rAnDoM tWiNsAnItY!

First, wow, the Animaniacs Something Something Whatever Post now has 237 comments! Kudos! Seriously, thanks for sticking around to keep juice flowing here while we’re undergo reconstruction.

That said, The A! reboot has already happened now, and it’s not really big news anymore, so I don’t think we need to connect the assorted comment post to that anymore. So I’m un-pinning the A! Blah Blah Blah Post and Pinning this one instead. Use it the same way you used the previous one. As always, the same rules for comments still apply: Keep your comments, news and announcements relevant, clean, verified and attitude-free; anything that violates those ain’t gonna be published, so don’t try it and don’t try us. OK, now have at it!

How Comezit? Why is There No Banana Soda?

It’s a question that has boggled the minds of humankind for years:

Why is there no banana soda??

“It’s a PLOT, I tells ya! A CON-spiracy concocted by ‘The Man’ to keep us primates down! ‘They’ want to keep the formula for banana soda under wraps just to keep my species from taking our rightful place as the true rulers of Earth! THE BANANAS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM!!”

“Ah, no, actually. The reason is very simple: the reason that you don’t see banana flavored sodas and juices in wide circulation is simply because a banana doesn’t contain enough liquid to be made into a beverage. Any banana flavored beverage would/will have to be artificially flavored.”

There are, in fact, some banana flavored beverages, all artificially flavored, of course. Among the most notable being Filbert’s Old-Timey Banana Soda…

…And Banana Wave, a soy-based, plant-based banana drink which combines artificial banana flavor with other tantalizing flavors.

Such as Mango, Strawberry and Chocolate.
“Gotta try ’em all!”

There is (or was at one time) even a banana flavored Fanta!

Hope that clears things up.

-Say, while we’ve got you here, Professor, maybe you could fill us in on something semi-related: why is it you never see grape flavored ice cream?

“GRAPE APE! GRAPE APE! That had no relevance to anything, I just didn’t want to be left out of the discussion!”

Oh, that’s a good one. Well, the common belief running around on the internet is that the absence of grape ice cream can be blamed on the Food and Drug Administration, which banned the flavor because of pet-related hazards.

The legend goes that Ben & Jerry’s created a delectable grape ice cream which was then served to a lucky customer who loved it so much that they fed a bit of it to their beloved dog, who immediately died of anthocyanin poisoning. (Anthocyanin is a chemical found in grape skins, and it’s poisonous to dogs and cats.)

After the incident, the FDA ruled that no ice cream manufacturer may sell grape flavored ice cream.

However….

The FDA would never intervene on grape ice cream. After all, chocolate is also poisonous to pets, and you can still buy it practically anywhere.

The actual reason is that when making ice cream at home, you can get fruit like grapes pretty close to a puree, but when you are using fruit as a base on a large scale, that’s when you run into problems. Basically, grapes have high water content, and when manufactured on a large scale, will leave you with unappetizing ice chunks in your ice cream.

It’s also simple supply and demand: there is simply not a huge demand for grape ice cream like there is for, say, chocolate or strawberry or vanilla or even cookie dough.

-So there you have it. Some literal food for thought. That was very informative.

“Say, if you’re interested, I also know a way that Mac Davis’ ‘Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me’ can be broken down into an equational algorithm which when applied correctly can control peoples’ minds!”

-Uh, stick a pin in that. Maybe next time.

Disney’s Toontown (Revisited)

Hey.

Do you all remember a post that I made back in 2011 for a potential new animated series titled Disney’s Toontown? Well, as I said back when I originally wrote it, that was more a broad outline for a show. However, due to recent events, mainly the premiere of Warner Brother’s new animated series Jellystone!

This series respawned our interest in this idea, so now, because we have nothing better to do, we’re going to give a more detailed breakdown of Disney’s Toontown and how we imagine such a series would work. Just to keep things simple, we’re going to keep the main cast at characters who are in-house Disney, so no Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars or Muppet characters. Got it? Good.

Toontown is a place where all of the Disney toons reside.

It’s a vast, expansive community, boasting several varying areas suitable for a multitude of toon needs and desires.
In fact, it kind of looks like an expensive theme park. Funny that.

Everyone has jobs here and chaos typically ensues when they get together. Keeping the day-to-day operations of Tootown running smoothly (or as smoothly as to be expected when you’re dealing with wacky toons), is the town’s mayor J. Audubon Woodlore.

“Put all of your ideas in the suggestion box, which will be looked at sometime in the future.”

Who is often seen accompanied by his assistant, Fix-It Felix Jr.

“At your service!”

And yes, Felix is still married to Sgt. Calhoun on the show. She’s the chief of police.

“Hey! No jaywalking! Don’t make me get out the taser!”

Mr. Woodlore is the mayor of Toontown, but he’s mostly a figurehead. The town is really owned by world famous incredibillionaire tycoon Scrooge McDuck, who simply didn’t want the job.

“Woodlore can have the job. He likes filling out forms. It’s his hobby.”

Of course, if you’re going to make a series starring Disney characters, you have to have the Sensational Six. No one wants angry fans banging away at their keyboards about your heinous mistake. Yes, Mickey and the gang are definitely in this.

The gang’s all here!

And like the rest of the cast, they all have jobs within the community. Mickey Donald and Goofy are entrepreneurs who operate a business called Odd Jobs, Inc.

“Well take on any assignment, for your satisfaction…and the almighty paycheck!”

The three of them are freelance problem solvers who take on a variety of assignments. This is a nice throwback to the old theatrical shorts such as “Clock Cleaners”, Lonesome Ghosts” and the like.

And no, Minnie and Daisy aren’t left out. They also have a business. They’re both fashion designers at Minnie’s Bow-tique.

As for Pluto, he’s still Mickey’s boon companion, assisting Mickey and/or Minnie whenever possible…
…When he’s not busy chasing after Toontown Park residents Chip ‘n’ Dale, that is!

In addition, there’s a group of would-be heroes in Toontown. This team consists of…

Darkwing Duck
Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera, aka Gizmoduck
and Wreck-It Ralph

These three often go out “on patrol” looking for wrongs to right, but these patrols usually end with them going to the local sweet shop to enjoy some milkshakes.

Another occupation shown sometimes is Higher For Hire, a airborne delivery service that’s operated by it’s new owner Della Duck and her co-pilot Launchpad McQuack.

Now, on the ritzy side of town is the Enchanted Heights, which is basically like a fairy tale version of Beverly Hills.

Sparkly, no?

This is where the Disney Princesses reside.

They spend most of their time obessing over clothes, dudes and the latest in magical jwelery.

And what would an animated series be without cute kids? You’ve got to sell those toys! The main kid crew of Toontown featured here would consist of…

Huey, Dewey and Louie
Webby Vanderquack
Vanellope Von Shweetz
and Lilo & Stitch.

They basically get into Our Gang-style shenanigans. Can you say “toyetic”, boys and girls?

Then there’s Toowntown’s scientific community, who operate at the Center for Science and Imagination

Look familiar?

This team of big brained thinkers consists of

Ludwig Von Drake
Gyro Gearloose
Gandra Dee
and Dreamfinder and his pal Figment.

Next, we come to the seedy underbelly of Toontown; the Toon Underground, which is populated by the ever scheming group of foes known as Team N.M.E.

The Wicked Queen (from Snow White) is the ringleader. Malificent (from Sleeping Beauty) is the lieutenant. The rest have their fingers in various operations.

And because these ne’er do wells don’t like to get their hands dirty, they naturally have grunts to their dirty work for them, namely the Cogs.

These guys work cheap. Give them some calzones and some cheap wine and they’re happy.
As an added bonus, Pete is the villain wannabe who’ll do anything to join the ranks of Team N.M.E., only for them to have a different reason to reject his membership, when they don’t just plain blow him off. Why? N.M.E. sees Pete as strictly small potatoes (to them he’s just a local thug, not a true uber-villain) plus Pete’s had fleeting moments of being NICE, which is unforgivable to N.M.E.

You may be wondering, if Team N.M.E. is so evil, why don’t they just waltz in and take over Toontown? The answer is: they can’t. Toontown’s resident good mages

The Fairy Godmother
Flora, Fauna and Merriweather
And of course, Yen Sid

All used their magic to create a powerful force field around the rest of Toontown, thus preventing any villains from entering. Team N.M.E. have tried to penetrate the force field so they can take over on occasion, but they’ve failed every time (remember, this is a comedy show!)

The Genie (from Alladin) is Toontown’s media mogul. Whenever the town needs a presenter, a show host or an interviewer, it’s usually him.

“Just look at the ratings, baby! It’s MAGIC!”

At the end of the day, when the Toons want to wind down, they frequent Toontown’s local watering hole, The Enchanted Tiki Room.

Which is run by Toontown’s resident angry birds, Iago and Zazu.

And for entertainment we have the club’s house band…

The Seven Dwarfs, aka The 7D!

Another great thing about this idea is that the perfect theme song for this show has already been written. Music, maestro!

And if anyone from Disney happens to be reading this, feel free to use any of it. All we ask for in return is a “Developed by”, credit, since it was our idea, and that Mickey Mouse has to be an active, funny character in it.

And a piece of the gross, of course.

Player Two Start!: The Jellyfish Pirates

To say that Guilty Gear is a very strange fighting game series with very strange lore and very strange characters with very strange moves in a very strange setting is like pointing out that there’s sand at the beach, but as weird and wacky as the Guilty Gear games are, some of its’ various elements, music, gameplay, moves and characters are odd but also oddly beautiful and fascinating. One such group that falls into the latter category for me are the Jellyfish Pirates.

Smile in the face of danger. Yo-Ho!

This wild ‘n’ woolly band of air pirates (’cause sailing the sea is sooooo last year!), led by the charming and charismatic pirate king Johnny

“Lemme be yer Johnny-bear!”

Traverse the skies in their fish-shaped airship, doing the Robin Hood thing: robbing from the rich, giving to the poor…

…And occasionally stopping for bitchin’ beach barbecues.

There are two interesting things to note about the Jellyfish Pirates: One, that each crew member is named after the month of the year that they joined (that plus the name ‘Jellyfish Pirates’ is very Japanese, and I love it), and two, aside from their captain Johnny…

…Nearly all of them are attractive young women! Rawr-Rawr!

But who are all of these not-so-irate pirates, anyway?

“Jellyfish Roll Call!”

Janus – She’s a cat. A black cat, in a red pirate’s hat, who’s a member of a pirate crew. I told you this game was weird.

Febby – Wears a pink hat and does the laundry.

March – The youngest member of the crew, with pink hair covering one eye. She’s kind of an adorable li’l hot mess: when she first joined the crew, she couldn’t even speak, and loves to see people getting tortured. She goes around barefooted and is rarely seen without her penguin plushie. Her role is Communications, somehow.

April – May’s adoptive sister and best friend. Acts as the ship’s Navigator. Now with glasses!

May – The spunky First Mate and the only Jellyfish Pirate who’s a playable character (technically 1 of 2, but we’ll get to that). She’s young looking and never seems to age, despite the game series spanning across years. Utterly devoted to her captain Johnny, and she’d like to get closer to him in more ways than one. (It’s just a crush. Clean up your minds!) She fights with an anchor and can summon dolphins!

June – Purple hair, pink hat. In charge of Deck Management.

July – Combatant. Rocks an eye-patch. She’s also very well-endowed, wears short-shorts and a top which exposes her stomach. (Bom-Chicka-Wow-Wow!)

Augus – Another Combatant. Brown skin, white hair, purple hat, white top, gold rings. Along with July, rocks the sexy.

September – Medic. Blue hat, brown hair, white shirt, but with an apron in front. We only ever see her smiling with her eyes shut, so her eye color is anyone’s guess.

Octy – The Lookout. Has excellent eyesight, despite her eyes perpetually being covered by her green bangs.

Novel – Mechanic. Red hat, white shirt, yellow tie. Sports goggles on her hat.

Leap – The Chef and Administrative Director. Unlike the other Jellyfish Pirates members, she is much older than the rest of the crew. She is the chef of the group and a maternal figure to them, with them referring to her as “Auntie Leap”. While she isn’t named after a specific month like the other Jellyfish Pirate members, her name comes from a leap year.

Side Bar: This is weird to admit, but I freaking love Leap’s design. Her plump, round, dumpling shape contrasts beautifully with the more svelte and slender looks of the younger pirates. Like the other Jellyfish Pirates members, she joins May in her in-game battle pose and her Instant Kill. She is also featured alongside May in her outro in Guilty Gear Xrd and -Strive-. She is the one who causes the final blow due her weight and size, and I love that. Apart from Leap and Granny of the Looney Tunes from Space Jam: A New Legacy, I seem to be bombarded and mesmerized by little old lady characters lately. Is that weird?

“Hey, don’t knock older women ’til you’ve tried ’em, homie!”

End Side Bar.

Now you may have noticed that I didn’t list a December Pirate; well, they had one for a time, but she’s…not around much these days. No longer with the crew is their Administrative Coordinator Dizzy, the only other playable Jellyfish Pirate character.

Dizzy’s been…elsewhere occupied after her momentary stint with the Pirates, and given that she’s an insanely powerful half-Gear with a tail and sapient shapeshifting wings, Necro and Undine, and has more baggage than L.A. Airport, that’s probably for the best.

Did I mention that Guilty Gear is weird??

That’s Warner Brothers!: Gathering the Tune Squad

I’m not going to pretend that Space Jam: A New Legacy was one of the greatest cinematic achievements of our time, ’cause I know it wasn’t; it was a bloated, blatantly commercial cash grab for Warner Bros. and the NBA.

-But so was the first one.

That said, as a Looney Tunes fan, there were some things about the movie that I really dug. (The Looney Tunes of course being chief among the examples.)

For one thing, I really liked the concept of the WB Server-Verse. The visual geek in me loves the premise that all of Warner Bros.’ various TV shows, movies, franchises and properties residing in their own respective planetoids inside the studio’s giant server. Was it a giant plug for WB? Yes, but I still think it was cool, so I don’t care.

BTW, this image isn’t of the actual WB Server-Verse; it’s a map of the worlds from Video Land from Captain N: The Game Master. I couldn’t find a full image of the WB Server-Verse, but again, I still think the ‘franchise universe’ thing is cool.

I’m not going to recap the entire plot of the movie because a) I’m not a reviewer, b) this ain’t a review of the entire movie and c) it’s been out for a while now, so those of you who have seen it already know the story and those who haven’t clearly don’t care, but my all-favorite sequence in the film, not surprisingly, takes place once Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes show up.

When Al G. Rhythm (get it?) dumps LeBron James into the depths of the Server-Verse, he lands in Looney Tunes World (or just Tune World, potato, po-tah-to)…

Looney, babuh!
BTW, I just love the layout of Tune World. It’s got all of the various recurring settings for Looney Tunes cartoons compressed into a single planetoid. Someone should really consider turning this into a theme park area.
Ah. Nevermind.

…LeBron bumps into Bugs. After some classic toon shenanigans…

Of course the animators had to work Big Chungus in there somewhere. Thanks, internet!

…Bugs relates that he too has a score to settle with Al G. It seems some time prior Al told the Looney Tunes that they were wasting their talents on their home world and convinced them to split to seek their fortunes out in the Server-Verse (what grudge Al G. seemed to have against the Looney Tunes is unclear; professional jealousy maybe? Or perhaps he took them out to dinner one night and they stuck him with the check), causing the other toons to abandon Tune World, leaving Bugs all alone; he opted to stay behind because he enjoys just being a wacky toon and has no other aspirations. Kudos, writers. That is so him. Bugs Bunny is the Alex Rieger of the Looney Tunes. (That’s a reference to Taxi, BTW, kids; ask your parents.)

So we come to my all-favorite sequence in the movie: after Bugs finagles Marvin the Martian into “lending” him his space rocket, LeBron and Bugs embark on an epic journey through the Server-Verse. LeBron thinks they’re assembling a team of WB owned all-stars and heavy hitters to form the ultimate basketball team (such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Gandalf, King Kong and the Iron Giant), but Bugs (who, let’s face it, has gone a little nuts from being on his own for so long) is surreptitiously using this as a means to reunite with his fellow Looney Tunes family.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is: Dude, we’re gettin’ the band back together!

Super, Man!

The first planet Bugs and LeBron visit is DC World, home of — no surprise — the DC Super Heroes.

Can I just mention how awesome the look of DC World is? It’s half Gotham City, half Metropolis, with the two cities connected by a small bridge (makes no sense, but it didn’t make sense in Batman V Superman either) with the DC logo floating in front of it (branding!) and the Justice League Watchtower hovering above its’ surface? No? Well, too bad, I just did.

LeBron expects that since they appear on each planet decked out as famous characters from each world (BTW, whenever they’re on the planet of a live-action property, LeBron’s live-action, but on the world of an animated franchise, he’s a cartoon, nice touch), that here he’ll be somebody dope…

Bugs manifests onto the planet’s surface as Batman (or Bat-Rabbit, I guess) with LeBron as Robin! (“Robin?? I’m freakin’ ROBIN???!?”)

“Hey, who says I’m not dope? Just don’t judge by Teen Titans GO!, OK?”

The entirety of DC World is rendered in the manner of the 90’s through ’00’s DCAU (Detective Comics Animated Universe) cartoons, with the runaway bullet train Bugs and LeBron are pursuing whizzing past the DCAU versions of Dick Grayson, Selina Kyle, Comm. James Gordon, Jimmy Olsen…

Not to mention a certain mild-mannered reporter.

Anyway, it turns out that Daffy Duck is the one responsible for this impending disaster (so what’s changed?); he’s masterminded this whole crisis so he can get filmed saving the day (well, Porky Pig dressed as Jimmy Olsen is the one doing the actual filming) so, he, Superduck, can get admitted into the Justice League. Unfortunately, Daffy breaks the lever that stops the train, so now it really is zooming out of control, all set to crash into an orphanage! The train (with LeBron and Bugs clinging on to the top and Lois Lane, Alfred Pennyworth and Harlene Quinzel trapped inside) zips by the red-skied Gotham City from The New Batman Adventures and the DCAU version of Atlantis, before finally coming to an abrupt halt. Daffy is all set to shout out to the world that he’s the one who did all of this, until he comes face to face with the guy who actually stopped the train…

…Big Blue himself, flanked by Aquaman (sans the hook hand), Batgirl, Green Lantern John Stewart and the Flash. Suddenly the idea of shooting hoops is sounding pretty good to Daffy about now.

“What a Lovely Day!”

The next stop on our Planetary Product Placement tour is Mad Max World, or to be more precise, Mad Max: Fury Road, where the Looney Tunes’ resident desert dwellers, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, are currently residing.

Wile has apparently joined the ranks of the War Boys, using his newfound marauder status to — what else?–

…Catch the Road Runner!

He fails of course, but we do get to see some cool explosions. So that’s 2 more down.

“Yeah, Baby, Yeah!”

Next up is Austin Powers World. Here Elmer Fudd has assumed the role of Mini-Me…

“One hundwed biwwion dowwars! Heh-he-he-he-heh!”

While Sylvester has become Dr. Evil’s bald cat, Mr. Bigglesworth!

What happened to Tweety, you ask? When Elmer and Sylvester board the ship, Sylvester spits out Tweety; apparently he devoured him some time previous. (How long does it take toons to digest, anyway?)

Taz-Mania

I can’t add anything to Taz’s entry into the movie, so I’ll just replay it here. Roll the clip!

“Sing it, Sam!

We next visit WB Classic Movies World, specifically Casablanca, where Yosemite Sam has replaced Dooley Wilson in Rick’s Cafe.

“You’ve got issues, lady!”

A Dance with Roosters

Next we find Foghorn Leghorn as Daenerys, riding a dragon outside of Game of Thrones World.

“Winter, I say, winter is comin’!”

-Incidentally, an earlier draft of the script had LeBron and Bugs actually visiting GoT World, and Foghorn was originally going to play Stark. I have no horse in this race because I’ve never watched Game of Thrones. I’ve never watched GoT, never watched Westworld, never watched Deadwood, never watched Boardwalk Empire, but I never missed an episode of Laff-A-Lympics or Freakazoid!. I was that weirdo.

“Matrix Are for Kids”

We next arrive at Matrix World, where the unlikely team of Granny and Speedy Gonzales having taken on the roles of Trinity and Neo, respectively. Here they are in action.

Speedy’s “What’s happenin’, bro?” gets me every time.

Big ups to Gabriel Iglesias who voiced Speedy here. Fluffy knocked it out of the park.

Side Bar: Can I take a moment to point out just how awesome Granny was in this movie? She was only a cheerleader in the first Space Jam (though that didn’t save her from getting tackled by the Monstars when the ball landed in her hands), but here she’s a full-on team member, talking smack, karate kicking, sipping martinis at halftime, taking down the Goon Squad member Chronos and riding her motor scooter through exploding buses being launched by Wile E. Coyote. The producers cranked Granny’s usual spunk up to 11, and I’m here for it. I hope we get to see more of ‘Gonzo Granny’ in future Looney Tunes projects. Fingers crossed. End Side Bar.

This Rabbit, This Warrior

The last Looney Tune to be rounded up is Lola Bunny, who’s migrated to Themyscira, home to Diana, aka Wonder Woman and the Amazons. Wait, didn’t we already go to DC World? No, that was DC TV cartoon world, Lola’s in Wonder Woman comic book world; it’s completely different.

The animation and visuals here are gorgeous. The characters and backgrounds are rendered to look like they came straight out of a comic book, complete with all the scenes being blocked off into panels. The thin outlines on the characters, Wonder Woman’s flowing black hair, the Amazons of all shapes, sizes and colors…(chef’s kiss).

Anyways, Lola is about to partake in a time trial obstacle course in order to become a full-fledged Amazon, not the easiest thing to do when Bugs keeps calling for her attention in the crowd. Bugs and LeBron follow her and nearly fall into a lava pit for their troubles, but when LeBron tells Lola that he needs to rescue his son, she rescues them and agrees to go with them.

Lola doesn’t complete the obstacle course in time, but Wondy informs her that her heroic act cinched her in. Diana declares Lola an Amazon, and she gives her consent to go compete in the ‘ball of baskets’. Yay.

The Looney Tunes are back in da house, baby!

OK, enough gushing. I do have some gripes about this. For one thing (and this is more of a general gripe I had with the film), I really wish could’ve gotten the screwball version of Daffy and the funny version of Lola here. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed their scenes well enough, but think how much cooler those scenes would’ve been if we had the insane version of Daffy just messing with everybody, and would it have killed them to have Lola crack one joke? They had a blueprint for Lola right there from The Looney Tunes Show and New Looney Tunes, and they didn’t use it, why? Even if they wanted to make Lola a jock and a warrior wannabe, I would taken that (though I like scatterbrained weirdo Lola just fine), but even going that route with Lola doesn’t mean she couldn’t be funny. DBK of Toonland Inquirer is right: seeing the Looney Tunes revert back to their 1950’s personas after 2 shows with them adhering to the 1940’s style (which I prefer overall) was a bit of a step down for me, but I still enjoyed them overall.

Finally, my other beef with this sequence is that there was a major glaring omission. Somebody got passed over.

No, not him.
I’m talking about Gossamer.

Of all the Tune Squad, we never saw which planet/franchise Gossamer ended up on; he just poofed onto the deck of the ship during the montage. A companion graphic novel version of the movie depicted Gossamer in the world of Scooby-Doo

“Jinkies! That’s not Professor Hyde-White, that’s an actual red-orange furry monster in sneakers!”

And you know, I’d like to have seen that. If it was was animated, maybe it can be bonus footage on the Space Jam: A New Legacy Blu-Ray.

The again, knowing Warner Brothers, they’d probably just release it as a DVD crossover.