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Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Lookback : Phantom Investigators

The Flashback  Cartoons Kids WB




    We don't write enough about the 2000's.  Back into our safety zone with cartoons, but hey why not?   But continuing with a theme of short lived series , this one is an interesting case.  The series we look at today is from  Kids WB called Phantom Investigators. (get it ? P I ) The series ran for 13 episodes in 2002 then it wasn't renewed. (More on that later)

      If you have seen the  Nickelodeon series "Kablam" you may have seen a featured cartoon segment called "Life with Loopy".  The cartoon used  a mixture of mediums , so it used cardboard and puppetry with stop motion and hand drawing. .


     It was one of the main long lasting Kablam shorts that pretty much lasted the show's entire run.  It never reached it's own  series though.      Life with Loopy was created by Stephen Holman who also created a segment for Liquid Television  called Joe Normal. 

  You can see he had a style.  Copyright MTV (We guess) 

      If we are going in order of appearance ,  Joe started then it was Loopy.   Anyway we aren't really talking about either of  these, but they give us a glimpse of what we are talking about today.   In  May of 2002, Kids WB added a new series to their Saturday Morning line up , it also probably aired on weekdays , but who knows? 

       The show is about 4 middle schoolers, 3 of them have powers and 1 doesn't. (Guess which one is the leader of the group?)  Named Daemona, Jericho, Casey, and Kira.    As stated before, 3 of the characters have a power.  Jericho has the power of telekinetic powers , Casey can morph into things , and Kira has telepathic powers. (mind powers, mind powers).  

They spend their days investigating things that happen in their town.  (those meddling kids.)  One episode has them investigating a ghost haunting at house.   Meanwhile, episodes will have a sub plot of a character or more having a problem they need to solve.    

      Making  a point of that it has the same creator as Life with Loopy you see the same style  used here.  There's that use of cardboard and puppetry gives the show a 3D feel while in a 2D world. 
copyright Sony 

   Wouldn't be surprised if they actually burned the paper./


     Of course the show features phantoms and other spookies and they use their style to their maximum with them. 

Well, I am scared

Since he is dead he can take off his head. 
          
 For  fun we are going to take a look at an episode directly. In this case episode 8 , "Were-Dog"
after the jump. 


             The episode starts with a girl feeding her dog , Wiki (looks around)  the dog looks at the moon and goes crazy.  Her dog runs out of the house and cut.  Next day (I guess) our heroes are playing frisbee.  Casey seems distracted and the girls wonder why and luckily  Jericho tells them that Casey is in love with a girl. 

This girl to be specific. 

    Casey of course is afraid to talk to her. (Check mark)  So of course Casey turns into a dog.  Terry (the girl) tells the others to be careful dogs have been disappearing.  They go the girl we saw at the beginning and explains what happened.   She also adds that there was a strange figure in the woods about a month before and she and her dog saw it.  Casey (still a dog) follows a man who tore down some of the lost dog signs at the park and sees the man tie himself down  while the fool moon comes up. 
Puts a new meaning to tailing somebody. 

      Casey sees a bunch of dogs in the basement of the building. Meanwhile back to our other heroes who see a piece of piece of fur they got from the poodle moving when the moon came up.   There's a demon that makes bad luck named jinxy (well alright then), but he's helpful an tells us that it is were wolf fur. 

Glad he knows things about werewolves 
            Meanwhile the man that Casey was following has turned into a were wolf. Casey wakes up in the basement and wonders what's going on.  Eventually he breaks out and runs back to the others.  They go back to the store and stop the man who was were wolf.  The man explains that he is part of family curse because an ancestor gave a 3 head creature a bad hair cut. (bit much)  He can't tie knots as good as he used to so he breaks free and he bites dogs. (oh my)  Casey finds out he may be stuck in the curse now too.  Jinxy tells them that they can break the curse. 

      
Grrrrrrr

      So Jinky and Casey go the park to open a portal  and get king Lykoas  but he doesn't have a totem of control. (How could you  forget that?)   Random note: They also have a car like thing which is interesting. Anyway the gang gets chased by King Lykoas.  After they capture Lykoas they give him a hair cut to  see if that would help him give up the curse and guess what? It works! (well of course?!)    And the Curse is lifted .  Casey decides to talk to Terry and all is resolved. 
  
    It was an enjoyable episode, seems the show is atleast in enjoyable from the other episodes  I watched as well. 

     There's not a lot of conclusive info on this show though from looking around there is a theory the series ended because Kids WB didn't like that the show was attracting more girls than boys. Which if true, seems stupid but not unheard of , though would be silly to can a show because of what group is more watching.  It also seems that Sony wanted to get out of the animation business (at the time) and this show looks like it had some big budget to it.  The series sadly. hasn't had any official release which is also a shame might be nice thing to own in some way.  

              That's our lookback , hope you enjoyed it.  Tune in next time when we wonder why  there are no were cats? 


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