Retro Review: Plastic Man Unaired TV Pilot


Plastic Man in: Puddle Trouble

By Cory Robinson


After doing the Plastic Man live action series and the 80s cartoon show, it came to my attention about a pilot commissioned by Cartoon Network in 2006 starring Plastic Man and co-created by Tom Kenny who is best known as the voice of Spongebob Squarepants and a cast member on Mr. Show with Bob and David.  The pilot came about when Kenny was talking to the Cartoon Network staff about how bad the 80s cartoon was and how the character was treated the complete opposite than he should have been instead of being “too stiff” in the original cartoon.  Being a fan of the original Jack Cole series, he convinced Cartoon Network to make a pilot based on the style of the old Bob Clampett cartoons while including many characters from the golden age comic book while having ol’ plas fight third-rate DC villains throughout the series.

Kenny of course would provide the voice of Plastic Man while having Uncle Joey himself, Dave Coulier voicing Archie, the leader of the community center who orders Plastic Man to pay his debt to society by bringing in bad guys.  The pilot actually makes reference to Plas’ previous life as criminal Eel O’Brian and that being Plastic Man is his way of paying his debt to society, but Archie isn’t really soft on Plastic Man and acts like a construction boss from Three Stooges’ shorts.  The plot of pilot involves Plastic Man putting the Human Puddle back into prison after escaping through the judiciary sewer system because they accidentally through him into a cell with a toilet.

The biggest chunk of the pilot has to do with Plastic Man using his stretching abilities to find a way to arrest and apprehend the Human Puddle without getting duped.  If I had to criticize anything in this pilot, it would have to be that the animation and the style of the humor remind me too much of Ren and Stimpy, especially in the scene where Plastic Man has a nervous breakdown.  All in all, even though it takes a lot of jokes from the team at Spumco, it’s still a very funny and entertaining pilot with a lot of passion put into this ten minute cartoon.  Unfortunately, the big wigs at DC didn’t think that Plastic Man would work as an ongoing cartoon series even though the pilot tested well with audiences.  Things didn’t end poorly for Kenny as he was asked to reprise the role in the Batman: Brave and The Bold cartoon and just recently was asked to revive the cartoon show by making five shorts for the DC Nation block on Cartoon Network and even though I enjoyed the pilot, I believe that having the series in short films instead of being an ongoing series, works a lot better.

You can watch the pilot by buying the Plastic Man series on DVD or if you’re cheap like me, you can watch it on Youtube and if you’re too lazy to search for it like me, then you can watch it below.

Stay tuned for a special review for Batman day!

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