Murakami Wolf Productions was an American animation studio founded in 1967 by Jimmy T. Murakami and Fred Wolf. Murakami was an animator at the UPA studio and then co-directed the live action Roger Corman films HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP and BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS in addition to animated features like WHEN THE WIND BLOWS and segments of HEAVY METAL; Wolf had been an animator on The Alvin Show and The Flintstones before directing such hippie era TV artifacts as The Point, Free to Be… You & Me and Puff the Magic Dragon. In the late ‘80s the toy company Playmates hired Murakami Wolf’s new satellite studio in Dublin to produce a mini-series based on a culty black-and-white comic book to test the waters for a possible line of action figures. It was called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and you may remember the hubbub – cowabunga, fight for rights and your freedom to speak, Michelangelo is a party dude, etc.
Several years later, after the entire world had been shaken to its core by the effects of Turtle Power, I guess it seemed to some of those guys like any weird underground shit could be magically turned into a massively lucrative, completely inexplicable pop culture phenomenon. According to Lloyd Kaufman’s book, an agent named John Russo asked if he’d ever considered making his unrated gore and boobs franchise THE TOXIC AVENGER into a G-rated kiddie cartoon, and introduced him to Buzz Potamkin, Emmy-nominated producer of the Berenstain Bears cartoons, the Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue anti-drug PSA and Hawaiian Punch commercials. Potamkin and Murakami Wolf proposed turning THE TOXIC AVENGER into a kid friendly cartoon – an idea that became one 13-episode season of The Toxic Crusaders, which aired in syndication between March 1st and May 20th, 1990. (read the rest of this shit…)