Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The ten Nicktoons that should have never been cancelled (part 1 of 2)

On Nickelodeon, there are two types of shows. One is the type aimed at children and children only; any adult would find the storylines boring and predictable. The other is a the type of show that appeals to all age demographics, and is usually cancelled because of this. The two shows that have survived this potential cancelling countless times are the ever-famous Spongebob Squarepants and the comedically brilliant Fairly Oddparents. Both of these shows have been to the edge and back, and have rewritten what is considered "tasteful" in a children's cartoon.
But not all shows survive this trip to the edge. No, a lot of shows are tragically cancelled in their prime, to many a cartoon connoisseur's dismay. This is my tribute to those that have fallen in the line of duty.
This is part 1 of 2, and they go in alphabetical order.

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters (1994-1997)I won't lie, I hated this show as a kid. It was just too bizarre for me. I wanted to like it, but I found myself becoming bored with the storyline every time I tried. It follows three monsters, named Krumm, Ickis, and Oblina, as they complete "school assignments" that involve scaring people and children. Sounds a lot like Monsters Inc, doesn't it?
Anyways, I started watching this show a few months ago on Nicktoons Network (where they show cancelled shows and older episodes of ones that are still-running), and was amazed. It's a lot better than I remember, even if the animation is identical to that used on the semi-terrible show Rugrats. Yep, I don't like Rugrats. Shoot me.
Though they were released on VHS, no DVD has been released, or is planned. You can buy episodes on iTunes, though.

Angry Beavers (1997-2001)

My love for the Angry Beavers is infinite. It's all about the shenanigans of Norbert and Dagget, two beaver brothers that get themselves into some pretty bizarre situations. Norbert is very clearly smarter than Dagget, and often gets them out of the aforementioned situations that they are in. If I had to name a favorite show growing up, it would be this. It's wonderful, funny, and innovative. YouTube it, if you've never seen it.
It also popularized the non-curse word "spoot," which I like to consider the "shazbot!" of our generation. I used to say "spoot" all the time. I was lame.
The show was cancelled because the creators made an episode spoofing Nick's extremely strict TV show guidelines. It was never aired on the network. At least they went out with a bang.
Just like Monsters, there are no plans to release any episodes on DVD. You can apparently buy a few of them on iTunes though. I want to get these on DVD more than anyone will ever understand.

CatDog (1998-2004) This show is what inspired me to write this post, actually. I was watching the Nicktoons Network with my brother, when they played a clip from CatDog as a commercial substitute/segway. It was just a five-minute clip, but it reminded me of how bizarre this show's premise was.
Cat and Dog are connected, clearly. They were born from a wolf and bird (as explained in the theme song), and are often made fun of because of their condition; usually by the Greaser Dogs, a three-piece gang in the show.
It's a strange show, mostly because the mood constantly switches between happy and sad. I liked it, and still do.
Two VHS tapes were released, no DVD is planned, and most of the series is available on iTunes.

Catscratch (2005-2007)Funny, as I'm writing this, I can hear this show playing in the other room. Created by comics genius and Earthworm Jim creator Doug TenNapel (and very loosely based on this comic), this is officially the youngest show on this list. The three cats, Gordon, Mr. Blik, and Waffle, inherited an extremely vast fortune, and spend it in interesting ways. Though it only lasted two seasons, TenNapel claims that the show still remains a massive cult hit, and is working on getting it back on the air. This information could be completely fabricated, but I believe in him. The show itself is very amusing, but only every once in a while.
Apparently there is a DVD in the works. No word on when it will be released. It isn't on iTunes.

Doug (1991-1994)Like Catscratch, this show remains incredibly popular after being cancelled. After being dropped by Nickelodeon in 1994, it was picked up by Disney and given new episodes in '96, along with a feature-length film. It's an interesting story.
The show follows Doug Funnie, his best friend Skeeter, his crush Patti, and his nemesis Rodger. Doug is an 11 year-old boy with a vivid imagination, as illustrated by his constant daydreaming. It's almost like a kid's version of Scrubs. I loved this show when I was young. Of course, I was more into it during the Disney era, but I liked it nonetheless.
It was distributed on VHS, and seasons one and two were recently released on DVD. They plan on releasing all of the seasons, as well as a special edition of the movie.

Tomorrow I'll be writing about the following:
Invader Zim
The Ren and Stimpy Show
Rocko's Modern Life


Sean said...

Oh man, I agree so much! I loved every one of those shows you listed! They are what real cartoons should be like. Good one, Ty. I can't wait till you start writing about Freakazoid, and when Candlejack comes up, you'll stop writing midsent

Caitlin H said...

My absolute favorite shows when I was a kid are on this list.
In basic order:
1. Doug
2. AAAAHHHH Real Monsters
3. The Angry Beavers
4. Rocko's Modern Life
5. CatDog
6. Ren and Stimpy [ironically, when I was very young...as in, 4-5 years old? i think? this show scares the living shit out of me now...]

But, alas...you forgot Hey Arnold!...that was my favorite show, even more than Doug...and that's saying something...

T. Walters said...

Oh, I didn't forget it. It'll be on tomorrow's, kinda.

Julia said...

I think Nickelodeon has gone down the tube because, as you put it, it has a way of canceling good shows just to make room for new shitty shows. I think it's mostly because the age range it aims for has changed considerably in the past 15 years (of course, I can barely remember what it was like back then, having been in preschool). From what I've seen, most of the shows it broadcasted back then were aimed at the 11-17 year old (middle and high school) crowd. Now the vast majority of shows are aimed at very young children, so obviously the storylines are crap and the animation even more so. Maybe because they figured that all of the older kids are now watching Adult Swim, and the average family has more than two TV's in the house. Just thinking.

libbey said...

AAAHH!! real monsters was my favorite ever. i have had numerous dreams with krumm as a character. i actually have a picture on my wall of an interpretation ha. angry beavers and doug were super good too. this post has left me quite nostalgic. i love the 90's! i despised catdog though.