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July 31, 2014

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'The Venture Bros.': A Primer

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 18th 2010 4:00PM

The Venture BrosFor those who didn't hear, The Venture Bros. started either its fifth season or the second half of its fourth season on Sept. 12. Considering that the show hasn't been broadcast since December 2009, this is a significant thing.

In the event you've only just discovered the program, here's a quick run-down of some of the background and characters in this fun and sophisticated universe created by Jackson Publick.

The central four main characters are Dr. Rusty Venture, his sons Dean and Hank and their bodyguard Brock Samson (who was replaced in the most recent season by Sargeant Hatred, although Brock still features prevalently in the series).

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HBO Orders Another Season of 'The Ricky Gervais Show'

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 24th 2010 2:06PM
Ricky Gervais Show'The Ricky Gervais Show' isn't a show that gets great ratings, but HBO seems to be happy with it (and having Gervais attached to any show on your network can only be a good thing), so they've decided to give a second season to the animated talk show. Gervais stars with co-hosts Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. It's basically their podcasts in cartoon form. We've joked here about doing a video version of our podcasts but I'm not sure if any of us want to see what we would look like in colorful animated drawings.

It's really a different kind of show, the type of show that has to be on cable, on a channel like HBO (or Comedy Central). You certainly can't picture it on CBS, in a comedy block between 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' and 'Gary Unmarried.' I love how an animated Gervais looks like Fred Flintstone's brother.

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Team Venture will get its own line of merchandise

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 8th 2010 10:30AM
The Venture Brothers are about to get their own toy line.Venture Brothers, the funniest and best written show that -- inexplicably -- nobody watches, is getting its own line of toys and collectibles.

The appropriately named Bif Bang Pow!, a collectibles manufacturer, announced today a deal with Cartoon Network to make a new line of toys based on the Adult Swim animated comedy. Fans can look for a collection of action figures, bobble heads, vehicle models and other goodies.

This is a great sign for a show that deserves a lot more attention than it gets. As well-written as The Simpsons or South Park, Venture Brothers shows off spot-on parody and multi-layered jokes in every episode.

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New Clone Wars episodes stunning, but less kid friendly

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Nov 7th 2009 10:00AM
The Clone Wars is strong on action, but inching away from kids.Cartoon Network's Star Wars: The Clone Wars just might be the best action/adventure show on television. Come to think of it, it might be the only true action/adventure show on television.

But, as the show ramps up the action content and significantly sweetens its visuals, its increased intensity might be driving away some younger viewers.

As The Clone Wars moves through its second season, the war is growing -- both in scope and violence. Viewers are seeing more dead Clonetroopers, more crashed vehicles and more beloved characters in deadly jeopardy.

Its ratings continue to cruise in hyperspace (especially for males), but I wonder if the darker tones of season two could drive younger kids and their parents away from the show.

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Review: The Venture Bros. - Perchance to Dean

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 2nd 2009 8:35AM
dean venture yes
(S04E03)
I swear to you, dear reader, that I do my best to stay somewhat objective when reviewing The Venture Bros. It's tough, though, when the writers keep knocking them out of the park like this. We're only a few episodes in, but I'm already enjoying things more than I did with season three, and it's not just because this episode had mind-blowing prog rock and UPS guys with the Shining.

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Set Visit: Clone Wars returns with better visuals, darker stories

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Sep 30th 2009 2:00PM
LucasFilm Animation hosted a special press event to hail the premiere of The Clone Wars' second season at Skywaliker Ranch in Marin County.Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Clone Wars might just be the beat best action and adventure show on television.

Admittedly, there isn't a ton of competition as action shows are few and far between on TV these days. They're expensive to produce in live action, so reality TV, detective shows and "chick-flick" dramas drive network schedules. Since the Star Wars universe exists only in the imaginations of George Lucas and his team encamped north of the Golden Gate bridge, The Clone Wars has more room to play affordably.

The second season of The Clone Wars launches this Friday on Cartoon Network. To build some force behind the premiere, LucasFilm Animation hosted a press event at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. Munching on Wookie-Cookies (as all of the catering was Star-themed) and rubbing elbows with costumed Clone Troopers and bounty hunters, show creators and cast members mingled with reporters in an enthusiastic, nerd-friendly atmosphere.

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Why Disney trembles in fear

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 18th 2009 5:02PM
Marvel ZombiesOne question I've had with the Disney acquisition of Marvel is how the House of the Mouse is going to deal with certain un-P.C. franchises. The one which came to mind was the comic series Marvel Zombies, which deals with an alternate Earth in which all superheroes were turned into flesh-eating undead and consumed the rest of the world's populace.

While I don't think I"ll be getting my answer anytime soon (perhaps the zombies will simply get locked in the Disney vault), some animator decided to redo the introductions to the 1960's Marvel Comics television cartoons in the zombie style. The original cartoons were essentially stop-motion comics of the original Lee/Kirby works. It's rather impressive how accurately the animator duplicates and parodies the original intros.

These videos can either be taken with humor or disgust as Zombie Captain America decapitates several soldiers and the heads of Norse Gods are thrown around. I leave it to you to judge for yourself. The videos are after the jump.

[via Topless Robot]

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Venture Bros. premieres October 18

by Annie Wu, posted Sep 13th 2009 11:03AM
doc hammer and jackson publickIn case you have not heard already, the fourth season of Venture Bros. arrives on [adult swim] at midnight on October 18 (meaning the night of the 18th, technically the morning of the 19th). Mark your calendars.

This news has already been floating around for a while, thanks to sites like the Mantis-Eye Experiment, but things have been confirmed by Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer during their panel at DragonCon. Some footage of this has finally been released by AdultSwim.com, so you can stop crawling around YouTube for people's crappy cell phone recordings.

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Cartoon Network gets animated with new series announcements

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 14th 2009 12:01PM
Flapjack will return to Cartoon Network with a line-up of new and renewed cartoons.Cartoon Network picked Thursday to announce a lineup of new, green-lit shows and the return of a couple successful 2008 outings.

The two new original comedy animated series include Regular Show and the intriguingly entitled Horrorbots. The former was developed by the network's sort of "animator in training" developmental system, Cartoonstitute.

Regular Show is created by J. G. Quintel and was developed as a short for the development program. In each episode, "two bored groundskeepers, Mordecai (a six-foot-tall blue jay) and Rigby (a hyperactive raccoon) are best friends who spend their days trying to entertain themselves by any means necessary, much to the displeasure of Benson (their boss, who is a gumball machine) and to the delight of Pops (an older, lollipop-headed gentleman)."

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Hollywood does it again: a Hong Kong Phooey movie

by Brad Trechak, posted Jul 13th 2009 3:03PM
Hong Kong PhooeyHollywood continues to mine ideas from previous generations in an effort to keep up the movie production machine. This time it's Hong Kong Phooey, number one super-spy. The character was voiced by Scatman Crothers, who would later go on to voice Jazz in The Transformers.

My hopes are pretty low, given that the production credits of the team involved (Alex Zamm and David Goodman) include Carrot Top's Chairman of the Board, Inspector Gadget 2 and Dr. Doolittle: Million Dollar Mutts. Goodman is also a writer/producer of Family Guy.

Is it possible to create kid-friendly fare based on cartoons of my childhood that is also pleasing to adults? When I think of this genre, I can only come up with the awful Scooby Doo movies and Alvin and the Chipmunks (and despite sucking hard, both movies are either getting or have had sequels).

Based on the people involved, the movie will likely be juvenile and formulaic. I look forward to it with the same glee I look forward to train wrecks.

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Excuse me? Daria finally coming to DVD

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 3rd 2009 1:04PM
daria logoThank the late-90s gods for the existence of Daria and praise be to the supernatural entities responsible for DVDs. For the first time ever, Daria will be available on DVD.

We feared it couldn't be done, but it's going to happen! I can hear sour-faced now-20-somethings celebrating now. Yes, they're quiet, but they're definitely excited. Keep it cool, guys, keep it cool.

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Trek Yourself and other Star Trek tidbits

by Brad Trechak, posted May 6th 2009 1:02PM
Star TrekAdmittedly, I haven't seen anything from Atom Films in a while, but someone brought my attention to this cute animation they did for a supposed "missing" Star Trek pilot from the 90's that deals with Kirk's years at Starfleet Academy. All the high school movie clichés are present and accounted for.

Actually, there's a lot of Trek stuff that's been brought to my attention floating around the Interwebs in anticipation of the Star Trek movie opening this coming Friday. There is this beauty of William Shatner serenading George Lucas. Or this lovely Christmas ornament. Or this great article about Shatner being the one, true Kirk.

I have my trepidations about recasting these television icons. In the new cast, as far as I know, neither of the actors who play Kirk or Spock are Jewish. Chris Pine isn't even Canadian, for Spock's sake.

Despite all this, I'm still seeing the movie opening weekend. In the meantime, Trek Yourself is after the jump.

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Thor is going animated

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 14th 2008 5:08PM
The AvengersAfter the Thor movie is released in 2010, Marvel will be doing a follow-up by releasing an animated Thor series on television. The series doesn't yet have a channel where it will be broadcast, but given the big Marvel hoopla nowadays, it probably won't be a problem to find one.

Granted, Thor isn't one of Marvel's top tier, like Spider-Man or the X-Men, but he's easily in the second tier. Given Marvel's current strategy of a shared universe of movies leading to The Avengers movie, the character will only get more popular over time.

To me, the classic Marvel cartoon remains the Spider-Man one from the 60's, but Marvel had a bunch of other cartoons in the 60's of the original Avengers characters, including Thor, based on the Kirby comics of the time. They each had some memorable, albeit brief, opening jingles. After the jump, I've included the one for Thor. Sing it! "Cross the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard..."

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The Venture Bros: ORB

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 11th 2008 1:41PM
Venture Bros.
(S03E11)
We haven't seen the entire Venture family really buckle down and do some hardcore adventuring since last season's "Twenty Years to Midnight". This was more of a Da Vinci Code-esque adventure though, in the sense that it also involved mysterious paintings, secret codes, and weird albinos. This was one of the best episodes of the season, finally setting us on the right path to understanding many of the strange revelations from the flashbacks. Plus, it has set the perfect tone for our inevitably epic two-part season finale, starting next week.

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Watch animated Buffy while you can - VIDEO

by Debra McDuffee, posted Aug 4th 2008 8:02AM
animated buffyOK, now that was just plain fun. What was, you ask? I just got finished watching the less-than-four-minute clip of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer: The Animated Series.

Four years ago, it looked like this series was a go, but somehow, it just went. Our friend Jane Espenson penned some of the scripts, and tells us she's in if the project ever takes off again. And rumors abound that the Buffy animated series may just be revived.

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