Laser Time – Animated Endings That Mattered

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In the land of Western animation, televised ‘toons rarely receive a true finale. These are the few, proud cartoons that gave us closure. RIP Aqua Teen…

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33 thoughts on “Laser Time – Animated Endings That Mattered

  1. I’m very curious to see what will happen the day the Simpsons is actually cancelled. I’m not saying this in an “I want it to end” kind of way, but it’s inevitable. Will it go out with a bang? Will it be more of the same? Will it be cancelled between seasons because of contract disputes and fade away? Even as someone who stopped watching during the earl teen seasons (13 or 14 maybe?), I still think the show deserves better than that. It is kind of the most likely outcome though…

  2. I recently looked up the Pepper Ann finale.

    Cartoon finales I like not mentioned are
    Kim Possible
    Codename KND
    6teen
    Generator Rex
    Avatar TLA
    Not Korra, Fuck Korra, Korra sucks past season 1.
    Xmen Evolution
    Wolverine and the Xmen
    Xiaolin Showdown
    Danny Phantom
    Chowder
    GI Joe Renegades
    Harvey Birdman

    And ones that need better finales
    Spectacular Spiderman
    Young Justice
    Gargoyles
    Thundercats 2011
    Metalocalypse

    1. Most of those in “need better finales” are more “need finales”. If a show ends gets cancelled right in the middle and there’s no closer at all, I wouldn’t even call that a finale.

  3. The Young Justice ending is such a freaking gut-punch. Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes SHOULD have had an amazing one, but the final half-season of that just fucking derailed everything. (And Chris is predictably wrong, the JL/JLU voiceover is phenomenal. Jeffrey Combs and Michael Rosenbaum alone make it impossible to say it sucks.)

    “The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings” from Futurama is one of my 2 or 3 favorite TV half hours ever. Shame they had to go and wreck it by not making the Comedy Central episodes implants before that one.

  4. I’ve watched Aqua Teen since the beginning, and I never knew Shake was saying, “Dancing is forbidden” in the song. I always thought it was, “This thing is stupid,” or something.

  5. Also, on Harvey Birdman’s status as an Adult Swim launch series:

    It definitely aired in the original Labor Day weekend bloc with Home Movies, Space Ghost, Brak Show, Sealab, ATHF and Cowboy Bebop. However, because they didn’t have enough in the can (like HM, which had 7-8 unaired episodes plus the UPN run) and was being made at a “proper” animation studio rather than being done in Flash or cobbled together from 70s footage slapped over new backgrounds, they got behind FAST and it vanished for nearly a year after only 3-4 weeks. Brak Show ran out of new episodes around the same time, but for some reason they kept running it and running it and running it instead of giving it a rest too.

  6. Youse guys do know that Darkseid immediately outsmarts and kicks Superman’s ass after the World of Cardbaord Speech and Darkseid wins by finally solving the AntiLife Equation and he and Lex Luthor just straight up peace out of Earth.

  7. Great episode.

    I’m glad Chris loves that World of Cardboard clip so much, cause I remember being the one that introduced him to it because it was my answer to the Cape Crisis “What’s your favorite Superman moment” question.

  8. This shot up to the #1 spot as my all time favorite Laser Time episode. Most of the shows that were mentioned on the show covers so much of my later childhood and early adulthood. All credit for my avatar goes to LT for one of it’s previous animated episodes, which discussed Home Movies. That really triggered old memories of how much I loved that show. I have to say, I don’t remember the ending being that sad. I have the series queued up on Hulu and I look forward to binge watching it in the near future. I’ll stop now because I can go on and on. Great episode.

  9. OH MAAAAAH GAAAAAWD! you came back from break with Spartikus and the sun beneath the sea! that sent cold chills down my spine! my eyes started tearing up because that show meant so much to me as a kid. it’s SO FRENCH! I love it! that and Mysterious cities if Gold were my animated holy grail in a pre internet world. and yep. decades later they did a follow up series where they continue their adventures looking for the rest of the cities of gold.

  10. this episode had a slightly from ending talking about one of you guys dying.
    that would really suck. you guys are like family now.
    that cousin you don’t see a lot but still chat with on Skype of Facebook regularly.
    but family none the less.
    stay happy and healthy guys. happy and healthy.

  11. I loved Aqua Teen for years. But I basically stopped watching it five years ago. I bought Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 on DVD, and when I tried to watch the DVD on my computer, it was copy protected and wouldn’t play at all. It pissed me off paying for something only to find out it was completely restricted.

    There’s no streaming options (Hulu still isn’t available in Canada). The only seasons available on iTunes are pre-2011. I guess I could just pirate it, which I generally make a point of not doing for whatever reaosn. I just think it’s incredibly short sighted to restrict access to a show so much that you feel like the only viable option to keep watching it is to pirate it.

  12. Great episode, the one I remember as a child was the end of the American Transformers G1 cartoon called “The Rebirth”. It was even more of a commercial for the toys than usual as they crammed in as many 1987 figures as they could into three 30 minute episodes.

    I had no idea back then that Transformers and GI Joe cartoons were done and I’m sure Chris will not like this, but I was so pissed when DuckTales and Chip n Dale’s Rescue Rangers took Transformers and GI Joe’s time slots and refused to watch those children’s cartoons. Which in hindsight makes me questions my 10-11 year old taste.

  13. I wonder what will happen when Matt and Trey finally get sick of doing those insane week long Heracles impressions to crank out South Park, they used to be able to nail bitter-sweetness.

  14. Anytime you guys talk about animation, its the best. I’m glad Mikel mentioned the TMNT first season, it gets overlooked a lot how complete it was.

    I also vividly remember the morning I got up and David the Gnome was on and they happened to be showing that final episode. I think it was the first time I had seen a cartoon actually have an ending.

  15. Sealab 2021 had an ending, mostly because they just had to. When Harry Goz, the voice of Captain Murphy, died during season 3, they tried to keep the show going. It was still funny, but it just wasn’t the same, and I’m sure they knew it. So they ended the show with a parody of those cheesy cast reunion shows where they look back on their greatest hits, and then slyly transitioned to a tribute to Captain Murphy/Harry Goz at the end that ended up being quit touching. Not exactly waterworks, but it did bring a tear to my eye.

    Also, I had no fucking idea what you were talking about with David the Gnome until you mentioned Swift. I barely remember that show, but I do remember that Swift was the only character I liked.

  16. The Spongebob Squarepants Movie acts as a great finale to the show even though it continued past the original show-runner’s initial three seasons. The movie is also a spectacular animated movie anyway.

  17. Hmm, I wonder if you’re thinking about Today’s Special whenever you guys talk about Pinwheel being from Canada. It was another live action show that occasionally had animated stuff from elsewhere, and was definitely from Canada. Pinwheel was a show made in the US, premiered on a Columbus, Ohio cable channel exclusively for a couple of years, and was produced by a couple of ex Sesame Street people.

  18. Man this was such a good episode!
    I’m so glad you guys mentioned The Mysterious Cities of Gold…. that series was so formative for me. I loved finding out about the Incas, Aztecs, Mayans and Olmecs. The MCOG series 2 came out earlier in the year and follows the adventure pretty much straight after the last series ended 30 years ago, it’s well worth a look but it doesn’t have the amazing soundtrack of the original.
    I’m surpirsed that you guys didn’t mention Ulysses 31 (made by the guys who created MCOG), Dogtanian and the Muskahounds (also Intenationale) and Around the World in 80 Days with Willie Fogg. All were sequential animated series and all had great endings.
    Anyways, love the podcast guys!

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