BeetleJuice, Second Opening
This post could border on the ranting side slightly, but you know, it’s only really when this show gets knocked into the same category as some of the worst 1980's animation that I get defensive. I have to try and defend this as much as I can without letting my Burtonite instincts get the better of me.
I, like many, follow John K and Cartoon Brew. And as much as those Blogs are a wealth of information, I tend to disagree with alot of the opinions from John and Amid (of course, I should probably just bow down and accept they know alot more than I do. But fuck that, this no-body has an opinion, and I'm going to HAVE it damn it). Certainly this is already starting to tread ever so slightly into the ranting side of things, so I'll cut this train of thought off now, and just say this entry is meant to disagree strongly with the fact that the BeetleJuice cartoon is being lumped in with the bad animation stick currently in John's latest tirade of "Everything that’s good has to be made before the 60's and NOTHING ELSE HAS ANY CHARACTER WHATSOEVER" blah. (That wasn't an attack of any kind by the way, but you look at his posts objectively and just tell me he's not tooting that horn).
Anyway, BeetleJuice the TV show. Well, if your looking at this show from a design point of view, then you'd better be prepared to accept the fact that the show follows the mantra that most Burton movies (Especially in the case of his stop-animated features); Duality. All that is Alive and Pleasant is flat, boring and incredibly dull. Characters are dressed in Pastel and the shapes are either round (Lydia's father) and subdued, or Sharp and angular (Lydia's stepmother). All that is Dead and Strange is much more detailed, they leave trails of dust or colour, and the shapes are more complex. In the way of backgrounds, things follow the same rule. The Living world is set out in the country and suburbia and everything is fairly straight, ordered- the land of the dead (or Neitherworld) is a parody of that. The roads float in a greenish or orange haze, and therefore every building and person then contrasts strongly against those colours.
I love this show, but I have to say that it's actual writing sucks. Pun-based humour is only good when used sparingly. All the characters are dumped down to be kid-friendly from the movie and two of them are missing all together (The step-mother aspect is removed entirely because apparently that dynamic was seemingly too much for kids? And whatever DID happen to the Maitlands? Why is Lydia suddenly 13 years old? What made them think having her hang out with an adult male ghost was a good idea?).
However, As much I dislike gross-out humour it was rather cutely used in the show, and Lydia is still one of the most Iconic Goth Girls of our time (a stereotype I'd rather like to explore in later posts), and BeetleJuice...is pretty much one of my favourite cartoon characters ever.