Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Underdog isn't Real

When I was growing up, I watched a lot of cartoons like pretty much any kid with a television and responsible parents did. This watching was different in my family because I still do, but I'm getting away from my initial point. While I did watch all of the cartoons like Thundercats, Voltron, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (and not those suckass ones they show now), I also grew up watching Looney Tunes like pretty much any other well-adjusted American youth, oblivious to the grotesque violence, racism, bigotry misogyny, homophobia, and patriarchy contained within pretty much every cartoon. But, I came to this realization when I sat down and watched a Speedy Gonzales cartoon when I was older and saw the representation of Mexicans. I also became uncomforted by the aggressiveness of Pepe Le Pew, but that was aided by watching Dave Chappelle's comedy special Killing Them Softly.

Anyway, while I grew up with these cartoons, I also grew up with the absurd cartoons made by stoners such as Sealab 2020, Magilla Gorilla, Superfriends, Justice League, Hong Kong Phooey, Jabberjaw, Josie and the Pussycats, and, most importantly, Underdog. Underdog was the most simply premised show of all time as it was nothing more than a modified send-up of Superman. Dogs ruled in this faux Metropolis, and Underdog was the Clark Kent. Instead of being a journalist, he was a shoeshine boy. He still changed in a phone booth and spoke with a blatantly absurdist tone. His target for saving instead of Lois Lane was Polly Purebred. Remember, they are dogs. Anyway, this show was fun, ended in like five minutes and involved an unlikely superhero. It wasn't as absurd as Rocky and Bullwinkle, which is the best cartoon of the time before I was alive, but still enough to be remembered and correctly honored.

Unfortunately, the fond memories that I have of Underdog have been soiled by the work of Walt Disney. As you may well know, Disney has decided to make a live action version of this perfectly good cartoon to the pleasure of no one except for the kids who don't watch Boomerang or don't remember the awesomeness of Underdog from growing up like I do. Underdog is no longer a shoeshine boy in the live version, but a dog that underwent a strange lab experiment. As the original well states, Underdog took a special pill to get his powers. So, along with being inaccurate, it looks terrible. I only can see this film being a complete fiasco that will make an inexpicably high amount of money for the company to the detriment of the original and myself.

At this point, I have to acknowledge that I'm a huge nerd for noting the differences between the original and a remake of a children's cartoon. But, I can't watch these ads without getting mad that another thing from my youth is being cannabalized for a cheap dollar. The next thing I know, they'll be making a Hong Kong Phooey live version. At that point, I know that nothing is sacred from the greedy hands of capitalism.