The Legend of Calamity Jane (partially lost animated series; 1997-1998)
The Legend of Calamity Jane was a thirteen episode animated series created by French animation studio Contre Allée throughout late 1997 to mid 1998, during which time it was aired in several countries.
The series revolved around (a young, fictionalised version of) the infamous and historically renowned heroine Martha Jane Canary, commonly known as Calamity Jane. It was set in the Wild West and was a gritty and sometimes explicitly violent series (frequently showcasing gun violence), particularly for a cartoon whose target audience were kids and young adults. Despite its controversial content, the series has garnered somewhat of a cult following in recent years.
The WB Television Network picked up the series in 1997, though only three episodes were broadcast (during the Kids' WB programming block) before the series was pulled entirely (assumingly due to the excessive violence; an official explanation has never been given), despite being heavily promoted in the weeks prior to its premiere. The series had at least one complete English airing, however, in Canada, during the show's production period (ie. 1997 to 1998); it has also been fully aired in several non-English speaking countries, such as France and Portugal (the latter of which aired the series in 2002).
That Dude In The Suede called the cartoon's intro one of his top 11 American Animé openings.
For a long time, the show was practically impossible to track down, never having received any form of home video release. Eventually, foreign dubbed versions of the majority of the series began appearing online and, most recently, in 2010, VHS rips of all but two episodes were uploaded to YouTube in their original English dubs by user rotarydialz. One of the remaining two episodes, "Protégé", has been uploaded in its Swedish dub, though the other, "Dead, or Alive", is still missing entirely.
Notably, there is one more (slightly related) aspect of this show that has never come to light; originally, actress Jennifer Jason Leigh was cast as Calamity Jane, though, just two weeks before the show's premiere, the part was recast (for reasons unknown) and the role subsequently given to Barbara Scaff. Due to the recasting occurring so late in production, the promotional footage that was used to advertise the then-upcoming show on The WB featured dialogue recorded by Leigh, indicating that at least one episode of the show was recorded with Leigh as Calamity Jane. Aside from a single short piece of dialogue, as heard in the aforementioned promotional clip (which has since shown up online), none of Leigh's recorded dialogue has ever been released to the public.
UPDATE 01 Mar '14: It has been discovered that a Serbian dub of "Dead, or Alive" was uploaded to YouTube all the way back in March of last year! While two episodes remain missing in their original English dub, this is still an interesting development. Thanks to YouTuber SvetAnimacije for uploading the Serbian dubbed episode and to PoundPuppies10fan1 for making its presence known!
- rotarydialz's The Legend of Calamity Jane YouTube playlist, featuring 11 of the 13 episodes (English dubbed). Retrieved 20 Feb '14.
- Dailymotion link to the Swedish dub of "Protégé", courtesy of TheRedBaron1985. Retrieved 20 Feb '14.
- YouTube link to the Serbian dub of "Dead, or Alive", courtesy of SvetAnimacije. Retrieved 01 Mar '14.