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Series / Van-Pires

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Van-Pires was a live-action/CGI animation hybrid show from 1997 to 1998, running 13 episodes. It was unique for the time because of its full CGI animation besides the live-action segments. Its theme song and soundtrack were also written and sung by John Entwistle, formerly of The Who.

The show centered on four teenagers who like to hang around at the junkyard. One day they are caught in the path of a meteor, and it gives them the power to transform into vehicular robot guardians and fly. They use their new powers to transform into vehicles when they get into their CarFins. Not all vehicles are good, though. Van-Pires are vehicles with no human form, just evil machines who suck fuel out of innocent cars during the night. The story follows the teens, who make a team called the Motor-Vators, on their struggle to protect the world from Van-Pires.

Tropes used by the series:

  • Alucard: In "A Car Is Born", Tracula decides to create himself an heir from spare car parts. Said heir ended up being named Alucart, which is not only a car-themed pun on "Alucard" but an actual reversal of Tracula's name.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Even non-animals are dog-like. Greaspot is a neon plastic tricycle that is the Team Pet of the Motor-Vators, who acts like a dog.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: In addition to creating the Van-Pires and the Motor-Vators, the meteor also brought a toilet and an amalgamation of junkyard junk consisting of a toaster, fan, and skateboard to life.
    • In "Unleaded Zeppelin", the instruments of a heavy metal band come to life when the Van-Pires "bite" the band's tour bus.
  • Antagonist Title: The Van-Pires are the bad guys, though technically the Motor-Vators are them too since they need fuel just as much as the villains do, but call themselves Motor-Vators to differentiate themselves from their enemies.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Car puns constantly throughout the series. Just the names of the Van-Pires and the Motor-Vators are enough on their own.
  • Magic Meteor: The plot is kicked off when a glowing blue meteor lands in a junkyard, brings some old cars and assorted junk to life, and gives four teenagers vehicle-based powers. In a later episode, the meteor also reanimates a dinosaur skeleton.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Cyborg car robot vampire hunters!
  • Pun-Based Title: Fitting with the series's nature, most of the episode titles are puns. Notable ones include: "Unleaded Zeppelin", "Bride Of Tracula", "A Car Is Born", and "Rebel Without A Car".
  • Raising the Steaks: One episode involves a T. rex skeleton that's brought to life by the same meteor that created the Van-Pires and the Motor-vators.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In one episode there's a Van-Pire, created from Tracula's spare parts, who turned to the side of good. His creator did not name him, so what do the heroes decide to call him? "Alucart".
    • The Motor-Vator's leader Van He'll Sing is both a pun and shout out to Van Helsing, the vampire hunter from Bram Stoker's original novel.
  • Team Pet: Greaspot, a living tricycle.
  • Toilet Humor: At the end of their first battle with the Van-Pires, the Motor-Vators, after transforming back into their human forms, discover that they have "gas". There was also a talking toilet who was an ally of the Van-Pires.
  • Token Minority: Snap, the token black guy, was really blatantly this. Just look at his nickname.