Earthworm Jim
A screenshot from the series' opening sequence showcasing its logo next to the protagonists.
GenreAction/Adventure
Science fiction comedy
Slapstick
Created byDoug TenNapel
Based onEarthworm Jim
by Shiny Entertainment
Developed byDoug Langdale
Voices ofDan Castellaneta
Jeff Bennett
Charles Adler
Jim Cummings
Edward Hibbert
John Kassir
Andrea Martin
Kath Soucie
Narrated byJeff Bennett
Theme music composerWilliam Kevin Anderson
Opening theme"Earthworm Jim", performed by William Kevin Anderson
Ending theme"Earthworm Jim" (instrumental)
ComposerWilliam Kevin Anderson / Patrick Griffin
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes23
Production
Executive producersDavid Perry
Doug TenNapel
ProducersKathi Castillo
Roy Allen Smith
EditorJay Bixsen
Running time25 minutes
Production companiesAKOM
Flextech
Shiny Entertainment
Universal Cartoon Studios
DistributorMCA TV
Release
Original networkKids' WB
Original releaseSeptember 9, 1995 (1995-09-09) –
December 13, 1996 (1996-12-13)

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.[1] The series aired on the Kids' WB[2][3] 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.[4]

Premise

Most episodes involve the series' numerous villains attempting to reclaim the super suit, conquer the universe, or otherwise causing mayhem throughout the galaxy. 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.

Characters

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.

Voice cast

The voice director for the series was Ginny McSwain.

Main

Additional

Production

The series was created by Doug TenNapel and produced by Universal Cartoon Studios along with AKOM, Flextech Television Limited, and Shiny Entertainment.[5]

Episodes

Two seasons of the series were produced, for a total of 23 episodes.

Series overview

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 September 9, 1995 (1995-09-09) February 24, 1996 (1996-02-24)
2 10 September 7, 1996 (1996-09-07) December 13, 1996 (1996-12-13)


Season 1 (1995–1996)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byOriginal air date
11"Sidekicked"Doug LangdaleSeptember 9, 1995 (1995-09-09)
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.
22"The Book of Doom"Doug LangdaleSeptember 16, 1995 (1995-09-16)
Due to a printing error, Jim's pop-up book contains the Mystic Secret of Ultimate Destruction, which Evil the Cat seeks to possess.
33"Assault and Battery"Thomas HartSeptember 23, 1995 (1995-09-23)
Jim must find a new power source after his super suit is drained.
44"Day of the Fish"Doug LangdaleSeptember 30, 1995 (1995-09-30)
Bob the Killer Goldfish attempts to steal Jim's super suit.
55"Conqueror Worm"Doug LangdaleOctober 7, 1995 (1995-10-07)
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.
66"Upholstered Peril"John LoyOctober 14, 1995 (1995-10-14)
Professor Monkey-For-A-Head tries to conquer the world with cybernetic furniture after setting up his workshop in the North Pole.
77"Sword of Righteousness"Steve RobertsOctober 21, 1995 (1995-10-21)
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.
88"The Egg Beater"Jim Peterson,
John Behnke,
Rob Humphrey
October 28, 1995 (1995-10-28)
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.
99"Trout!"Henry GilroyNovember 4, 1995 (1995-11-04)
After receiving a postcard, Jim sets out to see the legendary Giant Fur-Bearin' Trout.
1010"The Great Secret of the Universe"Doug LangdaleNovember 11, 1995 (1995-11-11)
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.
1111"Bring Me the Head of Earthworm Jim"Doug LangdaleNovember 18, 1995 (1995-11-18)
Psy-Crow and Professor Monkey-For-A-Head reminisce about the time they captured Earthworm Jim by replacing his supersuit with a weak duplicate.
1212"Queen What's-Her-Name"Doug LangdaleNovember 25, 1995 (1995-11-25)
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.
1313"The Anti-Fish"Doug LangdaleFebruary 24, 1996 (1996-02-24)
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.

Season 2 (1996)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byOriginal air date
141"The Origins of Peter Puppy"Doug LangdaleSeptember 7, 1996 (1996-09-07)
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.
152"Opposites Attack!"Doug LangdaleSeptember 14, 1996 (1996-09-14)
Evil Jim attempts to create evil versions of Jim's friends with less than stellar results.
163"Darwin's Nightmare"Doug LangdaleSeptember 28, 1996 (1996-09-28)
Bob the Killer Goldfish discovers a way to hyper-evolve himself to higher lifeforms.
174"The Exile of Lucy"Doug LangdaleOctober 5, 1996 (1996-10-05)
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.
185"Evil in Love"Doug LangdaleOctober 26, 1996 (1996-10-26)
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.
196"Hyper Psy-Crow"Doug LangdaleNovember 2, 1996 (1996-11-02)
Psy-Crow overdoses on coffee and becomes hyper-powered.
207"Peanut of the Apes"Doug LangdaleNovember 9, 1996 (1996-11-09)
Professor Monkey-For-A-Head tries to turn everyone on earth into apes while Jim tries to introduce "viewer interactivity" on the show.
218"Lounge Day's Journey Into Night"Thomas HartNovember 16, 1996 (1996-11-16)
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.
229"Wizard of Ooze"Doug LangdaleNovember 22, 1996 (1996-11-22)
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.
2310"For Whom the Jingle Bell Tolls"John LoyDecember 13, 1996 (1996-12-13)[6]
During the holiday season, Queen Slug-for-a-Butt tries to brainwash Santa Claus.

Broadcast history

In the United States, the show was aired on Kids' WB on The WB Television Network from 1995 to 1996.[3][7] 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.[8] 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.

Media

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.[9]

The complete series was intended to receive a U.S. DVD release from Visual Entertainment on July 10, 2012 (2012-07-10), but was delayed right before release to late October.[10][11] The set includes all 23 episodes on 3 discs, and is currently available on Amazon.com.[12]

Digitally, the complete series is currently available through a streaming service called Tubi. [13]

Name Release Date Episodes Region Additional Information
Vol. 1: Bring Me the Head of Earthworm Jim / Sword of Righteousness April 9, 1996 (1996-04-09) 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Vol. 2: Conqueror Worm / Day of the Fish April 9, 1996 (1996-04-09) 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Vol. 3: Assault & Battery / Trout! April 9, 1996 (1996-04-09) 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Vol. 4: The Book of Doom / The Egg Beater April 9, 1996 (1996-04-09) 2 VHS Includes animation featurette.
Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series June 1, 2011 (2011-06-01) 23 4 Includes no bonus features.
Earthworm Jim: Complete Series November 2012 (2012-11) 23 1 Includes no bonus features.

Reception

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.

Legacy

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.[14]

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 Whats-Her-Name, Bob the Killer Goldfish, #4, Evil the Cat, Henchrat, Major Mucus and Psy-Crow.[15] A mountable "pocket rocket" was also available as well as a rare mail-in repainted figure of Earthworm Jim in a green suit.

References

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 298–300. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  2. ^ Mendoza, N.F. (October 22, 1995). "WB Raises the Animation Ante". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b Gamasutra Staff (2008-04-22). "Interplay, TenNapel Partner For Earthworm Jim Game, Cartoon Revival". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
  4. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 117. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  5. ^ Johnson, Greg (December 17, 1995). "A Company and an Artist from Orange County Work to Turn Video Game Character Earthworm Jim Into a Multimedia Star". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  6. ^ The Big Cartoon DataBase (13 December 1996). "For Whom The Jingle Bell Tolls (1996) Episode 74508- Earthworm Jim Cartoon Episode Guide". Big Cartoon DataBase (BCDB).
  7. ^ "'Toon In: MDK Comes to Life as an Animated Series". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 101. Ziff Davis. December 1997. p. 30.
  8. ^ RTÉ Guide.   7-13 September 1996 edition and subsequent dates.
  9. ^ "Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series". www.viavision.com.au. Archived from the original on 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  10. ^ "Earthworm Jim DVD news: Delay for Earthworm Jim – The Complete Series". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  11. ^ "Earthworm Jim DVD news: New Release Date for Earthworm Jim – The Complete Series". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-30. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  12. ^ Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series. "Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series: Charles Adler, Jeff Bennett, Dan Castellaneta, Jim Cummings, Edward Hibbert, John Kassir, Andrea Martin, Kath Soucie, Danny Mann, Ben Stein, Kevin Michael Richardson, April Winchell, Na: Movies & TV". Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  13. ^ https://tubitv.com/series/300006687/earthworm-jim?start=true&utm_source=google-feed&tracking=google-feed
  14. ^ Ramsay, Morgan (3 June 2015). Online Game Pioneers at Work. Apress. ISBN 9781430241867. Retrieved 21 May 2019 – via Google Books.
  15. ^ "Earthworm Jim (Playmates) – Action Figure Checklist". Figurerealm.com. Retrieved 2011-05-25.