Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Scooby Doo Mystery Inc. | Those Meddling Kids Finally Grow Up

There have been so many reboots of shows from my childhood I can hardly keep track; some are really good (BSG, 'nuff said) but most are just violations of cherished memories (Land of the Lost anyone?) Though Scooby Doo has been continuously on the air in one form or another since 1969, Cartoon Network's new spin on the franchise is the first time its been truly remade. The characters we know and love are all there of course, as is the comfortably predictable plot that always ends in the unmasking of the greedy-guy-in-monster-costume trying to scare away business / attract business / collect on insurance policy. But wow is it all different at the same time… witty dialogue full of pop culture references, adult humor and inside jokes, relationships and sexual tension among the characters that go far beyond Scooby Snacking, and a backstory that promises to develop over the course of the season's 26 episodes which adds a surprising element of maturity to the series. All this is wrapped in a retro-modern color palette that glows with translucent, psychedelic beauty, and voiced by talent of the highest order. I honestly can't take my eyes off the screen. Scooby Doo is finally the sort of show you can enjoy as an adult as you watch with your kids. New episodes air weekly on Monday nights.

Posted in Adult Swim, Animation, Cartoon Network, Mystery Machine, Scooby Doo | Comments Off

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Batman: The Complete Animated Series | Meet the Real Dark Knight

To say that Batman: The Animated Series redefined what a “cartoon” could be is an understatement; this is truly among the most influential works of animation ever made. Paul Dini and Bruce Timm’s vision portrayed the Dark Knight in his truest form ever, capturing the essence of Batman and distilling it into a slickly styled, witty package that will continue to win fans for generations to come… and blessedly purged our memories of the Adam West / Burt Ward travesty which shaped perception of this complex character for so long. As much adult fare as it will thrill kids (and there are some dark episodes that, frankly, are not appropriate for children), the show looks as fresh today as when it took the Fox Kids network by storm in 1992. Some great bonus material rounds out this beautifully designed set, about $150 from Amazon.

Posted in Animation, Batman, Batman Animated, Bruce Timm, Dark Knight, DC Comics, DVD Collection, Paul Dini | Comments Off