I mean seriously! If you guys have ever seen the cartoon Chowder, you’ll understand my frustration on why it was cancelled. I enjoyed watching Chowder for a variety of reasons. I can’t say I’ve watched a ton of recent kid’s cartoons and I don’t know which awesome ones are out there now (other than Adventure Time, please let me know) but something about Chowder really caught my attention. There are a ton of strange animated shows, some that are brilliant and others that just don’t make any sense. Chowder is so fantastic because it falls somewhere in between, giving us a combination of wit, uniqueness and absurdity.
Set in the colorful Marzipan City, the show follows the adventures of Chowder, a cooking apprentice to one of the city’s best chefs, Mung Daal. As a curious and sweet-hearted kid with a serious appetite, Chowder learns the ropes of becoming a top chef who will one day take over Mung Daal’s catering company. Chowder’s aloofness often leads him into difficult situations, which include blowing up Mung’s kitchen or butchering an important dish but Chowder always ends up closer to achieving his dream. And the process is absolutely hilarious.
In my opinion, Chowder was one of Cartoon Network’s best shows. With its mixture of traditional and stop-motion animation, the show was really well made. I liken it to Adventure Time in terms of having extremely outlandish characters and a unique story line. The show’s material was just so unconventional.
Unconventional, yes. But why a pet fart named Kimchi?
It’s the weird things like this that made me admire the show. I imagine the creators thinking of the most absurd ideas and whatever popped into their minds, they would throw it in the next episode. The show pushed the boundary of what makes a good children’s cartoon. More specifically, Chowder had just the right amount of pop culture reference, nonsensical humor, and innocence to make it work well.
For example, in an episode called Sing Beans, Mung Daal, Snitzel, and Chowder are playing music instruments. The musical notes they create are an ingredient to the sing beans dish. How cool is that? In addition, Mung Daal pulls out a golden clock necklace, an ingredient called flava (In reference to the rapper Flava Flav!). It’s catching these little nods to pop culture that make Chowder so fun to watch.
And what differentiates Chowder from other cartoons is that he isn’t a super hero or a particularly gifted apprentice. In fact, he’s one of the worst cooking apprentices in the city. But Chowder’s ability to get out of a rut and accomplish things in his own unique way makes for a great story. He’s clumsy and scatterbrained but he’s so passionate about cooking and has a genuinely nice heart that you can’t help but root for him.
It sucks that Chowder was cancelled. All shows end eventually, but it would be nice if I could still watch the little guy mess things up every once and awhile. But to end on a good note, I'll leave you with this ridiculous snap of Chowder. Dude is seriously hilarious.
Let me know if you guys miss Chowder as well (or any other cartoon for that matter)!