Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rein-Toon-Ation: The New Woody Woodpecker Show (1999)

After more than 20 years off network television, Woody Woodpecker returned in 1999 with an all-new half-hour show on Fox. That he was on Fox was the bad news.

You see, after WB acquired the Japanese series Pokemon earlier in the year, Fox felt the need to scramble their lineup in an effort to counter-program the runaway phenomenon. That meant acquiring a Japanese import of their own, Digimon: Digital Monsters, and constantly shuffling the lineup. Woody was promised for the start of the 1999-2000 season, but didn't stay in the lineup very long. In fact, he ended up as a mid-season replacement himself because of all the constant shuffling.

Universal hired modern-day genius Billy West (Futurama) as the new voice of Woody, and populated the cast with some familiar talents including Mark Hamill, BJ Ward, & Tress MacNeille. One other positive was adding Woody's niece & nephew, Knothead & Splinter, to the mix, and giving Woody a girlfriend, Winnie, who was a near dead ringer. Unfortunately, they weren't exactly Popeye & Olive Oyl in terms of chemistry.

Sadly, reruns of the series are sitting in the NBC-Universal-Comcast vaults, as no one has even dared to bring the series back. Then again, the classic shorts are sitting in those same vaults, which is why I opined in reviewing the original series that Woody has been largely forgotten.

Anyway, here's the open:

As with a lot of their series in this period, Fox dropped the ball on Woody and gave up too soon.

Rating: B-.


Dartvader said...

Tks a lot my friend, I love this blog. I`m from brazil and I learn English now, so I love read about cartoons in this blog.

hobbyfan said...

Welcome aboard.