Police Academy: The Animated Series (1988-1989) is an American animated television series produced by Ruby-Spears based on the Police Academy series of films note . It aired on weekdays for a total of 65 episodes. It features animated versions of several characters from the films, including Carey Mahoney, Moses Hightower, Eugene Tackleberry, and Larvell Jones, alongside Canon Immigrants the K-9 Corps and The Professor, the latter supplying the police force with the wacky gadgetry they need to combat an extensive Rogues Gallery of villains.
The series had some merchandising tie-ins. Kenner made a toy line; in the Title Sequence of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jake Peralta is shown looking at a Carey Mahoney action figure. Meanwhile, Marvel Comics released a short-lived comic book series under its "Star Comics" imprint.
Chronologically, it takes place between the fourth and fifth films.
Tropes found in this animated series:
- 65-Episode Cartoon
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Most episodes ended with a short segment that had safety tips.
- Animated Adaptation: Unsurprisingly, this series cuts out a lot of the adult humor from the movies, adding more kid-friendly elements like the K-9 Corps and the Professor's gadgets.
- Butt-Monkey: Harris is the constant victim of misfortune.
- Enemy Civil War: Lockjaw and Mr. Sleaze become enemies in one episode after the former steals the latter's robbery booty.
- Environment-Specific Action Figure: In addition to the basic figures of the characters, the toy line includes Undercover Carey Mahoney (he's disguised as a street punk), Sky-Glidin' Zed and Karate Larvell Jones.
- Episode Title Card: As usual with Ruby-Spears series.
- Every Episode Ending: An Aesop at the end.
- Expy/Name's the Same: An Acrofatic crime boss named Kingpin? Sounds familiar...
- Family-Friendly Firearms: Applied via Rule of Funny: Trigger Happy gun-nut Tackleberry's Weapon of Choice on this series was a bazooka.
- Finger Gun: In one episode Larvell destroys a Brainwashed and Crazy police robot by miming firing a gun at it with the appropriate sound effects. It doesn't address how this works at all, but the crooks controlling the robot immediately surrender so he doesn't do it to them next.
- Idiosyncrazy: Most of the criminals have some sort of peculiarity or theme that identify them.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Harris, although technically a cop, always tries to harm the rest of the cast, take credit for their actions and/or get some glory just to see all his efforts foiled in humiliating ways.
- IN SPACE!: Episode "Spaced Out Space Cadets" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Lighter and Softer: It's noticeably quite a bit more kid friendly than the films, especially the first one.
- Merchandise-Driven: To the point that some of the kid-sized role-playing toys appeared in the cartoon.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Harris is a frequent cause of these moments.
- Once per Episode: Harris always suffers some sort of punishment.
- One Bad Mother: Zed's aunt in one episode heads a criminal operation with her two sons.
- Only Sane Man: Mahoney compared to the others.
- Right-Hand Attack Dog: Recurring villain and crime lord Mr. Sleaze has a quite ugly dog as pet.
- Rogues Gallery: A rather extensive one, led by Kingpin, the (literally and figuratively) biggest criminal in the city.
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: "The Phantom of the Precinct" has the Villain of the Week impersonating a ghost and using different tricks to create the illusion of supernatural powers.
- Stalker with a Crush: Villain Lockjaw develops a crush on Callahan in episode "Mr. Sleaze Versus Lockjaw" which is kind of creepy considering that he has photos of her in his cell and the writing "I'm going to make you mine".
- Sycophantic Servant: Proctor is this to Harris.
- Ten Little Murder Victims: One episode featured "Agatha Crusty" and "Ten Little Coppers".
- Those Two Guys: Zed and Sweetchuck.
- Title: The Adaptation: Confusingly, this series is sometimes called Police Academy: The Series. The above title is used to differentiate it from the actual live-action series in the franchise.
- Villain Exclusivity Clause: Played Straight in the case of Harris who appears in every single episode with clear Aesop Amnesia trying to demean or expel the cadets, just to end up hurt or humiliated at the end. Averted Trope with the Rogues Gallery, as the show is mostly a Villain of the Week with only a few recurring criminals.
- Your Mom: In one episode when Harris answers the phone and asks who it is, it's not heard but the villain answers "Your mom". Harris takes it literally.