MADBALLS: The Animated Series

The animated escapades of disgusting rubber balls!
February 01, 2005

You remember Madballs, don’t you? Sure you do. They came out in the mid eighties riding the coattails of such other gross-out novelties like Garbage Pail Kids and vending machine slime. I had the mummy looking one, everyone had the eyeball. Chances are you had at least one. So you probably also remember Madballs: The Series, right? That’s what I thought. And it’s a real shame that this show never caught on. It is without a doubt the best example of animated story telling from the last twenty years. I shit you not. OK, I am shitting you. It’s horrible. Cringe worthy. I can’t imagine being able sit through thirty minutes of this as a kid, so just think about how bad it was to watch this thing several times just to review it. You see what I do for you people?

From the get go, you know this thing is going to be a winner. The opening credits show several Madballs rockin’ out on stage to “Great Balls of Fire”. Get it? Great balls of fire? Cause they’re balls? It’s funny because it’s true. Personally, I would have gone with a better theme song. Something like “Balls to the Wall” or “We’ve Got Big Balls”. I guess one of the higher ups decided a song about Jerry Lee Lewis’ nasty case of STDs that he picked up from his thirteen-year-old cousin was more appropriate. Go figure.

Act one opens on planet Orb, home to all the ‘balls’. From there we learn that planet Orb has been enslaved by the evil Badballs. Led by the maniacal Commander Wolfbreath, the Badballs have devised a plot so evil, I can hardly put it in to words. They have banned all rock music from the planet Orb. Wait, wasn’t that the plot of Footloose? From there, we are introduced our core cast of characters, the Madballs. You see, the Madballs are the last rock group on the planet Orb. Oh, the burden that lies on their shoulders. While finishing up their slave labor for the day, the Madballs finalize their plans for a secret underground concert later that evening, but one of Commander Wolfbreath’s lackeys overhear the plans. Finally, he can crush the rebellion, I mean Madballs, with one swift step.

For seemingly no reason, we cut to a back ally, where two Madballs are digging through trashcans. Since I really don’t want to go back and find out what their names are, we’ll call them Steve and Mike. As it turns out, Steve and Mike are actually looking for the final component needed for the spaceship they’ve been building from parts found in a junkyard. After some HI-larious slapstick comedy, they find the part they needed and head out to concert. Remember this scene, it’s going to be important later.

The gang arrives at the club, which is in sewer, right before show time. Get it? Sewer/underground? I really shouldn’t have to keep spelling it out here. The cartoon is just littered with this kind of obvious, slapstick comedy. I nearly pissed myself with laughter the first time I watched it. After they take the stage, they start playing some random shitty oldies song, and the crowd goes wild. I guess it’s possible that if all music were done away with, I could take to liking shitty oldies. It’s possible, but not likely. When the band of Badballs who were wondering the streets above, looking to deliver a whoopin’, hear music coming from a sewer grate, the shit hits the fan.

Moments later, back in the sewers, the shit does indeed hit the fan, Compton style, when the authorities burst through the door. All these kids wanted to do was to rock, but the MAN had to go and ruin it. Fight the power. In the mess of Madball fans, the group manages to escape into the sewers. With the Badballs in pursuit, the Madballs take a wrong turn into a dead end. Oh no. I was actually hoping they would get captured and put to death, saving me twenty minutes of misery, but no. When it seemed that all hope was lost, whom should pop open a manhole cover and save the day? Good ‘ol spaceship builders Steve and Mike. Thank God, I was getting worried. Wouldn’t you know it that the first thing out the Madballs mouths after getting rescued was “you guys know a way to get off this planet?” You see where this is going, right? We’re coming full circle here. Off to space they go.

While en-route to their yet undecided new home, the Madballs pick up a transmission from the planet Earth. Not just any transmission, a Rock and Roll transmission. And yes, it was a shitty oldies song. Well that just sealed the deal. If there’s one thing the Madballs love, it’s shitty old rock music. Who doesn’t?

But wait, you didn’t think that the Badballs would let these heinous crimes go unpunished did you? No way in Hell. The Badballs had a spaceship of their own and they’re out for justice. You would think that Commander Wolfbreath would have just let the evil band of criminals fly away and never return, saving thousands in taxpayers money. The prison system doesn’t pay for itself you know. No, the filthy swine had to pay. But not today. The Madballs managed to lose the Commander in an asteroid field. Off to Earth they go.

Enter Skip, the dorky, under aged rock concert promoter. Skip has a problem. His headlining rock band has jumped town, leaving him with an arena full of angry concertgoers. And this was going to be his big break. If he could have pulled this show together, his career would have been made. Now he’s going to end up working at a McDonalds until the day he retires and/or blows his brains out. So, Skip tries his best to smooth things over with the angry crowd. Right before they decide to tear him limb from limb, guess what happens…. that’s right, the Madballs spaceship crash lands right in the middle of the stage. Of all the dumb luck. The Madballs are thrown from the ship and land right behind their designated instruments. So what do they do? They start to play Great Balls of Fire. A normal person would have gone to the hospital to get checked out after crashing their spaceship. Not the Madballs. That’s dedication…. to really shitty oldies music.

Well this just made Skips year. Not only is his concert a hit, but he managed to sign himself some fresh young unsigned talent. Good for Skip. That about sums it up. Queue really lame joke and roll credits.

After watching this, I’m not really sure where this show happened in the series. It could have been the very first episode, it could have been the last. It didn’t really set up or conclude anything. It may have very well been a one-off, straight to video release. Either way, I hate the idea that someone actually got paid to write this garbage. I could shit a better cartoon than this and I’m a no talent hack. No one said life was fair.

The VHS tape also had a preview for the straight to video, live action My Pet Monster movie, which I also never knew existed. This one also looks like a winner. I have to admit though, my curiousity is getting the best of me on this one. Maybe I’ll try to track it one down. Besides, the shittier the movie, the better the review.
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