Get out your angry yelling voices we’re doing a special cartoon version of TV SHOWS TOO GOOD FOR THIS WORLD, YOU MONSTERS! This time I’m going to talk about five great cartoons cut in their prime!
In dystopian Detroit, Mike Chilton and the rest of his gang (known as “the Burners”) fight the evil Kane and his corporation, standing up for the people who don’t want their homes destroyed and individuality taken away. THIS WAS THE MATRIX PLUS HOT WHEELS PLUS BEAST MACHINES AND METALOCALYPSE AND ANIMATED BY THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE VENTURE BROS. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE WATCH THIS DAMMIT?! Really! (Side note: anyone actually remember Beast Machines? That show was cray).There is nothing about this show that ISN’T high octane omega level awesome. The animation is a beautiful concoction of 2D and 3D, the art style and character designs were inventive and full of life, and the voice cast included great oddball choices like Dee Snider, Kel Mitchell, Kate Micucci, and of course Mark Hamill. YOU CANCELED A SHOW WITH MARK HAMILL. THAT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL IN THIS COUNTRY. It sadly only got one season and I believe it’s available on Netflix, so go check it out if you like any of the following: Fast cars, snarky robots, dystopias, kung fu, bright colors, an incredible rock soundtrack, fun stories with a diverse and eclectic cast, or fantastic animation.
This aired over ten years ago, and I sadly haven’t seen it anywhere since. Long version: Cornelius FIlmore was a tough kid turned safety patrol, with his goth girl partner Ingrid Third, and together they solve crimes and bring the bad kids to justice. The short version: It’s a cartoon, kid-friendly version of Brick. A CARTOON VERSION OF BRICK YOU UNGRATEFUL CRETINS. AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. It had a very noir/crime thriller feel with suspenseful cases and the hilarious wit of taking the usual crime tropes and adapting them to a kid-friendly TV show. It had episodes about stolen SATTY tests, sabotaged train conventions, and kidnapped virtual pets. And it had a killer opening! It’s also great that it has a diverse cast, with a black kid and a girl as the main characters. But it really helps that they have great personalities that fit in perfectly with any Phillip Marlow or Mike Hammer. It’s a real treat to watch if you like animation and noir/crime dramas. I’d point you in a direction to check it out, but I have no idea where to find it. Someone check if it’s on Netflix or Amazon Prime? Get it out on DVD stat!
This acted as a sort of in-between/prequel between Tron and Tron Legacy. It tells the story of how a young program named Beck meets the legendary Tron and is trained to be the new renegade, fighting against the forces of Clu and Tesler. It had a really inventive style in 3D animation, and used the Tron universe to some great effect for some killer ideas. And the main character is voiced by Elijah Wood! It’s a shame that it didn’t get more episodes, because the style is something that’s really not seen anywhere else. It felt like Tron but the style was so vibrant and weird with a great soundtrack similar to that of Daft Punk’s great score in Legacy. IT’S LIKE YOU CANCELED TRON AND DAFT PUNK! YOU CAN’T CANCEL DAFT PUNK, YOU SWINE. Unfortunately it only got the one season, but it was a lot of fun if you like Tron and cool weird future-y action shows.
This was a SUPER weird show on Adult Swim about Lucy (the daughter of the devil) and her adventures with her on again/off again boyfriend DJ Jesus. It is wacky, hilarious and super creepy. The pilot episode has Lucy’s dog convince Lucy’s date to kill himself in a fashion similar to that of the mom in The Omen. One episode has Lucy making a dildo in the shape of DJ Jesus! The Devil buys a Mexican restaurant, and has a skeleton secretary who’s turned on by mass destruction and death. They have an episode where a special clergy takes down vampire altar boys! And it stars the voice of H. Jon Benjamin, the voice of Archer and Bob, as the sweater-wearing devil. It’s pretty crazy and hilarious. HILARIOUS, YOU FILTHY ANIMALS! HA HA HA HA.
Thunder, thunder, thunder, THUNDERCATS HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! YOU BASTARDS! This is a rebooted version of the classic Thundercats cartoon and it was surprising how it got everything almost exactly right. It expanded the universe to make sense of everything and even provided a backstory for all the races the world, whereas the original was just kind of crazy for no reason. It was fun, beautifully animated, and starred Batman Beyond’s Will Friedle as Lion-o! Nearly every episode had an amazing story arc – even the one-off episodes. Take one episode where they meet plant-based beings that only live for a day, making Lion-o see a friend’s whole lifespan in a single day! THE FEELS! It gave Lion-o some great character, and Tygra was cool because he could turn invisible and shoot pew-pew lasers! And there were giant lion robot armors! GIANT LION ROBOT ARMORS, DAMMIT DO YOU HATE FUN!? It only got one season, and the last few episodes kind of dropped the ball with the whole Pumyra arc, but it was still a fantastic show with beautiful animation and a really in-depth story. You should check it out on DVD or streaming!
Join me next time as I scream indeterminably at more great shows that were canceled before their time! What were some cartoons you loved that were canceled too soon? And yes, Clone High is on my watch list.