The Oblongs
The Oblongs title card.png
The Oblongs title card
Genre
Created by
Based onCreepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children
by Angus Oblong
Starring
Opening theme"Oblongs" by They Might Be Giants
Composers
  • David Michael Frank
  • David Schwartz
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Production
Executive producers
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network
Picture formatNTSC
Original releaseApril 1, 2001 (2001-04-01) –
October 20, 2002 (2002-10-20)

The Oblongs is an American adult animated sitcom created by Angus Oblong and Jace Richdale. It was Mohawk Productions' first venture into animation. The series premiered on April 1, 2001 on The WB, and was removed on May 20th, leaving the last five episodes unaired.[1] The remaining episodes were later aired on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block Adult Swim in August 2002, and later aired on Teletoon's "Teletoon Unleashed" (later become former block Teletoon at Night) block. The series is loosely based on a series of characters introduced in a picture book entitled Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children.[2]

Three networks had a bidding war to win the rights to turn Angus Oblong's characters into a series: Fox, the WB, and ABC. Warner Bros. won the bidding to turn Oblong's characters into a series; and thus, the series was submitted to the WB. The show was produced by Film Roman, Oblong Productions, Jobsite Productions and Mohawk Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, and the theme song for the series was composed and performed by They Might Be Giants. This was the only animated series to date to have been produced by Bruce Helford under Mohawk.

A total of 13 episodes were produced. All thirteen episodes of The Oblongs were released on DVD on October 4, 2005.

As of February 2022, the series is available on Tubi.

Setting and premise

The series focuses on the antics of a family who live in a poor valley community and, as a result of pollution and radiation exposure, are all disabled or deformed. The pollution is the direct result of the lavish lifestyle of the rich community known as "The Hills", whose residents exploit and harm the valley residents with absolutely no regard for their safety or well-being.

Social commentary

Many reviewers and fans see the series as a commentary on social stratification.[3]

Characters

The Oblong family

Milo's friends, "The Clubhouse Kids"

The Hill residents

The Valley residents

Minor characters

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byStoryboard byOriginal air dateProd.
code
1"Misfit Love"Vincent WallerJace RichdaleDave Filoni,
Vincent Waller &
Mark Miraglia
April 1, 2001 (2001-04-01)236-001
Milo Oblong gets transferred to public school after his father, Bob, is taken off his job's insurance for filing too many claims, and falls for a beautiful, popular girl named Yvette who's really an alien. Meanwhile, Bob tries to find a second job to pay the medical bills.
2"Narcoleptic Scottie"Bob JaquesScott BuckOreste Canestrelli,
Debbie Cone &
Chong Suk Lee
April 8, 2001 (2001-04-08)236-003

In an attempt to calm his hyperactivity, Bob and Pickles let Milo care for an injured Scottish terrier, but when the dog proves to be a bad influence on Milo, he's forced to give the dog up for adoption.

Note: This is the first Oblongs' episode to have the full opening.
3"Milo Interrupted"Kelly ArmstrongBen KullOrlando Baeza
Chris Harmon &
Victor Lopez
April 15, 2001 (2001-04-15)236-009
After a Hill kid chucks a rock at the window of Mr. Bergstein's house, the mayor hires a Bible-thumping, gun nut named Mrs. Hubbard to investigate the Valley for dysfunctional families and juvenile delinquents when the Valley kids are accused of the incident. Meanwhile, Milo discovers that Helga's parents are missing and must care for her, making Bob suspect that Milo is abusing drugs.
4"Bucketheads"Joe HorneScott BuckOreste Canestrelli,
Debbie Cone &
John Mathot
April 22, 2001 (2001-04-22)236-011
Milo becomes an unlikely trendsetter for the Hill kids after Pickles sends him to school with a bucket on his head, but the fame goes to Milo's head when Milo sets out to create his own line of offbeat attire.
5"Heroine Addict"Monte YoungJoey Soloway &
Scott Buck
John Mathot,
Tom Nelson &
Richard Wilkie
April 29, 2001 (2001-04-29)236-013
Pickles wins the chance at a shopping spree from a cigarette company, but when she passes out after smoking one too many cigarettes, Pickles decides to quit smoking (and drinking alcohol after inadvertently setting her finger on fire) and becomes a thrill-seeker after knocking out a woman during Tae-Bo class.
6"The Golden Child"Linda MillerLeonard DickOreste Canestrelli,
Jill Colbert &
Tom Nelson
May 6, 2001 (2001-05-06)236-008

Bob Oblong becomes depressed after learning all his suggestions to make Globocide better have been used as kindling for the factory's furnace. Meanwhile, Milo creates an energy drink called "Manic", and is named "The Corporate Messiah" by the higher-ups at Globocide.

Note: On Adult Swim, the angry customer's line "Go back to France, you stupid kraut!" to the "A to Zed" shopowner had "kraut" (an ethnic slur against German people) muted.
7"Flush, Flush, Sweet Helga"Monte YoungJace RichdaleBill Riling,
Barry Vodos &
Monte Young
May 13, 2001 (2001-05-13)236-005
When Milo and his friends get caught crashing a Debbie birthday party, Helga ends up losing Debbie's locket and goes in the sewers to retrieve it, only to be stuck in the Valley's sewer pipes, and the Hill people don't see it as a problem -- until a failed attempt to get Helga out results in the Hill people annexing The Oblongs' house (which isn't affected by Helga being stuck in the pipes) for water.
8"Disfigured Debbie"Joe HorneJoey SolowayJoe Horne,
Ben Jones &
Barry Vodos
May 20, 2001 (2001-05-20)236-002

Milo runs for class president, but loses to Debbie, who ends up an outcast after falling in a thresher.

Note: This is the last episode to air on The WB before the series was canceled.
9"Pickles' Little Amazons"Skip JonesBen KullJill Shellhorn,
Skip Jones &
Gary Yap
August 25, 2002 (2002-08-25) (on Adult Swim)236-004

Pickles gets arrested for neglecting Beth after trying to rescue her from a giant Venus flytrap and is sentenced community service by working as a den mother for a vaguely lesbian Girl Scout-esque troop called "The Little Amazons."

Note: This is the first episode to air on Adult Swim after they picked up the rest of the unaired episodes from the show's remaining run. There were originally going to be more 13 episodes, but only five episodes were produced.
10"Get Off My Back"Jack DyerEric FriedmanKaren Carnegie,
Jack Dyer &
Chris Harmon
September 8, 2002 (2002-09-08) (on Adult Swim)236-006

An accident involving Insani-Glue and Milo getting chased by Biff and Chip results in Milo getting stuck to Biff and Chip's back, which cuts into their training for the two-man triathlon against Hill kids Jared and Blaine. Meanwhile, Beth feels left out and begins sticking herself to others.

Note: On the Adult Swim version of this episode, Mayor Bledsoe's line after he pulls a gun on the other runners was "Move it, assholes!" (with "assholes" partially muted out). On the DVD, the line is changed to "Move it, pussies!" with no aural censorship to the last line.
11"Please Be Genital"Gary McCarverLeonard DickDebbie Cone,
Gary McCarver &
Julius Wu
September 15, 2002 (2002-09-15) (on Adult Swim)236-007
Bob gets his genitals crushed by a stripper wearing clogs during his best friend's bachelor party. When he confesses to Pickles that they can't have sex for two weeks, Pickles begins wondering whether or not her marriage to Bob is real. Meanwhile, Milo becomes an insomniac when Pickles and Bob stop having sex.
12"My Name is Robbie"Vincent WallerJoey SolowayWhitney Martin,
Bill Riling &
Rebecca Shin
October 6, 2002 (2002-10-06) (on Adult Swim)236-010

Bob gets his jaw injured at his company's theme park, and at the advice of company attorneys, is given a robotic body with the arms and legs he never had, which gives him the confidence to quit his job and become a lifeguard.

Note: This was the only episode of the show where Bob has limbs. His robotic suit of limbs was inspired by the robotic suit worn by the titular character in Earthworm Jim.
13"Father of the Bribe"Michael Kim &
Bob Jaques
Eric FriedmanKaren Carnegie,
Chris Graham &
Chris Harmon
October 20, 2002 (2002-10-20) (on Adult Swim)236-012

Biff and Chip get their driver's licenses and crash Bob's car during a drag race. Biff and Chip then buy Bob a new car at a police auction, and come across the Mayor's bribe money, which they spend on themselves, despite nightmarish harassment from city officials.

Note: On the episode listings on the DVD cover, this episode is incorrectly listed as "Father of the Bride."

Broadcast

The show premiered on April 1, 2001 on The WB but failed to find an audience. On May 20, 2001, The WB aired "Disfigured Debbie," the second episode produced, as the season finale, leaving five episodes unaired. Reruns of the first eight episodes, and the five remaining episodes, aired on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim, in 2002. Reruns of the series continue to air on Adult Swim until March 29 2015. In Canada, the series airs on Teletoon as part of "Teletoon Unleashed".

In Australia, the show premiered on the Nine Network on December 8, 2001,[7] however due to insufficient ratings, it was withdrawn after one episode,[8] but was eventually shown in a late-night/early morning time slot. The series aired from 2005 to 2006 on TBS's late-night programming block, Too Funny To Sleep.

Home media

DVD cover
DVD cover

The entire series was released on two disc DVD set in the United States on October 4, 2005.

DVD name Release date Ep # Features
The Complete Twisted Series October 4, 2005[9] 13 "It's an Oblong World" – The show's concept, characters and casting, "The Art of the Oblongs" Angus Oblong-guided tour of his original artwork for the series, and "An Oblong Picture Book" – Angus Oblong drawings gallery.[10]

Awards and nominations

The Oblongs won the Artios award in 2001 for Best Casting for Animated Voiceover – Television Mary V. Buck Susan Edelman.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 593–594. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 434. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ "'The Oblongs' Shapes Up As A Toxic Treat". Eric Mink. New York Daily News. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  4. ^ Howe, Nicholas (September 28, 2019). "10 Jokes From The Oblongs That Have Already Aged Poorly". ScreenRant. Archived from the original on September 22, 2021. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  5. ^ Episode 10, "Get Off My Back"
  6. ^ "Milo Interrupted"
  7. ^ "Nine's summer programming blitz". Encore Magazine. Retrieved December 2, 2009.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Off-beat cartoon gets chop.". The Mercury. Retrieved December 2, 2009.[dead link]
  9. ^ Kim, Mike (4 October 2005). "The Oblongs – The Complete Series (2001)". Amazon. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  10. ^ Lacey, Gord (May 12, 2005). "The Oblongs – Oblongs Back Shot and Specs". TV Shows On DVD. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  11. ^ "Artios Award Winners". Casting Society of America. Retrieved July 6, 2011.