Space Ramblings

Spaceballs the Animated Series and Creators Trashing the Past

Successful creators seem to have two phases, the creative phase and the exploitative phase. In the creative phase writers and directors create new worlds, in the exploitative phase they take successful widely loved creations and exploit the hell out of them with bad sequels, TV adaptations, book merchandising and everything conceivable way to squeeze some more juice out of the berry.

First George Lucas created Star Wars, then he created a whole bad series of prequels to it, then an animated TV series. Mel Brooks reached his exploitation stage with a stage adaptation of The Producers that was at first critically well received and embraced by audiences, at a project when a creator returns to a fan favorite tend to be, then with a stage adaptation of Young Frankenstein that has mostly been ignored, and now the inevitable exploitation of Spaceballs as a genuinely terrible animated series on G4.

It’s hard to know who to blame for Spaceballs the Animated Series, but since Mel Brooks’ name is on the label and he’s a participant, he is a safe target for the brickbats.

Spaceballs the Animated Series isn’t just bad, it’s kiddy bad. The writing is pitched at the key 4 to 9 year old demographic, which has never heard of Spaceballs and doesn’t watch G4. If you’re wondering why the show has been delayed for so long, you’re probably not a Canadian. You might expect that Spaceballs the Animated Series would be a series of Star Wars parody episodes, and you would be sadly mistaken. Spaceballs the Animated Series is a parody of pretty much everything but Star Wars, from Jurassic Park to James Bond to Spider Man and it most closely resembles Scooby Doo. That’s right, Scooby Doo.

The characters line up in the old Scooby Doo roles and walk through tedious unfunny parodies of movies. For example there’s one where they win a trip to a baseball training camp where there’s an evil plot afoot to field a baseball team made up of players injected with animal DNA or something that’s supposed to be a parody of Jurassic Park. The jokes are not funny, the writing is absent and so is the timing. Whether you’re a fan of Spaceballs or not, Spaceballs the Animated Series will not make you laugh, it will make you sad.

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