Personal Review of Clerks Animated

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Posted by Yous Guy at on March 17, 2003 at 15:07:25:

After taking the time to go through all of the content contained in the "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" DVD, I found that I wanted to see more of the Askewniverse. With that need, and based on a very high recommend from Jason at the "Things From Another World" comic store in Milwaukie, Oregon, I set out to find a copy of the animated "Clerks" DVD set. I am so glad I did.

First off, I must say that watching the episodes was a bit bitter sweet. Unfortunately, when the 2 episodes that even made it to air originally played, I missed them (and how could I not, considering the treatment they were given). I say bitter not because of the content of the show. On the contrary, I was laughing my ass off as I watched all six episodes back to back. No, the bitter part was knowing that there WERE only six episodes to be seen.

Man, everything in this show was working. To start with, the character designs were simply WONDERFUL! The show has a very distinctive style. The heavy lines and deceptively simple characters are a joy to look at. Jay's design in particular was absolutely spot on. I've never seen an animated character look so wide eyed with nothing more than dots with which to see. I also thought the Leonardo Leonardo design was quite excellent as well. Just spot on with that voice that Baldwin came up with.

As for the content of the show, the episodes got progressively better as the disc went on. It was quite clear that the writing team was really beginning to hit their stride, getting to flesh out the characters in this new medium (cuz' let's face it, these aren't the exact same guys that are in the movie, eh?). My personal favorite episodes are the Outbreak and Bad News Bears/Temple of Doom parody shows. However, the "japanimation" close to the courtroom episode nearly had me pissing myself as well. The Duck Amok show was also fun to watch for a big Chuck Jones fan. AS is obvious from my hopping around, it is hard to nail down a favorite.

On the secondary track, Kevin mentioned that this show was really geared toward fans of animation, and I couldn't agree more. The humor was something that someone that has been really into the Simpson's for years would really dig. The sight gags in the Anime sequence plays on all kinds of Asian animation standards that fans immediately recognize. This was an animated show for animation fans, to be sure (Paraphrased from Kevin). Knowing "Clerks" the movie is secondary to knowing Chuck Jones, or The Transformers or Speed Racer. Boy, you couldn't serve me up a better cartoon.

Speaking of the Simpson's, structurally, Clerks began to take on a very similar story telling style, and I mean that in a very good way. As is best exemplified in the Bad News Bears/Temple of Doom episode, there was a main story with Dante and a side story with Randal that ended up converging in the end. The Simpson's uses this structure often as well and it allows for some really diverse content. I mean, children slave mines and baseball. How great is that?

Well, I don't want to over analyze the whole experience (as if I already haven't), but suffice to say, I really, REALLY enjoyed the show and when I had seen the final episode, was profoundly sad that there were no more to be seen. I was even more sad when I listened to the secondary track and the creative team was talking about all the other episodes they were planning. The stories they had in development would have been SO good. I could tell just by the enthusiasm in their voices that they knew how to bring the stories to life and make them funny, but thanks to ABC buttplugs, we don't get to see those ideas.

I guess I'll finish this by asking a question, if Kevin is listening.

Kevin, have you ever considered shopping the Clerks cartoon to Cartoon Network for their Adult Swim block? From what I saw on the disks, and what I have seen them show, I would bet that you wouldn't have to censor anything. And I don't just mean the six episodes, I mean new shows too. If that audience isn't your audience for this show, I don't know what is. I know there are rumblings of a Clerks cartoon movie, but personally I would be more excited at the prospect of more in the series. Lord knows I will see the movie should it ever become real, but a weekly spot on Adult Swim with new episodes just looks like a dream slot for a show like this. Sure, prime time Fox or UPN (man, that must still sting) would be great, but on air is on air. Anyway, just a thought.

And thanks for getting us these six episodes in an untainted form. They brought me a lot of laughs and I have been touting them to my friends. To everyone else, take a look. These shows are really well done and a great addition to the Askewniverse.

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