The Brothers Grunt
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The Brothers Grunt is a cartoon that aired on MTV in 1994 and was created by Danny Antonucci (who went on to make Ed, Edd n Eddy.) The Brothers Grunt gained negative reviews and lasted only a year with 42 episodes.
The show was a short-term replacement for Beavis and Butt-Head, which had been yanked off the air after the Austin Messner controversy.
The series centers on an ensemble cast of pale, rubbery, and constipated-looking humanoid men with prominent varicose veins wandering around wearing nothing but only their boxers. Though their main food staple is cheese, they are able to eat other foods and dishes.
The boys are raised by a single parent whom is a giant, mute aquatic individual, called Primus Gruntus Maximus, to whom they are born as embryos inside skin warts, much in the way of the Surinam Toad. They live in a monastery in the wilderness. A group is formed, composed of most of the survivors of their species, in a quest to bring back one of their kind, Perry, who has abandoned his involuntary position of "Chosen One" (leader of their order) and is now living the "high life" among human beings (who seem to deal with the bizarre nature of the grunts by ignoring them and pretending everything is normal).
Why It's a Grunt in Not A Very Good Way
- The concept of following male humanoids who do mostly nothing while few of their kind is out of their “home”, is a waste of potential for exploring its setting.
- The art style and character designs are horrendous, grotesque, and ugly.
- There are also a lot of disturbingly gross scenes here and there.
- The very fact that the Grunts basically wear nothing but only their boxers (which are technically underwear) throughout the series most of the time is incredibly indecent and inappropriate, even for an adult cartoon.
- Painfully annoying voice acting, particularly from Gruntus Poobah whose voice is very uncomfortable to listen to and his yelling is painful to listen to like at the end of the first episode where he says "Dean? Dean?! Are you listening?!"
- The Grunts mainly do nothing but moan and squeal, which can easily get on your nerves.
- Tons of unlikable characters, especially the Grunts themselves.
- It overuses weird stock sound effects and sounds more like farm animals being strangled to death.
- There is no background music at all and the theme song sounds distorted, which can hurt the viewer's eardrums.
- The occasional music cues can be too loud or squeaky (e.g the jazz instruments blaring when one of the brothers is at a restaurant).
- The show is much faster-paced than it needs to be, mainly just for getting to the music video segments and fitting within a 7-minute episode slot.
- Sometimes, it goes into live-action music videos with them using scenes from the episode and the Grunts moaning.
- There is little to no story for each episode, along with the main story itself acting like a boring excuse to see the Grunts living alongside human society.
- Gross-out humor, such as fart, snot, and toilet jokes, is greatly overused, especially in the intro. It also contains gore for sake of comedy, which is pretty cringe-worthy to watch as well.
- Multiple scenes make absolutely no sense whatsoever and try way too hard to be funny.
- The show ended on a cliffhanger, in a gross way. Sammy, Dean, Bing, Frank, and Tony were supposed to reunite with their brother Perry and take him back to their monastery, but the show was cancelled before it could conclude that plot point.
- Although the art-style is grotesque and scary, the animation is really fluid and smooth, thanks to Rough Draft Studios. Plus, the Bob Clampett-esque backgrounds are creative.
- Danny Antonucci, the creator of the show, would learn from his mistakes (despite claiming he likes the show) and go on to create other shows such as opening sequence of Cartoon Sushi, and his kids' show, Ed, Edd n Eddy (through a dare). The latter would be not only be considered his magnum opus but one of the greatest cartoons of all time.
- Beavis and Butt-Head themselves appear as cameos with aliens in the UFO in the episode "Close Encounters of the Grunt Kind," which made sense since The Brothers Grunt and Beavis and Butt-Head were made for MTV, and that crossover was made for the better! In fact, Beavis and Butt-Head is still the best MTV cartoon show of all time, becoming an improvement over this disturbing show.
- The theme song (for its later episodes) is pretty catchy.
- Four words: "TITUS! GET THE CROSS!!!!!!!!"
- MRRStudios admitted that this show, along with Loonatics Unleashed, happened to be some of his guilty pleasures.
The series was negatively received by viewers and critics alike, becoming the worst MTV cartoon show of all time.
Kenneth R. Clark of the Chicago Tribune said that, with the series, MTV "created the most repulsive creatures ever to show up on a television screen" and "accomplished the seemingly impossible. Charles Solomon of the Los Angeles Times called the show "an effortful, sophomoric half-hour that leaves the viewer longing for the refined good taste of Alice Cooper." William Beard and Jerry White called the series a "failure" in their book North of Everything: English-Canadian Cinema Since 1980.
Fellow YouTuber PhantomStrider despises this show and ranked it #5 on his “Worst Cartoons” list, and #3 on his “Ugliest Cartoons” list. He also stated: "I say don't watch this one, but, honestly, it's near impossible to find, even on VHS." He considers Ed, Edd n Eddy an improvement (although he personally hates that show too).