The Looney Tunes in: Mixed Nutz

Via: Cartoonatics (Tom Ruegger)

Right now, yes, right now, Tom Ruegger is posting, on his blog, tons of concept and development stuff from a pitch he made to Warner Bros. a few years ago tentatively titled “Mixed Nutz”.

The premise was that the Looney Tune gang would combine with the stars of various Hanna-Barbera cartoons resulting in hilarious and totally improbable situations, such as Yosemite Sam trying to date Wilma Flintstone.

Sadly, it got passed up, but not before Tom did some preliminary show development. He’s currently posting tons of story ideas over on his blog. The posts would be well worth checking out anyway, but even more so in light of the Looney Tunes reboot that Warners went ahead with.

Four Thoughts on Seth MacFarlane Rebooting The Flintstones

Yoinked from Cartoon Brew

I admit I was disappointed when I read the news yesterday. Why someone felt the need to let Seth MacFarlane reboot one of the greatest TV shows of all time is beyond me. Since we haven’t even seen or heard anything yet, I cannot have an opinion on the show either way. What I can have, are some thoughts on the whole idea, which I present to you below.

1. Why bring it back?

The old saying “let a sleeping dog lie” is apt. There is no shortage of original concepts out there just waiting to be made. Instead, in this age of sequels and prequels, we get an existing property that just has to be brought into the modern age.

Don’t get me wrong, The Flintstones aren’t sacrosanct. Remember the kids version from the 80s? Hanna-Barbera themselves weren’t as nice to the characters as they perhaps should have been. The difference is that they knew the jig was up in the early 90s and began making original content.

Why now? The Flintstones is 50 years old and the only new content being created is the Fruity Pebbles commercials. That’s pretty bad, but also appropriate. The show itself is only shown on Boomerang and merchandise has been gradually retracted over the years. The show is losing its audience (as they regrettably die off) and there aren’t enough new ones discovering the show.

My beef with the whole idea? Can you imagine if, back in the 60s, some network decided to bring back some vaudeville act from 50 years before? They’d be laughed out of town. Sadly that is not the case today.

2. Why Seth MacFarlane?

He already has three ‘winners’ on the network that pull in hundreds of millions of dollars a year for FOX. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Besides, he did work on some of the H-B cartoons of the 90s like Johnny Bravo, which was very much in the retro style. He is (or should be) familiar with the characters and the style of the show.

3. Will the reboot return animation to the glory of prime time?

No. That era is well and truly dead. The proliferation of the audience among the vast number of cable channels and the internet has meant that the audience necessary to sustain a top quality animated prime time show is gone. The days of the The Simpsons and Family Guy itself are rapidly drawing to a close. Don’t expect any big surprises.

4. Will you and I watch it?

I don’t know, will you? I’ll probably watch  the premiere but to be honest, I haven’t watched FOX on Sunday night in months. The quality of the evening has sunk to the point that I would rather invest my time in a film or TV show on Netflix than get let down by The Simpsons and the MacFarlane shows. It’s sad but it’s the truth.

Just How Low Was the Cartoon Nadir of the 1970s and 80s?

Via: ComicMix

Just ask Joe Barbera:

I can’t even have a character throw a pie in someone’s face anymore.

Or how about Bill Scott (of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame):

Hyperbole is so out, which seems strange to me because animation in itself is a hyperbole medium.

That’s pretty low. In fact, it was so low, that the only way TV cartoons could go was up, which they did, thanks to the Nicktoons.The funny thing is, people look back on these shows with such nostalgia, you wonder whether they’ve got some rose-tinted glasses on!

There’s a Good Chance You Weren’t Aware of This Documentary on Animation.

There’s no picture for the simple reason that I couldn’t find any! So instead, here’s the theme tune, courtesy of the composer, Mark Pringle.

[audio:http://animationanomaly.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/tv_stay_tooned_theme.mp3|titles=BBC Stay Tooned Theme]

It was called Tooned In and I watched this series when it was originally broadcast way back in the day on the BBC. It was a good thing I did because it would seem that with all the usual copyright nonsense that seems to lie around these kind of shows like a pair of concrete shoes, the series will never see the light of day again. It hasn’t been re-run at any point and even the internet is turning up a blank. It would appear that ripping a VHS tape takes a bit more work than a DVD.

Which is a tremendous shame because I certainly remember, as do others on the internet, that it was a fantastic little retrospective show that was broadcast on Saturday evenings. I particularly remember the Hanna-Barbera episode but there were others on Tom and Jerry, Tex Avery, Betty Boop and of course, the Looney Tunes.

If you think about it, the fact that the show even exists is spectacular. Now, granted, it was produced by a public broadcaster with a remit and all that, but I cannot imagine one of the major TV networks or even one of the cable networks over here in the States deciding to produce a documentary series on animation, and broadcast it during primetime on a Saturday evening!

Sadly, extremely little info seems to exist out there so it is a shame that I cannot share more with you on this apparently great show.

 

Would You Eat At A Place Like This? I Sure Would!

Tip of the hat to Pat Smith over at Scribble Junkies for alerting me to the really cool artist that is Timba.

When you think about it though, Hanna-Barbera did a really good job with the marketing for the Flintstones. In fact, you could argue that after more than 50 years, the very existence of products like Fruity Pebbles, vitamins and so forth is testament to the longevity of the show.

The art is awesome though, isn’t it? A part of me now really wishes there was a burger joint called Fast Freds…

Happy 50th Anniversary to Yogi Bear!

Via: Yowp

I must admit, it completely flew over my head that yesterday was the actual date, so it’s a bit of a belated celebration over here on the Anomaly blog. Nonetheless, we all make mistakes when it comes to this kind of thing and I was in fact, distracted by the review I wanted to do for Mary & Max.

So, yes, the Yogi Bear Show is 50 years old. My, my, it doesn’t seem that long since we celebrated the 50th anniversary of another famous Hanna-Barbera show. Clearly these were busy times for the studio, and it would shortly add another one to the mix with The Jetsons.

As usual when it comes to such cartoons, I must direct you all towards the Yowp blog, which has once again provided an excellent, concise piece on the show and its beginnings. There is little if anything I can add to an already well-written piece except to say that I did watch the show as a kid and although the distinct memories are a bit foggy, I can say with certainty that they are fond ones.

Happy (Belated) Birthday Yogi, here’s hoping that we may continue to be entertained by you pic-a-nic basket stealing antics.

Weekly Weblinks: Part Deaux

This post is really should have been done earlier, but school and work aside, there just wasn’t time until now. I am always on the lookout for new and exciting blogs to follow as well as interesting posts to share and without further adieu, here’s a few I came across this week.

Blogs

Bleeding Pixels

The blog of Dave Johnson, who provides regular updates on the goings on in animation with some personal commentary. One to follow.

The Cartoon Cave

Written by Pete Emslie, one of the old-school cartoonists of this world. it contains tons of awesome sketches and illustration among posts on old comics and animation. Worth reading for the pictures alone but Petes personal take on things makes it all the better.

Posts

Hanna-Barbera, the Missing Theme Park

Lisa K. Berton takes a look at Hanna-Barbera’s attempts to enter the lucrative themepark market and how their presence has been declining as of late.

Animazing Amation: The Secret of Kells

A review on the Late to the Theater blog, which focuses on films available through instant streaming that reinforces everything that has been said about this film and how excellent it is. Worth reading and serves as a great reminder that The Secret of Kells is available in Netflix.

The Upcoming Yogi Bear Film (I Don’t Like It, I swear)

Via: Cartoon Brew

Normally I try to stay away from speculation about a film, especially one that looks like its gonna be a stinker. However, sometimes this principle can be incredibly hard to stick to and I’m afraid today is one of those days.

What film has pushed me over the edge? Why it’s none other than Yogi Bear.

For months now we’ve been seeing more and more clips of this film being leaked (or indeed, promoted) on the internet. Cartoon Brew (and it’s readers) have been almost visceral in their contempt for the film. I don’t blame them either because those guys have some serious passion for cartoons, and seeing a classic one such as Yogi Bear get treated in such a way is disheartening to say the least.

This post isn’t so much a statement of my thoughts as a collection of other’s thoughts. (You probably don’t want to hear my thoughts, which delve waaaay to much into existentialism for this time of the morning anyway).

As mentioned above, most mainstream sites and bloggers have held no punches in their commentary. The main aspect that irks them is the hybrid nature of the film and the way that Hollywood has deviated from the nature of the original cartoons, focusing instead on fart jokes and other low-brow attempts at comedy, which, as a European, have never held that much sway with me to begin with.

As ever, the excellent, Hanna-Barbera blog, Yowp, has some great points relating to the direction that Dan Ackroyd and Justin TImberlake (how he got this gig I do not know) received during filming. If anything, I’d say this has as much to do with the quality of the film as anything else. Ackroyd may well be able to do an excellent impression of Jellystone’s most famous resident, but if he’s told to go in a different direction entirely, then that kind of ruins everything.

As a fan of classic cartoons, I know it can be extremely hard to see someone almost take a wizz all over your childhood memories. What people seem to forget is that they are exactly that, memories, and everyone has different ones. In the grand scheme of things though, if you’re making a film, there’s more often than not some executive breathing down your neck, and a film like Yogi Bear reeks of their meddling. There have been cases in the past of writers disowning their scripts as a result of the finished film being almost entirely different from what they originally wrote. That’s not what I’m saying necessarily happened to Yogi Bear, but it is a possibility.

At the end of the day, Yogi Bear was made to cash in on nostalgia, which as J.J. Sedelmaier has noted (sorry, can’t locate the source) is a powerful aphrodisiac. There’s nothing we can do except not going to see it, and from what i can gather, I am not alone in that sentiment.

Shoutout: Yowp on The Flintstones

Just a quick shoutout to the Yowp blog, which has been running some great posts recently in relation to The Flintstones in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the shows premiere on Sept. 30th. A full read of them are highly recommended as indeed is regularly checking in over there to read about all things Hanna-Barbera.