Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mighty Mouse Pitch circa 1994?

Here is some presentation art from a pitch we did at Spumco in the mid 90s. I wanted to get Paramount to let me revive the Terrytoons characters. I would have shown some of this stuff earlier but it had all suffered water damage. But now, thanks to Alex, Jojo and Tommy, some of it has been restored through the magic of insufferable digital technology.
These guys here are "The Catnip Gang" who appeared in at least 2 of the original TT Mighty Mouse gang. I think that was drawn by Mike Fontanelli. Possibly inked by Shane Glines and I don't remember who colored it. Looks like water colors?...Hey I bet it was Rick Altergott! Famous creator of "Doofus".I added another character called "The Big Puss" (originally "The Big Pussy" but everyone talked me out of that). The Big Puss is the head of the crime syndicate in Catville. He is the Catnip Gang's boos and we never actually see all of him at once. Usually we just hear his gutteral grumbles from behind an imposing door in his office. Once in a while we will see just his face pressing against the frame of his open door. Jim Smith drew a hilarious storyboard about the Big Puss sending the Catnip gang on an impossible mission - to steal the shorts of Mighty Mouse. He figures that the shorts are magic and that is where Mighty Mouse gets his power from. I used this story idea later for "The Ripping Friends".

Richard Pursel had an especial fondness for these bedfellows and dubbed them "Gandy and Sourpuss: Wards Of The State". We wrote stories about them being on the dole and getting into tiffs with their unemployment officers and stuff.
Of course I included some of the characters we created for the Bakshi version of Mighty Mouse. Here's Petey Pate in his insane glory. In this story he steals all the eyebrows from the mice in mouseville and Mighty Mouse has to come save the day.
Here are his witless thugs who fear nothing - except insanity. The broken mind instills the fear of God in these poor crooked souls.
Here are my favorite characters from the Bakshi show.
These look like they also might be drawn by Mike Fontanelli.
I love the ignorant - and so did Rich. The original Deputy Dawg cartoons are pretty terrible, even for Terrytoons, but the characters are great.
Rich came up with a story about nearsighted Vincent Van Gofer marrying Deputy Dawg's pants. The set up was: Deputy, Musky and the gang are skinny dipping at the old swimming hole, when Vincent Van Gofer ambles up to the edge of the pond and sees Deputy's pants hanging over the branch of a tree. Through his blurry eyes he sees a beautiful apparition of female gofer loveliness and he whisks the pants away to the Sheriff's office for a quick wedding. Wedding bliss turns out to be less than he'd hoped for and the marriage soon sours. Meanwhile, Deputy Dawg has no pants and has to do his job while moving his hands back and forth really fast in front of himself to maintain the picture's family rating. That no-account egg-stealin' rascal, Musky takes advantage of the situation with zany-ass results.

I have lots more of this stuff if anyone else likes Terrytoons as much as I do.

52 comments:

top cat james said...

No Deitch-era characters and only one from Bakshi's time-Deputy Dawg. I'd like to see the Spumco take on properties like Tom Terrific,Clint Clobber, and John Doormat.

And a revivial of The Mighty Heroes and James Hound sounds like a good fit for the Spumco Big Shots.

Shawn Dickinson said...

Holy crap, these are friggin' GREAT! Aaarrgh! How come shows like THIS never get picked up??! I would KILL to see drawings this cool on TV!

Stephen Worth said...

I like the story about Vincent van Gopher marrying Deputy Dawg's pants. It would have made a good episode of Andy Griffith with Andy and Barney.

kurtwil said...

Sure, I'd enjoy seeing more of the MM New Adventures and Terrytoons based material. MMTHA remains one of my favorite DVD collections.

BTW, Digital Tech doesn't have to be insufferable, but can be if misused or badly designed.

Question for the JK fan universe: Other than the Mighty Mouse CGI movie (which could revive or bury the franchise), are there any serious efforts to revive Terrytoons characters, especially with a JK spin to them?

kurtwil said...

Sorry, I meant MMTNA (Mighty Mouse The New Adventures) - my fricking Keyboard has mind of its own.

marcushelbling said...

I really do like Terrytoons.
I'd love to see more, they are pretty rare nowadays.

Alberto said...

Haw, wow these drawings are gah-reat! I especially like the drawings of "Elwy & the Tree Weasels".

Archie said...

Hey John, could you show more of these if possible! I'm just wondering, this was post ren and stimpy wasnt it? If so why when pitching new cartoons did you pitch cartoons that had already been done before. I thought the success of Ren and Stimpy had loosened executives up a bit about new characters and cartoons.

Thanks again!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Unbelievable! I can't believe that shows like this weren't OK'd on the spot. If I was a TV executive and people pitched stuff like this to me, I'd lock the doors so they couldn't pitch to anyone else, then inundate the pitchers with wheelbarrows of money and girls.

Pedro Vargas said...

Yes please, with more Spumco and Terry.

These are great drawings. So well done. I really like the two Elwy and gang drawings. Super hilarious!

J.R. said...

I remember being a kid and going to the Bottom Dollar store with my mom. They had this little box, similar to those photo-booth thingies, that you could sit in and watch Terrytoons for a quarter a pop. Anybody else ever seen those things? They didn't seem to be around for long.

SandraRivas said...

Fantastic!! With really funny ideas!!!!!!

Anthony Moscuzza said...

I'd love to see more of this stuff. I don't know if you're going to read this or have a chance to reply...but I'm just coming to the end of my semester and then I'm finished my 3 yr animation program. I'm going to try and make a short film that'll hopefully get picked up and turned into a famous cartoon. I want to run it on the internet so I can do whatever I want and I'm trying to retain the stuff I loved about cartoons when I was a kid...not this stuff today that lacks personality and creativity. I'm only 24 though and really will try my best but I don't know much except that I'll try my best till I get somewhere. Do you have anything you can suggest or any kind of help you could provide? You're my inspiration really....for bringing back what cartoons used to be from the 90's and before. So I figure I'll give it a shot and ask you. Thanks for your time John.

Anthony.

Steven M. said...

I love Terrytoons. I want to see more.

K-T said...

Hahaha, you have no clue how much I laughed at the Tree Weasels John...

YES YES POST MOAR.

BlakeJ said...

I think I'll agree with you, Uncle Eddie, but I get the feeling you may be a bit biased...

Seriously, though, nice stuff John! It's a shame those executives didn't see the sheer talent in theses drawings!

nick said...

Yes, if you have more please post it.

Paul B said...

WOW, I missed posts like this!!!
So much eye candy!!!

Yes, post more of this stuff please!!!

Carmine said...

Incredible! If you have more, please post them :)!!

AdamLore said...

These are amazing.

Rachel said...

awesome! keep these old drawings comin!

HemlockMan said...

I never have had to opportunity to see more than a few of the Bakshi Might Mouse toons. The ones I saw were mind-blowing and quite funny.

When I was a kid I loved Deputy Dawg. I think it was his voice that hooked me, but I recall enjoying the cartoon--at least I watched a lot of those, along with the other toons that were marketed along with it.

Trevor Thompson said...

I want to audition for the voice of the Big Puss.

Scrawnycartoons said...

These are Amazing! So much fun just to look at. So many different shapes and designs of cats!

The Big Puss in particular looks hilarious. If you've got any more like this, PLEASE, let us see!!

Chip Butty said...

Great stuff, thanks for sharing. I love the idea of Gandy and Sourpuss as welfare queens. Also love how retarded Deputy Dawg looks, didn't the second season of Bakshi's MM feature some cameos of Deputy acting similarly stupid? That big cat in the Catnip gang is pure big dumb construction. If you have more, please post!

Puttydude said...

These pics are awesome!
Please upload some more

telfurious said...

Deputy Dawg would have been great. My dad lived down the road from Larz Bourne in the 60s, who wrote for the original show and gave him a few drawings. (I'd tell you my dad would have loved a Spumco version too, but...well that's probably not true.)

Severin said...

Back when I interned at Nick, I had a meeting along with all the other interns. We were all there to have lunch with Mark Taylor and ask him questions. One of the interns asked him what cartoon he'd like to see at Nick, and he actually said he wanted to make a new Mighty Mouse. It really caught me off guard! So maybe a new Mighty Mouse isn't out of the question.

Thiago Levy said...

"inundate the pitchers with wheelbarrows of money and girls."

That should be in the contract!

Executives look at original stuff life this the same way I would at a Chinese text. They stare trying to decipher, then they give you a crocked smile. You can almost see their brains debating if you are crazy or if they are stupid.

Conclusion you can't pitch original ideas to executives. If is not like all the crap that is out there, don't even try. It is out of their intellect's reach.

Damiano D said...

I've always loved the use of markers in your images, so amazing!

Ollie said...

Who are these fools that denied us such great cartoons?!

I want to see this now. Big Puss looks hilarious.

ComiCrazys said...

Amazing!!! Yes, please, MORE!

yawn said...

Nice character designs! A Spumco revision of Harvey Toons characters, would be great also!

Disgraced Media Baron said...

I, for one, would love to see some kind of smackdown between Heckle and Jeckle, and Clampett and Davis' Goofy Gophers.

C. A. M. Thompson said...

You should buy the rights to Elwy and make records. Great stuff. Post more of it.

Martin Juneau said...

The colors are just gorgeous with a very well organised composition. I just like the Mighty Mouse punchline to the bad cat. So strong and solid as well.

Amir Avni said...

These are fantastic!
Thanks Alex, JoJo and Tommy!

Amir Avni said...

I'll bet a bunch of untainted young viewers are going to get "John K. influence" out of this! Bless you all.

John Pannozzi said...

More, please!

MistahB said...

Yes! Please by all means share more!

mike f. said...

I can't believe that shows like this weren't OK'd on the spot...

Yeah, I can't either - especially when I look at what actually did get greenlit. (Like Jersey Shore, the latest gift to world culture from the Worst Generation, architects and defenders of the Age of Stupid.)

Trevour said...

That is one glorious Gandy rendering!

Roberto Severino said...

These are incredible, and coincidentally, I was born that year! The Tree Weasel drawings are my favorite, actually. Thanks for posting these, John.

Morgue Anne said...

How DARE you try and make silly cartoons, John K!!!

glamaFez said...

I still have a Deputy Dawg plush doll I got when I was 4 years old. But he has no hat, and his pate is pretty ugly. Your post has inspired me to try to find a hat for him.

Huggz Faerie said...

I loved Deputy Dawg. That Frank Fontaine voice, was perfect for the character.

Elana Pritchard said...

I love Ren's line from Fire Dogs 2
"We don't have to be destitute anymore!" Ha! I laughed so hard... That was really great.

Brandon Lyon said...

Great stuff, John. If there's more, I know everyone on this blog wants to see them, myself included!

DANGERUSS said...

Very nice. Love the drawings, the characters, and the insanity!

Benjamin said...

These are great! Love the Tree weasels.

Mak said...

John, these are so great. The Big Puss is FABULOUS. The Elwy pic is hilarious, too. What a great spoof of the 60's st-- are those antennas coming out of his shoes? HA!

Gads, those colors... The blue-greys and browns are so nice. It looked like they were markers at first, but traveling down the line they really do look like watercolors. Great handling of them, too; it gives everything a rich softness.

Everything looks so soft I want to squish them all.

Yes more, please!

fandumb said...

These are great. I love drawing Ren and Stimpy (who, unlike the Mighty Mouse cats, is the nicest character on his respective show) and it's going to be fun drawing these guys as well!