ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 3.11 - February 1999
Ed, Edd & Eddy The PJ's Powerpuff Girls
Ed, Edd n Eddy: Caught in a Circle
by Terrence Briggs
© Cartoon Network
Here I am, an animation dreamer. I'm parked in front of my computer, thinking up grand ideas for the next "big animated series." Groundbreaking drama. Intense visuals. Amazing narrative. All my shows are lined up for my big chance at a TV deal.
God bless the Cartoon Network. The exiled home of the Hanna-Barbera dynasty has become a real populist entity. I used to think the boys and girls behind the big CN were an exclusive club of well-meaning animatophiles, keepin' it real in these market-driven times of animation. But now, with Ed, Edd n Eddy, it's clear -- these guys will take anything.
Eddy's loud. Edd (or "Double-D," as he's referred to in the show) is the all-purpose genius. Ed's the stupid, silent type who only mutters when something inane must be said. They spend their time wasting our time with such empty adventures as solving the mystery of "The Serial Toucher."
"Someone keeps touching our stuff!" Eddy exclaims when Edd's magnifying glass winds up missing (because, as we find out later in the episode, he didn't bother to check his pockets before going on this wild goose chase).
Actually, every second feels like filler as this lost tribe chatters incessantly and runs to hither and yon in their would-be trademark style.
There isn't much hope for the visuals here. The cast of characters are drawn as products from the school of acid-trip caricature. Eyes bulge as though they are bloodshot. Tongues and limbs sag as though the bodies carrying them were dismembered. Not oddly enough, series creator Danny Antonucci's claim to fame was the similarly grotesque Lupo the Butcher. At least Lupo managed an outrageous appeal. Ed, Edd n Eddy manages to be even less appealing than his Brothers Grunt series, which held my interest for as long as the show's title sequence.
There's a certain despair attached to being an animation dreamer and watching a show like Ed, Edd n Eddy. The despair of realizing that one of my shows might end up like this. Visuals hypersimplified to the point of being crude. Writing unfocused to the point of being pointless. Pacing hyperactive to the point of being unwatchable.
It's what happens to any idea (no matter how great the potential) that is placed in the hands of an individual and a team with little vision -- and even less interest. It's what happens when an animator-creator is given free reign without the focus necessary to make a story gel.
It's what happens to every short of Ed, Edd n Eddy.
Terrence Briggs, all-purpose animation fan, is more than happy to receive comments from readers on his work.
Note: Readers may contact any Animation World Magazine contributor by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.