Once Upon a Time, there was an animated series based on a line of plush toys of the same name depicting many endangered animals, to help raise awareness of their situation. It centered around a group of five friends; YooHoo, Roodee, Chewoo, Pammee and Lemmee, attempting to fix the environment to continue growing their Trees of Life.
The result was several flavors of weird.
In the 2012 Gag Dub adaptation headed by Feiss, entirely new scenes now show how YooHoo and co. start out life as the executives of the company Nasty Corp, whose money grubbing schemes leave natural wonder after natural wonder devastated in their wake. As a result, Father Time, voiced by rapper Flavor Flav (yes, really) is tasked by his wife Mother Nature to do something about it. Father Time uses his magic to transform the executives into adorable little animals, and sends them on a quest to fix all their misdeeds, in return for gemstones. Once they get enough gemstones, they will be granted one wish; which they plan to use to become human again.
Each episode is also started by a narration from Father Time, as he finds certain problems in the past and tries (and usually fails) to fix them. Adding to the weird is the fact that Father Time's scenes are animated in the same style as David Feiss' previous work, while YooHoo and co. are animated in Adobe Flash.
YooHoo & Friends had its world debut on Cartoon Network in Latin America in January 2012 (and later channel hopped to Boomerang), with ABC3 in Australia and Pop in the UK premiering the show as well in English in the same year. The show wasn't a big success, and it never aired anywhere else internationally as planned. A merchandise line was also planned too, with plush toys, playsets, and light up dolls.
Eventually, the show wasn't renewed for a second season, which caused Toonzone Studios, the (now closed) company behind the adaptation, to take legal action against Aurora World. They lost, and the show started to fade into obscurity shortly afterwards.
YEAH, BOY! It's time for the tropes!
- Adaptational Villainy: All of the YooHoos started off as Corrupt Corporate Executives who destroyed nature before being forced to atone for their crimes as cute furry animals, as opposed to a group of heroic animals who are out to save the world as eco-warriors.
- Badass Adorable: The YooHoos themselves qualify as this, being able to accomplish great feats and consistently save the day, despite their small size, and adorable appearance.
- Baleful Polymorph: The central theme of the series with the Nasty Corp executives being transformed into cute, cuddly animals.
- Been There, Shaped History: Part of a Running Gag includes Father Time being present at an important historical event, and inadvertently causes it to happen. He kickstarted life on the planet by heating primordial soup, accidentally caused the Salem Witch Trials, and was responsible for the sinking of the Titanic.
- Book Dumb: Countless characters appear to have an inability to count.
- Chewoo, Pammee, and several other characters have a tendency to include colors while counting.
Pookee 1: Why do bad things always happen to us?Pookee 16: Umm, because we're the bad guys.
- (Or in this case, Squirrel); Chewoo, the cheerleader and grand idiot in the show, considered by her friends as a constant annoyance due to her stupidity, immaturity and hyperactivity. Kinda hard to believe she ever had the ability to be a greedy corporate executive. Roodee once looks at the camera and asks, "Why is she even in this show?" Lemmee also asks when Chewoo effortlessly crosses a dangerous bridge by rolling over it "Why does Chewoo mess up when she tries and succeeds when she doesn't?"
- The Pookees, as idiotic villains, are by default the target of every possible misfortune, and like Chewoo they don't fare too well in the intellect department.
Pookee 16: I don't think this is safe.Pookee 1: Nobody cares what you think!
- In particular Pookee 16 appears to be a butt monkey among his brothers, who treat him as being expendable and always force him to undertake the most dangerous tasks. Shown in the episode "Nasty Book" when Pookee 1 attempt to fling them over a chasm using a catapult,
- To a lesser extent Lemmee, when the others get fed up with him. This has increased as the series progresses from the others subtly directing insults at him (especially Roodee and Pammee) to full out displays of dislike, as shown in the "Tree of My Wife" episode when there is fork in the path and they have to split up, YooHoo states he would be willing go with anyone "as long as it's not Lemmee." Also in the "Stoney Island" (intentionally spelled incorrectly here) episode YooHoo believes that Lemmee won't go to heaven.
- Catchphrase:Mother Nature: *Gives a request to Father Time*Father Time: I don't have time for that!Mother Nature: Don't have the time? You're Father Time!
- Also YooHoo's "YooHoo!" (which survived from the previous series)
- To a lesser extent Lemmee's "Listen up..."
- Can't forget Father Time's "YEAH, BOY!".
- Cruella to Animals: One of the crimes committed by the Nasty Corp executives when they were human was dining on endangered eagle, then picking their teeth with ebony toothpicks and throwing the toothpicks out of their private jet.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Loonee the Snowy Owl who is extremely delusional.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Nasty Corp. is this Played Straight.
- Counting to Potato: Chewoo, Pammee, and several other characters have a tendency to include colors while counting.
- Cruella to Animals: One of the crimes committed by the Nasty Corp executives when they were human was dining on endangered eagle, then picking their teeth with ebony toothpicks and throwing the toothpicks out of their private jet.
- Cute Bruiser: Chewoo.
- Cuteness Proximity: The YooHoos constantly discover it's hard to be cute and cuddly, without acting like it. All (except Lemmee) behave like the small, adorable animals they have become.
- Cut-and-Paste Translation: One can tell at a glance what was and wasn't in the original.
- Cut Short: The English version proved to be a ratings disaster in the UK, so Season 2 never got its Gag Dub.
- Dashing Hispanic: Libby the Lynx.
- Deadpan Snarker: Roodee and Lemmee often engage in this, frequently at each other.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In the future the punishment for harming a petrified tree is being thrown in "Future Jail". Questioning "Future Laws" results in a Pie in the Face followed by a brick. Killing the aforementioned tree is grounds for getting mauled by a giant robot cat.
- Dolled-Up Installment: So much was altered that it's practically a different show.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Sasa the Shaolin Monkey (who's a boy in this series) has girly eyelashes and a flower in his hair.
- Epic Fail: Nasty Corp seemed very good at this. Special mention goes to kidnapping an endangered owl and forcing it to record multiple albums, then releasing them to the public. Without realizing how god awful its singing was.
- Father Time takes his wife on a romantic cruise. On the Titanic. And then he books a flight on the Hindenburg.
- Exiled to the Couch: Mother Nature threatens Father Time with this in the pilot (and in the Expository Theme Tune).
- Expository Theme Tune: The theme speaks for itself.Once Upon a Time, there were five executives, who destroyed the Earth for money / Mother Nature got mad, said Father Time, "hey dad, you better stop 'em or you're sleeping on the couch, honey!" / So Father Time zapped those five into fluffy, cuddly, sweetie pies / To places they plunder, gemstones they must recover
- Even the Guys Want Him: Libby the Lynx, is so muscular and sexy, he entrances the girls which makes the boys jealous, but later on some of them accidentally let slip their own latent attraction, especially Lemmee.Lemmee: The girls may be attracted to you, but we're not! ...That much. Now take your godlike face and rippling muscles and leave!Lemmee: I really don't like that guy, or his awesome muscles, and handsome face.
- Failure Is the Only Option:
- Almost every scheme cooked up by Nasty Corp failed horribly. It gets to the point where one wonders why they were still in business at all. Though it is possible Nasty Corp was scamming its customers, making money by selling dysfunctional products that customers were suckered into buying.
- Not to mention the Pookees who seemed to be born to fail. On a few occasions they actually theorize that bad things befall them because they're the bad guys.
- Gag Dub: Father Time's scenes were made for the English dub.
- Girly Girl: Pammee the princess who finds half of the characters they come across to be romantic, and wanting to marry them. Humorously averted with Ring-Ring the Panda, who is the one character to ever openly display affection to her, but she ends up remaining completely oblivious to this.
- Genki Girl: Chewoo the 'cheerleader' who is always happy and playful no matter how devastating the situation is.Lemmee: Why is she always so happy?Roodee: Oh Lemmee, she's so happy because you're just so fun to be around.
- Great Big Book of Everything: Roodee's book seems to contain information on anything he needs to know at a given moment.
- Grumpy Bear: Lemmee the 'sourpuss' is the only one of the YooHoos whose personality has not changed from his human counterpart (and also the only one whose voice hasn't changed). He is self-centered, pessimistic, sadistic, lazy (to the point where he'd rather be crushed under an elephant and used as a doormat than do work), and in general an all-round jerk. In later episodes Lemmee attempts on another of occasions to rename their team "Lemmee and Friends" presenting himself as the leader. In the episode with the Forest of Lemurs, Lemmee points out that all lemurs act the way he does and it is not his fault, where YooHoo states that "[they] would never question his self-centered attitude ever again". However, if anything, the animosity between Lemmee and the others has steadily increased over the course of the series, to say the least.YooHoo: Lemmee, do you have to ruin everything we find beautiful?Lemmee: Of course, it's the only thing I'm good at.
- Harmless Villain: The Pookees, a trio of meerkats who want the YooHoos' wish to become human.
Pookee 2: "How does Roodee keep this in his armpit?"Pookee 16: "His armpit must magically shrink things. Just like watching cartoons shrinks brains."
- The YooHoos consistent tendency to store things in their armpits, such as Roodee's "armpit book" (which has a mind of its own and does not like being stored there due to hygiene) and YooHoo's bag of gems.
- Father Time, able to produce his magic wooden staff from inside his coat, in his pants, under his hat, and even in his ear. As well as being able to keep the TV in his pants.
- Helium Speech: Chewoo's extremely high pitched voice (respect to Mara Kay for being able to pull that off).Lemmee: "It couldn't be worse than when Chewoo's singing makes our ears bleed."Chewoo (cheerfully): "Ears and eyes!"
- Historical Rap Sheet: Father Time was responsible for starting the Salem Witch Trials after trying to help three women carrying heavy buckets of water... by enchanting brooms to carry them. Thankfully he managed to save their skins shortly afterwards.
- Homosexual Reproduction: Three boy parrots who somehow managed to produce an egg. The problem did not exist in the original series because one of the parrots was a girl.
- Idiot Hero: Most of the animals, with the exception of Roodee, who is a genius, able to construct complex inventions from random things he finds, and the only one able to read.
- In particular, Chewoo, who is a complete ditz and often considered an annoyance. In the episode with Nasty Corp's candy plants, after initially failing the YooHoos agree to just blame it on Chewoo, and when YooHoo explains the problem and Chewoo doesn't even pay attention Roodee asks "Why is she even in this show?".
- Pammee is also quite frequently in this role, but not as frequently as Chewoo due to her shy, introverted nature. However in the episode with Ring Ring the Panda where Ring Ring falls in love with Pammee and tells her an elevator joke, before finishing the joke Pammee laughs and asks for it to be told again only to later state she never got the joke from the beginning. Father Time then says "With Pammee the elevator never reaches the top floor", where everyone laughs only for Chewoo to ask "Pammee has an elevator?"
- YooHoo also tends to spout stupid claims, but to a much lesser extent than the girls.
- Lemmee, although not exactly a genius, appears to be the only character who cares about his intelligence and is the only character with the ability to hide it. Also he appears to be the sanest character (despite being the biggest asshole), having to put up with the stupidity around him.
- Humans Are Morons: Not that the animals are any brighter.
- I Choose to Stay: In the series finale, the protagonists make a Selfless Wish rather than change back to "normal", ultimately deciding that the adventures they had were far more enjoyable than being a Corrupt Corporate Executive.
- Impossible Thief: Libby the lynx hides the gem bag in Roodee's ear, then pulls it out of YooHoo's.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Flavor Flav as Father Time. He even has the viking helmet, clock and his consistent usage of the phrase "yeah, boy!". This is later poked fun at when Father Time appears as a special guest at a hippie concert where he performs a rap, but is then booed off the stage.
- Interspecies Romance: Happy the Red Panda is married to a sea cow named Martha. For extra weirdness, he was originally female.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: Mother Nature, at least in the face area.
- Loss of Identity:
- The once evil, money hungry corporate executives now turned to cute, adorable, playful, fun loving animals. Especially Chewoo who is extremely childish.
- Averted with Lemmee who is still rude, selfish and still uses suing as a threat.
- Sometimes averted with YooHoo when he has trouble understanding what was actually wrong with what they did. Shown in "Mummy Dearest" where Father Time explains they made glow-in-the-dark toothpaste from toxic waste, Lemmee states "We were just recycling." It's also done a few times with Chewoo where she will see their former product or the site where they commited the crime and instinctively think of committing the crime again (forgetting that they had already committed it and were being punished for it).
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: YooHoo, Roodee, Pamee and Cheewoo's personalities are altered significantly upon being transformed, making them act like the Ridiculously Cute Critters they now are. They even greet Father Time like a friend, and don't seem to mind having been transformed at all, which makes one wonder if they're even still doing it to become human again, turns out they don't.
- Lemmee's personality and behavior remain the same, as stated above. He's the only one of the five whose reaction fits what one would expect him to have.
- And guess what; the YooHoos end up doing just that, and remain as cute, little animals.
- Mineral MacGuffin: Yoohoo and his friends have to complete tasks for Father Time in order to collect gems. When they have a full set of gems, Father Time will grant them a wish, which they intended to use to become human again.
- Motive Decay: A rare positive example, the protagonists' original intended wish is gradually reduced to an afterthought, and eventually thrown away entirely.
- Narrating the Obvious:
- Mainly YooHoo who has a tendency to sayby out loud many of his actions, in particular the phrase "Grab" whenever he grabs something (in fact he says this phrase so often it borders being a Catchphrase). In the episode with the blue-maned lion, when YooHoo states that the lion was transforming (as a result of a magic puddle) Lemmee says "Thanks, narrator!"
- Roodee has also done this, in the pelican episode after making his claw fishing rod and continuously stating its obvious functions, Lemmee at first continues saying "Duh" before threatening to slap him if he said one more obvious thing.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: See Historical Rap Sheet.
- No Indoor Voice:
[The YooHoos are hiding in some bushes to try avoid being seen by an angry gorilla]Chewoo (at the top of her voice): Hey Pammee! Why are you whispering?
- Chewoo, with a fair few examples;
- Non-Standard Character Design: Just look at Father Time and the other characters drawn by David Feiss vs. the original Korean characters.
- No Fourth Wall: The series is aware of itself, with the fourth wall being broken in every manner possible; with characters able to notice and point out every cartoon element in the show including thought bubbles, fight clouds, fade outs, snot bubbles, cartoon physics, "referring to episode" transition, and many more.
- One of the most evident ones is when Roodee was scared of seeing vampire bats (actually the (pathetically) disguised Pookees), YooHoo tells him not to worry as the vampire bats were nocturnal and that it was day time, he would be safe until night time, and Roodee's response; "But that could be in a few seconds! This is a cartoon, you know!".
- In addition, Father Time actually acts as the show's narrator, talking directly with the audience at the start of every episode. In fact, he once explains that he appears on the show and makes the episodes as an excuse to not get a real job.
- No Product Safety Standards: Pretty much all of Nasty Corp's products, which included lava perfume and diet acid cola.
- Oddly Small Organization: Most of the time the Nasty Corp. executives seem to be the only people working in their corporation (as they are directly responsible for everyone of their schemes and not simply giving orders).
- Once an Episode: Whenever the YooHoos obtain a gem, they have a music video celebrating it. The first episode has them wondering when they actually filmed it since "5 minutes ago [they] were still human."
- Our Ogres Are Hungrier: What Father Time is.
- Off-Model: Feiss has some difficulty drawing the original characters in his own style.
- Parking Payback: Santa Claus parks his sleigh in front of Father Time's house. Father Time uses his magical powers to move the sleigh so it is front of a fire hydrant, causing Santa Claus to get a ticket.
- Power Trio: The Pookies, though in their case it's more a case of Not-so-Power Trio. They do share the most similarities with the Freudian Trio; with Pookee 1 being Id (even though he's the leader), Pookee 16 being Superego, and Pookee 2 being Ego (but instead of getting to make decisions, he's blindly bossed around and torn between the other two conflicting voices).
- Satire/Parody/Pastiche: Although it is an official TV series, many people can not help wondering at first glance considering: the dubbed over footage, and the characters, object placements and storyline being ridiculed and made fun of (usually by Breaking the Fourth Wall).
- In fact it bordelines on being an Abridged Series of the South Korean series.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: By the truckload.
- Running Gag: A running gag was introduced later in the series involving Lemmee where after YooHoo and friends fix one of their crimes and the victim of the crime wishes to repay them, Lemmee will always selfishly try to claim the reward only to discover it is a hug from the (oversized) victim which causes him pain.
- Father Time rescues a trio of women accused of being witches by transporting them to Hogwarts.
- YooHoo once references the origin of YooHoo and Friends; the plush toys, when he had a dream that they were all stuffed animals and every kid in the world was playing with them.
- There were references to Cow and Chicken (a show that Feiss himself created) in some episodes.
- Series Continuity Error: So many examples, major ones including:
- The Ring Ring the Panda episodes are shown in the wrong order (with the YooHoos mentioning they met Ringring in "the previous episode" that hadn't occurred yet).
- The same problem occurs with Happy the Red Panda where the team come across him again, without meeting him for the first time, which occurs several episodes later.
- It even happens with the Pookees, where they begin their vain quest to steal the magic gems before they even discover the existence of the gems, (and continue trying to pursue the gems when it was already established that they didn't want to hunt the gems anymore, when Father Time shows them their hideous human forms).
- In episode 52, Father Time seemed pretty convinced that the YooHoos were going to use their wish to become human again and acted amazed when they didn't. He should have known they wouldn't the moment he met the Eco Police in episode 33.
- She's a Man in Japan: Several characters originally girls underwent gender changes due to Jesse Inocalla voicing practically every additional character, but this went on to create further complications when many of them still retain their girl looks and physiology.
- Simpleton Voice: Both Pammee and Chewoo are prone to this, being the most Book Dumb and naive members of the team.
- Snot Bubble: One of the most focused cartoon elements, appearing since the first episode where YooHoo actually uses it to save him and Pammee from drowning, in another episode YooHoo notices that not all of them have snot bubbles when they sleep.
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: The book acts like this sometimes, containing sarcastic replies to questions the animals ask.How would I know? I'm just a book, not the cloud master or something!
- Theme Tune Roll Call: The theme song has the five animals introducing themselves near the end.Lemmee: I'm Lemmee!
Roodee: I'm Roodee!
Pammee; I'm Pammee!
Chewoo: I'm Chewoo!
All four: Did we forget...
YooHoo: Me, YooHoo!
- Too Dumb to Live: Chewoo.[Chewoo gleefully bounds ahead upon hearing of the perilous danger]Lemmee: "Is she brave or is she stupid?"YooHoo: "She's Chewoo."
Lemmee: "Like I said, a dumb idea always saves the day."
- Later on this is subverted when she is always the deliverer of "the dumb idea which saves the day", and the others rely on her to provide the solution, to the point where her idiocy is often what allows them to succeed.
- Two Shorts: The series was intended to be viewed in this format, and did indeed air this way in Latin America; but in Australia all 52 segments aired separately.
- Unfortunate Names: The reoccurring joke where Father Time will say "I don't have the time" for one of Mother Nature's requests which she will respond by saying "Don't have the time? You're Father Time!". In the first episode, he reveals that sometimes he wishes that his name were "Bob or Carl or something."
- Vocal Evolution: Coupled with a previous point above; the YooHoos voices are "cutified" along with their physical appearance, especially Chewoo's high-pitched Helium Speech. With the possible exception of Lemmee (and on some occasions, Roodee). With Lemmee his personality doesn't seem to have changed either.
- Worth noting sometimes Cedric Themole accidentally reverts to Mr. YooHoo's voice when voicing YooHoo (this may be because YooHoo's voice was originally intended to remain unchanged, but later decisions were made to cutify it, and as a result some of the footage was left accidentally undubbed).
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Ms. Bushu seemed to have been set up as a reoccurring villain, but vanished after her initial appearance and was never mentioned again.