Genndy Tartakovsky is one of the best animation masters out today. Not only do his works have a clear, distinct style, but they contain a cast of vivid, zany characters that appeal to all ages. His notable TV shows are as follows: TWO STUPID DOGS Consider it an early prototype of Tartakovsky’s hallmarks. The adventures of two dim-witted dogs as they try to at least handle a simple task like going to the bathroom, opening a door and so on. Not too bad, but watching them lumber around trying to figure out how to handle something a five-year old could manage got tiring after a while – these guys got lost THREE times on the way to a dinner party for Pete’s sake. The supporting show – a revival of Hanna-Barbara’s SECRET SQUIRREL – was far more interesting and impressive. DEXTER’S LABORATORY GT came into his own with this show: a boy genius who runs a secret laboratory finds his work constantly disrupted by his carefree playful (but in no way stupid as he says) sister. From this simple premise came a near-infinite supply of incredible situations. This show was such a hit it inspired Butch Hartman (FAIRLY ODD PARENTS), Seth McFarlane (FAMILY GUY) and collaborator Craig McCracken. It helps also that the characters are wonderful. Dexter may be a boy genius, but he is also a boy and suffers the same troubles as most ordinary people: crushes, popularity desire, rivalries, and no matter how much his sister drives him crazy, if she’s in trouble he will save her. And beyond the brother and sister there are the sports-obsessed dad, the slightly vapid mom, Dexter’s rival Mandark who has a crush on Dee Dee, Dexter’s superhuman Monkey, the superhero trio known as the Justice Friends... it didn’t matter that much of the stories/characters were parodies, they were fresh on the screen and were wonderful to watch. The only thing I don’t really get, years later, is why he kept the lab a secret from his parents. Of course he’s a genius, but if his parents know that then why shouldn’t they know about the lab? THE POWERPUFF GIRLS Though this was more a collaboration with Craig McCracken, GT too made his mark with this show and gave it its own feel and unique cast. Three superpowered girls: smart and authoritative Blossom, sweet and naïve Bubbles and feisty and combative Buttercup – beyond them, their professor father, the infantile mayor and his HOT assistant, and of course the assortment of villains they have to encounter: an evil monkey, a redneck, a bunch of monsters who stop by weekly to tear up the city, and most bizarrely a bunch of amoebas who are too weak and stupid to defeat the girls but manage to do so every freaking time (love how ironic it is). And most of the stories were not just about good or evil, but a few focused on a look at the daily lives for most of the cast: one of the best episodes involved the girls during a rainy day, and another had a look at Mojo Jojo taking community service (where his unique lingo catches on). Solid fun for all ages, all round. SAMURAI JACK A samurai wielding a magic sword faces off against an evil demon, but on the verge of victory he is cast a thousand years into the future, where the demon has conquered the universe. The samurai must now search for a way to get home, for that is the only way he can stop the darkness that has spread. This. Show. Was. Epic. STAR WARS: CLONE WARS. A look at the Clone Wars, the intervening period between Episodes 2 and 3. Never saw it, unfortunately, so can’t judge. SYM-BIONIC TITAN. A homage to the mecha anime genre: a princess, a cadet and a robot flee their war-torn Earth to hide out on Earth, only to be pursued by their enemies and must now defend their new home. Never saw it either unfortunately. My vote goes to DEXTER’S LAB. While Jack would probably be the pinnacle of GT’s work, the Lab is IMO his most special work, as it’s where he got his first hit and brought into prominence his distinctive style and charm; and it’s still a great show to watch, after all these years.