doug langdale

17 years.
Feeling old yet?
The Weekenders graced our TV screens for the first time 17 years ago. A lot of things have changed since then (and rightly so), but the series is still, in many ways, alive. This blog was created to become a community for fans, a place that would allow everyone to explain how The Weekenders has had an impact on their lives. Stories range from kids raised by a single parent, just like Tino, to adults who fondly remember Ms. Tonitini’s advices and live by her philosophy on a daily basis. Different stories for different people in a varied, small, but loyal fandom. This proves what a great, passionate team of writers is able to create by taking a simple plot/premise and mix it with a deeply relatable universe of characters, while being highly entertaining. The show has never talked down on its audience, it did, in fact, open our eyes from a very young age and has showed us the world from a different perspective through the amusing lenses of sarcasm.
Kudos to everyone involved, from the creator, to the entire writing team and amazing voice actors. Later days!

Dave the Babarian by Roy Macintosh

An unappreciated Disney toon that makes Family Guy even more shitty now! It’s Righteous time!

Jesus, people, I had that dream again. You know the one where the Kardashians were raping us out of our time and money again? Undermining that, Dave the Babarian is practically one of the funniest things Disney ever created. I’ll say it was certainly funnier than that show with the jaundice infected city. And again, it’s another cartoon in the 20th decade. That’s another blow to the late 90s, people. It only lasted a season and, thanks to the internet, I was angry at Disney. However, thanks to the internet, Youtube is the main source for all 40 episodes. I apologize Disney for all I’ve said before (especially for my Toy Story slash fic). With that said, what’s the deal?

Can somebody turn off my microwave please? Now, the story here is as simple as logging off Tumblr. We have Dave the Babarian starring Dave the Babarian. Now you may think, looking at Dave, he’s gonna be Schwarzenegger with Candace Flynn and Dot Warner. However, one thing makes this totally different and better on TV:

He’s the biggest pussy in the Middle Ages. He actually wanted to be a librarian that’s also a barber. Huh, I wonder what Nickelodeon actually means? Guess we’ll never know. I’ll say this, though, his cowardice gave me some of the best episodes in the show. Remember kids, if you’re a muscular guy, stay away from Florida. Learning this will make you detest America even more.

One down, people. With the others, there’s Princess Candy. Basically, imagine Candace Flynn that’s a good queen (first one, Disney) and is not representing a dark innuendo. She actually does more than Dave, not saying a lot, and I find her horse the better joke. That reminds me of a tragic story of Derpy Hooves and the can of fudge. But my favorite character is indeed Fang, or Dot Warner. She’s, ‘cuse me a sec, a cross between both Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm of The Flintstones. With her running gag with people confusing her for a monkey (Nope). Frankly, I thought she looked like the fusion of Icky Vicky and Fuu from Champloo.

Just imagine her with cartoony eyes. Then we have Uncle wizard Oswidge; one of the best Foxy Grandpas that ever existed. I’ll especially love his actor, Kevin Richardson, who also played the Boogie pimp. Give a round for this Darth Lazer, and his swinging ass tone, cause he’s basically badass in every role he has. 

“Once I commited to acting, this has been it.”

Then we have Faffy; he’s basically every other of Frank’s role. Lastly, we have our narrator. I actually find this one better than the one from Powerpuff girls. Both could be equally slick, but this narrator actually talks with the characters beside one episode. I’m just saying, why can’t the background people talk to their audience? Hell, Roy’s not even my full name. Then again, I do have to keep my identity a secret for the greater good. HEY, DIDN’T YOU ONCE HAVE A SEL- Sorry for that cut, I’ll whack him later. Continuing, I haven’t even given the main plot of the series. With Dave and the Gang, this here sums it up nicely.

There, except for the first one there. Remember kids, TV-G. With Dave the Babarian, it made The Flinstones look boring. BOO! I’m just saying, guys, in comparison Disney offered us something way funnier. My god, their villain is a fucking talking pig! I’ll say with this, he gave my best episode in the series. It’s where Dark Lord Chuckles the silly piggy (fucking brilliant) kidnaps the narrator and makes up his own episode. The Powerpuff Girls did this before, and both were hilariously awkward. When the new “The Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy Will Destroy You All Variety Hour” (Bitch, genius!), this gave the 4th wall a branded definition. You thought Deadpool was a 4th wall breaker? He is Michael Jackson’s 2nd nose-job compared to this 30-min episode. Let’s just say I feel certain joy when we’re given something out of the norm.

“Jesus Vigoda, I daydreamed another internet reviewer made a bad joke for once.”

This show was pretty great, even if it was short lived. It’s weird because it lived long as much as the Buzz on Maggie and Cory in the House, but survived more than most of Disney’s real life shitcoms. When I say survive, I meant they received better treatment and are worthy of reruns. Seriously, fuck Montana! With what they gave, creator Doug Langdale certainly promised to actually try making us laugh and remember this fondly (except people are too simple with nostalgic tastes). Doug is now later working on the new Halloween movie, The Book of Life. Please people, watch this movie. It has a great setup, good design, and Guillermo Del Toro. That should be enough to give 'em their money!

And that’s just the fan art of what’s to come. As for Dave the Babarian, check it out on Youtube. I’ll definition show this more appreciation later on this month. This show was great, and I’ll continue to watch it illegally. I’m Roy Macintosh, love and peace, and I’m giving another point to Disney. YOU’RE NOT GONNA GIVE US WHY ON THE FAN ART ABOVE? Hey, I have to give them something besides this appreciation speech. Have a great day.

HOLY CRAP! I just found out a few things that are so AWESOME! Okay, so you know Wayne Brady from the amazing Whose Line is it Anyway? Well, he was the singer of the theme song of another awesome show, The Weekenders. And the creator, writer, and producer of the Weekenders, Doug Langdale, was also one of the writers of Darkwing Duck! You gotta love small world coincidences like that, especially for the coolest things in the world.

okay but can we talk about The Book of Life for a second

“Directed by Jorge Gutierrez” (the creator of El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera)

“Written by Jorge Gutierrez and Doug Langdale” (one of the head writers on El Tigre, also the creator of Dave the Barbarian and a writer on Earthworm Jim, Project G.e.e.K.e.R., Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, The Weekenders and Darkwing Duck)

“Produced by Guillermo del Toro” (YOU SHOULD KNOW WHO HE IS)

and it’s coming out on October 17th

please pardon my screaming for the next 10 months

After 2 years of development, Netflix has released its first interactive show where you choose what happens next

(Netflix)
When Netflix approached Dreamworks Animation to pioneer a “choose your own adventure” style show, “Puss in Boots” writer-producer Doug Langdale accepted before they even finished the pitch.

“They came and started explaining the possibilities,” Langdale told Business Insider. “I don’t think they got through the word ‘interactive’ before I said ‘yes.’”

Dreamworks had already created a few seasons of “The Adventures of Puss in Boots,” and Langdale welcomed the fresh challenge of making multiple paths for kids to explore. (Making season after season of a TV show can get a tad monotonous, he admitted.)

For Netflix, it was a chance to make its kids content stand out from the competition, and emphasize how Netflix can use technology to open up new forms.

Netflix’s programming for kids has quietly become a juggernaut, but competitors like HBO, Amazon, and Hulu are also fiercely going after the market. There’s good reason: Half of Netflix subscribers watch children’s and family shows on a monthly basis, according to Netflix’s head of product innovation for the category, Carla Engelbrecht Fisher.

Fisher said that Netflix had been kicking around the idea of creating “branching” shows for most of the three years she’s been at the company, and that its first title, “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale,” took two years to come to fruition. Netflix released it on June 20, and will release another, “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile,” on July 14.

(Netflix)

A simple choice

A “branching” Netflix show works much the same way as a choose-your-own-adventure book. You are watching a TV show unfold, and eventually you get to a virtual fork in the road, where you choose one of two options. Then the narrative continues.

Here’s an example from the “Puss in Book” demo given to Business Insider. Puss in Boots shows up at a house populated by bears. Then the viewer is presented with a choice. Either the bears are “friendly” when Puss in Boots walks in, or “angry.” In our demo, it was simple and intuitive. All you had to do was press one of two buttons on screen, either with the remote if you’re watching on the TV, or with your finger if you’re viewing on a tablet. Then you’re back on the story path.

(A choice point in “Buddy Thunderstruck"Netflix)

18 minutes or 39 minutes

While navigating every story choice is easy, it’s anything but simple to set up the narrative, Langdale told Business Insider.

“It’s a little more like writing a sketch show,” he said. “It’s more modular.” The story has to be able to fork and recombine, otherwise Dreamworks would be creating an insane amount of storylines. And that can cause big story headaches, Langdale said.

For the most part, the plot of “Puss in Book” is Puss in Boots trying to find his way out of a book he’s become trapped in. And the emotional arc is, generally, one of building frustration, Langdale said. It’s hard to have anything more specific, since your journey through the book could take 18 minutes, 39 minutes, or something in between.

The story constraints also meant that when Langdale wrote a specific problem to confront Puss in Boots with, it was sometimes hard to know how to have him react. In a specific instance, Langdale had to scrap a character coming back into the narrative, since it wasn’t clear whether Puss in Boots could say “Oh, you again.” Had he seen him before? Throughout the process, Langdale said he was the only one who really had general narrative structure in his head. He would give out bits to write to others, which he’d then fit together.

In creating a story that wasn’t too bland and wasn’t too confusing, it helped that Langdale was able to lean on a previously created “Puss in Boots” universe, both in story and with GGI models (which saved some resources).

The tech considerations

As far as technical constraints, Netflix said that for buffering reasons, no “choice” could last less than two minutes, and there had to be two choices in each brand, Fisher said. (However, in the future, Netflix would like to experiment with more than two choices.)

To help kids understand what’s going on initially, there’s also a short explanation of how to navigate the story at the start of the narrative, which in the Puss in Boots demo was slickly worked into the storyline. Early on in development, Netflix made an prototype of a choose-your-own-adventure show by chopping up previous episodes of “The Adventures of Puss and Boots.” While kids immediately understood what they were supposed to do on iPad, on a TV they kept talking to the screen, Fisher said. So Netflix decided to guide kids toward using the remote.

(Netflix)

The future

The big question is how much traction Netflix will get with these types of narratives. Choose-your-own-adventure books never really expanded outside the kid and young adult realm, and remain niche. But conversely, video games have continued to build more and more compelling plotlines, and are approaching this choice-driven cinematic experience from the other side.

Still, even if the “branching” narrative isn’t a monster hit for Netflix, it shows that one day Netflix might have an appetite for experimenting with things like virtual reality, or even augmented reality (which overlays virtual objects onto the real world), as these all give the company the chance to prove it can bring ideas to life that its traditional TV competitors cannot.

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anonymous asked:

fun fact: one of Doug Tennapel's earlier TV cartoons (Project Geeker) was co-created by Doug Langdale, the guy who had developed the original Earthworm Jim cartoon

Eyup, I recall. That one was another favorite that wound up gone too early. 

Kind of odd that he went on to create it with Langdale given his opposition to the EWJ cartoon, but oh well. 

2

“The dialogue exhibited a level of literacy that might startle those who think that all Saturday-morning cartoonery is brainless; there weren’t many other programs in which one would hear a middle-schooler [Tish] congratulate her comrades by proclaming "Kudos to us!” Nor was there an abundance of animated series wherein a nervous preteen drama queen [again, Tish] was shepherded through her first appearance by the ghost of William Shakespeare. Particularly pleasing was the series’ depiction of its adult characters - not the anal-retentive, rule-imposing tyrants we’d seen in so many other cartoon weeklies, but instead as recognizable human beings with affectionately detailed personality quirks.
This was precisely what was so unique about the program. The Weekenders was a conscious, symbolic break with the traditions of television animation aimed at “tweens”. It did not attempt to portray any of its characters as stereotypes; instead, it celebrated the uniqueness and intelligence of all its characters, without sacrificing humor in the process. Thanks to the clever writing and directing, and the skilled voice acting behind its four leads (the four performers were never better, particularly Marsden and Soucie), it was an approach that really paid off.“

- Excerpt from America Toons in: A History of Television Animation by David Perlmutter

Q: I know people out there who think your best work was on the show The Weekenders, which ran for two seasons. It wasn’t very popular like other animated series at the time, but people who remember it today really love its format, the direction it was going, and how relatable the characters were.

Doug Langdale: Thank you! That was an odd experience because I went in to pitch a different show to Disney based on a few ideas I had been working on for sometime, but after I pitched everything they were like “Um…What else have you got?” and I had nothing else but a piece of paper, a reminder, that had “Kids on the weekend” written on it. So I started talking about my friends, what I went through when I was twelve, what I was interested in and what my life was like. And they said “Let’s make that show!” So it suddenly became the series that was loosely based on my own life. It was so nice to be able to draw from experience, and write about normal people. It wasn’t goofy, wacky or cartoony, it’s the kind of show that could be live-action, but we did it animated!

2

What performance or show do you least get asked about? What’s something that you’ve done and it just seems to have been forgotten by the wayside?

Phil LaMarr: There are a lot that I’ve done that are forgettable. I’ve forgotten about them! But I would say there was a show, one of the very first ones I did, called Weekenders, which was my first regular gig I think. It was me, Jason Marsden, Kath Soucie and Grey DeLisle playing these four kids who got together every weekend. It was a really sweet show, it was on Saturday mornings, we did it for a few seasons and then it went away, but it was really good and it was also really special to me because it was my first series. It was with people that I’m still friends with and who I still work with constantly to this day. Every once in a while, someone will mention it, but rarely.

2

“I always tried too hard to be liked at school,” Jason Marsden, voice of Tino, admits. “I started acting at 10, so I was in and out of school and kids were mean to me.”
“I found a lot of similarities with the character I played, beneath the surface…and I also loved the fact that our director, Doug Langdale, would let all the actors do pretty much whatever we wanted. We could change lines, we could ad-lib, and just make it our own…I always liked that sort of freedom.”

2

“The relationship with Disney would be both a blessing and a curse for the animators. The curse was that their work was often ignored by the larger mass media, who maintained biased stereotypes about Disney as a repressive, dystopian corporate oligarchy. The blessing, however, was that they could produce their work under a relatively secure cloud of anonymity absent from other major studios and could, therefore, focus more closely on the quality of their work. The result, in many cases, was some superbly crafted and intelligently written television animation that quite clearly ranks among the genre’s finest achievements. This is an important point to consider, especially when these projects are analyzed in depth, which is something the intimidating and hegemony of the Disney studio has limited in the past.
The Weekenders is ne plus ultra example. The series is remarkable chiefly for what it was not rather than what it was. It boldly rejected traditional storytelling approaches in favor of a practice that more directly and stridently affirmed it as a unique cultural product, subtly recasting the sitcom in its own image. […] It did so in a way that belies most television animation stereotypes, gathering comedy from realism rather than exaggeration.”

Excerpt from America Toons In: A History Of Television Animation by David Perlmutter

2

“As it debuted in 2000, The Weekenders fittingly kicked off a decade of creative excellence coming from the studio. It represents all of the strengths of Disney Television Animation’s creator-driven production model - superb writing with excellent translation into action and smooth animation - while functioning as a cleverly modulated, restrained retort to other studios’ frantic production styles. It is a model program that deserves far more attention than it received during its original production run. The show was created and chiefly written by the talented Doug Langdale, who was responsible for most of the witty dialogue on shows like Darkwing Duck and Earthworm Jim. As a California native, it seems that he followed the famed writing axiom, "Write what you know.” What makes the series stand out so boldly from its peers was its execution by Langdale and principal director Steven Lyons. It is a highly nuanced, character-driven series with a particular emphasis on exploring all the dimensions of the characters and their relationships with one another and the world around them. They did so in a way that belies most television animation stereotypes, gathering comedy from realism rather than exaggeration - in spite of occasional bursts of ebullience from both writer and director. This is clearly noted in examining the particularly well-handled characterizations of its four 12-year-old leads. […] The series has largely been off the radar since its original broadcast run ended in 2003, but this may change with its release on DVD by Disney (although in a limited run format). There is every opportunity for Tino, Carver, Lor and Tish to help another generation of middle schoolers confront their concerns and fears in the same colorful, funny way.“

Excerpt from America Toons In: A History of Television Animation by David Perlmutter

2

“Introduced as part of ABC’s floating "ABC Kids” lineup in February 2000, Disney’s The Weekenders was one of the cartoon studio’s most mature works, upholding the tradition of such previous “pre-teen angst” efforts as Disney’s Pepper Ann and Disney’s Recess with more realistic characters and dialogue, and just a soupçon of exaggeration. […] The dialogue exhibited a level of literacy that might startle those who think that all Saturday-morning cartoonery is brainless; there weren’t many other programs in which one would hear a middle-schooler congratulate her comrades by proclaming “Kudos to us.” Nor was there an abundance of animated series wherein a nervous preteen drama queen was shepherded through her first appearance by the ghost of William Shakespeare. Particularly pleasing was the series’ depiction of its adult characters - not as the anal-retentive, rule-imposing tyrants we’d seen in so many other cartoon weeklies, but instead as recognizable human beings with affectionately detailed personality quirks.“

- Hal Erickson, media historian

2

“I lived in San Diego and the stories are based on things that happened to me as I was growing up,” says The Weekenders executive producer Doug Langdale. “There’s an episode where the gang produce a radio show as part of a contest and that was something I did at school. And like Tino, the main character, I was the only child of a single parent.”

The underlying theme of the series is friendship - its ups and downs, the compromises and sacrifices, and above all the sense of humor that it takes to keep four very different young people together.

“It’s about stuff that matters to kids around that age,” Langdale says. “It’s also about stuff that matters to everyone,” he quickly adds. “I always think that kids have largely the same concerns as adults except for, like, taxes.”