One Thing I Don’t Like about “Jellystone!”

I don’t like this show’s take on The Banana Splits. I, like many, I presume, was initially stoked when I found out that The Banana Splits were going to be characters on Jellystone!, but unfortunately, their portrayal here leaves something to be desired.

Fleagle doesn’t have his signature lisp. Drooper doesn’t speak with his signature southern drawl (which was based on that of Monkee’s member Mike Nesmith, btw). And most importantly, The Banana Splits are NOT villains! The Jellystone! characters neither sound nor act anything like the Banana Splits that we know and love. These are just 4 guys who look like The Banana Splits.

These are the real Banana Splits; goofy, fun-loving musicians who sing, dance, tell corny jokes and fall down a lot. That’s how the Splits should have been portrayed on Jellystone. The portrayal of the Splits is one of the few blemishes on an otherwise OK show.

And why would C.H. Greenblatt and his team make The Banana Splits antagonists on a Hanna-Barbera love letter series when Dick Dastardly and Muttley are right there?

Looks like I’ll have to wait a little longer for the triumphant return of the Ant Hill Mob.

Brain Candy: Yabba Dabba Done

WARNING: The post that you’re about to read is very rambly. There’s going to be a lot of zig-zagging from one subject to another and also a fair amount of sub-referencing. You’ve been warned!

Hey! Do you remember that Highly Opinionated post that I made back in 2012 titled “The All New Something, Something Whatever Show”? Where I said that Warner Brothers had no interest in doing anything new with The Flintstones franchise? Remember that? Well, apparently, I was wrong….kind of.

A few weeks a ago, while surfing the web, I came across an article announcing a new animated series produced by Warner Brothers Animation that’s scheduled to air on the Boomerang streaming service (and possibly the Boomerang channel also) based on the Flintstones franchise titled Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs.

Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs

Yeah, that’s the thing.

Originally, I was going to talk about this show on Peeks, but I decided not to for a specific reason, which I’ll go into a little later. Suspense! Anywho, here’s the lowdown on this new series, courtesy of Cartoon Brew:

Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs!

Yabba-Dabba-Doo! Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are back in this quarter-hour animated comedy series, Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs! Warner Bros. Animation takes you beyond Bedrock to The Crags, a vast land that is as dangerous and wild as the dinosaurs that inhabit it.

Pebbles Flintstone and Bamm-Bamm Rubble are two best friends, growing up in the prehistoric time when dinosaurs and giant beasts still walked the earth. But as exciting as that sounds, they live in peaceful, quiet old Bedrock, a modern domestic civilization similar to our own (but with stone cars that run on leg-power). That’s why whenever they get the chance, Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm and Dino head to the open wilderness, helping new friends, fighting new enemies, and learning about life through their endless crazy adventures. Back in Bedrock, Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty still enjoy all the familiar quirks and trappings of life as a modern Stone Age family not knowing all the trouble (and fun!) their kids are getting themselves into.

Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs! is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Mark Marek (producer, MAD, Be Cool Scooby-Doo!) and Marly Halpern-Graser (executive producer, Right Now Kapow) serve as producer with Sam Register as executive producer.

dumb-donald

“Uh……what??”

That premise sounds…interesting, to say the least. So all this time there’s been a savage land teaming with dangerous, feral dinosaurs located just outside of Bedrock and we’ve just never seen it before?  And no one on the show has ever mentioned this place in 40+ years? Now don’t that churn yer butter? Here’s what we know so far:

This series will mostly focus around Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, not unlike Cave Kids (which I never saw). This time around, P&BB appear to be grade school aged, not toddlers nor teenagers, but right in the middle. Regarding this series, one fan noted:

“I think that this series will focus on Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm, Dino and Hoppy.”

Hoppy?? Wow…I’m just blown away that somebody remembers that character!

Hoppy

My advice: forget about Hoparoo. The rest of the world has.

I’m not sure why dinosaurs should be a major selling point for a Flintstones series when that show has always had plenty of dinosaurs, most notably Dino.

Dino_from__The_Flintstones_

I know that Dino is technically a Snorkasaurus, but let’s be real here: Dino has always been much closer to a dog than a dinosaur. Except in that one weird episode of The Flintstones where Fred and Barney were hunting Dino and Dino was intelligent and he could talk and he was doing shtick like Bugs Bunny and Fred and Barney were like a two man Elmer Fudd, and then that episode was completely forgotten about after that episode ended. Seriously, what was up with that? What happened to Dino’s intelligence? Damon (Silverstar) offers this theory:

Maybe he got conked on the head with a bowling ball. That seems to be a common cause of amnesia in Bedrock.

Another user in cyberspace speculated, “I wonder if Moonrock, Wiggy, Penny and Bad Luck Shleprock will be in this show?”

waynesworld2-outside

“Exsqueeze me? Baking powder??”

Penny Moonrock & Wiggy

Again, I’m just amazed that somebody remembers those characters. As for them being on this show, I’m not sure what led to that speculation. Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are clearly younger than teenagers here, and it’s not like those characters have seen the light of day since The Flintstone Comedy Hour, which was back in ancient 1972.

Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm Show

Now this is strictly an opinion, but I personally felt that The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show was just too much like The Archies for my tastes, right down to the characters forming a bubblegum rock band performing tunes that would make the Monkees cringe, so if Warner Brothers never used Wiggy, Penny, Moonrock, Bad Luck Shleprock or the Bronto Bunch in anything else again, I’d be totally fine with that.

moonrock-crater-the-pebbles-and-bamm-bamm-show-4.39

“I concur. Oh, wait…”

Anyway…here’s a trailer for the show. Unfortunately, it focuses mainly on the principal characters and barely touches upon The Crags, but you take what you can get. Viz…

YDD 2

The character designs are courtesy of Mark Marek. If you don’t know who he is, he’s the guy who did the Henry and June segments on Nickelodeons Kablam!. The character designs are different, but not terrible.  I don’t know who’s idea it was to give Bamm-Bamm long pants. No one on The Flintstones ever wore pants. That just looks odd.

Also, I read that Captain Caveman would be appearing on this show; in what capacity, I have no idea. Would he be a denizen of The Crags? (He’d actually be a better fit there than he would in Bedrock, honestly.) Would he be a fictional character on an in-universe TV show like he was on Flintstone Kids? Who knows? But it’s apparent that the idea of Cavey being part of the Flintstones universe is something HB producers refuse to let go of.

Captain-Caveman-Hanna-Barbera

“Me gotta stay in Bedrock. My cave on top of the Teen Angels’ van got repossessed after the girls all got jobs as swimsuit models! Rent high, man, rent high.”

YDD3

And then, the unusual Flintstones shtick is still going on in Bedrock and the parents have no idea that their kids are going to this savage land? OK. For the first time in years, there’s a Flintstones project that I actually give a crud about. The addition of The Crags to Bedrock is in an interesting angle, and I do like the idea of shifting the show’s focus away from Fred and Barney for a change, especially for something that’s not the “Pebbles, Dino and Bamm-Bamm” segments from The Flintstones Comedy Show”; at least this idea isn’t a lame Scooby Doo knockoff. I have a theory about this (and it’s just a theory. I have no solid evidence to back this up whatsoever): I think that Warner Brothers had originally planned for this show to be an attempt to cash in on the success of Jurassic Park, a show about 2 kids who venture into the world of wild, savage dinosaurs, and then someone at WB said “Hey! The Flintstones has dinosaurs! Why don’t we make the Crags adjacent to Bedrock and make the 2 kids Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm?”

Anyway…I haven’t seen a complete episode of Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs! yet, as the series hasn’t yet premiered. The pilot episode is (or was at one time) available for viewing on the Boomerang streaming service. But it hardly matters because…wait for it…about two weeks after I read that article, the news was dropped that Warner Brothers announced that there won’t be a second season of YDD! Yep, that’s right, Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs! is effectively already canceled!

And that, friends, is why I decided not to cover this show on Peeks. What’s the point of previewing a series that doesn’t have a future? I suspected as much when I found out that YDD would be airing exclusively on Boomerang. If WB and Turner thought that they had a hit on their hands, they would have run the show on their main channel (that of course being Cartoon Network), or on both channels simultaneously. Instead, it looks like this show is going to be a one-and-done before it’s even officially premiered. And if you haven’t figured it out by now…

Studios generally only do this when they know they’ve got a major league bombasaurus on their hands. WB apparently thinks that this show sucks and the studio just wants to cut it’s losses. So it looks as if WB is going to with Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs what they did with Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Pocketville and The Peanuts Show; just burn through the episodes that have already been made and then just sweep the show under the rug and act like it never existed. Too bad, since based on what I saw and read of it, buried somewhere beneath all of those layers of what the what, I thought that there was a sliver of an interesting idea in there somewhere. I even kind of like the show’s title for some bizarre reason.

The real tragedy (for Flintstones fans, anyway) is that the message that WB may take from this is that Flintstones series don’t work or resonate with modern audiences and so it may be years before we see another one.

Flintstones - WWE crossover

At least not one that’s not a crossover with WWE wrestlers.

Cartoon Country: Web Premiere Toons – Hong Kong Phooey

Today Cartoon Country looks at a Cartoon Network Web Premiere Toon circa 2001. Imagine if 70’s cartoon crime fighter Hong Kong Phooey (aka bumbling janitor Penry Pooch) had graduated from the Dragon Ball Z/Street Fighter/Naruto school of martial arts. Check it out.

 

-One YouTube poster said of this short: “So glad that did not fly or my childhood would have been ruined.”

Ah, no.

For one, I’m pretty sure this was never meant to be anything more than a one-and-done short (I do recall there being plans for a live-action HKP movie years ago, but evidently nothing came of that), and for another, even if that weren’t the case, how exactly would the mere existence of 1 new cartoon adaptation which you’re not even required nor obligated to watch ruin your childhood when your childhood has already come and gone? Cartoons and cartoon producers aren’t dicks with time machines, after all. Quite frankly, if you’re that resistant to change, it’s a wonder you haven’t tried to off yourself the instant you hit puberty. Personally, I thought this short was awesome, and I enjoyed the original series as a kid.

The original Hong Kong Phooey hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s still around, and his intro still rocks.

 

 

If there ever is to be a new Hong Kong Phooey TV show, movie or anything, I think it should be a mix of both: the silly slapstick combined with the ultra-stylized, over-the-top martial arts mayhem.

hong_kong_phooey_by_tr3forever-d60jz4b

“Step into my dojo, mo-fo!”

 

 

Toons & Tunes: Dueling Wabbit Themes

Warner Brothers’ latest animated outing, Wabbit – A Looney Tunes Production, which currently airs simultaneously on both Boomerang and Cartoon Network, isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty decent overall, especially since the show is much welcome return to form for it’s star, the wascally wabbit Bugs Bunny himself. Ol’ Bugsy is back to being an energetic, wise-ass trickster and troublemaker again, rather than his much more restrained self from The Looney Tunes Show. In Wabbit, Bugs takes on every manner of foe from tiny peg-shaped ninjas to giant irascible painters to a feisty King of the Jungle to the Tooth Fairy. The art and drawing style takes some getting used to (Yosemite Sam in particular looks like he jumped off the Spumco drawing board) and some of the stories work better than others (the shorts in which Bugs interacts with Bigfoot tend to irritate more than amuse) but overall the hyper-kinetic pace and the non-stop barrage of gags keep things entertaining, and with the promise of more Looney Tunes stars to appear on the show, including Porky Pig and a “totally nuts” Daffy Duck, Wabbit looks to be a winner.

However, the series has already performed a bizarre oddity: it suddenly and without warning switched its’ opening and closing theme music from this jazzy score:

To this more Bluegrass-ey number:

 

hee_haw_intro_moseley

“I’m a -pickin!” “And I’m a-grinnin’!”

This is not a complaint, mind you; both themes are OK (I admit to liking the first one a little more, but that’s probably because by this time I’ve grown more accustomed to it). I don’t mind the change necessarily, it’s just that there was nothing wrong with first theme and the switch just seemed to come from out of nowhere, like the sudden shift from Power Rangers Zeo to Power Rangers Turbo. Weird, right?

Fry_Looking_Squint

“That seemed unnecessary.”

 

Toons & Tunes: Soul Coughing Groovies Double Feature

Today’s Toons & Tunes is a double play. Both of these tracks are from the band Soul Coughing, and both are from the same album, El Oso (‘The Bear’). Also, both of them have been used by Cartoon Network (and later Boomerang) for their old Groovies filler segments. First up is “Rollin'”, which is used to accompany the animation for a classic Betty Boop cartoon, complete with Koko the Clown and all.

Next up is “Circles”, the accompanying animation cleverly pokes fun at the old Hanna-Barbera tradition of looping backgrounds (i.e., the “lamp-chair-couch”) syndrome.

-Like many folks I suspect, these segments were my first introduction to Soul Coughing. To this day, I have both of these tracks on my mp3 player.