Wednesday, April 01, 2015

H.R. Pufnstuf: "The Wheely Bird"

In “The Wheely Bird,” Mayor Pufnstuf has his hands full dealing with a protest at the Candy Shop (“Make Candy, Not War!”), but faces bigger problems when he learns that Witchiepoo wants Jimmy (Jack Wild) and Freddy the flute “or else!

Freddy, realizing that Witchiepoo will never let Jimmy leave the island until the flute is in her hands, surrenders himself to the Witch.

Now PufnStuf and Jimmy must find a way to get the talking flute back. 

They remember the story of the Trojan Horse and promptly come up with a modern-day equivalent:
“The Wheely Bird.”

“The Wheely Bird,” the second episode of Sid and Marty Krofft's H.R. Pufnstuf (1969) is all about friendship, and the lengths that friends will go for one another.

In this case, Freddy gives himself up to evil Witchiepoo so Jimmy can go home. But contrarily, Jimmy refuses to leave the Living Island until he has rescued his friend.

To accentuate this tale of friendship, Jack Wild performs in “the Wheely Bird” -- about mid-way through, a tune called “How Lucky I Am,” which I remember, oddly enough, from my childhood.  I must have seen this episode at some point as a kid.  I also remember showing it to Joel when he was little.

In the end, another friend, Pufnstuf is able to win the day by taking Witchiepoo’s magic wand and arranging for a fair trade: Freddy (the talking flute), for the wand.  

And all’s well that ends well on the magic island.

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