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Thursday, June 01, 2006

THROWBACK THURSDAY 18



THE GET ALONG GANG!!!!
This weeks throwback is one that not many people remember, but that's the whole purpose of the throwbacks is to resurface toons from the past that now live in Cartoon limbo. The get along gang is no exception. Though part of the cute, cuddly saturday morning toons which included the Wuzzles, Shirt Tales and Care Bears, the get along gang for some reason stuck with me. When I first started working for American Greetings I was given the task of taking these classic characters to a new level. Kind of like a facelift. It was a cool challenge for me to update these characters. Along with a team of writers I think the the overhaul came out pretty good. This was actually my first attempt at designing animal characters. Let me know If you all dig the final results.


(L to R) Mogo,Hatch,Mayfield,Reagan,Domino and Mrs. Bristlemore
The Moose is my favorite. I tried to make him iconic because he's the leader.


A few secondary characters.


The old GANG! Below is the itro clip to the cartoon. Maybe the song will jog your memory.

29 comments:

Jim Mehsling said...

Haha, That's Great. I had forgotten about the Get Along Gang. The Overhaul is EXCELLENT. The Moose does capture an iconic look, I like the Sport Cat. Looks like they then took The Designs and brought them 3D? Great designs all around.

babadawud said...

I never heard of them. Wonder where I was. Anyway your designs di it much justice. Good work as usual man!

Rozum said...

I'm partial to Mayfield and the big bear in the vest.

This show was after my time, and during the dark ages of Saturday morning cartoons.

Out of all of your reinterpretations, so far, I think this one goes the furthest, and really makes the characters fresh. Maybe, since they aren't as iconic as say, Yogi Bear, it was easier, and wiser to go pretty far off model with them. Impressive work, especially for your debut.

Did you do the 3D image as well? It actually looks sculpted by hand and not by software.

Great stuff.

Paul M. said...

"Get Along Gang - The Next Generation"

It'll be interesting to see how much of the old Gang has been "carried over" from back in the day and what the story is behind the new characters.

For what it's worth "Hatch" is my personal fave with "Regan" a very close second.:)

Artytoons said...

"The Gang" was my most favorite 80s character line...cute animal kids with a nice message of friendship and working together. Here's to hoping for a cool revival.

I like Mayfield ("A Character from Cleveland", eh?), Regan, and Hatch. Mogo looks a lot more powerful than Montgomery. Domino looks to be the comedian of the gang.

Any connections to the 80s gang to be revealed? Any chance of the 80s gang appearing in new merchandise or being referred to in the new update? With 12 kids in the 80s Gang, there seemed to be more potential for new ideas from the original concept as well.

Thanks and best of luck in the revival!

Artytoons said...

I want to add about what sets "The Gang" apart from the cute character lines of the 80s to me is a sense of "Real".

The 80s Gang kids had no gimmicky fantasy powers and lived in a quiet small town that could be any real-life town setting. The animal kids acted like various human kids would...adding animal traits to the walking and talking human-like actions of the furry characters is a bonus. The kids make mistakes; feel pain, happiness, sadness, and anger; and stayed good friends no matter what disaster may befall them. Lots of personality identifiability in the characters (Montgomery's patience, Dotty's spirit, Woolma's preening, Zipper's athleticism, Bingo's quest for materialism, little Portia's struggle to find respect).

Bad guys Catchum Crocodile and Leland Lizard added some punch to break up any potential over-saccharine moments like Eddie Haskell on "Leave It To Beaver."

There's nothing wrong with getting along...even when your pals are different species of animals! ;-)

The GagaMan(n) said...

Blimey, I vagely remember this. I think my sister had stuff of these guys. Great overhauls.

jeaux janovsky said...

nice job saxton!
i really dug the cartoon as a kid for some reason.
i dig yr revamp even more.
-jx

Paul M. said...

Words like "overhaul" and "facelift" could, potentially, send a bone chilling message to those who still remember and cherish the Gang from way back when.

Fortunately, the Am' Greetings Deep Throat has assured us that, "We're not messing with the original, just expanding on it."
All the characters featured here so far are, with the possible exception of "Mrs Bristlemore", genuinely new.

The old Get Along Gang hasn't been mucked about with, as visitors to the official website, (or what hopefully will be the official website, someday), can plainly see.

That's not to say that the original Gang shouldn't ever be given a subtle revamp of their own. Look at what A.G.C.'s done with the "Care Bears", they demonstrate that it is possible to put a modern spin on old characters and still "keep it real".

Artytoons said...

Dotty the cheerleader dog was the most clever design in the original 80s Gang.

I have no problems with the new Gang's look...I don't have any problems with the 80s Gang kids either (except the "other" Gang kids (Braker Turtle, Rudyard Lion, Rocco Rabbit, Flora Fox, Lolly Squirrel, Bernice Bear, Hocus Hare, and Pocus Possum) should have been featured more in the tv cartoons and AmGreetings merchandise).
Other fans may disagree with the change/update in GAG storylines. There was so much more in 80s era Green Meadow waiting to be discovered in official AmGreetings lore...but never touched upon.

SACKS said...

Thanks for the warm comments everyone. I'm really glad you all dig the designs. The show is currently floating in limbo now. I was a strong advocate in moving the whole thing forward, but it's not up to me. I can really see the shows potential. There was a CG pilot made but AG doesn't feel it's strong enough to release to anyone. A second episode was also in the works, but put on hold. If it were up to me, I'd put it out there (at least on the web). From what I've seen, it's better than a lot of things out there now. I would love for AG to let me run with the the whole production.

Artytoons> I see you know your gang. This cast does not replace the old gang, just takes place years later. I am a strong fan of the GAG as well and would love to design more of the characters much like the secondary characters you've mentioned. Do you remember the breakdancing turtle in the rolling credits?

Artytoons said...

Yes! That was Braker Turtle (natch!). He was the only Gang kid outside of the "usual 6" to appear in several tv cartoons and have dialogue.

Breakdancing Braker appeared in the end credits of the Nelvana-animated Gang pilot special...the only 30 minute story and the only animation with all 12 gang kids appearing. The pilot aired a few months before the CBS DIC Saturday AM show premiered.

I'm a fan of Our Gang and Fat Albert as well...as well as "Hill STreet Blues", "St. Elsewhere", and "LA Law" in the 80s. "Gang" tv shows are great.

Pity about the new Gang being on "hold" for now. From what I gathered, the new Gang has a mystery-solving, spy kids angle to it. I hope things will get back on track for a successful release. I'll be very interested in finding out.

Thanks!

Artytoons said...

I suppose another thing why the 80s Gang appeals to me is the "free-form" format. The kids can participate in some strange, outlandish adventure in one cartoon, comic book, or storybook story..and then they can participate in some mundane, day-to-day, "real life" activity in the next story (going to school, dealing with bullies, attending some party or town event).

The 80s Gang concept weren't shoe-horned into one strict storytelling theme...the 80s Gang concept was flexible for the kids to believably delve into both wild adventures and everyday ordinary little activities 99.5% of the viewing/reading audience can actually participate in.

The clubhouse caboose was a fun little place for the kids to gather in and to travel from place to place...maybe a bit too "out of the ordinary" for some on that respect but how the kids cope with their problems and situations came from their own individual ways of looking at things...and teaming up, if need be, to get out of trouble and stuff.


There was criticism at the Gang's concept for its "group think" with the Gang losing their individuality when they get together. I don't think the Gang lost any personal individual identity when they get together as a group...if they happen to agree on the same sympathetic action because "it's the right thing to do", there's nothing wrong with that.

lafe said...

the redesigns are hot

Paul M. said...

Let's hope they won't go into meltdown...

When they and their retro counterparts were first announced, many moons ago, it seemed certain that a grand comeback was due very soon and there did not seem to be much else in the works at AGP that could compete/clash with it.

Now there's a veritable stampede of new (and old) properties thundering out of 1, American Road, Cleveland, OH, USA towards a branch of,(insert name of goods and/or service purveyor here), near you.

Alas, they also look to be bearing down on Project Get Along Gang,which seems to have encountered more than a few patches of Crazy Glue(tm) on that same highway to success.

Is rescue at hand, or will TCFC's "Failed Character Disposal Squad" soon be gingerly peeling a dozen or so sad trampled things off the asphalt.? (:-O

Arty McToon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Artytoons said...

What was wrong with the New Gang pilot if you can disclose it?

The premise and the character designs don't look overly soft and cuddly a la Care Bears or Strawberry Shortcake and there seems to be some ongoing genuine adventure plot with the new Gang characters involved (unlikely spy kids of some sort with gadgets and a mystery boss they report to).

Did the AmGreetings execs object to the adventure "kids in peril" angle?...perhaps seeking a softer lesson-teaching approach?

Paul M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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