July 17, 2014

Oh, so much to say. Which means I cannot focus enough to say any of it.
================================

Only Spider-Man, or Scooby Doo.
Gosh can I think of a more absurd and inexplicable cross-over?

Scooby Doo Wrestlemania Family. This seems absurd, but it fits in perfectly with our culture of pretending we are beyond the advertainment of previous decades while continuing to engage in it. This may even be less synergistic than John Cena’s previous subject, since this does not also involve a cereal company. I assume this film ends with Fred pulling off Rey Mysterio’s mask to reveal he was Oscar Gutierrez all along.

Upon further reflection, I must consider that these things are so self-referential now that some mask-related remarks are almost certainly in the script.

Purplespace, in a comment, reminded me about The New Scooby Doo Movies series named such due to the hour-long length of the episodes (and you can be certain those have enough action and plot development to fill a whole 10 minutes). I had forgotten about the precedent set there, although in that situation the guest stars were usually out of place, since their professions were typically not conducive to scooby-doing. The Gang would be at a carnival or an undersea research laboratory and then suddenly “Hey gang, look! It’s Laurel and Hardy! Even though they’ve been dead for 30 years!” Or maybe just Hardy was dead, assuming he is the fat one. They certainly were not an ACT at that point.

I assume Scooby Doo at Wrestlemania involves meeting branded, living wrestlers employed specifically by the WWE at the time the film was made. Andre the Giant and Ludwig Borga won’t just be standing around waiting to be invited to help solve a mystery that has nothing to do with wrestling or promoting Vince McMahon’s current whims.

In fact this film is a decade and a half overdue; I thought it was a joke, but Space Jam was big money, right? I don’t know why there weren’t more weird mergers of old style white people cartoons with new-style not necessarily race-exclusionary sporting culture. Apart from all the weirdly-racist imagery in those old cartoons, naturally. Scooby Doo is not known to be racist and The World Wrestling Ederfation also has that potential, so maybe this is progress in the realm of high profile athletic competition/ half century old animation franchise crossover. Suddenly thinking about Space Jam has caused me to ponder that yet again now that Scooby Doo at Wrestlemania seems sane and sound by comparison.

If you are less than familiar, Space Jam is about the classic Looney Tunes characters (Daffy Duck, Gabby Goat, Benito Mussolini, et ar) challenging tiny space aliens to a regulation non-tune, non-alien basketball game with the fate of all mankind at stake (obviously; why play at all otherwise?) and then getting Michael Jordan’s help to win the game when the aliens suddenly became much taller, indicating inherent prowess at transferring balls to baskets. It made no sense, but people treated it like it was normal, and it made a few hundred millions of dollars in profit. It did so well that its lone billed human, Michael Jordan, appeared in advertising for MCI, a totally unrelated telephone company that he already had an advertising contract with, beside the looney tune characters for years afterward. It no longer even mattered that Jordan was the most dominant, well known basketball player, if not general sports-man in the world. He was just some man who talked to Tweety Bird on a yellow cartoon telephone from inside an adobe illustrator document.

The first few ads had him open with an aside to the camera “MCI Five cent Sundays helps me keep up with my Space Jam buddies,” and apparently that was supposed to be enough explanation. Let us not debate whether he means Space Jam the movie or Space Jam the incident or even Space Jam the fruit paste preferred by astronauts*, because he didn’t even mention space jam after that.


There was no need to say “by the way, I, Michael Jordan, a basketball player, am talking to these cartoon animals with heads three times the size of mine who do not play basketball –and oddly enough, men with guns who want to kill them– about telephone service because a previous media spectacle established that we know each other and the topic of their hunter-prey relationship does not come up.” That at least one of these spots showed Jordan playing golf instead was not strange enough by that point to stand out. He got 2 million dollars a year to do those ads that made no sense. When the renamed, post-merger MCI variant Worldcom filed for bankruptcy 2 years before the end of Michael Jordan’s contract, he sued the company for the 4 million dollars from ads he wasn’t even going to make. That could have been, gosh, 6 more minutes sitting on a green foam block recliner pretending Elmer Fudd is telling him about great weekend calling rates. It is a wonder they stayed in business considering their customers were only paying five cents for each.

The writing and voice work are, of course, horrible. I am so accustomed to associating those traits with Looney Tunes produced in my lifetime that I almost forgot it was worth mentioning. To his credit, Jordan makes every effort to be as watered-down and dull as they are so to not make them look bad. Mr. Jordan, we are giving you two million dollars. The least you can do is SELL this performance. You need to act like you really don’t care that a giant rooster doing an impression of a radio character your fans’ grandparents probably don’t even remember is in your grass-floored apartment. The sound of that depressed iris-wipe at the end will haunt me for years.

Anyway I think there is a great deal of potential here.

Howdy. I’m John Cena, muscular famous person and part time parasitic twin. Verizon’s pay-as-you go plan helps me keep up with the Flintstones and Scooby Doo, even though they live in different time periods from each other and are less plausible than my finishing moves. Also if you make less calls than you prepaid for you still need to make a minimum monthly payment so you might as well get a normal calling plan. Yumdinger fruity pebbles support the troops.

*I lifted that line in its entirety from this 2003 page because nobody is ever going to read it again. Since that time I have still not seen Space Jam. I had an opportunity to view it in 199x but declined because it seemed like such a ludicrous idea. These days I thrive on ludicrous ideas, now that all my opportunities to get good use from them have passed, and I feel inclined to seek out and view the film. If it kills me, this message is here to explain what happened.



2 Responses
  1. 1
    11:52 am, July 20, 2014

    Purplespace sez:

    I recall they used to have a Scooby Doo cartoon where they would inexplicably meet up with random tv and movie stars. I see they are continuing that trend!

    Looney Tunes cartoons need less basketball stars and more annoying birds being annoying… I recall seeing part of a Looney Tunes movie that seemed to focus heavily on Daffy Duck and was somewhat amusing until he met up with Bugs Bunny who seemed to make it far less humorous as it was then no longer about the bird doing stupid things, but having the rabbit point out why the things the bird did were stupid.

  2. 2
    12:42 pm, July 20, 2014

    Heapinfrimp sez:

    That was the New Scooby Doo Movies! named such due to the hour-long length of the episodes (and you can be certain those have enough action and plot development to fill a whole 10 minutes). I had forgotten about the precedent set there, although the guest stars there were usually out of place. The Gang would be at a carnival or an undersea research laboratory and then suddenly “Hey gang, look! It’s Laurel and Hardy! Even though they’ve been dead for 30 years!” Or maybe just Hardy was dead, assuming he is the fat one. They certainly were not an ACT at that point.

    I assume Scooby Doo at Wrestlemania involves meeting branded, living wrestlers employed specifically by the WWE at the time the film was made. Andre the Giant and Ludwig Borga won’t just be standing around waiting to be invited to help solve a mystery that has nothing to do with wrestling or promoting Vince McMahon’s current whims.

    Are you sure that other movie was Looney Tunes? That sounds a lot like Anchorman 2.

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