?Much like drug addicts, TV executives tend to make the same poor decisions over and over in life. This is why countless cartoons based on celebrities have been greenlit over the years, no matter how awful and poorly received the previous ones were. Even though only one or two of these ‘toons succeeds per decade. They don’t know how to do anything different.
And this is also why one list of terrible celebrity-based cartoons was simply not enough. As many of you pointed out, there were a lot of omissions in the previous list, so we’ve decided to fill in some of the blanks with a sequel. In no particular order, here are nine more ridiculous cartoons based on celebrities.
9) Jackie Chan Adventures
When Chuck Norris got to re-write his life as a cartoon he decided to be a government operative with a license to kick ass around the globe. Jackie Chan apparently thought he could improve on this formula by making his cartoon counterpart a dimwitted archeologist. The show is primarily about some magical crap that everybody is chasing and how nobody owns any guns to put a quick end to this whole series. Luckily it wasn’t totally a loss, as the show blessed us with an amazing end credits song by the band Wheatus.
8) The Jackson 5ive
Spawned by the popularity of The Beatles cartoon (see below) and Joe Jackson’s never-ending desire to make money off the backs of his children, The Jackson 5ive was born… and an unfortunate birth it was. Following The Beatles model, the show was basically a way to play Jackson 5 songs accompanied by an animated music video. This is apparent because clearly nobody was interested in creating a quality show. Pretty much everything about it is standard, bland, middle of the road crap, with the exception of Michael Jackson’s animal obsession, which is on display in full force and really only interesting in a slightly creepy way given what we know now.
7) Mary Kate and Ashley in Action!
Due to the government mandate that the Olsen twins be involved in every form of media ever invented, DiC continued their long run of horrible, single season cartoons and made Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action, a show that pits the twins against only the most innocuous of threats, such as earthquake causing skateboard gangs and cat thieves. Also, in order to meet the guidelines in a sub-article of the government mandate, an 8-book series was spun off from the show, despite its low ratings. Your government in action!
6) The Gary Coleman Show
Apparently even at the height of his popularity, Gary Coleman had some self-esteem issues. This was proven when he was given the chance to create a cartoon based on himself, and started off with his main character dead. If that wasn’t sad enough, he then had him cast out of heaven (like Satan), and sent to earth to earn his wings (not like Satan). I’d like to think someday soon angelic Gary will come down to Earth and rejoin us to earn his wings, just like in the show. Actually, that’s a terrifying thought. Maybe we should all just hope he’s found peace after death. Yeah, let’s go with that one.
ProStars will forever be remembered for the show that was hot, jammin’, cool, and slammin’. Actually, that’s not true at all, but that’s clearly what the creators wanted as displayed with what may be the most ill-conceived cartoon intro ever. Unlike the other shows on this list, however, this one gets triple credit for featuring Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Bo Jackson. And what dangers did the “Pro Stars” of 1991 face? If you guessed the threat of robot athletes and Australian biker gangs, congratulations, you’re as stupid as a TV executive! The show featured these three sports stars running around doing pretty much whatever they wanted whilst saving the world. So just like in the real world, minus the world saving.
4) Wish Kid, Starring Macaulay Culkin
Ah, another DiC special! This one featured Macaulay Culkin as a kid with a baseball glove that could grant wishes. The show was apparently really popular in Latin America, as pretty much every clip on YouTube is in Spanish. The glove was given its wish-granting abilities when it was hit by a miniature shooting star. This shooting star also gave the glove the amazing ability to comprehend the human calendar, because the wish-granting powers were limited to once per week. Luckily, the bullies, criminals and child abductors also only came by once a week, so it all worked out. What are the odds?
3) The Beatles
Perhaps more music video series than animated series, The Beatles cartoon is still important because it paved the way for so many shows after it, including The Jackson 5ive and yes, even Hammerman (that’s right, blame The Beatles), especially in the way that it wasn’t any good and was popular anyways because it starred the Beatles. The Beatles themselves never really cared for the show, probably because the writers only had to come up with about two minutes of an actual script that was just another excuse to exploit one of their songs. Even the videos themselves never did much other than present a literal, animated version of the song lyrics. But thus the blueprint to bleed every dollar from a celebrity’s persona was born.
2) Kid ‘n Play
The early ’90s were an odd time. A time when a 10-inch high top fade was all the rage. A time when cartoons had dogs with mohawks and sunglasses. And a time when rappers could be looked at as positive role models for our children. The Kid n’ Play cartoon was a perfect example of all of this; unfortunately, much like their music and film career, it was all over rather quickly. And sadly, this — combined with the failure of Hammerman — put an end to the rapper-based cartoons and thus deprived us what could have been today. If only we could give Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and Rick Ross their own cartoons. And I don’t mean Adult Swim shows, I mean television for children. The world might a better place.
1) Mister T
Gymnastics would probably have been a lot more appealing to kids if everybody’s coach had been like Mr. T in the Mister T cartoon. The only gymnastics classes in my town required you to wear inappropriately tight spandex and show how agile you are, which for a fat kid is pretty much hell. But the kids in this gymnastics class got taught by the guy who fought Rocky, and by “taught gymnastics” I mean he took them on adventures all around the world fighting pirates and ninjas and pretty much anything you can think of as a kid that would be cool to fight. For a lot of kids this series began the great disconnect between the real world and the animated world. Soon after, all their dreams would crumble and they’d resort to working in an office all day and reading lists on the internet to amuse themselves until they reached their tragic end, always wishing they could have battled ninjas with that guy who fought Rocky.