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Little Muppet Monsters Revelation...

Discussion in 'Muppet Babies' started by Drtooth, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Oooh, Kennedy. They ruined episodes of TTA and DWD that would otherwise have been pretty good. Bad visuals are like a cheese grater on my nerves, and I just hated their crosseyed, weird-mouthed, bouncy-wouncy animation. Fer crying out loud, they couldn't even draw appropriate expressions; did they even read the scripts?

    You have just proven that even though, IMO, the last two seasons of Muppet Babies were terribly disappointing, they could have been much worse.
     
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    There's a good reason for that. They didn't exist yet! :halo: The founders of that studio were working for everyone else at the time. Now, that's not to say certain Tiny Toons episodes animated by Kennedy that didn't have their charm. If anything, that episode where Plucky was in the interactive adventure would not have been insanely hilarious if TMS did beautiful animation for it. It needed stupid, gooey, over the top cartoony visuals that only they could provide. Especially the King Kong segment. Other than that, I could care less about them.

    While I can't agree that Kennedy is essentially worse than the hatchet job the second animation company gave the show (seriously... why did everything randomly turn purple in "Muppet Babies the Next generation" during the Jetsons sequence?), I can agree there's worse. I mean, Clutch Cargo exists... uh... and Problem Solverz...

    I dunno... I have a bias with Japanese animation for American cartoon shows. Sometimes there's a cultural divide with the style that translates weird with certain studios, I'll admit. But there's just nothing like those random little anime influences that creep into the show. Those facial cheek highlight lines (for the lack of a better description), the "V" sign... plus, while it's not the most fluid stuff in the world, there's a great look to it. The older Muppet Babies Toei episodes look visually epic. While Akom did have some good looking episodes, overall they just weren't as visually stunning.

    Check out this Toei animated song sequence:



    Now check out the less than creative visuals of this later song.



    Now to bring it back, look at the amazing Yellow Submarine influence of this one



    The Marvel/Toei partnership happened well before hand (remember that weird Spider-Man series they made or that TERRIBLE Tomb of Dracula anime?)... that's why Transformers and GI Joe used them as their primary source of outsourced animation. It's a shame they never really used TMS, especially for Muppet Babies. Now if there ever was an anime studio that got how American cartoons worked, it's TMS.
     
  3. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    Freelance Animators New Zealand would have to be even worse than AKOM or even Kennedy. I never liked their overly squishy look and the way they drew the Warners (especially their eyes) compared to the other outsourcing studios who worked on Animaniacs. I mean, look at the way Dot gains a ghetto booty all of a sudden at 3:25. :eek:

    I'd say AKOM did a fairly decent job keeping things on model in comparison.

     
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'll have to say, it's a shame that AKOM's Muppet Babies episodes were so sloppy, since most of the time they do a very good job. Other than the fact that certain things were beyond their control of not translating well into animation with the Fraggle Rock cartoon, it was overall much better looking and more colorful than their Muppet Babies output. And a good animated Muppet Babies under them does tend to look good. But the sloppy episodes stand out. Kermit's eyes get into weird layering issues (they're behind his head, now they're in front of his head) for example. Plus, they just weren't as experimental as the Japanese team when it came to visuals.

    And, might as well throw this out there... single worst animation studio of all time? Cambria. The mooks responsible for Clutch Cargo and the Three Stooges cartoons. Of course, the Stooge cartoons don't look all that bad compared to other stuff of the era, but not really that remarkable either.
     
  5. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    I have heard of this Tomb of Dracula anime, mainly due to being a comics fan in general and particularly a fan of Marvel and DC superheroes- but I don't really care that much about "Tomb of Dracula" so I haven't tried to seek this one out to view. (I have heard there was a follow up anime with Frankenstein, I do believe... And yes- still based on Marvel Comics' take on the character)
    As for the Toei Spider-Man series- that Japanese Spider-Man is awesome! LOL! I have seen some of this- it's just crazy fun as far as I'm concerned.:crazy::)
    (I suppose I must have missed it in the thread, but I'm assuming TMS doesn't stand for The Muppet Show here- that's just the acronym I'm so used to, though- haha.)
     
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    All I know about the Marvel/Toei deal was that there were undefined plans for more projects, but all we got was that Tomb of Dracula anime (it's awful, especially when Harmony Gold dubbed it), the Spider-Man tokatsu series, and putting a very obscure character (Miss America) into Battle Fever J (a Power Rangers like Sentai show). I'm almost certain the animation outsourcing deal was part of that, if not sort of related. They used their own studio (which was DePatie Freleng) for some of their Spider-Man and Marvel shows, but had to outsource for the shows they produced later on. Oddly enough, making Transformers a recursive export (Toei made 3 Transformers series that were Japan exclusive around the time the main series ended).

    From what I heard, Toei is finally going to have a Japanese exclusive Marvel animated series. Some sort of Avengers thing for younger kids, so of course, it's going to be Pokemon-ish.
     
  7. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    I love how it seems a lot of Japanese shows have a trend of suddenly introducing these robot characters (i.e. Spider-Man's robot on the '70s live action show) and/or monsters and such...
     
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I WISH the new Avengers anime was about giant Robots. I was correct. It unfortunately is yet another Pokemon type series. Only with Marvel heroes as the Pokemon. Hopefully Hasbro doesn't license the toys and Disney stays the heck away from bringing it over here. At least the character designs are pretty good.
     
  9. wiley207

    wiley207 Active Member

    AKOM's best animation on the show was probably the 1988-1989 years. It was at least up to par with some of their Tiny Toons work, and even THERE they had some sloppy moments. There were even a couple of episodes credited to different studios: one to Wang and one to Kennedy, but they were both definitely AKOM's work (there was even an episode credited to Wang that was instead mostly animated by Kennedy!)

    As for Toei, I will admit they definitely have some nice animation on the show, but the first season did have a few problems here and there (like Animal's face briefly turning orange!) But then again, this seemed common with Toei: "G.I. Joe" used to have those problems as well! (their infamous PSA segments from the 1985 season featured quite a few errors like that)
    The second "Muppet Babies" opening, from 1986 (or maybe late 1985), was also animated by Toei, but by this point the movements were not as wild or free-moving as the 1984 intro. Though from after the "Yes, nanny!" point it consists of recycled clips from 1985 episodes, followed by the title card animation from the first intro. Its' final use, IIRC, was on "Muppet Babies: the Next Generation" in 1990.
     
  10. VP Weirdo

    VP Weirdo Member

    There was a follow up anime with Marvel's version of Frankenstein's Monster though I haven't seen it. The Tomb of Dracula anime I have seen and...yeah it's awful...but I'd count it as one things that's so bad it hilarious. The animations pretty decent and from what I can they seemed to follow the Marv Wolfman comic rather faithful. The problem is they try to cram several years worth of story lines in one two hour special. The result is about what you'd expect: character are introduced and than disappear for the longest time, Dracula keeps going back and forth about his motives (sometimes within a single scene), plot points come out of nowhere and are than barley mentioned again etc.[/quote]
     
  11. VP Weirdo

    VP Weirdo Member

    It seems like Marvel Productions was using Toei for there animation outsourcing from the beginning of the company's renaming from DePatie-Freleng. DePatie had previously produced animated series Fantastic Four and Spider-Women before Fritz Freleng went back to work for Warner Bros. Aside from Battle Fever J Marvel may have worked on the next Sentai show called Denshi Sentai Denziman which also used a minor character (Hela a goddess enemy of Thor) as there model for the lead villain, who coincidently was the first major role for the actress better known to western audience as Rita from the first season of power rangers (or witch Bandora as she was known in the Sentai). Marvel got a copyright credit for one more Sentai, but that's probably just because they reused the character.
     
  12. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info about the Tomb of Dracula movie. Interesting. I'm not a huge fan of that comic or character (or of anime, for that matter)- so I'm not really interested in seeing it. But as a comic book fan in general, I did find it interesting to know that Marvel's version of both Dracula and Frankenstein's monster had gotten animated movies at some point.
     
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    And the thing is long. Just...long. It's funny in short, selected idiocy...but trying to watch any more of it is incredibly painful. I LOVE the Hamburger scene(as you can tell). But it makes me glad that they didn't ruin any other Marvel characters... well... until they decided recently to turn them into Pokemon- or rather Yu-Gi-Oh type crap, but the quality of the show remains to be seen.

    Glad to know someone else has heard of Battle Fever J. I actually heard a funny story this weekend about Marvel actually trying to localize it here (probably trying to cast people of those cultural background this time), and they got shot down hard. I swear the quote was something to the extent of "How could you let that kind of garbage into the world? You, who gave us Muppet Babies." or something to that extent. The Muppet Babies thing was totally in there. And it totally would have predated MMPR's final acceptance to television by several years (not that Saban didn't try).

    But anyway... Muppet Babies and Toei, right? I actually almost bought a Muppet Babies cel at a convention yesterday, but the good ones were more than I had (a bargain in terms of them being around 50 bucks vs. what Disney or Warners charges), and the only one that wasn't was this teeny Gonzo standing left of the frame's center. And if I'm going to fork over money for one of those good ones, I'd rather get something Toei did. It looked like something Akom did.

    Plus, I don't have any frames for the 4 cels I have already...Adventures of Sonic/Real Ghostbusters/Saint Seyia/and Bravestarr if you're wondering... only Ghostbusters even had a background... they're cheaper if they don't have one for the most part.
     
  14. FunnyBear

    FunnyBear Active Member

    The Little Muppet Monsters? I have episodes 2 and 3, if you want them
     
  15. VP Weirdo

    VP Weirdo Member


    I see what you mean. Like a lot of the movies featured on MST3K, it could be hard to sit through without some mocking commentary. There is youtube channel BTW which features riffing on some old cartoons including Tomb of Dracula. My favorite part is when the make it seem like Dracula can't stand the sight of the cross because it makes him hear constant Creed music!
    That fan art is pretty awesome!
     
  16. VP Weirdo

    VP Weirdo Member


    YES! In fact I can provide the source of that quote. I've been leading up to creating a separate forum heading to explain why Power Ranger almost owes it's very existence to Muppet Babies, but now I wonder if maybe I should just save it for here.
     
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That sounds like quite a read, actually. I'd say go for it and make it its own thread. Why waste it burying it at the bottom of this one?

    I think I speak for everyone when I want to know how far the other cartoons went into production and how the heck we could get Disney to release them as viral videos or something. I really think there was potential for a Pigs in Space animated series.
     
  18. Peace

    Peace New Member

    As a fan of both Muppets, and PR, I'd definitely be interested in reading that as it's own thread. Looking forward to it!
     
  19. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Somebody just added to the Muppet Wiki page on Little Muppet Monsters that a few of the incomplete unaired episodes are available among tape trading circles. If that's true, I hope they show up on YouTube soon (I already checked to see if they were online, and couldn't find them, though I only searched "Little Muppet Monsters Unaired" and only looked at the first page of search results).
     
  20. tygerbug

    tygerbug Active Member

    Yes, I've been editing the Little Muppet Monsters Wiki page today after just having watched three partial unaired episodes of the series. I'll add some photos to make it official. I'd like to track down storyboards from the animated segments of these episodes though. I think we do have the scripts, but that may take awhile. I am working on a Youtube version of these eps for posting in the next few days. I'm doing some cleanup first. If you're on my email list you'll already have seen the episodes.
     

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