Disney Afternoon!

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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77 Responses

  1. North says:

    Gargoyles was, of course, utterly awesome. Such a complete and engrossing world.

    Gummie Bears is, technically the ur-Disney afternoon show- it’s the show that established the very concept of the Disney afternoon and again it had a rather interesting (if simple) universe built around it.

    For me, after giving GB their due, I’d say Tailspin was above the others. Shere Khan made such a delicious character- the tiger translated to vicious corporate ceo very well.

    And yes, Goof Troop was horrific (though I was also outgrowing Disney afternoons by that point.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to North says:

      Shere Khan was utterly badness. The first villain of that type I may have ever been exposed to. Kind of in contrast to the tinpot dictator or the sky pirates.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        Somewhat OT, but after you (I think it was you?) mentioned Batman: TAS in a Linky Friday, I noticed they had it streaming free on Amazon Prime and have watched the first few eps with The Boy.

        He seems to really like it, I had never seen it before; it does a pretty good job of capturing the “tone” of Batman/Gotham City without being TOO dour.Report

      • BTAS walks that line extremely well. The commentary and extras are particularly interesting, with the various battles they had with the network on what they could and couldn’t show. They actually felt that a lot of the limitations forced them to be more creative.

        DC-WB still hasn’t figured out films the way that Marvel has, but they did win television early on.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Will Truman says:

        NO PARENTSReport

      • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

        Prior to the Nolan movies, fandom (or, at least, my corner of it) had reached a consensus that Batman: Mask of the Phantasm was the best Batman movie.Report

      • Jim Heffman in reply to Will Truman says:

        You wonder what Rudyard Kipling would have thought of TaleSpin.

        “You took my legacy…and did…THIS?!”Report

      • North in reply to Will Truman says:

        I think the risen zombie Kipling would have been too busy freaking out over the decline of the Empire and the sweeping social changes to pay much mind to Tailspin. The Just so Stories were written to be read to 3-6 year olds. Compared to that Tailspin targetted a downright venerable 9-14 year old audience.Report

      • North in reply to Will Truman says:

        Agreed @will truman Shere Khan was epic. He was like an encapsulation of capitalism in some ways; ruthlessly criminal if he could get away with it but so rationally practical and efficient when playing within the rules. By contrast the dictator and the pirate were unmitigated crooks.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

        B:TAS was interesting because it started out on a kid’s block, moved to prime time because people thought it would work, and moved back to a kid’s block when it bombed in prime time. You can really see that the creators of BTAS would have loved to gone full anime, meaning having the relative lack of restrictions that anime has while still technically being a kid’s show. They really are trying to imply things like death and sex without being too explicit about it. Gargoyles is similar.

        It would be interesting to see what American cartoons would be like if they had the same sort of lack of censorship that exists in anime.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Will Truman says:

        The DCAU (DC animated universe) is really good overall. The Superman and first Batman shows are definitely worth watching. Batman Beyond was set in the future and sometimes lost its way. Static Shock isn’t worth the effort.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

        As I understand it, Batman Beyond was a result of a compromise. The money people at Warner Brothers really wanted a Batman cartoon where Bruce Wayne was a teenager rather than an adult man. Basically, Batman:The High School Years. The creative team was really against this for some reason. At the very least they thought it was cliche. Creating a show in a future with a new teenage boy taking up Batman’s mantle was the compromise worked out.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

        My own, perhaps cliched, complaint about Batman Beyond was that every single bad guy was involved in environmental pollution. Sure, there were psychopaths for Batman to fight… but they were psychopaths for hire to be hired by corporations that wanted to skirt regulations and pollute.

        It felt like the Wendy and Marvin era of the Superfriends.Report

      • I thought Batman Beyond was fine for what it was. BTAS was fantastic, but I think it was time to take it in another direction.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

        Oh, there were some great moments… my favorite was the young punk yelling at Old Bruce “We’re Jokers!” and he says “Sure you are” before beating the ever-living itshay out of them.

        But then they go to the main storyline and it’s about a supervillian who was created inadvertently when a corporation cut corners when it came to getting rid of nuclear waste.Report

      • North in reply to Will Truman says:

        Old Bruce Wayne was so deliciously dry and deadpan.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

        @north, Kipling was a complicated fellow. Its hard to know what he would think of the modern age. He was a British patriot, despite marrying an American woman, to the core and big believer in the Empire. He was perhaps the most sincere believer in the Empire ever. At the same time, he could at least kind of see the contradictions of Empire and would probably know well and when it was time to quit.

        He would loathe the changes that Disney made to the Jungle Book though. Chuck Jones’ adaptations are much more faithful and delightful.Report

      • North in reply to Will Truman says:

        I have very little doubt of that Lee. Frankly it is quite an odd change when you look at it. Kipling to the animated jungle book was a significant jump but then taking those animated characters and making them anthropomorphic denizens trying to earn a living in an odd techno frontier world? That’s like a rocket to the moon.

        But I still liked it.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman says:

        Something I learned fairly recently is that in the earliest Mowgli story he was a grown man. His appearances in the First and Second Jungle Books are prequels.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

        According to Tv Tropes, the Jungle Book came about by Walt Disney telling his staff that he wants to create a movie based on the Jungle Book but he doesn’t want anybody on the staff to read the book. He just gave them a rough outline of the characters and plot and told them to work from there in the Disney style. This worked for everybody apparently accept the composer who decided to read the Jungle Book. Its why some of the music could be darker than the rest of the movie, it matches the tone of the original.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman says:

        That kind of explains why in the movie Bagheera is the stuffy one and Baloo is the fun one; walt misremembered.Report

  2. Saul Degraw says:

    I never liked Disney that much. I was never a Disney-head.Report

    • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      That’s not shocking.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:


        Disney cartoon were just always so squeaky clean and dull. There was a free spirit and anarchy in Warner Brothers cartoons.Report

      • North in reply to North says:

        I loved WB cartoons too, though not looney tunes which I’ve always despised (Tweety… uggggh!!!)Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to North says:

        What other WB cartoons were there? Merrie Melodies? Weren’t those just Looney Tunes with a different title card?Report

      • North in reply to North says:

        Well, for example, the Batman and Superman animated series were done by Warner Brothers.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to North says:

        Who doesn’t love Bugs and Daffy?Report

      • North in reply to North says:

        I’m sanguine (but not in love) with Bugs, Marvin and Daffy, but many of the rest of the characters inspire sizzling loathing in me; I’m not entirely clear on why.Report

      • Chris in reply to North says:

        What, I say, what do you have against giant talking roosters, son?Report

      • North in reply to North says:

        I’m Canadian so the humor of it is lost on me. Also can you explain to me how that loathsome yellow headed alien is able to pass itself off as not only a bird but as a cute one?Report

      • Glyph in reply to North says:

        Tweety is pretty awful. Sylvester is OK, I guess, although he’s basically just Daffy as a cat (and additionally superfluous, since we already had an archetypal cartoon housecat in Tom).

        But Bugs/Daffy/Elmer/Sam/Foghorn/Marvin/Pepe/Wile E.?

        As the coyote’s business card says: Super Genius.Report

      • Maribou in reply to North says:

        @north “I’m Canadian so the humor of it is lost on me. ”

        Did you perchance mostly grow up in the city? Because as a mostly-rural Canadian, I thought good ole FL was HILARIOUS (and recognizable) long before I even knew what the American South *was*…Report

      • Maribou in reply to North says:

        Nevermind, @north, I see from downthread you were a rural kid too. Chalk it up to regional differences, I guess? (PEI really has a shocking amount in common with the American South, including idioms, as I came to find out once I married someone whose family roots are in Kentucky.)Report

      • North in reply to North says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised Maribou, rural Nova Scotians* considered PEIslanders terribly provincial (yes I know, the irony) and I can’t even repeat the jokes they used to tell about PEI.

        *I was raised on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.Report

      • Chris in reply to North says:

        If you’ve got a little over an hour to kill, you can watch the entire full length film featuring starring the character who inspired Foghorn Leghorn:


      • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:


        For Looney Tunes? It is just the sheer slapstick anarchy of them all. They seem rather defiant of authority and good order as compared to Disney cartoons. Bugs always had an urban wit and it is basically Jewish humor in some to many ways.*


        I always thought that Foghorn Leghorn was supposed to be a parody of Southern senators like Bilbo from Mississippi.

        *The guy who voiced all the Looney Tunes was Jewish from Portland and he graced Bugs Bunny with a Brooklyn accent of sorts.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to North says:

        Foghorn Leghorn was supposed to be a parody of Southern senators like Bilbo

        That’s like Austin Powers being a parody of spy movies like James Bond.Report

      • Chris in reply to North says:

        I’m sure Claghorn was supposed to be a parody of existing southern senators. His pro-South attitude was absurd (“When I go to New York, I won’t even go into Yankee Stadium”), and his manner of speaking was an exaggerated version of an aristocratic southern from deep (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi). Foghorn was straight from Claghorn, though.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

        Foghorn Leghorn was supposed to be a parody of a character on a popular radio drama that was a Southern Senator. In other words, he was a parody of a parody. Very meta.Report

      • Chris in reply to North says:

        Lee, right, that’s Claghorn. He made the leap from radio to the big screen in the movie above.

        You can also listen to a lot of the old radio skits on YouTube. A few years ago, I was trying to figure out who Leghorn was parodying, which lead me to Claghorn, which led me to the old Fred Allen radio show bits (wasn’t a drama; basically sketch comedy), which led me to the movie, which I then watched. It was some serious internet rabbit-holing.

        The movie is funny.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to North says:

        From wiki:

        Ironically, however, Delmar recalled that after Warner Bros. copyrighted Foghorn Leghorn, he had to ask their permission to play the character elsewhere. Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to North says:

        The full baseball bit was:

        When I’m in New York I’ll never go to Yankee Stadium. I refuse to watch the Dodgers unless Dixie Walker’s playing. I won’t even go to see the Giants unless a Southpaw’s pitching. I’m from, I say, I’m from the South.

        Ironically, Dixie Walker, who was one of the most popular players on the Dodgers, is remembered nowadays as the only one who demanded a trade rather than play with Jackie Robinson.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to North says:

        If he was a true southerner he’d never even go to New York. Look what happened when Hank Hill’s parents went there.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to North says:

        If he never went to New York, how could he be on the Fred Allen show?

        Very obscure trivia. In Marjorie Morningstar, two characters are discussing comedians, and one of them says out of the blue “Fred Allen’s the best of them.” Where did that come from? Herman Wouk used to be one of Allen’s writers..Report

      • James Hanley in reply to North says:

        Why would a true Southerner want to be on a Yankee’s radio show?Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to North says:

        The other notable Southerner on the team became one of Robinson’s biggest supporters and closest friends. I’ve never heard anyone call Waker a bad guy, but he chose the closest he’d ever get to history as his time to be dead wrong in public.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

        James, Yankees are from New England. New Yorkers can’t be Yankees under the strictest definition of the term.Report

      • James Hanley in reply to North says:


        As New Amsterdam was settled by the Dutch, the original Yankees, I must respectfully dissent.Report

  3. Jim Heffman says:

    Did you ever notice how every Disney cartoon has at least one scene in the opening where the lead male character dresses in drag?

    What’s *that* about?Report

  4. Tod Kelly says:

    I was an adult when those came on, and I thought they were all terrible — except Darkwing Duck.

    I still think “Let’s… get… dangerous” is a catchphrase worthy of a golden age Marvel character.Report

  5. Will Truman says:

    Did anyone watch the video? It’s pretty adorable.Report