Thursday, October 17, 2013

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: Dave the Barbarian (2004)

Imagine if the late Jay Ward had developed a spoof of, say, Conan the Barbarian. Doug Langdale (The Weekenders) must've had that thought in mind when he created Dave The Barbarian, which spent a year on Disney Channel, debuting in January 2004.

Dave (Danny Cooksey, Xiaolin Showdown) is a coward at heart who'd rather cook and do needlepoint. As the only son of the king & queen of his kingdom, it falls on Dave to protect his sisters from harm. Ha! Older sister Candy seems to be more on the ball than Dave is, but is also a stereotypical teenager who'd rather be at the mall than fighting monsters. The other sister, the oddly named Fang, doesn't like being referred to as a monkey, but seemingly hasn't seen herself in a mirror to see why people think of her that way.

Because it was a light-hearted comedy adventure with moral lessons included (if you can find them in the story), you'd think Disney would've repurposed the series on ABC. Nope. It aired exclusively on Disney Channel, then shifted to Toon Disney (now DisneyXD) a year later, and hasn't been seen since then. Dave Feiss (Cow & Chicken) can be credited with the character designs, I think, paying homage to Sergio Aragones & Mark Evanier's barbaric spoof, Groo the Wanderer.

Here's the first episode:



I think they were hoping for Bullwinkle in the Middle Ages, but the viewers didn't respond in kind.

Rating: C.

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