It’s possible to make a cartoon that appeals to adults as much as it does to kids. It’s by no means an easy feat, but given the amount that have succeed, it can’t be that difficult. Mummies Alive! had an interesting concept, but aimed for the moon and hit the well. This show shot for the coveted older audience but completely missed their mark. Then again, with all their problems starting on paper, they should have known better.
Mummies Alive! ran for a brief 42 episodes in 1997. An ancient Egyptian sorcerer killed the Pharaoh’s son, using his soul to become immortal. For this he was entombed. He awakens in modern day to find the Prince’s reincarnation to do the same again. However, he’s now guarded by four warriors who entombed themselves to awaken and protect the prince. These four protected the prince from the sorcerer’s various machinations. Sounds cool, no?
First, let’s look at the character names. These are the worst mix of surface level Egyptian puns ever. The sorcerer is name Scarab. The name sounds cool, but that’s just a bug. It’s like naming your antagonist Ant or Slug. The Prince’s name is Rapses, you know, like Ramses, but 90s, so rap. Yeah. His reincarnation is Presley Carnovan, which is dumb, but not at bad as the rest. What of the titular mummies? This fearsome foursome goes by Ja-Kal, Rath, Armon, and Nefer-Tina. Sigh.
It wasn’t all bad, they battled against other Egyptians gods like Anubis, Set, and Sekhmet. How did they battle them you ask? By calling upon the power of Ra to transform into totemic warriors. Ja-Kal, Rath, Armon, and Nefer-Tina embodied the falcon, snake, ram, and cat, respectively. At least they avoided the obvious connections. The real question is, how did these happening Mummies get around? With their Egyptian themed vehicles of course! There’s the Hot-Ra, a dragster, the Jetcycle, a motorcycle that can inexplicably fly, the Nileator (get it?), a high speed boat, and the Skycophagus, a jet plane.
It’s apparent the creators didn’t know what tone they were going for, switching their target audience mid-stream. I caught this during reruns as I dressed for school in the morning. While it was only on the in background, I never felt like it needed my full attention.
Do puny names turn you off? Would you have been into it if they took it seriously? Comment below!
In addition to THN’s Saturday Morning Cartoons and Nerd at the Movies, Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell ‘em hi.
For some reason I keep confusing this with Beetleborgs. No idea why.