A Hidden Gem - watch it now.
This show just completely blew me away the first time i saw it. Everything about it was phenomenal.
The art and animation were stellar, with vivid, eye-catching coloring, excellent direction, seamless framerates, and original character designs (The episode "Easy as One, Two, Three" was arguably their apex).
But even better than the art was the writing. In a period of bombastic, Fox Kids era storytelling (watch an episode of the Spider-Man or X-Men and try not to gawk at the hilariously cliched dialogue, with villains proclaiming "the world will be mine" or the heroes yelling "NOOO!" every 5 minutes and you'll get the idea), the seriousness and maturity of the writing caught me off guard.
In particular, this excerpt from the episode "The Way Of The Buffalo".
Donovan: She's my wife, it's her duty to care for me.
Jane: It's her duty to be a good wife, but it's yours to be a good husband too.
Donovan: Who says i'm not?! Who?! I built this house, tilled this land, and protected her from those savages. And before we headed here from St. Louis i protected her from the other kind of savages there too.
Jane: Lots of them in the big city?
Donovan: A woman is a weak and vulnerable thing. Left to their own, they can be beguiled by sweet words and false intentions.
Jane: I don't recall that ever happening to me, or are you saying i ain't a woman?
Donovan: Wha- i didn't mean you
. You're - Calamity Jane
, but my wife, she's ...not as strong as you.
. In an age of talentless writers beating morals over the head of impressionable children, we get a story dealing with racism and sexism that isn't being spoonfed and instead being treated with the respect for the weight it carries. This show, like the HBO Spawn series, was made without the idea of the animation age ghetto, and was all the better for it. Add to that subtle, fitting, and well-performed voice acting, and you got a show that is a victim of under-appreciation and obscurity.