Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Disney TVA's Buzz Crew in the Wayback Machine

Journey with us now back to ... the Turn of the Century.

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command was Disney TV Animation's 2D series based on the space warrior in Toy Story. The series (sixty-five episodes) was broadcast on ABC and UPN in 2000 and 2001. It spawned a theatrical feature, a DVD, also a video game -- all of them dandy little sub-genres of the Big Genre (the Toy Story franchise).

A lot of the artists who made the series happen worked in a small, Rubics cube style office building called the Fairmont Building, tucked away between Riverside Drive and the Ventura Freeway in Toluca Lake ...

The show's producer was Disney veteran Tad Stones, who'd been with the company since the early seventies and was one of the first Disney Feature Animation artists to switch over to (then embryonic) Disney Television Animation. As one of the staffers remembered:

"We all worked up on the second or third floor of the building, I forget which. There were cubicles and offices and a big open space. I worked in an office that was usually the temperature of a meat locker and I usually wore a coat...

A lot of afternoons, John Kimball would make expresso with his magic little machine and we'd all take a coffee break, kick back for a few minutes ..."

Click on the photos for a larger version.
Buzz Lightyear crew photo #1

Back row, left to right: Bob Zamboni, Craig Kemplin, Dave Schwartz, unknown, Denise Koyama, Dana Landsberg, Chuck Puntuvatana, Sean Read, Sean Bishop.

Front row, left to right: Cris Collins, Troy Adomitis, unknown, Carin Ann Anderson, Vic Cook, Jung Ja Wolf, unknown, Niki Kopp, Gordon Kent.

I remember Mr. Kimball's coffee clatches well. It was a tradition he carried with him from show to show and building to building (Disney TVA shifted around to different office spaces in those days). Whatever the production was, there would be John with his expresso machine, whipping up his potent caffeine brew.

I had an unerring knack for showing up at just the right time of day to scarf down the whipped coffee out of one of John's little porcelain cups.

Buzz Lightyear crew photo #2

Back row, left to right: J. K. Kim, Cris Collins, Mitch Rochon, Sharon Forward, Bob Foster, Bill Turner, Garret Ho, Bob Zamboni, unknown, Kenny McGill, John Miller, Debra Pugh, Ron Erheart.

Front row, left to right: Niki Kopp, unknown, Zoe Seals, Donna Prince, Ginny Suess, Don MacKinnon, Katherine Victor, Plamen Christov.

Buzz Lightyear crew photo #3

Back row, left to right: Justin Thompson, Plamen Christov, Jim Finch, Rich Chidlaw, Marsh Lamore, unknown, John Miller, Greg Guler, unknown, Nick Filippi.

Middle row, left to right: Steve Loter, unknown, Jessica Portillo, John Ahern, John Kimball, J. K. Kim.

Front row, left to right: Cris Collins, Rick Evans, Mike Karafilis, Linda DeLizza, unknown, Sharon Forward, Niki Kopp.

(Photos courtesy Bob Foster).


BuzzLightyearandnoStarCommandAUCZKJA said...

Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command is the most Stupid and Worst cartoon ever Created and made by Disney Television Animation.

I dearly Apathizied and Hate it so much, the Episodes 1-65 were stupid,the acting was dum,the story and plot,artwork, was worse than most cartoons airing at that time in 2000 or before.

Im shocked an amazed that the great Darkwing Duck Man himself was involed with this Huge piece of Crad and Garbage,something I know he is regreting now to,I believe true myself.

Im glad that Toon Disney/ The Disney Channel and All Stations around the World have finally seen the Light an stop airing Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command the
Fairure and fall from Grace such as it is to me.

And by the look at its low ratings and poor viewership that made it not continue passed it 1st season,I can see many agree with me how much of A Stupidity,Waste of time and Failure it was an still is, well its gone now so I can thank God for that.

Anonymous said...

Without going into all the mistakes in the above comment(not to mention all the grammar and spelling mistakes)it's obvious he/she doesn't realize that 65 episodes is the usual run of most animated TV series so they can have it syndicated. (though that has actually turned into just 56 episodes of late) so there wouldn't have been much chance of going beyond an order of 65 - regardless of ratings.

Anonymous said...

How come spelling and grammar mistakes are so important to you. I noticed before it apparently seem to be such an important factor. You should judge a person on what the person has on mind. I assume you do not judge a person without hearing, or eyesight, on their dissability, but on their thoughts and oppinions. How ignorant. It tells a lot about you as well!
Stay to the matter of the subjects.
I assume everyone regardless of how well they spell, speak and look etc., are welcome to comment on the different issues and articles on this blog; which by the way is a wonderful blog.

Anonymous said...

I liked it! It had many shout-outs to other sci-fi pieces & even some horror (I remember a backwards speaking XR in one ghost episode specifically). If you just passively watched the show it could lack something, but if you looked deeper you often found a gold nugget or two per ep!

Sure I like Darkwing & other classic TDA shows better, but it's a MILLION times better IMHO than later shows like Quack Pack, Timon & Pumbaa, etc.

Floyd Norman said...

Oh, what the hell.

I like the photos.

Steve Hulett said...

Im glad that Toon Disney/ The Disney Channel and All Stations around the World have finally seen the Light an stop airing Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command the
Fairure and fall from Grace such as it is to me.

No need to beat around the bush. You don't like it, just say so.

Regardless of your feelings, it gave a lot of artists work, so hooray for Mr. Lightyear.

Anonymous said...

"Darkwing Duck?" It doesn't get much sillier, ugly, unfunny, or more pointless than that.

Oh yeah...Tiny Toons, Pinky and the Brain, Duck Tales, Gummi Bears, Animaniacs, and all THAT crap. That said, The Buzz Lightyear cartoon was mostly at the bottom of that trash heap of tv mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

To the illiterate poster up above: Pal, nobody is going to understand what you're talking about if you have no grasp of the basic fundamentals of writing - fundamentals such as spelling, punctuation and sentence structure. You come off as extremely ignorant, and you DESERVE to. Stop watching cartoons and crack open a grammar book once in a while. I'm sick of people with poor language skills getting defensive when they're called on it. The internet is made up of words, so learn to use them effectively or stop wasting bandwidth with poorly-spelled, poorly-written rants!

Anonymous said...

Actually I am the one who was commeting on the issue of people going nuts over wrong spelling etc., and to point out, I am NOT the one who left the 'sour' first message above.
In general I have just noticed the harsh tone sometimes towards people who might have a hard time with the spelling. I just find it ignorant when someone judges on the language and grammar in certain situations. Might be because I am foreign myself, and actually consider it quite desturbing when some people always think you are a little more on the 'dumb' side just because you either have an accent or does not manage the english language to perfection. Which is quite interesting, as some people do only manage the english language - which could be thought of as 'less educated' as well. No offence.
Just an observation. Not ment to stur up any pots or pans, or angry feelings..
Anyway, as Steve wrote. If you do not like a show, just say so.
We get it with less words.

Good day to everyone ~

Anonymous said...

I would never THINK of moving to a foreign country and suggesting its native citizens need not uphold proper grammar and spelling standards of their own language.

It is incumbent upon YOU, the guest, to bring yourself up to the language standards of your new home--not to advocate that the host country dumb down its standards to conform to you.

Anonymous said...

You just do not get it. Its not about teaching. Its about accepting that someone else than you and I has another oppinion, eventhough it might not be presented the way you/I would prefer. I have never stated it is flattering with spelling mistakes, or suggesting someone not to uphold proper grammar and spelling standards of the english language. Thats not the point!! - Its about listening to what the person has to say, rather than lecturing him/her. Lecturing in grammar is another avenue. I just noticed how offended someone were, instead of trying to listen to what was being communicated; eventhough it wasent expressed in an adult way. All this hostility seems to go both ways apparently.
The point is someone diddnt like the show. Someone did. My view... Its always good with television shows going on. Its a job, and we do not always get a say to how it is ending up looking in the end of the day. But its a paycheck, and many talented people work on these shows. That they do not have a chance to show what they really can create is not their fault. Its all business.

Steel said...

Buzz Lightyear is one of my favorite shows. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, of course. You can like it or hate it. I just think the first commenter shouldn't have been so rude, that's all. (Although yes, I do get irked by misspelling and grammar, I can understand it if the person's mother language isn't english.)

Anonymous said...

Wow...Here's a little article about a show from a decade ago. And look pictures of the actual people who worked on it! Let's use this opportunity to tell them how all the work they did was terrible and worthless...

I don't care about your grammar but you, BuzzLightyearandnoStarCommandAUCZKJA, are a waste of skin...

Anonymous said...

I don't know about all the tension in this here blog, but I do know one thing: I loved Buzz Lightyear of Star Command not only for its refreshing take on things (a sci-fi cartoon, right on), but also for the humor, the characters, and the out-of-this-world settings. Sure, it could have been better, but so could most things when you sit down to think about it.

The fact of the matter is: it was a great show for a Saturday morning, and it did what all cartoons are aimed to do; to entertain the viewer and keep a few of us tuning back for more. Everyone who worked for the project put time and effort into this cartoon, and it wouldn't be fair to claim that all their energies had been wasted in the show's creation.

PS: Evil Emperor Zurg is the best, oho.

PSS: I really wish they aired the season finale and made DVDs! There's a small demand out there, but a demand nonetheless!

Steel said...

Old post is undeniably old (and one I commented on years ago too, hah!) but just so you know, not all of us hate this series. And as you said, Mr. Hulett, it gave a lot of people jobs back then, so it was a good thing in the end no matter what anyone else thinks.

Perhaps me asking this now might be being too forward, but I was wondering whether you have any more details about the production of this show? I am working on a wikia for it and am actually finding it extremely difficult to find proper source material for the people who worked so hard on it!

I would be very grateful and of course try to cite and credit any information given to me properly. It's only my wish as a fan to get this wikia up and running with as accurate information as I can manage.

Thank you in advance!

Linda Scott said...

I had to sue Richard Chidlaw for copyright infringement. He would steal pennies from his kids' piggy banks he's that creepy

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