Wednesday, January 31, 2007


In order to promote their new movie, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theatres, Cartoon Network has planted several electronic boxes in several major cities throughout the United States. The box has several blinking magnetic lights that are in the shapes of Ignignokt and Err, two of the shows more popular characters.

But residents of Boston mistook the boxes for bombs being planted around bridges, subways and buses. Bomb squads were called in and streets, bridges and tunnels were shut down in order to disarm the 'bombs'!

Police have arrested Peter Berdvosky, an employee of Cartoon Network's marketing team, charged under placing a hoax device that results in panic.

Is this marketing gone too far? The device wasn't a bomb and never claimed to be a bomb and now the movie is getting tons of publicity, but should the network be a little more thoughtful of the post-911 paranoid country that is the USA?

Anyway, while the show has quite a large cult following, I'm sure that the movie will not make any thing close to 'hit' numbers in the box office. The show is funny in its ten minute episode format but there is no way a whole movie will keep people's attention.

If you haven't seen the trailer, here it is.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Director Tim Hill, best known for Garfield 2 and Muppets From Space, has signed on to direct an Alvin and the Chipmunks feature film! Now you may think this is good news, but it's not.

Word is Fox wants to do a live action film and use computer graphics to bring the Chipmunks to life. Why can't cartoon characters stay as cartoon characters?! This recent trend of making live action movies based on cartoons is becoming really discouraging. Scooby-Doo, Garfield, Underdog, Fat Albert and now this one. I really, really hope this movie doesn't get made but I'm not holding my breath.

One redeeming quality is that the script is written by Jon Vitti, a veteran writer for The Simpsons, King of the Hill and The Critic so I expect funny stuff!

Also, Ross Bagdasarian Jr., son of Chimpunks creator Ross Bagdasarian, and Janice Karman are producing the movie through Bagdasarian Productions who have handled the Chipmunks property since the death of Bagdasarian Sr. This means that the creators have an interest in this movie and maybe they will help it to not suck. We shall see.

Just for fun, here is a classic scene from the original Chipmunks movie, The Chipmunk Adventure:

Monday, January 29, 2007


For those of you who are Smallville fans you may be interested in this new animated series:

Smallville Legends: The Oliver Queen Chronicles

This new animated series debuted on January 18th as part of a marketing campaign between Warner Bros and Sprint. Here is the most interesting part: The series is available exclusively for your cell phone!

Here is a clip from the press release:

"Smallville Legends: The Oliver Queen Chronicles," a six-episode animated wireless series created for the mobile and broadband environment, will premiere Thursday, January 18, exclusively on the Sprint TVSM mobile video service. A new episode will launch on subsequent Thursdays and remain exclusive to Sprint for the six-week duration of the series. After Sprint's exclusive window, the entire wireless animated series will be available for streaming at, the online home of The CW Network, beginning February 22. The initiative marks the first time Warner Bros. and The CW have created original animated content as a marketing platform to help drive tune-in for the "Smallville" television series.

Read more about it here.

A stupid idea in my mind seeing that most phone screens have a pretty terrible resolution. I can't imagine that a lot of people will take advantage of this. I'd rather see them on iTunes for my video iPod.

I haven't been watching Smallville for the past couple of seasons so I don't know anything about the Oliver Queen character in the series except that he has become very popular. If he is anything like the Green Arrow from DC Comics then I am sure the animated series will be a huge success. Maybe we can even get a full 30-minute show if this takes off!

Friday, January 26, 2007


Welcome back for another round of CCCCC! Your job is to identify the cartoon character pictured below and leave a comment with your guess. There are no real prizes but you will have the satisfaction of proving to everyone that you know your cartoon stuff. I will reveal the answer on Monday! Good luck!

UPDATE: This week's winner is athena who correctly identified Bill from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures. See you next week!

Thursday, January 25, 2007


This week we move into the seventies to bring you one of the most unusual Hanna-Barbera shows.

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home

Wait Till You Father Gets Home (WTYFGH) was brought to life by Hanna-Barbera to compete in the ever-growing popularity of the 'seventies sitcom'. This show which starred Tom Bosley (two years before his role as Howard Cunningham in Happy Days) as a married father of three and the situations that they encounter due to their generation gap. The series ran from 1972 to 1974 for first-run syndication. The two seasons and 49 episodes featured guest stars like Don Knotts, Don Adams and Phyllis Diller.

This thing that stands out when watching it is the completely different style of animation than Hanna-Barbera usually produces. Even though Iwao Takamoto was the production designer, the look of the series was a drastic departure from the HB norm. This was partly because a bulk of the production was farmed out to Canawest Studios (best known for their Beatles cartoon).

I am extremely happy to hear that HB/Warner Bros has decided to release this show on DVD. The first season, 24 episodes, will be released on June 5th. This rare gem will be a delight to add to my collection.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


The nominees for the 2006 Academy Awards have been announced! Here are the results of in the animation category:

Best Animated Feature Film:

Pixar Animation Studios
John Lasseter

Happy Feet
Warner Bros.
George Miller

Monster House
Gil Kenan

Best Animated Short Film:
The Danish Poet
Mikrofilm and National Film Board of Canada
Torill Kove

Pixar Animation Studios
Gary Rydstrom

The Little Matchgirl
Walt Disney Pictures
Roger Allers and Don Hahn

A Kedd Production
Geza M. Toth

No Time for Nuts
A Blue Sky Studios Production
Chris Renaud and Michael Thurmeier

Randy Newman's Our Town from Cars was also nominated for Best Original Song.

There is quite a bit of controversy over the fact that two of the nominees for best Animated Picture are not really animated. I'll talk more about this next week.

I will also begin a look at each of the Animated Short subjects (just for you, coolshades!) over the next few weeks.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Here we are for another week! Take a guess at this one! It's sort of trick but I'm sure someone will get it.

UPDATE: This week's winner is coolshades who correctly identified this character as being Brian from the computer animated Inspector Gadget's Biggest Caper Ever! Way to go coolshades!

See you next Friday!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


This is week three of our tribute to the legacy of Hanna-Barbera. This week we focus on the greatest Superhero ever created by Hanna-Barbera.

Space Ghost and Dino-Boy

Space Ghost was the first half of the half-hour series that ran from 1966-1968 on CBS. It followed the adventures of Space Ghost, voiced by Gary Owens (Roger Ramjet, Powered Toast-Man), as he battles villains, monsters and other abominations. Joining him on his adventures are his teenage sidekicks, Jace and Jan, and their space monkey, Blip.

The design for Space Ghost was by legendary comic-book artist, Alex Toth. Space Ghost has found its way into comicbooks many times, most recently by DC in 2004 that featured covers by Alex Ross.

Space Ghost made another appearance in the show Space Stars in 1981 but it wasn't until 1994 when Space Ghost would find success again. Cartoon Network's [adult swim] created a new series about a retired Space Ghost who has become a talk show host. Space Ghost: Coast-To-Coast reused animation from the original show and featured characters from the show such as Zorak, Moltar and Brak the Pirate. Each episode would feature a special celebrity guest. SGC2C lasted for seven seasons.

The second half of the Space Ghost and Dino-Boy was about a young boy who got trapped in prehistoric times and lived amongst the dinosaurs with his new friend Ugh the Caveman. The show was alright but paled in comparison the Space Ghost segments.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


The 2006 Golden Globe Awards Ceremony was on Monday and Pixar/Disney's Cars took home the Globe for Best Animated Feature beating out Happy Feet and Monster House. No surprise, really. Cars had the highest box office gross out of all the animated movies this year and I think everyone's bias toward Pixar helped a great deal.

However, the real story is that John Lasseter thanked all the staff at Pixar but 'forgot' to thank Disney. Many were upset about this especially since Lasseter is the Chief Creative Officer of both Pixar's and Disney's feature animation departments now. But John Frost made a good point on The Disney Blog:

I would say this is less of a faux pas and more of an insight into the very strict line Lasseter is drawing between Pixar and Walt Disney Animation. Marketing and Consumer Products divisions are seldom mentioned in award speechs. At the time 'Cars' was made that's all Disney was to Pixar. The merge came later. Sure, it would have been politic for Lasseter to mention Iger and WDFA. But award winners are only allotted a small amount of time for their speech. So Disney shouldn't feel bad about not being mentioned.

I agree with Frost. Pixar should thank the creative brains behind the picture which is Pixar. Hopefully, that will continue with their upcoming pictures.

Speaking of upcoming pictures, if you haven't seen the trailer for Pixar's Ratatouille then you should check it out now. The film hits the theatres this summer and promises to provide the same quality and fun as their other seven films, especially since it is directed by Incredibles director Brad Bird.

But wait, there's more! Pixar has released their very first picture of the title character of WALL• E, Pixar's follow-up to Ratatouille. It was just a matter of time before Pixar did a robot movie. I'm not surprised. They've done insects, monsters, underwater, superheroes and even a little outer space. Robots have been tackled many times, like Brad Bird's The Iron Giant for example, but I'm sure that Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton will deliver another Oscar-worthy film.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Also included in the Sneak Peak clip that I posted yesterday is a look at the upcoming Underdog movie that Disney is distributing this summer. It stars Jason Lee as Shoeshine Boy/Underdog and Amy Adams as Sweet Polly Purebred and features a live action dog with CG effects.

I can't say that I am happy with yet another classic cartoon animal character being turned into a live action movie. Dick Tracy makes a fine live action movie, but Scooby-Doo, Garfield and now Underdog should be left on paper where they belong.

Actually, the only redeeming quality to this movie is that Jason Lee will be providing the voice for the canine crusader. Otherwise this movie don't look appealing at all.

Underdog was a part of a marketing campaign in the 60s to sell breakfast cereal to children. King Leonardo, Tennessee Tuxedo and Underdog were among the characters created for the General Mills campaign. The superhero dog, who was an obvious parody of Superman, quickly rose to fame and won the hearts of children all over the world.

Will this live action version do the same for this generation? I'm not betting on it.

Monday, January 15, 2007


A little sneak peek of Disney's upcoming live action/2D animated feature Enchanted has hit the net. You can find a Disney promo that has a few seconds of footage here.

The movie is about a princess, Giselle, who lives in her magical, fairy tale (and animated) world but gets banished by an evil queen to the land of the living: Manhattan. Now she must learn to live in reality where everything is not all 'Happily Ever After'. To complicate things further, she falls in love with a divorce lawyer even though she is promised to the perfect fairy tale prince, Prince Edward.

The movie has a great premise and reminds me of Elf to a certain extent but without seeming like a copy. The film stars Amy Adams as Giselle, Susan Serandon as the evil Queen Narissa, Patrick Dempsey as divorce lawyer Robert and James Marsden as the voice of Prince Edward.

The animated part of Enchanted will be a tribute to the great Disney animated features with character designs that look straight out of Snow White and The Little Mermaid. It will also have six songs that will pay homage to the Broadway style hits from 90s Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. In fact, the songs will be written by the composer for those movies, Alan Menken.

James Baxter Animation will be in charge of the animation rather than Disney's in-house department. My guess is that Disney's 2D department isn't fully up and running quite yet. James Baxter is an ex-animator from Walt Disney Feature Animation who was the lead animator for characters like Belle and Quasimodo.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Week 2 of the Completely Crazy Cartoon Character Challenge is here and it is another fairly easy one. Let's see if you can get it.

UPDATE: This week's contest winner for the second week in a row is eagle-man who correctly identified this Beagle Boy as Bouncer Beagle from DuckTales!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Not only will this week's theme song be a tribute to the Late Joe Barbera, but it will also be a tribut to Iwao Takamoto who passed away earlier this week. Iwao was a lead character designer for Hanna-Barbera and is most known for designing Scooby-Doo. But I want to share with you a character that Iwao almost didn't create.

The Perils of Penelope Pitstop

When Hanna-Barbera created Wacky Races, a show about a bunch of race car drivers and a villain bent on sabotaging every race, they didn't realize that they had made a all-male cast out of the drivers. At the last second Iwao was given the task of designing Penelope Pitstop and her car, the Compact Pussycat. He completed his task in about two hours.

Penelope was known as 'the Glamour Gal of the Gas Pedal' and quickly rose to be one of the most popular characters on the show. Janet Waldo provided her southern drawl and continues to voice the character to this very day in video games and online web cartoons.

Wacky Races had two spin-offs. Dasterdly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines focused on the villain, Dick Dasterdly and his pursuit to stop a carrier pigeon from delivering its messages. The other spin-off was The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. Here, Peneolpe must escape and evade the traps set out by the Hooded Claw, who is after her wealth. To save the day, Wacky Races co-stars the Ant Hill Mob Gang also joined the cast of this show to help Penelope out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Another great animator has passed away. On January 6, Pete Kleinow passed away at the age of 72. He was best known in the animation world for his stop-motion work on Gumby, Davey & Goliath, and the Pilsburry Dough-Boy. Pete wrote the theme song for Gumby

He left animation to pursue a career in alt-country and rock. He became quite a well-known guitarist with his band the Flying Burrito Brothers and worked with many famous musicians including John Lennon, Frank Zappa, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell and Ringo Starr, just to name a few.

In 1981, Pete went back into the world of film and created wonderful special effects for The Empire Strikes Back, Gremlins and the Terminator movies.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

IWAO TAKAMOTO (1925-2007)

Only weeks after the death of Joe Barbera, another Hanna-Barbera legend passes away. Iwao Takamoto died yesterday from heart problems.

Durning WWII, Iwao and his family were sent to a Japanese-American internment camp. It was here that he learned how to be an illustrator. When the war was over, he was hired by Disney and worked as an assistant animator to Milt Kahl on such movies as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Lady and the Tramp.

In 1961, Takamoto left Disney to go work for Hanna-Barbera and is most noted for his work there as a character designer. He created the designs for Astro, Penelope Pitstop, Captain Murphy and Scooby-Doo. He also produced several of their show in the seventies and directed some of their feature-length films such as, Jetsons: the Movie and Charlotte's Web.

In 2005 he received the Golden Award from the Animation Guild, to honour his more than 50 years of service in the animation field. He will be missed.

Monday, January 08, 2007


The answer to Friday's challenge is...

from Count Duckula

Eagle-Man is our first winner! Check back on Friday for the Completely Crazy Cartoon Character Challenge #2!

Friday, January 05, 2007


Welcome to the Crazy Cartoon Character Challenge #1! Every Friday it will be your job is to correctly identify the character and what show he/she is from. Post your guess as a comment. You can guess as many times as you want.

The first few I will do will be pretty easy, but they will get harder. There are no prizes right now but maybe in the future I will be able to offer some reward.

Here is this week's challenge:

Good luck! I will post the answer on Monday! Have a good weekend!

Thursday, January 04, 2007


To honour the legacy of Joe Barbera who died a few weeks ago, Thursday Theme Songs for the month of January will focus on the work of Hanna-Barbera. This week we will look at one of the greatest shows in television history:

The Flintstones

The Flintstones ran for six seasons from 1960-1966 on ABC and is the first animated television show made for prime time. The sitcom gained the record for longest running animated series which wasn't broken until 1997 by The Simpsons. The stories of Fred and Wilma Flintstone and their neighbours, Barney and Betty Rubble, gained huge popularity with kids and adults alike.

Many of the stories dealt with Fred and/or Barney trying to make ends meet with get-rich-quick schemes or find that it's not easy to keep their marriage together. The show even touched on issues not often seen in cartoons of that era, such as Wilma's pregnancy and Barney's infertility.

By the sixth season it was apparent that more kids than adults were watching The Flintstones and so a few new characters were added that greatly took away from the 'sitcom' feel of the show. The Gruesomes, a monster-like couple resembling the Addams Family or the Munsters, moved next door and a little green alien that only Fred could see, called that Great Gazoo, appeared to help Fred through his adventures. Many fans consider the appearance of the Great Gazoo as the moment the Flintstones jumped the shark.

Many spin-offs were made throughout the 70s and 80s including one where Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are grown up, one about baby Flintstone kids and even one where Fred and barney meet the Fantastic Four's The Thing! All of these shows failed to capture the popularity of the original show and were just marketing grabs put out by Hanna-Barbera.

The theme song to the Flintstones is probably one of the most recognizable themes in TV history.

Flintstones, meet the Flintstones
They're the modern stone-age family.

The lyrics were penned by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera and the music was written by Hanna-Barbera's music master, Hoyt Curtin.

But did you know? The 'Meet the Flintstones' theme was written for a Golden Book Record and was not used on the show until its third season! A instrumental song called 'Rise and Shine', also written by Hoyt Curtin, was the original theme and this is the one that I am sharing with you today. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I thought I'd share with you the evolution of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Oswald's character changed quite a few times over the his two decades of popularity. Some changes were complete overhauls and you wouldn't even know it was the same character if it weren't for his distinct name.

Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created Oswald for Universal pictures. He was a typical cartoon character with simple facial features and solid colour body shapes that bared many similarities to Felix the Cat and Bimbo from Betty Boop. In fact, Mickey Mouse is pretty much a copy of Oswald with smaller ears.

When Disney and Iwerks left the studio to persue their own dreams, Walter Lantz continued to use the character of Oswald but made some changes to compete with the quickly evolving animation medium. Most notibly, Oswald was given gloves, shoes, a shirt and a cuter face due to the head being larger and the ears being smaller. Lantz also started making Oswald cartoons with sound in 1929.

In 1935, Lantz left Universal to create his own independant company where he went on to create Woody Woodpecker. It was here that Lantz gave Oswald a complete makeover. Oswald was now drawn with more realism and white fur. The stories changed too. Oswald wasn't the screwball rabbit anymore. The stories became softer and more 'cute'. They were also now being made in colour as Technicolor was now the hottest thing since sliced bread.

Dell comics put out an Oswald comicbook in 1942, taking the current Oswald style and moulding it to fit in with other Lantz characters like Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda. The comicbook style greatly influenced the cartoons and soon Oswald began to look more cartoony and his fur became two-toned.

Since the return of Oswald to Disney, there have been many rumours about new Oswald cartoons. One rumour states that John Lasseter is interested in making a few 3D shorts with Pixar and eventually releasing a feature film. They will, of couse, adopt the original Disney Oswald style for the films. A company has made a plastic figure of this new Oswald. I hope to see this character come to life once again.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Actually, this news is almost a year old. But I wanted to share with you the tale of the licensing issues for Disney's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

After Walt Disney's Alice Comedies had become stale, he and Ub Iwerks created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit for Universal's animation producer, Charles Lantz. Disney and Iwerks quit after Lantz suggested a 20% budget cut despite the series high ratings. Disney made 26 Oswald cartoons in 1927 and 1928 and then lost the rights to his character. Lantz continued on to make over 150 more cartoons and Disney and Iwerks went on to create their biggest success, Mickey Mouse.

In February of 2006, the rights to the 26 Disney Oswald cartoons were bought back by Disney from ABC Sportcaster Al Michaels who wanted to break his ABC contract to join John Madden on NBC.

It has now been revealed that all 26 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons will be released in a 2-disc DVD package as part of the Walt Disney Legacy Collection Wave Two! More info here.

But while we wait for the DVDs, here is the fist Oswald cartoon from 1927, called Trolley Troubles.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Happy New Year and welcome to 2007! I hope all of you had a safe and fun evening and I hope that you have thought about your New Year's resolutions!

Katie and I want to stretch our imaginations and come up with new and exciting ways to make this page more fun for everyone!

I will be starting a new feature on Fridays called The Completely Crazy Cartoon Character Challenge. I will post a picture of a cartoon character and you will have to tell me who it is! I will reveal the answer on Monday. The first few will be easy but they will get harder and then soon dip into the realm of the obscure. Make sure you cast your vote! I'll be keeping score!

I'll also start Thursday Theme Songs back up again with January's theme being a tribute to Joe Barbera.

But enough about me; what do you, my loyal readers, want to see here? Are there shows that you want me to cover? Movies to review? Animators to biograph? What do you like/dislike about Animated Toast?