I thought I’d take a look at a long lost Aliens project that Fox had brewing in the early 90’s. My interest was piqued again for this while re-reading the Dark Horse Aliens vs. Predator Omnibuses recently (I love those). Around 1992, Fox greenlit an Alien cartoon series called Operation: Aliens to air on their then-fledgling network. It was to include Ripley, Bishop, Hicks, Apone, and Drake, all from the Aliens movie (not sure how Apone, Hicks and Drake survived, didn’t they all die?). All were to have new likenesses a la Ghostbusters where the actors refused to give up their likenesses for merchandise. The show was to also coincide with a toy line by Kenner.
The show is rumored to have been produced, but never actually aired. It was slated for Fall 1992. Fox got cold feet for some reason after Alien 3 debuted in May of that year to lackluster results and decided to forgo the cartoon. However, Kenner had already mass produced merchandise that was to coincide with the show. So, they actually released some merchandise prematurely. Some items went out to stores with the Operation: Aliens logo, but most went with the logo from the movie Aliens to try and salvage the line with no cartoon to back the Operation: Aliens moniker.
Kenner’s gimmick for the toy line (and probably the gimmick for the show) was that the Aliens could assimilate any life form and turn it into a xenomorph version. So a face-hugger could attach itself to a bull and a bull-Alien is born. You might remember the Aliens toys in 1992 to roughly 1995 depicting different species of Aliens. In an effort to further salvage the line, Kenner renamed it Alien vs. Predator in 1994 (due to the wild success of the comics) and released Alien and Predator 2-packs.
It’s an interesting footnote to one of the cinema’s grandest horror franchises. Not sure how the cartoon would have played out, but it would have been interesting. Below are frames from what appears to be either a demo-reel or the intro to the show: