802 views 0 comments

Toonzone at the Cartoon Network 2010 Upfront: Brief Impressions

by on April 21, 2010

Don’t forget to check out our coverage of the 2010 Cartoon Network Upfront.

The structure of a network upfront interests me. Particularly, the transition over the years from a series of number-focused presentations to getting attendees excited about the line-ups and how the presented shows and movies align with their own goals. Presentations that focus only on numbers can be deadly dull. On the other hand, you do want a little information. If there’s nothing extra to be learned in-person and all of the information is available via press release, it’s difficult to justify being in attendance. CN’s upfronts typically strike a nice balance between the two. They’re well-organized and polished. 

Guests at this year’s upfront included Andrew W.K. of Destroy Build Destroy, cast members from Dude, What Would Happen and NFL Atlanta Falcons Tight-End Tony Gonzalez. Andrew W.K. was a lot of fun to watch on stage. One of the props he had to work with was an ignition switch on a Radio Flyer wagon. He was going to use it to “destroy” the stage until Executive Vice President and General Manager for Cartoon Network Ad Sales & Marketing, John O’Hara stopped him. This, understandably, made Andrew W.K. sad and he left the stage with his little red wagon. 

The Dude, What Would Happen guys pulled a not-so-much-volunteer from the audience, strapped him to a chair that had balloons tied to it.  When they found it was too heavy to float, they tied more on and the volunteer floated off to the lights above and out of sight.  

The entire event ended with Andrew W.K. “blowing up the stage” and then rocking out. One of the dudes ran around with a basketball hoop strapped to his back while people chased him with mini-basketballs, periodically taking shots. Madness, I tell you. (And just a tiny bit unnerving when you’re sitting in the second row. Remnant neurosis from gym as a child, I suppose.) My favorite part, though, was the small child dressed as Finn, running across stage and flailing his arms about in an adventurous manner.

The aforementioned shenanigans took place between short speeches made by the executives. They kept the speeches short, relying more on clips to build excitement. And what blog post would be complete without someone making entirely arbitrary judgments on shows based on tiny snippets of video? Here we go! 

The Looney Tunes Show: The clip shown featured CG renditions of  Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner in a chase across an arctic landscape. I bet you’re wondering how that ends! It was cute, but predictable. I mean, the bit has long since become a parody of itself. I understand their choice to go CG on Coyote and Road Runner shorts, but I don’t have to like it. I’ll watch it anyway. The Bugs and Daffy designs from the press kit are adorable. Damn you and your inherent likability, Looney Tunes! (Press Summary)

Generator Rex: They seem to be positioning this show to be their next big franchise, a la Ben 10. Admittedly, it does look pretty awesome. I’m feeling pretty psyched about this one. (Press Summary)

FireBreather: Of the clips shown, this was the least exciting. It had all the classic issues you’d find in a CG show. I’m tired of watching characters that move like puppets and come with a plastic sheen. To make matters worse (for me), it was set in high school. I didn’t find the character designs all that intriguing and the interactions between Duncan and the other students did nothing for me. But, I’m also 32 years old. It’s been awhile since I’ve attended classes as a student with a classmate capable of breathing fire. (Press Summary)

Sym-Bionic Titan: Conversely, the inclusion of a high school setting in this show doesn’t bother me in the least. Hypocritical? Probably. But, between Tartakovsky’s track record of awesomeness and the inclusion of comedy, this seems like I could not only sit through this, but enjoy it. The clip shown included a mix of shots of the three teenagers in their high school setting and in action. Giant robots. Genndy Tartakovsky. What more could you want?  (Press Summary)

Mad, Regular Show, Robotomy, Secret Mountain Fort Awesome: I’m grouping these together because they were presented as series of clips inter-cut with one another. They moved along very quickly and because they were so tightly packed together it is difficult to make an individual assessment for each show.  It was refreshing to see such distinct visual styles for each show, and they included some clever jokes from each one. I wasn’t expecting to hear a Mamma Mia joke in one of the Robotomy clips.  (Press Summary: Mad, Regular Show, Robotomy, Secret Mountain Fort Awesome) 

Event Photos from CN:

(L-R) — Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media (AYAKM) President & COO Stuart Snyder, Cartoon Network Chief Content Officer Rob Sorcher, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Cartoon Network Ad Sales & Marketing John O’Hara, AYAKM Chief Marketing Officer Brenda Freeman and Turner Broadcasting Sales and Turner Sports President David Levy welcome Destroy Build Destroy host & musician Andrew W.K. (center left) and NFL Atlanta Falcons Tight-End Tony Gonzalez (center right). Andrew W.K. speaks through a megaphone onstage during the Cartoon Network Upfront 2010 at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2010 in New York City.
(L-R) CJ, Jackson and Ali of “Dude, What Would Happen” perform a stunt onstage during the Cartoon Network Upfront 2010 at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2010 in New York City. Andrew W.K. performs onstage at the Cartoon Network Upfront. 
Andrew W.K. performs onstage at the Cartoon Network Upfront.  Andrew W.K. performs onstage at the Cartoon Network Upfront. 

Don’t forget to check out our coverage of the 2010 Cartoon Network Upfront.

Discuss on the Toonzone Forums
Post Ratings:

Related Content from ZergNet:

Leave a reply »


You must log in to post a comment