BY JOHN CARTER JR
The 90s were filled with many cartoon classics produced by Cartoon Network Studios. establishing the Cartoon Network catalog as both unique and important to the CN brand. 1999 included the debut of Ed, Edd n Eddy, a slice-of-life show focusing on three similarly-named boys, the cul-de-sac they live in, and the rest of the kids who live there.
There was Johnny, Sarah, Jimmy, Rolf, Kevin, The Kankers, Nazz, and of course the Ed’s. The show lasted a decade and its ending in 2009 took place outside their cul-de-sac with the Ed, Edd n Eddy’s Big Picture Show. Ed, Edd n Eddy is an example of a long show that had a long run that built up to a very perfect ending. Let’s analyze what facets of Ed, Edd and Eddy’s Big Picture Show made it a perfect ending.
The plot of many Ed, Edd and Eddy episodes surround a scam that Eddy has hatched to collect quarters from his fellow cul-de-sac kid for the purpose of getting jaw breakers, with the episode usually ending in the scam going awry. The beginning of the Ed, Edd n Eddy’s Big Picture Show indicated the scam had been the worst one yet and caused the most damage to the cul-de-sac. We don’t get any specific details on what the scam was but it included a lot of different miscellaneous objects and all of the children of the cul-de-sac except for Jimmy, Sarah and the Eds we’re physically hurt by it.
The film follows the Eds as they run away from home, trying to find a safe haven in Eddy’s brother’s house while the rest of the children follow behind for their own various reasons – some with a purpose of revenge, some with the purpose of saving the Eds, and some who just want to see them get their butts kicked.
Ed, Edd, and Eddy are the least popular kids in the cul-de-sac and that has been made apparent throughout the show’s run and what makes this beginning so fitting is not the mystery behind what this scam was but rather the fact that it was a representation of a culmination of scams that lasted the entire show. It was to set up the final moments of this episodic show with a significant change in the status quo.
This show has touched on many major topics over its run and has moments where it didn’t touch on any topic at all. A lot of the show was characterized by kids just doing things that kids do. The film pays homage to this back and forth between discussion and randomness. While some scenes have the audience seeing Double D yelling at the other two Eds for mistreating him or Eddy breaking down after realizing all this time that he’s felt like a loser which is his reason for wanting to impress the other neighborhood kids.
There are moments where Rolf and his pig are physically fighting or Johnny is dressed in a melon superhero outfit. The show conveys this balance that we find an emerging out of childhood random creative ideas amalgamating with deep personal experiences. It hits a chord with fans of the series as they have been waiting for this extreme and permanent character development.
The film went above and beyond giving us different moments for us to cherish with each individual mainstay character, even Plank. This was to establish the finality of the entire series, and these moments represented personality traits that have been developed throughout the series and were callbacks to those different character interactions.
Rolf being a farm boy skilled with animal knowledge, Kevin being obsessed with his bike, the Kanker sisters wanting to smooch the Eds, Sarah and Jimmy wanting to watch them get beat up. These are just a few examples of these various character callbacks that gave this film a fan service type nature and still represent its Slice of Life tone. This all leads up to the conclusion and biggest status quo change in the show.
In order to explain the magnitude of this shift, we must look at what the finale brought up, which certainly rings questions that we had concerning the show so far. While Danny Antonucci and the team definitely teased that revealing what was underneath Double D’s hat, never actually showing it off, they did reveal at the end of the film Eddy’s older brother.
The only adult character we ever saw in full body, Eddy’s brother was built up to be this great guy throughout the film. However like episodes before, this is just another one of Eddy’s lies just so he could look cool like the rest of the kids. In truth, his older brother was abusive and toxic and in the end, attempted to hurt Eddy, which finally led to that major status quo changing moment, the kids of the cul-de-sac stick up for Ed Edd and Eddy, This led not only to the kids cheering them on but as well to the Eds finally getting what they were searching for in the episodic show, getting jawbreakers.
In conclusion, Ed Edd n Eddy’s Big Picture Show is a perfect ending to a long-running episodic show not only because of the finality of the film but because of how the show wraps up it’s longest-running gags, mysteries, and character relationships. It represents transitioning through childhood and eventually beginning to emerge without only beautiful creative randomness but as well as deep and profound personal experiences that lead to significant growth. It is through the Eds that we can find that the outsiders are just like everyone else and that we see that most when, like Eddy, are emotionally vulnerable. It was the perfect homage To a show about imperfect people.
I give this film 10 out of 10 planks for its beautiful conclusion, wonderful characters, and its satisfying finality.