Western Animation / Unstable Fables
A CGI trilogy from the Jim Henson Company, featuring three separate stories that irrelevantly and unfaithfully retell classic fairytales and fables.
Besides taking place in the same fairytale world
, the individual stories are all linked by the common theme of family and getting along peacefully in spite of differences
The entire series provides examples of:
- All-Star Cast
- An Aesop: Appropriately enough. Importance of family and understanding/acceptance of differences are the main running themes.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In "Three Pigs and a Baby" Big Boss Wolf turns to the viewer and tells them "You're the audience!" He also tells Musical Comedy Wolf "We don't have the budget to make this a musical!"
- In "Tortoise Vs. Hare", The stork announcers, Bob and Rex, stand outside the tortoise and hare homes, and speak to the viewer about "the new tortoise and hare team."
- In "The Goldilocks and the Three Bears Show", Jay Weasel declares that Goldilock's fixed win in the talent show will be "the greatest upset since the tortoise took down the hare!" He then faces the viewer and adds "Which, by the way, is available now on DVD!"
- Carnivore Confusion: Oh, don't even get us started.
- Fractured Fairy Tale: In case the title of the series didn't tip you off.
- Furry Confusion
- Groin Attack: Several.
- 3 Pigs and a Baby has two: First, Musical Comedy Wolf punches a punching bag dummy, which recoils and smacks him in the crotch. Later, Big Boss Wolf gets nailed hard by Dr. Wolfowitz's tail once in the final fight.
- In Tortoise Vs Hare, a stick figure lands on his crotch during a video for the race.
- Hypocritical Humor
- Mason Pig objects to "garbage" like candy bars before chowing down on a rusty tin can.
- Chad the frog scoffs at how "uncouth" the bears' sloppy housekeeping is before slurping up a fly and leaving a huge spot of spit in its wake.
- Interspecies Romance
- 3 Pigs and a Baby: Lucky openly flirts with the girl pigs in his school on occasion. Justified since he was raised as a pig in an all-pig town. Subverted later when he becomes infatuated with Teen Girl Wolf upon first sight.
- While it doesn't go anywhere, Hamlet openly calls Teen Girl Wolf "hot".
- Tortoise vs. Hare seems to have this between Butch Hare and Crystal Tortoise. (See YMMV page.)
- Finally, in Goldilocks and the 3 Bears: Young brown bear Junior has a love interest in the form of polar bear Inga. And Goldilocks mentions that she "once had a thing for a kodiac named Teddy."
- Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: With the introduction of Goldilocks.
- Shout-Out: Several.
- The Verse: The plots of each story don't really have anything to do with each other outside of the characters sharing the same world.
- Several characters appear across the stories, making either cameo or background appearances.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Lucky is smitten with Teen Girl Wolf, and Junior (eventually) falls for Inga; Both girls are about a head taller then they are.
3 Pigs and a Baby provides examples of:
- All of the Other Reindeer: Lucky is bullied at school for being a "freak", from his first day well into his teen years.
- Ambiguously Gay: Prissy Neat Freak Richard Pig walks the line sometimes.
- Big Eater: Lucky, being a growing teenage boy and a wolf, is often frustrated about there being no food in the whole kitchen; but that's because he ate everything in the whole kitchen.
- Bullying a Dragon: The bullies at Pigville academy harass Lucky all the way into his teens, despite the fact that he's noticeably taller then they are by then. Once Lucky becomes aware of his wolf heritage, he quickly puts them in their place.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Dr. Wolfowitz, who sports a tag reading "Evil Scientist".
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Sandy
- Doorstop Baby: Lucky, as part of a nefarious plan.
- Doting Parent: Richard is this at times.
- Emo Teen: Played for Laughs with Lucky sometimes.
Smooth Cool: "You lost?"
Lucky: "Yeah... Lost in this city, in this lonely universe. Lost deep down in my soul... !"
- Evil Is Hammy: "Dr. Wolfowitz, must you always make such a dramatic entrance?"
- Extreme Omnivore: The pigs are more or less this fairytale world's living garbage disposals.
- Has Three Daddies: Lucky
- I Didn't Tell You Because You'd Be Unhappy: A young Lucky refrains from telling his dads that he was bullied all day on his first day of school to keep them from worrying.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Wolfowitz.
- Meaningful Name: When the pigs first find the cub on their doorstep:
Richard: (to the baby) "Oh, you're so lucky you found this house!"
Sandy: "Hey, that's it, bro! We'll call him Lucky."
- Theme Naming: All the wolves (excluding Wolfowitz) have descriptive labels such as Big Boss Wolf, Smooth Cool Wolf, Wide-Eyed Pacifist Wolf...
- Then there's a more subtle example concerning the brick-house pig being named Mason, which literally means "bricklayer".
- New-Age Retro Hippie: Sandy has shades of this.
- Oblivious Adoption: Again, Lucky, almost to the point of parody.
- Organ Autonomy: Wolfowitz's tail seems to have a mind of it's own, constantly tapping him on the shoulder, and doing the bulk of the fighting against Big Boss Wolf during the climax.
- Overprotective Dad: Richard takes on this role.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Two wolves are sent to spy on the pigs and Lucky. One hides in a garbage can, while the other just stands around with a mailbox on his head. The pigs never notice them, not even when Mason goes to get the mail and almost yanks off the wolf's nose.
- The Smurfette Principle: Teen Girl Wolf to the Wolf Pack.
- Stuffed into a Locker: The school bullies do this to Lucky and his best friend Hamlet. After Lucky finds out he's a wolf, he pays them back in kind.
- Super OCD: Richard. Subverted concerning what he eats and how he eats it. He is a pig, after all.
- Surfer Dude: Sandy
- Team Dad: While all three pigs are "Dad" to Lucky, Mason plays this disciplinary role a lot moreso than the other two.
- Team Mom: Richard. Jon Cryer, who voices him, even says that "He sort of makes himself 'the Mommy Pig', just because he worries the most."
- Teens Are Monsters:
Mason: "It's like there's a huge, hairy beast living in our house, with forage fangs and claws like garden shears!"
Richard: "Hel-looo? Teenagers!"
- Tough Love: As mentioned, Mason is far sterner and stricter with Lucky than either of his brothers; at one point, he even proposes sending him to "Sergeant Slaughter's School for Wayward Pigs."
- Wrong Side of the Tracks: There's a literal set of tracks serving as a boundary line between the pigs' city and the wolves'.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Lucky. Photos show that it was brown when he was younger, so it's a dye job.
Tortoise vs. Hare provides examples of:
- Adorkable: While he generally plays Straight Man to everyone else, nature-nerd Butch definitely has his endearingly dorky moments.
- Berserk Button: Just hearing the words "slow and steady" sends Murray Hare into comical conniptions.
- Dark Horse Victory: And victory goes to TEAM MOLE! ... Wait, what... ?
- Doesn't Trust Those Guys: "Oh, Dad was right! Never trust a tortoise!"
- Early-Bird Cameo: A literal bird example with the pelican, Jorje, who doesn't have a major speaking role until the next film.
- Follow in My Footsteps: Both Walter Tortoise and Murray Hare want this of their kids Crystal and Butch, respectively.
- Genki Girl: Crystal Tortoise
- Honest John's Dealership: Murray is properly introduced at his job in a used-car lot trying to sell a "Top Secret Spy Car" (an ugly, beat-up scrap of metal on wheels) to an elderly lady.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: On a snowy night, Murray has to resort to holding Walter to keep the latter from freezing to death. The next morning, they immediately agree that it never happened.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Lake Infinity has sharks and Octopi.
- Only Sane Man: Butch. And Crystal to a somewhat lesser extent.
- The Rival: Murray and Walter both view the other as this.
- Rivals Team Up
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Butch and Crystal.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Murray misses Butch's science fair to work at his car dealership.
Goldilocks and the 3 Bears provides examples of:
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: All three bears experience this, while it's a completely different case with Goldilocks.
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Junior Bear starts out mooning hopelessly over Misty Brown. But later, when she suddenly takes a liking to him for his fame, he comes to realize that "Misty's not nearly as cute once you get to know her."
- Alpha Bitch: Surprisingly, Goldilocks is actually a subversion (see below). Misty Brown, on the other hand, is a straight example with absolutely no redeeming qualities personality-wise.
- Bumbling Dad: Mac Bear
- Butt-Monkey: The bears' neighbour, Chad Frog. His car is constantly getting damaged or dirty.
- Celebrity Is Overrated: The Bears eventually come to this conclusion.
- Cute, but Cacophonic: When the petite, pink-clad little blonde doesn't get her way, her irate, demanding shrieks can literally crack glass.
- Dumb Blonde: Goldilocks, who initially doesn't even know what books are!
- Fun with Acronyms: The Garbage (Gossip, Allegations, Rumors, and Baloney About Generally Everyone) Show.
- Girlfriend in Canada: Eddie the goose claims to have one. And a supermodel, at that!
- Happily Married: Mac and Ruby Bear
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Junior and Eddie, back since they were toddlers apparently.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Goldilocks becomes this over time.
- Malaproper: Mac.
- Mr. Muffykins: Goldilocks' growling, long-suffering little poodle, Doodie.
- Noodle Person: Goldilocks, being a parody of Teen Idols and their associated tropes.
- Parental Abandonment: Goldilocks. She spent her thirteenth birthday alone.
- Romantic False Lead: Misty to Inga, for Junior.
- Shout-Out: The talent show judge, Simon Owl.
- The opening of the reality show resembles the opening of The Real World.
- Token Human: Goldilocks
- Working Class People Are Morons: Mac, the fishmonger, is definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed.