Episode 52: She's All That

Kiss me out of the bearded barley… That’s right we watched the 1999 teen classic, She’s All That! Does this tale of the jock taking the pretty ugly girl from nerd to prom teen contender stand up to the test of time? Listen to Ruin My Childhood With Kat and Mike to find out!

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Episode 51: I'll Be Home For Christmas

JTT was a dreamy heartthrob who starred in a Christmas road trip movie. That's right we watched Disney's I'll be home for Christmas, starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

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Episode 50: Spider-Man 1994

We hit another milestone! 50 episodes! Thanks for the support!

Our Spider Sense is tingling! That’s right after watching X-Men we couldn’t help but remember the 1994 Spider-man animated series! This series featured the friendly neighborhood Spider-man crossing paths with a bunch of other Marvel heroes! We all know Mike is a web-head, so will he get the Parker luck and have his childhood ruined? Listen to Ruin My Childhood with Kat and Mike to find out.

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Exclusive Interview with Eric and Julia Lewald, writers and showrunners of X-men The Animated Series

I really appreciate you taking the time answer some question about X-men TAS. We were big fans of the show and are looking forward to recording an episode about it. Please feel free to answer as many or as few of the questions as you like. Our last question is about your book. We would like talk about it briefly so we can maybe get some of our listeners to check it out! Once again thanks for agreeing to answer a few questions. 

Great questions - Hope we can answer them for you here.

X-men was a serialized show for children. Was this always the plan? Was there pushback? Did any problems arise from taking this approach?

Interestingly, when FoxKids President Margaret Loesch ("lesh" rhymes with 'fresh') gave the green-light to create an X-Men animated show in 1992, there wasn't much faith that it would run beyond its initial 13 episode run. That actually freed us up on the creative side to really 'let loose' and tell the biggest stories we could in those first 13 - and because comic books are serialized themselves, it made sense to the writers to tell a 'continuous' story, even though it hadn't been done before in kids' programming - and we chose the 'Sentinels' as the big bad guys instead of other mutants to explore the way the world works when the mutants are a repressed and resented minority who are still determined to work for the good of humans, rather than fighting a random 'Bad Mutant of the Week'.  Will Meugniot (MIN-ee-oh), who designed the series and was head producer was a big comic-book fan, and he through his weight behind the commitment to a continuing story arc.

There was tremendous pushback because, in animation, you can't always count of the episodes coming back from their overseas production and having them be air-able - lots and lots of re-takes and miscues can happen.  In fact, the reason there was the 'Sneak Peek' on Halloween Night 1992 was because, rather than premiere the series in September like all the other shows, the first 2 episodes had come back satisfactory but episode 3 was a complete disaster - and you couldn't 'skip' it and air ep. 4 while you fixed ep. 3 because it was all sequential.  In order to have enough time to fix it, Margaret Loesch made the bold/costly decision to delay premiering the show until January, allowing the network to build up excitement for this new show, and then run it as fresh material when everything else in January was in re-runs. Magically, everything came together and X-Men: TAS was a huge hit out of the gate.  But for further seasons, the cost of delaying so we could do a sequential show scared the network, and we were forced to do singles or multi-parters rather than whole seasons,

For many people this was their introduction to the X-men. For me it is hard to separate what I know about the characters from the TV show and from comics and novels I read down the line. You guys did a tremendous job adapting many of the stories like The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, Weapon X, and many classic storylines. Were there any stories you wanted to adapt but were not allowed to?

Our head writers were NOT X-Men fanatics, so we tended, with those few exceptions, to simply write the original stores we liked, using elements from the X-Men world.  So there wasn't a book that we were dying to do.  There was an IDEA that we wanted to do but couldn't:  When we got the order for the season 2, we had ended season 1 with the idea that Jean Grey and Scott were getting married - it made sense to us in Season 2 to have them be a happy loving couple - and have Jean pregnant - it would have been interesting to explore the ramifications of a double-mutant baby.  However, cooler heads in the art department prevailed and said it would never work to have Jean in spandex at 7 months pregnant fighting bad guys - and Marvel wouldn't approve it - but we had laid it all out.

 Are there any original concepts from the show that you are especially proud of?

Yes, it was a Saturday Morning cartoon show for kids - but we NEVER treated it that way - we were always challenged to 'write up' to the audience, not down - and the idea of actually killing a character in the first episode was vital to establish what was at stake - you mean an X-Men character can DIE? That was a very important point, but the fight to make that happen was a long one - credit to Broadcast Standards and Practices lady Avery Coburn who understood what Margaret Loesch was hoping to accomplish -

Side-note: Morph was supposed to 'stay dead' but mid-way through the first season, Fox ran a 'focus group' with younger kids and asked who was their favorite X-Men? And the big answer came back: They LOVED MORPH! Apparently, they all picked up on how much Morph had been loved by all the other X-Men, especially Wolverine - so then came the awkward phone call from FoxKids saying, 'we know you killed Morph... but could you figure out a way to bring him back?' - and that's how we used Mr. Sinister and came up with the idea of Morph's transformation.

Also, Eric's favorite original story for the series was "One Man's Worth", which highlighted what the X-Men mean to the world by showing what the world would have been like without them.  Marvel liked the idea so well that a couple years later they based their excellent "Age of Apocalypse" run of books on it.

Who are your favorite X-men? Were there any characters you wanted to use that never made it on the show?

Julia: most of us writers loved Beast, because we like to fancy ourselves as 'the smartest one in the room' and Beast actually WAS - also, the tragic romantic element was so rich - he was the most obviously a 'mutant' but he was also the most at ease with it - until he fell in love "Beauty and the Beast" episode and was forced to break it off because of bigotry --

Eric: Professor Xavier.  That's because my job for five seasons was to be in charge of the writing staff, ever-changing and all very different people.  20 people wrote for our show, and a main job of mine was "keeping the team vision together."  So I had great empathy for Charles Xavier.

The style of X-men TAS was based on Jim Lee’s designs. Was that always the plan or were the other concepts planned at various stages of development?

Funny thing - Producer/Director Will Meugniot had looked, with Marvel, at many different artists' designs, but the Jim Lee-inspired designs always felt right, both because they we current and effective and because they were simple and well-suited for animation.  But after the whole show was designed, they were almost thrown out.  Will was told: "No Jim Lee look!" by Marvel.  It wasn't a creative decision. Jim Lee had just left Marvel at that time to help found Image Comics, and the folks at Marvel were upset and didn't want to use his designs.  So Will, vowing not to lose the right designs for our show, drew up a batch that was TERRIBLE (more Scooby-Doo, etc.in tone) and submitted them seriously as an alternative to the Jim Lee look.  Marvel was so horrified that they backed off and let us go with the style you know today.

Final question. I know you have a book about the series coming out soon. What can we tell our listeners about it? When and where can they get it?

It's a big book, at 450 pages with over 200 illustrations, photographs and bits of artwork (B&W) - it's a great holiday gift for fans!

Our book "Previously on X-Men: The Making of an Animated Series" is now available through the following places:

If you order through our publisher Jacobs Brown Media Group, you'll get a hard-bound copy that Eric has signed:

http://www.jacobsbrownmediagroup.com/previously-on-x-men.html

You can order through Amazon, hard-cover or soft, but the book will not come signed:

http://www.amazon.com/Previously-X-Men-Animated-Eric-Lewald/dp/0998866326

Here's our Wolverine, Cal Dodd, hand-delivering the very 1st copy to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who himself is a big geeky nerd (also, Alyson Court, the voice of Jubilee, was present)

Here's our Wolverine, Cal Dodd, hand-delivering the very 1st copy to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who himself is a big geeky nerd (also, Alyson Court, the voice of Jubilee, was present)

Thanks for creating such an epic show. This episode of Ruin My Childhood had the most pre-release buzz thanks to you guys. We look forward to talking about this great show. Once again thank you for your time. 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 49: X-Men The Animated Series

This episode is brought to you by Audible!

Watch it Bub! That's right we watched X-men The Animated Series! This is a very special episode. We have a Stan Lee Tribute and an interview with Eric and Julia Lewald, writers and showrunner of the series! Most importantly we decided if this series stands the test of time! Listen to Ruin My Childhood with Kat and Mike!

Interview with Eric and Julia

Eric's book, "Previously on X-Men: The Making of an Animated Series" is now available through the following places:

If you order through our publisher Jacobs Brown Media Group, you'll get a hard-bound copy that Eric has signed:

http://www.jacobsbrownmediagroup.com/previously-on-x-men.html

You can order through Amazon, hard-cover or soft, but the book will not come signed:

http://www.amazon.com/Previously-X-Men-Animated-Eric-Lewald/dp/0998866326


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Episode 48: Good Burger

Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order? That's right! We watched the Nickelodeon classic staring the teen duo, Kenan and Kel! Does this fast food sketch turned movie stand the the test of time? Listen to Ruin My Childhood with Kat an Mike to find out!

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Episode 47: Scary Movie

WAZZZZZZZZZZZUP! What else do we need to say? We watched Scary Movie, another R rated movie we probably shouldn't have seen but did anyways. Does this Wayans Brother's horror movie spoof that was responsible for the resurgence of spoof films stand up to the test of time? Listen to Ruin My Childhood with Kat and Mike to find out.

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Episode 46: The Mummy (1999)

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For our first Halloween special of the year we watched the phenomenal movie that brought us fleshing eating scarabs, Brendan Fraser, and eventually a horrendous CGI Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. That's right we watched 1999's The Mummy! Does this universal classic stand up to the test of time or should it remain in the past like it's titular character? Listen to Ruin My Childhood with Kat and Mike to find out!

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Episode 45: Kindergarten Cop


It's not a tumor! That's right we watched the Arnold classic, Kindergarten Cop. Does this undercover story hold up? Listen to Ruin My Childhood to find out! 

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Episode 44: Pretty Woman

In this adult themed episode of Ruin My Childhood we cover the 1990 classic about a prostitute, the man who hired for a week, and how they changed each other's lives. That's right we watched Pretty Woman! We probably should not have seen this as children but we all did any ways. Doe this movie stand the test of time? Listen to Ruin My Childhood to find out!

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Episode 43: Doug

We are going to Bluffington, the bumper sticker capitol of the world to check in on our favorite sweater vest wearing kid! That's right we watched c Nickelodeon's Doug! We do not speak of the Disney years! This show debuted 27 years ago but does it stand the test of time? Listen to Ruin My Childhood with Kat and Miketo find out!

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Episode 42: The Land Before Time

We cover one of the highest grossing animated movies of all time! It's the only Don Bluth film without  Dom DeLuise! This movie spawned 13 sequels, a TV show, and several video games! That's right, we covered the 1988 classic, The Land Before time! Does this Steven Spielberg and George Lucas presentation stand the test of "TIME", listen to Ruin My Childhood with Kat and Mike to find out!

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Episode 41: Disney's The Rocketeer

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Disney takes us back to a 1939 where Nazis infiltrated Hollywood and the only man who can stop them is strapped to a Howard Hughes invented jetpack! That's right, we watched Disney's The Rocketeer! Kat doesn't remember this movie mike loved it, but will it stand up tot eh test of time? Listen to Ruin My Chidlhood with Kat and Mike to find out!

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Episode 40: My Girl

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I've got sunshine... That's right! We watched the 90s classic, My Girl! Does this coming of age story hold up? Listen as Kat realizes that the famous Temptations song by the same name is actually dark when paired with this movie. Does it stand the test of time? Listen to Ruin My Childhood with a Kat and Mike to find out

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Episode 39: Who Framed Roger Rabbit

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We aren't bad we were just drawn that way! That's right we watched the live action animation hybrid classic, Who Framed Roger Rabbit! Can Kat get over her phobia of these hybrid movies or will we have another Space Jam scenario? Does this movie stand up to the test of time? Listen to Ruin My Childhood with Kat and Mike to find out!

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Episode 38: Mrs. Doubtfire

This episode is brought to you buy Jesus Rodriguez, our new patron on Patreon.com/MDXpods! Thanks for the support! 

Dude looks like a lady! That's right we watched Mrs. Doubtfire!  Is it like so many 90s and 2000s tv show that have some comedy that just isn't politically correct anymore? More imprtantly does it stand the test of time? Listen to Ruin My Childhood with Kat and Mike to find out!

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Episode 37: The Flintstones

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Yabba Dabba Doo! That's right we watched the modern Stone Age modern family! We watched the 1994 live action The Flintstones movie! Does John Goodman deliver a performance worthy of the iconic cartoon? Does this movie hold up over 20 years later? Listen to Ruin My Childhood with Kat and Mike to find out!

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Episode 36: Hey Arnold!

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Move it Football Head! That's right we watched the classic 90s Nickelodeon carton, Hey Arnold! Mike and Kat have fond memories of this show but will it hold up to the test of time? Listen to Ruin My Childhood to find out!

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Episode 35: Jurassic Park

We have spent a bunch of time at Universal Studios and the 25th anniversary of this film is coming up so we had to cover it! That's right we watched Jurassic Park! Will this Steven Spielberg classic hold up or should it go extinct? Listen to Ruin My Childhood with Kat and Mike to find out.

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Episode 34: Anniversary Part II: Roundhouse

We hit a major milestone! We have been producing Ruin My Childhood for 1 year! To celebrate we are doing two episodes this week! We doing things different, we each picked a movie or TV show that the other hadn't seen as a child as explain why we think the other missed out as a kid.

For Kat's episode we scoured the internet and ended up on Dailymotion and watched some classic Nickelodeon sketch comedy. That's right we watched Roundhouse! Is Kat right about Mike liking this show or does she disappoint herself and Mike by ruining their childhood.?

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