Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gothic Tweety Bird

In a New York Times article about character revamps, as pointed out in The Beat:

“You want a dark, Goth version of Tweety Bird? Have at it,” said Lisa Gregorian, executive vice president for worldwide marketing at Warner Brothers Television.

It really seems that all bets are off and these companies will do anything it takes to sell the lunchboxes.

I remember working on Disney licensed comics in the mid 1990s. A writer submitted a springboard about a story in which Dopey temporarily becomes smart. And the story was rejected by the Disney rep because, in her words, "Dopey is sacred here." You can't f**k with Dopey. The Dopey concept is pure.

But you can f**k with Tweety. You can even give him black eyeliner.


  1. i actually LIKE the blurring of market property. like, why NOT a goth tweety bird? mix those memes up, see what happens!

  2. My favorite bit from the article was the quote from the 4Kids guy:

    “It’s a terrible world, and modern parents are trying to cocoon their kids as much as possible. What better way to protect them than wrapping them in nostalgic brands?”

  3. Disney is much more protective of their intellectual property than the WB, for the most part, and it shows (except if we're talking about those horrid direct-to-video sequels that Michael Eisner was so fond of which seem to have quietly stopped since he left). As a result, everyone recognizes the Loony Toons and knows what they're about but no one cares, and no one knows the Disney characters as anything more than corporate glyphs, and no one cares either.

  4. Oooh, this calls for one thing: GOTH DONALD!

  5. Anonymous2:26 PM

    This only annoys me when the company that owns the rights acts in ways that are contrary to the creator's wishes.

    For instance, the series of business books based on Winnie the Pooh. I mean, it was interesting and cute when the Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet came out. It can be interesting to analyze the aspects of a character through another lens, if it doesn't change the character itself.

    Another great/horrible example was Jesus as CEO or, perhaps Business and the Buddha. To use religious icons who deliberately delivered an anti-materialistic message in order to deliver messages of how one must manage their money or business is in truly poor taste.

  6. Goth Donald = DARQUEwing Duck?

  7. Well, Looney Toonsters might remember that wonderful "Dr. Jekyll" cartoon where Tweety ingests the formula and morphs into a 500-pound monstrosity. THAT would be cool, especially if marketed with the Gossamer monster.

    What I, a dedicated keeper of the flame dispise, is Warner's continual need to create female characters for Looney Tunes merchandising. Remember Honey Bunny? Lola Rabbit? And now Tweety seems to have gotten a sex change... (Of course, this pales to the lobotomy Mickey Mouse received in the 1940s...)

    Ah, Valerie... sick minds think alike! "Emo Elmo" was a brainstorm I had at my bookstore. We even started doing the dialogue... But isn't Oscar goth? Big Bird on E? "Today's show is brought to you by E."

    "Smoggy day,
    everything's charcoal gray,
    On my way past where the gangstas meet
    Can you tell me how to get-
    -get away from Reality Street?"