Was DiC Entertainment ever good?

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Oct 23, 2014
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#1
One of the most well known producers of children's programming in the 80s, 90s, and even 2000s, was DiC Entertainment. A Los Angeles based company with French origins, best known for creating Inspector Gadget. But mostly they specialized in adapting other properties for animated series from Video Games like Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog, to comics like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Dennis the Menace, Greeting card characters like Strawberry Shortcake, Films like Ghostbusters and Evolution, and perhaps most noteworthy, their rather infamous dub of Sailor Moon.

Nowadays, taking off the nostalgia goggles, DiC is often looked at as the butt of jokes. DiC shows are notorious these days for lazy animation, lazy writing, and lazy everything, and to a large extent, I would agree. Super Mario Bros. Super Show and The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog have not aged well at all, their take on Sabrina was bland and safe I feel, and the less said about their version of Sailor Moon, the better. There are some gems from them, but for the most part, it felt like DiC was a company who didn't really care about quality, so much as brand recognition, and selling toys. Kind of like 4kids in that sense, but whereas 4kids knew how to make you laugh with their incompetence, DiC just puts you to sleep. Most DiC shows are bad in the bland sense. They all feel homogenized and design by committee, both in terms of style and animation. Then again, this is just my attitude towards them. Nowadays, DiC technically no longer exists, the company merged with Cookie Jar Entertainment in 2008, who sub-sequentially was acquired by DHX Media in 2012. With all that said, looking back at some of their shows, do you think DiC Entertainment ever any good?
 
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Red Arrow :D

Proud Beneluxer
Oct 22, 2012
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#3
I grew up with Trollz, Gadget and the Gadgentinis, Sabrina TAS, Sabrina's Secret Life, Care Bears and Horseland.

But I didn't like any of those shows. I suppose Care Bears was okay for a preschool show? I remember watching it sometimes. Everything else was too bland to watch.

Inspector Gadget is a bit like Phineas and Ferb. The plot might be okay, but who cares. The characters are so flat it doesn't really matter what happens to them.
 

ShadowBlinky

The Evil One
May 17, 2009
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Duckburg
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#5
Inspector Gadget is arguably a classic and the first season of Heathcliff was good (though I felt the redesigns were unnecessary). I also liked "Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century". As for their dub of Sailor Moon, well...I admit it could have been better, but it also could have been worse......
Dennis and Ghostbusters were fun. M.A.S.K. was slightly above average (love the song, though). Their Archie adaptions (New Archies, Sabrina, Mysteries) were okay, but with the last two they had a tendency to force in morals. "Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?" was decent. They took way too much liberties with the other video game adaptions (especially with characters in "Captain N" and all three of their versions of Sonic), yet I did still watch them anyway and got a (somewhat) reasonable amount of entertainment from all of them, especially the Mario shows.
One would have thought their version of "Captain Planet and the Planeteers" would have been better thought out and/or animated considering the subject matter. And I'm not even going to go there with "Hammerman" (shudder).
I just couldn't watch "The Wacky World of Tex Avery".
All in all, DIC had its moments. It just didn't exactly have a huge amount of them.

"Well, excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, Princess!"
 

wiley207

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2009
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#6
I enjoyed their earliest works, like "Inspector Gadget," "Pole Position," "Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats" and "The Littles." Back then they often had the animation done by Tokyo Movie Shinsha, and it looked pretty good. And they also often had great music by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban. By 1985, things began to change. DiC opened up a satellite studio in Japan for doing animation and post-production work, and this was when things began to cheapen. I recall this Japanese DiC studio worked on the "Care Bears," the 1986 "Dennis the Menace" series, and the second seasons of "Inspector Gadget" and "Heathcliff," among others. By the late 80s, DiC was somewhat of an odd duck compared to other North American animation studios. The 90s and early-to-mid 2000s is probably where their "Do it Cheap" reputation really sticks out.
 

Elijah Abrams

Just deal with it!
Jul 29, 2017
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#12
I think the best stuff DiC did were Inspector Gadget, their take on Madeline, and (the one and only) Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM series)! The first Sonic series they did was more rather weird and a clone to Ren & Stimpy. Their last one, Sonic Underground, was quite awful! They completely ignored continuing the SatAM series, removed Tails (although Knuckles appears in this one), replaced Jim Cummings with Garry Chalk as the voice of Robotnik, and, to make matters worse, there's always a song about friendship in EVERY episode! Speaking of "continuing", I hope IDW doesn't replace the storyline in the Archie comics for a different one, once they take over the Sonic comics!
 

hobbyfan

Well-Known Member
Jun 9, 2002
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Troy NY
#17
DIC was great at the beginning with The Littles, Heathcliff, Inspector Gadget, and The Real Ghostbusters. The quality went down later on, likely with the change in animation houses working with the studio.

BTW, Bump In The Night wasn't a DIC production.