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Western Animation / Raw Toonage

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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 character Marsupilami, as well as the Development Hell that Bonkers 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.

Segments included:

  • The host segment: The aforementioned framing device, appearing in most episodes (except episodes #7, #9, and #12). 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.) There was no "He's Bonkers" short in episode #10.
  • 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. There was no "Totally Tasteless Videos" short in episodes #4 and #8.

Raw Toonage provides examples of: