November 17, 2018

LOONATICS UNLEASHED


LOONATICS UNLEASHED
(WB/CW, September 17, 2005-May 5, 2007)

Warner Bros. Animation




MAIN CAST:
Charlie SchlatterAce Bunny, Toby the Pizza Boy
Jason MarsdenDanger Duck, Rupes Oberon, Robo-Amigo, Pilot
Rob PaulsenRev Runner, Mr. Leghorn (2nd time), Gorlop, Man at Zoo, Pizza Chef, Construction Worker
Candi MiloZadavia, Harriet Runner, Misty Breeze, Queen Grannicus, Stomper’s mother


For the history of Looney Tunes, check out the post here.


            With the failure of 2003’s Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Warner Bros. felt it was time to look into revitalizing the franchise, try something new. Enter Adam Trevor Grant and Joseph Louis Grant who introduced Loonatics Unleashed.

Zadavia with the Royal Tweetums.


            The show was set in the 28th Century, where the descendants of the original Looney Tunes lived on the city-planet of Acmetropolis. In the year 2772, a meteor struck Acmetropolis and gave a number of the population superpowers. To protect Acmetropolis, a mysterious and powerful alien woman named Zadavia (originally named Maxima, voiced by Candi Milo) assembled six of the affected residents to form a superteam: The Loonatics.

The Loonatics: Lexi, Rev, Tech E., Ace, Danger and Slam.

            The team was comprised of team leader Ace Bunny (originally named Buzz until it was discovered that name had been copyrighted by Dutch designer Metin Seven, voiced by Charlie Schlatter), a former stunt rabbit who gained laser vision and was trained in martial arts and swordsmanship; Lexi Bunny (Jessica DiCicco), a student and aspiring cheerleader who gained super hearing, a psychic energy bolt and the ability to manipulate plants, and brought her incredible agility to the team; Danger Duck (originally named Duck, voiced by Jason Marsden), a former pool boy that could generate spheres of energy called “eggs” that produce random effects or allow him to control water, as well as a Quantum Quack that let him teleport; Slam Tasmanian (originally named Spaz, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson), a former professional wrestler who gained super strength and a tornado form that allowed him to fire tornado blasts with or without an electric jolt; Tech E. Coyote (originally named Slick, also voiced by Richardson), a student at Acme Tech University with super genius that gained magnetic manipulation and could regenerate his body from a molecular level; and Rev Runner (originally named Roadster, voiced by Rob Paulsen), a former delivery boy with a brilliant mind that gained super speed. Each member of the team wore a full body black uniform distinguishable by the different colored accents, and utilized various new gadgets whipped up by Tech E. in their battles.

Syth Vester.

            Other Looney Tunes descendants featured were Mr. Leghorn (Bill Farmer & Paulsen), a big name in the world of professional sports; The Royal Tweetums (Joe Alaskey), ruler of the planet Blanc (named for Mel Blanc); Ophiuchus Sam (Maurice LaMarche), a short-tempered thief who often forgot his name and what he was saying as he was saying it; Pierre Le Pew (also LaMarche), runner of illegal fights and wearer of stinky cologne; Gorlop (Paulsen), a professional wrestler; Queen Grannicus (Milo & Richardson), the evil caretaker of Tweetums who wanted his throne for herself; Sylth Vester (a parody of Darth Vader and the Sith, voiced by Alaskey), a mercenary who wore cyborg body armor to cover injuries from his various encounter with Tweetums; Sagittarius Stomper (Billy West), a thief who utilized robotic arms and legs made by his mother (Milo); Electro J. Fudd (also West), a hunter with a wide variety of weapons; Melvin the Martian (Alaskey), general of the Martian army; Sergeant Sirius (named for the dog star), Melvin’s dog; Pinkster Pig (Bob Bergen), an orphan and former friend of Danger who seemed to be on the side of law and order but used it as a cover for his criminal enterprises; and Stoney (Alaskey) and Bugsy (James Arnold Taylor), employees of Pinkster who went on a crime wave of stealing weapons and the mineral Curium that could steal super powers.

General Deuce teaming-up with Optimatus.
            Original characters included Gunnar the Conqueror (Tom Kenny), leader of robotic Vikings that sought to freeze the planet; Professor Zane (Jeff Bennett), a mad scientist who wanted to conquer the world with his monstrous Fuz-Zs (Steven Blum); Black Velvet (Vivica A. Fox), a woman whose eyes were damaged by the meteor and was forced to remain in darkness; Weathervane (Kaley Cuoco), a wannabe weathergirl who gained weather manipulation powers; Dr. Dare (Simon Templeman), a mad scientist who learned to control earthquakes; Ringmaster (Tim Curry), the evil leader of a circus who combined different creatures together to make his attractions; Otto the Odd (Dee Bradley Baker), the Ringmaster’s boss who hid behind the guise of being a mere clown; Massive (Michael Clarke Duncan), a large criminal with gravity manipulation powers; Drake Sypher (Phil LaMarr), who could absorb the powers from others with a touch; Time Skip (David Faustino), who was able to manipulate time; Mallory “Mastermind” Casey (Florence Henderson), Tech E.’s former classmate who attempted to steal the brainpower of the university staff; Optimatus (Charlie Adler), Zadavia’s evil brother who possessed similar abilities; General Deuce (Khary Payton), former general of Zadavia’s home planet of Freleng (named for Friz Freleng) who sought to conquer the galaxy; Adolpho (Mark Hamill), a mutated dolphin who sought revenge on the surface for polluting the oceans; Queen Athena (Serena Williams), leader of the Apocazons (based on the mythological Amazons) who wanted to eliminate the men of Acmetropolis; and Rupes Oberon (Marsden), a musician who tricked Tech E. into building a cosmic guitar to steal Zadavia’s powers and allow him to control the universe.



            Lunatics Unleashed debuted on September 17, 2005 on the Kids’ WB! programming block on The WB; which became The CW during the show’s second season. It was designed to be an action-comedy that blended the classic Looney Tunes’ comedy stylings with modern action animated series. The characters were designed by Christian Tremblay and Yvon Tremblay and initially had a more menacing look to them. A teaser promo for the series, originally called simply The Loonatics, aired on The WB before the show’s debut. It used limited animation, comic book-like panels, and the character’s original names to try and build up hype for the show. It had an intentionally anime-inspired approach to appeal to the children who grew up on the genre and to fit into the Kids’ WB! schedule.

The original character designs.

Unfortunately for Warner Bros. Animation, the promo had the opposite effect. Audiences complained about the new character models while critics accused the studio of pandering to a demographic while disrespecting the source material. An internet petition against them was even started by 11-year-old fan, Thomas Adams. Despite president Sander Schwartz’s assurances that the classic characters were just “sharing DNA” with these new ones and it was merely an extension of the franchise, the designs were redone and softened with Walter Gatus serving as the lead character designer.

Danger with Electro J. Fudd.



The first season premiered to mixed reviews, prompting the studio to make some changes for the second season. The stories were much lighter and more comedic with a new intro to match. Zadavia was also more physically present, rather than communicating through a hologram as he had during the first season. The series ended after the planned 26 episodes had aired. It would be the last Looney Tunes television show until 2011’s The Looney Tunes Show. During the show’s run, two Flash games were run on the Kids’ WB! website: Acmetropolis Obstacle Course, where players had to guide Lexi around various obstacles, and Slam’s Snowboarding Slolom [sic], where players guided Slam down a hill while performing tricks in the air for extra points. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s released 4 toys in their Cool Kids Combo meals based on the show in early 2006. In 2007, Warner Home Video released the complete series to DVD across two sets.



EPISODE GUIDE:
Season 1:
“Loonatics on Ice” (9/17/05) – The Loonatics have to save the planet from a sudden and permanent cold snap.

“Attack of the Fuzz Balls” (9/24/05) – The latest pet craze turns sour when Fur-Zs become giant monsters upon eating chocolate.

“The Cloak of Black Velvet” (10/1/05) – After having her eyesight damaged by the meteor strike, Black Velvet seeks to plunge the entire world in darkness.

“Weathering Heights” (10/8/05) – A weather girl gets struck by lightning and gains the ability to control the weather.

“Going Underground” (10/29/05) – The Loonatics have to stop Dr. Dare from using earthquakes to submerge the entire planet’s surface.

“The Comet Cometh” (11/5/05) – As the Loonatics celebrate the anniversary of their powers, a larger meteor is found to be headed towards Acmetropolis.

“The World is My Circus” (11/12/05) – A traveling circus abducts humans and splices them together with animal DNA to perform in the show.

“Stop the World, I Want to Get Off” (11/19/05) – Gravity-manipulating Massive plots to steal the basherball championship trophy.

“Sypher” (11/26/05) – Sypher decides he wants the glory of being a superhero and uses his own abilities to steal those of the Loonatics.

“Time After Time” (2/11/06) – Trying to stop a time-manipulating thief causes the Loonatics to enter a time loop.

“The Menace of Mastermind” (2/18/06) – A former classmate of Tech’s breaks out of prison and plans to get revenge on him for putting her there.

“Acmegeddon Part I” (5/6/06) – Optimatus breaks the Loonatics’ foes out of prison to unite them against the heroes.

“Acmegeddon Part II” (5/13/06) – Zadavia explains her connection to Optimatus as he betrays his allies and seeks to suck the planet into a wormhole.

Season 2:
“Secrets of the Guardian Strike Sword” (9/23/06) – The mysterious Deuce saves Ace’s life as he attempted to stop Ophichus Sam from robbing an inter-dimensional train.

“A Creep in the Deep” (9/30/06) – A telepathic dolphin brainwashes sea creatures into attacking manmade objects in the sea.

“I Am Slamacus” (10/7/06) – Pierre convinces Slam to enter a fighting tournament, however he fails to mention the final match is a death match.

“The Heir Up There” (11/4/06) – The Loonatics have to get the Royal Tweetums to his home planet while evading the evil Sylth Vester.

“The Family Business” (11/11/06) – Rev’s family come to visit, and Rip’s jealousy towards his brother allows him to be possessed by a Bio-Tech Brain Parasite.

“Cape Duck” (11/18/06) – Tech’s device malfunctions and allows Duck to defeat the Sagittarius Stomper and cause him to become a sensation with the public.

“The Hunter” (2/3/07) – The Loonatics try to deal with Massive while Electro J. Fudd hunts Ace.

“It Came From Outer Space” (2/10/07) – Rev and Lexi mistake Tech’s weapon system for a video game, accidentally shooting Melvin the Martian and bringing his wrath on the city.

“Apocalypso” (2/17/07) – The Loonatics land on a planet of powerful warrior women and their queen invites Lexi to join them.

“In the Pinkster” (2/24/07) – After Duck’s old friend helps them against some gangster, things begin going bad for the team.

“The Music Villain” (3/3/07) – A band uses rock music to terrorize the city and capture Zadavia.

“Planet Blanc: The Fall of Blanc (Part I)” (4/28/07) – Optimatus, Deuce and Rupes Oberon conquer planet Blanc and plan to use the wormhole generator to take over the universe.

“Planet Blanc: The Fall of Blanc (Part II” (5/5/07) – The Loonatics search for Tweetums with Sylth Vester’s help while Decue betrays Optimatus to join the heroes.

DUCK DODGERS


DUCK DODGERS
(Cartoon Network, August 23, 2003-November 11, 2005)

Warner Bros. Animation




MAIN CAST:
Tia CarrereQueen Tyr’ahnee, Lieutenant O’Hara, various
Michael DornMartian Centurion Robots, Captain Long, Ensign Checkmate, Diplomat, Klunkin Fighters
Frank Welker – Commander K-9, Captain Dallas Rodman, Mainsuit, various


For the history of Looney Tunes, check out the post here.


            Duck Dodgers is the recurring alter-ego of Daffy Duck (Mel Blanc). First appearing in 1953’s Duck Dodgers in the 24 ½th Century directed by Chuck Jones, the character was a spoof of the popular Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s. The short had Dodgers battling with Marvin the Martian (also Blanc) over ownership of a planet that contained a rare element; eventually resulting in the planet’s destruction.

Duck Dodgers confronting Marvin the Martian.


            A sequel, Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24 ½th Century, also directed by Jones, was released in 1980 with almost exactly the same plot as the original; except this time Marvin was trying to solve Earth’s energy crisis (by destroying it). Three more shorts were made around the character: 1996’s Marvin the Martian in the Third Dimension starring Joe Alaskey, which played in select venues; Superior Duck, which also came out in 1996, starring Frank Gorshin; and Attack of the Drones in 2003, starring Jeff Bennett. Within that timeframe, the character had also made appearances in video games, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Looney Tunes: Back in Action, both he and Marvin were featured as patches for the 1st Space Launch Squadron’s Mars Exploration Rover missions, and the short itself had been seen in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Babylon 5, as well as been re-released to theaters ahead of the reissue of Star Wars: Episode IV at the request of director George Lucas.

The cast of Duck Dodgers: Star Johnson, I.Q. Hi, Dodgers, Cadet, X-2 and Queen Tyr'ahnee.

            2003 certainly seemed to be the year for Duck Dodgers, as the character was given his first television series by Cartoon Network. For the show, Captain Duck Edgar Dumas Aloysius Eoghain Dodgers (Alaskey) was a 21st century duck who was accidentally frozen and revived by Dr. Ignatius Q “I.Q.” Hi (Richard McGonagle) in the year 2350 AD. Using various schemes and lies, he managed to trick everyone into believing he was a hero back in his own time, when in reality he was a water boy for a football team. As such, he was made a member of the Galactic Protectorate and given his own sidekick, The Eager Young Space Cadet (aka Porky Pig, voiced by Bob Bergen). Dodgers traveled the universe, carrying out the Protectorate’s mission to defend it from the forces of evil. Of course, the only way he succeeded in those endeavors was through sheer dumb luck and the work of the Cadet, who was much smarter than Dodgers but loyal to his partner. Dodgers’ chief rival in the Protectorate was Captain Star Johnson (John O’Hurley), who was his better and tried to sue Dodgers for his incompetence.

Dodgers with Z-9 and Dish.

The primary foes of the Protectorate were the Martians, whose army was comprised of Martian Centurion Robots (all Michael Dorn) and instant Martians. They were led by Martian Commander X-2 (aka Marvin, voiced by Alaskey). X-2 was Dodgers’ arch-nemesis (even though X-2 regarded Dodgers as more of a nuisance), and he was aided by his loyal dog, Commander K-9 (Frank Welker). Newly created for the show was the Martian Queen, Tyr’ahnee (Tia Carrere). A competent ruler whose ability far outshone her rival, The President of Space (Tom Kane), who was incompetent and cowardly hid in his fortress. She had developed feelings for Dodgers and had a civil friendship with I.Q., despite their being on opposing sides. Tyr’ahnee was briefly overthrown by Martian General Z-9 (Corey Burton) and his cyborg second-in-command, Dish (Tara Strong), in an attempt to conquer both Mars and Earth.

Cadet with Rona Vipra.

Other new characters included Black Eel (Jim Cummings), a parody of DC ComicsBlack Manta; Victor Von Boogieman (Bennett), a thief from the disco planet Groovica; the Magnificent Rogue (Tim Curry), a handsome and suave celebrity villain; Camoman (Jeff Garlin), who could blend into any surrounding (except plaid); Rona Vipra (Paget Brewster), a bounty hunter that eventually flipped allegiances and aided Dodgers; Hungortus, an alien entity with limitless cosmic powers (a parody of Marvel ComicsGalactus); Flame Valet (Tom Kenny), a lawyer with fire powers that served as the herald of Hungortus (a parody of Galactus’ herald, Firelord); Counselor Combustion (Jennifer Hale), fellow lawyer and sister of Flame Valet (also a parody of another herald, Frankie Raye); Master Moloch (Quentin Tarantino), a gibbon-like alien who trained Protectorate Agents; and Steve Boston (Chris Edgerly), a cyborg known as “The Six Wazillion Dollar Man” (a parody of The Six Million Dollar Man); and Maninsuit (Welker), a giant docile monster controlled by the Martians (and a parody of Godizlla, which is where the name came from); amongst others.


Duck Dodgers premiered on August 23, 2003 on Cartoon Network. It was developed by Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone, Paul Dini and Tom Minton. Dodgers went beyond its initial source material to lampoon various franchises within science fiction and other areas of pop culture. The series’ theme was composed by Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, arranged by The Flaming Lips and performed by Tom Jones similarly to his rendition of the theme from the film Thunderball. Jones would also make an appearance as himself in an episode performing his hit, “It’s Not Unusual”. Robert Kral and Douglas Romayne handled the rest of the series’ music. The series ran for three seasons with episodes comprised primarily of two segments each. Brandt, Cervone, Dini and Minton served as the primary writers, with additional work from Tom Ruegger, Mark Banker, Kevin Seccia, Ken Daly, John Matta, Michael Grodner, Jeff Goode, Bradford Schultze, and Tim McKeon. It used a combination of cel shading for its characters with CGI animation for the space backgrounds and ships. The animation was provided by Yearim Productions.

K'Chutha Sam.

A number of other Looney Tunes characters made appearances on the show in various roles; typically, antagonistic. Amongst them was Yosemite Sam as K’Chutha Sa’am (Maurice LaMarche), leader of the Klunkins (a parody of Star Trek’s Klingons); Elmer Fudd as the parasitic mind-altering Mother Fudd (Billy West), who gave anyone infected Fudd’s personality (based on Star Trek’s The Borg); Count Blood Count as the fat-sucking vampire, Count Muerte (Jeff Bennett); Wile E. Coyote as the Predator-like Alien Hunter (Dee Bradley Baker), who was actually the preserved Wile E.; The Goofy Gophers as Martian Gophers (Rob Paulsen & Jess Harnell) who caused trouble for X2 and Dodgers; Witch Hazel as Leezah the Wicked (June Foray), a character in a virtual MMORPG who needed Dodgers to rescue her; the scientist from Water, Water Every Hare as mad scientist Dr. Woe (LaMarche), who was X2’s archenemy; Taz as the Tasmanian Warrior (Cummings), a savage creature from the sentient planet Masatevo; Petunia Pig as Princess Incense (Jodi Benson); Rocky and Mugsy (Alaskey & Kevin Michael Richardson) as gangsters hired by Dodgers and Cadet to form their own crime family to take down another one; Crusher (John DiMaggio) as the best surfer in the universe; Ralph Phillips as Baby-Faced Moonbeam (Dick Beals, his original voice actor), an evil little boy with electromagnetic powers; the Shropshire Slasher (Alaskey) as the Andromeda Annihilator, a convict seen in a space prison; and Nasty Canasta (Richardson) as an intergalactic bounty hunter. Michigan J. Frog (Jeff McCarthy) also appeared as the host of a talent show, and the Animaniacs were reimagined as the Cadet’s niece and nephews Porko (Paulsen), Puerco (Harnell) and Sow (Tress MacNeille). Although he was mentioned several times, Bugs Bunny is never seen.

Enter: the Green Loontern!

There were also several crossover episodes. Along with the aforementioned Jones, Dave Mustaine of the band Megadeth was featured with the band preforming “Back in the Day” in an episode. The DC Comics characters of the Green Lantern Corps was also featured after Dodgers had mistakenly picked up Hal Jordan’s (Kevin Smith) uniform from the cleaners, turning him into the Green Loontern. He aided the Corps against the latest plot by their greatest foe, Sinestro (John de Lancie).



Duck Dodgers was nominated for an Annie Award and four Emmy Awards in 2004, and two more Emmys in 2005. Alaskey won the 2004 Emmy for “Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program”. Warner Home Video released the complete first and second seasons to DVD in 2013 a few months apart. The third has yet to see a release. The episode “The Green Loontern” was included as a bonus feature for the direct-to-video movie, Green Lantern: First Flight. The Green Loontern would also make a return appearance as an unlockable character in the video game LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham



EPISODE GUIDE:
Season 1:
“The Trial of Duck Dodgers / Big Bug Mammas” (8/23/03) – Dodgers is put on trial for his misconduct. / Alien girls kidnap Dodgers and plan to eat him.

“The Fowl Fiend / The Fast & the Feather” (8/30/03) – Dodgers gets a robot assistant. / Dodgers competes in a race against Martian Commander.

“Duck Deception / The Spy Who Didn’t Love Me” (9/6/03) – Dodgers and Cadet sneak onto a Martian ship to restore power to their own. / Dodgers has to escort a spy to a planet infested with Martians.

“Duck Codgers / Where’s Baby Smarty Pants” (9/13/03) – Dodgers and Cadet have to get past Martian Commander to get to a spring to stop their accelerated aging. / Dodgers distracts a peace treaty signing while Cadet escorts a baby there.

“I’m Going to Get You Fat Sucka / Detained Duck” (9/20/030) – A fat-sucking vampire turns Dodgers into his slave in order to get at Cadet. / Criminal Drake Drakstar trades places with his look-a-like: Dodgers.

“K-9 Kaddy / Pig of Action” (9/27/03) – K-9 is harassed by gophers while Martian Commander plays golf. / Cadet becomes powerful after finding a piece of glowing ore.

“Shiver Me Dodgers” (10/4/03) – Dodgers, Cadet and Martian Commander infiltrate a pirate spaceship in order to steal their invisibility device.

“They Stole Dodgers’ Brain / The Wrath of Canasta” (10/11/03) – The Martians steal Dodgers’ brain to learn his secrets, but his replacement brain turns out to be an upgrade. / A bounty hunter attempts to blow Dodgers’ cover to the Martians.

“The Green Loontern” (10/18/03) – Dodgers becomes an unlikely member of the Green Lantern Corps.

“Quarterback Quack / To Love A Duck” (10/25/03) – To prove he can be right about something, Martian Commander attempts to turn Dodgers into a star quarterback. / Tyr’ahnee wants to marry Dodgers, even if he doesn’t want to in return.

“Hooray for Hollywood Planet” (11/1/03) – Dodgers heads to Hollywood Planet where a film is to be made about him—or is it?

“The Queen is Wild / Back to the Academy” (11/8/03) – Tyr’ahnee tries to get revenge on Dodgers by kidnapping Cadet. / Dodgers is sent back to Galactic Training Academy.

“Enemy Yours / Duck Departure” (11/15/03) – Dodgers has to prove he’s a worthy adversary for Martian Commander. / Dodgers quits the Protectorate to work in a restaurant.

Season 2:
“Pig Planet” (8/14/04) – Cadet relays a story from his past to his young relatives.

“Invictus Interruptus / Pet Peeved” (8/14/04) – Dodgers and Cadet take on a Martian super weapon. / Dodgers adopts a shady pet.

“The Menace of Maninsuit / K-9 Quarry” (8/14/04) – Dodgers, Cadet and Rikki Roundhouse have to rescue an entire planet. / Martian Commander goes for a hunt on Mars.

“Talent Show A Go-Go / The Love of A Father” (8/14/04) – Dodgers uses Tom Jones’ voice to win a talent show. / Dodgers accidentally frees a criminal that resembles a kid.

“The New Cadet / The Love Duck” (8/14/04) – Dodgers resists a woman’s attempt to seduce him. / Dodgers and Cadet set up a love boat in order to earn some money.

“The Fudd” (8/14/04) – A hive-mind alien race called the Fudd assimilates every being they encounter in a plot to destroy the sun.

“The Mark of Xero / I See Duck People” (1/7/05) – Dodgers invades a planet to free its populace. / No one believes Dodgers when he claims his ship is haunted.

“Deathmatch Duck / Deconstructing Dodgers” (1/14/05) – Dodgers tries to save a planet from the destruction of Taz. / While stranded on a space station, I.Q. and Tyr’ahnee discuss Dodgers’ intelligence…or lack thereof.

“M.M.O.R.P.D. / Old McDodgers” (1/21/05) – Cadet introduces Dodgers to his favorite digital role-playing game. / Dodgers teaches Cadet farming so they can grow food.

“Diva Delivery / Castle High” (1/28/05) – Dodgers and Cadet’s escort duty goes any way but easy. / Dodgers explains to I.Q. what happened to his castle.

“Surf the Stars / Samurai Quack” (2/4/05) – A bully challenges Dodgers to a surfing contest. / Dodgers hallucinates after eating a poison blowfish.

“Of Course You Know This Means War and Peace” (2/25/05) – Cadet ends up in prison for a blunder of Dodgers’ while General Z-9 plots to overthrow the Queen and destroy the Protectorate.

Season 3:
“Till Doom Do Us Part” (3/11/05) – Robot assembles all of Dodgers’ enemies in order to enact his revenge.

“Villainstruck / Just the Two of Us” (3/18/05) – Dodgers has to keep the Earth from becoming a water planet. / Dodger and Martian Commander end up stranded, while their underlings all take a vacation.

“The Kids Are All Wrong / Win, Lose or Duck” (4/8/05) – Dodgers and Cadet go undercover in high school to find a device that affects teens. / Earth and Martian teams are abducted to compete on a deadly game show.

“Boar to Be Riled / Clean Bill of Health” (4/15/05) – Dodgers starts a biker gang to get a free rocketcycle. / I.Q. creates a device for Dodgers that works a little too well.

“The Best of Captains, The Worst of Captains / That’s Lifomatica” (4/22/05) – Dodgers and Star compete to win “Captain of the Year” and the heart of a colleague. / Dodgers’ new robot tries to take over his ship.

“Diamond Boogie / Corporate Pigfall” (9/16/05) – Dodgers and Cadet look to reclaim some diamonds from the Martians. / Cadet becomes the head of a successful company, which Dodgers tries to sabotage.

“The Six Wazillion Dollar Duck” (9/23/05) – Dodgers is turned into a cyborg and has to prevent the Martians from getting their hands on the technology.

“Too Close for Combat / The Fins of War” (9/30/05) – The Martians make it so that Dodgers and Cadet believe the other is out to kill them. / Dodgers and Cadet are sent out planetary ambassadors.

“Good Duck Hunting / Consumption Overruled” (10/7/05) – A bounty hunter hired to kill Dodgers joins him instead. / Dodgers and the Martians hire lawyers in order to convince a galaxy-devourer which of their planets to eat next.

“A Lame Duck Mind” (10/14/05) – When the President of Space locks himself in his closet, the codes to open it must be retrieved from Dodgers’ brain.

“Master & Disaster / All in the Crime Family” (10/21/05) – Dodgers and Cadet learn kung-fu in order to beat a thief. / Dodgers tries to retrieve the greatest gum in the galaxy from The Serpenti Gang.

“In Space, No One Can Hear You Rock / Ridealong Calamity” (11/4/05) – To save Earth’s music from the Martians, the band Megadeth is revived. / Dodgers and the Martians try to plot how to get I.Q. to go back home to Earth.

“Bonafide Heroes” (11/11/05) – Dodgers becomes the subject of a reality show.

November 12, 2018

STAN LEE DEAD AT 95



You can read the full story here.


Writer, editor, publisher, and the self-proclaimed “King of Cameos”. Stan was one of the architects for what would become known as the Marvel Universe, involved in the creation of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, the Avengers, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, the Mighty Thor, Daredevil and others, as well as the foundations for their individual worlds and supporting characters. His bombastic personality and engaging prose led to his becoming the face of Marvel comics, and one of its most well-known creators.


As Marvel expanded its characters into other media, Stan had various levels of involvement with their productions; particularly during the brief existence of Marvel Productions. Traditionally, Stan has received an “executive producer” credit on any Marvel-based project, including the Marvel-produced Biker Mice From Mars (1993). However, he was actively involved as the story and art consultant for Spider-Man (1967) and Fantastic Four (1967), wrote several scripts for The New Fantastic Four, was the executive story editor for RoboCop: The Animated Series and the supervising producer for Pryde of the X-Men. He also developed Spider-Woman and oversaw the development of X-Men: The Animated Series’ first season and Spider-Man: The Animated Series.


Some of his legendary cameos came in the form of the narrator for Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, The Incredible Hulk (1982), and Pryde of the X-Men. He appeared on screen as himself in a fantasy sequence of Muppet Babies, meeting Spider-Man in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and pulled double-duty as a cameraman in Marvel’s Spider-Man. He also reprised his role as Fred’s Dad from the Big Hero 6 film in a recurring role in Big Hero 6: The Series.


 





November 10, 2018

THE SYLVESTER & TWEETY MYSTERIES


THE SYLVESTER & TWEETY MYSTERIES
(WB, Cartoon Network, September 9, 1995-December 13, 2002)

Warner Bros. Animation




MAIN CAST:


For the history of Looney Tunes, check out the post here.


            Created by Tom Minton and James T. Walker, and developed by Fay Whitemountain, The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries followed Granny (June Foray) as she traveled around the world solving various mysteries. Keeping her company and sometimes aiding her was her pets, Sylvester and Tweety (both Joe Alaskey). Only sometimes because Sylvester spent most of the time trying to eat Tweety. Fortunately, he was thwarted by Tweety’s resourcefulness and Granny’s other pet, bulldog Hector (who was redesigned to look more like Marc Antony, voiced by Frank Welker). Hector would often beat Sylvester up for his attempts, typically off-camera but sometimes behind a screen.

Granny, Sylvester, Tweety and Hector in a pickle...barrel.


            Along their adventures, the cast frequently encountered various other Looney Tunes characters (sometimes playing a different role in the story). Amongst them were Daffy Duck, Beaky Buzzard, Charlie Dog, Marvin the Martian, Michigan J. Frog (all Alaskey), Yosemite Sam, Taz, Gossamer, Sam Sheepdog, The Crusher, Hugo the Abominable Snowman, Nasty Canasta (all Jim Cummings), Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepe Le Pew (all Greg Burson), Babbit (Corey Burton) and Catsello (Welker), Hubie (Cummings) and Bertie (Jeff Bennett), Witch Hazel (Foray), Rocky (Cummings) and Mugsy (Alaskey), Hippety Hopper, Count Blood Count (Burton), Cecil Turtle (Welker), Pete Puma (Stan Freberg), and the Goofy Gophers (Bennett  & Burton). There was even an appearance by Tweety’s original incarnation of Orson.

There's always time for a golden snack.

Three other more obscure characters also made appearances from the period of Warner Bros. Animation’s first return. After three years of outsourcing their cartoon productions when they closed their in-house studio upon completion of The Bugs Bunny Show, Warner Bros. decided to reform the studio in 1967. Because Warner Bros. was bought by Seven Arts Associates shortly after, it was known as Warner Bros.-Seven Arts Animation. During this time, a new character was introduced: Cool Cat (Larry Storch). He was a hep tiger who wore a beret and spoke in beatnik slang. His primary antagonist was Colonel Rimfire (also Storch), a big game hunter. Cool Cat’s series only ran for five short films when the studio closed again in 1969. Cool Cat (Alaskey) was featured in every episode in some form or other (background, picture, brief speaking role, etc.). Colonel Rimfire (Alaskey) and another Cool Cat character, a ghost named Spooky (Welker), made appearances. They were the only characters from the W-7 era to make any other major appearances in a Warner Bros. production.

Following the clues no matter where they lead.

            The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries debuted on the WB as part of the Kids’ WB programming block on September 9, 1995. It was the pair’s first starring vehicle since the 1976 anthology series Sylvester and Tweety. The series was an homage to Warner Bros. Animation’s theatrical short glory days and the long-running TV series Murder She Wrote (which also starred an elderly amateur sleuth character). The series was written by Minton with Tim Cahill, Julie McNally Cahill, Alicia Marie Schudt, Robert Schechter, John P. McCann, Chris Otsuki, Carolyn Gair-Taylor, Karl Toerge, John Behnke, Rob Humphrey, Jim Peterson, Frank Santopadre, Rick Rodgers, Jim McLean, Brian B. Chin and Dave Cunningham. Behnke, Humphrey and Peterson were also sometimes credited as The Trio on episodes they wrote together. The series’ theme was composed by Richard Stone, who also did the rest of the music with J. Eric Schmidt, Gordon Goodwin, Cameron Patrick and Steve Bernstein. Animation duties fell to Tokyo Movie Shinsha, KoKo Enterprises, and Dongyang Animation.

Meeting important people.

            The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries ran for five seasons and was later integrated as part of the omnibus program, The Cat & Bridie Warneroonie Pinky Brainie Big Cartoonie Show. For the first season, each episode was a single half-hour mystery. It was also dedicated to the memory of Sylvester and Tweety creator Friz Freleng, who had died months prior from natural causes at the age of 88. Starting with season two and lasting until the show’s end, each episode was split into two mysteries. The final episode, “The Tail End / This is the End”, never aired on Kids’ WB after the series’ cancellation. It was finally aired during the show’s run on Cartoon Network two years later on December 13, 2002.

Ad for the DVD.

            During the show’s run, it was nominated for several Daytime Emmy and Annie Awards, with June Foray winning two consecutive Annies for her portrayal of Granny. For years, the only release of the show on home media were two VHS tapes in Germany.  In 2008, exactly 13 years after the first episode’s debut, Warner Home Video released the complete first season to DVD. No further releases have been planned or announced, however five episodes were later released in the 2016 compilation Sylvester and Friends vol. 1.



EPISODE GUIDE:
Season 1:
“The Cat Who Knew Too Much” (9/9/95) – In New Orleans for a canary crooning contest, Tweety ends up birdnapped by Rocky and Mugsy.

“Platinum Wheel of Fortune” (9/16/95) – Clearing Granny of a theft becomes difficult when Sylvester ends up pursued by Pepe’s cousin, Pitu Le Pew.

“Double Take” (9/23/95) – Sylvester and Tweety hunt down the culprit of a crimewave in Denmark to clear Granny’s name.

“A Chip Off the Old Castle” (9/30/95) – Granny investigates the theft of Ireland’s Blarney Stone.

“Something Fishy Around Here” (10/7/95) – Investigating the theft of the world’s largest tuna in Japan has Sylvester and Tweety run across some Triad assassins.

“B2 or Not B2” (11/4/95) – Granny investigates who’s targeting Bingo winners on her cruise.

“Bull Running on Empty” (11/11/95) – Granny heads to Spain to investigate the theft of the Pamplona Periscope.

“A Ticket to Crime” (11/18/95) – Granny tries to solve the death of the host of a gathering of detectives.

“The Maltese Canary” (11/25/95) – While Granny runs Sam Spade’s office in San Francisco, a cast of characters believe Tweety is the Maltese Canary.

“It Happened One Night Before Christmas” (12/16/95) – Granny tries to figure out what happened to the $8000 from her brother’s company.

“Outback Down Under” (1/27/96) – Granny investigates the disappearances of Australian sheep.

“It’s a Plaid, Plaid, Plaid, Plaid World” (2/3/96) – Granny investigates the theft of a family tartan in Scotland.

“Go Fig” (2/17/96) – Granny investigates the theft of a rancher’s fig crops.

Season 2:
“Spaced Out / Autumn’s Leaving” (9/7/96) – Granny uncovers an alien invasion. / Granny and company encounter Witch Hazel in a New England forest.

“Catch as Catch Cannes / Yodel Recall” (9/14/96) – Granny investigate the theft of film prizes while Sylvester disguises himself as a film producer to pursue Tweety. / Granny investigates the kidnapping of the Von Trump singers as Sylvester meets the Abominable Snowman.

“Don’t Polka Me / The Granny Vanishes” (9/28/96) – Someone replaces accordion reeds with duck calls at a dance festival while two other cats try to get Tweety. / Granny disappears on the Orient Express.

“The Scare Up There / If It’s Wednesday, This Must Be Holland!” (11/2/96) – Sylvester is plagued by gnomes on a plane. / Granny pursues a smuggler who stole rare flowers from Holland.

“Curse of De Nile / Hawaii 33 1/3” (11/9/96) – Granny investigates the disappearance of an archaeologist in Egypt. / Granny investigates the disappearance of Hawaiian Tiki statues.

“Keep Your Pantheon / London Broiled” (11/16/96) – Sylvester chases Tweety into Pandora’s Box and ends up back in time. / The Shropshire Slasher makes Granny his next target while exposure to a formula causes Tweety to change repeatedly into a monster.

“They Call Me Mr. Lincoln / Froggone It” (2/15/97) – Accidentally using Abraham Lincoln’s toothpick gets Sylvester kicked out of the state. / Granny investigates the kidnapping of Michigan J. Frog.

“One Froggy Throat / Mush Ado About Nothing” (2/22/97) – Sylvester can’t get away from Michigan J. Frog. / Hector and Sylvester become Granny’s sled dogs.

Season 3:
“The Star of Bombay / Happy Pranksgiving” (9/13/97) – Granny investigates a missing Indian film star. / Granny is on the hunt for the Squeegee the Clown parade balloon.

“Is Paris Stinking? / Fangs for the Memories” (9/20/97) – French authorities task Granny with discovering the origin of a foul smell in the city. / Granny and the pets are forced to take shelter in a spooky castle belonging to a vampire.

“Moscow Side Story / Fair’s Fair” (10/11/97) – Granny is hired to find the Borscht Belt that turns its wearer into a comedian. / As the others try to win a pie eating contest, Tweety investigates suspicious activity in the bake-off.

“El Dia de Los Pussygatos / 3 Days & 2 Nights of the Condor” (11/1/97) – Granny has to help rescue a Mexican mayor being held for ransom. / Sylvester finds competition with Beaky Buzzard for Tweety.

“Yelp / Jeepers Creepers” (11/15/97) – Granny enters Hector into a dog show to find a stolen diamond collar. / Granny investigates missing jewels at a party while Sylvester’s former partner appears to cause trouble.

“Fleas Release Me / Niagara’s Fallen” (2/7/98) – Granny investigates the disappearance of the performers of a flea circus. / Granny investigates the diversion of the water at Niagara Falls.

“Spooker of the House / Furgo” (2/14/98) – Sylvester is haunted by Howard Taft at the White House. / The pets try to get Granny’s Nash back from Rocky and Mugsy.

“The Fountain of Funk / Yes, We Have No Canaries” (2/21/98) – A technology nerd didn’t pay attention to the 70s growing up and wants Granny to find it for him. / Granny is hired to find stolen canaries from Kanary Island.

“The Shell Game / Rasslin’ Rhapsody” (2/28/98) – Sylvester and Tweety end up stranded in the Galapagos Islands and meet Cecil Turtle. / A night of wrestling gets interrupted when someone steals the championship belt.

“Ice Cat-Pades / To Catch a Puddy” (4/25/98) – Granny solves an ice hockey mystery with Babbit and Catsello. / Sylvester is believed to be a cat burglar.

“Family Circles / Sea You Later” (5/2/98) – Granny investigates crop circles while chasing Tweety leads Sylvester to encounter Foghorn Leghorn. / Manatees rampage against Lake Placid sea creatures.

“A Case of Red Herring / Roswell that Ends Well” (5/9/98) – Granny helps a famous Swedish lawyer. / Granny searches for a missing alien in the New Mexico desert.

“A Good Nephew is Hard to Find / Mirage Sale” (5/16/98) – Granny visits her nephew in Tokyo. / Granny investigates a playboy who was drafted into the Foreign Legion and vanished.

Season 4:
“The Stilted Perch / A Game of Cat and Monster!” (9/19/98) – A criminal magician Granny put away turns up at the bed and breakfast they stay at. / Granny and the pets head to the Black Forest to rescue Colonel Rimfire.

“You’re Thor?! / I Gopher You” (9/26/98) – Granny is hired to find the golden statue of Thor. / Granny searches for a cattle rustler.

“Hold the Lyin’ King, Please / Suite Mystery of Wife – At Last I Found You…” (10/3/98) – Sylvester trades places with a lion. / Granny believes a mild-mannered scientist may have bumped off his nagging wife.

“The San Francisco Beat / The Triangle of Terror” (10/10/98) – Granny investigates the disappearance of a Beatnik’s magic flute. / While searching for a musical triangle for a conductor, Sylvester ends up lost at sea.

“Casino Evil / Happy Bathday to You” (11/7/98) – Sylvester replaces an albino monkey in Vegas while Granny searches for it. / Granny and the pets explore a bath factory in England while Tweety celebrates his birthday.

“The Rotha-Khan / Good Bird Hunting” (11/21/98) – Sylvester accidentally breaks the cement footprints of a town founder and Granny is put in jail as a result. / Sylvester finds an idol Granny searches for and it makes him all-powerful.

“Feather Christmas / A Fist Full of Lutefisk” (12/12/98) – Granny helps a little girl retrieve the bird her parents got rid of. / Granny investigates a giant’s theft of a Norway town’s lutefisk.

“Venice, Anyone? / The Fifty Karat Furball” (1/16/99) – Granny investigates the disappearance of the water in Venice. / Sylvester accidentally swallows the I of Istanbul, which Rocky and Mugsy planned to steal.

“Son of Roswell That Ends Well / A Mynah Problem” (1/30/99) – Granny and the pets go to space to retrieve a general. / Granny investigates a missing Mynah Bird which Sylvester plans to eat.

“Whatever Happened to Shorty Twang / A Big Knight Out” (2/13/99) – Granny investigates the disappearance of a country singer. / Granny attends a medieval festival where someone stole King Arthur’s stone and sword.

“Brussels Sprouts / The Golden Bird of Shangri-Claw” (2/27/99) – Granny disguises Hector as Napoleon to retrieve a statue of him. / Granny tries to find out why Mt. Everest isn’t the tallest in the world anymore while Sylvester and Tweety end up in Shangri-Claw.

“When Granny Ruled the Earth / Dutch Tweet” (3/27/99) – Granny and the pets watch a documentary about their ancestors. / Granny goes to Amsterdam to bid on a figurine two thieves have their sights on.

“Bayou on the Half Shell / Seeing Double” (5/1/99) – Hector and Sylvester are in obedience school while Granny and Tweety look to stop a giant crawdad. / While exploring Happy Pet Village, Tweety meets his double and they drive Sylvester crazy.

Season 5:
“This is the Kitty / Eye for an Aye Aye” (9/18/99) – Granny volunteers at the zoo. / Granny finds Captain Kidd’s missing treasure map and goes treasure hunting.

“When Harry Met Salleri / The Early Woim Gets the Boid” (9/25/99) – Granny investigates ghosts stealing the sound of music in Austria. / Granny investigates the disappearance of silk worms from a silk factory in Korea.

“Blackboard Jumble / What’s the Frequency, Kitty?” (11/20/99) – Sylvester and Hector battle with blackboards. / Sylvester flees from a friendly ghost.

“Dial V for Veterinarian / California’s Crusty Bronze” (2/5/00) – It’s vet time for the pets. / Granny tries to save a restaurant’s reputation.

“The Tail End? / This is the End” (12/13/02) – Everyone thinks Sylvester took the Manx mouse and wants his tail in payback. / Sylvester finally eats Tweety and ends up in jail for 100 days while beset upon by an angry mob.