Science Fiction Cartoon Spin-Off’s: The Hit List
The science fiction cartoon adaptation of Spaceballs caught us a little off guard here at the offices of IGP. To be honest, it had been talked about for so long, we weren’t even aware it was finished until right before it aired. It’s an okay cartoon, but it lacks much of the flair of the original movie, resorting to cheap boob jokes most of the time. Well, okay, the movie did that as well, but they also had a stellar cast and a distinct lack of low-budget Flash-type animation. It got us thinking about all the animated spin-off series that have come and gone. Some never got off the ground at all, while others were quickly cancelled.
In 2002, during the height of Stargate’s popularity, MGM created a science fiction cartoon spin-off series of the show. It’s a little odd really, given the cartoon was clearly not courting SG1 fans. After all, the spin-off takes place some 30 years after the events of the original Stargate movie. The series followed a new SGC team, traveling from world to world in search of evidence to clear the name of SG team leader Major Gus Bonner. Producers of the Stargate TV series have also stressed that the animated series is not canon, thus emphasizing the fact that they were trying to reach a different audience, which they were apparently unable to reach given this series was cancelled after just one season. Stargate: Infinity is available on DVD.
The Mummy: The Animated Series
Okay, this was a series that we weren’t even aware of until researching for this article. Apparently after the success of the first couple of Mummy movies, the folks at the WB thought it would be a good idea to bring the fun and excitement of The Mummy movies to cartoons. Unfortunately, despite some major changes between the first and second seasons, the series failed to find an audience and it was cancelled. But if this mere mention of another installment in The Mummy series excites you, the animated series is now available on DVD.
Krusty the Clown live-action and animated spin-offs
Okay, neither of these series were ever made and thus it might seem odd to even mention them but in Matt Groening we trust. In 1994, Groening pitched a live action Simpsons spin-off on Krusty the Clown which would have starred Dan Castelleneta. During the pitch to the studios Groening found that it would be easier to tell this story as another animated series. How does this relate to science fiction cartoons? When studios passed on that idea as well, Futurama was born.
New Animated Trek Series
Back in 2006, after the cancellation of Enterprise, Star Trek producer David Rossi proposed a new animated Star Trek series. This science fiction cartoon would’ve jumped the show 150 years into the future from the days of Picard and company. While it too would be set on an Enterprise ship, commanded by Captain Alexander Chase, this ship would be a slightly older heavy cruiser that had seen better days. Instead of the utopian world we usually associate with Star Trek, this would be a darker world, similar to Battlestar Galactica. It would also follow an arc regarding a war with the Romulans. Of course, we all know what happened next. Instead, studios decided to let somebody by the name of J.J. Abrams have a shot at directing a Star Trek movie going back to the days of Kirk and Spock. It’s a shame, too. From what I’ve heard about this animated series, it sounded to be going in precisely the direction Star Trek needed. I guess we’ll never know for sure though…
In the past few months, video has been released of a Buffy animated series that was sent to the studios before being quickly passed on. Unfortunately, from what little footage exists, this show looks pretty good. The three and a half minute clip features the voices of all but one (Buffy lead Sarah Michelle Gellar) of the show’s stars, and has the tone and feel of the classic high school Buffy days. Fan interest has been so good that there is even a petition to bring this cartoon back.