The movie Beetlejuice became a critical and financial success for Tim Burton. With a budget of $15 million dollars, he was able to turn Michael McDowell and Warren Skaaren's story about a crazy and devious "bio-exorcist" into an instant hit and making over $73 million dollars. For many people, Beetlejuice was the movie that put Tim Burton on the map. So, when you have a huge hit such as Beetlejuice or any other movie in the 80's, what's next? Why, make it into an animated series, of course! So on September 9, 1989, three months after the release of Batman, Tim Burton created, developed, and executive produced an animated series simply known as Beetlejuice.
The show is about a goth girl named Lydia Deetz who is a bit abnormal among
the real world. She goes to an all girls' school called Miss Shannon's School
for Girls where she is seen as odd and eccentric compared to the other girls.
Afterwards, she goes to her room and says a chant that ends with her saying
"Beetlejuice" three times and she ends up calling him and entering into the
Netherworld. Beetlejuice is portrayed as a crazy, eccentric, over-the-top conman
who is hated by everyone in the Netherworld, except Lydia and his neighbors. His
neighbors consist of Ginger, a sweet, kind, tap-dancing spider, Jacques LaLean,
a French skeleton, and The Monster Across the Street, a tall hairy monster who
dislikes Beetlejuice, but likes and respects Lydia. In each episode, Beetlejuice
and Lydia travel around the Netherworld seeing all the crazy, spooky creatures
that live there. Also Beetlejuice ends up getting into trouble whether he's
trying to scam a monster or does something crazy to make money and Lydia scolds
him for being manipulating. However, Beetlejuice and Lydia continue to be the
best of friends.
So yeah, if you were a huge fan of the movie, you can plainly see that the
series has almost little to nothing compared to the movie. First of all, in the
movie, Beetlejuice was the antagonist of the series and only knew Lydia because
he wanted to forcefully marry her to have the ability to cause chaos in the real
world. In the cartoon, Beetlejuice and Lydia are best friends. In the cartoon,
there are no mentions of Adam and Barbera Maitland, Otho, Juno, or The
Handbook for the Recently Deceased, the book that was Lydia used to
communicate with the dead in the first place. Also Lydia's parents have no idea
about Beetlejuice or the Netherworld, while in the movie they do know about it.
Beetlejuice is portrayed as a goofier, more joking con artist in the cartoon
compared to the movie. He was toned down due to the cartoon being for kids.
Also the cartoon focuses its humor on gags and movie/TV references as oppose
to the movie which had a touch of dark comedy. The Netherworld looks completely
different as well. We don't even see the afterlife office and the desert where
the sandworms are has been expanded. Also, every town and section of the
Netherworld contains different terrains of land that is oddly drawn and
However, just because it's almost nothing like the movie, it doesn't mean you
shouldn't watch it. It's actually a pretty good animated series on its own. I
mean, sure it's not like The Real Ghostbusters in which it continues
the story from Ghostbusters seeing our heroes fight more ghosts,
Beetlejuice contains some really unique and creative aspecs that make
it stand on its own. First and foremost, the opening song to the show is
awesome! It's truly one of my favorite openings to any cartoon ever. Danny
Elfman, who did the music for the movie, did the music for the animated series
and it's captures perfectly the strangeness of the show. Also, Tim Burton did
the designs of the characters and the Netherworld which are strange, odd, and
creepy at the same time. It has his style written all over it. Not to mention
some of the jokes and gags can be pretty funny. The jokes are really clever and
can ride over kids' heads when seeing it. It was only when I was older when I
understood what they meant.
The show lasted for 4 seasons ending its run on May 7, 1992. Overall, if you
were a fan of the movie and you skipped on the cartoon, give it a chance. While
the cartoon has no connections to the movie, it does have enough original ideas
and quirkiness to stand out on its own. A lot of people were introduced to the
Beetlejuice cartoon first and had built an interest of seeing the
movie. At least Tim Burton was responsible for having the ability to do a
cartoon based on his movie. Trust me, it could've been worse. It could've been a
crappy movie based cartoon in which it has none of the charm from the source
My point exactly.
I would recommend checking this cartoon out. It's one of the best animated
series based on a movie.
That's all for now. Tune in next time as head over to Gotham City with
Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.