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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 9:12am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Debuting thirty years ago today: 


The original franchise consisted of seven movies produced between 1984 and 1994. The fourth and seventh films were not to my taste at all; the fifth film was pretty good; the sixth film was reasonable; the second and third films were very good sequels which developed the characters; and in my humble opinion, the first film is one of the best US comedies of the modern era. 

The first film saw dysfunctional cadets training at an academy that had relaxed its entry requirements; the second film saw those cadets graduate and head to a crime-ridden precinct to take on a gang; the third film saw the cadets head back to the academy to train the next class; the fourth film had the officers on patrol with citizens as part of some program to crack down on crime; the fifth film saw the officers take on jewel thieves in Miami Beach during a police awards ceremony; the sixth film saw the officers deal with a crimewave; and the seventh film, which was totally unfunny, saw the team in Moscow. 

And then there's the aforementioned animated series. Which, to be candid, I haven't seen much of. 

It felt, and it's unfair of me to say this without having seen much of it, like a cash in. The 80s was good for that (anyone remember the RAMBO: THE FORCE OF FREEDOM cartoon?). From what little I have seen of the Police Academy cartoon, it felt more like an attempt to sell toys and merchandising than anything else. 

True, some cartoons have been tied in with merchandising - MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE and TRANSFORMERS are two - but they at least developed a mythology that stood on its own merits. In POLICE ACADEMY: THE ANIMATED SERIES, the characters seemed to have little in common with their live-action counterparts; and it did feel more about giving them cool gadgets, uniforms and vehicles so that lots of toys can be sold. 

That's the way the cookie crumbles, I suppose. At least today, while there are no doubt cartoons heavily tied in with merchandising, they do appear to try and create a mythology and universe that can remain distinct from toy opportunities.

I suppose POLICE ACADEMY: THE ANIMATED SERIES was enjoyable in its own right. The animation seemed right for the tone. And some characters did seem true to their live-action counterparts. I just feel it could have been so much more than it was.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 9:59am | IP Logged | 2 post reply


"POLICE ACADEMY: THE ANIMATED SERIES, the characters seemed to have little in common with their live-action counterparts; and it did feel more about giving them cool gadgets, uniforms and vehicles so that lots of toys can be sold. "

Was there a Cmdt. Lassard figure that came with the podium that he got a blowjob in from the first movie?

Man, the 80's were just full of cartoons based on movies that were so not appropriate for children (let's also not forget ROBOCOP).
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 10:19am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

It's a topic one could do on its own, but I found it odd in the 80s that they were pushing these cartoons (ROBOCOP, RAMBO, etc.), yet any child who was interested in learning more about the characters would not have been able to rent the videotapes.


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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 11 September 2018 at 7:55am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

"Beetlejuice" and "Little Shop of Horrors" were part of your "etc." that may not have been as adult but having re-watched "Beetlejuice" recently, I was surprised it got a PG as PG-13 had been in existence for four years at that point.  Really, really dark humor.in that movie probably most embodied in the afterlife receptionist showing us where she slit her wrists and the dark vision of the afterlife. But I guess kids did watch those and it went over their heads, kind of if they had made "Grease" a cartoon because when I watched that film as an adult, I couldn't believe how much I missed.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 September 2018 at 8:17am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

There was a LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS cartoon? Wow!

I remember being surprised at the RAMBO cartoon. I suppose it had something in common with the second and third movies, but was a far cry from the disturbed Vietnam veteran in 1982's FIRST BLOOD.
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 11 September 2018 at 12:03pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Yep, it was entitled, "Little Shop" in the Fall of 1991. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 September 2018 at 12:15pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

One learns something new every day.

I vaguely remember that BEETLEJUICE cartoon, think it aired early morning in some regions here.

Coming soon: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET cartoon...
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 11 September 2018 at 12:49pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET cartoon...


Im sort of surprised that never happened. They /did/ make cartoons out of the B-horror films, THE TOXIC AVENGER and ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES. There was also a TALES FROM THE CRYPT cartoon with a more kid-friendly rendition of HBOs version of the Cryptkeeper. 

I had watched the BEETLEJUICE cartoon before I had seen the movie, so I was somewhat surprised to see that he was the villain in the film. 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 September 2018 at 12:59pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

 Michael Roberts wrote:
Im sort of surprised that never happened. They /did/ make cartoons out of the B-horror films, THE TOXIC AVENGER and ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES. There was also a TALES FROM THE CRYPT cartoon with a more kid-friendly rendition of HBOs version of the Cryptkeeper.

My goodness, I didn't now about those, either. :D

Maybe they didn't air over here because UK broadcasters are fairly conservative. Our regulators may not have allowed it. No idea what the US is like.
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 11 September 2018 at 1:41pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Network TV content is controlled by advertising so we had to keep it light.  People freaked out once when a quite good Mighty Mouse revival circa 1988 had him inhaling a flower as they thought it was a drug reference and the show was taken off the air. 
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 12 September 2018 at 4:34am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I've never heard of this show. Between this and the maaany sequels to the original film, they really milked this concept, didn't they?
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 September 2018 at 11:47am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Indeed, Peter.

There was a 1997 TV series (one season) which was okay-ish. It was set in the same universe as the films. Joe Flaherty played the commandant. It ruined it for me when aliens appeared in one episode (like THE DUKES OF HAZZARD, POLICE ACADEMY occupies a quasi-reality akin to our own; aliens do not belong there).

There have been rumours of a reboot for some time. Or sequel. I think the concept of a police academy comedy could still work in 2018. What I would prefer is a sequel. It'd be nice to see a character from the original in it, having reached the rank of commandant. He/she could train the next generation.
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