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The Cartoon Intro Examination Thread (60s Edition) - Hanna the Barberian

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Tor might just be one syllable away from a lawsuit from Mighty Thor.

He-Man isn't even away. He stole Mighty Mightor's entire schtick, super-pet and all.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I don't know if this intro is hitting differently for me than everyone else for some reason or what, but I think you just accidentally discovered the greatest cartoon of all time.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Listen, this intro opens with a costumed caveman using a magic laser club, then cuts to a whale ramming a pair of mermen riding sharks who then *explodes*. He then makes a giant monster ape punch itself like Nelson Muntz. By the time it cuts to the baby comic relief character, I was physically making the chef kiss motion at my TV screen. This is the world's greatest cartoon.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
All I know is that Herman Melville's novel would have been radically different if the Whale could explode ships on contact.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Whoa, this… is a TV show really going to handle Finn’s new adventures considering how controversial and incendiary his most famous one was?


It’s live action, people.

We begin with a river boat’s horn going of and a shot of said river boat. The “Cumberland” sails by as we see three kids, whom I assume are Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and…. Anne of Green Gables, maybe? No, we are introduced to the characters/actors and the shot of her says “Becky Thatcher”. Is that a character from the works of Mark Twain?

“We got the steam up,
You got the dream up
Big red viscalda (?)
Listen my friend.
Follow the river
That mighty river
There’s great adventure
Round every bend.”

Tom Sawyer is kind of rockin out to the theme.



“Hear that whistle blow
See that paddle go
Who knows what we’re headin’ t’waaaard.
That Mississippi
She is a mystery
Waitin’ to be explored
Go get your gear mate
We’ll meet you here mate
Go back the chum up (?)
Come on aboard.”

We then see the cast list which has a bunch of Hanna Barbera regulars including Ted Cassidy as… Injun Joe. Oof.

Anyway, we see the back paddle then the riverboat rolling into the sunset.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Not really but I’m definitely curious.

What Did I Find on Wikipedia?

The pilot episode opens with a live-action prologue which sets the premise for the series. It is late afternoon in Hannibal, Missouri, and Twain's classic characters, Aunt Polly (Tom's aunt) and Mrs. Thatcher (Becky's mother) appear distressed in their concern for the youngsters, who are said to be late arriving home. Next, we see our three protagonists, Huckleberry Finn (Michael Shea), Becky Thatcher (LuAnn Haslam) and Tom Sawyer (Kevin Schultz) taking a shortcut home through the town's graveyard, where they encounter "Injun Joe" (Ted Cassidy). Furious at the two boys for testifying in court to seeing him murder Doctor Robinson, Injun Joe chases the three children into McDougal's Cave. As the spry children outrun him, an angry Injun Joe vows revenge, calling out to them "You'll never get away from me! No matter where you go, I'll get you!" Once inside, however, the three youngsters find themselves hopelessly lost in the cave's labyrinthine passageways. This prologue would be re-edited with a voice-over by Michael Shea as Huck Finn summarizing the events, and would serve as the opening sequence for each subsequent episode.

Although we never see the three youngsters emerge from the cave, it is presumed that they eventually find a way out since, as each episode proper begins, we join our three young live-action heroes as they now inhabit an animated world. Throughout the series, the children embark on a quest to return to their families in Hannibal, Missouri, traveling to various exotic animated lands (tropical islands; Egyptian deserts; Aztec cities; etc.) and make friends with—or run afoul of—an array of fanciful animated characters (leprechauns; pirates; sorcerers; etc.). Every episode also features an evil animated antagonist who bears an uncanny resemblance to Injun Joe (voiced by Cassidy). The likeness is not lost on the three children, who are routinely startled by the striking similarity to their nemesis back home; however, no explanation is offered of how, or why, Injun Joe is constantly able to remain one step ahead of them and assume these various guises. As the series only lasted one season, an episode explaining how, or if, the three children ever make it back home, or if it may, in fact, all be some sort of surrealistic "dream", is never seen.

Huh. OK. Lot of weirdness here. Oh, and in “no shit” news, Wikipedia notes the show bares no resemblance to Twain stories.

Can I say how weird it is how many kids shows are about protagonists who are lost forever with no plans ever to do “and then they get back home” episodes. Sometimes they do but most of them leave people lost forever.

The three leads all became teenage pop idols.


Fan Art

I suspect it isn’t for the show but these two are great.

 
We then see the cast list which has a bunch of Hanna Barbera regulars including Ted Cassidy as… Injun Joe. Oof.

Missed opportunity if there was no scene when the kids called for him and he answered, "You raaaaang?"

Also, lots of media tended to take creative liberties with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Even Nintendo Power couldn't resist taking a jab at the Tom Sawyer video game, noting with tongue firmly in cheek how everyone remembers the classic scene where Tom Sawyer fought orcas in the Mississippi River.
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
Are you sure the kids didn't just get desperately hungry and eat some fly agaric or something
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The New Adventures of Pinocchio

This is one I am VERY familiar with. Its Canadian (or a Canadian co-production) so this got a ton of replay on Canadian TV. The theme song is forever etched into my brain. I’ve been looking forward to this and another one since the beginning since I haven’t revisited it in forever.


We hear the announcer shout “The New Adventures of Pinocchio” along with a sign. Man, even the 60s-style heart in the O is lodged in my brain.



The camera pans back and we see the sign is on a theatre stage with Pinocchio, who has less of his classic 19th century European look and is more a modern age boy.

The be-stringed boy bows to the audience to a clapping audience. A shanty-esque theme starts. He starts to dance about.

“It’s Pinocchio, what a happy lad since the day he lost his strings.”

A pair of floating scissors appear and cut his strings and I feel like people should be paying AS much attention to the floating scissors as they should to the talking puppet. At the very least, we need to know where those things are at all times.

“He can walk and talk and fly.”

Pinocchio shows off of the walking and flying part, though he falls while doing the latter.

“Do anything I try,” sings the wooden boy.

“He can dance, he can sing, play a flute.”

Again, he mimes the things that aren’t the middle thing as the Cricket jumps around onto the stage.

“Do anything I try.”

His nose grows which… is weird, since it is the same statement he made before and there was no nose growing, even to his agreement to his ability to fly.

“But never never never never never never never never ever should he ever tell a lie.”

Pinocchio’s nose shrinks and he and the Cricket run towards the camera, presumably to this week’s adventure.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

I’m not made of stone. I grew up with it and I’d be willing to revisit it.

What Did I Find on Wikipedia?

The series is actually a three country production from Canada, US and Japan. It even aired in Japan a few years later on a show called Prince Ciscorn from Doraemon creators Fujiko Fujio.

It was an early Rankin Bass production with stop motion similar to what they would use in their popular holiday specials.

Geppetto appears in the series as narrator.

The one thing I remember in the series is the Loch Ness Monster, who is a recurring character and has tartan plaid skin.

Fan Art

I thought memories from Canadians my age might help but no, I could find no fan art.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The New Adventures of Superman

I vaguely remember this one airing on YTV back in the day. I’m curious if the opening or theme stuck with me.


We start off with a giant gun shooting a bullet and a tiny Superman racing it. I know that’s not what they were trying to get across but that’s my take away. Superman than appears in front of a bull’s eye so the bullet bounces off of him.



I love the idea that Superman was just interrupting someone trying to win a big teddy bear at a fair because motherfucker loves attention. “This isn’t about me! I must intercede.”

“Faster than a speeding bullet!
More powerful than a locomotive”

Superman is seen racing and stopping a train.



“LOOK AT ME, TRAIN!”

The narrator continues “Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”

Superman does that, though it seems less impressive when you can fly. Like, how do we know he’s not really flying and just pretending a really good jump.

The civilians note “Look! Up in the sky!”
“It’s a bird!”
“It’s a plane!”
“It’s Superman!”
And Superman flies around, looking exactly like one of those three things and not the others.

And he gets a theme song.

“Superman
Man of Steel
Superman!”

Superman flies towards the audiences and lets missiles explode off of his chest.

“Superman, rocketed to Earth as an infant when the distant planet Krypton exploded!”

We see Krypton explode into some classic-style fireballs as a rocket leaves the world.

“And who disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and freedom with super powers far beyond those of any mortals.”

We see Clark Kent, the planet, then Clark stripping into his Superman costume and going into space to punch up some meteors for not being as awesome as he.

“It’s Superman
Super super Superman!”

He flies over the title, leaving “The New Adventures of” in his wake in a stiff inelegant fashion one would expect from limited animation.



Then he gets in front of his own title, lest it his own logo steal attention from himself.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Yeah, sure.

What Did I Find on Wikipedia?

This is actually kind of a bigger deal than its popularity. This isn’t the first time Superman was animated but this is the first time the character was animated for TV. Plus, it was the first time a lot of the other non-Lois Lane characters were animated including Jimmy Olsen, Perry White and a lot of the classic villains. In fact, Mort Weisinger, the editor of Superman at the time, acted as story consultant and also made sure the show included then-new and later classic characters like Brainiac and, to a lesser but more fun extent, Titano.

Each episode had three segments, including a Superboy story. The show was a Filmation production and they actually decided to collect a few vet actors from the Fleischer cartoons and the radio show, which is neat.

After three season, the series was cancelled due to Action for Children’s Television, which was ironic because it was a grassroots movement that wanted less action (or violence at least) on TV. A lot of the big superhero and action shows got pulled in favour of comedies and even when Superman returned to TV, he was doing more bear-hugging than punching.

Fan Art

No shortage of Superman fan art. Here are some of the ones I like.













 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The New Casper Cartoon Show

Ah, Harvey Comics. The company you go to if Archie Comics are too damned spicy for you. Which actually is plausible in the last decade. And yet there the one that dabbled in the supernatural.


We start with Casper floating in with a lightly creepy estate in the background. The house is gently bopping to the music.

“I’m the ghost whose name is Casper
I want to be a friend to you
I will try to make you happy
This is what you have to do.”

Good ghost introduction, suspect Tinder profile.

Casper flies into his house and we open the window to see a whole bunch of ghosts partying and having a grand old time.

“Come along now and join the party
Come along now and have some fun
We are all some friendly people
And the fun has just begun.”

Casper and a ghost dance together and knock over a table sending a goldfish bowl in the air. It lands on its head and the water fills Caper’s quasi-intangible body along with the fish while the bowl is stuck on his head. Casper thinks its pretty funny, which is more than I.

That’s when Wendy the Good Little Witch comes in. The only thing I remember about this character is that she wears red and everything else I just told you.

“Here’s the little witch we call Wendy
She’s as good as she can be”

Looks like Casper has given me no new information. Casper trades dances partners for Spooky, the Tuff Little Ghost while Wendy dances with her broom. Wendy then leaves and Spooky and the broom dance.

“Over here is tough guy Spooky
He’ll surprise you wait and see.”

Unless it turns out he’s a paid assassin who only kills other ghosts, I doubt that.

“Come along now and join the party
Come along now and have some fun
We are all some friendly people
And the fun has just begun.”

Casper dances with a tall ghost who ends up losing his lower half mid-dance. The ghost pulls himself together but is embarrassed, and Wendy and the ghosts laugh at him.

Casper then moves through his wall to lead a ghost parade through the forest and animals join in as a happy tree looks on.

“Here’s the funny Ghostly Trio
They have tricks they’ve never used.”

I guess I wasn’t expecting “restrained ghosts” to be their characterization.

“And the horse whose name is Nightmare
She will keep you all amused.”

A ghostly horse descends and the trio gets on, only to get bucked off.

We then see the whole cast clapping and stomping to the music with balloons and confetti as two ghosts hold Casper aloft.

“Come along now and join the party
Come along now and have some fun
If you hang on for just a moment
You’re going to laugh until we’re done.”

I politely doubt this. I feel like Casper is simply preparations for children who may find actual laughter too intense for them at this stage of development and must make do with partial amusement.

Casper jumps up and pulls down a screen with the title and then materializes through it.

“So come along everybody to the New Casper Cartoon Shooooooooooooooooooooooow!”

Did not expect the note to get held that long.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Nah, but I appreciate the barn-dance opening.

What Did I Find on Wikipedia?

Not a lot of info here. The show mixed some theatrical shorts with new cartoons.

Fan Art

A lot of people really into the 90s movie version. But I’ll try to avoid that.



I know who he’s gonna call. He’s THAT desperate for friends.



Aw, that’s cute.



NOPE!
 
You're not far off, you know. Harvey was the first rung in the comic book consumption ladder. Little kids would start off with the bright, colorful, and extremely safe Harvey brand, then advance to Archie, then graduate to Marvel or DC. It was part of the business model... start 'em off young and you'd have a customer for life.

Problem is, Harvey was getting old and musty as a brand, and it ran into financial difficulty due to its inability to adapt to the times. Comic publishers were worried that they'd lose that first rung of the ladder, and in response, Marvel created Star Comics, an imprint for young readers full of the hip licensed characters Harvey didn't have (Transformers, ALF, Care Bears, Star Wars, etc.). One, ahem, original character under the Star banner was Prince Royal Roy. The character was drawn by a former Harvey artist and so close in concept to Richie Rich that Harvey sued to take the "prince of a boy" off magazine stands.
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
That's some interesting stuff. I know there's a Harvey cartoon on Netflix (Harvey Street Kids) but I'm surprised there isn't a concerted effort to revive these characters in comic form, as far as I can tell.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Nah, Richie Rich lived a long, prosperous, but unhappy life with all his inherited wealth, but he Citizen Kane'd himself so hard that when he was doomed to roam the Earth as a ghost he reverted to the happy days of his childhood.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The New Three Stooges

This is not the first Three Stooges cartoon intro I did. But I pray it’s the last. The Stooges never really spoke to me, despite constant echoed references on the Simpsons. But I’ll always appreciate it that by slapstick standards, these motherfuckers went HARD.


We see the Stooges as a marching band with Larry playing the flute, Moe playing the drums and Curly carrying Moe and the drum on a rickshaw-type deal. Moe taps the drumsticks on Larry’s head in time to the music, making Mr. Fine’s eyes roll. Curly ways at the audience while being occasionally disturbed by Moe pounding on the drum hard.

Moe plays Larry a few more times then kicks down hard on the pedal that pushes the big drumstick and everyone explodes.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Nah.

What Did I Find on Wikipedia?

It isn’t Curly, it’s Curly-Joe, one of the replacement’s for Curly as the group’s goofball. There was also Shemp Howard and Joe Besser.

The series proved to be a financial headache for the Stooges. In accordance with their contract, Cambria Studios' distributor was supposed to forward quarterly statements to the trio to keep them abreast of the show's profits. Norman Maurer recalled receiving only one or two statements over a five-year period, ultimately leading to a lawsuit. The judge presiding over the case knew little about the film or television industry and ruled in favor of Cambria. The Stooges appealed the decision in 1975, leading to a victory in their favor. However, it changed nothing in regard to the distributor's failure to provide the necessary profit statements to Normandy Productions, and by the time the case was decided, both Larry and Moe had died.



The New 3 Stooges was well received upon initial airings, despite the use of limited animation. However, the Stooges were visibly aging during this time (Moe was 68 and Larry was 63), so the team's patented slapstick routines were subdued in the live action segments. Orgel later stated that the Stooges' penchant for violence was kept to a minimum due to the concerns of parental groups.[3][4] In addition, Larry's motor skills had become somewhat sluggish, resulting in occasional slurred dialogue. To compensate, most of the comedy being divided between Moe and Curly-Joe, with Larry only chiming in when necessary. In retrospect, this altered comedy dynamic was a throwback to the Stooges' prime years in the 1930s when Curly Howard dominated the team's films and Larry was relegated to an occasional line of dialogue.[5] The New 3 Stooges lasted for a single season. Although animated portions of the show were last aired in syndication on WGN-TV in the Chicago area in the early 1980s and 1990s, repackaged, redubbed and distributed at the time by DIC Animation City and Jeffrey Scott Productions,[6] it is occasionally seen on Me-TV. It also aired in Japan on TV Tokyo.

Slapstick comedian stories always seem to end badly.

The series also had live action segments but the problem was they reused some even on otherwise new episodes, meaning, according to Joe DeRita (Curly Joe), people would turn it off before learning most of the content was new.

The Stooges all voiced themselves!


Fan Art

Of course.




Larry looks too smug here.


Larry looks too much like Steven Wright.
 
Oh Johnny, you sweet summer child. (I don't really understand this metaphor. Shouldn't it be "spring child," or maybe "late half of winter child?" Whatever.) Just wait 'till Hanna-Barbera introduces the world to the Robonic Stooges!


Fun fact: When I was very young, I was convinced that the Three Stooges were in fact robots because of this show. My father, a Stooges fan, took this rather personally.
Fun observation: Hanna-Barbera was really into cybernetics at this time, judging from this show and Dynamutt. Andy Heyward, who used to work for HB in the 1970s, left for DiC in the early 1980s. DiC's first show? Inspector Gadget, starring a bionic detective with stretchy limbs and more tools than a Swiss Army Knife. Coincidence...?
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Sweet summer child is a Game of Thrones ref, basically meaning someone who has never known hardship.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Sweet summer child is a Game of Thrones ref, basically meaning someone who has never known hardship.
Pretty sure we already had a round on this topic, but despite all the top Google hits being GoT that phrase originally dates back to the Victorian era at least. Same meaning, though.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
The New Adventures of Pinocchio
In what I feel like is starting to become a theme, I have zero memory of this show, and if you'd asked me a few minutes ago if I'd ever seen it, I'd have told you "no", but from the moment the intro began I realized that not only did I watch this, but I watched quite a lot of it.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Noggin the Nog

This one is technically from the late 50s. Anyway, its British.


The title appears on some false wood and we hear mournful music. Basically, its what I assume all Ingmar Bergman movies are like (I've only seen Persona and that feels right).

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Its not much of an intro but these British things have a nice ambiance to them, so sure. Its always ASMR adjacent.

Having watched the clip, that's a very British show and depressing. I approve. Every kid's show needs to start with a sad king reflecting on his mortality and who will take care of the people he loves when he is gone.

What Did I Find on Wikipedia?

Apparently it was a popular little series made up several fantastical serials. The character's body types are inspired by old Norse chesspieces.

Fan Art

I did manage to find some. I think. Or maybe its from the books? Not sure.





 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Nutty Squirrels Present

Very much never heard of this one.


We start with one nutty squirrel in glasses just bobbing his head to some scat music. Another squirrel approaches him with an apple. He puts the apple on the other squirrel’s head, much to the other squirrel’s confusion. The other squirrel gets in place to William Tell him but the glasses squirrel, unaware of what is happening, eats the apple.

He starts bobbing his head again and the arrow squirrel, annoyed, puts another apple on glasses squirrel’s head again. Glasses squirrel immediately goes to eat it but the arrow squirrel threatens him with an arrow. Despite the murder threat, the jazz makes this all feel REALLY chill. Anyway, Glasses puts on the apple and frowns and its weird to see a cartoon squirrel who looks less wacky and more like a depressed Stephen Tobolowsky.

Arrow takes aim, which is anything by steady as it wobbles all over the place and Glasses is understandable nervous. Just as he’s about to fire, the arrow falls before it can be launched. The two squirrels just… stare at it. For quite a while. Its kind of ahead of its time. It’s a pregnant pause I would expect from Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Then Glasses picks up the arrow and slices the apple on his head in half. It falls to the ground and in a Chipmunks-styled voiced say “The Nutty Squirrels Present”

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Kinda. There’s a tone here that is actually kind of inviting. I like that it just… lets something happen and spends a while non-reacting to it. If there’s a lot of that in the show, I’m down.

What Did I Find on Wikipedia?

In case you didn’t know, Alvin and the Chipmunks didn’t start as a TV show, it was a novelty song. Being quite popular. They appeared as puppets on Ed McMahon but they wouldn’t get their own show until 1961, two years after the song. But in 1959, the popularity of the Chipmunk Song resulted in imitators, much in the same way that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (both the comic AND the cartoon) did. And one such imitator was The Nutty Squirrels. Its just the same gimmick but with jazz. But! The Nutty Squirrels managed to win the race and get on TV first!

Of course, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Yes, Carnosaur got into theatres before Jurassic Park but that’s the only thing people know about Carnosaur.

But The Nutty Squirrels does have one big fan: comedy provocateur, gay icon, that one gay guy on the Simpsons and all-around nice guy who makes nasty films John Waters. Here’s his opinion of the show.

"I should have told my mother about the Nutty Squirrels. They did jazz and they weren't junkies. This sped-up vocal group who imitated the Chipmunks actually beat them to television with an animated show called The Nutty Squirrels Present, and they looked down on the pop sound of Alvin and his gang. The Nutty Squirrels actually had a big jazz hit with "Uh Oh, Part One and Two," but if you go back and listen to the rest of their discography, you'll be blown away by some of their other riffs. These cats were smoking! If my mom had heard jazz like this at the wrong speed, she might have loved it."

Based on the Wikipedia page, it only (originally) aired in a handful of states on a handful of specific stations, so it is a little obscure. It may have even had a larger audience in the Australia than it did in America.

Fan Art

None
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Off to See the Wizard

This is not the Wizard of Oz thing I thought it was.


We see the title, there the famous titular song and are told with excitement that this story is IN COLOR!



White! Gray! Off-white! Almost black! All the colors of the rainbow.

Then the music starts to sound like a Christmas special intro as Dorothy and Toto trot over a pretty unimpressive looking rainbow.

The music itself does turn into “Somewhere over the rainbow” as the two jump off and slide down the rainbow.

She lands and meets version of her old friends visually distinct from the iconic (save for Lion’s head bow) MGM versions despite the fact that it is already using the music.

They all march off to the Emerald (re: off-white) City and we then see the word OZ and in the O is an emerald, which, again, probably looks good in the color version of this intro I can’t seem to find.

We hear them sing the title, which appears. In the emerald is some wetlands. We then hear what I assume is the wizard saying.

“Tonight the Wizard of Oz concludes Island of the Lost starring Richard Green. Co-starring Luke Alfin, Mark Housewick, and introducing Drift the seal.”

We see these people and I’ll say I haven’t seen most of these performers, save for Drift’s 13 season tenure on CSI, where he really was above the material he was given.

We then see the emerald city again and then see Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion.

They sing the iconic song on their way to see him only to add a few adjectives and see a light show and a big spooky face. But then we take a peak behind the curtain and we have someone doing a really bad impression of the famous film version of the Wizard.

“Er, yes, magical. Off to See the Wizard is brought to you buy.”

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

This seems less like a cartoon and more like a framing device for a boring movie. I’m sure the creators see it just as a framing device but I’m also sure for veery young kids see it as a bait and switch. It’s like how when me and my niece watched Mr Rogers and kept asking where he was when we went to the land of Make Believe. Kids want what they are being sold and trying to Trojan Horse another show, even a good quality one, is a dangerous idea. Its like how the Jim Henson Hour disappointed people wanting more Muppets, since their names are synonymous. It’s a good show but people like Muppets.

What Did I Find on Wikipedia?

The show was an anthology intended to be a World of Disney competitor. Most of the films were live action but not all of them. Chuck Jones did that intro!

Fan Art

Of course, though not for this specific version.



Release the L. Baum cut.



I like this one quite a bit.



Not everything needs the Loonatics Unleashed treatment. In fact, nothing does. That said, the tin can head on Tin Man is a fun touch.
 
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