Sam & Max Freelance Police
The Complete Animated Series
Originally aired 1997-98
24 Episodes 3 DVDs
Shout Factory 2008

Sam and Max Freelance Police is not a cartoon for the wee ones.

There is nothing offensive in this bizarre 10-minute episode cartoon aside from the odd fart or booger joke

The many references to other cartoons and television shows make it more teen oriented. So does the fact both characters speak very very fast.

The scary level here is about the same as Scooby-Doo or Ghostbusters TV shows but the story lines and jokes are generally better.

Sam and Max are perhaps oriented towards a more mature, relatively speaking of course, audience of twenty or so year olds.

The Ren and Stimpy look of Max and some of the many pop culture references would make it hard for a tween to really get into this cartoon.

Perhaps this is why this series lasted only 1 season: they couldn’t find the right audience because there were too many focus group studies. This may explain the girl scientist though she does have a role to play here.

This was really unfortunate because this is an original and quite funny cartoon with excellent writing.

There are more jokes and gags per minute here than in entire episodes of other shows or cartoons

The humor itself is off the wall, lightning quick, and very weird in a good way.

How weird is it? The first episode, The Thing That Wouldn’t Stop It involves a green goo Ghostbusters like creature that turns out to be the last of is breed of … TV dinners.

Episode 3 is the old lost island cannibals sacrifice plot though here it involves guinea pigs. They Came From Down There features an evil goldfish.

The Christmas cartoon is right up my alley. Sam’s grandmother, the former warden at Blood Island, returns to share Xmas cheer with her charges. Of course, something goes wrong.

Sam & Max Freelance Police did get a final episode, The Final Episode, a double-length affair where all the series’ bad guys get together to plot Sam and Max’s demise. Good stuff, including the fake retrospective moments.

Max & Sam Freelance Police DVD 1 has an Easter egg: click on the license plate and get a discussion between the show’s creator and a fan. I could not find an egg on DVD 2

Bonus features include a comic-conversation With Steve Purcel, 3 Animated Shorts Originally Seen on FOX Kids, Sam & Max: Our Bewildering Universe An original animated short written by Steve Purcell, A look at Telltale Games with cofounder Dan Connors, design director Dave Grossman and technical artist Daniel Herrera, a Sam & Max Season 2 Playable Demo by Telltale Games


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