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Western Animation / The Daltons

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Gotta find a way outta here!

The Daltons (Les Dalton in French) is a French animated series produced by Xilam based off Morris' Lucky Luke comics that aired between 2010 and 2015. It has a similar animation style to the film Go West! A Lucky Luke Adventure, also made by Xilam.

The show focuses on the Dalton Brothers as they repeatedly try (and fail) to escape from prison, all the while surrounded by a colourful cast of characters — most notably the blustery but surprisingly shrewd warden Melvin Peabody, the sunny and sweet-natured prison librarian Miss Betty... and of course Rintindumb, the most inept guard dog in the West.

Not to be confused with the live-action film Lucky Luke and the Daltons, which often goes by just The Daltons.

The Daltons provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Intelligence:
    • Rintindumb — slightly. He's still The Ditz who tends to miss the point by a mile, and a completely inept guard dog, but in this series he's better at actually understanding what people are saying to him, even when they aren't talking about food.
    • This could apply to all the brothers as well, with the clever and imaginative plans of Joe and the others.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: William Dalton, who along with Jack served as a faire-valoir in the previous incarnation of the character, is here presented as a more intellectual person, often citing cultural knowledge he finds in books, being a consummate reader in the show. To elaborate, he has knowledge about: the Aztecs, water pressure, amnesia, dreams, etc. In a setting with seldom characters who read, it almost makes him look like a genius.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In the comics, The Daltons don't meet Lucky Luke until they're adults. Here, they've know each other since they were kids.
  • Adapted Out: Downplayed with Lucky Luke himself. He is said to be in retirement and only appears as a kid in an episode about the title characters' childhood.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Pete and Emmet have... strange reactions when they see each other undressed. Yes they're blushing, but there's also this strange look they give each other.
  • Animal Jingoism: Whenever Rintindumb sees the prison cat, he chases it.
  • Animation Bump: While Season 1 is still nicely animated like other Xilam shows, there were much more animation errors and stiffer animations than Season 2, in which the overall look took a step up with some surprisingly smooth character movements.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite Joe's annoyance at Averell's stupidity and his apparent willingness at leaving him behind from time to time, he shows in "Daltons Vacations" that he really cares about him and still loves him in spite of it.
  • The Cameo:
    • Lucky Luke, though he doesn't officially appear in any episodes, does make a couple of brief visual cameos, in flashbacks, dream sequences and similar.
    • Oggy from Oggy and the Cockroaches makes a couple of cameos in a few episodes, most notably both he and the cockroaches briefly appear in Joe's dream in the episode "The Secret Passage".
  • Canon Foreigner: Every character except the Dalton brothers, Rintindumb, Ma Dalton and Ming Lee Foo. And Ming Lee Foo has undergone a drastic design change and barely resembles his original comic counterpart.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Some characters like Averell and Rintindumb.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: In "The Director's Girlfriend", Joe disguises himself as a woman in order to seduce the prison director as part of an escape plan.
  • Demoted to Extra: Apart from a couple of very brief cameos in flashbacks and such (with predictable reactions from Joe), Lucky Luke does not appear in the series. Justified, since he's the one who goes after the Daltons whenever they escape in the comic — since they never manage to do so here, his role would be redundant.
  • Denser and Wackier: The general look and personalities of the Daltons and Rintindumb is the same as ever, but both they and the world around them are a lot zanier and more cartoony than in the comics... though not quite to the degree of the Go West: A Lucky Luke Adventure movie.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Rintindumb. It says something that even with his Adaptational Intelligence for the show he's still much, much stupider than the average dog. It's even in his English dub name.
  • The Dreaded: Ma, for Joe only.
    Jack: But Joe isn't afraid of anything.
    Averell: Except Ma.
  • Dub Name Change: Rintindumb, as per usual. While his most common name in English translations is "Rin Tin Can" (with the Hanna-Barbera series naming him "Bushwack"), in modern animated appearances like this one he's usually "Rintindumb". In the original French he is of course "Rantanplan".
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The Daltons never DO manage to escape from prison (at least, never for very long). Therefore unlike the comics and the episodes featuring a certain cowboy's adventures, the whole plot always occurs around the prison's perimeter.
  • Hot Librarian: Miss Betty, the prison librarian, is a classic example. She's very pretty, and very sweet-natured, but also very proper.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lou, the female prisoner from the episode "The Lady Bandit". She's a tall, buxom, redheaded lady with Hartman Hips, who wears a midriff-baring version of the prison uniform and is consistently drawn and animated to look as sexy as possible, to the point where one shot focuses on her bouncing breasts.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: In one episode, Jack searches Miss Betty's drawers for the prison keys, and is amused to find something he thinks is a "double-barrel slingshot". It's a bra.
  • Renaissance Man: Averell has shown to be the most skilled of the Daltons outside of crime: artist (painter, sculptor, interior decorator, puppeteer, origami crafter), cook (baker, pastry chef, french fryer...), gardener, karate master...
  • Shout-Out: In "The Director's Girlfriend", Peabody's response to Joe revealing his true gender is "Well, nobody's perfect." The same line was said by Osgood in Some Like It Hot, when Jerry did the same.
  • Those Two Guys: The two prison guards, Pete and Emmet. They seldom play much of a role in the plots, but they occasionally play Greek Chorus or have a Seinfeldian Conversation on the sidelines while the Daltons hatch their latest scheme.
  • Villain Protagonist: The Daltons themselves as it is all known to most viewers what they are in jail for. However they don't get the chance to do much other that try to escape in this series.
  • World of Weirdness: Where the Lucky Luke comic takes place in a mostly realistic world with only a few "impossible" aspects (such as Lucky Luke's superhuman reflexes), this cartoon revels in the fantastic, bizarre and supernatural. Curses, magical objects and Weird Science are commonplace and drive several of the episodes.
  • Zany Cartoon: The setting, comedy and everything else about this cartoon, due to the Denser and Wackier vibe of the show.