STUDIO:  Warner Home Video
MSRP:  $26.98
RATED:  Unrated
RUNNING TIME:  300 minutes
• Freakazoid: The Original Freak Featurette
• 3 Commentaries on Key Episodes
• Freakazoid-less Freakazoid Promos
• Trailers

I never watched Freakazoid when it first aired in 1995. I was 13 years old, way too mature and cool to be watching children’s cartoons. A few years later I would make fun of a friend of the same age who admitted that it was his favorite show. Freakazoid? That show looked stupid.

How is it viewed through an adult’s eyes?

The Pitch

“Stephen Spielberg gets freaky!”

The Humans

Freaky voice: Paul Rugg
Freaky producers: Steven Spielberg, Tom Ruegger
Freaky writers: Tom Ruegger, John McCann

The Nutshell

Following the success of Tiny Toons, The Animaniacs, and whole bunch of WB cartoons, executive producer Steven Spielberg wanted to try something new. Something about a super hero, a little more action packed but still just as zany. Freakazoid it was!

The ever-changing story is about a kid named Dexter who’s turned into the Freakazoid in a freak accident involving the internet. In his new form he can fight, change shapes, fight supervillians, and can even sometimes fly! 

They really exaggerated his personality here.

There’s really no overreaching story or arc to this season. Continuity is thrown out the window and every story adds new characters, plot points and Freakazoid powers as needed. He fights super villains all the time but is just as likely to go hang out with his buddy cop, or treat you to a piano interlude, or foreign language lesson.

It’s wacky and weird and a damn entertaining show.

The Lowdown

The best part of Freakazoid is how many times it shatters the fourth wall. It lampoons itself constantly, talking about its low ratings, ridiculous characters, and even introduces a car to the series just to make the show more toyetic.

Hey, Pinky and the Brain did it!”

Hell, one episode has Freakazoid admitting “We’re just throwing things around to see what sticks” when questioned about the “Freakalair” that no one knew existed. That’s what the show feels like- an insane jumble of jokes and ideas and satire with no clear direction, and for the most part it works incredibly well. 

The film is full of non sequitors and very irreverent, surprisingly mature humor. For a film fan there’s a ton of references to pick out from ET and Star Wars to Wolfman and Ed Wood. It veers off into very strange directions in no time at all and just hopes you follow along.

In fact, the only thing that keeps Freakazoid from becoming a true classic is its reliance on childish humor.

That may seem like a weird issue to have with a kid’s show. Course, Freakazoid always attracted older viewers, despite what I stubbornly believed as a teen, but all the same, it is a cartoon aimed at kids. It just feels like it could have been so much more. Not that there’s a problem with slapstick or silly voices, but there are moments (especially in the first few episodes) that will make you want to claw your eyes out. It’s that special child’s brand of humor that throws out the comedy rule of three- if someone getting hit in the face is funny, 20 more must be even funnier! The Alien named Mo-ron (later changed to Bo-Ron out of fear that they’d offend idiots, apparently) is a classic example of this- here’s a character whose sole line is “I am Moron!” in a decidedly doofy voice. Hear it once and it’s amusing. Hear it throughout an episode and you’ll want to drink Draino.

Still, practically every episode keeps things fresh by containing two or three Freakazoid stories, and most contain a few segments revolving around other characters to spice up the mix. My personal favorites are the ones about Lord Bravery, a British superhero who’s got a real thing for John Cleese humor. Seriously, you’ll feel like you’re watching a cartoon adaptation of Fawlty Towers.

“You know how much negative energy would be necessary to generate a flow this size? “

But consider this author surprised at how much he enjoyed the show. It’s silly, but the humor is smart and the series definitely deserves its cult status.

The Package

There are two discs in this package, one of which is double-sided.  Included across all three sides are all 14 episodes from the first season.

The commentaries are great and do a good job of showing just how into the show these guys were. They giggle away at all of their jokes and go deep into explaining why they did what they did. It’s further explained in the excellent featurette on the third side. If you think the show seems ridiculous and thrown together, this will make you understand why it is that way.

The funniest extra is probably the “Freakazoid-free Freakazoid” promos, that were made before they didn’t actually have any footage to show off. To prove the point of how self-depreciating the humor is, they point out in the commercials that perhaps they should get back to work.

There are also a few trailers for other cartoon series, and Lego Batman.

The usual Chud reaction to fanboys.

OVERALL: 8.0 out of 10