Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Animated Series was a short-lived project produced by Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox in 2001. It was intended for Fox Kids, but, following the demise of the Haim Saban/News Corp-owned kids network, it was never aired.
However, a three minute clip from the pilot has, this week, surfaced online (watch here).
TBI wonders whether Whedon himself was responsible for the leak, ahead of a possible online resurrection of the brand, which ended its run on The WB in 2003, and asks whether any other popular, recently deceased series could return in animated form?
The Buffy animated series, which was to be exec produced by Whedon and Jeph Loeb and drawn by The Simpsons’ animation producer Film Roman, was designed to be an 8x30mins adventure taking place after the end of the first season. The Buffy brand is, obviously, well placed to be extended either as a kids series or as an online project thanks to its zealous fanbase.
There are others; Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the animated spin off of the sci fi movie, exec produced by George Lucas, will likely be a massive success when it launches on Turner’s Cartoon Network in October.
But is it only sci-fi series that would work in such an arena? Could CBS’ much missed end-of-the-world drama Jericho find yet another life as a kids co-production? Would Mischa Barton ever consider reviving her role as The OC’s Marissa Cooper via the medium of cartoon?
Meanwhile, certain shows work better the other way around, moving from animation to live-action. Hit animated kids series Ben:10 has been turned into two live action movies, both produced by Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure‘s Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston), while the live action Scooby Doo movies have been as successful as their cartoon counterparts.
Whether the leak of the clip (shown below) was a deliberate move to take advantage of Whedon’s current standing, both online and in the TV world with the Eliza Dusku-starring thriller Dollhouse debuting next month, is unclear and realistically unlikely, but ultimately intriguing.