A Station Eight Fan Web Site
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Dude, I'm amazed. I haven't read in a while, and you managed to mend the 3-year gash in the space-time continuum created by this site single handedly. Congrats. Next time I'm sent back to 1955 and my mom falls in love with me, I'll know exactly who I'll look to for help in getting back... to the future.
I'm actually working on a pretty much informal article on the story behind Bonkers, so my questions deal with that show. I really want to get to the truth behind all the vague things said about the development of the show, and you seem like one of the prime people to ask. I find what I've learned so far concerning the story behind the show's development fascinating, and I'd like to write something more informed on it... even if it just ends up on a blog somewhere or wikipedia. Anyway, my questions follow:
1.) How did the concept of Bonkers come about? How did you get involved, and what was your involvement in the show? Contributions, etc.?
2.) How did the change of creative teams come down? There were 19 Miranda Wright episodes that made it through: was it after 19 that they said no, this isn't working? Or did they see the first few, and the rest were so far along and already overseas they had to let them be animated?
3.) Back in the day, Disney would create a multi-part pilot to introduce their new shows. As it stands, the show was introduced with a two-part story introducing the Lucky Piquel character, and then they created a bridging two parter that followed Miranda. Do you know how the pilot would've went if the original team would've done the introductory episodes? This is actually something I'd love to see the outline of, even if just to know how Bonkers would've originally met Miranda.
4.) Some websites claim that any episodes created after those 19 episodes were "destroyed." What is the truth to this? Personally I find it highly suspect: It sounds implausible that they'd scrap something with completed animation (such as the 19 that did make it out, and then the 3 you guys finished of Team Atlantis). My only guess as to the farthest anything else could've went toward completion is recording voices (also like Team Atlantis.)
5.) The order of episodes ended up being 65, again, with 19 of them being Miranda episodes. How far had you guys planned out the series after that? What were your plans for the future? Were there any really cool story ideas for Bonkers that unfortunately got dropped that you wish you could've seen come to fruition?
6.) Where did the idea for the 'vintage' Bonkers cartoons that aired on Raw Toonage come about? Were those conceived before or after your tenure on the show ended?
Thank you very much for your time!
1. As with Gargoyles, my team and I basically created Bonkers. We were of course inspired by Roger Rabbit, but we knew our entire show was going to be animated, so we needed to emphasize contrasts both visual and otherwise. Our working title was Toon Cop. I developed the series with Bonkers, Jitters, Miranda, Sgt. Grating, etc. We LATER decided to prequel ourselves by putting He's Bonkers! shorts in another show I developed, called Raw Toonage. Meanwhile on Bonkers, I handed the series over to Duane Capizzi and Bob Hathcock, and they produced the first Bonkers episodes -- i.e the ones that ended up airing last, the Miranda episodes. I had little or no involvement in what was for me the painful Piquel episodes. Jeff Bennett's Jitters A. Dog is still one of my all-time favorite performances.
2. They saw the first few and -- PANICKED. I think the main problem was overseas animation, but there were some art direction issues, a couple of minor voice issues and some problematic scripts. But mostly there was an overreaction, allowing problems in animation to tar the entire production. There was a LONG attempt to work with the current producers, but they were slow to realize the magnitude of the PERCEIVED problem. Let me be clear on that. They very rationally reacted to the real problems, which were minor. But didn't get the extent of the panic. They under-reacted to that and continued to under-react, until it got to the point where even I was thinking that we'd need to make a change -- because we could not proceed at all the way things stood.
3. Honestly, I just don't remember.
4. No episodes were DESTROYED... but some that weren't very far along were probably left unfinished. I don't remember the specifics, but any episode that was near completion was completed -- though not by the original production team.
5. The order was always 65 in those days. As for plans... well, I had a few story notions. But this wasn't my show. Though I was involved in its creation as I was in Gargoyles, I then HANDED it off, which is exactly what I didn't do on Gargoyles. So I didn't have big plans. Just a notion here or there that I handed off to Duane.
6. See above.