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Western Animation / George of the Jungle

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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, a second animated series was produced in Canada for Cartoon Network and Teletoon, running for 26 episodes. The reboot had a few key differences from the original show (namely reimagining Ursula as the daughter of a scientist and adding a new character named Magnolia who kept the original Ursula's jungle girl look). The new series then lay dormant for eight years, and was unexpectedly revived in 2016 with a second season that ran for another 26 episodes and retooled the series slightly.

"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.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": George's sidekick is an ape named "Ape".
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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" interstial shorts:
    Announcer: And the crowd goes wild!
    Crowd: Yay.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Malaproper: Once again, George.
  • Mondegreen: The original theme song contains the line "...while Fella and Ursula stay in step." This line is often misheard as "...while Bella and Ursula stay in step." Justified because two women who look like identical twins show up when this line is uttered, but both of them are actually Ursula, and there is no "Bella" in the original show. The creators of the 2008 and 2015 revivals were apparently confused as well, since they actually introduced a new character (though she was called Magnolia, or "Maggie" for short, rather than Bella), and the theme song was changed to reflect this.
  • 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".
  • She's Got Legs: Ursula, full stop.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: One of George's nemeses ("Weevil" Plumtree) talks just like Robert Newton.
  • 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.

The 2007 series provides examples of:

"George of the Jungle (Season 2)" provides examples of:

(Make note that Magnolia and Ursula's names have been switched for this series)

  • Absentee Actor: Magnolia is absent in about a quarter of the episodes and Ursula is absent in about a third of them.
  • Almost Kiss: George and Ursula, for example.
    • On "Nature's Call," after Ursula destroys the dam, she and George argue. It appears the two are about to kiss while having a stare down when Ape breaks them apart.
    • On "Lovecano", after she scares away their nemesis Dr. Chicago, Ursula glares at George and growls while he talks. Despite this, they look like they're going to kiss.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Defied with the jerko lemmings, which instead of jumping off cliffs, throw other creatures off them.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In "The Flavour of Science," Magnolia starts turning into a grub after eating several of them.
  • Balloon Belly: In "The Flavour of Science" Magnolia gets a balloon belly after eating grubs.
  • Battle of the Sexes: George and Ursula throughout the whole season, especially in "Nature's Call" and "Excalibanana."
  • Brainless Beauty: Neferata, Queen of the Desert.
  • Brick Joke: In "True Bromance", Ursula's solution to solving George and Ape's broken friendship is to "throw them into a volcano". She still wants to do so even after the issue is resolved.
  • Brutal Honesty: In "Heart of Gold" after George is turned evil, he lays some harsh truths on Ape, Magnolia and Ursula.
  • The Caligula: In "The Peel of Fate" it's revealed the Ape Council are a group of these.
  • Call-Back: In "Strong as He Can Tree" when Ape questions her techniques in helping George, Magnolia reminds him that he brainwashed George in "Clockwork George".
  • Celebrity Paradox: In "Much Ado About Stuffing" George is turned into a stuffed toy and bought by a fan of the original 60s show.
  • The Chew Toy: Magnolia.
  • Chick Magnet: On the episode "Cute as Cute Does", Magnolia hugs George because he looks sweet. She ends up with a tattoo on her belly that depicts her and George in a heart.
  • Closer to Earth: Ape, with Magnolia coming second by a wide margin.
  • Defying the Censors: In "Nature's Call", during the battle of the sexes challenge, the animals decide which outhouse they'll take. When the challenge is complete, George's outhouse has more feces than Ursula's.
  • Depraved Dentist: Dr. Chicago's mother, who uses robots with oversized drills. Averted by his father.
  • Ditzy Genius: Magnolia. Despite being a scientist, in "Strong as He Can Tree" she says she doesn't know basic math.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: In "For Science" when Magnolia's boss Professor Lang says she wants Ursula brought to the city and made into an attraction, even George knows this is a stupid idea.
    George: Did you no see King Kong?
  • Everyone Has Standards: In "Guess What's Coming to Dinner", even Ursula doesn't want to hurt Ape's feelings by telling him his cooking is terrible. She has no problem with knocking him out with a club and running away, though.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Ursula eats both animals and people.
  • Face–Heel Turn: George on "Heart of Gold."
  • Fantastic Racism: "Shadow of a Dolt" ends with Ape and Magnolia making George seal a portal to the shadow world because their shadow counterparts are weird and creep them out.
  • Fingerless Hands: Cuspid doesn't have hands or feet.
  • Flipping the Bird: In "Body Politics," George's Body plays charades with Ape, then end the game by flipping him the bird.
  • Genius Bonus: While it may sound like typical cartoon silliness, there is a species of penguin native to the jungle, the tawaki (though the ones seen here don't really look much like the ones inhabiting southernmost New Zealand).
  • Harmless Villain: Weevil, unlike his 1967 counterpart.
  • Hulk Speak: In this season, both Ursula and George speak in third person.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In "Kings and Little Ones," Ursula repeatedly tries to eat George and Magnolia.
  • In-Series Nickname: George and Ursula call the narrator "Sky voice."
  • It's All About Me: In "Valley of the Magnolias", Magnolia has herself falsely classified as an endangered species so she'll get preferential treatment. To teach her a lesson, Ape subjects her to some Laser-Guided Karma by having her locked in a protective cage.
  • Jerkass Ball: In "Georgus Ex Machina," after George realises how helpful having an all-knowing narrator on your side is, he makes the narrator his deputy. The narrator lets the power go to his head and starts warping reality to suit him.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Bush Baby of Doom. Actually a case of Shown Their Work, as bush babies can be much more vicious than they look.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Magnolia claims to know everything about science.
  • Lethal Chef: Ape, as revealed in "Guess What's Coming to Dinner".
  • Let's Meet the Meat: In "Meet Meat" George is horrified to discover meat is made from animals, becomes a strict vegetarian, and tries to make all the carnivores vegetarians despite Ape's insistence that animals eating other animals is natural. When he discovers plants are also living organisms, he resorts to eating rocks instead.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Discussed in "Bananium Deficiency".
  • Male Gaze: "Valley of the Magnolias" has a quite a bit of focus on Magnolia's butt.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Dr. Chicago's assistant Cuspid.
  • Misplaced Retribution: In "Slothpocalypto," Ursula becomes angry after George ties her up, but after biting her way out of the ropes she takes it out on Magnolia instead.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: In "Strong as He Can Tree" it's discovered that crashing into trees is the source of George's super strength. Magnolia crashes into several trees, and though she doesn't gain any muscle, she still has super strength.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ape in "Clockwork George", when he realizes that his actions have caused George to see him as a monster.
  • Mysterious Past: Nothing is known about Ursula's past.
  • Negative Continuity: "Meet Meat" ends with George becoming a ghost.
  • No Ontological Inertia: In "Much Ado About Stuffing", when Dr. Chicago's machine is destroyed, everything that got turned into a plushie turns back to normal. Magnolia lampshades it.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: A Running Gag in "Kings and Little Ones".
  • Oh, Crap!: Ursula says this in "The Ursula Solution".
  • Opening Shout-Out: In "The Insider".
  • Orphaned Hero: George and possibly Ursula.
  • Parental Bonus: "My Georging Jacket" has creatures quite obviously having sex behind censor bars, as well as people licking psychedelic frogs. At one point they even have a floofer "floofing" behind a censor bar when there's no other floofer there.
    Magnolia: Hey, knock it off! This is a kids' show!
  • Raised by Wolves: Ursula.
  • Real After All: In "Valley of the Magnolias", after escaping her cage Magnolia runs and escapes the wildlife protection agents, only to fall down into the Valley of the Magnolias, which she thought she had made up. But then it turns out she's hallucinating all of this as it cuts to George and Ape finding her lying on the ground with several tranquilizer darts in her butt, talking to herself.
  • The Remnant: In "Guess What's Coming to Dinner" an alien named Carl finds all of Ape's jellies, which his friends threw away instead of telling him they didn't like them, and mistakes them for members of his race. He then mind melds with them, bringing them to life, but when he's suddenly eaten by a lion in the middle of his speech, the jellies are left leaderless and just cause random destruction.
  • Reused Character Design: Dr. Chicago, a villain from the 60s series, is brought back with Dr. Scott's character design.
  • Same Character, but Different: This series uses the same characters as the 2007 series with some differences. George is a Top-Heavy Guy like the original George, Ape has a British accent like the original Ape, Magnolia and Ursula's names have been switched, Ursula (previously named Magnolia) is a feral wild woman, the scientist and the witch doctor are no longer the girls' dads, and the scientist is now a villain.
  • Sapient Eat Sapient: In "The Flavour of Science" Magnolia can't stop eating grubs that she knows full well are sapient and capable of speech.
  • Screw Learning, I Have Phlebotinum!: In "The Flavour of Science" Magnolia finds a species of grub that increases her intelligence when she eats them. Turns out the effect is only temporary, and she has to keep eating them to the point where she becomes addicted. Unfortunately, eating them has other side effects...
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: In "For Science" Magnolia refuses to hand over Ursula, giving up a chance at fame and fortune.
  • Ship Tease: Applies to both women with George, even with the name switch.
  • Shot in the Ass:
    • When George and his friends are destroying the Jelliens in "Guess What's Coming to Dinner," they regenerate and shoot George in the butt.
    • On "Lovecano," Ursula falls into a Cake Trap. While eating cake, Ape shoots her in the butt with tranquilizer darts.
  • Shout-Out: In "My Georging Jacket", George deflates after accidentally licking a psychedelic frog, referencing an Above the Influence anti-marijuana PSA.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Magnolia and Ursula are subjected to a significant amount of slapstick in this series.
  • Telephone Teleport: In one episode, Ursula shoves a bunch of lemmings into a fax machine so they'll attack Magnolia's boss on the other end.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Ursula.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: In "Renaissance Ape," Ape and Dr. Chicago start hanging out in secret. When George and Cuspid ask them where they've been, Ape and Dr. Chicago both give the same excuse; "I was counting trees. You know, one-two-tree." Neither George nor Cuspid buy it.
    George: Wait... Trees can't count...
    Cuspid: Hey... There's more than one-two-tree trees in the jungle... What's going on?
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Ursula, who was called Magnolia in the previous series. She's much more of a feral woman here than in the first season, and thus a lot more violent.
  • TV Never Lies: In "Rip van George", Magnolia's future descendant's brain is hooked up to the internet and every time she tries to look up facts on Jungle Wiki, she gets an article that's been vandalized to somehow include pudding. She blindly believes every word.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: In "Rip van George", George's time leap is caused by a "hypervine" he uses to save an animal despite Ape's warnings that it's still an untested invention.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Averted in "The Ursula Solution". Tiger takes away Ursula's ferality and no one wants to help her get it back.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ape gets this in "Clockwork George" after he brainwashes George. Even Ursula calls him out on this.
  • Whole Plot Reference: "Slothpocalypto" to They Live.
  • Women Are Wiser: Subverted with Magnolia. She's smarter than George, but Ape is smarter than her.
  • Would Hit a Girl: In "Nature's Call," George tells Ape that Ursula has always interfered in George's rescue. When George said she always slaps George, he actually slapped Ursula before she punched him in retaliation.


How well does it match the trope?

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