Spotted A Few Things at the Licensing Show…

…and wanted to share them with you. As I said in a previous post, I attended the 2010 Licensing Expo in Las Vegas yesterday. Here are several items of note (click thumbnails below for larger image), each reflecting a new take on an old favorite.

Left to right: Apparently there’s a new Top Cat movie (filled with ‘tude) coming from South America; The Toon Studio of Beverly Hills is offering up this revised version of The Wizard of Oz; and King Features has a new spin on Olive Oyl.


  • bob

    Top cat looks rad, but the rest….. BLAHHHH

  • http://signorestudios.blogspot.com/ Christopher

    As I said before, going by the poster design, it looks as though we’ll be treated to a 2D animated movie at last! Looks more appealing than what they’ve got in store for “Yogi Bear” to be sure… =)

    Plus, REALLY like the pose and lighting for the Bugs scene, too. Rather ’90′s in its way.

  • ben c

    if that olive oyl image is a representation of the overall style, that would be pretty interesting

  • http://www.thehungryreader.com Krepta

    OK, I’ve suffered through a lot of really bad Oz reboots, from the glorified fanfic people publish in novel form to some truly execrable ‘grrim & grritty’ self-published comics, but that has to be the absolute worst I’ve ever seen. That’s like one step up from altered Mega Man sprites in MS Paint. They patched together some fashion designer’s no-anatomical-experience doodles against a generic background, added a nutria in a wig, and they’re actually daring to market this? Using MGM’s ruby slippers instead of the silver shoes from every other version of the story, no less?

    Toon Studio of Beverly Hills, you go to hell. You go to hell and you die.

  • hannah

    Is it too much to ask for people to leave the Wizard of Oz alone? (I’m looking at you Tim Burton)

  • Sunday

    Rebel Oz. Welp, thanks Jerry. Always good to start the morning with a touch of ridiculousness.

  • http://youtube.com/tavoman Tavoman

    I actually heard about a Top Cat project from Anima studio in Mexico a few years ago, from the artwork I’m not entirely sure is the same project, if so keep in mind this is the same studio that made the Mr Magoo kung fu dvd release

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron H. Bynum

    Wonderful. Something is wrong with Top Cat’s fingers… don’t know what it is though. And after looking at that OZ rendition, my first thought was that some teenager picked up a HOW TO DRAW MANGA instructional manual and said, “Hey, I have an idea.”

    The Olive Oyl onesheet is funny, but doesn’t surprise me. Last spring, high fashion group Miss Sixty licensed the character for a limited edition line of t-shirts and whatnot (their first character license ever, as I recall).

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    So, that’s yet another image from the Looney Tunes Show? It looks pretty cool, I like the vintage touch in the coloring, even though the design itself is extremely modern.

    The Top Cat movie is done in South America? Yeah, it has a lot of ‘tude, but I still think it looks quite better than all those CGI/life action versions they’re doing now.

  • http://beaudetteblog.blogspot.com Grant Beaudette

    Are those giant robots I see in the back of that Top Cat image?

  • http://apretaellapiz.blogspot.com John Nord

    “Olyve Oil represents the quintesential femme fatale…” “…she is fun. She´s fearless. She´s flirty…”

    Looks like someone found certain story from Carlos Nine´s “Crime and punishment”…

  • fishmorgjp

    That Merrie Melodies art looks like they’re aiming for ‘cute,’ rather than ‘funny.’

  • http://sirrichardwentworth.bandcamp.com/ Sir Richard

    Man, that Wizard of Oz image made me puke in my mouth a little bit. Predictable “edgy” revision, with sub-manga pseudo-gothic artwork… gotta love folks with too much money and no clue.

  • http://www.flashcartoons.org Lavalle Lee (flashcartoons.org)

    the top cat one looks interesting

    but why change the cartoons, why not make new ones in the old traditional way!

  • http://hellohue.blogspot.com Hellohue

    At least Top Cat looks like it could be in 3D. The Wizard of OZ looks horrible, there is zero personality in the drawings and the films looks like it’s going to be designed by half the 14 year olds on DeviantArt. Strangely enough the only thing here that seems to have a hint of creativity behind it is Olive Oyl merchandising, which I’ve seen some of already and for whatever reason, I’m fine with it. It’s rather tastefully done and with a desirable design.

  • http://kelseighn.blogspot.com Kelseigh

    Okay Jerry, fun’s fun. But you pulled that Wizard of Oz thing off of deviantART, right?

    Right?

    Oh god, please tell me I’m right.

  • Behemoth

    Umm… did anyone else take a tour around Toon Studio’s website? Particularly the products page. Page 16. Alice in Wonderland gets nuked.

  • VinceP

    That Top Cat image looks cute, and I like the feel coming off that Merrie Melodies image too.

    I really don’t like to say negative things about images that people have put a lot of hard work into, but that wizard of oz image is really awful. I find it hard to believe anybody put any hard work at all into that. Did someone actually bring that to a trade show? Really?

  • Mark

    The Olive Oyl image is terrific. So clean, clear, and readable. The Oz image is pure immature Japanese cartoon crap. And the Top Cat image is just plain ugly.

  • Russell H

    As I was reading the Olive Oyl one, I could hear in my mind Mae Questal saying, “Oh dear, oh dear.”

  • http://beaudetteblog.blogspot.com Grant Beaudette

    I also like how they seem to have confused the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz with the scarecrow from Batman.

  • John A

    Keep on truckin’, Bugs.

  • NC

    @ Kelseigh LOL! That was the first thing I thought too. There’s no way they paid a real professional to do that. As for Olive Oyl I would like to see a really creative spin on her. I’ve never thought about it until I saw this post. But it could definitely be the next Wicked.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    Huh, that top image of Bugs is a bit more appealing. I like Top Cat too!

  • http://www.chuckrekow.com/ Chuck R.

    There are probably a half-million ways of successfully modernizing Olive Oyl for licensing. This is NOT one of them. In fact, this design looks like the artists didn’t even try —sad.

  • http://www.petercampofiori.com/ Peter Campofiori

    @ John A LOL! I thought I was the only one who recognized that famous Robert Crumb cartoon.

  • Blake Packard

    I hate this.

  • Russell H

    Seriously(?), the Bugs picture shows promise. While the background reminds me more of late ’50s Hanna-Barbara, I really like Bug’s pose–the exaggerated perspective is very “Clampett”(or “Scribner”)–and Bugs’s face reminds of the grinning “Super-Chief” bunnies from THE BIG SNOOZE.

  • http://steve-hogan.com Steve Hogan

    The design is nice and all, but Olive Oyl as a symbol of FASHION? Okay, she’s tall and anorexic, but isn’t that like having Moonbeam McSwine on hygiene products?

  • http://www.comemeetjesus.blogspot.com Chris Powell

    thank you for posting this! excited for the top cat action! and so glad that its NOT live action! cant wait to hear more!

  • Roberto Severino

    That Bugs picture has me convinced. I’m definitely going to watch the show when it premieres in the Fall. I hope the artwork lives up to something like that.

  • http://www.comemeetjesus.blogspot.com Chris Powell

    also, the bugs image, that is from the new show? looks fun.

    the olive oyl thing is just weird to me. I dunno

  • Quincy R

    None of these concepts are inherently bad, as long as any of them were done well. Really well. And that isn’t going to be the case.

  • cliffclaven

    If they’re pushing Olive, does that bode well for a resumption of the Fleischer/Famous/Paramount DVDs?

  • Evan

    Any chance the Top Cat movie will be coming stateside? Even if it sucks I’d still like to see it

  • Christina S.

    Aaaagh, that Wizard of Oz ‘re-imagining’ really ticks me off! And mind you, this is coming from someone who actually *likes* the gothic/alternative, Tim Burton-y aesthetic. Just go to their website and look at all the stories that they’re convinced needs to be more dark, edgy, and animu. I mean, Phantom of the Opera? Really? And why does almost *every* girl have to be wearing a bodice with a sweetheart neckline and a really poofy-but-short lolita skirt? It just adds NOTHING to these stories!

    I’m all for re-imagining old folk stories and fairy tales, but for goodness’ sake, actually THINK about what you’re changing about them and WHY. American McGee’s Alice may be too over-the-top and ‘edgy’ for a lot of people, but you have to admit, at least the macabre theme made SOME sort of sense. Compare it to Toon Studio of Beverly Hill’s interpretation of ‘Littel Miss Muffet,’ who for some reason now has bat wings, elf ears, and this weird raver-goth outfit that… well, you get the point.

  • http://trevour.blogspot.com Trevour

    I like that Bugs pic! I’d also like that modernized “Merrie Melodies” logo on a shirt.

    The Top Cat image is cool too – very expressive. It COULD do without the ‘tude though. And Choo-Choo’s eyes don’t look spaced-out enough.

    Olive Oyl – what a fun design. Just like a vintage ad. I’d like to see more of this.

    Wizard of Oz… um… uh… sheesh. Was that swiped from deviantART?

  • STEF

    Well, having grown watching Top Cat….. I’ve always remembered him with the ‘tude in him. He’s the kidn of guy that wants to be big, and rich, and famous, and wanted, but he’s never gonna get there. He’s just a cat in an alley, which is where the tude comes from. From that kind of personality that exceeds ego. What’s so wrong with the tude if it belongs to the character truelly, this time?

  • http://goldenagecartoons.com Matthew Hunter

    I think the Top Cat image looks pretty cool, actually.

  • Tonma

    @ Grant Beaudette :
    no those aren’t giant robots, just regular size robots.

  • lampshade

    The Bugs Bunny image at the top is new ? I’m so impressed, it gets my thumbs up of approval.

  • http://kelseighn.blogspot.com Kelseigh

    The Toon Studio version of Rapunzel looks like Lisa Frank threw up on it. It’s only a dolphin away from being a 1980′s binder cover.

  • http://joeywaggonerstoontime.blogspot.com/ Joey Waggoner

    I really want to see that Top Cat movie.

  • Anna

    ok, who let the anime-obsessed fangirls of DevArt attempt to draw Oz characters. What is this, the 90s again?

    Olive Oyl looks GREAT!

  • http://www.sweetposer.tk/urbmn/ Cameron A.

    I don’t have a problem with a Wizard of Oz anime. I remember seeing the 1986 anime on Canadian television in the early-to-mid-1990s, on Global.

    I do have a problem with that tacky abortion above. It looks like the cover art to an NES video game. Such cynical marketing.

  • lampshade

    I like NES video game covers.

  • http://unlearningartschool.blogspot.com Geneva

    I dig that cute Bugs. It’s weird how much it’s grown on me.

    The Wizard of Oz stuff, on the other hand…

  • http://www.sexymecha.com Hal

    Those REBEL TOONS are nothing of consequence, regardless of opinion on their quality. Pathetic attempt at marketing, perhaps, and this posting will probably get their site more exposure than anything else, but these liscensing shows are chock full of hack attempts to make a buck. Interesting that Olive Oyl has remained iconic worldwide.

  • Juan A.

    I think the “Don Gato” pic is not for a new movie,rather for a hispanic compilation of the old show.I’ve seen similar covers for compilations of “Los Picapiedras”(The Flintstones) and other kid’s shows.Usually recorded in the poorest setting on one dvd.

  • Toast

    The modern bugs looked better with the gray color scheme and less corners. That’s his final look for the new show, right? It kind of made me eat my words on one of the past posts hehhehe.

    The Top Cat cover needs less airbrushing. Wizard of Oz uh, what’s up with the the perspective of the feet? Have I seen those poses before? Olive Oyl’s body looks strange like a pen tool warm-up exercise something or the other , but the head is Ok.

  • Corey

    The merrie melodies promo looks awesome

  • Jarko

    The Oz pic looks a bit weird. Nothing can surely beat the 1986 series:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzfYVOwZac0

  • Jody Morgan

    Maybe it’s just me, but Bugs’s head looks a little too large in relation to his body; regardless, I still love that image. I also like the Top Cat poster and the Olive Oyl ad. As for the Oz image, the less said the better.

  • http://www.TVsKyle.net TV’s Kyle

    Bugs and Top Cat look really cool. I don’t mind a little “‘tude”. I don’t agree with one man’s crusade against a legitimate facial expression. Look out smiling! You’re next!

  • derp

    cool! a version of ‘wizard of oz’ I cant allow my kids to see! “thats called ‘cleavage’ son. ya know, I dont really know WHAT its for, but we like it.”

  • http://kelseighn.blogspot.com Kelseigh

    Come to think of it, what’s wrong with Top Cat, of all characters, having ‘tude? Isn’t he supposed to have ‘tude, what with being an alley cat and all?

  • http://chrisbattleillustration.blogspot.com/ Chris Battle

    @ Kelseigh:

    Nah, he never had ‘tude (It didn’t exist in the early 60′s); He was crafty and clever, but never full of ‘tude…

  • http://davekirwan.com Dave Kirwan

    I was at the Expo last year (my wife has worked the show the last few years, doing the design work on site on the Expo dailies). King Features had the same piece then and others on established characters promoting their overall licensing potential which, in fairness, is a little different than the Oz and Top Cat stuff which are offering a specific character re-design.

  • rhinotonight
  • Shawn

    The Toon Studios of Beverly Hills stuff is all just rip offs of Disney and Pixar properties if their website is any judge. The Cars stuff is hilarious and ugly. Everything on that website looks like the stuff your grandma buys you because she’s old and not sure what brand name Disney merchandise looks like. (Not my grandma, who would know better, but you know.)

    It doesn’t help that their art team is apparently made up of one person who isn’t very good at this yet.

  • Brian

    I would absolutely watch that Bugs redesign. Perfect example of how to move forward without slavish devotion to past model sheets while keeping the essence of the character. Love it.

  • Rooniman

    The Top Cat movie looks interesting. If it didn’t have the ‘tude.

  • http://seedlesschicken.com what in the cel?

    I know I’m in the minority here but I think licensing kills creativity. I enjoy and appreciate artist having fun with illustrations such as the Futurama/X-Men art, but I do mind characters being forced back in front of the camera. Most characters being licensed had their place and time already and need to be appreciated for what they were. Forcing them back into the public again with a redesign only for the sake of easy money defeats the purpose in which most beloved characters were created in the first place. There are plenty of original ideas out there, but if it’s not a sure thing Hollywood would rather reinterpret something that was hot 50 years ago. You can’t bring a dead human back to life and reinterpret how they look and act, but for some reason we are allowed to whore out the existence of characters just because they can be redrawn. I never want to see a Bugs cartoon that wasn’t directed by one of his fathers or voiced by Mel.

  • Scarabim

    I think that Bugs Bunny drawing looks awful. Barely recognizable. And the layout of the title card is terrible.

  • Scarabim

    **I know I’m in the minority here but I think licensing kills creativity. I enjoy and appreciate artist having fun with illustrations such as the Futurama/X-Men art, but I do mind characters being forced back in front of the camera. Most characters being licensed had their place and time already and need to be appreciated for what they were. Forcing them back into the public again with a redesign only for the sake of easy money defeats the purpose in which most beloved characters were created in the first place. There are plenty of original ideas out there, but if it’s not a sure thing Hollywood would rather reinterpret something that was hot 50 years ago. You can’t bring a dead human back to life and reinterpret how they look and act, but for some reason we are allowed to whore out the existence of characters just because they can be redrawn. I never want to see a Bugs cartoon that wasn’t directed by one of his fathers or voiced by Mel.**

    I call it the Wrong-Sounding Muppets syndrome. And I agree with you.

  • Juan A

    It may be a good omen that neither “Don Gato” or the Oz anime style piece merit mention in the June 2010 issue of “The Licensing Book”.

  • http://bogswallop.deviantart.com/ Stephen

    Oh ffs. Why does everyone have a hate boner for smirking all of a sudden?

  • OLEA

    My vote goes to Looney Tunes and Top Cat, think is a nice approach and looks classic, seems the artist behind them are old school fans ;)

    Wizard of OzMyGod Epic Fail, The Olive one like the concept but not the approach at all.

    I want to see more! Anybody knows where are more stuff related to this projects?

  • david

    Wow! I love the Rebel Look of OZ! it rocks! scarecrow is edgy rendition.

  • willco

    I thought this rocked out. Pixie Chicks.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_oLvyDYo7I

  • STORYMAN

    Personally, the Rebel approach, though not technically advanced, is quite fun and passionate. i like it. i checked out their site. the vintage is really hot. they should do a vintage version of OZ as well. they have all kinds of original vintage art relating to snow white, cinderella etc. personally, i think thats more interesting than pixar. to me, its more about the underlying story than the details of the art. i’d rather have less professional art with a great underlying story than perfect illustrations with a weak story.

  • FashionMan

    I don’t get all the negatives on OZ. sounds like hatchet job by their competition working the blogs. i am in the apparel biz. i’d love to plaster those rebel toon pics on high end tees. Olive Oyl is also great. Ultra vintage. Ultra retro.

  • SexyMom

    Olive is clean. elegant in a retro kind of way. I think the Rebel Toons OZ is freaking hot. its for an upcoming ipad book. I checked. Love Dorothy’s attitude. i luv the Toon Studio vintage stuff on their site. They should push their vintage along with rebel. Its original 78 RPM vinyl album and kiddy book cover art. i remember those books when i was a kid. Adorable. the vintage jr. elf books are selling on ebay. expensive. collectors r making good cash. Toon Studio should reprint books instead of just licensing their art. these old books definitely surpass the shlock book offerings for kids today.

  • AqB

    LOVING THE REBEL TOONS WIZARD OF OZ! genius idea to turn it into a funkier and sexier version…i would definitely love to have those characters on my clothing.
    all you who just trashed those rebel toons obviously have no taste

  • abst555

    wow. this is going to be huge. rebel toon is amazing!!!!! genius!!! i love all the haters. when a genius idea comes alive, there better be jealous haters. shows u actually have a product worth something. wish this was around when i was a kid!!!!

    make me into a rebel toon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love it!

    RE; KREPTA… your hidden agenda is obvious. but to wish death and hell over a toon, while shilling for their competitor makes u a sad excuse for a human being. get a life and find some humanity.

  • talkative123

    RE ABST555, your right KREPTA is the wicked witch of the west. hit the nail on the head.

    personally i love the olive oyl. would love to see Popeye. hey how about a Rebel Toons Popeye.

  • sonofthecobra

    i got a sneak peak of the rebel oz project. it aint a movie. its an interactive ipad book, and a soon to be hard cover kids book. there is a reason why the oz characters look like that. its part of a story. the book also has some cool vintage original oz art all woven into the story from what i can tell. hope the book is as good as the preview.

    they should do a top cat book as well for ipad.

  • regards123

    wow, obvious hatchet job by toon studio competitors don’t you think? slander like that only shows fear not confident. oh and warner brothers have a new wizard of oz movie coming out so no wonder they took there shot at the toon studio. oh and the creator of this blog works for warner brothers. all making sense.

    my opinion on the toon studio is its a really great idea and i cant wait to see more!

  • regards123

    wow, obvious hatchet job by toon studio competitors don’t you think? slander like that only shows fear not confident. oh and warner brothers have a new wizard of oz movie coming out so no wonder they took there shot at the toons tudio. oh and the creator of this blog works for warner brothers. all making sense.

    my opinion on the toon studio is its a really great idea and i cant wait to see more!