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TV

Warner Bros. and Disney Team Up For Their First Series ‘Right Now Kapow’—And It Looks Like This

What would happen if two historic animation powerhouses—Warner Bros. and Disney—collaborated on a TV series? Whatever you were expecting, it probably wasn’t this.

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, Warner Bros. Animation and Disney XD have teamed up to create the sketch comedy series Right Now Kapow, set to premiere on September 19, with additional episodes airing on September 20 and 21. The half-hour series (whose working title was Airline Earth) features various sketches, songs, and jokes showcasing the cast of characters pictured below: Dog, Moon, Ice Cream, Candy, Diamond and Plant.

rightnowkapow_k

Right Now Kapow is created by Justin Becker (MAD, Adult Swim Infomercials) and Marly Halpern-Graser (MAD, DC Nation) who both serve as executive producers with Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation. Mark Marek (MAD) serves as producer, and Devin Flynn (Y’all So Stupid) is supervising director.

Here’s the trailer:

Per Disney XD:

Containing a multitude of comedy sketches and quirky songs, each episode of the character-based sketch series takes audiences on a journey of endless comedic possibilities. The talented voice actors play multiple parts in every episode as their characters change with every sketch premise. The series features a talented voice cast of performers from the world of stand-up comedy and improv including Michael Blaiklock (Don’t Trust the B—in Apartment 23) as Dog, Alana Johnston (This Hour Has 22 Minutes) as Candy, Kyle Kinane (Those Who Can’t) as Ice Cream, Emily Maya Mills (Key & Peele) as Diamond, Betsy Sodaro (Superstore) as Plant and Baron Vaughn (Grace and Frankie) as Moon.

Perhaps the show is hilarious and entertaining. We’ll have to wait and see. But it’s hard to make sense of what Disney XD is trying to achieve with this current programming cycle of deliberately incompetent-looking animation, which is a stain on the Disney brand’s reputation for quality.

Maybe their latest focus groups showed that kids want cartoons that look like they were found in the trashcan of an elementary school art classroom; maybe the person greenlighting shows equates web cartoon-quality art with an “indie comic” vibe? Whatever the thinking, a consistent pattern has evolved at the network, and Right Now Kapow fits in well alongside similarly crude-looking Disney XD product like Two More Eggs and Future-Worm!

"Right Now Kapow."
“Right Now Kapow.”
"Right Now Kapow."
“Right Now Kapow.”
"Right Now Kapow."
“Right Now Kapow.”
"Right Now Kapow."
“Right Now Kapow.”
"Right Now Kapow."
“Right Now Kapow.”
"Right Now Kapow."
“Right Now Kapow.”
"Right Now Kapow."
“Right Now Kapow.”
"Right Now Kapow."
“Right Now Kapow.”
"Right Now Kapow."
“Right Now Kapow.”
  • Patrice Jean-Baptiste

    umm….Ok? So weird of a choice for Disney XD. I mean, this looks like to be in the style of something like “Secret Mountain Fort Awesome” (I think is the title) or some weird Adult Swim cartoon, but yeah, weird show choice for a Disney show.

  • Lucky Jim

    “Whatever the thinking, a consistent pattern has evolved at the network, and Right Now Kapow fits in well alongside similarly crude-looking Disney XD product like Two More Eggs and Future-Worm!”

    Fun Fact: “Future-Worm!” is created and executive produced by previous Cartoon Brew Artist of the Day honoree Ryan Quincy. You can see his article here: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/tv/ryan-quincy-out-there-animator-80015.html

    Obviously, some folks on the staff don’t consider Ryan’s art crude-looking. ;)

  • I agree with the sentiment – it looks pretty bad…

    But I am not the target audience. So long as Disney and Pixar continue producing quality features, I’ll be happy. What the Disney corporation does with their TV department isn’t central to their legacy. If this is what gets them eyeballs and revenue, it’s ok.

    Another thought – it seems like often we judge content before we see it. Maybe once we see the show, we’ll understand why they chose this style.

  • ea
  • mashed potato

    This style of ‘deliberate incompetency’ seems to be a kid-gloves sanitization of adult stuff, off the top of my head, Bojack Horseman, Superjail, Ugly Americans and Mr Pickles. It’s bright and friendly, possibly a gateway or bridging for the teens. Tactical strategy to appeal to two audience groups and segue one to another?

    Elsewhere I’m lamenting we lost Motorcity…

    • IamError

      Why did you have to mention Motorcity? All the tears I thought I’d already cried over that show’s early passing are coming back with a vengeance.

      Excuse me, I need a moment alone.

  • Chicken McPhee

    What unholy concoction from the depths below is this?

  • AmidAmidi

    You must be new here, so here’s a quick primer: Cartoon Brew has been an quirky undefinable mix of news & commentary since day one; if you want corporate-approved press release-style ‘journalism,’ that’s literally EVERY SINGLE OTHER animation industry news site.

    • Fried

      Most of the animation news sites are inactive or don’t cover as well as CartoonBrew. You don’t really seem to grasp how much of a monopoly CB unfortunately has in the animation community. People flock here not because it’s the best, but because it’s the most active and most popular. People generally enjoy going to a news site that has an active comment base but on CB, it can sometimes be difficult to engage in it if a lot of the comments are more discussing your opinion than the actual content.

      The subject matter is what sticks out to me when browsing this site, but I also find the injected opinions overwhelming at times. I find it weird how CB is so open to art and animation of all types and styles in theory until they’re actually presented, in which case they vary rapidly from flinging insults to high optimism.

      Why does Pickle and Peanut and Two More Eggs get rather neutral articles while this does not, for instance? Why does Nut Job get slammed for sequel announcements but Angry Birds is met with no strong opinions one way or the other? Why does Sausage Party get a dozen articles with how it’s a huge milestone to theatrical adult animation while Bojack Horseman isn’t acknowledged for trying to take crude adult animation and make it into a depressing drama rather than just being your typical Brickleberry or Family Guy?

      Calling Disney XD’s line-up elementary school trash isn’t “quirky”, and wanting CB to get away from every having another “Peanuts Movie Looks Bad” incident isn’t people asking for sterilized corporate-approached release.

      • Netko

        You could also argue that people are attracted to this site for the occasional opinionated article. I sure enjoy seeing a site call out something that looks this lazy and horrible, unlike most others who’ll give the same coverage to any kind of show no matter how bad it looks. If you have an issue with CB’s opinions and think they’re wrong, hypocritical or misguided, that’s fair. But talking about “journalistic integrity” on a site like this is barking up the wrong tree because that’s never what the site has been about, nor should it be just because people have their own mistaken ideas of what it is.

  • Marc Hendry

    Feel like TV animation is taking the wrong lessons from the Adult Swim/Newgrounds wave from ~10 years ago. They’re adopting the weaknesses of the low budget/amateur cartoons into a higher budget/professional format. At the same time there are shows like Steven Universe, Spongebob and Gravity Falls that have brilliant quality TV animation

    • Fried

      It’s more like this trend has been persistent since South Park and Beavis & Butthead premiered. Those shows kind of defined the “We want the teen demographic” idea.

  • Googamp32

    Well… Hopefully it will be better than “Pickle and Peanut”.

  • Paulo Muppet

    Unfortunately the video doesn’t play in my country, so I’m judging by the images alone. Visual development for a TV series is pretty hard because there are so many different artistic and commercial goals to achieve. Looking at this series I can immediately tell that the target demographic is older than the average animated show and that alone is a goal achieved by the development team. Even as an artist myself I am sometimes put off by products that look like weren’t made for me, when sometimes I could really enjoy the dialogues, the visual jokes or the story. I guess what I’m trying to say is that different audiences have different standards and that is not an exact science. Also, I learned that it takes real talent to make something consistently “crude looking” :)

    • Marc Hendry

      you can have a “crude/naive” style that is a little easier on the eyes. For example Crayon Shin Chan worked with it’s design

  • Well … That looks … ugly.

  • Quiubo

    I actually thought this article might be a mighty joke.

  • Capital_7

    Just Ugh.

  • Inkan1969

    What exactly is the collaboration? Is this being made inhouse by Walt Disney TV Animation, or Warner Brothers TV Animation, or someone else entirely?

    • I assume WB simply made and licensed the show to a Disney network over Turner. Whenever that’s because Cartoon Network didn’t want the show, or WB felt CN would mishandle it, I don’t know.

  • Fluffydips

    Another lazy and random shitfest it seems. How does Disney and WB working together spawn this Mr. Pickles like crazy thing?

  • Broken

    Disney tv is having so much trouble with a bunch of tryhard development execs trying to copy what Cartoon Network was doing years ago. Finally they catch up in trying to cash in on an overdone trend. The only problem is, like mentioned above, that they throw their brand under the bus in order to appeal to a tiny niche demographic of people who would actually watch this shit. Disney XD EXTREME DISNEY, and supposedly it’s for 13 year olds? It’s also not even on the main channel, because Gary Marshmallow decided to fill that up with a bunch of those creepy live action shows with the miley cyrus copies. So what you have is a secondary channel that disney is pumping money into,to make crap filler content for an audience that doesn’t normally bring in a lot of ratings.

    The money is in kids stuff because kids buy toys and happy meals and advertisers know this. So they go where the money is. Those are two demos. 6 – 11 (parents buying stuff for kids) or 18 – 34 (college kids and up with disposable income to buy crap). Trying to crack the nut of tapping into that angry pubescent/adolescent demo is a deadend because teens don’t buy stuff. They go on tumblr and whine about how a KIDS cartoon isn’t representing some socially progressive agenda, or is to “young.”

    So moms and parents are gonna be deciding..hmm… should we add DISNEY XD to our cable package for our kids…and then they will see bullshit like future worm and OK KO…AHEM i mean right now kapow and probably not go for it.

    Years ago Cartoon Network managed to find a sweet spot of hiring indie comics weirdos to make weird indie kids cartoons and it took off. It was probably just a reaction to all the cheesy stuff being pumped out of the other studios, the spongebob ripoffs and corny stuff like codename kids next door. It was a welcome time to introduce something “fresh” like Adventure Time or Regular Show. Now both those shows have run their course and Disney finally gets the collective balls to try something edgy and indie. Little do they know the pendulum is swinging the other way because audiences are getting tired of that style and it’s no wonder why shows like LoudHouse are doing well. Because it’s just a wholesome white kid family cartoon. Nothing weird, subversive or high concept. Its very accessible. Pickle and Peanut, Future worm, and the others are beating a dead horse. The bottom line is every studio has a bunch of douchebag execs come in and claim they are going to “reinvent” the brand. They do this by basically copying whatever is cool at the time. Nick did it with sanjay and craig trying to copy regular show. CN did it with lego shit trying to cash in what disney has (toy based brands) and now come full circle disney is trying to copy CN because they want to reinvent themselves again instead of just doing Disney, which is wholesome family, high production quality, mom approved cartoons.

    It’s no wonder the American animation industry is in a perpetual funk. It’s just rehashes and incestuous content that never takes risks. And sadly, The revolving door executives just made their way over to netflix and amazon. So if you think that these streaming services are going to offer something different, it probably won’t happen. It’s the people in power and the gatekeepers that control what goes on the air. They can take the coolest, hippest idea from tumblr and just water it down until it’s no longer anything close to the original. The only hope for new animation is via the internet, film festivals and things that are produced outside these broken systems.

    • Fried

      What a horribly misinformed post that is not only aggressive with its bias and assumptions but seems to get its “facts” based on random rants said by various /co/ users. I’m shocked this post doesn’t have random mentions of Tumblr boogeyman and how Teen Titans Go is poison.

      You have problems with the industry being stuck in a rut but then complain when the execs try to do something out of the box? What exactly is your point in this post at all? You just seem to be angry that animation isn’t catering to you in general.

      DisneyXD is taking chances with low budget cartoons because they can, because they are low budget cartoons and because they own so many properties they can afford to mess around and it won’t impact their brand name at all, no matter what people here think. They hired people like the Chapman brothers who originally tried to pitch your usual show with a cast of characters, premise, and episodic formula and Disney felt they weren’t using their full potential and said, you know, if you guys work best in skits, just do skits. And it isn’t even like their entire line-up is filled with MadTV-esque or dudebro shows. We just got through with Gravity Falls and Wander, Star Vs is currently airing, and Milo Murphy’s Law, Tangled, Big Hero 6, and Ducktales are on the way, all shows that are very “typical Disney”.

      You think web comics aren’t sterile? You think there isn’t a million comics out there that is “relatable”, maybe features a 20-something-year old artist who makes jokes about being anti-social or a total dork? All while having art styles that become a blend of Adventure Time, Kate Leth, and Scott Pilgrim? Bonus points if the comic is only four panels and the punchline is a funny face! These people are not restricted by anyone and they’re still incredibly generic. Look at the two artists making Long Gone Gulch, they aren’t limited by a studio and still want to make it kid-friendly out of their own desires to do so. You know why people make these typical things? Because they want them to be accessible to mainstream audiences because they themselves are a mainstream audience member.

      Do you think somehow the industry is going to flip around and one day films like Zootopia will fail while The Congress is a hit? There have been constant attempts at trying to push animation into a different realm and it always falls short of an audience because people just don’t want that. Don’t go blaming the studios because more kids watch Loud House than Steven Universe, or because Inside Out ends up being a bigger hit than Anomalisa. Studios rehash shit because that’s what people want. They want to see Ellen in Finding Dory over Kubo.

      You complain about stagnation and then comaplin at Disney’s attempts at trying to break away from it. It might not be successful to you, but throwing stuff at the wall is at least more interesting than something like CartoonNetwork right now who has built such a specific branding, all their shows writing starts to blend in together. Execs could very easily just pick up a dozen shows about KIDS going on ADVENTURE with some META HUMOR and SOMETIMES THERE’S A COUPLE OF DARK MOMENTS AND LORE! Watch the Nick short pilots program, more than half are trying to mimic Adventure Time with kids and their magical pet/friend going on silly adventures where they shout at the top of their lungs. The studios didn’t ask for this, if they did, shows like Magical Children Doing Things and My Friend Pancake would have been picked up already. The artists themselves are choosing to follow trends. You can argue it’s due to pressure from the studio, but considering many people are making generic works under their own supervision means a lot of people just genuinely believe in these trends right now.

      • Good comment, yo.

      • Minato Arisato

        It might not be successful to you, but throwing stuff at the wall is at least more interesting than something like CartoonNetwork right now who has built such a specific branding, all their shows writing starts to blend in together. Execs could very easily just pick up a dozen shows about KIDS going on ADVENTURE with some META HUMOR and SOMETIMES THERE’S A COUPLE OF DARK MOMENTS AND LORE!

        Besides AT and SU, what other CN show is like that?

  • It looks like King Star King with less squirting

  • This reminds me a lot of Sally Cruikshank’s work ‘Quasi at the Quakadero” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quasi_at_the_Quackadero

    • otterhead

      I would LOVE to see her stuff appear on Disney XD. it’d blow little kids’ minds.

  • complainer

    Come on guys, couldn’t you find an original color palate?

  • LK

    This makes me sad for numerous reasons. Look at that deliberate neglect of the principles of character design, proportion, line quality, light, color, basically any kind of visual appeal whatsoever… like, christ, it looks like it was made with that Youtube cartoon generator feature. The trailer doesn’t show much promise, either. That’s not exactly slick animation going on there.

    Remember when WB and Disney actually made a GOOD collaboration? Yeah? I’m going to go drown my sorrows by watching that.

    • In all fairness, that was just one of many loaned-out cameos.

  • Axolotl

    Amid’s incessant trolling is what makes CB fun to read. Any outrage he inspires in me is of the fake, enjoyable kind.

  • Seriously

    Gosh, I really did not expect to hear “derka derka” on a Disney show. Isn’t that the Arab equivalent of saying “ching chang chong” to imitate a Chinese person? If they’re trying to court tumblr teens, they’re going to have problems.

  • YA BOOBAY

    Right off the bat, it looks fucking awful

  • Jean-Samuel Roux

    Protip. Just because adventure time “looks” like it’s random neon colors and random doodles put together into a show, does not mean it actually is so.

    This looks like a lame attempt made by EXECS, not actual passioned artists, to do a show that looks WOAAA so edgy and sooOOOOoooo RANDOM ROFLMAO AMIRIGHT GUYZ?

    I’m always trying to keep an open mind, Bojack horseman in my eyes was an amazingly ugly show but became an amazing and VALUABLE watch to a point where I actually grew to enjoy its crazy style.

    This. This thing. What does it has to offer me..? The preview makes it look like a student’s first attempt at making Adobe Flash web cartoons on newgrounds.com

  • otterhead

    Seems like Right Now Kapow is to Adventure Time as Schnookums & Meat was to Ren & Stimpy.

  • Googamp32

    Please don’t defend it.

    • Junkbucket

      “STOP FINDING GOOD QUALITIES IN THINGS I DON’T LIKE” – Googamp32

  • ea

    Will Disney/Pixar’s stock fall if a character says “shit” or “son of a bitch” once in a while, rather than saturday-morning words NOBODY uses in real life like “darn” or “scumbag”?

    • AlunClewe

      I… actually do use both those words in real life? Fairly frequently?

      Then again, I also use “dagnabbit”, which probably very few other people use who are not nineteenth-century prospectors.

    • Netko

      I don’t think you’ve been paying attention to what kind of image Disney has been promoting for itself for as long as it’s existed.

  • Person man

    This would have probably been neat as a Paper rad DVD of some sorts, but this looks pretty ugly for television, and doesn’t look much like a kid’s show. This probably would have been suited more towards adult swim or FXX, at least there they would be able to do more with this and the audience of those channels would accept it as a pretty neat stoner toon. But thanks to being on Disney XD, they’re going to have to attempt pretty hard to make it for kids. At best, I can see this being a short lived niche series liked by stoners and such.

  • Netko

    Mighty Magiswords does look generic, generic being the key word. It doesn’t look horrible, like something drawn by a little child with absolutely no concept of color, line variance and character design. Its art style is not offensive to the eyes like this one. You’d be better off comparing this article to the one about Pickle and Peanut which, oh look, got exactly this kind of commentary because of how lazy, ugly and representative of a bad trend it is.

  • Matt Norcross

    This crap really makes me appreciate the hard work John Lasseter has done preserving the legacy Walt Disney left through the two animation studios he runs (Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar). The TV division, Disney XD included, has associated themselves with provocateurs and indy-comic weirdos, and they have disgraced the Disney name.

  • Barrett

    The thing is, Disney XD HAS no unifying theme. Maybe Dinsey doesn’t want it to, maybe that’s OK. But for those of us who remember what it was like in the 90s with the Disney Afternoon block and Kids WB block etc, it seems like it makes more sense for a channel or programming block to try to have an overall theme or range of programs.

    The Disney Afternoon’s shows ranged from action/comedy to straight-up gag comedy to more mature action/adventure, but they all felt somewhat related, they all felt pretty Disney (though Gargoyles was definitely edgy within that umbrella.) Same thing with Kids WB. Between it’s inception as a gathering place for cast-off Fox Kids shows produced by WB up until it devolved into random anime, most of its run was as a block for WB TV animated shows. And while those again ranged from silly/slapsticky stuff like Animaniacs and Freakazoid to more “serious” shows like the DC Animated shows, it all felt pretty comfortably related.

    Disney XD is all over the place, with shows like Gravity Falls and Wander Over Yonder on one end, and stuff like The 7D, Future Worm and now this show toward the other. It just seems like a mish-mash, rather than a family of somewhat related shows.

  • Idontlikethisstyle

    Oh boy, they sure do set a different tone with the narration. And I can’t add to how bad this looks as others already spoke their minds about it. I also cringed the worst at 0:10 because I feel like there is going to be that one (or two) kid(s) that is going to mimic this because they think it’s funny when it’s pretty inappropriate. Kinda sounds like “derka derka derka” even though I think they are saying “dorka dorka dork” but still kind similar isn’t it? Anyways I just like to say how I’m always turned off by this kind of indie comic style. It didn’t work out for Problem Solverz although CN picked it up after Adult Swim said no and who knows if that would of actually been somewhat good it they didn’t make it for kids. I say it’ll at least get two seasons (1-2) and hopefully doesn’t go any further but I’m not a kid and this is a channel for kids so who knows where that will go.