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Pufnstuf (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pufnstuf Movie Poster.JPG
Original Theatrical Poster
Directed byHollingsworth Morse
Written byJohn Fenton Murray
Si Rose
Produced bySid and Marty Krofft
Si Rose
Malcolm Alper
StarringJack Wild
Billie Hayes
Martha Raye
'Mama' Cass Elliot
Billy Barty
Walker Edmiston
Joan Gerber
Al Melvin
Don Messick
CinematographyKenneth Peach
Edited byDavid Rawlins
Music byCharles Fox
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • 3 June 1970 (1970-06-03) (San Antonio, Texas - Premiere)
  • 15 June 1970 (1970-06-15) (United States)
Running time
98 minutes
94 minutes
(Sony print)
CountryUnited States

Pufnstuf (sometimes referred to as Pufnstuf Zaps the World) is a 1970 American comedy fantasy musical film produced by Sid and Marty Krofft Enterprises and released by Universal Pictures. It is based on the children's television series H.R. Pufnstuf, a show that features a cast of puppets on a "living island".


After 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.

The witch steals the flute by disguising herself as a pretty dance instructor. Jimmy and his new friends get the flute back by having Gopher dig a tunnel to Witchiepoo's castle and faking a fire. Witchiepoo retaliates by bombing and destroying Pufnstuf's town. During the bombing, she is blown away by the west wind (portrayed as a cowboy head) which destroys her flying vehicle.

Jimmy feels bad for endangering the Living Island inhabitants and decides to leave with his flute without telling them, to keep them from further danger. Witchiepoo returns to Pufnstuf's town and shrinks all the inhabitants, before putting them in her castle dungeon as prisoners. Jimmy finds this out and decides to try to save them.

Witchiepoo invites the Witches' Council for a convention and prepares Pufnstuf to be the main meal. Jimmy disguises himself as a witch to enter with the other witches. Jimmy gets found out while trying to save Pufnstuf and is put in the dungeon with the others.

Mole digs into the dungeon to save them, all except Pufnstuf who will soon be cooked. Once back at the town they plan a rescue. A book tells them the only thing that scares witches is a good fairy angel. They all dress up as white good fairy angels, raid the castle, scare off the Witches Council, and save Pufnstuf.

Once they are gone Witchiepoo is the only witch to find out they were faking, she flies to try to catch up and tell the other witches to come back. En route, her minion sees the good guys at the town; she orders him to use her doomsday bomb on them but also says to take the wheel. Her minion accidentally drops the bomb inside the vehicle while literally taking the wheel, blowing themselves up in a large explosion.

The film ends with a musical number and Pufnstuf saying, 'when good friends pull together, they can do anything'.


Voice cast

  • 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.[2] The movie was financed by Universal Pictures and Kellogg's Cereal,[2] 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.[3] 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."[4]

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.[4] However Jack Wild didn't like her at all, and referred to Raye as "a right old cow".[5] 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 (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.

Track listing

  1. "If I Could" - Jack Wild
  2. "Fire in the Castle"
  3. "Living Island" - Jack Wild/Cast
  4. "Witchiepoo's Lament"
  5. "Angel Raid"
  6. "A Friend In You" - Jack Wild
  7. "How Lucky I Am"
  8. "Pufnstuf" - Jack Wild/Cast
  9. "Charge"
  10. "Different" - Mama Cass Elliot
  11. "Zap The World" - Jack Wild, Billie Hayes, Martha Raye
  12. "Leaving Living Island"
  13. "Rescue Racer To The Rescue"
  14. "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

Home media

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

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b Passing Show, The Bridgeport Post, January 22, 1970 p. 21
  3. ^ Sid Krofft Interview on YouTube. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  4. ^ a b The Joy Campbell McKenzie Interview [1] at [2] Living Island.
  5. ^ Wild, Jack It's a Dodger's Life (2016) p. 139

See also

External links

This page was last edited on 19 November 2021, at 00:15
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