November 29, 2014

ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE


ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE
(CBS, December 13, 1995-August 30, 1997
Nickelodeon, September 13, 1999-January 21, 2000)

Morgan Creek Productions, Nelvana Ltd.



MAIN CAST:
Michael Daingerfield – Ace Ventura
Richard Binsley – Spike
Vince Corazza – Schickadance (season 1-2)




            The second of three Jim Carrey movies turned into cartoons, based on the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.




            Ace Ventura (Carrey) was a private investigator residing in Miami, Florida. However, he was unique in that the only cases he took involved animals; missing pets and the like. Ace’s clientele choice is second only to his choice of wardrobe (striped pants, boots and loud shirts), hair styles (a sweeping upward wave), and loud, crude and eccentric personality. All of that together left Ace with insufficient work to pay the bills and the joke of police officers he frequently came in contact with. Regardless, Ace was hired to find out what happened to Snowflake, the bottlenose dolphin mascot of the Miami Dolphins, who had suddenly disappeared from his tank. 


Ace Ventura movie poster.

            The movie was conceived by Jack Bernstein, who wanted to do a comedic take on Sherlock Holmes and gained additional inspiration from one of the “Stupid Pet Tricks” segments on Late Night with David Letterman. Carrey was cast in the role after it was offered to and turned down by Rick Moranis. Ace’s mannerisms and personality was cultivated from one of Carrey’s earlier characters, Overly Confident Gay Man, when Carrey found the script read funnier when done in that style. Carrey also based his performance on the movements of a bird, rounding out Ace’s bizarre persona. Co-written and directed by Tom Shadyac the film was released on February 4, 1994 to mixed reviews. However, it became a box office success and put a sequel on a fast track. Carrey was paid $15 million to reprise his role, and the following year Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was released on November 10th. This would be Carrey’s first and only sequel to one of his movies until 2014’s Dumb and Dumber To, citing the lack of challenge he faced as an actor returning to the same character. It was also the last installment of the Ace franchise featuring Carrey, with a poorly-received 2009 televised sequel/spin-off film, Ace Ventura Jr.: Pet Detective, capping things off entirely.



Ace, even more animated than before.

            While the second movie was in production, an animated series was in the works from Nelvana, developed by Duane Capizzi. The series carried on from the movies, following Ace (Michael Daingerfield, who provided a few of Carrey’s ADR lines for the sequel when Carrey was unavailable) and his monkey sidekick, Spike (Richard Binsley), as they investigated a series of animal-related crimes. Other characters from the first movie carried over included police officers Emilio (Greg Burson) and Aguado (Al Waxman) and Ace’s landlord, Schickadance (Vince Corazza), whom Ace always had to avoid when he came around to collect the rent in a running gag. 


The actual brains of the operation.

Despite being toned down for the Saturday morning audience, Ace retained a good deal of his crude humor--from making his butt talk to shoving various items up his nose and showing a general lack of disrespect towards, well, everyone. A large part of the tonality could be attributed to the writing staff including one Seth MacFarlane, who would go on to fame upon creating Family Guy. Butch Hartman, who would find great success with The Fairly OddParents in 2001, also contributed a script to an episode. All the memorable catchphrases were in the show, including “Allllllllllllrighty, then!”, “Like a glove!” (whenever Ace crashed his car into a tight parking spot), and “Spank you very much” (instead of a straight “thank you”). 


When you're the only pet detective, you get some really famous clients.

Ace Ventura: Pet debuted on CBS with a preview on December 13th, 1995 before beginning its actual run on January 20th. Ace was predominantly shown wearing a yellow and green Hawaiian shirt over pink pants with purple stripes. However, in several episodes, his shirt was red and yellow with two-toned blue striped pants. Ace also went from having four chips in his teeth (two upper, two lower) to just two upper chips beginning in the second season with one visible at a given time. Along with Capizzi, MacFarlane and Hartman, writers included Robert Schechter, Alicia Marie-Schudt, Ernie Jon, Steve Roberts, Alexx Van Dyne, Tara Ison, Dean Stefan, Ralph Soll, Jan Strnad, Tom Mason, Dan Danko, Bill Matheny, Scott M. Gimple and Steve Marmel. The theme was composed by Joe Curiale and Tim Torrance, with the rest of the music done by Ray Parker, Tom Szczesniak and Ralph Cole.



Ace wearing The Mask's mask...where else?


            The show’s final episode on CBS featured a crossover with other Jim Carrey-based show: The Mask: The Animated Series (which incidentally shared several of the writers). The crossover began on the earlier The Mask episode “The Aceman Cometh,” which dealt with Ace being hired by Stanley Ipkiss (Rob Paulsen), aka The Mask, to find his dog, Milo (Frank Welker), who was kidnapped after his brain was switched with that of a scientist. At the end of the episode, Spike stole the mask, forcing Stanley to travel to Florida to retrieve it in “Have Mask, Will Travel.” Both characters retained their distinctive animation styles while appearing on each other’s shows; The Mask’s being a more realistic comic book style while Ace was more stylized to match his cartoonish personality.



            Despite Ace’s inability to find a substantial audience, its ultimate cancellation was a matter of circumstance and timing. CBS had decided to jettison its Saturday morning cartoons in 1997 and turn to outside companies to provide their content. Nickelodeon acquired the broadcast rights to air reruns of the show and commissioned a third season that began on September 13, 1999. While essentially the same show, there were several notable differences between the two runs. The Nick version included a new intro and animated title cards introducing the episode names and their writers, whereas the CBS version just superimposed them over the beginning of the episode. The character designs received some tweaks and brighter colors; in particular making Ace’s features more exaggerated. Ace also moved his operations from his apartment to an actual office, although he retained the menagerie of animals that lived with him while jettisoning the running gag with his landlord. After those these final 13 episodes, the series ended permanently in 2000. 




            In 1996, a CD-ROM game based on the series was developed by 7th Level, Inc. and released by Bomico Entertainment Software GmbH. It was a point and click adventure game with adult-level jokes, actions and dialogue. In 1997, Troll Books published an adaptation of the episode “The Parrot Who Knew Too Much” while in 2000 Scholastic published three books based on the series by Jesse Leon McCann. Although the series had not been released to home video, three episodes were included in the two-movie bundle as a bonus disc. At Toy Fair 2019, Neca revealed that they would be releasing an action figure based on Ace from the cartoon as part of their 6” Toony Classics line in 2020.




EPISODE GUIDE:


Season 1:
“The Reindeer Hunter” (12/13/95) – Santa calls on Ace to find his reindeer on Christmas Eve.

“Bowling for Bear” (1/20/96) – Ace sets out to save a bowling grizzly bear’s life.

“Pet Food” (1/27/96) – Endangered species are in trouble in Miami, and Ace is tasked to find out why.

“The Parrot Who knew Too Much” (2/3/96) – A parrot who knows some important secrets must be kept out of the wrong hands.

“French Dip” (2/10/96) – Ace needs to figure out why a gentle blue whale tries to kill a nature show host.

“Natural Born Koalas” (2/17/96) – Ace tries to find out why a normally nice koala goes aggressive.

“The Hounds of D’Ubervilles” (2/24/96) – Ace heads to England to find a missing hound before an annual fox hunt.

“Remembrance of Trunks Past” (3/2/96) – Ace has to save the city from being overrun by elephants.

“Night of the Gorilla” (3/9/96) – Ace has to clear the name of a cute gorilla framed for a crime.

“Day of the Groundhog” (3/30/96) – A groundhog is in danger on Groundhog Day.

“The Big Stink” (4/6/96) – Ace must rescue a little boy’s kidnapped skunk.

“The Gator Gal” (4/23/96) – Legendary poacher Gator Jane has stolen one of Doc’s gators, putting Ace on the trail.

“The Bull Market” (4/30/96) – Ace is called to the Circle F Ranch to find a missing bull, the pet of the owner’s son.

Season 2:

“Panda-monium” (6/7/97) – Saving some pandas turns out to be problematic.

“Snow Job” (6/14/97) – Ace heads to Siberia to find an Eskimo tribe’s huskies and ends up caught in the middle of a Cold War plot.

“Salmon Rush Hour” (6/21/97) – Aguado’s vacation is ruined by a bear attack, which Ace attributes to the sudden disappearance of the bears’ salmon supply.

“The Search for Spike” (6/28/97) – Spike is nabbed by a smuggler by mistake, setting Ace on the hunt to get him back.

“The Milky Way” (7/5/97) – Aliens seemingly abduct some cows, but Ace discovers their disappearance may be more terrestrial in origin.

“The Golden Kitten” (7/12/97) – Ace discovers a rare breed of cat that leads him to a gold statue and a curse.

“Thunderballrighty Then” (7/19/97) – Ace must protect a dog from a dangerous criminal mastermind.

“Dragon Guy” (7/26/97) – Ace tells the story about a man who saves a dragon from an evil sorcerer.

“Bad Hare Day” (8/2/97) – Ace has to retrieve a magic rabbit stolen by a magician’s rival.

“Robo West” (8/9/97) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.

“Howl of the Weremoose” (8/16/97) – Ace must keep innocent moose from being harmed as hunters look for the legendary weremoose terrorizing the woods.

“Bald Courage” (8/23/97) – The Secret Service hires Ace to investigate the mysterious disappearances of America’s bald eagles.

“Have Mask, Will Travel” (8/30/97) – Ace heads to the space station to find a lost hamster while Stanley Ipkiss retrieves his mask from Spike and joins Ace on his mission.

Season 3:

“Witch’s Brew” (10/29/99) – Ace scours a high school looking for a missing pet bat.

“Bird is the Word” (11/30/99) – Ace must find a golden falcon by midnight so that it can go on its annual display.

“Dino Mite” (12/1/99) – Ace is invited to a remote island to find a revolutionary theme park’s main attraction: living dinosaurs.

“Ace in Space” (12/2/99) – Ace is abducted by aliens in order to find a horse before it gives a bad alien the information he needs to conquer all.

“Get Piggy” (12/3/99) – Ace’s favorite animal star is kidnapped and Ace takes it upon himself to rescue him.

“Ace Off” (12/6/99) – Ace is put on the trail of a general’s kidnapped dog only to discover the kidnapper is…his clone!

“Shell Shock” (12/7/99) – Ace has one hour to find the band Turtle Soup’s pet turtle.

“Beware the Fly” (12/8/99) – A scientist is knocked out and his matter transporter stolen, but not before his molecules were scrambled with that of a housefly.

“Ace in Time” (12/9/99) – On the trail of panther thieves, Ace is sucked through a time vortex and ends up in ancient Rome.

“Putt Detective” (12/10/99) – Ace takes an insane amount of money to remove a gopher from a country club’s golf course before a big tournament.

“Exor-Kitty” (1/7/00) – Ace is hired to deal with a possessed kitty.

“Ace of the Jungle” (1/14/00) – Ace bails out over a jungle and becomes entangled with a group of gorillas while Spike enjoys his time alone.

“Cyber Ace” (1/21/00) – Looking for a virtual puppy leads to Ace being zapped into cyberspace.


Originally posted in 2014. Updated in 2020.

SATURDAY MORNING NEWSBREAK

ITEM! JEM COMIC BOOK DESIGNS REVEALED

IO9.com has released a first look at the cover to the upcoming IDW comic series Jem and the Holograms, adapted from the Hasbro toy line and animated series of the same name.  Jem is the story of music producer Jerrica Benton who uses a holographic machine named Sinergy to transformer herself into Jem and perform with her sister and friends as The Holograms. Jem is in a constant struggle against Eric Raymond and his band, The Misfits.

ITEM! "REBOOT" REBOOT IN PRODUCTION

The long-awaited return of ReBoot is in the works at Rainmaker Entertainment. The show, called ReBoot: The Guardian Code will attempt to answer the cliffhanger left by the previous show, as well as feature new characters amongst many of the original ones and will be accessible both to kids and adult fans of the earlier show. ReBoot  was the first completely computer animated cartoon that took place inside a computer world from. Guardian Bob had to defend his home, Mainframe, against invasions from malicious viruses as well as helping the citizenry win inside the game cubes the mysterious and unseen "user" would randomly deploy upon them. Rainmaker has also opened a ReBoot store where fans can purchase various merchandise based on the show.

THE PEBBLES AND BAMM-BAMM SHOW

THE PEBBLES AND BAMM-BAMM SHOW
(CBS, September 11, 1971-September 2, 1972)


Hanna-Barbera Productions



MAIN CAST:
Sally Struthers (season 1) & Mickey Stevens (season 2) – Pebbles Flintstone
Jay North – Bamm-Bamm Rubble
Mel Blanc – Barney Rubble, Zonk, Stub
Gay Hartwig – Cindy Curbstone, Betty Rubble, Wiggy Rockstone
Mitzi McCall – Penny Pillar
Don Messick – Schleprock
Alan Reed – Fred Flintstone
John Stephenson – Mr. Slate, Noodles
Jean Vander Pyl – Wilma Flintstone

Lenny Weinrib – Moonrock Crater, Bronto


For a history of The Flintstones franchise, check out the post here.


            They grow up so fast. 


The characters of Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm.

            With The Flintstones doing well in syndicated reruns—particularly on Saturdays—CBS executive Fred Silverman approached Hanna-Barbera in 1970 about doing a revival. However, he wanted to make it a teen-oriented and musical series to try and duplicate the successes of Filmation’s Archie series and their own Josie and the PussycatsJoe Ruby and Ken Spears were assigned the task of making the modern Stone Age family even more modern. They radically aged the children of their principle characters to teenagers, and gave them a gang of friends that could play together as a band whenever the story required it. The result was The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show.


Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm and their gang cruising around Bedrock.

            The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show debuted on CBS on September 11, 1971. It focused on the wacky misadventures of teenaged Pebbles Flintstone (Sally Struthers), her neighbor and boyfriend Bamm-Bamm Rubble (Jay North), and their friends: Moonrock Crater (Lenny Weinrib), a genius inventor; Penny Pillar (Mitzi McCall), an overweight girl obsessed with being thin; and Wiggy Rockstone (Gay Hartwig), a girl who lived by the daily horoscopes. Often, they would find themselves in sticky situations made even stickier by Pebbles’ schemes to get them out of trouble, which often backfired (a callback to the schemes of her father in the original series). Other times, they were at odds with Pebbles’ rival, snobbish Cindy Curbstone (Hartwig), and a biker gang called The Bronto Bunch. The elder Flintstones and Rubbles made the occasional appearances on the show, but they were no longer the focus. Another thing of note is that while Bamm-Bamm did seem to pull off the occasional impossible feat here and there, the super strength he was originally depicted with as a baby was significantly played down.


Groovin' to the beat.

As The Flintstones focused on the juxtaposition of the modern world set amongst a Stone Age backdrop, so too did Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm. Along with everything viewers had come to expect of the franchise, the show was heavily influenced by its time period. Lingo, teen idols, drag racing and various activities the kids did for fun were heavily influenced by the world of the 1970s. The series was written by Neal Barbera, Walter Black, Larz Bourne, Tom Dagenais, Bob Ogle, Larry Rhine and Dick Robbins, with story direction by Brad Case, Carl Fallberg, Cullen Houghtaling, Alex Lovy, Lew Marshall, Paul Sommer and Irv Spector. The music was composed by Hoyt Curtin and Ted Nichols. It was one of the first Hanna-Barbera productions to utilize their new limited laugh track.


 Unfortunately, the series failed to attain the same status as its predecessor or the shows it was meant to emulate and was ended after a single season. The series continued to play in reruns and aired as part of 1972’s The Flintstone Comedy Hour, which led to the production of four brand-new 8-minute episodes intermixed with the originals. Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm also led a band called “The Bedrock Rockers” that performed during the show apart from the episodes. As Struthers had become committed to her role on the sitcom All in the Family before the original first episode ever even aired, Mickey Stevens replaced her for all the new content produced for the Comedy Hour. When the show was renamed The Flintstone Comedy Show, the Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm episodes were dropped from its format but returned in 1977’s Fred Flintstone and Friends.. It would make the rounds later on cable channel Boomerang.



Charlton Comics published 36 issues of a tie-in comic series from 1972-76. A three-issue revival series and a one-shot were published in 1993 by Harvey Comics. The show also got the lunchbox treatment. In 2008, Warner Home Video released the complete series to DVD as part of their Hanna-Barbera Classics Collection. It was re-released in 2017 as part of the Hanna-Barbera Diamond Collection

Flintstone family photo from Hollyrock-A-Bye Baby.

Although Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm were restored to infant status once new episodes of The Flintstones franchise began production, the grown-up versions did make future appearances in three made-for-TV movies throughout the 1990s. I Yabba-Dabba Do! showed Bamm-Bamm proposing to Pebbles (Megan Mullally) and their families had to figure out how to get enough money for the wedding. Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby centered on the birth of Pebbles (Kath Soucie) and Bamm-Bamm’s twins, Chip and Roxy. A Flintstone Family Christmas had Fred (Henry Corden) and Wilma (Jean Vander Pyl) adopting an orphaned boy named Stony (Christine Cavanaugh) after he mugged Fred and Barney (Frank Welker) while dressed as Santa. Pebbles would later appear in a 2004 episode of Johnny BravoA Page Right Out of History, while both kids would make a cameo appearance in on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated in “Revenge of the Man Crab.




EPISODE GUIDE:

Season 1:
“Gridiron Girl Trouble” (9/11/71) – Bamm-Bamm’s dogosaurus follows them to school, and hiding him from the dogcatcher lands Pebbles into playing in the big football game.

“Putty in Her Hands” (9/18/71) – Pebble’s attempt at sculpting falls flat. She convinces Bamm-Bamm to pose as her sculpture to fool Cindy, but statue Bamm-Bamm ends up stolen crooks.

“Frog for a Day” (9/25/71) – Pebbles studies witchcraft to prove her authenticity when her role in a play is cut back resulting in her believing she accidentally turned Barney into a frog.

“The Golden Voice” (10/2/71) – Pebbles forces Bamm-Bamm to sing for her band after hearing him in the shower. Unfortunately, the only place Bamm-Bamm CAN sing is in the shower.

“Daddy’s Little Helper” (10/9/71) – Believing Fred about to be fired, Pebbles gets a job at the gravel pit in order to help save his job. However, she ends up costing him a promotion instead.

“Focus Foolery” (10/16/71) – Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm stumble on a bank robbery, forcing them to hide out in a baby pageant with Bamm-Bamm posing as a baby.

“Pebble’s Big Boast” (10/23/71) – Pebble’s brags about knowing a big rock group to Cindy and is tasked with getting them to play at her party.

“The Grand Prix Pebles” (10/30/71) – Pebbles accidentally gives away Fred and Barney’s new super fuel. Retrieving it, the kids discover a flaw in the formula they must fix before the big race.

“The Terrible Snorkosaurus” (11/6/71) – Pebbles fails to sell a snorkosaurus to Sea Rock World and hides it in her swimming pool, forgetting Fred has a pool party planned for his boss.

“Schleprock’s New Image” (11/13/71) – Pebbles tries to help jinx Schleprock change his luck, but her help only leads to endless mishaps befalling the gang.

“Coach Pebbles” (11/20/71) – Pebbles and her girl friends takes over coaching the little league team when Fred loses his voice, but their lack of baseball knowledge brings the team down.

“No Cash and Carry” (11/27/71) – A con man posing as chief of store security convinces the gang to steal from a department store as part of an effort to help test his operatives.

“Wooly the Great” (12/4/71) – Moonrock’s super shampoo gives Pebble’s pet elephant the ability to fly. After Wooly causes Fred to get angry at him, Wooly runs away to join the circus.

“Mayor May Not” (12/11/71) – Pebbles becomes honorary Mayor of Bedrock and attempts to improve the city…with disastrous results.

“They Went That Away” (12/18/71) – Pebbles volunteers her friends and family to watch Uncle Hatrock’s ranch while he’s away, and she unknowingly hires cattle rustlers as ranch hands.

“The Birthday Present” (1/1/72) – Wooly buries Wilma’s present, causing Pebbles to believe it was stolen by their neighbors, the creepy Gruesomes.

Season 2:

“Squawkie Talkies” (9/9/72) – Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm believe Barney was eaten by a hippo, not knowing it was actually one of Moonrock’s squawky talkies.

“The Suitor Computer” (9/9/72) – Moonrock’s new dating computer matches up Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm with different people.

“Beauty and the Beast” (9/16/72) – Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm enter a contest.

“Bedlam in Bedrock” (9/16/72) – The gang attempts to help Rocky Rocket get his job back at the radio station.


Originally published in 2014. Updated in 2020.