Column by Steve Bennett
Posted by Steve Bennett on May 23, 2018 @ 10:21 am CT
I honestly had no intention of writing about cartoons again, but for some reason it’s been a busy week for animation announcements.
Popeye the Sailor has always been one of my favorite comic characters, but sadly he hasn't had a particularly high media profile lately. Back in 2012, there were those great Popeye comic books by Roger Langridge published by IDW Publishing. There was a Popeye CGI animated feature in development at Sony to be directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack. But Tartakovsky left the project in 2015 (see “‘Well, Blow Me Down!’ Tartakovsky Says He’s Off ‘Popeye’”) and while the film was supposedly still in "active development” afterward, that was the last time I heard anything about it.
That's hopefully about to change. According to an article in Variety, “First New ‘Popeye’ Official Content in 10 Years Coming to YouTube”. King Features Syndicate has partnered with the digital kids’ network WildBrain to create “new animated content in the ‘squash-and-stretch’ animation style” associated with the character. It will appear on the “Popeye and Friends Official” YouTube channel, which makes sense, seeing as how online is increasingly where kids are watching cartoons.
“‘ThunderCats Roar’ In New Animated Series”), I knew what to expect. Another goofy comedy geared towards younger kids animated in the oversimplified style some are calling animation’s “contemporary aesthetic.” Basically, they’ve done the same thing they did with all of the other network’s recent revivals of older cartoon franchises, like Teen Titans Go, Be Cool, Scooby Doo, Ben 10 and The Powerpuff Girls.
News of the reboot seems to have blindsided a lot of people. Some were former fans of the original series, but most of Those Opposed seemed to focus on the new series cartoony style and its increasing prevalence in television animation. Naturally, they weren’t shy about expressing their displeasure online, leading to pieces with titles like ‘ThunderCats Roar’ Looks Very Different To The Original Series And Fans Aren’t Happy About That” and “Why grown adults are mad about the new ‘ThunderCats’.” In an impressively short amount of time ThunderCats Roar has been, sight unseen, judged to be everything from “adorable” to “an abomination.” All of which seems, to me anyway, to be a bit much, considering we won’t be seeing the actual series until 2019.
“Confessions of a Comic Book Guy - Finally, A Day Of Her Own”), and while I knew there was an animated series in the works based on what Forbes has called a “billion-dollar brand,” it’s been a while since I’ve heard anything about it. Which is why I was well pleased yesterday when I saw the piece on The Beat website titled “DC SUPER HERO GIRLS New Look from Emmy Award-Winning Producer Lauren Faust”.
Lauren Faust is, of course, the developer of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic property and will serve as executive producer of the series. They still haven’t announced a premiere date for the series, but Warner Bros Animation did release an image of the new character designs.
“DC’s Doing a Crossover With The Looney Tunes Again And The Results Are Horrifying."
And they weren't kidding. I don’t mind the Joker/Daffy Duck, Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester and Harley Quinn/Gossamer specials, but, being a lifelong fan of his work, I just can’t deal with the Lex Luthor/Porky Pig mash-up. Poor, poor Porky. He deserved better.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
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