Earthworm Jim (TV series)

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Earthworm Jim
Earthworm Jim.jpg
GenreAdventure
Animation
Comedy
Science fiction action
Slapstick
Created byDoug TenNapel
Developed byDoug Langdale
Voices ofDan Castellaneta
Jeff Bennett
Charles Adler
Jim Cummings
Edward Hibbert
John Kassir
Andrea Martin
Kath Soucie
Narrated byJeff Bennett
Theme music composerWilliam Kevin Anderson
Opening theme"Earthworm Jim", performed by William Kevin Anderson
Ending theme"Earthworm Jim" (instrumental)
Composer(s)William Kevin Anderson / Patrick Griffin
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes23
Production
Executive producer(s)David Perry
Doug TenNapel
Producer(s)Kathi Castillo
Roy Allen Smith
Editor(s)Jay Bixsen
Running time25 minutes
Production company(s)AKOM
Flextech
The Children's Channel
Shiny Entertainment
Universal Cartoon Studios
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Release
Original networkKids' WB
Original releaseSeptember 9, 1995 (1995-09-09) – December 13, 1996 (1996-12-13)

Earthworm Jim is an American animated television series based on the video game with the same name, which has appeared on Kids' WB[1][2] for two seasons from September 9, 1995 to 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]

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 a cold opening of 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 the line: "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).

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 and his assistant Henchrat, 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.

Voice cast[edit]

The voice director for the series was Ginny McSwain.

Main[edit]

  • Dan Castellaneta – Earthworm Jim, Evil Jim, The Hamsternator, Turns-His-Eyelids-Inside-Out Boy, Jim's Four Brains, The Grim Reaper, Jaepius: God of Puns
  • Jeff Bennett – Peter Puppy, The Narrator, Evil Peter, Puice Dynamo, The President of the United States, The Great Worm Spirit
  • Charlie Adler – Professor Monkey-For-A-Head, The Doorman of The Gods, Superhero #1
  • Jim Cummings – Psy-Crow, Bob The Killer Goldfish, Johnny Dactyl, Walter, Zantor: Master of The Flying Toupée, The Sword of Righteousness, Phlegmaphus: God of Nasal Discharge, Lower Back-Pain Man, The Giant Fur-Bearin' Trout, Santa Claus
  • 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, Cody

Additional[edit]

Production[edit]

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

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

Two seasons of the series were produced, for a total of 23 episodes.

Season Episodes Originally Aired
First Aired Last Aired
1 13 September 9, 1995 (1995-09-09) February 24, 1996 (1996-02-24)
2 10 September 7, 1996 (1996-09-07) December 13, 1996 (1996-12-13)

Season 1 (1995–1996)[edit]

No. In Series No. In Season Title Written By Original Air Date
11"Sidekicked"Doug LangdaleSeptember 9, 1995 (1995-09-09)
After Peter botches one of their adventures by turning into a monster and attacking him, Jim begins looking for a new sidekick. Meanwhile, Psy-Crow has more than he can handle when he kidnaps Princess-What's-Her-Name.
22"The Book of Doom"Doug LangdaleSeptember 16, 1995 (1995-09-16)
Due to a printing error, Jim's pop-up book contains the Mystic Secret of Ultimate Destruction, which Evil the Cat seeks to possess.
33"Assault And Battery"Thomas HartSeptember 23, 1995 (1995-09-23)
Jim must find a new power source after his super suit is drained.
44"Day of The Fish"Doug LangdaleSeptember 30, 1995 (1995-09-30)
Bob the Killer Goldfish attempts to steal Jim's super suit.
55"Conqueror Worm"Doug LangdaleOctober 7, 1995 (1995-10-07)
Due to a photocopy machine accident, Jim creates an evil duplicate of himself, Evil Jim, and the real Jim is arrested for Evil Jim's crimes.
66"Upholstered Peril"John LoyOctober 14, 1995 (1995-10-14)
Professor Monkey-For-A-Head tries to conquer the world with cybernetic furniture.
77"Sword of Righteousness"Steve RobertsOctober 21, 1995 (1995-10-21)
Jim finds an enchanted sword in a vending machine sandwich who begins training him in sort of what is considered the ways of a true hero.
88"The Egg Beater"Jim Peterson, John Behnke & Rob HumphreyOctober 28, 1995 (1995-10-28)
Jim loses his neighbor's eggbeater and takes her on a journey to recover it, encountering all of his enemies along the way.
99"Trout!"Henry GilroyNovember 4, 1995 (1995-11-04)
After receiving a postcard, Jim sets out to see the legendary Giant Fur-Bearin' Trout.
1010"The Great Secret of The Universe"Doug LangdaleNovember 11, 1995 (1995-11-11)
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.
1111"Bring Me The Head of Earthworm Jim"Doug LangdaleNovember 18, 1995 (1995-11-18)
Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head reminisce about the time they captured Earthworm Jim by replacing his supersuit with a weak duplicate.
1212"Queen What's Her Name"Doug LangdaleNovember 25, 1995 (1995-11-25)
Princess What's-Her-Name finally overthrows her tyrannical sister Queen Slug-For-A-Butt.
1313"The Anti-Fish"Doug LangdaleFebruary 24, 1996 (1996-02-24)
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]

No. In Series No. In Season Title Written By Original Air Date
141"The Origins of Peter Puppy"Doug LangdaleSeptember 7, 1996 (1996-09-07)
Jim and Peter travel through Peter's subconscious to try to discover the reasons for Peter's transformations.
152"Opposites Attack!"Doug LangdaleSeptember 14, 1996 (1996-09-14)
Evil Jim attempts to create evil versions of Jim's friends, with less than stellar results.
163"Darwin's Nightmare"Doug LangdaleSeptember 28, 1996 (1996-09-28)
Bob discovers a way to hyper-evolve himself to higher lifeforms.
174"The Exile of Lucy"Doug LangdaleOctober 5, 1996 (1996-10-05)
Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head overthrow Queen Slug-For-A-Butt, but they quickly prove to be even worse rulers than her.
185"Evil In Love"Doug LangdaleOctober 26, 1996 (1996-10-26)
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.
196"Hyper Psy-Crow"Doug LangdaleNovember 2, 1996 (1996-11-02)
Psy-Crow overdoses on coffee and becomes hyper-powered.
207"Peanut of The Apes"Doug LangdaleNovember 9, 1996 (1996-11-09)
Professor Monkey-For-A-Head tries to turn everyone on earth into apes while Jim tries to introduce "viewer interactivity" on the show.
218"Lounge Day's Journey Into Night"Thomas HartNovember 16, 1996 (1996-11-16)
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.
229"Wizard of Ooze"Doug LangdaleNovember 22, 1996 (1996-11-22)
Jim and Peter are transported to an alternate dimension akin to The Wizard of Oz.
2310"For Whom The Jingle Bell Tolls"John LoyDecember 13, 1996 (1996-12-13)[4]
Queen Slug-For-A-Butt tries to brainwash Santa Claus.

Broadcast history[edit]

In the United States, the show was aired on Kids' WB on WB Television Network.[2] In the UK, it was shown on Channel 4 and TCC (The Children's Channel) in the 90s, and in the 2000s, the show has seen occasional reruns on Nickelodeon. The cartoon was broadcast in the Republic of Ireland on RTÉ Two in 1997.[5]

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 considered rare.

On June 1, 2011, Via Vision Entertainment released the complete series as a 5-disc set in Australia and New Zealand.[6]

The complete series was intended to receive a U.S. DVD release from Visual Entertainment on July 10, 2012 (2012-07-10), but was delayed right before release to late October.[7][8] The set includes all 23 episodes on 3 discs, and is currently available on Amazon.com.[9]

Name Release Date Episodes Region Additional Information
Vol. 1: Bring Me the Head of Earthworm Jim / Sword of Righteousness April 9, 1996 (1996-04-09) 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Vol. 2: Conqueror Worm / Day of the Fish April 9, 1996 (1996-04-09) 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Vol. 3: Assault & Battery / Trout! April 9, 1996 (1996-04-09) 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Vol. 4: The Book of Doom / The Egg Beater April 9, 1996 (1996-04-09) 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series June 1, 2011 (2011-06-01) 23 4 Includes no bonus features.
Earthworm Jim: Complete Series November 2012 (2012-11) 23 1 Includes no bonus features.

Reception[edit]

The Earthworm Jim television series received generally positive reviews from critics and audiences, for being one of Doug TenNapel's best creations, and having the originality of the 1994 video game of the same name.

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 into the animated series.[citation needed]

A line of action figures based on the show was released by Playmates Toys. 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.[10] 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 Hamsternator among others.[11]

In April 2017, Netflix was planning a possible reboot under the title of: The new adventures of Earthworm Jim, however, so far, nothing has resulted from this announcement.[12] It remains as a missed opportunity and speculated as debunked.

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. ^ The Big Cartoon DataBase (13 December 1996). "For Whom The Jingle Bell Tolls (1996) Episode 74508- Earthworm Jim Cartoon Episode Guide". Big Cartoon DataBase (BCDB).
  5. ^ RTÉ Guide: 10–16. September 1997. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series". www.viavision.com.au. Archived from the original on 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  7. ^ "Earthworm Jim DVD news: Delay for Earthworm Jim – The Complete Series". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  8. ^ "Earthworm Jim DVD news: New Release Date for Earthworm Jim – The Complete Series". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-30. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Earthworm Jim (Playmates) – Action Figure Checklist". Figurerealm.com. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  11. ^ "A Fistful of Suck: Canceled Action Figure Cavalcade: Earthworm Jim". Afistfulofsuck.blogspot.com. 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  12. ^ "News – Interplay, TenNapel Partner For Earthworm Jim Game, Cartoon Revival". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2012-11-26.

External links[edit]