was to give Kit Cloudkicker a home and nothing else. However; the more I watched TaleSpin the more I loved the other characters as well. I couldn't help about notice Don Karnage's great preformances; however, that wasn't a big surprise because many Don Karnage fans have been saying the exact same thing. However; there were three characters in which I started to care over the years: Rebecca Cunningham, Molly Cunningham, and WildCat. I couldn't help but think that given the right episodes; these characters can bring top-notch preformances (and they did) that I felt only Kit could do. I created Profiles/Editorial for them along with Baloo. The TaleSpin Timeline was a suggestion from a fan who was wondering about the first airtimes (thanks to Chris Barat for the TaleSpin Index) I decided to give a full TaleSpin Voice Talent Tribute as a way to thank those people for making those TaleSpin character come to live. Luara helped me with the tough part (which voice did what character in the series ) while I did the compiling of the actual names and did most of the research on Disney and Non-Disney roles. The TaleSpin International Voice Section was my idea as a one-stop place for TaleSpin outside of North America and I was interested because I watched the French Canadian version of TaleSpin called Looping. I created a second TaleSpin petition because the previous one was spammed and for some reason; the original link didn't work on my website. The TaleSpin Edits page was created out of spite and I'm starting to regret some of the stuff that I have stated on the editing of TaleSpin because when I see anime; the editing is ten times worse and even Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers has suffered worser debacles (redubbing Puffed Rangers because of Chinese offensive etc.) than TaleSpin did. I have seen it all now. Animation is now a respected medium that should be taken seriously (although that could change with the times being uneasy due to the consequences after 9/11). However; I stil feel that the quality of animation is still not quite there. Sure; Pokemon (for a time), Gundam Wing and Eva did equal TaleSpin (with Kim Possible, Redwall, Liberty's Kids and Gargoyles nearing toppling the bear wonder but all past the TaleSpin standard); but I expected better and I'm still forced to put the TaleSpin tapes back in to regain my composure.
It has been an amazing five years to be sure and considering the evolution of my website and my views have also evolved over time; I sometimes look over my previous work and think that I felt pretty silly saying some of the stuff that I have said considering where I am now. Over the years I have gotten comments by many people who have signed the guestbook and the TaleSpin petition and almost all of them have been positive. There were two negative letters over the last five years; one I will not reveal because it was disgusting signing of the guestbook (read: offensive to even adults. and I accepted the person's request to remove the offensive signing); and the second one was a plea for me to stop using ratings for fanfics which I have apoligzed for and removed the concept as a result . You can read all the comments on my guestbooks and the TaleSpin petition because I'm not in the mood to paste them here. I also get a number of letters; mostly good letters on my love for TaleSpin. However; there was a letter that I got nearly three years ago that completely shocked me. It was a positive letter on TaleSpin; but it was written in a way that made me feel something that I have never felt before. A sign of TaleSpin that I never bothered to see. Normally; I would answer this letter very quickly, but I never really did because quite frankly, I didn't know how to make of this. However; I've been wanting to answer this letter for years because it struck a chord with what I was talking about earlier in this editorial when I was still trying to get over my fear of rejection simply because I loved TaleSpin. The letter is below:
I'm put to shame. TaleSpin once meant a lot to me. Years ago when it first came out I was seven years old. God; it feels good to remember being perfect. There was nothing wrong in my seven year old world- its a bubble, seeing out and understanding but never really being exposed to the harder realities...
TaleSpin was a cartoon after school. I'd do spelling homework, shoot hoops and watch the Disney Afternoon before dinner every weekday, but in my head the rhythm of my day circled a half hour, a fanastic secret I hid from my family and schoolmates with prejudice. After all; NOBODY liked TaleSpin- our older brothers called it gay, so the popular kids did too and so did I. There was a kid Michael who openly told everybody he loved the show who more or less got exiled for a few years because of it....
The show enchanted me. It had a magic and a texture to it that I'd never experienced before, something innate, a soul if you will. I'm seven years old, I believe in God, but I've never been touched before. With childlike egotism; I sincerelt believed anyone who had problems was in fact the only source of all their problems, and in my nieve illusion I told myself I was a preacher and a savior....I saw "Plunder and Lightning" and the cloth-covered lamp I thought was a star fell to the floor. I saw _truth_ for the first time.
Heady stuff for a seven year old, but there it was. The show became a window of sorts, a painted picture of an adult worl of angst and redemption and the first tiny crack in the mirrored shields that hid my innocence. As allegory's go; that was it for me.
Something about the voices....I believed in the characters. Do you know what that means?! They were more real to me sometimes, not just drawings or quality time, but I felt the lives, the struggle of mortality in people I've never seen in real life. Cartoons aren't supposed to do that, they have silly voices and recycled jokes - I thought I knew everything but I never knew about this. Baloo reminded me of my father.....
Until I found your page, by random chance actually, I'd forgotten all this, all the tenderness I felt for these characters and the influence it had on my life.
What a letter?!
I want to point out that when the person said gay; he meant light-hearted. I know it partonzing; but someone's going to get it confused with homosexual. It's just too easy these days to get the two confused and besides the term is considered offensive in some circles (at least that's what Boston Globe's Barbara Meltz said). I'm still trying to read heads or tails of the second half of the letter; however, I am starting to understand it now. TaleSpin was serious stuff and some fans have stated around the internet that TaleSpin could've destroyed The Simpsons and actually explored the serious stuff even more if it wasn't a kid's show. I remember on Usenet a letter sometime in 1991 where someone was defending TaleSpin as more than a kid's show (he was right of course). Every episode in TaleSpin had a serious side: Plunder and Lightning (orphans, trust, selflessness), Stormy Weather (safe risks vs stupid risk and they did it better than The Simpsons ever did), From Here To Machinery (unemployment), Baloo Thunder (corprate spying), Flight School Confeditial (corrupation), Bygones (war), Flying Dupes (dessention), On a Wing and a Bear (oil shortages and how compaines can influence prices) and many others.
I remember that Chance Wolf said on Usenet (this is different from what I said in Mommy for a Day) that if a child sees TaleSpin, their expressions would be a real eye-opener. He wished that he could teleport Esiner and the current DTVA regime to watch these sights that he was seeing. I know that Esiner would not care; however, some of the people out there might actually be touched by the sence. TaleSpin is the best cartoon in the world and let us not forgot the Official Mission Statement of TaleSpin which was created by Jymn Magon and Mark Zaslove in the official story bible of TaleSpin on page one:
"Welcome to the world of wonders." "A place where the airplane is king, where men are men and eagles are nervous." "Come soar the docksides of Cape Suzette, to the frozen ice fields of Thembria; swoop over sweltering jungles and past mile high pinnacles of razor-edged rock. Mingle with entrepreneurs who buy countries and seedy con men who pick pockets. In essence; prepare yourself to visit a land where life is constantly an escapade. Welcome to TaleSpin!" "But don't get the wrong idea; this isn't just another boy's action/adventure show. Nope. As much as we want the 12 year old boys, remember: We want the 12 year old girls , too. (And their younger brother, sisters, moms, dads and second cousins.) We went everybody to be able to enjoy this in the same way they enjoyed 'Romancing The Stone' or 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark'. It's called Entertainment; and there's no age limit to that." "In fact; think of TaleSpin as a creative playground: One where you can pull out all the stops. Think of no holds barred scripts, character-based plots, emotional complexity, a chance to strech your legs comedically, as well as throwing in hair- raising visuals. And think heart...for this show needs lots and lots of heart." "So put on your flying goggles, boot up the computer, let the old imagination run free, and give us your hot test wordsmithing. All great shows begin with a writer's personal vision; we're counting on you to make Tale Spin a must-see series....Aces Away!"
Well said Jymn and Mark. I agree with Chance on this one fact: They better be teachers of animation because we need them in this American Industry....badly.... The worst animation may be yet to come with The NEW TNN's (which is still TNN without the Nashville Country Music which actually had more appeal) cartoon block: The Strip (Poor Ren and Stimpy!) . I'll talk about that one day; when I have more to report. Adult Swim is great; but it must use anime to prop itself up and even it can not last as a powerful force for too much longer. However; I am still able to watch good cartoons lately like Liberty's Kids and Kim Possible so the future of American animation still has a hope chest. The FoxBox has a chance to be a better block as well despite the appearance of the Cramp Twins. Digimon Season four is all right; but Pokemon is finally starting to get stale (the price you pay for creating a cartoon for too long and use a gimmick of collecting that just doesn't last.) PBS's cartoons are very good; but I've seen them before (exceptions being Redwall and Liberty Kids). Disney Television Animation has improved with Kim Possible and Filmore; but there is still uncertainly with Young MacDonald and Disney is still depending on its animation films to spin-off into direct television series. Look Disney; TaleSpin worked because it was based on Jungle Book in names only and nothing else. I'm not saying that animation is dead; I just hope the chest doesn't implode on itself with such offerings as Gary the Rat, Striperella and Ren and Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon. Is it ever a wonder why Hollywood goes ga-ga over live action movies and yet gives no respect to animation which can be hundreds of times more entertaining than live-action... Go figure that one among yourselves...
I shall return and hope there will be five more year of cloudkicking......That's my opinion; I welcome yours. See you next time.