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Western Animation / Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
aka: Ace Ventura

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Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is a 1995 animated series based on the 1994 live-action movie of the same name. Its production was performed by Morgan Creek, with assistance from Nelvana and Wang Film Productions for the first two seasons and from Hong Ying and Nickelodeon for the third (which was in 1999, three years after the premiere of the second). Seth MacFarlane was involved as one of the writers.

The series serves as a sequel to the two Ace Ventura movies, and follows the (mis)adventures of the eponymous character in his job to protect animals of all species. It embraces the wacky, humorous style of the movies and, as a comedic cartoon series, leans further into slapstick territory (with frequent instances of Toilet Humor). The voices are provided by new actors, since the originals were busy with other projects. The first two seasons lasted 13 episodes each, while the third lasted for 15. The second season's final episode is a Crossover with The Mask, another TV series based on a Jim Carrey movie, and in terms of continuity it's a direct continuation of the last episode of that series (which also makes it part of the joint crossover; in fact, since both series were originally aired back to back, the two crossover episodes were also premiered back to back the same day).

Tropes present in the animated show include:

  • Anachronism Stew: In "Dragon Guy", a Steampunk computer is used in Robin Hood times.
  • Art Evolution: The third season switched main production companies (from Nelvana to Odyssey Entertainment) and also switched overseas animation studios (from Wang to Hong Ying), so it looked a bit different.
  • Ascended Extra: Aguado, Mr. Shickadance and especially Emilio get more to do in the animated series.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: In an episode, the folks of a small town in the forest are attacked by a were-moose.
  • Badass Santa: Santa Claus mentions having taken self-defense lessons to traverse rough neighborhoods after saving Ace.
  • Bond Gun Barrel: One episode opens with one, ending with Ace assuming his "ass talking" pose and farting.
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    • In an episode, Ace knocks on a door and says, "Hi, I'm looking for Ray Finkle." Ray's father aims a shotgun at his head, and Ace follows up with, "and a clean pair of shorts."
    • Done in the Ace/Mask crossover when Stanley whips out two guns- each sporting multiple barrels and a few rocket launchers- pointed right at him.
  • Broken Pedestal: In the episode "Get Piggy", Ace is revealed to be a big fan of Gabe the Pig, a talking pig who's a movie star and who's been kidnapped; so much so that Ace is part of Gabe's fan club, knows the rules of the club by heart, and even offers to take Gabe's case for free. However, after investigating a bit about Gabe, Ace is shocked to learn that Gabe is actually an egotistical, spoiled, violent jerkass who no one can stand. And to top it all off, it turns out, Gabe himself staged his own kidnapping as a way to return to the spotlight, and even kidnaps and tries to kill Ace. Ace even reacts with disgust when he learns that a villain in an episode after that has an autographed photo of Gabe.
  • Character Overlap: Stanley Ipkiss from the animated adaptation of The Mask makes an appearance in the second season finale. It's a sequel to a Mask episode that features Ace and his pet monkey Spike.
  • Christmas Episode: "The Reindeer Hunter" (the first episode, no less). Someone steals Santa's reindeer on Christmas Eve, so to finish his deliveries, he hires Ace to find them. The investigation leads Ace to a businesswoman that's seeking a Fountain of Youth by harnessing the reindeer's gravity-defying abilities.
  • Clone Degeneration: In "Ace Off", after a particularly intense dance competition, Ace's evil clone starts to melt and is...absorbed by him.
  • Cowboy Episode: "Go West" sees Ace follow a group of horse thieves out into the desert and come upon an 1800s-like town, so he plays cowboy while looking for the stolen horses. The twist is that all the residents are actually robots (not that they know it or even have any idea what a robot is), with the thieves having been reprogrammed by the true Villain of the Week.
  • Crossover: With The Mask in "Have Mask, Will Travel".
  • Denser and Wackier: Far more than the original films. While they still maintained a semi-realistic tone; the series, especially during the third season, had Ace deal with supervillains, all sorts of evil powers, and even aliens.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In the crossover episode, Ace manages to actually best The Mask - a super-powered entity that can warp reality - at his own game. Said game was limbo dancing, but whatever works.
  • Evil Gloating: Odora from “The Reindeer Hunter” initially refrains from doing this, but Ace is Genre Savvy enough to know that she’ll turn her back three seconds later because she’s the kind of villain who can’t stand not giving a monologue before killing off her enemies. He then proceeds to troll her by covering his ears and refusing to listen when she inevitably does monologue about her evil plan.
  • Evil Knockoff: In "Ace Off", the villain of the episode use Ace's hair to create an evil clone of him to kidnap a dog and pin the blame on the real Ace.
  • Exotic Entree: "Pet Food" has a Villainous Glutton who is kidnapping endangered species as part of a planned seven-course meal.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Similar to the movie, one episode has the eponymous hero having a disgusted reaction upon realizing the reason Last of Their Kind animals were being stolen, with a rare tarantula next on the list:
    Ace: Someone is using last of their kind animals to make a one-of-a-kind six course gourmet meal! (With realization) Oh, gross! That means someone is going to actually eat a creepy-crawly hairy red-kneed tarantula?! Bleech!
  • Fountain of Youth: Odora’s ultimate goal is to formulate a cosmetic that halts the effects of aging, and she’ll do horrible things to animals to accomplish it in the most bizarre ways. For example, extracting glandular secretions from Santa Claus’s flying reindeer to unlock the secret of defying gravity for the sake of trying to prevent skin sagging, or draining an elephant’s perfect memory to give skin the ability to remember its previous state.
  • Friend on the Force: As in the first movie, Emilio is this, though he gets more time to point out how Ace's shenanigans can make it really hard to vouch for him.
  • Human-to-Werewolf Footprints: In the episode "Howl Of The Weremoose" there's a scene where Ace follows a trail of moose hoofprints that turn into human footprints.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: This series and The Mask met for two episodes, each one allocated in the second season finale of one of the series. Both shows kept their respective styles of animation in each other's universe (Ace and Spike, for example, kept their more cartoony look in the Mask's more realistic world and vice versa).
  • Jurassic Farce: In "Dino-Mite", Ace visits a dinosaur zoo and theme park that's clearly a spoof of Jurassic Park, complete with a John Hammond Expy.
    Ace: Let me guess. Copyright trouble?
  • Justice by Other Legal Means: In the Christmas Episode, Ace cannot prove Odora stole Santa Claus' reindeers (she intended to use the secret of their gravity-defying abilities on a cosmetic) but manages to get her arrested for illegally keeping an albino alligator from an endangered breed, which she also intended to use as ingredient.
  • Killer Gorilla: In "Night of the Gorilla", a female gorilla is accused of killing and eating the scientist that raised her. Ace seems to be the only one aware that gorillas aren't carnivorous, and does his best to prove the ape's innocence. He's right, the gorilla was set up by a rival scientist as part of a revenge scheme.
  • Last of His Kind: The one thing all missing pets in "Pet Food" have in common is that they are the last of their species... and this is exactly why they are being stolen.
  • Lighter and Softer: While the original film was far darker and had lots of sexual moments, the animated series was understandably toned down for younger audiences.
  • Merging Machine: An episode was based around a scientist whose teleporter combined him with a fly. Later in the episode Ace is combined with Spike.
  • Not in Front of the Parrot!: In the appropriately titled episode "The Parrot Who Knew Too Much", a parrot overhears recurring villain Baron Declaw talking with his right-hand man about a scheme using altered maps to allow him to level the rain forest. The episode's plot deals with Declaw chasing after the parrot to keep the information from getting out and Ace trying to save the parrot so it can testify about Declaw's scheme. At the end of the episode, when Ace is releasing the parrot back into the wild after its testimony saves the rain forest, he finds out that it overheard details about secret documents while in Washington.
  • Not Me This Time: Occasionally happens when a crime is so much like an specific member of Ace's Rogues Gallery.
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth!: One episode has Ace filling in for a James Bond-Expy. As he comes under fire while chasing the villain down in the requisite Cool Car, he notes his ability to catch bullets in his teeth, and prepares to do so. The villain launches a missile at Ace. He still catches it.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: "Howl of the Weremoose" features just that, which is attributed to a curse placed on a hunter long ago. Ace is quite dubious such a thing even exists, only to run afoul of one in the woods at night and see it's a bipedal, super-strong berserker. Worse, it turns out there are substantially more than just one of these beasts to contend with.
  • Pretentious Pronunciation: When the barbarians in "Dragon Guy" suddenly converse in British accents, one of them consistently pronounces “chimera” as “shimmer-uh.”
  • Raised by Wolves: Parodied with the Griffin, who has been raised by several different groups of animals since infancy and has attributes from them, including wolves, gazelles, and kangaroos. He has some bats as aunts and uncles as well.
  • Raptor Attack: One episode has the eponymous detective go into a cage inhabited by a velociraptor the size of a small bear.
  • Rogues Gallery: Ace has a few recurring enemies who have been the villains of multiple episodes, such as Baron de Claw, Atrocia Odora, and the Griffin.
  • Saving Christmas: The plot of “The Reindeer Hunter” is Ace tracking down Santa Claus’s reindeer after they’re abducted so he can finish making his deliveries.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Subverted in one episode. Ace finds a footprint and gives a detailed description of the owner's age, size, health, and appearance. Turns out the guy dropped a drivers' license next to the footprint.
  • Spexico: "The Bull Market" depicts Pamplona, Spain as a South of the Border village of white houses in the desert where the locals wear sombreros, ponchos, and magnificent moustaches. And the bad guy is a bullfighter.
  • Shout-Out: In "The Night of the Gorilla", the Big Bad of the episode is Dr. Redrum, and the gorilla he framed (which is dyslexic) keeps signing and writing "murder" to say it was him (Ace finally figures it out when he sees the writing in a mirror).
  • Swiss-Army Appendage: Baron DeKlau, after having his hand bit off by rabid squirrels. He has a regular cosmetic hand designed to resemble a claw-fingered monster hand which can be swapped out for a variety of things such as a machete, a bullhorn, a grappling hook, a toilet paper roller and a metal pincher.
  • Taught by Experience: Having observed the Mask's penchant for giving others wedgies, Ace made sure to put a mousetrap down his own pants for safety. It works.
  • This Bear Was Framed: In one episode, a Villain of the Week framed a gorilla.
  • Transformation Trinket: In "Howl Of The Weremoose", the original weremoose Drew Talbit has a moose talisman he uses to change into his weremoose form; he is able to transform at will but everyone he bites becomes as Ace puts it... his mindless weremoose slaves. It is also revealed that smashing the talisman will break the curse and turn everyone back to normal. Unfortunately Ace doesn't read the fine print which says he who destroys the tailsman gets the antlers of the grand high moose himself. Ace ends up with moose antlers; it is also said that the antlers can be removed by rubbing moosebane on them- to which Ace exclaims..."Where are we going to get moosebane in Miami!?"

Alternative Title(s): Ace Ventura, Ace Ventura The Animated Series