(Re)Animations: Fantastic Max

Dirty Diapers! He may not be 'Mighty,' but he sure is 'Fantastic!'

Fantastic Max was one of those odd little cartoons that enscapulates everything that Strange Kids Club was founded on: a sense of imagination and limitless childlike wonder. As if a talking toddler with a bright orange mohawk wasn't offbeat enough for you the show also boasted a magical alien creature/doll named FX, a build-a-blocks pansy butler named AB Sitter and a host of equally strange (yet child-friendly) space-faring compatriots who were both friend and foe. Also among the cast was Max's older sister, Zoe, who really gets a bad rap usually as a result of Max's adventures.

As a predecessor to today's animated shows, I can see a lot of elements from Fantastic Max in some of today's most popular cartoons such as Phineas and Ferb (overbearing sister who gets in trouble as a result or her snooping), Fairly Oddparents (adventures of a young boy and his magical friends) and Rugrats (talking babies). And that's the true testament of the show that, despite its more infantile storyline, anyone can fall into its wide open narrative because at its heart the show is about imagination.

The show is credited to Mike Young, who went on to also create the similarly themed The Further Adventures of SuperTed and Little Dracula, and ran for two seasons under the banner of Hanna-Barbera before being cancelled. Apparently there's some minor discrepancy regarding the origins of the show, though I couldn't find anything online to verify these claims. Overall, Fantastic Max is a fun show that is full of creativity and perfect to watch with your son or daughter on a Saturday morning. In fact, Cartoon Network's sister station Boomerang still airs it early mornings... a great way to spend 30 minutes before the trek to the reality of work.


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