Bunsen is a Beast
Bunsen Is a Beast is a Nicktoon 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 in February of the latter year.
Bunsen isn't your typical schoolmate. The new student at Muckledunk Middle School is not just a beast but the first of his kind in an otherwise all-human school. As a beast ambassador, Bunsen is on a mission to show his peers that his species isn't as different from humans as they might think. Bunsen learns to survive in the human world with help from Mikey, his new BFF who teaches him such basics as how to do homework and eat in the cafeteria. Curious Bunsen wants to learn everything he can about the people he now shares a planet with. Together, he and Mikey want to show the world that beasts and humans can live together in peace -- as long as you don't feed beets to Bunsen. If you give him beets, he'll go crazy and try to eat you. You've been warned.
Why It's No Beast of a Show
- Firstly, it uses the same cheap flash animation that the final thirteen episodes of The Fairly OddParents already had, which consisted of the characters moving in a stilted rubber-like fashion.
- 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 is a combination of everything wrong with both shows.
- The art style and character designs are lazily made and visually unappealing. Additionally, they are unfitting into a show created by Hartman, as they fit more into a Canadian cartoon instead, because the show was animated in Canada.
- On the topic of the character designs, their hands tend to go off-model.
- The characters themselves on the other hand are stereotypical and annoying in their ways:
- Mikey is a 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 a boundlessly energetic, and overly optimistic beast who is too kind and hyperactive for his own good.
- Also, the motivations between these two characters get old quickly.
- Amanda Killman, the main "antagonist", is just a generic villain/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 practically it.
- Darcy is a 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 played out.
- Both Bunsen and Amanda have incredibly annoying voices. The former sounds like an even worse version of Jar Jar Binks and the latter speaks in a nearly-unintelligible lisp that is downright insufferable.
- As a matter of fact, the show is highly cacophonous. There's never a quiet moment and everyone is always screaming, which can give viewers a headache.
- Most of the episodes have very nonsensical writing. 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 there's no bowling ball factory in any other episodes. Another example is like a chair that traps victims and they can't get off of it unless they'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 the audience to know that Bunsen is a beast, despite the title of the show already pointing out the obvious. Also, most of the lyrics feel like they were just put in solely for the sake of making the song rhyme. 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 is even 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 is almost no radar-dodging jokes or innuendos insight.
- The show makes excessive use of stereotypes; an example is in the episode "Handsome Beast", where it features a character named Jerk Von Handsome who interprets Swedish people as morons who only care for his beauty, and in another episode, Mikey talks with an offensive Australian accent while ordering ice cream.
- The voice acting is good (except for Jeremy Rowley as Bunsen and Kari Wahlgren as Amanda, as said earlier).
- The designs for a few of the characters, in general, are decent.
- The show did improve slightly later on with later episodes as the main characters, except for Amanda Killman, became more tolerable than they were in the earlier episodes.
The show was originally met with mixed reception, but became negative as the years went on, and is generally considered the worst of Butch Hartman’s series. It received a 4.1/10 on IMDb.
Mr. Enter ranked this at Number 1 on his Top 10 Worst Nicktoons list and Number 7 on his Worst Cartoons of the 2010's video.
- This was the final Nickelodeon show created by Butch Hartman before he left Nickelodeon in February 2018 and went on with Pocket.Watch to create "HobbyKids Adventures".
- This is the only Butch Hartman cartoon that has an art style being different from the other four shows he created.
- It is also the only Butch Hartman Nicktoon not to feature any voicework by Grey Griffin or Rob Paulsen.
- Jeremy Rowley (who voices Bunsen) and Jerry Trainor (who voices Commander Cone) respectively portrayed Lewbert Sline and Spencer Shay in iCarly.