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Western Animation / Skunk Fu!

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"A long time ago, Dragon protected the valley—but was punished by Heaven for his arrogance. He blamed us. Now, trapped in his icy prison, he plots to destroy us... Our only hope might be my pupil, Skunk."

Skunk Fu! is an Irish animated series featuring a young skunk (Skunk) who wants to learn martial arts. He is helped by his friends Rabbit, Fox, and Pig, who are — wait for it — a rabbit, a fox and a pig. Skunk also learns from a wise leader named Pandanote . They defend their home valley from Dragon, who used to be good until he was punished by Heaven for his arrogance. He blamed the valley dwellers. Now trapped in his icy mountain lagoon, he plots to destroy the valley with the help of Baboon and his army of ninja monkeys only to be thwarted by Skunk and his friends every time.

The series lasted from September 22, 2007 to September 29, 2008, with 26 episodes in a single season. The series was created by Cartoon Saloon and aired in the United States on The CW Saturday morning block before moving to Cartoon Network in May 2008; unfortunately, it got Screwed by the Network and has not been seen on American television since March 2009.

The Art of Tropes:

  • Artistic License Biology: Skunk's ability to "skunk" (as he calls it) is, for the most part, realistic in the sense that he only does so when scared or for defensive purposes. However, Skunk's skunk is treated the same way as if he were farting; skunk spray is not the same thing as a fart since the spray is produced as a chemical stored in special glands that become vaporized upon release, whereas a fart is produced normally within the animal's digestive track.
  • Badass Boast: Rabbit manages one when Baboon asks the classic "You and what army?" Rabbit's response? He flexes one arm, then the other, saying, "This army over here, and this army over here.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Skunk is destined to defeat Dragon.
  • Bee Afraid: The Killer Bees. Though they are a confusing version of this trope given how they'll attack anyone (good or evil) that provoke them but in some episodes they will help alongside the Valley Animals to fight the Ninja Monkeys.
  • Buffy Speak: In "The Art of the Crush":
    Rabbit: Dragon has a dangerous... kinda... weapon— thingy.
    Skunk: (gasp) A dangerous-kinda weapon thingy? Oh no!
  • Butt-Monkey: A lot of the characters fall victim to this:
    • Rabbit is probably the most prime example. Though most of the time he brings it upon himself due to his large ego and arrogant behaviour.
    • Skunk also gets moments like this. Half of the time its his own fault (like in "The Art of Being Lazy") while other times its for others' gain, namely Rabbit (like in "The Art of the Stink").
    • Baboon and his Ninja Monkeys are a literal example, to the point where they come off as harmless villains.
  • The Chosen One: Skunk was given to Panda when he asked for help defeating Dragon.
  • Camp Straight: Baboon; despite his sometimes effeminate actions, he obviously has a crush on Fox.
  • Cool Big Sister: Fox to Skunk. She was taken in by Panda when her father was killed, and seems to view Skunk as a little brother.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Pig becomes "Master Pig", thanks to Rabbit's "octopus arm" weapon (a plunger attached to a rope, which Pig excels in using). There was also Pig going nuts over truffles. It's amazing how much ass he can kick for the things.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: How the series begins. Heaven sends a drought to the valley and Dragon solves it with his power of water, but Heaven ends up punishing him for it, even though he believed he was doing good.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": The entire cast.
  • The Dragon: Baboon. Ironically, his Big Bad is a Dragon by the name of... you know darn well what.
  • Fallen Hero: A rather tragic case of it. Dragon used to be a heroic guardian of the valley, but after failing a test from Heaven, he was punished. This caused him to turn into the monster he is today.
  • Fartillery: Skunk, natch. Though unlike many examples, he can only use it when scared or embarrassed and has no real control over it otherwise.
  • Foxy Vixen: Fox is notable for having a far more feminine, curvaceous physique than the other female characters. It's no surprise that at least two of the guys in the series have a huge crush on her.
  • Furry Reminder: Snake is unaffected by Skunk's spray as long as he keeps his mouth shut, as real-life Snakes smell with their tongue as opposed to their nostrils.note 
  • Get Out!: Dragon screams "AWAY WITH YOU!" to Baboon after chiding him for being easily beaten by Skunk in "The Art of the Nose Blow".
  • Great Offscreen War: The Great and Spectacular Super-Battle happening in "The Art of Being Lazy".
  • Humanoid Female Animal: Fox has a physique that's much more curvy and humanoid than most of the other animals.
  • The Messiah: Skunk, being a gift from heaven to save the world, could be interpreted as that world's version of Jesus. If Jesus was an ordinary kid who wasn't wise, and preferred goofing off and having fun, and just being a kid.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Skunks in real life live in burrows or dens, but this Skunk lives in a tree for some reason. Skunk does actually ask Panda if he can move into a burrow upon seeing Rabbit's, but Panda insists he's not ready for one.
  • Mooks: Baboon's army of ninja monkeys.
  • Never My Fault: Dragon's reason for his scarring and him blaming it on the Valley Animals and wishing to destroy the Valley in general. However, given what his punishment was, it can be mildly justified.
  • Ninja: Ninja monkeys, of course!
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
  • No Ending: Although Skunk was built up to be destined to defeat Dragon someday, the series ended its run and no resolution became of Skunk's destiny. There have been rumors early after the series's completion that a movie was in the works to properly conclude the series, but after many years of no new info, it is most likely assumed that the idea was canned.
  • Nurse with Good Intentions: In "The Art of Being Lazy", Skunk pretends to be sick to get out of doing chores, and Panda assigns Pig to take care of him. Cue comically incompetent nursing which ends up making Skunk look like he actually is sick. Though when ninja monkeys try to attack, Skunk weaponizes that by telling Pig that the monkeys are sick and also need his "care". Afterwards, Panda returns and reveals that he knew all along that Skunk was faking, and had Pig take care of him to teach him a lesson, but admits that things went too far.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: Fox. Also, the other girls and Skunk, as part of the Art of the Fan-Fan.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: "The Art of Remembering" has Rabbit, Skunk, and Fox all telling Duck how Panda was kidnapped by Baboon, with Panda later telling Duck the truth. Each of the first three's tales have a unique visual style.
    • Rabbit's story is Deliberately Monochrome (Limited Palette, with the red sky) and tells how the three of them were escorting Panda to negotiate a truce with Baboon. It also has Rabbit with a huge straw hat and wielding a sword (a Shout-Out to Usagi Yojimbo perhaps?), and it's always raining.
    • Fox's story looks like oriental scroll drawings, having Fox a beautiful ninja and involving Panda and the Silver Sword, useable by Only the Pure of Heart, being stolen. Although they win the sword back from Baboon in basically a round of DanceDanceRevolution, Baboon escapes with Panda.
    • Skunk's story is an 8-bit video game where Panda is captured by a lure of food, along with each of the three of them after parodies of famous video games, including Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros..
    • Panda reveals the truth: they were on a nature hike when Panda starting talking enthusiastically about bamboo, causing the others to fall asleep and dream up their individual stories.
  • Revolting Rescue: On more than one occasion, Skunk's foul-smelling spray (which is portrayed as farting) has saved the day.
    • In "The Art of the Crush", Skunk, Rabbit, and Fox are trapped in a cave because Baboon's ninja monkeys are blocking the exit. Fox then kisses Skunk to make him spray, which causes all the ninjas to clear out, allowing the three to escape.
    • In "The Art of Tunneling", Skunk and Rabbit are stuck in an underground tunnel that's filling up with water. Skunk then farts and the strength of the explosion propels both him and Rabbit out of the tunnel to safety.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Rabbit's love poem to Fox in "The Art of the Crush".
  • Say My Name: In "The Art of the Nose Blow", Baboon screams Skunk's name when he hears the rumor that Skunk beat him up.
  • Shaped Like Itself: One episode was titled "The Art of Art".
  • Ship Tease: While he denies it, Rabbit has a huge crush on Fox, which is much demonstrated in "The Art of the Crush". The feeling seems to be mutual.
    Skunk: Rabbit likes Fox! Rabbit likes Fox!
  • Shout-Out: In "The Art of the Stink", Rabbit, Pig, Ox and Bird form The Stink-Team.
  • Smelly Skunk: Surprisingly, this is zig-zagged. While the titular character, Skunk, is able to skunk, he has admitted that he's not able to do so on cue. He usually sprays when he's startled or embarrassed, although it's averted in a handful of episodes. He has also admitted that he usually feels embarrassed when he skunks.
  • Species Surname: Species Full Name, actually.
  • Stylistic Suck: One episode had Skunk create statues of... dubious quality, but whenever he'd get into a fight with the Ninja Monkeys they'd be damaged and turned into masterpieces. Near the end, the Monkeys capture one statue and give it to Baboon, who invokes this trope and likes it because it looks abstract.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Poor Dragon has to rely on the incompetent Baboon and his dimwitted Ninja Monkeys to do his bidding.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Invoked and Defied at the beginning of "The Art of The Crush" where Fox defeats Skunk in a sparring session and pins him to the ground, he fears that she's going to do this to him but she denies it and tells him to relax.
  • Those Two Guys: Ox and Bird.


The Art of Endurance

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