257: The Worst (and Best) Videogame Cartoons

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The Worst (and Best) Videogame Cartoons

Many early videogame characters had their escapades translated to the small screen in the form of weekly animated shows. Unfortunately, most of them were awful. Nadia Oxford chronicles the highs and lows of cartoons based on videogames.

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How dare you downplay Captain N? FIEND!

What felt wrong about it? I still remember the Tetris world's non-stop holiday calendar.

I still say just because of this video and Funks' imitation of the dance, not saying the rest were bad but Funks was the best XD (Darn that Mario Party video for getting the song stuck in my head for days) it is to me the greatest :-D

I knew this article couldn't go without a mention of Sonic/SatAM. It's the only video game cartoon I know of with a large and active (or at least loud) fanbase. I admired the cartoon just for having the audacity not to be bright and colorful and lean more to the dark, oppressive/depressive side of things. When you get right down to it, it's a cartoon where the bad guy has already won, and the main character is a terrorist who blows things up.

God help me - my kids have been watching the Super Mario Bros. Show on Netflix and they love it.

Of course, I got to see the episode with Danica McKellar. That makes it okay, I suppose.

A very good article, and I enjoyed the memories it brought back. Sadly it was ruined by this line:

Maybe it's time for game cartoons to mature along with the audience that it enraptured through the '80s.

My question is why? No matter what the adult consumers of various forms of media may think (Film, games, TV Shows, Comics etc) getting Children interested is still important because they have both the brand loyalty and pester power that adults lack. Sadly the only company that seems to realise this is Nintendo with the Wii and Marvel Comics with their Ultimate Universe series. If they ever make anothercartoon series, I want it to be aimed at children as they are the ones that will keep gaming going.

Also, cartoons aimed at adults have been a flop recently with EA's efforts for both Dante's Infurno and Dead Space being a bit crap.

Oh dear, I remember those cartoon specials. This is another nostalgia whiff of all the Saturday cartoons.

Super Mario Super Show was alright, Zelda was annoying but tolerable with the "Excuse Me Princess" and The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog with his drugged up crazy antics occur seems to be even considered massive amount of Youtube Poop videos. However, Sonic SatAM makes up for that.

But by golly was Captain N: The game master was the worst video game cartoon ever. It takes all the video game characters and potentially making it worst.

"The fairy was a very minor element in the original game," [Bob Forward, writer of the Zelda cartoon] said. "I decided to make her a character, and make her cute, because, like many males working in the animation business at the time, my first sexual fantasy character had been Tinkerbell. That scene where she stands on the mirror worrying that her butt is too big? Still gives me wood."

...

So Navi is basically there from a sexual fantasy.

...

Oh damn... I remember watching the Sonic cartoon as a kid. Then, I enjoyed it... but I actually watched an episode out of nostalgia recently and wanted first and foremost to beat the hell out of Tails. Not just Tails though... I couldn't stand the whole show anymore - why was this something I ever enjoyed?

Earthworm Jim was AWESOME (especially the episode with The Nameless Beast)

I still regularly quote it.

I am glad nearly all of these were before my time. Although I miss Earthworm Jim.

DaxStrife:
I knew this article couldn't go without a mention of Sonic/SatAM. It's the only video game cartoon I know of with a large and active (or at least loud) fanbase. I admired the cartoon just for having the audacity not to be bright and colorful and lean more to the dark, oppressive/depressive side of things. When you get right down to it, it's a cartoon where the bad guy has already won, and the main character is a terrorist who blows things up.

I was thinking the same thing. I remember watching SatAM religiously back when I was about 7 or so, and when I look back, I can't help but see how incredibly dark that show really is. I went out and bought both seasons about two years ago, and I still pop them in the DVD player from time to time when I am really bored. It's quite a stroll down memory lane.

Street Fighter was awesome...used to watch it every saturday...also both of the sonic cartoons...the goofy version used to get on my nerves tho...i even watched AND LIKED sonic underground...yes i said it...

Moreover, what does it say about Luigi that he seemingly fathered an illegitimate child and dumped her on Mario's doorstep?

Haha! The concept never even occurred to me. Cartoon protagonists in need of a spouse-free kid have siblings composed of little more than vapor, seemingly existing only long enough to start a family and foist it onto someone else. Think of it: Mickey Mouse has two nephews, Morty and Ferdie. Despite their repeated appearances, it's never even been made clear whether Mickey has a brother or a sister. (At least we know Huey, Dewey, and Louie are the kids of Donald Duck's sister.)

I've seen a few more recent series at least make the relationship single parent and child, with the other parent being made of vapor. Dead? Divorced? Living a nomadic life with the Tuareg in the western Sahara? Never mentioned. Unless perhaps the show is a long runner that needs some more plot fuel, the second parent just doesn't exist; the kid might as well have sprung fully-formed from the head of the onscreen parent.

I do belive you skiped over kirby right back at ya. The 2nd greatest videogame cartoon ever made.

I remember most of these shows. Don't remember that arcade block of shows on CBS and apparently the Capcom flood happened after I stopped watching such shows. One thing that was annoying about the Super Show was every show started with Mario yelling, "Hey, paisanos!" and since my last name rhymes with paisano, tons of people at my school started calling me that name. Maybe after I re-activate my Netflix account (suspended it to save money) I'll look back on some of those shows..

Nadia Oxford:
The Worst (and Best) Videogame Cartoons

Many early videogame characters had their escapades translated to the small screen in the form of weekly animated shows. Unfortunately, most of them were awful. Nadia Oxford chronicles the highs and lows of cartoons based on videogames.

Read Full Article

What about Carmin Sandiego?

It was a point and click adventure game BEFORE it was a cartoon or gameshow. Any thoughts on that one?

Sonic satam was amazing. Well...I think so anyway

God, I don't remember any of these except Mario and Sonic...did most of them not air outside the States? And I can't remember the Zelda cartoon from the Mario show...dang.

To be honest though, the most vivid Saturday morning show in my memory is Trapdoor...

'"Somewhere in the dark and nasty regions where nobody goes, stands an ancient castle. Deep within this dank and uninviting place lives Berk..."

"Ullo!"

"...overworked servant to the thing upstairs."

"BERK! FEED ME!"

"But that's nothing compared to the horrors that lurk beneath the trap door! For there is always something down there... in the dark... waiting to come out!"

Don't you open that trap door!
You're a fool if you dare!
Stay away from that trap door!
'Cause there's something down there!'

The_root_of_all_evil:

"The fairy was a very minor element in the original game," [Bob Forward, writer of the Zelda cartoon] said. "I decided to make her a character, and make her cute, because, like many males working in the animation business at the time, my first sexual fantasy character had been Tinkerbell. That scene where she stands on the mirror worrying that her butt is too big? Still gives me wood."

...

So Navi is basically there from a sexual fantasy.

...

She promotes celibacy and never getting married.
"HEY! Listen!"
"LINK!"
She nags just like the real thing.

The worst video game cartoon (as I'll call it here), is that animated movie they made based on the Dante's Inferno game.
Every single chapter is animated by a different design team and some of them are very similar, but this is never explained until you figure it out towards the end. Until then you'll be stuck asking, "Wait, why does Dante suddenly have long hair?" This is especially confusing because they never change voice actors and some of the character designs from chapter to chapter that you have to figure it out, whoch you do in time for it to end and for everyone to shapeshift again!
The only things that kept me suckered in was:
1.) to see how further naked Dante's love interest (whose name I forgot) will go.
2.) how much Dante would completely destroy the workings of hell, which I'm fairly certain might cause some sort of universal collapse on some level.

AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTGMS3jDxV0

I'm surprised no one mentioned Donkey Kong Country, if they even remember it.

(I can't figure out how to show the video so just click the link)

I loved a lot of these cartoons as a kid. It's unfortunate that now I have lost the nostalgia factor for most of them.

I bet Dini and Timm could do great things with some of the IPs out there today.

(Visions of Bionic Commando: The Animated Series)*

* The first one, not the PS3/XBox one

Sonic SatAM was superb, and really surprising that they could get that dark with Sonic. It's still good now.

Earthworm Jim however is the best. It also has the greatest, most catchy theme tune of any cartoon ever. Yes, even beats Duck Tales.

Bioshock cartoon = yes, PLEASE!!! I would love to see something in the style of the Sin City graphic novels, or something like that.

Who says it needs to be a cartoon?

Nadia Oxford:
The Worst (and Best) Videogame Cartoons

Many early videogame characters had their escapades translated to the small screen in the form of weekly animated shows. Unfortunately, most of them were awful. Nadia Oxford chronicles the highs and lows of cartoons based on videogames.

Read Full Article

My favorites are owned on DVD like The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and The Legend of Zelda. It happened upon playing the Final Fight Double Impact game I unlocked the full episode of the Street Fighter episode Final Fight and it happens to be my most favorite and memorable episode especially the part when DamD takes the electric wires and puts it to his tongue shocking himslef while yelling, "YEAH! GIMME DA JUICE!", or something similar to that. Old school Sonic is cool but faded and Captain N is great but not enough for me to buy it's DVD set. Mega Man in the US is his version of super badass hero and the Japanese one is basically the game coming to life with Mega Man and Roll...well all the Mega Man characters evil and good learning about Japanese Culture. Darkstalkers was cool and it didn't run for a very long time.

It wasn't in the article but there was another show available before Capcom shows were made. I don't remember the title and the best description I can come up with is it was around during Wake Rattle and Roll, it had some guy in his late teens or early 20's talking about all that is Nintendo and the cartoon show featured the following Nintendo Characters who pall around and adventure with the chosen human gamer friend;

The Barbarian from Iron Sword

The Tomato from Princess Tomato and The Salad Kingdom

The Blue Guy from N.A.R.C.

Bigfoot the Monster Truck from the similarly titled game

and for some reason the main Baddies are all from N.A.R.C. except for one who was a different Monster Truck from the Bigfoot game.

They would go on adventures returning escaped game baddies to the game cartridges themselves and sometimes the game world would be in the real world and only based on the main characters game plots and playthroughs.

There was also another Street Fighter cartoon from Japan called Street Fighter 2 V which is like an awesome legal steroid induced version of the Street Fighter Cartoon in the 90's.

Perhaps the future will have a Little Big Planet cartoon what with the plushies already available and another video game cartoon I'd like to see for sure is No More Heroes.

This is seriously being a walk through Memory Lane again. Thank you for jolting my mind with cheesy and happy memories.

Loved the way you analyzed all of this.

Some game-to-cartoon adaptations weren't mentioned. Of course, the ones I am about to mention are in anime form, and those are a dime a dozen these days.

There are several anime series based off of games from the 'Tales of...' series, including Tales of Phantasia (4-episode OVA), Eternia (weird off-shoot storyline that doesn't appear in the game), Symphonia (5 episodes of OVA so far, predicted 8 or more total), and Abyss.

The adaptation of Tales of the Abyss, however, was actually a weekly series over in Japan, and contained a full 26 episodes. In addition, the fans rejoiced at how true it stayed to the original game. This would be a good example of a "Saturday Morning Cartoon" version of a game gone perfectly right.

The american Street Fighter cartoon was god awful, specially with dubbing problems that issued that time for us mexican audiences. If you thought the cartoon was already bad, try to watch it (or listen to it) without cringing in pain for the horrible voices the actors had. It was simply annoying.

Around that time, somewhere in south america (or Miami?) there was a studio (still running today with the exact same annoying actors) that made both the translation and dubbing for a dime and mostly everyone wanted that studio to do all the dirty work for them, but at the expense of zero to none quality from it.

Around that time, the Canal 5 (channel 5) imported a lot of quality anime, still with it's original japanese intro and outro and made a lot of quality translations and dubbing them (I dare you to deny and say the mexican version of the entire Dragon Ball series doesn't have better voice acting than the US version). Even if the intro was modified, it was for the better, they left the entire intro intact with only dubbing the vocals with quality singers --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsdE3o1Rh_Y --- this one --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmXohMjbKeQ&feature=related --- and this one is my favorite --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS73Ki3uJn0 .

For a short time, the Street Fighter anime was being aired and it was a much darker version of the american cartoon, Ryu and Ken were the protagonists, instead of Guile and it even featured Akuma right from the start, making it the second main villain along with Bison. It had amazing fight sequences and thankfully it had nothing related to the american movie. Here's a little taste from what have you've been missing --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qXFunYSsc8&feature=related .

I don't know if anyone remembers, but there was a short-lived Mortal Kombat animated series that I was a big fan of for reasons I can't recall. But it was all pretty much based on the plot of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. So... it kind of stank out loud.

And I used to love the Sonic weekday cartoon. I had no idea Urkel did the voice, but somehow that makes total sense.

Earthworm Jim was my *FAVOURITE* cartoon [it was on the WB during the ANimaniacs/Hysteria/Pinky And The Brain era so it had still competition] when it was on.
So funny.
"GAAAA-ROOOVY!"

"I decided to make her a character, and make her cute, because, like many males working in the animation business at the time, my first sexual fantasy character had been Tinkerbell. That scene where she stands on the mirror worrying that her butt is too big? Still gives me wood."
-Bob Forward

Wow, that's quite an insight into animators' minds. If only the Nintendo 64 had the polygons we might have seen Navi as a naked broad with a huge rack. That's certainly something to think about.

You're on crack. Captain N didn't fail at ANYTHING. It was made of pure win topped with a citrus epic sauce.

Yes, I had my own controller belt that I made. Eat me.

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