Sunday, January 25, 2009
Tiny Toons Adventures
Tiny Toon Adventures is an American animated television series created and produced as a collaborative effort between Steven Spielberg's company Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. Tiny Toon Adventures began production when Warner Bros. reinstated its animation studio in 1980 after a decade of dormancy. During the 1980s, the new studio only worked on revivals of the classic characters. Tiny Toons was the first of many animated series from the studio. Tiny Toon Adventures premiered in as a syndicated cartoon in 1990. In the third season the show was licensed exclusively to Fox Kids and later Kids WB. It ended production in 1995.
The series centralizes on a group of young cartoon characters who attend a school called Acme Looniversity to be the next generation of Looney Tunes characters. Most of the Tiny Toons characters were designed to resemble younger versions of Warner Bros.' most popular Looney Tunes animal characters by exhibiting similar traits and looks.
The two main characters are both anthropomorphic rabbits: Buster Bunny, a blue male, and Babs Bunny, a pink female. Other major characters in the cast are generally anthropomorphic animals as well. These include Plucky Duck, a green-colored male duck; Hamton J. Pig, a pink male pig; Fifi Le Fume, a purple and white female skunk; Shirley the Loon, a white female loon; Dizzy Devil, a purple Tasmanian devil; Furrball, a purple cat; Calamity Coyote, a blue coyote; and Gogo Dodo, a green dodo. Two human characters, Elmyra Duff and Montana Max, also have secondary roles in the series, and are students of Acme Looniversity as well.
According to writer Paul Dini, Tiny Toons originated as an idea by Terry Semel, then the president of Warner Bros., who wanted to "[…] inject new life into the Warner Bros. Animation department," and at the same time create a series with junior versions of Looney Tunes characters. Semel proposed that the new series would be a show based on Looney Tunes where the characters were either young versions of the original Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies characters or new characters as the offsprings of the original characters. The idea of a series with the basis of younger versions of famous characters was common at the time; the era in which Tiny Toons was produced had such cartoons as Muppet Babies, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and Flintstones Kids. Warner Bros. chose to do the same because Spielberg wanted to make a series similar to Looney Tunes, as series producer/show-runner Tom Ruegger explained: "Well, I think in Warner Bros. case, they had the opportunity to work with Steven Spielberg on a project (...) But he didn't want to just work on characters that Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob McKimson and Bob Clampett made famous and created. He wanted to be involved with the creation of some new characters". The result was a series similar to Looney Tunes without the use of the same characters.
In 1987, the Warner Bros. Animation studio approached Steven Spielberg to collaborate with Semel and Warner Bros. head of licensing Dan Romanelli on Semel's ideas. They eventually decided that the new characters would be similar to the Looney Tunes characters with no direct relation. However, Tiny Toons did not go into production then, nor was it even planned to be made for television; the series initially was to be a theatrical feature-length film.
In December 1988, Tiny Toons was changed from a film to a television series, with Jean MacCurdy overseeing production of the first 65 episodes. MacCurdy said that Tiny Toons was changed to a television series to "(...) reach a broader audience". For the series, MacCurdy hired Tom Ruegger, who previously wrote cartoons for Filmation and Hanna-Barbera, to be a producer. In January of 1989, Ruegger and writer Wayne Kaatz began developing the characters and the setting of "Acme Acres" with Spielberg.
In January 1989, Warner Bros. Animation was choosing its voice actors from over 1,200 auditions and putting together its 100-person production staff. In April 1989, full production of series episodes began with five overseas animation houses and a total budget of 25 million dollars. The first 65 episodes of the series aired in syndication on 135 stations, beginning in September 1990. During that time, Tiny Toons was a huge success and got higher ratings than it's Disney Afternoon competitors in some affiliates. After a successful run in syndication, Fox got the rights for season 2 and 3. Production of the series halted in late-1992 to make way for Animaniacs to air the following year.(wikipedia)