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A series from the 1960s, which spawned a movie adaptation. Produced by Jay Ward of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame (the series, not the movie). George of the Jungle was an Animated Anthology, combining the George of the Jungle cartoons with Super Chicken and Tom Slick.
All three segments were full of the Post Modernism, No Fourth Wall, and satire that characterized Jay Ward's work. This series lasted only 17 episodes (1967), but has been rerun on various TV stations almost continuously for just over 40 years. The series has also earned a complete-series DVD release.
The George of the Jungle cartoons were a send-up of the Tarzan mythos. Square-jawed, dim-witted George was the king of the jungle. Almost every time he tried to swing to the rescue through the trees, he'd crash into one, usually while someone else was warning him, "Watch out for that..." WHAM! "...tree!". Not that unrealistic when you're swinging on a vine attached to said tree.
His wife, Ursula, was necessarily smarter and more refined. George would often refer to Ursula as a "fella", apparently having trouble with the whole gender thing.
George's elephant, Shep, was thought by George to be a giant dog, and apparently Shep believed it, too. The real brains of the outfit resided in the skull of an ape named Ape. He had an implausible Ronald Colman accent and was exceptionally well-read.
This cartoon earned a feature film Live Action Adaptation in 1997, with Brendan Fraser as George and Leslie Mann as Ursula. There was also a direct-to-video sequel in 2003, which had Christopher Showerman as George and Julie Benz as Ursula. ("Me new George. Studio too cheap to hire Brendan Fraser.") A second animated series premiered on Cartoon Network in 2008.
"Weird Al" Yankovic did a cover version of the George of the Jungle theme on his 1985 album Dare to Be Stupid. The song later appeared on the soundtrack of the 1997 live-action film.
The classic series provides examples of:
- All Animals Are Dogs: Shep, the elephant.
- An Ape Named Ape
- Distressed Damsel/Bound and Gagged: Ursula in at least three episodes.
- Since Ursula is an expy of Jane, well . . .
- Does Not Like Shoes: George and Ursula.
- Flat Joy: A running gag from the "Tom Slick" interstial shorts:
Announcer: And the crowd goes wild!
- Hulk Speak: George, being a Tarzan Expy, after all.
- Idiot Hero: George.
- Jungle Princess: Ursula.
- The Malaproper: Once again, George.
- Yiddish as a Second Language: Few animated series theme songs use words like "schlep" (literally, to drag along or carry something heavy) in their lyrics.
The 2008 series provides examples of:
- Ambiguously Brown: Ursula. By the sound of her dad's accent, she could be Latino.
- Balloon Belly: George, Ape, Ursula, Magnolia, and Tookie Wookie, in episode 13.
- Bare Your Midriff: Ursula and Magnolia.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: George's cousin Larry of the Jungle. Though he's not evil, just arrogant and really eager to win.
- Blue Eyes: Magnolia.
- The Cameo: Bullwinkle, as a head trophy, winks.
- Canon Foreigner: Magnolia, Ursula's dad, the Witch Doctor and Mitch.
- Carnivore Confusion
- Charles Atlas Superpower: George and Magnolia.
- Cheaters Never Prosper
- The Chosen One: George, several times in "Brother George".
- Does Not Like Shoes: George and Magnolia. Though George was seen wearing shoes in a couple of episodes. Magnolia's into fashion, especially shoes, yet she's always barefoot.
- A flashback showed that she may have worn shoes.
- Dumb Blonde: Ursula's cousins Stan and Carena.
- Expy: Magnolia is one of the original Ursula, oddly enough.
- Fiery Redhead: Magnolia.
- A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted
- Funny Afro: Magnolia's hair frizzes out into a huge one on hot days.
- Green Eyes: Ursula.
- Idiot Hero: George.
- Insult Backfire: In "Lucky Pants", after Tookie Tookie fly away with George's lucky "hat":
Ape: You've really got control of these animals, do you George?
George: Yes. Thank you for noticing.
- Intellectual Animal: Ape.
- Jungle Princess: Magnolia.
- Lampshade Hanging: In "My Own Private Hero", Ape noticed that George seems articulate when he was a baby.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: The fathers of both Ursula and Magnolia are mad scientists (well, in the case of the latter, a mad witch doctor).
- Magic Skirt: Magnolia.
- Misplaced Vegetation
- Misplaced Wildlife: There are orangutans, rabbits, squirrels, sloths, beavers, New World monkeys, and the Loch Ness Monster in Africa too.
- And panda bears.
- Mythology Gag: An episode where George believed he laid an egg, George imagines what his son "George Jr." will be like.
- Nothing Is Scarier: In "Afraid of Nothing", George becomes literally afraid of nothing.
- Race Lift: Ursula (from redhead to Ambiguously Brown).
- Ship Tease: George with both Ursula and Magnolia.
- Temple of Doom
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ursula and Magnolia.
- Valley Girl: Magnolia.
- Watch Where You're Going: Ursula and Magnolia run right into each other while fleeing from traps in the episode "Found Temple of Doom". George must be rubbing off on them however, because they both shrug it off.
- Youthful Freckles: Magnolia and Chuck.