Monday, December 22, 2014

On The Air: Sonic Boom (2014)

Sonic the Hedgehog returns in all new adventures, and on a new home, with the launch of Sonic Boom on Cartoon Network.

Sadly, it seems the bloom's already off the rose for this CGI entry, as CN has slotted it in a double-play block on Sunday mornings at 6 am (ET), hardly a prime spot. The fact that it is, at its core, an action cartoon, moreso than a comedy-adventure show, works against it. Still, the CGI animation works better for Sonic, whose roots, of course, are in video games, than the Japanese anime of his last series, Sonic X.

Some new characters have been added, including Stix, a badger, but those who remember the first series from the 90's will be slightly disappointed to see that Sonic's old sweetie, Princess Sally Acorn, is not around. In fact, there are two schools of thought, if you go by message boards, in regards to Sally, as it seems the mallet-wielding Amy Rose is Sonic's current love. I've been out of the loop with Sonic for so long, so you'll excuse my ignorance.

Anyway, let's scope out the opener:

Dr. Eggman, nee Robotnik, hasn't changed. For a guy with a genius IQ, he's still a loser.

Rating: B.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

On The Air: Transformers Rescue Bots (2011)

The Hub (now Discovery Family) has kept the Transformers cartoon franchise alive here in the US, with one of the more recent entries being Transformers Rescue Bots. Of course, it is meant to drive sales of the long running toy franchise, especially now that FCC regulations regarding such things have long since been relaxed.

You won't see any of the familiar characters from the main franchise, as Rescue Bots is a sort of beginner level series, aimed at the younger kiddo's. Here's the intro:

Meh. Rating: B.

Countdown to Christmas: Tom & Jerry in The Night Before Christmas (1941)

Here's a Tom & Jerry Christmas cartoon that's likely to see some air time this coming week on Boomerang. William Hanna & Joseph Barbera "supervised" "The Night Before Christmas":

Well, did you really expect them to call a truce?

Rating: A.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Countdown to Christmas: A Pink Christmas (1978)

Part of the deal that brought the Pink Panther to ABC after 9 seasons on NBC was that ABC would offer something that NBC hadn't considered----a primetime special.

A Pink Christmas unspooled in 1978. I will tell you now that there won't be a rating, because I didn't see it when it first aired. Courtesy of Hulu.

I'm not sure if this has aired on cable in recent years. You'd think it would.

Looney TV: Bugs Bunny & Elmer Fudd for Kool-Aid (1960?)

As we've documented, General Foods, now part of Kraft, had contracted with Warner Bros. during the 60's to use some of the Looney Tunes crew for commercial endorsements. Now, here's one that probably hasn't seen the light of day in over 50 years.

Here, Elmer Fudd is selling pre-sweetened Kool-Aid, which is new at the time, but Bugs Bunny is trying to cut in. In later years, Bugs would also pitch Tang and some of the Post cereals (Post now is owned by a German company.).

What makes this more of a collector's item is that this was directed by Fred "Tex" Avery, who hadn't worked with WB in several years.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Daytime Heroes: Code Lyoko (2003)

If you've wondered why the French studio, Moonscoop, has been very busy obtaining American properties such as Sabrina, chalk it up to the success they enjoyed after importing Code Lyoko to the US.

Code Lyoko debuted in 2003, airing in the US on Cartoon Network as part of its Miguzi block. In all, the series ran for 4 years, with a finite ending that not many of us have seen here.

The story is built around 5 teenagers, later 6, who fight in the virtual world of Lyoko against a rogue artificial intelligence, XANA, which has gained control of Lyoko. For a good part of the run, one of the kids, Aleita, was in Lyoko full-time, but eventually returned to the real world. In the last episodes I remember seeing, I think they were trying to build a relationship between Aleita & Jeremy, the team leader.

Today, Kabillion has the rights to the series, but on some cable systems is only available as a On Demand service. Right now, let's take you back to the series opener, courtesy of Hulu:

Rating: B+.

Animated World of DC Comics: Chase Me (2003)

You've heard about this one, I'm sure.

Batman pursues Catwoman through the streets of Gotham City in "Chase Me", a featurette which accompanied the DTV, "Mystery of the Batwoman". There is no dialogue. Instead, there is a jazz soundtrack composed by Lolita Ritmanis.

The only downside is that this was based on the 1997 revamps of the Bat-toon cast when Batman shifted from Fox to WB. Catwoman looked much better in her grey costume (1992-7), in this writer's opinion.  If she wanted to steal something significant from Batman, she should've settled on the one thing that matters. His heart.

Rating: A-.