Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Bump in the Night (1992)

I have very fond memories of this crazy little show during my younger years, at a time when stop-motion animation became as popular then as CGI animation has now. While Bump in the Night was currently airing on the CBBC programme block (before there was even a CBBC Digital Channel to speak of), it was also doing pretty hot over on ABC (American Broadcasting Company).

Before Pixar even dreamt up Monsters, Inc, it was Mr. Bumpy, the monster under the bed, who gave us the frights and laughs in the mid 90's, with his best friends Squishington, the bathroom monster, and Molly Coddle the comfort doll. It was also my first experience of the amazing vocal talents of Jim Cummings and Rob Paulsen, who would soon become two of the most widely-used and adored voice-actors in the business - in particular for the Disney Afternoon animation block, where both helped bring to life a variety of characters each as memorable as the next. For Jim especially, his resume would be ridiculously long to post here, but it was this show that earned him a nomination for an Emmy for Voice Acting in the Field of Animation in 1994. And with good reason!

It wasn't just the stop-motion animation that really "wowed" me at the time, but the wild storylines that creators Ken Pontac and David Bleiman could only cook up. In similar vein to Johnson and Friends, in a way, they thought up a wide variety of episodes that took place in a limited number of locations, most of which occured within the boy's untidy bedroom. Sure, there may have been some "gross" humour involved, so far as belches and sock-eating are concerned, but it wasn't as overexposed or...detailed...as certain cartoons that followed I could well mention.

Then of course there was the Karaoke Cafe musical numbers, which exercised Jim and Rob's singing performances in regards to certain subjects or topics of their characters' choices. I daresay, anyone who remembers this segment of the show would have the old familiar tunes forever embedded in their minds. Whether it's "Picking Up The Pieces" or Mr. Bumpy's take on "School's Out".

Bump in the Night was the work of Danger Productions - their only major hit so far as I can dig up. For reasons of production / financial matters, once the House of Mouse took over ABC, it only lasted for two seasons. And yet, not just the fans but the folks behind the show - the writers, the animators, the voice cast - still remember it with great fondness and happy memories. In fact, for a while, the complete series was released to DVD in 2010 by Shout Factory - sadly now out of stock.
Oh well, there's always YouTube...!


1 comment:

  1. it was also doing pretty hot over on ABC (American Broadcasting Company).

    Heck we even had bumpers that aired specially for the network as well!