Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Cartoon Historian Lesson 21-G: From Games to Toons Pt.7

Ok,We come to the last 90's Capcom cartoon: Darkstalkers.

This cartoon is based off of the Darkstalkers games and was created by the same people who made the Street Fighter cartoon.

The Darkstalkers cartoon first aired in 1995 and featured all the characters from Night Warriors game along with several entirely new characters. The show consists of an evil being known as Pyron recruiting several Darkstalkers to help him try and take over the Earth while a team of good Darkstalkers try and stop him, helped out by a human kid called Harry.

Darkstalkers: The Animated series was a big disappointment for fans,who expected this show to be a Horror Adventure cartoon.

Mina: This cartoon was without question the most Hated-Video Game based cartoon in history. The Characters were bastardized a bit,the story lines were often stupid,the animation and artwork were mediocre. Plus,no one liked Harry Grimore. I can't say I blame'em though,he is a annoying character.

Mina: The ratings for this show were bad,so bad that Capcom had the show's producer pull the plug after 1 season. Although,you can find this show on DVD. Though,I have no clue why you'd want to.

Moving right along. Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm is based off of the Mortal Kombat game series.Produced by Threshold Entertainment and Film Roman,MK:DotR aired on the USA Network's Action Extreme Team block for one season from September to December 1996.

Mina: The characters and their backgrounds were mostly continuous with the movies Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, although elements from Mortal Kombat 3were included.

The episode plots themselves,as good as they were,shared little to no relation with the games storylines. The characters are designed after their Mortal Kombat 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 counterparts. The only exception is Kitana,whose design looks like a mix between her MK2 and her UMK3 looks.

Mina: Perhaps the most notable aspect of the show was that it provided the debut of Quan Chi, a key character in the MK series who was the villain of Mortal Kombat 4 and part of the Deadly Alliance.

The show was focused on a group of warriors assembled by Raiden to defend Earthrealm from invaders who entered through portals from various other dimensions. The assembled warriors included Liu Kang,Kurtis Stryker,Sonya Blade,Jax,Kitana,and Sub-Zero,with Nightwolf functioning mostly as tech support but still entering the fray on various occasions.

The warriors have a hidden base,where Nightwolf and Raiden monitored portal openings. The warriors also have dragon-shaped jets,which they use to travel to their destinations. Shao Kahn was something of an arch-villain throughout the series,being responsible for allowing other realms to invade Earthrealm. In the finale,Kitana lead a rebellion from Outworld against Kahn.

The cartoon somewhat serves as a sequel to the first Mortal Kombat film. However,the show takes a Sunday morning cartoon-style approach to the series,including the toning down of the violence,which was pretty much necessary due to the fact that it was a cartoon for 8-12 year olds based on a series known for it's Gore and Fatalities.

Mina: The fight scenes are kinda weak as well. However,to make up for this,the writers and director injected serious storylines into each episode. Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm only lasted for a single season,with no plans for a second.

USA Network aired episodes of Defenders back-to-back with those of the Street Fighter animated series. Twice the amount of episodes were produced for Street Fighter.

Kung Lao,Johnny Cage,Mileena,Baraka,Sindel,Jade,Noob Saibot,Reptile,Goro,and Kintaro were not shown or referenced in the show at all. However,Kung Lao,or more specifically his ancestor The Great Kung Lao, would be the focus in the live action TV series,Mortal Kombat Conquest.

Mina: Now we go from Earthrealm to Earthworm.

Earthworm Jim is based on the Game series of the same name. It ran for 2 seasons from 1995-1996 on the Kids' WB! Saturday Morning block.

The series follows the adventures of an earthworm named Jim, who is turned into a superhero by a robotic super suit. The series was produced by Universal Animation Studios along with Akom Productions,Flextech Television Limited,and Shiny Entertainment.

Mina: Earthworm Jim retains the absurdist humor of the games,as well as introducing its own features. Most episodes involve the series' numerous villains attempting to reclaim the super suit,rule,destroy,or ruin the universe,or otherwise causing mayhem throughout the galaxy.

Other problems facing Jim include returning his neighbor's eggbeater and finding a new power source after his suit is depowered. Also, the show breaks the fourth wall alot.

Mina: Episodes begin with Earthworm Jim and Peter Puppy in some peril that has nothing to do with the main plot or the previous episode's. Not only that but little is explained on how they got into that mess in the first place.

In between parts,there is a short side-story, generally featuring one of the villains and ending with "and now, back to Earthworm Jim." The end of every episode involves Jim or any other character being crushed by a cow, a play on the first game of the series.

Many of the characters from the games were made into main characters for the show. Peter Puppy becomes Jim's sidekick and Princess What's-Her-Name is his love interest.

Many villains from the game,including Evil the Cat,Psy-Crow,Bob the Killer Goldfish,Queen Slug-for-a-Butt,and Professor Monkey-for-a-head also appear throughout the show.

The series also created many of its own new characters, such as the Galactic Heroes League, a group of wannabe superheroes including the Hamsternator and Lower Back-Pain Man.

It also introduced a major new villain named Evil Jim,an evil duplicate of Earthworm Jim,who went on to be the main antagonist for the game Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy.

Mina: This was a fun show. Too bad it doesn't air anymore. Anyway,we have 2 More shows to cover. So stick around for this lessons finale.

1 comment:

Stefan said...

Another Awesome entry. Earthworm Jim was a cool cartoon.