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Rayman: The Animated Series

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Rayman: The Animated Series
Rayman (Foreign version).jpg
THE CAH!!
Genre: Comedy
Adventure
Running Time: 13 minutes
Country: France
United Kingdom
Canada
Release Date: December 20, 1999 –
January 10, 2000
Network(s): Gulli
Created by: Jonathan Greenberg
Starring: Billy West
Carlos Alazraqui
Carolyn Lawrence
Lacey Chabert
Kath Soucie
Danny Mann
Kate Donahue
Candi Milo
Brian Stepanek
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 4


Rayman: The Animated Series (also known as Rayman: The TV Series, or just Rayman) is a French-British-Canadian series of animated shorts created by Ubisoft in 1999, based on the Rayman adventure game series, following the success of Rayman 2: The Great Escape. It was meant to be a 26-episode series, but only four were completed when it was cancelled mid-series, leaving a fifth episode (My Fair Lac-Mac) near to completion. The series was only broadcast in France, Germany and the Netherlands, but was released on VHS in North America, and later on DVD in France.

Plot

The evil circus owner Rigatoni has enslaved Rayman and his friends, forcing them to work in his traveling circus. Rayman decides that they must break free and they soon escape from the circus, only to be chased by Inspector Grub, who is intent on capturing the "fugitives." and Rayman and friends try to seek freedom along the way.

Why It Must Get In The Police Cah!!

  1. Poor grasp on the original source material: It bares little resemblance to the video games. One could easily replace Rayman with any other character and nobody would notice any difference.
    • Rubbing even more salt into the wound is that this was supposed to advertise and promote the success of Rayman 2, but this cartoon has nothing to do with the game.
    • Another example of this poor grasp is that none of the characters from the original Rayman games appear in the series except for the titular character and Admiral Razorbeard (who was given a slightly goofier, worse design and was given a weaker role as being the inept lackey to Rigatoni (despite Razorbeard being a threatening main antagonist in The Great Escape)). Not even lovable characters such as Globox (Rayman’s best friend) and Murfy show up.
    • It also fails to understand the video games it was based on. For example, instead of the interesting and visually pleasing worlds of the games, the setting is a generic city that looks weird and ugly.
  2. Average and sometimes janky CGI animation, even for 1999 standards.
  3. Awkward and mediocre voice acting, with the exception of Billy West as Rayman himself.
    • The question regarding the pronunciation of the word 'car' as 'cah' was answered on Twitter by Billy West himself: he grew up in Boston and grew up sounding like the aforementioned accent. He never really did sound like that since he was actually born in Detroit but he thought the accent was charming. He thought throwing in odd touches would give a character more life and longevity. In fact, he still talks about Rayman to this day.
    • It should also be noted that Betina's voice is changed several times for no discernible reason.
  4. Poor writing, since surprising Vanessa Coffey (the same executive producer of the first four Nicktoons, Doug, Rugrats, The Ren & Stimpy Show and Rocko's Modern Life) was one of the writers of this show, showing she and the series' other two writers, Johnathan Greenberg (the series' developer) and Alexis Nolent did not respect the source material of the video games where this series is based on and they only did for money.
  5. Some nonexistent jokes.
  6. Most of the plots boil down to Rayman and friends getting into trouble and trying to avoid a cop who is tasked with hunting them down. Not to mention that the ending never suggested if they ever get out of Grub's case and hinted on Rayman and friends still living with Grub, which is just very nonsensical.
  7. Some ugly character designs, especially for Lac Mac, whose design looks ugly and stupid.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Rayman at least still looks like his game counterpart.
  2. Billy West does a decent job voicing Rayman, as stated before.
  3. The soundtrack is also decent.
  4. Occasional amusement the show can present at times (whether it is unintentional or intentional comedy like the police badge gag in the "No Parking" episode for example).
    • One clever joke said by Rayman before outsmarting Grub when he pauses Lac Mac driving from the back seat to easily trick Grub in the "No Parking" episode.

Trivia

  • As mentioned before, Vanessa Coffey, famous for being the executive producer of the Nicktoons: Doug, Rugrats, The Ren & Stimpy Show and Rocko's Modern Life and one of the two founders of Games Animation, now Nickelodeon Animation Studio, worked in this show as a story writer, creative director and executive producer. This show was the last cartoon she worked and the first and last one after she left Nickelodeon in 1995 to pursue her own projects, due of the show's cancellation, ended up permanently killing her producer career on animation and since then, she didn't produce a cartoon ever again. After that, in these past few years, she is rarely interviewed about her days at Games Animation, excluding any mention of this animated series of Rayman, with her latest recent interview in the documentary Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story, released in 2020.

All 4 Episodes

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