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:
- Antagonist Title: The Van-Pires are the bad guys.
- 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.
- Bad Humor Truck: Automaniac
- The Big Guy: Nuke
- Dracula: Or in this case, "Tracula".
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: One episode involves a T. rex skeleton that was brought to life by the same meteor that created the Van-Pires and the Motor-vators.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Often from Axle.
- 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.
- Jive Turkey: Snap always talked like this, dog!
- Large Ham: Tracula, so much.
- Magic Meteor: What gives them their powers.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Cyborg car robot vampire hunters!
- Shout-Out: In one episode there was a Van-Pire, created from Tracula's spare parts, who turned to the side of good. His creator did not name him, so what did 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
- 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.
- Tomboy: Rev.
- Trickster Mentor: Gypsy