Terminator 2 Animated Series
1991 design concepts for the T2 Animated
much has been revealed about the unaired Terminator 2 cartoon up until that
point. There was the James
Cameron's announcement, and Marvel's writer's brief criticism. That was it. JamesCameronOnline.com did some research and spoke to few folks to squeeze out
as much of as little there is about the abandoned Cartoon show.
First, let's go back to what was already
there. The first of only two mentions of the show came from James Cameron
himself in a British scifi magazine Starburst #159 from late 1991
Starburst : With Hemdale boss John
Daly currently devising a Terminator TV Show, what's the state of play with T3 ?
James Cameron : My production company Lightstorm ent. inc. is planning
an animated cartoon series. That would conflict with Mr Daly plan so I'll have
to look into that.
Years later, in 1996, Marvel's writer
Evan Skolnick briefly wrote online on the subject of Marvel never exploring their T2
license, where he mentioned that while Marvel was developing their storylines
for the comic book series, the Lightstorm licensing agent made it impossible to
go ahead because he was insisting on using their own ideas which would be in
vein with the planned cartoon series. Skolnick also mentioned that the cartoon
would feature a boy and his Terminator.
That was all that was known about the
series. We knew that an Animated series was being developed right after T2 had hit
big by Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment company, that the ideas for the series
clashed with Marvel's planned comic book storyline, and that, well, for some
reason, the project was abandoned since it never came to fruition. JamesCameronOnline spoke to Van Ling
first, creative consultant on The Abyss and Terminator 2: Judgment Day and James
Cameron's friend who worked in Lightstorm at the time. "There was
indeed talk of such an animated series, which was to be done by DiC
Entertainment, as I recall. The Lightstorm production department may have record
of it in their archives somewhere. ", said Ling. DiC Entertainment was
children's television company that brought us Captain Planet and The Planeteers,
ALF the Animated series, G.I.Joe, The Real Ghostbusters and many others. A very
popular and powerful animation company in the 80's and early 90's, they were a
natural choice to work with Lighstorm on the T2 Animated series.
"There were a few character sketches I
believe", continues Ling. The sketches, which resurfaced online in January of
2016, were made by comic book and animation veteran Russ Heath, who also worked
on DiC's G.I.Joe and Karate Kid series (among others)as a
character designer, hence the connection. The original sketches have
been acquired by JamesCameronOnline from Heath's personal collection.
Next to nothing is known about the plot,
other than that it happens in the present days (well, the 90's), that it was a
child friendly show and who the main characters are. As Skolnick said, the
cartoon was to feature a boy and his "pet" Terminator, something which Van Ling
also confirms: "It was definitely young John Connor and Terminator (the
T-800) as the main characters, with the T-1000 as the villain". Whether
Sarah was also part of the equation is unknown, and unfortunately Van doesn't
remember. One would think she'd definitely be one of the main characters.
Unfortunately, "It never really got past the pitch stage" - says Ling -
"It never went anywhere and no footage was ever produced", which means
the design sketches are the only existing mementos of the project. As to why the
project fell apart, "There may have been some issues with Carolco (who owned
the rights to T2 before they went under and sold it to Studio Canal)".