Category Archives: Animation

BATMAN + SPACE GHOST = AWESOME

Batman: The Brave & The Bold is such a cool cartoon because it’s not beholden to the grim, Gotham-based crime stories of the previous Batman animated series’.  It’s allowed to be as campy and as wacky as it wants to be, which is great because the possibilites for fun team-ups and insane sci-fi adventures are endless. Case in point,  last week’s show ratcheted up the coolness factor tenfold by teaming Batman up with legendary Hannah-Barbera character Space Ghost in a loving tribute to the late 60’s Hannah-Barbera space cartoons. This is just pure joy:

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GEORGE LUCAS IS BRINGING DARTH MAUL BACK

To the Clone Wars animated series, anyway. From USA Today:

Star Wars fans felt the shaft in The Phantom Menace when Darth Maul was introduced and quickly killed off — and so did the spiffy-looking Sith lord, who fell to his death after being sliced in two by a lightsaber.

You can’t keep a great villain down, though. And that’s why Darth Maul will be resurrected this spring, making his grand re-entry into Star Wars mythology in episodes of the Cartoon Network animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Filoni was as surprised as anyone during a Clone Wars story meeting when Star Wars creator George Lucas asked Filoni to figure out a way to bring Darth Maul back.

Darth Maul is probably one of the biggest “missed opportunities” in the history of Star Wars. Everyone was amazed by how visually badass Maul looked in the early Phantom Menace trailers, but that amazement quickly turned into disappointment when the character uttered a line or two of arbitrary dialogue and was unceremoniously cut in half by Obi-Wan.

The thing is, Clone Wars is a great little show that kids today LOVE, but its cardinal sin is the sloppy practice of shoe-horning tons of characters, events, and concepts into the time frame between Episodes II and III that all become irrelevant the moment Revenge of the Sith starts and no one mentions any of it. Bringing Darth Maul back to life (he won’t be a clone, apparently) is just another example of this  gratuitous ret-conning.

Don’t be surprised if, somewhere down the road, Filoni announces that George requested him to insert a huge battle between Ewoks and Jawas that turns the tide of the Clone Wars once and for all. Oh wait, that was just some bad fanfic I came up with 15 years ago. Nevermind.

NEW BATMAN CARTOON TO FEATURE GUN-TOTING ALFRED

What. The. Fuck.

So DC and Cartoon Network announced a new Batman animated series (to take the place of the super-awesome Batman: Brave & The Bold, I assume), called Beware The Batman. The show is set to air in 2013, and it looks as if it’s a hyper-stylized take on the Bruce Timm Batman: TAS design aesthetic. What you’ll notice in the promo image right away is the lack of any iconic Batman villains (the ones pictured are newer, Grant Morrison creations from the comic books), and that Batman is flanked by third-tier DC character Katana, and a gun-totin, badass Alfred.

Bizarre designs aside, is anyone disturbed by the fact that Robin has been replaced by an obscure character like Katana, or that Alfred is poppin’ caps in the asses of Gotham’s Underworld? Then again, maybe it isn’t such a stretch. Would you be shocked to see Michael Caine break out an AK-47 in one of Nolan’s bat-flicks? No, because he’s Michael fucking Caine. By the way, if you say “My Cocaine” really fast, you’ll sound like Michael Caine saying his own name. Try it, it’s fun.

FAN-MADE CG ANIMATED ‘ROCKETEER’ FILM

This gorgeous and fun CG animated ‘Rocketeer’ short was lovingly crafted by John Banana as a tribute to the late Dave Stevens (the creator of the Rocketeer), and to mark the 20th anniversary of the live-action Disney film. It’s absolutely adorable and I would love to see Pixar or Dreamworks do a full-length Rocketeer movie!

FOOTAGE FROM ABORTED ‘THUNDERCATS’ CG-ANIMATED FILM

So apparently, back in 2007, Warner Brothers began development on a CG-Animated ThunderCats film, under the helm of Gears of War art director Jerry O’ Flaherty. The film was shitcanned a couple of years later, and the test footage was locked away in the Warner Bros. vaults, never to be seen or heard again. However, nothing stays buried from rabid geeks forever, and a site called Flixist got their hands on what they claim is the actual test reel from the abandoned project – a scene of a young Lion-O battling Slithe. As I’ve stated in the past, I don’t really have a stake in a successful or faithful ThunderCats reboot, so the only thing that I can say about this footage is that the young Lion-O is a complete douchebag. What are your thoughts, ‘Cola readers?

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