Worst Idea For a Cartoon? - Macleans.ca

Worst Idea For a Cartoon?


I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about this, but I’m wondering what you think is, or was, the TV cartoon with the worst premise. (Which is different from the worst-executed cartoon.) Some bad cartoons have bland premises, and others have premises that are insane but kind of awesome, like Rocket Robin Hood. But others are based on ideas so desperate that even kids can sense the desperation.

There are many possibilities, from Laverne and Shirley in the Army to Rubik the Amazing Cube. But I’m going to nominate Hanna-Barbera’s Jabberjaw just because it is the ultimate collision of every bad cartoon cliche: You’ve got kids solving mysteries, playing in a band, a wacky animal designed entirely to sell merchandise, and who is also simultaneously a ripoff of at least four different characters: He’s a ripoff of Scooby-Doo, his voice — provided by, of course, Frank Welker — is a ripoff of Curly from the Three Stooges, his catchphrase is a ripoff of Rodney Dangerfield, and his species is a ripoff of the most popular movie character of the era, Jaws the Shark. That’s so crass it’s almost impressive.


Other nominations welcome. However, there is only one possible nomination for the title of “worst useless kid sidekick,” and no, it’s not Scrappy-Doo.

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Worst Idea For a Cartoon?

  1. Speaking of Godzilla don’t forget the animated series spin-off of the 1998 Movie spin-off of the original Godzilla franchise.

    [youtube jZKW8FylTIA youtube]

    This was during a dark age in the late 1990’s early 2000’s were every action/adventure movie even remotely appealing to young kids (mostly boys) was converted into a animated series and shown on Fox.

    Another one (probably done by the same studio) is Men in Black. Which as far as I remember wasn’t half bad.

    [youtube 6Rfd_8dPLYw youtube]

  2. Obvioulsy it is Poochie. Worst Character Ever.

  3. Damn you…I didn't even click on the link, and now I have that frickin Godzilla song in my head…"and godzoooooooooooooooooookieeeeee…."

  4. Diplodos was super odd. Fairly common premise of aliens from another realm befriend a human child but these aliens are a mix of dinosaurs meet office stationaryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplodos

  5. WTF was with Shirt Tales?

  6. I vote for The Mighty Ducks as the worst cartoon premise – let's take a movie that everybody was already sick of due to increasingly terrible sequels, turn all the characters into actual ducks, and have them fight crime.

  7. I'm going to disagree with you Jaime. At the end of the day, Jabberjaw was just remarkably derivative. You could have spun the slot machine and got a combination equally as bad — which would have been a different HB show (Chan Clan, Josie in Space, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm and the Smoo). I vote the worse idea in conception would be Turbo Teen… a freak accident of science causes a boy to involuntarily turn into a sentient automobile. That is just bizarre!

  8. Muppet Babies still strikes me as a terrible idea even though it's one of my absolute favorite 80s cartoons. It was a cute sketch on Muppets Take Manhattan but as a seed for a tv show it's just insane. The Muppets are highly intelligent and verbose kids in diapers who just kind of have a weird human caretaker and stay in a house all day and night playing pretend while movie and tv clips are spliced in for comedy value. It's kind of just the weirdest sitcom ever. It worked out great but if they were original characters with the same personalities and concept I think more people would notice how weird it is.

  9. Thanks so much for mentioning the Diplodos! I couldnt remember the name of the cartoon series so I googled "Aliens + Stationary + Cartoon" and it got me here :)
    Saved me a sleepless night trying to remember the name!!