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Smashology


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Nov
6th
2019

5 Missed Oportunities in Cartoons · 2:24am Nov 6th, 2019

The process of bringing a series of ideas to the screen is long, exhaustive, ridiculous and sometimes meaningless, to that we must add the fact that animation is an expensive medium and you’ll find that for each television series at this time there are seas of pilots or programs that stayed on the road.

But sometimes it’s surprising to find some ideas that could actually work and generate real emotion, but that eventually ended up in the dump. That's why here I present some of the 5 ideas of animated series that never had the chance to get finished.

Buffy: The Animated Series

"Buffy The Vampire Slayer" was one of the most popular shows of the 90's and still early 2000's, but I'll be honest: I got to see it once in a while, but it never caught my attention.

So why do I propose this series? Well, one of the reasons is because for me it was very difficult to suspend my disbelief with so much fantasy, but the advantage of animation is that precisely these types of concepts work better because there are no special effects that seem out of place, generating a great Paradox: The "live action" version wouldn't have felt as realistic as the animated version.

Atlantis: The Series

Based on the 2001 film, "Atlantis" was an attempt by Disney to do something different to their "princesses stories". Atlantis was an Indiana Jones-style adventure story with certain "Steampunk" and "Dieselpunk" elements in the mix.

The film didn’t have the wanted success, which depleted the hopes that the concept could succeed in another medium: television, with a series. In fact, some episodes made were put together and edited for a sequel directly for video, which explains the strange structure that feels unusual for a film, but it makes sense if it’s divided as a series.

A huge shame. For me the movie itself is just ok, but the concept would have worked better on the small screen because the advantage it offers is to explore all kinds of ideas and adventures in many environments: deserts, jungles, cities of the time, ports of sunken cities with corrupt officers and a rotten system...

The Patakis

The idea of giving Helga, from Hey Arnold!, her own series makes sense, if we take into account she's the most complex character of the show and that really much of Arnold's emotional drama comes from her, this time in the form of a teenage black humor comedy.

Craig Bartlett, the creator, wrote a pilot in 2000, but Nickelodeon considered it too "dark" for children. The series tried to take its chance in MTV, but the problem was that in paper, "The Patakis" looked too similar to another series on the adventures of an anguished and existentialist teenager.

Not much is known about the project outside of some details in interviews, although the most relevant is that Arnold had moved away. Would it have worked? Maybe. There have been spin-off children's series before but I think this would have been one of the few attempts to "grow" with the original audience. Who knows how far they would have come?

Korgoth the Barbarian

Like Buffy, in this series, a kind of "over-the-top parody" of Conan the Barbarian and other fantasy-adventure series would have found the perfect medium in animation, where everything is possible...

And by the way, when I said "over-the-top parody," I’m serious, and at once I warn you I wouldn’t play the next video at work or school.

It's so nasty, so bloody, so... bright. I wish I could say something more about the series, that is, I think he deserves a few words, but on the other hand, the concept doesn’t give much talk, that is, it’s only killing in the crudest but creative ways possible.

Plastic Man

When it comes to superheroes, we have the most famous: Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, the X-Men... but here I come to defend the pilot of a series based on a slightly more forgotten character: Plastic Man

OK, technically he had a show in the 70’s, but it was in a dark period for animation where people didn't believe in things like art vision, work ethic...

...or draw manly haircuts

The series I speak would have been based on a great pilot who emerged in 2006 and can enjoy in his 3 minutes of glory.

As you can see, it’s of a different style: instead of following the classic scheme of a series of superheroes, it would have more resembled a frenetic and uncontrolled cartoon such as the old WB shorts, or even the madness of "Ren & Stimpy." The animation, the designs, everything is magnificent. It’s incredible we had reached the point where a cartoon is a rare thing these days, and "Plastic Man" had the potential to be more energetic and lived than the last ten years of cartoons.

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