Garbage Pail Kids [Animated TV Series] (1987)

Run Time - 30 min.  |  
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Based on a popular line of children's greeting cards, the animated Garbage Pail Kids was a delightfully disgusting antidote for such cutesy-wootsy cartoon series as Care Bears and My Little Pony. The series, like the cards that preceded it, featured a wide variety of grotesque-looking youngsters who reveled in their own body functions, obnoxious personal habits, and overall lack of hygiene. While the cards boasted such hideously hilarious characters as Dental Daniel and Squoze Rose, the TV series settled for five of the "milder" Garbage Pailers: Clogged Duane, Patty Putty, Terry Cloth, Split Kit and Eliot Mess (the last character so named because he was a conglomerate of mismatched body parts)! Unlike its source, the series was a satirical superhero effort, with the five protagonists transforming into their odious alter egos for the purpose of battle evildoers, foremost among them the minions of the "Fun Busters", whose mission it was to rob children of enjoyment. Although parent network CBS stressed the fact that the property had been considerably toned down for TV consumption and that the storylines stressed prosocial values, this did not mollify such activist groups as Action for Childrens Television and the National Coalition of Television Violence, who--without bothering to watch the episodes that had been filmed--condemned Garbage Pail Kids as being too disturbing and offensive for youngsters (translation: It was too disturbing and offensive for grownups--the kids would have loved it). Buckling under to pressure from the aforementioned groups, which had also prompted a number of sponsors to pull out of the project, CBS abruptly cancelled Garbage Pail Kids just before its scheduled Saturday-morning premiere on September 19, 1987. Thus it was that the series took on cult status with cartoon fans, which greatly enhanced its saleability when several of the episodes were issued on VHS in 1989 (there'd also been an earlier theatrical Garbage Pail Kids Movie. Nearly two decades after CBS pre-emptively pulled the plug on Garbage Pail Kids, the entire series was released on DVD in all its skuzzy glory.