What’s wrong with 4Kids?!
Well other than the fact the company has been in a financial hole for years, and had to kill, as well as sell off two of their own original productions (Chaotic, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
Toonzai, 4Kids Entertainment’s latest attempt to revitalize Saturday morning network television officially kicks off September 18, and their schedule is all kinds of wack:
Like Cubix, really? I realize that 4Kids could air a 40 minute PSA about Al Kahn telling kids to read each week, and that no one would notice since no one watches that timeslot, but come on. Cubix is a show that has a hard time maintaining its own continuity, and has aged horribly. The CG wasn’t exactly revolutionary when it premiered way back when, and is only hideous now. Might as well run Fighting Foodons for E/I or somethin.
While I understand that Yu-Gi-Oh! and Sonic X still bring in the ratings, despite having been in repeats for years, it’s a bit alarming to see them command such a high profile presence on a relaunched block. Especially when the only shows that’ll actually be premiering is an edited version (and by edited, I mean turning halos into orbs edited) of a series they’ve got second run rights to, and a 22 minute card commercial. You’re going to have to do much more than that to get eye balls on your block, and away from the likes of Cartoon Network, Disney, and Nick. Or for us Canadian peeps, Teletoon, Family, and YTV.
We do know they have more series in the pipeline. They picked up two series no one in the world has heard of earlier this year, in Tai Chi Chasers, a test Toei gave to South Korea, and Penelope, a toddlers series along the lines of Tanma and Friends (I know you remember this series). However, both series are seemingly scheduled for mid season premieres. Those are only two. The company in a conference call said they were in talks to obtain/distribute around 12 properties. While the company does dabble in work outside of entertainment, and showed us this by picking up the rights to a Japanese art exhibit, 2 or even 3 is a lot less than 12. A lot.
Speculation is that they’ve run into a bit of a snag in the contracts side. But this is the same speculation that thinks 4Kids is secretly gaining the television rights for Battle Spirits, Soul Eater, Pretty Cure, and just about everything in between.
My nightmare is that come mid season Dragon Ball Kai will go out of season and into repeats, as well as Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds to be replaced with Tai Chi Chasers, and Penelope. Leaving the block with only 2 shows premiering once again. Great.
In related news, Toonzaki.com, 4Kids uncut animation web portal seemingly will launch on 9/10 if you believe the official site. Now, I don’t know if that means September 10, or September 2010. However, internet detectives have found key words such as One Piece, Naruto, Macross, Pretty Cure, and more in the code. Interesting.