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, sincroguia.tv 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.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Norwegian Chief Quimby's First Impression of Capeman

Did you know that Chief Quimby's first reaction upon meeting Corporal Capeman in "The Capeman Cometh" was somewhat different in the Norwegian-dubbed version? In the original, English-language version, Quimby exclaims, "Who is that masked marvel?" But in the Norwegian dub, the translators apparently had a much better idea of what he oughta say. So what did he say? Take a look at my latest YouTube video to find out...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cro and Bronto Return - Now With Intro Sequence and Credits!

Stop the presses, everybody! I've found a complete and uncut episode of that awesome, classic DiC series Crô et Bronto, including its ridiculously rare intro sequence and credits!

*Cough*

What? You're saying you never watched Cro et Bronto before? Cro et Bronto didn't play repeatedly on your cartoon channels as you were growing up? You don't actually know what Cro et Bronto is? Son of a gun! Have YOU ever missed out!

Okay, okay, I'll calm down a little. In truth, Cro et Bronto probably isn't one of the greatest cartoons ever made. But for us Gadget and/or early DiC fans, it's interesting from an historical perspective. This mini-series about the little stone age man Cro and his obsession with catching and eating the naïve, good-natured brontosaurus Bronto was one of the very first animated productions to come out of DiC Audiovisuel. It was produced for the French channel Antenne 2, where it reportedly premiered sometimes in 1980 (more on that "reportedly" later).

Screenshot from the intro sequence. Watch the full episode below.

I'm not sure how much Cro et Bronto was rerun after its initial airing, but it's safe to say it's been nearly impossible to watch in modern times. When I first posted about it in 2012 (right after I found out it existed), not a single clip was available on the web. My second post in 2013 was done because animation site Osibo News had finally shared one episode as part of an article about the DiC history book "Les séries de notre enfance". Annoyingly, though, Osibo's clip was missing the intro and end credits. And that's a big reason why the video I'm showcasing in this third post is by far the best to surface...



Shared by the channel VHS Cartoons back on February 25, this YouTube upload finally lets us see the intro and end credits, as well as hear the opening theme -- a very frenetic and somewhat obnoxious theme, I must add, but it does capture the series' tone. As for the episode itself... well, let's just say that the inspiration from Chuck Jones' Roadrunner cartoons is getting clearer and clearer (and so is the reuse of animation).

Watching the end credits leads me to revise some of the production details I wrote in earlier posts. My info at the time was based on Planete Jeunesse's Cro et Bronto article, which credits Bruno Bianchi and Edouard David as the series' co-directors. However, the only credit screen seen in the above episode tells us that the director is Bernard Deyriès, a long-time DiC employee who would go on to direct series like Ulysses 31, The Mysterious Cities of Gold and The Littles. (Planete Jeunesse does list Deyriès as the "Auteur", meaning the creator; but I can't remember his name being there when I used the site as a source three years ago. I certainly didn't mention him anywhere in my first post.)


Since Planete Jeunesse's info doesn't match up with what we see on screen, let's cross-check with a different source. "Les series de notre enfance", Maroin Eluasti and Nordine Zemrak's excellent DiC history book, has a small entry on Cro et Bronto on page 18 - and I recently took the time to type that entry into Google Translate. While Eluasti and Zemrak do not mention any directors, they state that the series was "conceived by Edouard David, Bruno Bianchi and Bernard Deyries". So I suppose all three should be credited as creators. As for the direction, the above framegrab proves that Bernard Deyries directed at least this episode, if not all of them.

About that, here's an interesting producton tidbit. I wrote earlier that the series consists of 45 episodes lasting for about 1 minute and 20 seconds each. Eluasti and Zemrak confirm the part about 45 short episodes in their book, but adds something I didn't know: "It was a production for Antenne 2 for a duration of 30 minutes in total, but dividable into 45 episodes of 1 minute and 10 seconds each." So it was originally produced as one half-hour of sketches. Now we know.

There's one bit of info in "Les series de notre enfance" that I can't quite make heads or tails of, though. The sentence "Cro et Bronto est la première série animée produite par la DIC quand son bureau s'est déplacé à Paris en 1980", meaning: "Cro and Bronto was the first animated series produced by DIC when the office moved to Paris in 1980." That's interesting... but the above screenshot clearly tells us that the series was produced in 1979. So if DiC got their new Paris offices in 1980, how could Cro et Bronto have been produced there? Maybe "1980" is a typo and DiC got those new offices in 1979...? Hmmm.

Even more confusion surrounds the original production and airing time. In my first post, I wrote that it premiered on Antenne 2 in March of 1980. I obviously got that from Planete Jeunesse, but their section on the premiere date has now been changed to "1er janvier 1980 (?)" At least they admit they're not certain. Planete Jeunesse also states 1978 as the year of production, but the credit screen says 1979. I'll trust 1979 to be the correct year here, especially since I really doubt this series was produced over several years.

Since we're on the topic of corrections... I need to correct myself, too, on a little something that I wrote at the very end of the 2012 post. It's a piece of artwork that seems to be the cover for a record edition of the series' theme song. In fact, that's what I thought it was back then. Looking at it now, though, I'm certain it's just an imaginary mock-up cover. I found it on Mange-disque.tv, a French web site which feature listings and covers for many real soundtrack releases (including Inspector Gadget). That's what had me fooled. But I notice now that the title logo on the fake cover looks nothing like the series' real titles, and the artwork is simply taken from scans of the French comic book adaptation printed in Télé Récré A2. Plus, when you think about it, would a theme song like the one you just heard above really be likely to get its own soundtrack release? Mange-disque even has the cover posted under the headline "Les pochettes improbables", i. e. "the unlikely covers". Guess I should have taken the hint. Anyway, congratulations to "gosseboffe" (who is credited as the cover's "auteur" if you enlarge it) for fooling me way back when.


Enough fact revisions, though. Want some more videos? Believe it or not, the YouTube episode above is actually NOT the only Cro and Bronto clip to surface lately. Back in January, the French web community Les Pays du Manga uploaded two other episodes to RuTube and Dailymotion! These are very low quality and conspicuously missing any intro and credits, but still nice to see. (I'm guessing the titles for these episodes were invented by the uploaders.)



I think this one below may be my favorite of the three "new" episodes. A few gags took me by surprice.



And to make the roundup truly complete, here's the episode that Osibo News shared back in 2013 as well...



Cro and Bronto FTW! Who wants to start the petition for a Blu-ray release??

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

DVD Cover(s) Revealed For Australian "Season 1 Volume 2" of the New TV Series (With Add-On Promotional Images)

A few odd details surround the cover art for the next Australian DVD release from Universal, slated for June 18. Nothing wrong with the motive, but for whatever reason, someone has taken what was already a nice promotional image and replaced Gadget's serious-looking mouth with a smiling one. Even stranger, the cover art is currently circulating online in two different versions. First, there's this (where Gadget's mouth seems seriously misplaced)...


...and then there's this...


...where the mouth is better positioned, but still doesn't look quite natural (I'd say slightly more to the right). This version has other problems, too: it zooms in on the characters more, but the result is that Brain is chopped away, which looks especially odd with one of his arms still visible. Since Gadget's mouth is better placed here, I'm guessing this is the version we'll be seeing on the physical DVD editions... though I much prefer version 1 otherwise.

The number one problem is that the original promo art was created to work as a horizontal image, not a vertical one (as the motive used on Volume 1 was). For comparison, let's look at a few web-released versions of the artwork. This is actually an image I haven't featured in a post earlier (I discovered it many months ago, but it slipped through my fingers because of very little time to update the site), so it's about time, anyway. The below version was found in a DHX distribution catalogue released as a PDF back on September 26, 2014. Click to enlarge:


I think Gadget's non-smiling mouth here looks much better, not just because of the situation - he's on duty and serious about his work - but also for the facial expression as a whole. Is it really that important that all the good guys are smiling on a DVD cover? I'd say the most important thing is to show off their personalities.

A slightly different version was posted on Inspector Gadget's official Facebook page back on December 5, 2014. I like how this one incorporates Dr Claw's new M.A.D. Jet:


Finally, some practical info about the DVD. As I've mentioned once before, the Australian Government's classification lists Volume 2 with a runtime of 130 minutes, so I assume we'll be getting the next six half-hours here, #8 through #13. (Another reason I'm assuming this is that only the first 13 half-hours of season 1 were launched for the initial premiere on Boomerang.) Also, as with Volume 1, I'm assuming a 1080p release on iTunes Australia will pop up concurrently with the physical DVD on June 18. The DVD can currently be pre-ordered from retailers such as Ezy DVDJB Hi-Fi and DVD Warehouse, as well as this, this and this Ebay seller. There's also a possibility for Australian residents to win it for free over at smoothfm.

...oh, and one more thing. I thought it might be interesting to put together a GIF of the two cover versions, showing the differences in composition more clearly. Aside from Gadget's mouth, which of them do you prefer?