Does anyone remember this show? I used to love this as a kid! As a matter of fact, I still have old fanart still on my DeviantArt! Looking back, I can definitely say it’s a guilty pleasure. This show had so much potential, it’s a shame it got held down with bad reception and poor writing. At least the characterization was ok!
Anyway here are the Loonatics, plus Rip and two of my OCs. One of them is an old one, and one has been created recently. Plus I added Rip Runner in the group because I had on old fan theory involving him.
From left to right: Jacques Le Pew (my OC), Tori Russo-Mallard (my OC), Tech E. Coyote, Danger Duck, Ace Bunny, Lexi Bunny, Rev Runner, Rip Runner, and Slam Tasmanian.
Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy me drawing Loonatics fanart!
there’s a lot to say about mighty ducks: the animated series. a lot a lot. something i hope to get into as i watch… all of it. i’ll get back to various other series disney never put on DVD like bonkers (and lord there’s stuff to talk about bonkers too and the evolution of kid’s animated comedy) but right now my mind is on MDTAS.
people talk about loonatics unleashed a lot, because it sounds patently ridiculous. all those original looney tunes properties, re-imagined as kicking max superheroes from a cyberpunk future? yeah… yeah, that does sound ridiculous, and those designs that were edgy in the most literal of definitions - being sharp and angular in their designs - didn’t help make it look any less so. the re-design to soften ‘em up didn’t sell it much either. loonatics unleashed got 26 episodes and ended unceremoniously, mostly remembered for “god do you remember that weird action toon reboot of bugs bunny” and for the popularity of the Rev Runner/Tech E. Coyote ship. more on that in the future.
but MDTAS kinda beat ‘em to it, and perhaps with a more ridiculous premise - in an alternate universe, there’s a place called puckworld, where anthropomorphic ducks, covered in ice, and just about everyone there fucking loves hockey. you think soccer’s big on earth, hockey’s triple that on puckworld. they get invaded by another alien race called “saurians”, there’s a big fight for freedom, the saurians open up a wormhole to another dimension, the ducks follow them, and end up on earth, becoming superhero vigilantes as well as being the only all-alternate-universe-duck-people hockey team in the NHL. the leader is named wildwing flashblade.
point is, “ridiculous action reimagining” isn’t really new - as the times change, and companies are desperate to wring some extra cash out of their properties, they’ll change ‘em to match whatever seems to be popular at the moment. sure, non of the ducks in MDTAS are named “donald” or “scrooge”, but its not exactly the kind of genre transition you’d expect for the Duck universe and franchise from Disney.
(then again, with the existence of the new papernik adventures, really, i suppose anything goes)
in this case, it was a kind of couple years late attempt to cash in on TMNT, which everyone who made action cartoons was trying to cash in on since the original toon. those motherfuckers exploded to a degree no one could’ve predicted, can ya blame ‘em? and with Loonatics Unleashed, WB had the unfortunate timing of trying to get in on action cartoons while spongebob and imitations thereof had long since taken over the market, and networks had decided what they really wanted were comedies that could be run out of order, in endless syndication, and preferably, be cheap to produce. that’s how stuff like Johnny Test had such a long shelf life, among others.
think of it - remember when every old cartoon was getting a version where they were babies? or teens? yogi bear and pals became radical mall cops for awhile in Yo Yogi!, Droopy Dog gets reimagined as a hard boiled case solver in Droopy The Master Detective (not to mention the friggin Tweety and Sylvester Mysteries), there’s the Tom And Jerry Kids where all the action is, and so on, and so on, and so on.
the forces of the market lead to strange, yet oddly predictable, things. whatever’s conquering the airwaves, companies will reinvent their properties to match it, if they think there’s cash to be made there.
there’s more to talk about with MDTAS yet, specifically with how Disney at the time would approach such an action show, the surprisingly strong lingering fandom for a show that’s not even on DVD, and the importance of being absolutely serious even when your very premise is completely ridiculous, but we’ll get to that, bit by bit. in the meantime, here’s the entirety of the first episode. jim belushi voices the coach.