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Monster By Mistake: Childhood Rage

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It's 2002. I am nine years old. YTV is currently running Sailor Moon R, Seven Little Monsters and Stickin' Around. But wait, there's another show that I had seen since I was six. I look at the TV with disgust and ask, "Why are they still running this?"
 
This show is Monster By Mistake, and I have some bloody problems with it that I'd like to clear up. Here's the intro...
 

 
It may be in Hebrew, but still, it's verbatim to what happens and what it sounds like in the Canadian version. If your brain is throwing up, this will make it feel better.
 
Bad memories. Memories of anger, confusion and boredom all come back when I hear the jingle in that video. Except instead of a peaceful ten year old Israelian boy's voice, we had Julie Lemieux singing in a weird, cracky boy voice. Have you ever seen Bakugan? She plays Runo...make that a little more boyish, and that's what the main kid sounded like.
 
ALL THE TIME.
 
Monster By Mistake was about an eight year old boy named Warren Patterson, who turned into a seven foot tall blue monster whenever he sneezed. It was because his pubescent sister Tracy found a spellbook, said one of the spells wrong, and it hit Warren. They spend 52 episodes looking for the cure, but mostly get into wacky (i.e. trite) hijinks with Warren's transformations. This raises questions... 
  1. What the hell kind of spellbook is that?
  2. How come Monster Warren looks like the result of Skunk Kusai having a baby with The Thing? (Have fun getting that image out of your head.)
  3. Why don't they ever cure Warren, instead of running around town all stupid and whatnot?
  4. How are the parents both redhaired, while both their kids are blonde?

I have one more clip of Monster By Mistake, from this one episode where a British singer came to town. I have no recollection of what is going on otherwise.

If you have fond childhood memories of Monster By Mistake, I'm going to beat you. This should not have had 52 episodes, nor should it have survived being cancelled twice. I mean, look at Cybersix...it's the most beautifully-animated Canadian production ever, it has dedicated fans worldwide, and only lived 13 episodes. But no, let's look at the main cast of Monster By Mistake...
  • Warren/Monster of Pickford: An eight-year-old with lots of allergies and a girl voice. When he sneezes, he turns into a giant blue thing with a girl voice.
  • Tracy: Warren's 12-year-old sister, whom nas nearly no personality, save for faint tsunderism. She found the spellbook and the crystal, and is subsequently responsible for ruining her brother's life.
  • Johnny B. Dead: A deceased jazz musician from the 1920's and 30's, who got shot down in WWII. He lives in the kids' attic, plays the trumpet and is sort of a smartass. 
  • Billy: A fat, ugly bully with grey skin who eats a lot.
  • Aunt Delores: The kids' aunt, a butch stereotypical cop. Tries to go after The Monster a few times, but her high, starchy voice prevents her from doing so.
  • Gorgool: An angry, tiny purple demon in a ball who wants Tracy's spellbook. Has a typical thug, who used to be a pro-wrestler, do all his work.
  • Miranda: A genius eight year old who repeatedly mentions that "her brain weighs eight pounds".
It doesn't help that most of their voice actors are common in Canadian works, and that seriously bugged me as a child. It's obviously unavoidable, but really, some of these actors just reuse the exact same roles. Warren is Runo Misaki, Johnny is Preyas, Aunt Delores is Atomic Betty's Grandmother, Gorgool is everyone he's ever played. It doesn't help that the animation is rough and cubelike, and textures are usually just pictures. Supposedly it took up to two months to make each episode, and I guess that time was the only thing keeping it from looking like The Zoo Race...
 

Here's the only english clip available online. Not to beat on the guy that animated and uploaded this, but holy crap does the dad's mouth move fast. And I do not enjoy how flat the back of everyone's hands are.
 
Do you want to see a full episode? Too bad, jerkstore! There were three DVDs made in limited distribution back in 2003. The ratio of "people who still like the show" to "people who wish the show would implode" is approximately 98:2 on the implode, man. And anyone who may have liked the show as a child will look back at clips and react like I did to Sharky and George...they'll feel utter confusion and embarrassment. They'll scour the internet for episodes, but the closest they'll find are Amazon.com videotapes and episodes in obscure foreign languages.
 
However, I just found a new Sharky & George episode in French, and watching it I realize it led to my interest in detective stories and European animation. Hey Monster By Mistake fan, what did YOU learn? Little boys turning into giant blue furries is a good thing? Get off my site.
 
Speaking of the videotapes, I remember being about twelve...this is 2005, before the show officially died...and going into a liquidation bookshop at the mall. I remember being on that ravaging Darkwing Duck obsession, seeing a bunch of colourful VHS tapes at the end of the store and becoming hopeful that they were the 1993 Darkwing Duck home videos. I rushed to them and discovered they were Monster By Mistake tapes. How do you think I reacted?
 
Like a twelve year old, that's how.
 
The store had them priced for five dollars each, despite how they only had two episodes and it was 2005. WELL, GOOD. I'M GLAD YOUR STORE CLOSED DOWN. Now they sell furniture in its former area.
 
One last thing before we finish...Monster By Mistake had a website from 1997 to 2008, and you see the address in the intro because it was obviously the animation they originally used to pitch the show - being that the site was there so executives could check for more information - but they were too lazy to actually make a new intro. The site went from three phases...Crap End Of 1995, Incoherent Javascript, and Shiny Orange Flash. They're all available on Archive.org, but let's look now at the last recorded status of the site.
 

Now Viewing: Home Page

They've done their best of cramming all possible reference art together on the splash page. This sort of thing is supposed to be a quick and cheap way to give a visitor an impression of what the show is about. Unfortunately, it gives the impression that the show is about a badly-rendered blue thing about to run over the Chaos Emerald. Other characters include a girl who sure enjoys pushing her butt into a boy's ribs, a purple man with a lumbago, a lumberjack excitedly counting change in his hands, and an angry floating boy who wants to punch something.

None of the links here work, so Enter: About The Show.

"Monster By Mistake is a computer animated series that tells a tale of enchantment set in a contemporary world." If by "enchantment" you mean "retinal diarrhea" and by "contemporary world" you mean "place where everything looks flat and unprofessional".

Wow, these are some damn ugly kids. There's too much to pick on in the text, but for one thing, what's up with The Servant? Kids like when their characters have at least a first name. You could name him Gil Poopton for all I damn well care, but anything but The Servant.

Go to the navigation bar at the bottom of the page. Book Reviews in itself is a gay ole time, but let's go to Games.

  • Tracy's Spellcasting 101: This seems a lot like the random click-and-point games where the goal is to make random things happen in a closed environment, which would be pretty good, but are you going to take magic lessons from a 6th grader who irreversably turned her brother into a monster?
  • Jive With Johnny!: Try and press three buttons in the same order as the dead guy. When I think too hard about things, they become disturbing.
  • Billy, Keep Out!: Billy is trying to steal Warren's toy car "again", but now he's upping the ante by breaking into his damn house. Punch him in the face if he jumps out of the gradient behing the window.
  • Learn To Animate: It's not as much animating as much as it is making the blue thing wave around in one place like a tard, all on variating backgrounds.
  • Filthy Fingers: Holy crap. If you were to show that preview picture to someone and only say "filthy fingers", their head would explode from the perversion.

Now that we've stared at a leering bastard ghost and a mildly-amused monster thing, click on the bottom navigation's Product Library.

Well, the first thing I have to say is AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Secondly, I feel we should disregard the text summaries and let me describe the story for you...

  • Monster By Mistake: The kids have a three-man party that results in the displacement of  alight fixture.
  • Home Alone: Tracy gets molested in a library.
  • Entertaining Orville: The Monster is arrested for going pantless through town and playing trumpets at small children.
  • Kidnapped: The bottom of a giant boot "kidnaps" Warren's face.
  • Tracy's Jacket: Tracy turns into a slut while an Asian child looks on confusedly.
  • Gorgool's Pet: Gorgool adopts a giant ant and has some wacky adventures with it.
  • Fossel (sic) Remains: The Monster buys a sweet-ass hat and subsequently destroys a museum.
  • Billy Caves In: Billy's rectum collapses and Warren oversees the event.
  • One Big Sneeze: Warren attempts to film a faked bukakke movie, but gets kicked out of the studio.
  • Tracy's Magic Show: Tracy gets molested in an elevator.
  • A Giant Ant: Gorgool's wacky pet ant returns from Switzerland and kills him.
  • Just Desserts: Tracy accidentally reads a pornographic novel while Warren takes hallucinogenics and imagines ice cream.

Well then, my walkthrough of the site is over. Feel free to thumb through the Book Reviews, where people in 2003 all told shiny postcard lies about how much they liked the books, in order to win merchandise that most people would find questionable in the possession of anyone older than eight years old.

It really makes me wonder if the creator of Monster By Mistake thought he was creating a revolution in Canadian animation. Well, sort of, since it encouraged the development of CGI studios in Canada. On the other hand, the plot is entirely predictable, and most of the characters are hideous-looking stereotypes with little to no character development. Plus, how do you make a CGI cartoon from 1997 into 2006 and not have the graphics improve at all? It makes me worried that if Hyperspace Bunny gets animated, some kids will hate it just as much, despite my attempts to make it a comedic anime parody. Wow, this is terrifying to think about.
 
This brings me finally to the character designs...say, someone got an episode concept and said, "We need an evil guy, a big guy who does his work, and a bully kid." They were either telling this to an adult with no imagination or a six year old, whom then plotted out a demon gnome, a big guy who says "duh" a lot and a dumb fat kid. Do you see what I'm getting at? The characters are untolerable because they've had no thought put into them. No wonder it took two months to make each episode; I know from experience that it's hard to repeatedly animate a character you can't enjoy.
 
And now the show is dead.
 
 
 
CLICK ON KENJI PULLING A PEN OUT OF HIS HAIR TO GO BACK TO THE MAIN PAGE
 

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