One of the first Cartoon Network shows that I watched as a kid was I Am Weasel and it stuck with me until today. The show overall had a pretty nice plot but most of what I remember about the show are the I.R. Baboons goofy jokes and crazy ideas that he had. Now when I rewatched the show for the second time I thought that I knew what I.R. represented; Dunning–Kruger effect. On the other hand, Weasel was always a smart guy, the typical hero who always got the girl. So let’s explore and see what went right and what went wrong with one of the most beloved cartoons from the 90s.
Analysis and breakdown of I Am Weasel show [1997-1999]
I Am Weasel as a show presents us with two spectrums of people: I Am Weasel and I.R. Baboon. I Am Weasel is a humble guy who puts others first and is super smart, charming, has a good heart, and he’s a hothead. On the other spectrum, we have an I.R. Baboon who always fails miserably. I.R. Baboon doesn’t understand the complexity of things, as he always overstates his intellectual abilities. In the episode “I.R. on the Sun,” Weasel refuses to go to the Sun because, as he said, “it’s too hot out there.” Now guess who accepted this bizarre request from Admiral Bullets? It was hilarious for me at that age, and it’s still funny today how Admiral persuaded him. Since Baboon understood that it might be dangerous to go because it was too hot during the day, the Admiral told him that they were going to conduct the mission at night. As always, Weasel saves Baboon, and the two rocket ships crash into the Sun. It was so funny to see that more baboons were scratching their butts and heads; with more rockets that crashed on the Sun, implying that you have to be a monkey to accept such a proposal.
Overall, the show doesn’t have many new or memorable characters from Cartoon Network. I Am Weasel mixed Baboon and Weasel with Cow and Chicken and they got a whole new show. For starters, Red Guy is in every episode from the second season till the end of the show. This was kind of a weird and uncreative move, but I liked how the show was self-critical of this. In the fourth season, there is an episode titled “I am clichéd” where the Red Guy takes over the show and promises that he’ll write new stories with original plots and jokes, and promises no clichés. As the episodes go on, we can all see the most famous clichés. They were mostly ripoffs of Looney Tunes, and there’s a good reason why. In the beginning, Cartoon Network didn’t have any of its original shows, so they just broadcasted shows from other studios. The most iconic part of the episode is when Baboon is the Elmer Fudd and Weasel is Bugs Bunny. During the last episode titled “I Are Legend,” it appears that Baboon, Weasel, and Red Guy are the only three beings on the planet. However, at the very end of the episode, it’s revealed that everyone was at their home watching I Am Weasel, but because of Baboon, he’s the real star of the show. This was an unpredictable ending, and it’s not something that a lot of shows did.
Memorable characters from I Am Weasel
Good Guys: Loulabelle, I Am Weasel, Baby Grandpa, Admiral Bullets, Jolly Roger
Bad Guys: Red Guy
Does I Am Weasel need a reboot, a sequel, or none?
I Am Weasel deserves no reboot or sequel because I.R. Baboon and I Am Weasel carried the show alongside Red Guy on their backs. It’s done what it could, and since it didn’t bring a lot of new characters, Cow and Chicken are still the parents of I Am Weasel, and most of the characters are borrowed from that show, including the Red Guy, who is the main and the only villain in the whole cartoon. They’ve done a great job with the characters of I.R. Baboon and I Am Weasel, yet nothing new or innovative was in the show. Even if there was ever a rerun for any of these shows, this one would probably be at the bottom of the list. When I rewatched a couple of episodes, it felt like being a child again, but the number of characters was too low, and they were not developed well. As you can see from most memorable bad guys above, there’s only one: Red Guy. I get it; it’s an anthology cartoon, but so was Cow and Chicken, and I still remember Salilcat, for example.
In the long run, maybe they should’ve made the show a bit more interesting; Baboon and I.R. aired for five seasons! That’s longer than Cow and Chicken, but the problem was that Cow and Chicken were a bit more offensive and graphical. Overall, I liked the show, and it has a lot of funny jokes and references, but it’s solely because of I.R. Baboon and I Am Weasel. Without them and the Red Guy, the show lacks substance, and the other characters are easily forgettable. Cow and Chicken appeared in a crossover a couple of times, but that didn’t help the show. It probably did more for Cow and Chicken than it ever did for I Am Weasel. Just like every The Simpsons and Family Guy crossover always did a great job for The Simpsons; it never did anything for Family Guy. That’s at least what Family Guy told its audience in an episode following the crossover.
Image Credits: Cartoon Network Studios