Saturday, May 30, 2015

Boomerang Rebrand 2015: Further Thoughts


Back on January 24, I wrote a post explaining my thoughts on the Boomerang rebrand. But I don't get Boomerang at home, so I could only base my opinion on YouTube videos I found. But I spent last weekend at a place that does get Boomerang. I watched it, and unsurprisingly, I have more thoughts on the new look. Get them below.
I'll start by talking about the new website (boomeranggo.com). I found it sometime in early-mid February and was officially announced at the Cartoon Network upfront on February 19. The site didn't really look like much when it launched. After a chat with someone I subscribe to on YouTube, I came to the conclusion that it was still in development. I thought there would be more by now, but I haven't noticed any changes. It's one of several factors that make me question how much CN actually cares about Boomerang.

Now for what's actually on the channel. When I watched last weekend, there was a Tom and Jerry marathon all weekend for the long weekend. It was a little disappointing because I wanted to see other shows, but not too badly since I like Tom and Jerry. I don't think much has changed since the rebrand. The only change I can think of is the 11 A.M. hour on weekdays. Originally it was Pink Panther and Pals, then it was replaced by The Flintstones, and now it's The New Scooby-Doo Movies. Boomerang Theater has also changed. Before most of it was Hanna-Barbera classics. Now most of it is Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry direct to video movies and movies based on Cartoon Network shows.

The Garfield Show has become the Spongebob of Boomerang. It airs 8 times a day. Unlike Nick, Boomerang has a 24 hour schedule, so the airings are spread out a little, but it still seems like a lot. It's just part of a sad trend in kids TV today where a network airs a show so many times a day. Cartoon Network does that with Teen Titans Go!. It's something I call the Spongebob syndrome, which describes a show that airs on a network so many times on a daily basis. It's a sad trend, but we're here to just talk about Boomerang. Overall, I like the current schedule. It doesn't have the shows that made me love Boomerang, but the only one on the current schedule I don't watch is Teen Titans Go!. I haven't seen Numb Chucks, but if I gat a chance, I might watch it.

Now to talk about the look. Nothing will beat the old Boomerang, but I do like the new look. The bumpers are colorful and can sometimes be catchy. The bumpers on the old Boomerang were voiced by John O'Hurley. I read in YouTube comments that the new numbers are recorded by Collin Dean, who voiced Greg on Over the Garden Wall. Like I said, I read that in YouTube comments, so don't hold me to that, but when I compared the voices, they sounded similar. A lot of people hate the new voiceover, but I think it's pretty nice.

The new bumpers are made in HD even though Boomerang doesn't have an HD feed. I was always against the idea of Boomerang getting an HD feed because for it's entire history up until recently most of the shows were made before HD was invented and HD feeds affect all shows on Turner networks. Even with shows not made in HD, the SD feed the displays the shows in widescreen. It's not so bad once you get used to it, but at first it makes the SD shows look squished. Boomerang doesn't do that because they don't have an HD feed. Now I can see an HD feed working because they have a lot more HD programming.

The old Boomerang didn't air traditional ads. As a result, the breaks were a little shorter than other networks. This left Boomerang time to air stuff in between shows. This stuff originally included Cartoon Network Shorties, which aired on Cartoon Network in the late 1990s and early 2000s and starred Hanna-Barbera characters (except for Thanks a Latte), Boomerang-a-longs, which took the theme song of a classic cartoon and put the words at the bottom of the screen so the viewer could sing along, and clips from Hanna-Barbera cartoons. In more recent years, they also had Wedgies, which aired on Cartoon Network from 2008-09, and Mixels, which has been released on CN's website since 2014.

Things changed with the rebrand. First, Boomerang started supporting ads. They actually started this on November 23, 2013, but we dropped before long. They started again on September 1, 2014. That was the last time I was able to watch Boomerang before that rebrand, and I'm glad I got to see it with ads because I wanted to see what it looked like. It didn't seem like they fit at first. It wasn't unusual to see the same commercial 2 or more breaks in a row. Now they fit better, and while it's weird seeing ads on Boomerang, they work like other ad supported networks now.

As for what they air between shows, they don't always have time for that anymore, but they still do it sometimes. As expected, they dropped the Shorties, Boomerang-a-longs, and Hanna-Barbera clips. I didn't see any Wedgies, but I thought I saw somewhere that they were still there. that could be wrong, tough. What do they have now? They still have Mixels. They also have Road Runner and Wil E. Coyote shorts and Merrie Melodies, intersals that aired during The Looney Tunes Show.

Last, I'll touch upon something I haven't heard anyone else talk about: the On Demand Feed. The On Demand feed used to be my only way of watching Boomerang until my provider dropped it in 2011. Originally, it just had various episodes of shows on Boomerang's lineup, but in 2013, it started separating content by theme. Like example, for Mother's Day, there would be episodes of The Flintstones and Dexter's Laboratory featuring Wilma Flintstone and Dexter's mom. That changed with the rebrand. Now there are 3 shows: The Tom and Jerry Show, the original Scooby-Doo series (and only classic left), and The Looney Tunes Show. Boomerang Theater was also an option. The On Demand feed doesn't have any special bumpers, but I did notice something big: the logo on screen during the shows is the old Boomerang logo. I was watching Scooby-Doo and was surprised to see that. I then tried The Tom and Jerry Show and it was there too. I don't know how long this will last, but it was cool to see it again.

Overall, I like the rebrand. I still prefer the old look, partly because it's the reason I'm as big a carton fan as I am, but the new one is still pretty good. It is weird seeing Boomerang so different that it was a year ago, but this could still be a good channel. It seemed like CN was going to do more with it, but they haven't done much, so I'm not sure how much they actually care. The Boomerang logo was seen at the Turner upfront on May 13, along with the title card for Be Cool Scooby-Doo next to it, but that was the only attention either thing got.

So is Boomerang still my favorite channel? Well, yeah, but not by as comfortable a margin as before. The old Boomerang had lots of classics that I always love watching, and I also liked what they had between shows, but they still have a lot of shows I like and I like the intersals from The Looney Tunes Show. I was actually expecting my thoughts to be worse, so that's a good sign.

Below, you'll find some pictures I took of the TV with Boomerang on. I apologize for the low quality. All I had was my Kindle. If you want higher quality screenshots, Nick and More has some here. But I also have some pictures of of the On Demand feed if you're interested in that. Here they are:

On Demand

I forgot to take a picture when Boomerang Theater was an option.




The old Boomerang logo showed up On Demand. Next few pictures show that. I swear I took these last weekend.



I even watched part of Tom and Jerry to make sure it wasn't a fluke.
Regular TV


Look! The cable listings still have the old Boomerang logo.












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