Saturday Mornings: Beetlejuice


Ah yes, something about hearing this theme song for this show just got me going. (Danny Elfman actually helped turn the movie theme into the cartoon theme, so I’m sure that helped with the catchiness.) I used to watch this on Global here in Canada, but you could also see it on TWO US networks during it’s run, Saturdays on ABC and Monday to Friday on FOX.  Anywhere between September of ’89 and May of ’92, you could flip on the tube and catch Lydia and Beetlejuice in their crazy adventures in the Neitherworld.  Wait a minute, together?  That’s not exactly like the movie, is it?

Obviously there were some changes from the film version to the cartoon, and I’m not going to complain about either incarnation of Beetlejuice/Betelgeuse.  My god, name a better role Michael Keaton has played.  And if you say Jack Frost or himself over and over in Multiplicity I want you to grab a bucket of water and dump it over whatever you’re reading this on.  And let us never speak of it again.

Three things that I learned from the Beetlejuice Cartoon:

  1. Sandworms are not good.
  2. Saying “It’s SHOW-time” before anything you do is never a bad idea.
  3. All skeletons are French bodybuilders. It’s science.

Sometimes it’s tough to translate movie success into a good small screen experience, (I’m looking at you Teen Wolf and soon to be released Napoleon Dynamite), but the show did a great job of keeping the charm and insanity of the main character along with the crazy situations and tongue-in-cheek humour that you could find on the big screen.

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And the supporting cast was fun to watch: Lydia’s parents Charles and Delia, their cat Percy, Lydia’s classmate Claire, the French skeleton body builder Jacques LaLean, Ginger the tap-dancing spider, Beetlejuice’s neighbour the Monster Across the Street and his dog Poopsi….and I’ve now officially thought way to much about a cartoon, so here’s a nice little bonus: A full episode complete with late 80s/early 90’s commercials.  Come for the Kid Cuisine, stay for the network debut of Capital Critters promoted by Who’s the Boss and Perfect Strangers.  And Fruity Pebbles rap.  And flying Cool Whip.  There goes my day. (Clicks on multiple YouTube 80s commercials links…drinks Hi-C.)

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