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Cow and Chicken

From Academic Kids

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Cow and Chicken is a cartoon series, created by David Feiss, first broadcast on the Cartoon Network from 1997 to 1999. The series tells of the adventure of a sister Cow and her brother Chicken with The Red Guy, a silly devil-like character who wears no pants and is probably from hell. Like Dexter's Laboratory from the same network, the original pilot appeared as an episode of the series What-A-Cartoon!.

Cartoons frequently have a bizarre scenario – in this case a brother and sister who are a chicken and a cow, but have human parents. Creators are faced with the question of whether and how to explain this scenario. Sometimes opening credits are cumbersome vehicles for an origin story. David Feiss approached this problem with gusto: an opening song goes Mama had a chicken/Mama had a cow/Dad was proud/He didn't care how. This is all that is ever offered in explanation, though there is one hint in that the children have a cousin Boneless, who is a boneless chicken (unable to walk or get up from the floor). The episodes take the scenario and run with it with a manic energy that is also seen in cartoons like Ren and Stimpy.

The series draws on the clichés of cartoons. For example, Cow has an alter-ego Supercow, who is a superhero with different chararactistics to her normal character (such as flight, and the ability to speak Spanish); and the Red Guy tries in vain to discover Supercow's secret identity even as he torments Cow. The children seem unable to enter water without inadvertently doing so in the proximity of a large and dangerous waterfall. The children's parents, who are called Mom and Dad, exist only from the waist down, and can be seen to stop at the waist (whenever their shadows appear, they are cut off at the waist); this seems to be a clear tribute to Mammy Two-Shoes (http://mammytwoshoes.tripod.com/), the owner of Tom in early Tom and Jerry cartoons, who is only ever in shot from the waist down.

A single actor, Charlie Adler, voiced all three of the leading parts. While this practice was commonplace in cartoons of the 1940s and 1950s, thanks to the talents of Mel Blanc, it is much rarer in work of the 1990s. Other actors provided supporting voices, however, including Dan Castellaneta (Earl), the voice of Homer Simpson.

See also: I Am Weasel.

External links

Cow and Chicken in other languages

nl:Cow and Chicken

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