Toon toys with prez

The White House protested the use of President Bill Clinton’s image in “Contact,” but can the chief exec exhibit any “Spin” control?

Luckily, he won’t have to try.

HBO’s proposed animated satire “Dr. Spin” featured a toon Clinton dancing with a scantily dressed woman aboard Air Force One, while Vice President Al Gore appears afraid to join the party.

However, the scene was only part of a test pilot to be shown to HBO execs and a few other industry mavens, and probably won’t ever reach the air. HBO officials said the scene was used only to test the use of a third character in real-time animation, which, until recently, was considered technically difficult. (Real-time animation features toon characters with the motions and facial expressions of live actors performing in real time.)

Harry Shearer created and will provide voices for “Dr. Spin,” which HBO said has yet to be greenlit for telecast. Modern Cartoon has been contracted to provide the animation. Sources said the series could air as early as January or February, and an HBO spokeswoman said a decision on the that show and other projects will be made in the next few months.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the White House hesitated to comment on “Dr. Spin.” “We can’t comment on anything we haven’t seen,” the spokeswoman said. However, the White House did refer Daily Variety to a letter sent to Warner Bros. following the studio’s use of Clinton’s image in “Contact.” The letter warns against aspects of the film that “violate the White House policy regarding the use for commercial purposes of the President’s name, image, likeness, activities or words.”

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