Cartoon Lost and Found (found live-action/animated Nick at Nite special; 1990)

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Status: Partially found



"Cartoon Lost and Found" was apparently a late night television special, broadcast on Nickelodeon, specifically on the Nick-at-Nite bloc, in the early 1990's--the exact date unknown. If it was meant to be a pilot for a series which was never "picked up", or some kind of one-off TV movie, is unknown but several facts are known for certain.

First and foremost, it starred Adam West, famed actor and former star of the television series Batman, as an older man who worked at a secluded office where the remains of old film reels were kept, each one part of what remained of some old cartoon from the 1950's and 1960's including such things as Cool McCool, Super Chicken, the Mighty Hercules and even Speed Racer, an anime dubbed for American audiences. Various other characters would come and go as the special continued, but the basic premise and structure revolved around Adam West assembling the remains of these old cartoons, feeding them into some kind of device which would then play haphazard reconstructions of the shows. Full episodes were never shown, instead bits and pieces, some showing no more than the opening theme.

Adam West is referred to by his literal name, called simply West on more than one occasion, and in at least one instance, West reacts to a BatSignal-like image in one of the clips by behaving as if it raised his adrenaline--as if it brought up some memory of being Batman. West more than once directly addresses the audience, sometimes in sardonic asides and sometimes in monologues, wherein he seems to assume the age of the viewer; he mentions on more than one occasion that the viewer, he presumes, watched these cartoons as children, or even "as a fetus with a good ear", and says that the cartoons helped him through trying times in his youth as he felt he was never as bad off as the antagonists in the cartoons. In that respect, Cartoon Lost and Found is presented as, literally, a lost and found for old, 50's, 60's and 70's cartoons which is aimed at "Boomers" by West's own admission, explaining why it was shown on Nick-at-Nite. Combined with some of the language ("It's a damn shame...") and some violent imagery, the special was clearly aimed at adults and teens and not just children.

As mentioned other characters appeared in the special: one being a boy named simply Jimmy wearing a makeshift form of power armor made from kitchen utensils and electronics, who said his "favorite cartoon disappeared" and had come to see if it had been turned in to the Cartoon Lost and Found, but since no one had "turned it in" West showed him various other superhero cartoons including Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, the Mighty Hercules, Gigantor and Astro Boy. In another instance he meets a skittish, conniving man named Jack, though it is implied this is an alias, who is assembling footage for a "novel" he is writing called To Serve Cats--which West discovers, shockingly, is a cookbook--and so West shows Jack clips of Snagglepuss and Felix the Cat among others before realizing what his "novel" is and angrily showing him the door.

Ironically, despite the series focusing on allegedly "lost" media, it has become lost media in it's own right. So far only a single, partial segment of Cartoon Lost and Found has ever been located, seen in a single YouTube video posted by someone known as Matthew Hasson on Jan 19, 2015, seen here. Save for this video, and part of two promos used to advertise the show prior to it's airing, no other remnants of Cartoon Lost and Found exist.

This is especially bizarre, considering literally no evidence appears to exist on the IMDB filmography of Adam West, who starred in the show. Whoever the other actors were, they have yet to be identified, and if any evidence exists on their IMDB profiles it has not been found.


List of Clips Shown (incomplete):[edit | edit source]


Gallery[edit | edit source]

A promo.
Second promo.
Remaining video evidence.



References[edit | edit source]

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  19. https://nerdist.com/article/why-speed-racer-deserves-to-be-remembered/
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