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Western Animation / New Kids on the Block

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New Kids on the Block was a Not Quite Starring animated series by DiC Entertainment based on the group. It ran from 1990 to 1991, around the time New Kids fandom peaked, and is best remembered as embodying everything wrong with Celebrity Toons. Episodes are usually not difficult to find on YouTube. A review of the series, with viewing guide (the author is a fellow Troper and lets no trope pass without comment), can be found here.


New Kids on the Block provides examples of:

  • Activation Sequence: A needlessly pointless and half-baked one shows up in "New Heroes on The Block" as Sam, the band's driver, starts up the bus. It ends as abruptly as it appears.
  • Adventure Towns: The various stops on their seemingly endless tour. If you live in one of the towns, be aware that the writers really made no attempt at accurate portrayals.
  • Band Toon: And it followed the associated tropes to a T: every episode they get into some kind of adventure and sing a song at the end. Whee.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Not just the songs either. The whole show is presented in Glorious Seizure-Vision! Also see Off-Model and Stock Footage below.
  • The Faceless/The Ghost: Sam, who makes only two appearances in the series, and is for some reason shown only from the neck down in both of them.
    • In "New Heroes on the Block", she appears and disappears to the point of creating continuity errors in a few shots.
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  • Flanderization: "So you say Jon is serious, Danny likes to work out, Donnie used the phrase 'ballistic' to mean 'awesome' in a song once, and both he and Joey like to crack bad jokes? Well, there's our research, let's start writing some scripts!"
  • Groupie Brigade: Ugh. Yes. It was referred to as a fan club, but strangely enough it was almost a literal brigade. It was entirely consumed with stalking the New Kids, and the actions of its leadership were not unlike those of a brigadier and officers overseeing a theater of operations.
  • Horrible Camping Trip: "Overnight Success" may as well be the type specimen. There is a slight subversion in that the characters actually know how to go camping, but it even has the requisite grizzly the forests outside Boston (which are real, but are lacking in the bear department). Sigh...
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: In "New Kid in the Class," Joey entertains the notion of quitting the group so that he can...go to school. The hell?
  • Not Quite Starring: The New Kids were voiced by professional voice actors.
  • Off-Model: This was a very cheap show (It was made by DiC after all). In particular, the episode "In Step, Out of Time" will make your eyes bleed.
    • While the episode "New Heroes on The Block" is already a mess even for this series, the animation marker signalling the next cut can be glimpsed for a frame in one scene.
  • The Power of Rock: Figured in at least once every other episode.
  • Rotoscoping: Featured in the opening when the live action New Kids turn into their cartoon counterparts.
  • Shout-Out: "New Heroes on The Block" includes homages to Frankenstein, Star Wars and Robin Hood.
  • Stealth Parody: You almost get the sense that the series may be an elaborate Take That! against Celebrity Toons.
  • Stock Footage: One of the worst offenders in the medium. Actual concert and interview footage was edited into the series seemingly at random (ie, the cartoon's story would be interrupted by a clip of Jordan talking about his cats). It was as if the producers were saying, "Here, here are the actual New Kids. Are you happy?" A lot of the random cutaways and effects are due to the animation coming back from Wang Film Productions with lots of mistakes. There was no time to fix them, so they added all these video effects and cutaways to salvage what usable footage they had, and passed it off as "music video effects" or something. As previously stated, the overall effect is that the show is a YouTube Poop of itself.
  • Team Pet: Nikko the Shar-Pei. Somewhat justified in that he was the Knight brothers' dog in reality too. Funny thing is, he's clearly the writer's favorite character.
  • This Loser Is You: Personified by the character Fanny, who is basically an incarnation of Fan Dumb. Other fans were portrayed as being just short of a Stalker with a Crush. Half the plots involved the New Kids looking for their few fans who weren't completely obsessed. If there's a more downright odd place for the Straw Fan trope to be applied (you'd have to be an obsessed New Kids fangirl to like this show), we here at TV Tropes would love to know about it.
  • Totally Radical: To the point where you wonder if the writers are even aware of how people from Boston speak. (Or, one could argue, how people from Earth speak. Ballistic!)