Original Theatrical Poster
|Directed by||Hollingsworth Morse|
|Produced by||Sid and Marty Krofft
|Written by||John Fenton Murray|
'Mama' Cass Elliot
|Music by||Charles Fox|
|Edited by||David Rawlins|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
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Jimmy (Jack Wild) gets kicked out of the school band for tripping and breaking a drum kit. He then ventures on a journey with his newly magical talking flute Freddy. Orchestrated by Witchiepoo, (Billie Hayes), he ends up on an evil boat which takes him to Living Island, an island where everything is alive. Once there, he befriends many of the island's inhabitants led by Mayor H.R. Pufnstuf (voiced by Al Melvin), but the evil Witchiepoo is determined to steal Freddy the Flute away from him in order to impress the visiting Witches' Council and the Boss Witch (Martha Raye) enough to win the Witch of the Year Award.
- Jack Wild - Jimmy
- Billie Hayes - Wilhemina W. Witchiepoo
- Cass Elliot - Witch Hazel
- Martha Raye - Boss Witch
- Billy Barty - Googy Gopher, Orville Pelican
- Jane Dulo - Miss Flick
- Jan Davis - Witch Way
- Walker Edmiston - Dr. Blinky, Ludicrous Lion, Seymour Spider, Candle, Hippie Tree
- Joan Gerber - Dowager Tree, Granddaughter Clock, Freddy the Flute (some scenes)
- Al Melvin - H.R. Pufnstuf, Heinrich Rat, Living Island Boat, Orville Pelican, Polka-Dotted Horse, Stupid Bat, West Wind
- Don Messick - Freddy the Flute, Googy Gopher, Orson Vulture
Hot on the heels of the H.R. Pufnstuf television series, this film was rushed into production for theatrical distribution, with filming beginning in January 1970. The movie was financed by Universal Pictures and Kellogg's Cereal, the latter of which was a sponsor of the television show.
Sid Krofft cast his next door neighbor, singer Cass Elliot, as Witchiepoo's frenemy and bitter rival Witch Hazel. According to actress Joy Campbell McKenzie, Cass Elliot was "very distant. Not rude or arrogant but she just didn't mingle, which most people were surprised about."
Martha Raye was cast as Boss Witch. The cast and crew expected Raye to behave like a diva, but she instead befriended everyone behind the scenes, even inviting them to dinner. Raye's involvement in Pufnstuf led to her being cast as Benita Bizarre in the Kroffts' upcoming television show The Bugaloos.
A soundtrack album was released on LP, cassette and 8-track in 1970 (Capitol/EMI Records SW-542), featuring the songs and the score by Charles Fox. A bootleg version of the LP was re-released on CD in 2006 by "El Records" (El Records, ACMEM65CD). While the pressing is from a legitimate European company, the source tape is an unauthorized bootleg -noticeable for several loops added to various tracks.
- "If I Could" - Jack Wild
- "Fire in the Castle"
- "Living Island" - Jack Wild/Cast
- "Witchiepoo's Lament"
- "Angel Raid"
- "A Friend In You" - Jack Wild
- "How Lucky I Am"
- "Pufnstuf" - Jack Wild/Cast
- "Different" - Mama Cass Elliot
- "Zap The World" - Jack Wild, Billie Hayes, Martha Raye
- "Leaving Living Island"
- "Rescue Racer To The Rescue"
- "Finale:a) If I Could / b) Living Island" - Jack Wild
- Note: The title song was covered by The Pickwick Children's Chorus on the album Sesame Street and Other Children's Pop Hits
Pufnstuf was released to DVD on May 19, 2009. It includes the original trailer of the film, and it is presented in its original widescreen presentation. The film is also available in Digital media format at iTunes Store.
Footnotes and references
- Barnes, Mike (2010-09-28). "Hollywood puppeteer Van Snowden dies". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
- Passing Show, The Bridgeport Post, January 22, 1970 p. 21
- on YouTube. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
- The Joy Campbell McKenzie Interview  at  Living Island.