Bunsen Is A Beast
Bunsen Is A Beast is a cartoon show that aired on Nickelodeon for one season from 2017 to 2018. It was the last Nickelodeon show made by Butch Hartman before he left the network.
Bunsen Is a Beast centers around a blue monster named Bunsen, the first beast to attend Muckledunk Middle School. Mikey Munroe, his human friend, helps him navigate through school, as he feels the pressure to prove that monsters can coexist peacefully without eating and harming others. Episodes typically focus on Bunsen learning how to complete human tasks and discovering a human tradition. Mikey also learns more about the monster world, meeting new creatures whenever he visits Bunsen's home. However, a girl named Amanda Killman believes Bunsen is dangerous and wants to destroy him so that his kind will suffer from extinction. Bunsen and Mikey must outwit Amanda whenever she comes up with a new scheme, occasionally with the help of their friend, Darcy.
- Firstly, it uses the same flash animation that the final thirteen episodes of The Fairly OddParents already had.
- Speaking of The Fairly OddParents, this show had a crossover special with it titled “Beast of Friends”, and that special itself is no better and basically is a combination of everything wrong with both said shows.
- The art style and character designs are indolently made and visually unappealing.
- The characters themselves on the other hand are unlikable and annoying in their own ways:
- Mikey is the loudmouth and dimwitted saboteur kid who always likes to shout at even the slightest things that he finds exciting or amazing.
- Bunsen, the title character, is the boundless energetic and overly optimistic beast who is too kind and hyperactive for his own good.
- Also, the motivations between these two characters get old quick.
- LCW, the main “antagonist”, is probably the most unlikable character as she is just a stereotypical mean girl whose intelligence is below average and her schemes are barely even inventive or creative at that. Also, her reason for hating Bunsen is simply because he is a beast and...that’s it.
- Darcy is the homeschooled girl who is even more annoying than Mikey and Bunsen themselves and the way she is frequently shoehorned into episodes that do not even directly focus on her is really played out.
- Both Bunsen and Amanda have incredibly unbearable voices. The former sounds like an even worse version of Jar Jar Binks and the later speaks in a nigh-unintelligible lisp that is downright insufferable.
- Similar to the aforementioned modern Fairly OddParents, the writing is very indolent and unenthusiastic, resulting in very nonsensical (and sometimes even weird) episode plots. For example, in the episode "Thunder and Frightening", there's a bowling ball factory near Bunsen's house which just serves to drive that episode because really there's no bowling ball factory in any other episodes. Another example is like a chair that traps you and you can't get off of it unless you're happy. It also does not help that in some episodes, the characters just appear out of nowhere for no explicable reason.
- The theme song is just forgettable. The intro also really wants you to know that Bunsen is a beast, despite the title of the show already pointing out the obvious. The end of the song also plays at the end of every single episode, which gets grating very quickly.
- The soundtrack is poor and unoriginal. Most of the background music consists of covers of the theme song in different versions, and some of the music was taken straight from The Fairly OddParents. To make matters worse, all the music is composed by Guy Moon, who previously composed the music of Butch Hartman's other shows, which sounded far better for the most part.
- Unfunny, obnoxious and gross attempts at humor.
- Its running gags are also stale and repetitive, especially the one about the news program named "Action 2 News".
- Adding onto that, compared to Butch Hartman's previous shows, this show plays it rather safe with its jokes, and there are almost no radar-dodging jokes in sight.
- It feels like a poor clone of Cartoon Network's Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, My Gym Partner's a Monkey, and Squirrel Boy as it has similar character dynamics to those three shows and a similar plot to My Gym Partner's a Monkey; only this time, it's the creature that's the transfer student rather than the human boy.
- Adding onto that, Mikey and Bunsen are rip-offs of Mac, Andy & Adam, and Bloo, Rodney & Jake, respectively, as they are all a duo of a somewhat nerdy young boy who's more rational than his obnoxious, self-centered, and troublesome non-human best friend who lacks responsibility and often annoys others.
- The voice acting is okay (except Jeremy Rowley as Bunsen and Kari Wahlgren as Amanda, as said earlier).
- The designs for a few of the characters in general are also okay.
- The colors can be beautiful at times.
- The show did improve slightly later on with later episodes.
Despite receiving somewhat positive reviews, the series is generally considered the weakest (or even the worst) of Butch Hartman’s series.