DiC Geeks is our fortnightly podcast (sorry for missing the previous one; we were busy) in which we journey through the many realms of DiC Entertainment, a company that (for most of the 80s and 90s) was synonymous with both early morning cartoon blocks and generally mediocre animated tripe. This week we discuss the painfully average Alienators: Evolution Continues and its total failure to repeat the successes of Ghostbusters.
DiC Geeks – Alienators: Evolution Continues (2001)
Evolution started as a story by Don Jakoby, who wrote the screenplays for such movies as ‘Lifeforce’, ‘Death Wish 3’, and ‘Arachnopohobia’. If you’ve not heard of these, one is a truly terrible vampire alien movie, the second is a Chuck Norris sequel’s sequel and the third is pretty self-explanatory. With the help of a couple of friends he turned it into a screenplay for a serious horror action movie, but all pretension of seriousness was dropped when the screenplay was picked up by the Montecito Picture Company and rewritten by Ivan Reitman. Ivan Reitman had been the director of the first two Ghostbusters movies and after a decade of Arnold Schwartzenegger comedies he was eager to return to commerical success.
Ivan Reitman had already had history with DiC Entertainment: DiC had produced the incredibly successful The Real Ghostbusters, and Reitman himself had been an executive producer on DiC’s far less successful ‘Mummies Alive!’, so it was a no-brainer that DiC would be granted the rights to produce the cartoon for the supposed ‘spiritual successor to ghostbusters’.
Under the hand of Louis Gassin (Credited as the show’s ‘Auteur’) the premise of the movie in which two college professors, a trainee fireman and a genetecist battle an ever-evolving and expanding alien species, was adapted to the kids cartoon format. The characters were aged down and made more family-friendly, the romance subplot between two of the characters was dropped, and the alien species, ‘The Genus’, was given a identifiable humanoid manifestation that could communicate with humans.
The show was merchandised with a series of action figures and a Game Boy Advance game. It ran for 26 episodes before cancellation. Montecito Pictures retains the rights to the movie Evolution whilst DHX Media who currently own the DiC Catalogue retain the rights to Alienators and as such high quality, fully licenced episodes of the show are avaliable from ‘WildBrain Super Heroes’, one of their channels on YouTube.