.82]Since my last few articles were more straight-forward info, it's time for a little whimsey...

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Released to theatres in 1977, RAGGEDY ANN & ANDY: A MUSICAL ADVENTURE is a visual masterpiece of cutting-edge animation and a definite predecessor to TOY STORY, which shares more than a few parallels. Based on character created by artist Johnny Gruelle in 1915, (and first published in book form in the 1918 Raggedy Ann Stories, which was marketed with a matching character doll), the film documents the adventures of a bunch of toys who come to life when their owner, Marcella, isn't looking.

Although this cult curio deserves better treatment than Fox has ever given it, it's hampered by some bad pacing (it takes far too long for the "adventure" to begin) and the inclusion of far too many unmemorable and annoying songs. Only 6 of the songs are worthwhile, but the soundtrack LP boasts a whopping 20 tracks -- way too many for an 85 minute film. This was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a kid, but it wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that there's a whole lot of trippiness, sex and depravity lurking below the surface...

The "adventure" begins when a pirate toy, Captain Contagious (voiced by "Underdog" narrator George S. Irving), falls in love with the new doll, Babette, kidnaps her and flees from the little girl's nursery where all the toys reside. It's up to Raggedy Ann and Andy to rescue them!

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The porcelain goddess


When the Captain first spies Babette, his mustache gets an erection.


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I AM happy to see you

Now that the plot's out of the way, we begin with the somewhat sexually ambiguous Raggedy Andy. We first meet Andy in a scene that feels very familiar, a visual which certainly has a very gay connotation...

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Ding-dong, the doll is dead!


Singing his anthem, "I'm No Girl's Toy," Andy proclaims that he's not a "sugar and spicy, lacy and nicey sissy you're gonna enjoy," while shadow-boxing and trying to be masculine. This is easily one of the catchiest songs in the film, and could certainly be taken as a stereotype-shattering gay anthem. That said, the number features a handful of disturbing images...

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Ready for penetration, sir!

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If I could do that, I'd never leave my home!



But wait! He might not be gay after all... Raggedy Andy has an unusually close relationship with his sister, Raggedy Ann (voiced by Didi Conn, GREASE, "Benson").

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Kiss me, you fool!

Andy's often holding and stroking Ann -- and he keeps a paper flower that she gave him buried in the crotch of his pants. Yes, I realize that he's not Lucy Lockett (the doll with a pocket), but seeing him reaching into his overalls to pull a paper flower out of his nether-region is somewhat disturbing.

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When I think about you, I touch myself

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I've got a surprise for you, Sis...


Speaking of disturbing, after setting off on their adventure, Ann and Andy quickly come upon the homeless Camel with the Wrinkled Knees. This is one disturbed animal!

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It's the wrinkly scrotum monster!

I won't spend much time talking about how phallic he often appears, but at one point, the old Camel exclaims, "Once I get down, it's hard to get up again." Sadly, Viagra wasn't introduced for another two decades.


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Talk about blue balls!

Seemingly suffering from Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder, our friend the Camel spends the bulk of his time chasing after his psychedelic Camel family, which resides in the sky and is only visible to him. Whatever he's on, I want $20 worth!


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Lucy in the sky with diamonds...