Earthworm Jim (1995-96)

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Earthworm Jim (1995-96)
The Earthworm Jim Cartoon Image from the Intro.jpg
Guh-roovy!
Genre: Animation
Adventure
Science Fiction action
Slapstick
Comedy
Running Time: 25 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: September 9, 1995 – December 14, 1996
Network(s): Kids WB (1995 - 1996)
RTE Two (Ireland) (1997)
Channel 4 (UK) (1995 - 2000)
Created by: Doug TenNapel
Distributed by: Universal Television LLC
Starring: Dan Castellaneta
Jeff Bennett
Jim Cummings
Edward Hibbert
Charlie Adler
Kath Soucie
John Kassir
Andra Martin
Ben Stein
Seasons: 2
Episodes: 23


Earthworm Jim is an American animated television series based on the video game with the same name, which appeared on Kids' WB for two seasons from September 9, 1995, to December 13, 1996.

Plot

The series follows the adventures of an earthworm named Jim who is turned into a superhero by a robotic super suit. Most episodes involve the series' numerous villains attempting to reclaim the super suit, rule/destroy/freeze/knock over the universe, or otherwise causing mayhem throughout the galaxy. Other problems facing Jim include returning his neighbor's eggbeater and finding a new power source after his suit is depowered. Also, the show breaks the fourth wall with characters often talking to the audience and the narrator.

Episodes begin with a cold opening of Earthworm Jim and Peter Puppy in some peril that has nothing to do with the main plot or the previous episodes, with little explanation of how they got into the mess. In between parts (generally before or after the commercial break), there is a short side-story, generally featuring one of the villains doing a more natural part of life, usually without any involvement from Jim. These can range anywhere from Psy-Crow going through a career change, Evil the Cat disguising himself as a movie star in order to make his evil plans known to the world, or Professor Monkey-For-A-Head attending group therapy and always ending with the line: "and now, back to Earthworm Jim." The end of every episode involves Jim or any other character being crushed by a cow, a play on the first game of the series (in the first stage, the player launches a cow into the sky, only to have it crush the Princess upon the game's ending).

Why It Rocks

  1. Memorable & perfectly catchy intro
  2. Speaking of music; the soundtrack is well constructed, engaging & appealing.
  3. Amazing, off-the-wall voice acting
  4. Fantastic humor, satire & slapstick that is very reminiscent of Freakazoid, Animaniacs & The Simpsons with its own absurd, unique and lighthearted style (Something that Bubsy failed to do right)
  5. Speaking of the humor, like Ed, Edd n Eddy; there are tons of funny moments that can also be physically impossible to watch without laughing or even chuckle!
  6. Excellent animation.
  7. The writing is outstanding, intelligent, sophisticated, comedic, & coherent.
  8. Interesting, enjoyable & funny episodes (Even if there isn't much plot other than the subtly paced and lighthearted stories in the following episodes making it seem like plots themselves)
  9. Fascinating subplots with the super-villains' career & life besides villainy. This shows before Earthworm Jim and company occur as an incredibly interesting way to show what the villains do before battling Jim.
  10. Unique & eye-catching toony backgrounds.
  11. Engaging action & cohesive adventures.
  12. The titular protagonist himself is an enjoyably spunky, boisterous, talented & unpredictably heroic goofball that is given a lot of personalities, especially when he is shown to be mature at times.
  13. Very cool character art designs with adding variety for new characters like Evil Jim, Walter, Henchrat, The Hamstinator, Mrs. Ethel Bleveri, The Anti Fish, Fur-Bearin' trout, Rosebud, Malice the Dog, The Arch Bug, The Great Worm & Grayson
  14. Side characters have strong & funny traits, so they're not just utterly side-character clichés
  15. Jim & friends also have a fascinatingly funny life as another subplot, similar to the villains. It connects to the plot as well.
  16. Funny fourth wall breaking & satires of 90s tropes (e.g Evil the Cat mocking the henchmen voice tropes with Henchrat in The Book of Doom episode)
  17. The running gag from the franchise: The Cow, is given more personality than in games
  18. Speaking of running gags, the running gags that relate to the episodes never get old & get way funnier.
  19. A great mixture of pop-culture references, irony, satirical; imperative humor, and old fashioned slapstick
  20. Hilarious surrealism
  21. Comical and hilarious one-liners
  22. Earthworm Jim's catchphrases are very awesome to listen to, the cartoon even changes the context of it to create more jokes & variety to it like the musical number of "Eat Dirt!" for examples of the complete collection.
  23. The talking eggplant gag. That is all.

Bad Qualities

  1. Jim's silliness or simpleminded nature can be kinda irritating & can marginally drag out at times, but thankfully it doesn't drag out for too long (e.g when he had a brain freeze, he runs around & yells to the point that the Earth shakes) at least the jokes that occurred were funny & it was short. So It's not as bad as Earthworm Jim 3D's version of Jim's screams, [in which a scene from this show originally spawned the Caption of that page with the quote: "Groovy? This Ain't"]. Another short example is when Evil the Cat attempted at deceiving Earthworm Jim in The Book of Doom episode as Jim falls for Evil's fib; Jim seems to sympathize in a manchild-like manner, but it was short and somewhat humorous so it was paced quite well.
  2. It's quite tongue-in-cheek, but not excessively or artificially so.
  3. Some scenes can be weird or weirdly paced. [Sometimes both at once!]
  4. The dialogue can be too fast-paced or incoherent at times, sometimes to the point when you can't hear what some of the characters say.
  5. Some character's voices can be quite corny to some extent (e.g Jim's brain freeze, Peter's yelps or when he's in danger at times [it's usually funny most of the time], Princess Whats-Her-Name's yells or begs for help (her delivery can sound cheesy at times but was usually written in a justified manner), Queen Slug-For-A-Butt's literal dragged out yelling {like when her wand stick explodes in her face by the nut log in an episode & then yells with a semi-nails on a chalkboard tone in which you can easily find in the Eat Dirt compilation above}).
  6. Some jokes can be confusing, silly & overly speedy at times, even though there are many great jokes in the show.
  7. Season 2 was not as good compared to Season 1 when it had a notable downgrade to the animation and some of the plots relied on numerous famous films and old sitcom references as full-on episodes like "I Love Lucy", "The Wizard of Oz", "Dune", "Star Trek" and "Citizen Kane" (Somewhat similar to some episodes of Eek! The Cat, except that it had a stronger edge to its originality and its writing since it was still faithful to the structured theme in the show).
  8. Characters from the game like Doc Duodenum, Big Bruty, Chuck, Fifi, and Major Mucus were not featured and referred to in this show.
  9. The show got cancelled over creative differences with the original team at Shiny Entertainment. Doug TenNapel disliked it for portraying Peter Puppy as the hero and Earthworm Jim as the sidekick in most of the episodes. David Perry also had a dislike for the show because the writers made Jim more of an incompetent man-child with a hammy dialect and less of a hero.

Notes/Trivia

  1. It spawned the inspiration for Wreck-It Ralph's Bad Guy villain league, which was pretty awesome.
  2. After it was cancelled, the Earthworm Jim franchise continued to grow with Earthworm Jim 2 as a successor of the cartoons elements with characters, references, etc. This shows how well made and subtle the substance of Earthworm Jim was.
  3. It had a VHS release.
  4. There was a DVD release by Madman on June 1st, 2011 for Australia and New Zealand. It was also released for the US and Canada by Millennium on the 10th July 2012.

Reception

Earthworm Jim the Cartoon was designed for a specific audience and the current values or trends in Warner Brother's line up for that time. Perhaps the broadcasters aired the show towards too young an age group for it's style of humor which was very developed and clever. It didn't get the high ratings it needed to last a third season unfortunately.

Doug TenNapel shows everyone how to do a fantastic video game cartoon compared to many at the time. That is outstandingly reminiscent to Sonic Satam with the standards of cohesive & properly written cartoons

Videos

Comments


avatar

MediaSurfer

13 months ago
Score 3
This was my favorite cartoon which is upar with modern day cartoons, especially like the 2006 Tom & Jerry tale series.
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ExploringEditor

3 months ago
Score 0
Except way better.
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KaiSmithMiraheze

13 months ago
Score 3
Eat dirt,<insert any word you wish here>,AHAHAHAHA!!!
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ExploringEditor

5 months ago
Score 0
It's even hilarious when he got pummeled once for repeating that line lmao and made a musical number, yeah I love this cartoon in all of my cartoon passion out of tons of cartoons I've remembered and liked.

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