Cartoon Love, Frumpy to Fab!

A classic cliche, from frumpy to fabulous!
June 01, 2010
One of the more common plot devices in cartoons over the last few decades has been the "plain Jane" goes hot stuff. Be it the tom boyish sidekick dressing up for a date, or the normally gruff and tough chick showing their soft side, many cartoon women have gone through this metamorphosis at least once. It is my pleasure, after a long sabbatical, to present the 6th in Mr.Gone's top 10 series...

"Cartoon Love, Frumpy to Fab!"

"10. Lady Jaye in "Eau De Cobra"
When Cobra begins scouring the globe for rare and seemingly innocuous items, G.I. Joe takes notice. After a little head work and a lot of leg work, the Joes figure out that Cobra Commander and Co, are creating an ancient perfume that would supposedly allow any woman who wore it to manipulate a man with his out of control lust. The Baroness was to use this felonious fragrance to seduce and enslave a rich industrialist aboard his yacht, allowing his massive wealth to bankroll future COBRA endeavors. Of course, G.I. Joe would have none of this. Deep Six managed to sneak Flint and Lady Jaye aboard via submarine. Two Joes in wet suits would stick out like a sore thumb so the duo found a secret spot to shed their underwater gear and slip into something more appropriate. The normally butch Lady Jaye slipped into a clingy,low backed evening dress and almost shut Flint up, almost.

9. Rebecca Cunningham in "Bringing Down Babyface"
"Higher for Hire" is always looking for income on the side. When Baloo is stuck transporting a high profile criminal, a series of misunderstandings, and Baloo's general dismissiveness of the law, results in the escape of the V.I.C. (Very Important Criminal) Babyface Half-Nelson. The police are understandably upset and figure Baloo was in on the whole thing. On the run from the cops and the mob Baloo comes up with a plan to clear his name. Taking the guise of "Pretty Boy Lloyd" (cause "Reasonably Attractive Lloyd" didn't have the same ring to it), Baloo along with "Mickey the Mangler" (Kit) and rounding out the crew, the normally business casual Rebecca as "Roxy the Moll" set out to clear Baloo's name. In her sequined evening gown with a dangerously high slit and made up to fit the part, Rebecca looked ready to slink across the top of a grand piano and belt out a sultry sirens' song.

8. Sam Manson in "Parental Bonding"
Danny Fenton seldom has a stress free day, fighting the dredges of the Ghost Zone, saving the world, etc. So, when the school dance rolls around and Danny lands a date with Paulina (who is going with Danny just to irritate his best friend Sam Manson), teen angst and his parents chaperoning the event add to the hero's daily anxiety inducers. All that changes though when Sam arrives and, like a caterpillar having shed her goth/punk motif, drops jaws in a laced up and frilled out version of her daily outfit. In fact, it takes a giant ghost dragon to tear Danny away to save the day.

7. Babs Bunny, Fifi LaFume, and Shirley the Loon in "The Amazing Three"
The students at Acme Looniversity are not well known for their maturity (in fact, displaying too much self control would negatively affect your grade in most classes). Babs, Fifi, and Shirley begin to tire of the antics of there significant others and hatch a scheme to land more grown up counterparts. The Perfecto Prep Senior Prom is just around the corner and Babs figures with a little make over they can pass for older students (with the help of the "Acme Lil' Wonder Makeup Kit" of course). Having successfully glamed up, the trio proceed to take the prom by storm in true Acme Loo style (i.e. by almost burning the place to the ground).

6. Janine Melnitz in "Janine, You've Changed"
The Ghostbusters are kept pretty busy with the high volume of paranormal goings on in New York, but when the team gets too busy to notice subtle changes in their resident pencil pusher things go from bad to worse. A "benevolent" spirit offers Janine a way to improve her looks and attract more attention (jeez, with all the crazy crap that she's seen working for the Ghostbusters, you'd think Janine would be a little more mindful about trusting a ghost). As it turns out, the "Fairy Godmother" is a nasty from the pasty bent on feeding upon the insecurities of self-conscious people. While not the most extreme of makeovers, it makes the list because this transformation served a purpose outside of a mere single episode plot device. The whole episode was a way to explain a completely different art style and voice (voice actor) for an established character. You just don't see that kind of attention to detail anymore.

5. Gadget Hackwrench in "Double O'Chipmunk"
For most part Dale is the comic relief to Chip's straight shooting P.I. personality. After a bender of espionage movies, Chip decides he wants to be a "Double O Super Spy". His first attempt falls a bit flat, in no small part due to his malfunctioning gadgets (I'm still impressed he was able to make devices of this complexity on his own, even if they do fail miserably). There's always one Gadget that will never fail and she just can't stand to see Dale so upset. After an all nighter of spy-gizmo repair she is ready to make Double O Dale a real super spy. What super spy is complete without his damsel in distress? The following morning Dale is awoken by a pounding on the door. Having ditched her mechanic's coveralls for a slinky red number, Gadget kicks off Dale's secret agent adventure. Unfortunately the team gets mixed up with some real spies and the Rescue Rangers are forced to test their mettle against the real thing.

4. April O'Neil in "April's Fool"
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's closest human confidant seems to have a hook up with a yellow jumpsuit manufacturer. April has always been a plucky ace reported but her fashion sense left much to be desired. When April is invited to a fancy dress ball at an embassy Irma insists that her best friend dresses to the nines. The Turtles are absolutely floored by Aprils new look, and even Master Splinter "Feels like a young man again." (which is wrong, on many levels, one being taxonomic). Problems arise when the duded up April bears an all too uncanny resemblance to royalty at the ball and is kidnapped. Who comes to save the day? It's not the "20-Something Hybrid Boxing Parrots" I can tell you that!
3. Kim Possible in "Emotion Sickness"
Secret agents, in the real world at least, need to take a utilitarian approach to fashion. You would seldom find a field agent in a tux in the middle of a steamy jungle trying to gather intel on a growing force of guerrilla soldiers. Kim Possible takes the same, function-over-form tactic in her crime fighting garb, but maintaining a secret identity comes with the opportunity for breaking out of the day in and day out of saving the world in cargo pants. When Drakken attempts to steal an experimental emotion control chip, Kim and Ron show up to stop him. During the melee the chips are attached to Kim and Drakken's henchlady ,Shego. Mistaking the control unit for a communication device, Ron unwittingly wins himself a date with Kim. When Ron arrives to pick up Kim for their date he is met with a much different mission uniform. Kim's little black dress (or "LBD" as the scads of DeviantArt Fanartists have labeled it) is a far cry from the rough and tough action gear Ron is used to, and the date goes off without a hitch, I'm kidding, of course, Shego and Drakken show up and all heck breaks loose.

2. Elisa Maza in "Eye of the Beholder"
The Gargoyles have always been forced to dwell in shadow, or just out of the corner of your eye, but when the clan is introduced to Halloween they embrace the fact they can walk the streets with impunity. Even though most people would simply think the Gargoyles natural appearance were elaborate costumes, many of them choose to dress up, in the spirit of the holiday. Goliath decides that his beastly form is most fitting for the night especially with his beauty, Belle (Elisa) on his arm. Ditching her police outfit for the movie accurate gown, Elise turns quite a few heads. The night takes a turn when a werewolf attacks and is found to be Fox, Xanatos' wife, under the influence of a magical amulet. With Goliath's help Fox is subdued and Elisa sacrifices the majority of her skirt (YOWZA!) to cover the shivering former lycanthrope.

1. Mainframe in "The Case of The Crooked Contest"
Big Boss and his CROOKS always seem to come up with the most inventive way to pull off a heist (just rob a freaking bank already). The Miss World Beauty Contest is an annual competition to,whaterver, it's a beauty contest, there. What is important is the massive prize for first place. A luxury car filled with loot, loot that Big Boss would love to get his hands on. So as opposed to just letting the convention hall close and then sending like, Bullets McBoomBoom in to level the place and steal the car he decided to enter Nightshade and (why God WHY?!) Ms. Demenor. To make sure that the odds are stacked in his favor, he corrupts the judging panel with his idiot nephew Berserko, could be competent gunman Bullets McBoomBoom, and Turbo Tu-Tone in drag (really). It never ceases to amaze me that even in my 11 year old wisdom I had to ask, out loud sometimes "What the hell are you thinking Big Boss?" A vast criminal empire with access to amazing technology and this is the best you can come up with? You and Cobra Commander should get together and try to take over the world with a snake filled blimp, and the snakes all have cybernetic fangs with venom that makes whoever they bite fall in love with anyone wearing a pink suit and then corner the market on pink fabric and,Jesus Crispys, just buy a gun and steal an armored car! (crap, I spilled my Undercover Bears). Anyway, the C.O.P.S. decide that the best way to bust Big Boss is to enter the bookish Mainframe into the contest (Oh, that's why Big Boss has such stupid ideas, he gets them from the C.O.P.S.). Anyway again, Mainframe and the luckiest gun in the world go about exposing Big Boss' deception and all is well. Sadly though, Nightshade found out she would have won if only she hadn't tried to cheat (There's that educational portion the government required in these commercials.).

So the next time you are ready to write off that bespectacled lady in the sweater 3 sizes too big across the coffee house from you, remember, under the right set of ludicrous circumstances, she could become a veritable goddess.

Until next time, make sure to check out Mr.Gone's other Top 10s!
Cartoon Love (The Bad Kind)

Cartoon Love (The Bad Kind) Strikes Back

The Return of Cartoon Love (The Bad Kind)

Cartoon Love, Tough on Heroes EZ on the Eyes

Pixelated Love (the Bad Kind)
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