Beetlejuice is one of those movies that I’ve never seen all the way through, but I’ve seen so many isolated bits and pieces over the years, I have at least a vague idea of how the film went. But if I’m wrong, stupid, and dumb, please forgive me.
But this is not the Beetlejuice movie, this is the Beetlejuice cartoon. It’s stupid.
Despite the good-enough Danny Elfman-y music, this intro right here already screams problems. Nelvana’s animation is its usual flat, yucky brand of mediocrity, and it reminds me of that awful Addams Family cartoon. Having each episode begin with Beetlejuice screaming in my face like an agitated wombat is neither scary nor amusing. It makes me want to change the channel.
And yet, somehow the show did very well. It lasted four seasons, was shown on both ABC and FOX, and has been repeated on Teletoon Retro. I can’t imagine anyone is nostalgic for this.
The series does not have Adam Baldwin or Geena Davis’ characters, but rather is all about Beetlejuice and the sexy-ass goth chick Lydia. At least, she was sexy until Nelvana got their hands on her.
She looks like fuckin’ Shelly Duvall now, for fuck’s sake.
Beetlejuice himself fares no better. His character design is an okay caricature of his appearance in the film, but for some reason a lot of the time he sounds like he’s voiced by Otto the bus driver.
There is one bright spot in the voice cast, however: Tara Strong. Thinking about Tara Strong makes me think about Rikku, and that allows me to tune out this shit-smear completely.
So, I could only get through the pilot before I got so annoyed with the show I wanted nothing more to do with it.
Anyway, despite Beetlejuice being the villain in the movie and Lydia kinda hating him, in the cartoon they’re just the bestest of fuckin’ pals. That “fuckin'” is for emphasis. They don’t fuck. Beetlejuice characters are sexless.
Apparently it’s their one year friendship anniversary and Beetlejuice begins the episode by begging the audience for money.It’s not even a joke, really. He’s just like hey kids, I’m broke. Smash your piggy banks open and send me the cash. Isn’t it annoying when you’re trying enjoy a show and they stop to beg for money?
I do like Lydia’s introduction, however. She’s pedaling up to the house in her much less hideous school outfit, singing “Day-O” because, fuck yeah banana boats.
Lydia’s parents are doing whatever oblivious cartoon parents do, and she has to baby-sit some screaming infant or other.
Lydia speaks some magical words into what appears to be a bong, and transports to the ghost world, where BJ wastes no time in acting like a fucking fool, much to the dismay of the audience.Beetlejuice of course can’t be the filthy, grubby guy he was in the film, so the cartoon turns him into a smelly Daffy Duck. You know, for the kids. Anyway, Lydia tells him she’s gotten a job and can’t hang out with him today, and BJ is hurt
Once he cottons onto the idea you can earn money from babysitting, he quickly decides to do some child-rearing of his own to make some scratch and buy Lydia a present. This whole story of course, operates under the ridiculous notion responsible parents would leave their children with somebody who looks like this:Somehow, BJ gets himself some montsery ghost chillens to look after. This begs the question, what do ghost children need a baby-sitter for? I mean, they’re already dead. What else could possibly happen? Oh, yeah, they could end up in a cartoon based on a Tim Burton film.
In a hi-larious mix up, BJ thinks that babysitting means that you actually sit on the babies! Oh the fucking comedy!
Oh, and it’s around this time I noticed this show’s raging boner for the sad trombone sound effect every time something remotely unfortunate happens. I guess Nelvana thinks kids are so stupid they won’t be able to tell if something’s a joke without a cliche musical cue.So while Lydia is having fun as a baby-sniper, BJ’s child care enterprise is not going so well. The kids naturally get out of control, and he decides to go check in on Lydia, which he can do by appearing in the mirror. Cause that’s not creepy at all. He’s also covered in shit.
Lydia decides to help him, and very responsibly takes a small child into the ghost world with her. Turns out the kids are hungry, so BJ conjures up a vat of baby food. Things quickly devolve into a food fight, which Beetlejuice enjoys so much he says he feels like a kid again.
Which turns him into a baby.
Wait, what? Hang on? Some one who’s seen the entire movie explain this to me. Is this how BJ’s powers worked in the film? He just say he feels like something, and then he becomes that thing? Really? Why? Isn’t that a liability?
What if he says, “Gee, it’s hot out today. I feel like a milkshake,” and then he just becomes a milkshake? With no say in the matter? What if there’s a fat person nearby? He’s fuckin’ dead.
So Baby BJ leads the other kids, including the human baby, on a merry goofabout through the ghost town, down the ghost street, and into the ghost mall. Lydia tries to round them up, but the little hellions pay her no heed.The police surround the building, fearing a repeat of the Great Pudding War that Baby BJ caused way back when. One of the few things that I actually like in this cartoon is that the sirens on the ghost police’s ghost-cars are actually little red ghost-things that spin around and ghost-scream.
Lydia manages to stop the kids from killing themselves and tricks BJ into saying he wished he were an Oscar Meyer wiener adult, and he returns to his usual self. The other babies surrender to the police and pin the whole caper on Beetlejuice, who is promptly arrested.
And they locked him up, threw away the key, end of show, goodnight everybody.
Well, ol’ BJ is put on trial for his child neglect, and it’s about now I was checking the clock in the hopes this episode would just fucking end already. So, it looks like Blowjob is gonna be sentenced to the land of sand worms forever, when in walks Lydia as his defence attorney.
Lydia tells the court that Blowjob is her best friend, leading to the only funny dialogue in the episode:
You mean you actually hang out with him? ON PURPOSE?
Lydia and Blowjob then perform a surprisingly competent song and dance number about why BJ’s awesome and should be spared. BJ also reveals that he was babysitting to earn the money to buy her a present.
The judge is obviously sick of dealing with this stupid shit, so he lets them go just to save his own sanity. Back at the house, Blowjob and Lydia exchange gifts and hug.
This cartoon is awful in every way. The animation is yucky, the jokes are flat, the voice cast is mediocre at best, the story is riddled with clichés and overstays its welcome by about 25 minutes. This fucking show should have ended four times by now.
This show is so bad, any interest I may have had in seeing the movie all the way through has been squashed like the bugs that dwell in Blowjob’s rectal cavity. I can’t imagine anyone being entertained by this. Adults will be bored, and small children will be too.
In fact, if you subject your child to watching this taint-stain on Tim Burton’s already skidmarked career they will grow up to resent you and become serial killers who keep body parts in the freezer. Preferably yours.
Next week (yes, really): Ricky Sprocket: Showbiz Boy