Ying Yang Yo! premieres to thumbs up

It’s an obvious premise for a cartoon: Two brightly-colored rabbit siblings set out to battle evil through the ancient martial art of something called Woo Foo. Obviously.

I’d like to tell you more, but for some bizarre reason I cannot get the tune to “Little Bunny Foofoo” out of my head. Huh. Weird.

This is one of those shows where I have to grudgingly admit that my initial thoughts (“It’s what, now? Because why?”) may have been a bit hasty. Ying Yang Yo! debuted yesterday on Disney’s JETIX and the critics are digging it. And heaven knows we’ve been battling a critical shortage of martial arts-themed cartoons….

Toon Zone’s Alex Weitzman shares his (favorable) thoughts on the premiere, first lauding the cast:

I must spend some time on the cast. As reported in earlier articles, the cast for Yin Yang Yo! are all Canucks. Whatever it is they’re putting in the free health care, it’s giving these guys some great new energy and there’s already a few standout performances in just this episode. Tony Daniels stole the show as Ultimoose, giving a hilariously overcharged performance that somehow fits the Napoleonic stature and attitude of the jerk. Scott McCord and Stephanie Morgenstern, as Yang and Yin respectively, make nice first impressions in their lead roles. Kudos especially to Stephanie, who has to be the more mature of the two and therefore leans towards the more boring lines, as she lends her character a nice edge of sarcasm and has great comic timing. Additionally, Jamie Watson’s Carl the Evil Cockroach Wizard, while undeniably reminiscent of Paul Lynde and other dandies, has the makings of a very memorable ineffective villain. Good acting is crucial to animation, as it will always elevate the material several levels higher, and so Yin Yang Yo! is poised to remain solid on this front as the show continues.

And then, later, surveying the big picture:

Ultimately, the show succeeds. I wonder at the ability of the show to manage the balance of tones between action and comedy, as the two varieties of cinematic storytelling require two very different brands of tension within the audience. Action restrains tension, bottling it up; laughter releases tension, letting it drain out. So far, the show’s pendulum seems to swing more in the direction of the latter, allowing several of the action beats to be gags in and of themselves, releasing the tension that it would under other circumstances contain. The show’s got a good pedigree for comedy, under Steve Marmel’s writing lead, and some of his characteristic comic economy comes amusingly into play.

I hate to admit it, but it sounds… good. We’ll be checking it out (7:30 PM Eastern on weeknights).

But I still wish I knew how to get rid of this “Little Bunny Foofoo” earworm.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • email
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Buzz
  • RSS

3 thoughts on “Ying Yang Yo! premieres to thumbs up

  1. hi. do you know who holds the toy rights in the US for the yin yang yo property? i saw somewhere that Jetix owns the European rights. thanks.