rogue

We just remembered Angela Anaconda and excuse us while we relive our nightmares.

The nineties was a decade full of seemingly innocent but in hindsight quite terrifying children’s programming.

And today, from the dark recesses of our brains, we’ve extracted another cartoon we’d rather forget: Angela Anaconda.

This Canadian-American series hit Aussie screens courtesy of Nickelodeon back in 1999 and lasted two years, with 65 downright weird episodes.

Angela aneconda
Remember THIS?

In case you missed it, here's a little refresher on of one of the era's more bizarre TV phenomenons.

The title character, Angela, lived in a fictional town called Tapwater Springs (which may have been in the South due to her high pitched nasal drawl.)

The eps detailed her wacky adventures with her friends – bestie Gina Lash, school nerd Gordy Rhinehart, gamer Jimmy Jamal, and her crush Johnny Abatti. All of whom were exclusively referred to by their full names.

She had a bitter arch-rivalry with resident mean girl Nanette Manoir, a Francophile that wore a beret, who Angela referred to as "Ninny Poo."

Showdown
The rivalry was real.
ADVERTISEMENT

In the show's opening titles, Angela sung about Nanette being a "stuck-up, jerk-faced snob," which was a fairly severe burn for its time.

In fact when looking back at the program, it turns out a lot of it was pretty messed up. For example:

The animation is terrifying.

The show is most memorable for its unique cartoon style, what's referred to as 'cutout animation' (this technique is also used by South Park, hence the characters' jerky movements.)

Basically, black and white photographs of the faces of real people are superimposed, bobble-head style, onto colourful computer-generated frames – but still have greyscale human limbs. Which makes for truly jarring viewing.

Some of the characters are... troubling.

The show's cast was actually quite diverse, but like many toons in the 90s, it still had a long way to go in terms of representation. In the first episode, when Angela's class takes an excursion to the space museum, there's an alarmingly racist portrayal of an Asian-American woman who speaks in broken English.

Racist pic
Why.

There's an Italian character called Uncle Nicky – known to be a gambler, all-round ladies' man and fan of fast cars – who is always escorted by two unnamed women, one hanging off each arm.

Uncle Nicky
Hmm.
ADVERTISEMENT

One of the children in Angela's class has been held back for learning reasons, and is often taunted for being 'simple.' Every time she appears on screen, her presence is accompanied by a slowed-down rendition of Pop Goes The Weasel.

Meanwhile a schoolmate of Angela's, Josephine Praline, is a staunch Catholic who offers confessional sessions in the girls' bathrooms and likes to call kids her own age "my child." She has 19 brothers and sisters, so infer from that cliche what you will.

It's inexplicably violent.

In each episode, the story arc is interrupted with a dream sequence in which Angela conjures imaginative (and often gory) ways to get rid of her nemesis. She imagines her getting injured in an ice-skating trick gone wrong, drowning, being murdered, fed to piranhas and... whatever this is:

Nanette
Yikes.

It's all in good fun though, right?

Riiight.


Sign up for our weekly "TV and Movies" newsletter. Every week, our Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik gives you a backstage pass to the best movies, TV shows and celebrity interviews.


00:00 / ???