Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Timon and Pumbaa Show

It can honestly be said that Disney's television animation division reached an all-time low with The Timon & Pumbaa Show, and not until House of Mouse would there be any genuine signs left of creative life.

By now it has become common knowledge as to just how lousy this show is, as even Lion King fans detest it. There are so many things wrong with this show that it simply is its own best review. But I'm going to comment on it anyway for the uninitiated so they'll understand why to stay away in case they hear of it and are in any way the least bit curious.

Removing itself as far from the Lion King's movie premise as possible without the slightest care or worry for the reaction of that movie's audience (of which I've never really been a part of, in all fairness), this show has for at least half of its produced episodes chosen instead to have Timon and Pumbaa travel all around the world.

Ok, first off, here's the main question: why was it so necessary to have Timon and Pumbaa travel all around the world? I have been wracking my brain to come up with a logical explanation for this phenomenon, only to finally come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for them to travel all around the world, except for the fact that it gave the writers and producers a conveniant excuse to shoehorn in a bunch of lousy Saturday morning cartoon cliches that they wouldn't have been able to otherwise cram in.

The plots are all automatic pilot ideas and situations. To wit: in the pilot alone, we watch in sheer disbelief as during the first of the two cartoons presented Timon and Pumbaa travel to Russia, where Pumbaa's grandfather is a famous ballet dancer, but his grandfather has an accident and ends up in the hospital with his foot in a sling, so he can't dance and that of course means that Pumbaa has to take his place, so Pumbaa dons a pink tutu for the performance while Timon readies himself as the orchestral conductor, and then in cartoon number two we watch as Timon and Pumbaa attempt to join a club led by some gophers or something, and they are told that they must first pass the initiation, and that for said initiation they must take a red collar with jingle bells on it and put it on the local lion, so they go to visit said lion at his cave while dressed as Santa's helpers, and say that the collar is a gift, and the lion cheerfully puts it on and swears that he'll never ever ever take it off, so Timon and Pumbaa return to the club proclaiming that they completed the initiation and ask can they join now, but the gophers are dubious as to whether they actually went through with it so they demand that Timon and Pumbaa retrieve the collar and bring it back just to prove that they did it, so Timon and Pumbaa return to the lion's cave and plan to get the collar back while the lion is in the shower, and we see that the lion has an extremely modern shower installed right in his cave, and before getting into the shower he unzips his lion skin and steps out of it, revealing that he actually has under it a thoroughly human body complete with boxer shorts...

So help me, I SWEAR TO GOD to you people that I am not making any of this up.

This goes far beyond any of a Lion King fan's worst fears for what could happen to their beloved franchise, and not surprisingly the show sank like a rock never to be heard from again, and rightfully so. It deserves to be buried in some desert someplace and forgotten, plain and simple.