Monday, January 26, 2015

Australian and Romanian Boomerang Ads [UPDATED]

Well, what do you know? An Australian ad I hadn't seen before, and in full HD to boost! Even though I found the ad on this Chinese Cite (where it's actually been up since December 30, 2014 according to Google), it's clearly Australian judging by the narrator. As we've recently learned, though, the series' debut in China (or Asia Pacific in general) seems to have happened on the same day and clock time as the Australian premiere, January 5 at 4:30 PM.


Note by the way that this has the same narrator (and many of the same clips) as the below Foxtel ad which I already posted about here...



Also, here's a Romanian-language promo, in the form of a television recording uploaded by the unofficial YouTube channel CNBoomROpromos. It's pretty much the same ad as this French one, but with the original English theme music and logo. Since Romania is part of Central Eastern Europe, I assume the series' Romanian premiere will be on February 2 along with Boomerang CEE at large.



UPDATE: I had thought the last ad presented here was Hungarian, but it's actually Romanian, as pointed out by in the comments by Gyerek - Világ.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More German Trailers from Super RTL and Boomerang DE

Remember the news that Boomerang in Germany (as well as in Switzerland and Austria) will air the new series from February 16 onwards? It appears the strategy is that Super RTL debuts the episodes first, then the German Boomerang channel gives them a second launch. Here's the first trailer uploaded on Boomerang DE's YouTube page - "Demnächst: Inspector Gadget" ("Coming soon: Inspector Gadget").



Oh, and remember those character-specific trailers on Super RTL's Toggo site that will only play on cel phones? Good news! Toggo has now uploaded all three of them in full HD to its YouTube channel. Here are the trailers for Gadget, Penny and Brain, and Dr Claw and Talon, respectively:






Just A Thought...

I'm currently a bit intrigued with this ten-year-old fan art by animation artist Andrew Dickman on DeviantArt. Gadget's basic design in this piece looks fascinatingly close to his redesign in the new TV series, don't you think?


This drawing was published all the way back on May 15, 2004, so it's almost certainly a complete coincidence. But I mean, REALLY. Especially the short coat, but also the slim style of the legs, arms, and fingers, and even the simplified chin, reminds me directly of Gadget's new series look.

Please note: While I've edited it somewhat for this comparison,
the black-and-white artwork here belongs 100% to Andrew Dickman.

Not that I'm an expert on Inspector Gadget fan art... maybe there are dozens of similar-looking pieces out there. But I do find it intriguing how alike people's design ideas can be. While I suppose there IS a chance that some of DHX's designers have seen the 2004 piece by Andrew, it feels just as likely that the similarities happened by coincidence. Ricardo Adrégo once suggested a practical animation reason for shortening the coat for the new CGI series: "Shrinking the trenchcoat at the bottom saves precious rendering time since the program doesnt have to calculate the collision simulation." That makes as much sense as any potential explanation I've heard... though I suppose someone also thought the shorter version looked cool.

You may have picked up on me NOT exactly being the biggest fan of the shortened coat. I think it looks far less iconic than the 1983 coat, and honestly, I wish they'd kept it long. In that regard, this stylish, classic-looking 2006 piece by Andrew is more up my alley (though those shoes sure are goofy-looking)...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Super RTL Stuff: Toggo's Full-Fledged Inspector Gadget Site!

Here's another news piece which has gotten very much delayed, but which I still think is worth getting out there, partly just because it's so cool. Remember the little Inspector Gadget section of Super RTL's TOGGO site? Turns out that was only the initial starting phase, since Toggo.de has since launched a full-fledged Inspector Gadget site with character sections, games and videos! Before I say anything more, I think Toggo's own YouTube trailer can be a good introduction:



The trailer has been out since January 8, the day before the series' German TV premiere on Super RTL, and I suspect the full Toggo site launched about then as well. I have to say -- even though the whole site is well below my age level, it's still pretty awesome to see such a fleshed out web page for the new series, introducing the show and its characters to kids in a simple, straightforward manner.


I especially like how the site has separate character sections for Gadget/Chief Quimby/Professor Von Slickstein, Penny/Brain and Dr Claw/Talon/M.A.D. Cat (with slide presentations of the starring characters), which are linked to from the main page. Not only does this separate in a clear-cut manner between good guys and bad guys, it also separates between the good guy adults - Gadget and Co. - and the good guy kids - Penny and Brain - who are of course the real heroes. Sure, Penny is a teenager here, but the irony from the original series is still essentially present: the kids are the only ones who really know how to save the world from evil; without them, the adults wouldn't stand a chance. So naturally Penny and Brain deserve their own part of the site. The name for their section is also quite interesting, I think: "Spass mit Sophie und Fino", meaning "Fun with Penny and Brain". The wording feels like a way of making kid viewers identify with these two characters.


In addition to presentations of the stars, each character section also has its own video trailer, game and assortment of screenshots. The screenshots are high-res, but look a bit softer than I'd expect, as if they have been upscaled. Still, well worth a look. Here's one example from the Dr Claw section:


The games, though, while probably okay for the smallest children, could be a lot more exciting in my opinion. The Inspector Gadget section's "Gewinnspiel" is an extremely simple one where you need to select the correct gadgets for Gadget's missions... though made more interesting by small video rewards and the chance to win actual prices. In M.A.D.'s section, there's "Fang die MAD-Katze" (Catch the M.A.D. Cat), which is actually even simpler:


The only action-orented challenge is offered in the Penny/Brain section: "Rette Inspector Gadget!" ('Save Inspector Gadget!') is a runner game where you - as Penny - need to avoid obstacles from M.A.D and keep running and jumping towards your uncle to save him from the clutches of evil. It's okay, but could easily have been much more exciting (even if, I know, it's WAY below my age group). And why on earth doesn't an action game like this have any music? It actually becomes quite dull to play after a little while, with long stretches of almost complete silence. Come to think of it, music is conspicuously absent from the whole site. Hmmm.


Complaints aside, though... the end screen of "Rette Inspector Gadget!" is really lovely.

This is from a screenshot, too: Check out the filmreel in the image below.

And aside from the characters and games, yet another interesting feature is the Inspector Gadget video section, where two new half-hour episodes are made available to stream for exactly one week after they have aired on Super RTL (separated online into 11-minute segments, as you can see on the site). The available episodes for the moment are half-hours 3 ("Rock Out" / "Strike A Pose") and 4 ("Better Class of MAD" / "Cough Due to Claw"), which aired in Germany this Friday and Saturday.


As with the earlier Agenten-Mission video reward, the episodes are not playable on my laptop, only on my cel phone, annoyingly. In fact, this is also true of all the video trailers in the different character sections: the Super RTL player keeps refusing to show them on my PC. I'm not sure if this is some kind of technical error or a restriction for visitors outside of Germany (I'm guessing the latter, but the site doesn't seem to say anything about it). If anyone in Germany is reading this, perhaps you could check how it works on your end?

One video ad has at least become easily watchable elsewhere - the earlier mentioned reward for the Agenten Mission game (which can still be played at the bottom of the main page, by the way). Here it is, embedded from a January 6 upload on Super RTL's Facebook site...



(By the way; MAN, do Gadget and Penny look freakish in the live-action bits of that ad. Bobbing heads, floaty eyes and half-open mouths... yep, that's appealing!)



Anyway, to get back to the main point of this post -- I'm loving the fact that Super RTL has given the new series a proper home page. It's the only one of its kind right now, seemingly, but the elaborate way it's set up and designed does makes me wonder: could a proper inspectorgadget.com (which doesn't just lead to a little Facebook site) be in the cards as well?

So I May Have Been Wrong About The January 1 Boomerang Asia Premiere

Again, assumptions. Back when I reported that premiere date, I assumed it from two sentences in a Boomerang Asia press release circulating online. One: "In the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Myanmar, Boomerang will replace Cartoonito channel feed on January 1, 2015." Two, a direct quote from Mark Eyers of Turner International Asia Pacific: "Right from the start, we’ll be airing the all-new Inspector Gadget and Turbo FAST series." It's logical enough to assume that "right from the start" means literally right from the day that Boomerang relaunches in Asia... right?

Well, maybe not right. According to TVB Network Vision, a wireless television network service in Hong Kong, the Gadget reboot actually debuted on the Chinese Boomerang on January 5, at 4:30 PM. As we know from the above press release quote, the Boomerang Asia feed encompasses (among many other ares) Hong Kong. Here's a snapshot of TVB's series presentation:



Another strong indication that this might be the correct date is the YouTube video which led me to TVB Network Vision's site - a Boomerang trailer from them which was uploaded on the very date of January 5. Small Gadget clips at 00:17 and 00:57...



...and also, a Facebook trailer for numerous kids channels under the TVB service was published the same day. Short Gadget snippet at 00:09.



I think these videos, combined with TVB's site presentation, offers enough evidence that the Boomerang Asia premiere of Inspector Gadget was indeed January 5, not January 1 as previously assumed. This will be revised in the news column's list of premiere dates. Oh, and I suppose I might as well include the four high-res images from TVB's site...




I'm not even saying anything this time. Not a word.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Boomerang in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Premiere the Gadget Reboot on February 16, 2015

Some surpricing (for me, at least) developments: Seems Super RTL will not be the only channel to air the reboot in Germany. I've come across a German-language PDF press release of February "Programmhighlights" on Boomerang, with Inspector Gadget as one of them. For some reason the PDF's url doesn't seem to show anything, but here's the relevant part via Google Cache:


„Inspector Gadget“
Senderpremiere der ersten Staffel ab Montag,
16. Februar, immer montags bis freitags um 16:10 Uhr
 
Inspektor Gagdet ist wieder da! Der lustige Detektiv mit den
vielen technischen Spielereien ist ab 16. Februar immer mon-
tags bis freitags um 16:10 Uhr bei Boomerang zu sehen. In der
ersten Staffel stürzt sich Inspektor Gadget in den Kampf ge-
gen den bösen Dr. Kralle. Seine Ungeschicklichkeit steht ihm
dabei jedoch immer wieder im Weg, weshalb ihn seine Nichte
mit der Hilfe ihres Computer-Buches öfter aus der Patsche
ziehen muss.

First part in English: 

Broadcast premiere of the first season on Monday, February 16, every Monday to Friday at 16:10 

There's some contact information for the PR coordinator for Boomerang Germany, Austria and Switzerland at the bottom, which is what leads me to assume that this information goes for all three countries. And adding to that, I have some actual TV schedules for Germany and Austria. The schedules both offer one contradiction to the above press release, though: The airing time is stated as 16:35 in the afternoon, rather than 16:10. Here's a snapshot of TVinfo's Boomerang schedule for February 16, 2015 (as well as the next three days):


Meanwhile, the Boomerang guide at Sky Österreich (go to February 16 in the calendar) shows the exact same shedule for Austria. Here's a program page for the first scheduled broadcast of "Gadget 2.0".


Notably, this Germany-Austria-Switzerland debut is on the same date as both the UK and Italy Gadget premieres, but does not appear to be synchronized with those countries.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Boomerang France Stuff: Videos, Images, Puzzles

And now for a big update which has been overdue for some time. I've been quite busy lately, so the time I've had to spare for this site has mainly been used for smaller news posts regarding premiere dates around the globe. Meanwhile, though, my Spanish neighbor Daniel over at the Adelante GadgetoBlog has done a nice job of reporting some developments which I haven't had time and energy to write properly about here. These news are all related to Boomerang France and Super RTL, the broadcasters of the reboot in France and Germany, respectively... and in this post, I'll brief quickly through the Boomerang France stuff. We're starting with the recently created "Inspecteur Gadget" playlist on Boomerang FR, the network's official YouTube channel. Three videos are up so far, and I suspect more will be added. Here they are in order...

The French theme song/intro sequence for the new series. This was published on YouTube on January 2, but actually uploaded a few weeks before and shared on December 30 on Boomerang France's Facebook page, which is where Daniel discovered it. Interestingly, this is not a translated version of the new English-language theme, but rather an orchestration of Shuki Levy's original composition... complete with lyrics from the 1983 French theme and custom-made sound effects. (Oh, and the video is without credits on top and in full 1080p HD.) I'll have more to say on this French theme song later. Daniel's commentary, in Spanish, can be read here.



The first three minutes of episode 1a, "Gadget 2.0 Part 1", was also published on YouTube the same day as the intro sequence, on January 2. I actually stopped watching this clip after the intro when I found it, not wanting spoilers in a language I don't speak. Daniel, on the other hand, has posted a review of the clip (also with warning of spoilers). I'll point out one detail right away, though: this version of the intro - very likely the one used for television airings - has both written credits and no sound effects, as a contrast to the "générique" video above.



A generic teaser published on YouTube the same day as the two videos above - but which was actually uploaded to Boomerang France's Facebook site on December 22. Since the Facebook upload has slightly higher resolution, I'm embedding that version here:



This, then, leads us over to Boomerang France's Facebook site, which confusingly is just called "Boomerang TV". Teasers for the new series have been popping up there in the form of images and videos since December 15, apparently. Here are some of them...

From December 15, this first teaser is a silhouette version
of the Gadget copter promo image which can be seen here.


You've all seen the image above countless times, of course, but this version - shared on Facebook on December 19 - replaces the original English title logo with the French one. I'll agree with Daniel that the logo here feels flatter and less natural than in the English-language pic, where the title was given a three-dimensional perspective that felt natural considering how Gadget was holding it. The French logo has likely been inserted in a much more rushed fashion.

From January 1. The caption says, as you
might have guessed, "Happy New Year!"

The following two images are quite clearly framegrabs from "Gadget 2.0", as they were used to advertise for the premiere episode back on January 3. I'm including them here since they don't seem to spoil much of anything, but rather pique the curiosity:



Below, from January 7, some promo art of Dr Claw and Talon in a rather interesting style... it seems drawn lines have been added on top of the CGI rendering. The caption asks, "What is the name of Insspector Gadget's greatest enemy?" (And speaking of names, Talon is named "Tristan" in the French dub of the series. Just thought I'd mention it here since I haven't elsewhere.)


And here's a Facebook video called "Les gentils" from January 14, focusing on Penny and Brain ("Les gentils" = "The Good Guys" or something to that effect). It could already be seen on Boomerangtv.fr, but this version has much better quality. I'd say it contains no major spoilers... though obviously, if you want no spoilers of scenes at all, don't watch it.



Since I mentioned boomerangtv.fr, a quick look at the Gadget stuff on Boomerang France's official web site could also be appropriate. For small kids, there's a games section where you can play an Inspecteur Gadget quiz (hey, I got 6 out of 6 correct even without speaking French! I feel good now) as well as three puzzle games.

More interestingly, though, some low-res promo videos can be found. In addition to a general "La bande-annonce" ad for the new series (which we've already seen in full HD) and "Les gentils", there's "Les gadgets" and "Les méchants" ("The Bad Guys")". The latter does admittedly contain some scenes which I will call unnecessary spoilers, so decide for yourself if you wanna watch.

And THAT should be all for now. WHEW. I think I'm going to bed...

Final add-on: Boomerang France's current Facebook banner. The YouTube banner is also a variant of this.
(Not sure why the 10:25 airing time is off by 5 minutes, though.)