ps238principal (ps238principal) wrote,
ps238principal
ps238principal

Hanna-Barbera, what hath thy legacy wrought?





Since we had the teaser poster last time we gathered 'round the intertubes, here's a page with the teaser trailer for the upcoming "Yogi Bear" movie. Unlike other cartoons that I liked that have been 'adapted,' having Yogi take up the modern mantle of lowbrow physical (if that term can apply to computer-generated characters) humor to please a new generation of youngsters doesn't phase me. I really don't care much what they do with the character, because I didn't really care too much about him to begin with. Hanna-Barbera and me have had an iffy relationship since I first discovered the seemingly endless volume of animation that they produced, mostly (in my case) for Saturday morning TV. However, none of the characters ever really got me jazzed to see more of them the way Warner Brothers or even Disney cartoon characters did. My favorites were pretty much:

- Muttley, just for the way he laughed.
- El Kabong, because the word "kabong" is awesome and so was the idea of walloping people over the head with guitars.
- The whole of "Stop the Pigeon" and "Wacky Races," because I was a fan of vehicles that looked like someone had given a bunch of engineers a load of off-date prescription meds and access to drafting materials.

But the characters were pretty flat, or at least, that's how I remember them. They were a bit like Mickey Mouse, not having too much personality beyond the way they talked and maybe one or two catchphrases ("exit, stage left," "smarter than the average bear," and so on). Of course, my childhood was the target of endless spinoffs from these and other characters (especially the Flintstones) in the H-B stable, some of them producing pretty hideous results.

Things did turn around later when the Hanna-Barbera studios was bought by Turner Broadcasting and those in charge started making cartoons that kids and college students could get into, putting out things like "2 Stupid Dogs." I still think 2SD holds up well, and it did several jokes that even by today's standards might be considered 'risky.' One toon had the dogs trying to get through an automatic door, and their logic led them to conclude it was shoes that caused the doors to open. This led them to get as many shoes as possible, even from sources some might raise their eyebrows at. They also hired a lot of people who have since become famous for animated work on Cartoon Network and other places (like Genndy Tartakovsky, among others). They also produced shows like Mighty Max (one of the few shows to have something like continuity at the time) and Swat Kats (did I mention that love of vehicles before?) which automatically gets a like for giving Gary Owens more voice work.

So long story short, I don't have much invested in a Yogi movie, and if it does well, maybe it'll knock those wretched "Alvin & the Chipmunks" movies out of the under-ten cultural spotlight. Speaking of Hanna-Barbera, readers of this blog know I watch a lot of Brit TV via YouTube and other sources, so I have to ask: Is "Top Cat" really popular in the UK, or is it just something that people like Paul Merton and Russel Howard like to use as a reference? It seems like I hear an awful lot of Officer Dibble references on comedy panel shows, but that could just be me.

Marvel has gotten the film rights back for 'The Punisher', and MTV wonders who should play Frank Castle. I think a better question is, "when should the character be re-introduced and how much of the rest of the Marvel Universe will be included?" The Punisher is one of those characters that really needs superheroes around to be at his best. He's kind of like Batman, in that he's a normal guy out for vigilante justice, except instead of superpowers that let him defeat bad guys, he's got lots and lots of guns and wants to end criminal careers permanently. Without a world with costumed characters not only fighting crime but ignoring the "grittier" wrongs that our own world is filled with, Frank is just another borderline psycho with a gun, and you can watch any of a number of other action films to get that. I think audiences would like a Punisher film more if they'd seen the "happier" heroes at work for a while followed by Mr. Castle having to clean up the less festively-costumed wrongdoings in the Marvel U.

It's also looking good on the Lovecraft front as Guillermo Del Toro is going to not only give us 'At the Mountains of Madness,' but he's getting help from James Cameron. I wasn't overly thrilled with "Avatar" and its plot, but imagining the techniques in that movie brought to bear on a 30's-era film complete with Elder Things and Shoggoths is just too interesting a prospect to dismiss out of hand (or pseudopod). Curse these men for making me almost think a 3D TV is desirable purchase, especially if JJ Abrams' upcoming Victorian-era robot movie, 'Boilerplate' is half as good as it sounds.

There's also movement afoot to remake 'Total Recall', but since the movie adaptation was almost completely unlike the Philip K. Dick story after Arnie freaks out in the memory-chair, a new stab at the original material could still produce something worthwhile. Though it'll never be able to replace the (language warning) "get ready for a surprise" scene. :)

So now I think I've got most of my computer applications back in working order. The only "legacy" problems being Adobe Streamline 4.0 (a way to convert line art into vector via a nice, light program) which I discovered can just be copied over from a previous install as the installer itself won't work under Windows 7, and the drivers for my ancient SCSI card that runs my equally ancient scanner which someone thoughtfully cobbled together (the drivers, not the scanner). While I get back to work, here's some items that helped keep my mind off of lightning and overloaded computer hardware:

- Touching again on "2 Stupid Dogs," the show had a catch phrase I still use to this day, not that anyone gets it. I was amused to see that same clip given a Team Fortress 2 twist.
- Now here's a nifty-looking coat rack. I might just have the spare parts to build one in my basement somewhere.
- They're controversial, making public information the military would rather keep secret, but I think the people at Wookieleaks are doing a service to the people.
- The Dreamerz is a clever yet light point-n-click adventure game. Find all of the dream spheres to make it home, and if you get stuck, the walkthrough is a nice flash-based solution provider instead of a video you have to slog through to find where you're stalled.
- A mystery man has been all over TV in the UK, and his appearances have been cataloged. He came forth himself to clear up why he's been making himself so visible.
- I think I've finally read a solid explanation for why 'Twlight' vampires sparkle. It doesn't make them cool or anything, but it's a compelling argument.
- Here's a gallery of art created from records by the skillful application of a Dremel.
- Apparently, advertising actually works, as the recent Old Spice campaign has made 107% more men than before decide to smell like their dads.
- How about of the ol' ultra-injury? Here's Stunt Master, a game where all you have to do is make it to the camera crew. Broken bones earn extra points!
Tags: 2 stupid dogs, lovecraft, marvel, movies, the punisher, yogi bear
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