Courageous Cat returns!

Yesterday, at virtually the same time I was extolling the praises of producer Sam Singer (the “Ed Wood of Animation“) at my Comic Con presentation of the Worst Cartoons Ever!, Deadline Hollywood broke the news that Evergreen Media Group has made a deal with Telefeatures to acquire rights to the 1960s cartoon series Courageous Cat. According to Deadline’s Mike Fleming:

Evergreen is prepping a contemporary live-action/CGI feature with a new mythology for the character, one of only two properties originated by Batman creator Bob Kane that isn’t owned by DC Comics and Warner Bros. Telefeatures syndicated the original cartoon series, which Kane created as a parody of his earlier Batman work. “For years we resisted overtures for the property,” Telefeatures director Debbie Litt said. “However, because of Tony and Evergreen’s longstanding track record of finding great new takes to reboot classic properties we had a significant comfort level in entrusting them with Courageous Cat.”

The other non-DC property by Bob Kane, referred to the article, is Cool McCool (owned by King Features/Hearst Entertainment). Courageous Cat was probably the best known – and best produced, but that’s not saying much – of Sam Singer’s output, which included such notable productions as Pow Wow The Indian Boy, Bucky and Pepito and the infamous Paddy Pelican.

Courageous Cat was a parody of Kane’s Batman and Robin – done with much less style and wit than the 1966 Adam West show. It’s not funny enough – nor bad enough, I will admit – to be shown in my Worst-Of programs. But boy, Hollywood is really scouring the bottom of the barrel to cash in on the current super-hero craze. What next, Sinbad Jr.?


  • http://www.zoomgroups.com/group/jivetoonzcomix William Joseph Griffin

    Now, now…Sinbad,Jr. had its moments…

    • rnigma

      Yeah, in the episodes Hanna-Barbera produced.

  • Bill the Splut

    Like the cartoons, will the movie be exactly 3 & 1/2 minutes long?

    I rented the DVD when it came out, forgetting that everything I liked before third grade was objectively awful. I watched about 20 minutes of it.

  • James

    THAT is going to be made into a feature film? Though I guess this sort of remake is almost guaranteed to be better than the original.

    • Steve Gattuso

      What the hey, it worked for “Battlestar Galactica” and “My Little Pony.” Not that I expect anyone involved to have anywhere near the talent of the folks in those examples…

      • Chris Sobieniak

        In the end, people’ll watch anything if they’re in the right place/time for these things to happen.

  • http://time.com Harry McCracken

    If they’re really talking about Courageous Cat and mythology in the same sentence, this is doomed to stink. But if it somehow results in a Bucky and Pepito box set, it’ll all be worthwhile.

  • http://www.witch-katrina.com/ Charles Brubaker

    It’s obvious that they’re trying to cash in on the Bob Kane connection. But seriously, when was the last time “Courageous Cat” aired on television?

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I recall the cartoons landing on Nickelodeon’s “Weinerville” nearly 20 years ago.

  • http://twitter.com/zorkinian Zorkinian

    Cool McCool is the only Bob Kane creation that needs a reboot. It’s a seriously underrated gem.

    • Marvin

      I was waiting for someone to say this, so that I could second it. Not that the mid 1960s King Features animated series was well executed or beloved by that many, but because of its potential as a property. The studios demand tent poles and relentlessly strip mine the capillaries of the deceased in search of the faintest promise.

    • rnigma

      All I recall about McCool is that nearly all episodes ended the same way, with Cool propelled skyward by his boss via an ejection seat, and screaming “It’ll never happen again!”

    • Bill the Splut

      “When you’re right, Number One–you’re right!”

    • dbenson

      Actually, my main memory of Cool McCool was a ripoff of Get Smart using a Jack Benny voice.

      Even then, “That will never happen again, Number One” felt like a very conscious clone of “Sorry about that, Chief.”

  • Joe

    The words “live-action/CGI feature” doom this project more than anything.

    I mean, how many humans were even in this show? And how do you get a universe w/ batman-like cat, mouse, Edward G Robinson frog, fox, etc alongside the real world? I guess they’ll have to pull a “traveling through parallel universes” premise ala Howard the Duck

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I recall at least one episode where some human kid got kidnapped but that’s about it (or maybe it was one of those long-ear flesh-skinned dogs, I dunno). Reading what someone else had said about what he thinks where the film may go, I certainly hope it doesn’t follow the path that begot “Underdog” on us.

      • http://ramapithblog.blogspot.com David Gerstein

        The path that begat UNDERDOG seems to have begun with its director, Frederick Du Chau—who, from what I’ve read, simply wanted to produce his own concept with a boy and his superhero dog. Tying it to an existing property was secondary; it was Hong Kong Phooey before it became Underdog.

        Either way, the moral would seem to be “pick up property X because you want to do property X.”

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Which we do wish people would stick to doing anyway than simply trying to invade Property X with their original ideas.

        It’s a very important lesson.

  • Christopher Cook

    Ah, Courageous Cat did indeed get shown at your Worst Of shows at Comic-Con, back in 2004. Quite horrible as I recall.

  • Richard

    Too bad Bob Kane didn’t have Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson on hand to do all of the heavy lifting creatively. That worked before for him.

  • Giovanni Jones

    Voice of Courageous Cat: Taylor Kitsch

    Voice of Minute Mouse: David Cross

    Voice of Bucky: Taylor Kitsch

    Voice of Pepito: George Lopez (but only if his wife is the producer)

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

    Wait, Courageous Cat was revived before Batfink? Batfink‘s not a very good cartoon, with a premise that hops on the 1960s Green Hornet and Batman bandwagons, yet it’s a better Batman parody than Courageous Cat.

    Come to think of it, I’m surprised Danger Mouse hasn’t been pulled out of the barrel yet. Too English, maybe? Spy films not in vogue anymore?

  • http://paulboylan.wordpress.com Paul Nicholas Boylan

    When I was a kid in the 60′s I adored Courageous Cat. The theme music was just simply amazing. I am jazzed that CC is going to get some new life and will be known to an entirely new generation.

  • http://www.toonocity.com fremgen

    I like how they said they resisted offers until this one. I’m willing to bet this was the only real offer they ever got! :p

  • Albert

    Courageous Cat was not a good show at all. Why would you guys do this? I think most people don’t know what the the hell this show is. Is this show really a legend. I think that is like saying that Batfink is a legend. At least try it with Mighty Mouse (Not CGI). At least I think people might remember that.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I would not have known about Courageous Cat if it wasn’t for my mom picking up two volumes worth of those cartoons a quarter century ago from a defunct discount store in town! It became something of a cult favorite among my sibs!

  • Robert Schaad

    Must retain the theme music and jazz/big band-tinged incidental music.

  • Mighty Sailor

    Sinbad Jr.’s pecs in CGI and 3D!

  • Brad

    The Courageous Cat theme music belonged with a much better show.

    Some years back it was used in a car commercial. A (live-action, human) secret agent exited to his garage via a trick fireplace. I remember thinking that, as the fireplace rotated, they should’ve had (cel-animated) Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse show up, blinking in surprise. (Anybody remember the commercial, or make of car?)

  • dbenson

    Coming soon . . . Mike Myers IS Heckyl . . . AND Jeckyl . . .

  • http://www.impko.com David Burd

    Have you heard the version of the theme song by The New York Dolls?

    http://superitch.com/?p=23449

  • Joe Schmoe

    If you find yourself drooling over the potential of a Courageous Cat reboot then it’s time to get out of mom’s basement and get some fresh air.
    And a job.

  • Vzk

    Maybe it will work, but only if Christopher Nolan directs and makes it dark, gritty, and grounded in reality.