Ned’s Newt (1997-1999)
Another silly cartoon review! This is a show that I remember watching on Cartoon Network in the On Digital days when I wanted to discover more about what they had to offer, although it actually wasn’t made for that channel. Ned’s Newt was a Canadian production that originally aired on a channel called Teletoon, and I am fairly sure that it hasn’t been shown on CBBC or CITV.
Ned Flemkin is a boy who wants to own a pet, but when he gets to the shop all he can afford is a small blue newt. At first, he just sits there quietly in his bowl not doing much which disappoints Ned. But then one day Ned feeds his newt some Zippo food and he magically grows in size and starts to talk! Ned and his newt then go off and have some adventures together.
When the newt starts to talk he is able to do a variety of impressions of famous people and he can also shapeshift, so for example he might tell a joke but in the style of someone such as Groucho Marx or Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he often gets Ned into awkward situations, by which point the food starts to wear off and he returns to his normal size, leaving Ned to get the blame for most of what has happened as no-one believes that his small pet newt could cause such things.
Also throughout the show we meet various other characters including Ned’s parents, plus some of his schoolmates such as his friend Doogle, and his neighbour Linda who he has a crush on, and he is always battling alongside Rusty for Linda’s affections. Also as the episodes went by the Newt turned into a wide variety of characters and some of the impressions were rather bizarre.
The oddest thing about Ned’s Newt though is that thing that I remember most about the show from the time isn’t an actual episode, but the way that it was promoted. In about 1999 I was watching Cartoon Network one day when I was beginning to get into their shows, when during an advert break there was a trail for Ned’s Newt. As well as explaining what the show was all about, it also used a piece of music that I rather liked.
I wasn’t sure what it was or whether it was made for the trail or not, but a while later I discovered that it was the introduction to the 1982 hit single “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash, so every time I hear that now I still think of it as “The Ned’s Newt song”, as odd as that may seem. 39 episodes of the show were made in the late-90s, I haven’t seen them on TV for a while, and it seems that there has been no DVD release, but this is definitely yet another odd cartoon that I remember.