One of the great strengths of "Biker Mice" that has caused fans to stick with it years after its cancelation is its great cast of characters. In modern animation, far too many series are populated by soulless ink and paint mannequins whose looks and personalities are all carbon copies of some earlier prototype. If it's an action series, it's even worse. The heroes all tend to be very stern and serious about their business, and the villains are flat and uninteresting. Please note: obviously, I am not talking about such excellent series as "Batman: The Animated Series", "Batman Beyond", "Superman", or "Gargoyles." These are all well-written, ,thoughtful series with staffs dedicated to creating cartoons that break the mold and are enjoyable on a variety of levels. But as for the rest of 'em, BORING!
The writers of "Biker Mice", however, created heroes and villains filled with individuality, wit, humor, and sparkling creativity. For starters, the good guys--Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie--are bikers, traditionally viewed as criminals and bad-asses living in the fringe of society. We have a trio of heroes here who love fighting the bad guys--not because of their sense of justice or morals or anything like that, but because it's a good time! The villains--the Plutarkians--are the literally two-faced Plutarkians, who masquerade as human businessmen (and women) to tear up and steal all of Earth's natural resources. They have an almost comical bureacracy filled with ridiculous, pointlessly formal traditions (the Traditional Plutarkian Greeting, in which the two parties rub their rumps together and make armpit noises, come to mind. It's stupid, but no business can be conducted without it).
The characters have strong personalities that go far beyond mere stereotypes. Sure, Throttle is the stern, serious leader-type, but he's also a very forlorn young man whose sense of duty keeps him from the woman he loves. Modo is the gentle giant, but he's also got a tendency toward violent mood swings. Vinnie is an egomaniac whose inflated sense of self sometimes hides feelings of inadequacy. All three of the mice are laughing, jovial guys, but they've also been scarred by growing up on a planet engulfed in war. I'd keep going like this, but I think you get the idea. We can laugh with and at these characters, but also feel a great deal of empathy with them.
So take some time to get aquainted with the cast of "Biker Mice." Whether you're a newcomer to the series or a fan from the first "Rock and Ride!", you're bound to learn something you didn't know before. If there's something you'd like clarification of something you read here, then feel free to e-mail me.