Friday, April 24, 2009

Go Animated Joe!

Go Animated Joe!

In what is the most interesting turn of events, crazy comic writer Warren Ellis wrote a new animated G.I. Joe cartoon. Which seems as an odd thing. I recently made a trek into watching my old childhood favorite cartoons since they started showing up on DVD. They were all pretty terrible. So the news of G.I. Joe Resolute is pretty interesting
G.I. Joe: Resolute is an animated series based on the G.I. Joe franchise, written by Warren Ellis and produced by Sam Register.[1] The series will be released online as ten 5-minute episodes and one 10-minute final episode. These episodes will then form an hour-long movie. The movie is scheduled for broadcast on Teletoon in Canada on April 24 as part of post 9 pm programming block, Teletoon Detour and on Cartoon Network on April 24, 2009. It will be directed by Joaquim Dos Santos.
If you've ever read anything by Warren Ellis, the man is pretty graphic. He also likes to toss in all the future tech WMD stuff. Particle beams and all that crazy shit. It's all either based on existing military projects or speculative science, he loves that crap.

We should get it out there early. The whole thing's an outlet to promote and sell a line of toys. You're better off understanding that up front. Once upon a time there was a "G.I. Joe" soldier character, and later on the line evolved to describe an entire squad of varied military almost-stereotype characters.

The idea of G.I. Joe and Cobra being actual characters in a story owes most to the work of Larry Hama, who wrote most of the G.I. Joe comic books, starting when Marvel Comics had the license and continuing through it being traded between smaller-press comics publishers. It's had a continuity that's been rebooted at least twice, once to coincide with a new toy line and one to ape "anime style" cartoons thought to be popular. This current one actually seems a lot closer to the comic books.

Unlike the cartoons, the old comic books had a lot of death in them. They didn't use laser beams as bullets and they actually hit their target every now and then. In a sense, this cartoon is a true version of G.I. Joe. Especially closer to a realistic view of the modern style of combat.

So Adult Swim will be showing the entire 90 minutes of this with ads on Saturday night/Sunday Morning but you can see G.I. Joe Resolute on Adult Swim's website broken into 5 minute segments right now.

I posted the first few episodes here so you can get a taste of it.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

You can find the rest over at Adult Swim's Website

Yes, it's everything you've ever wanted in a GI Joe cartoon. Screw the live action movie, this is the GI Joe everyone wanted to see. I know what you're thinking. What could be more American than turning a popular 80's show into anime? The animation seems to be done by the same company that worked on The Boondocks. The whole thing sounded retarded and even with Ellis, I was skeptical but once watching it, I'm pretty damn excited.

I'm going to go against the grain here. I don't give a shit about Snake Eyes. Yeah, he's a ninja. Do you really see a lot of ninja's in the armed forces? Fuck that douche. Even worse is that Ray Park is playing him in the movie and everyone seems to be drooling over this very short actor who had a whole zero lines in Star Wars because his voice sucks and was killed off quickly. Way to fuckin' go, you douche. And while his intro to this cartoon on Cobra island is pretty kick ass, it's still the same ol' shit of ninja vs. generic troopers. Hey, how about we step away from the stereotype Anime shit.

You have to love the fact that for once Cobra Commander actually committed a real terrorist act without fucking it up. Maybe that was the entire appeal of this. G.I. Joe introduced a generation of 80's kids to the idea of a "Terrorist force bent on conquering the world". Shit, they buttered us up to actually being open to accept this stupid War on terror shit.

We weren't so scared of the word back then. No wonder they tossed it around a kids show so easlier. I guess that's why this cartoon cranks it up a notch. If you were going to tell the story about a global bad guy group and call them terrorists, you'd really have to top 9/11. Least we never forget what happened then.

The whole process of destroy shit and bumping this up to 11 on the crazy notch seems pretty interesting. If you're a fan of Warren Ellis, you should read this, too.

Warren Ellis said:

The people at Hasbro were actually remarkably supportive. And I did apologise after shouting at them those times. And they did give me one of those conversations that you never really expect to have when growing up:

HASBRO: No, Warren, you cannot wipe Beijing from the face of the earth.

ME: Shit. (pause) What about Moscow?

HASBRO: Wiping Moscow from the face of the earth would be fine
Yeah, I would have liked to have been a fly in that room. They're even making a way to import silly characters like shipwreck into the crowd. Sure, they kill Bazooka in the first episode without having him blow up a single thing and they make it so that Road Block doesn't rhyme whatever he's saying anymore. But those are losses that can be accepted. Collateral damage, so to speak. I really don't know how they would have done Ice Cream Soldier into this anyway. That's even a task too big for Ellis.

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