The Odd Trend of R-Rated Material Turned Into Kids Shows

Does Stargate: Infinity count? The original movie was only PG-13, but the first season of SG-1 had nudity.

Hey, it worked for the Harlem Globetrotters…

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Yeah, but the Harlem Globetrotters weren’t known for being on a show where they regularly beat the tar out of people.

Never saw it, but I know Starship Troopers had a CG toon at some point.

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Would you like to know more?

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It actually wasn’t bad, as I recall. Episodic, but the showrunners maintained the long-term story arc of the war — and Earth was losing.

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So as an example of how this backfires, when I was about 14, I was a big fan of Toxic Crusaders. (It actually had really clever writing and some neat fourth-wall-breaking humor which I’ve always been a big fan of.) So imagine my delight when I found out it was based on a movie, and the movie was going to be on the USA network.

I was 14, which is old enough to not be completely traumatized, and it was scrubbed a bit for television, but the experience did not leave a pleasant taste in my mouth,

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“That cartoon for kids Troma put out” really doesn’t sound sensible.

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Curious: has your opinion on Toxic Avenger changed since that time, or have you not gone back to give it another look?

Yah, they aren’t kid shows, but I knew a lot of kids who liked Freddy all the same. Likewise Beetlejuice, who did have his own cartoon as well, but he’s arguably more kid-friendly. His was just a PG film, too.

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I haven’t revisited it. What I remember was just a bit too mean-spirited for my taste.

Two things:

  1. Only the first episode had nudity and that was because Showtime insisted.

  2. We do not speak of this monstrosity. Next, you’ll be bringing up the Star Trek cartoon. Think of the children, man!

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You can’t just say “The Star Trek Cartoon” anymore. There’s three now (original, Lower Decks and Prodigy).

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I have very mixed feelings about that cartoon because it’s undoubtedly very cheap in terms of animation, but a lot of Star Trek writers worked on it, a lot of the original cast did voices, and they even had an episode written by Larry Niven. It’s not very watchable, but if you can get past the cheapness, there’s some good there.

Good point. I assumed we were talking OG Animated Series.

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You are correct, but the more recent ones are presumably watchable and entertaining (I’ve only seen Lower Decks) The TOS Animated Series was a dog’s dinner.

The TOS Animated Series wasn’t all bad. “Yesteryear,” for example, or “The Soft Weapon,” which was adapted by Larry Niven from one of his “Known Space” short stories.

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The Kzinti get a brief mention in an episode of Discovery, canonizing a little bit of Larry Niven into Star Trek lore.

Little Shop of Horrors (despite being PG-13 in 1986) had a cartoon from 1991 on FOX Kids, simply called: Little Shop.

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Invader Zim is not adapted from anything, but its creator, Jhonen Vasquez, was previously most well-known for a comic book called Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, which is exactly what it sounds like. So how he got a show on Nickelodeon I’ll never know, but I’m very glad he did.

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They did the same thing with Gilligan’s Island! Well, maybe that’s not quite the same. Still, there were headhunters.

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