1. Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys (1996)
The Internet is rife with failed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles clones. Yet while we chuckle about Street Sharks, or Biker Mice From Mars, some shows were so obscure that you don’t even get irony points for referencing them. Such is the case for Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys, a cartoon/toy franchise about a former NASA test chimp fighting space-crime alongside several apes and surprisingly few actual monkeys.
2. The Brothers Flub (1999)
If you were a kid with basic cable in the ’90s, Nickelodeon basically owned your soul. Everyone loved Nicktoons, from Doug, to Rugrats, and all the way to Spongebob Squarepants it has been a non-stop nostalgia factory. So why is it that these two penis-nosed Toejam and Earl rejects have been forgotten by time? Forgive us, The Brothers Flub, because we all know what it’s like to be less successful than an Angry Beavers rerun.
3. Road Rovers (1997)
Speaking of animation blocks with one regretable mistake, we have Road Roavers, the crown turd of Warner Brothers Animation. The same production company that brought classics like Tiny Toons Adventures and Batman the Animated Series comes the story of five dogs who drive cars, talk in funny accents, and never address the David Cronenbergian biological nightmare that comes with being forcibly “transdogmified” into a bipedal half-human creature. Lasting only 13 episodes, this series’ legacy is now mostly left to a bunch of creepy fanart of the female collie character on DeviantArt.
4. SnorkZ: Ocean Warriors (1996)
One of the last series to premiere on the long-running “USA Cartoon Express” block, this reboot of the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon had The Snorks gain powers from magical “Sea Stones” which they used to fight various pollution-based villains. SURPRISINGLY, this show has failed to save the environment in any way whatsoever.
5. Dink, the Little Dinosaur (1989)
Even if you try and look up this series, Google will respond with did you mean “The Land Before Time”? Made one year after the release of the much more beloved tiny brontosaurus franchise, Ruby-Spears jumped on the dino bandwagon with this story of a friendly herbivore who teaches lessons about caring, friendship, and probably something else but nobody seems to remember or care.
6. Space Cats (1991)
I’m sorry that this post isn’t about SWAT Kats. That show had fighter jets, guitar solos, and a recurring motif of blowing up mutants with missiles. No, this is Space Cats created by Paul Fusco, the arguably insane person who invented ALF. This program aired on NBC and featured puppets in between animated sequences. That’s it, that’s all we know about it. A friend was the one who claimed that this program actually existed and I’m still not sure if I believe him.
7. Little Rosey (1990)
Comedian Roseanne Barr’s foray into Saturday morning immortality ran for only 4-months before it was taken off the air. Roseanne refused to make requested changes to the show (like de-emphasizing female characters and adding more boys) and subsequently released an animated follow-up special in which she personally battled against evil executives in “CartoonLand”.
8. Stone Protectors (1993)
A blatant attempt to cash in on two fads at one. This unholy union of the Troll Dolls and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could probably be confused for the bad acid flashback of a toy store employee. Sadly, the world wasn’t ready for the adventures of a cool karate surfer with soft brushable hair. The memory of the Stone Protectors lives on in a thousand moldy boxes in attics across the world.
9. The New Adventures of Diceboy (1992)
According to the rumors, this series (which only aired for 3 episodes on Fox Kids) was produced soley because of a contractual obligation between movie executives and comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay after The Adventures of Ford Fairlane flopped at the box office.
10. Bureau of Alien Detectors (1996)
That’s right, it’s “BAD”. Premiering on the failed UPN network, this elite team of alien hunters only fulfilled their mission for 13 episodes before it was overshadowed by the Men in Black franchise.
11. Vor-Tech: Undercover Conversion Squad (1996)
Here are three things I know about this show:
1) It is based in the same universe as the 80’s hit cartoon M.A.S.K.
2) It was yet another thinly-veiled commercial for a line of plastic toys and vehicles.
3) The title sounds like a discredited clinic that promises to “cure” homosexuality.
12. The Power Team (1990)
Oh man, you guys remember Captain N: The Game Master? That show was great. It had Mega Man, Simon Belmont, and Kid Icarus all fighting together in a fantasy world where all the classic Nintendo games were real. The Power Team was a knockoff show that starred random characters that were featured in home-console ports published by Acclaim at the time. Finally, all of these fan-favorite characters like “the guy from NARC” and “one of the basketball players from Arch-Rivals” were united in one team. It’s a bad sign when the headlining star of the program was “Bigfoot” the monster truck.
13. Dinomorphs (1994)
The Dinomorphs were a group of kids who had the baffling ability to partially transform into dinosaurs. Leaving aside all the body horror that entails, the preteens struggled to use these “gifts” to help others while avoiding the mad Govenment scientist that wanted to capture them. Oh wait I get it now, it’s a puberty metaphor. It’s a terrible, terrible puberty metaphor.
14. Yo Yogi! (1991)
Hanna-Barbera had a bulletproof formula for television success. Take a famous comedic actor from the 40s and 50s then give their mannerisms to a cheaply animated bipedal animal. This system remained undisturbed for decades, but finally they had to give in to the unrelenting radical ‘tude era that was 1990s. Nobody remembers any episode of this show. There is not a single plot point or characterization that has survived from Yo Yogi, all that remains are images of a pantless teenage bear in high-top sneakers and a lingering feeling of regret.
15. Evolution The Animated Series (2001)
“I’m telling you Steve, this new movie is going to be huge, HUGE. It’s got David Duchovny AND Sean William Scott! It’s a slam dunk! Mark my words, Evolution is going to make Ghostbusters look like Titan AE. We need to cash in now. Get started on that animated series, order a whole season! What do you mean ‘we should wait until we see if the movie’s successful’? You’re being a real chickenshit, Steve. History is written by the winners and when I cash in my first billion dollar check for Alienators: Evolution Continues I will personally celebrate by crushing your house with my diamond-crusted helicopter! Fuck you Steve, you just missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime!”
16. Oh, and one more thing…