Jason (Goldstar)’s “No New Animaniacs!’ Unpopular Opinion post was supposed to be him stating how he felt that Animaniacs should be left as-is and not receive a reboot–then Warner Bros. had to go and announce a reboot of the show. Suddenly, all of the comments to that post were about the reboot, thus undermining the point of the original post.
I’m personally not all that psyched for this reboot, but you guys clearly are, because the comments, news and updates about it keep coming. So we’ve decided to make a new post just for discussion about this show. Any new comments anyone has about the A! reboot should henceforth be made here instead of in “No New Animaniacs!”, and any subsequent comments regarding the A! reboot that gets posted in the Unpopular Opinions post will be redirected over to this one. So have at it, folks; personally I don’t have anything more to say about this than what I’ve stated already.
It’s almost redundant to mention what a huge dumpster fire this year has been. I know that I’m not alone in saying that 2020 is one year that I’ll be glad to see in the rear view mirror. Yeah, 2020 suuuuuuuuuuuucked!!!!
Anyway, we’ve finally arrived at the tail end of 2020, and as usual, we’re going to our annual summation of the year in the review. But wait, there’s more! This year, our yearly wrap-up is going to be a little different because not only are we going to look back at Twinsanity 2020, but we’re also going to announce our plans going forward and announce some significant changes to this blog and discuss it’s future.
This is going to be a long one, so you might want to get some snacks…
Since both Damon and myself will be writing this, to avoid confusion as to who’s words you’ll be reading, we’ll once again be doing the colored text thing; Damon’s words will be typed in blue, while mine will be typed in purple.
I’m going to get right to the point here: not only is this our last blog post for the year, it’s also the last blog post for this site. Yes, Twinsanity the blog is done like dinner.
Damon and I have been doing this for at least eight years, and eight years is long time to be doing anything, and sadly, I have to say that this particular format just isn’t doing it for me anymore. I feel like I’ve done everything that I can do in this format and it’s been feeling increasingly limiting for me. Initially, I tried to shrug it off and continue as we have been, but trying to keep making text posts at this stage would be like pulling a car uphill with a rope and acting like it’s fine. I’m ready to move on and start doing something else, as I have been for some time now. Also, I’m really not sure if the blog format has been the best outlet for our particular approach as of late. Generally, we think of ourselves as cartoonists, writers and comedians. We’ve always tried to make our content just as entertaining as they are informative (if not more so). Whether or not we’ve actually succeeded in that depends on who you ask. And sometimes, I’m honestly not sure if some of the people who read our stuff know that it’s supposed to be funny. I mean, one of the most frequently visited posts as of late has been Damon’s “The Dumb Donald/Mushmouth Conundrum”, and some of the more recent responses to that post have left me baffled. There are people who have said “I’ve never seen Fat Albert and I don’t know anything about the show other than it existed.” But then you missed the entire point of that post. In order to recognize the humor in that post, it’s assumed that you are familiar with franchise and already know who the characters are and what their names are. If you possess zero knowledge of Fat Albert and don’t know any of the characters’ names, you’re going to miss the point of the thread entirely! “The Dumb Donald/Mushmouth Conundrum” is a humorous article, not a tutorial for newbies. Don’t read that post if your intention is to educate yourself about Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. That’s what show wikis are for. It was supposed to be funny! And I got no satisfaction by looking at the most frequently visited post and seeing that it’s the 2 Funny of the SNL sketch “Nadeen At Burger Castle”. We didn’t write that, we just embedded it from Hulu. Our site isn’t meant to be somewhere where folks can watch SNL sketches without having to sign in to Hulu. If you’re going to visit our site regularly, I’d rather it be so you read content that we actually made. Two of the main regrets that I have are: 1) I wish that I hadn’t typed that Unpopular Opinions on No New Animaniacs. At the time that I typed that post, the idea of an Animaniacs reboot had been discussed by fans, but at the time, I didn’t think that it was ever going to happen for real. Had I known that just a year or so later that Warner Brothers would actually greenlight a new A!, I wouldn’t have bothered writing that. 2) I wish that I hadn’t written that What The Funny for the Regular Show episode, “Free Cake”. Not because I thought that it was bad, but I don’t like to leave things unfinished. Originally, my plan was to eke out one more miniseries before moving on, but I couldn’t do that. There were supposed to be six entries in that miniseries, but I felt so stifled after typing the first one that I couldn’t make myself do the other five, and I always said to myself that as soon as doing this felt like work to me, that I would stop.
Despite how I’ve made it sound so far, I’d like to emphasize that Damon and I are NOT done with the internet, nor are we done with WordPress or this site. No, there won’t be any more text posts like this one here; save for the microblogs that we do on Tumblr. I don’t make a new one everyday, but I’ll at least try to make a microblog at least once a month. Generally speaking, though, we’ll be busy putting together the new format, which will hereinafter be referred to as Twinsanity 2.0.
We’re going to create a YouTube channel for ourselves (I’d like to use a different site than YouTube, but YT gets the most traffic, so we have to deal with them. I wish that Blip and/or VidMe were still around, but I digress). When we make a new video, we’ll embed it here, so you’ll have the option to watch the video on this site or on our YT channel. You’ll still be able post comments on both sites, but I will say that you’ll be more likely to get a response form us typed here rather than on YT.
I knew this moment was coming, and now it’s finally arrived.
As craptacular was 2020 has been, it did teach me to prioritize and give me the final push that I needed. By now it’s become common knowledge that we’ve both grown weary of the blogging format; I began to feel like I hit a wall with text posts somewhere around 2016 or 2017. I blame a lot of that on myself; for a long time I felt like I had to post something almost everyday without a break or a cooldown period or else we’d become irrelevant, so I would just post whatever, regardless of whether I had any real ideas or even if the post was actually a product of our own work and minds, a move I quickly grew to regret. This, in case anyone was wondering, was why we stopped doing 2 Funny: people were coming here not to take in what we had posted or what was on our minds, but rather just to look at whatever miscellaneous video we chose to embed. I know this sounds egotistical, but Twinsanity was meant to be a showcase for us, our creativity, our work, our opinions, not just a place where people can go to look at pretty pictures or someone’s else videos for free. Not only have I felt for a long time that we’ve just been screaming into the void, but my plans, goals and ideas were increasingly beginning to get too big and elaborate to be summed up with a few lines of text and some still illustrations; it’s gotten to the point where nowadays I don’t even think in terms of text posts anymore, outside of short quick bites like the stuff we put on Tumblr.
Speaking of recognition, another reason I’ve been wanting to get away from the blog format is simply because I want us to be seen. To this day I think there are still people who believe that we’re just 1 person, and the only conclusive way to disprove this notion once and for all is for both of us to appear on camera together.
So yeah, this format was really starting to not work for me anymore, and creatively speaking, I was beginning to feel more and more liked a caged animal, pacing around and wanting to pounce. This was compounded further by colleagues like DBK (the artist formerly known as Whimsical Crank) and Mr. Coat, who previously were just bloggers like us but began branching out into making videos.
Then in March, the whole plague thing happened.
SIDE BAR: After this pandemic hit, non-creative types would keep saying things like, “Artists and writers should be happy this happened. Now that everything’s been shut down, they should be creating their asses off now that they have all this free time”. Um, yeah, about that: the reason most people aren’t producing the next Mona Lisa or Hamilton on a daily basis is because this is a PANDEMIC, not a VACATION. Unfortunately, for many people art and creativity are a hobby not an occupation, and most people need to have peace of mind and stability in order to create, and it’s hard to have those things when you’re consumed by the daily concerns about whether you or a loved is going to get sick (especially for those who have pre-existing conditions or compromised immune systems), plus worrying about how you’re going to get your bills paid, keep food on the table and a roof over their heads, not to mention creators who are parents now have the additional burden of having their kids home all day, which leaves them with even less time and space to create. So no, non-creative types, a pandemic is not party time for us. END SIDE BAR.
One good thing did come out of this plague, however, it gave us more time to reflect, think and plot about where we are with Twinsanity and where we want to take it going forward. This whole experience led to me thinking the ‘Big Thoughts’, which I usually try to avoid; not to get uncool and heavy, but I began to think about my own mortality, unrealized dreams, my lifetime goals, making my mark, etc. I don’t want to leave this planet with any regrets, so it was during this latest lull that I made my resolve: I wasn’t going to let another year go by without at least trying to make Twinsanity 2.0 a reality.
What’s that I pretend to hear you ask? What exactly is Twinsanity 2.0, and how is it different from Twinsanity the blog? Well, first there’s the obvious fact that Twinsanity 2.0 will be online videos instead of text posts. Obviously, some videos will take longer to make than others, but we’re going to try to produce about two videos each month (that’s the idea goal anyway).
Now, before we give a taste of what’s in store, first let’s break down what you shouldn’t expect from Twinsanity 2.0. Here’s what we don’t want to do as video content creators:
We don’t want to review movies or video games. Everybody and their Aunt Gertrude does movie reviews (plus we’re not really film buffs anyway) and we lack the skills and the knowledge to review the latter. There are already a number of YouTubers who reviews video games and they all do it 20 times better than we ever could; while we will have some game based content, ours will be more about video game aesthetics, our experiences with games, what we like about games, game tropes, game commercials, etc. (We’re those weirdos who enjoy watching games and the overall oeuvre of video games more than actually playing them.) In fact, I would hesitate to call what we do ‘reviews’ in the conventional sense. For a long time, every self-produced video was called a review because that’s the language that people used, but these days, thankfully, internet content has evolved beyond the standard review formula and expanded to include several various forms of communication.
We don’t want to be ‘Angry Reviewers’. We have no desire to be the Angry This or the Irate That. We really wish to avoid the typical Angry Reviewer/Angry Critic formula of show a clip of something, make a joke about it, show another clip, tell another joke, clip, joke, clip, joke, clip, joke, conclusion. That formula has been done A LOT by numerous online personalities, but as mentioned above, nowadays creators are able to expand to other forms of content. Of course, some producers still adhere to the Angry Critic formula, and more power to those who do it well, but that’s just not what we want to do. We want to do something wackier and more casual; I envision our main show as 2 jokers just kicking it and making a wise-guy talk/news/sketch/variety show where they talk (and crack jokes) about their favorite subjects, in our case animation, Saturday Morning TV, tech, video games, schlock consumer products, unique destinations and general geek culture. We both would rather celebrate (and goof on) the things that we like as opposed to ranting and complaining about the things we don’t like.
We don’t want to do essays or info-dumps. Again, not to disrespect the video essayists like Lindsay Ellis, Elisa Hansen or Kevin Perjurer of Defunctland, but that’s just not what we want to do. Essay videos require a lot of research and tend to be kind of long, and frankly we’re too lazy and easily bored to devote ourselves to the amount of time and research required to do those. Our style is more abridged and filled with jokes, quips, clips and cutaways, a la Black Nerd Comedy, Theme Snark and Some Jerk with a Camera. We consider ourselves entertainers first and foremost; we’d rather make people laugh and keep them entertained than drop an info-dump on them. You won’t be getting a documentary out of us is what I’m saying.
We don’t want to play fictional characters in our videos, least of all superhero-type characters. Once again, no disrespect meant towards the likes of The Blockbuster Buster and Linkara, but we have no desire or plans to play pan-galactic pop-culture superheroes entrusted with the task of beating down bad cartoons in order to protect the multiverse or whatever. On a related note, we also don’t plan to incorporate story lines, plots and ongoing sagas running along within our videos. Again, producers like the Nostalgia Critic have been gradually adding increasingly bigger and more elaborate plot lines into their videos and that’s fine, but we plan to go the opposite route, making our videos relatively short, wacky and fun. We don’t need to have stories going on alongside the videos; if we want to do scripted stories, then we’ll make separate videos for them.
Now, on to the content. The plan is for Twinsanity 2.0 to consist of a main show along with some smaller side segments. Right now, we’re calling our main show The Razzle Dazzle Show (some other names that we’ve considered are The Twinsanity Show, The Cartoon Show and The Big Show). The Razzle Dazzle Show is like a cross between the Escapist.com show The Escapist Show, Cartoon Network’s Cartoon Planet, Sifl & Olly, ESPN Classic’s Cheap Seats starring the Sklar Brothers (two of our role models), Fuel TV’s The Captain & Casey Show and Old School Wrestling.com (OSW). I like to think of Twinsanity as being for Saturday morning fans who grew up. It will still be as we originally envisioned it, “Where cartoons and comedy collide!”. Razzle Dazzle will be the show that we plan to do the most regularly.
As for the side segments, aside from the them being presented in the new format, they won’t be too different from what we’ve been blogging about. Some of them will remain unchanged, while some others may be altered accordingly. Talkin’ Nerdy, The Retro Bin, The Cartoon Couch, TV Special Showdown, Pop Dream, Nerdvana, Unpopular Opinions, Big Ideas and Brain Candy will stay pretty much the same. Cartoon Country will not be making the transition to videos, at least not entirely. Damon believes that CC too closely resembles a conventional review show, which we’re trying to steer away from. Meanwhile I’ve been concerned for some time now that Cartoon Country and my miniseries What The Funny are too similar to one another for them both to coexist as separate entities, but WTF is too popular and we both enjoy doing them, so there was never the thought of dropping that segment. I was going to bring CC back as something else, but I have no idea what that something else could be. If Cartoon Country were to continue, I think it would need to have some sort of specific theme (such as Tony Goldmark’s Escape From Vault Disney, Doug Walker’s Disneycember, Austin Hardgrave’s Zelda Month or Allison Pregler’s Baywatching) rather than just be a grab bag of cartoons in general, since that’s basically what our show is; having a mish-mash segment on our mish-mash show would be quite redundant. So for now I’m thinking that I’ll just absorb CC into What The Funny and carry on from there.
Vidiots will continue, but we’ll be giving it a new name: Ready Player Two*. And again, these won’t be video game reviews. Instead, it’ll just be us sharing our experiences with certain games and discussing game tropes and observances. Within this, there will be a new sub-segment that we’re calling Geeks On Games, where Damon and I (and sometimes a guest like our younger brother Chaz, aka Chazmosis of The Otaku Gamer Spot), watch a video game playthrough and make commentary on it.
*We came up with that name before author Ernest Cline announced that he’d be writing a sequel to his book/movie Ready Player One with this same title. No biggie, we’re not married to the name Ready Player Two, we can always give it a different name, like Player Two Start or something similar. We just don’t want to call the segment Videots anymore; that name has simply lost its’ sheen.
We haven’t done a new Beyond the Background in 3 years, so there’s no rush to bring that over, unless one of us gets struck with divine inspiration.
There will be a new segment that we’re calling Retroville. In which, we’ll be looking back at defunct restaurant and store chains, ad campaigns, TV program blocks, specialty themed cable channels, toy collectibles, theme park attractions and the like. It’s kind of like a cross between Restaurant Rewind and Defunctland, but with jokes. Since Retroville will occasionally look back at toys/collectibles, commercials, theme parks and theme park attractions, the blog segments Toon Adjacent and Ad Nausea will become part of Retroville.
We’ll still do Peeks every so often, provided that it’s a TV show or movie that’s of particular interest to us. However, we’re not going to preview every new show that comes down the pike.
-We can’t give you an exact date as to when our first video will be ready, but we’ll keep you posted on our progress and on upcoming events both here and on our Tumblr page. Speaking of, after the videos start rolling out on a regular basis and we’ve got a decent number of them under our belts (say more than 5) we’ll be doing something else we’ve been wanting to do for a while now: update the look of this site. We’ll soon be giving this place a makeover with new updated theme; we’ve been using the Shaan theme for a while and we’ll be switching to something more video-friendly, however the URL will not change; you’ll still be able to access this site at twinsanity.co, it will just look different, so don’t think you’ve come to the wrong place when you click here and don’t see the Shaan look anymore.
All of the blog posts that we’ve done will be archived so you can visit them whenever you want. There won’t be any new blog posts save for site updates, but the Animaniacs whatever thread will remained pinned, so if you have any news, articles or opinions you wish to share, just keep posting them there like you’ve been doing.
Well, that’s it. This new venture is going to be a little scary, but we’re both excited about this new chapter in our lives and this new direction that we’re taking Twinsanity in. We’re looking forward to Twinsanity 2.0, and we hope you’ll enjoy it too. For everyone who stuck with us all this time, big thanks for your support. We hope to see you on whatever new media we show up on.
Happy New Year, and we hope 2021 is a good year for you. Hey, it couldn’t get much worse than 2020, right?
Have you guys been enjoying the new Looney Tunes Cartoons show on HBO Max?
I know I have; it’s old-school cartoon cool, done in a beautiful new art and animation style which manages to pay tribute to the classic style, put a slightly modern twist on it and remain timeless.
To my pleasant surprise, many people on the internet seem to be digging the show as well, but one comment in particular caught my attention. Someone on the interwebz said:
“I wish Warner Brothers would give Tom and Jerry this kind of treatment.”
Now I think that’d be a cool idea: why not do a Looney Tunes Cartoons type show for Tom & Jerry? I know there’s a Tom & Jerry movie coming up, but that’s supposed to be one of those live-action/animation hybrids, where it’s live-action humans everywhere and a CGI Tom and Jerry doing Tom and Jerry stuff. Not exactly feeling that.
More recently, there’s been Tom & Jerry Tales…
…And The Tom & Jerry Show…
…Which, while not terrible, were met with mixed reception. Those shows at least tried to recapture the spirit of the original shorts, I’ll give them that, but that might have been part of the problem.
They’ve also appeared in a number of DTVs, usually consisting of them crossing over with some other show, movie or pop-culture character like Jonny Quest and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
More recently, a thread popped up on the Anime Superhero forum, where a poster opined the following:
“Warner Bros really should reinvent Tom and Jerry, they need to retire the 1940’s Cat chases Mouse humor. Like reimagine the entire cast with new personalities and have Tom and Jerry talk more often and give it humor similar to shows such as Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, SpongeBob SquarePants, Invader Zim and The Amazing World of Gumball. This would really improve the cartoon for modern times and it would be very entertaining.”
OK, I get the thought of modernizing the characters a tad and expanding their horizons a little more, but “make it similar to Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, SpongeBob Squarepants, Invader Zim and The Amazing World of Gumball?” What does that even mean? Those shows aren’t even similar to one another, and none of them possess any correlation with Tom & Jerry. Make Tom & Jerry like those shows how, exactly??
This same fellow goes on to say:
“The old cat chases mouse formula has been done so much its like beating a dead horse. Warner Bros had the nerve to keep them outdated and unfunny.”
“I don’t understand why that would hurt Tom and Jerry, Nothing wrong with Tom and Jerry feeling like The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack or Regular Show. Just better to move up with the times rather than being trapped in the 1940’s.”
Again, I’m not sure where this kid is coming from with “feeling like The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack or Regular Show“. What are you saying?
Turn Tom and Jerry into 20-something slackers, have them play video games and shout “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” from time to time? The problem with that is that if you try to modernize them too much, then the characters would cease to be Tom & Jerry. Updating characters doesn’t just mean strapping guitars around their waists and have them spouting out a bunch of soon-to-be dated buzzwords, and you can’t stop the characters from chasing and trying to outshine and out-maneuver one another, because that’s who they are and what they do. Tom and Jerry are a CAT and a MOUSE, so they have to act like a cat and a mouse. You take that dynamic away, and they’re not Tom & Jerry anymore. You’d end up with something like Yo, Yogi, and NO ONE wants another Yo, Yogi.
That said, I still think a new Tom & Jerry show could be done. If Warner Bros. gave me the keys to the Maserati and asked me to make a new Tom & Jerry show for HBO Max, here’s how I personally would do it. NOTE: I’m not saying that my way is the best way or the only way, but it is a way. Hear me out. Here’s my pitch:
For one thing, I would take a cure or two from 1975’s Tom & Jerry Show.
Yeah, I know that this show caught a lot of flak for downplaying the mutual animosity between the 2 characters and essentially making them friends, but this show did do some things right: to compensate for the lack of feuding, the writers introduced some silly but funny jokes and shticks that I admit did make me laugh sometimes, and it didn’t entirely remove the slapstick, especially in regards to Tom, who of the duo was basically the more unlucky and prone to be the butt of physical comedy, which has always been the case. I wouldn’t change that, however, I wouldn’t stop them from doing chase gags (because as previously stated, they are a cat and mouse, so they can’t stop doing cat and mouse things) and I wouldn’t put them in random situations that any person could get into (more on that later).
I also would take a couple of cues from Tom & Jerry: The Movie.
I know, I know. Hear me out!
I’m NOT suggesting having the characters don straw hats and canes and sing muscial numbers about the magic of friendship…
No. No. Perish the thought. But there were one or two salvageable ideas from that film, believe it or not. For one thing, I don’t consider it blasphemous to have Tom and Jerry talk, at least sometimes. I’m not suggesting having them speak nonstop like in the Tom & Jerry comics…
Just have them say a few words at a time to pepper and punctuate some scenes, like in several of the original shorts. Yes, Tom and Jerry did talk sometimes in their original cartoons, people tend to forget that. Just do it that way, only a tad more frequently.
I’d also do away with putting the characters in random setting and situations all the time. Another thing I didn’t mind about the movie was how it tried to establish a concrete setting for the characters. Like I said above, I’d stop putting them in human-like situations. I’d keep Tom and Jerry as house pets, but I’d expand the cast to include other characters for them to bounce lines, jokes and stories off of…
…Not just Spike.
In the movie, they ended up living with a girl named Robyn Starling and her gazillionaire adventurer dad….
I’d do something similar to that, combined with Rick and Ginger, the couple who owned Tom and Spike in several episodes of The Tom & Jerry Show, but I’d expand that. The example I cite for this is Harvey Comics’ Little Dot.
Harvey Comics knew they couldn’t have every story just be Dot going ga-ga over spots, so they expanded her comics to depict her indulging in shtick and shenanigans with her assorted kooky relatives.
I’d do something like that: have Tom and Jerry live in a big house/mansion with a wacky family, each of whom has his/her own shtick that can make for entertaining shorts and stories, that way you have more characters to play off of and react to Tom & Jerry and the cat-and-mouse chasing shtick doesn’t need to be thrust into the foreground and done to death. (Have one of the kids be a child prodigy who sometimes uses Tom and Jerry as guinea pigs for their experiments, for example). BTW, you’d be able to see all of the human characters, including their faces. Plus you could add Spike, Tuffy, Butch and/or some of other pets to be in orbit around Tom and Jerry as well.
Basically a more opulent Loud House, with Tom and Jerry (and possibly Spike and Tuffy) as the pets, doing their usual shtick amid or in conjunction with the family’s antics.
Heck, just to pay homage to the old cartoons, why not add classic MGM characters like Droopy…
And Barney Bear in there as well, either as added attractions, or just random weirdos who turn up in the Tom & Jerry shorts from time to time.
Structurally, the show would be similar to Looney Tunes Cartoons, with 2 or 3 main shorts ranging from 1 to 6 minutes in length, with blackout gags and skits in between. You want to keep the stories and plots short and simple because it’s freaking Tom & Jerry. Like the Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry’s shtick and style of humor don’t lend themselves to drawn out or complicated plots, that’s why those DTVs didn’t work for me.
-Anyways, that what I’d do.
So there you go, Warner Brothers. A way to do a new Tom & Jerry show a la Looney Tunes Cartoons for HBO Max.
Yeah, I know. It’s been a while since either of us did one of these, but I came up with this idea in the best way possible: by not looking for it! Anyways, let’s go!
So….let’s talk about Meet the Robinsons again for a little bit. No reason, I just want to talk about it.
WARNING: If you still haven’t seen Meet the Robinsons yet, don’t read any further because I’m going to spoil the crap out of this film! You’ve been warned!
Meet the Robinsons is an in-house Disney animated film loosely based on the children’s book A Day With Wilbur Robinson (as Damon already noted in Cartoon Country) which debuted in theaters in 2007. The movie was about a twelve year old budding inventor named Lewis who meets a boy from the future named Wilbur Robinson who takes Lewis to the year 2037 to meet Wilbur’s quirky family after a mysterious yet incompetent villain known simply as “Bowler Hatted Guy” steals Wilbur’s dad’s time machine. The movie fared well at the box office and remains one of the Mouse House’s more underrated hits. So surely, Disney would want to cash in one the movie’s success and turn MtR into a franchise by making it into a TV series for children. Surely.
It never happened. There were plans for a sequel to the film with the working title Meet the Robinsons 2: First Date, but these plans were scrapped when John Lasseter became Walt Disney Animation Studios’ new chief creative officer, he called off all future sequels DisneyToon originally planned.
So as of this writing, Meet the Robinsons was never made into a TV series, and honestly, it’s not hard to imagine why, for a number of reasons:
For starters, no one would want to see a MtR TV show set in the boring present; said show would need to take place in the fantastical future, and the film’s main character, a twelve year old genius inventor named Lewis, couldn’t stay in the future for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who saw the film. for those who haven’t (SPOILERS)…
…Lewis turns out to be Cornelius Robinson, Wilbur’s dad in the future. Lewis can’t just live with his future self. That would create a time paradox, and if you’ve read any sci-fi novel, you know that’s bad.
Sure, you could conceivably have a series in which Lewis and Wilbur are traveling through time getting involved in all kinds of wacky shenanigans, but I don’t think that many people would want to see that (I know I wouldn’t). Also, Wilbur couldn’t be having buddy adventures with his father’s younger self. Not only would that potentially alter the future, but…
“It’d just be weird!”
Another reason is likely because of the Robinson family themselves.
While these characters were enjoyably and entertainingly weird, quirky and fun, the fact of the matter is that most of them were not integral to the film’s plot. At all. Among the Robinson’s various members, the only important ones were Franny, Cornelius, Bud and Lucille. The rest of them were just kind of…there. They were much more minor characters (although each of them was a personality rather than a cipher). They contributed to what’s essentially a single character: the lot of them. After their initial scenes, the relatives’ main function was to fill up the numbers.
Also, it’s entirely possible that Disney didn’t see a ton of merchandising potential with a fictional family where most of the members were adults. The general mode of thinking for kid-vid producers is that kids want to see themselves (i.e., other kids) on shows tailored for them. Kids don’t want to see a show starring a bunch of grown-ups unless there’s something special about them (EX: They’re wizards, super heroes, special agents, etc.) Wilbur was the only kid Robinson. In order for a MtR TV show to work, he would need a buddy; someone his own age to have fun and to get into trouble with, and that character couldn’t be Lewis for reasons that were stated previously. Disney wouldn’t be able to build a successful toy line from that and we know how TV executives think:
So yeah, for the reasoning above, I can see why Disney never attempted a Meet the Robinsons TV show. However, I’d like to now offer my ideas on how a potential animated series based on Meet the Robinsons could work. Here’s my pitch:
In the movie, Lewis travels to the year 2037 and meets his future family. That’s only 27 years from now. Therefore, I suggest that we set this series even further into the future and focus on a new generation of Robinsons.
The Robinson’s famous mansion would be the show’s main setting and where many of the episodes would take place.
Damon suggested that as a way to directly connect this show to the 2007 movie, this series could feature Wilbur Robinson as an adult with a family of his own.
Adult Wilbur would be the current president of Robinson Industries, having inherited his famous family’s business and compound. And even though this would be a Disney production, we won’t be killing off the mother of this family! Wilbur would be happily married with a wife and several children.
Heck, while we’re at it, Wilbur’s wife could not only be alive, but black! The two of them could have some mixed race children. Who says that all of the Robinsons have to be white? We’re progressives here. Deal with it!
So the series would focus mostly on the Robinsons children, each of whom has their own set of quirks, obsessions and talents, which would make for some entertaining moments as they all play around getting into futuristic hijinks in their wacky, high tech, physics defying mansion. Each episode could consist of several recurring segments taking part in various parts of the mansion and focusing on one or more of the Robinson’s children, with the parents showing up at certain points to join in on the fun. Also, since these Robinsons would all be siblings, the audience wouldn’t have to spend any time trying to figure out how they’re all related.
And hey, Carl the servile robot could still be there. After all, he’s a robot, and robots don’t age. He could just be upgraded.
Yeah, I basically just threw 101 Dalmatian Street…
…and The Hilarious House of Frightenstien into a blender and called it a show, but I think it’s pretty good for something that I just pulled out of thin air after one evening in front of the TV. If anyone at Disney studios happens to read this and you like the idea….
You can transfer me the royalties. No checks, please.
Today, Nerdvana looks back at Miguzi.
For the uninformed, Miguzi was an afternoon comedy/action cartoon block that aired on Cartoon Network from April 19th, 2004 to June 1st, 2007, replacing Toonami after the latter got booted off weekday afternoons and relocated to Saturday nights due to parental outrage.
So yeah, Miguzi was basically a lighter-toned, more family-friendly Toonami, basically Toonami‘s more innocent younger sister. Folks who grew up watching Miguzi are undoubtedly familiar with the block’s roster of shows; everyone has shows they liked better than others and some which were their personal favorites. However, today’s Nerdvana is not about the shows that aired on Miguzi; the focus of this Nerdvana is the set of wraparounds for the block. (Note: I had originally considered doing this as a Cartoon Couch, but since this is about the bumpers and not the shows, I decided to do it as a Nerdvana instead.)
The animated hostess of the block was Erin, a young 13-year-old CGI girl with black hair, green eyes and a yellow jumpsuit (voiced by Jessica DiCicco; Miguzi was my first exposure to Ms. DiCicco as a voice actress; I think she also voiced the title character on a Disney show called The Buzz on Maggie around the same time, but I never saw that show and based on what folks on the net have told me about it, it doesn’t sound like I missed anything great) who, at the start of the block, was transported underwater and into a sunken alien spaceship by an enormous mutant red fish with multiple eyeballs. (More on this later.)
There, she chills out and watches the shows along with a group of mutant sea creatures and robots, none of whom speak but all of whom have rudimentary personalities. Between the shows Erin and company would indulge in cute, goofy slapstick bits o’ business.
I enjoyed the shows on Miguzi enough, but I have to admit that these wraparounds were among the major selling points for me. Don’t get me wrong; no one’s denying the awesomeness of Tom…
…SARA and the Absolution…
…but the Miguzi bumps struck a chord with me, because they were closer to my tastes in entertainment and humor. Cool is definitely cool, but cute, funny and silly have their place too.
Trivia Time: I liked the Miguzi bumpers so much that when we were trying to come up with a name for this site, one of my suggestions was ‘Sunken Spaceship’ in honor of these bumps.
Granted, this premise posed numerous mind-bogglers, such as:
How exactly did this kid come to know about this submerged alien spacecraft in the first place? How did she gain these aliens’ trust? And what was the aliens’ deal, anyway? What were they doing on Earth, why did they come here and how long have they been down there? Were the aliens stuck down there at the bottom of the ocean, or could they leave whenever they wanted? Was the ship damaged? Or was it just the propulsion mechanism that was busted, since other devices inside the ship seemed to work just fine? Were all the aliens from the same planet, or were they from different planets? Several of them were tricloptic (as in 3-eyed); did they mutate while underwater, or were they born that way? And what was the giant mutant fish’s deal? Didn’t Erin’s parents worry about her spending her afternoons at the bottom of the sea with a bunch of aliens? Did anybody else know about the sunken spaceship? Inquiring minds want to know!
-OK, enough over-thinking things. It’s probably best to just chalk everything up to ‘cartoon logic’ and not focus on the logistics too much. The point was to have fun watching the Miguzi gang do wacky stuff. Erin herself seemed to fall into the ‘spunky tomboy’ archetype, enjoying sports and the like, with a playful, mischievous side, while the extraterrestrial bunch she hung out with were colorful to say the least. Because I have too much time in my hands, I’ve categorized the Miguzi Gang into 2 columns: Organics and Robotics. The spaceship’s inhabitants consisted of:
Big Stalks: (or just Stalks for short) The big, lumpy green alien with 2 spoke-like antennae sprouting from his head. As his name implies, Big Stalks was the largest one of the group, and also the strongest. He wasn’t the brightest or most graceful creature in the galaxy, but he seemed to have kind of a swagger to him. He also tends to eat whatever’s not nailed down, such as Erin’s game controller, or in one case, her math homework.
Flip: The short purple alien with the flipper hands and feet (hence his name) who’s third eye stood at the end of his single antenna. He seemed friendly enough, if a tad slow on the uptake.
Curly: a blue octopus-y thing with 2 long tentacles for arms and a third sprouting from his head who rode around in a small tank-like containment suit of some kind, with a bubble-shaped see-though helmet. (It’s unclear if he needed this to survive or if he could safely exist without it, as we never saw him not wearing it. In one ‘We’ll Be Right Back’ illustration we see Curly eating a sandwich with the helmet removed; that’s as close as he ever came to removing the suit.) Curly seemed to be a tad smarter than the other ship members, if a bit on the stiff side (though this could be attributed to his being stuck in a tank thingy), as such Curly was a frequent butt of the gang’s slapstick, such as one bit where Erin draws a mustache and glasses on Curly’s helmet with a marker.
Tre: a small green, tentacled stump-like being with multiple stringy protrusions with an eyeball at the end of each. Tre seemed more like a pet than the more sapient creatures aboard the ship, as evidenced by one bump in which Erin is seen bathing Tre in a sink like a household dog or cat.
Yoke: A later addition to the cast, Yoke was the result of a “Make a MonsterPiece” contest was held on cartoonnetwork.com from November 22, 2004 to January 15, 2005, in which viewers could enter for a chance to have their drawing appear on Miguzi. Hundreds of entries were submitted and a panel of judges selected the winning drawing that was then turned into an animated character. Yoke was the winning submission, drawn by Kyler Spears.
Yoke himself was a small, green, slimy looking alien who was contained inside a egg-like flying mini-spacecraft type mechanism, where he sat in a pool of some unidentified green ooze.
No on-air explanation was given about Yoke’s sudden arrival onto the ship, it just happened. One day he wasn’t there, the next day he was. It was like magic. In-universe, Yoke was revealed by Erin to be Curly’s younger brother (though how she figured this out was anybody’s guess, since the 2 looked nothing alike), and indeed, Yoke seemed more like a kid than the others. Yoke also possessed telekinetic powers (activated by a light on the antenna on his head), so a lot of the jokes involving him showed him levitating things around while the others stood agape. (Erin once asked Curly if he could do telekinesis, and he seemed miffed by the question.) My brother Jason said that he wasn’t too crazy about Yoke as he came off like a canon Marty Stu, as he had a super power and no one else did, and I see where he’s coming from, but I also counter with this:
The dude had no limbs. If Yoke had arms or legs, they were buried under all that ooze and he couldn’t use them. Unlike Curly, no part of Yoke’s body was outside of his mini-ship device, so he couldn’t reach for, touch or grab anything; his t.k. powers were actually kind of a necessity for him.
Monitor: a self-aware TV monitor who had the most important job of all: he showed the cartoons the gang sat down to watch. He would also sometimes communicate via words that appeared on his screen. He was usually stationery, but in a couple of bumps he was shown to have robotic arms and legs.
Remo: a self-aware TV remote with a single antenna on his head as well as arms and legs. Since he could move around on his own, he would sometimes get lost, in one instance he was spotted floating around outside the ship.
Bass: a self-aware speaker, also with limbs and a pair of antennae. His most famous appearance was in bit in which Bass is playing corny elevator music (or alternatively corny country music) and Big Stalks comes along and kicks him on the butt, changing the music to something more funky.
Tweet: A tiny robot (he’s pictured there at the top left), with a spherical black orb head. As his name implies, Tweet communicated by tweeting sounds. As the smallest thing on the ship, a lot of the gags involving Tweet dealt with the problems he encountered due to his diminutive size, such as the time he nearly got eaten by Big Stalks since he was sitting by a bowl of popcorn on the couch.
One thing I liked about the Miguzi Gang was how there was no caste system on the ship. Everyone, organic or robotic, had equal status among the group and no one was treated any different because of their color, or whether or not they have powers or how many eyes they had.
Of course it wasn’t all gravy; I did (and still do) have some minor gripes. It always bugged me how Erin was the only character capable of speaking English; it was like Larry and a whole crew of Darryls. And it really annoyed me how all of the spaceship’s various members were guys. Not one girl! Then CN has a contest for fans to draw a new character and the winner is yet another dude? What the actual what??
-But minor nitpicks aside, I still enjoyed the antics of Erin and the Miguzi Gang. They were probably the coolest gang of spaceship dwellers.
-OK, the second coolest.