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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Weston Woods

When I think of my childhood, one of the first things that comes to mind are the Weston Woods videos I used to watch over and over.  

Here is a good description from Wikipedia:
"Weston Woods Studios was founded in 1953 by Morton Schindel in Weston, Connecticut, and named after the wooded area near his home. The company's first project was Andy and the Lion in 1954, and its first animated film was The Snowy Day in 1963. Starting in 1968, Weston Woods began a long collaboration with animator Gene Deitch and opened international offices in Henley-on-Thames, England, UK, in 1972; Canada in 1975; and Australia in 1977. In addition to making the films, the company also conducted interviews with the writers, illustrators, and makers of the films. The films appeared on children's television programs such as Captain Kangaroo and Eureeka's Castle. In the mid-1980s, the films were released on VHS under the Children's Circle titles, and Wood Knapp Video distributed these releases from 1988 to 1995.
Beginning in 1968, the company also made filmstrips and audio recordings synchronized to them, which became known as the Picture Book Parade. Many of these recordings were narrated by actor Owen Jordan and were different recordings from the films.
In 1996, the company was acquired by Scholastic Corporation. In 2012, the New Video Group gave home entertainment rights to the Scholastic franchise."

My mom had a mail subscription with Children's Circle so we still have a lot of the VHS tapes, for which I'm very thankful because the DVDs are now very expensive, as they are targeted to schools. 

If you are interested in learning more about Weston Woods, there was a great book published a few years ago called Imagination and Innovation: The Story of Weston Woods by John Cech.

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