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Why The Jungle Book?

Date : July 23, 2009

Category : Default / Other

Question :
steet :

Well you've already answered a bit of that already, but I still wonder : why did you take The Jungle Book as a basis for the series? How did you get such a crazy idea? ^^

I mean, the stories are very different (more adventure/emotions than a musical), the settings are very different too ("human-like" world, civilized, characters standing on 2-feet, etc...), and the final result looks more like a parody of the Jungle Book than a spin-off!

And yet, it turned out to be a perfectly coherent and interesting series :)

It seems like a very strange choice (and now that I've watched it, I have to admit that Baloo fits TaleSpin even better than he did for The Jungle Book, especially since you re-worked the character and added much more depth to it)

Well ok, this is more a statement than a question ;)

Best answer :
Jymn Magon :

We never intentionally thought of TS as a "spin-off" or even a parody of Jungle Book. As I mentioned, we were in a time crunch to create a new series. We know Baloo was a great character (from the B Players development) and we weld that onto the Launchpad McQuack air delivery service idea from Duck Tales. Those were the roots of the series.

Kit came next, because the dynamic of the eager son (Mowgli) and the bad role model father (Baloo) was so clearly delineated in Jungle Book. Next came the Cheers angle with Rebecca as inexperienced boss and surrogate mother for Kit. Wildcat was based on the drugged out pilot character from "Fandago" (go rent it). Only after these elements were in place that we decided to add a neutral territory (like Rick's Cafe American from Casablanca) and who better to run it than King Louie??! Shere Khan was added even later. So as you can see, we didn't start off with a Jungle Book take-off... it was strictly the Baloo father figure/ lazy con man that we were interested in.

Sadly, Jungle Book is such a seminal film to so many animators of that time that we had trouble hiring some people because they thought we were ruining the original concept. Perhaps we were, but I've had artists tell me later that they wished they could have worked on Tale Spin after all.

Jymn

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August 22, 2009
Canada Is not currently on the site
I believe the seeds of DTVA jumping the shark began with Darkwing Duck and the execs were under the impression that it was Drake being a cartoon superhero (which is demographics way of think- missing the whole point of why Darkwing Duck was a huge success) and that the humor in the show was needed to be jackhammered into future DTVA projects. I noticed how Goof Troop became a dead ringer to Home Improvement (and why it became a middling series); Bonkers was dead ringer to Who Framed Roger Rabbit (and did a poor job of that), Gargoyles became a response to Batman: The Animated Series (although the fanbase will deny such a thing; if it wasn't for the MacBeth angle it would have been more obvious) and so on and so on. At least during that phase; Disney was being a me too company onto itself. I think it was Shookums and Meat that really started the "Me too" demographics. Then it was downhill from there as they dead ringed Powerpuff Girls (Teamo Surpemo), Fairly Odd Parents (The Replacements), Hogans Heroes (Recess), The Cosby Show (The Proud Family) and so on. Oddly enough; the ones that didn't really do that were Kim Possible, Teachers Pet and Filmore which in term were better series.

August 12, 2009
Ukraine Male Is not currently on the site
Dear Jymn, it's really pity that Disney didn't E.T. But Disney did Flight if the Navigator. This movie has very warm receprion in Soviet Union. And I wish to Walt Disney company new significant creations.

August 05, 2009
Is not currently on the site
Re: Copying others.

I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "jumping the shark" - meaning a TV series has outlived its original intent. Well, I have the same theory about WD TV Animation. We did talking animal, comedy-adventures for years. That's what Disney is known for - what the company was founded on - what they're good at. After years of successful & popular #1 shows, suddenly the TV department "jumped the shark" and started making superhero shows, Ren & Stimpy shows, Dora the Explorer shows. At some point Disney went from King of the comedy-adventure shows to the "Me Too!" company. Like they could out-Spumco Spumco. Or out-Warner Warner Brothers. I don't understand why Disney went chasing audiences in fields that were already sewn up by other companies. For example: Warner & Disney are two different styles - totally successful, totally viable, totally entertaining - but in different ways. Audiences watch and enjoy both. So why the desire for crossover?

Don't get me started. I just think if Uncle Walt was still around he'd be pulling our his hair saying things like "Why didn't WE make E.T.?!" or "Why are we making a Dora rip-off?!" or "Why is the game division trying to go Steampunk with my classic characters?!?!" ( http://www.gossipgamers.com/im [...] ys-steampunk-interactive-game/ )

Nuf sed,
JM

July 29, 2009
Webmaster France Male Is not currently on the site
AS leader
I see. I've always seen this series as being very different from The Jungle Book and could not see why people said it was a "spinoff" or a "parody" (seems like I was right after all)

As for "ruining" the Jungle Book, I don't think many people who HAVE actually seen the series think that way. To me it's the complete opposite - I have never liked the Jungle Book that much, although I LOVE Talespin and think you did a much better job on the 3 characters than in the film, adding much more depth into them.

I also congratulate you (and the Disney deciders - Eisner?) for taking that risk, because that's EXACTLY something we would NOT see happening nowadays. Companies are too much doing the same things again and again, not wanting to take any risk or copying the others, which makes creativity impossible.

July 28, 2009
Is not currently on the site
We never intentionally thought of TS as a "spin-off" or even a parody of Jungle Book. As I mentioned, we were in a time crunch to create a new series. We know Baloo was a great character (from the B Players development) and we weld that onto the Launchpad McQuack air delivery service idea from Duck Tales. Those were the roots of the series.

Kit came next, because the dynamic of the eager son (Mowgli) and the bad role model father (Baloo) was so clearly delineated in Jungle Book. Next came the Cheers angle with Rebecca as inexperienced boss and surrogate mother for Kit. Wildcat was based on the drugged out pilot character from "Fandago" (go rent it). Only after these elements were in place that we decided to add a neutral territory (like Rick's Cafe American from Casablanca) and who better to run it than King Louie??! Shere Khan was added even later. So as you can see, we didn't start off with a Jungle Book take-off... it was strictly the Baloo father figure/ lazy con man that we were interested in.

Sadly, Jungle Book is such a seminal film to so many animators of that time that we had trouble hiring some people because they thought we were ruining the original concept. Perhaps we were, but I've had artists tell me later that they wished they could have worked on Tale Spin after all.

Jymn


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