Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa
Wild West C.O.W-Boys of Moo Mesa: Another Fine Mesa
Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa is an American animated television series created by comic book artist Ryan Brown, known for his work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The show was produced by King World and ABC’s Greengrass Productions and animated by Gunther-Wahl Productions for its first season and then by Ruby-Spears Productionsfor its second season. C.O.W.-Boys aired Saturday mornings on the American Broadcasting Company television network.
First broadcast on September 12, 1992, the show ran for two seasons, spanning 26 episodes, before it left after the 1993-1994 season with Disney‘s acquisition of ABC. The series was then broadcast on Toon Disney from 1998 to 2002.
Like many cartoons during its time, C.O.W.-Boys dealt with a mutation of some kind; in this case, an irradiated meteor struck the late 19th century Western plains creating a miles high mesa shrouded in clouds. Everything trapped on top of the mesa was “cow-metized” by the light from the “cow-met” and “evolved” into a “bovipomorphic” state. Inspired by old tales of the Wild West, this new bovine community developed to the point where they emulated that era’s way of life, including the requisite ruffians and corrupt sheriffs. However, their knowledge of Wild West living was limited, and as such, many things about their culture had to be improvised to ‘fill in the blanks’. The concepts of steampunk and Weird West were utilized throughout its run.
The series focuses on trying to keep justice in the frontier territory. The lawbreakers were too much for the corrupt regulators of Cowtown – Mayor Bulloney and Sheriff Terrorbull – to handle by themselves. Helping them out, whether they wanted it or not, were a group of peacekeepers known as C.O.W. Boys, short for “Code of the West.” Led by bull Marshal Moo Montana, the C.O.W. Boys also included the Dakota Dude and the Cowlorado Kid. The muscle-bound Marshal and his deputies had their hands full with various ruffians and outlaw gangs that plagued the otherwise peaceful town.
- Marshal Moo Montana: Leader of the C.O.W.-Boys and marshall of Moo Mesa. Courageous and quick on his hooves, Moo Montana “battles the bad guys and makes the West a safer place to graze”. Lives by the Code of the West, which he seems to make up as he goes along (episode “The Big Cow Wow”). His horse’s name is Cyclone. (Voice: Pat Fraley)
- The Dakota Dude: The soft-spoken muscle of Montana’s posse, Dakota possesses a cool temperament and rarely gets mad, even in near-death experiences (episode 12: Dances with Bulls). Dakota agreed to marry Cowlamity Kate in Wedding Bull Blues to save her father’s inheritance. His horse’s name in Rebel and is scared of heights. (Voice: Jim Cummings).
- The Cowlorado Kid: The youngest of the group and a self-proclaimed ladies’ man with a good singing voice, regardless of his skill with the lasso and guitar. Cowlorado isn’t a deputy yet. In Stolen on the River, he tries to prove he’s worthy of being a deputy by catching Five Card Cud only to get in trouble and be rescued by Dakota and Moo. (Voice: Jeff Bennett).
- Mayor Oscar Bulloney: The greedy and corrupt mayor of Cowtown in Moo Mesa, Bulloney rigs elections (episode 9: Stolen on the River) and makes taxes so high that the Masked Bull compares it to stealing. He also serves as Cowtown’s crooked Justice of the Peace and Bank President. (Voice: Michael Greer)
- Sheriff Terrorbull: Selected by the corrupt Bulloney, Terrorbull uses his sheriff’s badge to conceal his evil intentions. Was forced to leave Cowtown after losing a bet to Moo in No Face To Hide. Subsequently became sheriff of the remote town of Lonesome Gulch, where he continued his unlawful exploits. (Voice: Joe Piscopo).
- Lily Bovine: bartender, former showgirl and owner of the local saloon, The Tumbleweed. Also Moo Montana’s love interest. Her best friend is Cowlamity Kate. (Voice: Charity James)
- Cody Calf: Nicknamed “Calf-Pint” by Moo and his posse, he idolizes the marshall and hopes to be a lawcow himself when he grows up. He is apparently related to Lily Bovine in some way and lives with her, though he does not appear to be her son; like everyone else, he refers to her as “Miss Lily”. Though well-meaning, he often gets himself into serious trouble trying to “help” the lawcows, but has been a useful asset on several occasions. (Voice: Troy Davidson)
- Cowlamity Kate Cudster: Tomboyish rancher and operator of the highly profitable Golden Cud Mine, and Dakota’s love interest. She’s as hard-working and hard-riding as any bull, and has enough skill with a lasso to put Cowlorado to shame. She returns Dakota’s romantic feelings; she gave him the hat he wears and nearly married him in Wedding Bull Blues. Her name is a play on that of the famous Wild West heroine, Calamity Jane. (Voice: Kay Lenz).
- Saddle Sore: A scorpion, and one of Sheriff Terrorbull’s comically inept henchmen. He is slightly smarter and braver than Boot Hill Buzzard, but only just. (Voice: Jim Cummings).
- Boot Hill Buzzard: Sheriff Terrorbull’s other comically inept henchman. As the more dim-witted of the two, he is often saddled with more than his fair share of the grunt work, especially if the job involves something embarrassing or unappealing (such as cross-dressing). His name is taken from an old west slang term for a graveyard. (Voice: Danny Mann)
- J.R.: An Indian buffalo who occasionally aids Moo, Dakota, and Cowlorado if the situation needs it. He tends to ramble about the scientific principles of his inventions, which the cowboys don’t want to listen to. (Voice: Michael Horse).