Tag Archives: Tv Special

CftC: Ed, Edd n Eddy’s Boo Haw Haw

Welcome back to:

october

 

Ed, Edd n Eddy was one of those “love it or hate it” kind of shows. The whole premise – three kids try to scam the rest of the cul de sac out of their money – is kind of mean-spirited, although the show was pretty good about giving consequences to the right characters. All of the characters had their mean moments, but it also felt very innocent; reminiscent of how kids can just be cruel, sometimes with seemingly no reason.

And intense gross-out gags usually appeal to boys, anyway.

Still, I loved it.

Ed, Edd n Eddy was definitely one of my favorite shows. It was colorful, and the art style really bloomed in season 2 and up, managing to look both pleasant and colorful, and silly and grotesque when it needed to. It had its silly and gross-out moments, but by the standards of most modern cartoons (modern Spongebob, Sanjay and Craig, etc.), I’d say the latter was fairly restrained. The characters were funny, and the zany schemes were over-the-top and fun; fake enough that you knew not to try them at home, but real and kid-ish enough to be put together with odds and ends, boxes, and duct tape.

40% of it was stuff I didn’t mind much, an 60% of the show was honest fun and heart.

The show began running on Cartoon Network in 1999 and ran for 10 years and 6 seasons in total. While designing a commercial, Italian-Canadian cartoonist Danny Antonucci conceived Ed, Edd n Eddy. He approached Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon with the series, but both channels demanded creative control, to which Antonucci did not agree. Finally, a deal was ultimately made for Cartoon Network to commission Ed, Edd n Eddy, after they agreed to let Antonucci have control of the show. The series’ TV movie finale, Ed Edd n Eddy’s Big Picture Show, aired on November 8, 2009.

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Of the main trio, there is Eddy, the short one in yellow. He gets a few redeeming moments, but otherwise, his character is pretty static: he is the Scrooge and head con artist of the group. Edd, the tallest kid in the Where’s Waldo shirt, is the muscle and lovable moron with the most creative imagination…and the poorest hygiene. Edd, more commonly referred to as “Double Dee,” is the smartest, most mature and finicky of the group. He is a good-natured but beleaguered nerd who cleans and straightens obsessive compulsively, and tries to keep a handle on his two crazy friends. Eddy uses him frequently for his own ends, but typically includes Double Dee on the rewards (and punishments) he receives from the other kids in their neighborhood.

Also, Double Dee wears a sock on his head, and I don’t think we ever learned what he’s hiding beneath it. The show’s writers sure loved to tease it, though.

While the friends could fight and be shallow or selfish to one another, their bond felt natural and as true as any friendship in kiddom. It helped some that the trio were all pretty equally low on the cul de sac social hierarchy, but they almost never ditched each other when a rare opportunity for popularity presented itself anyways. The social politics were nowhere as mean and unpleasant as that with Penny’s friends on The Proud Family, although I liked that show a lot too.

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Other notable characters include Kevin, the aloof and irritable “cool kid” jock; Nazz, the cool girl and practically the entire cul de sac’s love interest; Jonny “2×4,” (so named for his large cranium and imaginary friend, a fence board with a face drawn on it named “Plank”) who sometimes rivals Ed’s lack of self-awareness and intelligence; Sarah, Ed’s bossy, violent little sister; Jimmy, Sarah’s overly effeminate friend with dental work; Rolf, an out-of-touch immigrant farm boy with strange customs and behaviors; and the essentially trailer-trash Kanker sisters, May, Marie, and Lee, who torment the other kids and occasionally stalk the Eds to try to force them to be their boyfriends.

It toed that fine line between cartoony, matching its art style, and semi-realistic, with very little honest to goodness supernatural stuff. There was plenty of violence, too, but it had a bit less cringe content to it than something like Tom and Jerry. The kids represented various age groups and cliques, and were all redeeming in some way. Yes, even the loathed Kanker sisters.

And, similar to Peanuts (perhaps inspired by it), adults never speak coherent words or appear onscreen at any point.

The official Halloween Special came out in Season 5, on October 28th, 2005.

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Though certainly not as great as The Great Pumpkin, Ed, Edd n Eddy’s Boo Haw Haw has some of that same fun, imaginative spirit, while still taking place on a regular old night of trick or treating.

The premise is this: Eddy’s offscreen prankster of an older brother (Eddy looks up to him immensely, but is constantly abused by him) leaves him the map to a place called “Spook-E-Ville,” where the candy abounds. He convinces the other two Eds to join him, and all the while Ed is suffering from massive, graphic hallucinations as a result of binge watching horror movies. The colors were very pronounced in this special, and always in dark contrast with one another. The animators got to have fun with the designs of monsters in Ed’s Horror-vision, and the characters all wear costumers that either mirror or just speak volumes about their personalities. Eddy is Elvis, Ed is a viking warrior, Double Dee is the bubonic plague (dubbed throw up by Eddy), Sarah is a princess, etc.

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It reminds me of Lucy from The Great Pumpkin, particularly her insistence that the witch costume didn’t represent her at all. And poor Double D is like the smart Charlie Brown of the group, trying his best but ultimately getting handed with a bunch of rocks.

At least the Eds never let life get them down.

The ending is pretty predictable, even by the show’s standards, but I won’t spoil it for people who haven’t seen it. It’s still a fun ride to get there, and sometimes, that’s the most important thing.

7/10, so check it out! But beware if you’re not a gross-out fan.

*As per usual, most of the pics don’t belong to me. The title card does, though. Twas done by the gracious and talented Zero, who can be found here. Check her out! 🙂

 

 

CftC: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

October is here, and this month, we’re going to do something a little different.

If Christmas weren’t around, Halloween would be my favorite holiday, hands down. It’s a night full of fun, possibility, and yes, even a bit of horror. Whether it’s the kid-friendly, cheesy, Hallmark side, the actually frightening “dark” side of Halloween that I get to see, or some unholy, scrambled combination of the two, I reeeeeaally look forward to October 31st every year.

And if there’s one thing I thank marketing for, it’s turning the holiday into its own season, with holiday specials and events you can do all month. Costumes, kids, candy, scary movies, haunted houses, corn mazes, and more, if you know where to look.

So I’m commemorating this glorious month with nostalgic movies and tv specials. Welcome to:

october

 

And we’re starting off right with perhaps the most famous and nostalgic special of all: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

 

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It’s one of the most memorable of the Peanuts’ segments (and, in my opinion, the best of the bunch). A fluid story that doesn’t feel too padded, with sketchy and watercolored skies, and the characters we know and love talking going on their own various suburban adventures. Specials like A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown owe their sorry excuses for plot to Great Pumpkin, and while I love A Charlie Brown Christmas, it has less plot, more muted colors, and just isn’t quite as interesting as the Halloween romp. It’s still a classic, though.

Great Pumpkin came out in 1966 (16 years after the comics first began to run in weekly newspapers), and for a time, it played once a year. “You either caught it, or you missed it,” my dad has said to me, because back then there was maybe one t.v. per house and only so many channels. Crazy, right?

This was the first special to use “, Charlie Brown” to finish off the title, the second of the holiday Peanuts specials, and the third of their specials to air on television, right behind Charlie Brown’s All Stars (in June of that same year) and A Charlie Brown Christmas (the year prior).

The style is, of course, hand drawn animation with lots of vibrant colors. The voice acting is typical for Peanuts; lots of child actors stumbling about trying to talk like adults, clearly not knowing what the words mean. But that lends the special, and the characters, a lot of charm and humor. The music was performed by jazz genius and early Peanuts composer Vince Guaraldi, with the song Linus and Lucy, the iconic Peanuts theme made popular in the Christmas special, frequently played throughout. New songs for Great Pumpkin include The Great Pumpkin Waltz, Breathless, Graveyard Theme, Trick Or Treat, The Red Baron, and Fanfare, and the World War 1 era songs used (it makes sense if you’ve seen the special all the way through, with no cuts) are “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, Roses of Picardy, There’s a Long, Long Trail, and It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.

For as great as Halloween is, I’ve noticed that it lacks one officially appointed mascot. The closest (and most  notable contenders) I have found are Stingy Jack, Jack Skellington, and any of the classic movie monsters. You could point to any one of them and think Halloween, though, so I guess that works just as well.

But to get back on track, Great Pumpkin attempts to add a new potential mascot to the line up. The Great Pumpkin!…even though we’re not quite sure what he looks like.

It’s Halloween (of course), and Charlie and the gang get their costumes ready. It’s Sally’s first time, so she naively follows people around and asks questions.

Meanwhile, Linus writes a note to the one he calls “The Great Pumpkin:”

As you can see, everyone else reacts like this:

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But Linus doesn’t care. He keeps his faith in the Great Pumpkin strong, no matter what.

Hijinx ensue. And poor old Charlie gets a lot of rocks.

Incidentally, kids across the country sent candy to Charlie Brown after this special aired. Because they pitied him.

I won’t spoil the rest for all two of you that were just born or just now crawled out from under your rock, but suffice it to say, Halloween costumes have become a lot more…intricate in the last 60 years. And I’m not convinced that’s a good thing.

Another fun piece of trivia: the voice actress for Sally was about to lose a tooth at the time, so the producers rushed her to finish up her lines. The tooth popped out just as she finished the line, “You owe me restitution!”

The story is fun and cute; the obligatory Charlie Brown bashing comes off as funny rather than just sad; the lines and artwork are primitive (by today’s standards) at times, but classic and fun. Some character expressions can look a bit dead-eyed, but most of the time, they are so funny and familiar that it’s uncanny.

All around, this is a great special. You watch a fun, imaginative night of trick or treating that’s a part of animated (and comic) history, and it feels timeless despite the simplistic, homemade costumes and lack of cell phones or computers. Those aren’t really the focus, anyway.

Also, Snoopy is a boss.

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It’s a tradition in my family to watch it every year. If you haven’t seen it, or want to relive the heyday of Peanuts, stream it, buy it, rent it, or catch it (soonest) on ABC Thursday, October 15th at 8:30 EST.

Without my nostalgia glasses, I’d give it a solid 8/10.

*As per usual, most of the pics and clips don’t belong to me. The title card does, though. Twas done by the gracious and talented Zero, who can be found here. Check her out! 🙂