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!

Quick Twinsanity 2.0 Update: Cartoon Country Gets Re-Branded…Again!

Hey, y’all.

Remember back in 2020, when we said this?

“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.”

Well, we may have found that special niche for the segment formerly known as Cartoon Country to embody. Jason and myself have been kicking the idea nut around, and it’s looking like going forward we’ll be re-re-branding Cartoon Country as a new segment called (drum roll, please)…That’s Warner Brothers!

What will That’s Warner Brothers! be about? I’m glad I pretended you asked. TWB! will be presented in the same manner as the Cartoon Countries, but as the name implies, instead of them being a grab-bag which focuses on a random show or franchise each time, TWB! will exclusively focus on the works of Warner Bros. Studios specifically. There will of course be segments spotlighting Looney Tunes (the most obvious example), but it will also encompass other shows and franchises under the Warner umbrella such as Hanna-Barbera (this includes Cartoon Network’s Cartoon-Cartoons such as Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo and The Powerpuff Girls, as well as HB-Adjacent works like Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and Cartoon Planet), Tom & Jerry, Silver Age WB shows like Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs and Freakazoid!, and works based on or derived from Detective Comics (DC).

In addition to doing Cartoon Country style deep dives into WB produced shows and franchises, That’s Warner Brothers! will also spotlight commercials, shorts, toys, consumer products, TV specials and whatever else we feel like, as long as it somehow pertains to the works of Warner Bros. Studios.

So it looks like Cartoon Country will be making the jump to Twinsanity 2.0 after all, just under a different name and with a modified theme. When? I can’t say right now, but we’ll keep you posted on our progress and events as they happen. Stay tooned!

The ‘Animaniacs’ Reboot and Other Assorted Stuff Discussion Post

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.

Big Ideas : A NEW New Tom & Jerry Show

Hey, y’all.

Have you guys been enjoying the new Looney Tunes Cartoons show on HBO Max?

looney-tunes cartoons-2

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:

Tom & Jerry 2

“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

Tom and Jerry Tales

…And The Tom & Jerry Show

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.

Tom+and+jerry+spy+quest+box

Tom-and-jerry-willy-wonka-movie-poster

You’re not hallucinating; these things actually happened.

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.”

The wha…?

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.”

And:

“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.”

How About No

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?

MordecaiAndRigby

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.

Tom_Jerry_Show

Yup, that one.

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.

T&J Movie 1

burn-the-witch-monty-python

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…

T&J Movie 2

I’m crazy, but I’m not stupid.

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…

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…

Tom & Jerry Show 3

…Not just Spike.

In the movie, they ended up living with a girl named Robyn Starling and her gazillionaire adventurer dad….

Robyn Starling 3

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.

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.

DotUncles21A

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.

walle

Since the family’s rich, why not toss in a crazy robot servant or appliance or 2? That’s something they haven’t tried before.

the_loud_house_family_by_creativenutso_dc2181b-fullview

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.

Loud Kids Black

Since it’s the 21st century, you could also make the family non-white. That wouldn’t hurt.

Mammytwoshoes-1-

Just don’t make ’em anything like Mammy Two-Shoes, and you’re good.

Heck, just to pay homage to the old cartoons, why not add classic MGM characters like Droopy…

Droopy

“Hello, all you happy people.”

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.

Barney Bear

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.

Youre Welcome

 

Nerdvana: The Miguzi Gang

Today, Nerdvana looks back at Miguzi.

miguzilogo

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.

Oh Wont Somebody Please Think of the Children

Sves

Speaking of which, does anybody remember the Saturday Video Entertainment System (SVES) that CN did briefly in 2003? It was supposedly a ‘middle ground’ for action cartoons that didn’t quite fit on either Toonami or Adult Swim, but did you know that it also served as a testing ground to see how well a Saturday night Toonami would fare? Now you do.

Miguzi_Wheel_of_Gooz_Promo

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.)

ANYHWHO….

Erin

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.)

Miguzi Gang 2

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…

toonamitom2

‘Sup?

…SARA and the Absolution…

SARA_v2.0

“On Toonami.”

…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:

conspiracy_nut

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:

ORGANICS

Big Stalks

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

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.

Miguzi Gang 1

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.

Miguzi04

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.

Miguzification_03a

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

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.

TMNT

“Been there, done that!”

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:

Yoke 2

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.

ROBOTICS

Monitor

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.

Miguzi05

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.

Miguzi01

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.

Hippie

“That’s beautiful, man!”

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.

red-dwarf

-OK, the second coolest.