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June 14 2009

What TV Shows Should Be Animated To Stay Alive? io9 gets to thinking about which SF shows could use a little animated spell to get healthy again. Firefly gets discussed as well as The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

This article has gotten me thinking: What would an original animated series helmed by Joss Whedon be like?
I think Fray should be an animated movie or series.
Fray would be AWESOME as an animated movie or series. Or as a live-action movie or series...
Yep, I'd take either :)
Four words: SUGARSHOCK: The Animated Series!

Perfect for Adult Swim, eh? EH? come on, you know you want it... ;)
Four words: SUGARSHOCK: The Animated Series!

So I'm not the only one who's wanted that since the first installment came out.
Buffy, Fray, and Sugarshock would be the ideal Joss properties for cartoon-ness. Dollhouse, Angel, and Firefly are a bit too dark to work properly, in my opinion (which isn't to say that Fray isn't dark, but it was made for comics which would lend itself more naturally to animation, again in my opinion).

EDIT: And possibly Dr. Horrible, but they did such a good job with it live action that it'd be a shame to watch it continue on only in cartoon form.

[ edited by archon on 2009-06-14 04:54 ]
I always wished that we got the season 8 comics made into an animated cartoon. I also love the idea of an animated Fray.
An animated cartoon musical series of Dr. Horrible could be cool. Plenty of animated musical films out there, but has a full-fledged cartoon series been done ? Take your pick of art styles (either the look of the Captain Hammer or Penny comics would work)

They could pair it with Glee next season.

Fray was so good in comic form I'd almost be afraid to mess with it, but I know a lotta folks would love to have a DVD to put on their shelf alongside their Buffy & Angel sets. It would be interesting to hear who they cast after already establishing voices in my head already and for so many years.

I know the Buffy ship has probably sailed, but I'm still curious what would have resulted from The Animated Series that was planned, with Mutant Enemy writers, most of the original cast, and done as the highschool years with how the gang remembers things the monk-influenced/Dawn-including way.

I wouldn't do Angel animated. Dark Horse tried it two ways in comic form and IDW has had multiple series of it and...the show version of it was/is lightyears better. I'd just give up on Angel as something done with drawings at this point.

Sugarshock would be wonderful cartoon narcotics. Something online, possibly studio-interference-free, pure Joss, if the funding were available ? Out of all of Joss' already-established titles, I could see this going the Dr. Horrible route the most comfortably. Or Dark Horse could maybe help fund it and it could be direct-to-DVD.

Make Goners an animated direct-to-DVD original Joss project.
IMO The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. would translate well to animation.

ETA As would Pushing Daisies.

[ edited by peacemonger on 2009-06-14 22:17 ]
I've been saying for a long time that Dark Horse should make a Fray animated movie. They did Hellboy, didn't they? Two or three times, even. Buffy animated movies would also be quite sweet, but I'm not sure how that'd work with rights and all that. By the way, who owns the movie rights to Faith? And I've always thought a Spike animated movie would be quite interesting. There's still a story to tell with that character, methinks, and James isn't gonna be too old to do voice work any time soon. Hell, I'd even buy something starring a former potential. Kennedy the Vampire Slayer the animated movie...I'd buy that DVD. Provided it's written by a Mutant Enemy, of course.

But yeah, Firefly would also be amazingly awesome.
Four words: SUGARSHOCK: The Animated Series!

This. It would make squirrels and vikings cry.
I wouldn't vote for Goners to be, or not be, animated, because we don't know enough about whether or not it would work as one.
Buffy, Fray, and Sugarshock would be the ideal Joss properties for cartoon-ness. Dollhouse, Angel, and Firefly are a bit too dark to work properly, in my opinion (which isn't to say that Fray isn't dark, but it was made for comics which would lend itself more naturally to animation, again in my opinion).


I would have to differ. A good many of the darkest pieces of fiction I have ever come in contact with were animated. Take for example Batman: The Animated Series or one of it's movie followups like Mask of the Fantasm or Return of the Joker (which stands out for its dark content, even for Batman standards). I think there is a huge amount of un-tapped potential for serious animated dramas and the like in the Western Animation medium.
I would also like to see an animated graphic novel version of Whedon's comics like they did for The Watchmen.

Of course they should get more than one voice actor for it. that watchmen thing was fine until the guy did the female voices.
brinderwalt, those are good examples of "dark" Western animation; that DC animated universe made for some good series (at least the episodes that I've seen). For me, Joss' "dark" shows like Dollhouse and Firefly are very dependent on the realism (gravity?) that the actors bring to the shows. An animated Firefly would also have to contend with trying to differentiate itself even more from Cowboy Bebop, which could be done, but is probably a hard enough problem by itself.

I'm all for having more dark and serious Western animation. There was a pretty cool wave of that back in the '90s which has apparently died out (unless there's something I'm missing), but for a while there was some cool stuff.
I would love for Carnivale or Firefly to be an animated series. Both shows were so amazing and got axed way too soon. I would really love it if they came back in some way. Animated would just be fine for me.
Daisies would easily be the best bet for a animated series.
The problem with animating a series is that it will Benjamin Button it. The shows we are talking about, I watch for their depth, maturity and complexity. Animation in America is rarely targetted at adults.
b!X said:
"I wouldn't vote for Goners to be, or not be, animated, because we don't know enough about whether or not it would work as one."

True. I was throwing it out there just as an idea to see it actually get made instead of never seeing it. But it's possibly best left unseen if, in this theoretical situation where animation turned out to be a viable option, it's completely wrong for it.

NuVanessa, I guess most in this thread are assuming in an ideal situation, how the Mutant Enemy properties would be produced. Direct-to-DVD animated films (like what Marvel and DC Comics have been putting out this decade in their PG and PG-13 rated line, or Samuel L. Jackson's R-rated Afro Samurai) can get away with a lot more than what's usually produced for being aired on television (unless it's a prime time animated Fox show, but Fox only seems to allow comedy in that vein, not drama...also, if we could rewind time and go back to the `90s when certain alternative channels were experimenting with animation for teens and adults, like when MTV had The Maxx and Aeon Flux, and HBO had the very adult Spawn animated series and to a lesser degree Spicy City--those would be ideal situations for a Joss animated show that wouldn't have to compromise). But even stuff that's produced for kids can subtly be intended for adults with the right people behind it. Bruce Timm, who produced/directed/wrote and pretty much ran nearly the entire DC Animated franchise (all interconnected shows with the continuity and characters) from 1992 to 2006, which included Batman: The Animated Series (and its darker animated theatrical and direct-to-DVD films), Superman: TAS, Batman Beyond, and Justice League, knew he had to satisfy the networks by appearing to be making a cartoon for kids. But he and his team wrote intelligent plots, got away with a lot of implied adult situations and other serious subject matter...toward the end of that franchise's life they got into heavy political commentary...it was fully engaging on an adult level, most episodes.

Even Buffy Animated probably would've been made equally for kids and adults. We just wouldn't have the words "bitch" and maybe "damn" in it anymore, plus likely little in the way of implied sexual situations, and little to no blood (unless the show was given a sweet prime time slot, but likely would end up being an after school or Saturday morning thing), but otherwise it couldn't be much more restrained and on a short leash than The WB already had it those first five seasons, where Joss had to fight to even feature a girl/girl kiss.
l could see a Buffy Firefly or TTSC cartoons. Sci-fi themes are a good premise for animated series.
I've been saying for a long time that Dark Horse should make a Fray animated movie. They did Hellboy, didn't they? Two or three times, even.

There were 2 Hellboy straight-to-DVD animated movies and unfortunately they didn't do sell well enough and work for the 3rd one was put on hold. So unfortunately that's not exactly the business model to convince anyone to jump into making more animated movies. Also while Dark Horse was involved with the Hellboy movies, it was Starz Media Group who produced them and in the end the ones who decided not to continue them. I imagine for any other animated movies Dark Horse would also have to get another company involved to help produce it.

I would love to see a Fray animated series, as I think it would lend itself more to an animated series than a live action, which would likely be very expensive to produce.
For what it's worth, I seem to remember the Serenity comic "Those Left Behind" was originally being planned as an Animatrix-esque animated prequel.
Yeah, in the style of other prequel, side-story, "Tales of", and bridge-the-gap animated direct-to-DVD efforts like The AniMatrix and Pitch Black/The Chronicles of Riddick's Dark Fury in-between film. I forget why it was abandoned. Either solely due to money or because they decided too late to do one, too close to the theatrical opening of Serenity, and it was scrapped because they didn't want to put out a rushed-looking film.

Was looking forward to it too when they originally announced it. The actors would've been back to voice their characters for sure.
No one is even going to mention how great it is that Futurama is returning? I mean Futurama is back! Guess it's just me.

Both Doctor Horrible and Sugarshock! seem quite good fits for an animation. And I'll take more Firefly anyway I'd be able to get it. As long as the cast would be back for the voice work it would be awesome (better than either comics or radio, which I also would love).
I had a similar response after hearing about Futurama getting renewed. I was happy to see that, and immediately thought about a Firefly animated series. But I meant an actual series from Joss Whedon with the same tone as the show. I thought about the nine (or seven) actors returning to pick up where the story left off. My idea was not for Saturday mornings, it was for prime time.
Yes!! New Futurama eps! I was jumping for joy when I heard that Futurama was coming back with new episodes! As for shows or comics I would like to be animated to stay alive are:
1.Fray
2.Farscape
3.Terminator (the latest film, not the series)
I didn't see Farscape (it's on my list), but didn't it pretty much conclude ? It got canned by Season 4, they did that Peacekeeper War mini-series or movie or something, and that polished it off ? I know the creator has been involved with Farscape comics lately, so maybe he went back to it with new ideas the way Joss went back to Buffy with Season 8, or maybe the post-Season 4 mini wasn't enough to see Farscape through to the end. Does it need more continuing ?

The current incarnation of Terminator is gonna be a trilogy of films, so no need to wish for an animated continuation for that (unless you want that too, fair enough).

Was cool to see Futurama renewed, see if they can recapture the spark of the TV series. I liked the films for the most part (especially the first, "Bender's Big Score"--though not because of Bender--and the last, "Into the Wild Green Yonder") and felt they were icing on the cake to the 4 voluems of DVDs we already got (or 5 seasons of the TV series, if you go by the erratic way Fox aired it), but I'm not convinced it needs a continuation until I see what they come up with for the TV revival. I love the characters though and it's lightyears better than The Simpsons.

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