If youâ€™ve watched Toon Disney at all this summer, then you must have at least heard about this show. Disney was pimping the CRAP out of it all summer. So, did it live up to the hype?
Well, I canâ€™t say for certain since it *just* started. They did an all-day special called the â€œYin Yang Yoverthrowâ€ for Labor Day, which was basically four episodes aired repeatedly all day long. So you had plenty of chances to watch the show. While I did tire of seeing the same adventures over and over, I will admit that I thought the cartoon was pretty funny and quirky.
First, letâ€™s get the plot out of the way. Yin (the girl bunny) and Yang (the boy bunny) are students of the martial arts discipline of Wu Fu. Their sensei, Yo (a geriatric panda who used to be hot s*** back in the groovy 70â€™s) tries to teach them the ways of Wu Fu but they usually screw it up by fighting with each other. Yin is a bossy rabbit skilled in the magical aspect of the art, shooting energy blasts from her hands, levitating things and transubstantiating objects. Yang is an aggressive hothead and weapons master who possesses a special bamboo weapon which can transform into all sorts of martial arts weapons from katana to boomerang. Together, they learn trite valuable life lessons and fend-off attacks from their arch-nemesis, Carl, the Evil Cockroach Wizard.
Yeah, it sounds like kidâ€™s stuff, and it is, but itâ€™s the sort of kidâ€™s stuff with a wide array of quirky humor that can appeal to many different ages, even adults. The art style and humor of Yin Yang Yo is very reminiscent of Butch Hartmanâ€™s cartoons for Nickelodeon, such as the Fairly Oddparents or Danny Phantom. The artâ€™s a bit more stylized and â€œblockyâ€ than Butch Hartmanâ€™s designs, though the animation is smoother and more fluid, I felt. The humor has the same sort of manic pace, giving a joke a minute with lots of subtle use of dialogue along with the standard slapstick and wacky situations. A few jokes seemed almost identical to some from Fairly Oddparents, such as the villain Ultimooseâ€™s bizarre convulsions whenever he says his own name. It was almost an exact duplicate of Mr. Cockerâ€™s shtick of convulsing insanely whenever he says â€œFairy Godparentsâ€. Still, I always liked the gag so I donâ€™t mind seeing it retread in a different cartoon. As far as the â€œlevelsâ€ of humor aimed more at an older audience, well, thereâ€™s one character, an anthropomorphic tree-stump who runs around screaming â€Wood Power!â€. When I first heard it I thought he said something *else* if you can take a guess.
Yin Yang Yo shows promise, though the â€œkids in ninja schoolâ€ plot is starting to wear a little thin, what with the Narutos and Xialoin Showdowns of the world cramming the airwaves. Still, itâ€™s funnier than Ed, Edd and Eddy.