Cartoon Buffoon is the 49th (47th in the 4Kids broadcast) episode of the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! series. In this episode, King Dedede gets an idea to produce a cartoon show to air on Night Mare Enterprises broadcast in the hopes of turning a profit from the company's investment. He hires on the people of Dream Land to help him create this cartoon, with Tiff attempting to act as creative director, but the conflicting visions of Tiff and King Dedede along with the inexperience of the animators ends up producing a lackluster product. After several days and nights of crunch effort, the animation is broadcast with a plot similar to Kirby Comes to Cappy Town, but with King Dedede as the hero instead. Tiff complains about how her script was sabotaged, but it all ends up for naught, as the animation was released in an unfinished state, and King Dedede ends up further indebted to N.M.E. than ever before.
The following characters appear in this episode:
|Cast of "Cartoon Buffoon"|
|"Hah! Poyo! Poooiiyooo! Poooyooo!"|
|"Hey! Kirby's supposed to be the star!"|
|"Do y'all know how to tell a story?! Do y'all know how to draw 'til your fingers fall off?! Do y'all know how to color inside the lines?! Then we want YOU!"|
|"Do you know how long it took me to do that? One more doodle and I'd'a been off my noodle, Sire! I'd have to make thousands of these drawings to make one minute of film! Of course we could get a crack staff together and make ourselves a real cartoon!"|
|"The King's producing an animated series!"|
|"The broadcast is at 7:30."
"Are there people who'll watch it this early?"
|This dialogue is only present in the Japanese version, so it is translated from that version.|
|"Hmm, if I can make a soufflé, I could make a cartoon!"|
|"I guess it's okay, as long as it's legal!"|
|"Kawasaki! I'm afraid we're out of paint!"|
|"Cameras all set up, sir!"|
|"And knowing him, he must be the star!"|
|"Hey, Tiff! What is that thing?"|
|"Do it again!"|
|"I vish[sic] there was some way to spice up the script!"|
|"Who cares! It's still show-business!"|
|"You might be a better cartoonist than a chef!"|
|"I slimmed you down a bit!"|
|"Tiff, I am nervous. I have never...acted before."|
|"Well, are we gonna see a show, or are we gonna see some dough?"|
|"Perhaps it'll have educational value!"|
|"Why don't you come up with a rousing battle sequence, Tiff? Audiences love nothing more than a slam-bang brawl! A round of fisticuffs guarantees a ratings bonanza!"|
|"It's really moving!"|
|"That's right! Production! I've been put in charge of quality control!"|
|"Awesome idea, Tiff! Kirby'd make a great cartoon hero!"|
|"Pretty good, huh?"|
The episode begins in the Castle Dedede courtyard, where Tiff is showing Kirby and the kids her flip-book, and how rapidly flipping the pages makes a sequential series of drawings look like an animated image. While spying on the proceedings, King Dedede and Escargoon get the idea to make their own animation. They pitch the idea for a cartoon series to Night Mare Enterprises in order to help pay their crippling debt to the company, and after a small protest, the N.M.E. Sales Guy agrees to lend them a small amount of start-up capital under the condition that if the show flops or is not completed in time, that money will be owed back with interest. From there, want ads for an animation team are placed around Cappy Town, and the Cappies gather to talk about the idea, mainly out of curiosity. Soon, many of them arrive at Castle Dedede to participate in the making of the cartoon and King Dedede gives each of them their assignments while appointing himself as the producer and Escargoon as the director. Despite these appointments, Tiff is deferred to for advice on making the cartoon, as she is the only one among them with any experience in the matter.
Tiff begins by arranging a production meeting to iron out the details of what they will be working on. King Dedede pulls out his "concept art" for a character called "Dedede-man", and Tiff flat-out rejects it, instead suggesting they make the cartoon about Kirby. This idea is much more warmly received by the others present, and seeing this, Escargoon agrees to let Tiff come up with the script and act as assistant director while in the meantime conspiring with Dedede to go around her back and insert Dedede-man into the story instead. That night, Tiff struggles to come up with a good script, and her family help her by spit-balling ideas to spice up the plot. The next day, Tiff presents her completed script which reads more-or-less like the plot of Kirby Comes to Cappy Town to the animation team. King Dedede tries to protest, but Escargoon insists he keep his temper for the moment. Tiff then reveals the next step of the animation process by going over the storyboards. From there, the animation team gets to work by drawing the characters, but their variable level of talent becomes apparent (particularly in Kirby's case). King Dedede becomes appalled when he sees each artist's impression of Dedede-man, and Escargoon appoints Tiff as the animation supervisor to help improve their sloppy work.
Later on, the team are at work trying to produce animation strips and color them in, as Tiff struggles to maintain quality control. Escargoon shows King Dedede in to see the work in progress, and Dedede becomes furious when he sees they are drawing Kirby instead of him, but Escargoon once again insists he calm down and wait. Meanwhile, in the background drawing area, Chef Kawasaki helps supply extra paint by bringing in ketchup and mustard. In the filming room, Gangu and Professor Curio attempt to capture each frame one-by-one, but King Dedede and Kirby interrupt the process. As Tiff and Mabel try to work through which film strip goes where, they notice the shabby work on display, and the two brush it off due to the inexperience of the team. That night, as all the animators sleep at their desks, King Dedede and Escargoon smuggle in some of their own drafts and replace the drawings of Kirby in order to reclaim their cartoon. Dedede and Escargoon then report to N.M.E. that they need more time to finish the cartoon, but the Sales Guy insists that if they do not have it on time, Dedede will owe the money back regardless. Dedede relays to Tiff and her team that the cartoon must be finished in two days, but she insists that this cannot be done, and the rest of the team complain about having already worked three nights straight on it, but Dedede orders them to keep working.
After spending further long hours on the cartoon, the animation team becomes more and more exhausted, resulting in their work dropping even further in quality. As the dawn of the air date approaches, King Dedede and Escargoon barge in and berate the team, accusing them of laziness. Despite this, Escargoon insists they air what they have against Tiff's protest, and King Dedede announces to N.M.E. that they are ready to premiere the show. The broadcast begins on Channel DDD as those Cappies which did not participate tune in. The main cast of voice actors prepare in the studio for their lines to come up, and Meta Knight takes part in this with them. As the film starts, a Dedede-ified version of the opening theme plays, and Tiff realizes her plans have been sabotaged. After a short commercial break and scrambling by the staff to get the right film reels in place, the show proceeds through shabbily-drawn versions of scenes from Kirby Comes to Cappy Town, but with Dedede replacing Kirby in all his scenes. Later, it is shown that Kirby has been placed in the role of Octacon, having been made much larger in the cartoon for this purpose. For the sake of completing the project, Tiff and the others continue to provide voice support, but at the same time openly criticize Dedede's alterations while on set.
As the cartoon proceeds to the fight sequence, it suddenly stops to allow King Dedede and Escargoon to exchange flattering banter at each-other as the drawing quality fluctuates dramatically. The cast comments on the lack of creativity of the new script, as well as the inadequacy of King Dedede and Escargoon's substituted drawings and animation techniques. As the cartoon reaches the point where King Dedede gains the Fire Copy Ability from Kirby's fire breath, the cartoon's incompleteness starts to show, as scenes without coloring or backgrounds appear. Towards the end, Escargoon reveals they did not finish the script either, and King Dedede is left to bemoan his fiscal fate as Kirby's own doodles take up the end of the cartoon and the film strip burns up. After the premiere, the N.M.E. Sales Guy informs King Dedede that since the show was not of "professional quality", he now owes N.M.E. the money. To get out of this payment, King Dedede and Escargoon insist they will do twenty more episodes for free, and the Sales Guy accepts this. Later on, after reflecting on the whole experience, the people of Cappy Town watch as King Dedede and Escargoon try desperately to produce their cartoon by themselves. The episode ends as the town laugh at Dedede's misfortune broadcast on Channel DDD, and as the end wipe focuses on Kirby, he briefly loses his coloring and has to be re-painted in a fourth wall-breaking gag.
Differences between versions
- In the Japanese version, the want ad for the animation team reads in part "Cartoon Staffs". The extra "s" at the end is removed in the 4Kids version to correct the spelling error.
- In the Japanese version, the montage where the animators crunch to meet the deadline is longer and features more characters.
- In the Japanese version, Doron is holding a glass of red wine, rather than a glass of water.
- In the Japanese version, the opening of the cartoon mimics the Kirby ★ March opening song rather than the 4Kids version, with unique visuals and lyrics. The standard episode title card is also mimicked, with the episode being titled 「ふとった訪問者」 (The Plump Visitor), in reference to the first episode of the series, He's Here! The Pink Visitor.
- In the Japanese version, there are additional small sponsors during the commercial break, including "DDD Inc." and "Holy NightMare Apparel", and all the sponsors are read out by Makiko Ohmoto (as in the actual Japanese show's "Pupupu Tsushin" segments) instead of Escargoon. Inversely, the 4Kids dub adds a unique scene not present in the Japanese version, showing a Night Mare Enterprises-themed parody of the Walt Disney Pictures logo.
- In the Japanese version, some of the unfinished drawings in the cartoon still have sketched notes next to them. One near a crummy drawing of "Fire Dedede" reads in part "SHA DOW DOU BU PU".
- In the Japanese version, the part where Kirby celebrates his hand-drawn scenes is slightly longer.
- In the Japanese version, the characters refer to their animation project as an "anime", rather than a "cartoon". It is worth noting that "anime" is the catch-all term for any kind of animation in Japan, as opposed to the international meaning applying specifically to Japanese animation.
- In the Japanese version, Escargoon threatens Tiff with the death penalty if she does not have a script ready for them.
- In the Japanese version, King Dedede insists that "DededeMan" is not him, but an original character. Despite this, he and Escargoon later admit that it is just him after all.
- In the Japanese version, the amount King Dedede owes to Night Mare Enterprises for breaching his animation contract is 990 billion Deden. This number is shown in the 4Kids version, but not specifically mentioned.
- In the Japanese version, King Dedede specifically rebukes the animators' complaints by explaining that his country is an absolute dictatorship and an axis of evil.
- In the Japanese version, the script for the cartoon and the comments on said script are vastly different, an example being Dedede imitating Kirby's childlike babble when emerging from the Starship instead of an actual line. Additionally, Tiff complains about the title card "The Plump Visitor", and Meta Knight mutters that even he can't make the name "Fire Dedede" sound cool.
- The entire episode is a parody and critique of the stressful working conditions of the animation industry, particularly in Japan. While certain aspects are exaggerated for comedic effect (such as the voice actors recording their lines in real time with no rehearsal; this was standard practice in the past, but has been out of fashion for several decades), other aspects, such as animators sleeping at their desks to meet tight deadlines, have basis in reality and are common even today. The critique is generally more apparent in the Japanese version of the episode, where King Dedede and Escargoon take on more of a dictatorial role toward their staff.
- There is a small animation mistake near the beginning of this episode where Iro's mouth is duplicated as he is admiring the flip book animation.
- During the scenes where the voice acting crew are complaining about King Dedede's alterations to the script, the cartoon on display mirrors their off-script reactions, thus breaking the fourth wall.
- A Twitter post from Junichiro Taniguchi, animation supervisor for this episode, revealed the identity of the real-life artist behind Kirby's own crudely drawn Kirby near the end of Dedede's cartoon: key animation staff member Katsumi Hashimoto's son, who was six years old at the time.
- Cartoon Buffoon would, in 2019, become the subject of a collaborative effort by independent artists to reanimate the episode. This collaboration was briefly removed from YouTube due to a copyright strike from Nintendo, but could still be watched on Newgrounds and Vimeo during this time.
Shot from the cartoon showing Kirby taking the role of Octacon
Names in other languages
Anime shin bangumi - Hoshi no dedede
|New Anime Series - Dedede of the Stars|
|German||Filmstadt Zeetown||Film city Cappy Town|
|Spanish||El rey de los dibujos||The king of the drawings|