George of the Jungle

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George of the Jungle.jpg

A series from the 1960s, which spawned a movie adaptation. Produced by Jay Ward of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame (the series, not the movie). George of the Jungle was an Animated Anthology, combining the George of the Jungle cartoons with Super Chicken and Tom Slick.

All three segments were full of the Post Modernism, No Fourth Wall, and satire that characterized Jay Ward's work. This series lasted only 17 episodes (1967), but has been rerun on various TV stations almost continuously for just over 40 years. The series has also earned a complete-series DVD release.

The George of the Jungle cartoons were a send-up of the Tarzan mythos. Square-jawed, dim-witted George was the king of the jungle. Almost every time he tried to swing to the rescue through the trees, he'd crash into one, usually while someone else was warning him, "Watch out for that..." WHAM! "...tree!". Not that unrealistic when you're swinging on a vine attached to said tree.

His wife, Ursula, was necessarily smarter and more refined. George would often refer to Ursula as a "fella", apparently having trouble with the whole gender thing.

George's elephant, Shep, was thought by George to be a giant dog, and apparently Shep believed it, too. The real brains of the outfit resided in the skull of an ape named Ape. He had an implausible Ronald Colman accent and was exceptionally well-read.

This cartoon earned a feature film Live Action Adaptation in 1997, with Brendan Fraser as George and Leslie Mann as Ursula. There was also a direct-to-video sequel in 2003, which had Christopher Showerman as George and Julie Benz as Ursula. ("Me new George. Studio too cheap to hire Brendan Fraser.") A second animated series premiered on Cartoon Network in 2008.

"Weird Al" Yankovic did a cover version of the George of the Jungle theme on his 1985 album Dare to Be Stupid. The Presidents of the United States of America performed it for the soundtrack of the 1997 live-action film.

Tropes used in George of the Jungle include:

Announcer: And the crowd goes wild!
Crowd: Yay.

The 2008 series provides examples of:[edit | hide | hide all]

Ape: You've really got control of these animals, do you George?
George: Yes. Thank you for noticing.