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Fitness v. Fatness (Part 7): “Pop” Go the Waistlines We again reach that transitional period when the theatrical cartoon was becoming a scarcer commodity, due to the closure of MGM, the abandonment of the regular release schedule of seven minute shorts at Disney, and the general shift of interest to television. In particular, however, Paramount Pictures (and subsequently, its television successors to its characters) continued to show an interest in promoting the story themes which have been highlighted in this series of articles, portraying both fitness gurus and fatness freaks with equal fairness. Popeye “pops” in four times today, accounting for half of this article’s content, yet offers enough variety so as not to overstay his welcome. Walter Lantz contributes...

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Old and new collide as we move into the new millennium with our study of would-be superheroe

s. Another new Nickelodeon franchise flexes its super muscles, while several of the immortal classic characters of the past continue to appear in new and interesting revivals that keep the spark of their past glory days alive for a new generation. A note for those concerned with chronology. I’m going to defer reference until next week to a direct-to-video project involving Garfield that falls into this article’s subject matter, to treat it together with similar CGI revivals created several years later as a single discussion. (It’s not very good, so the wait shouldn’t be painful – you’re not missing much.) Super Goof (Disney, House of Mouse, 2/2/02)- Several decades after Gold Key comics unveiled the alter ego of Goofy, as...

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We’ve encountered several Steven Spielberg productions in past installments of this series, where Steve was able to turn his talents at producing blockbuster features toward the small screen for mini-epics in the superhero vein

His efforts are far from through, and we will have “close encounters” below with some late episodes of Tiny Toons, as well as several from his next animated showcase, Animaniacs. Also in today’s mix, a panther of odd color, a duck of odd strength, a cat of odd appetite and another of odd bad luck. Odds are, you’ll find something below to your taste. The Just-us League of Supertoons (Warner, Steven Spielberg, Tiny Toon Adventures, 9/15/92) returns Plucky Duck and Hamton Pig to their super alter-egos of Batduck and Decoy. Taking off on DC’s “Justice League”, Batduck receives a call on the hot line from Buster Bunny, alias SuperBun, informing Batduck that the Just-us League has an opening for a...

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