Childhood fantasy is at the heart of human endeavour. It inspired our scientific pursuits, It inspired hope in the face of great adversity, and arguably the most important factor. It inspired countless works of arts and tall tales. About ten years after The Return Of Bruno and further along into his career, Bruce Willis looked into teaming up with Film Roman, who around this time was starting work on the greatest animated comedies around. Bruce and Film Roman set to work combining their talents to produce a show about those same fantastical adventures of an eleven-year-old super-spy, namely Bruno the Kid.
A young gifted computer savvy eleven-year-old by the name of Bruno manages to dupe an international global espionage organisation into thinking he’s one of the most gifted secret agents in history. Along with agent Jarlesburg, acting as his assistant, Bruno must constantly save the world, all while keeping his identity secret and being back by bedtime.
As seen in The Return of Bruno, Bruce Willis’s nickname is back. And you can tell his influence on almost every frame of this show. There’s not one situation where Bruno doesn’t have a snappy comeback. The catchy theme song is evidence of this as well, with Harmonica laden jazzy blues riffs and Willis’s style of the aforementioned The Return Of Bruno. Style being the operative word here, as the show manages to seep tonnes of it into the cartoon.
For a passion project, the quality of the cast is stellar, veteran voice actor Tony Jay is back from his previous endeavour, Tom and Jerry the Movie. Jennifer Hale, whose voice-over work is prolific in both video-game and television circles is a great fit as Bruno’s friend Leecy Davidson. Even Mark Hamill is included as Bruce, a Q-type character. A strong collection of recognisable voice actors who demonstrate how well Bruce Willis fits into the role of voice acting and blends with the best of them.
As was typical for animated children’s comedy shows at the time, A lot of running gags are present. For instance, the young tech-savvy Bruno uses his computer to generate a then-revolutionary C.G.I. interpretation of himself in a heightened backdrop based on the young Bruno’s mundane location. Also, the way that Jarlesburg gets into contact with Bruno changes each episode injecting a lot of fun and variety into the equation.
Bruno the Kid is a young boy’s spy fantasy come to life. It is comical, witty and possesses a genuine self-aware charm thought its 36 episodes. It is one of those animated comedies that stands up to the scrutiny of time, by maintaining a constant sense of self-awareness and keeping the audience in on the gag. The theme song has the lyrics “If you’ve got a problem, call Bruno The Kid” and in this show, it more than meets this promise.
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