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Cartoon Graveyard: The Sweet Smell of Failure

May 8, 2009

I approach this blog with some trepidation, as I lag far beyond my colleagues in such vital areas of pop-culture knowledge as pornography, fonts, and the many varieties of giant fighting robot. I can only claim to be well-versed in comic books and cartoons, and then only those of American origin (note: USA! USA! USA! USA!). And since the last thing the world needs is another guy talking about comics on the Internet, that leaves the cartoon (note: it has come to my attention that the last thing the world needs is, in fact, an army of zombie Hitlers. This seems reasonable). Hence Cartoon Graveyard, the most egregious repurposing of a Paul Simon lyric since Elvis renamed his estate after the popular tune “Graceland,” having abandoned its original name, “Dollywood.” Here I aim to explore the world of animation: the old, the new, and when I’m feeling lazy, the awful.

Guess how I’m feeling today. Want a hint? Two words: Skunk Fu! (sic)

Title Skunk Fu!
Network CW / Cartoon Network
Premise Skunk learns kung fu. No, seriously.
You thought I made this up, didn't you.

You thought I made this up, didn't you.

Let’s begin with some context. As we all know, children are essentially adorable parasites, fit only to consume our worldly goods until they hit eleven and go off to the mill to earn their own damn living. Fortunately, top scientists (top!) have discovered that, like most lower-order mammals, children are easily transfixed by high-intensity color and sound, rapidly changing. Thus was born the cartoon. Later someone discovered that the same effect could be produced much more cheaply by eliminating logical narrative, subtlety, and all but a few carefully-chosen character traits. Thus was born the Saturday morning cartoon, heroically keeping kids quiet and 100% intellectually unstimulated ever since.

Here’s the goods: the protagonist, to whom I shall refer as Furry Grasshopper, studies kung fu for some reason under panda teacher Wise Old Cliché, while enduring challenges from other kung fu types and putting up with an egotistical, bossy rabbit, known as Daffy Duck Clone 957-Z. Misadventures ensue, most of them brightly colored and not having a goddamn thing to do with kung fu.

The panda reacts correctly to this show.

The panda reacts correctly to this show.

Now, there are several options to complain about here: the continuing bastardization of martial arts, the cheap-ass animation, the pointlessness of teaching kung fu to quadripedal creatures, etc. But there is one sin for which the makers of Skunk Fu! (note: exclamation point in title = miasma of desperation) can never be forgiven: the main character is a SKUNK. WHO DOES NOT SMELL ALL THE TIME. At most, he lets one rip every now and then. Think about it. If there’s one thing everyone knows about biology, it’s that THE SKUNK IS NATURE’S FART JOKE. The skunk is nothing without its disgusting scent and the hilarity and/or terror it produces in social settings. Scentless, a skunk is nothing more than a monochrome ferret, and the only jokes to be made about it involve is resemblance to an Oreo and whether it can be split apart and dipped in milk (note: do not try this at home. It tastes terrible).

I'm a dirty skunk? I'M a dirty skunk?

I'm a dirty skunk? I'M a dirty skunk?

Consider an episode from the career of noted skunk thespian Pépe Le Pew. Towards the end of one of his marathon cat-harassing sessions, as always hilariously unaware of his own stinky state, M. Le Pew plunges helplessly into a bucket of blue paint. Upon emerging, his appearance (and hygiene) is apparently improved, and the cat in question takes a sudden interest. Abruptly, the black-and-white hunter who smells like crap becomes the blue hunted who merely smells like paint. The moral: without his scent, Pépe would be a TITAN AMONG LOVERS, and instead of making us laugh, his films would just make us feel insecure about our own sexual prowess, and no one wants that. A skunk needs his smell.

This being the case, for the creators of Skunk Fu! not to use this crucial element of skunkitude more often is madness. No doubt the character’s species was chosen for the weak pun in the title, and that is an opportunity lost. Who among us can honestly say he would not watch a show in which a skunk ACTUALLY fought off hordes of foes using his terrifying, incapacitating ass-blaster? Communists, that’s who. Not because of their politics, but because they’re humorless grouches. The rest of us can only imagine what could have been, and appreciate that Skunk Fu! at least succeeds in its one essential goal: distracting the young so we can continue plundering their legacies.

Final Judgment: (farts)

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6 comments

  1. I’d just like to apologize to everyone for this being our least-read piece, yet also being responsible for sending people to our site who searched for “skunk fu hentai.” I’m just very very sorry.


  2. I’d also like to lend my sincerest apologies to anyone whose unfortunate lives have led them to search for skunk fu hentai on the internet.


  3. I think the best part is that there are more views from “skunk fu hentai” than any other string.


  4. We’re number 13 on a Google search for “skunk fu hentai”, so I guess all those people have tried 12 other sites.


  5. We were #8 last week. We probably fell because, well, we’re not actually a link about skunk fu hentai.


  6. Yet.



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