Few people actually recall that Maxwell Atoms’ iconic characters, Billy and Mandy, were first introduced as part of Cartoon Network’s “Grim & Evil” where they shared a series with the cast of Evil Con Carne. Though “Grim & Evil” only lasted 30 episodes, the pint-sized hell-raisers would soon live on in one of the most successful spin-offs of all time from Cartoon Network’s golden age: “Billy & Mandy” (as I’ll refer to it from here on out) is one of the last really great series from the CN’s “Cartoon Cartoon” era.
1994 was the year to really tune into Nickelodeon. It was a time where they’d hit their stride with programming blocks like SNICK and excellent series like Rugrats, and The Secret World of Alex Mack. It was also the year that “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters” premiered (October 30, 1994). Another of the many Klasky Csupo produced animated shows, “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters” focused on the world of monsters that hide in our closets, under our beds, and in our toilets. It is one of the few genuinely horror-oriented animated shows that Nickelodeon has aired.
I’d say the best marketing The Last Halloween ever had was on a bag of Reese’s Pieces during the Halloween of 1991. I can still remember my mom buying the big bag of Reese’s Pieces and on the lower left hand corner there was the ad for the CBS special premiering that month with the “Mission to MARS” mascots front and center. It was a fine Halloween, with a great special that ran once on CBS and before disappearing into obscurity. Serving as a promotional film for the candy company MARS Company, “The Last Halloween” was a half hour movie about a small town named Crystal Lake with an economy reliant on their massive candy factory.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of my all time favorite folklore tales. It’s a creepy, weird, and unusual tale about a man who loses all the way through the end to supernatural forces. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” has gotten its massive share of adaptations ever since releasing, and it’s managed to appeal to many generations that can appreciate a good mystery
No matter how classic or profitable a series or franchise is, studios are always in the market of appealing to a younger audience with a new version of the property. With the success of shows like Muppet Babies and The Flintstone Kids, Hanna-Barbera decided to revisit the formula in 1988 for Scooby-Doo. It was their attempt to win over a new generation of fans while dusting the cobwebs off of the franchise that’d begun to show its age thanks to misguided spin offs and introductions of grating additions like Scrappy Doo and Flim Flam.
It’s a brand new era for the classic clan of weirdoes and eccentrics, all of whom get a chance to show a new generation how much fun they can be. I’ve always been a big fan of the Addams family since I was a child, as they always felt more genuine than the Munsters. While the Munsters spent their time trying to fit in to modern society, the Addams family always stuck true to who they were, and rarely ever changed their own rituals or style to fit some new standard of what normal is. They are who they are, like it lump it.
With 2019 seeing the release of the animated reboot of “The Addams Family,” I thought it’d be fun to check out the line of Addams Family video games that came to consoles over the years. I’ve always been an Addams Family fan, preferring the darkly demented family over the more whimsical Munsters. Hopefully the animated movie can be the start of a brand new franchise like “Hotel Transylvania.” Until then, these are the Addams Family games from the absolute best to the utter worst.
What’s your favorite?
Premiering in 1994, during a time where Disney was really trying to create series with mythos and complexities, Gargoyles stands out as one of company’s most ambitious animated series of the nineties, and a bonafide masterpiece of the decade. Gargoyles came with an unparalleled production quality that was just impressive all around. From an excellent score to a massive cast of voice actors (comprised mostly from “Star Trek” alums) right down to the amazing animation, Gargoyles was anything but a gimmick. The writers unfolded a complex mythos, and great back stories for each of the gargoyles (many of whom had their own strengths and weakness) all delivering an episodic fantasy with substance.