|Sheep In The Big City|
NOTE: This article is taken from OwenOgletree's page on DeviantArt. Please check more of his stuff out.
Welcome to "Forgotten Cartoons" everyone. Today, I am reviewing a series that was requested by MislamicPearl, a frequent visitor on my DeviantArt page. It is titled "Sheep In The Big City".
"Sheep In The Big City" was created by Mo Willems and ran on Cartoon Network from August 2000 until April 2002, lasting for 2 seasons. The series follows a sheep named Sheep in his new life in "The Big City". While adjusting to city life, he is also constantly on the run form a Secret Military Organization led by General Specific, who will do anything in his power to capture Sheep in order to use him for a Sheep-Powered Ray Gun.
I was 4 years old when this show came out and almost 6 when it ended, so I have little to no memory of this show, but my dad says that he remembers watching it with me. For the review, I have watched the entire first season of the show. What are my thoughts on it? Well, I would say that this is a show that you have to come into with the right mindset.
If you're looking for a cartoon with complex characters, interesting stories, top-notch animation, or a whole lot of meaning to it, this is not the cartoon for you. However, if you enjoy cartoons that are self-aware, have constant fourth-wall breaks, are filled with literal humor, and have a very weird "alternative" style to them, then this show is worth checking out.
One amusing thing about the show is the weird and oxymoronic names. We have General Specific and his right-hand man Private Public. There is also Angry Scientist (who always tries to make it clear that it's "angry" scientist and not "mad") and a robot called Plot Device. There are many others, but let's move on.
The humor comprises of a lot of literal interpretations of many words and phrases, such as "Hold the phone", "Great Scott", or "Wild Goose Chase". We also literally get to see the narrator of the show at points during each of the episodes, who often interacts with the characters and expresses his thoughts on how ridiculous the show can get sometimes. This kind of humor is something you can appreciate more as a grown-up.
Sheep is an endearing title character, and it's usually pretty amusing to watch him trying to survive living in The Big City and evading General Specific. There is a poodle named Swanky who Sheep has a massive crush on, and Swanky seems to feel the same way. The scenes between them are often pretty cute.
General Specific is pretty fun to watch, and Private Public works well as a straight man to Specific's antics. Angry Scientist's exasperation and frustration toward General Specific's dim-wittedness is also pretty entertaining.
Every episode is divided into 3 chapters, and in between each chapter, there are several unrelated skits and segments. They often involve fake advertisements, the Sombrero Brothers, and other random shorts. These skits are pretty hit-or-miss, in my opinion. Some of them can be funny, but some others are not so funny and sometimes drag on too long.
There are also some issues with the humor in the main segments, as well. For example, the gag where people mistakenly call Angry Scientist "Mad Scientist" and he subsequently corrects them was funny at first, but grew old after doing it in essentially every single episode. I also find Jay (the little old man who reads out loud whenever a character sees a sign) and the Ranting Swede (who closes out each episode) to be rather annoying.
I guess it's an opinion whether or not "Sheep In The Big City" really needed to be a variety show. I feel that they could have easily made the format 11-minute episodes focusing on just the main characters without any of the random skits that extend the episodes to 22 minutes.
Each episode begins with a view of The Big City, and the narrator would deliver a monologue starting with "The Big City..." This feels rather similar to the intro of every episode of "The Powerpuff Girls". Not a criticism, just an observation.
Overall, I thought that this show was pretty good. Even if not everything about it clicks, I still mostly had a good time sitting through the first season. It's not the smartest or deepest cartoon ever made, but it doesn't really try to be. It's self-aware nature is something I can't help but appreciate. The show isn't really a must-see, but it's still worth a look.
That's a wrap for this episode of "Forgotten Cartoons". To my couple of watchers and anyone else reading this, do you have any requests for what forgotten cartoons you want me to do a review on? Leave it in the comments!