Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Last year's Matrix sequels opened a Pandora's box of crass synergistic tie-ins with the simultaneous release of TheAnimatrix. The straight-to-DVD comp ofanime shorts awkwardly complemented themovies with long backstory expositions andquestionable character introductions. Since
producers had the time between flicks, itgave animation's finest the time to sculpt somewhat decent entertainment.

Screw entertainment, something clicked withThe Animatrix that had nothing to dowith entertainment. Now three major summerreleases come with their own DVD toons. TheShrek DVD comes with Shrek 3-D,
fifteen bonus minutes of new content. TheChronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, a standalone DVD release, features titularstar and veteran VO talent (Iron Giant)Vin Diesel. Van Helsing: The London Assignment is the animated prequelstarring the voice of Hugh Jackman (although
everyone knows VH sucks without David Lee Rothor Sammy Hagar). While these cartoon adventures take food out of Saturday morning cartoon
executives' mouths, it does broadenthe "myths" of the franchise-ready characters.

While I haven't succumbed and grabbed thesefrom Best Buy's impulse aisle, I think theymight be better than the Star Wars
Holiday Special. Marginally.

Why stop there? Here's a few suggestions for summer toon tie-ins:

Collateral Comics. Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx's likenesses return in this space-age sequel. The moody hit man, the gregarious taxi hack, and their talking dog Gulp accidentally fall into a spaceship and get sent to the Dark Side of the Moon, where it's always night. Jay Thomas (Cruise) and Nancy Cartwright (Foxx) provide voices.

Harold and Kumar Go to In-N-Out. West Coast prequel.

Today: The Day Before Tomorrow. Actually a comp of old Captain Planet episodes. Voice talent includes Jake Gyllenhaal's chest.

Brown Bunny Babies. Starring Vincent Gallo's prepubescent trouser snake.

Got a better one? Send it to comments. Winner gets photo of Jake Gyllenhaal.

- Media Yenta's Brother

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