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.

Established in 1930, it’s a big, sprawling community where Disney toons of all kinds live, work and play together. Toontown has everything a toon could need.
In fact, it kind of looks like an expensive theme park. Funny that.

Everyone has homes and 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 doing paperwork. 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. When they’re not working as fashion designers at Minnie’s Bow-tique, they’re at their part time job as the Happy Helpers.

“We’re doing good while looking good!”
As for Pluto, he’s still Mickey’s boon companion, assisting Mickey and/or Minnie whenever possible…
…When he’s not busy chasing after Centoonial 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, the leader
Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera, aka Gizmoduck, the brains/tech-head
and Wreck-It Ralph, the muscle.

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 obsessing over hair, clothes, dudes and the latest magical accessories. Think Clueless, but with tiaras.

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 Innovation Station, the Center for Science and Imagination

Look familiar?

This team of big brained thinkers consists of

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

Next, we come to the seedy underbelly of Toontown; Villainville…

Boo! Hiss!

…which is populated by the ever scheming group of foes known as Nightmare Enterprises, aka, 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.

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

 

Big Ideas: The Robinson’s Show

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!

MTR Title card

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.

tenor (1)

Nope.

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)…

MTR Lewis and Cornelius

…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…

Gonzocaper

“It’d just be weird!”

Another reason is likely because of the Robinson family themselves.

Meet the Robinsons Family

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.

MTR Mansion Front

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.

MTR - Robinson Industries

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.

Ebony_Brown

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.

MTR Mansion

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.

101 Dalmatian Street 3

Yeah, I basically just threw 101 Dalmatian Street

The Hilarious House of Freightenstien

…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….

transparent-dollar-sign-icon-png-green-dollar-sign

You can transfer me the royalties. No checks, please.

New Stuff ‘n’ Stuff

 

were-remodeling

Pardon our dust.

As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, we’re experiencing a bit of a down time here lately. It’s not that we’re burned out, it’s just that right now there’s not a whole lot going on in the world of animation that’s really grabbed us enough to want to blog about it. During this little sabbatical, we’ve been kicking the idea nut around and are in the process of developing possible new segments for Twinsanity.

dartboard

We’re throwing stuff at a dart board and seeing what sticks.

No, this doesn’t mean that the other regular segments like Ad Nausea, Beyond the Background, The Cartoon Couch et al are done; they will continue, just at the moment we haven’t been inspired to do any new installments of them lately. The only segments we’re actively trying to avoid doing are the Highly Opinionated segments; we’re trying to move away from the ranting posts, and we’re no longer doing the 2 Funny, Toons & Tunes or musical Nerdvana segments as actual posts; they will only be used as fillers, placeholders and buffers to separate 2 installments of the same segment like they were originally intended to be.

The What the Funny and Pop Dream segments are an indicator of what to expect with the new material we’re working on: these new segments will be more reminiscent of those in that they will be more detailed and will focus on one specific subject and will extend across multiple posts as opposed to just being one-offs done in a ‘grab bag’ fashion like the Cartoon Country, The Retro Bin and the like are. At this stage I’d actually prefer doing ongoing multiple blog posts, since that will keep us working on something for a weeks, possibly months to come.

(Speaking of Pop Dream and What the Funny, there will be more of these segments; it’s just that we’ve only recently finished the first installments of those and we’d rather not start the next set so soon afterwards. We’d prefer to do something else first. Part of what makes those segments special is that you don’t see them all the time. We don’t wish to get burned out on them.)

Now, onto the new stuff currently in development. Keep in mind that all of these ideas are extremely early, and they could go through a number of changes before reaching their final forms. Also, none of these new bits are named yet; we’ll just be giving them working names for the sake of calling them something. Names are a tricky thing right now since the segments themselves are still being developed, so they too are subject to change. Also, the overall theme of Twinsanity isn’t going to change; Twinsanity’s central focus is, always was and always will be cartoons, comedy and geek culture. Got it? Good.

The first new segment I’m working on was originally going to be a Videots listing my favorite Sonic the Hedgehog Zones; I may still do that at some point, but I’ve already done a favorite stages post in early February, and as much as I enjoy doing those, I don’t want to get into a rut with them. A while later James Rolfe and Mike Mattei did a James and Mike Mondays on Knuckles Chaotix

knuckles_chaotix

...So for a while I was considering doing something along those lines. Then while researching for that, I began reading up on general Sonic lore and considered doing a piece on Knothole (or a place which resembled it; which I also still may do at some stage), and that evolved into a general overview of a planet similar to Mobius. Then finally, I decided to make a series of segments set in a Utopian future. It would depict day-to-day life in an amazing, wonderful high-tech future complete with spaceships, flying cars, robots, aliens and the like. This segment will combine some elements of “Superhero City: A Visitor’s Guide” and “The Future Rocks!” and will feature places and things mentioned in both of those, but will go in greater detail and unlike “Superhero City” and “A Touch of Magix”, these entries will  more closely resemble a narrative structure rather than just being travelogues and will star actual characters for the readers to experience these things through. Right now I’m calling this segment Startopia, Startropolis or Coolopolis. 

I’m also working on something akin to Tony Goldmark’s State of the Parks vlogs or Allison Pregler’s Movie Nights or Bob Chipman’s G.E.M.s (Good Enough Movies), but for cartoons, cartoon episodes and possibly cartoon merch. I’d like for it to capture the essence of CN’s Cartoon Planet or The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show, with quick jokes, bits and self-aware inanity. My big concern with this idea is that it may smack too much of Cartoon Country, so this may just become another branch or aspect of Cartoon Country, which would also be cool, since one of the goals we both have for this year is to get back into producing Cartoon Countries on a regular basis.

The final new segment I’m working on started out as a piece I had planned to do on Marvel’s Inhumans. 

inhumans

Two things I like about the Inhumans are 1) that they’re not superheroes, despite meeting and teaming up with them on occasion and 2) the central characters are a family. This evolved into a general ongoing segment about a quirky and kooky yet loving and functional family, something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. However, I don’t want them to just be an ordinary family; I’m not trying to do something like The Family Circus or Fox Trot, that would be boring; this family will have some kind of unique cartoon hook, gimmick or twist of some kind. Presently I’m calling this segment Family Fun, but that won’t be its’ final name. 

For a little while now, I’ve been interested in Cyborcat’s recurring segments, The Game Den and The Film Den, respectively. I particularly liked how Dena split them off into two separate segments, but they’re still connected in terms of theme and approach.* Also, I’ve been watching James Rolfe’s reviews of monster movies such Godzilla and King Kong, as well as James’ two part “Power Rangers: A Noob’s Guide” video, and I’ve been thinking about doing something along those lines, only bigger and wilder, with the usual jokes and nonsense attached to them. Nothing is final as of yet, but here are some of the themes that I’m considering going with:

I thought about tackling the tropes and character archetypes of domestic comedies, similar to the Nerdvana segment, “Making Family Fun”, only more detailed and specific. Currently, I’m calling this segment The Family Factor. Also, I’ve been trying to do something with the idea of the kidcom with the sci-fi twist (which I’ve been wanting to do for a little while now), something along the lines of Wake, Rattle and Roll, Johnny Test or Out of Jimmy’s Head, only good, so this segment could possibly tie in to that idea.

The other segment was originally going to be me talking about toys based on cartoons or toy franchises, but I wasn’t coming up with a lot of ideas for this, so then I thought about just talking about merchandise based on cartoons and franchises, similar to the late TLC show (back when TLC stood for The Learning Channel) called Neat Stuff. In this form, I’ve been calling the segment The Toy Factor. One thing possibly preventing this idea is that concept-wise, it’s not far enough away from Nerdvana. Of course, any ideas for this could easily lead to more Nerdvana segments, which I wouldn’t mind at all, so I just might approach the idea this way instead of making a new segment. We’ll see.

I’d also like to do something along the lines of Doug and Rob Walker’s Sibling Rivalry/Real Thoughts segments mixed with Trent Troop and Greg Sepelak’s Under the Table podcasts mixed with The Sifl & Olly Show; quick little jokes, quips and thought bubbles about subjects that aren’t major enough to devote an entire segment to.

I also thought about focusing on the art and settings of video games, but that might be too similar to Videots. Of course, I could always do those as Videots segments. OK, so it seems evident that I don’t actually have a particular subject in mind for either of these connected segments at this time, or anything other than the desire to do them (although this may change when I find something new to “groove” on, as I mentioned back in “Twinsanity’s New Groove”).  In hindsight, it’s not really me doing an entirely new segment so much as approaching the established segments in a slightly different (and better) way. In any case, if this happens at all, I want there to be 2 of these segments and both of the segments will have similar themed names, as with Cyborcat’s segments*.

*Inspired by this, we’ve decided to rename the Retro Box and Wild World of Shows segments, since they too are connected as being opposite sides of the same coin. One segment roasts past cartoons pulled out of the trash bin, while the other turns an appreciative spotlight on obscure cartoons which have fallen into the couch cushions. So henceforth The Retro Box shall be known as The Retro Bin, while the Wild World of Shows is now The Cartoon Couch. The content of each segment is still the same. ‘Kay?

Big Ideas: Looney Tunes’ Laff Riot

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Those of you who have stuck with us from the beginning may, as you read this, think “Didn’t they post this already?” Well, yes and no. I originally typed this entry while we were on Blogger; when we imported the site over to WordPress, I recently discovered that this particular article had gotten “lost” somehow; long story short, the original copy of this article is floating around in Limbo somewhere. While this idea is a couple of years old, I still think it’s a good one, so for posterity’s sake I thought I’d type it again, since the original one couldn’t be retrieved.

Hey, remember The Looney Tunes Show?

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The Looney Tunes Show was an attempt by Warner Brothers Animation to introduce the Looney Tunes franchise to an all-new audience, and as such, it did its’ job well enough, lasting 2 seasons with 52 episodes in total, however, TLTS was also a very polarizing show; while some people enjoyed it, a lot of Looney Tunes purists derided the series, feeling it lacked the teeth and anarchic glee of the original shorts, as the show lacked the slapstick and “squash-and-stretch” physics of the original cartoons. This was due to the show’s executive producers, Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone, feeling that they weren’t capable of emulating the shorts’ style. As a result, The Looney Tunes Show was more reminiscent of Seinfeld than the original theatrical cartoons.

Me? I felt The Looney Tunes Show was just OK. I liked the show, but I didn’t love it. I’d like to love a Looney Tunes show again. The Looney Tunes Show was all right, but didn’t ignite my fandom the way, say, Tiny Toon Adventures did.

That last particular thought gave me an idea: why doesn’t someone at WB make a Looney Tunes show Tiny Toons style? I came up with a hypothetical series done just that way. I call this series Looney Tunes’ Laff Riot.

Laff Riot

For those who don’t know, Laff Riot was Warner Brothers’ original concept for The Looney Tunes Show, a “true-to-the-classics” show emulating the original run of Looney Tunes shorts announced in July 2009. However, it was scrapped because the executives were not impressed, and it was later retooled into the sitcom-inspired The Looney Tunes Show which premiered on May 3, 2011 on Cartoon Network. We liked the Laff Riot concept and felt it wasn’t given a proper chance.

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“Plus the name makes me happy!”

Like on The Looney Tunes Show, Laff Riot would place nearly all of the major Looney Tunes characters in a singular setting, in this case Acme Acres. Like on Tiny Toons, Acme Acres is like a world in microcosm (where of course, EVERYTHING is named Acme), housing several diverse locations and areas to accommodate the various characters. There’s Acme Forest, home to animal characters such as Bugs, Lola, Tina (or Melissa, whichever you prefer), Mac and Tosh, Pepe, Squeaks the Squirrel and Daffy.

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Speaking of Daffy, the Laff Riot version of Daffy would have more in common with the 30’s and 40’s versions of the character than the later 50’s and 60’s version. In short, this Daffy would be”totally nuts” rather than greedy and selfish.

As for Lola, another VERY polarizing element to The Looney Tunes Show, the Laff Riot version of the character would be a mash-up of the scatterbrained motor-mouthed version from TLTS…

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…And the hyper-kinetic version from New Looney Tunes…

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…Definitely not the bland cypher version from Space Jam

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We like the Looney Tunes Show and New Looney Tunes versions of Lola. We prefer funny Lola over hot Lola. Deal with it, ya nerds.

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As on Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production, Wile E. Coyote would be the pompous, technology-obsessed next-door neighbor to Bugs, with a vast desert-like expanse stemming from his side of the fence. This would be the gateway to the Acme Wild, home of characters such as Wile, the Road Runner, Taz, Pete Puma and Beaky Buzzard.

Royal Oaks Glen Oaks Garden Oaks Cul De Sac

The human characters would live in a suburban cul-de-sac called Acme Oaks, again not unlike on The Looney Tunes Show. As on that show, Granny would live in an old-style manor, with Tweety, Sylvester and Hector the bulldog as her pets, Yosemite Sam would live in a dilapidated shotgun shack, Witch Hazel and Gossamer would live in a Gothic style haunted house, plus I’d add Elmer Fudd there as well, since I thought it was kind of wrong how he was given such a small role on The Looney Tunes Show.

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The Laff Riot version of Elmer would be a “big time game hunter” and host of a hunting show where he shows off his hunting prowess (except for a certain wabbit who somehow keeps eluding him). Just to make things more interesting, Fudd here would also be a millionaire, owning “a mansion and a yacht”.

porky-pig

Porky, whose always been a “border line case”, would live on the outskirts of Acme Oaks adjacent to Acme Farms, where Foghorn Leghorn, the Barnyard Dawg and Henery Hawk reside.

Now, you may be wondering:

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Aside from 1 or 2 changes you made, how is this different from The Looney Tunes Show?

I’m glad I pretended that you asked that. What sets Laff Riot apart from The Looney Tunes Show is its’ tone and presentation. Laff Riot would a variety of shorts per show, ranging from 90 seconds to 6 minutes in length, some with a common theme and some completely unrelated (you never know–anarchy!).

In addition, between the shorts there would also be song segments, the Merrie Melodies.

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These would be the same as the ones from The Looney Tunes Show. No need to fix something that isn’t broken.

There would also be a recurring segment called “One-Shot Wonders”. These would present the characters in more unusual settings, like genre parodies or period pieces. (The One-Shot Wonders would be rendered in CGI to show that they’re different from the “actual” continuity.) There would also be the occasional one-shot featuring new, never-before-seen characters.

The other major difference would be that Laff Riot would contain slapstick. A lot of it. There would be “squash-and-stretch” gags, Bugs donning disguises and breaking the 4th wall (Bugs could even freeze the action to address the audience a la Zack Morris; to keep him special, Bugs would be the only character who could do this), Elmer and Yosemite Sam would once again wield their trademark guns, but now they’d fire cartoon props and effects such as popping corks, paint balls, suction darts, land mines, springboard boxing gloves, custard cream pies, etc., Witch Hazel casts a lot of spells, Gossamer causing collateral damage with his massive strength, lots of “BOOM”s, “CLANG”s and “POW”s and falling anvils.

Finally, Laff Riot would feature character-specific sign-offs; they would depict a different character opening the WB trademark shield like a vault door and giving a farewell greeting to the audience. Some would be the ones previously used in Tiny Toon Adventures and The Looney Tunes Show, others would be new and some would be specific to a particular episode. Among the recurring sign-offs”:

TLTS Signoff

  • Porky: “Th-th-th-That’s All, Folks!”
  • Bugs: “And that’s the end.”
  • (Bugs and Squeaks) Squeaks: (chatters incomprehensibly) Bugs: “Eh, what he said.”
  • Daffy: (Hammy Shakespearean style) “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”
  • Daffy: “Hey! Wanna see my butt tattoo??” (The vault door slams shut on him) “Woo-hoo!”
  • Daffy: “It’s been surreal!” (He pulls out a TV remote and switches the image off.)
  • Lola: “‘That’s all what?” What are ‘folks’? (Points off-screen) “He’s crazy.”
  • Lola: (a la Humphrey Bogart) “That’s all, folks!”
  • Lola: (leaning in the doorway) “That’s all, f…” (She falls from the doorway and lands off-screen with a thud)
  • Lola: (a la Tracey Ullman) “GO HOME!”
  • Elmer: (in full hunter’s garb) “It’s been a bwast!” (He drops his rifle and it blasts a hole though his hat. He shrugs and gives his trademark Fudd laugh.)
  • Sam: “It’s over. Now git!”
  • (Bugs and Lola) Bugs: “Say goodnight, Lola.” Lola: “Goodnight, Lola.”
  • (Bugs and Porky) Porky: Th-th-th-th-th-th…(Bugs covers his mouth) “That’s a wrap!”
  • Taz: &%$#@#^%^#! (gestures as though he’s saying “That’s all, folks!”)
  • Taz: “Show over!” (He proceeds to devour everything on the screen until he’s left standing in a black expanse, then plummets off-screen.)
  • Speedy: “iHasta luego, amigos!” (“See you later, friends!”)
  • Mac & Tosh: (in unison) “That’s all..Oh, after you. No, after you. After you. After you. After you. After you…(etc.)
  • Sylvester: (Roars like Leo the MGM lion, then puts his paw over his mouth) “‘Scuse me!”
  • Witch Hazel: (as though she’s reciting an incantation) “That’s all folks, that’s all folks, that’s all folks!” (She vanishes in a puff of purple smoke, hair pins and bat wings.)
  • Pepe: “Au revoir, mon petit potato du couch!”
  • Pete Puma: Duh, let the show begin!”

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Hey, I’d watch a show like this, wouldn’t you? How about it, Warner Brothers? Make this happen.