Saturday, July 20, 2013

Toons After Dark: Samurai Jack (2001)

Yesterday, we talked about Mike Judge's King of the Hill, which, as a follow-up to Beavis & Butt-Head, was as diametrically opposite as possible. Today, we find another distinguished creator doing the same.

Genndy Tartatovsky, the creator of Dexter's Laboratory, followed that with Samurai Jack for Cartoon Network in 2001. Drawing upon inspirations as diverse as the 70's series, Kung Fu, and the works of artist Maurice Sendak, Tartatovsky created a bizarre "future" in which Jack (Phil LaMarr) was thrust after being removed from ancient Japan by a power-mad demon, Aku (Mako), who saw Jack as a threat to his rule. The series lasted 4 "seasons" of 13 episodes, ending in 2004 after nearly 3 full years on the air. Until a few months ago, reruns aired on Boomerang in late night, but you never know if it'll return anytime soon.

Here's the intro: of the Black Eyed Peas co-wrote the title song. Whodathunk?

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I have seen a few eps but I really couldn't get into this show. I have heard it praised profusely over the years.

It was an intriguing storyline so I was hoping Jack and Aku would finally have their ultimate battle - but alas, CN canned it before any resolution could be made. I had heard Genndy was planning to do a feature film and concluding the show. It still turns up on Boomerang, though I can't remember exactly when.

Genndy's follow up show, "Symbionic Titan" was also shortchanged by CN, but I was more into that show. In fact, there was an episode of SJ which almost exactly mirrored the premise of Symbiotic Titan!

hobbyfan said...

Samurai Jack was airing in late night on Da Boom, but that spot was taken by Teen Titans reruns not long ago.

Tartatovsky also worked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which CN had to end after Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise. His assistant, Craig (Powerpuff Girls) McCracken, has a series in the pipeline for DisneyXD. Go figure.

Steven Dolce said...

Samurai Jack is coming back for a Season 5. It will premiere on [adult swim] on Saturday, March 11 at 11:00 PM. Unlike the first four seasons, It will Be rated TV-14 instead of TV-Y7-FV.