Bob Kane’s parody of his greatest invention, Batman, ran for 130 short episodes. I remember being obsessed with this cartoon as a kid, yet now, as with most old school shows I try to re-watch (CHiPs, A-Team), I consider it stupid. But what I didn’t expect in these recent viewings is how brain-dead the writers took us to be. I sit here at my laptop bamboozled and insulted, dissecting one particular episode designed to play us for all for morons. Behold! ‘Courageous Cat & Minute Mouse’ gets put on blast – are they really the heroes the show’s writers portrayed them to be? Let’s have a look at the episode first.
It cuts right to the chase, with the two heroes lounging in their underground lair, congratulating themselves about what badasses they are. Apparently the criminal element is struck with such fear that these two have no villains to take down. That’s when the narrator changes everything, cluing us into the latest nefarious scheme of one Chauncy “Flat-Face” Frog – a reptilian Edward G. Robinson. He’s the one dude in town who gives zero fucks about CC&MM’s arrogant self-absorption.
Frog’s plan isn’t just simple, but astronomically bold. He’s going to fly a helicopter over the Cat-Cave, land on top of it, and start drilling for buried treasure hidden inside. First of all, he knows where the Cat-Cave is, which is stupefying in itself. He talks about it like the location is common knowledge, as if he was giving directions to the nearest Exxon station. I don’t know if that’s a testament to his crack intel team or if the heroes inside it are just dumber than they give themselves credit for. Or maybe they’re just that ballsy, thinking that nobody in their right minds would seek to play them like that. Well, that approach didn’t go over well for Tony Stark in ‘Iron Man 3,’ and it’s not gonna play out well here either.
Secondly, how does he know that there’s a buried treasure in the Cat-Cave? As you see from the video, Courageous and Minute didn’t even know. It’s a huge chest full of gold coins and we never actually find out how much it goes for, but I think I can come up with a pretty sweet equation.
Above is the LV7 upgrade of a gold mine from the epic mobile game ‘Clash Of Clans.’ Its reserve to the right can hold 30,000 gold coins. The pic below, taken from YouTube’s upload of the COC commercial “Flight Of The Barbarian” displays its scale next to two full grown barbarians.
And though the anthropomorphic animals in the Courageous Cat cartoons inhabit a world where they talk and interact with objects useful to their own sizes (cars, tv’s, etc.) it’s still safe to assume that they’re not man-sized beasts, but animal-sized. With that in mind, let’s deduce that the chest of gold in question is 1/3 the size of the one in the Clash Of Clans commercial, making it hold 10,000 gold coins, max. Now that we know how much is in the chest, let’s theorize to its value.
No one in modern times buries a treasure in a cave. That’s why we have to assume it’s all the work of pirates or otherwise scurvy fellows with questionable motivations. Let’s say we went back as far as coinflation.com takes us – 1838. The Liberty Eagle gold coin has a face value worth of $10 today, with a gold value worth of $574.11 per coin. This site has a 1 ounce Eagle coin going for $20.67 in U.S. currency. Adjusted inflation adds $15 to it, and we have a value of $35 per coin in 1960. Considering that I suck at math, continue to multiply that number by 10,000 and the Frog just broke into the HQ of two famous crime-fighters for $350,000.
Frog starts drilling into a nearby wall, searching for riches that nobody should even know were there. “You can’t do that! This is my home!” Cat desperately exclaims in a state of befuddled helplessness. Frog is like la-di-da and drills like a boss. With a stick of dynamite for added measure, the criminal mastermind dips into the wall like he owns it. But CC finally man’s up and shows that he knows something the frog doesn’t. Sealing the hole, he brags about how he just trapped his foe in a wind tunnel. You know, for just such occasions like – a treasure hunting fly-eater breaks into your house and steals your shit. But that’s where we encounter the real conundrum that ultimately changes the story…
As the protectors of Empire City, Courageous Cat and his sidekick also have alter egos. But they regardless live in the Cat-Cave full time. That being the case, do they have jobs outside of crime-fighting? Is this where they get their mail? Is there a service entrance widdershins to the mostly secret one on side of the mountain? It’s a cave, so it stands to reason that they’re there living tax free, rent free, and scott free.
It is almost as if they found a random hole in the ground and moved in, somehow operating with ample access to electricity. Maybe Cat’s wealthy like Batman’s Bruce Wayne and funds the operation under a dummy account. That’s where it gets murky and I can’t just give them that benefit of the doubt.
That said, Frog is absolutely within his rights to spelunk this cave for booty! No one owns this damn slab of rock! Who the hell does this cat think he is getting all pissed off like he owns the place?? Nobody buys mountains and they sure as hell can’t stop frogs from wandering caves when they feel like it!
Now that we understand what’s REALLY happening here, it’s back to the wind tunnel where a feline (and what would normally be its prey) try to kill a frog for no good goddamn reason. A Frog with a shady past, yes. But if I remember correctly, he was taken to jail for his last transgression in a previous episode. I think we should be considering his natural reformation at the start of this cartoon. He’s an innocent man…er frog.
A Frog who plans ahead! His debonair henchman Foxy the Fox shows up and holds the “heroes” at gunpoint, while old Froggy exits the tunnel, drunk as shit from being banged around inside. So, Foxy is all “Oh you like to torture frogs huh? Well, let’s see how you like these apples!” and gives CC&MM a taste of their own medicine. And that’s exactly where I lost all respect for this enterprise. He had those jackoffs dead to rights. He could’ve blasted holes in them, taken over the Cat-Cave (and their car), but NoooOooOoOooo! The entire plan goes to shit all because two cave explorers feel like being spiteful.
On the other hand, maybe Foxy wasn’t interested in murdering anyone – just keeping ruffians from inflicting harm upon his friend. More proof that Frog is navigating well within the lines of the law!
Still, while the spandex twins get what’s coming to them in the wind tunnel, Foxy exclaims he found the treasure. What transpires next is some of the most asinine bullshit I’ve ever seen in a cartoon. This is where audience intelligence is utterly insulted beyond belief and heads get scratched all over 1960, and beyond.
Foxy says that the gold is on the other side of the wall above. So they stand on a revolving platform and press a button that swings them to the other side. However, instead of the gold being stashed somewhere where a fox could easily spy it once access is breached, we see that the chest is sitting on the opposite platform.
Meaning that whenever they spin INSIDE, the chest comes OUTSIDE! How in the hell did the fox know where the chest was if there was no conceivable way of seeing it, let along getting to it??? Did we just sit through 5 minutes of animal balderdash just to be played for suckers?! Who in God’s name would see such tomfoolery as an adequate denouement to a complex character study in role reversal and shattering personal limitations?? Oh sure! Elmer Fudd shoots a duck in the face and it survives, albeit with its beak woefully askew – yet, plot inaccuracies like this one can’t get a bye? No it can’t get a bye because Daffy Duck antics are NOT on the same plane as Courageous Cat shenanigans. One is monkeyshines and mischief while the other is dirty tricks and hijinks. You be the judge!
And how does the episode finish? With these two dickheads escaping the wind tunnel and ending up major paid in gold coins and the Frog and Fox arrested for their otherwise calculating and resourceful troubles. Chauncy Frog even breaks down crying. Jesus H. Christ! That’s the story I was taught as a kid?? Layabout posers living high on the taxpayer dime get fat with riches. While the everyman works his brains and back to get ahead, he ends up beaten and locked away in tears.
Skullduggery, chicanery and rascality.
And here’s where we, the crusaders, become ridiculed. Oh, believers such as we will seek to right the wrongs of kids programming while others take efforts to demean us with cliched retorts like “You’ve got too much time on your hands” or “You’re reading way too much into this.” Say hello to the assholes who also have nothing better to do – than put us down, the real heroes – with ho-hum words of unhelpful folly. They, found all over the internet, get a rousing FUCK YOU. And we will leave them with this image – the frog with dashed hopes who dared to dream big.