The second of three Jim Carrey movies turned into
cartoons, based on the film Ace Ventura:
Ventura (Carrey) was a private investigator residing in Miami, Florida.
However, he was unique in that the only cases he took involved animals; missing
pets and the like. Ace’s clientele choice is second only to his choice of
wardrobe (striped pants, boots and loud shirts), hair styles (a sweeping upward
wave), and loud, crude and eccentric personality. All of that together left Ace
with insufficient work to pay the bills and the joke of police officers he
frequently came in contact with. Regardless, Ace was hired to find out what
happened to Snowflake, the bottlenose dolphin mascot of the Miami Dolphins, who had suddenly
disappeared from his tank.
|Ace Ventura movie poster.
The movie was conceived by Jack Bernstein, who wanted to
do a comedic take on Sherlock
Holmes and gained additional inspiration from one of the “Stupid Pet
Tricks” segments on Late Night with David Letterman. Carrey
was cast in the role after it was offered to and turned down by Rick Moranis. Ace’s mannerisms
and personality was cultivated from one of Carrey’s earlier characters, Overly Confident Gay Man,
when Carrey found the script read funnier when done in that style. Carrey also based
his performance on the movements of a bird, rounding out Ace’s bizarre persona.
Co-written and directed by Tom
Shadyac the film was released on February 4, 1994 to mixed reviews.
However, it became a box office success and put a sequel on a fast track.
Carrey was paid $15 million to reprise his role, and the following year Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was released on November 10th. This would be Carrey’s
first and only sequel to one of his movies until 2014’s Dumb and Dumber To, citing
the lack of challenge he faced as an actor returning to the same character. It
was also the last installment of the Ace franchise featuring Carrey,
with a poorly-received 2009 televised sequel/spin-off film, Ace Ventura Jr.: Pet
Detective, capping things off entirely.
|Ace, even more animated than before.
|The actual brains of the operation.
Despite being toned down for the Saturday morning audience, Ace retained
a good deal of his crude humor--from making his butt talk to shoving various
items up his nose and showing a general lack of disrespect towards, well,
everyone. A large part of the tonality could be attributed to the writing staff
including one Seth MacFarlane,
who would go on to fame upon creating Family Guy. Butch Hartman, who would find
great success with The
Fairly OddParents in 2001, also contributed a script to an
episode. All the memorable catchphrases were in the show, including
“Allllllllllllrighty, then!”, “Like a glove!” (whenever Ace crashed his car
into a tight parking spot), and “Spank you very much” (instead of a straight
|When you're the only pet detective, you get some really famous clients.
Ace Ventura: Pet debuted on CBS with
a preview on December 13th, 1995 before beginning its actual run on
January 20th. Ace was predominantly shown wearing a yellow and green
Hawaiian shirt over pink pants with purple stripes. However, in several
episodes, his shirt was red and yellow with two-toned blue striped pants. Ace
also went from having four chips in his teeth (two upper, two lower) to just
two upper chips beginning in the second season with one visible at a given time.
Along with Capizzi, MacFarlane and Hartman, writers included Robert Schechter, Alicia Marie-Schudt, Ernie Jon, Steve Roberts, Alexx Van Dyne, Tara Ison, Dean Stefan, Ralph Soll, Jan Strnad, Tom Mason, Dan Danko, Bill Matheny, Scott M. Gimple and Steve Marmel. The theme was
composed by Joe Curiale and Tim Torrance, with the rest of
the music done by Ray Parker,
Tom Szczesniak and Ralph Cole.
|Ace wearing The Mask's mask...where else?
The show’s final episode on CBS
featured a crossover with other Jim Carrey-based show: The Mask: The Animated Series (which
incidentally shared several of the writers). The crossover began on the earlier
The Mask episode “The Aceman Cometh,”
which dealt with Ace being hired by Stanley Ipkiss (Rob Paulsen), aka The Mask, to find his
dog, Milo (Frank Welker), who was kidnapped after his brain was switched with
that of a scientist. At the end of the episode, Spike stole the mask, forcing
Stanley to travel to Florida to retrieve it in “Have Mask, Will Travel.” Both
characters retained their distinctive animation styles while appearing on each
other’s shows; The Mask’s being a more realistic comic book style while Ace was
more stylized to match his cartoonish personality.
Despite Ace’s inability to find a substantial audience, its ultimate
cancellation was a matter of circumstance and timing. CBS had decided to
jettison its Saturday morning cartoons in 1997 and turn to outside companies to
provide their content. Nickelodeon
acquired the broadcast rights to air reruns of the show and commissioned a
third season that began on September 13, 1999. While essentially the same show,
there were several notable differences between the two runs. The Nick version
included a new intro and animated title cards introducing the episode names and
their writers, whereas the CBS version just superimposed them over the
beginning of the episode. The character designs received some tweaks and
brighter colors; in particular making Ace’s features more exaggerated. Ace also
moved his operations from his apartment to an actual office, although he
retained the menagerie of animals that lived with him while jettisoning the
running gag with his landlord. After those these final 13 episodes, the series
ended permanently in 2000.