C.O.P.S. The Animated series!

C.O.P.S. The Animated series!

**One Monster’s continuing mission to explore strange new (old) cartoons. Shows he has never seen! Watched in small segments and reviewed immediately. No research! No rewinds! No shame! Join me as I embarrass myself for your reading pleasure. This is Full Moon Reviews!**

Years ago when I first learned that COPS the Animated series existed I was really intrigued. How could they possibly adapt such a gritty real world fox television series into a cartoon? Would they have animated depictions of police officers chasing some guy they busted for weed through a dark field while animated “shaky cam” tried to keep up with the action. Cartoon drunk driving? Cartoon prostitution stings? Probably not. In fact I’ve heard a couple people describe it as some kind of futuristic action show. I’ve even heard it has some kind of loose association with GI Joe… At any rate there better at least be some meth labs.

Cops The Animated Series: The Case of the Stuck Up Blimp.

Okie Dokie…the opening sequence is actually pretty sweet it’s an action tour de force! Highlighting the world that the show is set in and featuring a wide array of the shows characters and their respective skills. There is also a robot dog apparently. The opening monologue uses the tagline: “Fighting Crime…in a Future Time!“ Oh…yeah. As usual the bad guys look way more interesting than the good guys…but then again, I’ve always been partial to villains! The episode opens with a news story about a huge super expensive blimp that will be arriving in the city much to the delight of the upper crust citizens. We are then transported to the office of the Big Boss the man who I guess is the main bad guy as he was also mentioned in the opening. He sits at a big desk stroking his cat with a metal hand (this made me kind of M.A.D. since it’s been done before!) the big boss man (doing his best James Cagney) has an awesome(?) plan to steal all of “da Loot” from the rich folks on the blimp and make their getaway in a copter while the cops are distracted by the sabotaged blimp. Since the three goons he’s talking too all seem…let’s just say “slow” and one of them is actually dressed like he’s a prisoner in an old keystone capers short, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that I bet the plan fails.

*Side note: we seem to have a pretty awesome little “tuxedo” sub-plot going here. Big boss has said that it’s vitally to the plan that his short bus goons wear them to the robbery and at least one cop has picked one up as well. He even has a top hat given to him by a crazed, top hat obsessed sales clerk (I’m assuming)

The cop sees the goons going into the tux shop and what follows is one of the most backwards nonsense displays of technology I have ever seen. He enters there numerical prisoner id codes into the computer to find out who they are. He has their ID CODES MEMORIZED but he doesn’t know who they are. Then the computer (rather than just bringing up pictures of them) does that ridiculous eyes, mouth, nose match-up thing they like to do in police shows. Then the computer puts the faces together and finds out who they are…even though it ALREADY HAD THEIR ID!

While he is doing all this they rob the tuxedo shop of three tuxedos and start running down the street with them yelling (exactly how I got my tux for senior prom) the cop chases them on foot (just like the reality show except no one slips in wet grass or jumps over a fence.)
The bad guys run down an alley and up a fire escape and we learn that the cop chasing them is afraid of heights! He still follows and the bad guys rip a rain gutter off of the side of the building and walk across it (an aluminum rain gutter) to get to the next roof. They both loose their balance and slip which is supposed to be hysterical comic relief but in reality makes me just as afraid of heights as the cop was.

The cop tries to follow, has a panic attack and hugs the gutter for all he’s worth. The bad guys realize he’s afraid and pick on him like a bunch of big jerks!

Part 2:
The cop (who’s name is revealed to be Hard Top) is back at HQ and ready to go to the party. Seems he wants to meet his dream girl a local red hot journalist who “goes for big tough cops in uniform) grwwwwol! The bad guys have completely changed the entire plan because the ability to adapt to situations and grow is an important part of running any strong business venture. We cut back to the cops who are riding up an elevator when the Chief asks hard top “how long have you been afraid of heights.” he asks what makes him think he is?…well gee hard top maybe it’s that fact that you’re visibly shaking, clutching your stomache and sweating like a maniac?

We arrive at the party where the men seemed to be dressed normally while the women are in sexy Egyptian costumes (I’ll allow it) and all the rich people have cranked their rich up to eleven! There swinging jewelry around, irrationally opening their wallets to flips through wads of cash.

And in general acting as if they WANT to be robbed.

After some funny scenes where the chief (Bullet Proof) gets beaten up by the reports make-up, camera man, and boom mic robots, and the head dumb goon gets to deliver some amazing dialogue “whaddaya think I am? Da gallupin gor-met?” Hard Top gets to meet the girl of his dreams!

She ditches him just before the two cops discover that the bad guys are posing as the catering staff! (they do this without the computer) and chase them leading to an epic guns vs. food fight in the kitchen. Despite attacking with a giant cake, the cops loose and get tied up and thrown in the meat freezer. Where one of the goons tells them to “chill out” before slamming the door. Chill out! Get it? While the baddies carry out their devious plan the copcicles continue trying to free themselves Bullet Proof (whom I think is a robot) breaks his ropes and calls for help. The cops all get up and scramble. One dude turns to the camera and says “it’s crime fightin time!”

No champ, it was crime fighting time half an hour ago. Now maybe you guys should get off your butts, stop playing video games and do you jobs! I pay good tax money to…ahem…sorry about that.
Bullet Proof (who carries bombs in his robot chest) frees them and then goes on top of the blimp to prevent the bad guy (Crusher) from cutting it free. Bullet Proof get’s thrown off the blimp and the getaway vehicle arrives to pick up the bad guys. I think the villains are gonna win this one kids!

Part 3:
The reporter tries to get an eclusive interview with the bad guy Berserker and he threatens to punch her! Then tragedy strikes…he picks up and kills Beamer, the cameraman robot…a moment of silence please…

Bullet Proof survives his fall but shuts down, and the bad guy captures the reporter. The rest of the cops show up but they cant connect their ship to the blimp and Hard Top must, of course, face his fear of heights to make the connection and allow the back-up to arrive! The cops charge in (making some weird entrances) but kicking some bad-dude butt!

They beat up the bad guys while dodging their non-stop hail of gunfire at incredibly close range (in the future guns stop being GI Joe lasers and go back to actual bullets) they leave the villains bruised and beaten

and then go after the main two. Berzerker escapes with a bag of loot and Hard Top gets a chance to play hero to his news babe.. He’s apparently not in the least afraid of heights now and he almost gets a kiss but it gets spoiled when the last badguy Crusher, tries to attack them and gets captured by Long Arm. The reporter gets whisked away by one of her robot friends and Hard Top Tells us all that “Anyone can overcome their fears!” they give a nice little recap at the end and close the file. The reporter mentions Hard Top in her news story (they’ll be wed some day!) and we get an all around happy ending…except maybe for the tuxedo store owner…I don’t think he ever get’s any justice.

This show was great. Lots of action, surprisingly well developed characters and lots of funny moments. The bad guys are sadly one-dimensional but there seems to be a lot of them. I enjoyed the roll call during the closing credits where they give a shoutout to each and every main character on the show. All the specialist cops are pretty cool and I like the bionic angle some of them have. If the villains were a little tougher and more highly developed it would make for some great battles. If I lived in the town for a month I would be ruling it with an iron fist….not an actual iron fist though, Big Boss already tried that and he’s a miserable failure.


Dedicated fan of puppets, horror and classic animation. Fueled by nostalgia and driven to spread my own brand of "truth" to the fandom. Remember playing as a kid and trying to tell a coherent story with totally mismatched, unrelated toys? It's like that....of the mind!

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. This is weird. I know I used to watch this show as a kid before school, but literally the only two things I remember about it were 1) they had PSAs at the end a-la GI Joe and 2) There was a helicopter with whisper mode, which was a very quiet mode it could run in and I spent a lot of time pondering how that could possibly work in real life.

    That is it. I don’t remember the theme song, the characters, the toys. Nothing.

  2. I love having random, vague facts about things from my childhood and then getting to rediscover them. Whisper-mode helicopter is a hilarious and awesome concept. I wish the world was ready…

  3. I used to watch cops every day after school, it was a good cartoon. It actually came out long before the live action show of the same name. In fact, it was originally just titled “cops”, then when it was re-aired after the live action show emerged and stole it’s original name (to this day I wonder how they got away with that), it switched to “cyber cops”.
    When the live action show of the same name came out, I frequently got mixed up, seeing “cops” in the schedule & thinking it was the opposite show of what it actually was. On top of copyright/trademark infringement (pretty ironic for a show about police to be breaking the law itself), using the same name as an existing show was bad marketing. It would have been much better to call the live show “real cops”.

    Anyway, this cartoon used to air every weekday afternoon around 4 or 5PM on either fox or WUAB (we didn’t get a fox affiliate around here until quite late in the game. In the meantime though, WUAB had had fox-like programs & scheduling for decades). It aired alongside the original ninja turtles cartoon and the original mario bros super show.

  4. @Drahken wow! That’s an amazing amount of COPS information. I’m impressed! Sounds like the animated series definitely got the wrong end of the deal. To me Cartoons are lightyears past reality shows! By the way; COPS, TMNT and the super Mario brothers? Fantastic lineup!
    @Mr. Th1rte3n thank you very much my friend! I appreciate it

  5. The roll call at the end WAS the awesomest:

    Long Arm!
    Bowser and Blitz!
    Hard Top!
    And they call me Bullet Proof.

    Best C.R.O.O.K.S. villain name: Turbo Tu-tone.

  6. I bought the whole series on dvd for my son’s 6th birthday in November. I’m pretty sure the kids have now seen every episode two or three times.

  7. @Mashimo Nice! I really enjoyed the roll call thing as well. They did a nice job at character development for a cartoon. Even the gimmicks were cool. And I gotta start trying to get my friends to calk me Turbo Two Tone! Lol
    @Drahken now that line up is even better! Muppet Babies was very underrated IMO also I thought WOUB sounded familiar. I grew up in central Ohio

  8. Another fantastic piece, CW! The roll call was indeed awesome…except they left out my favorite member of C.R.O.O.K.S., Buttons McBoomBoom, the hit man for Big Boss…who just also happens to have a pair of guns in his chest!

    Mace was probably my favorite member on the C.O.P.S. team…maybe Long Arm.

  9. WUAB, home not just of COPS but Freak Week as well. I considered it a little better than WTTE, but mostly because I didn’t have it until we got basic cable.

  10. @Vic lol the folks probably had a blast coming up with all those names. Would have been a really fun show to write for, I imagine.
    @Doug Yes! Ohio kids unite!

  11. I actually grew up in northwest PA, but we pulled in some stations from cleveland & pittsburgh. Those channels were also included when we got cable.

  12. Sending precious Ohio channels to Pennsylvania!

  13. Damn. You beat me to a review of C.O.P.S. …

    Good review! I actually bought the first volume from Shout Factory off of Amazon, and it only has half of the series. I’m planning on getting the rest, I just may only be able to get the cheaper, Mill Creek version since the other one is out of print. It’s pretty awesome, because it has sketches and concept art for characters, vehicles and environment, concept art for certain episodes, storyboard for the opening, and PSAs, which are always fun, but sometimes made absolutely no sense to the episode. I hope I can find the other Shout Factory volume. I really don’t want to have to settle for Mill Creek, even though I do have some of their DVD sets.

  14. Oh, and C.O.P.S. stands for the Central Organization of Police Specialists and Bullet-Proof’s real name is Baldwin P. Vess.

    The name alone is enough to make you groan.

  15. “Bullet Proof” Vess? Oy! btw since you’re a fan of the show and all…is he totally a robit? Why is everyone bionic? I’ve gotta track down that dvd myself! Thanks for the nice words man!

  16. As I recall, bulletproof is essentially a rip on robocop. He got severely injured, then fixed with bionics. There was an origin ep on him that I recall vaguely, it showed him getting shot after the fix, with the bullets having no effect, at which point he says something like “I’m bulletproof. I guess that’ll be my new name”. Most of them never have any explanation for their bionics though.

    Interesting trivia: The guy who did the voice of “big boss” in this show also did “quackpot” in the dinosaucers cartoon.

    …And while there’s no direct correlation between the 2, the group of villains in this show strongly reminds me of those in the original biker mice cartoon. Compare big boss, the mad doctor, and the guy in the prison stripes against the plutarkian (in his human mask), his mad scientist, and greasepit.

  17. @Drahken Thanks for the information about the bionics. I think I’m really gonna have to try watching this show from episode one! Good call on the Biker Mice thing. I hadnt thought of it but it totally makes sense!

  18. I just looked it up & it’s episodes # 8 and #9 “The Case of C.O.P.S. File #1” parts 1 and 2 (or A and B on youtube).
    I just re-watched them & my memory was surprisingly close. He gets a building dropped on him in the first of the 2 eps & nearly dies, then he gets cyberized. The crooks try to kidnap him from the hospital, but their bullets just bounce off his chest (because the crooks are too dumb to aim for his unprotected head). At the end of the second episode, one of the other cops says “I don’t know what BP used to stand for but now it should stand for bulletproof”. These 2 episodes also details the formation of the cops team.

    While watching these, I was reminded of what used to be my favorite catchphrase from the series “crime’s a wastin”.

    Also, the scene in the first of the 2 eps where they’re showing him the schematics for his new cybernetics reminds me of several other 80s cartoons; Silver Hawks, Galaxy Rangers, and Centurions.

  19. The show had very good quality toys as well.

  20. Dr Bdvibes the sterotipical Md Scientists with his glass see through caranium and the big guy as intelligent sack of rocks

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