Remembering Beetlejuice: The Animated Series

Remembering Beetlejuice: The Animated Series

Let’s rewind our minds back a few years and remember what being a kid was like on a gorgeous Saturday morning.

Unlike my peers, I personally was always up at a decent hour (around 7:30 a.m.). After crawling out of my Ninja Turtle sheets, I would make my way to the dimly lit kitchen and help myself to a bowl of cereal and whatever readily available juice box (preferably Hawaiian Punch or Ecto Cooler) my fridge held that morning. All placed accordingly on my TMNT (1990) movie tray in front of our mammoth of a television set. I was ready to seize the glorious Saturday with the start of some of the greatest goddamn must-see-TV. And one of many of those amazing Saturday morning animated gems was, of course, Beetlejuice: The Animated Series.

 

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One year after Tim Burton congo-danced the ghost with the most across the big screen, the imaginative filmmaker developed a more kid-friendly version (sorry, no crotch grabbing anywhere here) based on the daily lives of the bio-exorcist and his earth pal, Lydia Deetz.

Mostly set in Beetle’s home The Netherworld, the series ran around some silly adventure or problem week after week involving the duo. From roaming skeletons in the closet ruining someone’s day with the hard truth or Beetlejuice’s entire skeletal system abandoning him in favor of a vacation, the show was a perfect Saturday morning mash-up of wackiness and just a hint of horror.

Lydia’s parents Charles and the eccentric Delia return in animated form as naive supporting characters that never seem to notice their daughter spends most of her free time in another dimension. Then again, in the film, she seemed to be mostly ignored from her self-absorbed parental units until the shit hit the fan- so the relationship stays a tad faithful in that aspect. The void felt by the absence of Barbara and Adam was filled with new characters. Beetle’s neighbors in the Netherworld furthered BJ’s awesome sense of sarcasm with most of them being both clumsy and easy to poke fun at. In which case, ole BJ took advantage of on a constant basis and was the source for a lot of the humor in the series. Jacques, Ginger, The Monster Across the Street, Poopsie, the Mayor, and on Earth, the snooty Claire Brewster, were often the victims of Beetlejuice’s embarrassing pranks.  Even Lyds wasn’t immune to Beetle’s reign of practical jokes as the bio-exorcist’s only friend was even the butt-of-the-joke at times. However, unlike Claire and the Netherworld residents, BJ’s pranks on the teenage Deetz were never meant to cause damaging feelings or humility, but rather all in fun. Which asserts the relationship between Lydia and Beetlejuice in the series. Unlike in the film, the pair was as close as friends could get and the unlikely duo’s friendship remained a constant crucial part of the show throughout the series’ short three-season span.

What I wouldn’t give for a revival of this beautiful program. Hey if Spiderman and Teen Titans can be rebooted several times, why not give Beetlejuice a shot at the 21st century?

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