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TV Reviews : Cartoon Is Short on 'Mask' Appeal

August 12, 1995|LYNNE HEFFLEY

Fans of Jim Carrey's loony, wildly creative big-screen megahit, "The Mask," may be tempted to tune into the new morning cartoon series of the same name, which begins four weeks of "sneak previews" today before it "opens" with a one-hour special on Sept. 9.

If the first episode--a violent, mediocre mess about police-hating teen-age mutants with Beavis and Butt-head attitudes--is anything to go by, they're doomed to disappointment.

Not only is the inventive Carrey not part of the show--his dual characters, wimpy Stanley Ipkiss and the "smokin' " Mask, are imitatively voiced by Rob Paulsen--but don't expect anything comparable to the special effects that turned the film into a mind-boggling living cartoon. This is just garden-variety, stilted Saturday-morning animation.

The opener, "The Terrible Twos," finds Ipkiss handcuffed to a detective who drags him around on his cases, determined to prove his captive is the Mask. That he'll fail seems clear, even when he runs a couple of loitering teen-age boys out of a store and the pair seek lethal revenge by exposing themselves to radiation in order to become mutant villains.

After multiple explosions and the destruction of buildings and police cars--"Let's wreck stuff," says one mutant--the Mask prevails, the detective is put off Ipkiss' trail and those decrying violence in children's programming have yet more fuel for their cause.

* "The Mask" airs at 9 a.m. today on CBS (Channels 2 and 8).

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