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November 5, 2010

Spliced!: The best cartoon you've never heard of ()

by fluffy at 8:01 AM
From the studio that brought you Beetlejuice and Eek! The Cat is another wonderfully funny and subversive cartoon, Spliced!. It's so subversive that pretty much nobody has heard of it.

Right now, it's only available to be seen on Qubo Channel, which pretty much everyone gets as an over-the-air digital channel (but has no cable distribution). It's a subchannel of Ion (formerly PAX), and most of the time they only show feeble edutainment. At night they do show a few classic Filmation cartoons (He-Man/She-Ra, Ghostbusters — the one based on the 1970s live-action TV series "The Ghost Busters," not the one with Lorenzo Music as Bill Murray — and the like). And then at 1:00 AM (Pacific), they show Spliced!.

The overall plot is basically a modernized, cartoon version of what comes after The Island of Doctor Moreau. A mad scientist created a whole bunch of critters out of other species, and imbued most of them with human-esque intelligence. At an unspecified time before the cartoon, he got imprisoned for unspecified crimes, and the island was left to flourish on its own.

The main characters are Èntree (a cowchickenpigshrimp, engineered to be the ultimate meal) and Experiment "Peri" 13 (a cuttlesquirrel, engineered to be really good at bowling). They aren't protagonists so much as the idiots who cause problems for everyone else. There's also a supervillain, Mr. Smarty Smarts (a hyperintelligent dolphin with human arms and a gigantic ego and insecurity complex), but nobody seems to see him as a supervillain except for Mr. Smarty Smarts himself (unless it's convenient to the plot).

The show is exceptionally well-written, and the low-budget Flash animation takes advantage of the medium. Characters are well-acted, there's some great visual gags, and the stories tend to be classic short-style. But they don't stick to a specific length; they're perfectly okay with a story being only 30 seconds long if that's all that's necessary.

In the US, Spliced! is exclusive to Qubo, where it's an odd one out. Most of the shows there are very specifically for kids, and are all about "positive encouragement" and firm family values and whatnot. Spliced! is just about having fun, and it does so in ways that really tweak the family values crowd. (One of the most blatant ones is that Èntree wasn't engineered to be mobile, but he learned how to walk around on his udder. Yes, he has an udder. Yes, it produces milk.) Even Nelvana only relegates Spliced! to what is essentially a footnote.

There are a few episodes on YouTube (in pretty low quality, unfortunately), which at least gives you a taste for the show.

Hopefully, Nelvana eventually puts them out on DVD. In the meantime, set your DVRs. (Or stay up late every night.)

Comments

#13542 fluffy 11/16/2010 01:04 pm
    A few days ago I emailed Qubo:
    I am a huge fan of Spliced! as it's by far one of the best cartoons made in the last 10 years, and I was wondering if there were any plans to show the episodes which haven't been aired yet. There are 26 episodes listed on the Wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spliced!_(TV_series)#Episode_list but as of yet, seven of them have never been aired in the US.

    Also, will Spliced! ever be released on DVD or Blu-Ray?

    Thanks.

    They just got back to me:
    Thanks for taking the time to tell us how you feel about Qubo Channel.
    Qubo will be showing all 26 episodes!
    Please check for the most recent schedule at www.qubo.com.
    Keep watching!

    Our best,

    The Qubo team


    Yay!
    #13560 Lula_909 (unregistered) 11/18/2010 12:58 pm Spliced!
      Hi! Was thrilled to see more fans of Spliced!
      I have FIOS and I have the Qubo Channel, but if you don't or can't get the channel, you can go to Qubo's website, and they will direct you to which cable carriers have it.


      Razz
      #13606 Ostrich 12/02/2010 11:13 am
        ivi.tv, an IP television service, carries a Qubo channel. You also get New York and Los Angeles locals, and a variety of odd channels, all for $4.99 a month.
        #13607 fluffy 12/02/2010 11:55 am
          That is of questionable legality (aren't they in the middle of a lawsuit?) and anyway it doesn't help to watch the episodes qubo never shows.
          #13608 Ostrich 12/02/2010 01:35 pm
            fluffy:
            That is of questionable legality (aren't they in the middle of a lawsuit?) and anyway it doesn't help to watch the episodes qubo never shows.


            They're being sued on every side, but I'm betting on them to prevail. They've been very careful about following the exact letter of the law, for all that they're doing something not envisioned by the original framers of those laws.

            It does nothing for the episodes Qubo never shows, true, but it does allow people who'd not otherwise have Qubo to get it.
            #13609 fluffy 12/02/2010 02:06 pm
              The successful suits against Pirate Bay, Grokster, and LimeWire were based on less clear-cut rationale.
              #13716 fluffy 01/02/2011 01:51 am
                It looks like there's a Youtube user who has done a good job of getting many of the Spliced! segments online. Woo! Unfortunately, they've put all of the short-shorts into their own things, when many of the short-shorts had to do with the short they came after, so some of them lose some of their contextual humor (like the "ad" for "Nothing" which was based on a running gag in "Come to the Dorkside" which preceded it). Still, better than it being unavailable entirely.
                #13930 fluffy 04/26/2011 08:48 pm
                  Here's a cute little connection. In episode 8 (Amazon / Juiced), one of Entree's nipples is named "Nugget." Before Spliced!, Joe Pingue, the voice of Entree, played a character named Nugget in FX's show "Testees."
                  #14178 fluffy 08/27/2011 03:15 pm
                    And according to Simon Racioppa (one of the creators of Spliced!), the Joe Pingue connection was just an amazing coincidence (or at least unintentional).
                    #14185 Eschaton (unregistered) 09/09/2011 12:52 am No new plans
                      I recently sent an e-mail to Teletoon, the original producers of Spliced! complimenting on how much I enjoy the show, but more importantly to ask them when any new seasons are to premiere, as I rounded out the timeline of the first season's original episode air dates and it shows that we are due for a new season. Teletoon replied to me with less than exciting news. Loosely quoted, they have no future plans to begin producing any new episodes. It seems as if the show hasn't quite reached the popularity that was the producers' target, so a dvd set of the first season is that much more necessary for the fans.
                      #14186 fluffy 09/09/2011 08:33 am
                        Yep, unfortunately it's hard for a show to get any decent level of popularity when it's shown at 1 in the morning on a network nobody knows about (except for people who generally wouldn't be watching a show like Spliced! or be up that late to begin with).
                        #14700 Anonymous 02/24/2012 11:26 pm
                          Spliced is the best new cartoon in years and years! I love all the characters so hopefully by some miracle it'll be renewed or atleast released on dvd
                          #14741 fluffy 03/29/2012 05:29 pm
                            Looks like Youtube killed the channel that all the episodes were on, but fortunately GIRLovesWaffles reuploaded them all to Dailymotion.
                            #14762 anonymous2 (unregistered) 04/06/2012 08:59 am RE: Spliced!: The best cartoon you've never heard of (media)
                              I'm also feeling the love for Spliced! but sadly as of April 2012 Qubo Channel has pulled it from the schedule.
                              #14763 fluffy 04/06/2012 09:26 am
                                Dang. That's too bad.

                                Hopefully they'll just put out a blu-ray or something, but Nelvana is terrible about that.
                                #14781 missymouse45 (unregistered) 04/11/2012 09:14 am What the?!?!? No more late showing of Spliced on Ion?
                                  I'm really sad to report that they stopped airing Spliced on /qubo's night owl programming. My BF and I would specifically wake up at 3a.m., where qubo aired 2 episodes back to back every night, 7 days a week. 2 weeks ago, they replaced it with "Class of the titans." We kept crossing our fingers that it would return, maybe in another timeslot. But sadly, no. I read all of your comments and was happy to see my brothers ( and sisters) in arms, part of the Spliced army, trying to get this cartoon the acknowledgement it deserves. But I also got a big piece of reality pie, now I know there is no real chance that I'll get to see more of this wonderful, creative, well scripted and hilarious cartoon. I wrote to Ion and Qubo pleading that they release the cartoon on DVD. But now I know that this is unlikely. I'm still in mourning......I miss you Entree, Peri, Mr. Smarty smart, Octocat.
                                  #14792 Zzaque (unregistered) 04/18/2012 09:53 pm Sad that it was pulled again. . .
                                    Spliced was the only good thing about my insomnia. What am I gonna do at 3:00 in the morning when I can't sleep now?
                                    #14793 fluffy 04/18/2012 10:10 pm
                                      Watch torrents of old Space Ghost?
                                      #15166 Anonymous 11/22/2012 03:58 am
                                        Which episode does entree say "Joes a big dummy head and his head is full of dumb he wears a hat to keep the dumb in"
                                        #15167 fluffy 11/22/2012 09:32 am
                                          That line doesn't sound familiar. Maybe you could watch all the episodes and record the quotes for IMDb?