Cartoon King #4: Earthworm Jim

April 21, 2011
Welcome to the fourth Cartoon King article. This time the review is:

Earthworm Jim
Earthworm Jim is an animated series based on the video game of the same name.

But the game had such a cartoony feel, and that made it seem like it was a game based on a cartoon, when it was really the other way around.

But being cartoony wasn't a bad thing. It's one of the reasons the game was so great. There was no game like it before. The character sprites were all hand-drawn. And the crazy, surreal nature of the game made it perfect animated series material.

So in 1995, Earthworm Jim premiered on The WB as part of their Kids WB line-up.

It was so crazy, weird, and just messed-up, that it was amazing. Just listen to some of the character names:
-Princess What's-Her-Name
-Professor Monkey-For-A-Head
-Evil the Cat
-Bob the Killer Goldfish
-The Evil Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Malformed, Slug-For-A-Butt.

That's CRAZY! But that's why I love it. Just the story is funny. An ordinary earthworm named Jim is digging through the ground, when a super-suit falls and lands on him. He then grows a face, gets a voice, and best of all he gets really big muscles, and a ray-gun. This suit was invented to be for a villain, so Psy-Crow, Slug-For-A-Butt, Monkey-For-A-Head and all the other evil villains try to re-claim the suit, along with trying to take over the universe.

Now let's get to the characters:

Earthworm Jim:

Jim was an ordinary earthworm, but when that super-suit fell down, his life was forever changed. Jim is very strong, and muscular, he's not too bright, but his strength and bravery are what make him a good hero. Jim's weapon is a ray-gun, and he rides around in his pocket rocket with his best friend Peter Puppy. Jim's catchphrases are "Guh-roovy" and "Eat dirt![insert noun here]" Jim is voiced by Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Abraham "Grandpa" Simpson, Krusty the Clown, and various other characters on The Simpsons, Grandpa Phil on Hey Arnold!, and Megavolt on Darkwing Duck).

Peter Puppy:

Peter is Jim's canine side-kick / best friend, who practically worships Jim. Peter turns into a monster whenever he gets hurt, or scared. But if he is tickled he'll turn back to normal. Peter was once an ordinary dog, but when Evil the Cat put a curse on him where he would be able to speak English, and walk like a human, but it came with the side-affect of turning into a monster. Peter is voiced by Jeff Bennet (Johnny Bravo on the show of the same name, Dad on Dexter's Laboratory, and Samson and Commader Hoo-Ha on Camp Lazlo).

Princess What's-Her-Name:

Jim's friend / love-interest. But she doesn't quite share the same feelings for Jim. Believe it or not she is the twin sister of the evil Queen Slug-For-A-Butt, but the Insectikans looked at her as being the ugly one, and Slug-For-A-Butt as the beautiful one. What's-Her-Name is the smartest character in the show, for unlike Jim, Peter, and most of the villains she isn't a complete fool. She is voiced by Kath Soucie (Mom on Dexter's Laboratory, Sally Acorn on Sonic The Hedgehog, Phil, Lil, and Betty DeVille on Rugrats, and it's spin-off All Grown Up!)

Bob the Killer Goldfish:

Bob is an evil, killer goldfish from La Planeta De Agua. Bob speaks with a thick southern accent. And while Bob is one of the evilest villains on the show, he is also one of the funniest. He has his feline henchman Number Four do all the work for him, but that's because Bob is a fish and can't breathe air, or walk on land. Bob is voiced by Jim Cummings (Fuzzy Lumpkins on The Power Puff Girls, Pete on everything sice Goof Troop, Pooh and Tigger on everything since The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, Cat on CatDog, Taz on almost everything since Taz-Mania, Dr. Robotnik on Sonic The Hedgehog, Drake Mallard/Darkwing Duck, and Nega Duck on Darkwing Duck, Razoul on Aladdin, Bonkers D. Bobcat and Lucky Piquel on Bonkers, Ed the Hyena on The Lion King, and Ultra-Lord on The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius)

Psy-Crow is an evil crow who is a minion of Queen Slug-For-A-Butt, and usually accompanied by Professor Monkey-For-A-Head. Psy-Crow is one of the most evil of the villains in this show, but then again, he is still very goofy, and un-serious often. And while he is a minion of the evil queen, he still wishes to be the king of Insectika by himself. Like Bob, Psy-Crow is voiced by the great Jim Cummings.

Professor Monkey-For-A-Head:

Professor Monkey-For-A-Head has (as his name states) a monkey for a head. He is one of the most common recurring villains on the show, and he is usually associated with Psy-Crow. Monkey-For-A-Head is voiced by Charlie Adler (Buster Bunny on Tiny Toon Adventures until 1994, Cow, Chicken, I.R. Baboon, and Red Guy on Cow and Chicken, Ed and Bev Bighead on Rocko's Modern Life, and Snively on Sonic the Hedgehog)

Evil the Cat:

An evil cat from Planet Heck. Evil is one of the most evil villains in the show. Of course his name is Evil though. He often attacks his enemies by spitting acid hairballs at them. Evil also has an idiotic rat henchman named Henchrat (voiced by John Kassir). Evil is voiced by Edward Hibbert.

The Evil Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-filled, Malformed, Slug-For-A-Butt:
The queen of all the evil villains in the show. And the only one who is complete, pure evil, unlike her henchmen who are all fools. She is the twin sister of Princess What's-Her-Name, but these two don't exactly get along. For one thing Slug-For-A-Butt is evil. This evil queen of Insekitca wants to re-claim the super-suit that accidentally landed on Jim and gave him powers, when it was meant for her. Queen Slug-For-A-Butt is voiced by Andrea Martin.

(Sorry, no picture available)
Snott is a green mucus-like creature (hence the name "Snott"). Snott is Jim and Peter's friend and he lives in Jim's back-pack. Snott only speaks in slurp, gargle-like noises, but Jim and Peter can understand everything he says. Snott apears to actually be quite intelligent. His noises are provided by John Kassir.

This show was sadly very short-lived. It only lasted two seasons and 23 episodes. But that happens with a lot of great cartoons. Just look at The Critic. It had the same amount of episodes, but it was hilarious and has a pretty big cult-following. Or Sonic the Hedgehog. It only lasted 26 episodes and ended on a cliff-hanger. Earthworm Jim was removed from reruns not too long after it was canceled. And it still hasn't had an official U.S. DVD release yet. That's unfair for hard-core EWJ fans like myself.

This show was one of the funniest surreal cartoons ever. Surreal and absurd comedy isn't always funny, it only is if properly executed, and this show nails it! Doug TenNapel you are a genius!

I can't really find a bad thing about this show. That doesn't mean I'd call it perfect, but there's no huge flaws. I just wish it lasted longer or was more popular. This show is one of few video game-based cartoons that is actually really good. It's funny, the voice acting is excellent, the characters are great, the craziness makes it more hilarious, the animation is nice and it is pretty close to the source material. After-all, the creator of the games Doug TenNapel created the show too.

If only it was released on DVD.

92% "Excellent"


There is no "Next time on Cartoon King" this time, because I'm gonna take a little break from articles for a while. But don't worry fans of 90's cartoon shows and Cartoon King fans, I'll let you guys know when my next article is gonna be.

Good-bye everyone, thanks for reading!
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