Animotion and Car Tunes

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zaratustra
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby zaratustra » Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:13 pm

i'm glad Mister Sinister is now allowed to be all he can be in the comics

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Friday
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Friday » Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:04 pm

X-Men 92 still has the best Apocalypse. Just a big silly asshole with a big silly A on his belt constantly spouting ridiculous lines.

"You are no closer to destroying me than the Babylonians with their swords and fire-sticks" remains the best "haha, you fucking weaklings, I'm invincible" line I have ever heard
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Thad
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:24 pm

And I got to thinking, y'know, whatever X-Men's flaws, it was an enduring success.

So what the hell went wrong with Beast Machines (same showrunners, Skir and Isenberg)?

And...is it just me, or is the main problem with Beast Machines that they turned Optimus and Megatron into Xavier and Magneto?

(ETA I was mistaken, Skir and Isenberg were not the showrunners on X-Men, Eric Lewald was. Skir and Isenberg wrote several episodes, though, and Skir is a longtime X-Men fan.)

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Büge
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Büge » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:26 pm

Thad wrote:So what the hell went wrong with Beast Machines (same showrunners, Skir and Isenberg)?


You mean besides abandoning the characterization of all the Beast Wars characters?
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:00 pm

I wouldn't say "besides", given that "turning Optimus and Megatron into Xavier and Magneto" is clearly a subset of "abandoning the characterization of all the Beast Wars characters."

But yeah it's very definitely characterization problems across the board. (Except Cheetor. Cheetor in the Rodimus role worked for me.) I suspect part of it is that Marvel rode herd on X-Men a lot more closely than Hasbro did on Beast Machines.

Because say one thing for X-Men, it keeps its characterization consistent. The characters aren't exactly complex, but there's never a moment of "Wait, why did Wolverine do that? That's completely out-of-character!" Unless there's a reason for it like he's actually Mystique or something.

And yeah, it's a pretty goddamn accurate reflection of the comics of the time -- except with much better economy of storytelling. I remember when they did the mutant plague storyline and it was resolved in two episodes and I was like "wait what?"

But I'm sure it helped that they had, what, 25 years or so* of X-Men lore to draw from, too. They certainly made tweaks and changes to the stories**, but they had a shit-ton of existing material to work with. Beast Machines was an original story, and they didn't color in the lines established by the previous series.

They clearly didn't want to work with the character types they'd been given, but it's only just occurred to me that they went with the ones from X-Men instead.

* The X-Men comic debuted in 1963 and the cartoon debuted in 1992, which is closer to 30, but there was a gap from 1970 through 1975 with no new X-Men comics, so I'm calling it 25ish years of X-Men lore. Course, by the early '90s there were, what, seven different concurrent monthly X-books***, not including quarterly series, annual specials, and miniseries? So you could certainly argue they made up for lost time.

** Largely involving giving them actual endings instead of just the indefinite serialization of the comics. The "Bishop travels back in time to stop a traitor to the X-Men who may or may not be Gambit" storyline is introduced in one episode and resolved in the next, whereas in the comic it was introduced with no idea how it was actually going to end or who the traitor even was, and then sewn up 5 years later. And I remember the ending of the animated Dark Phoenix Saga being pretty hokey, but the original ending was a too-many-cooks mess -- Claremont intended for her to destroy an uninhabited planet; Byrne drew some aliens on it; Shooter decreed that as a mass murderer she had to either die or go to prison at the end of the story, so they ended up killing her off instead of the original plan of just depowering her; Bob Layton brought her back with the reveal that the Phoenix was a clone and was never Jean Grey to begin with (a resolution suggested by Kurt Busiek).

*** X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, X-Force, X-Factor, Excalibur, Wolverine, and Cable -- am I missing any?

Ugh. See how complicated talking about X-Men is? Even my footnotes have footnotes, true believers!

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Brentai
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Brentai » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:45 pm

Beast Machines is gross to look at.
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Friday » Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:25 pm

But yeah it's very definitely characterization problems across the board. (Except Cheetor. Cheetor in the Rodimus role worked for me.)


yeah 100% agreed.

The "Bishop travels back in time to stop a traitor to the X-Men who may or may not be Gambit" storyline is introduced in one episode and resolved in the next, whereas in the comic it was introduced with no idea how it was actually going to end or who the traitor even was, and then sewn up 5 years later.


oh god. I fucking hate that shit so much. As an author, never ever set up a mystery unless you know the answer going in.

And I remember the ending of the animated Dark Phoenix Saga being pretty hokey, but the original ending was a too-many-cooks mess -- Claremont intended for her to destroy an uninhabited planet; Byrne drew some aliens on it


I haven't ever read the comic version, but in the cartoon she blows up an uninhabited rock but fears she may do it again, and this time to actual lifeforms. It's a big part of her talking with Cyclops and he's all just like "dude you're fine I love you" and she's like "nah bro this is some serious shit".

And then Space Superman shows up and is like "1v1 me irl Rogue"

I actually do not remember what happens at the end of that arc. I think they just space laser her and she dies? It's been forever since I actually watched X-Men '92.
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:17 am

Brentai wrote:Beast Machines is gross to look at.

That too, but that part's not the writers' fault.

IIRC they didn't even know about the damn morphing effect until they saw the completed episodes.

(Really the problem -- besides the morphing -- was all the Maximals' robot modes have terrible designs. Their beast modes didn't look so bad, and the Vehicons had pretty decent designs, and also didn't morph. Or at least that's my recollection. For some reason I haven't felt the urge to go back and rewatch it after the original run.)

Friday wrote:
The "Bishop travels back in time to stop a traitor to the X-Men who may or may not be Gambit" storyline is introduced in one episode and resolved in the next, whereas in the comic it was introduced with no idea how it was actually going to end or who the traitor even was, and then sewn up 5 years later.


oh god. I fucking hate that shit so much. As an author, never ever set up a mystery unless you know the answer going in.


TBF it's a line of work where there's so much collaboration and so much turnover that even when you do plan ahead, the result may not bear any resemblance to the original plan. Either because the writer leaves before the story's complete, or the editorial team puts the kibosh on it, or the series gets caught up in some kind of crossover and the storyline either gets lost in the shuffle or has to be changed to fit what's going on in the other books, or a character gets optioned for a movie and now you can't kill them off, or sales dip and the bean-counters demand some kind of shakeup, or...

And look, Scott Lobdell is not a writer you hire because you want tight plotting. He's a writer you hire because he's the very best there is at what he does, and what he does is meet his fucking deadlines.

And I remember the ending of the animated Dark Phoenix Saga being pretty hokey, but the original ending was a too-many-cooks mess -- Claremont intended for her to destroy an uninhabited planet; Byrne drew some aliens on it


I haven't ever read the comic version, but in the cartoon she blows up an uninhabited rock but fears she may do it again, and this time to actual lifeforms.


Yeah, the cartoon went with Claremont's original pitch, which was probably for the best. Certainly easier to get a greenlight from broadcast standards and practices that way.

I actually do not remember what happens at the end of that arc. I think they just space laser her and she dies? It's been forever since I actually watched X-Men '92.


They all hold hands and give up a portion of their life force to bring her back to life.

Yes, this is one of those episodes where even as a twelve-year-old I was like "wait what?"

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Thad
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:21 am

Also in case anyone else wants to give X-Men a re-watch, here's the script order. The original broadcast order and the Disney+ order are both wrong and have shit happen out of sequence.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:35 pm

zaratustra wrote:i'm glad Mister Sinister is now allowed to be all he can be in the comics

Is that from one of the Hickman books, or one of the tie-ins by somebody else?

I hear good things about what Hickman's doing but I picked up one of the early issues (I think it was Powers of X #1) and it just felt way too dense. It reminded me of ODY-C (which, similarly, was a book where I read the first issue and just couldn't get into it).

I know Hickman can do delightfully bonkers sci-fi, though; I enjoyed the hell out of Manhattan Projects. I like that bit you posted and if there's more like that then I could see giving it a second look.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:25 am

So okay I just watched the Juggernaut episode.

So the X-Men come back to the mansion and it's been destroyed, and there are these giant footprints, and they're all like "Who could have done this maybe it was Colossus."

And then eventually they see the Juggernaut.

And Wolverine narrows his eyes and says "Juggernaut."

So, okay. It would appear that (1) the X-Men already know who Juggernaut is and (2) all of them were completely stumped as to who could have possibly destroyed the mansion and also left giant footprints.

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby hngkong » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:02 am

Thad wrote:all of them were completely stumped as to who could have possibly destroyed the mansion and also left giant footprints.



5 seconds in.
(Can we not embed a Youtube video with a start at time? Or am I just dumb?)

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby KingRoyal » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:43 am

The few times I've revisited X-Men I've found it extremely goofy. But I still love it because of the impact it had on me as a kid. Not only did it introduce me to the X-Men, but it was also one of the first shows I can remember that did serialized storytelling. Other shows had two-parters or would revisit previous characters, but X-Men did a great job of the illusion of change part of storytelling. Beast went to jail and people would visit him. Graydon Creed had plans going on in the background. The team could return from a mission to find the mansion destroyed, and that was just a setup for the next episode. It was often goofy, and resolved plots extremely quickly, but it was enough to keep me hooked.

Also, in the first episode, beloved X-Man Morph dies. Morph!

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Friday
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Friday » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:46 am

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beatbandito
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby beatbandito » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:09 am

hngkong wrote:(Can we not embed a Youtube video with a start at time? Or am I just dumb?)
can't embed timestamps

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Thad
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Thad » Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:08 pm

KingRoyal wrote:The few times I've revisited X-Men I've found it extremely goofy. But I still love it because of the impact it had on me as a kid. Not only did it introduce me to the X-Men, but it was also one of the first shows I can remember that did serialized storytelling. Other shows had two-parters or would revisit previous characters, but X-Men did a great job of the illusion of change part of storytelling. Beast went to jail and people would visit him. Graydon Creed had plans going on in the background. The team could return from a mission to find the mansion destroyed, and that was just a setup for the next episode. It was often goofy, and resolved plots extremely quickly, but it was enough to keep me hooked.

Yeah, I remember cartoons that kinda did it in the '80s (Thundercats, Transformers, and Teddy Ruxpin kinda did it to varying degrees), but X-Men did it a lot more effectively than most cartoons of the time.

There were others that followed -- Beast Wars and the second season of Sonic the Hedgehog come to mind, and of course serialized children's cartoons are extremely common now -- but I think it's fair to point to X-Men as a trailblazer there.

Batman: TAS is, obviously, the much better cartoon, but it was super-episodic. The DCAU played with serialization a little bit in the final season of Superman: TAS but didn't really go all-in on it until JLU. And even then they were 6 episodes into a 13-episode season before introducing the first major arc.

Course, part of that's down to how much more control the production companies have gotten over air order. It's pretty tough to do a serialized show when you're working with networks that can air episodes in whatever the fuck order they feel like. (I already mentioned that X-Men aired in the wrong order and Disney+ currently has it in a *different* wrong order, and as we've already noted, that's an example of a show that did serialization *really well* compared to its contemporaries.) As children's cartoons shifted from syndication to network TV to cable to streaming, serialization has just plain gotten more viable.

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Mongrel
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Mongrel » Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:58 pm

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.
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mharr
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby mharr » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:13 pm

I missed out on Reboot at a sensible age precisely because none of the channels available to me ran it as a serial in any reliable sequence or timeslot. Is it worth going back to in late middle aged nerddom?

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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Niku » Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:19 pm

My nostalgia says yes. I haven't revisited it in a while myself but all the stuff with season 3 and 4 is pretty damn great in my mind. I imagine at least some of it holds up.
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Re: Animotion and Car Tunes

Postby Mongrel » Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:44 pm

Yeah, I don't know much of it hold up, but I remember it pretty well enough to know that at least SOME of it would hold up. Even some of the ordinary random-game episodic ones can still be great. The Max Max parody is still a complete riot, for example.

And anything with Mike the TV.

And of course Tony Jay at his absolute wall-chewing, megalomaniacal finest.
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