Brilliant, but doomed?
I love it, it's gorgeous, I wish him every success... but he hasn't got the rights locked in for doing this. He seems to think it doesn't matter because of the way he'll distribute. I'm scratching my head. Tim, or another expert on this, could he be right?
This looks like a gas!
It LOOKS to me that what he wants is for people to pay him to finish the animation, and that's it. There's no intent to commercially distribute, right?
I could see it going either way. At one point, Paramount went through Star Trek fan sites and made them take everything down, then supplied them with a bunch of authorized, fan-only materials. Bigger sites got better, exclusive stuff, etc., but Paramount had a reasonable point. Hey, we love fans, we'll try to support them, but this is OUR STUFF, and they can't do anything they want with it.
This mostly had to do with visual stuff, including things like logo trademarks. They have notably NOT gone after non-commercial fan fiction, including an entire genre known as "slash fiction," ie, Kirk/Spock, ie, Kirk and Spock having gay sexual encounters with each other - which is different than them being gay, dig? Although there's plenty of that too.
Jonny has a complicated lineage. Hanna-Barbera produced it FOR Screen Gems, but it looks like Turner has bought the rights....although the late Richard Donner had also acquired rights (with Lauren Shuler Donner and Jane Rosenthal) to do a live-action version that never appeared. I would assume that the option has expired by now...and that it never included stop motion LOL...but I can imagine that there are a handful of people who have a stake in this.
I hope the live action version never comes to pass. I'd MUCH rather see more stop motion! This KILLS! I'd especially love to see Turner hire this guy to do a bunch of shorts, rather than a full episode.
I'm especially a fan of the way that Adult Swim re-imagined a whole slew of Hanna-Barbera characters in 10-ish minute doses, including Space Ghost (the best) and (right behind him) Birdman. In 2001 he became Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law....the first episode of which revolved around a custody battle between Dr. Quest and Race Bannon, who wanted full custody of the boys. Because, indeed, there's no way that those two were NOT in a gay relationship. They totally were.
You can see a French-subtitled version of that episode here:
I have wistful memories of Jonny. The first episodes were truly hardcore, and under a great deal of pressure, they were taken out of syndication in 1972, and replaced with censored versions, primarily to remove violence -- which is of course what made them so cool!!! I mean, WTF? So any of you kids who tuned in after 1972 missed some of the very best stuff. It's not quite on the Star Wars level of travesty, but it's definitely on the list that Star Wars heads.
But Dr. Quest and Race Bannon were still Jonny and Haji's two dads, so it's all good.
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Williams Street, the prodco for Sealab 2021 and Birdman, ran out their option and no longer have rights to those properties, which is why you don't see them in re-runs there anymore.
Quest was so reliable in syndication, it ran at one time or another on EVERY one of the prime TV networks in turn, back in the day.
This guy has REALLY captured the look in stop-mo perfectly, even down to copying the "flaws". I really hope he gets to finish a full episode. But the realist in me is waiting for the other shoe to drop from H-B productions. The suits ALWAYS find a way to mess things up. Its what they do.
Wow. My hat is off to this guy. Did you look at his behind-the-scenes website?