Over 25 years ago, Nickelodeon happily traumatized a generation of children with the aptly named series Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. That’s right, triple A, double hh, and three exclamation marks are part of the show's official name. And as the title implies, the series follows the exploits of real monsters.
However, one of the most striking things about the series is the way that it seems to pave the way for Pixar's Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University. Those movies had premises that were remarkably close to the show. But no one could possibly confuse Monsters, Inc.'s cuddly CGI monsters with the grotesque and stylized creatures of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters is also the creation of Gábor Csupó and Peter Gaffney and was produced by Klasky Csupo, the company behind Nickelodeon's Rugrats. Csupo and his ex-wife, Arlene Klasky, were instrumental in the creation of Rugrats, but that seemingly unrelated show paved the way for their second series, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. While Rugrats hinted at childhood fears about monsters hiding under the bed, the followup series was actually allowed to run with that idea. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters was also allowed to make its creatures truly gross and disturbing; it would be hard to imagine a kids' show getting away with a lot of these gags today.
The series also had memorable vocal performances by Hollywood legends Tim Curry and Jim Belushi, as well as series regulars Charlie Adler, Christine Cavanaugh. David Eccles, and Gregg Berger. Their collective voices gave the assembled monsters their humanity, while allowing them to still have the edge needed to gross out and occasionally traumatize kids watching at home.
For more details about Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, check out the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's Everything You Didn't Know!