Eek! The Cat

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Eek! The Cat
Eek stravaganza title.jpg
Also known as Eek! and the Terrible Thunderlizards
Eek! Stravaganza
Genre Comedy
Slapstick
Written by Savage Steve Holland
Bill Kopp
Kati Rocky
Henry Gilroy
Paul Germain
Sandy Fries
Pamela Wick
Frank Santopadre
Narrated by Bill Kopp
Theme music composer Nathan Wang
Dee Snider (Thunderlizards)
Composer(s) Nathan Wang
Country of origin United States
Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 63 (List of episodes)
Production
Producer(s) Patrick Loubert
Michael Hirsh
Clive A. Smith
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 24 mins.
Production company(s) Savage Studios Ltd.
Nelvana
Film Roman (for Klutter)
Fox Children's Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television (uncredited)
Broadcast
Original channel Fox Kids (United States)
YTV (Canada)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Audio format Stereo (1992-1995)
Dolby Surround (1995-1997)
Original airing September 12, 1992 (1992-09-12) - August 1, 1997 (1997-08-01)

Eek! The Cat (retitled Eek! Stravaganza in 1994) is a Canadian-American animated series,[1] created by Savage Steve Holland and Bill Kopp[2] and produced by Fox Kids and Savage Studios with animation by Nelvana, that ran from 1992 to 1997. It aired on YTV from 1992 to 1998 in Canada.

Premise[edit]

Eek! the Cat is about a purple cat named Eek whose motto is "it never hurts to help". This attitude generally gets him into trouble, from which much of the humor of the show is derived. Other characters include Eek!'s human family, with whom he cannot communicate via spoken language; Sharky the Sharkdog (his worst nightmare), and Eek's girlfriend, Annabelle.

The show featured slapstick humor and pop culture references. Shows vary from standard cartoon fare to movie spoofs (Apocalypse Now, A Clockwork Orange) and musical episodes; the first Christmas episode was written almost entirely in rhyme. The show featured many cameos by celebrities,[3] some of whom came back for several episodes.

Episodes[edit]

Characters[edit]

Eek! is normally very optimistic.
  • Eek the Cat – Eek always puts others' safety, needs, and comfort before his own. Eek can talk with all animals and most humans, but oddly enough cannot converse with his owners: Mom, Wendy Elizabeth, and J.B. He commonly exclaims "Kumbaya!" His motto is that "It never hurts to help!", although, with Eek this is frequently not the case. The major running gag within the show is that Eek's selfless nature usually gets him caught up in painful situations such as getting caught in mail and baggage sorters (both of which appear designed to intentionally damage their contents) and screaming "Oh Gosh It Hurts!" while the show's guitar riff theme played. Despite Eek's misfortunes, episodes would usually end with Eek rewarded in some way for facing the adversity squarely and being selfless towards others.
  • Sharky the Sharkdog – Annabelle's pet guard dog who defends Annabelle's house with the viciousness (and also the overall appearance) of a shark. Sharky does not speak, but more than makes up for it in growls (though other animal characters such as Eek can comprehend what he is saying, and subtitles are sometimes provided). Sharky typically terrorizes Eek for fun, although occasionally as a reaction to Eek!'s incessant trouble-causing helpfulness. There are moments where the two get along and partner in the plot line, but they happen to be rare. Sharky loves to bite things, mostly mail carriers. Sharky also has quite a bit of skill as a craftsman, he is constantly rebuilding his doghouse after Eek accidentally destroys it. Like Snoopy's doghouse, the interior of Sharky's doghouse resembles a cavernous mansion with several floors and a garage. Sharky has a curious affiliation with firearms and explosives, which often backfires on himself. In many cases Sharky and Eek's relationship follows a subtly satisfying pattern of karma.
  • Elmo the Elk (also known as Elmo: The Brown Nosed Reindeer, Incredible Elmo – Eek!'s extremely inept but loyal friend. Elmo typically maintains a courageous façade but is actually quite cowardly. He typically works as a stunt man or in some form of action career. He also believes that there are 31 days in the month of June.
  • Mom – The apparently single mother of the family that owns Eek!. Voiced by Elinor Donahue. Does a lot of house cleaning and is a student of foreign languages, especially "Spangalese".[4] Once on a flight to England she listened to a tape of British-accented English, a language she found especially challenging. A running gag features her absent-minded listening to foreign language cassettes, reciting the nonsensical translations of English phrases while unknowingly causing mayhem.
  • Wendy Elizabeth and J.B. (voiced by Elizabeth Daily and Charles Adler) – The children of the family that owns Eek!, normal kids and are whiny and spoiled. They watch a lot of television. Their favorite show is The Squishy Bearz Rainbow of Enchanted Fun Minute, a spoof of the Care Bears.
  • Annabelle – A female cat and Eek's girlfriend who acts like a Southern belle. She is also extremely fat, although Eek! does not seem aware of this (he responds, genuinely surprised, "Really?" whenever someone comments on Annabelle's weight), he just sees Annabelle as being very beautiful. He is attributed as saying about Annabelle: "The more of you there is, the more there is to love." Despite her weight, her arms and legs are very skinny. Eek! fell in love with Annabelle the first time he saw her, when he was hit by the arrow of a one-winged cupid.
  • Timmy – Elmo's brother. He constantly needs money for various absurd medical ailments which Elmo tries to raise with Eek!'s help. These usually consist of very dangerous stunts that only harm Eek! when he gets involved.
  • Mittens in 1998-1999 then by John Kassir – Eek!'s friend who is also a cat. His fur is blue, he always wears red mittens, and he belongs to an old woman with failing sight. He suffers from extreme paranoia and he always ends a sentence with the word "Man" (e.g. LOOK OUT, MAN!!). Mittens appears to have been based on Dennis Hopper's unnamed photojournalist character from Apocalypse Now, even portraying the equivalent character in the episode "Eekpocalypse Now!"
  • The Squishy Bearz – Four colorful bears with their own children's TV program called The Squishy Bearz Rainbow of Enchanted Fun Minute; they're an obvious parody of the Care Bears. Kozy (yellow), Puffy (blue) and Wuz Wuz (pink) all have happy and friendly attitudes. The fourth bear, Pierre (green), who speaks with a French accent and wears a beret, is bitter and cynical. Kozy (except in "Bearz 'N The Hood" and "Catsanova", Puffy and Wuz Wuz, and Pierre
  • Steven – A squirrel who lives in a nearby tree with his wife and four children. Steven and his family are so incredibly boring that even Eek can't stand being around them for long.
  • Piggy the Penguin – First appearing in the episode "The Lord of the Fleas" (an obvious parody of Lord of the Flies), Piggy is a small penguin with thick eyeglasses who can often be seen sporting a pig mask. He is often seen in the company of a larger and deeper-voiced penguin as they take part in the bizarre circumstances of the show. Often, in a running gag, Piggy will discover something strange and attempt to inform his larger companion, who then responds by saying "Shut up Piggy!" Piggy has a distinct British accent, another reference to The Lord of the Flies. Piggy returns several times in quick cameos and occasionally takes a larger role.
  • Hank and Jib A pair of government scientists who make recurring appearances, often clutching a cup of coffee each and conversing in dull tones, their words are usually punctuated with 'ums' and 'ers'. A running gag in the show involves the two at a ground station in the company of other scientists after finally getting the Hubble Telescope to work, only for it to be struck by a character or object from the show's main story, causing it to either malfunction or to point to somewhere on Earth. This often results in either some celebrity showing up on the monitor or the monitor simply going black, which the pair of scientists obliviously acknowledge as being the fruit of their research, followed by Hank inquiring, "Who wants lunch?"
  • Zoltar - An evil alien bent on destroying Earth by capturing Annabelle and using her as a battery for their planet-destroying laser. His attempts are always being thwarted by Eek and his friends.

The Terrible Thunderlizards[edit]

The Terrible Thunderlizards segment was introduced in the middle of the second season of Eek! The Cat. Like Eek!, this segment was also created by Holland and Kopp.[3][5] It ran from November 20, 1993, to July 28, 1997. The show was originally intended to be a spin off from Eek! The Cat,[5] but it aired as a weekly segment on Eek! Stravaganza.

Like Eek!, the segment was produced by Fox and Savage Studios with animation by Nelvana. The segment chronicled the misadventures of a trio of dinosaur mercenaries released from incarceration and charged with the task of eliminating two primitive human beings. However, despite their superior size and firepower and the obliviousness of their targets, the mercenaries always fail with comedic results. When the Thunderlizards are not after the humans, they must protect Jurassic City from the Thuggosaurs.[6]

Klutter[edit]

Main article: Klutter!

The Klutter segment came in the fourth season of Eek! Stravaganza in 1995.[3] It followed Ryan and Wade Heap and their pet Klutter, who they created from a pile of junk because they couldn't have a real dog due to their father's allergies. There are other characters in the show, like Sandee Heap, who was lonely at first, before Klutter came into their lives. They went on mysteries, a la Scooby Doo like to save animals and solve crimes.

Klutter ended in February 1996 with 8 segments. Unlike Eek! and Thunderlizards, the segment was created by David Silverman and Holland along with being animated by Film Roman. Some fans consider Klutter as a combination of Eek! and The Critic (the crew from The Critic worked on Klutter after its demise in early 1995 on Fox).

Production[edit]

The original idea for the show came from Savage Steve Holland's experience as a cat owner. One of his cats was named Eek.[7][8] In an early design, Eek was colored pink instead of purple. The series was originally titled The Six and a Half Lives of Eek the Cat.

The show premiered on the now-defunct Fox Kids block in 1992 as Eek! The Cat. Thirteen 20 minute episodes were produced for its first season. A recurring character named Mr. Iwanter was a caricature of then-Fox Kids executive Sid Iwanter.[9]

For the second season in 1993, the show's format was retooled (except It's A Very Merry Eek's Mas, which originally aired as a prime-time special). In each episode were two nine minute segments. One was Eek! the Cat. The other was often The Terrible Thunderlizards. The Thunderlizards segments were intended to air at the start of the season, but it began two months later because of production delays.[5] When they started airing, the series title was changed to Eek! And The Terrible Thunderlizards. Also, the creators originally intended to include two one minute segments. The first would feature the Squishy Bearz, and the second one were to feature other characters from Eek!. However, because the show turned out to be too long, the one minute segments were scrapped. In January 1994, Fox aired four Thunderlizards segments as two Thunderlizards specials.

During the season, Kopp left the show (though he still did the voice of Eek and others) for his own show, The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show for Disney,[3] which would later own Eek! as well.

For the third season in 1994, the name was changed once again to Eek! Stravaganza, keeping the same format that was used in the second season.

In the fall of 1995, another segment called Klutter was added, rotating with the Thunderlizards. This segment lasted a year. Kato Kaelin was originally scheduled to be a guest voice in an episode,[10] but the Fox network refused.[11]

Fox canceled Eek! Stravaganza in November 1996, though they eventually aired the final episodes in the summer of 1997.

Most episodes of Eek! Stravaganza were then re-run from August 1998 to April 1999 on Fox Family.

For years, all that was available commercially was a single VHS tape with the episodes Catsanova and HawaiiEek 5-0 on it. It was released in 1995.[12][13] On July 23, 2001, Eek! and other properties of Saban Entertainment were sold to The Walt Disney Company.[14] As of 2011, no word from Disney has been spoken about releasing the series to DVD.[15]

Several episodes of the series used to be available to watch on the ABC Family website and was also seen on the Jetix and Jetix Play channels in some parts of Europe.

Reception[edit]

In his review of the pilot episode, Entertainment Weekly writer Bob Cannon graded the show a C.[2]

Cast[edit]

  • Bill Kopp .... Eek! The Cat, Jib, Additional Voices
  • Savage Steve Holland .... Elmo The Elk, Additional Voices
  • Elizabeth Daily .... Wendy Elizabeth (1992-1995), Kozy (II, on Cape Fur until the end of the show), Additional Voices
  • Charles Adler ..... Granny (1992, 1995), Additional Voices
  • Cam Clarke .... Puffy, Wuz Wuz, Piggy the Penguin, Additional Voices
  • Elinor Donahue .... Mom (1992-1995, 1997), Additional Voices
  • Dan Castellaneta .... Mittens (1992-1994), Hank, Additional Voices (1992-1995)
  • Tawny Kitaen .... Annabelle (I, 1992-1995)
  • Jaid Barrymore .... Kozy (I, the 2nd and 3rd episode), Additional Voices (1992-1995)
  • Brad Garrett .... Additional Voices
  • Gary Owens .... Announcer, Additional Voices
  • Karen Haber .... Annabelle (II, filled in for Tawny in 1994-1995, and permanently in 1997)
  • John Kassir .... Mittens (1994-1997), Additional Voices

Cameo appearances[edit]

Celebrities made cameo appearances as themselves on the show, unless otherwise noted. (Also, Bill Kopp and Savage Steve Holland appeared as themselves in the show.)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Solomon, Charles (September 19, 1992). "TV REVIEWS : Cartoons Seek a Gleeful Insanity in New Season". The Los Angeles Times (USA). Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Cannon, Bob (October 2, 1992). "TV Review Eek! The Cat (1992)". Entertainment Weekly issue #138 (USA). Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d Reboy, Judith (Summer 1996). "Eekstravaganza Update". Animato! Magazine #35. p. 13. Archived from the original on 29 June 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Learn to Speak Spangalese
  5. ^ a b c Reboy, Joseph A. (Fall–Winter 1993). "What Happened to The Terrible Thunderlizards?". Animato! Magazine #27. p. 25. Archived from the original on 29 June 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Terrible Thunderlizards". TV Acres. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  7. ^ Stulce, Corey (March 26, 1998). "13 Inane Questions with Savage Steve Holland". USA: siue.edu. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Thomas, Jake (March 21, 2007). "NET presents… 19 questions with - I Shot It .NET". ishotit.net. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Totally Kids Magazine #20. Autumn 1995. p. 32. "Animated as "Mr. Old Man Iwanter" in Eek! The Cat" 
  10. ^ A.J. Benza; Michael Lewittes (March 26, 1995). "KATO ON KIDDY SHOW? CAT'S GOT HIS TONGUE". New York Daily News. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  11. ^ Cuprisin, Tim (March 31, 1995). "KATO KUDOS TO FOX". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Eek! The Cat at AllMovie
  13. ^ Eek! the Cat: Eekstravaganza: Catsanova & Hawaii-Eek 5-0 at Amazon.com
  14. ^ Saban (July 23, 2001). "News Corp. and Haim Saban Reach Agreement to Sell Fox Family Worldwide to Disney for $5.3 Billion". Retrieved 1 May 2011. "As part of the transaction, Disney will acquire the Fox Family Channel, a fully distributed cable channel reaching 81 million U.S. homes; Saban Entertainment Inc., a production, distribution and merchandising company with one of the world's largest libraries of children's programs at over 6,500 half hours" 
  15. ^ Matheson, Whitney (April 15, 2011). "The Candy Mailbag: Answering your Q's!". USA: USA Today. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 

External links[edit]