Occasionally, the Time Dilation Accelerator defies the laws of space and time by going back to review the best (or the weirdest) aspects of the early 90s.
Since the Intrepid is Canadian, it’s only fair that we follow Can-Con regulations and devote forty per cent of our articles to Canadian topics. So, without further ado, we present Canada’s crowning cultural achievement: The Smoggies (or Stop the Smoggies as it was known in the U.S.). The series, which was produced by Cinar Animation in 1988, was a brilliant combination of humour and subtle environmental messages. The characters in the show were original and well thought out, and the opening theme was just kick-ass.
In case the wretched screenshot didn’t give it away already, we’re lying. This show was fucking awful. It had bad animation, idiotic plot lines, and some of the lamest environmental dribble on television. If you were stuck watching this show you prayed that it would be interrupted by a news bulletin or that the transmission tower would collapse.
We don’t mind if a show has an environmental message—there are lots of great eco-friendly shows out there—but when a show tries to cram a moral message down our throats through a lame plot, we tend to get a little steamed. As cartoons go, The Smoggies was pretty predictable. In each episode, the show’s villains (the Smoggies) hatched a downright idiotic plan to steal the “magic coral” from the island-dwelling Suntots. Even though the “magic coral” didn’t exist, the Suntots would always have to intervene to stop the Smoggies, because their schemes would usually be bad for the environment.
One of our biggest problems with the show was the portrayal of the Smoggies. The villains, Emma, Clarence, and Pluto, seem to go out of their way to pollute without any rhyme or reason. Take their ship: the only fucking thing it does is pollute. Even when it’s anchored and no-one’s aboard there’s smoke coming out of the ship’s funnel, waste is being dumped over the side, and oil is leaking out of the bottom. We don’t think cartoons should be entirely realistic, but if you’re trying to send a strong environmental message then maybe the pollution should be, you know, believable. Even Captain Planet’s villains didn’t pollute this much.
Our second problem is with the opening theme, which just seems to go on forever and ever and ever. Okay, the thing is only two minutes long, but in cartoon terms, that’s an eternity—especially when the average early 90s cartoon theme was only a minute. Another reason why we hate the opening theme is because it’s so damn catchy. No wonder those of us who grew up in the 90s are all eco-friendly pinko-commies now; we still can’t get this stupid theme out of our heads.
Have you met the Smoggies?
We love the soot and grime,
We make the whole world dirty,
And we have a real good time.
We love to make things messy,
Just as dirty as can be,
And you can bet we'll mess you up
Finally, the creators of this show were just downright lazy: each episode was the damn same, the bad guys were stereotypical buffoons, and instead of coming up with an original look for the Suntots, they just made them eco-friendly Troll dolls. Besides the opening theme, there’s really nothing redeemable about The Smoggies. This is eco-dreck in its worst form: a sloppy mass distributed cartoon.
All images come from the opening theme to The Smoggies.