Friday, January 30, 2015

Big Video Ad Roundup

A number of video ads I've observed over the past several weeks haven't yet found their way into a post, so here's a roundup of all the ads not featured before. Let me know if you find others!

First, here's a very recent English-language trailer which was strangely uploaded by CartoonNetworkBG, CN's official, Bulgarian YouTube channel. (Wouldn't the series on Boomerang Bulgaria be in Bulgarian language?)

...and here is the exact same trailer in Romanian language! Uploaded by the official CNetworkRomania channel.

Here's one which was published back on January 10 by OSN, a channel provider operating within the Middle East and Africa. Notice that this uses the same English narrator - and even many of the same lines - as the above ad from CN Bulgaria.

Also worth noting is that the OSN trailer is basically an English-language version of the below French trailer (which I already posted here), with slightly different background music.

Moving on to Boomerang UK, here's a general preview of the new UK slate, with Gadget popping up at 00:23.

And here's a UK trailer specifically for Inspector Gadget. The quality is pretty terrible, and the beginning of the ad seems to be missing, but it will do until a better version pops up online.

From Super RTL, a trailer for the many new kids' series in their TOGGO program block. Gadget clips at 00:17 and 00:55.

Finally, for the sake of completion, here's an ad for the Southeast Asia feed. It's very similar to the one I posted here from TVB Network Vision, including the same clip of Gadget at 00:14; but with different background music and (at times) editing.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

German Intro and Theme Song For the New Series (With Historical Context Add-On!)

The new German intro sequence recently made it online as a television recording from Super RTL's Toggo block (except for the first few seconds, which are cut off in the below video). Unlike the French theme song, the German version is a straight dubbing of the original, English-language theme. It's worth noting that Super RTL airs the series in full HD, and the picture quality is terrific. It's my understanding that many of the Boomerang channels do not yet broadcast in high definition, though perhaps that varies from region to region.

Anyay, I find the difference between the new German and French theme songs interesting; because the original series' German theme song (below) was actually based on the French 1983 song - complete with German lyrics throughout the song! In fact, the entire German translation of the 1980s series is based on the French dub*, something which explains, for instance, why Penny is named "Sofi" (after Sophie) and Brain "Fino" in Germany.

I suspect this originally had to do with geographical convenience. Because of French channel's FR3's involvement with the series, Inspector Gadget was distributed in both English-language and French-language versions from the very start in the fall of 1983. Germany is one of France's neighboring countries, so it was probably much easier for the German dubbers, back in the 80s, to get access to FR3's French-language PAL masters than to licence the English-language NTSC masters from LBS (Lexington Broadcast Services). And Germany was not the only country to make use of the French masters, either: it varies greatly from country to country around the globe whether their localized dubbing of Inspector Gadget is based on the English- or French-language masters. That's a bigger discussion than what I intended with this post, though. For now, have a listen to the German intro sequence for the original "Inspektor Gadget"...

*Note that I'm saying "dub" here. It's a widespread misunderstanding on the internet that Inspector Gadget's original production language was French, but as I've mentioned before, it really wasn't. The scripts were written and the voices were recorded in English first (for Season 1, at Nelvana in Canada; for Season 2, at DiC in Los Angeles). The French-language version of the series was translated from the English version. (But again, a topic for another day...)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Australian and Romanian Boomerang Ads [UPDATED]

Well, what do you know? An Australian ad I hadn't seen before, and in full HD to boost! Even though I found the ad on this Chinese Cite (where it's actually been up since December 30, 2014 according to Google), it's clearly Australian judging by the narrator. As we've recently learned, though, the series' debut in China (or Asia Pacific in general) seems to have happened on the same day and clock time as the Australian premiere, January 5 at 4:30 PM.

Note by the way that this has the same narrator (and many of the same clips) as the below Foxtel ad which I already posted about here...

Also, here's a Romanian-language promo, in the form of a television recording uploaded by the unofficial YouTube channel CNBoomROpromos. It's pretty much the same ad as this French one, but with the original English theme music and logo. Since Romania is part of Central Eastern Europe, I assume the series' Romanian premiere will be on February 2 along with Boomerang CEE at large.

UPDATE: I had thought the last ad presented here was Hungarian, but it's actually Romanian, as pointed out by in the comments by Gyerek - Világ.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More German Trailers from Super RTL and Boomerang DE

Remember the news that Boomerang in Germany (as well as in Switzerland and Austria) will air the new series from February 16 onwards? It appears the strategy is that Super RTL debuts the episodes first, then the German Boomerang channel gives them a second launch. Here's the first trailer uploaded on Boomerang DE's YouTube page - "Demnächst: Inspector Gadget" ("Coming soon: Inspector Gadget").

Oh, and remember those character-specific trailers on Super RTL's Toggo site that will only play on cel phones? Good news! Toggo has now uploaded all three of them in full HD to its YouTube channel. Here are the trailers for Gadget, Penny and Brain, and Dr Claw and Talon, respectively:

Just A Thought...

I'm currently a bit intrigued with this ten-year-old fan art by animation artist Andrew Dickman on DeviantArt. Gadget's basic design in this piece looks fascinatingly close to his redesign in the new TV series, don't you think?

This drawing was published all the way back on May 15, 2004, so it's almost certainly a complete coincidence. But I mean, REALLY. Especially the short coat, but also the slim style of the legs, arms, and fingers, and even the simplified chin, reminds me directly of Gadget's new series look.

Please note: While I've edited it somewhat for this comparison,
the black-and-white artwork here belongs 100% to Andrew Dickman.

Not that I'm an expert on Inspector Gadget fan art... maybe there are dozens of similar-looking pieces out there. But I do find it intriguing how alike people's design ideas can be. While I suppose there IS a chance that some of DHX's designers have seen the 2004 piece by Andrew, it feels just as likely that the similarities happened by coincidence. Ricardo Adrégo once suggested a practical animation reason for shortening the coat for the new CGI series: "Shrinking the trenchcoat at the bottom saves precious rendering time since the program doesnt have to calculate the collision simulation." That makes as much sense as any potential explanation I've heard... though I suppose someone also thought the shorter version looked cool.

You may have picked up on me NOT exactly being the biggest fan of the shortened coat. I think it looks far less iconic than the 1983 coat, and honestly, I wish they'd kept it long. In that regard, this stylish, classic-looking 2006 piece by Andrew is more up my alley (though those shoes sure are goofy-looking)...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Super RTL Stuff: Toggo's Full-Fledged Inspector Gadget Site!

Here's another news piece which has gotten very much delayed, but which I still think is worth getting out there, partly just because it's so cool. Remember the little Inspector Gadget section of Super RTL's TOGGO site? Turns out that was only the initial starting phase, since has since launched a full-fledged Inspector Gadget site with character sections, games and videos! Before I say anything more, I think Toggo's own YouTube trailer can be a good introduction:

The trailer has been out since January 8, the day before the series' German TV premiere on Super RTL, and I suspect the full Toggo site launched about then as well. I have to say -- even though the whole site is well below my age level, it's still pretty awesome to see such a fleshed out web page for the new series, introducing the show and its characters to kids in a simple, straightforward manner.

I especially like how the site has separate character sections for Gadget/Chief Quimby/Professor Von Slickstein, Penny/Brain and Dr Claw/Talon/M.A.D. Cat (with slide presentations of the starring characters), which are linked to from the main page. Not only does this separate in a clear-cut manner between good guys and bad guys, it also separates between the good guy adults - Gadget and Co. - and the good guy kids - Penny and Brain - who are of course the real heroes. Sure, Penny is a teenager here, but the irony from the original series is still essentially present: the kids are the only ones who really know how to save the world from evil; without them, the adults wouldn't stand a chance. So naturally Penny and Brain deserve their own part of the site. The name for their section is also quite interesting, I think: "Spass mit Sophie und Fino", meaning "Fun with Penny and Brain". The wording feels like a way of making kid viewers identify with these two characters.

In addition to presentations of the stars, each character section also has its own video trailer, game and assortment of screenshots. The screenshots are high-res, but look a bit softer than I'd expect, as if they have been upscaled. Still, well worth a look. Here's one example from the Dr Claw section:

The games, though, while probably okay for the smallest children, could be a lot more exciting in my opinion. The Inspector Gadget section's "Gewinnspiel" is an extremely simple one where you need to select the correct gadgets for Gadget's missions... though made more interesting by small video rewards and the chance to win actual prices. In M.A.D.'s section, there's "Fang die MAD-Katze" (Catch the M.A.D. Cat), which is actually even simpler:

The only action-orented challenge is offered in the Penny/Brain section: "Rette Inspector Gadget!" ('Save Inspector Gadget!') is a runner game where you - as Penny - need to avoid obstacles from M.A.D and keep running and jumping towards your uncle to save him from the clutches of evil. It's okay, but could easily have been much more exciting (even if, I know, it's WAY below my age group). And why on earth doesn't an action game like this have any music? It actually becomes quite dull to play after a little while, with long stretches of almost complete silence. Come to think of it, music is conspicuously absent from the whole site. Hmmm.

Complaints aside, though... the end screen of "Rette Inspector Gadget!" is really lovely.

This is from a screenshot, too: Check out the filmreel in the image below.

And aside from the characters and games, yet another interesting feature is the Inspector Gadget video section, where two new half-hour episodes are made available to stream for exactly one week after they have aired on Super RTL (separated online into 11-minute segments, as you can see on the site). The available episodes for the moment are half-hours 3 ("Rock Out" / "Strike A Pose") and 4 ("Better Class of MAD" / "Cough Due to Claw"), which aired in Germany this Friday and Saturday.

As with the earlier Agenten-Mission video reward, the episodes are not playable on my laptop, only on my cel phone, annoyingly. In fact, this is also true of all the video trailers in the different character sections: the Super RTL player keeps refusing to show them on my PC. I'm not sure if this is some kind of technical error or a restriction for visitors outside of Germany (I'm guessing the latter, but the site doesn't seem to say anything about it). If anyone in Germany is reading this, perhaps you could check how it works on your end?

One video ad has at least become easily watchable elsewhere - the earlier mentioned reward for the Agenten Mission game (which can still be played at the bottom of the main page, by the way). Here it is, embedded from a January 6 upload on Super RTL's Facebook site...

(By the way; MAN, do Gadget and Penny look freakish in the live-action bits of that ad. Bobbing heads, floaty eyes and half-open mouths... yep, that's appealing!)

Anyway, to get back to the main point of this post -- I'm loving the fact that Super RTL has given the new series a proper home page. It's the only one of its kind right now, seemingly, but the elaborate way it's set up and designed does makes me wonder: could a proper (which doesn't just lead to a little Facebook site) be in the cards as well?

So I May Have Been Wrong About The January 1 Boomerang Asia Premiere

Again, assumptions. Back when I reported that premiere date, I assumed it from two sentences in a Boomerang Asia press release circulating online. One: "In the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Myanmar, Boomerang will replace Cartoonito channel feed on January 1, 2015." Two, a direct quote from Mark Eyers of Turner International Asia Pacific: "Right from the start, we’ll be airing the all-new Inspector Gadget and Turbo FAST series." It's logical enough to assume that "right from the start" means literally right from the day that Boomerang relaunches in Asia... right?

Well, maybe not right. According to TVB Network Vision, a wireless television network service in Hong Kong, the Gadget reboot actually debuted on the Chinese Boomerang on January 5, at 4:30 PM. As we know from the above press release quote, the Boomerang Asia feed encompasses (among many other ares) Hong Kong. Here's a snapshot of TVB's series presentation:

Another strong indication that this might be the correct date is the YouTube video which led me to TVB Network Vision's site - a Boomerang trailer from them which was uploaded on the very date of January 5. Small Gadget clips at 00:17 and 00:57...

...and also, a Facebook trailer for numerous kids channels under the TVB service was published the same day. Short Gadget snippet at 00:09.

I think these videos, combined with TVB's site presentation, offers enough evidence that the Boomerang Asia premiere of Inspector Gadget was indeed January 5, not January 1 as previously assumed. This will be revised in the news column's list of premiere dates. Oh, and I suppose I might as well include the four high-res images from TVB's site...

I'm not even saying anything this time. Not a word.