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Kid vs. Kat

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Kid vs. Kat
KVKat.jpg
Unsurprisingly, we're conflicted on which side to root for in Canada's take on Invader Zim.
Genre: Animation
Action
Comedy
Torture
Running Time: 11 minutes
Country: Canada
Release Date: October 25, 2008 - June 4, 2011
Network(s): Jetix/Disney XD (USA, International)
YTV (Canada)
Disney Channel (international)
Created by: Rob Boutilier
Distributed by: WildBrain
Starring: Erin Mathews
Kathleen Barr
Trevor Devall
Cathy Weseluck
Linda Sorenson
Chiara Zanni
Tabitha St. Germain
Vincent Tong
Brian Drummond
Seasons: 2
Episodes: 52


Kid vs. Kat (stylized as KiD vs KaT) is a Canadian animated television series that originally aired on YTV in Canada from October 25, 2008, to June 4, 2011. The series was created and co-directed by Rob Boutilier, developed and produced at Studio B Productions (now WildBrain Studio), in association with YTV and Jetix Europe (now Disney XD) for its first season and Disney XD for its second season. 52 episodes were produced.

Premise

Coop's normal life is turned upside-down when his little sister, Millie, brings home a stray cat. Coop is convinced the animal is pure evil - or an alien from another planet, bent on taking over the world.

Bad Qualities

  1. To start the argument coldly, several notorious mistakes were largely responsible for the downright mediocre performance of this show, and the two icings on the cake are the originality and the characters. The first thing to mention is that the series is almost completely devoid of originality, as in addition to being a blatant copy of Invader Zim, it bears similarities to Tom & Jerry, Lilo & Stitch, and MGIE/My Godfish is Evil (ironically, both shows were produced in Canada):
    • The concept where Coop is trying to reveal Mr. Kat's true colors is very similar to the concept in Invader Zim where a kid named Dib is trying to reveal Zim's true colors, though one thing that those two shows do differently is how in Invader Zim, Zim is the main protagonist of the show, despite being an actual villain, while the main antagonist, Dib, is a good guy (despite having his mean moments from time to time), who is trying to stop Zim from invading Earth, while in Kid vs. Kat, the protagonist, Coop, is the actual good guy, while the antagonist, Mr. Kat, is the actual bad guy of the story.
    • The slapstick comedy where Coop chases Mr. Kat is eerily similar to the concept used in the Tom & Jerry cartoons but in the opposite way.
    • The next concept where Millie brings home an alien named Mr. Kat and thinks he's a "cat" is very similar to the concept in Lilo & Stitch, where Lilo brings home an alien named Stitch and thinks that he's a "dog".
    • The one series that is seemingly the most similar to Kid vs. Kat is My Goldfish is Evil, where a kid named Beanie owns a goldfish that glorifies terror and mayhem, and Beanie's mother doesn't believe him. In Kid vs. Kat, a kid named Coop has a pet "cat" named Mr. Kat, who is bent on conquering the world for Fishy Frisky Bits, while Coop's father, Burt, doesn't believe him. Doesn't that sound similar to you?
  2. The second icing on the cake is the characters: Almost all of the characters (especially the main ones) are stereotyped, dry, clichéd, are annoying, or completely forgettable:
    • Coop, while a generally likable and sympathetic protagonist, is often treated as a punching bag by the other characters in almost every episode.
    • Fiona, while a good character overall, there are a few times where she can be annoying, such as these examples:
      • In the episode "Kat of Diamonds", she misunderstands Coop for the entire episode, thinking that he doesn't trust her even though he never said that.
      • In "The Kat Went Back", she lectures Coop for being mad at Kat even though it's only natural (given all the horrible things Kat has done to him). Plus, she even makes a sexist remark about boys and laughs with Kat's extremely annoying girlfriend.
    • Burt (Coop and Millie's father), has no personality whatsoever and tends to scold Coop for things he doesn't or has done, but always gives Millie the last word, and not only that but spoils her horribly. Not to mention he's a terrible comic relief.
    • Millie (Coop's sister), is an incredibly annoying Mary-Sue who defends Mr. Kat even though it's obvious who is responsible for the damage, disrespects anyone who tries to show her the truth about her "cat", complains when things don't come out the way she wants and always find a way to make fun of her brother, apart from the deafening screams.
    • Lorne and Harley are two low-class, idiotic bullies who like to humiliate Coop.
      • Their mother is also equally as unlikable.
    • Old Lady Munson is a generic grouchy neighbor, who treats Burtonburgers badly, always blames Coop for anything to the point of making him overwork, steals toys from other kids, and treats everyone in town badly, apart from a certain person, which if you've read through to the fourth argument, you know what we're talking about.
      • There's even an episode where she attempts to murder Coop, which is basically child abuse.
    • Phoebe, just like Sierra from Total Drama, is a creepy idiotic stalker who spends much of her time bothering Coop due to her obsessive crush on him, even though she realizes and sees that he doesn't feel the same way about her.
      • She was at her worst in "Birthday Bashed" where she constantly bullies Fiona after learning that she and Coop get along very well.
    • Mr. Kat is by far the worst character in the series and the most unbearable and insufferable of all the characters, as he often tortures Coop and makes his life a living hell, always gets away with it, and always finds a way to make witnesses think he is the victim. It's worth remembering that he's a very weak and poorly-written character with no dialogue whatsoever (though understandable, as he is an alien who looks like a cat), and in a lot of episodes, Coop (almost) never wins a single fight due to Millie and Burt's interventions.
      • Some episodes try to make fans and viewers sympathize with him, as Coop thinks he's trying to take over the world, but given all the bad things he does and is capable of doing, his behavior is understandable.
    • Dr. K (Kat's girlfriend), is a selfish drama queen who acts like a jerk to Coop and Dennis, but respects Millie (since she takes care of Kat).
    • Excluding Coop's grandparents, the adult characters in the series behave in idiotic ways and are shown to be a bunch of blind idiots in every scenario, a concept well applied by Invader Zim, but here in Kid vs. Kat, it is applied poorly.
    • The majority of the background characters are oblivious jerks who are just there to either laugh at or blame Coop for Kat's actions.
  3. Generic, cliché writing and empty, bad plots, plus the fact that almost every episode repeats the same stereotyped plot: Coop wants to do something, but Mr. Kat spoils their plans, and they have their daily fight until Millie or Burt interrupts, taking Mr. Kat as the innocent and Coop as the one responsible for the misfortunes, but nobody believes him for now and he has unfairly punished him at the end as a result.
    • One feature that tries to aggravate and sustain this error is the subplots, which are just a bunch of bad fillers that get in the way of the episodes and don't offer anything important to the main plot of the episodes, making them seem slow.
    • The parents don't believe in their child cliché was already irritating and nonsensical, but this show managed to push the limits on top of that with ease. All episodes of this series present this, or any kind of cliché related to misunderstandings and problems without any exception, however, instead of being fun and funny, they quickly become irritating and unbearable.
  4. It's full of episodes ranging from the simply mediocre territory, to the just plain bad and unbearable territory, where they are stereotyped and lack any kind of continuity, and with many episodes being Coop losing all his fights with Mr. Kat or him being tortured in a variety of ways. This is a clear example of how this show excessively uses the notoriously awful Status Quo is God trope, resulting in this following consequence that is applied in nearly every episode:
    • Let The Games Begin (which was already a weak start for the series)
    • Night of the Zombie Kat (depending on your view)
    • Trespassers Will Be Persecuted (arguably the worst episode of the show)
    • Me-oh Me-oh Meow
    • Do Not Fort Sake Me
    • Cookie D'uh (despite the good ending, and having a somewhat satisfying moment of Millie getting punished)
    • Search and De-toy
    • Flu the Coop
    • Hypnokat
    • The Allergy
    • Just Me and Glue
    • You'll Be Show Sorry
    • Dial 'B' for Babysitter
    • The Grass Is Always Meaner
    • One Big Happy Family (also counts at worst)
    • Happy Campers (depending on your view)
    • Tom Kat Foolery (another episode considered the worst)
    • In Dog We Trust
    • Catch My Drift
    • Beware the Were-Coop
    • Trick or Threat
    • Kid vs. Kat vs. Christmas (a weak Christmas special that ended season 1 on a poor note)
    • Tickled Pink (depending on your view)
    • Flea Brains
    • Menace the Dennis
    • Down the Creek
    • Turn the Other Cheeks
    • Birthday Bashed (depending on your view)
    • Mind Games
    • Board Kat
    • Drive-In Me Crazy
    • Hair Brains
    • Hot Dog Day
    • Amazing Feet of Strength
    • Bootsville's Most Wanted (despite the good ending)
    • The Incredible Shrinking Coop
    • It's All in Your Head
    • The Kat Went Back (the two-parter finale, which was an unsatisfying way to end the series)
  5. Bland voice acting, even from voice actors like Erin Matthews (who also voiced Tom from A Kind of Magic, and Pac-Man from Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures), Kathleen Barr (Lila from Johnny Test and Wheezie from Dragon Tales), Trevor Devall (Gregore from A Kind of Magic, Dukey and Mr. Teacherman also from Johnny Test and Lemony Snicket from the Netflix adaptation of A Series Of Unfortunate Events), Tabitha St. Germain (Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Helouise from Jimmy Two-Shoes, another Disney XD series), Brian Drummond (Vegeta from the Ocean Dub of Dragon Ball Z and Jumpy Ghostface from Hero 108) and Vincent Tong (Irwin from Nerds and Monsters and Mega Man from Mega Man: Fully Charged) that rapidly get annoying at times, as some characters tend to speak in high-pitched tones for no reason at all, especially Millie.
  6. Most of the jokes are very cruel as they involve Coop getting tortured by Mr. Kat. In addition, he is often abused in a lot of torture scenarios, with the worst offenders being Trespassers Will be Persecuted and One Big Happy Family. Fortunately, this was toned down in season two.
  7. Sometimes characters will act stupid and make weird, laughable, silly, and downright off-putting gestures in an attempt to make you laugh. The faces, besides being lazy and effortless, are cheap jokes that many animated shows can easily pull off compared to this show.
  8. The series tends to overuse Hanna-Barbera sound effects.
  9. The show teaches plenty of bad morals, especially in episodes where Millie or Mr. Kat win at the end, though usually, the bad morals are hidden.
  10. While most of the character designs are a bit passable, some of the designs in the cartoon are mediocre, like Old Lady Munson, Henry, Lorne, and their mother.
    • And despite having decent character designs, Coop looks like a watered-down Timmy Turner from The Fairly OddParents, Millie looking like a slight improvement of the pilot version of Tootie from The Fairly OddParents, Burt looks like a Lawrence Fletcher reject from Phineas and Ferb as well as looking a lot like Calvin's father from Calvin and Hobbes, and Old Lady Munson looks like a watered down version or Mrs. Julia Wicket from Mr. Bean: The Animated Series.
  11. Laughable, generic, repetitive, and absurdly bad nomenclature, like Burt's pun on his surname (Burtonburguer), in addition to the city, which is called "Bootsvile" (which is a case originally taking place called Fort McMurray), not to mention that most of the episode titles are a bad pun or a parody of a series or franchise.
  12. On top of the decent, yet sometimes mediocre character designs, the series has downright mediocre animation that can sometimes come out of the box, resulting in the series looking somewhat like a PlayStation 2, GameCube, or original Xbox game.
  13. The show never explained what happened to Coop's mother or even Fiona's parents. It is unknown if Burt is a widowed parent, or if he is a divorced parent or an adopted parent to Coop and Millie. The reasoning behind all of this is that the creator of the series wanted Burt to spend more time with Coop and Millie, but all this does is create a big plot hole, and adding a mother would most certainly make no difference whatsoever.
  14. Many of the title cards range from generic ("Board Kat", "Cookie D'Uh", "Hair Brains", "Happy Campers", "House of Scream", "Mind Games", and "When Bad Dogs Go Big") to simply bad ("Fishy Frisky Bitty Kitty", "Hot Dog Day", "Kaponk!", "Tickled Pink", "Trespassers Will Be Persecuted", "Under Destruction").
  15. Depending on your view, the pilot's prototype name Look what my sister dragged in is far more attractive and less generic than Kid vs. Kat, yet, like most prototype names, it was scrapped for unknown reasons.
  16. Unsatisfying ending: At the end of the series, when everyone reaches land, Mr. Kat wipes out all the characters' memories, making Coop fight him again. In other words, the entire show's story was told for nothing and Mr. Kat (the antagonist by the way) wins in the end.

Good Qualities

  1. Coop, Dennis, and Fiona are still likable characters.
    • Coop, while often treated as a butt-monkey, is generally sympathetic, and is the one who is really trying to stop Mr. Kat from world domination.
    • Dennis is also generally likable, as he is the smart kid, and also a good friend to Coop, and isn't oblivious of Mr. Kat's evilness.
    • Despite the small criticisms said in BQ #2, Fiona is likable most of the time, as she is a cool, tough, and friendly tomboy who is good at helping Coop foil Mr. Kat's plans, and she's also a new character in the series.
      • Her relationship with Coop is also cute, minus the few annoying things said in BQ #2.
    • In addition, Coop's grandparents are the only adult characters who are likable, even Burt can be likable in some instances.
    • Mr. Kitten, who was the only alien that was kinda likable, as he was a presumed ally in the series.
  2. Despite being off-putting and stiff, the animation is decent and smooth at times depending on your point of view. Likewise, some of the action sequences are acceptable.
  3. The character designs (apart from Old Lady Munson, Henry, Lorne, and their mother) are also decent, despite Coop, Millie, and Burt's designs looking like rejects of character designs from other shows. The Kats have the best designs in the entire show, along with the space backgrounds.
    • Depending on your view, the backgrounds do look good, despite being generic. However, it is similar to many other Canadian shows, such as Jimmy Two-Shoes, and Johnny Test.
  4. The show does teach some good morals, especially in episodes where Coop win at the end, although it's rare, notably in I'm Okay, You're a Kat, where it teaches people to think positive (though the moral is rather hidden).
  5. It does have some good episodes here and there that show that not all episodes have Coop losing in every battle with Mr. Kat, which include (but are not limited to):
    • I'm Okay, You're a Kat
    • Something About Fiona (which started season 2 on a decent note)
    • Buzz Off!
    • The Kitty Vanishes
    • Something Fishy In Owl Lake
    • Kat of Diamonds
    • House of Scream (despite the generic title card)
    • 'Nuff Said
    • Fangs For The Memories (a decent Christmas special)
    • Bend It Like Burtonburger
    • The Three Aarghs
    • Bringin' The Heat
    • You Kat See Me
    • Coop D'Etat
    • Rhymes with Coop
    • Capture the Kat
    • Rebel With A Claw
    • You Scream, I Scream
  6. It has some hilarious moments now and then, like the running gag of Old Lady Munson yelling "BURTONBURGER!!!".
    • The jokes can be funny when they are not overshadowed by the Hanna-Barbera sound effects.
    • Thankfully, it doesn't rely upon gross-out toilet humor (even if there's some of it, according to shorts).
  7. Some bad episodes do at least have good endings, notably being "Cookie D'Uh" or "Bootsville's Most Wanted".
  8. Some of the title cards are pretty good, like "Let The Games Begin" and "Hypnokat".
  9. The theme song is well animated, and the instrumental is amazing, despite the lyrics repeating the show's title all over in the beginning and the end.
  10. Minimal improvements were shown in season 2, most notably the addition of Fiona, a likable character and a new ally of Coop's, as well as downgrading the mean-spirited tone of the series.
  11. Rob Boutilier's directing role marks its debut here, as he would later direct other shows, such as Packages from Planet X, Supernoobs, and Chuck's Choice.

Reception

Upon release, Kid vs. Kat generally received mixed reviews, with some praising the show for nostalgia and childhood memories, while some criticized it due to the animation, mean-spiritedness, characters, and its highly notable similarities to Invader Zim, Lilo & Stitch, and Tom & Jerry. It currently holds a 6/10 on IMDb[1], while FilmAffinity scored the show a 4.4/10[2], and a 95% on Google (most likely due to the cult following). Despite the flaws, it quickly gained a cult following to the point where many fans wanted a season 3 and has been overwhelmingly praised by nostalgic consumers in recent years, similar to tons of Canadian cartoons (including Camp Lakebottom) and shows with small fanbases, such as Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja.

Trivia

  • The series is one of the four crowdfunding shows on Disney XD along with Phineas and Ferb, Aaron Stone, and Jimmy Two-Shoes.
  • As of 2020, the series is now available to stream on Pluto TV, including video on demand.
    • The series is also available on Tubi TV, but only in the second season, without the first season.
  • A lot of the animation was done in China (Feitong Cartoon Graphics Services) and the Philippines (Top Draw Animation).
  • As said in BQ #13, when asked why Coop doesn't have a mother, Rob Boutilier stated that he wanted Burt to be more involved with Coop and Millie, and the best way to do so is to not have Coop's mother (though Rob always saw Burt as a widower).
  • Due to the unfair ending, Rob stated on Twitter that Coop and Kat are now friends.
  • The series was originally on Best Shows & Episodes Wiki before getting deleted in 2019, due to the show's mixed reception, as well as the page itself being generic.

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