Premiering in September 1989 and running for 94 episodes. The animated series is only loosely based on the 1988 film of the same name, but it was developed and executive-produced by the film's director, Tim Burton. The series focus on the life of Goth girl Lydia Deetz and her undead friend Beetlejuice as they explore The Neitherworld, a wacky afterlife realm inhabited by monsters, ghosts, ghouls and zombies. Danny Elfman's theme for the film was arranged for the cartoon by Elfman himself. The main difference is in Beetlejuice's character, here he is just a bit of a prankster.
Men In Black: The Series
Premiering in October 1997, just three months after the release of the first Men In Black movie and running for 53 episodes, Men In Black: The Series featured a lot of the characters and concepts introduced in the film but remained separate from the movie series continuity.
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Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle
Although it's actually based on, and quite true to, the Edgar Rice Burrough novels instead of the classic Johnny Weissmuller movies, I think this one still has to count. 36 episodes of this were shown on CBS in the USA, between 1976 and 1984. In the UK it was first shown in the late 70's as part of Noel Edmunds Multi-Coloured Swap-Shop on Saturday mornings.
Several years before that, a different Saturday morning kids series incorporated these next two cartoons...
The Three Musketeers
Eighteen episodes of The Three Musketeers were produced in 1968 by Hanna Barbera and included as a segment on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour. Again, these were broadcast some years later in the UK, in the reduced length Banana Splits Show. At that point in time many of us had discovered the 1973 Richard Lester film of the same name.
Fun fact: The live action segments for The Banana Splits Adventure Hour were directed by Richard Donner, who also directed Superman: The Movie. Richard Lester replaced him behind the camera to complete Superman II.
Just like The Three Musketeers, 18 episodes of this were produced in 1968 for inclusion in The Banana Splits Adventure Hour. Based on the classic work of Middle Eastern literature, but for me it always reminded me of the Phil Silvers movie, A Thousand And One Nights.
Fun fact: The Wonder Stuff had a hit in 1991 with The Size of a Cow. Vocalist Miles Hunt later revealed that the title inspiration had come from this Arabian Knights cartoon.
1994 was quite an amazing year for Jim Carrey. Three hit movies, and all of them spawning cartoon adaptations. First up we have The Mask, premiering in 1995 and running for 55 episodes. The antics of Carrey's character were considerably toned down for the younger audience.
Ace Venture: Pet Detective
Also arriving in 1995, and running for 39 episodes. Again, the adult themes were removed and the cartoon series focused more on the slapstick, oddball aspects of the character.
Dumb and Dumber
I have a lot of time for the movie Dumb and Dumber. It's one of the funniest comedies from the 90s, and I think it's Carrey's best comedy to date. But this 1995 cartoon was a little strange. Alongside Harry and Lloyd we have a female pet beaver named Kitty! It was cancelled after just 13 episodes.
Did you watch any of these?
Kids cartoons inspired by geek TV shows & movies - Part 1
Kids cartoons inspired by geek TV shows & movies - Part 2
Kids cartoons inspired by inappropriate movies
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