Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cartoon Review - The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack

Now, when I first saw this cartoon, one thought came to mind: "This looks stupid." I mean, a few months ago, I generally thought the artwork was great, but I expected the writing to be horrible and unfunny. True, it takes a bit of something to make me laugh, but I still believed it would be horrible and be cancelled within 26 episodes (the amount of episodes a Cartoon Network series has to prove itself). However, once Cartoon Network started pumping out those Flapjack wedgies, my interest quickly went up. They continued to go up as I saw various sneak peeks and interviews with creator Thruop Van Orman on Cartoon Network Video. Finally, just two days ago, I sat down I watched the series premiere. And this is basically what I got from watching this whale of a tale...

Creator(s): Mark "Thurop" Van Orman

Running Time: 22 minutes (2x11 minute segments)

Rating: B+

Premiere: June 5, 2008

Okay, after seeing review after review, interview after interview, short after short, and sneak peek after sneak peek; I finally came to this show expecting something that wouldn't waste my time. And that's exactly what I got...from the second half at least. The second half that was supposed to air as episode "7B". That alone tells me that this show will get funnier as I continue to watch. The first half, which is the original pilot, left me a bit empty in comparison. It wasn't terrible...but it wasn't exactly good either. The reason for that is because there were some really good jokes that didn't use. Jokes that they didn't take real advantage of. The "juvenile delinquents" and "child labor" had many goods jokes just waiting to happen, but they only used so few of those. There were quite gems in the pilot, "Several Leagues Under the Sea". One of those is where the guy in the "picture box" that the bad guy 'invented" (all his inventions are run by kids) jumps out and declared that he's going to art school. That moment got a good chuckle out of me. But that episode wasn't weird enough. However, the second segment, "Eye Sea You", was pretty good. As I said a minute ago, this was supposed to air later in the season. The segment had several good facial expressions, well-timed jokes, and much more. But it still wasn't weird enough. Sure, the crazy dolphins wearing Captain K'nuckles clothes were pretty cool. So was Peppermint Larry's Candy Wife seeking revenge and the giggling "The End" sign at the end. But it could be weirder. But I feel that is just weird enough to be up in the ranks of "Cow & Chicken", "Billy & Mandy", and "Chowder" (if just barely).
The creator of the series, Matthew "Thruop" Van Orman, has his own ideas about comedy. He says, and I quote: "Comedy, or at least the kind of comedy I like, are the ones that make you feel a bit uncomfortable and then hit you with a great joke." And this is good, since that's the comedy I like also. Why do you think I gave "Chowder" an A- when I reviewed it all those months ago? Yeah, I love comedy animation even more than action animation. Anyway, one thing I didn't like about the series is that the title sequence is a weird upon first hearing. But believe me, it gets real enjoyable after repeated viewings.
Anyway, "Flapjack" appears to be inspired by an event that happened when the creator was a teenager. In fact, it was also inspired by his childhood. It's easy to see where he got the idea for this series when he lived next to an old sailor in Florida. When he was a teenager, and his family moved to "Salt Lake City", he didn't like it there. So after some convincing, he got to stay with his relatives back in Florida. From there, he had a thirst for adventure, so he went and decided to go to a deserted island off the coast. However, he got stranded on the way and had to stay in the water for the entire night until he got rescued. He ended up going home, feeling like a failure. But, through that experience (and people asking him what happened), his learned that people liked hearing about misadventures more than actual adventures. And there came the concept of "Flapjack". Flapjack, his friend Captain K'nuckles, and his whale mother Bubbie are supposed to represent the outcast weirdos of Stromalong. And the people of the harbor are supposed to be representing the hardships of "real life". However, if you ask me, then I'll say that the people are harbor are even more weird than Flapjack and Co. But that's just me.

Anyway, there is not much to say at this point. All I can say is that "Flapjack" is a pretty good comedy that might take a while to hit it's stride, like a whole bunch of other shows. But when it does hit it's stride, it will be wonderful to see. So, for now, "The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack" gets a B-, for it still has yet to get it's sea legs. Ta-ta for now.


MasterK said...

Good review. The art looks like a cross of Billy and Mandy and Chowder, with Chowder color combos, only darker colors. I saw a preview of this show with Flapjack's rolemodels the business man and the adventurer, and thought it looked stupid, but I didn't like Chowder at first and now its my favorite show on Cartoon Network. Also, do you have any idea what the "Mr. Men" show is, I've been seeing ads but I've never seen the show.

Racattack Force said...

"The Mr. Men Show" is basically the fourth animated television series to be based on the classic children's book series "Mr. Men". It also features the characters of his later series of books "Little Miss", which was basically the same concept, but with female characters. More information can be gotten here, on Wikipedia (It is actually pretty good on explaining this): I've also added some links, for you guys to see where I got some of my information from.

MasterK said...


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Nicole said...

The multi-medium animation used in Flapjack is what riveted my attention to the show. For a child who grew up watching Ren & Stimpy this humor is the next best thing! I have a Sling Adapter at home with my DISH Network DVR so I can stream Flapjack onto my Smartphone no matter where I am. As an employee for DISH I do a lot of traveling and I know that no matter how adult my life is I can still watch my 'toons whenever I please :)

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