Favorite Unreleased Television Cartoons

Small Screen Specials, Series and Direct-To-Video
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Favorite Unreleased Television Cartoons

Post by Rodney » April 30th, 2009, 9:23 pm

While writing my X-Men review, I came up with a question for everyone here in the forums. What are some of your favorite, as-of-yet unreleased television series (in season/volume sets)? I came up with a list of 10 that for me top the list, but there are so many more:

1. Muppet Babies (Disney)
2. Disney's Aladdin (Disney)
3. Goof Troop (Disney)
4: Spider-Man: The Animated Series (Disney)
5. Captain Planet and the Planeteers (Warner)
6. Back to the Future Animated Series (Paramount)
7. Beetlejuice (Warner)
8. Wuzzles (Disney)
9. The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Disney)
10. Snorks (Warner)

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Post by Whippet Angel » April 30th, 2009, 10:26 pm

I can only think of two right now. Clone High and Family Dog. I'd love to see either of those again.

I'll post more when I think of 'em.

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Post by GeorgeC » April 30th, 2009, 11:10 pm

Minor correction:

Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and by that I assume you mean the 1990s series that originally aired on FoxKids on Saturday mornings, is NOT a Disney series. Yes, they own the show now but DID NOT produce it under license.

It was originally produced through Saban Entertainment. The Spider-Man character is owned by Marvel Comics but the show itself was originally owned and produced by Saban with at least partial funding through 20th Century Fox.

Like X-Men and most of the animated Marvel series, it suffers from character designs that are generic and too literal. For limited animation, this is a kiss of death and makes already limited animation look worse. Stylized character designs and getting away from the awful background CGI used on Spider-Man would have helped a lot. The melodrama and over-acting is a Marvel staple so not much can be done there!

The 1990s Spider-Man animated series has a complicated history of ownership. Initially, it was owned by Saban in addition to most pre-1990s Marvel animated series with the notable exception of the 1960s Fantastic Four animated series which was produced by Hanna-Barbera. Saban obtained these shows through absorption of the properties formerly owned by New World Entertainment, a defunct company founded by Roger Corman. Saban combined these shows with its own and started airing them on Fox Family Channel which used to be Family Channel (a network owned and controlled by Pat Robertson's cable group).

Later, Saban sold Fox Family Channel and the bulk of its film and TV holdings (which also include Power Rangers) to Disney in a deal that most people now agree Disney overpaid. Fox Family Channel was retitled ABC Family and for a while programming didn't change much. The bulk of the former Fox Family Channel shows (still being shown) now air on Jetix, the retitled ToonDisney cable channel. Disney's dispute with Marvel isn't over who owns Marvel characters or the shows -- it's obvious to most people Marvel DOESN'T own most of the shows because of careless licensing agreements and ineptitude but it DOES own the images of those characters. Marvel objected to Disney using copyrighted images without written permission from its comics and promotional materials on Marvel series being sold through Disney's home video label.

It can be presumed some kind of settlement has been reached between the two companies otherwise the 1990s X-Men animated series would not have gotten a recent home video release -- which ISN'T the first time the X-Men series has been released on home video or DVD specifically. IF Disney does follow through on its plans, this would be the first time the entire series has been officially released in the US.

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Post by Randall » May 1st, 2009, 12:06 am

I'm pretty sure that Rod was only referring to which studio would be releasing DVDs when the time came. Those Warner ones weren't all WB productions originally either.

For my list of wants, I'll say Tarzan, the original Filmation Batman show, QuickDraw McGraw, Herculoids, Ruby-Spears Superman, Plastic Man, and Thundarr.

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Post by GeorgeC » May 1st, 2009, 12:56 am

I don't know about Tarzan (falls under the Burroughs' estate license?), but I'm pretty sure all those other shows are owned and controlled by WB now.

I seem to recall reading that when Ruby-Spears' original production company closed (the one that produced the 1988 Superman series and Plastic Man in the late 1970s) they sold their entire catalog to their old employer, Hanna-Barbera.

A lot of that stuff will never likely see the light of day unless they get releases under the new WB DVD program or as tie-ins to movies. Superfriends releases are still ongoing and a new set of those seems to be released every year. Batman and Superman seem like shoo-ins since they're DC's biggest characters.

There have been rumors about Thundarr for years. (That's the only show on your list I really, really want!) If anybody would know about that show it would Mark Evanier since he was a Jack Kirby confidant. Kirby did a lot of designs and storyboards for the show. The late Steve Gerber (creator of Howard the Duck) was the guy who created Thundarr, though.

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Post by droosan » May 1st, 2009, 1:07 am

Quickdraw McGraw/Augie Doggy/Snooper & Blabber, definitely. I'd also like to see some of H-B's other 1960's 'package' series get a 'Golden Collection'-styled release .. in particular: Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel/Squiddly Diddly/Hillbilly Bears, Peter Potamus/Breezly & Sneezly/Yippee Yappee & Yahooey, and Frankenstein Jr./The Impossibles.

Dexter's Laboratory .. though, I've heard this was released in Region-4 (Australia) .. it was also briefly available via subscription from Columbia House, about 5 or 6 years ago. However, both versions are incomplete and long 'out-of-print,' AFAIK.

2 Stupid Dogs - the fore-runner of the 'retro-styled' cartoons of the 1990's, being simultaneously among the 'last gasps' of the Hanna-Barbera studio, as well as an 'incubator' for many of Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon's (soon-to-be) top talents.

Noozles - nifty & unassuming 26-episode imported anime series featuring planning and direction by Noboru Ishiguro (better-known for his supervision on both Space Battleship Yamato and Superdimension Fortress Macross).

Pandamonium! - just a goofy Saturday-morning toon I enjoyed in the early-1980's.

Meatballs & Spaghetti - ditto
Last edited by droosan on May 1st, 2009, 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ben » May 1st, 2009, 5:44 am

Although I have Family Dog on LaserDisc, I wouldn't mind seeing a release for that show, which would be through Universal.

Also, quick clarification that the Back To The Future animated series would also be through Universal, not Paramount, as they own the films and the franchise.

Apart from unreleased episodes of Animaniacs, Gummi Bears and Duck Tales that I'd like to finish off my collections with, the one show I'd really, really love to own properly (over my worn and duped VHS off-airs) is Disney's Wuzzles.

C'mon: put this show out in a simple, no-frills two-disc set already, lump in the one-off Fluppy Dogs special as an extra, and be done with it. It was a very clever show and, before Duck Tales came along, was one of Disney's most original things in years.

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Post by Rodney » May 1st, 2009, 8:41 am

Randall is right. I am trying to ascertain who currently owns the rights to these shows so I am aware that Spider-man was produced by Saban. I do generally like the show though. I thought it was very entertaining.

Ben, thanks for the heads up on Back to the Future and Universal. I think I just got mixed up on that one.

Anyways, there are several others that should be on this list. As you can see from my list, Muppet Babies I think is one that deserves to come. I bet it is in copyright hell with all those clips it featured on the show. It would probably be really expensive to clear everything. Then again, as we've learned, Disney takes their time with these releases.

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Post by EricJ » May 1st, 2009, 10:28 am

I'll second that it all comes down to rights and ownership--
Fantasize all you want, but someone has to actually OWN the titles first.
(Which puts the Filmation shows in limbo, now that BCI/Eclipse went under.)

Disney is in the business of cleaning off what Saban shows it can't show on the ex-Toon Disney anymore, which is how the Tick and X-Men could be so "generously" evicted off onto boxset when the right marketing time came along.
To quote Clint, "Deserve"'s got nothing to do with it. ;)

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Post by eddievalient » May 1st, 2009, 11:13 am

One show I'd love to see on dvd is "Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars". Essentially a saturday morning version of Star Wars, the show only ran for one season and would be very easy to put out. I think it was released on dvd in region 2, but there's been no indication of a region 1 release.
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Post by Daniel » May 1st, 2009, 12:24 pm

GeorgeC wrote:The bulk of the former Fox Family Channel shows (still being shown) now air on Jetix, the retitled ToonDisney cable channel.
That would be Disney XD, an even lamer name.

Can't think of much more outside of what has already been mentioned (I'll ditto Goof and Aladdin) but how about Baby Blues. Short lived series based on the comic strip by the same name. It only lasted a season, less if you want to get technical. Would love to own it.

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Post by Ben » May 1st, 2009, 12:30 pm

Not a series, but I'm very eager to see an animated TV movie called "Bad Baby", with the voices of Jim Belushi and Kathleen Turner. It apparently aired once on The Disney Channel but has since vanished from any medium!

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Post by Rodney » May 1st, 2009, 2:22 pm

You know, I'm surprised no one has mentioned Daria. This was a super-popular MTV cartoon back in its heyday. I remember watching it and really enjoying it. I'm surprised that hasn't been released by Paramount.

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Post by eddievalient » May 1st, 2009, 10:18 pm

That one comes down to music. There were so many songs used (mainly as background with no relevance to the plot, although there were jokes tied to music sometimes) that it would be nearly impossible, and far to expensive, to clear them all. They could simply remove the songs (as they did when they released a few episodes on vhs), but the hardcore fans are insisting that all the music be kept intact. In this case, the fans are the ones preventing its release. It's very frustrating. Bootlegs are easy to find, but I'd much rather have an official dvd on my shelf.

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Post by Whippet Angel » May 1st, 2009, 10:24 pm

EDIT: Nevermind, I type too slow, and eddie just answered the question :P

I forgot all about Dexter's Lab! I wouldn't mind having that in my collection. It was one of the better early CN toons.

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