Sunday, August 03, 2008

A Buffy Who Can Give You Paper Cuts?

The internets, that wonderful dumping ground for all things obscure or obscene. Well, thrash around in that unseemly dumping grounds long enough and you just might find a hidden gem. That's what happened recently when the supposedly long rumored four minute pilot for Buffy: The Animated Series surfaced on the web. View below for the same witty banter of the regular TV show but with a much brighter color scheme:

The most surprising thing about this little snippet is not only that it's pretty damn good, but that no station wanted to pick it up. I'm a big fan of animation but I just don't find myself watching anything animated these days. In the States animation is geared towards the younger crowd with only a few companies like Pixar managing to appeal to both kids and adults, and ever since the Dini/Timm DC Universe - beginning with Batman: The Animated Series and ending with Justice League Unlimited - went off the air, television has been a wasteland for cartoons that are capable of appealing across generations. If this pilot is any indication, a Buffy cartoon might have been capable of bridging the gap between both older and younger fans of violence against the undead.

There are several problems the animated series might have run into. The television show had some pretty heavy themes, and I would imagine a certain population might be upset if their kids became interested in the live action TV show where Willow's crush on Xander transforms into girl on girl kissing. And then there's the violence. Sure, they're undead vampires but you're still sticking a steak into their hearts and watching them explode.

Of course there are also plenty of missed opportunities. In one of the myriad pop culture references the show shot at its audience, the central characters often referred to themselves as the "Scooby gang." Well, what if, like The New Scooby Doo Movies, Buffy: The Animated Series had weekly guest voices who would stumble into Sunnydale and become embroiled in the latest mystery. The "Scooby gang" could wind up meeting the actual Scooby gang. I for one would be excited for the inevitable Don Knotts cameo. Sure, he may have died recently, but wouldn't that make it perfect to bring him onto the show as a zombie? So many missed opportunities. Oh well, you know what they say: "The best laid plans of mice and men / are often fucked over by incompetent studio executives who wouldn't know a great show if it slapped their momma."

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