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Western Animation / George of the Jungle

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"George, George, George of the Jungle
Strong as he can be!
Watch out for that tree!"

An American animated series from 1967, which spawned a movie adaptation. Produced by Jay Ward of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame (the series, not the movie). George of the Jungle was an Animated Anthology, combining the George of the Jungle cartoons with Super Chicken and Tom Slick.

All three segments were full of the Postmodernism, No Fourth Wall, and satire that characterized Jay Ward's work. This series lasted only 17 episodes, but has been rerun on various TV stations almost continuously for just over 40 years and has also earned a complete-series DVD release.

The George of the Jungle cartoons are a send-up of the Tarzan mythos. Square-jawed, dim-witted George is the king of the jungle. Almost every time he tries to swing to the rescue through the trees, he crashes into one, usually while someone else is warning him, "Watch out for that..." WHAM! "...tree!". Not that unrealistic when you're swinging on a vine attached to said tree.

His wife, Ursula, is necessarily smarter and more refined. George will often refer to Ursula as a "fella", apparently having trouble with the whole gender thing. Since Ursula is very curvy (and is dressed fairly revealingly), this sometimes gets a reaction from any third party who might be present.

George's elephant, Shep, is thought by George to be a giant dog, and apparently Shep believes it, too. The real brains of the outfit resides in the skull of an ape named Ape. He has an implausible Ronald Colman accent and is exceptionally well-read.

The cartoon earned a feature film Live-Action Adaptation in 1997, with Brendan Fraser as George and Leslie Mann as Ursula. There was also a direct-to-video sequel in 2003, which had Christopher Showerman as George and Julie Benz as Ursula. ("Me new George. Studio too cheap to hire Brendan Fraser.")

In 2007, the show received a Continuity Reboot produced between Canada and the United States for Cartoon Network and Teletoon that originally ran for 26 episodes, but was then unexpectedly revived in 2015 for a second season. That version of the show has its own page here.

"Weird Al" Yankovic did a cover version of the George of the Jungle theme on his 1985 album Dare to Be Stupid. The song later appeared on the soundtrack of the 1997 live-action film, along with a new cover by The Presidents of the United States of America.

Super Chicken was also a Superhero parody, drawing some inspirations from Batman.

Whenever trouble arose, mild-mannered playboy Henry Cabot Henhouse III dons his "Super Suit", drinks a martini glass of "Super Sauce" and becomes Super Chicken. Along with his sidekick, a dimwitted lion named Fred (who knew the job was dangerous when he took it), Super Chicken suffers serious injury en route to saving the day. (Eventually)

Tom Slick is the world's most daring race driver. In his trusty car, the Thunderbolt Grease-Slapper, he competes against the villainous Baron Otto Matic and other colorful characters in a variety of bizarre and dangerous racing events. He's assisted by his girlfriend, Marigold, and his elderly mechanic, Gertie Growler.

The classic series provides examples of:

  • Actually a Doombot: One episode of the Super Chicken segment started with Villain of the Week, Dr. Gizmo, being taken to prison but it turns out it was a machine. In the end, he tried the trick again but the Super Chicken distracted capturing him was another impostor. The real Dr. Gizmo was captured by the real Super Chicken.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Shep, the elephant, behaves like a dog and has a stock dog name.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Italian version had a completely different theme sung by Mini Robots.
  • Arrowgram: George receives an arrow with a note, saying (after a list of demands) "...this is your last warning." George says he never even got a first warning. George receives a second arrow: "Correction: this is your first warning."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: One episode of Super Chicken had the narrator stating that the eponymous character sets out to fight the forces of "injustice, evil and high food prices".
  • Artistic License – Politics: In episode "Kings Back To Back", a wealthy narcissist Seymour Nudnik challenges George of the Jungle for his title, King of the Jungle. While Seymour had enough capital to buy the votes of the natives, George let loose his Signature Roar, which summoned a legion of hippies (George intended to summon hippos, but erred). Somehow, these newcomers that outnumbered the natives were allowed to vote, swinging the election in George's favor.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Tom Slick's is "There's no such thing as [insert word here] in [insert sport here]."
    • Super Chicken's is "You [Fred] knew the job was dangerous when you took it."
    • Once per Episode, Super Chicken would exclaim "To the Super Coop, Fred!", and Fred would reply, "Roger Wilcox".
    • George's Tarzan yell. Which was slightly different depending on what animal he wanted to call (and he never called the right one).
  • Damsel in Distress/Bound and Gagged: Ursula in at least three episodes. Since Ursula is an expy of Jane Porter, well...
  • Damsel Fight-and-Flight Response: Parodied in the pilot episode of George of the Jungle. The 300-pound pearl that the villains stole which has been stuck in a crate is revealed to actually be a Big Beautiful Woman named Pearl who quickly starts beating up the villains for kidnapping her.
    Pearl: Is that any way to treat a lady? A refined, gentle, defenseless woman?
  • Does Not Like Shoes: George and Ursula.
  • The Dog Bites Back: A mild case in "Tom Slick". One episode featured a racing couple. The wife constantly berated the husband. In the end, he told her to "shut up". She actually started to respect him for it.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": George's sidekick is an ape named "Ape".
  • Domino Mask: Super Chicken wears one of these.
  • Evil Brit: One of George's nemeses ("Tiger" Titherage), sounds (and looks) like Terry-Thomas.
    • His partner Weevil uses the West Country accent commonly associated with pirates.
  • Exact Words: With regards to Weevil's gun.
    Weevil: I should have used me trusty elephant gun.
    Tiger: Nonsense! That's just for shooting trusty elephants!
    • Which later leads to this.
    Tiger: (while the tree they're in is being shaken by Shep) W-W-Weevil! Th-that's a trusty elephant! Use y-your trusty elephant gun!
    Weevil: Good idea! (shoots twice, but misses both times) Me trusty elephant gun missed him! You don't suppose he's really a doggy, do you?
  • Flat Joy: A running gag from the "Tom Slick" interstitial shorts:
    Announcer: And the crowd goes wild!
    Crowd: Yay.
  • Gentle Gorilla: Ape is a friendly, intellectual great ape who often helps out George when he gets in trouble.
  • Green and Mean: Baron Otto Matic's Irish alter ego wears a green uniform.
  • Hulk Speak: George, being a Tarzan expy, after all.
  • I Am Very British: The District Commissioner; also Tiger Titherage.
  • Idiot Hero: George.
  • Improvised Parachute: In the Super Chicken episode “One of Our States is Missing”, the titular chicken uses his cape as a parachute after being shot down.
  • Jungle Princess: Ursula.
  • Killer Gorilla: The eponymous ape from the episode "Ungawa the Gorilla God" is a ten-foot-tall man-eating gorilla that a tribe of natives worship as a deity.
  • Kitchen Sink Included: Dr. Chicago once created an army of plant monsters to loot the area. He commented they took everything except a kitchen sink. Then one falls from a loot bag and he commented, "Spoke too soon."
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: George has a large chin.
    • Tom Slick's chin is pretty impressive too, though a bit smaller than George's.
  • Magic Feather: It's strongly implied that Super Chicken's super-sauce is just a placebo to help him use his natural powers, which seem to consist of changing into costume without need of having it there.
  • Malaproper: Once again, George.
  • Monumental Theft: In one episode of Super Chicken, the villain stole the state of Rhode Island, by towing it out to sea, and hiding it under smog.
  • No Sense of Direction: George seems to have this, especially in the episode "Monkey Business."
  • The Not Catch: Happens three times in a Super Chicken segment. Villain of the week Ralph Hiccup jumps out of his plane intending to land on his horse, only for the horse to move out the way.
    Ralph (after the second time): One of these days horse, you and me's gonna have to have a little talk.
    • The third time the horse also dodges a falling Fred.
  • Obvious Beta: By name. In the unscreened pilot for the series, Super Chicken's secret identity was Hunt Strongbird Jr.
  • Oireland: One Tom Slick story takes place in Ireland. The Irish are portrayed as cheapstakes to the point the race's winner will receive a plastic trophy and a bucket of pennies. The three Irish racers have surnames that start with "O'" and one of them mistakes Baron Otto Matic's mechanic Clutcher for a leprechaun just because he's short. To violate a year-ban, Baron Otto Matic creates an Irish persona named "Ott O'Matic". As Ott, he wears a red wig, a green outfit and says "Top of the morning".
  • The Rich Want to Be Richer: When Super Chicken learns one of his former classmates literally stole Rhode Island, he wonders why someone who's already rich would steal and an old school picture of said classmate says it's to become richer.
  • Shout-Out: In the Tom Slick segment "Snow What" one of the racers, Royal Canadian, is a dead ringer for Dudley Do-Right.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: One of George's nemeses ("Weevil" Plumtree) talks just like Robert Newton.
  • They Knew the Risks: As Super Chicken often reminds his sidekick Fred, "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it". Even the Super Chicken theme tune reminds Fred of it.
  • Title Theme Tune
  • Villain of the Week: Except for Baron Otto Matic and Clutcher, who are recurring antagonists in the Tom Slick stories, and Dr. Chicago, who appeared in two George stories, no villain appeared in more than one story.
  • Vine Swing: George's usual shtick, usually resulting in...
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: A regular happenstance for George whenever he tries to swing from vines in the jungle (or anywhere else). The Theme Song of the show is the Trope Namer.
  • When Elders Attack: The intro for the Super Chicken segments has a scene where an old woman hits a robber with her umbrella. It's the image at the trope page.
  • William Telling: In the Tom Slick segment "Bad Year Blimp Race," Gertie competes in an arrow-shooting competition while aiming at Marigold, who has an apple on her head. Gertie narrowly misses said apple with each shot except the last, but some of her stray arrows manage to foil Baron Otto Matic's dastardly plans.
  • Wrench Whack: Baron Otto Matic of the Tom Slick segment usually uses a wrench to hit his henchman Clutcher with. It's done so often that, when he creates an Irish alter ego to violate a ban, Clutcher says people will figure out it's him if he keeps doing itnote  and he reacts by using a different object to hit Clutcher with.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: Few animated series theme songs use words like "schlep" (literally, to drag along or carry something heavy) in their lyrics.