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The first API animated special
Way back in 1970, CBS aired this animated special produced by Australian company Air Programs International. The animation wasn't Disney, but hey, it was made for television.
This program and other API titles that followed were part of CBS' Famous Classic Tales series. Some of the other more popular titles included "A Christmas Carol" and "Tales of Washington Irving." Delta Entertainment released a few of the API-produced Famous Classic Tales on DVD in 2003, and "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" was part of that collection. However, the most popular API productions, "A Christmas Carol" and "Tales of Washington Irving," were not released by Delta, and are still unavailable on DVD.
Other decent API titles released by Delta include "Adventures of Sinbad" and "Robinson Crusoe," which have yet to be listed on IMDb.
Anyway, for those who remember Famous Classic Tales, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" is a nostalgic trip down memory lane, and recommended for your DVD collection.
A Christmas Carol (1969)
An interesting animated version of Dickens' classic
One of the unique aspects of this animated feature produced by Australia's Air Programs International in 1969 is Marley's Ghost. Unlike any other film or animated adaptation of Dicken's classic novella, Marley's Ghost here looks different than what Scrooge's seven-year- dead partner looked like in life (unless Jacob Marley in life looked like a skeleton with flames sprouting from the top of his skull).
Many who grew up in the 1970s probably remember watching this version on Sunday afternoons during the Christmas season on CBS as part of the network's series "Famous Classic Tales," which seemed to always be sponsored by Kenner. Ron Haddrick does an admirable job providing the voice of Scrooge. The animation doesn't hold a candle to the 1971 animated version directed by Richard Williams, but it is interesting nonetheless.
Unfortunately, this title, as of December 2006, has never been released on DVD. It was released on VHS at least twice, by Rhino Home Entertainment and again by Bridgestone Multimedia.
Other animated features from the Famous Classic Tales canon have, fortunately, been released on DVD from Delta Entertainment. Some of the titles include "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," "Treasure Island," "Swiss Family Robinson," "Legend of Robin Hood," "Robinson Crusoe," "Adventures of Sinbad," and "Journey to the Center of the Earth."
Another noteworthy title in addition to API's "A Christmas Carol" that never made it to DVD is "Tales of Washington Irving." The VHS versions of "Tales of Washington Irving" and "A Christmas Carol" have become extremely rare and you will be lucky to find them.