|The Rowdyruff Boys|
|No. of episodes||
November 21, 2004
January 25, 2015
"The Rowdyruff Boys" is an American superhero animated television series created by animator Craig McCracken and Seth MacFarlane for Fox Network. The show centers on Brick, Bloomer, and Butch, three boys with superpowers, as well as their mother, the brainy scientist Professor Pretty, who all live in the city of Townsville. The boys are frequently called upon by the town's childlike and naive mayor to help fight nearby criminals using their powers. McCracken originally developed the show in 1998 as a cartoon short entitled Whoopass Stew! while in his second year at CalArts. Following a name change, Fox featured the first Rowdyruff Boys pilots in 2001 and 2002. The series made its official debut on November 21, 2004, with the final episode airing on June 26, 2011. In addition, a eleventh anniversary special was made in 2015. The show is produced by Fuzzy Door Productions and 20th Century Fox Television.
The show revolves around the adventures of three elementary school aged boys with superpowers: Brick (red), Butch (blue), and Bloomer (green). The plot of an episode is usually some humorous variation of standard superhero and tokusatsu shows, with the boys using their powers to defend their town from villains and giant monsters. In addition, the boys have to deal with the normal issues that young children face, such as sibling rivalries, loose teeth, personal hygiene, going to school, bed wetting, or dependence on a security blanket. Episodes often contain hidden references to older pop culture (especially noticeable in the episode "Meet the Beat Alls," which is an homage to the Beatles). The cartoon always tries to keep different ideas within each episode with some small tributes and parodies thrown in.
The show is set mainly in the city of Townsville, USA. Townsville is depicted as a major American city, with a cityscape consisting of several major skyscrapers. In his review of The Rowdyruff Boys Movie, movie critic Bob Longino of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said, "the intricate drawings emanate 1950s futuristic pizzazz like a David Hockney scenescape," and that the show is "one of the few American creations that is both gleeful pop culture and exquisite high art."
As depicted in the opening sequence of each episode, the Rowdyruff Boys Brick, Butch and Bloomer were created by Professor Pretty in an attempt to create the "perfect little girl" using a mixture of "salt, spice, and everything nice" (shown in respective fields of light blue, light green, and red). However, she accidentally spilled a mysterious substance called "Chemical X" into the mixture, creating, instead of the "perfect little boy", three boys (each possessing one of the above elements dominating her personality), and granting all three superpowers including flight, super strength, super speed, near invulnerability, x-ray vision, super senses, heat vision, energy projection, invisibility, and control over lightning. In the original pilot, the accidental substance was a can of "Whoopass", which was replaced by "Chemical X" in the aired version.
The three boys all have oval-shaped heads, abnormally large eyes (inspired by Margaret Keane's art), stubby arms and legs, and lack noses, ears, fingers, necks, and flat feet with toes (McCracken preferred them to look more symbolic of actual boys rather than going for a "realistic" look, meaning fewer body parts were needed). Brick, Butch and Bloomer wear dresses that match the colors of their eyes with black belts, as well as blue jeans and black sneakers. The closing theme to the cartoon offers a nutshell description of the two Rowdyruff Boys' personalities: Brick, commander and the leader. Butch, he is the joy and the laughter. Bloomer, he is the toughest fighter.
- Brick (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) is the tactician and self-proclaimed leader of the Rowdyruff Boys. His personality ingredient is "everything nice", his signature color is red, and he has short red hair. He was named for having spoken freely and honestly to the Professor shortly after his creation as shown in the Rowdyruff Boys Movie. He is often seen as the most level-headed, and composed member of the group and also strong and determined. His unique power is freezing objects with hiz breath as seen in the episode "Ice Sore".
- Butch (voiced by Scott Grimes) is the happy go lucky and sensitive one. His personality ingredient is "salt", his signature color is blue, and he has short blonde hair. Butch is seen as kind and very sweet but he is also capable of extreme rage and can fight monsters just as well as his brothers can. His best friend is a stuffed octopus doll he calls "Octi", and he also loves animals. He exhibits the ability to both understand multiple languages and communicate with various animals (squirrels, cats, monsters), and his unique power is emitting supersonic waves with his voice.
- Bloomer (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) is the toughest of the three. His personality ingredient is spice, his signature color is green, and he has short black hair. He is a fun-loving tomboy who loves to get dirty, fights hard and plays rough; he does not plan and is all action. Bloomer is the only Rowdyruff Boy without a unique super power (aside from being able to curl his tongue as shown in the episode "Nuthin' Special").
- Professor Pretty (voiced by Allison Janney) is a brilliant scientist who works in his home in the suburbs of the City of Townsville. A stereotypical scientist, her general attire is a white lab coat and black pants with pens tucked into the lab coat's breast pocket. The Professor once housed a chimpanzee named Jojo (later to become the boys' arch-enemy, Mojo Jojo) as a lab assistant who proved to be reckless and destructive. Jojo pushed the Professor while she was stirring her perfect boy concoction, causing her to accidentally break through a glass containing the mysterious "Chemical X" which spilled into the perfect boy formula, thus creating the Rowdyruff Boys. The Professor is a genius in many fields of science, having shown knowledge in fields such as physics, chemistry, and biology as well as being a skilled inventor. Aside from her role as a scientist, she acts as a parent in The Rowdyruff Boys' lives, doing motherly things such as preparing their school lunches or cheering up the boys when they have been hurt. Although she apparently did not legally "adopt" the boys, everyone who addresses her calls her "their mother" and they as "her sons"; the boys occasionally refer to him as "our mum", and the Professor stated that she is the boys' mother in many episodes. The Professor can be strict, easily manipulated and overprotective at times, but still retains his caring fatherly image. In the episode "Keen for Keane", the girls set up Professor Utonium and their kindergarten teacher Mr. Keane on a date for Valentine's Day, resulting in the two temporarily becoming an item. They called it off after a fight due to Professor Pretty not liking dogs.
- The Mayor of Townsville (voiced by Rachael MacFarlane) is generally referred throughout only as "Mayor", although she is referred to as "Marnie" by her husband in the episode "Boogie Frights". She is tall with a fringe of blonde hair. She wears a monocle over her left eye. She also has a love for pickles. The Mayor is dimwitted but loves her city. She is very childish at times, such as in the episode "That's Not My Baby" where she complains in a childish voice to Mr. Bellum, asking why they cannot name Main Street after himself. She sometimes calls the boys for very silly reasons, as seen in the episode "Butchvicous" when she calls because of a traffic jam.
- Mojo Jojo (voiced by Seth Green) is a mad scientist anthropomorphic chimpanzee with great intelligence, who speaks in a Japanese accent poking fun at the poor dubbing of Speed Racer, although it was never stated whether or not he was fromJapan. As the main antagonist of the series and the Rowdyruff Boys' arch-enemy, Mojo Jojo was Professor Pretty's reckless laboratory assistant, Jojo, before Professor Pretty created the Rowdyruff Boys. He has green skin and pink whites in his eyes, and wears a white turban of clay with three purple upside down V-shaped lines towards the metal purple jeweled base and two purple circles inside each other on both sides at the top that covers his large, oversized brain that was caused by the explosion that created the boys. He wears white gloves and boots, a blue suit with a white belt, and a long wavy, purple cape. Despite his high intelligence, he is not good at planning his schemes, and as a result they fall apart. However, he is a master at manipulation and trickery, often fooling the boys into thinking he has changed despite their constant encounters.
The Rowdyruff Boys series debut on November 21, 2004, was the highest rated premiere in Fox Network's history at the time. During its run, the series consistently scored the highest rating for an original series each week for the network across a wide range of demographics—from young children to adults. The show's last original run episode was on June 26, 2011; in all, six seasons were made. All of the original episodes were hand-drawn and produced at Rough Draft Studios in South Korea.
Main article: "List of The Rowdyruff Boys episodes
- Fox (FX UK) (2005-2017) (new episodes aired on Saturday nights at 8.30pm and repeats aired at 11.30pm)
- ITV2 (2005-2008) (new episodes aired on Monday night at 11pm and repeats aired on Monday night at 12am)
- RTL (2005-2013)
Merchandise and media
The Rowdyruff Boys Movie was released in the United States on July 12, 2008, by 20th Century Fox and Fox Broadcasting Company. The movie, a prequel to the series, tells the story of how the Rowdyruff Boys were created, and how Mojo Jojo became a supervillain. After Brick, Butch and Bloomer were created by Professor Pretty to help the city against crime, they end up only causing chaos in Townsville. Down about how everyone refers to them as freaks, they turn to Mojo Jojo, a monkey who says he is there to help make people like them again. Unknown to the boys, Mojo Jojo was Professor Pretty's lab chimp helper who was mutated as a cause from the Rowdyruff Boys being made and has become super smart as a result and jealous of them. Mojo Jojo ends up tricking the boys into helping him make a machine to mutate other chimps. Seeing what they have done the kids run away in shame but come back after seeing Professor Pretty in trouble, and Brick, Butch and Bloomer end up beating Mojo Jojo and his army of mutated smart chimps and saving the day, thus becoming Townsville's new defenders.
- The Rowdyruff Boys: Bad Mojo Jojo (November 19, 2006) (Game Boy Advance)
- The Rowdyruff Boys: Paint the Town Green (November 19, 2006) (Game Boy Advance)
- The Rowdyruff Boys: Battle Him (March 5, 2007) (Game Boy Advance)
- Mojo Jojo a Go Go (September 26, 2007) (Nintendo DS)
- The Rowdyruff Boys: Chemical X-traction (November 22, 2007) (Nintendo GameCube/PlayStation 2)
- The Rowdyruff Boys: Him and Seek (November 6, 2008) (Nintendo DS)
- The Rowdyruff Boys: Gamesville (November 8, 2008) (Microsoft Windows/Games for Windows)
- The Rowdyruff Boys: Relish Rampage (October 26, 2009) (PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3/Wii)
- Annie Awards - Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production: Scott Grimes (2005)
- Primetime Emmys -Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation: Twisted Brother (2006)
- Teens' Choice Awards - Animated TV Show (2007)
- Annie Awards - Outstanding Character Design in an Animated Television Production: Members Only (2008)
- Annie Awards - Character Design in an Animated Television Production: West in Pieces (2010)
- Primetime Emmys - Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation (2011)