Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cartoon Quickie - Biker Mice From Mars (Original)

Welcome all to another adition of Cartoon Quickie. This time we'll be taking a look at The Biker Mice From Mars.

On the planet Mars,there existed a race of anthropomorphic mice who enjoyed Motorsports and had a very similar culture and society to that of Earthlings.

Soon,however,they were all but wiped out by the Plutarkians, an alien race of obese, foul-smelling, fish-like humanoids who exploit other planets for natural resources because they've wasted all of their own.

Three survivors, Throttle, Modo and Vinnie, manage to find a spaceship and escape the Plutarkian takeover but they are soon shot down by a Plutarkian warship and end up crash-landing on Earth in the city of Chicago. There they meet a charming female mechanic named Charlene "Charley" Davidson and discover that the Plutarkians have come to Earth to steal its natural resources.

The Biker Mice discover that Chicago's leading industrialist, Lawrence Limburger, is actually a Plutarkian who disguises himself as a human. Limburger enlists two henchmen, mad scientist Dr. Karbunkle and the idiotic Greasepit to help him steal Earth's natural resources and send them to Plutark. Thus, the Biker Mice become Limburger's chief foils, felling his business tower at the end of nearly every episode.

The Mice and protagonists are: Throttle,the leader of the trio,has a cool attitude..and shades to match.; Modo is big and tough,but he's a nice guy at heart. Modo has a mechanical arm and is the strongest of the trio.; Vinnie is a thrill-seeker with a bit of an ego. He's also a self-proclaimed lady's man.

Joining the Trio is a beautiful human Mechanic named Charlene "Charley" Davidson. She's a headstrong woman, and is always ready to go into battle, though the Biker Mice try to keep her out of dangerous situations.

And what are Heroic Mice without Villains. Lawrence Limburger is the main antagonist of the series,he hails from Plutark and has an odd fascination for Earth's criminal society of the 1930s. He wears a mask in order to look human and a purple suit at most times. He's also highly resourceful and cunning,though always failing due to the biker mice's interventions. His headquarters is Limburger Industries located in Chicago.

Limburger's minions are: Dr. Karbunkle(a thin, sly scientist),Grease Pit (the stereotypical cartoonish bungling bad guy sidekick),and Fred the Mutant (a short and crazy freak,who is almost always happy)

Now,the Artwork and Animation are typical for a 90's cartoon.(ie. Good). The Action scenes are also nicely done. The errors themselves are minimal. The Music is pretty good,the music fits the show really really well.

The Overall Writing is really good as well. A lot of humorous lines to go with the cool action. As for the Voice Acting,it's pretty damn great.

There was a 2007 revival,but it was nowhere near as good as the original. All and all,the Original BMfM is a decent and badass show and is worth watching atleast twice.

That's gonna do it for this edition of Cartoon Quickie. See Ya Next Time and Stay Gold.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Song of the Month: Darkwing Duck (version 1)

Hey everyone,Stefan here. Sorry for the lack of updates lately,I've been busy. But I'm back and updates will be frequent again.

Anyway,here is this Months featured Cartoon Theme,The first Version of the theme to Darkwing Duck. Let's Get Dangerous!

Darkwing Duck (v.1)

I really love this song and it's slightly better,IMO,than the 2nd version.

Well that's it for the Song of the Month. I hope you enjoyed.

Rock On and Stay Gold,
Stefan

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cartoon Quickie: Jem

Sailor Moon: Hey everyone,Sailor Moon here,bringing you The very first Cartoon Quickie of 2011. On this edition of Cartoon Quickie,I'll be reviewing that 80's cult classic,Jem.

Sailor Moon: In a way,Jem is another American Henshin Heroine,like She-Ra. However,she doesn't fight crime. The story goes like this:

Sailor Moon: Jem is the lead singer and frontwoman of the rock group Jem and The Holograms,In reality,though,she's Jerrica Benton, owner/manager of Starlight Music. Jerrica adopts this persona with the help of a holographic computer, known as Synergy, which was built by Jerrica's late father to be "the ultimate audio-visual entertainment synthesizer".

Sailor Moon: Jerrica is then able to command Synergy to project "the Jem hologram" over herself by means of the remote micro projectors in her earrings, thus disguising her features and clothing and enabling her to assume the Jem persona. Looks like Ditzny ripped off this idea for their crapfest iof a series,Hannah Montana.

Sailor Moon: Anyway,the reason for this Henshin is to acquire money to support Starlight Music and the Starlight Foundation for Girls, a foster program founded by her late mother Jacqui Benton.

Sailor Moon: The band The Holograms consists of: Kimber Benton,Jerrica's younger sister, keyboardist and main songwriter for the band; Aja Leith,guitarist; and Shana Elmsford,who plays the synth drums. Aja and Shana are also childhood friends and adopted foster sisters of Jerrica and Kimber. Only The Holograms are aware of Jem's secret identity and the existence of Synergy when the series begins.

Sailor Moon: Episodes of the series frequently revolve around Jerrica's efforts to keep her two identities separate, protect Synergy from those who might exploit her, and support the twelve Starlight Girls who live with her and The Holograms.

Sailor Moon: The Holograms have two rival bands, one of which are called The Misfits: petulant rich girl Pizzazz and her cohorts: no-nonsense Roxy and kind-hearted,sensitive keytar player Stormer,who are later joined by the manipulative British saxophone player Jetta.

Sailor Moon: Most episodes of the series involve a plot by the Misfits to upstage Jem and the Holograms' latest glamorous escapade. This rivalry is encouraged and manipulated by their manager,the ruthless Eric Raymond (the once half-owner of Starlight Music who, during the series, plots constantly to be its owner again).

Sailor Moon: In the middle of the third season, the second band, The Stingers (Riot,lead singer and egotistical;Rapture,female guitarist and professional con-artist;and Minx,keyboard player and a man-manipulator),hit town and shake things up for both groups.

Sailor Moon: Now,some people say that Jem is a clone of Hannah Montana,but in reality it's the otherway around. Unlike,that crapfest of a show,Jem is a show with high quality. The story is kinda nice. The music is your typical 80's stuff. The Artwork and Animation are excellent.

Sailor Moon: In fact,The animation was provided by the Japanese animation studio Toei. Yes,the same company who made Dragon Ball Z and My show. Awesome huh?

Sailor Moon: I think Jem is a good watch. If you can find episodes on Youtube,watch them,you won't be disappointed. However,if you're not a fan of 80's music or 80's fashion,then stay away from this show.

Sailor Moon: I'm Sailor Moon and this has been another Cartoon Quickie. See Ya Next Time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Cartoon Historian 1-year Anniversary Special

*Inside the Cartoon Historians classroom {a generic classroom,where the historian has taught so many times before},the desks are lined up in a half circle facing the main desk and freeing up some of the floor. sitting at the desks are famous cartoon stars of the past,who are cheering and applauding*

Announcer Voice: Welcome one and all to The Cartoon Historian 1st Anniversary Special.

[cartoon historian intro]

And Now live from the Historian's Classroom,here is Stefan,the Cartoon Historian and his beautiful assistant Mina.

*the crowd applauds stefan and mina as they enter the classroom. applause stops*

Thank you,thank you. And thank you Tom.

Mina: Welcome everyone. I can't believe it's been one year since you started,Stefan.

That's right,Mina. And What a year it was. We covered a crapload of Cartoons and Animation Companies. We also reviewed lots of shows,

*croud applauds*

Thank you.

Mina: Ok,Let's get on with the celebration. Now,I have mixed feelings about this. Stefan has gotten Extra Assistants, Now Pro: I get some free time and when I have something important to do,Stefan doesn't have to do these Lessons Solo. However,here's the Con: I kinda feel that I'm somewhat being replaced.

*chuckles* Don't wory,Mina. I could never replace you. You are too precious to me.

Mina*blushes* Aww,thanks Stefan *kisses stefan on the cheek*

Anyway,here is Extra Assistant #1. He is the Son of one of the greatest and strongest Heroes in all of Anime. Here he is: Gohan Son.

*the crouds appauds as Teen Gohan enters*

Mina: Our next Extra Assistants come from Brooklyn NY. Here they are,the most iconic plumbers in the world: Mario and Luigi.

*the crouds appauds as the Mario Bros enter*

She's the Pretty Suited Soldier of Love,Truth,and Justice. Say hello to Extra Assistant #3: Sailor Moon.

*the crouds appauds as Sailor Moon enters*

Mina: This next Extra Assistant needs no introduction. Here he is....2k3 Mikey.

*the crouds appauds as the 2k3 version of ninja turtle Michaelangelo enters*

And last,but not least..the final Extra Assistant...Shego.

*the crouds appauds as shego enters*

Alright. Welcome,my friends.

Gohan: It's great to be here.

2k3 Mikey: Great!! You mean Totaly Awesome! Stefan,I've been a big fan of this show for a long time and becoming your Assistant is a dream come true. You Rock,Stefan.

Uh..Thanks,Mikey. Sailor Moon it's good to have you onboard again.

Sailor Moon: My pleasure Stefan.

Mina: Hope you gained a sence of punctuality,Moon girl. Because,you're gonna need it. Because classes start at random times.

Sailor Moon: Hey,don't worry about me. I'll be fine.

Mina: YOu'd better be..or Stefan will fire you.

Don't worry,Sailor Moon. You'll do great.,I know it. and besides even if she is late,I could always get one of the other Assistants to help me.

Sailor Moon: Thanks Stefan. *hugs him*

Mario: Sorry about what happened to the Ultima Network,Stefan.

Luigi: And about our show.

Yeah,sorry about that.

Shego: So how much does this gig pay?

Um...Nothing. I thought I mentioned that.

Shego: Yeah,call me when you decide to offer me a Paying job. *begins to leave*

C'mon Shego don't do this.

Mina: And besides working with us will prove to be a better experience than working with Drakken...we promise.

*Shego stops*

Shego: *sigh* Alright,I'll stay.

Awesome,you won't regret this.

Shego: See that I don't.

Mina: Ok,now with that out of the way,Tom tell us what's coming up.

Tom's Voice: Well Mina,next we'll be taling about the Upcoming episodes of the Cartoon Historian, But first,here's a video message.

*goes to video*

Spongebob Squarepants: Hey,Cartoon Historian,just wanted to wish you a Happy 1-Year Anniversary. Hooray for Cartoons.

*goes back to live*

*audience applauds*

Thank you,Spongebob. Ok,coming up on future episodes of The Cartoon Historian,both me and my Assistant will be covering a whole mess of shows,program blocks,and animation companies. And as usual we won't be covering Anime. Mina,tell us what shows we'll be covering.

Mina: Well,some of the cartoon shows we'll be covering include: 'Inspector Gadget','Alvin and the Chipmunks',and 'Captain Planet'. For the Program Blocks,We'll be covering: 'Fox Kids','ABC's One Saturday Morning','Kids WB',and more. We'll also be covering some Animation Companies..though,I don't know which companys.

*audience applauds*

Thank You,Mina. Another thing we're gonna be doing is Redoing some of the earlier lessons....Including Ninja Turtles.

2k3 Mikey: I'm gonna be co-hosting that.

Mina: Way to spoil things,Michaelangelo.

2k3 Mikey: hehe..oops,Sorry.

We have more instore guys,Tom tell our audience what else we have coming up.

Tom's Voice: We'll be talking about the newest segment: Cartoon Theme Of The Month.

*croud cheers and applauds*

Tom's Voice: And now here are some more Video Messages.

*goes to video*

Phineas: Stefan,Ferb and I would like to wish you a Happy 1-year Anniversary as the Cartoon Historian and hope you have many more yeare. Because of you,Ferb and I learned alot about the Cool shows and Program blocks that were before our time.

Ferb: Happy Anniversary.

*transitions to another vid*

Hulk Hogan: This is The Hulkster, Wishing The Cartoon Historian a very Happy 1-Year Anniversary. Whatcha gonna do when the Cartoon Historian educates and entertains You.

*transitions to another video*

Mega Man: This is an awesome thing you have going here,Stefan. Happy Anniversary.

*goes back to live*

*croud cheers and applauds*

Alright. As you are all aware,The Cartoon Historian has multiple segments. This year,I'll be introducing an all New segment....Cartoon Intro of the Month. Y'see each month we'll be showcasing a Cartoon Intro Theme. This months theme will be shown soon,so be ready for that.

Mina: Alrighty,we're almost done. Tom tell us what's next.

Tom's Voice: Next,It's the Best of the Best. The Best Cartoon Historian Lesson of the year.

*goes to video*

Goku: Hey everyone,It's Goku. When I'm not fighting evil or training my butt off or eating like a starved beast,I'm watching the Cartoon Historian..it's a great show to watch while you're having a snack. Happy Anniversary,Stefan. Hey,Gohan.

*transitions to new video*

Kim Possible: Me an Ron would like to wish you a very Spankin' Anniversary as the Cartoon Historian,Stefan.

Ron: I Love Your show.

Rufus: Laters

*goes back to live*

*croud cheers and applauds*

Mina: Alright. Now,before we go to the Best of the Best. Stefan,why don't you tell us Why you created the Cartoon historian?

Sure. Well I'm a fan of cartoons and wanted to make a site dedicated to them. And Inspired by The Gaming Historian,I decided to make the site about the History of Various Cartoon shows.

Mina: Simple is the word for that answer. Anyway,Here we go with The Best of The Best...Starting with my pick,It's Cartoon Historian Leeson 20: The Rise and Fall of Cartoon Network.

*goes to video*

CH 20-B
CH 20-B

*goes back to live*

*audience chears and applauds*

And now here is my choice for Best of The Best. It's Cartoon Historian Lesson 21: From Games to Toons.

*goes to video*

CH21-A
CH21-B
CH21-C
CH21-D
CH21-E
CH21-F
CH21-G
CH21-H

*goes back to live*

*audience chears and applauds*

Mina: Damn,I forgot how long that Lesson was.

2k3 Mikey: Oooh,oooh,My turn,my turn. My personal favorite Cartoon Historian Lesson was Lesson # 18: The Spider-Man episode.

Mina: And my Debut Episode.

*goes to video*

CH18-A
CH18-B
CH18-C
CH18-D

*goes back to live*

*audience chears and applauds*

Mario: It took a while,but me and my Brother,Luigi,decided on which episode that we both liked the best.

Luigi: We decided on Cartoon Historian Lesson # 1, The History of DiC.

*goes to video*

CH1

*goes back to live*

*audience cheers and applauds*

Gohan: If I had to choose which Cartoon Historian I liked best,I'd have to go With the Toonami Episode...Lesson # 15.

*goes to video*

CH15

*goes back to live*

*audience cheers and applauds*

How about you Shego?

Mina: Yeah,don't you have a favorte?

Shego: Well,there is this one episode that I kinda like. Roll it,Tom.

*goes to video*

CH10

*goes back to live*

*audience cheers and applauds*

Shego: I'll admit,that big blue dummy,kinda cracks me up sometimes.

Sailor Moon: Well My favorite Cartoon Historian episode should be no surprise to anyone. It's Cartoon Historian Lesson 23: She-Ra.

You were a great help that day,Moon girl.

Sailor Moon: Why,Thank you.

*goes to video*

CH23

*goes back to live*

*audience cheers and applauds*

Alright,that's all she wrote. Thanks again for joining us. And a special thanks to muy new Assistants for being here for this 1-year Anniversary Special.

Mina: A very special thanks goes to those in attendence. Thanks for Joining us live. Take us home,Tom.

Tom's Voice: This has been The Cartoon Historian 1-year Anniversary Special. Thanks again for Joining us. I'm Tom Z,wishing you a great day.

[credits roll as the cartoon historian closing theme plays. fades to black after the credits roll.]

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Cartoon Historian Lesson 25: Ruby-Spears Productions

Welcome to the first Cartoon Historian lesson of 2011. As you can see,Mina is absent,so I'm once again doing this thing solo. Why she isn't here is a mystery.

Anyway,on this 25th edition,we will be taking a breif look at a once iconic animation company,Ruby-Spears Productions.

[cartoon historian intro]

If you grew up in the 80's,then you should be very familiar with Ruby-Spears Productions. Back in the day,it was one of the greatest animation companies ever.

Ruby-Spears Productions (also known as Ruby-Spears Enterprises) was founded in 1977 by veteran writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears in Burbank,California.

Both Ruby and Spears started out as sound editors at Hanna-Barbera Productions, and later branched out into writing stories for such programs as Space Ghost,Birdman,and The Herculoids.

In 1968, they were assigned the task of developing a mystery-based cartoon series for Saturday morning, the end result of which was Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. Aside from working with H-B,Spears and Ruby also worked for DePatie-Freleng Enterprises as producers.

Then in 1977,the 2 men bought their own animation company and called it Ruby-Spears Productions. It's also worth noting that Ruby-Spears Productions was also the first animation company to obtain a network commitment for a series before they opened their doors.

1 year later,The company was purchased by Filmways Television(you baby boomers should know these guys well) and was sold in late 1981 to Taft Broadcasting, becoming a sister company to Hanna-Barbera Productions.

"Fangface" was the first of a long line of hits from Ruby-Spears. Less than a year later this first series became part of a two-hour block called "The Plasticman Adventure Hour". Other R-S shows of that era included: "Mighty Man and Yukk,","Rickety Rocket,","Fangface and Fangpuss",and the famous DC comic book hero come-to-life "Plastic Man".

In the 1980s,Ruby-Spears had produced 34 television series including "Alvin and the Chipmunks," the highest rated series of the 1987-88 season. It would also become the cartoon series that Ruby-Spears is the most famous for.

Anyway,A&tC was eventually purchased for syndication by Lorimar Telepictures (the company that produced those nice sitcoms in the 80s and early 90s) for a sum of $25 million.

Their other 80s productions have included: "Thundarr the Barbarian,","Saturday Supercade","Mr. T.","Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos",and "Rubik the Amazing Cube". BTW,Rubix was the first cartoon series to feature a Hispanic family as its central characters.

In addition to their series,Ruby-Spears have produced a ton of animated specials, including: "I Love The Chipmunks Valentine Special" and "A Chipmunk Reunion" which dealt sensitively with adoption.

In 1988,Ruby-Spears acquired the rights to two heavily sought after properties. Debuting that September on CBS was the classic, "Superman", which celebrated its 50th anniversary, and it was with much acclaim that Ruby-Spears was selected to produce the animated series for the CBS Saturday Morning schedule.

A few days later, Ruby-Spears was again in the spotlight when they were selected to produce an animated version of the successful movie series, "Police Academy."

65 episodes were produced and released in the fall of 1989 for first-run syndication.

For the 1989-90 season, Ruby-Spears sold "Dink, the Little Dinosaur" to CBS. "Dink" was the only original program to be sold to the networks that year.

Another original program from Ruby-Spears, "Piggsburg Pigs," was sold to the Fox Network for the launch of their Children's Network for the 1990-91 season. The renewal of "Dink" by CBS gave Ruby-Spears two original series on the networks, breaking the long-standing "pre-sold" properties trend.

In 1991, most of the original Ruby-Spears library(as well as Hanna-Barbera's) was sold to Turner Broadcasting System, which in turn merged with Time Warner in 1996.

In the 90s,Ruby-Spears produced the "C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa" series for ABC and the surprise hit and highly rated series "Mega Man" for Fox..and later WB.

Like I stated in my 'From Games to Toons' episode,"Mega Man" was co-produced by Ashi Productions LTD. of Tokyo, Japan. So it's part Anime.

1995 brought to television one of Ruby-Spears most exciting series "Skysurfer Strike Force",which was launched on Bohbot Entertainment's 'Amazin' Adventures' Block. Bandai was also involved and created Action Figures based on the show. "Skysurfer Strike Force" lasted for 2 seasons.

Also in 1995,Ruby-Spears produced 13 additional episodes of MegaMan which was the number one rated weekly syndicated animated series. It was distributed by Summit Media, the company that once distributed the English-Dubbed version of the Pokemon Anime.

In 1999 and 2000,Ruby-Spears supervised the creative and preproduction work for a direct-to-video production for SSA Productions,entitled "Slammin' Sammy...the Sammy Sosa Story" The video is an animated biography of the homerun hero,Sammy Sosa.

Despite being conciderably weaker,Ruby-Spears Productions is still around today and continues to do what they like best,making cartoons. Though,their latest stuff isn't shown on TV.

Joe,Ken, You're company may be a shell of it's former self today,but back in the day,Ruby-Spears Productions was one of the all-time greats in Toon Making. Thanks for all the memories and awesome shows,guys.

Well there you have it,a breif history of Ruby-Spears Productions. That about wraps up another edition of The Cartoon Historian. See Ya Next Time.

[fade to black. credits roll as the cartoon historian closing theme plays]