|Every so often, the universe rolls a 1 when it comes to animated adaptations.|
Luckily, it totally bombed in the ratings and those same executives were quickly fired (and later executed for crimes against humanity), or else we would've gotten The Cable Guy: The Animated Series or The Truman Show Show. And god only knows we don't need help making America's suicide rates any higher.
As you can tell from my barely concealed hatred for this show, out of the three Jim Carrey toons that exist, this one is the least liked and the least remembered. Unlike The Mask and Ace Ventura, which both had pretty sizable cartoon lifespans, Dumb and Dumber only lasted one 13 episode season. And thank whatever benevolent force you believe in for this small miracle, because rest assured, there is a pretty good reason why this cartoon has practically no fans.
I think it's probably because, unlike The Mask and Ace Ventura, which clearly can be made into animated series if you watch their films (and made very successful animated series premises), this one...is really a stretch as far as a cartoon outline goes. It's basically two guys in a silly-looking van driving around America and getting into wacky hijinks around the way with their inexplicable pet beaver.
I have to say, it was hard picking which episode to do first because, unlike other shows where there's some sort of rhyme or reason to the way episodes are structured, this show is all over the place when it comes to episode length. Some episodes run at the traditional one 22 segment, some are divided into three parts, some are divided into two parts where one half is 13 minutes while the other is 6 minutes, some are divided into even 11 minute segments...needless to say, it's a mess.
So I went with my gut and, instead of doing the first episode (like it's seriously going to explain anything), I picked the episode that has the same title as one of my favorite episodes of The Mask: The Animated Series. Because to hell with it, if this cartoon is going to insult my intelligence, I might as well pick the episode that reminds me the most of a Jim Carrey cartoon that I actually liked.
|Spoiler alert: This is the superior cartoon in every way.|
To Bee Or Not To Bee
Airdate: December 2, 1995
|Sadly, I can name at least two other cartoons that used this pun.|
Availability: Online Only
Now, you might be wondering. How are brain-dead kiddies glued to the idiot box going to know if this cartoon is a Dumb and Dumber cartoon if the characters, merely two guys on a road trip to Aspen, don't have as iconic designs as The Mask or Ace Ventura? Why that's simple! All they just need to do is to open the cartoon on the iconic dog car, even though, without the context of the movie, you literally have no idea why these men are choosing to drive around in a vehicle that looks like they found some giant, oversized canine, hollowed out its body, and then made the corpse street-legal.
The other way you can tell that this is a Dumb and Dumber cartoon (or at least a Jim Carrey cartoon) is that one of the characters happens to be doing a poor man's substitution of Jim Carrey's voice. Which, considering how over-the-top the Ace Ventura cartoon was in terms of imitating every last nuance and speech impediment that comic actor had, is pretty par for the course, all things considered.
And there we are. That's literally the only two things in this cartoon that tie it with a popular movie. Normally, when a show only lasts a handful of episodes, I feel some form of pity or remorse for the executive monsters that cut a show down before its prime. But with Dumb and Dumber, I'm personally shocked that they managed to make thirteen whole episodes out of this. I wonder if some producer at Hannah-Barbera lost a drinking game or something.
|It's like if Mater and the dog from Up had a baby.|
People who watched Cartoon Network in the early 90's will also be quick to notice that this cartoon shares an art style and premise to another Hannah-Barbera cartoon produced at this time, 2 Stupid Dogs. It's great to know that Hannah-Barbera adhered to its long-running tradition of running any moderately clever idea they have to the ground by releasing similar show after similar show until the networks cancel them out of disgust. This is the 90's version of The Snorks or Goober and the Ghost Chasers.
|That Model T is surprised by whatever's in front of them.|
I might as well talk about the beaver, which is purple because the colorist wanted to use up their tube of purple paint. Her name is Kitty Kat (because get it, they're so dumb that they thought a beaver was a cat!) and her big personality trait is the fact that she's a lot smarter than her two owners. Thankfully for my sanity's sake, Kitty is unable to talk, but unfortunately, that doesn't stop her from performing higher tasks like reading, dressing up in job-appropriate clothing, and washing dishes. It makes me wonder just where the hell two people who can barely function in normal society were able to obtain a demigod of an animal.
She also spends most of her scenes eating wood. Because beaver.
|So wait, there are beaver magazines in this universe? Does that mean all beavers are sentient |
in the Dumb and Dumber franchise?
|"Don't be such a prude, man."|
Lloyd (who has weird protruding teeth in an last-ditch attempt to make him more distinct) also tries to fix a tire by placing it on the ground and punching it repeatively with his fist in hopes that that will fix the puncture. So trying that the next time I get a flat.
|I'm afraid to ask where they stick the gas pump in that car.|
And, at the risk of saying something nice about this cartoon, the moment where Harry gets a hold of himself by extending his arms and wrapping them around himself was funny, if only because it's subtly disturbing to watch someone's arms stretch and lose all anatomy for the sake of fulfilling a visual pun. From the cartoon's title, I was expecting these characters to just be dumb people, not eldritch monstrosities capable of suddenly liquifying their bones in order to perform horrible assignments in order to appease the Death God.
It also freaks me out that the trees in this universe resemble the Truffula Trees from The Lorax in terms of shape and color. I think this show was meant to be viewed while under the influence.
|What is this I don't even.|
Now, I'm not an expert on cars, but something tells me that their wheel substitutions are wildly unsafe. One of the wheels is made completely out of wood (and was made in about two seconds by a hungry beaver), therefore providing no shock absorption or flexibility, and the other wheel's a goddamn pool floatie. I was half expecting both wheels to break, the car to tip over since both wheels were on the same side, and for both Harry and Lloyd to desperately claw their way out of their smoldering wreck of a vehicle right before the killer bee swarm arrives and then stings them to death. It'd make an interesting police report at least.
|Pimp My Ride went through some rough patches before their first season on MTV.|
...which happens to be a bee farm. Huh, so that's why the episode has a bee-themed title.
By the way, don't expect Aunt Bea to bee (sorry) the source of the killer bees that are sweeping the countryside and causing radio stations to issue warnings to all of their listeners. While I understand how you would come to that conclusion and even those two idiots would be fun to watch if they were thwarting some sort of deprived apiculturist turned evildoer, that's expecting far too much from this show.
|Bea Arthur had some strange hobbies back in the day.|
So, level with me, cartoon. Beekeepers don't make that much money, which is why a good percentage of beekeepers just do it as a hobby. How the everflipping hell did this Aunt Bea get enough money to have a goddamn roller-coaster right next to her home? Now there's a backstory that needs to be told!
|Yeah, it's perfectly sane to use your unexplained riches to build a giant ten-story bee in your backyard.|
As you can tell, Aunt Bea is a wee bit essentric. Judging by her attire, her beehive hairdo, her saggy old lady boobs, and her name, she's definitely a retired supervillain (my guess is that she used to be named Zazzala and she used to fight the Justice League) who decided to use the money she's made stealing bee-shaped artifacts from museums and coating New York City in hypno-pollen in order to give back to the society she's once robbed.
...not sure how she was able to hire so many people perfectly happy with wearing skintight bee outfits, though. I guess she was able to call Gorilla Grodd to "help" with the hiring process.
|"Yes, my loyal drones! Use your venomous stingers of malignance to crush the skulls of |
all that oppose you! Aunt Bea commands it!"
But anyways, Lloyd (the Jim Carrey-ish one) thinks that there will even be a reward involved with their successful capture. They just didn't say it on the radio because, in his logic, the man announcing the emergency broadcast wanted all the reward money for himself. Well alrighty then, I can't argue with that!
In case you're wondering how he came to this really idiotic (or should I say dumb) conclusion, direct your attention to this series' name. That's the premise of 80% of the jokes in this show, sadly.
|"Look man, I'm just making this crap up as I go along."|
Even though it logically makes no sense that they'd dress up as a ghost and a kangaroo because it's been pretty established that they know what the hell a bee looks like. I kind of wish the cartoon gave us more insight on their train of thought and why they chose these specific costumes; maybe Lloyd thinks that kangaroos, ghosts, and killer bees have a symbiotic relationship in nature.
Speaking of which, I also have a question. Why does Lloyd have a giant kangaroo costume just readily available? At what point in his life did he go to a Target, see the giant man-sized kangaroo costume, and thought "Gee, I might need that for later"?
And why the pink lab gloves? I'm so confused...
|This looks like the premise to a really bad porno...|
But at the same time, one can't help but wonder if they're just totally dumb or if Lloyd just has a severe mental disorder that totally scrambled his thought processes. He was obviously resourceful enough to produce a kangaroo costume and seems to grasp the concept of subterfuge when at the same time he can't figure out how to safely change a tire. I wonder if he's just a Jim Carrey version of the autistic savant from Rain Man. We must take this man to Las Vegas to test my theory.
|"A deadly bee weapon. Bees. My god."|
And once again, Lloyd has changed his costume. This dude's got an outfit for every occasion, doesn't he?
|"We're gonna keep fighting. Is that clear? We're gonna attack all night, we're gonna attack |
tomorrow morning. If we are not victorious, let no man come back alive!"
You know what else is surreal? This series was written by Bennett Yellin, co-writer of the actual film this was based on. This entire episode is in the same canon as that movie. I bet everyone dumb (ha ha, I slay myself) enough to read this post is going to be unable to see that classic 90's comedy without imagining the main lead in a weird gloved kangaroo outfit now. Although I can't help but wonder if that will make that movie more entertaining, like how when I watch The Mask and think to myself how, in a few years, that same character's going to fight a Mesopotamian cheese witch. Ah, the miracle of animated adaptations...
|I'm sure this is a fetish somewhere on the Internet...|
As you can imagine, the beaver is about as vital of an addition to the cast as you were expecting her to be. I understand having a straight man and all that in order to react to Buttface and Bucktooth's moronic schemes, but why a beaver? Is there some sort of sexual joke I'm missing here?
But I guess what bugs me about this scene the most is that clearly the most interesting plot thread in this episode is going to involve the ghost and kangaroo cosplayers, after grafting a pool floatie to a car and receiving instructions from a guy on the radio, trying to sabotage a bee-themed amusement park and beating up random employees who happen to be wearing bee costumes, not a goddamn beaver building a goddamn dam. Way to take focus away from the stuff that's actually interesting, Kitty.
|I wonder if that beaver got into a freak accident with experiment hair dye and that's why |
she's both purple and insanely intelligent.
But I'm getting off-topic here. First they try netting a killer bee. This doesn't work because I guess being dumb means that you have crappy hand-eye coordination too. The fact that he nets his ghost costume-toting friend is hilarious enough, but you gotta love how everyone is ignoring the insane man wielding a butterfly net while dressed like a kangaroo at the front gates of the amusement park. I imagine if you did this at Disneyland, you'd be in the Anaheim City Jail and labelled a danger to society.
|So, did the writers ingest the cocaine willingly or was the cocaine secretly dumped into their water supply?|
I like how, again, no one comments on their outfits. Somehow that's funnier than this show's actual attempts at comedy, which is, in this show's case, the fact that lines are long at amusement parks. If this episode was made just a couple years later, we would've had to suffer through the inevitable Fast Pass gag or expensive amusement park food gag on top of that.
|Ha ha, you sure wait in line a lot at these theme parks! And what is the deal with airline food?|
By the way, speaking of horrible things, whatever happened to the actual killer bees that the radio was warning everybody about? Out of all the plot points to conveniently forget about, they forgot about the one that would be an honest to god threat to people at the grand opening of an amusement park! For the love of god, they have a very interesting plot (killer bees attacking helpless civilians at an amusement park ironically themed after bees) just sitting right there and they're focusing on these two dumbasses! Hannah-Barbera, you're dead to me now.
|"KILLING ME WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GODDAMN HONEY!"|
This is when the park notices that hey, there are some jerks running around trying to hurt the employees, and the bee-themed cast members of Aunt Bea's Bee Farm rise up in order to catch the horrible, horrible people. About damn time. Guys, if you need any extra help capturing these lunatics, I'll be willing to assist.
So basically, to sum it up, this episode I'm writing about involves two mentally challenged men being dicks at a grand opening of a bee-themed amusement park because they wanted money. You know, instead of that giant swarm of killer bees that, the more I think about it, probably only existed just to psyche the audience out. I gotta hand it to the writers; I totally wasn't expecting this plot when I saw that there was an episode called "To Bee or Not To Bee" listed on IMDB.
|It's moments like this that make me wonder why this show isn't more popular.|
You know, maybe it's me, but I don't think that's how beekeepers store their bees. Because clearly the safest way of keeping thousands of potentially dangerous animals is to have a bunch of hives just haphazardly thrown on a wooden table. This is not how you run an apiary, Aunt Bea. Not only is her bee farm wildly unsafe, but she built an amusement park right next to about forty bee hives. People can walk from the amusement park right to the hives without any protective equipment! You can practically hear the personal injury lawyers salivating from this place.
Also, how the hell can you run a bee farm if the bees are living in structures that are next to impossible to collect honey out of, save for just totally smashing the structure? I know I'm focusing on this one thing but considering it's the source of Aunt Bea's entire operation, you'd think she'd make sure she has her bees stored in a way that won't cause lawsuits down the road.
...unless this was secretly her plan all along, to have people die from her bees while lured to an amusement park's opening day...
|I'll be honest. I'm surprised by this show's restraint as far as bee puns are concerned.|
And maybe I'm overthinking this (why, me? Overthinking stuff in a cartoon?), but contemplate the fact that Kitty can order things through the mail and no one was commenting on a man in a giant kangaroo costume and fluffy dog car. From the looks of it, Dumb and Dumber takes place in a weird alternate universe for all of the animals are just as smart and able to work advanced technologies as human beings. Lloyd was readily accepted into the crowd of that amusement park because everyone thought he was a real kangaroo, albeit one with odd deformities like a human face growing out of a useless, atrophied kangaroo face with cold staring eyes. No one said anything in fear of insulting someone with a terrible physical disability.
And I guess when people are stung to death by a wild swarm of killer bees in this world, the last thing they see before they die is little soldier bees in army uniform flying little miniature airplanes coming right towards them. What a brutal way to go.
|I love how the bees have stools in their hive when they can fly.|
And, just to make this even more humiliating and mentally scarring, the bees eat their clothes, reducing them to just their swim trunks and exposing their naked pink flesh so they're even better targets for the hideously painful bee stings. I guess Aunt Bea's crossbreeding program between bees and moths was very successful. Aunt Bea's awesome.
Incidentally, the Dumbs are being chased by every employee from an amusement park. So, who's running the ticket book, being a lifeguard at the waterfront, and supervising the attractions in order to make sure people don't get killed? People are definitely dying off-screen, either from the inevitable accidents or from that killer bee swarm that was brought up at the beginning of the episode.
|"OH, NO! NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES! AAAAAHHHHH! OH, THEY'RE IN MY EYES! |
MY EYES! AAAAHHHHH! AAAAAGGHHH! "
...since I really don't give a crap about Kitty and want to spend as little time talking about her as physically possible, I'm going to instead show you possibly the lamest pun in the history of animation written on the side of her beverage. Enjoy!
|Well, thank you, cartoon. I'm now utterly devoid of love and joy thanks to your writing.|
Well, okay, I'll buy it. If only because our glimpse at Dumb and Dumber's (this was seriously what I thought their names were when I watched that movie as a kid) mud-soaked, silently screaming forms are enough to give any mortal nightmares for months. Good god, just look at them! To gaze into their black, all-consuming maws and into their eyeless visages is to gaze upon madness itself!
Luckily for Aunt Bea, it's only going to take two hundred dollars to fix the damages caused by pure dumb. To be honest, I'm surprised that the cost for damages is a pretty reasonable amount. Usually, when a cartoon character causes property damage and they ask what it's going to cost to fix it, it's almost always a ridiculously large number.
I really wish Aunt Bea had more of an active role in this cartoon. I was waiting for her approach the main characters and make her beehive hairdo suddenly burst open, revealing that she contains her special attack drones in her hair. And then they can attack Lloyd and Harry and inject them with experimental venom that causes them to horribly and slowly mutate into slobbering, twisted beings that are neither human nor bee. Now that would be a plot deserving of the "To Bee Or Not To Bee" title!
|"You've ruined my plans to enslave the unsuspecting victims that came to my opening day and |
turn them into my mindless slaves!"
...why would Aunt Bea have so many dirty dishes just piled up everywhere if her amusement park was only open for one day? Dear god, what does the rest of her house look like?
|"That Aunt Bea lady sure is nice. She keeps feeding me this strange-tasting honey and calling me her future mindslave!"|
That being said, is it sad that this cartoon made me want to go to that bee farm? Seriously, that roller-coaster looked awesome...
The Moral of this Cartoon
People with kangaroo fursonas have a natural-born hatred for beefolk.
*Liked the expressions in this cartoon a lot. Not so much the animation as a whole (it's obvious they sacrificed smooth animation for graphic animation here), but the best part of this cartoon was definitely the various faces everyone made in reaction to things.
*I will admit, it was kind of fun seeing just how stupid they could get. At the beginning of the episode, I was like "Okay, they're just being stupid, I'm bored". But then, they got into the bee farm and dressed up as a ghost and as a kangaroo. Then I wasn't bored. Therefore, the cartoon is somewhat entertaining.
Oh boy, where do I begin...
*That purple beaver. Look, I understand adding new characters in an animated adaptation, but the purple beaver is just so pointless. I think that if you were to digitally remove all of Kitty's scenes from this episode (and probably the rest of the series), the cartoon would be vastly improved.
*The characters are about as developed as another character that has "dumb" in his title, Scooby-Dum. They're dumb, and that's about it. They're not very interesting.
*Such a wasted plot, man. Killer bees! Bee-themed amusement park! They could've done so much even in the allotted time, and yet according to my word count, kangaroo appears more than bee. This isn't an episode called "Hop to It" or "Widget's Walkabout"; it's "To Bee or Not To Bee" and I want to see some goddamned bees!
*Aunt Bea didn't get enough screentime. Here is a woman, who dedicated her entire life to bees and has a whole army of overweight men in tight bee costumes at her disposal, and yet she's barely around. What a cocktease!
*Only one of the Dumb and Dumber guys was really vital to this plot. Buttcheek guy just sort of listened to whatever his friend had to say in this episode. This is a really minor complaint, since Buttcheeks did at least have some good lines, but he really didn't do anything as a ghost and that disappoints me.
The Final Decision
This is basically a poor man's version of 2 Stupid Dogs, so you're probably better off just watching that. Nothing really sets this cartoon apart from any other show, and really, I can't even see big fans of Dumb and Dumber watching this since it has almost nothing in common with the movie. It fails as an adaptation.
But I hate to say it, but it isn't completely horrible, just because it's completely freaking crazy. If this episode sets the standard for what this show has to offer, then good god. It's obviously not taking itself seriously, therefore effectively placing it in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog category so, I don't know, maybe someone will find this amusing. I sort of did, but it wasn't enough to convince me to become a fan and watch this for enjoyment.
As for me, though. I know what I'm going to watch if I want to watch something related to Jim Carrey properties.