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Old 05-30-2021, 05:40 AM   #1
neatoman
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Why recycle a script from "Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!"?

In case you aren't aware, "The Weird World of Wyrm" is nearly identical to the Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! episode "Meet the Wigglenog". It has the same concept, same series of wishes, the same conclusion and pretty much identical dialogue. There is absolutely no doubt that the TMNT episode was based on a modified script of the SRMTHG episode. The writer even worked on both shows, so clearly they just had the script in their possession already.

Now... Why do this? Unlike David Wise who didn't really care and just reused scripts for an easy paycheck, to the point where the script ended up just different enough to pass as a different script entirely and be used more than once for the same show (no joke, the same He-Man episode somehow became three Transformers episodes and two TMNT episodes), I don't think this show in particular tended to do this. Granted, I only know of the SRMTHG connection because it was pointed out to me, so there could indeed be more instances of the show reusing scripts. Seems to me they could have easily just written an original story or adapted an old TMNT story, lifting the script from some other show here seemed weird.

Also, SRMTHG is a Disney property, so it might count as copyright infringement towards the Mouse, which is something that rarely pays off if it's noticed. Not that I think Disney actually cares about a show as obscure as SRMTHG, which is probably why they got away with it.
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Old 05-30-2021, 09:52 AM   #2
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I think a lot of cartoon writers recycle scripts between different shows more often than people realize, it's just cleverly disguised with some differences (and the different characters between shows), it's not always obvious. If you watch enough cartoons you'll notice similar almost identical story beats between some episodes.
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Old 05-30-2021, 10:48 AM   #3
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I think a lot of cartoon writers recycle scripts between different shows more often than people realize, it's just cleverly disguised with some differences (and the different characters between shows), it's not always obvious. If you watch enough cartoons you'll notice similar almost identical story beats between some episodes.
Yeah, I'm sure this happens a lot more in the industry and counting how people get obsessed with shows, I'm surprised we don't see more videos or articles about recycled scripts.

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(no joke, the same He-Man episode somehow became three Transformers episodes and two TMNT episodes),
Is there a link where I can read more about this? I remember reading a bit many years ago.
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Old 05-30-2021, 10:49 AM   #4
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I think a lot of cartoon writers recycle scripts between different shows more often than people realize, it's just cleverly disguised with some differences (and the different characters between shows), it's not always obvious. If you watch enough cartoons you'll notice similar almost identical story beats between some episodes.
I suppose if you were to shuffle the scenes around, alter all of the dialogue, throw in new twists and change the visual elements in one script it wouldn't be obvious but at that point it might as well be an original script the recycling would have been pointless. It is also worth noting here that clichés and tropes are a thing, meaning that a lot of stories just feel the same because writers just copy what they've seen a million times before subconciously, not because they're lazy but because that is just what they default to. Then there is of the similar situation of writers just having grown rigid and telling the same stories several times over without realising it, also not because they're lazy but just because that's where their mind goes. And of course if more than one adaption of the same story exist, then it's a bit of a no-brainer that they will be similar, I don't think anyone complains that Muppet Christmas Carol and Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol tell the same story and has some of the same dialogue.

In this case it's none of those things. TMNT and SRMTHG are not adaptations of the same story. Everything the exact same things happen, so it can't be subconcious. It doesn't even do a good job of disguising it, since it's basically just character names that are different. The only reasonable defense is that the malicious genie might be a somewhat cliché story but that defense would only work for when SRMTHG did the story first, not when TMNT copied it verbatim.

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Yeah, I'm sure this happens a lot more in the industry and counting how people get obsessed with shows, I'm surprised we don't see more videos or articles about recycled scripts.
I think TVtropes has a page on that.


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Is there a link where I can read more about this? I remember reading a bit many years ago.
Well, you could probably just check out the episodes for yourself but the He-Man episode is called "Day of the Machines".
It became:
  1. "Day of the Machines" for Transformers
  2. "Microbots" for Transformers
  3. "Kremzeek!" for Transformers
  4. "Audie and Tweak" for Defenders of the Earth
  5. "The Big ZIPP Attack" for TMNT
  6. "Shredder & Splintered" for TMNT
  7. "B.O.S.S." for The New Adventures of Speed Racer
  8. "The Return of Dr. Droid" for Mighty Ducks
  9. "Zap Attack" for Mighty Ducks

Though it's probably worth noting here that the reason he could make so many episodes of the same script is that he carved out certain subplots and wrote new ones. Still, a pretty clear example of recycling.
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Last edited by neatoman; 05-30-2021 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 05-30-2021, 11:22 AM   #5
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Are those chronological? If so, I can't help but laugh that in the very first re-use of that episode they didn't even bother changing the title. Awesome.

Remember when the Chickbusters movie used the ending from Pacific Rim? I nearly had a stroke.
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Old 05-30-2021, 11:50 AM   #6
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Are those chronological? If so, I can't help but laugh that in the very first re-use of that episode they didn't even bother changing the title. Awesome.

Remember when the Chickbusters movie used the ending from Pacific Rim? I nearly had a stroke.
The one with the identical title has the earliest production code of the Transformers rehashes, though it wasn't the first one to air. The listing I went with prioritsed when the cartoon itself came out and what part is emphasised.

So for example, while all three Transformers episodes do in fact use the He-Man episode as a basis, they focus on different concepts. So while the first one focuses on the main premise of a computer controlling other machines, the second on how the solution is to shrink down to enter a machine and the third on an siza changing electric creature that can enter computers. Then these two more heavily revised versions ended up in TMNT.

Also, here is another comparison video.
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Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
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Last edited by neatoman; 05-30-2021 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Found a video
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Old 06-01-2021, 01:08 PM   #7
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If you watch enough cartoons you'll notice similar almost identical story beats between some episodes.
I used to notice similairites between Attack of the 50 Foot Irma (1987 TMNT) and Attack of the 50 Foot Webby (Ducktales). Different writers, but both originally aired in late 1989, something I didn't know back then, and of course I didn't recognize the source material, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman from 1958.
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Old 06-01-2021, 02:22 PM   #8
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I used to notice similairites between Attack of the 50 Foot Irma (1987 TMNT) and Attack of the 50 Foot Webby (Ducktales). Different writers, but both originally aired in late 1989, something I didn't know back then, and of course I didn't recognize the source material, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman from 1958.
Well that is sort the Christmas Carol issue I brought up. But there is a pretty clear difference between two writers ribbing on the same story and just reusing an old script in hopes nobody notices.
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:55 AM   #9
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On a side note, while some plots are recycled through cartoons, it's always interesting to think about how a completely different set of characters can make the plot feel completely different upon watching, the Turtles, autobots, ducks, etc all will react to the same concept differently.
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Old 06-07-2021, 02:42 PM   #10
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Yeah you're right, a lot of cartoons have their shrinking episode, their giant episode, their 2 characters switch mind episode, etc
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