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'Samurai Jack'

By

Samurai Jack

Samurai Jack

Turner Broadcasting System

Introduction to 'Samurai Jack':

Samurai Jack is a cartoon that originally aired on August 7, 2001. The cartoon is as popular with adults as the Powerpuff Girls.

Premise:

In the distant past, an evil shape-shifter named Aku has brought destruction upon the land. As the citizens' last hope, a youngster is sent away to train as a samurai warrior. When he returns as an adult to confront Aku, the warrior finds himself flung into the future through a time portal, landing in an unknown time and place. There, the locals dub him "Jack" and help him in his quest to return to the past and undo the evil brought by Aku.

Creator:

Samurai Jack is a bold adventure show from Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Dexter's Laboratory.

'Entertainment Weekly' Review of Samurai Jack:

Mike Flaherty at Entertainment Weekly says, "Well, short attention spans be damned, because "Samurai Jack" -- the lushly animated tale of a time-and-space-traveling hero who battles a shape-shifting nemesis named Aku -- has become an unlikely breakout hit for kiddie cabler the Cartoon Network."

'Time' Review of 'Samurai Jack':

The August 13th, 2002 issue of Time says, "in an era of chatty, hyper'toons, this action show knows when to stand still and shut up. Tartakovsky uses generous pauses for drama and laughs, and has no problem going 10 minutes at a stretch without dialogue...You might call Samurai Jack a soba western, or sashimi sci-fi. Either way, you'll slurp it up."

'Sci Fi' Review of 'Samurai Jack':

Kathie Huddleston of Scifi.com says, "In an attempt to transcend ordinary cartoons, Tartakovsky has combined different animation and music styles to create something unique. With its exciting action sequences, striking visuals and its odd combination of everything from traditional to modern to the bizarre, Samurai Jack does indeed have an impressive style of its own."

Animation:

Samurai Jack's adventures and battles are portrayed through a groundbreaking style that combines stylized cartooning, minimal dialogue, split-screen visuals, rich backgrounds and pulsating music--making Samurai Jack a true Cartoon Network original.

My Two Cents:

I love the style of the cartoon. It has the same stop-action sort of animation that Speed Racer had, but the graphics are more edgy to fit with an Eastern theme. There is virtually no dialogue, which allows your eyes and brain to soak in the story without being distracted. When there is dialogue, it is sophisticated and intelligent.

The show is appealing to adults because it's focus is storytelling, not teaching children. For instance, Jack is a loner, and always will be. There's no "very special" episode where Jack learns how to make friends. A good story is a good story, no matter what age you are.

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