Frozone: Ooh, a "new process!"
Mr. Incredible: A breakthrough!
Frozone: And what would that new process be, Mr. I? Cheap-O-Rama?
It is a cartoon parodying the low-budget Saturday morning cartoons of the 50s and 60s that used Synchro-Vox techniques such as Clutch Cargo. The background story is that Mr. Incredible and Frozone licensed their names and images to a TV animation company, before the banning of Supers. They provide commentary as they watch the unaired pilot for the first time. Hilarity Ensues.
The short is also available without the commentary. Watching it without the commentary means you'll miss out on Frozone and Mr. Incredible's reactions, but you will get to hear the dialogue, which really must be heard to be believed.
Contains examples of:
- AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: You can tell that Frozone's voice actor isn't familiar with most of his Totally Radical slang, which comes out when he pronounces "daddy-o"—rather than saying it as one word, he says them as two separate words.
- Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Mr. Skipperdoo wears glasses.
- Adaptational Wimp: Cartoon Frozone is Mr. Incredible's sidekick and is quickly taken out of action by Lady Lightbug. The cartoon can't even depict his superpower properly. Real Frozone was a longtime independent hero who participated in the final battle against the Omnidroid and helped out quite a lot. Frozone's NSA profile even said how he and Mr. Incredible never had any formal team affiliation. They were just close friends even during their superhero days.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: The 'live-action-lips-on-2d-animated-characters' technique actually existed, and was called Synchro-Vox.
- Amusement Park of Doom: An abandoned amusement park is used as a lair by Lady Lightbug.
- Artistic License Nuclear Physics: Lady Lightbug's radioactive silk; Mr. Incredible suggests the existence of fictional "blue radoactivity", and the radiation itself seems to do nothing, with Frozone being wrapped in radioactive silk with no implication that it caused lasting injury. (Funnily, certain kinds of radiation can glow blue.)
- Bad "Bad Acting": The cartoon Frozone stumbles over his Totally Radical dialogue fairly often, especially as the cartoon continues.
- Better Than a Bare Bulb: It's a deliberately cheesy, cheap cartoon, with the real Frozone and Mr. Incredible hanging lampshades on everything with their commentary.
- Big Bad: Lady Lightbug.
- Black Dude Dies First: The cartoon Frozone immediately gets captured by the villain. The real Frozone complains quite a bit about this in the commentary.Frozone: Oh, oh, oh, I get caught. The black superhero gets caught.Mr. Incredible: Well, a minute ago, you were complaining they made you white!Frozone: Oh, that's right; the TANNED superhero gets caught!
- Breaking the Bonds: A shot of Mr. Incredible doing this is shown several times.
- But Not Too Black: Watching the cartoon, Frozone complains about the apparent lightening of his animated counterpart's skin. The fading of the in-universe prints only excuses it so much.
- Canon Foreigner: In a sense. According to the commentary, there never was a supervillain who went by Lady Lightbug.
- Captain Obvious: Everyone in the cartoon itself, which adds to the hilarity.
- Captain Patriotic: The cartoon Mr. Incredible is portrayed as one of these, talking about making the world safe for democracy and the power of freedom.
- Cliché Storm: Invoked. It's a parody of cartoons from The Dark Age of Animation, and includes all their cliches (still shots instead of frame-by-frame animation, sidekick is immediately taken out of action to focus on the main hero, a vaguely communist villain, Unfortunate Implications, and a cute animal sidekick only there to appeal to the kids).
- Coconut Superpowers: The In-Universe short appears not to have the budget to depict Frozone's superpowers to their fullest extent. When he temporarily fixes the bridge with ice, it focuses on his hands shooting a blue beam offscreen, before cutting to the finished bridge. The real Frozone is naturally put out by this.
- Dark Is Evil: Cartoon!Mr. Incredible states that the reason Lady Lightbug would hide at an abandoned amusement park is that "evil is attracted to dark, remote places".
- Deadpan Snarker: Frozone, though he gets less deadpan as the cartoon goes on.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Cartoon!Mr. Incredible's first line repeats all the points covered in the narrator's recap.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: The cartoon Frozone's writing suggests a lot of the usual racism of the era: his skin color is lightened considerably, his dialogue is a mess of Totally Radical beatnik slang, he's given equal billing to Mr. Skipperdoo, and he immediately gets disabled when the fight breaks out. Naturally, the actual Frozone is disgusted.
- Failed a Spot Check: Neither cartoon Frozone nor cartoon Mr. Incredible notice the missing piece of bridge before Mr. Skipperdoo points it out, despite it being right in front of them. Earlier on in the cartoon, they also miss a glowing blue rivet the size of a man's torso until Mr. Skipperdoo points it out.
- Fight Scene Failure: Invoked. The final fight with Lady Lightbug goes like this: Lady Lightbug traps Frozone with radioactive silk. Mr. Incredible throws a ferris wheel at her, but misses. Mr. Incredible leaps off a roller coaster at a crest to tackle Lady Lightbug, who just stands still and screams instead of dodging. Lady Lightbug down for the count.
- Generic Doomsday Villain: Lady Lightbug, except that implying that she could get close to creating doomsday would be giving her far too much credit. She's just this random firefly woman who wants to steal bridges to ruin the free world's economy.
- Gratuitous Animal Sidekick: Mr. Incredible and Frozone suddenly have a cute rabbit sidekick named Mr. Skipperdoo. Mr. Skipperdoo would have absolutely no use whatsoever if the other characters didn't epically fail their Spot checks.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Lady Lightbug has green skin and a very developed figure.
- Idiot Ball: Cartoon Mr. Incredible and Frozone could have found both Lady Lightbug and the Bridge in minutes had they actually searched the buildings (instead of searching under them) and had the presence of mind to notice the large and incredibly obvious bridge fragment without Mr. Skipperdoo having to point it out to them.
- I Love Nuclear Power: Lady Lightbug's signature abilities are suggested to be the result of radiation—more specifically, "blue radioactivity". The characters also aren't remotely perturbed by being in contact with objects so radioactive they glow in broad daylight.
- Insane Troll Logic: How does Mr. Incredible know an abandoned amusement park is Lady Lightbug's lair? Because "evil lurks in dark remote places. And this abandoned fairground is certainly dark and remote."
- Kid-Appeal Character: Parodied by the Gratuitous Animal Sidekick, the rabbit Mr. Skipperdoo. Frozone complains; Mr. Incredible tries to defend it on the grounds that kids love this stuff before admitting that "the rabbit bites."
- Lampshade Hanging: Thanks to the commentary track. Frozone points out everything the cartoon does wrong, while Mr. Incredible tries in vain to defend it.
- Light Is Not Good: Lady Lightbug.
- Limited Animation: Parodying the style of Clutch Cargo. Movement only happens when characters or objects slide across the frame, and actual moments of action (like Frozone creating a bridge with ice, or Frozone getting tied up with silk) are reduced to still pictures. The short has a very low framerate, and Synchro-Vox is used to save the trouble of animating lip flaps.
- Monumental Theft: Lady Lightbug manages to steal part of a bridge.
- One-Episode Wonder: In-universe. The show only had one episode produced before Supers fell out of favor with the public and were forced to go into hiding, at which point the pilot remained unaired and the show was cancelled.
- Race Lift: It's dubious as to whether cartoon Frozone is a tanned white guy or just a very pale black guy, but he's definitely about ten shades lighter than the real thing (though his voice in real life is done by Michael Asberry, who is indeed black).
- Red Scare: It's very heavily implied Lady Lightbug is a communist, between her motivation being to destroy "the economies of the free world" and her claiming "Your ferris wheel attack is as pathetic and weak as your system of government!"
- Retraux: It copies the art style of cartoons from the 60s, with fading and film grain to make it look suitably old.
- Righteous Rabbit: Mr. Skipperdoo is Mr. Incredible's sidekick and helps him fight crime.
- The Scrappy: In-Universe, neither Mr. Incredible or Frozone like Mr. Skipperdoo. Upon seeing that the cartoon versions of them somehow have a cute rabbit sidekick, Frozone immediately reacts with hatred. Mr. Incredible tries to defend the rabbit's inclusion, but quickly gives up.Mr. Incredible: The rabbit is cuddly! Kids like little cuddly sidekicks! I mean, the rabbit... it's a time-tested... okay, the rabbit bites.
- Show Within a Show: Mr. Incredible and Pals, the (horrible) pilot to an unproduced show that Mr. Incredible and Frozone licensed to use their images.
- Stylistic Suck: It copies the Limited Animation and bad writing of particularly low-budget cartoons from the 60s, with dumb plots, dumb animal sidekicks, and barely any action.
- Synchro-Vox: Dialogue is shown by realistic lips moving on totally-still 2d characters. Frozone commenting on Mr. Incredible and Pals's usage of it is the page quote.
- Technicolor Science: Lady Lightbug is noted for using glowing blue radioactivity, which seems to have no purpose.
- Totally Radical: The cartoon Frozone is written as a 60s version of a Jive Turkey. The real Frozone, commentating, complains that they made him sound like a beatnik.Frozone: Well, it doesn't sound cool, and it doesn't sound like me. I sound cool. And if it sounded like me, it would sound cool.
- Unfortunate Implications: In-Universe. Frozone's complaints about the titular animated short include, along with the bad animation, clunky plot, and the rabbit, that they made him white (or at least tan-ish), made him talk like a beatnik, and made him the Badass in Distress.
- The Voiceless: Mr. Skipperdoo can't speak. He just bounces up and down and the human heroes take it as something meaningful.