Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Cartoon Historian Lesson 5: Ghostbusters

Welcome My Students. Today's lesson is all about The Ghostbusters.

*The Real Ghostbusters theme plays*

Whoa,Whoa,Whoa,Stop The Music. Stop the Damn Music! *Theme stops*

Not Those Ghostbusters...I'm talking about the Other Ghostbusters. Yup,tere aree 2 Ghostbuster shows. And the one that I'm gonna be talking about is completely different from the Ghostbusters that we all know and love.

Now,I'm not gonna compare the 2 shows,because that would make this long post longer. Plus,I don't feel like doing it. So anyway,here we go.

Ghostbusters (now known as Filmation's Ghostbusters) was an animated television series created by Filmation and distributed by Tribune Broadcasting and launched following the success of Ivan Reitman and Columbia Pictures' 1984 film Ghostbusters.

It ran from 1986-1988 in daytime syndication and produced 65 episodes. The cartoon was based on the live-action television show from 70's titled The Ghost Busters.

Columbia Pictures had to obtain the rights to the name from Filmation for its film, and after Ghostbusters was a hit, Filmation went into production with its animated series based on the characters from its series. The series is technically called "Ghostbusters", but home video releases use the name "Filmation's Ghostbusters" to avoid confusion.

So contrary to popular belief,The "Ghostbuster" name originally belonged to Filmation. I plan on doing a Lesson on Filmation in the future. So watch out for that.

Anyway,the Main heroes of Filmation's Ghostbusters were:Jake Kong, Eddie Spencer and Tracy the Gorilla. Jake and Eddie Jr are the sons of the original Ghost Busters from the live action series of the same name; Tracy worked with their fathers.

Their headquarters, termed Ghost Command, is located in a haunted mansion nestled between a number of tall skyscrapers. They are supported by a number of secondary characters including Ansa-Bone, a talking skull phone; Skelevision, a talking skeleton television; Belfrey, a pink talking bat; and Ghost Buggy, their talking ghost car. They occasionally enlist the aid of Futura, a time travelling Ghostbuster from the future, and Jessica, a local tv news reporter.

Together, they have dedicated themselves to ridding the world of the evil ghost wizard Prime Evil and his henchmen. Prime Evil's headquarters, termed Hauntquarters is located in The Fifth Dimension.

In a typical episode, Prime Evil uses his magical powers to open up a wormhole to enable one or more of his henchmen to complete a particular scheme that serves to help him take over the world.

Famous guest-star ghosts that appeared on the show include Count Dracula (who is actually a vampire) and the Headless Horseman (who also appeared in an episode of The Real Ghostbusters written by Randy Lofficier).

Like almost all 1980s Filmation cartoons, each episode closes with Skelevision (sometimes accompanied by Belfrey) explaining a particular lesson that can be learned from the events that went on during the episode.

From time to time, Jake, Eddie Jr or another good character would talk with Skelevison about the lesson. Also some versions would not have Skelevision.

While The Real Ghostbusters had the catchphrase, "Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!", each episode of Filmation's Ghost Busters also used a catchphrase: "Let's Go, Ghost Busters!"

And now,here comes the most interesting part of the lesson.

The show is also known as The Original Ghost Busters because when Columbia Pictures released the film Ghostbusters in 1984 it neglected the fact that Filmation had already produced a live-action comedy series with that same name in 1975.

Filmation sued Columbia in 1985. And as part of the out-of-court settlement,the cartoon based on the Columbia Pictures Movie could not simply be called "Ghostbusters". Columbia proceeded to name their cartoon show "The Real Ghostbusters" to directly distinguish it from the Filmation show.

Filmation had even attempted to work with Columbia and had completed initial design work for the cartoon to be based on the movie. Columbia changed its minds, deciding not to work with Filmation. The proposed deal fell through and Columbia worked with DiC instead.

Filmation's Lou Scheimer later admitted "We should have asked for the animation rights for their (Columbia's) Ghostbusters as part of the settlement." This prompted Filmation to create the cartoon based on its former live-action series

Filmation was known for re-using stock footage for its shows to keep down costs. Ghostbusters was no exception. The extensive sequence where they got their equipment and the Ghost Buggy is a prime example of overused stock footage.

This practice wasn't very uncommon in cartoons at the time.In fact,this very practice is Still being used today.

In the last years, thanks to the DVD release, a fan following has raised. Fans of the live action and animated shows use to call themselves "Go-ers" (from the popular catchphrase: "Let's go, Ghostbusters" used in the cartoon). The term was conied by Tiziano Caliendo, webmaster of the Ghostbusters forum.

There you have it,the legend of the Other Ghostbusters. Now that I've covered This Ghostbusters,I intend to cover the Real Ghostbusters in the near future.

Well that's gonna do it for now. I hope ya'll found my Lesson interesting and entertaining. Class Dismissed.

Rock On and Stay Cold,


Money $ign said...

I raise my candle and proton pack to both shows. Ghostbusters, I ain't fraid of no ghost

KingsSideCastle said...

Wow...didn't even know about this one. Great lesson. ^_^