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The Old Cartoon Network Thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by D'Snowth, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    We have a thread for old Nickelodeon, yet we don't have one for old Cartoon Network, so that needs to be remedied.

    Anyway, I was thinking back on the old Cartoon Cartoons, and it seems to me that out of all the original Cartoon Cartoons, only two of them were true flops: MIKE, LU & OG and SHEEP IN THE BIG CITY - neither of them survived beyond a second season, as opposed to the standard four seasons that all the others got. Here's what's interesting, though: of the two, Sheep seemed to get better treatment by CN in general. Sheep was featured in a few of the earliest issues of the CARTOON CARTOONS comic books (I think he even got at least one CARTOON NETWORK STARRING issue), and of course a Subway premium. In spite of that though, MIKE, LU & OG seemed to have more of a genuine cult following than Sheep, even though it got treated more poorly: I think as far as merchandising is concerned, MLO may have been featured in a couple of coloring/activity books, and that's about it . . . but again, people seemed to keep asking for more of it; in the comic books, there's been a number of requests in the Letter Letters section to add MLO to the comics, and they keep responding, "If people want to see them, they need to write in a let us know!" I think Sheep's lack of popularity stemmed from kids not being able to appreciate the obviously Rocky and Bullwinkle-inspired format and humor, which was, admittedly, before their time anyway.
  2. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    You know what I miss? Launch Cartoon Network. Now, I didn't have cable until recently, and I didn't know anyone else that had that network (remember, it used to be very hard to find because of regional cable venues), but if there's one thing I miss it's this.

    Getting 90's kids to give a crap about the likes of Wally Gator and Magilla Gorilla via the odd network merchandising push. There were odd little kid's meal promotions with characters besides Yogi, Fred Flintstone, and Scooby. Then there was the Warner Bros store HB bean bags featuring obscure characters only true HB fans would bother with, like Squiddly Diddly. All before it turned into the 24/7 Scooby-Doo network for a while. It's surreal. We don't usually see retro merchandise of retro characters aimed to kids, unless the characters are that well known. When it comes to HB characters, you'll rarely see anything outside of Scooby-Doo, the Flintstones, or maybe Yogi Bear now (and pretty much anything outside of Scooby-Doo is rare in and of itself).
  3. Schfifty

    Schfifty Well-Known Member

    Did any of you folks ever use Cartoon Orbit back in the day? Man, that feature was so cool....memories of using C-O back in '01—'03 flooded my mind today after I saw this thread. I remember there was one mini-game or something where you could trade tokens with other users and earn points. I think that was from C-O's later years, as I remember seeing a token of General Skarr from Evil Con Carne.

    Matter of fact, I just found this video of Cartoon Orbit's old flash-animated tutorial video! I've been looking for this forever!

    BTW, thanks for creating this thread, D'Snowth.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    UGH! I can't believe I wasted time on that thing. And the promotional ones would disappear within a week of you trying to find them. Man, I hated that thing. Retrospectively, of course.
  5. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Ah yes, I remember Cartoon Orbit - that was pretty cool, at the time. IIRC, my cZONE was very Courage-centric, I always went with Nowhere properties and would always try to get as many Courage cTOONs as possible, lol.

    But anyway, check this guy out; I recently found his YT channel, this is the guy who animated all of the bumpers and promos for CN's Powerhouse Era:
  6. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Wow this guy has done some really outstanding work,he was like half my childhood!
  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    The Powerhouse era of CN was definitely the best: it gave CN such a unique personality all to its own that it lacked beforehand. Don't get me wrong, CN had some decent bumpers during its earlier years, like this one:

    With the introduction of Cartoon Cartoons in 1997, CN was on the verge of finding its footing, but it really was the Powerhouse era the following year that gave it that footing, and really brough the whole network to life.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I love those old "look at how many old cartoons we have" bits with all the cartoons interacting. Obviously, I have a Roger Rabbit bias here, but I loved those old parody type bits that made fun of the old cartoons. One of my favorites was the diner full of cartoon sidekicks, and Super Friends Robin has this whole spiel of Porky Pig and how his best work was as a sidekick (which I heartily agree). They had those nice little conversations that cartoon viewers would have. That's a nice touch.

    I especially loved it when they brought the newer characters in to interact with older ones. Why, who could forget this PPG gem?

    While I certainly don't want to go into the debate over new cartoons vs. old cartoons on the network, there is one thing I have to say about the old CN. They put a LOT more effort into the commercials than they do today. Oh, sure, you may get something grand today like the Uncle Grandpa "used cars" style commercials or last year's Thanksgiving Adventure Time Weeklong premire avent that had fake food crafted to be references to food that appeared in the show (Finn Cakes, Prismo's Artisanal Pickles, etc,). That's once in a while. Now they just have loud and obnoxious hyperactive kids sending in iPhone videos of themselves that they autotune to be even more annoying.

    But, being me, I found something truly special. Japanese CN commercials from around the 2005 era. It contains Powerhouses for shows that we didn't get on the network (and American ones at that), some of the same stuff you'd see on the US channel dubbed. But more importantly, special Japanese animated bumpers featuring the American characters done in (one of my favorite anime styles) the old Japanese Animators trying their darndest to look American, but still coming off very Japanese looking.

    And here's another single video I've posted somewhere else before.

    About 52 seconds in, Eustace has the most anime look on his face possible.
    Any Del and MikaelaMuppet like this.
  9. Schfifty

    Schfifty Well-Known Member

    That is some seriously wicked stuff. I like how he worked on the Powerpuff Girls' interview segments in the PPG movie.

    I actually discovered a few of those PH bumpers on another channel a while ago, which I think is that person's original channel:

    Oh, I remember that Powerpuff Girls and Super Friends bumper. I believe there were just two of those featuring the L.O.D....the Powerpuff Girls one, and another one where they were all arguing about superpowers, with Braniac ultimately asking for just a pair of pants. It's pretty funny.

    I'm curious about which animation studios worked on those. I think Rough Draft in South Korea might've animated the Powerpuff Girls' actions over the old Justice League cartoons, since the latter doesn't seem like Rough Draft's style, and Cartoon Network added new dialogue. Or maybe the animation staff at Hanna-Barbera had a hand in producing? The studio closed in 2001 (I think), after the shorts were already airing on the network. I'm really curious.
  10. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    Remember that the election in 2000, I vote for Scooby.
    Waiter Grover likes this.
  11. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Please, do yourself a favor and watch this if you haven't already
  12. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Actually, I forgot a couple of others that didn't last beyond a second season either:

    TIME SQUAD, essentially PEABODY'S IMPROBABLY HISTORY with Mr. Peabody replaced with Tuddrussel (interestingly, we have a car dealership in my town that's run by a Ted Russell) and Larry 3000. I guess gay stereotypes and implications fly over my head all the time, because the TIME SQUAD TV Tropes is full of entries that suggest Larry (and possibly Tuddrussel) is gay, and I never saw any of this. While I didn't mind TIME SQUAD at all, I don't think it really got any love: I don't recall it ever getting any kind of material in merchandise, not even comics.

    EVIL CON CARNE: it was to THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY AND MANDY what I AM WEASEL was to COW AND CHICKEN . . . however, after CN split the two shows into their own, EVIL CON CARNE lasted only one season as its own show, then CN just dumped and drooled over Billy and Mandy for a number of years afterward. Not really sure why; I think I kind of like the EVIL half of GRIM & EVIL a little bit better.
    Pig's Laundry likes this.
  13. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Don't remember much about these shows but I do remember that my mom didn't let me watch any of them.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I hear conflicting things about the creator actually liking Grimm better and focusing on that. Personally, I didn't like Evil as much as Grimm, but then again, I'd think that if the thing continued, it would have been a more solid show.

    Plus, if there's one thing I really like about Grimm, it's that Billy is played by the guy who played Invader Zim, somehow managing to channel in a bit of GIR for the role.

    But Sheep was an underrated masterpiece. I met Mo Willems at a book fair, as he also writes a series of kid's books. I have one of the DC CN comics, the Johnny Bravo one with the first Sheep comic as a back up that he did himself. He was amazed by it because he forgot all about it. We had a nice short conversation about it. He even drew Sheep on it because it was quicker than signing somehow.

    I love the one where the narrator keeps getting annoyed by how everything turns out to be a dream and commenting on how you know it's one because things get increasingly wacky.
  15. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I've heard similar things about I AM WEASEL; they've apparently been disproven since then, but the story that went around for a while was that David Feiss didn't want to do Weasel anymore when COW AND CHICKEN got a second season, but CN insisted they keep the Weasel shorts in, so Dave had it worked out that Red Guy could start making crossover appearances to hold his interest. That turned out to be not true, but it's what went around for a while.

    Billy and Mandy were pretty good to start with, but as I said, once CN suddenly went all SpongeBob on it, I felt it lost its charm by then.

    But I agree about Sheep, and like I said, I think kids then weren't able to fully appreciate the obviously Rocky and Bullwinkle-inspired humor and format, which was before their time.
  16. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    I like this clip with Joey Mazzarino where he plays a guy in a turtle suit on a children's show and he gets ticked off at the audience because they can't find where the dog is.
    EDIT:I found it :)
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Both Sheep and Courage had Sesame connections, and it makes sense, as both Mo Willems and John R. Dilworth did animations for SST. In the case of Sheep, Joey Mazzarino, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, and Jerry Nelson did voices; with Courage, Fran Brill played a fishonary, and Craig Sheman wrote a few episodes.
    MikaelaMuppet and MuppetSpot like this.
  18. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Ruth Buzzi also appeared on the show.
  19. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    I like grim and evil, but I hated how grim was as D'snowth said spongebob by the network. I hated how sheep was treated but, I can see why.
    Waiter Grover likes this.
  20. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Funny thing is, while I always loved Cow and Chicken, there's just something about I Am Weasel I liked a tiny bit more. I'd see why David would prefer C&C over IMW, as the original series was siblings trying to get along with each other, only making it as bizarre as possible with deranged characters and animation. At the heart of the series, there was a sweet story of brother and sister buried under divine craziness. Seems that earlier I Am Weasel cartoons were just I.R. being ticked off at how much better Weasel was, but as it progressed it just got...weird, and the show was just that much better for it.

    But I was always amazed that the show was mostly Charlie Adler showing off his pipes. He's one of the most manic voice actors out there, and he really shines in these shows (and Eek the Cat as well). Strange thing is, I was watching AAAAAAAAH Real Monsters, and it really seems that, considering he was part of the cast, he almost based Red Guy off of the Gromble. The characters have the same effeminate vocal mannerisms and sadistic tones. If it's coincidental, that's a heck of a coincidence.

    Yeah. There's something special about Sheep. It's part Bullwinkle, part absurdist cartoon deconstruction. Whatever it was, it flew over the heads of kids, and it was a shame it did. I really wish the show got more love from inside the demographic, but like Freakazoid, I don't think the wee ones the show was intended for could appreciate the weirdness of the series. You see some shows today, and they totally have a similar level of absurdity and kids are embracing it.

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