The Groovenians

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Wasted artistic potential. Need we say more?

The Groovenians is a half-hour 3D Animated special conceived by Kenny Scharf and produced by Cartoon Network in late 2002. It was originally supposed to be the pilot for the series but was never picked up for its show due to negative reviews.

Plot

Jet, Glindy, and their best friend dog named Looki were living their normal lives in their home on Planet Jeepers when Nixon comes in and tells them about their place in Groovenia.

Why It's Not So Groovy

  1. Atrocious CGI animation, especially for 2002 standards. Most of the set pieces are poorly detailed, particularly Jet's parents' front yard, which looks like a giant LEGO plate, this is unacceptable since both The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron and Ice Age came out the same year and look miles better than this.
  2. The character animation is incredibly stilted, everyone moves robotically without any weight. There is also a lot of clipping, particularly with Jet's mouth movement, again, both The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron and Ice Age came out the same year, and the character animations look WAY better than this.
  3. Extremely loathsome characters with little-to-no redeeming qualities.
    • Jet and Glindy are obnoxious protagonists, with the former being a nervous coward and the latter being a poorly written strong female character who mainly cares only about their artistic potential and their love for each other. That's about it.
    • Jet's parents are jerks who don't care about their son and his girlfriend's futures and care more about putting them in misery, as well as forcing their son to marry his girlfriend’s sister, Yalda which is illegal in its own right, and randomly out-of-nowhere becomes rage-induce demons after Glindy refused the marriage.
    • Yalda is a selfish brat who only cares about marring Jet and also randomly out-of-nowhere becomes a rage-induced demon after Glindy refused the marriage.
    • Looki's only defining trait is making random animal noises.
    • Nixon is just a stereotypical cool teenage boy who gets abused by his grandmother after singing his song.
    • The random tree character is annoying and just serves as filler.
    • Suavo, Swirly, and Lalasha cannot decide on whether they are self-absorbed or voices of reason.
    • Norman is an egotistical, money-hungry, and one-dimensional antagonist, and doesn't appear until near the end of the special.
  4. Bland musical numbers.
    • The intro song, while great, essentially wastes the talents of the B-52s, as the instrumentation makes the singing barely audible.
    • Nixon's song uses an electric guitar as instrumentation while he glorifies Groovenia, which goes out of control very fast.
    • The lead instrument for Norman's song (in which he glorifies his pursuit of money) is a square synthesizer, whose measures follow no predetermined musical pattern. Making this worse is the fact that Norman only speaks his lines instead of singing.
  5. Very poor atmosphere, in the first half of the spectrum which takes place at Jet's house in Planet Jeepers, most of the colors are bland due to the dark and dull tone, and looks like a rejected Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks Animation’s area, with the second half of the spectrum taking place on Groovenia being WAY too bright due to its multiple colors, and looks like something out of Hub Network, PBS Kids, and YTV.
  6. The moral states that art is the most important part of anyone's life. There's a time and place for everything!
  7. Poor attempts at humor.
  8. Poor lip-syncing with the characters' mouths not matching on what they’re saying.
  9. Characters randomly pop up and disappear for no reason, one example is Nixon, who after singing his song and getting taken away by his grandmother, he is never seen or mentioned again, and even Jet's parents and Yalda also just disappear after the chase scene and are never to be heard of again.
  10. The climax is extremely anticlimactic, Jet and Glindy defeat both Norman and his minions by....squirting paint at them, which causes Norman and his minions to dance uncontrollably non-stop and leave.
  11. Random out-of-nowhere moments.
    • One scene has Jet's parents and Yalda turning into demons when Jet and Glindy walk out on them en route to Planet Jeepers' airspace after refusing the marriage, which looks completely out-of-place, more on that in a bit.
    • Additionally, the special's use of laugh tracks is confusing. It's one thing to use laugh tracks in an animated show, but the fact that it's only used when the characters laugh is another matter entirely.
  12. Awful voice-acting as most of the voice actors might’ve spoken their lines in the broken audio recorder.
  13. Despite The Groovenians being what's supposedly would have been a kids' show, there are a few inappropriate moments and can even get a bit dark/graphical, for examples:
    1. During the "game show" made by Jet's father, the tentacle grabs and sexually wraps Glindy, which looks like something out of a R rated anime.
    2. When Glindy refused to have Jet marry Yalda, both Yalda and even Jet's parents (for no reason what-so-ever) turn into demons and chase Jet and Glindy in their car as described in pointer 1 of the #11 segment, the tone for this part, in particular, is EXTREMELY horrifying and literary looks like something out of Adult Swim.
      1. There's even a moment where the demon Yalda goes up to the camera and screams like a pig, which could frighting little kids.
    3. When Jet inserts the key in the slot behind the living female tree's back, she acts all "tickley" in a very sexy way, and in the next scene right after that, its implied the slot is actually on her rear.
    4. When Suzvo (one of the owners of Nixon's place) looks at Glindy through the key-hole, he stares up and down at her in a VERY disturbing manner, and most infamously, literary grabs/pulls Glindy into the house while not knowing about Jet, keep in mind that Glindy wears a tank-top, so Suzvo could be staring at...something else.
  14. Mediocre character designs that look like rejected designs from Jimmy Neutron, Reboot and Gumby combined, for examples, the Jeepers aliens (as in Jet, his parents, Glindy, and her sister Yalda) look like humans with colored skins, and a tie between Suavo, Swirly, and Lalasha look like cyclops.

The Only Redeeming Quality

  1. The theme song, despite wasting the B-52s’ talent is actually great and the only good song in the entire special.

Reception

The Groovenians was universally panned by critics and audiences for its animation, characters, the musical numbers (expecting the theme song), and voice acting. It was widely considered to be one of the worst animated pilots ever created. It currently has a 2.7/10 rating on IMDb and is because of this, it never picked up as a full series.

Despite the negative reception, it was nominated for the 30th Annie Awards as "Best Animated Short Subject".

The Special

Videos

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