The year was 1992. The Renaissance Age of Animation
was still relatively young, and despite Disney
making headway into the television market with The Disney Afternoon
and a few Saturday Morning Cartoons
, they still had serious competition from the likes of Warner Bros.
, Turner Broadcasting (which was in the process of launching a scrappy little cable channel called Cartoon Network
), and Nickelodeon
Enter Raw Toonage
Born from Disney's aquisition of the rights to the Belgian comic Marsupilami
, as well as the Development Hell
was going through at the time, Raw Toonage
was an Animated Anthology
experiment that ran during the CBS Saturday Morning block in the fall of 1992. The show's format essentially predated Animaniacs
by one year (in fact, future Pinky and the Brain
writer Tom Minton worked on the "Totally Tasteless Videos" segments), though Raw Toonage
usually added a different Framing Device
to the mix each week.
However, the show only lasted twelve episodes
on CBS before being cancelled. It ultimately spawned two spinoffs for their most successful and frequent running shorts, though: Disney's Marsupilami
, and Bonkers
- The host segment: The aforementioned framing device, appearing in most (but not all) episodes. Each time it would feature a different Disney character.
- He's Bonkers: Basically, these are the cartoons that Bonkers D. Bobcat starred in before joining the police force. (Most of these shorts would later be repackaged as compilation episodes of Bonkers.)
- Marsupilami: Disney's laid-back version of the title creature, who hung out with a gorilla sidekick named Maurice.
- Totally Tasteless Videos: This segment was kind of a toss-up. One week, it could be about a caveman who is also a Private Detective; the next week, it could be about haunted poultry.