If there’s one thing the internet loves, it’s crossovers. Taking characters from two different franchises, either combining them or seeing how they’d react to each other. Fanartists and fanfic writers all over the net have strived to create adventures involving characters from their favourite movies, books etc meeting, adventuring and fucking. Hell, I’ve dabbled in that sort of thing myself. Some crossovers are good:
So crossovers can be interesting, but since this is the internet and all, most of them are fucked-up and weird. What’s more, official, company-approved crossovers exist in book stores, TV screens and computers, and they too, are fucked-up and weird.
We all know about these official crossovers, don’t we? We read DC and Marvel’s “event” comics, we groaned at Freddy vs. Jason and Alien vs. Predator, Disney put all its characters under one roof in House of Mouse and Hanna Barbera made all their “funny animal” characters into a big superhero team in quite a number of series. Yes, it seems (since, let’s face it, crossovers can be a very childish idea) that cartoon characters officially crossover quite a bit, and yes of course, a lot of them are fucked-up and weird. And here are the five weirdest:
5) Disney’s Villains’ Revenge
I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard of Kingdom Hearts, where you travel between the worlds of famous Disney movies to the delight of weeaboos everywhere. Well, three years before that, we had the CD-Rom puzzle game Disney’s Villains’ Revenge, which involved travelling to the worlds of famous Disney movies, though just limited to four this time.
In this game, the villains are trying to rewrite the endings of their stories so that they defeat the heroes and emerge victorious. How are they able to do this? Because Jiminy Cricket tore out the last pages of a storybook, so now the stories have no ending and the stories of a storybook are alive in the readers’ mind…or…something. So, this work for all books then? Rip out some pages out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Ratched would keep her voice and control? Tear out the last pages of The Origin of Species and human evolution takes a different course?
Yeah, really just an excuse to have a bunch of Disney villains together, and even then, they made some arbitrary choices in their villain selection. Captain Hook? OK. Evil Queen from Snow White? Sure, whatev. But the Queen of Hearts though? She was mean, sure, but Alice was not really a good vs. evil tale. And…the…Ringmaster from Dumbo?
He’s a bad guy now? And didn’t Dumbo end with him making loads of dough from a flying elephant? Why would he want to change the ending? What’s more, in the game, he gets a rather freaky-looking circus tent that looks more like it belongs in Sanitarium than a Disney game.
That’s what really weird about this game; its rather dark, uneasy air, more Night on Bald Mountain than Mickey Mouse. We have these 3D, creepy backdrops, then we have the happy 2D Disney characters placed over them, which just looks awkward and odd, like Roger Rabbit meets Jacob’s Ladder.
4) Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics
Here’s a hint to all aspiring cartoon writers: if your show has “laugh” in the title, you had better be sure it actually makes people laugh. And by “laugh” I mean, laugh at something intentionally funny, as opposed to laughing at how bad your animation and storylines are.
Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics was one of Hanna-Barbera’s biggest crossovers – not only did it have Yogi, Snagglepuss and friends, it had Scooby, Dynomutt and fricking Captain Caveman and the blumming Teen Angels. Who it didn’t have, though, was Dick Dastardly and Muttley, who, due to being co-owned by another company, were replaced with totally new original characters do not steal “The Dread Baron” and “Mumbly”.
The show revolved around three teams competing all around the world: the Scooby-Doobies, the Yogi Yahooeys and the evil team Really Rottens. The Really Rottens proved something I said before in my Yo Yogi review; Hanna Barbera fails at villains. Disney has lots of good villains, so that works if they want to crossover their characters. DC and Marvel have a good selection of baddies, which works for their crossover events. But what does Hanna Barbera have? Bombastic Bobby? Harry the Hypnotist? Those are the types of villains that even the Ringmaster up there would bully in school. So most of the Really Rottens were made up of new characters, like an evil magician, a hillbilly chick and a family of mad scientists. Compelling.
The show was basically just Wacky Races on a grander scale; the teams would compete with each other, using wacky gadgets and slapstick to gain the upper hand. I think we can add “silly sports” to the big list of topics overused by Hanna Barbera, right under “teens solving mysteries” and “shitty shows”. Snagglepuss and Mildew Wolf added colour commentary, making the commentators from Pete Versus Life seem more welcome.
And this wouldn’t be the last time we’d see something like this with Hanna Barbera characters either. May I present The Fender Bender 500, where they had FUCKING MONSTER TRUCKS:
3) Yogi’s Gang
I’m far from done with Hanna Barbera though. Yogi’s Gang included less HB characters than Laff-A-Lympics, but was much more fucked-up and had shittier villains too.
Yes, this show has Yogi battle the likes of creatively-named Mr. Smog and Lotta Litter and…The Prankster? Wait, what? Was that a villain that has the same name as a Superman villain and looks like the Joker in Harley Quinn’s clothes? You just have no shame, do you Hanna Barbera?
And yes, this is the dreaded “morality cartoon”, something in the vein of Toon Disney’s shit like Recess and all that. A villain does something naughty, everyone else starts doing the villain’s naughty thing, then TJ Dett…I mean Yogi makes a speech about how the naughty thing is naughty, everyone stops doing the naughty thing, the villain is punished. What’s more, the villains in Yogi’s Gang pretty much dedicated their whole lives to a particular sin. Being selfish is one thing, but calling yourself “The Sheik of Selfishness” and making sure everyone else is as selfish as you are means that you seriously need some medication.
What’s more, it’s frigging Yogi Bear, the guy who steals picnic baskets and making Ranger Smith’s life hell, teaching kids how to behave. That’s like having Sheldon Cooper teach social skills or Dexter Morgan teach non-violent solutions to problems.
2) The New Scooby-Doo Movies
Scooby-Doo is popular and makes a lot of money. Scooby-Doo stories are easy to write because they’re so formulaic. Thus, tonnes of Scooby spinoffs.
The strangest one of these is The New Scooby-Doo Movies, which consisted of 40-minuten stories where Scoob and the crew would team up with a famous celebrity or even another fictional character. Some of the crossovers made sense, like one with the Addams Family, some made kinda-sorta sense, like one with the Three Stooges, and then we had…Sonny and Cher? Dick Van Dyke? The Goddamn Batman?
Yes, there was a crossover between Batman and Scooby Doo. It wasn’t a fanfic, not a parody, an actual episode where Scooby and Shaggy helped Batman and Robin fight the Joker and the Penguin. It was the corny old 60’s Batman too, where the Joker and Penguin were pretty much the same character with different appearances and Batman was more chipper and less WHARH IS THE BOM? It even got spoofed on an episode of the recent Batman cartoon The Brave and the Bold:
1) Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue!
Ah, Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. A thing of beauty, an object of glory. What can be said about you that hasn’t been said already? A teenager called Michael is doing drugs, and the only ones who can save him are the Muppet Babies, the Smurfs, Winnie the Pooh, Alvin and the Chipmunks…Slimer…
Wow, they really went all out with this one, didn’t they? Not just Hanna-Barbera characters, not just Disney characters, they got the whole shebang going on here. They even had an evil smoke ghost or whatever voiced by George Fucking C Scott. The cartoon characters here play the roles of the Ghosts of Christmas, showing Michael the evils of Mary Jane. This is sort of a similar problem to Yogi’s Gang: a lot of these cartoons seem to have been created by people who were high, so really, why should they be lecturing about the evils of drugs?
Still, it’s odd hearing Bugs Bunny, formerly a trouble-making carefree wacko, suddenly make a big speech about how Michael has to believe in himself and all that. That’s like making him the straight man in a sitc…
And really, when your show about the dangers of drugs involves a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle flushing down a kid into a roller coaster car driven by the Muppet Babies…well, all I’m saying is that someone non-ironically wrote that.