Earthworm Jim (TV series)

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This article is about the animated series. For the video game series, see Earthworm Jim.
Earthworm Jim
Genre Action / Adventure / Comedy
Format Animated series
Created by Doug TenNapel
Voices of Dan Castellaneta
Jeff Bennett
Charles Adler
Jim Cummings
Edward Hibbert
John Kassir
Andrea Martin
Kath Soucie
Narrated by Jeff Bennett
Theme music composer William Kevin Anderson
Opening theme "Earthworm Jim", performed by William Anderson
Ending theme "Earthworm Jim" (instrumental)
Composer(s) William Anderson / Patrick Griffin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 23
Production
Executive producer(s) David Perry
Doug TenNapel
Producer(s) Kathi Castillo
Roy Allen Smith
Editor(s) Jay Bixsen
Running time 30 min. (including commercials)
Production company(s) AKOM
Flextech
The Children's Channel
Shiny Entertainment
Universal Cartoon Studios
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel Kids' WB!
Original run September 9, 1995 – December 13, 1996

Earthworm Jim is an American animated television series based on the video game with the same name which appeared on Kids' WB![1][2] for two seasons from September 9, 1995 through December 13, 1996. The series follows the adventures of an earthworm named Jim, who is turned into a superhero by a robotic super suit.

Premise[edit]

Earthworm Jim retains the absurdist and surreal 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/freeze/knock over 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 with characters often talking to the audience and the narrator.

Episodes begin with Earthworm Jim and Peter Puppy in some peril that has nothing to do with the main plot or the previous episodes, with little explanation of how they got into the mess. In between parts (generally before or after the commercial break), there is a short side-story, generally featuring one of the villains doing a more natural part of life, usually without any involvement from Jim. These can range anywhere from Psy-Crow going through a career change, Evil the Cat disguising himself as a movie star in order to make his evil plans known to the world, or Professor Monkey-For-A-Head attending group therapy and always 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 (in the first stage, the player launches a cow into the sky, only to have it crush the princess upon the game's ending).

Production[edit]

The series was produced by Universal Animation Studios along with AKOM, Flextech Television Limited, and Shiny Entertainment.[3]

2 seasons were produced, a total of 23 episodes.

Broadcast history[edit]

In the United States, the show was aired on Kids' WB! on The WB Television Network.[2]

In the UK, it was shown on Channel 4 and TCC (The Children's Channel) in the 90s, and as of 2000's, the show has seen occasional reruns on Nickelodeon.

The cartoon was broadcast in the Republic of Ireland on RTE Two in 1997.[4]

Characters[edit]

Most of the main characters from the show originated from characters introduced in the Earthworm Jim (1994) and Earthworm Jim 2 (1995) video games. Peter Puppy becomes Jim's sidekick and friend and Princess What's-Her-Name 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 in the show.

Additionally, some original characters were also created for the show, and were then in turn integrated into video games released after the TV series. For example, Evil Jim, an evil duplicate of Earthworm Jim created for the show, went on to be the main antagonist for the game Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1: 1995–96[edit]

Ep Title Air date
1 1 "Sidekicked" 9 September 1995
After Peter botches one of their adventures by turning into a monster and attacking him, Jim begins looking for a new sidekick.
2 2 "The Book of Doom" 16 September 1995
Due to a printing error, Jim's pop-up book contains the secret to universal destruction, which Evil the Cat seeks to possess.
3 3 "Assault and Battery" 23 September 1995
Jim must find a new power source after his super suit is drained.
4 4 "Day of the Fish" 30 September 1995
Bob the Killer Goldfish attempts to steal Jim's super suit.
5 5 "Conqueror Worm" 7 October 1995
Due to a photocopy machine accident, Jim creates an evil duplicate of himself, Evil Jim.
6 6 "Upholstered Peril" 14 October 1995
Professor Monkey-For-A-Head tries to conquer the world with cybernetic furniture.
7 7 "Sword of Righteousness" 21 October 1995
Jim finds an enchanted sword in a vending machine sandwich who begins training him in what it considers the ways of a true hero.
8 8 "The Egg Beater" 28 October 1995
Jim loses his neighbor's eggbeater and takes her on a journey to recover it.
9 9 "Trout!" 4 November 1995
After receiving a postcard, Jim sets out to see the legendary Fur-Bearin' Trout.
10 10 "The Great Secret of the Universe" 11 November 1995
Evil the Cat steals Jim's snow globe, which contains The Nameless Beast (whose name is Rosebud) who knows the Great Secret of the Universe.
11 11 "Bring Me the Head of Earthworm Jim" 18 November 1995
Psy-crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head reminisce about the time they captured Earthworm Jim by replacing his supersuit with a weak duplicate.
12 12 "Queen What's Her Name" 25 November 1995
Princess What's-Her-Name finally overthrows her tyrant sister Queen Slug-for-a-Butt.
13 13 "The Anti-Fish" 24 February 1996
Jim and Bob must join forces to save the Great Worm Spirit from being consumed by its arch-enemy: the Anti-Fish.

Season 2: 1996[edit]

Ep Title Air date
14 1 "The Origins of Peter Puppy" 7 September 1996
Jim and Peter travel through Peter's subconscious to try to discover the reasons for Peter's transformations.
15 2 "Opposites Attack!" 14 September 1996
Evil Jim attempts to create evil versions of Jim's friends, with less than stellar results.
16 3 "Darwin's Nightmare" 28 September 1996
Bob discovers a way to hyper-evolve himself to higher lifeforms.
17 4 "The Exile of Lucy" 5 October 1996
Psy-Crow & Professor Monkey-For-A-Head overthrow Queen Slug-For-A-Butt, but they quickly prove to be even worse rulers than her.
18 5 "Evil in Love" 26 October 1996
Evil the Cat falls in love and teams up with Malice the Dog. Malice uses her powers to trap Jim, Peter, and Princess What's-Her-Name in a nightmare realm where they end up contending with the Lord of Nightmares.
19 6 "Hyper Psy-Crow" 2 November 1996
Psy-crow overdoses on coffee and becomes hyper-powered.
20 7 "Peanut of the Apes" 9 November 1996
Professor Monkey-For-A-Head tries to turn everyone on earth into apes while Jim tries to introduce "viewer interactivity" on the show.
21 8 "Lounge Day's Journey Into Night" 16 November 1996
Jim and Peter switch roles as hero and sidekick, while Evil the Cat tries to destroy the universe by making a pair of dime-store lounge singers sing a cursed song.
22 9 "Wizard of Ooze" 22 November 1996
Jim and Peter are transported to an alternate dimension akin to The Wizard of Oz.
23 10 "For Whom the Jingle Bell Tolls" 13 December 1996
Queen Slug-For-A-Butt tries to brainwash Santa Claus.

Principal voice Cast[edit]

  • Charlie Adler - Professor Monkey-For-A-Head, Doorman of the Gods
  • Jeff Bennett - Peter Puppy, Narrator, Evil Peter, Puice Dynamo, President of the United States, Great Worm Spirit
  • Dan Castellaneta - Earthworm Jim, Evil Jim, Hamsternator, Turns-His-Eyelids-Inside-Out Boy, Jim's 4 Brains, Grim Reaper, Jaepius: God of Puns
  • Jim Cummings - Psy-Crow, Bob the Killer Goldfish, Johnny Dactyl, Walter, Zantor: Master of the Flying Toupée, Sword of Righteousness, Phlegmaphus: God of Nasal Discharge, Lower Back-Pain Man, Giant Fur-Bearing Trout
  • Edward Hibbert - Evil the Cat
  • John Kassir - Snott, Henchrat
  • Andrea Martin - Queen Slug-for-a-Butt, The Torch Singer
  • Kath Soucie - Princess What's-Her-Name, Evil Princess, Johnny Dactyl's Mom, Perpsichore: Goddess of Disco

Additional voice Cast[edit]

Crew[edit]

Media[edit]

The show was released in the UK onto 3 VHS tapes in 3 volumes covering 2 episodes on each video in the 90s but these are now out of print and hard to find.

There is no current plans for a DVD release of the show in the UK.

On June 1, 2011, Via Vision Entertainment released the complete series as a 5-disc set in Australia and New Zealand.[5]

The complete series was intended to receive a U.S. DVD release from Visual Entertainment on July 10, 2012, but was delayed right before release to late October.[6][7] The set includes all 23 episodes on 3 discs, and is currently available on Amazon.com.[8]

Name Release Date Episodes Region Additional Information
Vol. 1: Bring Me the Head of Earthworm Jim / Sword of Righteousness April 9, 1996 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Vol. 2: Conqueror Worm / Day of the Fish April 9, 1996 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Vol. 3: Assault & Battery / Trout! April 9, 1996 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Vol. 4: The Book of Doom / The Egg Beater April 9, 1996 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series June 1, 2011 23 4 Includes no bonus features.
Earthworm Jim: Complete Series November 2012 23 1 Includes no bonus features.

Reception[edit]

Legacy[edit]

Aspects of the show, such as newly created characters, or art style, were later implemented in future video games Earthworm Jim 3D and Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy. Two Earthworm Jim comic book series, in the US and UK, were also created to tie in to the animated series.[citation needed]

A line of action figures based on the show was released by Playmates. The series included several variants of Earthworm Jim, as well as Peter Puppy, Princess Whats-Her-Name, Bob the Killer Goldfish, #4, Evil the Cat, Henchrat, Major Mucus and Psy-Crow.[9] A mountable "pocket rocket" was also available as well as a rare mail-in repainted figure of Earthworm Jim in a green suit. A second series of figures was planned, but ultimately canceled - it would have included Queen Slug-for-a-Butt, Professor Monkey-for-a-Head and The Hamstinator among others.[10]

In April 2008, a new Earthworm Jim television series was announced, however, so far, nothing has resulted from this announcement.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mendoza, N.F. (October 22, 1995). "WB Raises the Animation Ante". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Gamasutra Staff (2008-04-22). "Interplay, TenNapel Partner For Earthworm Jim Game, Cartoon Revival". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  3. ^ Johnson, Greg (December 17, 1995). "A Company and an Artist from Orange County Work to Turn Video Game Character Earthworm Jim Into a Multimedia Star". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  4. ^ RTÉ Guide: 10–16. September 1997. 
  5. ^ "Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series". www.viavision.com.au. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  6. ^ "Earthworm Jim DVD news: Delay for Earthworm Jim - The Complete Series". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  7. ^ "Earthworm Jim DVD news: New Release Date for Earthworm Jim - The Complete Series". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  8. ^ Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series. "Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series: Charles Adler, Jeff Bennett, Dan Castellaneta, Jim Cummings, Edward Hibbert, John Kassir, Andrea Martin, Kath Soucie, Danny Mann, Ben Stein, Kevin Michael Richardson, April Winchell, Na: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  9. ^ "Earthworm Jim (Playmates) - Action Figure Checklist". Figurerealm.com. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  10. ^ "A Fistful of Suck: Canceled Action Figure Cavalcade: Earthworm Jim". Afistfulofsuck.blogspot.com. 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  11. ^ "News - Interplay, TenNapel Partner For Earthworm Jim Game, Cartoon Revival". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2012-11-26. 

External links[edit]