|"Wuzzles" sounds vaguely like the name of a STD.|
Therefore, I decided, what's a better way to talk about this show again than to talk about an episode that focuses on my favorite characters in the show. In this show's case, I happened to really like those ineffective hobos that are somehow considered a threat to the Land of Wuz; Crock, Frizard, and Brat.
Now, you might be thinking, with a show that only lasted 13 episodes, there can't possibly be an episode that focuses on the villains. Well, if you thought that, then you're obviously wrong, for not only did I find an episode with "Crock" in the name, and not only was it heavily Crock-essentric, but it's also the most deranged, the most depraved piece of animation I've ever seen bear the Disney name. I don't want to give anything away in this episode, but let's just say that plot points appear that seem so random that it almost feels like I've accidentally tuned into Cartoon Network by mistake. Hold onto your comically oversized sailor's caps, because there's no turning back from...
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When we enter this episode, one that promises us many delights coming out of an overweight dinosaur in a sailor's cap, who else but the ever delightful, ever bored narrator leads us in. Words cannot describe how much I love this guy. Sounding like he's just one step away from putting a bullet in his brain, his voice doesn't change in tone no matter what he's narrating. And while that would sound like an example of bad voice-acting in any other cartoon, it just makes whatever exciting events that happen on screen that much funnier.
...or maybe I just have a sick sense of humor and like how a dangerous tropical storm is approaching the Land of Wuz, one so dangerous that all the Wuzzles are taking action and boarding up their homes, and all the narrator can manage is the same amount of interest I have in documentaries on the stock exchange in the Netherlands. There's something to love about a show where the narrator doesn't give a crap whether the main characters live or die.
|Meh. Flooding and heavy rainfall. I'm sure the Wuzzles can survive this.|
However, this scene is quickly and utterly ruined when the cartoon gives Rhinokey, aka the worst Wuzzle on the show, way too much screen time. Turns out he deals with the "change" in the weather by making really horrible jokes about dimes and nickels to himself and then laughing at his own puns. By the time he said "I prefer applause, but thunderclapping will do" as if his jokes deserve an audience, I was praying for a bolt of lightning to strike that building and kill this horrible abomination. Rhinokey can go to hell.
Although now I'm kind of wondering where one would get a giant fiberglass banana sturdy enough to support a roof. Even though I just expressed dislike over this character, I would love to see him shopping at Home Depot.
|"Hey guys! I thought of this great joke involving a man from Nantucket!"|
While I dwell on this little plot development for too long, we then cut to Crock, whose level of not giving a crap is so astronomical that I instantly declared this Wuzzle a saint. Look at this badass, just sleeping in his hammock on the roof of his houseboat when it's about to shower lethal fruits upon the world. He doesn't care that he doesn't have an income, has to eat magazines to satiate his starving innards, and is hated by every inhabitant on the island. That's how awesome Crock is.
|"Haters gonna hate!"|
When the sad, ugly monstrosities inform their lord and master of what the hell they're actually doing, this causes Crock to scoff and swear "bullfinch feathers" at their fears of the house suffering any damage. Hey, a reference to the first episode! That better have been intentional.
|They're just glum because they know they'll never be remembered after this series is over.|
...wait. Where did Crock even get the hammock if he's impoverished?
|While I thank you for answering my prayers, Rhinokey's house is that way.|
I'm also kind of curious about the currency they use in The Land of Wuz. Rhinokey mentioned nickels and dimes so they're obviously familiar with American money. What's the current exchange rate? How good is their economy if they're essentially confined to a small island chain? And how the hell do most of the Wuzzles have money if Rhinokey is the only one shown to have a stable job?
|Hey, Butterbear. Maybe you can save some food for the rest of the villagers.|
Maybe this is why Disney has never tried to remake this show, especially in this economy. I can just picture a board meeting where all of the executives kind of avoid glances and titter nervously when the topic of the evil homeless people that can't afford anything because they're too lazy to work harder comes up.
|"Man, I knew I should've went to the dumpsters behind Fresh & Easy instead..."|
And, as the icing on top of the giant cliche-filled cupcake that is this cartoon, after this scene is over, Crock later calls this his good "greed" for the day. Get it? Wuzzles sure love their puns. Too bad 80% of the time, the puns are coming out of Rhinokey's mouth, and Rhinokey's existence is the reason why I sometimes question the existence of a divine being.
|"Oh no! My umbrella disappeared when I left it near this thieving hobo! What could have happened to it?"|
By the way, are we supposed to find this delicious or disgusting? It rains water, but there's a pretty good reason why most people in America don't rush out in the middle of a storm and bottle that stuff up in their backyards. I understand the Wuzzles live on an island paradise, free from the disgusting influences of humanity, but if they have cars and grocery stores, then they obviously have airborne contaminants just like the rest of us.
But who am I kidding? I'm secretly jealous at these fuzzy little monsters because my fresh produce doesn't rain down from the sky for free. That would make shopping so much easier.
|Yum, look at all of that bottled up pollutants.|
And, because God hates the poor, right after we establish that Crock is lazy and thinks that his houseboat is the sturdiest squatter settlement known to Wuzzlekind, the roof caves in and showers the poor asshole with enough melons to bludgeon someone to death. Ah well, at least now they won't starve. Watch as Crock doesn't even bother with any of those fruits, because common sense and all that.
Crock, still running on his tank of pure "not-giving-a-crap-onium" from the way he just takes total home destruction in stride, just stares up at the gaping hole in his roof and says that they sure don't make cardboard like they used to. That's some wooden-looking cardboard there, Crock. No wonder Frizard and Brat needed nails and a hammer to install that new cardboard tile.
|"I'm just thankful that didn't kill me."|
Let me just sum up what has happened to this fat dinosaur so far. He's been struck by lightning, the roof of his broken down shack of a house has caved in, he had to dig in the trash for both food and something to shelter him from the storm, he had to steal an umbrella from someone in order to protect himself from the elements, and now he's trying to live in a doghouse. Am I supposed to find this funny or tragic, cartoon? The most villainous thing Crock has done so far is steal an umbrella he's too poor to afford!
|So wait, how did the birddog build that house and afford all that wood in the first place...?|
Incidentally, birddog has to be the laziest combination ever. It's weird seeing one episode have animals that are part brahman bull and then just have one animal that some lazy interns slapped together at the last minute before this cartoon went into production. I can just picture some college graduate showing some hastily scribbled sketch and shouting "It's a bird with dog ears and a dog face! Dohohoho!" to the animators shortly before getting arrested for crimes against creativity.
|Here's a question that no scientist can solve. Which of these characters has the laziest design?|
Funny thing is, save for the part where he caught pneumonia or whatever (he said some vaguely Wuzzle-ish name that I'm not even going to bother to remember), all of what he said is perfectly true. Everyone in the town knows that Crock lives in a derelict house, eats magazines and old tires, is probably illiterate, is infected with tapeworms, and has no money to afford anything. Apparently people will only feel sorry for him if he wears some rags because now he looks the part. This society is scary.
I also have to point this out somewhere, but somehow, he managed to make his hat look more ragged. And, through the wonders of Disney magic, he's even able to turn it back into its pristine, original form the moment he takes that cloak off. Oh that Crock and his silly, inexplicable disguises...
|Butterbear is afraid that if she refuses, he'll turn out to be some enchantress. It's happened before in Disney cartoons.|
The narrator also manages to pipe in here, but even though he's one of my favorite characters (which is kind of sad if you dwell on it for too long), he's really just stating the obvious here. He basically says in his dulcet tones that Crock is bad news. Uh, no duh, strange invisible voice. I'm sure the audience can figure that out after he tried to steal a house from a birddog.
Also, I just noticed this, but for some reason, Butterbear's antennae are daisies and that just weirds me out. Does that make her a butterfly/bear/flower Wuzzle then? Can Wuzzles be three species despite the emphasis on two? I wonder if her flower antennae actually function as normal flowers, with pollen and everything (making her Bushroot's predecessor in a way), or if they're designed as a form of camouflage to protect wild Butterbears from predation. I feel like the show's merchandise needed to be packaged with scientific notebooks detailing how these creatures function in their island ecosystem. My thirst for knowledge on Wuzzle behavior must be quenched!
|Two households, both alike in dignity...|
You know what's odd? I have the strangest hankering for Froot Loops after looking at this rainbow. Funny thing is, that cereal totally had limited edition combinations that were Wuzzle-esque in their flavors and I wonder if this is where they got their inspiration.
|In the Land of Wuz, you really can taste the rainbow!|
I realize that that paragraph doesn't do the insanity of this recent plot development any justice, so let me just take the moment to point out all the plot holes, in handy bulletpoint form.
*The fruit used to make it look like its raining is way more food than what Butterbear is serving Crock.
*This really only works as long as Butterbear doesn't notice the sun, the people outside, or the clear skies.
*Frizard and Brat couldn't have possibly have known where Crock had went because he left the house without them.
*Considering the rate they're dropping fruit, they'd have to harvest an entire island's worth of fruit in order to keep up this entire charade for any period of time.
*They're standing in broad daylight on Butterbear's roof while throwing fruit all over her property when most of the Wuzzles in the town hate Brat and Frizard.
To sum it up, what the crap, Disney. I'm beginning to see why The Wuzzles didn't catch on. It's hard to root for a cast that's this stupid.
|Sure, this makes a lot of sense.|
Oh, just so you know, if you watch this scene from a certain mindset, it almost looks like these two are flirting with each other. Try to get that mental image out of your heads, readers!
|"So, what'd you dream about last night, honey?"|
You know, if they're willing to put so much energy into this little scheme, to the point where Crock has to resort to cartoon whispering, you'd think they'd better invest it in fixing the houseboat or, hell, getting jobs. This seems like they're really going out of their way to abuse someone's trust and willingness to help other people in order to have Buttered Toast as Crock's personal slave.
And why does Frizard and Brat even care? Crock left them in that house with the broken roof and has been yelling at them and treating them like crap for this entire episode. If I were them, I'd tell Crock a good place to stuff his sailor cap before flipping him the birddog.
|It's clear from your vacant expressions|
The lights are not all on upstairs
But we're talking kings and successions
Even you can't be caught unawares
Okay, I'll be honest with you, gentle reader. I actually had to pause the cartoon, rewind, and see this entire scene again because I couldn't believe what I watching. I thought that I had passed out and my cold medicine was giving me some weird visual and auditory hallucinations. Because seriously, guys? Seriously? This is the best you can come up with, Crock?
As you can tell, this episode serves as a cautionary tale for what happens if you let a homeless person into your house. Before long, they'll tell their friends to throw buckets of fruit on your lawn and then they'll run into your kitchen dressed up like nurses and wielding tiny hammers.
|I'm so glad he was able to afford nurse costumes just in case he had to do something like this.|
...oh come on. I can't be the only one that noticed that this episode's plot sounds like the premise of a really bad porno. Judging by the bedroom eyes Butterbear is shooting her guest and the tone of voice Crock is using when talking to her, they'll fall in love and they'll be bonking each other's brains out in that wheelchair before the day is over. I guarantee.
|Oh, so that's where that birddog went...|
...I'm going to let you draw your own conclusions to that. Especially considering how suspicious and angry Bumblelion is during this scene.
|"Really, Butterbear. You can do better than him!"|
I'm not sure if I'm disgusted or in admiration over how this episode just gets crazier and crazier by the minute. It's sort of like watching a train that has just jumped off the rails and is now plowing through a forest at extremely high speeds. You know what you're watching is a disaster, but the speeding train, now a fiery hunk of metal that's still maintaining its lethal velocity, just keeps destroying everything in its path and the death toll just keeps soaring as the flaming corpses of passengers are flung out of the windows...
And yes. I did, in fact, just call this episode a trainwreck. It's an amusing trainwreck with weird sexual overtones, but still.
|Previously, on Hoarders...|
Crock has a TV commercial. The man who lives in a house with a cardboard roof, the man who was digging in the trash of a grocery store in order to find an umbrella, can afford a TV commercial. A TV commercial that can air on the same day no less.
Hear that? If you listen closely, you can hear my suspension of disbelief slowly dying a horrible, painful death from this. Nope, not buying it, cartoon. I can believe the fruit storm, the cardboard roof, and the fact that somehow selling a person's jam collection in their cellar could be considered profitable, but not this. What the hell, writers, even I can't run out and buy a TV commercial, and I can afford umbrellas!
|"With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good!"|
Bumblelion, the only protagonist Wuzzle that saw the commercial, runs up to his snake oil booth and calls him out, but then is stupid enough to say that he's going straight to Butterbear's. I bet the leading cause of death among Wuzzles is choking on ballpoint pens. Clearly this is not a race that's going to last for very long. After all, the inhabitants are buying jam from a man who eats magazines.
|"Okay, why did you think that that outfit was a good idea? It doesn't even match!"|
On the bright side, at least Eleroo (you know, that annoying moron who's fine with removing eggs from the wild even when they're from an endangered species) only gets like two lines of dialogue in this entire episode. I can't stand that character almost as much as I can't stand Rhinokey.
|I'm not sure why Butterbear has a bed that can fit and support Crock if she's like a quarter his size...|
...hey wait. Butterbear demonstrated that she knows about exotic Wuzzle species in the Brahman Bullfinch episode. How is she able to fall for this lie if she of all people would know whether or not molehogs exist? I mean, geez, how many Wuzzle combinations could possibly exist on that chain of small islands?
|"Now I'll never be able to survive a nuclear war!"|
Oh, and there's a moment where Rhinokey simply has to be an asshole. Butterbear, at one point, says that she can't believe Crock did this to her when she was treating him like she was his mother, which causes him to say that Butterbear can't be Crock's mother because Crock's real mother threw him out. Ouch. Man, even when this episode has been "Crock routinely craps on someone's life for the lulz", that joke seemed unnecessarily cruel. If anything, it kind of explains why Crock has issues and doesn't have a cent to his name if his own parents hate him.
...and just wondering, but would Crock's mother be a crocodile/dinosaur like him, or was she like a crocodile/bird mix that mated with a dinosaur/elephant mix and that was one of the possible combinations and oh god I just started talking about Wuzzle reproduction again, didn't I? Moving on.
|"According to this label, this jam is made from the highest-quality fruit juice and contains no preservatives."|
Speaking of stuffed animals, I had to check eBay. The plot of this episode was actually made into a read-along book with its own cassette. I wonder if they were able to work in the side-plot about the jam salesmanship somewhere in there, but I don't care enough to buy a dirt-encrusted book made in the 80's in order to find out.
|"Compare me to Fluttershy again and I'm punching you in the eye."|
I wonder how far would Crock have to go before Frizard and Brat realize that he's a total dumbass and his ideas are completely crazy. You'd think they'd have a couple questions about the whole "pretend to be sick and then raid someone's cellar and become a jelly entrepreneur" thing that happened earlier...
|"'Dignity'? What's that?"|
I don't want to sound like a party pooper, but suppose Crock was allergic to any of those ingredients (they essentially raid Butterbear's entire storage cabinet and puts it in this brew) and ends up having a fatal reaction? I wonder what cutesy hybrid method they have towards burial.
It's also kind of weird that Butterbear is getting back at Crock for stealing her food and wasting her money by feeding him every last ingredient she has in her kitchen too. A jar of horseradish alone is like five dollars now, and she's dumped like twenty different ingredients into that thing...
|Look at Rhinokey's face. He does this all the time, doesn't he.|
You know, I hate to say this, but after Butterbear discovers that she's being tricked, the episode feels like I've seen this all before, like the writers suddenly ran out of cocaine, sobered up, and had to resort to fishing for used Warner Brothers scripts out of the trash in order to pad the episode. All of these gags appeared before in other, better cartoons where they had better set-up. I hate to say it, but I liked this cartoon a lot more when it's doing things like showing a homeless person with his own TV commercial and convincing a half-frog man to throw fruit in front of a window to fake a storm. It doesn't make any sense, but it doesn't put me to sleep like this scene did.
And where the hell did they even get the bed? Is it Butterbear's? Did one of the other Wuzzles loan it just for this prank? Why would a therapeutic bed have features that involve randomly crushing the occupant anyways?
|And then they end up snapping Crock's spine clean in half. The End.|
|"Man, you two are into some kinky stuff!"|
Hey wait. Crock is unemployed and can't afford food, and yet he has health insurance? There's no way he could've afforded medical attention otherwise.
...unless those nurse costumes Frizard and Brat had aren't actually costumes and that's their real occupation. But then that just brings up too many questions on why most of the medical staff in The Land of Wuz is in deep poverty.
|"Oh, the horrible situational irony!"|
You gotta admire how the people who wrapped him up managed to completely avoid his muzzle so that the animators can properly animate his lip syncing. That takes talent.
|"You damn kids, get off my roof!"|
...I just hope that, if that ever happens, the life he claims is Rhinokey. Rhinokey blows.
The Moral of this Cartoon
It's extremely easy to exploit someone, just as long as you don't get greedy and go overboard with it.
*This is a Disney animated TV show, so I have to say this. The animation is very good.
*Crock in all of his fat glory is genuinely likeable (if a little insane in his concepts) and his silly little crimes are fun to watch, so I found this hilarious.
*Butterbear was the main Wuzzle, and I like Butterbear. Her voice is really sweet, her personality is genuinely charming, and unlike the male Wuzzles who can turn into jerks at the drop of a hat, you have to really push Butterbear in order for her to dissolve into asshattery. Therefore, this instantly made this episode better than Bulls of A Feather, an Eleroo episode.
*This episode made me hungry. Oh for the love of god, do I want to sample some of that Wuzzle jam or that Wuzzle fruit. Applemelons and cherrygrapes...
*This is the only cartoon that uses a plot that involves the illegal selling of preservatives, making this episode nothing short of unique.
*Rhinokey was in this episode and he wasn't getting killed slowly and painfully for my amusement. I'm gonna have to dock points for that...
*The climax is pretty boring and pacing was kind of an issue.
*Butterbear's inability to assert herself was both tragic and kind of frustrating.
*This really didn't make any sense. Even for a Disney cartoon, it really didn't make any sense. I mean, for crying out loud, Crock had to fish through the trash to find an umbrella but he appeared on TV! What the hell?
The Final Decision
I love this episode, if only because it's a great glimpse at Wuzzles being dicks to other Wuzzles.
No, seriously. That's all twenty or so minutes of this episode. Sometimes it's Crock being a dick, sometimes it's Butterbear being a dick. It's just pure, mean-spirited cruelty from both the heroes and the villains.
Therefore, it's animation in its purest form. The Wuzzles aren't saving the world or doing anything breathtaking; they're just people like you and I. And I'm sure every last one of us has done something mean-spirited for a laugh.
I really have nothing more to say about this, other than it's mindless entertainment. It's still not the strongest animated show Disney's ever put out, and I'll be damned if I say that I'm actually invested in any of these furry weirdos (and it's probably not a good sign that I'm wishing death on some of the main characters), but I was able to sit through this at least.
Also, Crock/Butterbear forever. Their love is so pure!