Tag Archives: nostalgia

Disney Channel Throwback: In a Heartbeat

7 Dec


Do you remember In a Heartbeat? It aired on the Disney Channel from August 2000 to March 2001 and was about teen EMTs. Kind of like ER Junior. It starred Reagan Pasternak as the perfectionist, blond cheerleader type, Val. You may remember her as Veronica Dotwebb in The Brady Bunch in the White House. Just kidding. No one does.

It also starred one Mr. Shawn Ashmore, popular with the horny tween set in my day, as Tyler. He’s been in a few X-Men movies and he was also the sexy sexface Brad in Cadet Kelly.


lol maggots

Shawn was hot, sure. But he wasn’t my favorite. Oh no. My favorite, of course, was the token “bad boy”, Jamie. He was played by Christopher Ralph, who starred with Sean Ashmore on the Animorphs TV series previously. As a kid, I was a total Animorph nerd and Christopher Ralph played my favorite character, Tobias. So you could say I was a bit To-BIASED going into In a Heartbeat. (HEYOOOOO!)


“I’m so troubled. If only some girl would come along and change me…”

Also notable is Lauren Collins as Val’s little sister, Brooke. Of course, we all know her best as Paige how the fuck do you spell Michalchuk. And Danso Gordon as Tyler’s BFF.


She macked on Drake once, y’all. Ms. Kwan was all, “THESE ROOMS ARE CONNECTED BY INTERCOM!”

Luckily for us, there are a fair amount of episodes on YouTube. Here’s part one of the pilot to get you started. I love how they set things up with Tyler on the field, Val cheering on the sidelines and then cut under the bleachers to Jamie doing sexy bad boy things. Whatever, he was like 23 when they made this show. I agree with my younger self. Good choice, Clarflet. He is hot.

Anyway, here is the pilot to get your nostalgia bone throbbing. Enjoy.


I’m the Baby, GOTTA LOVE ME: Dinosaurs “Big Songs” Cassette

8 Nov

ImageI remember listening to the Dinosaurs “Big Songs” cassette all the time as a kid, much like the Simply Mad about the Mouse cassette. Of course, the main difference between these is that “Big Songs” is definitely meant for children. Listening back now, I can’t imagine an adult enjoying this much. And I’m saying this as an adult woman who listens to Disney songs regularly. It’s a fun trip down memory lane but, wow. I’m not going to be adding this to any playlist. So let’s get down to the songs!

1. “I’m A Dinosaur (I Can Do Whatever I Want)”

This song has Baby Sinclair proclaiming that he can do whatever he wants (’cause he’s a dinosaur). It’s, just, exceedingly obnoxious. And yet I remember just thinking it was HILARIOUS as a kid. I am retroactively ashamed.

Sample lyric: No one can tell me I have to be quiet / Or take a nap at four / I can do whatever I want / ‘CAUSE I’M A DINOSAUR

2. “In a Perfect World”

This song reminds me of a song from a musical set in the 50’s with a splash of Aretha (what with the spelling). It’s even got the whole “Tell us about it, Charlene!” bit at the beginning. It’s about how in a perfect world there wouldn’t be any war. Oh, and all you’d do is shop and eat and you’re a natural blonde. I assume (read:hope) that it was meant to mock teenagers’ unique mix of selfish needs and wide-eyed optimism about changing the world. I must’ve listened to this one a lot, as it will randomly pop into my head from time to time.

Sample lyric: In a perfect world / Math wouldn’t be so hard / I’d have no credit limit on my dino credit card / I’d look great in a leotard

3. “I Wanna Be King”

This song effing blows. It’s like Poison meets Springsteen meets Lame As F**k. I didn’t even make it all the way through.

Sample Lyric: no

4. “Grandma’s Comin'”

Mothers-in-Law, amirite? This is a big band jazz sort of number–Louis Armstrong-esque. And it’s hilarious cuz MOTHERS-IN-LAW AMIRITE?

Sample Lyric: I wish I could make her disappear / Or maybe something worse

5. “Stone Age Bayou”

Little Annie, seriously? Why did you love this song? Weirdo.

Sample Lyric: He’d be the lizard / I’d wanna spend my life with / We’d build a home / Full of lava and stone

6. “I’m the Baby (Gotta Love Me)”

This is the song everyone remembers. Just reading the title makes you hear Baby Sinclair in your head. “I’m the baby, GOTTA LOVE ME!!!!” For some reason, this song doesn’t annoy me. I recognize it as annoying and yet I accept it. I even like it. I crack up every time we hear Earl go, “FRAN!!!” And I approve of Grandma’s deadpan delivery of “Don’t try this at home.” Baby Sinclair does say “poop”, though. So.

Sample Lyric: I take every chance to make a poop in my pants / But I’m the baby, and ya GOT TO

7. “Coldblooded Guy” 

I really can’t listen to this song and not think of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. It’s like Rock n Roll meets a really horrible boss. Or something. If you’re a working stiff, it may hit a little close to home.

Sample Lyric: I’m ill-tempered, disrespectful, nasty, cruel and vicious / I had a family once and they were delicious

8. “He’s a Lizard”

This is sort of a dinosaur torch song. All it really makes me want to do is listen to Reptar! on Ice.

Sample Lyric: I sit by the door and I wait for his roar as he staggers home / Smelling of lunch box and bark

9. “Poor Slobs with Terrible Jobs”

Another that I just find sort of depressing. It’s going to pop into my head whenever I’m hating my job now; I can feel it.

Sample Lyric: We’re scared to quit and on top of it / When the climate changes we’ll all freeze

10. “Eon after Eon”

Ah, yes. Now THIS I want to sing loudly to at 3am with my friends. It’s the dinosaur version of every late 80’s/early 90’s movie ballad. It’s got an electric guitar, a clarinet, and a harmony-heavy duet between a smooth-voiced woman and a soulful man. YES THIS IS THE ONE YOU GUYS.

Sample Lyric: Next time you’re down-hearted and you feel you don’t belong / It doesn’t mean that no one likes you, I’ll be here to say they’re wrong

11. “Be a Herbivore”

The food in Earl’s fridge begs him to become a herbivore. I don’t even know what to think. But I kind of want a “Go eat a leaf!” shirt.

Sample Lyric: As a snack, we’re a bore / Come on, be a herbivore

12. “Snoozin’ Time”

Oh thank god no, it’s the last one. This is a lullably from Fran to Baby Sinclair. It’s hilaaarious because she’s naming all the bad things he’s done all day but singing a sweet lullaby. Get it? GET IT? IT’S HILARIOUS

Sample Lyric: no

I have to say, listening to this entire album felt like a bit of a chore. They probably could’ve done, like, eight songs. But I remember listening to it all the time in my boom box, so it was fun to remember all those familiar tunes. I’m a little irritated with Little Annie for not being a cynical 5 year old and hating this, but I was at least 11 before I realized that everything is stupid.

While the songs are heavy on entertainingly corny dinosaur jokes, it doesn’t begin to match the wit of the show. The show was sarcastic and the jokes were layered. This album is a one-trick pony, with the exception of “I’m the Baby” and “Eon After Eon”. So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to relearn all the words to the latter so I can tipsily serenade Wes when he gets off of work. He’s gonna love it.




Top Five OG Disney Child Stars

24 Aug

Long before Selena and Demi, before Hilary or Lindsay, even before Britney (so, so long ago…) there were the OG Disney child stars. Here I present my personal top five.

5. Jodie Foster

The most famous former Disney kid of them all, Jodie Foster is probably the only one on this list we (ok fine, I) can guarantee you’ve heard of. Her most famous Disney role was in 1976’s Freaky Friday. You may also remember her from the pro-lion 1972 film Napoleon and Samantha or perhaps even from 1977’s Candleshoe, which has all the staples of a good film—con-men, a street-wise orphan and treasure.

I think we can forgive her for Nell.


Taaaay in the wiiiiind…


4. Hayley Mills

If you’ve not heard of Hayley Mills, then you are probably a young person with just cause to sue your parents. [I said something about Hayley Mills to my husband and he didn’t know who she was until I mentioned Miss Bliss. I give up.] I first came to know her as the ridiculously cheery Pollyanna. And no family road trip was complete without a sing-along to “Let’s Get Together”, her duet with herself from The Parent Trap written by the duly lauded Sherman Brothers. She starred in several other Disney films, but those two were the ones I loved as a kid.



(The Great and Powerful Wikipedia tells me that she was considered for the title role in Lolita. Can we all take a moment to thank Tangaroa that that never happened? Yikes.)



Her career with Disney included a few more films including That Darn Cat!, but again, the aforementioned two are the ones I consider her best. She has a real sincere earnestness about her that makes you love her. Coupled with her voice, which I find to be wonderful, she is child actor perfection (I feel like I sound creepy, do I sound creepy?). While her Disney films were definitely her career peak, she managed to work steadily without any tabloid-worthy dalliances—a high compliment in 2013.

3. Matthew Garber & Karen Dotrice

“Jane and Michael… BANKS. *boop*” You may not have recognized their names, but you definitely know who they are. They appeared together in 1963 for their first film, Disney’s The Three Lives of Thomasina. Walt took a real liking to them due to their British accents and politeness, casting them as Jane and Michael in Mary Poppins.



They appeared in a film together one last time in 1967 for The Gnome-Mobile—a movie I have never seen but have always been aware of because it’s called THE GNOME-MOBILE.


Swift is the only Gnome-Mobile I need.


2. Tommy Kirk


I did not make this. It’s not just me.

Oh, be still my little 8 year-old heart. Tommy was one of my first crushes, cemented as a part of my soul forever right alongside JTT and 3rd grade classmate Chris Lancaster (who I told my diary I loved due to his “hilarious voices like no other”. I had high standards from a young age.). You’ll recognize Tommy from The Shaggy Dog, Old Yeller and, my personal favorite of his oeuvre, The Swiss Family Robinson.

my ostrich waiting

“My ostrich… is waiting! Come and… jump oooon it…”

Once he hit puberty, his career hit a snag. He had a difficult time in his personal life as he dealt with being a gay teen in the 60’s. Yes, that’s right. Like pretty much every single crush I’ve ever had in my entire life, he was gay. He was fired by Walt after his teenage lover’s mother angrily informed Walt of their relationship. After a rocky transition to adulthood, he appeared in films like Village of the Giants before he quit acting.

1. Kevin Corcoran

Moochie. Toby Tyler. Jimmy Bean. Kevin Corcoran is the standard to which all adorable movie imps should be held. He’s adorable, sincere and did I mention adorable? I can just hear him in my head right now asking if Pollyanna can come out to play. He had the most prolific Disney career of my Top Five. He also has what I’d call the most ideal post-child acting career… He went to college, did some behind-the-camera work, and cultivated a life and family outside of Hollywood. So, hats off to Kevin Corcoran. Now watch him ride a horse in a chair with a chimp for a while.



Simply Mad

20 Aug

Long before DisneyMania existed, there was Simply Mad About the Mouse. Released in 1991, it was a direct-to-video collection of Disney covers by what are now hilariously referred to as “contemporary artists”. I think the actual Contemporary seems more so than those artists do today. My mom listened to her Simply Mad tape constantly, but the videos are also so familiar to me that they must’ve been shown on the Disney Channel quite a bit. There were 8 covers featured. I have little memory of the Gypsy Kings’ “I’ve Got No Strings”, so you can just Goog that on your own. The rest I will count down riiiiight…….NOW!

7. “When You Wish Upon a Star” Billy Joel

Maybe this is one of my least favorites because my mom would sing it constantly and I was irrationally annoyed by this. Maybe it’s because of all the vocal fry. Maybe it’s because the video is ripping off A-ha. Most likely, it’s a mix of all these things that makes me place this one at number seven.

6. “The Siamese Cat Song” Bobby McFerrin

Full disclosure–I can’t stand Bobby McFerrin. His mouth-sounds make me twitch. He only comes in above Billy Joel this one time for two reasons. For one, “The Siamese Cat Song” is pretty awesome. And second, because the video is this hilariously awesome, totally 90’s… thing. In those days, kids, we had blue screens. And boy did we think it was cool to float around in front of them. I don’t know, I just dare you to watch this video and not crack the Figment up.

5. “The Bare Necessities” Harry Connick Jr.

This comes in at number five because of the cool guys at the end who do some sweet callbacks but mostly for Harry’s uber 90’s mustard jacket.

4. “Kiss the Girl” Soul II Soul

Before The Tis worked her magic on this song, we had Soul II Soul. The reggae beat is so powerful that I want to specify here that I’m not responsible if you play this video and spend the following four minutes staring into the distance and bobbing your head to the beat. We also have some more great “special effects” including some ethereal fish and more inexplicable floating.

3. “A Dream is a Wish” Michael Bolton

The top three are really hard to rank, but this just had to be number three. Michael Bolton evokes treasured memories of trolling my dad on the Pizza Hut jukebox by asking for a dollar and then playing “When a Man Loves a Woman” three times just to see how mad he would get. This song is not only extremely fun to get drunk and sing along with loudly, but the video is actually kind of cool and whimsical–at least it is at 3am.

2. “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” Ric Ocasek

If you don’t know that Ric Ocasek is the lead singer of The Cars, you will as soon as you press play. This song is maybe the only one of the bunch that you could throw on a DisneyMania CD and the kids would think it was totally YOLO swaggy poppin’ fresh (or not). Disney continued to roll out some cutting-edge blue screen here, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since, uh… 1923.

1. “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” LL Cool J

If you do not like my pick for number one, well… I do not give three figs.