Science fiction comedy
|Created by||Doug TenNapel|
|Based on||Earthworm Jim|
by Shiny Entertainment
|Developed by||Doug Langdale|
|Voices of||Dan Castellaneta|
|Narrated by||Jeff Bennett|
|Theme music composer||William Kevin Anderson|
|Opening theme||"Earthworm Jim", performed by William Kevin Anderson|
|Ending theme||"Earthworm Jim" (instrumental)|
|Composer||William Kevin Anderson / Patrick Griffin|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||23|
|Executive producers||David Perry|
Roy Allen Smith
|Running time||25 minutes|
Universal Cartoon Studios
|Original network||Kids' WB|
|Original release||September 9, 1995 –|
December 13, 1996
Earthworm Jim is an American animated television series based on the video game series of the same name and created by series creator, Doug TenNapel. The series aired on the Kids' WB for two seasons from September 9, 1995, to December 13, 1996. It follows the adventures of the titular character who battles the forces of evil using a robotic suit.
Most episodes involve the series' numerous villains attempting to reclaim the super suit or conquer the universe. Other issues facing Jim include returning his neighbor's eggbeater and finding a new power source after his suit's battery runs out. Also, the show breaks the fourth wall with characters often talking to the audience and the narrator.
Episodes begin with a cold opening of Earthworm Jim and Peter Puppy in some peril that has nothing to do with the main plot or the past episodes, with little statement of how they got into the mess. In between parts (generally before or after the commercial break), there is a short side-story, generally featuring one of the villains doing a more natural part of life, usually without any involvement from Jim. These can range anywhere from Psy-Crow going through a career change, Evil the Cat disguising himself as a movie star in order to make his evil plans known to the world, or Professor Monkey-For-A-Head attending group therapy and always ending with the line: "and now, back to Earthworm Jim." The end of every episode involves Jim or any other character being crushed by a cow, a homage to the original game's ending.
Most of the main characters from the show originated from characters introduced in the video game series. Peter Puppy becomes Jim's sidekick and friend and Princess What's-Her-Name is featured as his love interest. Several antagonists from the games such as Evil the Cat, Psy-Crow, Bob the Killer Goldfish, Queen Slug-for-a-Butt, and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head also appear in the series.
Additionally, some original characters were also created for the series, and were then in turn integrated into future games in the series. For example, Evil Jim, an evil doppelgänger of Jim created for the series, went on to be the main antagonist in Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy.
The voice director for the series was Ginny McSwain.
The series was created by Doug TenNapel and produced by Universal Cartoon Studios along with AKOM, Flextech Television Limited, and Shiny Entertainment.
Two seasons of the series were produced, for a total of 23 episodes.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||September 9, 1995||February 24, 1996|
|2||10||September 7, 1996||December 13, 1996|
|Title||Written by||Original air date|
|1||1||"Sidekicked"||Doug Langdale||September 9, 1995|
|After Peter botches an adventure involving Professor Monkey-For-A-Head by turning into a monster and attacking him, Jim begins looking for a new sidekick like the Shadow and Turns-His-Eyelids-Inside-Out Boy. Meanwhile, Psy-Crow has more than he can handle when he kidnaps Princess-What's-Her-Name.|
|2||2||"The Book of Doom"||Doug Langdale||September 16, 1995|
|Due to a printing error, Jim's pop-up book contains the Mystic Secret of Ultimate Destruction, which Evil the Cat seeks to possess.|
|3||3||"Assault and Battery"||Thomas Hart||September 23, 1995|
|Jim must find a new power source after his super suit is drained.|
|4||4||"Day of the Fish"||Doug Langdale||September 30, 1995|
|Bob the Killer Goldfish attempts to steal Jim's super suit.|
|5||5||"Conqueror Worm"||Doug Langdale||October 7, 1995|
|Due to a photocopy machine accident, Jim creates an evil duplicate of himself called Evil Jim and the real Jim is arrested for Evil Jim's crimes where Jim meets an inmate named Walter.|
|6||6||"Upholstered Peril"||John Loy||October 14, 1995|
|Professor Monkey-For-A-Head tries to conquer the world with cybernetic furniture after setting up his workshop in the North Pole.|
|7||7||"Sword of Righteousness"||Steve Roberts||October 21, 1995|
|Jim finds an enchanted sword in a vending machine sandwich who begins training him in sort of what is considered the ways of a true hero as Psy-Crow begins his next plot.|
|8||8||"The Egg Beater"||Jim Peterson,|
|October 28, 1995|
|Jim loses his neighbor Mrs. Bleverage's eggbeater and takes her on a journey to recover it, encountering all of his enemies along the way.|
|9||9||"Trout!"||Henry Gilroy||November 4, 1995|
|After receiving a postcard, Jim sets out to see the legendary Giant Fur-Bearin' Trout.|
|10||10||"The Great Secret of the Universe"||Doug Langdale||November 11, 1995|
|Evil the Cat steals Jim's snow globe, which contains the Nameless Beast (whose name is Rosebud) who knows the Great Secret of the Universe.|
|11||11||"Bring Me the Head of Earthworm Jim"||Doug Langdale||November 18, 1995|
|Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head reminisce about the time they captured Earthworm Jim by replacing his supersuit with a weak duplicate.|
|12||12||"Queen What's-Her-Name"||Doug Langdale||November 25, 1995|
|Princess What's-Her-Name finally overthrows her tyrannical sister Queen Slug-For-A-Butt. Though Queen Slug-For-A-Butt and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head have their own plans for her on the day of her coronation.|
|13||13||"The Anti-Fish"||Doug Langdale||February 24, 1996|
|Jim and Bob must join forces with Bob the Killer Goldfish to save the Great Worm Spirit from being consumed by its arch-enemy the Anti-Fish.|
|Title||Written by||Original air date|
|14||1||"The Origins of Peter Puppy"||Doug Langdale||September 7, 1996|
|Jim and Peter travel through Peter's subconscious to try to discover the reasons for Peter's transformations which has ties to Evil the Cat.|
|15||2||"Opposites Attack!"||Doug Langdale||September 14, 1996|
|Evil Jim attempts to create evil versions of Jim's friends with less than stellar results.|
|16||3||"Darwin's Nightmare"||Doug Langdale||September 28, 1996|
|Bob the Killer Goldfish discovers a way to hyper-evolve himself to higher lifeforms.|
|17||4||"The Exile of Lucy"||Doug Langdale||October 5, 1996|
|Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head overthrow Queen Slug-for-a-Butt, but they quickly prove to be even worse rulers than her. When Jim and Peter are captured and every one of their allies is unavailable, Princess What's-Her-Name must work together with her sister to reclaim Insectika from their rule.|
|18||5||"Evil in Love"||Doug Langdale||October 26, 1996|
|Evil the Cat falls in love and teams up with Malice the Dog. Malice uses her powers to trap Jim, Peter, and Princess What's-Her-Name in a nightmare realm where they end up contending with the Lord of Nightmares.|
|19||6||"Hyper Psy-Crow"||Doug Langdale||November 2, 1996|
|Psy-Crow overdoses on coffee and becomes hyper-powered.|
|20||7||"Peanut of the Apes"||Doug Langdale||November 9, 1996|
|Professor Monkey-For-A-Head tries to turn everyone on earth into apes while Jim tries to introduce "viewer interactivity" on the show.|
|21||8||"Lounge Day's Journey Into Night"||Thomas Hart||November 16, 1996|
|Jim and Peter switch roles as hero and sidekick while Evil the Cat tries to destroy the universe by making a pair of dime-store lounge singers sing a cursed song.|
|22||9||"Wizard of Ooze"||Doug Langdale||November 22, 1996|
|Jim and Peter are transported to an alternate dimension akin to The Wizard of Oz where they meet the dimension's versions of Walter, the Grim Reaper, and the Hamsternator who want to obtain certain items.|
|23||10||"For Whom the Jingle Bell Tolls"||John Loy||December 13, 1996|
|During the holiday season, Queen Slug-for-a-Butt tries to brainwash Santa Claus.|
In the United States, the show was aired on Kids' WB on The WB Television Network from 1995 to 1996. Internationally, in the United Kingdom, it was shown on Channel 4 and TCC (The Children's Channel) in the 1990s. In the 2000s, the show has seen occasional reruns on Nickelodeon. In Ireland, the show was aired on RTÉ Two from 12 September 1996 to 1997. In Canada, the show was aired on YTV. In Mexico, the show was aired on TV Azteca. In Germany, the show was aired on RTL. In the Netherlands, the show was aired on Kindernet. In Poland, the show was aired on RTL 7.
The show was released in the UK onto three VHS tapes in three volumes covering two episodes on each video in the 1990s but these are now out of print and considered rare.
On June 1, 2011, Via Vision Entertainment released the complete series as a 5-disc set in Australia and New Zealand.
The complete series was intended to receive a U.S. DVD release from Visual Entertainment on July 10, 2012, but was delayed right before release to late October. The set includes all 23 episodes on 3 discs, and is currently available on Amazon.com.
Digitally, the complete series is currently available on Fox Corporation's Tubi.
|Name||Release Date||Episodes||Region||Additional Information|
|Vol. 1: Bring Me the Head of Earthworm Jim / Sword of Righteousness||April 9, 1996||2||VHS||Includes animation featurette.|
|Vol. 2: Conqueror Worm / Day of the Fish||April 9, 1996||2||VHS||Includes animation featurette.|
|Vol. 3: Assault & Battery / Trout!||April 9, 1996||2||VHS||Includes animation featurette.|
|Vol. 4: The Book of Doom / The Egg Beater||April 9, 1996||2||VHS||Includes animation featurette.|
|Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series||June 1, 2011||23||4||Includes no bonus features.|
|Earthworm Jim: Complete Series||November 2012||23||1||Includes no bonus features.|
The Earthworm Jim television series received generally positive reviews from critics and audiences, for being one of Doug TenNapel's best creations, and having the originality of the 1994 video game of the same name.
Aspects of the show, such as newly created characters, or art style, were later implemented in future video games Earthworm Jim 3D and Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy. Two Earthworm Jim comic book series, in the US and UK, were also created to tie into the animated series.
A line of action figures based on the show was released by Playmates Toys. The series included several variants of Earthworm Jim, as well as Peter Puppy, Princess What's-Her-Name, Bob the Killer Goldfish, #4, Evil the Cat, Henchrat, Major Mucus and Psy-Crow. A mountable "pocket rocket" was also available as well as a rare mail-in repainted figure of Earthworm Jim in a green suit.
On November 18, 2021, it was reported that a new animated television series titled Earthworm Jim: Beyond the Groovy is in development.