Image Credit: Charles Holber
From my past articles, you must have guessed that am a big fan of cartoons. Today I wanna take a look at the Freakazoid F!, another amazing classic show of the '90s by Warner Bros. Post your favorite cartoon, maybe we share preferences.
Back in the days, I would spend weekends watching Freakazoid on cable. Although the industry has evolved over the years, I still get the nostalgia of those childhood days when I watch an animated series. Now, 25 years later, I still binge on these shows online
I think my passion for Freakazoid has something to do with the fact that it had some resemblance to Animaniacs.
Freakazoid ran for 24 episodes. It was in 1995 when the Warner Bros Animation and Steven Spielberg collaborated to bring these funny animated series to our homes. The series lasted for two years with the debut in September 1995 and the last broadcast in June 1997. Steven Spielberg, the executive producer, was not happy and even regarded the Freakazoid as a failed project. He expected the collaboration to work better. It was during this time that the show was revived.
As a child, Freakazoid! was a show I wouldn’t miss an episode. It was unlike other superhero cartoons on air back in the days. The original story's delay until the sixth episode in which we finally learned how the teenage nerd Dexter Douglas was transformed into the show's loopy protagonist. Instead, in its very first episode, the show introduced the Freakazoid sidekick Handman.
Was this a stupid idea? Yet Freakazoid himself cherished these silly ideas, and instead of ditching this part, the writers stretched it until it became an awe-inspiring.
But what I remember most fondly about Freakazoid, besides its catchy theme song, was the eye-patched villain Armando Guitierrez. The choice of characters was incredible. I can vividly recall the precise moment when Gutierrez decided to interrogate Dexter's cat.
Firstly, let me highlight some of the notable characters in the show, the ones that I think were vital to the show. The series had many characters, but some were outstanding and loved by most of us who watched.
Most liked and crucial characters.
Freakazoid, the Douglas family, allies, the villains, and enemies made the show memorable.
He is the main protagonist of the series and attends Harry Connick High school. On a Christmas day, he was created when Dexter Douglas entered a computer code accidentally and activating it in his brand new computer chip. Above all, he was zapped in the computer, where he absorbed the internet's knowledge and gained superpowers.
He had a close friend who is a computer expert called Dexter. Dexter could transform to Freakazoid by uttering the words "Freak Out" and could change back to Dexter when Freakazoid said, "Freak in." As a result of this, Dexter and Freakazoid are the same people. Dexter Douglas is Freakazoid's alliterative name. He seems to have strange traits appealed to nerdy kids back in the ‘90s.
He has a girlfriend called Steff.
He also displays no social skills. Freakazoid is brilliant when it comes to computing. Cracking jokes, being in a happy mood most of the time, and humiliating his enemies are also linked to his personality. The producer brought out the characters of Freakazoid well to lure the viewers.
The Douglas Family
The Douglas family comprised of Dexter, Douglas, Debbie, Duncan, and Mr. Chubbikins.
Dexter is a computer expert. He received a computer chip known as the pinnacle chip on Christmas day that would make his computer faster and more efficient. While he was looking at the instructions, Mr. Chubbikins, who was chasing a butterfly, accidentally typed a code that Dexter dismissed. Little did he know the code could become vital since it was the birthplace of Freakazoid.
He also enjoyed reviewing the actuarial tables for his retirement and reading funny stories in binary. The sheet cake is his favorite. He has a crush on Steff and attempts to date her.
Douglas bears the name Douglas Douglas and is the father to Dexter. He is an automobile dealer and is known for being jovial. He likes repeating the words "Worms and Weasels" when he is angry.
Debbie Douglas is the mother to Dexter and is happily married to Douglas Douglas. The scriptwriter uses her as a 1950 stereotypical housewife. Remember how she embarrassed Dexter on his date? Funny enough, she does not know that Freakazoid is her son.
Duncan Douglas is the brother to Dexter. He bullied Dexter most of the time and brought out a high school jock's caricature character. He liked wearing exercise clothes and was often involved in weight lifting.
Mr. Chubbikins is Dexter's obese cat. I remember he once jumped on Dexter's keyboard, making him accidentally type the keyword in the pinnacle chip's flaw. This transformed him into a Freakazoid.
Sergeant Mike Cosgrove
He is a likable cop who is friends with Freakazoid and other characters. He had little or no enthusiasm in anything, and by just saying "cut it out," he would make people stop whatever they were doing on command. It was believed he had supernatural powers.
He also can find Freakazoid regardless of his location. At some time, he interrupts Freakazoid's heroic endeavors only to ask him to attend various entertainments. Freakazoid participated at the "Honey Harvest Festival" or "a bear riding a motorcycle," During these events, the Sergeant reveals the villain's locations and the evil deeds they had planned.
She is the girl Dexter has a crush on and the girlfriend to Freakazoid. Despite her involvement with Freakazoid, she goes on a date with Dexter.
Handman - Freakazoid's right-hand man and has a Freakzoid tattoo on his right hand. Surprisingly, he fell in love and married Handgirl, a painted look on the protagonist's left hand.
Roddy Mac Stew- Freakazoid’s mentor and an ill-tempered Scotsman who once worked for Guitierrez. The found out that the pinnacle chip was flawed. He was trapped on the internet but was kicked out by Guitierrez, and returned to his mentor role.
Other allies in this show including Steff, Hans, Professor Jones, Ingmar, Professor Heiney, Joe Leahy, Freakazette alongside others.
The villains and enemies
He is Freakazoid's archenemy. He is a super-genius though he has low self-esteem.
She is a former shoplifter whose encounter with an experimental cosmetic left in the sun for too long transformed him into a cobra woman.
She had the command over snakes and reptiles. She was a lair in the sewers and used to complain about the light until Freakazoid suggested the use of Japanese lanterns. She later worked with Freakazoid in Mission Freakazoid.
He is remembered as the eye-patch wearing man. He is credited with designing a faulty pinnacle chop for Freakazoid's creation and Freakazoid's first enemy.
Other characters in this category included: Candle Jack, Waylon Jeepers, Invisibo, The Nerdator, Vorn the Unspeakable, Arms Akimbo, among different notable personalities.
What do you remember?
Nostalgic memories linger me with the mention of the words Freakazoid. The show's funny and comic sensibility made most of us who were growing in the 90s thrilled. Freakazoid was my best character; how he defeated his enemies in a silly fashion made me glues to my seat and yearn to watch an episode after another.
He defeated villains in unorthodox ways, for instance, he subjected Longhorn to the seventh inning stretch or how he got Cobra Queen to say tongue twisters until she passed out. He was also amazed and admitted he didn't know how some ideas worked.
In addition to Freakazoid and the well-developed plot, the news on the show's cancellation is something I can't forget. It was in October 1996 when the animated series show changed the time it used to air. Some of the writers started exiting the show for Warner Bros Company or other companies.
To sum up, the show was unique compared to its predecessors: it concerned itself with what was immediate present or at least what was new to the world –The Internet. The show brings out the computer prowess of Freakazoid as well as his supernatural powers. The writer used Freakazoid to show how technology changes the face of household power and politics.
Freakazoid! Theme song
What a song it was?
The Freakazoid theme song stuck in the lips of many children who were growing up back then. I recall how I would jump in to sing once every new episode premiered. The lyrics to the song were done by Tom Rugger and the music by Richard Stone.
This fantastic song went on to win the Daytime Emmy Awards for the outstanding Original song in 1996.
Freakazoid elicits very strong nostalgic signals from the theme song right to the last episode. Of course, we had fond memories of the time spent with these characters to the point of feeling like we were the characters. This is a show that no kid could resist.
Most notably was how the show portrayed Freakazoid as a superhero and his knowledge in computers.
Despite the show being a must-watch for most of us, some had nostalgia critic. Below is a link for the nostalgia critic of an episode
The art style and Quality of Freakazoid
Steven Spielberg and the Warner Bros animation gave us the best art style and quality in the show. At the time of its release, computers were still the craze that amazed people.
Both Freakazoid and Dexter have been used to display supernatural powers. This blended in with the 1990s when kids preferred watching bizarre power movies.
The show portrayed Freakazoid as a superhero who has a strange taste of fashion.
The locations, time, and the discussions of politics and how the Sergeant deals with the villains' crimes make the show more interesting.
Creative minds that brought humor in the Freakazoid were anchored on slapstick, parody, and cultural references. The mid -90s saw positive growth in pop music culture as well as technology.
Remember when Freakazoid addresses an audience congratulating the staff on how hard they had worked to make the show toyetic.
The newly founded WB network was also at the center of humor. The questioning of the meaning of the words WB to mean weird Butt or Wet Bananas instead of Warner Bros brought out humor.
This made me laugh almost the entire show.
The confrontation between Wakko from the Animaniacs and Brain from the Pinky and the Brain.
Cameo appearances also brought humor to the show. Freakazoid used to host special characters from Animaniacs and Pinky the Brain as well as Batman from Bruce Timm's animated version. The show also used celebrities and guest appearances to make it more humorous.
The humor portrayed in the show made many love the animation series.
Freakazoid remains one of my favorite cartoon series. There has been some rendition of the same with the adult Mina. I am not sure yet whether they are real or just concepts. Although I would also wish to see the grown-up Mina.
Let’s hope someone will find it worth it to revive the show. As a result of many people loving the show in 2008 and 2009, the Warner Home Video released the DVD series of the animation. The reception was good, with many lovers of the show asking for its revival.
Could we see the Freakazoid back to our living rooms? Let us remain optimistic.