Minorities in cartoons: “The Weekenders”

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The Weekenders
From left to right: Tino, Tish, Carver, and Lor.

This week’s “minorities in cartoons” entry is “The Weekenders.” The series, about a group of friends’ weekend adventures (hence the show’s name), aired from 2000 to 2004 on ABC Saturday mornings, as well as Disney’s syndicated weekend lineup “One Too.”

Background

The show centered around the weekend adventures of four junior high school students: Tino, the default lead character of the group (since he’s the one who usually gets to break the fourth wall and speak to the audience about what’s going on); Lor, a girl who’s into sports and is the most assertive of the group; Carver, an African-American boy who wants others to view him as the “cool guy”; and Tish, an intellectual girl. The quartet all live in a fictional beachside California town.

One recurring gag of the series was the gang’s hideout, a pizza parlor, constantly remodeling and changing its theme in every episode, not keeping the same name/gimmick/etc. twice.

One episode, “The Worst Holiday Ever,” shows the gang dealing with each of them celebrating different holidays. While Lor celebrates Christmas, Carver instead celebrates Kwanzaa. Tish, meanwhile, celebrates Hanukkah. Unusually for a TV show not set in the ancient past or in a fantasy setting, the holiday Tino and his mother celebrate is revealed to be the winter solstice.

On TV/home video

Shockingly, I’ve learned that Disney’s not only released this series to DVD, but they’ve actually released an entire run of one of their animated TV shows to video. That’s something they’ve yet to do (at this writing) with many of their other shows.

For some reason, despite treating their animated features well on video, Disney doesn’t do such for its TV series; see the various “Disney Afternoon” series. However, the DVD release (to two DVD box sets) is only available via the Disney Movie Club, a DVD service specializing in Disney productions, similar to the old-time record/CD music clubs. There are some copies available on Amazon, however.

Voice actors

“The Weekenders” was created by Doug Langdale, who also created Disney’s amusing “Dave the Barbarian.”

Tino, Lor, Tish, and Carver were voiced respectively by voice actors Jason Marsden, Grey DeLisle, Kath Soucie, and Phil LaMarr.

On top of that lineup, the theme song’s sung by comedian Wayne Brady.

(Updated 11/16/16)


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