|Created by||John Gentile
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||Brandon Pender, AGE Inc.,
Barbara Lawrence, MSH
Art Direction and various credits
numerous 3D animators
|Running time||approx. 30 minutes|
|Original channel||FOX and Warner Bros. Syndication|
|Original run||September, 1997 – 1998|
Van-Pires is a computer animated children's television series (with live-action segments) that originally aired in the USA between 1997 and 1998 in syndication mostly on Fox and WB affiliates. It was produced by Abrahams/Gentile (New York), with CGI animation being produced under MSH (San Francisco).
The series was rated #1 in its time slot during several broadcasts in various United States and International markets. Van-Pires was the first children's CGI-animated television series to be produced using the 3D modeling and animation software 3D Studio MAX (aka 3ds max, Autodesk). It was only the third CGI-animated television series of its kind to use 3D animation in every episode, and ultimately received a Sci-Fi Award.
Van-Pires also had portions of its soundtrack written and performed by John Entwistle of the rock band The Who and Steve Luongo Entwistle's long-time friend, producer and drummer in The John Entwistle Band. A range of other talented voices and animators were involved in production of the series.
The Van-Pires synopsis and its stories center on a group of human teenagers who protect and defend the world from evil anthropomorphized junkyard vans and vehicles known as the "Van-Pires" by transforming into robotic anthropomorphized cars, calling themselves the "Motor-Vators".
Four ordinary teens were accidentally caught in the path of a falling meteor. The meteor transformed them into heroic robotic guardians to protect the night from the evil forces of Tracula (a reference to "Dracula") and the rest of the Van-Pires. Each Motor Vator has the ability to fly and they also share the same weaknesses as their enemies; like the Van-Pires, the Motor Vators require gas to sustain themselves and must avoid the sun at all costs. To transform, each hero gets into the driver's seat of his or her Carfin and shouts, "Mission Ignition!"
- Axle - The leader of the Motor Vators. He takes his role seriously and does what it takes to keep the team together. However, Axle can be too serious with his responsibilities either causing self-doubt when something goes awry or alienating one of the other Motor Vators. In his Motor Vator form, Axle's color scheme is yellow with red fire designs. These colors are the same as his Carfin, which resembles a Lincoln convertible.
- Snap - Snap is a very laid back person but is ready to jump into action when trouble rises. His Motor Vator form is blue with a purple trim. Snap's Carfin is a blue hippy van.
- Nuke - Nuke is the team's strongman and thrill seeker. His Motor Vator form is green and is modeled after a towtruck complete with hook and crane. Nuke's Carfin is also a green tow truck.
- Rev - The only girl of the group, but she gets down and dirty just like the rest of the guys. Sometimes, Rev is not afraid to show off her feminine side. In her Motor Vator form, she is a red fire truck and armed with a fire hose and axe. Her Carfin is a fire truck.
- Van He'llsing - The Motor Vator's friend and advisor. Van is an old hippy that runs Sunrise Salvage, a junkyard that the gang works and hangsout at. His name is derived from the famous Bram Stoker character Van Helsing.
- Gypsy - An old female gypsy cab with mufflers for arms. Gypsy was also created at the same time when the Motor Vators and Van-Pires were. She shows up at random times and gives the Motor Vators advice in the form of riddles.
- Greaspot - The Motor Vator's pet. His is a neon colored plastic tricycle with the behavioral instincts of a puppy.
The Villains of the series. Unlike the Motor Vators, they do not have human forms. Led by Tracula, they terrorize the night with a never-ending thirst for gasoline. Like vampires, Van-Pires feed off of vehicles and can sire other Van-Pires to accomplish their evil goals.
- Tracula - The leader of the Van-Pires. Tracula is a purple truck that demands obedience from his minions.
- Cardaver - A rusty and decrepit hunchbacked Van-Pire.
- Ambula - A female ambulance Van-Pire with six arms. She is armed with an assortment of surgical tools and anaesthesia.
- Automaniac - An ice cream truck with a clown motif. Automaniac appears goofy and harmless, but his arsenal of ice cream and balloon animals show otherwise.
- One episode featured a character named "Alucart", which is "Tracula" spelled backwards (in the same way that "Alucard" is Dracula spelled backwards).
Episode 1: Those Who Have the Fuel Shall Rule
Episode 2: Unleaded Zeppelin
Episode 3: A Few Good Cars
Episode 4: Mission Demolition or Night of Destruction?
Episode 5: Bride of Tracula
Episode 6: Tailpipes from the Crypt
Episode 7: Bad to the Cone
Episode 8: Nukenstein
Episode 9: A Car Is Born
Episode 10: The Swarm Storm
Episode 11: Revel Without a Car
Episode 12: One Million Miles B.C.
Episode 13: Uncool Fuel