Monday, July 28, 2008


Jenny notes in comments that it doesn't seem to make a great deal of sense when I wrote the following: "the lawyers have apparently not banned the commentators from talking about the question I've always wondered about: which elements of [Freakazoid!] and which characters, were holdovers from the original Bruce Timm concept."

To clarify, I don't actually know if there would have been any legal problems with talking about the original concept of Freakazoid!, but sometimes companies have been known to cut stuff out of DVD features that talks about where things came from, or what kind of re-tooling something went through. In the former category, WB cut out all mention of the fact that Pinky and the Brain are caricatures of Eddie Fitzgerald and Tom Minton (several people tried to mention it in the DVD special features, and none of it was allowed in); in the latter category, Disney didn't allow a whole lot of talk about the original version of The Emperor's New Groove (which underwent a similar re-tool to Freakazoid! from serious to silly).

The latter thing isn't really a law thing. It's just that when something got extensively re-tooled, companies sometimes don't want to allow discussion of what it was originally supposed to be. But that's silly; if we like something, we won't like it any less from knowing where it came from. So I'm glad that the F! features do mention the Timm concept and why it was retooled. It doesn't make me like F! any less to say that the Timm idea sounds interesting. Especially since he's never really done anything similar except that one Batman episode.


Anonymous said...

Maurice LaMarche made a really, really vague reference to the Brain thing when he introduced Tom Minton in one of the Animaniacs DVD special features, but in a way that only people who knew the story beforehand would have understood.

Bill Peschel said...

I agree, in particular with "Groove," which I adore. I'd be fascinated to see what could have been, if only to appreciate what they did with it.

Anonymous said...

Warners is about a decade late to the party in realizing that fans of any given show want to know everything there is to know. Information is everywhere on the net but not all of it is accurate. One would think WB would be poised to inject some truth into this unregulated data flow. One would be wrong.

Jenny Lerew said...

Thanks for addressing the somewhat rhetorical ruminating I was doing in that comment.
I can see the issues that WB legal might adopt towards Pinky & the Brain-although honestly, I think it's fairly ridiculous. The odds that there'd be some murky legal area--that two former-and in one case current-artists or their estates might someday rattle a cage in that matter is...well, a reach. In the end the final result was not really Eddie or Tom at all, obviously. It's very nice to hear that attempts were made to give them a shout-out, though. LaMarche in particular always seemed like a swell guy--in fact all the actors were, as well as the writers.

(This reminds me of the whole hoo-ha involving the "retracted"/eliminated commentaries on the early Bond films. I got to hear the original lasers and what a shame they were deemed too touchy to retain on subsequent versions.)

Whoever "anonymous" above is they are absolutely on the money. And why on earth has it taken so long to release any of this material? That's a lot of sales lost.