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Curbside (1999 pilot)

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Curbside (1999 pilot)
Curbside logo.png
Behold, the failed pilot that was the final nail in the coffin for Viacom's remaining interest in the Terrytoons franchise.
Running Time: 22 minutes
Country: United States
South Korea (Animation production)
Release Date: 1999
Created by: Nickelodeon Animation Studios
Starring: Toby Huss
Bobcat Goldthwait
Dee Bradley Baker


Curbside is a 1999 pilot created by Nickelodeon Animation Studios. The pilot would've centered around Heckle and Jeckle, and to a lesser extent Dinky Duck, hosting a late-night style talk show. The series would've featured segments of Heckle and Jeckle being told a story by a guest, Sidney Tragedies which would star Sidney the Elephant only for something bad to happen right at the end, and Mighty Mouse Club (a fan club which its name is a play on the Mickey Mouse Club) in which Heckle and Jeckle would read a comic book starring Mighty Mouse.

Bad Qualities

  1. While most of the voice acting is good, the only things they got wrong are Sidney's and Jeckle's voices. In the original cartoons, Jeckle had an upper-class British accent to contrast with Heckle's Brooklyn accent.
  2. Some characters got changed:
    • Tom Terrific's personality was downgraded into that of an ordinary little boy, when he was originally a kid with magical powers. Gene Deitch, his creator, was very critical of the change.
    • Vincent Van Gopher was changed from being one of Deputy and Muskie's friends into an outlaw. He was never a villain to begin with in the original cartoons.
    • Heckle and Jeckle, who were originally magpies, were changed as crows.
    • Dinky Duck, who is a boy in the classic shorts, had his gender changed to a girl.
    • Muskie Muskrat was changed into a dumbfounded moron who acts as Deputy Dawg's sidekick, when he was originally an intelligent troublemaker that frequently outsmarted Deputy Dawg.
  3. None of the writers for this special cared about the characters and only did it for the money. The whole thing was produced without Jerry Beck's involvement.
    • It also killed any chances of rebooting the Terrytoons franchise and Fred Seibert barred Jerry Beck from using the characters in 2008 for his attempt at a Sidney the Elephant reboot for Random! Cartoons, which would eventually become Hornswiggle.
  4. While the curse concept is pretty dark for a pilot of a children's show, it doesn't excuse its talk show format.
  5. None of the other original characters appear, such as Farmer Al Falfa, Gandy Goose and Sourpuss (though their absences can be justified as it was done to avoid comparisons to Ren and Stimpy, as the relationship between the two was inspired by the relationship between Gandy Goose and Sourpuss), Dimwit, Foofle, Possible Possum, Billy Bear, Macon Mouse and Owlawishus Owl.
    • The redesigns hardly ever resemble the characters they were based on. Some of the characters have different color choices that make them look too different. For example, Muskie Muskrat has purple fur instead of brown and Vincent Van Gopher has green fur instead of purple.
  6. After Dinky Duck wrote down the commercial title card, the screen goes black for about 30 seconds as part of padding to fill in for Nickelodeon's commercials. Unfortunately, there wasn't any and it was made just to waste the audience's time. Thankfully, 30 seconds of nothing didn't drag for too long.
  7. Some of the humor can be hit-or-miss when it comes to the other segments. The only exception is the Mighty Mouse segment, according to Nicksmissal.
  8. Odd ending: Heckle and Jeckle start the cast party by taking off what was meant to be their cursed states as costumes. They celebrate by sharing and eating string cheese together. The curse turned out to be an act the whole time.

Good Qualities

  1. While the plot is more of a talk show series that fails to live up to the legacy of Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, the voice acting and animation (by Rough Draft Korea) are pretty good for its time.
  2. The theme song is pretty catchy to listen to.
  3. The conflict of bringing a doll home who turns out to be a curse is pretty good and dark for a pilot of an attempted reboot.
  4. Mighty Mouse, Sidney the Elephant, and Deputy Dawg are among the few characters to retain their original personalities from The New Adventures and the classic shorts.
  5. Nickelodeon Animation Studios thankfully eventually learned from their mistakes from this pilot, as their next pilot, "Help Wanted", which served as the pilot episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, is a massive improvement for their direction.

Trivia

  • None of the Terrytoons crew (except Robert Taylor, who was a director in the studio) were involved with the pilot.
  • Sidney's cast was expanded for this show, now including a mute baby hippo, who went unnamed.

Video

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