Animotion and Car Tunes

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Büge
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Büge » Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:08 pm

Mongrel wrote:Teddy Ruxpin was both my fantasy hook and my serialized storytelling hook. It was a straight-up longform story with a recap at the beginning of each episode. A cartoon doing that just blew me away as a kid.

A little later there was also Reboot, which my brother and I still adore.


I pretty much wholesale missed out on Teddy Ruxpin, because it was on at 8:30AM weekdays, which was time to go to school.

ReBoot, on the other hand, I was there for on the ground floor, because it was on Saturday mornings on YTV (the YTV robot even had a cameo in Enzo's birthday episode). I'd say it definitely holds up.
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Mon May 03, 2021 10:05 am

The New Yorker has managed to score an interview with John Swartzwelder, the famously reclusive writer best known for writing more episodes of The Simpsons than anybody else, including all-time classics like Homer at the Bat, Rosebud, Itchy & Scratchy Land, Radioactive Man, and You Only Move Twice.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Thu May 13, 2021 3:52 pm

Hollywood Reporter has some stills from Kevin Smith's MOTU.

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There's a Liz Cheney joke in here somewhere.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Mongrel » Thu May 13, 2021 5:54 pm

There's a LOT of famous voices in this, geez. But I must say, I particularly blinked at
Henry Rollins as Tri-Klops


Well now!
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Tue Aug 03, 2021 4:53 pm

Watched the first two episodes of the new MotU and I'm enjoying it so far (though I've read enough of Kevin Smith's comics to know he's a lot better at beginnings than endings). I appreciate its dedication to the supporting cast rather than just focusing in on He-Man and Skeletor, and I also think it's made the right moves in grounding its story in characters' very relatable emotions. It's not just the question, "what would happen if He-Man and Skeletor disappeared?" but, just as importantly, "How would Teela feel if she found out Prince Adam was He-Man, and that her father knew and didn't tell her?" Without taking itself too seriously, because I couldn't help but laugh at the look of shock on her face when she discovered that under that armor, the giant green cat was actually that other giant green cat.

And I like the nods to the toy line. The second episode spends a good bit of time on the trapdoor by the entrance to Snake Mountain.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:18 pm

Okay having Orko be all emaciated and sad in episode 3 is a little much. It's okay to have some comic relief in your grim-'n'-gritty reboot of a silly children's cartoon, y'all.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Thu Aug 19, 2021 4:52 pm

The other new He-Man series has a trailer up.


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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Tue Aug 31, 2021 1:43 am

I've been watching Duckman and I think I'll have more to say about it but just at the moment the thing I find most fascinating about it is the Frank Zappa soundtrack. I watched one this morning and there's a scene where the background music is a sad piano version of Let's Make the Water Turn Black, and that just raises so many questions. Who recorded it? Was it Frank before he passed? Somebody else, after? (Dweezil would be an easy guess; he played Ajax and would have been in the studio.) How much more is there -- did they just record the brief snippet that plays on the show, or did they record more and cut it down?

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Sat Oct 09, 2021 6:07 pm

Decided, while I'm watching X-Men, to check out the '90s Fantastic Four, too.

The cartoon's got a pretty bad reputation (at least, season 1 does), but I watched the first two episodes and kind of loved them?

I mean, I get why audiences of the time wouldn't. X-Men and Spider-Man were both perfect distillations of the comics of the '90s, whereas this one is squarely rooted in the '60s. The first two episodes' framing device has the Fantastic Four telling their origin story on TV, during a Dick Clark telethon, with Clark and Gary Owens as themselves.

This is insane. It is perversely uncommercial. This is a cartoon made in 1994, targeting 8-to-12-year-olds, and the very first thing it does is celebrity guest appearances by Dick Clark and Gary Owens. And I love it beyond all reason. Like, if you told me Stan Lee personally came up with all this himself, I would believe you, and it would be the first time I ever believed Stan Lee came up with anything himself.

And it gets nearly everything right. We establish, right off the bat, that the FF are celebrities; this is the kind of thing they do; they go on TV and give interviews. The Thing, in particular, is perfect; much like Beast on X-Men, he talks exactly like '60s Stan Lee dialogue. (And he's voiced by the great Chuck McCann.)

My biggest complaint is that it introduces a few elements too early. The first two episodes adapt issue #8 of the comic series, the story that introduces the Puppetmaster and Alicia Masters. The trouble is, it's too soon for this story. Alicia falling for Ben despite his frightening appearance, and Reed trying to turn him back into his human form, are both elements that simply don't work as well when you put them right upfront at the beginning. There just hasn't been enough time yet to establish just how miserable Ben is about his new body, that he feels like a freak, people recoil when they see him on the street, and he can't do things he used to be able to do. By the time this story happens in the comics, there have been seven issues building all that up; in the cartoon you simply don't have the background.

They also introduce Sue's force fields too early. When the Puppetmaster fills the room with knockout gas, why doesn't she just use her force field to stop it? The answer is that this is an adaptation of the story from issue #8 and she didn't get her force field power until issue #22; the problem is that in the cartoon, they've already introduced her force field power earlier in the episode, so it just feels like the "whoops, I forgot what my powers are" problem that plagues the X-Men cartoon.

They also completely botch the climax. In the comic, Alicia goes to grab the puppet version of the Puppetmaster; it falls on the floor, which causes the real Puppetmaster to trip and fall out the window. In the cartoon version, the puppet and the Puppetmaster both fall out the window together (and, hilariously, there is a sound effect of breaking glass even though the window is open). Reed even alludes in dialogue to the possibility that some mysterious force caused the Puppetmaster to fall out the window, but there's no evidence whatsoever of that on-screen, because there's no delay between the puppet's fall and his.

So, y'know, it's got some rough edges. There are some storytelling problems, and some of those are major. And the animation's not great.

But on the whole, I think it gets a lot more right than it does wrong. The characters are there, especially Ben. And in the era of '90s EXTREME, amid the angst of the likes of X-Men and Spider-Man, it's a breath of fresh air.

Also, the theme song is great.

(Warning: the second video is much louder than the first; turn your speakers down in-between.)




Though I've got one small complaint here, too: "Reed Richards is elastic/Sue can fade from sight/Johnny is the Human Torch/The Thing just loves to fight" -- okay, what the fuck, lyricist? Reed, Sue, and Johnny all get referred to by their real names, but the Thing is just the Thing? "And Ben just loves to fight" would fit the meter just as easily!

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Büge » Sat Oct 09, 2021 7:44 pm

oh good, an excuse to post this clip again

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Sat Oct 09, 2021 8:43 pm

One reason why the Puppetmaster story is a good place to start: it's an excellent storyline for setting expectations. "Yup, dude's got radioactive clay, and when he shapes it to look like a person, he can mind-control that person." Welcome to Fantastic Four. It is bonkers. Tune in next week when Dr. Doom sends them back in time to search for pirate treasure and it turns out Blackbeard was actually the Thing.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby beatbandito » Wed Oct 13, 2021 9:32 am

Season 5 of Rick and Morty is surprisingly still pretty good. It feels like there continue to be more and more cringe-worthy bad attempts at anti-humor as the show goes on, but overall it's still funny. Most importantly, the 'lore' episodes of this season continue to be aware of the public perception of the show. Seasons 2 and 3 tried to shy away from all the crazy shit they set up with no real punchline in season 1. Season 4 made jokes about how lore is dumb and you're dumb for having fan theories, like star wars fans. Season 5 again seems to change the footing, accepting that they owe some kind of resolution to what's been set up. They still leave a continuity cliffhanger that could be returned to, but it's mostly knotted the central threads of the background story so far.
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Sun Nov 21, 2021 1:49 am

‘Groo the Wanderer’ Eyed for Animation Adaptation

It's very early days yet and the way the piece describes the guy bankrolling it doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Entrepreneur Josh Jones, who counts businesses in venture capitalism, cryptocurrency and airlines among his portfolio, has acquired the animated film and television rights to Groo, with the intent of producing the character’s first-ever animated adaptation via his film company, Did I Err Productions.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Niku » Sun Nov 21, 2021 2:48 pm

prefacing this with: riot is not a good company, and unlike some other not-good companies they have made some changes and effort to right their ship, but they have at the same time really not done enough to condone a lot of what they do to this day, so your mileage may vary on how much time or space you're willing to give anything related to them. that being said

holy fuck, arcane.

holy fucking fuck, arcane.

if you like animation in the slightest you need to watch goddamn arcane on netflix. it's a nine episode series based on league of legends; you don't need to know anything about the games, setting, or characters because this is 100% an origin story for those involved as well as actually canonizing what is basically a bunch of flotsam of half-formed fantasy ideas that has been LoL lore for the past decade, so it's literally a jumping off point for anything story-wise in the entire franchise. and there's a lot to laud about the series as something to watch; character and plot wise, it often goes running headlong toward really obvious tropes and then swerves and doesn't follow through on them in interesting ways. it's not super high art with the writing or anything like that, but i'd describe it as reeeeeally good YA fantasy overall.

but the animation. holy fucking christ the animation. the things they do in this with the animation put basically everything from recent memory to shame except into the spider-verse. for an "unknown" (they have been working with riot for years and years on their various animated LoL shorts) studio to come out of the park with their first full length major release like this feels unlike anything since pixar released toy story. the use of 2-D and 3-D blended together, the camera work they utilize with their digital camera, the choice of shots they pick, the facial animation -- it's goddamn astonishing. it's not at the peak levels it reaches throughout 100% of its runtime and there are some areas where things occasionally do look a little "game cutscene" ropey when characters are having static conversations, but it's hard to remember or care about a lot of those compared to the level of emotion they manage to put into a main character ugly crying or another character running triumphantly in the last batch of episodes. any beyond the actual, you know, animation of things basically any frame of this show just looks like incredible concept art when you freeze frame on it.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Tue Dec 21, 2021 11:29 am

In the '90s, Lily Tomlin (with longtime partner, now wife, Jane Wagner) made three animated specials featuring her Edith Ann character, with the hopes of getting a series made. This is the last one, 1996's Edith Ann's Christmas (Just say Noel).



I can see why this never made it to series -- it's too sweet and wholesome for cable and too dark for network TV. This is a Christmas special where the Tiny Tim character is a little boy who's been shot in a drive-by, and the happy ending is that he's revived from a coma by his dog, whose shot-off legs have been replaced with wheels.

Seriously. This is a real Christmas special. It aired on network TV. ABC, I think.

I'd say the other thing that probably made it unappealing to network execs is that there aren't a lot of laughs. The humor is mostly conceptual. It's got that Weird Clasky-Csupo thing going on where the style is deliberately off-putting. And so is the atmosphere; there's a pervasive sense of anxiety hanging over the whole thing.

I think I love it? There's a uniqueness to it, a kind of audacity, even if it's got a layer of '90s cliches (drive-bys! metal detectors in schools! teenage girls with green hair and piercings!) on top. I'm kind of amazed that this thing got made, and aired on network TV.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Mongrel » Tue Dec 21, 2021 4:20 pm

Oh man, that kidnap-letter title card is also PURE 90's.
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby beatbandito » Fri Jan 07, 2022 8:34 am

I was compelled to check out Marvel's Hit-Monkey after seeing a screen grab on my go-to streaming site. It was okay, I guess.

Sad to say that its best aspect is actually using Japanese voice actors for Japanese characters. But it seems to still basically be the story of two white people and one white monkey that save the day. The art style is kind of interesting. It looks kind of like Archer, but with animations looking something between a rotoscope and those cutout dolls with paper fasteners on the joints that some nick animations took notes from in the 90s.

The tone is probably pretty similar to the Harley Quinn cartoon. Hyper violence but with at least one character being strained comic relief through it. I couldn't handle the pure jason sudeikisness of it all, but someone else may get some enjoyment.
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby beatbandito » Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:41 am

Amphibia is a good kid's show. It is better at being a Matt Groening show than Disenchanted. That's all I really have to say without ranting about the phone.
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby hngkong » Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:35 pm

The Owl House is really good too. I watched the entirety of it over three days. Anyone who liked Gravity Falls should check it out.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Niku » Fri Jan 14, 2022 8:33 pm

beatbandito wrote:Amphibia is a good kid's show. It is better at being a Matt Groening show than Disenchanted. That's all I really have to say without ranting about the phone.


I need to get back to Amphibia; really liked what I saw of the first season which was up to where the Fushigi Yuugi influence became REALLY clear and it turned out her friend had also been transported and was living amongst the antagonist faction. Ditto Owl House which I only hit a couple of episodes of but enjoyed.

Neither of them quite hit that Gravity Falls sweet spot but they're both solid from what I've seen.
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