What Was The Point Of The 1993 Cartoon/Toy/Game?

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What Was The Point Of The 1993 Cartoon/Toy/Game?

Post by mechapop »

Not sure if this has been addressed before, but I never understood the point of the 1993 Double Dragon cartoon series, Tyco figure line and
"Double Dragon 5" fighting game based on the series.

They use the 1987 logo, they call the main characters Billy and Jimmy Lee, but that's about the only thing it has in common with the series.
The 1994 movie and *especially* the 1995 Neo Geo game loosely based on the film had more to do with the game series(And I say this as
someone who can't stand the 1994 film)
Just weird they couldn't have used at least one bad guy from the series...not even Abobo?

I wonder if the cartoon was spun from the 1991 Marvel Comics Double Dragon, but even that had slightly more to do with the series.
To this day I just don't get it. WHAT IF the cartoon was literally based on the video game series, imagine all the figures they could
have made. Who the heck is Vortex and Blaster? It'd be like if they made a Super Mario cartoon that had nothing to do with the game
series(ok, in a way that was the 1993 movie) Trying to pass off a crappy goofy fighting game based off the cartoon as a sequel
to Super Double Dragon was the low point.
(my adult swimlike animated series)
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Re: What Was The Point Of The 1993 Cartoon/Toy/Game?

Post by RenegadeDragon »

I think cartoons was on the decline during that time. I'm not a cartoon expert but I remember the 80s having good cartoons and the animation was on point, mostly the Japanese ones that were made for Americans audiences. As for double dragon I remember never being able to catch it when it was on. I don't know why but it seemed back then they couldn't keep a steady listing at the time it was supposed to be on the television, not just dd though numerous cartoons. I probably caught it a hand full of times but seeing how double dragon was pretty much already a story that has been done before. if you've watched the show fist of the North Star you'll know what I'm talking about. dd would have to be different not only that, it would have to be created for kids. so your not gonna get the gutter grimey violent story you seen in the game your gonna get all the cookie cutter stuff that's makes children cartoons what they are today....baby shit lol. i would love too have a madhouse or toei animation double dragon anime, now that would be epic.
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Eddie MountainGoat
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Re: What Was The Point Of The 1993 Cartoon/Toy/Game?

Post by Eddie MountainGoat »

Okay, I know I’m re-jigging an old topic here, but I thought I’d have a crack at this one.

No, the cartoon was not based on the comic series – but my theory is it was originally supposed to be. I’ve brought this up before, but look at the Yinyang-like sign of the Shadow Warriors, from the cartoon and DDV game. Now, look at the Yinyang-like symbol of the Double Dragon, from the comic (On Billy's shoulder, on the Issue #1 cover, and in the bottom-left corner, on the Issue #3 cover). They’re too similar to be a coincidence. They’re EXACTLY the same!

There’s also the fact that Marian is a cop, also taken from the comics (yeah, she’s a cop in the Super / Return of DD storyline, but the comics were released years before that game).

If I had to guess, I’d say that DiC got the rights to do a series based on the Double Dragon games, but ran into legal trouble with Marvel, so they decided to go in a different direction.

The first episode is loosely based on the NES game. Billy has to rescue Marian from the Shadow Boss, who of course turns out to be Jimmy. It actually does feature Abobo, and “Wild” Willy (re-cast as a cowboy, but still based on his purple-suited appearance in the Zap Pax cards).

If they'd kept things going in that direction, the cartoon series could've been a lot better. Jimmy could still be betrayed by the Shadow Master and switch sides in ep 2, except the Master would be based on the Mysterious Warrior, and the Shadow Warriors would be inspired video game counterparts: Burnov, Right Arm, etc.

Likewise, instead of Vortex and Kona, we'd get new Dragon Warriors based on in-game allies: Seimei, Ranzou and Roney.
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Re: What Was The Point Of The 1993 Cartoon/Toy/Game?

Post by Billy Lee »

RenegadeDragon made a lot of good points which I will touch on in a few. There were a lot of factors that made the Double Dragon cartoon the way it was.

The ERA: You have to remember during that period, America was attempting to keep an extremely clean, non-violent and PC image especially with their cartoons and kids products. During that little time span especially in the early 90s America was going bonkers over Street Fighter being too violent, Mortal Kombat being extremely too violent, rap being way too vulgar, and heck even Power Rangers being too violent of a kids show. A lot of kids shows back in that period made sure to try hard not to go overboard especially with any kind of blood and sex. While you had cartoons like “Fists of the North Star” during that era, there was no way you were going to see a cartoon like that on a major network or cable television period. If you wanted to watch a cartoon like that you would either have to catch it on the movie channel or get the VHS.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Effect: TNMT proved that you could take a popular name and market it in a kid’s direction. There is a huge difference between the 80s cartoon and comic at that time. The comic of TNMT is actually pretty violent, but somehow in some way they were able take the names and turn it into a million dollar product made for kids and that era. TNMT turned into a multi-million dollar franchise that sold cartoons toys and games so why not attempt to do the same thing with other popular comics or games. During that period, Double Dragon was still well known and popular; however, Double Dragon was somewhat violent. As RenegadeDragon pointed out, if you wanted to make the perfect DD cartoon you needed something like Fists of the North Star, if you wanted the perfect Double Dragon movie then you would have to watch Jean Claude-Van Damme’s Double Impact. It wouldn’t have surprised me if they wanted to call it Double Dragon but ran into legal issues as well. They couldn’t make Double Dragon that way because one it would be a little too much like Fists of the North Star and two it wouldn’t be as marketable. Better yes, a money-marker, not so much. Still what DiC did was try to take a popular game and spin it. They attempted to take Billy and Jimmy, make them more colorful and kid-friendly, create characters that would appeal to the masses (Hence why you have characters like Blaster and Chop) and market it. The reason they game them those so-called magic swords was to tone-down the violence and kind of separate itself from the normal hand-to-hand fighting that was done often at that time. In the end, they made their money off it since it did go on for a couple of seasons so I guess in some ways you can say it was a success for them. Sure it wasn’t Ninja Turtles epic but they made money none the less.

Unfortunately because of that, companies with little to no passion for these games are making movies and products now. Like the Street Fighter, Resident Evil, and Mortal Kombat 2 movie, they are just out for a quick buck on a popular name. Until Double Dragon gets a true company that cares (Which is what we are all hoping for with ARC), it will continue to suffer. So if you want to blame anyone for DD debacles, blame the politics during that era.
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Eddie MountainGoat
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Re: What Was The Point Of The 1993 Cartoon/Toy/Game?

Post by Eddie MountainGoat »

You raise some good points, there. The first time I watched the cartoon as a kid, my sister commented "This is SO Ninja Turtles!"

I think the magic swords were more of an attempt to channel He-Man's success. Think about it; The heroes hold aloft their magic swords, invoke the power of (relevant mystical source) and are suddenly transformed into super heroes! The phrase "By the power of the Dragon!" is also repeated so many times throughout the series, that my father commented "By the power of Greyskull!"

The Dragon Warrior team was indeed very PC, with an African-American (Blaster), an Asian (Kona) and a physically disabled member (Chopp).

BUT, given that DiC translated Abobo and Willy into this superhero reality, there's no reason why they couldn't have done the same with the real villains and heroes.

Right Arm could've been the Shadow Master's "right-hand man", with a giant, mutated right arm. Burnov could've had an exaggerated Russian accent, and called every other Shadow Warrior "Comrade".

So too, with the heroes. Sonny and Chin Seimei could've kept the team racially diverse.

I'm actually wondering now if Chopp isn't the cartoon universe's version of Right Arm. Sure, he's a good guy, but he started off (unknowingly) working for the Shadow Master, who gave him his first cybernetic right arm.
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