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My Generation G... G... Gap (2004)
The main problem with this cartoon
Larry Doyle thought he could make the Looney Tunes funny again by hiring writers and animators from The Simpsons and Family Guy. Wow. He produced 6 Looney Tunes shorts after the Box Office failure of Looney Tunes: Back in Action. I've seen most of these shorts, and they are a huge letdown. This, in my opinion, is the worst of the half-dozen. The gags are stupid, poorly timed, pitiful animation (I wish Korean cartoonists didn't work cheap), and the usual hack job by Billy West. Now, WHY on earth they had West voice Porky in this cartoon is beyond me. Bob Bergen does an EXCELLENT job doing Porky. I know there was a behind-the-scenes falling out between Bergen, and some WB producers, but if they didn't want to use Bergen, than they should have gotten someone who sounds more like Mel Blanc. West doesn't even sound like Joe Doughtery! Honestly, why West accepts these voice jobs is beyond me. He bitched about how bad Eric Goldberg did Tweety and Marvin in the "Back and Action" and claimed that Goldberg needs to acknowledge his limitations. Okay, so why does't Billy do the same? He stinks at Bugs, Tweety, and Porky, so why doesn't he move aside and let Joe Alaskey and Bob Bergen voice these characters. I'll tell you why: MONEY. West only cares about the paycheck going in his pocket. He doesn't care about cartoon quality. He may say he's a Looney tunes fan, but in reality he is not. If he were, he'd admit that he CAN'T voice these characters correctly and shove off, and allow people who know what their doing to take on a professionals work.
Okay, with that aside, another problem I have with this cartoon is that it works in the awful stereotype that if a teenager goes to a rock concert that's wild and loud, than the concert is inappropriate, and the parent needs to get their kid outta there. This cartoon was clearly made by writers who are over-protective parents. Teens aren't like that. i wish they'd get that through their thick skulls. Okay, I'm done ranting.
The Pink Panther (2006)
This movie rocks!
Not forgetting, that the originals will always remain the high kings of their time, this movie is most certainly the best movie to come out of 2006 (um.... so far? No?). Steve Martin was great in NOT imitating Peter Sellers' original conception, and just going for his own take. I never saw Alan Arkin's perception, but I'm betting that Martin's take was better. If I were you, I'd ignore the critics. Don't let their comments brainwash you. This movie is spectacular! Martin, Kline, and even Beyonce are wonderful. The Pink Panther credits are also well-executed (although the Panther doesn't appear in the end which is kind of the only true letdown of the film). And, yes there's a fart joke, but that shouldn't let you turn the other cheek from seeing this film. There was a fart joke in Revenge of the Pink Panther, I say we say Kumbaya. For those who hated Curse of the Pink Panther, and Son of the Pink Panther (I say, shove it, I liked those), then this remake will be the ultimate pick-me-up. It's a great redemption, and tribute to perhaps the most long-going screen series ever. "That breeze feels good!"
Put it out with the trash
Some wonder why there weren't anymore Mrs. Murphy movies after this one. Will it's because this movie totally blew snot. Disney was not the right studio to run this film. MAYBE Touchstone (well, they're owned by Disney, but it'd be more adult). The film is too kid-ish, as the book series is not. The casting is all wrong for the characters. The characters don't even act the way they do in the books. And why was Tucker changed to a guy? He's a girl in the frigging books! Was this done to make the film appeal to boys? Sheesh. And where was Pewter, the gray cat? One of the funniest characters from the book is absent from this filth. Rita Mae Brown is a good writer, but letting Disney blow her work was wrong. An animated feature film, perhaps in the vane of Don Bluth's artwork would suit a better Mrs. Murphy film. Overall, I give this a 2, because at least Disney made a film from an under-appreciated book series. But, I wish they did better. Either way, I still have my books to entertain me.
Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid (1929)
The first leading to the great
Here we go. Th demo reel that lead to Looney Tunes. Harman and Ising created this "non-discriptive inkblot" for Leon Schlesinger who was looking for a cartoon star for Warner Bros. Since I wasn't around in the 30s, I don't know if Bosko was really "a star", but I do know he was WB's principal cartoon (their only one at the time). This demo reel involves Rudolph Ising at the drawing board trying to think up a new cartoon (and smoking away to top it off! Yeah that'll get your brain thinking). He then out-of-the-blue draws a human-like character who abruptly comes to life and names himself Bosko, nobody else except Bosko. Ising asks what he can do. Bosko does a tap dance and an Irish jig. He notices the audience and Ising asks if he can make them laugh. Bosko asks for a piano. He plays "Danny Boy". A few piano gags occur here until Ising gets tired of Bosko's "rotten" singing. He sucks Bosko back into the pen and squirts his "ink" anatomy into the ink case, and then Ising leaves the scene. Bosko sticks his head out to tell the audience "So long folks, see you all later!" A foreshadowing of the "That's all Folks" tagline that would be added to the Looney Tunes cartoons. I kinda like this short. For a demo short, it ain't bad. It was rightly added to the Looney Tunes Golden collection volume 1, and I'm hoping that more Bosko shorts appear in future volumes. Bosko may not have been the greatest cartoon character (no real personality), but if it weren't for him, we would never have gotten the Looney Tunes. And holy freak, what a world this would NOT have been without Looney Tunes.
Daffy Duck for President (2004)
No more Duck Season!
Well, it had been 7 years since a Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck cartoon had been produced ("From Hare to Eternity" and "Superior Duck"), but it had been 12 years since Bugs and Daffy rivaled in a short together ("Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers"), so this was a nice throwback, and a wonderful tribute to the Bugs vs. Daffy combo made famous by Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng.
Daffy is running for president thinking he can make a law to outlaw Duck Season, and extend Rabbit season to a minimum of 12 months a year (typical verbal cartoon humor). But, Bugs informs Daffy that the president does not make laws. Congress makes laws, and the president enforces them (whether he likes them or not. Ha!). Daffy is of coarse, appalled by this factoid, but then decides to run for congress. His idea for Duck/ Rabbit season is not welcomed. Daffy then decides to drag Bugs to the supreme court, but Bugsy points out he's performing illegal search and seizure. Daffy begs forgiveness, and decides to look over a copy of the constitution that Bugs had in his rabbit hole. Bugs taunts Daffy, and then turns to the audience and gives advice regarding laws, and what you should do if someone tries to take away your rights.
As you may have guessed, this is an educational short with Looney Tunes-esquire humor thrown in. These types of shorts are rarely seen nowadays. Most of the education Townes today are poorly-made preschool shows, and none lack any Looney Tunes humor. "Daffy Duck for President" is a great recently-made entry for Looney Tunes, and is certainly a good educational short as much as Chuck Jones' 1949 documentary So Much For So Little. Intrestingly enough, Jones did start this cartoon back in 2000, but he wasn't able to complete. Instead, two directors from Tiny Toons Adventures completed the short and added it to Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2 DVD. There's even a nice dedication to Chuck at the end who passed away in 2003. I definitely recommend this short, because it captures the original spirit of the classic from the 30s to the 50s, and not to mention, contains some interesting facts about the president, Congress, and constitution. So if you're writing a report about either of these three, this cartoon is something you should view.
The Catillac Cats
This segment was the second half of the Heathcliff television series. It starred Riff Raff, a short big-talking orange cat who lived in a junkyard with his sidekicks, Hector a Himalayan cat who of schemed of himself being the boss, Worsdworth a white cat that spoke in rhyme, and Mungo, a big dumb purple cat. Riff Raff's girlfriend Cleo lived in a music shop (and she is arguable one of the nicest looking female cartoon characters ever). Many episodes revolved around Riff Raff trying to gain money to buy food, or try to buy something expensive for Cleo. Others involved the cats fighting off strangers or intruders that dared try to take over their junkyard. And why were these guys called The Catillac Cats? They were cats that had a Cadillac car. But it didn't just drive around. It could morph into a kinds of things: A hovercraft, a trailer, a submarine, you name it. The Cadillac really was what made the show unique, and is what held a child's interest. Sure Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats were for kids, but I am 17 and I miss this show, particularly the Catillac Cats (I found the Heathcliff segments very boring), and I wish they were back on TV. Yes, they are on DVD now, and that's wonderful. But only a handful of episodes are on DVD, and it'd be more satisfying to see every episode released. That would make one of the world's greatest Christmas presents.