I am sure that most of us grew up with fond memories of watching Saturday morning cartoons on the television. There were, of course, the old classics which are almost everyone’s favorites like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wiley E. Coyote, Sylvester Cat and the rest of the Looney Tunes. There was also the antics of Tom and Jerry to keep us amused.
However, when I was growing up there were more action adventure type cartoons being created. These were cartoons like He-man, Thundercats, G.I. Joe and the Transformers. A bit later there were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. All of these cartoons differed from the slapstick style of the classic cartoons. They all involved serious violence and kicking the ass of evil villains. The only humor usually came from wise-cracking heroes and the way they talk. The Turtles, for example, channeled the surfer culture with phrases like “bummer,” “dude,” “bogus,” “radical,” “far-out,” “tubuloso,” “bodacious,” and possibly the most recognized, “cowabunga.
Sure I watched them but they always seemed to be a tad too serious for me. So it was like a breath of fresh air when I came across a relatively unknown gem of a cartoon that parodied and made fun of this genre. At last, a cartoon that laughed at itself and did not take things so seriously. I loved it. It was the antidote to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; it was the Samurai Pizza Cats.
In a nutshell, these three cool cats, Speedy Cerviche (the brave but often clueless leader), cute little Polly Ester (just don’t get her mad or it will hurt) and Guido Anchovy (the misguided Romeo of the group), fight crime and evil plots all over the town of Little Tokyo while earning a living delivering pizza. “” is the big villain of the story who is always plotting to take over the throne from the Emperor. He is poorly supported by Bad Bird and his Ninja Crows (it’s so hard to find good help these days).
But the real charm is in how they parody the genre. Take for example their theme song. A phase like, “Samurai Pizza Cats, they’re so bad, they’ve got more fur than any turtle ever had.” is a clear poke at their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles competitor.
“They are stronger than old cheese and stronger than dirt’ was reference to the advertising tagline of the Ajax liquid cleaner around that time.
And then there was the episode where heroes and villains happen to coincidentally take their holidays at a hot spring spa. When they discover each other, bitter fighting ensues. Then a voice of reason suggested that they call a truce so that they can both enjoy their holidays. This appeals to both sides until someone points out that unfortunately that it is against union rules for the Ninja Crows not to fight.
Once, Bad Bird even wanted to turn over a new leaf. Fed up of being reviled as a villain, he wanted now to fight for justice and be revered as a hero. Unfortunately, the show’s producers reminded him that he is a “contractual villain” and any hero type acts would be a breach of contract!Vodpod videos no longer available.
What might be some of your favorite cartoon series of all time and why?