The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack

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Airdate: Thursday, June 5, 8:30-9 p.m., Cartoon Network.

Cartoon Network's charming "The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack" is a sprightlyspritely kid romp. Creator Thurop Van Orman infuses the half-hour animated comedy series for the very young with an unbounded sense of energy, and it's hard to move out of the way of its infectious spirit. Grown-ups will find it amusing; kids simply will fall into line.

The series follows the funny adventures of three lovable characters: Flapjack, a boy (it's hard to tell, really, what he is) who lives at sea and likes to get into mischief; Bubbie, a talking blue whale who raised him and now tries to protect him; and Captain K'Nuckles, a cantankerous old pirate who tells stories and takes Flapjack on his adventures. Nothing serious happens, but kids will like all that action.

Flapjack's animation is first-rate. In fact, it's so colorful it's almost mesmerizing; kids will stayed glued for that reason alone. But the series is a lot more than just that. It's almost wildly adventurous. Van Orman makes certain that the wind moves just right, that the waves of the water look choppy then wavy and that the voices are inviting enough to draw kids in.

Flapjack (voiced by Van Orman), Bubbie (Roz Ryan) and Captain K'Nuckles (Brian Doyle-Murray) all have a great sense of humor and a set of pipes that blend wonderfully with the music that surrounds their stories. They know how to milk an adventure and how to play it safe when all is said and done. The first episode up, "Seven Leagues Under the Sea," shows the series' savvy sense of humor, joking around with cultural icons and legends and paring them down until they're pint-sized yet still loaded with charm.

Voice cast: Thurop Van Orman, Brian Doyle-Murray, Roz Ryan. Creator: Thurop Van Orman. Writers-storyboard: Thurop Van Orman, J.G. Quintel. Creative director: J.G. Quintel.

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