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Western Animation / Little Elvis Jones and the Truckstoppers

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An Australian animated series starring Little Elvis Jones, a child prodigy guitarist and singer, and his two best friends living in a small Outback town. Lil' Elvis was dropped in a guitar case on the doorstop of a Happily Married couple of Elvis Presley fanatics running a truckstop, who looked out and saw a golden Cadillac vanishing into the night. Now he and his friends Lionel (a super-genius Aboriginal boy whose mother is the local teacher) and Janet (who lives with the Jones' because her single mother is a trucker) play in a truckstop band, and contend with the Corrupt Corporate Executive W.C. Moore, who practically controls the town and is in a ruthless search for more of the mysterious mineral known as Berkonium.

Despite the fairly typical cartoon presentation, the show had an ongoing plot concerning W.C. Moore's search for Berkonium and attempts to completely control the town and the Truckstoppers, while the kids deal with the trials of growing up in a small town in the Australian outback.

Tropes evident in this series include:

  • Abandoned Mine: Wannapoo was mined out years ago by the Moore family. This affects the town into the present; Lil' Elvis is the only thing keeping the town afloat, and the network of mines underneath the town and its surroundings comes back to bite everyone hard.
  • Birthday Episode: "I Hate My Own Birthday" is one for Elvis.
  • Birthday Hater: The episode "I Hate My Own Birthday" reveals Elvis hates his birthday since it's on the day that The King kicked the bucket, which means his mom spends the entire day mourning and he only gets Elvis Presley related gifts. Plus, with Elvis being a Doorstop Baby, nobody even knows if this day truly is his birthday or not. His friends manage to finally give Elvis a good birthday by the end of the episode.
  • Black and Nerdy: Lionel, although given the outback Australian setting, he's of Australian Aboriginal descent, rather than African-American. It's justified in that he has an Education Mama who is also the school teacher, so she is insistent on making him study as often as possible.
  • Detrimental Determination:
    • The nameless driver of "The Skulltruck" from Janet's story was obsessed with being a trucker, and stayed in the business despite repeatedly crashing so severely that he lost all four limbs, before one final crash killed him and turned him into a vengeful ghost with the shape of a monstrous living truck.
    • Once he finds signs that there may be Berkonium under Little Memphis, Moore becomes obsessed with mining it out. He pours so much money into this unsuccessful venture that he ultimately goes bankrupt, and ends up destabilizing the ground to the point that the entire town collapses into a sink hole.
  • Doorstop Baby: Lil' Elvis Jones. While his adoptive parents are convinced he's the King's son, Lil Elvis isn't so sure.
  • Drunk on Milk: In the episode where we are first introduced to Janet's absentee trucker mother, the miserable girl is shown guzzling down milkshakes, with her behavior clearly invoking Drowning My Sorrows.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In Episode 1, the sequence that introduces us to the struggling outback town of Wannapoo begins with the town's run-down 'Welcome' sign, which depicts a bearded miner. At first, it seems like it's just because Wannapoo is a former mining town, but in Episode 2, we learn that the miner is none other the town's former biggest local legend from before Li'l Elvis came along: Old Man Izard, whose ghost is said to haunt the old mines. Until he turns out to be alive.
  • Education Mama: Lionel's mother, a teacher who wants to be certain that her baby boy will go on to bigger and better things, is very strict about him keeping his grade up. In the episode where Moore manipulates the kids into trying to divorce their parents, Lionel's justification is that his mother expects him to do a ridiculous amount of homework, shocking the other adults of Little Memphis:
    Lionel: (in response to being asked how long his mother makes him spend on homework) Twelve hours, ma'am.
    Lawyer: Twelve hours... a week?
    Lionel: No ma'am, a night.
    Lionel's Mother: (as the other adults gasp in horror) It's for his own good!
  • Electric Torture: Moore's special little remote...that activates Duncan's shock watch. Usually because Moore is annoyed and wants to take it out on someone.
  • Emancipated Child: In one episode, all the children in the town take their parents to court. It's played slightly more realistically in that W.C encourages them and supports their case in order to get custody of Lil Elvis.
  • Empathic Weapon: Generally not used as a weapon, but W.C.'s Berkonium marble moves on its own and does whatever W.C. wills it to. Mainly, this is to cheat at other people's marbles games.
    • Lil' Elvis himself gets one of these in the last episode, which he uses to beat W.C.
  • Ghost Town: Wannapoo was originally a gold mining town, but the gold dried up decades ago, and now it's just a small handful of families and utilities, largely surviving on what they can eke out from travelers. W.C. Moore's first step to gaining control over the town is by using his influence to market Elvis as a musician across the country and even beyond, vastly increasing the tourism flow and massively boosting the local economy. To cement this, he rebuilds the town as the less ramshackle "Little Memphis". After it collapses into the mines in the Grand Finale, the citizens rebuild it as Wannapoo once more.
  • Grand Finale: The kids find out that Izard is alive and well, with his "ghost" actually being a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax by W.C. Moore. However, Moore has gone all but bankrupt in a desperate and failed attempt to find Berkonium beneath Little Memphis, and in fact his digbots weaken the ground so much that Little Memphis collapses into the former mine. With his villainy revealed, Moore is challenged to a game of marbles for his control of Lil' Elvis' contract.. a game that Elvis wins, thanks to a Berkonium marble given to him by Izard. Duncan takes over Moore's holdings, making Moore into his servant, and the townsfolk rebuild Wannapoo, happily going back to their pre-Moore lifestyle.
  • Happily Adopted: Lil' Elvis. His parents are kind and caring; it's his supposed birth dad that's the problem.
  • Humiliation Conga: W.C. Moore's ultimate fate - not only does he lose a marble game to Lil' Elvis, Duncan becomes his boss and makes him wear the shock watch.
  • Land Down Under: A good example of Australians themselves gleefully invoking their own stereotypes.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Notice how the name Elvis Presley is never spoken, and the man himself is only ever referred to as the King. It's easy to get away with this when the guy is so ludicrously famous.
  • Once an Episode:
  • Parents as People: The parents of Wannapoo love their kids, but they're not always the smartest or sanest of people, so they make plenty of mistakes.
    • Lil' Elvis Jones loves the Jones, but he sometimes gets very annoyed with his mom's Elvis fixation.
    • Janet is shown to be deeply distressed by the fact she sees her trucker mother so very rarely.
    • Lionel can be overwhelmed by the amount of studying his mother insists he does.
    • WC Moore actually exploits the rifts between parents and kids in one episode by coaxing the kids into filing divorce proceedings from their parents, hoping to gain tighter control over them.
  • The Reveal:
    • The existence of Berkonium under Little Memphis.
    • Old Man Izard is alive and well, and has been living in the mines since he was trapped.
    • Old Man Izard actually found a treasure trove of Berkonium during his time in the mines, which he's keeping hidden in his underground home.
  • Serious Business: Elvis, to the townsfolk at least. Even Moore wants to control the band, since they're a major source of income. Also, marbles.
    • As well as the snotty handkerchief from the real Elvis - the Sacred Hankie - that Little Elvis' mother owns. So much so that Little Elvis is interrogated when he is suspected of stealing it.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Moore has holograms of a ghostly iteration of Old Man Izard hidden in the mines, which he can activate remotely when he detects intruders. These holograms shout angrily for the intruders to leave, scaring people away from his secret Berkonium-mining operations.
  • Significant Birth Date: Little Elvis celebrates his birthday on the day he was found: August 16th, the anniversary of the King's death.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Sultan of Mean", about what an asshole WC is.
  • The Un-Reveal: We never do learn who left Elvis at the truckstop.
  • Tickle Torture: Janet and Lionel do this to Elvis to try and get him to tell Dusty that she's not in the band.
  • Tunnel Network: The old mines beneath Wannapoo provide the main characters with both a secret hideout and easy travel; there are numerous openings, from the fireplace in the Moore house and the random fissure that opens up beneath Janet in Episode 1 to the outhouse (a.k.a. dunny) that fell out of use after its bottom fell out. The fact that the town is right on top of an abandoned mine becomes terribly, terribly relevant by the end.
  • Unobtainium: Berkonium. W.C. theorises that it comes from outer space, supported by a mysterious device that is attracted to the stuff...
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: WC is terrified of frogs, and will freak out at the sight of them.