The Legend of Calamity Jane (partially lost animated series; 1997-1998)

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Calamity Jane title.jpg

Title card.

Status: Partially Lost

The Legend of Calamity Jane was a 13-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.

Plot

The series revolved around a young, fictionalized 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.

English Broadcast

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, despite being heavily promoted in the weeks prior to its premiere. This cancellation is assumed to be due to the excessive violence; an official explanation has never been given.

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).

The YouTuber That Dude In The Suede called the cartoon's intro one of his top 11 American Anime openings.

Resurfacing

For a long time, the show was practically impossible to track down, never having received any form of a home video release.

For a while, the closest thing to accessible media related to the show was the official site: an interactive Shockwave-Flash animated website that showcases the cartoon's universe; the user would play as a journalist looking for Jane and meets many of the show's characters along the way. [1]

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 English dubs by user rotarydialz.[2] One of the remaining two episodes, "Protégé", has been uploaded in its Swedish dub by Dailymotion user TheRedBaron1985. However his account has since been removed.[3] In 2016 YouTube user Richard Mclean uploaded episodes 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12. These include the two lost English episodes. However, all of the episodes are dubbed in a foreign language and as of yet are not translated. Interestingly enough the episodes are in a seemingly higher quality than the English versions.[4] Two YouTube uploads by Adventuremaster18 of the Serbian dubs of the previously lost episodes were subbed by ViktorHR in English.[5][6]

Alternate Dubbing

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.

In March 2014, it has been discovered that a Serbian dub of "Dead, or Alive" was uploaded to YouTube.[7] While two episodes remain missing in their English dub, this is still an interesting development. SvetAnimacije's YouTube channel has since been removed due to the copyright claim. A few of the episodes in a foreign dub have been uploaded by user Richard Mclean.

Gallery

English dubbed episode one (part one of three), courtesy of rotarydialz.
Promotional clip for the show, featuring dialogue recorded by Jennifer Jason Leigh (0:22-0:23).

References