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Hanna Barbera

Hong Kong Phooey — For Real

Back to our friends at Cartoon Brew again, swooping in on one of their scoops. Not long ago they reported about an in-development Hong Kong Phooey live action/CGI feature, starring the voice of Eddie Murphy. The film is being developed and directed by Alex Zamm (Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2) and Alcon Entertainment for Warner Brothers.  Now, Mr. Zamm has posted a short test-film of the CGI lead character on line, and Cartoon Brew has the link.  See what YOU think. (In case the footage gets taken down, Cartoon Brew were kind enough to embed it in their article).

image c. 2012 Alcon Entertainment

Hong Kong Phooey: The Movie

Forgive yourself if you don’t recall Hong Kong Phooey… The 1970’s Hanna Barbera cartoon seems to have developed a cultural fame that transcends its ratings or its running time (16 episodes total). The show regained some fame back in the mid-1990s when the band Sublime (just prior to singer Bradley Nowell’s untimely death) re-recorded the Hong Kong Phooey opening theme song, which had originally been recorded by Scatman Crothers. (Crothers was also the voice of the character). In the original series, the rather slow-witted funny animal dog named Penry worked as a janitor at a police station… but then in secret he would change to become Hong Kong Phooey, a rather slow-witted kung fu crimefighter. So why bring this all up now? Well it seems that Hollywood is at it again: A brand new Hong Kong Phooey live-action/animation movie is in the works. And taking over for the late Scatman Crothers? None other than the Donkey himself, Eddie Murphy. Cinemablend has a write-up that includes this: “The comedian will voice Hong Kong Phooey for Alcon Entertainment’s upcoming production, a live-action/animation hybrid (much like The Smurfs or Garfield) that will take its cues from the Saturday morning cartoon of our childhoods. Variety reports Murphy will lend his voice to Penry, a mild-mannered dog who stumbles into a secret ceremony and is accidentally granted mystical powers, including the ability to walk, talk and do kung fu.” Actually, it sounds more like the recent Underdog movies to us. Stay tooned for more.

image c. 2011 Hanna Barbera Productions

Thundercats: The Original Series

More news from Warner Brothers and Cartoon Brew: In anticipation of the brand new Thundercats TV series coming to Cartoon Network this July, Warner Brothers will release the original 1980’s Thundercats series to DVD on July 12th. Thundercats: The Original Series, Season 1, Part 1 is a 2-disc set that features the first 12 episodes, “as well as a special featurette entitled Feel the Magic, Hear the Roar, where fans speak out about their incredible passion for the classic animated series.”


image c. 2011 Warner Brothers

Top Cat on Facebook

More interesting news from Cartoon Brew: If you haven’t heard, Illusion Studios in Mexico is currently working to animate a new hand-drawn 3D cartoon film starring Hanna Barbera’s famous character Top Cat — and his friends, of course.  Don Gato y su Pandilla is set to premier this fall… and now it turns out the film has its own Facebook page.  True, it’s in Spanish, but it might be worth a “Like” to keep track of the film’s progress.


image c. 2011 Illusion Studios

Tom & Jerry Live on Stage

In Argentina (of all places!) the brand new stage musical Tom and Jerry Live recently premiered at the Teatro Lola Membrives in Buenos Aires. From there, the producers plan to take the show on tour through Chile and Peru for the rest of 2011. According to them, “Under the direction of Leandro Panetta, Tom, Jerry, Spike and the gang go on stage, recreating classic cartoons with songs, chases, jokes, games and stunts. Tom and Jerry travel from opera to medieval times, then run and chase from the living room into the garden. Actors, dancers, singers and acrobats on stage guide to the public in this magical world where Friendship is always the result of each and every encounter persecution.” Cartoon Brew says that the production is based on specific cartoon shorts, including The Two Mouseketeers, The Cat Above the Mouse Below and the Gene Kelly sequence from Anchors Aweigh.


image c. 2011

SWAT-Kats and More on DVD

One of the newest and perhaps most interesting developments of on-line shopping is the concept of on-demand DVD burning. In other words, they make it when you order it, and not before. That saves a great deal of money that would otherwise have to be sunk into creating “back stock” of items that might not be sold if only a limited audience is interested in them. Warner Brothers (parent company of Hanna-Barbera) is taking this to heart it seems, with several new offerings. One of them that furry fans should definitely take note of is SWAT-Kats: The Radical Squadron, available real-soon-now on demand as a 5-DVD set from TV Shows on DVD. The link will take you (more quickly) to the Warner Brothers site where you can order the DVD.

Yogi Bear. In 3D.

In the “Where the heck did this come from?” department… Warner Brothers is releasing a new live-action-with-CGI Yogi Bear movie this coming December 17th. Starring as the voice of the animated Yogi is none other than Dan Aykroyd, with Justin Timberlake (!) as the voice of Yogi’s little bear-friend Boo-Boo. And yes, it’s all about grabbing pic-a-nic baskets and running away from Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh). The new Real-3D film is directed by Eric Brevig (Journey to the Center of the Earth). You can check out the brand new trailer on YouTube and see what you think.

New on DVD

Back where it all started: “Hey SHAG-gyyyyy!” Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Season One, Volume 1 is available now on DVD from Warner Home Video.  Four of the very first episodes ever broadcast with Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy — and the dog himself, Scooby Doo, out in the world and solving mysteries. On the Disney side of things, Disney DVD has released the 20th Anniversary DVD edition of 1988’s Oliver and Company. If you didn’t know, it’s Oliver Twist set in modern day New York City — with a cast of dogs and cats!  Not to mention a voice cast with the likes of Billy Joel, Cheech Marin, Joey Lawrence, and Bette Midler!