The Web sites on which they first appeared may be long gone, but programming created during Hollywood’s obsession with online entertainment has found a new life on homevideo.
Maverick Entertainment and National Lampoon will bow Icebox.com‘s controversial animated Web series “Mr. Wong” on DVD and VHS on Feb. 17. And later in the year, Revolution Studios will distrib its feature-length version of MediaTrip.com‘s “Lil’ Pimp” straight to DVD.
All 14 episodes of the “Mr. Wong” series, as well as a never-aired installment and behind-the-scenes features, will be part of its homevid release. The DVD also will include guest star Robert Evans, audio commentary, outtakes and recipes.
“South Park” scribes Pam Brady and Kyle McCulloch created “Mr. Wong.” Series, launched on Icebox in 2000, revolved around a Chinese houseboy who slings caustic insults while working for his high-society employer, Miss Pam.
Series irked the Media Action Network for Asian Americans and the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, saying it reinforced racial stereotypes.
Still, “Mr. Wong” was a “huge breakout hit on Icebox,” said Tal Vigderson, managing director of Icebox, whose library is made up of 21 animated Web series, including “Queer Duck,” “Zombie College” and “Starship Regulars.”
“We still receive hundreds of emails every week asking when there will be more ‘Wong.’ We are very excited to have the opportunity to answer our fans with the release of this DVD.” Icebox had originally planned to produce a DVD with Artisan Entertainment in 2000, but the studio opted out of the deal.
As for Revolution’s “Lil’ Pimp” movie, the studio has yet to sked a release date for the DVD. Studio also has yet to decide whether the DVD will feature the series’ past episodes as extras.
MediaTrip’s “Lil’ Pimp” features a 9-year-old white boy who excels at hustling women in an urban neighborhood and hangs out with the local pimps and his pet gerbil Weathers, who suffers from Tourette’s.
Carmen Electra, Bernie Mac, William Shatner and Jennifer Tilly lent their voices for the 80-minute film version of the series, written and directed by creators Mark Brooks and Peter Gilstrap.
Revolution had planned on bowing the flash-animated film in theaters in spring 2003 but opted out of a theatrical run, hoping a homevid launch will be a better way to reach audiences.
Move has worked for Mondo Media, which has successfully released two DVD compilations of Kenn Navarro and Rhode Montijo’s animated series “Happy Tree Friends,” which bowed online in 1999.
The compilations have proved strong sellers at retailers like Best Buy and etailers such as Amazon.com.