Most of what is made for television ends up somewhere between mediocrity and bad. However, lately it seems more shows (cartoons) fall into the low end of bad; the “total crap” category. Secret Mountain Fort Awesome is once such show, and the next offender on my list of shows (cartoons) so bad, I feel the need to write about it.
Though only a few sneak-peek episodes have aired, I have seen enough and read enough to know what Secret Mountain is about, both figuratively and literally. Like Problem Solverz, it falls prey to the idea that using a lot of current cartoon conventions without doing anything new, interesting, or clever makes a good show. However, Secret Mountain takes it to a whole new level by being made for a time long past, and even then it would have ended up being just another mediocre show in a long line of shows trying to do exactly what Secret Mountain is doing.
Created by Peter Browngardt (storyboard artist of Chowder “fame”) for Cartoon Network, by Cartoon Network, Secret Mountain is the story of the Disgustoids, 5 dumb, hideous freaks who come to Earth for some reason. Like all dumb, hideous freaks, they want to be treated just like the rest of us. Like all dumb, hideous freaks, the are forced to live underground instead.
Festro, leader of the Disgustoids and all-around party “bro”, is a muscular, purple thing wearing underwear and tennis shoes. Gweelok, the smartest Disgustoid, is a green, zit-plauged ball with two arms and an obvious Asian slant. The Fart is a kind-hearted, well-adjusted giant made of butts. Slog is some wierd, hairy dumb humanoid and Dingle is a lizard-dog pet thing.
A butt giant, folks. I think you can see where this is going.
Unfortunately, it is the only place Secret Mountain is going, and if you think it sounds like a zillion other gross-out, weird-ass-creatures-are-okay-guys-once-you-get-to-know them shows like Garbage Pail Kids from the 80’s, it’s because Secret Mountain would be right at home in that garbage heap. I don’t know if this was the intention of the show, but I think anybody who remembers those kinds of show also remembers how bad they were, even then.
From what I’ve seen, the storyline of Secret Mountain moves pretty much as one would expect from a show full of dumb, hideous freaks. The Disgustoids try to do something normal, and it ends up going horribly wrong because they are dumb, hideous freaks. However, add the all-to-common element of bizarre events leading to even more bizarre events, and you get stories about dumb, hideous freaks trying to order pizza and somehow traveling to a different dimension instead, where they must battle an evil warlord to gain access to a “portal potty” so they can go back home.
The art in Secret Mountain is okay. It reminds me a lot of the work of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, of Rat Fink fame, but not nearly as good. In fact, when comparing the two for this article, I saw a picture of a purple freak strangling a snake, just like the picture of Festro on the official Secret Mountain site.
Like the Problem Solverz, there seems to be no real reason to watch Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, unless you like to watch dumb, hideous freaks fail. The characters are one dimensional and pretty much the sum of their appearances, and the only one with any real redeeming qualities is the The Fart. Seriously, the butt giant is the most interesting thing about Secret Mountain.
The show has been done a million times before, mostly during the 80’s and early 90’s, and adding nonsensical stories and really, really dumb characters doesn’t make it any better now.
Just see for yourself.