Friday, August 15, 2008

PVoA #3 - The Cartoons That Weren't

Welcome to my PVoA, my Personal Views of Animation. Unlike the past two PVoA's, this one reads more like a Cartoon Review, since I'll be reviewing the two pilots I'm about to talk about. The first pilot is called "The Wizzard of Krudd", and was created by both Greg Miller (creator of the Cartoon Network series "Whatever Happened to Robot Jones") and Mike Stern for Nickelodeon. The second one I'm to show you is called "Zoot Rumpus", and was created by Kaz (of Spongebob Squarepants and Camp Lazlo fame) for Cartoon Network. So I don't have to spend time making a bunch of screenshots, I'll just post the videos.
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Creator(s): Greg Miller and Mike Stern

Running Time: 7 minutes and 32 seconds (the 2 minutes after that are a quick, soundless summary of the pilot)

Network: Nickelodeon

Rating: B+

Status: Stored in a Viacom warehouse, never to see the light of day...except for the occasional "Shorts in a Bunch" airing. 

The Wizzard of Krudd is basically about a young rocker Gordo McMullett who is enslaved by the evil wizard Butterbeard and his two idiotic goblin side-kicks in the strange land of Krudd. However, from the pilot, you can see that Gordo doesn't even realize he's a prisoner. If you have watched Whatever Happened to Robot Jones, then you will realize the 70s-80s feel Greg gives the cartoon. In fact, it wouldn't be hard to believe if both shows did take place in that time.

It feels like it could have made a good, retro styled cartoon if it was truly given the chance. However, it wasn't and it ended up not getting picked up for a series. It has a quirky humor and style to it that I really like. It would have made a good show, and I would have watched it. And the thing is...it truly fits the Nickelodeon name.

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Creator(s): Kazimieras G. Prapuolenis (aka 'Kaz')

Running Time: 6 minutes and 34 seconds (this is just the first half of the pilot. Once the second part is put up on Youtube, I'll edit this post with it)


Rating: B

Status: Still a chance for the short to be greenlighted.

Zoot Rumpus is about a junkyard dog named Zoot and his attempts to prove that he could run the junkyard one day. It's a pretty zany cartoon that really feels like an old-school Nickelodeon show (like Rocko's Modern Life and The Angry Beavers). At first glances, it feels and looks like a Nick show, but after a while you can see that it has the markings of a Cartoon Network cartoon. In terms of humor, it's somewhere between Camp Lazlo and Rocko's Modern Life (both which were created by Joe Murray). The artwork is pretty appealing to my eyes, and the animation is decent.

Zoot is a good cartoon, but could it still get picked up for a series. It may depend. If Cartoon Network airs it as part of Cartoonstitute, then positive viewer response might make CN execs decide to greenlight it. After all, they do need some more shows going on. However, if it was up to themselves, Zoot could get the boot. We just need to wait and see...

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Thousands of cartoon pilots and ideas get submitted year, but only a small handful end up getting greenlighted. The two I just showed you are but two of the many pilots out there. If you were in the position to choose, would you have accepted these shorts or toss them out to the cold? If it were up to me, I would have accepted these for at least one season, to see how they would do. After all, I liked them a lot. But that's all I can really say for now. Both these pilots were good comedies, even though they didn't make me laugh (Zoot Rumpus came close though). Anyway, come by next week for my next PVoA on Toon Disney. Racattack Force, over and out...

1 comment:

MasterK said...

There is probably no money to be made if you only keep a show alive for one season. I get the feeling that a show only starts to make some real money once its been running for a few years.

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