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June 14 2004

The New Voice Of Buffy Speaks. Giselle Loren talks to MediasharX about providing the voice of Buffy for the pilot of the animated series. "Working with Joss and the other producers for the pilot was fantastic".

Well TV Tome was right all along.

Something i'm getting really tired of reading in the various Whedon show related interviews recently is how hard it appears to be for Joss to get his shows on the screen.

Naturally this is true for anyone in the television business at the moment who doesn't go to a network with a cheap reality concept but as somebody who has been an avid fan of Joss' work for eight years now i think it is a crime that he isn't given more respect. He sure as hell deserves it!

Fingers crossed that somebody will have the common sense to put this show on the air.
All network rubbish I guess.

They should just release this straight to dvd, it'll make money:D
immortality bites your so right, I also would have assumed that joss held some sway with the networks but no. its insane I tell you! I'm so glad joss is trying an animated show (not that I donít worship at the altar of all of his live action shows). I like the idea of him branching out into places he hasnít explored nearly enough. If this gets picked up, who knows where it could lead? maybe more animated adventures from the whedonverse. Angel: the animated series, 'Serenity' or even 'Fray'. ok so I know Iím jumping to wacky conclusions way too soon but still its nice to speculate.
Well, cool. I'm okay with Giselle - I think she did a good job on the videogames. But, god blessed, just glad AH did her own voice for Willow and not that chick who did her in the second Buffy video game. That was HORRID.
Wow she couldn't look any different from SMG if she tried! Heh heh, I think that's great. And she "channels" Buffy! How very Shirley MacLain of her...

I hope she gets this job permanently, should it get bought. SMG doesn't need any more money from Buffy since she seems to have such disdain for the character. I say give Giselle the role!
There's nothing wrong with SMG moving on--disdain is too strong a word I think. It'll be weird hearing someone besides SMG as Buffy, but since we're talking about a cartoon, it's the writing that really counts.
I agree that distain is perhaps too strong a word. SMG obviously doesn't want to be typecast in this one role, and that is perfectly understandable. A different voice for an animated Buffy doesn't strike me as being a big deal. It could be argued that SMG wasn't the first Buffy anyway, even if she was the "definitive" Buffy and made the role her own. I say good luck to her (a couple of very interesting looking films coming up) and good look to Giselle Loren and everyone else involved in the animated series.
The voice work is very nearly irrelevant. What matters is that the style and storytelling is on target - at least as good as the old Batman: The Animated Series or the new Justice League cartoon. Those shows are cool enough for kids but smart enough for adults. The entire voice cast could be replaced, really, and I'd watch if the scripts were adult enough.
I'd want to watch the show if the writing starts from scratch. Kinda like how "The Real Ghostbusters" started off, saying that the movie was a movie but wasn't really 100% accurate. With my variant of BAS, the tv series never happened and everything's starting from scratch in present day. This time with Dawn as her sister from day one (she's still a green glowing orby thingy, but that's discovered more slowly and a little sooner than the fifth year), and all the baddies exist in Sunnydale simultaneously. Ben would be the school nurse, and Glory and Anyanka would pose as Cordettes originally. Spike & Drusilla would be with Darla assisting The Master at the start, but Spike would quickly disassociate himself. The Initiative would be under the city, but Riley's a substitute teacher at the high school. The Mayor's a major player competing with The Master. Everything that happened in the first seven years would begin happening in the first season of the animated series, and none of it would go the same way that it did in the tv show. The variables would be there but because they're all interacting in ways they didn't before, it'd be exciting and unpredictable. Both new fans and old would be entertained.

If all this happened, original voice talent would be an option and not a rule.
Cool! I like that idea, ZachsMind!
I think that scrapping all of the continuity from the series would drive me, as well as millions of other fans, completely bug shaggin' crazy. I'm thankful that they're not going to go that route, or else I think the animated series would be a disaster.

As for the voice work, I don't really care who does it. I just want this project to get off the ground somehow. And quickly!
The concept of the series is supposed to be the untold tales of high school. Joss always says that he regretted taking them out of high school because he had more tales to tell about how school is hell.
That's not a bad idea ZachsMind, it could be entertaining...but for another franchise maybe. I'd be less inclined to watch another Buffyverse series if all it turned out to be was one big "What If...?" tale (fun as those sometimes are in comic book form, and heck, even occasionally on TV, ie "The Wish" and "Birthday").

Besides, I think it'll be a nice challenge for the writers to work around established Season 1-3 continuity with Dawn-memories-as-reality in the mix. Sure it limits what they can do, and I have a feeling they won't confine themselves too much (meaning, I think continuity screw-ups are inevitable in the long run), but it should result in some interesting scenarios.
Ok this pretty much confirms that there is Buffy Animated. Which is great. Even if its not picked up, there is a pilot episode and that means hopefully a DVD release so that means, we have at least (in the Buffyverse:)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer - 144 episodes
Angel - 110 episodes
Buffy Animated - At least one episode

Just wanted to weigh it in. And just think, with two series (we've yet to see BtAS) it already got more variety than all six of the Star Trek series have together

Yay Buffyverse!
I think Star Trek Enterprise and Smallville have proven the extremes of this: that one really doesn't want to be restricted by the continuity of entirely different series or media. Recreate the series from scratch and keep the audience in 'the now.' That was then this is now. Some of y'all are still not able to let go of the past but I'm tellin' ya, the only way for the animated series to have a snowball's chance in hell of mainstream success, is to let the animated series have its own continuity separate from the live action series.

Have you seen the Teen Titans cartoon? I rest my case.
Personally i want the animated series to stick within continuity, at least within the official altered continuity that includes Dawn anyway.

Most animated shows that are based on an existing property, Ghostbusters, Highlander, Stargate or whatever, make the mistake of reinventing the story and expecting the current fanbase to be onboard with it. Seems like a big mistake as far as i'm concerned. The Stargate Infinity series is a great example of turning an interesting concept into a bland mess. The Real Ghostbusters reinvention worked but it only had a single movie as a basis anyway, rather than 12 seasons worth of episodes.

Nope, the animated series needs to be canon or it won't last a season.
Yes, just look at that wonderful new animated Spider-Man on MTV. I know it has its critics, but I love it!

Peter Parker in college, buds with MJ and Goblin Jr. It was a whole rediscovery of the mythos. Not to mention the animation kicks ass.

I would hope that a Buffy animated would get the same kind of treatment. Obviously, a lot of effort, imagination, and talent went into the Spidey cartoon...
I'm the same with Spidey related stories. With the exception of the movies i only follow the one true Spider-Man story, that being the one featured in Marvel's original Spidey comics. I have little or no interest in the various animated series or the awful Ultimate comic books.

Same for Superman, X-Men, Batman or any other comicbook or tv series for that matter. The original story is all i want. Less said about the utterly terrible Teen Titans animated series the better! Superheroes manga style, bleurgh!

For me when you have an existing property that works you don't need to reinvent, especially not when you can still add to what you have.
Hi all! Long-time lurker, etc. etc., who has just managed to sign up with the good Whedonesque folks and appreciates the chance to enjoy the fine level of discourse (and occasional snarkiness) here.

With regard to this thread: I think the change of medium is key here. As ZM suggests, the animated show provides a great opportunity to throw in new situations, spins, and turns, without regard to canon consistency. Although I personally wouldn't accept a replacement of any of the actors on the flesh n' blood show, I would be happy to let crazy creativity reign in quirky comic form.

On the other hand, it occurs to me that the reason many fans might accept fiction/comic book spin-offs that deviate from the core show is that they are "unofficial", i.e. not produced/written by JW and his team. Such unsanctioned tales can be looked at or not without fear that one is missing out on Buffyverse developments. The animated series might fall slightly between two stalls if it is written by Team Whedon members. The question then arises: do we "need" to follow the series to understand future spin-offs/movies? ZM's approach probably allays these fears by resituating the show in a completely new place (so I guess it is sort of a "what-if" format) but, presumably, maintaining its own internal consistency from the get-go.

And I suppose the other unstated fear is that if the animated series were to be the (dread) last of the Buffyverse on TV, we would want it to advance the 'verse rather than complicate it.

Anyone remember the Star Wars comics that appeared between SW and Empire? I know that Lucas was concerned that the plots be kept entirely separate so as to neither contradict nor forshadow the impending movie sequels. I thought that some of the stories were really interesting.
If Joss Whedon wasn't involved I'd be nervous but he is and I have faith that whatever he does, whether continuation or new ideas, will be great because he hasn't disappointed me yet. I don't think he'd want to do this unless he had some good ideas. I'm looking forward to seeing them all back in high school again and more about Dawn too. Will Dawn know Buffy is the Slayer or will she be just as clueless as Joyce was through those years. I think Jonathon could easily fit in as a background character and I liked the idea of maybe seeing Oz walking down the hall. And I'd also love to see Jenny again!

Another interesting thing they could do, is to see what happens with Faith when Kendra gets killed. We know nothing about Faith's experience in finding out she was a Slayer. It would be interesting to revisit that if they get to that point in time. Just to see who she was before she became a slayer and how she found out.
That's right blwessels! Another fine suggestion for the untold column! For the umpteenth time I'm SO wishing Joss reads this board! Y'all are positively lousy with the great ideas!
People at Mutant Enemy do read this blog, not a clue if Joss does.
Blwessels post makes for the best reason why keeping the animated series canon is the way to go. All of his (very good) ideas, such as seeing what Faith was up to before hitting Sunnydale, would be all the more interesting if we knew that they were the actual backstory to what happened in the show.

If they were no more than "What If's" i for one wouldn't care either way because they would have no bearing on what was to come in the later years.
I also think Blwessels' ideas are great. But they and ZachMind's are not mutually exclusive. After all, the Mayor and the Master did cohabit Sunnydale for many decades; the Initiative must have existed some time before we got to see it. Those are the types of things that the anime could do. Granted, some of these notions would take some jiggling of our current understanding, but didn't the entire Dawn plotline do that? Not to mention the deeper implications of "Normal Again" and "The Wish/Dopplegangland".

Still think it comes down to whether the animated series is the last word or not. If not, there's room for parallel storytelling in my book.
Oh i have no problem with adding to the established mythology. It makes perfect sense to me that the Mayor and the Master had a history that was never mentioned on the show and even more so that the Initiative were active a long time before Buffy met Riley.

Also the fact that Dawn is going to be around will make it necessary to make superficial alterations obviously, that too is not an issue as far as i'm concerned. In fact i'm looking forward to seeing the seasons 1 - 4 history as the Scoobies now recall it.

Joss and the rest of the writing staff can add and embelish all they want just so long as they don't directly contradict anything the show established and given what i know of Joss and his reasons for wanting to do this animated series i get the feeling he feels the same way.

This isn't about a chance to reinvent Buffy for him, it's a way to do the episodes his live action budget wouldn't let him do properly.
As far as I've heard, the animated Buffy series will be set in season 1 permanently, and the episode would be purely stand-alone so there would be no large story arc and the characters would never age. Buffy wouldn't die so there would be no Kendra or Faith. From what I can tell this is not a re-telling of all the events in the 7 years of BTVS and it won't have the drama that we're used to. It will be more light-hearted and tell stories about highschool that were too silly to tell in the live-action series.
As far as I've heard, the animated Buffy series will be set in season 1 permanently, and the episode would be purely stand-alone so there would be no large story arc and the characters would never age. Buffy wouldn't die so there would be no Kendra or Faith.

Yeah, Joss isn't going to change his own canon for a cartoon. I just hope it's an enjoyable expanding of season 1. It's still the only season I haven't seen all the episodes of. This might prompt me.
I like the idea ZachsMind brought up. Whether the show sticks to the live action version, or completely screws with it, you know its going to be good. I mean its Joss. He wouldn't do something if he didn't think fans would like it. Also, I'm glad Gisselle is able to voice Buffy, she does it so well in the video games...its creepy. As for SMG leaving Buffy behind, I don't think she is done with the character. I mean she's entering year two of being "buffy-free", we should give her time to breathe a little, same with David if he chooses not to voice Angel. As for the show not being bought yet, that's a little surprising, I mean have you seen some of the god awful cartoons on TV. I still think that Mutant Enemy should just form its own network.
Because the animated series would be the new series, it would be most successful claiming to be the true canonical tales of Buffy for the now. If it acknowledged the live action, it would be much the same way the live action tv series acknowledged the movie that had come some years before. The difference is that unlike the movie, this cartoon would be at risk because of the success of its predecessor. Believe me, if the live action tv series had been as unsuccessful as the motion picture, the animated series could go nowhere but up. Yes I'm aware that there wouldn't be a cartoon if BTVS sank. My point is, because BTVS was so successful, B:TAS may actually suffer, since diehard fans won't let the past be past. As much as I loved the original tv series, I suggest we all get over it.

It would not be a 'what if' story. That would kill the animated series. If too many in refs exist between the two, viewers coming late to the party would be disenfranchised with B:TAS because they'd think they were not in on the fun. You may think, well tough for them but if the cartoon doesn't cater to new fans, it won't last long. Notice that in the preliminary "leaks" regarding Serenity, Joss Whedon is making a point to insure that the movie will be viewable by anyone who didn't see the tv show. He wants the movie to stand alone, without completely dissing the tv series from which it spawned, and the same thing is happening with the animated series of Buffy. It has to stand alone as if the previous incarnations of Buffy and her friends never existed, while simultaneously paying tribute to its legacy.

The best way to do this would be a retroactive re-engineering of the Buffy mythology, from Dawn's perspective. Dawn has always been Buffy's sister. I know there's different interpretations of season five, but even though late in the season the Scoobies understood analytically that the monks invented this false history involving Dawn, so far as Buffy & Xander and the rest believed, Dawnie was always a part of their lives, and their memories. So the cartoon version of the story would be a review of those memories with the knowledge of 20/20 hindsight.

And since reality is subjective, both tellings of the story are equally valid. They are not 'what if's. Both the live action and the animated series tell the same story in a different way. Just as the movie Spider-man gives tribute to the original Lee/Ditko comic books, without the one demeaning the other. I almost didn't watch Smallville because I had an attitude against the retelling of the Superman Mythos after the travesty that was the Lois & Clark tv show. However, I've grown to really enjoy Smallville as a different take on Superman that doesn't dismiss or disregard the heritage of the mythos. And I've learned there actually are people who dug the Lois & Clark tv series. Who am I do say it's worthless?

You may not want to watch any more Buffy or Angel unless it's done in the exact way to which you have grown accustomed. That's fine. You don't have to hop on board the next time the Whedon train turns that corner up ahead. Who's losing out if you refuse the ride? The driver? Trust me. He won't notice. Take what's offered us when it comes and appreciate it for what it is. Otherwise, you're only hurting yourself, and you'll only have yourself to blame when years later you look back and realize that hey it wasn't so bad.

With all that said, someone above mentioned offhand that they believed Mutant Enemy representatives actually read this website. If they do I'd be pleasantly surprised, but notice I'm not laying any money down on the validity of that assumption.
To ZachsMind- I agree. I don't think anyone from Mutant Enemy reads this stuff. Although if they did it would be interesting to hear their thoughts on some of the things they have read here.

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