Friday, August 28, 2015

France 3 Premieres the New Gadget Series Tomorrow, August 29 seen in this YouTube promo, posted today on the official channel of France 3's Ludo program block:

This has been known for a little while now. The first YouTube teaser from Ludo appeared on July 27, and a few weeks later, the premiere date was revealed as August 29 (though an online pre-premiere was launched on on August 22). The series is slated to air every Saturday and Sunday at 10:25 in the morning.

As long-time readers might remember, the news of public channel France 3 airing the reboot actually goes all the way back to last summer. Here's what was announced back then, via a French article from July 9, 2014 on

"Eh la qui va là ? Inspecteur Gadget ! Eh la ça va pas ? Ouh ouh". [French theme song lyrics.] The unforgettable theme song of "Inspector Gadget" will soon return to echo on France 3. The public broadcaster has pre-purchased from the Canadian production company DHX Media the rights to a new version of the cartoon series about the adventures of the famous inspector who delighted children in the 80s. (...) 
This new series of 52 episodes of 11 minutes will be delivered in June 2015 by the Canadian production but it will take a few months to France 3 for the translation, dubbing and production of a less dated theme song. The channel should therefore not broadcast "Inspector Gadget" 2.0 before fall 2015.

Obviously, a lot of the above turned out to be wrong. The series ended up premiering in French broadcast already on January 3, 2015; on Boomerang France... so clearly, the translation and dubbing into French must have started as soon as Season 1 finished production at DHX Halifax (around November 2014 if I'm not mistaken).

What did turn out to be correct, though - which I was doubting for a while - is the series' broadcast on France 3 this fall. My reader NBU was right the whole time. It does makes sense: after the initial run on the paid kids' channel Boomerang, the reboot now gets broader exposure on a public, open-for-all channel. And though I've said it before, it warrants repeating right now: it's probably no coincidence that France 3 is the renamed, modern-day version of FR3, the channel which launched the original Gadget in France way back in October of 1983...

Vintage magazine ad promoting the premiere run of Season 1 on FR3. Scan courtesy of GC.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Latter-Day Bruno Bianchi Sketches of Inspector Gadget

This is a bit above my price class for a single sketch, but I'm sure it will find a buyer. Here's an Inspector Gadget sketch from 2000 drawn by Bruno Bianchi himself, currently up on with a starting bid of 150 (!) euros.  [UPDATE (August 25): Well, whaddaya know... it didn't find a buyer. Guess it was a bit above everyone's price class.]

This may be the oldest Bianchi sketch I've seen of Gadget (that is, of sketches and model sheets not related to the original series' production). I'm guessing Bruno did a lot of these for French fans at various conventions and festivals. Since I have a number of other sketches collected on my harddrive, I thought I'd use this occacion to share them, too.

The first few sketches here were done for a celebration of Inspector Gadget in France. On November 4, 2008, Gadget's 25th anniversary was marked by Fanny's Party at the Hard Rock Café in Paris, France. Probably the biggest sensation of it was, Bruno Bianchi actually attended this party and spent hours chatting with fans, being interviewed and, of course, drawing sketches. Here are three of the drawings he turned out that evening...

Note that Gadget is sporting what I've nicknamed the "Gadgetinis chin" here, reflecting the redesign Bianchi 
gave him for the 2002 spinoff. I personally much prefer the original-series chin (even if I like this drawing!).
Via iRonfle.

Edited from a photo where the lucky fan in question, Anne-Laure, is holding her drawing.
See the full photo, as well as tons of other photos from Fanny's Party.

The above sketch from Fanny's Party, coupled with the next one from I-don't remember-where, are by far the most off-model Gadget drawings I've seen by Bianchi. Still, I like the ink lines and the expression in the below one.

This one was up on the Italian Ebay a few years ago, for a more
reasonable price than the one currently at
Missed it by very little.

To end, how about a picture or two of Bruno himself? Turns out he attended the French Cartoonist animation festival in 2002 - and so did Shingo Araki (to the right), the famous Japanese cartoon veteran who, as it happens, animation-directed a handful of Season One Inspector Gadget episodes...

And here's Bruno in the middle of drawing Gadget at the festival:

Caption from Hello Japan: "Bruno Bianchi dessine son personnage fétiche : Inspecteur Gadget!"
(Bruno Bianchi draws his favorite character: Inspector Gadget!)

Man, how I wish I owned the drawing he's working on here... it looks FANTASTIC! Some of the sketches above are quite off-model and were obviously drawn quickly and spontaneously, but not this one. Gadget almost looks like he could have stepped out of a vintage episode. Seeing this makes me wish all the more that Bruno was still with us.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Horseradish? No - I Said Hosh Hash Habalash

I decided today to take a break from reboot-series updates and just do a post for the fun of it. It's been too long since I did that. Here's something I thought was simply fun to stumble across on the net a few days ago... a vintage Inspector Gadget VHS release from Israel! This scan was shared by an administrator on the Israeli forum

There are several things I find fun about this cover art... for one thing, it's the first I've ever seen or heard of Israeli VHS releases of the series. Secondly, it uses a couple of publicity stills that I've never seen before, from the episodes "Gadget at the Circus" and "The Invasion". It's especially amusing to see the utterly dead, wax-figure-resembling circus audience blown up in all their glory. Yup, that ep's animation was CHEAP. On the other hand, I wish the randomly-inserted still from the much better episode "The Invasion" was shown in bigger size.

As you may have guessed from the headline, the series' title in Israel is "Hosh Hash Habalash" (or "חוש חש הבלש" with the local alphabet.*) Of all the foreign names I've seen for Inspector Gadget, "Hosh Hash Habalash" may be the funniest. Just try saying it out loud.

As far as I can gather, "Habalash" means 'detective' and "Hosh Hash" is Gadget's name... but the title seems to be a wordplay as well. The most sense I can make of it with Google Translate is, "The detective feels a sense". A sense of a clue, I guess, though there's probably a better translation for it if you speak Hebrew.

Here's the one other related image I could find over on another Israeli Gadget VHS among a huge lot of cartoon tapes offered for sale:

Only the spine is visible in this photo - can you find it? - but it's enough for me to recognize it as a still from (okay, I checked to be sure) "The Amazon". Here's the full motive, as seen on a sticker released with the Spanish magazine Tele Indiscreta back in the 80s (via the blog tardes de phoskitos, where you can see more nice Gadget stickers):

I can think of no better way to round off than with the Hebrew "Hosh Hash Habalash" theme song. This is one of those instances where the local dubbers decided to just do a completely new theme song instead of translating Shuki Levy's original. The Hebrew Inspector Gadget theme is just as weird as the title... and weirdly fun to listen to. Making it even better, though: the uploader of the specific video I'm featuring below has gone to the effort of subtitling the song lyrics in both Hebrew and English! Weirdness accompanied by understanding. Truly the best of both worlds.

(*Yeah, I know those letters don't look like any of the captions on the VHS scan - but it seems to be the only Hebrew spelling I can find of Inspector Gadget. Maybe the VHS uses an older Hebrew alphabet? I genuinely have no idea.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Boing Spain Update: The New Inspector Gadget Premieres at 17:50 Tomorrow

As you may remember, I posted on Monday about the Boing channel in Spain having picked up the Gadget reboot for Spanish broadcast, with the premiere slated for Saturday, July 25. The exact air time of the first episode wasn't known there and then - but it is now. As we can see on SincroGuíaTV under "Sábado 25 de julio":

So: Episode 1 airs tomorrow at 17:50 in the evening, inbetween the two other newcomers, Masha and the Bear and Mr. Bean. SincroGuía also says that episode 2 will air in the same slot on Sunday... so most likely, this is Gadget's permanent slot on Boing for the weekends to come.

Oh, and check out Boing's lavish site for Inspector Gadget! (Yeah, let's hope this gets expanded a bit with time...)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BREAKING: Season 2 of DHX's Inspector Gadget Is Coming

Found this a moment ago and had to post about it. Remember how, back in May, I quoted an "Earnings Call" session with DHX CEO Dana Landry in which Landy sounded very positive about a second season of the new Gadget series? Well -- take a look at the recently updated LinkedIn page of Josh Saltzman, a DHX employee who wrote several Season 1 episodes of the reboot:

In black and white: "Josh Saltzman - Executive Story Editor/Co-Head Writer of Inspector Gadget Season 2 at DHX Media". As well as confirming Season 2 as underway, this marks a crew change from Season 1, which was executive-story edited by Doug Hadders and Adam Rotstein. Also of interest, scrolling down a bit to Saltzman's "Experience" section, we can see this:

Executive Story Editor/Co-Head Writer of Inspector Gadget Season 2
DHX Media
July 2015 – Present (1 month) NETFLIX 
Co-Head writing the reboot of the classic 80's toon. Season 1 is on Netflix now

So the second season just went into the making, writing-wise, sometimes this month. Talk about fresh news. I'm not sure exactly when this info went up on Saltzman's LinkedIn, but a narrowed-down Google search gives an estimate of 3 days ago.

Got any wishes for Season 2? I can think of a few off the top of my head myself...

--Shuki Levy's original Inspector Gadget composition being used for the theme song.
--A seriously menacing and threatening Dr Claw (hey, at least I can dream).
--22-minute-long episodes being the rule rather than the exception. This could potentially allow for more involving stories and perhaps even long-term character development.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Boing Spain Premieres the New Inspector Gadget Series on July 25, 2015

The caption to the right reads: "NEW SERIES - weekend afternoons". Picture sourced from Boing's Twitter.

That's right, in only five days. And credit where credit is due: Daniel of the Adelante Gadgetoblog had the scoop before me. Daniel has actually written several posts over the past months where he's been wondering when and where the reboot series would be broadcast in Spain... an especially interesting question since Boomerang no longer exists in that country. In fact, as RegularCapital points out, Boing is the only channel operated by Turner Entertainment in Spain; and also a free, public channel. In other words, unlike the paid Boomerang channels around the globe, the Spanish airing will be open to watch for everybody.

Let's look at some news sources. As Daniel mentions, word about Boing picking up the Gadget reboot in Spain has actually been out since June 29, when MisionTokyo announced a July 3 premiere. The RegularCapital piece from July 18 seems to reflect that announcement (as well as a Twitter update by Boing from the same day), stating that "Boing Spain are now airing" the new Inspector Gadget as well as two other newcomers, Masha and the Bear and Mr. Bean. Not so, however. The premiere of all three shows ended up getting delayed, and Boing just recently confirmed the new launch date: Saturday, July 25. The freshest announcement can probably be found on Boing's news site, which was updated today with the following:

Nuevas series en Boing: Masha y el oso, Inspector Gadget y Mr. Bean 
Durante el verano el calor aprieta y la mejor forma de sobrellevarlo es con buen humor y para refrescar aún más el buen rollo de Boing, a partir del 25 de julio, estrenamos tres series: Masha y el Oso y las nuevas series de El Inspector Gadget y Mr. Bean. Los fines de semana no volverán a ser lo mismo cuando Masha, Gadget y Mr. Bean entren en tu vida… ¡van a ser muchísimo mejores! No te los pierdas, los sábados y domingos, justo después del cine de la tarde, en Boing. (...)

In English (Google Translate, me, you know the drill):

New series on Boing: Masha and the Bear, Inspector Gadget and Mr. Bean 
During the summer the temperatures climb and the best way to cope is with good humor and the cool, good vibes of Boing, as from July 25 we premiere three series: Masha and the Bear and the new series of Inspector Gadget and Mr. Bean. The weekends will never be the same when Masha, Gadget and Mr. Bean enter your life ... they will be much better! Do not miss them on Saturdays and Sundays, just after the movie in the evening, on Boing. (...)

Oh, and... since the news posting doesn't seem to have a permalink, I thought I might as well include a screenshot of it:

What about the exact air time? The July 18 posting on Boing's Twitter says the three new series will premiere at 17:30... but it doesn't specify in which chronology they will air. And the few online TV guides I've found don't seem to be updated (for instance, claims that the anime series Doreamon will air in Boing's 17:45 slot this Saturday; something which certainly can't be true if the latest news from Boing are accurate). Guess we'll have to wait and see exactly when El Inspector Gadget premieres on Saturday.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Boomerang Latin America Premieres the New Inspector Gadget Series on August 10, 2015

Due to a number of things going on in my life right now, I don't have the time or energy to update this site very often. But I've made a traditon here of reporting every international premiere date I can find for the new TV series, so I'm taking a few minutes to jot down this one, as well. As reported by ANMTV back on June 21:

Inspector Gadget llegará en agosto a Boomerang Latinoamérica 
Para comenzar con las novedades que traerá el canal Boomerang para el mes de agosto, una de las más destacadas será el estreno de Inspector Gadget, la nueva versión de la serie en formato CGI y producida por DHX Media. ... 
La más nueva versión del Inspector Gadget llegará a nuestras tierras a partir del día lunes 10 de agosto, de lunes a viernes a las 18h30 Arg/Méx. Vale recordar que la serie cuenta con doblaje al español latino realizado en Caracas, Venezuela.

In English (translated through Google Translate and myself, as usual):

Inspector Gadget arrives in August at Boomerang Latin America

Getting started with news that the Boomerang channel brings for the month of August, one of the highlights will be the premiere of Inspector Gadget, the new version of the series in CGI format and produced by DHX Media. ... 
The newest version of Inspector Gadget reaches our lands from Monday, August 10, Monday to Friday at 18:30 in Argentina/Mexico. It is worth remembering that the series features Latin American Spanish dubbing done in Caracas, Venezuela.

A June 27 article gives additional info on the air time in different parts of South America:

... Las nuevas aventuras del Inspector Gadget con doblaje hecho en Venezuela llegara a Boomerang a partir del lunes 10 de agosto a las 16h30 Col. 17h Ven. 18h30 Mex. con episodios todos los días, tomando el lugar de The Twisted Whiskers Show que dejará la programación del canal luego del episodio del día domingo 9.

In English (you know the rest):

... The new adventures of Inspector Gadget, with dubbing done in Venezuela, reaches Boomerang starting Monday August 10 at 16:30 Colombia, 17:00 Venezuela, 18:30 Mexico, with episodes every day, taking the place of The Twisted Whiskers Show, which will leave the channel's programming after the episode on Sunday, August 9.

Putting together the info in these two articles, it seems a bit unclear to me whether the series will air only every weekday or every day (including Saturday and Sunday), especially since the show Gadget replaces airs for the last time on the Sunday right before. But the premiere time itself is no doubt accurate. We've known ever since December of last year that Boomerang Latin America would air the reboot, but it took a fair amount of time (at least compared with most other Boomerang areas) for a launch date to be announced.

It seems, by the way, that the new series will not be called "El Inspector Truquini", the catchy name the original was known under in South America. Pity.

In case you're wondering: "El Superagente Truquini" is only the name of this specific
VHS editon, while "El Inspector Truquini" was the series' official Latin American title.
You can hear that title spoken out loud in the end of this YouTube video.