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Old 03-21-2018, 03:42 PM   #1
AKaun6899
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Question Who actually owns the 80s show?

I've recently gotten back into the franchise, and while I'm sure it's explained elsewhere, the ownership regarding the 1987 series just boggles me.
When Viacom bought the franchise, that did not include the show. However, based on merchandise and social media posts I've seen, Nickelodeon can utilize the 80s likenesses of the turtles, as well as other separately owned TMNT adaptations like the NLC/GH trilogy. They were even able to get back the original VOs for the 2012 series (having Rob Paulsen voice one turtle from each team helped, I guess).
On the other hand, on more recent DVDs of the '87 series, Lionsgate does credit Viacom in the legal info. I am aware they inherited the distribution rights to the cartoon through an acquisition, but who actually owns the series?
Thanks for your help in advance.
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:01 PM   #2
oldmanwinters
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Fred Wolf Films owns the actual episodes, and it is still an active studio:
http://www.fredwolffilms.com/

I think Lionsgate currently holds the "home video" rights. Since Nick/Viacom owns the actual franchise, I expect there is still some obligation to Lionsgate to credit or acknowledge them.

Nothing prevents Nick/Viacom from using the likeness or characters from the old show (Mirage Studio artists did they all the time and were often commissioned to do Fred Wolf style artwork), but they are fairly careful to avoid using any actual excerpts from the episodes.
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by oldmanwinters View Post
Fred Wolf Films owns the actual episodes, and it is still an active studio:
http://www.fredwolffilms.com/
Are they? That website only lists stuff that is at least 20 years old or more. It also had a gallery for Fred Wolf's oil paintings.

http://fredwolfartgallery.com/pages/bio.html
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by oldmanwinters View Post
Fred Wolf Films owns the actual episodes, and it is still an active studio:
http://www.fredwolffilms.com/

I think Lionsgate currently holds the "home video" rights. Since Nick/Viacom owns the actual franchise, I expect there is still some obligation to Lionsgate to credit or acknowledge them.

Nothing prevents Nick/Viacom from using the likeness or characters from the old show (Mirage Studio artists did they all the time and were often commissioned to do Fred Wolf style artwork), but they are fairly careful to avoid using any actual excerpts from the episodes.
Thanks. Interestingly, this promo that Nickelodeon released celebrating 25 years of animation appears to use a snippet resembling an 80s episode, at around the 0:18 mark:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF8_DgFq-iA
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:13 PM   #5
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Does Fred Wolf make any modern cartoons? I haven't heard about any cartoon made by them from like 2000 onward over these last 18 years.
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew NDB View Post
Are they? That website only lists stuff that is at least 20 years old or more. It also had a gallery for Fred Wolf's oil paintings.

http://fredwolfartgallery.com/pages/bio.html
It's a good question how "active" Fred Wolf Films is, but I think the "Turtle Power Documentary" crew did visit with Mr. Wolf in his California office, so maybe he still does something?
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Last edited by oldmanwinters; 03-21-2018 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by oldmanwinters View Post
Fred Wolf Films owns the actual episodes, and it is still an active studio:
http://www.fredwolffilms.com/
What? Do they really? They still exist?

Quote:
I think Lionsgate currently holds the "home video" rights.
Yup, and they're planning on re-releasing the DVDs AGAIN: http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Tee...llection/24058
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AKaun6899 View Post
Thanks. Interestingly, this promo that Nickelodeon released celebrating 25 years of animation appears to use a snippet resembling an 80s episode, at around the 0:18 mark:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF8_DgFq-iA
Woah, yeah, that really surprised me! Looked like a clip from something out of the pre-CBS syndicated run. Might have been a little legal slip up too.

I can't help but think Viacom approached Fred Wolf Films for a series buyout deal but the studio is holding out for an obscene buyout offer or at least the expiration of their current Lionsgate contract.
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:04 PM   #9
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Uh yeah, looking at the Fred Wolf website right now, calling them "active" is a bit of a stretch. From the looks of it, they haven't produced a movie in 33 years, a TV show in 21 years and a web cartoon (seriously?) in 18 years (seriously, how was web based animation profitable in 2000? It was pretty much just Newgrounds back then). Taking even a cursory glance at this sad excuse for a website, I'm convinced Fred Wolf the company just exists as a shell for Fred Wolf the person, to make license money off old shows and movies. And practically all of them are obscure.

It's hard to imagine how this pathetic joke of a company once produced ten seasons of a cashcow.
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Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
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Old 03-21-2018, 08:20 PM   #10
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What else did they do besides Turtles?
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:12 AM   #11
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What else did they do besides Turtles?
Well you could just check the links in this thread yourself. However, I doubt you'll recognise any of it, at least nothing you'll care about. And take some of these credits with a pinch of salt, they seem to be credited Fred Wolf the person rather than his company.

Out of what I could find that seems relatively noteworthy:
  • A Zorro show
  • James Bond Jr.
  • The California Raisins
  • Duck Tales (Just seems to credit the person, not the company, as a supervisor)
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks (but only slightly less than half of season 6, I have no idea how that works)
  • The New Adventures of Speed Racer

I find that last one amusing. The anime from the 60's is known for ignoring the manga it's based on, which is funny because this show seems to take an even bigger dump on it.
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Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
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Old 03-22-2018, 01:04 PM   #12
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80's cartoons in general were a weird breed. Hanna-Barbera made all those classic shows and Superfriends at the time, and there weren't that many competing studios at the time.

Cartoons didn't really take off till the 90's, except back then they also made countless cartoons based on movies or shows that only ran 26-65 episodes. Then the anime craze happened in the late 90's and early 2000's so less new stuff was produced, but then that died down and here we are in the modern era of Nick and Disney shows.
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:19 PM   #13
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80's cartoons in general were a weird breed. Hanna-Barbera made all those classic shows and Superfriends at the time, and there weren't that many competing studios at the time.

Cartoons didn't really take off till the 90's, except back then they also made countless cartoons based on movies or shows that only ran 26-65 episodes. Then the anime craze happened in the late 90's and early 2000's so less new stuff was produced, but then that died down and here we are in the modern era of Nick and Disney shows.
Still, I don't remember thinking there was anything wrong with things like He-man and Thundercats... or one or 2 others I watched. Not seen them in years though
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:26 PM   #14
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Still, I don't remember thinking there was anything wrong with things like He-man and Thundercats... or one or 2 others I watched. Not seen them in years though
Well, I watched a few episodes of He-Man fairly recently. It's crap.

The characters barely move a muscle, it's usually just the lips or neck. And when they are required to do anything else, it's almost always recycled. It baffling to watch the cheapness. Oh, and David Wise was on it, so you know they prioritised quantity over quality when it came to the writing.
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Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:34 PM   #15
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The characters barely move a muscle, it's usually just the lips or neck. And when they are required to do anything else, it's almost always recycled.
*shakes a cane* aaand that's the way we liked it!
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:36 PM   #16
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80's cartoons are very dated, especially in animation. The original TMNT cartoon managed to have a late 80's and early 90's feels to it so it doesn't feel as dated as some of those other 80's cartoons. Look at Superfriends, characters weren't even allowed to fight and nobody had any distinct personality. Both Superman and Batman had the same personality, you couldn't tell the difference.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:17 PM   #17
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Well I may see them differently watching them now but I remember liking them as a child, obviously the animation would look dated compared to now, but I hadn't experienced the 2000's back then
I revisited Inspector Gadget when the new show came out as I was showing it to my children, I don't think that looked terrible.
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:21 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by oldmanwinters View Post
Fred Wolf Films owns the actual episodes, and it is still an active studio:
http://www.fredwolffilms.com/
I'm with the other guys here, I don't think the studio has made anything recently. I hope I'm wrong of course.

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Yup, and they're planning on re-releasing the DVDs AGAIN: http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Tee...llection/24058
I wish they would just put us out of our misery and release the show on blu-ray with new extras.

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It's hard to imagine how this pathetic joke of a company once produced ten seasons of a cashcow.
That 'pathetic joke of a company' lasted as long due to the quality of it's products, something you fail to see. I wish I could be like you, ignorance being bliss

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Originally Posted by neatoman View Post
Out of what I could find that seems relatively noteworthy:
  • A Zorro show
  • James Bond Jr.
  • The California Raisins
  • Duck Tales (Just seems to credit the person, not the company, as a supervisor)
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks (but only slightly less than half of season 6, I have no idea how that works)
  • The New Adventures of Speed Racer

I find that last one amusing. The anime from the 60's is known for ignoring the manga it's based on, which is funny because this show seems to take an even bigger dump on it.
What the hell is wrong with the 90s Speed Racer man?! I know it ain't Pokemon or whatever crap you kids watch today but...I mean WTF?!

By the way you forgot to mention Budgie The Little Helicopter which was a minor hit at the time.

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Well, I watched a few episodes of He-Man fairly recently. It's crap.

The characters barely move a muscle, it's usually just the lips or neck. And when they are required to do anything else, it's almost always recycled. It baffling to watch the cheapness. Oh, and David Wise was on it, so you know they prioritised quantity over quality when it came to the writing.
I hope the writers like JMS and animators at Filmmation don't visit these sites to read comments like that. I mean I know you have an opinion but you seem to love systematically going through all 80s cartoons to say how terrible they are. And this is coming from a user who thinks the IDW comics are the epitome of great with their reincarnated TMNT.

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*shakes a cane* aaand that's the way we liked it!
And guess what? To some, they're great animation...

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Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
80's cartoons are very dated, especially in animation. The original TMNT cartoon managed to have a late 80's and early 90's feels to it so it doesn't feel as dated as some of those other 80's cartoons. Look at Superfriends, characters weren't even allowed to fight and nobody had any distinct personality. Both Superman and Batman had the same personality, you couldn't tell the difference.
80s cartoons have dated as much as any other era. Today's cartoons will look ugly as hell in a couple of generations time and then we'll get 15 year olds saying how 'pathetic' the animation in stuff like Adventure Time and My Little Pony Friendship is Magic were while neatoman furiously defends them.
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Old 03-22-2018, 07:18 PM   #19
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To avoid any confusion, by "active," I only meant it hadn't been sold to another corporation or officially out of business, ala Filmation, DiC, or Sunbow.
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Old 03-22-2018, 07:45 PM   #20
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Would Dan Berger have the answer if I were to ask him? It seems to be convoluted.
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