Justice League Unlimited

Season 3 Episode 5

This Little Piggy

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Aug 28, 2004 on Cartoon Network

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

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out of 10
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  • Farming Out the Comedy

    Other then a few instances of threatened butchering, "This Little Piggy" is basically a comedy - not surprising, since it's authored by Paul Dini, who also wrote the humor-packed "Brave and the Bold" and "Comfort & Joy," and is a long-time partner of JL-creator Bruce Timm. The Justice League series seems to be Dini's playground for humor, although he's done both serious work on the WB animated material in the past as well as some of the more humorous stuff (such as many of the Joker episodes).

    Dini also wrote the original "Zatanna" episode of Batman: The Animated Series and must have a fondness for the sorceress since she returns here. Zatanna now has her comic-book levels of actual magical power, as opposed to the mere sleight-of-hand she displayed in that Batman episode. Dini also packs the episode with lots of references, to everything from Babe to The Wizard of Oz to Greek mythology - another of his trademarks.

    The main villainess of the piece, Circe, is pretty much played for laughs - we never do find out why she wants the Rosetta Stone in the teaser and she (apparently) surrenders at the end. Basically all she wanted to do is get out on parole and "sing." Since she didn't actually commit any crimes (Wonder Woman's transformation could be considered self-defense, and she never did break into the museum), it's not clear if she'd be sentenced back to the Underworld or what. Unfortunately none of this is really explained...

    Instead we get more of the Batman/Wonder Woman relationship. Clearly their relationship is clouding Batman's judgement despite his assertion that such relationships never work and he knows better. There seems no good reason to keep things secret and avoid calling in most of the League - in fact, Wonder Woman almost gets killed as a result! Would Batman be this reluctant if Superman were transformed? Or Flash (wait - let me rephrase that... :) ). It's not clear whether we (or Batman) are supposed to realize he's acting...well, pig-headed, as it were.

    Zatanna in her traditional garb (although without the fishnet stockings :( ) is a welcome face, although she doesn't really do anything here. Her casting a ritual to find Wonder Woman and negotiating with the shopkeeper comes across mostly as padding and an excuse to lose Wonder Woman. The hints of her "just friends" relationship with Batman (again harkening back to the Batman episode) are interesting although again we don't really get much of that.

    The supremely goofy B'wana Beast makes an appearance - here Paul Dini tries to give him a personality of sorts to make up for the lack of one the character's had in the comic books. Why this new personality had to be Joey Tribbiani from Friends, who knows? It might be some elaborate in-joke - Joey had a duck and a goose as pets on Friends.

    The other three League members we see are pretty much wasted in some cheap jokes for comedy. If an android calling out "Siooouuueee!" is your idea of yuks, enjoy.

    And of course, at the end we get...Batman Sings! Yes, it's Kevin Conroy doing his own singing, and it's something they've wanted to do since he first took on the role. Again Paul Dini digs out his knowledge of trivia by digging out a couple of old 30's songs in keeping with the retro-30's feel of the Batman animated series and transposing it onto the League. For that matter, this is the first episode that takes place in Gotham City, apparently.

    And at the end, Batman outthinks the villainess rather then outfighting her. Although again, we don't find out what happens to her.

    The debate on whether the half-hour format works continues. There were bits in this episode that seemed a bit padded (the bit with the shopkeeper, the other Leaguers' search for Wonder Pig) and bits that seemed rush - Circe's fate, and a bit of motivation for why she has Batman sing for her. This is another episode that doesn't seem like it needs two parts - just a bit of rearrangement to get rid of some padding and supply a little more motivation.

    Overall, for a light comedy episode I'd rate this about a 7. You can't really go wrong with a Paul Dini episode and this one is an entertaining but forgettable piece of fluff.