The thing no one asked to come back is back!

World Premiere Toons Thread 3: Nov. '95 + Winter '96!

If you were pining for intellectual properties you recognize, now's the time to hop in, on the longest thread so far with 13 cartoons within this period!

NEW: Before, I would prepare these threads in advance and dump them all in one shot. From now on, I'll be updating them as I go! I think the semi-livetweet format would be much more convenient for all of us in the long run.

And once again, if you want to watch these shorts in the best quality publically available, they're at
Until they're officially rereleased - and I encourage you to let WB know that is what they should do - it's the best/most convenient option.

It's not every day you hear about a show straight up migrating from one cable channel to another. Adventure Time had its first showing on Fred Seibert's Random Cartoons before getting picked up by CN, but before that, the other way around...
Mina and the Count got a pilot at Hanna-Barbera, stayed with Rob Renzetti for Fred Seibert's NEXT cartoon incubator, only to be shot down by Nick due to the implications of an adult vampire and a lil girl being friends. A planned sixth short was replaced by Teenage Robot.
It's a shame that it ended this way, because this short just put an ear-to-ear smile on my face. It's really cute, and not the tired, slow, Disney-esque "cute". It's a sharp type of cute that doesn't fail the irreverence and humor you expect from a new-generation 90s cartoon.
It's another one of those pilots that succeeds at knowing what it wants to be in one try while working as an individual short subject. The thought of a cold-hearted vampire having a heart is both really funny and reassuring. That's really the key to success. Thanks Rob.

Not since FEBRUARY have we seen two beloved series introduced right next to each other. Sure, it's got a few kinks to work out before it becomes a full-time Hanna-Barbera series. But, for all intents and purposes, this is David Feiss' Cow and Chicken.
This stark contrast in art style and humor is what makes incubators like WaC so appealing. Mina is a thick-lined, sharp cartoon with stark movements and a wholesome premise. This puts a hunk of weight to every moving part with light, sketchy outlines, and with every joke awry.
Just about the only major oddity by the standards of this show is the Red Guy just straight up being the Devil. Not cuz it's DARKER, but because his ever-changing (earthly) occupations are so crucial to his appearance in the show proper.
It's a delightfully strange and lusciously-animated short that assaults the viewer with every whacked-out gag under its belt. Which is to say, it's Cow and Chicken, through and through.

[tw// for cigarette abuse, if you watch it. Heavy on smoking gags for CN standards.]

We're now in 1996 and it's yet another attempt to do a chase cartoon. I want to say this particular short has the same issues as Shake and Flick - biting off more than it can chew by basically stapling two premises together (road trip going into Road Runner).
However, all I thought while watching this was "discount Pat Ventura". Specifically, imagine if Out and About was way too dialogue-heavy and the voices were overbearing. In top of that, the gags and visuals are nowhere near as frantic or creative. That's Boid n Woim.
Nowhere near as much of a mess as Raw Deal in Rome - the thick-outline/abstract background style is still appealing and the setting/pacing is much better. But chase cartoons are ALREADY passé within WaC by now. Good thing Miles Thompson has much better things to his name.

This one's an Italian production and it shows. Lovingly animated and a tinge satirical in a way I only really see from European productions. However, I can't find much to say stand-out jokes and the synth scoring is disappointing. Good and nothing more.

We're in the realm of shorts done by roaming ex-Spumco artists. A short revolving around the strange things that happen within an abandoned chicken coop, it's got enough sharp visuals and strangeness to hold you over.
Gonna be honest. For a second, I could kinda see this going to series in some alternate universe. However, "rickety wooden homes in the middle of nowhere", "aliens" and "chickens" only bring to mind something that will outdo most of anything in the What a Cartoon Show.

CRIME 101:
Craig McCracken further develops his superhero show-in-the-making into something we fully recognize. A more refined art style (for the most part; there's an oddly realistic baby in one scene) and tapping further into the personalities of the girls as a whole.
Sure, as individuals, they don't get much more development here. But we, as viewers are reminded that these are small children. Sure, they're more powerful and intelligent than the average 5-year old, but McCracken has the part down that EVEN THE BEST CHILDREN HAVE FLAWS.
[seizure warning]

I still think that Meat Fuzzy Lumkins is the better short as a whole, but I think this one is legitimately important as another test run for the Powerpuff Girls. It'd be nearly 3 years after this until they'd go to series, but the wait would be worth it.

Man. This one's just sad to look at. How does Will Hanna, co-creator of Tom and Jerry, struggle at keeping at the same kinectic energy and gagwork in this? Every joke here can be found in some other short cartoon. The animation is just as floaty and even as HLD.
I want to say it's not terrible, because it isn't. But, seeing this made it so clear how out-of-touch the HB pair was. Their 4 slots in the 48 could have gone to some other young and/or talented creators. Instead, we get the equivalent of square dancing at a rave.

Surprisingly clever short with some fast-paced jokes and funny dialogue! However, what did Burch Hartman mean when implementing a Confederate trucker who gets WAY too horny/handsy with the inflatable doll the main characters use to hitch a ride?

And that's the first half of shorts done!
Especially cool milestone cuz the second half of these cartoons start off with a fucking BANG.
If the origins of Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Lab, Cow and Chicken, Johnny Bravo didn't convince you that WaC was worth it, this will.
This is the only Academy Award nomination granted to Cartoon Network and to the Hanna-Barbera TV studio. A short made for TV was up there competing with Mickey Mouse and Wallace & Gromit.

If that isn't a testament to how effecrive this whole program was, I don't know what is.
To think that Courage the Cowardly Dog wouldn't even have shown its full potential for over 3 years after that ceremony.
It looks a bit different, but this is just about everything that makes Courage work as a cartoon. Much like the show itself, it's like nothing else that has aired on the network at that point. Equal parts light-hearted comedy and horror atmosphere.
Lots of other WaC shorts do wild takes. None of them balance it with a dark yet equally surreal subject taken as a real threat. It has its own way of doing backgrounds. It has its own score that fits the mood. It wants nothing more but to both make you laugh and freak you out.
Nothing else on Cartoon Network could promise you a slow gruelling forced transformation into an evil chicken all while our hero must overcome his fears to fight the antagonist in several petty battles. Nothing else made at that point could really promise that either.
It's a unique horror-comedy through and through. A damn good one at that, considering it was made for a family-oriented network.

Side note: I watched this with a friend a while back and we thought the guy in the background of a shot was Drake due to image quality.

I've seen this short before, but I am only now realizing how bleak and unnecessarily spiteful the premise behind these gags are. Sure, the action is fun to look at - this is the best attempt at a Pat Ventura imitation yet - but everything else is oddly uncomfortable...
Considering the trouble our hero goes through, from parental abuse to the odd hijinks that ensue in a race to an equally miserable and loud-mouted Arctic Circle family, you'd expect a satisfying ending to round it all out.
Spoiler alert: that doesn't happen. You're left with such an unnecessarily disturbing ending that it honestly makes a lot of the mean-spiritedness in other shorts look fair. At least it's fun to look at? Man IDK. I'm feeling generous on art style and middle gags alone.

I expected nothing from Butch Hartman's last short on WaC but this is probably one of the best shorts of the whole bunch that never got a follow-up. A lot of clever fourth-wall breaking and witty dialogue makes this one worth it.
I don't have anything much more I just wanted an excuse to post this clip. I'd give it a full 10 if I could say this could go beyond a single short, but considering the point of What a Cartoon is to cultivate new series, I have to say this only really works on its own.

Dexter's Lab, as we know it, is all but perfected here. The location of the lab being hidden behind the bookshelf. Dee Dee's ability to actually one-up Dexter because, no matter how smart a child is, they are still a fhild. The urgency of hiding the lab. All here.
Most striking of all, this is the first time we see a mecha.

There was much commotion of the growth of Japanese animation in the United States. Tartarkovsky fully embraced it, while others feared it. Those who clinged to making discount Tom and Jerrys fell. He thrived.

This was a really cute short! But it's the same type of cute as Mina and the Count, the type that's clever and witty. I did think it started out kinda meh, but there's an adventurous tone that sets in when the dogs and cats start affecting human activities.
Creator/director Mike Milo has long moved on from Bloo's Gang, working on everything from Phineas and Ferb, Craig of the Creek, Randy Cunningham, etc. However, I wouldn't have minded this one getting picked up as a Cartoon Cartoon. I only dock a point for a slow first half.

Whew! It took a few days, but that's everything released from November 1996 to March 1996. It sounds like an arbitrary period, but there's another loooong gap between premieres. There wouldn't be any more shorts until OCTOBER 1996.

I could mush late 1996 and early 1997 like I did for this thread, if late 1996 wasn't so busy as opposed to the two shorts late 1995 got.

What I'll do is make a smaller 6-short thread for finishing 1996, then run through 1997 in another 13-short megathread.

With that out of the way, coming up: short by Charlie Bean and Carey Yost (latter is the art director for Clone High...that's still popular right?)
-Semi-return of Johnny Bravo but really it's the B-segment that only got 1 season
-4 other failed pilots
Don't forget to support your local/nationwide/international tape rippers and other people of the sort! When the rightsholders slack off, they make it all the easier to dig into the crevices of animation-dom.

Till next time, stay gold and watch something you like!

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