Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Classic Reborn: The New Addams Family (1998)

A few years had passed since the second of two Addams Family feature films, "Addams Family Values", had been released in theatres. Haim Saban acquired the rights to the franchise, and produced a DTV that made its television debut on Fox Family, "Addams Family Reunion", which didn't complete the trilogy, but instead served as a pilot for a new Addams series. "Reunion" starred Tim Curry ("Rocky Horror Picture Show") as Gomez, but when it came time for the New Addams Family, Curry chose not to return. Another bad move, really, considering that six years earlier, Curry was the original voice of the Joker on Batman: The Animated Series before Warners (which distributed "Reunion") dismissed him in favor of Mark Hamill.

Instead, a relative newcomer, Glenn Taranto, was the new Gomez, and it was easy to see why, as he looked & sounded like the original, John Astin. As a nod to fans, Astin returned, this time as Grandpa Addams, replacing Kevin McCarthy, who essayed the part in "Reunion". Saban and a spinoff company, Shavick Entertainment, produced 65 episodes of New Addams Family between 1998-1999, airing on Fox Family (now ABC Family) here and on YTV in Canada.

Let's take a look at a sample, which happens to be the debut of Astin as Grandpa:

So, essentially, this Family matched the original in terms of length, each going 2 seasons. However, this edition is buried in the vaults somewhere, depending on who has the rights, while Cartoon Network inexplicably has the original airing on Boomerang this month for the 3rd straight year. Try figuring that out.

Rating: B.

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