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I just got out of the Hasbro seminar and done with my volunteer duties, and before I take pics of the abso-freaking lutely AWESOME Pursuit of Cobra stuff for 2011 (and while I wait for my camera batteries to charge) I wanted to just drop some information about the new animated series coming to The Hub this fall.
These are some notes I jotted down that can be found at the “Read the rest of this entry” link below.

G.I. Joe: Renegades

  • Not tied into Resolute at all.  A new expression.
  • Not CGI.  Very soft, artistic, and colorful animation
  • This is a “Year One” look at a new G.I. Joe team
  • Season 1 features the team “on the run” from a mysterious threat
  • As a “Year One” look, we will see these characters from the beginning.  We will see how they become what they are.  It was strongly hinted that Snake Eyes will not be disfigured or mute when the series starts, but will progress to that point very early in the first season.
  • Expect lots of cameos.  Since the Joes are “on the road” it will give them the chance to meet up with familiar faces along the way.  Specific characters hinted at were Snow Job, Shipwreck, and Jinx.
  • Lots of “Geeks” are at the helm of the series, and they all want to incorporate as many fringe characters as possible.
  • A very linear storyline throughout the season.
  • Characters will grow and evolve as the series progresses.  If someone gets hurt in Episode 2, the ramifications will still be felt in Episode 3.
  • Expect adult level storytelling.  While the audience is mostly geared towards 7 year olds, they are NOT going to write down to that level.  They want the 7 year olds to be “smart” 7 year olds.
  • Series will start with a 2-part pilot, and I got the impression it would involve the Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow conflict, and may possibly lead to Snake Eyes’ disfigurement.
  • 26 Episodes in Season 1
  • There were strong hints that characters could and might die.
  • However, due to standards and practices, expect weapons to fire lasers, not bullets.  The reasoning is they don’t want the kid audience to see anything they could find in dad’s gun closet.
  • Cobra Commander will wear his classic mask
  • Destro will wear a mask, and will have a specific reason for it.
  • From the people involved, expect stuff along the lines of Clone Wars, Batman:TAS and Starship Troopers.  One of the folks deeply involved with Starship Troopers is now involved with G.I. Joe: Renegades.
  • There will be a core team that may grow as we meet more Joes, but it’s also likely when they meet a specialized new Joe character, the team may move on without that character, and they would stand alone as a “guest star” instead of being a core team member.
  • While the series is most likely rated TV-G, nothing that they are currently writing would be allowed to be shown on Disney Channel or NickToons.
  • Expect signature weapons, and unique vehicles that are almost characters unto themselves.
  • Expect classic vehicles, though they may be reimagined
  • Mixture of old favorites and some new voice actors

They also showed some character art for Duke and Snake Eyes, but unfortunately we were not allowed to photograph it.  I will describe it as best I can.

  • Duke wore a full green military bodysuit, with a tan flack vest covering it.  The Flak Vest was slightly reminiscent of the reactive armor.  It was angled, and sleek (not loaded with pouches like Resolute), but the overall look was reminiscent of the familiar tan and green.  He held a pistol, and had short-cropped blonde hair.
  • Snake Eyes wore a sleek body suit of black and dark gray, similar in design to Duke’s armored vest.  A sword was on his back, he wore his visor, and he had baggy black combat pants.  The look was somewhat “Sigma 6” like in appearence, from the body suit angle.

They also talked about the Hub in general, as well as the production team.

  • The Hub’s CEO is Margaret Loesch, who was the executive producer of G.I. Joe, Transformers, Visionaries, and Jem (among others) back in the 80’s.  Also had a strong role in Fox Kids and the resurgence of children’s animation there with Spider-Man and X-Men.
  • Boys Action Programming will be a major focus of the Hub, and they plan on making a whole new run of high octane action programs for young boys in the same spirit as Renegades.

G.I. Joe: Renegades Production Team

  • Aaron Archer – Hasbro’s inhouse director of intellectual property.
  • Ted Biaselli – Director of Hub Programming
  • Jeff Kline – Series developer for Roughnecks: Starship Troopers, worked on Max Steel, Men in Black, and many other properties, now deeply involved with G.I. Joe: Renegades
  • Mike Vogel – Background with Disney, now involved with the Hub.

My overall vibe?  Surprise, surprise, I’m optimistic.  I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sold on it going in, but if they can accomplish everything they claim they will accomplish, we could have the first credible G.I. Joe animated series.