The Smurfs Are Making a Triumphant Return to TV in CG

Smurfs Return
(Amazon)

When we were little kids, my brother loved The Smurfs. He had tons of the little blue figurines all over his bedroom. What a weirdo!

Remember the Smurfs? The tiny blue creatures that each had names corresponding to their personalities, like the seven dwarfs? And they were constantly being threatened by Gargamel and his cat Azrael, who hates the Smurfs for some reason?

It doesn’t matter if you remember them or not, because they’re coming back, in CG form!

Viacom is partnering with the French company that owns the Smurfs to create a new CG-animated series featuring Papa Smurf, Brainy Smurf, Hefty Smurf, Jokey Smurf, Smurfette, and more.

Pam Kaufman, President, ViacomCBS Consumer Products, explained why she’s bringing the little blue creatures back:

“The Smurfs is an iconic global franchise that has resonated with audiences for decades. By partnering with LAFIG, we are able to join our creative forces to bring an all-new line of consumer products across multiple categories to consumers, along with a fresh and original animated series.”

The show will be on Nickelodeon, and, based on her comments, will no doubt spawn a ton of merchandise. My brother had a ton of the little blue figures. I can’t wait to send this to him and laugh about his weird obsession.

The Smurfs originated as a Dutch comic strip in the 50s but exploded into the mainstream with a Saturday morning cartoon in the early 80s, which leaves me with one question: does this mean we’re gonna get The Snorks back too? Weren’t The Snorks just an underwater version of The Smurfs?

Fine, that’s two questions, but I honestly can’t remember. I’m in my 40s, get off my back!

Schoolhouse Rock Is Coming to Disney+

Schoolhouse Rock Disney+
(Disney+)

At some point over the past few decades, politics became pop culture. When I was growing up, smack-dab in the middle of the Reagan era, I was blissfully oblivious to most of the goings-on, at least until I got into high school and college. I don’t think most kids have that luxury anymore, thanks to the internet and social media, TV channels devoted to news and politics 24/7, and politicians themselves becoming celebrities, playing the sax on Arsenio Hall, and hosting reality TV shows before becoming president.

Politics has become entertainment – and thanks to the pandemic and quarantine, education has become largely virtual – which makes this a perfect time for Schoolhouse Rock to return and remind kids of the importance behind the pomp and circumstance.

Schoolhouse Rock is an animated TV series that originated in the 70s. It used catchy musical sequences to teach kids about the logistics of democracy, as well as other foundational lessons in grammar, history, and the like. With everyone being forced to learn via screens these days, Schoolhouse Rock’s debut on Disney+ this summer – the first season will be available to stream on June 19th – couldn’t come at a better time.

The series is fun and educational, and for 40-somethings like me, it’s a real blast from the past. If you remember any of these, it’s probably the incredibly catchy song about how a bill becomes law (embedded below). I can still remember the words, and the lesson behind it, which is a testament to the power of the show.

I can’t wait to show it to my kids, and relive my youth. You can still sign up for Disney+ for $6.99/month or $69.99/year.

Disney+ Opens the “Fury Files” on Marvel’s Heroes and Villains

(Marvel Entertainment)

In case 50 hours of MCU movies didn’t dig deep enough into your favorite Marvel heroes, Disney+ has got you covered. Beginning May 15th, you will be able to check out the streaming platform’s newest animated series, Fury Files, which will unlock Nick Fury’s secret files on some of the most popular Marvel heroes such as Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, and more. The show will enjoy a fun combination of animation and motion comic art and will land just one week before the debut of Marvel’s Future Avengers second season.

The man himself will be voiced by Fury VO veteran Chi McBride who has lent his talents as the world’s most secretive S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to shows like Ultimate Spider-ManHulk, and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., and Avengers Assemble.

We are very curious about what’s in the Tony Stark file, for starters. Besides some gross stuff which Disney+ probably won’t get into, there’s a whole world of wealth that can be explored of which the movies haven’t even scratched the surface. But what the hell could squeaky-clean Cap possibly hide that wouldn’t make for a boring episode of television? Did he say “shit” once? Because we would actually be very down to watch 30 minutes of Steve Rogers get more increasingly angry at something and the last line of the show is just him screaming, “Shit!” Credits.

Marvel Entertainment released an official synopsis with this to say: “Fury Files drops on Disney+ on Friday, May 15, and you shouldn’t be surprised that Nick Fury has files on every single Marvel Super Hero. Fury Files gives viewers top-secret access to S.H.I.E.L.D. intel on key Marvel heroes and villains. All of this is told by none other than the mysterious Fury, bringing together a mix of animation and motion comic art! Looking to download a bunch of information about every single hero? Fury’s got you covered.”

Disney has figured out a way to take all of our time and money so we will definitely be sitting down the second this drops. And we’ll like it, too. Bring it on!

You can sign up for Disney+ for $6.99/month or $69.99/year.

Internet Debates Whether Goofy is a Cow or a Dog, For Some Reason

Is Goofy a Cow?
(Disney)

The quarantine has left us all with a lot of free time. No sports to watch, no events to attend, no bars to visit, no restaurants to eat at; we’re all forced to sit inside and pass the time the way our forefathers did. With streaming services and board games.

For some people, all this free time is a boon. It allows for the learning of a new language or a new skill. It offers the freedom to finally finish that novel, or redecorate the sunroom. And it lets us ponder the mysteries of the universe.

Like whether Goofy is a dog or a cow.

I’d like to say that this is what the quarantine has done to us – after all, Twitter is currently aflame with arguments over this issue – but the debate originated years ago, thanks to this bizarre article claiming that the true origins of the iconic Disney character were part of a cover-up.

Snopes already debunked their claims – thank god, because I don’t know about you, but I can’t live in a world in which there’s confusion about Goofy – but that hasn’t stopped social media obviously. When have facts ever had anything to do with social media?

People will believe anything:

Thankfully, some good people are fighting for truth while the debate rages on:

This woman tried to argue against the cow theory but also sort of thinks Goofy is a human man?

It’s enough to make your head spin! Thankfully someone went to the ultimate authority: Wikipedia.

Debate over. Until someone goes to Wikipedia and alters it because there are no facts anymore. I don’t care what Goofy is, I’m just happy we’re all using our time productively.

Simpsons Predicted Coronavirus, New Rick and Morty Somehow References It

Simpsons and Rick and Morty Coronavirus
(Twitter/didgeridougrou/NasserAlFarsii/ Disney/Adult Swim)

The Simpsons is well known for having an eerie prescience about the world. Granted, the animated satire has been running for over 20 years, and when you’re poking fun at two decades of sacred cows, you’re bound to get a few predictions right. But their track record, from a Trump presidency to a Siegfried and Roy lion attack, is pretty impressive. There’s even a new clip floating around purporting to show another prediction about our problems in 2020: COVID-19 and Murder Hornets.

But now they may have a new challenger, and this one didn’t have to wait years for their prediction to come true.

Rick and Morty recently returned to finish out its fifth season, and when the latest episode aired, viewers were astounded by what appeared to be a reference to the coronavirus.

“Never Ricking Morty” aired Sunday night and includes a line about the current situation we find ourselves in: locked at home, unable to go anywhere or buy anything. Morty says he wants to buy a train and Rick responds angrily: “Buy another one, Morty! Consume, Morty! Nobody’s out there shopping with this f***ing virus!”

Twitter was stunned, especially since the lead time for animated series is quite long, meaning the episode had been created months earlier.

Obviously, the reference was added late in the production cycle, as one of the benefits of animated shows is the ability to add new dialogue to a previously animated scene. After all, it’s not like the actors need to be onset. They’re cartoons!

Still, it was a jarring moment for viewers, more used to outlandish science-fiction than seemingly psychic predictions!

WOWZERS! Inspector Gadget Theme in 8 Cello Parts Played by one Musician

(Youtube / Samara Ginsberg / Lexington Broadcast Services Company)

Fair warning: you’re about to have the Inspector Gadget theme song stuck in your head for no less than one (1) week.

Playing one cello is impressive as it is. Two cellos? Even more so. Three cellos? Okay, okay, settle down. No one likes a showoff. Four? Four cellos? Well, now you’re practically begging for hand cramps. Five cellos? Seriously? Hey, save some cellos for the rest of us, pal. Six? Six. Six cellos. We are truly through the looking glass. Seven cellos? Well, that just leaves… oh. Oh no. You couldn’t…

EIGHT CELLOS?

Samara Ginsberg is a super talented cellist who recently broke down the Inspector Gadget theme song into eight distinct parts for cello, recorded her one-woman octet, and the end result is magnificent. She was even able to reproduce the screeching police siren sound effects at the beginning!

Listen to and hum along with Samara’s haunting rendition of this iconic tune right here:

Go go Gadget musical chops, am I right?

Mom Makes Most of Quarantine With Incredible Sidewalk Chalk Art

Casey Drake Sidewalk Art
(Instagram/caseydrakemakes)

We’re all doing the best to cope with this unprecedented spell of boredom in our own little ways. Some people are making shot-by-shot recreations of terrible 80s music videos, while others have crafted a parody trailer for The Mandalorian.

But Casey Drake, an immensely talented mom from Orlando, Florida, is reframing the situation as an opportunity to make art that spreads cheer to the world outside. Her canvass? The sidewalk.

Here she is hard at work on a rendition of C3-PO and R2D2.

Some serve as helpful reminders. This Dorothy, for example.

(Instagram/caseydrakemakes)

Also, this Batman.

(Instagram / caseydrakemakes)

She depicts classic Disney characters living their best lives.

(Instagram / caseydrakemakes)

A major theme is toilet paper, so naturally, we get Doc Brown delivering his iconic catchphrase from Back to the Future.

(Instagram / caseydrakemakes)

Our personal favorite is this hilariously slanderous depiction of Joe Exotic from Netflix’s true crime miniseries, Tiger King.

(Instagram / caseydrakemakes)

Currently, she’s working her way through the 5 Stages of Quarantine, as portrayed by characters from Pixar’s Inside Out.

(Instagram / caseydrakemakes)

We’re truly stoked to see what immaculate sidewalk art Casey comes up with next. Make sure to follow her at caseydrakemakes on Instagram!

HBO Max Previews Elmo’s New Talk Show, Looney Tunes and More

HBO Launch Lineup
(YouTube/HBO Max)

Netflix just released its May lineup, but maybe you’ve seen it all? Bored with Hulu? Done with Prime? Had enough of Frozen 2 and the rest of Disney+? Have you already burned through HBO’s 500+ hours of free content? Well have no fear, HBO Max is on the way!

The new streaming platform from the cable channel once known as Home Box Office has been in the works for a while, snagging such high-profile properties as The Big Bang Theory, Fresh Prince, and Friends, as well as the highly anticipated Friends reunion special. But the platform isn’t just going to show us stuff we’ve seen before; they have a whole bunch of new shows to premiere, and those premieres are coming soon!

HBO Max launches on May 27th, with new shows featuring everyone from Anna Kendrick to Elmo to Bugs Bunny, and everything from ballroom dancing to Def Jam to DIY crafting.

Here are a few glimpses of some of the new stuff HBO Max will be streaming into your living room, including everything you expect: tons of movies, tons of shows.

Looney Tunes:

The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo:

Here’s a teaser for the full lineup:

On the Record:

Love Life:

Scoob! to Skip Theaters and go Straight to Video on Demand

Scoob!
(Warner Bros)

This quarantine ain’t no joke.

We’re deep into this thing, and though we all have access to dozens of streaming platforms full of an infinite amount of movies and TV shows, not to mention books, and music, and board games, we still want more. And the people who want the most are either our kids, or us, because we’re so desperate to keep our kids occupied and out of our hair, and off of our Zoom calls!

Fraggle Rock is coming back, The Princess Bride is coming soon, and Trolls World Tour debuted last weekend, completely skipping movie theaters and arriving on our TVs just in the nick of time. Another movie that’s skipping a theatrical run to help parents in our time of need is the latest version of Scooby-Doo, this one fully animated, and featuring a bit of a new take on the popular cartoon.

Here’s the synopsis: “With hundreds of cases solved and adventures shared, Scooby and the gang face their biggest, most challenging mystery ever — a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this global dog-pocalypse, the gang discovers that Scooby has a secret legacy and an epic destiny greater than anyone could have imagined.”

The early trailers showcased a bit of an origin story, with audiences getting a glimpse at Shaggy and Scooby-Doo’s first meeting, and it sounds like those early days of their relationship may be important. We’ll all be able to find out next month.

Scoob! will skip cineplexes and arrive on demand on May 15th, the same date it was meant to arrive in theaters. Instead, it will be streaming, available to rent for $20 to rent and to buy for $25.

“While we’re all eager to be able to once again show our films in theaters, we’re navigating new, unprecedented times which call for creative thinking and adaptability in how we distribute our content,” Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff said in a statement. “We know fans are eager to see Scoob and we’re delighted we can deliver this feel-good movie for families to enjoy while they’re home together.”

So our parents. Let’s face it, this quarantine would probably be a breeze, if not for those meddling kids!

Toy Story Consultant Shares Dark Explanation of Andy’s Absentee Dad

What Happened to Andy's Dad
(Pixar/Disney)

The Pixar movies are stuffed with details and easter eggs and in-jokes. The details are part of what makes the movies so special, and it’s clear that the people behind the films put an immense amount of thought into every decision they make.

Which is probably part of the reason fans latch onto unanswered questions, like what’s the deal with Andy’s dad in Toy Story?

When the series starts, Andy’s dad is already absent from the picture. He’s being raised by his mom, all on her own. Are they divorced? Is Andy’s dad still alive somewhere else? Based on a live stream from 2017, toy creator/reviewer Mike Mozart, claimed the answer to both of those questions is no. Andy’s parents are not divorced, and Andy’s dad is not alive.

Apparently, Mozart was friends with Joe Ranft, a co-writer on the movie, and he’d actually consulted Mozart when writing it. During one of those chats, Mozart asked about Andy’s dad, to which Joe replied, that he “died before Toy Story 1 started.'”

Andy’s father was named Andy Sr., which means it’s his name on Woody’s boot. Woody is such a rare toy because he’s a prototype. In Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete said that “children only wanted to play with space toys”. Andy’s mom also calls Woody “an old family toy.”

That would certainly explain his absence from the films and the other details seem to add up. But perhaps Mozart is toying with us because one of the film’s other writers, Andrew Stanton, disputed his account, saying, “Complete and utter fake news. Everyone go back to your homes. Nothing to see here, folks. #Iwasthere,” he tweeted out.

It does seem a little strange that a studio owned by Disney wouldn’t show the death of a parent onscreen. We all know how much Disney loves traumatizing children, whether it’s Bambi’s mom getting shot, Simba’s dad getting murdered, Nemo’s mother being eaten, or even the old guy’s wife dying in Up! It seems like a real missed opportunity here, if it is indeed true.

Check out the livestream where Mozart made his claim:

Pinky and The Brain to Return, Animaniacs Coming This Fall

Pinky and the Brain Animaniancs
(Warner Bros)

Pretty much every show and movie that was in development and/or in production when the Coronavirus hit has been delayed. Even movies that are finished and ready to go were pushed back to 2021 with theaters being closed in the foreseeable future.

There’s one type of content that hasn’t been shut down, and that’s animated stuff. According to Flickering Myth, the much-anticipated Animaniacs revival is moving ahead and will premiere on Hulu this fall. The show has been tapped for two seasons, with the original cast returning to voice the beloved characters.

Also returning along with it? Pinky and The Brain!

The spin-off of Animaniacs, Pinky and The Brain hasn’t been on the air for 20 years, during which time the duo has surely been hatching many a plot to take over the world. Voice actor Rob Paulsen spilled the beans on the genius mouse and his doofy partner in crime coming to Hulu later this year. The original cast will be back for that as well, including Maurice LaMarche, who took the pic announcing the Animaniacs cast’s return.

Fans of those two shows have much to be excited about come the fall, as Animaniacs and Pinky and The Brain join a whole bunch of animated shows that have recently received or will soon be receiving the revival treatment, including He-Man and She-Ra, Ducktales, Thundercats, and more!

If you can’t wait, you can stream all five seasons of the Animaniacs, as well as Pinky and the Brain, on Hulu as we speak.

Full Episodes of G.I. Joe, He-Man, and She-Ra Now on YouTube

Free Episodes GI JOE and He-Man
(YouTube/He-Man Official/Hasbro)

Have you gotten to the end of Netflix yet?

Most of us are a few weeks into the quarantine, and the only people we aren’t social distancing from are our families and Joe Exotic. Or maybe you’re taking advantage of HBO’s recently released catalog and don’t feel like listening to Tony talk to Dr. Melfi anymore. Maybe you even want pry your kids from Fortnite or Minecraft and watch something with them?

YouTube has you covered!

The official YouTube He-Man channel has collected entire episodes of the classic 80s cartoon for your viewing pleasure.

There’s also a YouTube channel devoted to G.I. Joe, to which Hasbro has released 15 full episodes of the classic kid’s cartoon.

Both season of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid, are available, along with the entire first season of The New Adventures of He-Man, both seasons of She-Ra: Princess of Power, and the animated film He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of The Sword.

The only thing I remember about She-Ra is that she can magically transform her sword into other objects, and there was a character that used to be hidden somewhere within every episode that you could try to find. I might not even be right about either of those things, but I did have a ton of He-Man action figures, including BattleChest He-Man, Man-e-Faces, and Trap-jaw. So I’m pretty much the leading authority.

As reported by CBR:

the G.I. Joe’s channel features two miniseries and the initial story arc of the 1985 G.I. Joe cartoon, each made up of five episodes. The first miniseries, “The M.A.S.S Device” focuses on Cobra and the Joes’ race to build their own MA.S.S. device, a machine that could teleport matter.

The second miniseries, “The Revenge of Cobra,” featured the Joes stopping Cobra from using a weather machine to attack Washington, D.C. “The Pyramid of Darkness” featured Cobra activating a device known as the Pyramid of Darkness, which would sap the world of its electricity.

All that’s missing is the Serpentor movie. And the multi-episode arc wherein Dusty is a double-agent. If I remember correctly, which I probably don’t. It was 30+ years ago! I think the quarantine is the perfect time for all of us to refresh our memories.

Man Transforms Dad Into Food Critic From “Ratatouille”

Ratatouille Dad
(TikTok / Joe Mele)

There is no shortage of dads on TikTok, a video-centric social network on which every parent will eventually be forced to appear. Seriously, brush up on your dance moves while there’s still time.

@tommy_braccoBracco boys in their element ##BlindingLightsChallenge ##fyp ##foryou ##foryourpage @philipbracco @philbracco♬ Blinding Lights – The Weeknd

Truly, the only thing TikTokers love more than their fathers is the film Ratatouille.

In recent months, the 2007 Pixar smash hit has captured a second wave of relevancy on the app, due in part to a resurgence of the movie’s theme song, “Le Festin” (“The Feast” in French). The catchy Camille Dalmais tune has become the go-to score for TikTok’s cooking videos. Even Dr. Phil partook!

@drphilBon Appetit! 👌🏻 ##happyathome @robin_mcgraw♬ original sound – ssaaggei

It was an inevitably that dads and Ratatouille would someday cross paths on the app. We just had no idea it’d ever be this perfect. Meet TikToker Joe Mele and his dad Frank.

(TikTok / Joe Mele)

Recently, someone pointed out that Joe that his pops bore a striking resemblance to Anton Ego, the caustic, world-renowned food critic from Ratatouille who gave five-star Gusteau’s the four-star review that effectively killed Chef Gusteau.

(Disney Pixar)

Frank scoffs at the comparison. “I don’t look like this guy,” he insists.

With minor pushback, Joe coerces Frank into a quick cosplay to prove his point. The end result is… jarring, to say the least. “Uncanny” may be too scant a word to describe the resemblance here. Watch for yourself:

@mmmjoemeleDAD ABSOLUTELY NAILED IT😂 ##foryou♬ original sound – mmmjoemele

Incredible. This man should be entitled to royalties.