Thursday, August 30, 2012

Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: Aaahh!!! Real Monsters

Nickelodeon was the best kids' network in the 90's. They were known for their top quality cartoons that many others at the time tried to copy off of. The one cartoon that many cartoons tried to copy was Ren and Stimpy. Back in the 90's, cartoons that featured gross humor, fart jokes, and weird animation was the shit and Ren and Stimpy perfected on it. While in Nickelodeon, I did mention that many people referred to Rocko's Modern Life as a Ren and Stimpy clone, another show from Nickelodeon came out in October 1994 that was reviewed the same way. However, I believe that it holds up differently on its own. That show is Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.

The show was about monsters living in the sewers in their own underground world living their purpose of scaring humans. The main focus is about three monsters named Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina going to a monster school taught by a headmaster simply known as The Gromble. Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina go through their struggles to try to be the top monsters in the school while getting themselves in crazy situations in the human and monster world.

Each of the main three characters were different in their own way. Ickis looks like a rabbit and is portrayed as a timid, yet cocky monster trying to step out of his father's shadow and make his own name of being a scary monster. He can turn his eyes red and increase his size up to 8 feet.

Krumm is a strange looking blob-like monster with hair all over him, having to hold his eyes with his hands, and is known for having a terrible stench. It combines the smell of sweat, garbage, rotten eggs, and smelly feet and increased by 200%.

Oblina is the smartest one of the bunch. She's shaped like an upside down candy cane and has the ability to pull her guts from her mouth, shape shift her body into different forms, and stick her finger in a human's ear to induce nightmares. She has a European accent since she's a transfer student who comes from a wealthy family.

Their headmaster The Gromble cares for his students to do well scaring humans, although he insults them and yells at them. He has an assistant named Zimbo who looks like a bee who loves to induce punishment on the students if they behave badly.

In each episode, it focused on Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina interacting with their monster friends, doing homework assignments that mostly focused on scaring humans, getting themselves into trouble or getting out of trouble, and getting into crazy situations to keep the monster world and themselves a secret. While most people throughout the show didn't know of the monster's existence, only two people knew that monsters were real. One was a little boy that dressed up as a rabbit in the Halloween episode. He was accidentally confused as Ickis and was taking to the monster world alongside Krumm and Oblina. He would appear in another episode alongside a recurring character who believed that monsters were real, Simon the Monster Hunter. He appeared as a crazy man with wild ideas, but he always insisted that he was going to catch a monster to prove that he wasn't crazy. He would be a precursor character to other Nickelodeon characters like Mr. Crocker from The Fairly Odd Parents and Dib from Invader Zim who are perceived as crazy, although they were right about the existence of these supernatural and intergalactic creatures.

There were many toys and dolls of the Aaahh! Real Monsters characters that were released at toy stores and at Universal Studios. I never got the chance to get them and trying to buy them on eBay are next to impossible since they're really rare and expensive, especially the plush dolls of Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina.

The show was produced by Klasky Csupo, the same animation company who created Rugrats and Duckman. Gabor Csupo created this show alongside Rugrats storyboard writer Peter Gaffney. Just like Rugrats, the animation was unique and different than any other show at the time. Thanks to his European background and huge influence on The Beatles Yellow Submarine animated movie, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters was a strange looking show that emphasized on odd looking monsters and gross scenery.

As a kid, I even played the Aaahh!!! Real Monsters video game on the Sega Genesis. I remembered hating it because the controls were awful and I was confused on where to go, what to do, and how to play it. It's been years since I played it, but I remembered not having fun with it.

This show is still awesome to this very day. It's scary, gross, and funny. If you haven't seen it before or in a while, go buy the DVDs or see it on Netflix and check it out.

That's all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon.


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