Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
by the success of Disney’s animation renaissance,
other studios—in particular Warner Bros.—made
their own moves back into feature animation. Warner Bros. had been distributing
animated films up until that point, but had not been actively making them;
choosing to instead focus strictly on television projects.
Promo art featuring Ozzy and Drix.
Their first film was 1996’s Space Jam, which
received mixed reviews but was a success regardless. Unfortunately, it was the
only one the studio would see. 1997’s Cats Don’t Dance, the
last film Turner
Feature Animation was working on before it was absorbed into Warner Bros.,
suffered from poor marketing and was a box office flop despite great reviews. 1998’s
Quest for Camelotfared
a bit better, but still ended up a flop due largely to inexperienced executives
leading to cost overruns and production nightmares. 1999’s The Iron Giantwas a
critical darling that still managed to underperform at the box office, thanks
to the poor marketing campaign that resulted from Warner Bros.’ growing
skepticism over theatrical animation (home video and television syndication
would turn itinto a cult classic in the following years). At this
point, the Feature
Animation division was in financial trouble and they needed a hit. Two
movies were up for consideration as their next project: a new film by The
Iron Giant’s director Brad
Bird, or an animation/live-action hybrid written by Marc Hyman. The studio chose
the latter, and Osmosis Jones went into production.
The City of Frank.
Osmosis Jones was set inside
a human body, known as The City of Frank (Bill Murray). Osmosis “Ozzy”
Jones (Chris Rock) was a
white blood cell and a member of the police force responsible for protecting Frank’s
body from threats, and boy did he have his work cut out for him as Frank was a
slovenly zookeeper with no interest in taking care of himself. When Mayor
Phlegmming (William Shatner) caused
Frank to accidentally ingest a nasty virus, Thrax (Laurence Fisburne), Ozzy was
teamed up with cold pill Drizenol “Drix” Koldreliff (David Hyde Pierce) to stop him
before he ended up killing Frank. In typical buddy cop fashion, they were total
opposites as Ozzy was overzealous and impetuous while Drix was stoic and more by-the-book.
Frank--health-conscious, he's not.
All of the inner body sequences
were animated, directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon, while all of the
external was done in live-action. Unfortunately, that’s where the film hit a
snag. Even though the animation was progressing as planned, Warner Bros. had
trouble finding a director or a star for the live-action. Eventually, Murray
was signed to star and Peter
and Bobby Farrelly were
hired to direct (and given sole directorial credit, despite having nothing to
do with the animated portions). Initially, the film was rated PG-13 for “crude
language” and “bodily humor”, resulting in Warner Bros. making extensive cuts
and removing entire scenes in order to achieve a family-friendly PG rating.
Osmosis Jones opened on
August 10, 2001, after an August 7th premiere at Grauman’s
Egyptian Theatre. While the film received praise for the animated
sequences, which earned it numerous Annie Award nominations, it was
heavily criticized for the comparatively lethargic live-action scenes. The
gross-out humor of the live scenes, a trademark of the Farrelly brothers, was
also panned. Ultimately, the film ended up grossing only $14 million against a $70
million budget. As a result, the feature unit was significantly scaled back and
eventually folded into the main animation unit with the next box office
Tunes: Back in Action. And Brid’s film that Warner Bros. passed on? It
was released by Disney as The Incredibles.
Hector, Ozzy & Drix's new charge.
Despite the failure, Warner Bros. evidently
still had faith in the property as a spin-off series was put into production
over at the Television Animation division. Developed by Alan Burnett and Hyman,
Ozzy & Drix saw Ozzy (Phil LaMarr) and Drix (Jeff Bennett) removed
from The City of Frank (Bennett) by a mosquito and deposited into the body of 13-year-old
Hector Cruz (Justin Cowden). After help defeat Scarlet Fever (Tim Curry) who
also arrived from Frank, Ozzy and Drix were set up as private investigators to
help keep Hector healthy. As in the film, Ozzy
was impetuous and always following his gut into trouble, while Drix was kept strait-laced
with an added dose of naivete and innocence.
Maria, Mayor Spryman, and Chief Gluteus.
As they’re now in a completely new “town”,
all of the characters from the film were replaced by a new supporting cast: Maria
Amino (Tasia Valenza) was a Hispanic white blood cell cop, a skilled fighter,
and Drix’s love interest; Chief Gluteus (Jim Cummings), the gruff police chief
for The City of Hector; Mayor Paul Spryman (Alanna Ubach), the immature
teenaged mayor of The City of Hector; Ellen Patella (Vivica A. Fox), an attorney who
helped cells find homes in The City of Hector and Ozzy’s new love interest; The
Mole (Jeffrey Tambor), a
klutzy and paranoid former secret agent that knew just about everything going
on in Hector, making him a valuable informant; and Dander (Frank Welker), a dog germ from
Hector’s dog that became Drix’s pet. Human characters included Christine Kolchuck
(Kimberly Brooks), the girl
Hector liked; Travis Lum (Rob Paulsen),
Hector’s best friend; Ricky Sales (Paulsen), the school bully; and Hector’s
mother (Ubach), father (Joe Lala)
and sister (Ubach). Unlike the film, all of the human scenes were also
Smirch the acne germ attempts to take advantage of Drix.
Of course, with a new city comes
new threats. Nick O’Teen (Curry), the nicotine that came from a cigarette
Hector smoked accompanied by his minions Tar (Welker), Butane (Bennett), and
Carbon Monoxide (Tara Strong);
Protozilla (Welker), an allergen with a weak and powerful monster form; Ernst
Strepfinger (a combination of strep throat and James
Bond villains Auric
Goldfinger and Ernst Blofeld,
voiced by Brad
Garrett & Cummings), a criminal mastermind; Sal Monella (Henry Winkler), a gangster germ
who wanted to dump toxic waste into Hector’s stomach; Sylvian Fisher (Brian Posehn), a brain cell who plotted to
become mayor by giving Hector a growth spurt; Stickety Lipid (Paulsen), a bad
cholesterol beatnik that wanted to clog Hector’s arteries; Smirch (Danny Bonaduce), an acne germ
determined to give Hector a zit; General Malaise (Charlie Adler), a bacterium who
used sugar to grow his army; Professor Nightmare (Keith Silverstein), a nightmare
originating from a movie Hector saw; Shane (Danny Cooksey), a hormone and
leader of a testosterone gang that once took over Hector’s brain; Cryo (Susan Silo), a virus that wanted to give
Hector hypothermia; Pb (Bennett), lead from a lead-painted shed that infected
Hector with his Lead Head Gang; Billy Bob Bile (Welker), owner of a hotel in
Hector’s appendix that almost caused it to burst; Rhoda Virus (Justine Bateman), an intestinal
virus intent on giving Hector gastroenteritis; Mother Louse, a louse that tried
to lay eggs in Hector’s hair; and Mother Worm (Welker), a Trichinella spiralis
worm that came from a barely cooked sausage. One adventure took Ozzy and Drix into
Christine where they met their counterparts Cilia Tyson (Dawnn Lewis) and Drixeen (Miriam Flynn), whom they helped
take on pneumonia-causing The Pneumoniac (Pat
Ozzy & Drix debuted on The WB on September 14, 2002 as
part of the Kids’ WB
programming block. The series was co-produced by the Farrelly brothers through
their company Conundrum Entertainment, however the crude humor and violence
found in the film was significantly toned down to meet broadcast TV standards.
It was edutainment that often disguised its messages behind the fast-paced
action established by the film and simple terminology and imagery to describe
the workings of the human body. While none of the actors reprised their roles, Kathy Najimy, who was considered for the
role of the teacher, ended up voicing the president of the subconscious network
for the show.
Ozzy & Drix did
significantly better than Osmosis Jones, performing well enough to justify
a second season. Following the episodes that aired in October of 2003, the
series went on hiatus until February, then again until June where it began to air
the remainder of its episodes on the weekday version of Kids’ WB. Not much in
the way of merchandise was released for the show, despite the award-winning
style guide developed by The
Illusion Factory for merchandisers. However, Midway did publish a video game for the Game Boy Advance that
brought several of the show’s villains together in a sinister plot. The game
was reviewed poorly for its repetitiveness and bad controls. In 2017, Warner Archive
released the complete
series to DVD.
EPISODE GUIDE: Season 1:
“Home with Hector” (9/14/02) – Ozzy and Drix end up in the
city of Hector along with Scarlet Fever, whom they must stop from making Hector
“Reflex” (9/21/02) – Ozzy has to figure out how to save
Hector from a fight with Rick after accidentally causing Hector to kick him.
“Strep-Finger” (9/28/02) – Ozzy is jealous of super agent
Penicillin G., who was injected into Hector to find the powerful germ
“A Lousy Haircut” (10/5/02) – Ozzy and Drix attempt to save
Hector’s scalp from lice.
“Oh My Dog” (10/12/02) – Drix’s new pet is mistaken for the
allergen threatening the city while Mrs. Cruz believes it’s Hector’s dog
causing his allergy.
“Street Up” (10/19/02) – Drix inadvertently helps an acne germ
create a giant zit on Hector’s face on school picture day.
“Gas of Doom” (11/9/02) – Ozzy, Drix and Maria head into the
intestines to alleviate Hector’s building gas problem.
“Where There’s Smoke” (11/16/02) – Ozzy and Maria have to
prevent Nick O’Teen from turning Hector into a smoker.
“The Globfather” (11/30/02) – Sal Monella kidnaps the mayor during
his plot to poison Hector.
“Ozzy Jr.” (12/7/02) – Stepfinger infects Ozzy with a
parasite that Maria and Drix must find a way to stop.
“Growth” (2/1/03) – Sylvian Fisher plans to make the mayor
look bad by giving Hector a growth spurt in order to win the upcoming election
“Sugar Shock” (2/8/03) – When Hector is taken off of a sugar
rush, the bacteria that formed during it decides to raid his sugar reserves.
“The Dream Factory” (3/1/03) – Ozzy and Drix have to enter
Hector’s nightmares in order to stop the bad dreams keeping the entire city
Season 2: “An Out of Body Experience Part 1” (8/23/03) – Ozzy ends up
inside of Christine when she gives Hector CPR and is arrested as a virus.
“An Out of Body Experience Part 2” (8/30/03) – Ozzy has to
get back to Hector before he gender morphs and prevent Christine from catching pneumonia
in the process.
“Lights Out!” (9/6/03) – Hector’s concussion causes everyone
to forget Ozzy and Drix, necessitating them heading to the brain to reboot his
“The Conqueror Worm” (9/13/03) – Hector ends up getting
worms after eating barely-cooked sausage.
“Puberty Alert” (9/20/03) – Puberty allows a testosterone
gang to imprison the mayor and take over Hector’s mind, causing him to get into
“Tricky Ricardo” (9/27/03) – After learning about the rift
between Maria and her brother, Drix tries to fix it but is unaware that her
brother is working for Strepfinger.
“Aunti Histamine” (10/4/03) – Drix’s aunt arrives when
Hector uses nasal spray, and with her comes a sudden drop in Hector’s water
“A Growing Cell” (10/11/03) – Hector’s junk food binge gives
Stickety Lipid an opportunity to try and clog up his arteries.
“A Cold Day in Hector” (2/25/04) – A Day of snowboarding
causes Hector to contract Cryo and lead to hypothermia.
“Supplements (a.k.a. Triumph of the Supplements)” (6/14/04) –
The mayor forces Hector to eat some cereal so that a team of supplements can
come and deal with a gang of lead Hector accidentally breathed in.
“Double Dose” (6/21/04) – Mitosis causes Ozzy to split into evil
duplicates looking to steal Hector’s iodine.
“Nature Calls” (6/28/04) – Billy Bob Bile creates a detour
to lure bacteria to his hotel, which causes Hector’s appendix to almost burst.
“Cavities (a.k.a. Journey to the Center of the Tooth)”
(7/5/04) – Excessive sugar and poor brushing leads General Malaise to give
Hector a cavity.
Post a Comment