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Thread: MTV Animation / Liquid Television

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    MTV Animation / Liquid Television

    I wanted to create this thread for a while, i believe there are some animation fans out here and even more people in here who used to watch MTV in the mid 90‘s...


    So i’ll start by asking: remember when MTV actually played music?, if so: remember when they played music AND animation?; i you do, then maybe you remember great cartoons like: “Aeon Flux”, “The Maxx”, “The Head”, “Celebrity Death-match”, “Beavis and Butthead”, “Daria”, “The Brothers Grunt” and even “Wonder Showzen” (Part “puppet show, part animated show...).

    I used to watch all the cartoons from MTV and their animation programs like: “Liquid Television” (animation shorts mostly) and “Oddities”, i think some of these cartoons were very well written and most of those featured very interesting topics and were very nice visually.
    Most of the shows appealed to a much more “adult” audience, similar to Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim”, still could be easily watched by teenagers.
    My favorite two were “Aeon Flux” and “The Maxx” but all of them had great stuff, i still watch some of the shows occasionally, sometimes i’m surprised on the huge impact they had on me!

    So, which series were your favorites? Would you like them to come back?, Discuss and enjoy the intros/episodes of some of my favorite cartoons:


    Aeon Flux



    The Maxx



    The Head



    The Brothers Grunt



    MTV Oddities



    Liquid Television shorts:





    Such a shame you can’t get most of this stuff on Blu Ray and/or DVD but at least you can watch full episodes of some of the shows on the Liquid Television official website: http://liquidtelevision.com/

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    Thanks for the link, I had no idea that website existed. I remember staying up all night recording the entire series of The Maxx during a marathon. Awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spiralout View Post
    Thanks for the link, I had no idea that website existed. I remember staying up all night recording the entire series of The Maxx during a marathon. Awesome.
    I was glad to find it too! I still have my VHS copy of "The Maxx" so the site was very helpful!
    The Maxx has to be one of my favorite characters from all time, i even own the original issues of the comic book and i'm buying the reprints that are currently published by IDW

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    One of those shows (you probably know which one henry) had a King Crimson song for it's theme music. I wasn't a big fan of all that stuff honestly, but looking back it's admirable that they went into more relatively avant-garde areas of animation than just sticking to a formula much like MTV is now. By very little coincidence Nickelodeon around this time had some formidable kids animation shows around at the same time which seemed to be more left-of-center but without the edge.

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    Woa! you got me thinking...
    I do remember great music on the shows: The Maxx used to have Urban-kind of Jazz music, very smooth and great for the mood! Aeon Flux was this kind of Electronic-avant garde kind of weird music, even the outro from "Liquid Television" was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, yet i can't remember were they used KC but that sound badass, any cartoon with King Crimson doing the opening theme should be worth watching!


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    This thread brings a tear to my eye as I miss that era of music and MTV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onthewall2983 View Post
    I do remember clearly the music, i wasn't aware it was KC, now i love The Maxx even more!

    "Beat" is an album that i'm ashamed to say i haven't heard... I own "Discipline" and even "Vrooom" but that one has always escaped from my hands, i'm currently completing my "Rush" collection but as soon as i'm finished i gotta buy more KC, because my collection is seriously lacking lots of albums by them...

    Currently i'm re-watching "Aeon Flux" and now i can see the huge Lynch influence (specifically "Twin Peaks") on the cartoon, i'm talking about the episode "Utopia or Deuteranopia" were Trevor y chasing Aeon in the entrails of a person and the insides look very similar to the "Black Lodge"

    What a great series!


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    I love the Maxx. Best American tv animation I've ever seen, bar none. Liquid Television itself was such an amazing occurrence when I think about it. A block of surreal and strange adult animation on a popular network. Every show was bold in some way, even though not all of them were good. Adult Swim has some stuff that is sort of like that, but most of what they do are comedian humor dick joke shows. If I could put together a Liquid television block, I'd commission guys like Jhonen Vasquez and groups like Studio 4C to give me 6 to 12 episode shows and let them run wild. I'd contact some amazing independent animators and let them pitch show ideas. I don't know if their is a market for it today, but I'd love to see it.

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    Since this thread is also about MTV animation i figured i could put some of the cool animated promos from the 90's, some of them were very funny and creative and others... just plain weird, i do miss those, i can't believe that MTV was i channel i used to watch for hours and hours, now i can't stand 5 min of it...


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    I can't even bother watch a second of MTV anymore. I want my old MTV back when it played good music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thevoid99 View Post
    I can't even bother watch a second of MTV anymore. I want my old MTV back when it played good music.
    I want my... i want my MTV!!!

    lol, sorry for the bad joke, but yes this thread is becoming also a "MTV nostalgia thread", did you noticed that they used to be an "smarter" channel? their animations, their shows, hell even their promos!
    Of course they were marketed to teenagers, yet the current MTV is a dumb show after the other... i don't remember being into stuff THAT shallow and sleazy... is like they are saying to the current generation: "Yes, we are aware you are assholes, here's Jersey Shore!"

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    To me, MTV in the early to mid 90s was the best channel on TV. Now its the worst. Kind of impressive, when I think about it.

    I've been thinking how I would put together a Liquid Television-style block if I had the chance today. I'd pretty much hire all my 'off-center' animation heroes and put them in charge of a short series, and I'd let them do whatever they wanted and just go wild. I've already mentioned Jhonen Vasquez and Studio 4C. I'd get Ralph Bakshi of Wizards fame if he he still up for making stuff, Sylvain Chomet of Triplets of Belleville, Kazuya Tsurumaki of Fooly Cooly, Jamie Hewlett of Gorillaz, and Masaaki Yuasa of Mind Game. I'd call up live action directors like Terry Gilliam to see if they want a crack at it, and some interesting independent comic book creators as well. Hell, I'd contact Peter Chung and see if he wants to do something crazy like Aeon Flux again. The shows would be weird, artsy, action, experimental, funny- just a gamut of creators going off and making adult animation. I think it would be fun.

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    ^Great idea, i would love to watch some more shows done by Peter Chung, i remember when they played "Phantom 2040", a good reboot of "The Ghost who walks".
    As for the other guys you are proposing i would add Mike Lazzo, he did an amazing job with "Adult Swim" at Cartoon Network, also the guys that did "Heavy Metal 2000", i don't know why but the animation and music go great together...

    Such a shame because MTV won't do this, i can't believe they have MTV2, MTV HITS, MTV JAMS, VH1 and more but they don't have a "Liquid Television" channel, that would rule!

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    I bumped into this old MTV show called "Downtown", basically an animation based on real interviews with real people of a big city, it was a neat idea, but the series didn't last long and i think it was never released on DVD, i'm watching some old episodes tonight!


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    I used to watch "Downtown" in my college days. The expressions of animated characters were just mind blowing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattlarry View Post
    I used to watch "Downtown" in my college days. The expressions of animated characters were just mind blowing.
    The drawings were simple but highly expressive, even the body language and movement of the characters was well-crafted.
    The style of drawing was very similar to "Daria" but in my opinion this show was even better: combining reality with animation in a good way...

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    ...anyone reminds "Migrane Boy"?


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    Today @DigitalChaos posted a Bill Plympton animation on the "Random Stupidity thread" and i reminded how good his work was and the little "shorts" they used to play on MTV during the 90's...







    I also saw there's a DVD of his work... gotta get that one...

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    Just saw The Maxx again. It holds up extremely well. There isn't anything quite like it in American animation. It would be great if they would do what they did with that show(basically being very true to the art style of the comic, sometimes even using the comic panels as keyframes) to another comic book. I'd love to see Battle Chasers in motion, if anyone remembers that. Basically any comic with a unique, animate-able art style could be done Maxx-style. Someone should try it again.
    Last edited by Millionaire; 06-27-2014 at 02:06 AM.

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    <3 this thread.
    Personally being in the UK and not have Sky / MTV for a loooong time, when I finally got MTV, it must have been 1998? 1999? and by then much of the animation had ended/not been shown in the UK. they did however show Daria. Now as a 28 year old man, some people think its kinda weird that I still love Daria, but its great. I loved that it went into an long overarching narrative, the characters wear all cliches but no-one was outwardly horrible to each other, just misunderstood.. I proudly wear my Sick Sad World t-shirt. I did eventually catch up with stuff like Aeon Flux once I had the internet and discovered it.. but Daria was the MTV cartoon of my teens.
    la la LA la la..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Millionaire View Post
    Just saw The Maxx again. It holds up extremely well. There isn't anything quite like it in American animation. It would be great if they would do what they did with that show(basically being very true to the art style of the comic, sometimes even using the comic panels as keyframes) to another comic book. I'd love to see Battle Chasers in motion, if anyone remembers that. Basically any comic with a unique, animate-able art style could be done Maxx-style. Someone should try it again.
    The Maxx was something special... not only in TV but comic books also, i miss this series so much! it's a shame that the original run of episodes just reached till issue 11 of the comics i would have loved to watch a second season with the second part of the comic that deals with Sarah's protector The "horse" Maxx:



    I remember "Battle Chasers", mostly Madureira's great art! a series of it would be great, cross between Anime and Medieval story, i would watch...

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    Quote Originally Posted by liquidcalm View Post
    <3 this thread.
    Personally being in the UK and not have Sky / MTV for a loooong time, when I finally got MTV, it must have been 1998? 1999? and by then much of the animation had ended/not been shown in the UK. they did however show Daria. Now as a 28 year old man, some people think its kinda weird that I still love Daria, but its great. I loved that it went into an long overarching narrative, the characters wear all cliches but no-one was outwardly horrible to each other, just misunderstood.. I proudly wear my Sick Sad World t-shirt. I did eventually catch up with stuff like Aeon Flux once I had the internet and discovered it.. but Daria was the MTV cartoon of my teens.
    la la LA la la..
    Daria was great, a good watch and a funny show that made a pretty good cultural impact in little time, to this date i still know some fans of the series and i can't believe they never did an animated movie or a revival of the show... maybe it's better off that way...

    I liked mostly the music on the show and the obvious homage to good ol' Trent Reznor with the character "Trent" (and his band Mystic Spiral")



    Good Days...

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryeatscereal View Post
    Daria was great, a good watch and a funny show that made a pretty good cultural impact in little time, to this date i still know some fans of the series and i can't believe they never did an animated movie or a revival of the show... maybe it's better off that way...

    I liked mostly the music on the show and the obvious homage to good ol' Trent Reznor with the character "Trent" (and his band Mystic Spiral")



    Good Days...
    Ha! There were 2 made for TV movies, which were more like a sixth season (a bit like the Futurama movies)... TBH I can't remember watching them. Damn.. I'm going to have to watch it all again aren't I...

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    Quote Originally Posted by liquidcalm View Post
    Ha! There were 2 made for TV movies, which were more like a sixth season (a bit like the Futurama movies)... TBH I can't remember watching them. Damn.. I'm going to have to watch it all again aren't I...
    Really? that's news to me! now that you mention them i remember "Is it college yet?" but here it was presented as a 3 part episode in one weekend, never saw the other one, god it's been a while since i seen Daria, I'm going to watch the whole thing again as i have the chance...
    Last edited by henryeatscereal; 07-03-2014 at 10:51 AM. Reason: shitty typos

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    Hey, I found and thought it was relevant.

    Liquid Television was without a doubt one of the best things to ever have come from MTV. I watched The Maxx again a couple of years ago (a nice DVD set that had all the music intact) and was surprised at how well it held up.

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    Hysterical animation, lol...

    For all the "Maxx fans", IDW is currently re-publishing the original comic book recolored as "The Maxx Maxximized", currently they are on issue #8, but the Hardcover with all the first 4 numbers came out yesterday...
    I really recommend this collection to you guys, specially since the animation just reached number 11 and the story is awesome plus it's combined with Sam Kieth's beautiful artwork:



    I hope with this "Maxx revival" we'll finally get the series on a deserved Blu Ray deluxe edition or somethin', this cartoon truly changed my life...
    Last edited by henryeatscereal; 07-08-2014 at 12:39 AM.

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    Didn't want to create a whole new thread for Daria...

    I bought the complete series for about 15 dollars on amazon. Fun show and definitely relatable if you were a teenager in the 1990's.

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    I was telling my wife yesterday about a scene on, I THINK it was liquid television.

    It's the part where the girl is at the bar or coffee shop or something and says "Please to lay some java on me?"
    Does anyone else remember that? It stuck permanently in my head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RhettButler View Post
    Didn't want to create a whole new thread for Daria...

    I bought the complete series for about 15 dollars on amazon. Fun show and definitely relatable if you were a teenager in the 1990's.
    I think the music selection for the show helped it a lot, i guess that's why it's so 90's, the soundtrack was everything we used to listen in those days

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