Western Animation: Back to the Future aka: Back To The Future The Animated Series
Marty McFly: Is there a Tannen in every century?
An Animated Adaptation of the successful Back to the Future films, that ran for 2 seasons of 13 episodes each in 1991 and 1992.The series followed on from where the films left off. Doc Brown and his family (wife Clara, originally from the 1880s, and their sons Jules and Verne) have moved back to 20th Century Hill Valley, settling down in 1991. In addition to their flying, time-traveling steam engine, Doc has built a new DeLorean, and together with his friends Marty McFly and Jennifer Parker, Doc and his family Time Travel backwards and forwards through time in search of adventure, usually meeting up with ancestors or descendants of both Marty and the films' villain, Biff Tannen.
In "Roman Holiday", while visiting Rome, Marty was challenged by Biff's Roman ancestor Bifficus to a race. Marty does refuse at first, but takes up the challenge when Bifficus calls him a chicken. The problem with this is that Marty was supposed to have learned a vaulable lesson about common sense after his showdown with Mad Dog Tannen in the third BTTF film.
Go count the number of episodes where Jules and Verne disagree with each other and have to learn to get along again. We'll wait.
Black Sheep: Verne does not have the same scientific interests or intelligence as his father, though he does have the blond hair (and a bit more common sense). His brother Jules likes to tell him he was adopted.
Cool Car: The new DeLorean time machine, which has even more gadgets than the film's DeLorean did.
Depraved Kids' Show Host: Mr. Wisdom, who seems happy-go-lucky on the surface, but has no trouble fleecing people out of their money, dropping kids through trapdoors, and stealing Doc Brown's inventions to sell as his own.
Evil Former Friend: In fact, the two were frat brothers and roommates in college in the late Fifties, and were close enough friends that Doc even told Walter about the concept for the flux capacitor. It wasn't until Walter stole and profited from Doc's perpetual motion hula hoop that he became evil and greedy.
Expospeak Gag: Doc speaks in these quite frequently. As does Jules, occasionally.
The present is 1991, but despite 6 years passing since the events of the movie trilogy in 1985, Marty and Jennifer appear to be younger than they should. They at least put them in college—the first episode does make mention of Marty being in college, and makes a reference to DEAN Strickland—even if they were drawn looking like teenagers and seem to have become less mature than they were in the trilogy. Of course, Michael J. Fox still looks like he could play a teenager.
This is also the case in 2x02, which flashes back to Doc's college days in the late 1950's (when hula hoops were popular). Walter Wisdom, who knew Doc back then, even recognizes the flux capacitor as Doc's "old college dream." If you assume that maybe Doc went back to school for another doctorate sometime after 1955, he still seems younger than he should have been.note The only thing that stops this from being a Series Continuity Error is that they never actually say what type of degree Doc was getting then.
Biff also looks younger then he did in the movie. There, the present day version had graying hair and mild wrinklage. The animated incarnation has a brown buzzcut and no wrinkles.
Free-Range Children: Jules and Verne. Exaggerated to the extent where they frequently steal the DeLorean and gallivant around the space-time continuum, although zig-zagged if Marty tags along on an adventure.
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Browns regularly drive the DeLorean around town and use it as the family car, without the rest of Hill Valley knowing that it's a time machine. This causes problems in "Einstein's Adventure" when two bank robbers steal the car to use as a getaway vehicle, and accidentally activate the time circuits.
In one episode, Verne imitates a speech his mother gives, complete with it being delivered by Clara's voice actor as is sometimes done with cartoons. Once he's finished, another character remarks on the uncanny accuracy of the impression, and Verne says he sometimes uses it to call himself in sick to school.
Marty sarcastically says in one episode that he's Michael J. Fox, who played him in the films. Verne admits that he can see the resemblance. This also subtly lampshades the fact that he is not Michael J. Fox in this series.
The circus owners from "Verne's New Friend" are named Robert and Bob ("The Bob Brothers") after Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale.
Named After Somebody Famous: Jules and Verne. This actually proved to be a plot point in the episode "A Verne By Any Other Name" — after being bullied about his name, Verne went back in time to convince the real Jules Verne to change his name; failing at that, he travelled back to his own birth to convince his parents to name him something else.
Series Continuity Error: The Hill Valley clocktower is shown running in 1967 (in "My Pop's An Alien"). This contradicts the films, which made a plot point of the fact that the clock never ran again after 1955.
In the same episode, 1967 Doc does not recognise Marty, even though they met for nearly two weeks back in 1955.
Somewhere, a Palaeontologist Is Crying: In the episode "Forward to the Past", the Cretaceous Period is stated to be in 3 million BC. Oh, and apparently there were lemon trees in California during that era.
The Stinger: The Tannen for that particular episode makes a joke after each show's credits.
Sweet Polly Oliver: Chris from "Verne's New Friend," who pretended to be a boy so she could hang out with the girl-hating Verne. Verne doesn't react well when he learns the truth, but he lightens up by the end of the episode.