The Other babies

Drtooth

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It's no secret that Muppet babies became so popular, there have been multiple copy cat series based on the "Babification" genre. Some okay, some terrible, some didn't even make it out of the door outside of merchandising. (Note, I feel this thread should go in this portion, since it is directly relate, but if it needs to be moved, it needs to be moved).

Hanna Barbera seemed to be the first group to get into the act. Up first, the Flintstone Kids, loosely based around the original sitcom premis, though it seems to follw the "the Flintstone Comedy Show" segmented skits route. Amoung the most memorable moments, a segment called Captain Caveman and son (following in the footsteps of shows where classic characters begat little kids for no apparent reason)

Then came "A Pup named Scooby Doo"- which followed the original ideal of the series (the solving mysteries about various crooks disguising as Ghosts). A step back to their original roots after "The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo".

And finally, Yo Yogi, considered to be the biggest failure of the lot. Yogi's Gang was now preteen, and hung around a Mall food court. A lot of classic characters like Snagglepuss and Dick Dasdarly joined them (as tweens), but the show was almost dedicated to cloning the success of Bart Simpson's personality at that point.

Warner Bros got into the act twice.

The first attempt was Tiny Toons. Not quite the same, as it was more of a new generation series (the original Looney Tunes appeared as teachers, and were in most of the episodes). While fans of the original Looney Tunes were critical, younger fans latched onto the show happily. Some characters took on the personalities of their elders (Plucky and Buster especially), some were insipred by their predicessors in spirit (Montana Max and Hampton for example). This show was a screaching success that lead to more Amblin co-produced series, like Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brian.

The next attempt wasn't so successful. Baby Looney Tunes was almost an entire ripoff of the series, featuring Granny as Nanny. Taz was almost identical to Baby Animal. While some of the other characters retained a close approximation of their original personality, lost was the crazy chase aspect of the original shorts. This lasted only one season. The merchandise was a bigger success, and featured more characters than used on the series (Baby Road Runner and Baby Coyote appeared only on bottles and bibs)

Disney stepped up to plate with Disney babies merchandise. A series was looked into, but thankfully didn't materialize. To this day, merchandising of Baby Mickey, Baby Pooh, and Baby Princesses still appears.

It was not long before other, independantly run cartoon series had baby versions, most were merchandising only- Baby Garfield, baby Snoopy (short lived, as it appeared just before Schulz's passing), and Baby Popeye.

Baby Felix soon popped up in Japan, as an original series. The series borrowed more closely from their own Doraemon (a double back, as Felix's bag of tricks influenced, directly or indirectly, Doraemon's gadget filled fourth dimensional pocket). I've only seen one episode, and it featured Felix being able to travle into the future to see his adult self, via the magic bag of tricks (Doraemon is able to travel freely to different time periods via a hidden time machine in a desk drawer).

And finally, there's Sesame Beginnings. A DTV series featuring the Sesame characters as children interacting with their parents (or guardians). unlike Muppet babies, these characters were presented as puppets in their own series. Another dissimilarity is the appearance of Sesame Babies merchandise years before Sesame Beginings was established.

If I'm missing any, please fill me in.
 

dwayne1115

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Have you ever heard or seen tom and Jery Kids. It was pretty much just another baby show. The part that buged me the most was in most every show tom and Jerry would end up being nice to each other. Now once in a blue moon it is nice to see them help each other, but not all the time. They also had droopy and his son as dectevis that really got me mad becuase of droopys sons's voice. Here is a link to show you what I mean.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_and_Jerry_Kids
 

Drtooth

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Funny that I forgot to mention that one as well. I was having a discussion with someone the other day how Tom and Jerry pretty much had a tough time in television until just recently (The HB show, Filmation, and this for example). I can't say I hated it, but it just didn't leave a real impression on me. Except for the fact that they tried to make a Screwball Squirrel cartoon at one point.
 

dwayne1115

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Funny that I forgot to mention that one as well. I was having a discussion with someone the other day how Tom and Jerry pretty much had a tough time in television until just recently (The HB show, Filmation, and this for example). I can't say I hated it, but it just didn't leave a real impression on me. Except for the fact that they tried to make a Screwball Squirrel cartoon at one point.
I know what you mean, and i think Tom and Jerry are great. I could always watch them with my dad when he was alive, and he would always laugh. Tom and Jerry and Srewy Squirrel, and all the cartoons that came out of Fred Qumibie and MGM at the time where great. I think it's sad that these classic cartoons don't get the real treatment they deserve.
 

Drtooth

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Before this bcomes a Tom and Jeryy Thread, I will say the new series, Tom and Jerry Tales (especially season 2) really recapture some of the magic of the old shorts. The violence is toned down, sure, but not to a dramatic extent. While not as good as the original cartoons (hard competition there), they really have the feel of them. They even did the unthinkable, bringing them to a more contemporary setting without modernizing them. I think Barbera wrote his last scripts to a couple episodes.

That said, I think babies tend to work better as merchandising than actual products. And some babies make no sense to me. What's the point of Baby Tweety anyway? he's already cute, and "twee an a half years old." Regular Tweeties aren't good enough for a baby? I always felt Tweety was taken out of context in merchandise for Babies and girls. he's cute, yes, but he still drops an anvil on Sylvester's head. That's where Baby looney Tunes failed where Muppet babies worked.

You see the Muppets they used were like old friends, who had their ups and downs. They never tried to eat each other. Animal taking a bite out of Rita Moreno doesn't count. The Looney Tunes they used are always trying to one up each other so they won't get eaten or shot. Bugs usually gets Elmer to shoot Daffy. Tweety tried to avoid getting eaten by Sylvester, sometimes by painting a stick of dynamite yellow. Bugs dresses in drag to avoid getting eaten by Taz.

Muppet Babies kept the appeal of their characters, Looney Tunes is lost in translation.
 

Baby Gonzo

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I have to admit, I loved Tiny Toons as a kid. I haven't seen it in a while, but I have a feeling it wouldn't be a show that would age well. It did pave the way for Animaniacs, which I think was a great show... Entertaining cartoony fun and catchy (sometimes educational) musical numbers.

A Pup named Scooby Doo is another show I used to watch all the time. It was a complete mixed bag, now that I look back on it. It followed the same dead TV show outline (Scooby and the gang happen upon some spooky scenario[FONT=&quot][/FONT], look for clues, and in the end it's a person in a costume) It was more humorous than the original series, but that's not saying much. I enjoyed the more cartoony spin on the characters. Still... It relied on a tired old formula which probably should have died when the original Scooby Doo ended.

Considering I could watch just about anything animated when I was little, I watched Tom and Jerry Kids and Flintstone Kids, but even then, I found them to be anoying.

It's strange. Now that I look back on it, these sorts of shows were defiantly a dominant part of the cartoon world in late 80s and early 90s, when I was little.
 

dwayne1115

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Tiny toons was good, and i also liked there video games they put out they where real fun. I think that when you put a group together like the loony toons that for the most part where not together in there prime, it gets messed up. i mean sure bugs would be in almost everyone elses cartoons at least once all the other loony toons had there own pairs. when they are as a group they seem to not mesh as well to me. I think puting them as babys and then as space robots where bad ideas. They where trying to take classic cartoons and make them for todays kids, well i dont think it worked.
 

emberfire

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Yah, all of the Looney Tunes characters were never thought of as a group of characters when they were in theaters. But when they got put on television, they mashed them all together, and that’s when they were thought of as a franchise for children. The Muppets, however, were never thought of as separate entities when they were created.
 

Drtooth

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A Pup named Scooby Doo is another show I used to watch all the time. It was a complete mixed bag, now that I look back on it. It followed the same dead TV show outline (Scooby and the gang happen upon some spooky scenario[FONT=&quot][/FONT], look for clues, and in the end it's a person in a costume) It was more humorous than the original series, but that's not saying much. I enjoyed the more cartoony spin on the characters. Still... It relied on a tired old formula which probably should have died when the original Scooby Doo ended.
That's the problem with Scooby Doo. Either they follow a tired formula, or they do something completely different and the fans get upset with it. The formula, as tired as it was, was tried and true, and the key to the success of the show. The times they changed it, things didn't turn out too well:

Scooby's All Star Laff-alympics. Sort of borrowing from the formula of Wacky Races and putting it in an olympic style setting. Don't know how successful this one was.

Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo. 2 different series were made. one closer to the original formula, and a second series of lame chace cartoons (which followed a formula all its own, where Scrappy would annoy someone, chasing Shaggy and Scooby for 6 minute intervals). these are the least favorite ones as far as most fans go.

The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo. Never seen this one, but they actually chased real ghosts in this one.

And finally, Shaggy and Scooby Doo get a Clue. The Scooby Duo now inherited millions of dollars from their missing Uncle (an inventor), while trying to stop archvillain Phinias Phibes from taking over the world. Seems that it's going away the end of the season, mainly due to Warner's getting out of animation.

On that point:

i mean sure bugs would be in almost everyone elses cartoons at least once all the other loony toons had there own pairs. when they are as a group they seem to not mesh as well to me. I think puting them as babys and then as space robots where bad ideas. They where trying to take classic cartoons and make them for todays kids, well i dont think it worked.
As I stated, the Baby looney Tunes worked as a line of merchandise, just not as a TV show (something that happened with the Dinsye babies, only Disney was smart enough to nip that in the bud). As for Loonatics, that was a very misguided idea. Trying to hip the LT gang up for an imaginary audience of 10 year olds? They were more successful (at least with fans) with Taz-Mania, Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, and Duck Dodgers. At least with those shows, they proved you can put them in different situations, but keep the original integrity of the characters. A superhero Looney Tunes series could have benefited if they made fun of the genre, not held onto it. As such, they lost the Looney aspect, as well as made a very routine, and unremarkable action series.

But this is getting off topic.

Getting back on topic, here's a clip of Baby Felix. You're going to have to trust me on this, but the time hallway is almost exactly the same as Doraemon's.
 

Convincing John

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A couple others...

Not to muffin the thread, but there were also a couple shows I remember revolving around the "kid versions" of celebrities. One was "Little Rosie" (no, not O'Donnell, Roseanne Barr). I barely remember even the ad for this one. The Wiki link mentions a "Nanny" and trips to "magical places". Muppet Babies inspiration? Maybe. (shrug).

The other one I remember was "Life With Louie", which I liked a lot. Some of the stories used were from Louie Anderson's old stand-up bits. There was some merchandise for this one. I remember a figurine, canned pasta, and a couple other things.

Convincing John
 
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