The first graduating class of Cartoon Network's "World Premiere Toons" finds "Cow and Chicken" and "Johnny Bravo" with their own primetime series, joining the ranks of "Dexter's Laboratory." "Cow and Chicken" is the most exotic of the three, its tone and animation style akin to "Ren and Stimpy" with dialogue that straddles the "kids like it but only adults get it" humor line with mixed results.
The first graduating class of Cartoon Network’s “World Premiere Toons” finds “Cow and Chicken” and “Johnny Bravo” with their own primetime series, joining the ranks of “Dexter’s Laboratory.” “Cow and Chicken” is the most exotic of the three, its tone and animation style akin to “Ren and Stimpy” with dialogue that straddles the “kids like it but only adults get it” humor line with mixed results.“Cow and Chicken’s” 26-episode run will include two seven-minute “C and C” segs and an “I.M. Weasel.” Both use animation for surreal effect and the slam-bang plot twists keep interest level piqued even when material is less than top-notch. The duo resides with human parents as the unlikeliest of siblings — Chicken is an 11-year-old boy, Cow is a 7-year-old girl with visions of being a superhero — and their adventures stem from the elementary school they attend with humans. In episode one, Cow wins an essay contest and becomes an astronaut for a day; episode two finds the psychotic orthodontic cop recklessly putting braces on just about everyone in town. Humorous bit finds the desk officer unable to eat donuts due to the unauthorized metal apparatus. The conceptually wacky “I.M. Weasel,” which finds glee in slapping around the English language, finds the weasel in court challenging and rewriting the laws of gravity. Growing comfortable with I.M. Weasel will require a concerted effort. “C and C’s” animation has an appealing deftness throughout and Guy Moon’s frantic rockabilly theme and score buoy the onscreen energy. Charlie Adler does a fine Chicken vocal but Cow could use some refining — it’s too much of an imitation of girlishness that cuts against the genuine tenor of the other voices. After the premiere, show will air Fridays at 5:30 p.m. on the West Coast and 8:30 p.m. in the East.