N. Harmonik’s Favourite 5 – 5 Favourite Oggy and the Cockroaches Episodes
Success! I, N. Harmonik, have managed to hack into Jyger’s Rant! I mean, I’ve decided to give my dear friend a break and try my hand at reviewing and stuff. And what better way to start than by typing about my currently most-adored franchise, Oggy and the Cockroaches!
Created by Jean-Yves Raimbaud (may he rest in peace) in 1998, this slapstickery cartoon is about a cat, the titular Oggy, and his dealings with three cockroaches, Dee Dee, Marky and Joey, who live in his house. When these ornery insects aren’t stealing Oggy’s food or some other object that he covets, they’re pranking him just for fun, usually with explosives. Oggy is sometimes helped by his cousin, Jack, although more often than not, his aid and bad temper just make the situation worse. Often, their antics will end up hurting and angering Oggy’s neighbour, a dog named Bob, who will then pound them (mostly the cats) into pulp. A late addition to the cast is Olivia, a sweet cat friendly to everyone (even the roaches) and Oggy’s love interest.
As you can see, this is a spiritual successor to Tom and Jerry. Unlike Tom and Jerry though, wherein every character except the cat and the mouse can talk, no coherent words are ever spoken and written words are kept to the barest minimum. Rarely, they’ll sing public domain songs (notably “A Night at the Opera” in which the opera “Carmen” is performed) but all communication is done through gestures and gibberish. Because there is no need for dubbing, the show is able to reach a wide audience, airing in at least 150 countries at the time of writing this. The cartoon’s success has spawned clothing, accessories, dolls, comic books, magazines, board games, video games, a music album, a radio drama and even a movie!
Allow me to tell you of my 5 favourite episodes in order of airdate. Naturally, there’ll be spoilers.
Oggy’s grandmother comes over to his house to celebrate her birthday. First the audience thinks the episode will be about the cockroaches driving her up the wall…until she pummels and captures Joey and Marky. Next the audience thinks the episode will be about how the remaining roach, Dee Dee, will endeavour to rescue his buddies/brothers…until he uncovers strong evidence that they’re dead. This causes Dee Dee to collapse into a sobbing mess, much to granny’s surprise, as if she had always assumed cockroaches were heartless. When she takes a look at her captive insects, they hand her a photo album showing them having a great time from babyhood to present day. And thus, granny is touched and realizes that Joey, Marky and Dee Dee may be awful to her grandson but they’re a family through thick and thin to each other. She not only releases Marky and Joey but the three bugs go with her back to her place for a while!
Oggy’s sister, Monica, visits and Jack is instantly smitten by her, thanks in no small part to her mistakenly kissing him. Noticing that she likes sports (the more extreme, the better), Jack strives to impress her in that department. Naturally, he stinks at all the events, even without the cockroaches (whom he had infuriated earlier) messing him up. Yet throughout, he never gives up so by the end of the episode, Monica finds his efforts cute and gives Jack her number before leaving. Unsurprisingly and amusingly, Jack celebrates the only way he knows how: loud as possible!
…Yes, Jack and Monica are cousins. I don’t know, maybe cousin-on-cousin isn’t considered incest in France where the show was made. Regardless, their relationship is strangely rather adorable. A pity it won’t last…
Have I ever stated that I’m a sucker for the old good-guy-gets-amnesia-and-gets-tricked-into-becoming- a-bad-guy shtick? Well, in this episode’s case, the inversion occurs!
After falling on his head during the usual raid on the fridge, Joey not only mentally regresses into a child and forgets who Marky and Dee Dee are but also becomes convinced that Oggy is his father! Said feline cannot bring himself to harm him after an affectionate display of adoration so he adopts the bug. Oggy even makes a blue, furry suit for Joey to wear so he’ll look like him! Throughout the episode, Oggy and Joey partake in several endearing father-and-son activities while the other two roaches do their best to land a blow on their former leader’s head in order to get him back. Ultimately, Joey gives himself a concussion that snaps him out of it. He bites Oggy while returning to his brothers’ welcoming arms yet later is seen to beam at Oggy fondly…then he promptly slaps Dee Dee and Marky when he notices them snickering at him.
The roaches destroy a witch’s hat by accident (for once) and pin the blame on Oggy, Jack and Bob. As punishment, the witch transforms the cats and dog into children, leaving Olivia to look after them. Olivia soon finds herself at wit’s end taking care of the cute but hyperactive rascals so she drags Joey off with her to locate and confess to the witch and makes babysitters out of Marky and Dee Dee. Meanwhile, the men are having a delightful time being boys again; pillow fighting, playing with their food and roughhousing while being as messy as they can. The one exception is school where they have to deal with bullies and human kids who think they’re dolls. In the end, the witch turns Bob, Jack and Oggy back into adults then, at Olivia’s request, changes Joey, Marky and Dee Dee into kids! The cutie pies are then given to the guys by Olivia to care for until the spell’s undone. And Oggy himself is likely going to need the practice…
The cats and cockroaches take a trip to Venice, Italy. Oggy reveals to Jack that he intends to propose to Olivia while Joey reveals to Dee Dee and Marky that he intends to pilfer his engagement ring to propose to Lady K, a conniving female roach living in Olivia’s house. In typical cartoony fashion, Oggy’s first attempted proposal fails; luckily, so does Joey’s first attempted theft. Oggy becomes jealously suspicious when he espies Olivia conversing with a male, grown-up human then hiding later when aforementioned human passes by. One awkward kidnapping later (with Jack as an all-too-willing accomplice), she reveals that he is a painter with whom she was transacting. With that matter mostly cleared up, Oggy pops the question and Olivia gleefully accepts…only for the roaches to swipe the ring. What follows is a madcap pursuit through the canals and roads that ultimately reduces the city to rubble. Oh well, at least they got the ring back. Later back home, it is shown that Olivia had commissioned the artist (revealed to be named after creator Jean-Yves Raimbaud) to do a portrait of her sweetheart-and-now-husband, Oggy.
Yes, you read that last part right, folks; a slapstickery cartoon actually defied the status quo of its genre and had two of its main characters tie the knot! This is the last episode produced so far yet chances are good that another season will be produced. I just hope it doesn’t take a few years again…
Those are my 5 favourite episodes and you probably noticed a theme connecting them all: love. And I hear you asking, “Why?” The thing is, I actually can’t stand franchises that are almost completely about love; I greatly prefer stories that have lots of action. Because love doesn’t come up often in this series, it seems much sweeter and cuter! Perhaps that’s why I like this franchise…
But just in case, here’s a list of more of my favourite episodes that aren’t as, ahem, lovely if you know what I mean: A Night at the Opera, The Ghost Hunter, Working Cat, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Oggy’s Double, Roachy Redneck, Inspector Dee Dee, Priceless Roaches, Let’s Party Guys, Metamorphosis, The Dictator, For Real, What a Lousy Day and From Mumbai with Love (Featuring Olivia).
So, leave any comments you might have below, and I’ll see you later…maybe. Kawoom!
…-r my 400th blog post!… … …What the hell just happened? o.O
- Oggy and the Cockroaches (en.wikipedia.org)
- Oggy and the Cockroaches part 1 (forfourfingers.wordpress.com)
- Oggy and the Cockroaches Wiki (oggyandthecockroaches.wikia.com)
- Oggy and the Cockroaches Facebook Fanpage (www.facebook.com/Oggy.fanpage)