The Top Ten Pop-Culture Cavemen Who Aren't the Flintstones (or the Croods)

Friday, March 22, 2013 at 6:00 am

It's only natural, with The Croods opening today in theaters - not to mention news of a study that Neanderthals may have been condemned to extinction because too much of their skull space was devoted to their eyes and not enough to their brains - that cavemen might be much on your mind lately. Here are ten great pop-culture troglodytes of the past century, with those tiresomely ubiquitous denizens of Bedrock excluded from consideration, because let's face it, we like our number ones to be slightly less predictable than the plot of a Dreamworks animated film.

10. Alley Oop

V. T. Hamlin's classic funny-paper caveman originated in 1932, gave rise to a catchy novelty song and remains in syndication to this day. He has killer abs, and his woman, Oola, reputedly based on Hamlin's wife, is pretty hot as well. In 1939, Oop was brought to the 20th Century by a time machine, and soon began hopping throughout history. He even flew to the moon at one point, which you could certainly call a giant leap for cavemankind.


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Heartbreakingly Awesome Calvin and Hobbes Cartoon that Won't Happen

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Ugly Americans animator Adam Brown made this test footage, dreaming of a show that likely can never be, due in part to Calvin creator Bill Watterson's resolve never to sell out, but also his doubt that any voice for Calvin could possibly be the equal of the one in the reader's head. (Ain't that the truth; I remember how long it took me to adjust to Lorenzo Music's Garfield.) I think The Boondocks probably made the best transition to cartoons, but it should be duly noted that doing so killed off the comic strip in the process. And incidentally, the Uncle Ruckus movie didn't get funded.

I understand Watterson's desire for purity, but would we be better off with a few items of high-quality merchandise...or endless knockoff designs of the lead character urinating?

Don't answer all at once.

via Gawker

Charmingly Retro New Mickey Mouse Cartoon Is in French for Some Reason

Friday, March 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm


Croissant de Triomphe on Disney Video

Granted, the French language mostly consists of "croissant" and "cafe," making it as easy to comprehend as The Triplets of Belleville, but it's still a trip to see that most American of mice talking like a surrender-monkey.

Just kidding. Really. The mouse-monkey thing was too much of a gimme not to do.

Mickey's become more of a corporate logo than a character in much of my lifetime, so I'm glad to see him displaying some personality again. Maybe Disney figured out that more kids today have seen the foul-mouthed South Park version of Mickey than an actual Mickey Mouse cartoon.


The Angry Birds Have (Boring) Names Now

Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

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One of the inevitabilities of our favorite frustrated fowl is that they would have to become more individualized when adapted into more storybook formats. Still, I can't help but be disappointed.

Red, Bomb and the Blues are fine...descriptive and non-contradictory. But Matilda? Chuck? Terence?

Considering the birds were created in Scandinavia Finland (which is commonly mistaken for Scandinavia but isn't), I was hoping for Katya, Oystein and Fjurkkelbjerggenhooferloogin. I guess I was just a dreamer.

The new cartoon, featuring the new names, debuts March 17th, which is also St. Patrick's Day, and super appropriate, since it's a day when green gluttons behave the most badly. Video trailer after the jump.

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The Venture Bros. Season 5 Sneak Peek

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

I espy nods to Clash of the Titans, Flash Gordon, Superman Lives (yes, the unmade version), the Ambiguously Gay Duo and More...

h/t Josh Evridge

Star Wars Animated Future: Clone Wars Ending, Detours Delayed, New Secret Show

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

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Lucasfilm has announced that the Clone Wars series is ending - though there will be more animated Clone Wars adventures in some form - and that they are working on a new Star Wars series "set in a time period previously untouched in Star Wars films or television programming." Ladies and gentlemen, start your speculation. You notice they didn't say "previously untouched in video games."

As for the much speculated-upon Seth Green comedy series Star Wars Detours, it would appear to be getting postponed indefinitely, as Lucasfilm feels a comedy series is an inappropriate way to lead into Episode VII. All this means is he'll make fun of it more on Robot Chicken, folks. And it'll probably go direct to DVD or webisodes - I could see them releasing it through something like the Nerdist Channel on YouTube.

After the jump, Dave Filoni previews a clip from The Clone Wars' final season...one in which Order 66 triggers a little early in a certain Clone.

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The 11 Greatest Super Villains Not from Comics

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 6:00 am

Let it never be said that the best super villains come only from the pages of comic books.

In all fairness, given the state of the industry and the discerning tastes of the readership, it's a complicated affair nowadays to create a character who matches the depth and worldwide familiarity of the Joker, Lex Luthor or Venom - unless unabashed plagiarism doesn't exactly cause a personal crisis of conscience. But one has to remember that the same people behind the creation of these iconic sociopaths churned out plenty of ill-conceived disasters as well... like the Fiddler... and the stereotypically racist Egg Fu. Fortunately, there have been quite a few super villains from cartoons, movies and video games that, conceptually, blow these pieces of creative garbage right of the water, and even rival some of geek culture's most renowned. Read on for the 11 greatest super villains not from comics!

11) Mojo Jojo, The Powerpuff Girls

Due to the shortsightedness of product-marketing teams at the time and the series' flowery, saccharine-sweet facade, The Powerpuff Girls always seemed to belie the fact it was an entertaining, action-packed romp that appealed to a diverse demographic and wasn't used solely as a promotional vehicle for toys and other merchandise. The latter may be a moot point, but the cartoon still stands today as a staple of '90s nostalgia and a unique parody of the super hero genre. As such, it wouldn't have been a show without an assortment of villains to menace the Powerpuff Girls, and none stood out more than Mojo Jojo.

Mojo Jojo is what happens when you cross Dr. Doom with a chimpanzee: a genius, egomaniacal sociopath who also satisfies geek culture's appetite for simian-related humor. It's easy to like the character for his characteristic Japanese accent and proclivity for dramatic, long-winded oration, but the fact that he was inadvertently responsible for the creation of his greatest foes adds that dimension of complex irony seen in quality comic book-style storytelling. Plus, having Devo take time out of their busy schedule to belt out what amounts to a musical Mojo Jojo-centric ode is one of the greatest moments in geek history.

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ICYMI: Ghost Rider Un-Caged, More Star Trek and Plympton Simpsons

Monday, March 11, 2013 at 10:00 am

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The three videos after the jump don't really have anything to do with each other, except they all came out in the last couple of days, and giving them all separate posts felt lazy. So, let's break down what you're about to see:

-Nicolas Cage saying it's unlikely he'll return to the role of Ghost Rider, because of the perception that the last film was not a success, even though he insists that it indeed was because they made it on a shoestring. He also anticipates a reboot, which I would say is an inevitability simply because Sony would probably like to keep the character rather than let the rights lapse back to Marvel/Disney.

-Bill Plympton did a new Simpsons couch gag that riffs on film noir. It's pretty cool. Also, the episode in question had jokes about marijuana and fisting.

-And there's another Star Trek Into Darkness trailer, which has Kirk doing more crazy action stuff, including flying a new spaceship in a manner that suggests yes, JJ Abrams really would rather be writing for Han Solo than James T. Kirk.

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"The Pub" - An Animated Short Worth Your While

Friday, March 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm

The Pub from Joseph Pierce on Vimeo.

Part Bill Plympton, part Ken Loach, part A-Ha video, part Bakshi, this short starts with rotoscoped footage of an English pub, then gets distorted as the bartender's subjective vision reveals the customers for what they really are.

Director Joseph Pierce strikes me as someone to watch.

via One Cool Thing A Day

Tim Curry is the New Palpatine

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I'm not entirely sure what Ian McDiarmid is doing that makes him so impossibly busy that he can't do it, but with the passing of TV voice actor Ian Abercrombie, The Clone Wars actually had to go out and find a thespian not named Ian to continue the role. So they got Frank 'N Furter.

So far so good.