Fanboy and Chum Chum

Title turns out to be significantly more inviting than the actual show.

With:
Voices: Fanboy - David Hornsby Chum Chum - Nika Futterman Kyle - Jamie Kennedy The Oz - Josh Duhamel Oz's Mother - Estelle Harris Lenny - Wyatt Cenac

Scheduled to piggyback on the latest “SpongeBob SquarePants” special, the title for Nickelodeon’s “Fanboy and Chum Chum” turns out to be significantly more inviting than the actual show. Destined for a regular Saturday-morning berth, this frenetic series mixes computer and “squash and stretch” animation to concoct an appealing-enough look, but the premiere proves thematically muddled — relying more on noise than coherence.

Fanboy (voiced by David Hornsby) is described as a comicbook-loving 11-year-old boy, but other than the superhero costume he wears in class (a kind of “El Kabong” look), you’d be hard-pressed to grasp any of that from the two 11-minute shorts in the premiere. He’s flanked at all times by his sidekick Chum Chum (Nika Futterman) — the Sancho Panza to his Don Quixote, or, perhaps more aptly, the Phineas to his Ferb.

In the first part, Fanboy jousts with a new kid who claims to be an actual wizard, yielding a vague Harry Potter riff that never really takes shape. The second story has a classmate offering to trade Fanboy a coveted action figure in exchange for Chum Chum, which, again, doesn’t yield much more than a whole lot of screaming. And while that formula sometimes works for kids, parents will be sent from the room emitting a similar sound.

Created by Eric Robles, the series has a bright, energetic look and even an appealing premise in theory, capitalizing on the avidness of young boys blessed (or cursed) with the fan gene. If only the show did more to crystallize that point, instead of bouncing around like a member of its target audience desperately in need of Ritalin.

There’s no telling, of course, what will grab children’s fancy. After all, who could have initially predicted “SpongeBob’s” improbable endurance? Still, unless the stories become considerably stronger, it’s difficult to imagine “Fanboy” earning many fanboys of its own.

Fanboy and Chum Chum

Nickelodeon, Fri. Nov. 6, 9 p.m.

Production: Produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studios. Executive producers, Eric Robles, Fred Seibert, Steve Tompkins; director, Jim Schumann; writer, Tompkins.

Crew: Art director, Chad Woods; storyboard, Andy Kelly; voice director, Ginny McSwain; music, Brad Breeck. RUNNING TIME: 30 MIN.

Cast: Voices: Fanboy - David Hornsby Chum Chum - Nika Futterman Kyle - Jamie Kennedy The Oz - Josh Duhamel Oz's Mother - Estelle Harris Lenny - Wyatt Cenac

More TV

  • ROSEANNE - "Netflix & Pill" -

    'Roseanne': What's Next for ABC's Spinoff

    Scheduled to piggyback on the latest “SpongeBob SquarePants” special, the title for Nickelodeon’s “Fanboy and Chum Chum” turns out to be significantly more inviting than the actual show. Destined for a regular Saturday-morning berth, this frenetic series mixes computer and “squash and stretch” animation to concoct an appealing-enough look, but the premiere proves thematically muddled […]

  • D'Arcy Carden The Good Place

    Emmys: Will Critical Darlings Like 'The Good Place' and 'Killing Eve' Find a Foothold?

    Scheduled to piggyback on the latest “SpongeBob SquarePants” special, the title for Nickelodeon’s “Fanboy and Chum Chum” turns out to be significantly more inviting than the actual show. Destined for a regular Saturday-morning berth, this frenetic series mixes computer and “squash and stretch” animation to concoct an appealing-enough look, but the premiere proves thematically muddled […]

  • ROSEANNE - "Netflix & Pill" -

    The 'Roseanne' Spinoff Can't Escape Roseanne (Column)

    Scheduled to piggyback on the latest “SpongeBob SquarePants” special, the title for Nickelodeon’s “Fanboy and Chum Chum” turns out to be significantly more inviting than the actual show. Destined for a regular Saturday-morning berth, this frenetic series mixes computer and “squash and stretch” animation to concoct an appealing-enough look, but the premiere proves thematically muddled […]

  • Lagardere Studios' Imagissime Unveils New Documentaries

    Lagardere Studios' Imagissime Unveils New Slate of Documentaries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Scheduled to piggyback on the latest “SpongeBob SquarePants” special, the title for Nickelodeon’s “Fanboy and Chum Chum” turns out to be significantly more inviting than the actual show. Destined for a regular Saturday-morning berth, this frenetic series mixes computer and “squash and stretch” animation to concoct an appealing-enough look, but the premiere proves thematically muddled […]

  • Laura Ingraham

    Laura Ingraham Is Under Madison Ave.'s Microscope Again

    Scheduled to piggyback on the latest “SpongeBob SquarePants” special, the title for Nickelodeon’s “Fanboy and Chum Chum” turns out to be significantly more inviting than the actual show. Destined for a regular Saturday-morning berth, this frenetic series mixes computer and “squash and stretch” animation to concoct an appealing-enough look, but the premiere proves thematically muddled […]

  • One Day At A Time, Vida

    How 'Vida' and 'One Day at a Time' Make the Political Personal (Column)

    Scheduled to piggyback on the latest “SpongeBob SquarePants” special, the title for Nickelodeon’s “Fanboy and Chum Chum” turns out to be significantly more inviting than the actual show. Destined for a regular Saturday-morning berth, this frenetic series mixes computer and “squash and stretch” animation to concoct an appealing-enough look, but the premiere proves thematically muddled […]

  • Dan Fogelman, Debra Birnbaum and Mandy

    Remote Controlled: 'This Is Us' Creator Dan Fogelman and Star Mandy Moore Tease 'Exciting' Season 3

    Scheduled to piggyback on the latest “SpongeBob SquarePants” special, the title for Nickelodeon’s “Fanboy and Chum Chum” turns out to be significantly more inviting than the actual show. Destined for a regular Saturday-morning berth, this frenetic series mixes computer and “squash and stretch” animation to concoct an appealing-enough look, but the premiere proves thematically muddled […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content