Much like how it’s amazing how such movies of the 90s such as Wayne’s World and Space Jam still hold up for many people even if they are products ahead of the time, but even something like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure still holds up to this day so much so that people are still clamoring to see the third movie for this, which apparently is still being developed so, who knows? We might be getting that soon.
But like with most surprise successful movies, there’s a TV adaptation of it, this is the animated series for that, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures:
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures is a 1990 spin-off animated television series following the misadventures of two time-travelling slackers as they travel into the distant past and future. It was based on the 1989 film, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and is part of the Bill & Ted franchise.
The first season was produced by Hanna-Barbera and aired on CBS, with Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, and Bernie Casey reprising their film roles.
First off, it’s impressive that they got most of the cast from the films to reprise their roles from the movies to the animated shows. You hardly ever get to see that. I mean, Keanu Reeves in 1990 was not the massive megastar he was about to become at that point but he was still a well known actor from his work in Parenthood and the first Bill & Ted movie, George Carlin is always a recognizable name, I’m shocked they were able to get most of the cast to come back for a Saturday morning cartoon.
Plus coming from Hanna Barbera of all companies, the animation on the show looked pretty damn good especially in the later years of the studio, the CG is a little too fake by today’s standards but hey, it was a product of the early 90s.
The fact the cast came back and there was good animation actually made the first season of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures kind of awesome, even watching it as an adult, it’s still pretty cool to see the main cast from the movie returning for the series and still working off that great chemistry everybody had in the movie. There’s a lot of legitimately entertaining episodes in that first season and I wished they would’ve kept it going into the second year.
Unfortunately, they didn’t. In the second season, the show switched production companies and networks, now airing on Fox Kids and produced by DIC Entertainment. As Fox was also planning on airing a new live-action series of the same name, the cast was replaced, and the leads were now voiced by Evan Richards and Christopher Kennedy, the actors who respectively portrayed Bill and Ted on the short-lived series. The new episodes introduced a “Squint” phone booth that could take Bill and Ted into literature, television shows, and (after shrinking them) inside the human body. The new show had trouble catching on, and after one more season, Bill and Ted was cancelled.
Yeah, you know how awesome the opening to the original animated series with the great Hanna Barbera animation, take a look at how DIC changed this up:
Oh sweet mother of god, what happened? First off, wow do both Bill & Ted look completely off, plus you’ve got that DIC animation style where a lot of it looks impressive but at the same time, there’s not really much movement to it. I mean, you look at the intro for the Hanna Barbera version and you could see a lot more fluent animation in the way the characters moved. With this, it’s like the budget was cut in half and they got pale imitators to do the voices for the characters as many of the cast didn’t return for this. Hell, the Bill & Ted Halloween shows at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights are better replacements than the people they got. Plus, they complicate the story even more to where the show just becomes unwatchable. The animation is even choppier in this, it looks so generic and, again, very choppy.
Overall, if you do want to see the continuing adventures of Bill & Ted inbetween films, you should definitely watch the first season of the show for the better animation, better voice cast, and the better stories but for the love of god, avoid the half assed second season by all costs.
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