Pete is finally now a meet-and-greet character at Mickey’s Toontown!
Time to pop open the champagne!
(Non-alcoholic, of course!)
Pete is finally now a meet-and-greet character at Mickey’s Toontown!
Time to pop open the champagne!
(Non-alcoholic, of course!)
OK, just a little hypothetical fun. If we, Twin Images, were somehow put in charge of the Disney conglomerate (what a bureaucratic cock-up that would be!) and could do, make, command or change anything we wanted, here’s what we’d do:
Bring the classic theatrical shorts back to the Disney Channel, or else create a separate channel or sub-channel for the shorts.
While we’re on the subject…
Do you all remember a post that I made back in 2011 for a potential new animated series titled Disney’s Toontown? Well, as I said back when I originally wrote it, that was more a broad outline for a show. However, due to recent events, mainly the premiere of Warner Brother’s new animated series Jellystone!
This series respawned our interest in this idea, so now, because we have nothing better to do, we’re going to give a more detailed breakdown of Welcome to Toontown (originally Disney’s Toontown) and how we imagine such a series would work. Just to keep things simple, we’re going to keep the main cast at characters who are in-house Disney, so no Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars or Muppet characters. Got it? Good.
Toontown is a place where all of the Disney toons reside.
Everyone has homes and jobs here and chaos typically ensues when they get together. Keeping the day-to-day operations of Tootown running smoothly (or as smoothly as to be expected when you’re dealing with wacky toons), is the town’s mayor J. Audubon Woodlore.
Who is often seen accompanied by his assistant, Fix-It Felix Jr.
And yes, Felix is still married to Sgt. Calhoun on the show. She’s the chief of police.
Mr. Woodlore is the mayor of Toontown, but he’s mostly a figurehead. The town is really owned by world famous incredibillionaire tycoon Scrooge McDuck, who simply didn’t want the job.
Of course, if you’re going to make a series starring Disney characters, you have to have the Sensational Six. No one wants angry fans banging away at their keyboards about your heinous mistake. Yes, Mickey and the gang are definitely in this.
And like the rest of the cast, they all have jobs within the community. Mickey, Donald and Goofy are entrepreneurs who operate a business called Odd Jobs, Inc.
The three of them are freelance problem solvers who take on a variety of assignments. This is a nice throwback to the old theatrical shorts such as “Clock Cleaners”, Lonesome Ghosts” and the like.
And no, Minnie and Daisy aren’t left out. They also have a business. When they’re not working as fashion designers at Minnie’s Bow-tique, they’re at their part time job as the Happy Helpers.
In addition, there’s a group of would-be heroes in Toontown. This team consists of…
These three often go out “on patrol” looking for wrongs to right, but these patrols usually end with them going to the local sweet shop to enjoy some milkshakes.
Toontown’s Hero Squad even has their own headquarters!
Another occupation shown sometimes is Higher For Hire, a airborne delivery service that’s operated by it’s new owner Della Duck and her co-pilot Launchpad McQuack.
Now, on the ritzy side of town is the Enchanted Heights, which is basically like a fairy tale version of Beverly Hills.
This is where the Disney Princesses reside.
And what would an animated series be without cute kids? You’ve got to sell those toys! The main kid crew of Toontown featured here would consist of…
They basically get into Our Gang-style shenanigans. Can you say “toyetic”, boys and girls?
Then there’s Toowntown’s scientific community, who operate at Innovation Station, the Center for Science and Imagination
This team of big brained thinkers consists of
Next, we come to the seedy underbelly of Toontown; Villainville…
…which is populated by the ever scheming group of foes known as Nightmare Enterprises, aka, Team N.M.E.
And because these ne’er do wells don’t like to get their hands dirty, they naturally have grunts to their dirty work for them, namely the Cogs.
You may be wondering, if Team N.M.E. is so evil, why don’t they just waltz in and take over Toontown? The answer is: they can’t. Toontown’s resident good mages
All used their magic to create a powerful force field around the rest of Toontown, thus preventing any villains from entering. Team N.M.E. have tried to penetrate the force field so they can take over on occasion, but they’ve failed every time (remember, this is a comedy show!)
The Genie (from Alladin) is Toontown’s media mogul. Whenever the town needs a presenter, a show host or an interviewer, it’s usually him.
At the end of the day, when the Toons want to wind down, they frequent Toontown’s local watering hole, The Enchanted Tiki Room.
Which is run by Toontown’s resident angry birds, Iago and Zazu.
And for entertainment we have the club’s house band…
Another great thing about this idea is that the perfect theme song for this show has already been written. Music, maestro!
And if anyone from Disney happens to be reading this, feel free to use any of it. All we ask for in return is a “Developed by”, credit, since it was our idea, and that Mickey Mouse has to be an active, funny character in it.
Yeah, I know. It’s been a while since either of us did one of these, but I came up with this idea in the best way possible: by not looking for it! Anyways, let’s go!
So….let’s talk about Meet the Robinsons again for a little bit. No reason, I just want to talk about it.
WARNING: If you still haven’t seen Meet the Robinsons yet, don’t read any further because I’m going to spoil the crap out of this film! You’ve been warned!
Meet the Robinsons is an in-house Disney animated film loosely based on the children’s book A Day With Wilbur Robinson (as Damon already noted in Cartoon Country) which debuted in theaters in 2007. The movie was about a twelve year old budding inventor named Lewis who meets a boy from the future named Wilbur Robinson who takes Lewis to the year 2037 to meet Wilbur’s quirky family after a mysterious yet incompetent villain known simply as “Bowler Hatted Guy” steals Wilbur’s dad’s time machine. The movie fared well at the box office and remains one of the Mouse House’s more underrated hits. So surely, Disney would want to cash in one the movie’s success and turn MtR into a franchise by making it into a TV series for children. Surely.
It never happened. There were plans for a sequel to the film with the working title Meet the Robinsons 2: First Date, but these plans were scrapped when John Lasseter became Walt Disney Animation Studios’ new chief creative officer, he called off all future sequels DisneyToon originally planned.
So as of this writing, Meet the Robinsons was never made into a TV series, and honestly, it’s not hard to imagine why, for a number of reasons:
For starters, no one would want to see a MtR TV show set in the boring present; said show would need to take place in the fantastical future, and the film’s main character, a twelve year old genius inventor named Lewis, couldn’t stay in the future for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who saw the film. for those who haven’t (SPOILERS)…
…Lewis turns out to be Cornelius Robinson, Wilbur’s dad in the future. Lewis can’t just live with his future self. That would create a time paradox, and if you’ve read any sci-fi novel, you know that’s bad.
Sure, you could conceivably have a series in which Lewis and Wilbur are traveling through time getting involved in all kinds of wacky shenanigans, but I don’t think that many people would want to see that (I know I wouldn’t). Also, Wilbur couldn’t be having buddy adventures with his father’s younger self. Not only would that potentially alter the future, but…
“It’d just be weird!”
Another reason is likely because of the Robinson family themselves.
While these characters were enjoyably and entertainingly weird, quirky and fun, the fact of the matter is that most of them were not integral to the film’s plot. At all. Among the Robinson’s various members, the only important ones were Franny, Cornelius, Bud and Lucille. The rest of them were just kind of…there. They were much more minor characters (although each of them was a personality rather than a cipher). They contributed to what’s essentially a single character: the lot of them. After their initial scenes, the relatives’ main function was to fill up the numbers.
Also, it’s entirely possible that Disney didn’t see a ton of merchandising potential with a fictional family where most of the members were adults. The general mode of thinking for kid-vid producers is that kids want to see themselves (i.e., other kids) on shows tailored for them. Kids don’t want to see a show starring a bunch of grown-ups unless there’s something special about them (EX: They’re wizards, super heroes, special agents, etc.) Wilbur was the only kid Robinson. In order for a MtR TV show to work, he would need a buddy; someone his own age to have fun and to get into trouble with, and that character couldn’t be Lewis for reasons that were stated previously. Disney wouldn’t be able to build a successful toy line from that and we know how TV executives think:
So yeah, for the reasoning above, I can see why Disney never attempted a Meet the Robinsons TV show. However, I’d like to now offer my ideas on how a potential animated series based on Meet the Robinsons could work. Here’s my pitch:
In the movie, Lewis travels to the year 2037 and meets his future family. That’s only 27 years from now. Therefore, I suggest that we set this series even further into the future and focus on a new generation of Robinsons.
The Robinson’s famous mansion would be the show’s main setting and where many of the episodes would take place.
Damon suggested that as a way to directly connect this show to the 2007 movie, this series could feature Wilbur Robinson as an adult with a family of his own.
Adult Wilbur would be the current president of Robinson Industries, having inherited his famous family’s business and compound. And even though this would be a Disney production, we won’t be killing off the mother of this family! Wilbur would be happily married with a wife and several children.
Heck, while we’re at it, Wilbur’s wife could not only be alive, but black! The two of them could have some mixed race children. Who says that all of the Robinsons have to be white? We’re progressives here. Deal with it!
So the series would focus mostly on the Robinsons children, each of whom has their own set of quirks, obsessions and talents, which would make for some entertaining moments as they all play around getting into futuristic hijinks in their wacky, high tech, physics defying mansion. Each episode could consist of several recurring segments taking part in various parts of the mansion and focusing on one or more of the Robinson’s children, with the parents showing up at certain points to join in on the fun. Also, since these Robinsons would all be siblings, the audience wouldn’t have to spend any time trying to figure out how they’re all related.
And hey, Carl the servile robot could still be there. After all, he’s a robot, and robots don’t age. He could just be upgraded.
Yeah, I basically just threw 101 Dalmatian Street…
…and The Hilarious House of Frightenstien into a blender and called it a show, but I think it’s pretty good for something that I just pulled out of thin air after one evening in front of the TV. If anyone at Disney studios happens to read this and you like the idea….
You can transfer me the royalties. No checks, please.
Back in March, Jason did a Peeks for Disney’s new British/Canadian animated series, 101 Dalmatian Street.
Well, now that we’ve since seen some episodes via clips on the internet (since we still have no frelling idea when this show is coming to the U.S. !), we’re able to cover it on Cartoon Country!
If you read Jason’s Peeks (or are lucky enough to live in one of the countries that’s actually started airing the show), you know the premise: set some 50 or 60 or so years after the 101 Dalmatians book/movie, this series focuses on a new Dalmatian family: A London dog named Delilah (who’s a descendant of Pongo and Perdita from the original 101 Dalmatians) who marries an American dog named Doug. Each of them have a litter of pups from their previous marriages (don’t ask how dog marital issues work), making a total of…wait for it…101 Dalmatians in total, all of whom live together in a rowdy house in swingin’ Camden town. However, the lead characters of the show are not the parents, but rather the 2 eldest pups, teen Dalmatians uptight, pedantic Dylan (Delilah’s biological son) and free-spirited, fun-loving, mischievous Dolly (Doug’s biological daughter) who look after the house and their 97 younger siblings while their folks are at work during the day (Doug works as a fire dog while Delilah works as a nurse, respectively).
Now, you’re probably wondering:
Well, yes, but don’t get the wrong idea, this isn’t some alternate reality where animals are just stand-ins for humans.
The animals still live alongside humans on the show, and the domestic ones are still pets. You see, the Dalmatians’ owner is an eccentric billionaire named Dodie (after the original book’s author, Dodie Smith) who left the house to the family after retiring to live on an island. The house is technologically advanced and full of gadgets and gizmos designed to give these dogs whatever they need (given how the animals’ speech only sounds like animal noises to people on this show, I imagine the Dalmatians ordering takeout on the phone must be an interesting experience). As you can imagine, a house full of rowdy dogs with no live-in master is a mailman’s nightmare.
One touch that I like is how all of the Dalmatians in the family have ‘D’ names, and that’s not just because that’s the first letter of my name. Not only that, but Disney managed to come up with a ‘D’ name for each and every member of the family. All 101 of them.
Oh yes they di-id! Here’s a little ditty someone came up with listing all of their names, so I don’t have to. (Warning: this song is an earworm. It’ll be stuck in your head for days.)
Wow, just wow. Now that’s dedication. I doubt Peyo Culliford ever sat down and said “I’m going to come up with a name for all 100 Smurfs.” Disney can be quite meticulous when they want to be. I marvel at the fact they still chose to go with 101 dalmatians when they didn’t have to. They could’ve easily taken the lazy route and said: “101 refers to the street number on the show, not the number of dogs.” Heck, that’s what I would’ve done, but I’ve been declared legally lazy by a doctor.
Another cool thing about this show is its’ aesthetics, especially when it comes to the Dalmatians themselves. Instead of all the dogs being uniform, like androids, each of the main characters have physical distinctions which makes them stand out design-wise and gives you a little insight to their personalities. I’ll give a brief (?) run-through of all of the named Dalmatians who are actual characters on the show; I can imagine what sort of characters some of the background puppies have, going by some of the names, but I’ll leave that to the inevitable string of fan fiction writers.
Likable nerd Dylan is voiced by Josh Brener, whom you may know as Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti on HBO’s Silicon Valley. Dylan loves astronomy and aspires to be the first Dalmatian in space, as evidenced by the star tag on his collar and how the spots on his left ear are in the shape of the constellation Canis Major, aka the Dog Star.
Dolly is voiced Michaela Dietz, perhaps best known to cartoon fans as the voice of Amethyst from Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe. She loves to skateboard (among other things), as noted by her Sk8er style ring-shaped collars and sock-like marking on her front paws. She also really wants to make “Bow-Whocka-Wow!” into a catchphrase.
As previously stated, dad Doug is a fire dog, note how his tag resembles a fireman’s uniform shield. Personality-wise, Doug is a big, loving, sensitive teddy bear of a guy…
Delilah the organized, orderly mom of the family (or should I say ‘mum’, since she’s British and the show is set in London?) shares Dylan’s black left ear and white right ear. As previously stated, she works as a nurse, note how her tag resembles a nurse’s badge.
Dante (named after the title character in Dante’s Inferno) is the life of the party, if said party were being held inside a Doomsday bunker. His constantly on-edge personality is further illustrated by his spiked collar. I like how he’s a reverse Dalmatian (black with white spots instead of the usual opposite, save for the blue spots on his right ear), however, his voice and personality aren’t exactly what I was expecting. Dante’s very paranoid and gloomy (surprise, surprise!), which is to be expected, but I thought he’d be calmer and more aloof…
DEEDEE & DIZZY
Deedee & Dizzy are hyper, excitable twin pups (FTR, Dizzy is the one with the bandit mask style marking around her eyes, while Deedee wears a Dolly-esque set of ring-like collars and black sock-like marking on the toe tips of her paws). They are irremediably cute and desperate to please, though they hinder things as often as they help. So they’re like actual younger siblings.
Dawkins is the brains of the house (named after English ethologist Richard Dawkins), able to operate most of the house’s tech as well as inventing some of his own. You can tell he’s really smart because he owns a laptop and by the atom design on his collar. Dawkins must be one of Delilah’s pups since he refers to Doug by his first name rather than “Dad” for reasons unknown. I guess as an intellectual, he doesn’t have time for such sentiments.
Not the sharpest pencil in the box, Diesel has a mania for dirt and digging, as is evident by the chunks or dirt which adorn his body. He’s also distinguishable by his monobrow and blank expression, which I’ve only ever seen on one other character.
DESTINY, DALLAS & DEJA VU aka TRIPLE D
These hyper-adorable, high-end, full-on diva triplets have “Future Plush Toys” stamped all over them. They’re the only family members aside from the parents who have jobs: they work as models for magazines and in commercials. This makes them a little vain and high-maintenance, but they’re bringing home some bacon, so if they have a bit of attitude (which they do) it’s understandable. Their dialogue typically consists of the 3 of them saying a single line which each of them sharing in the sentence; one will start, another will say the middle and the third will finish it up. The Disney Wiki claims that each of them has a distinct personality–with Destiny being the “woke” member of the trio, avidly aware of trendy celebrity causes and the like, Dallas being the fashionista who loves dressing up and being pampered, the full-tilt diva with a heart of gold and Deja Vu being the quirky ditz, as evidenced by such episodes as “It’s My Party” and the micro-short Diva Pups. FTR, you can tell which is which by their jewel-encrusted collars: Destiny’s is decorated with hearts, Dallas’ with diamonds and Deja Vu with circles.
Deepak is named after author and existential philosopher Deepak Chopra. Note how the markings on his head and his collar make the shape of a Yin-Yang symbol. He’s very New Agey but a bit of a Nervous Norvus, often slipping into panic mode when things go awry and having to meditate hard to calm himself down, or tending to try and embrace his inner cat, despite his being a dog.
Yup, his name is D.J., and he’s an aspiring DJ. They don’t all have to be complicated.
Your eyes don’t deceive you; Delgado’s got no hind legs, he rolls around in a makeshift wheelchair (’cause progressiveness and representation are kewl!). If he has any grievances about his condition, he has yet to be shown voicing them; rather he seems to enjoy his situation as it allows him to zip around at high speeds, his passion. He tries to impress Dolly with his speed prowess; his idolization of her is further represented by him having the same black sock markings on his front legs as her.
Despite the name, DaVinci is a girl. No prizes for guessing, she’s an artist, as evidenced by the spots on her pelt in other colors besides just black. According to Dylan, her colored spots are the results of paint blobs permanently drying on her fur, not because she’s a mutant who’s half clown.
Dorothy is the youngest pup, as such, she appears to behave in a very toddler-like manner. She has not yet learned how to communicate verbally but is able to understand what others are saying, usually giving non-verbal responses if they ask her something. Dorothy enjoys gnawing on things (most likely because she is still teething), and her basket is surrounded by chewed-up toys and sticks. Appearance-wise, she has no spots and a pink collar with a bone tag on it. She’s also the only character in the main cast whom I’m not really crazy about. She’s basically a baby, great. But unfortunately, she embodies all the reasons why I usually don’t like baby characters on shows. Mainly because they’re not funny! The original incarnations of Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm weren’t funny. Baby Smurf wasn’t funny. Jack-Jack from The Incredibles isn’t funny (no, being ridiculously over-powered and annoying does not equal comedy) and sorry, but Dorothy is not funny! There are of course some notable exceptions, such as Stewie Griffin or Lily Loud, but for the most part, baby characters are not funny.
Now I know some of you are going to say to me: “Come on, Damon. How can you be so down on Dorothy? She’s so cute!”
-Yeah, but she’s not funny.
“She has such a cute little laugh!”
-She’s not funny.
“She’s so precious and adorable!”
-She. Isn’t. Funny.
Look, I have nothing against cute characters or little characters, but they have to be more than just cloyingly cute. An example of a ‘youngest kid’ character done correctly is Chelsea from Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse.
Yes, a lot of Chelsea’s shtick revolves around her being the youngest and aggressively cutesy, but the difference is that Chelsea has a personality and does things. She’s not just there to make the audience go “Aaaaawww” and send the other characters into a blind panic when she goes missing. I challenge anyone to describe Dorothy using an adjective besides ‘cute’, ‘adorable’ or ‘precious’; you can’t, because she doesn’t do anything.
One viewer thought that Dorothy was supposed to be Oddball from the movie 102 Dalmatians because she has no spots (though–spoilers!–she gets spots at the end). I actually think that would’ve been a better idea for a character; they could’ve exploited her oddness beyond just having no spots to an all-around eccentricity, like female version of Gonzo from the Muppets. Now that would’ve been a character I could get behind.
There are also a set of wacky neighbors, including a snooty neighbor dog named Clarissa who looks down on the ‘ruff-raff’ for not having an owner, even though they do, she just doesn’t live with them, a police officer horse, a fox, a squirrel and a rat who live life on the streets and a husky whom Dolly has a crush on (though he might be more interested in Dylan–yeah it looks like they’re going there!). And we get treated to scenes like this:
Aack! Cute puppy overload!
-Now, it’s time to address the elephant in the room.
The question many fans are asking (though not me personally, for reason I’ll get into)…
Well, keep in mind that this show takes place about 50 years after the movie, so Cruella would have to be pushing 100 by the time of this series…but the producers haven’t forgotten about the DeVil legacy; for the 2-part season finale, we get an appearance by a descendant of Cruella’s, one Hunter DeVil, who is, well, a hunter. Fair enough, it is the brand and that’s what the audience will/would be expecting, but (and I know this is an unpopular opinion) I personally like that there is no real villain on the show. One of the things I like about 101 Dalmatian Street is how it’s not an adventure show, just a pure comedy; no villain-dodging, just wacky shenanigans. I figured we’d get a DeVil, but I hope this character is just someone they encounter every so often and not a regular foe to defeat. There are other things I’d like to see the writers do on this show first…
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