Men in Black: The Series

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Men in Black: The Series
Men in Black The Series.jpg
Genre Action/Adventure
Comedy
Science fiction
Based on
Developed by
Voices of Ed O'Ross
Gregg Berger
Keith Diamond
Jennifer Lien
Jennifer Martin
Charles Napier
Theme music composer Jim Latham
Composer(s) Jim Latham
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 53 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Laurie MacDonald
Walter F. Parkes
Richard Raynis
Rafael Rosado
Producer(s) Kim Bass
Duane Capizzi
Frank Paur
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Amblin Entertainment
Adelaide Productions
Columbia TriStar Television
Distributor Columbia TriStar Television (2001-2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002-present)
Sony Pictures Television International (2002-2009)
Release
Original channel The WB (Kids' WB)
Original release October 11, 1997 (1997-10-11) – June 30, 2001 (2001-06-30)
Chronology
Preceded by Men in Black

Men in Black: The Series, also known as MIB: The Series and Men in Black: The Animated Series, is an American animated television series that originally aired on The WB's Kids' WB programming block from October 11, 1997 to June 30, 2001.[1] The show features characters from 1997's science fiction film Men in Black,[2] which was based on the comic book series The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham,[3] originally published by Marvel / Malibu Comics. The series was produced by Adelaide Productions Inc., a division of Columbia TriStar Television, and Amblin Entertainment as a half-hour series originally airing on Saturday mornings, and later moving to weekdays during the final run. It was a more detailed T.V. series of the movie saga.

Synopsis[edit]

MIB: The Series was based on the 1997 blockbuster Men In Black. However, despite using characters and concepts from the film, the animated continuity is separate from the film continuity. In this animated series, Agent K was never neuralized and is still an MIB agent [2] and Agent J's partner. At numerous points, Agent J is unfamiliar with personal details of Agent K and aspects of aliens living on Earth despite learning of them in the film. Agent L, despite being a new agent at the end of the 1997 film, is said to have joined MIB before Agent J and works in the lab at Men in Black Headquarters. The headquarters itself was no longer under the ventilator building of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, but now at what looked like a disused area under LaGuardia airport.

These differences are possibly addressed in the episode "The Star System Syndrome," where it is revealed that every so often some writer or Hollywood-type learns of the MIB and makes a movie about them, possibly hinting that the live-action movie was one of these incidents. There were some further differences in appearances in the characters in the cartoon. Agent L had blonde hair, blue eyes and a different hairstyle, Agent J did not have a mustache like he had in the trilogy, and Zed had white hair and no goatee like he had in the first two films. Zed's eyes were also dramatically shaded in to give an impression of a lack of sleep. After season one, Agent K received a new voice actor and a facial redesign that made him appear younger, with the lines in his face removed, his eye color changed from brown to blue, and his hair color changed from gray-brown to red-brown.

The show had varied writing in its episodes. Several episodes were based on the plot of the film, and brought back characters like the Bugs and the Arquillians, though the latter are portrayed as peaceful and benevolent despite the 1997 film showing them willing to destroy the Earth. The series itself had a long-running plot where the MIB fought Alpha, a former MIB chief who previously had been Agent K's friend and mentor. Eventually, Alpha had turned maverick with greed and sought to achieve immortality by assimilating rare alien body parts into his body. He became a prominent recurring character of the series. Ultimately, the basic plot formula was for the MIB to protect the Earth from harm, and this extended into keeping peace throughout the galaxy. Technology, as well as intergalactic politics and peacekeeping played a part, along with common criminal activity on a science fiction level. A cliché in the series was a scene where it seems like Agent K was killed in some terrible way, only to be proven alive later in the episode. Other running gags in the series included K frequently denying J's requests to drive his car, and the MIB agents using the cover-up "Division 6" when introducing themselves to civilians or other unaffiliated government agencies (i.e. "Fire Marshall, Division 6" or "United Nations Security, Division 6").

Voice Cast[edit]

Characters[edit]

Character Voice Actor Notes
Agent K Ed O'Ross [Season 1], Gregg Berger [Seasons 2-4] Agent K was born in 1940 and he is a top agent and a founder of the organization. He is an agent who is extremely respected, and after working at the organisation for nearly 40 years, he shows nearly no emotion. At the time of the current events, Kay is not neuralyzed as he is the movie and is still an agent working for the organisation. He is still partner to J. He and J must constantly fight off his old partner Alpha, who was his mentor until he betrayed the organisation and left K for dead after finding a cosmic integrator. This incident deeply affected K and is implied to have caused him to become a grouchy person, as he was once known as the MIB's Mr. Happy.
Agent J Keith Diamond Agent J was born in 1965 and he is one of the main agents of the organisation, after being recruited by Agent K. He is energetic, and tries to bring life and emotion back to the bland organization. At one point J arrests the alien Jarra who was attempting to steal the Earth's Ozone and sell it on the Black Market. Unlike the movie, he remains somewhat of a sidekick to Agent K.
Agent L Jennifer Lien [Seasons 1-3], Jennifer Martin [Season 4] Agent L is a morgue worker who joins the MiB after she helps Agent K and J stop The Bug from stealing The Galaxy. She doesn't become a field agent, instead she stays in the medical section of the organization. In Season 4, she becomes a field agent with Agent X as her partner.
Chief Zed Charles Napier The head of the organisation. He runs the entire operation, and everyone answers to him. He is usually shown in his office, which is high above the main floor of the headquarters. It is known that Alpha was the head of the organisation before Zed. It is known that he took the job of director at some point prior to the incident with Serlena and the Light of Zartha, which happened in 1978.
Agent D John Mariano Agent D is Agent K's former partner, who is now retired. He was a founding member of the organisation. He is seen enjoying his retirement with his wife, before he is wiped out of existence, as a result of the actions of a time traveling alien-hating bigot. However, history is restored by the actions of Agent K and a Cerebro-Enhanced Agent J, bringing him back to life.
Jack Jeebs Tony Shalhoub [Season 1], Billy West [Seasons 2-4] Jack Jeebs is a humanoid alien who runs a pawn shop, carrying both alien and human merchandise. Jeebs' head is frequently blasted off but grows back. Unlike his brother, he hates the stinging sensation caused by the process.
Edgar The Bug Vincent D'Onofrio Edgar is a bug alien that survives by eating mounds of sugar and the main antagonist of the film until he was killed by Agent L. He was a personal friend of Frank The Pug and his only appearance in the series was himself being destroyed in a flashback by Agent L; as seen in the film.
Frank The Pug Eddie Barth Frank the Pug is an extraterrestrial living on Earth in New York City in the disguise of a pug. He actually belongs to the Remoolian family species. It is later revealed that the "human" at Frank's newspaper stand is merely a robot, and also that Frank's true alien form still resembles a pug, albeit with a dark green color, antennas, and a 3-pointed tail.
The Worm Aliens Patrick Pinney and Pat Fraley Four alien Worms that love to drink coffee and hang out in the organisation's break room. They are renowned for knowing many figures of speech and the organisation rulebook inside-out. They occasionally help out K or J with their work. In the alternate future, the worms are shown as the dominant race after they got slimed and multiplied.
Arquillians N/A An Arquillian is a member of a race of tiny humanoid aliens. Arquillians have large heads and eyes, but have a small body. Due to their small size, Arquillians hide in human-like exosuits. The Arquillians are the possesers of the Arquillian Galaxy and will not stand for it being lost or stolen. The Arquillians also have a royal family, implying that they have a monarchy. J and K are sent to help an Arquillian who is choking on seafood. They help him, and he comes to thank them. However, when he hears about J's predicament, he tells J he might as well have jumped off the Empire State Building.
Baltians N/A The first race of aliens encountered by the original agents of the organisation. They are a tall, slender species that vaguely resemble Grey Aliens. Agent K gave them flowers to greet them. The Baltians return to Earth every ten years to provide new alien technologies to help fund the organisation.
Idikiukup and Bob Patrick Pinney and Pat Fraley
Alpha David Warner Alpha is Agent K's former mentor, who got greedy with alien technology and now uses it to integrate alien body parts into his body in an attempt to obtain immortality. He is the sworn enemy of the M.I.B. and Agent K, battling them before being jailed with his alien parts removed and placed on life support. Allying himself with Vangus after escaping the organization, Alpha turned himself into a cyborg. J often mockingly calls him "Alfalfa". He is the main antagonist of the series.
Buzzard Sherman Howard A Zombarian bounty hunter who is an occasional adversary of Agents J and K.
Dak Jeebs Billy West Jack Jeebs' twin brother. Like Jeebs, he is immortal, yet unlike Jeebs, he actually likes the "stinging" sensation that occurs when his head is blown off. He also considers himself to be the more handsome of the two.
Drekk Ron Perlman Drekk is alien who has a long criminal record, referred to as a "rap sheet longer than Van Allen's belt", according to Chief Zed. He broke out of the Alpha-Centuri Maximum Security wing, after being a certified psycho felon and former cell-mate of Frank the Pug. Drekk shoots fire out of the palms of his hands and likes to plan getting even with everyone that has crossed him since the first grade, usually by boiling them alive real slow. He has a bad habit of picking his feet.
The Emperor Worm Vincent D'Onofrio The Emperor Worm is the leader of the Worms. Unlike the other Worms, the Emperor is "large and in-charge". He is hugely fat, and almost double the height of the worms. He usually shows up un-announced to the organisation. Here he usually brings two big cases which the agents always carry in. The Emperor is careless and defenseless, so the other Worms must watch him. He is also disappointed in the Worms, as Coffee is only reserved for royalty.
Agent H Kurtwood Smith One of the founding members of the Men-In Black. He was responsible for most of the MIB's medical equipment.
Agent Q N/A One of the founding members of the organisation. He was responsible for the weapons and vehicles that the organization use. When Q was erased from history, all the weapons and vehicles he developed were erased too, as well as reducing the organisation headquarters to a manicure workshop, although history was later restored so that the organisation would get founded.
Aileen Beth Broderick A female alien and agent who has a long working and romantic relationship with K. Aileen is a blue skinned humanoid, and members of her species can transform their hands into tendrils. She lost her former partner to an alien shapeshifter called an Inanimate. She is later assigned another partner named Eidi, whom she treats similarly to K's treatment of J, such as not being allowed to drive. Like K, she is a legendary agent on her home planet.
Eidi N/A Aileen's rookie partner who was assigned to her after the capture of the Inanimate. She is the same species as Aileen, yet is taller and slightly bulkier. She works aside Aileen transporting a sonic powered alien named Aldoosi into custody, only for it to escape during transport, forcing her and Aileen to team up with J and K. Eidi becomes intent on recapturing Aldoosi, as she views his escape as a failure on her part. While chasing Aldoosi with J, she commandeers the LTD, despite J's objections and her own admission that Aileen doesn't let her drive either, and ends up crashing it, however J takes the blame for the crash. Working together, J and Eidi manage to capture Aldoosi. Eidi and J bond while working the case due to their shared status as being rookie agents who happen to be partnered with their planet's best agent.
Agent U N/A An average agent who is a bit of a kiss-up. His name before joining the organisation was Upton, which J easily deduce. There is a running gag where U's agent codename and the word "you" are often confused.
Agent E N/A An average agent who also worked in Hollywood, specializing in getting work for aliens in movies and television shows. Most of her clients resemble aliens like the Xenomorph and Alf.
Agent X Adam Baldwin A big-eared, green-skinned alien originating from the G-Dan galaxy. X was recruited into the organization as Elle's partner, to smooth over human-alien relations. X's demeanor is usually callous towards humans, believing that humans have a superiority complex. Though he has an impeccable record, X was suspended six times in his home galaxy.
Dr. Zan'dozz Zeeltor Steve Kehela A blue-skinned humanoid alien who replaces Elle as chief scientific officer of the organization. He is very eccentric about the simple items around Earth. Most of his inventions usually cause more harm around J, such as a sticky note pad that started to constrict him. Zeeltor has a pet named Lucy, or more specifically a Futavian colony bacteria that makes a roaring sound.
Troy The Symbiote Rino Romano A young adventurous symbiote who has a playful relationship with J. His dream is to work for the organization, much to his mother's distress.
Edwin The Bug Vincent D'Onofrio Edwin the Bug is an alien bug who is the twin brother of Edgar the Bug. Edwin is sent by the Bug Queen to get revenge on whoever killed Edgar. While searching, Edwin finally finds Elle, the woman who killed Edgar, before she was an agent. Edwin takes Elle hostage, and after it seems all was lost for K, J, and Elle, the Worms come in to stop him. When other Bug bounty hunters needed sugar, the Worms gave them their sugared coffee and the bounty hunters fire guns at Edwin, killing him just like how his brother was killed.
Queen Bug Mary Kay Bergman The queen of Edwin and Edgar's planet. She sends Edwin to earth to uncover Edgar's killer, but is ultimately unsuccessful in doing so. She later attempts to visit earth herself, but fails to find a ship suitable for transport.
Klah'Mikk N/A A paperwork filing alien who works for the organisation.
The Fmecks N/A The evil warmongering counterparts of the Arquillians.
The Ixions N/A A race of oil-loving creatures, who with the help of their leader, Vangus, attempt to plunder the earth's oil in order to sell it on the intergalactic market. However, they were unsuccessful, and were ultimately defeated by Alpha.
Vangus Billy West Vangus is the leader of the Ixions, a race of oil-loving aliens. Years ago, Vangus led the Ixions in an attempt to plunder Earth's oil, which is an extremely valuable commodity on the intergalactic market. They were stopped by Alpha. Thirty years later, Vangus returns, forcing the organisation to turn to Alpha, whom they have in their custody at the time, to learn how to defeat them. Alpha's information got results, but at the cost of his manipulating J into helping him escape, and ally himself with Vangus. J eventually managed to thwart both of them, forestalling the Ixion invasion. Vangus and Alpha later team up to conquer the Earth. Vangus uses the Ixion armada to lay waste to the lands, leading to catastrophic destruction across the world, as well as seemingly incontrovertible proof of hostile alien life. Earth puts up a powerful resistance, and while Vangus celebrates the success of his forces, Alpha becomes impatient and destroys the organisation headquarters itself. To their disappointment, the organisation lives on. J and K go into space to stop Vangus and Alpha, but are caught and put into a cell. In the meantime, however, Vangus becomes even more impatient, since he expected destroying the organisation headquarters to bring "instant victory". Vangus decides to cut their losses, destroy Earth itself with a powerful missile, and reap its oil later, despite Alpha's objections that that will leave him no populace to rule. Vangus turns Alpha's metaphor of "You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs" against him, which does nothing to convince him, and a fight breaks out. Vangus knocks off one of Alpha's cannon arms, which slides over to J. J uses it to shoot both Vangus and Alpha. Vangus is stunned, but recovers long enough to set a missile to destroy Earth and escape, claiming that he will be back to "clean up the mess". Despite Vangus' plans, however, Earth is saved.

Home video releases[edit]

In the United States, six episodes from the first half of the first season were issued on three two-episode VHS volumes, all made available on March 16, 1999. The United Kingdom received a similar release on August 19, 2002, however, all six episodes were released on one bumper VHS instead of three two-episode volumes. The release also included a bonus seventh episode, which was actually episode one, billed as the "pilot episode".[4] It was then announced that the remainder of the show's first season, episodes 8-13, would be exclusively released in the region, being made available on VHS on January 24, 2003.[5] On July 12, 2004, the first three episodes of the first season were issued on DVD for the first time by UCA Pictures. Further releases were planned, but sales were not strong enough to warrant any other DVD releases from UCA.[6] The entire first season was issued on DVD for the first time on July 4, 2007 in Australia, via Sony Pictures Entertainment. The set contained two discs, one containing seven episodes and the other containing the remaining six. On July 16, 2007, the set was made available in the United Kingdom, however, was this time split up into two separate volumes instead of a whole box set.[7][8] On May 11, 2012, the entire first season was released on DVD for the first time in the United States, being made available as an exclusive product for Target stores in the country.[9] Thus far, no plans have been announced to issue any further seasons of the show on DVD. On April 2, 2012, all 53 episodes of the show were made available on the Canadian Netflix service.

Award[edit]

Daytime Emmy Awards

  • 2002Outstanding Sound Editing - Special Class - Roshaun Hawley, Paca Thomas, Dan Cubert and Marc S. Perlman (won)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fritz, Steve (September 18, 2000). "MEN IN BLACK and JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES". Mania. USA. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Raiti, Gerard (January 9, 1998). "Mania: Animated Men in Black". Mania. Archived from the original on January 10, 1998. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Allstetter, Rob (1998). "Mania: Men In Black Animated Series". Mania. USA. Archived from the original on January 16, 1999. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Men In Black - The Animated Series: Volume 1 [VHS]: Men in Black [Volume 1]: Amazon.co.uk: Video". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  5. ^ "Men in Black - the animated series vol 2: Amazon.co.uk: Video". Amazon.co.uk. 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  6. ^ "Men In Black - The Animated Series: Volume 1 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Men in Black: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  7. ^ "Men In Black - The Animated Series: Season 1 - Volume 1 DVD 2007: Amazon.co.uk: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  8. ^ "Men In Black - The Animated Series: Season 1 - Volume 2 DVD 2007: Amazon.co.uk: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  9. ^ "Men in Black TV Series - OAT". Target. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 

External links[edit]