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
Charlie Adler
Jim Cummings
Edward Hibbert
John Kassir
Andrea Martin
Kath Soucie
Narrated byJeff Bennett
Theme music composerWilliam Anderson
Opening theme"Earthworm Jim", performed by unknown singer and Jeff Bennett
Ending theme"Earthworm Jim" (instrumental)
ComposerWilliam 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
The Children's Channel (TCC)
Original release
NetworkKids' WB
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 or conquer the universe. However, some episodes have Jim facing more mundane issues, which 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. Both of these are changed in season 2, with the cold opens being more relevant to the plot and the side stories being dropped entirely. Most episodes end with a character being crushed by a cow, a homage to the original game's ending.

Characters

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (September 2023)

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] In 1995, TenNapel and Will Meugniot created a pitch animation video for WB, which showcased a different animation style and Jim not speaking (voice was done by TenNapel). On August 23rd of 2022, a YouTube user named gooberloll uploaded the pitch video.[6] However, while Meugniot left to supervise season 4 of X-Men, the Graz Entertainment produced first season of Street Fighter and consulting on G.I. Joe Extreme, someone at the network decided that Jim had to talk.

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 inadvertently allows Professor Monkey-for-a-Head to escape after Jim is distracted fighting his monster form, Jim begins looking for a new sidekick, including A Shadow, Whoopee Cushion Man, Captain Cabbage, and Turns-His-Eyelids-Inside-Out Boy. Meanwhile, Psy-Crow has more than he can handle when he kidnaps Princess-What's-Her-Name on Queen Slug-for-a-Butt's behalf.
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 and Peter journey to the home of the gods to get a new GODS Battery after Jim's suit begins running out of power. Meanwhile, Queen Slug-for-a-Butt threatens to destroy Terlawk if not given the suit by sundown.
44"Day of the Fish"Doug LangdaleSeptember 30, 1995 (1995-09-30)
Jim encounters Bob the Killer Goldfish after going to La Planeta de Aqua to get sugar for the Intergalactic Heroes League.
55"Conqueror Worm"Doug LangdaleOctober 7, 1995 (1995-10-07)
A photocopier accident creates Evil Jim, an evil duplicate of Jim who frames Jim for his crimes. Subsequently, Jim willingly imprisons himself out of belief that he was truly responsible, befriending 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 that turns whoever sits on them into zombie-like couch potatoes after defeating Santa Claus and taking over 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 the ways of a true hero as Psy-Crow steals a powerful magic orb.
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 Bob the Killer Goldfish, Evil the Cat, Professor Monkey-for-a-Head, Psy-Crow, and Queen Slug-for-a-Butt along the way.
99"Trout!"Henry GilroyNovember 4, 1995 (1995-11-04)
After receiving a postcard, Jim and Peter go to find the legendary Giant Fur-Bearin' Trout. At the same time, Queen Slug-for-a-Butt is seeking the Trout to use his hair to power a weapon.
1010"The Great Secret of the Universe"Doug LangdaleNovember 11, 1995 (1995-11-11)
Evil the Cat steals Jim's snow globe, summoning Rosebud the Nameless Beast to destroy the universe by breaking its glass barrier. Rosebud launches Jim and Peter into deep space, where they meet a purple alien who becomes infatuated with Peter's monster form and helps them return to Earth.
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. However, the Queen 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)
Having to put their fight with Evil Jim on hold, Jim and Peter 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)
After Peter's transformations repeatedly botch Jim's heroics, Jim sets out to learn the source of them. However, when he ultimately cures Peter, he also reverts him to a normal dog, leaving him unable to help against Evil the Cat's newest scheme.
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 – especially when good clones of Professor Monkey-for-a-Head, Evil the Cat, and Queen Slug-for-a-Butt are created.
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 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 with her sister to reclaim Insectika.
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 using cosmetic products, 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 after the Intergalactic Heroes League deems the former unfit to be a hero, while Evil the Cat tries to destroy the universe by making two dime-store lounge singers sing a cursed song.
229"Wizard of Ooze"Doug LangdaleNovember 22, 1996 (1996-11-22)
Queen Slug-for-a-Butt transports Jim and Peter 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.
2310"For Whom the Jingle Bell Tolls"John LoyDecember 13, 1996 (1996-12-13)[7]
During the holiday season, Queen Slug-for-a-Butt tries to brainwash Santa Claus.

Telecast history

In the United States, the show was aired on Kids' WB on The WB Television Network from 1995 to 1996.[3][8] 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.[9] 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. In Spain, the series was dubbed in different languages apart from Castilian Spanish, like the Basque language.

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.[10]

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.[11][12] The set includes all 23 episodes on 3 discs, and is currently available on Amazon.com.[13]

Digitally, the complete series was formerly available on Fox Corporation's Tubi, but was taken off the service and the show is yet to be made available.[14]

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.

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.[15]

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.[16] A mountable "pocket rocket" was also available as well as a rare mail-in repainted figure of Earthworm Jim in a green suit. Premium DNA made a new line of action figures (Wave 1) set to ship this month.[17]

On November 18, 2021, it was reported that a new animated television series titled Earthworm Jim: Beyond the Groovy is in development.[18] A year later, it was announced that Paris animation studio Circus Studios joined Passion Pictures as a partner on the show.[19] One of the writers on the show, Brent Friedman, said on X how the project is on hold.[20]

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. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlE1rjyzyeo&t=0s
  7. ^ 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). Archived from the original on February 19, 2015.
  8. ^ "'Toon In: MDK Comes to Life as an Animated Series". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 101. Ziff Davis. December 1997. p. 30.
  9. ^ RTÉ Guide.   7-13 September 1996 edition and subsequent dates.
  10. ^ "Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series". www.viavision.com.au. Archived from the original on 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ Earthworm Jim: The Complete Series (10 July 2012). "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". Amazon. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  14. ^ "Earthworm Jim".
  15. ^ Ramsay, Morgan (3 June 2015). Online Game Pioneers at Work. Apress. ISBN 9781430241867. Retrieved 21 May 2019 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ "Earthworm Jim (Playmates) – Action Figure Checklist". Figurerealm.com. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  17. ^ https://premiumdnatoys.com/collections/earthworm-jim
  18. ^ 'Earthworm Jim' TV Series in Development From Interplay Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE). Variety.com. 18 November 2021. Retrieved 2021-11-18.
  19. ^ "'Searching for Sugar Man' Producer Passion Pictures & Circus Studios Broaden Partnership & Are Working on 'Earthworm Jim' Animated TV Series". 23 November 2022.
  20. ^ Brent Friedman [@BFree63] (October 26, 2023). "The project was put on hold" (Tweet). Retrieved November 11, 2023 – via Twitter.