College Media Network

'Chowder' debuts on TV

Robert Rich

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Published: Sunday, November 4, 2007

Updated: Friday, January 9, 2009

'Chowder' is a new cartoon from UT graduate C.H. Greenblatt, a storyboard artist who has worked on "Spongebob Squarepants" and

"The Grim Adventures Of Billy and Mandy." The show, which premiered on Cartoon Network Friday, follows Chowder, a young boy in the midst of a chef's apprenticeship in Marzipan City. All Chowder wants to do is become a great chef like Mung Daal, his master, but his out-of-control hunger and desire to eat (or at least taste) everything in sight hinders him.

It's no surprise that the show offers little in the way of originality, as the current state of cartoons isn't anything to write home about. Therefore, "Chowder" has to hope that what it lacks in uniqueness it makes up for in execution. Does it?

Sort of. Chowder is the typical gullible youngster with a one-toothed, off-balanced grin. His inability to bring back a load of groceries without eating half of them isn't cute, it's a little disturbing. It's also ironic considering the societal fear of overweight children, at a time when cupcakes are cited as the No. 1 murderer of kids (watch The Daily Show). But according to the show, his insatiable appetite is a good thing, as it's that hankering for food that saves the day in the first episode.

There are a few bright spots on the show in the form of the backup characters. The best is Shnitzel, a rock monster that is also employed at Mung Daal's bakery. Chowder's hijinks often inadvertently harm Shnitzel and put him in a bad light. That, coupled with years of cleaning up after the young boy's messes, have made him the epitome of a disgruntled employee. The kicker is that Shnitzel doesn't speak in any intelligible language, instead saying ""Ra-da Ra-da" over and over again during his dialogue (if it's a short response his answer is simply "Ra"). The comedic value here is all in the tone of the voice, a characteristic John DiMaggio has completely covered. He is the voice of Bender, after all.

Another great side character is Gazpacho, a dimwitted elephant storekeeper who sells strange foods to his customers. He often ends up counseling Chowder, in turn confusing the young boy and altering his worldview. In the second episode of the series, where Chowder's rival apprentice Panini claims to be his girlfriend and kisses him, Gazpacho tells him that he has to marry Panini to save her reputation. "That's why Mother doesn't let me kiss any girls," Gazpacho explains.

All in all, 'Chowder' is pretty much a throwaway series in an endless string of mediocre cartoons. The animation is nothing special - although the colors are a little trippy - , the dialogue is cliché kids show speak save for a few adult references, and the stories are the same contrived ones we've seen over and over again. It is cute, however, which is more than can be said for a lot of today's cartoons. It might interest your nieces and nephews, but until Chowder gets embroiled in controversy via a sex tape or a crack addiction, very few others will care.

Comments

8 comments
black reviewer
Tue May 5 2009 19:27
Okay we all have our own opinions. I just don't like it. Sorry about the last comment. I was pissed off.

As for the show, my opinion still stands. I don't like it and everyone I know dislikes it,too. It just dosen't seem like a good show that kids should watch. You're right the humor isn't always childish, but can be a little too mature. Also, you don't find it strange that guys in this show do female stuff. Thanks for not throwing a comment like "then don't watch it idiot" at me. I just usually spend my time watching Harper's Island, reallity t.v., or not watching it at all. One last thing, I'm not the only one who thinks this way, many YouTubers do,too (probably more than they like it). So don't say I'm an opportunist especially when you don't know me. I can easilly say the same thing about you.

black reviewer2
Tue May 5 2009 19:11
Okay we all have our own opinions. I just don't like it. Sorry about the last comment. I was pissed off.
black reviewer
Tue May 5 2009 19:10
Okay we all have our own opinions. I just don't like it. Sorry about the last comment. I was pissed off.
black reviewer
Tue May 5 2009 19:08
Okay we all have our own opinions. I just don't like it. Sorry about the last comment. I was pissed off.
black reviewer
Tue May 5 2009 19:07
Listen. I'm not saying that it's the worst cartoon ever (there are far worse like Loonatics Unleashed), I'm just saying I think it sucks. I personally don't like cartoons were it seems like all the guys do is talk about girl stuff, wear girl clothing and makeup, and make homo comments. As for the reason the statement was the way it was, I was kind of pissed of and had to release some negative energy into something. I'm just glad you didn't put up a comment like "then don't watch it idiot", cause I don't watch it. In fact, I ignore it every chance I get. You have to admit though, Cartoon Network is starting to suck. I'm more with the old cartoons and accept only a few new ones. So if I was offensive, I'm sorry. I'll just stick with watching Harper's Island and Animaniacs and try to forget about this show. Also, I'm not the only one who would say something like that. If you look on YouTube, more people hate Chowder than they like it. I want you to comment again later so I can see what you think.
black reviewer
Tue May 5 2009 18:57
Sorry if it was a bad comment, I was fustrated that day. Let me review it again in a calm maner. I personally don't like the show. If you listen to what the snow leapord said (and see the fact that Chowder wears female clothing) you could probably understand where I was coming from. I really have no problem with cartoon characters being homosexual. I just think it is a bad influence to kids. I don't think there should be any cartoon that has boys wearing girl clothes no matter how funny it's supposed to be. I also think the animation is lazy compared to his other works. You can call my last comment retarded all you want (it kinda is) but just see where I'm coming from. And you do have to admit that cartoon network is starting to slip up on its comedy. I don't really watch it anymore because I think it's nasty, retarded, and a bad influence to kids. I'm just going to stick to watching Harper's Island and Animaniacs on the computer, cause to me, Chowder is awful, and that's my calm, not pissed off review
anon
Thu Apr 9 2009 21:02
Your comment is the only "disgusting, retarded" thing here. The show almost caused your cousin to become a homosexual? Please...you're one of those opportunists who jumps on the bashing bandwagon when it's totally inappropriate. Nobody cares how much you despise homosexuals.

As for the show, I find it quite humorous, and not all of it is childish humor. I think the animation is very bright and colorful and it just makes you want to watch more, and the fabric patterns that do no move are just so cool. The characters are lovable and I like how each episode infuses the topic of food into the plot, especially with all the food puns which are actually funny. Overall, I think if you want to watch an entertaining cartoon, you could do much worse than Chowder.

black reviewer
Fri Mar 20 2009 18:32
I hate this show. It's as if the writers just decided to take drugs while doing the series. And if that's not bad enough, I've seen many signs of homosexuality in Chowder. He wears women's clothing (along with makeup) and he seems to blush around guys at some points. Things like that only work when a character is trying to save their own ass (Looney Toons for example) or if the show is funny (like Pinky and the Brain). This brings me to my next subject, the singing. My god the singing is terrible. If you're going to have people sing, at least try to make it sound good, not like someone who was on drugs. And guess what. The sick bastards who made this show thought it would be funny to give Chowder man tits that flap in the sky everytime he jumps. Congradulations C.H. Greenblatt you have completely killed my childhood. Why don't you just have women showing of the boobs. It would be just as gross as man tits. Bottom line, it sucks. It's not funny and it never will be. It's disgusting, retarded, and it almost caused my little cousin to be a homosexual. Thank god people still post good animation like Animaniacs on the internet, because the era of cartoons is dead and Chowder proves it.