|“||I ordered the Watchdogs to make a propaganda film using the most sophisticated and respected art form in the universe.||”|
— Lord Hater
Lord Hater orders the Watchdogs to make an action cartoon about him in an attempt to impress Dominator. 
Open to LORD HATER The Greatest in the Galaxy theme song. In the real world, Hater tells Peepers that this is a brilliant idea to remind the galaxy how strong he is, so he ordered the Watchdogs to make a propaganda cartoon. Peepers asks if this is to impress Dominator, but Hater denies it (unless she sees it and sees how awesome and kissable he is).
On the screen, Hater announces that today, he will be the greatest in the galaxy (Real world Hater compliments the Watchdogs for casting). He talks about a magical staff that will give him more power. He calls on Cartoon Peepers (Real world Peepers yells about being portrayed as a complete idiot), who immediately trips and falls. Both Peepers say that this plan will never work.
Hater and Peepers look over to Viper Mountain, when Cartoon Emperor Awesome appears, with more muscular Fist Fighters. The muscular cartoon Watchdogs take down Awesome's Fist Fighters. Hater and Awesome clash, however, the fight isn't on camera (they blew all their animation budget on the Watchdog fight).
Cartoon Hater appears on the mountain holding the staff. However, (much to real Hater's discomfort) Cartoon Wander and Cartoon Sylvia (who looks more like a real horse) appear, though seeming dumber than Real world Wander and Sylvia. (Hater gives the Watchdog a noogie, saying they nailed and he wasn't gonna destroy them) Hater shoots at Wander with the staff, but he dodges every shot. Wander takes out his banjo and uses it to "supercharge" Sylvia, who takes down Peepers. The Watchdogs tackle Sylvia, and she calls for help. Wander "supercharges" himself with his banjo, calling himself the Wandinator (Real World Hater decides that they made Wander stronger to make him seem more impressive. The two clash in a seemingly endless battle, because the cartoon was fifteen seconds short.
Hater wins the standoff, and knocks Wander back to how he was before. Hater threatens to destroy Wander, until Wander tells him that he just wanted to be his friend. Hater is touched, and admits that he uses aggression to mask his insecurities. Real world Hater panics while Cartoon Hater and Wander run through a field of flowers. Real Peepers laughs uncontrollably. Real world Hater yells that Wander stopping him at the eleventh hour by being his friend isn't true to life, but the Watchdogs remind him that happens every day.
Hater says to burn it, only to find that it's airing as they speak. Hater quickly scribbles on a piece of paper to make a new ending, yelling that animation is so hard, and people who do it deserve credit and respect (looking at the audience). Cartoon Wander and Hater end the day with a hug, and Real Wander and Sylvia tells him that it's not so bad. Hater drags Wander off to change the ending. In the cartoon, Hater reveals that it was all a trick, and the scene is replaced with real Hater with Wander on a rack, the former hold a broom. Wander is glad to be on TV. Before Hater can destroy Wander, some fans come and crowd him.
On Dominator's ship, she finds Hater's cartoon to be lame, and switches to a parody of Scooby Doo and Gravity Falls, which she enjoys much more. In the cartoon, Wander fails to present the moral, as Sylvia shoots down all of his ideas.
For a full transcript of The Cartoon, click here.
A parody of the He-Man meme "Fabulous Secret Powers" featuring the cartoon versions of Hater and Wander dancing.
|The image gallery for The Cartoon may be viewed here.|
Hater: (yells) Animation is so hard!! (to the camera) People who do this for a living deserve more credit and respect!!!
Announcer: It's The Mystery Kids Mysteries. This week the gang solves the case of...Mavis' haunted sweatshirt.
- Several characters make a cameo appearance, including the Cashier from "The Nice Guy," Huckleberry Knucklehead from "The Toddler," and the citizens from "The Catastrophe."
- The minor characters who appeared in Lord Hater's cartoon opening sequence are Sir Brad Starlight, Prince Cashmere, The Potted Plant, King Draykor, Princess Demurra, Kragthar, The Black Cube of Darkness, Sourdough the Evil Sandwich, Little Bits, General Outrage, Clipper, Ryder, Mandrake the Malfeasant, Something the So-and-So, General McGuffin, King Bingleborp, and the celestial being from The Picnic.
List of allusions
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 - This episode is presented similarly to this popular low-budget TV series in which a comedian and his robot friends are presented in silhouette heckling B-movies.
- The wavy, scratched-up look of the cartoon and its echo-y sound quality reflects (somewhat illogically) the fact that many of the series of the 1980s parodied by the animation were for a long time available only on deteriorating videotape technology. (This may also reference the Mystery Science Theater 3000 slogan, "Keep circulating the tapes.")
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and Filmation - The entire cartoon throughout the episode is a parody of the 1983 animated TV series, as well as other cartoons produced by the former studio, which was known for its limited animation:
- The rainbow-colored "Hatemation" logo is a parody of Filmation's.
- ''Lord Hater: The Greatest of the Galaxy'' heavily parodies Filmation's 1983 series ''He-Man and the Masters of the Universe''. The primary antagonist of the series, Skeletor, was, like Lord Hater himself, a hooded skeleton-faced man.
- The low-budget animation of the film, with a heavy emphasis on re-using shots over and over, and long pans with no animation at all, is a parody of much of the animation made by Filmation.
- The heavily muscled bodies of most of the principal characters echoes the fact that the characters on He-Man were mostly heavily muscled men, reflecting the single body mold (with a variety of head molds) used for the Mattel action figures the cartoon was designed to advertise.
- "Viper Mountain" references "Snake Mountain," Skeletor's fortress in He-Man.
- The "Staff of Power" references Skeletor's "Havoc Staff."
- The tacked-on moral at the end of the cartoon parodies the moral or educational segments customarily concluding many Filmation series of the Eighties and Nineties, which sometimes had little to do with the actual plot of the cartoon.
- The "bicycle safety" message, however, very likely mocks Disney's own stringent policies that characters using cars or bicycles must always employ safety equipment, no matter how unlikely in the context of the story and character.
- BraveStarr - When Sylvia morphs to a muscular form, she resembles the robotic horse/deputy, Thirty/Thirty, from Filmation's BraveStarr.
- Frank Frazetta/Boris Vallejo - The image of Lord Hater standing at the top of a pile of enemies with Princess Demurra clinging to his legs echoes a common motif in the works of these popular fantasy artists of the Seventies (also referenced in the poster for Star Wars).
- Mister Ed - When Sylvia starts to look like a horse, she talks and her mouth moves the same way as Mister Ed's.
- Scooby-Doo, Where are You!, The Jetsons, and The Flintsones - The cartoon that Dominator switches to has an opening title sequence that parodies these Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The Mystery Ship is modeled after the Mystery Machine, the art style is similar to The Jetsons, and the character designs are modeled after the Great Gazoo.
- Laverne and Shirley - The way Hater and Wander open two doors into each other and then look knowingly at the camera references a shot from the title sequence of the popular Seventies series about two female roommates.
- Gravity Falls - The characters in the cartoon that Dominator watches are modeled after Dipper, Mabel, Grunkle Stan, and Soos. The Mystery Ship also has its "S" slightly off just like the Mystery Shack. Jason Ritter, Kristen Schaal, and Alex Hirsch all voice their respective parody counterparts. The music also sounds similar to the Gravity Falls theme.
- Brony Con - The episode shows aliens celebrating Hater at "Boney Con," which is a reference to "Brony Con," a convention where fans of My Little Pony go once a year. The term was created around the time of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, developed by Craig McCracken's wife, Lauren Faust.
- Animaniacs - Dominator's saying, "Now, that's a cartoon!" sounds very similar to Slappy Squirrel's, "Now, that's comedy."
- When Lord Hater orders the watchdogs to attack Emperor Awesome, he has Emperor Awesome's arms.
- When Lord Hater explains about his being evil, his arm disappears for two seconds.
- In one scene, Cartoon Wander's mouth detaches from his face.
- When the Cartoon Watchdogs are attacking Cartoon Sylvia (in muscular form), she appears to be normal when calling Wander for help.
- These "errors," however, were probably done intentionally.
- Hater breaks the fourth wall when he talks about animators.
- Eddie Deezen, who plays the cartoon version of Peepers, was known for voicing many "nerdy" characters in cartoons, including Mandark on Dexter's Laboratory.
- Frank Welker, who plays the announcer of the Scooby-Doo parody, The Mystery Kids Mysteries, was the voice of Fred in the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and later took up the role of Scooby himself.
- The plot for this episode is very similar to that of Kirby Right Back at Ya!'s "Cartoon Buffoon" episode, in which the main antagonist creates a low-budget cartoon starring himself.
- Jack McBrayer as Wander, Cartoon Wander
- Keith Ferguson as Lord Hater, Cashier
- April Winchell as Cartoon Sylvia, Additional Voices
- Tom Kenny as Peepers, Additional Voices
- Sam Riegel as Cartoon Awesome, Additional Voices
- Noel Wells as Dominator
- Jon Hamm as Cartoon Hater
- Jason Ritter as Skipper
- Eddie Deezen as Cartoon Peepers
- Kristen Schaal as Mavis
- Frank Welker as Announcer
- Alex Hirsch as Old Man / Soosy Du, Additional Voices
The Show Stopper