Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by HeX, Oct 18, 2018.
Who voices Woody? I recall suggesting John Candy for the role.
Grace Stafford voiced Woody for over 40 years. She is the obvious choice.
I feel like Candy would add a sense of new blood to the role. He did have experience voice acting in the OTL and I could see him doing well as Woody here.
Yeah, Grace Stafford is the favorite for Woody Woodpecker, but John Candy could do it...
OTOH, what does everyone think of the latest update (ITTL, American Airlines Flight 444 is blown up and all on board die thanks to the Unabomber)?
Yeah, if the FBI gets enough clues sooner ITTL (and, with the explosion of AA Flight 444 TTL, that'll be the biggest investigation in the country's history since the JFK assassination), Ted Kaczynski gets captured before he sends more bombs (assuming his capture comes before 1981, it won't save Carter in the 1980 election; the economy and hostage crisis would doom his presidency anyway). This also leads to the beginnings of airport security measures (like screening luggage, etc.)...
This isn't even mentioning the fact that American Airlines is going to have a rough time ITTL (in May of 1979, American Airlines Flight 191 crashed on takeoff at O'Hare and killed all 271 people aboard (plus two on the ground (1)), which is still the worst crash in American history IOTL and, ITTL, American Airlines Flight 444 has been blown up, with the loss of all 78 aboard)…
(1) The 40th anniversary of that is approaching, BTW...
What else is Bluth doing after the Secret of Nimh?
He's doing all of the 2D animated Disney films until sometime in the 2000s. So... a lot.
I myself have a question, specifically on if Activision is still founded or not. They were founded in October of '79 so I'm wondering if they still take down the path of "first third-party company" considering Atari is owned by Universal ITTL.
Any films identical to those of otl?
Pretty sure he'll be keeping that a secret for now
Activision is still formed (all the reasons Warner was a bad boss for Atari are present in Universal, so the same employees get disgruntled), but Electronic Arts is not--Trip Hawkins essentially founds EA inside of Apple, instead of leaving the company.
Hopefully this coming week I'll be able to return to some semblance of a normal schedule. I just took the AP test, among other things, so I have more free time again.
Hawkins staying at Apple and making software there is sure to cause a variety of butterflies (No EA games, no 3DO, countless franchises altered or butterflied). Here's to hoping Activision doesn't fall down the shitter.
Does this mean EA won't be a heartless corporation who exploits gambling addicts for profit and buys and destroys other AAA studios to gain a monopoly?
Someone else is sure to pick up that description. Wouldnt surprise me if apple itself became it.
Maybe this means that Apple will enter the video game industry with a console better than the Pippin.
Butterfly away Activision turning into Mediagenic and you butterfly away the company being bought up by Bobby “Grossly Overpaid” Kotick and his pals. And since that only happened in 1988 I’d say it’s well and truly butterflied.
As long as Steve Wozniak is there, it becomes far too hard for Apple to enter the console market. The "Spirit of Woz" is based on using nothing but off the shelf chips, handling everything through the CPU, and using drivers in ROM to provide extra functionality. This worked well OTL with Steve Jobs' boutique computing mentality of cheap fixed costs and sky-high margins, and the snob appeal that came from being "hard nosed" business machines with no hardware sprites or sound chips, but it makes developing competitive game consoles difficult.
Yes, several games (most notably Karateka, Lode Runner and The Last Ninja) got their start on the Apple II, but those were high school and university projects worked on during free time in computer labs. Trip and Wozniak are going to butt heads about the architecture of this hypothetical Apple console something fierce. And Heaven forfend if that brings, say, Commodore into the market in 1982, considering there are YouTube videos of near perfect ports of Super Mario Bros for the Commodore 64.
And there's the matter of Apple Records...
On November 22, 1979, Universal's first true fully-animated feature film, Woody Woodpecker, released around the United States and then the world. This movie was Universal's answer to 1978's Disney film Mickey Mousecapade. Despite all of their differences, it was clear in Woody that Universal was not only pushing their red-white-and-blue woodpecker as their rival for Mickey Mouse, but that they had been extensively influenced by the aesthetic of the Golden Age of Animation, especially the style of the Warner cartoons. In a shocking twist of events, Woody's creator the legendary Walter Lantz was brought in as an advisor on the project, to ensure his creation would get his best face forward.
The movie opens on a tranquil shot of a forest, with endless towering trees and lush foliage. A serene tune plays in the background, and the opening credits roll as viewers are treated to cute scenes of woodland creatures snoozing and playing around.
The peacefulness is broken by an incessant buzzing sound, waking up a number of the slumbering animals and getting everyone all in a fuss. The camera quickly jumps over to find Woody Woodpecker putting the finishing touches on the wooden logo of the film, reading "Woody Woodpecker: The Greatest of 'Em All!".
Out of nowhere, a shotgun fires, clipping the tail feathers of Woody. He looks down below to find an angry man brandishing a shotgun, shaking his fist, and grumbling about how loud the darn wildlife was, before ducking back into his cabin.
Indignant, Woody turns up his nose returns to his house, a cozy little red and blue birdhouse. The camera zooms in on his calendar, which is open and has September 23 circled on it, the first day of autumn. Just as the bird falls asleep on his bed, a bell rings out and startles him awake. Woody zips out of his home and starts yelling about how noisy everyone is, until he realizes what day it is: moving day. The cold season is coming, and right about now is when everyone heads south for the winter. No one, however, wants Woody and his annoying laugh with them the entire trip from Oregon to Florida, so he is shut out and forced to travel on his own.
Woody sighs, but strikes out on his own way, heading down to the highway to hitchhike his way across the country. There he's picked up by a large man in a purple shirt and black vest, introducing himself as 'Denver Dooley the Third'. The duo drive for a while as a musical number kicks in, showing a montage of their escapades on their long ride down the West Coast from The-Middle-of-Nowhere, Oregon to San Diego, California. Once there, Woody (who has been extremely annoying the whole trip) will not shut up about going to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Simply to get him to quiet down, Dooley obliges.
Woody is horrified at the sights inside of the zoo. He simply cannot believe that so many innocent animals have been locked up behind bars for mere entertainment purposes, and so he sneaks off from Dooley and their tour group to cause some characteristic mischief.
Woody dashes all over the zoo, unlocking cages, tripping visitors, and even nabbing a triple-scoop ice cream cone from a kid. Satisfied, he flies into the lion pen, mounts one of them, and as the beast rears he exclaims "JAILBREAK!" with enough force to alert all his fellow animals now was the perfect time to bust out.
The animals cause stampede everything in their paths, running in every direction. Dooley runs around looking for Woody to beat him up in return for ruining his day, but he doesn't quite get the chance--an elephant accidentally sits on him instead. The woodpecker doesn't notice his frenemy's plight and elects to join in on the chaos.
Down below, he finds himself raiding a hot dog cart alongside a trio of other animals: a shivering penguin named Chilly Willy, a panda bear named Andy, and another woodpecker he immediately falls for named Winona. As Animal Control shows up and the zoo begins to calm down, Woody leads his three new friends out the back way and narrowly escape the jaws of a hungry crocodile into Dooley's pickup truck.
Another musical number road trip montage starts up, watching as Woody and company traverse the United States from west to east. They're shown sneaking into a film adaptation of Macbeth featuring cartoon animals (a not-so-subtle jab at Disney and Mickey Mouse, as Macbeth is played by a woodpecker and the king who gets murdered by a mouse) at Mann's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, living it big in Las Vegas with plenty of alcohol and gambling present, visiting the Grand Canyon, horseback riding in Texas, and hitting up a party-happy Mardi Gras. This segment is wildly inappropriate for people who understand its sheer volume of innuendos, giving parents watching with their children some much-needed adult humor. Yet, in every part of their journey, Dooley, seeking revenge on Woody, is shown following close behind but never getting the chance to corner the annoying bird.
Finally, the group arrives at a beach at sunset in Florida. Andy Panda says that there's only a day's drive until they reach Miami, Woody's vacation destination, as they all recline in their beach chairs and sip drinks through colorful curly straws. A little while later, all four of them wake up at the crack of dawn to get to the Magic City as soon as possible.
Out of nowhere, Dooley turns up with some pals driving alongside the animals. Woody and his former friend exchange words, ending with Woody blowing a raspberry at Dooley and rolling up the windshield. Angry, the battle begins as Dooley and the other bad guys ram their cars into Woody's, sending everyone into a panic.
Woody, enraged, zips over to Dooley and blows another raspberry right in his face. Dooley becomes even more angry and grabs a bat from the passenger seat. He begins to destroy his car as he tries to hit Woody, missing every time. Back in the car, Chilly Willy, Andy Panda, and Winona Woodpecker are all frantically trying to work together to drive the truck in a scene reminiscent of OTL's Toy Story 2. It's easily the best part of the movie, as everything that could go wrong does but the animals manage to beat their pursuers anyways, accidentally sending them over the edge of a cliff.
Meanwhile, Woody has gotten Dooley's bat and is rapidly beating it into his face until the villain grabs the bird by the neck and, the car still speeding down the highway, threatens him. Woody struggles to breath, but it's no use, and Dooley asks him for his last words.
"Yeah," says Woody. "Are you afraid of heights?"
Dooley looks out to see the same cliff his cronies went over is mere feet away. He screams in terror, loosening his grip on Woody and allowing the bird to break free and fly away as his enemy tumbles head-over-heels into the waters below, as Woody laughs hysterically.
The woodpecker reunites with his buddies and they all make it to Miami in once piece. There, they find Woody's neighbors from Oregon, who have realized they do miss him and welcome him in as family. The movie ends in an iris shot, with Woody, Winona, Chilly Willy, and Andy gazing out into the rising sun over the Gulf of Mexico. Then Woody throws a casual glance over his shoulder to the camera as it begins the iris. He winks and laughs at the audience as the screens goes dark and "The End!" appears.
"Like taking candy from a baby..."
"Most people argue that the Golden Age of Animation ended when I left the business after Beauty and the Beast and Don Bluth took over for The Snow Queen and Mickey Mousecapade, but I don't think that's true. The Golden Age of Animation lasted right through the Seventies. The Silver Age, on the other hand, really kicked off with Universal's risqué (for the time) Woody Woodpecker."
-- Walt Disney, from the third volume of his autobiography, One Man's Dream: The Story of Walt Disney
"It's hard to catch lightning in a bottle. It's even harder to do it twice."
--Michael Eisner, commenting on the widespread appeal of both Woody Woodpecker and Mickey Mousecapade
"I won't lie... after how well Woody did, I pushed hard for Universal to make a film adaptation of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a character Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks had created while at the company in the 1920s and one that I'd worked on for years after them. But Michael Eisner took one look at me and said something I'll never forget. He said, 'Mister Lantz, we want to annoy the sleeping Disney giant. We don't want to anger it. Dangling Walt's first pride and joy in front of him like bait on a fishing line is sure to make him take that bait--though by then, he'll be reeling us in.' And so I stopped asking."
--Walter Lantz, from the 1994 Disney documentary short film The Rabbit Comes Home: Welcoming Back Our Oldest Pal
Roadtrippin' (Part 1)
Roadtrippin' (Part 2)
Woody Woodpecker: Grace Stafford
Winona Woodpecker: Grace Stafford
Chilly Willy: Daws Butler
Andy Panda: Bernice Hansen
Woody Woodpecker was everything Michael Eisner hoped it would be, and more. Though in retrospect another of Universal's films that didn't quite hold up to their Disney counterparts, it was impossible to deny that Woody, while at times cheesy and the whole thing a little short, was not a great animated movie. Generally, it's held as Universal's best animated movie, though that is very much up for debate amongst film fans.
Two major figures were brought back into Universal's fold in the wake of Woody Woodpecker's unbridled success: Walter Lantz, and Tex Avery, both brilliant creative minds from the Golden Age of Animation. It was through them that Universal would train their next generation of animators, and allow them to wage a war on even ground with the House of Mouse. Though the Entertainment Wars had started when Michael Eisner entered MCAUniversal, they began on Thanksgiving Day 1979. Universal didn't just have a fighting chance coming into the new decade: they had an opening.
And they wouldn't disappoint.
Oh man, sorry that took so long! I haven't posted something in... *checks calendar* nine days! Aaah! That's practically an eternity on the Internet!
Sorry for the wait. I hope those of you that didn't abandon me while I was in cryosleep and taking the AP US History exam liked the stuff on Universal's new golden boy. The next update (which will hopefully be out this week) will be all about waving goodbye to the Seventies and saying hello to the 1980s, one of America's (and the world's) peak pop culture decades. Hope you're excited!
The film sounds excellent! I'm excited for Tex Avery's return to creating theatrical cartoons and I'm sure the 1980s will be a great time for entertainment.
Did anyone else think of the AC/DC song of the same name when they read that?
Good update, and welcome back, @HeX; waiting for more, of course...
First off, IT'S ABOUT TIME YOU DID THIS!
Second, it just makes me wonder what could be next for Universal's newly-revived animation studio. Maybe they could pull an OTL Disney, and adapt Don Quixote in the future. That is, if TTL Disney didn't already make a film on that subject.
Separate names with a comma.