Obscure early 2000s cartoons are among a few of my favorite things in this world. As much I loved shows from the 90s, the 2000s is when the production quality for cartoons really hit their stride. With new animation techniques came new ways to present cartoons, which lead to an era of experimentation. Some superb shows from this era include Megas XLR, My Life As A Teenage Robot, and Samurai Jack.
However, there were plenty of good shows made around this era that just ended up being forgotten. A big example of this is “Kid Paddle”, an obscure French/Canadian cartoon based off a Belgian comic about a group of nerdy kids who just like to chill and play video-games. The show revolves around the titular Kid Paddle and his friends, who are super invested in the “modern” gaming scene.
What made this show so interesting was its attention to detail at the time, especially in how it presented the video-games themselves. The cartoon would regularly show intricate video-games, or methods on how to do different things with them. One episode even had them hook up a game to an arcade machine via USB, albeit with unrealistic results.
One episode I enjoyed was the one where they eat these weird candy bug things, which looked like something out of “Creepy Crawlers”. There was certainly a lot of silly and interesting episodes out there, but good luck finding them in English! While the cartoon’s original French dubbed episodes are very easy to find, the English ones are much less so.
While the first two episodes were released in English on DVD, the many other episodes are seemingly lost. I know that the other episodes do exist in English, since I’ve seen clips of them here or there. The two episodes that are most readily available contain two segments each, which means that four shorts are available in total.
It’s a shame too, because the show itself is rather entertaining. With no way to watch the show in English, it’s hard for people who don’t speak French to really get into it. So, will Kid Paddle ever make a return on DVD? I mean, there’s a chance. Other shows on Teletoon have received DVD releases, namely Cybersix and Redwall.
To be fair, those shows had much larger fan-bases. No one really remembers Kid Paddle, aside from the few fans who grew up watching it on Teletoon. The show disappeared after only a few years of airing and never returned to the airwaves in Canada, at least not to my knowledge.
As far as I know, the comic is still going. You can find a ton of the trade paperbacks on Amazon, which include the newspaper comics. As for additional animated material beyond the cartoon, there isn’t much. I was able to find an animation on YouTube called “Game Over Episode 1”, but I have no idea if its official content or not. It’s essentially a one minute short set in the Kid Paddle universe, and is more of a straight-up adaptation of the newspaper comic’s “gag-a-day” formula.
Kid Paddle is kind of an enigma, at least in terms of it being a comic that was adapted to animation. English episodes are hard to find, information on the series is fairly scarce, and no one really talks about it anymore. Despite that, the show ran for 52 episodes and the comic is still running to this day.
Despite its obscurity, the series has managed some kind of longevity. I don’t think this show and comic will ever be celebrated as much as other Teletoon shows, but I think people will still look back on it fondly years down the line. Kid Paddle isn’t a show that’s unique, revolutionary, or interesting. However, it took the hobbies of nerdy kids and portrayed them in a way that made sense. I can still go back to this show and relate to the main characters, since I got roped up in a lot of similar shenanigans as a kid. For a show that stopped airing a decade and a half ago, that’s a pretty solid feat.