‘Space Jays’ cartoon stars Toronto Blue Jays R.A. Dickey, Ricky Romero (as a robot) and Mark Buehrle’s exiled dog

David Brown
Big League Stew

The description on YouTube for "Space Jays" says it was inspired by the "He Man" and "Transformers" cartoons of 25 years ago. That's about right. I can't imagine you'll have any more fun this morning than by playing the first of what's hopefully a full season of episodes.

It was produced by Cashew Mirman, the same genius who brought us the 8-bit Blue Jays video game. The quality of animation is not unlike that, combined with some "He Man" influence along with obvious South Park overtones and — perhaps intentionally, perhaps subliminally — a classic "Mr. Show" sketch.

It stars R.A. Dickey (of course) as a "mature space cowboy" captaining a starship under attack by Space Pirates whose own ship looks like the Pittsburgh Pirates pillbox cap of the 1970s and '80s. R.A.'s helpers include Ricky Roboto, who misfires the ship's "space lasers" as if he's Ricky Romero having a bad day on the mound. Also, there's Little J.P. Arencibia whose job it is, apparently, to look after Mark Buehrle's dog — the one that isn't allowed inside of Ontario. That part doesn't make 100 percent sense, but "Space Jays" is something you just go with for maximum enjoyment.)

The best touches include:

• The perfect elocution of R.A. saying "Ricky Roboto" like he's Will Ferrell doing George W. Bush doing R.A. Dickey saying "Ricky Roboto."

• Ricky Roboto hopelessly mumbling to himself because of his lost control.

• The non sequitur of a live-action Rush music video playing on the ship's console.

• Travis Snider making a surprise appearance (sorry — SPOILERS) as a Space Pirate carrying a lunchbox.

• Un "unfreezing" of chronically injured Dustin McGowan that goes horribly wrong.

In a way, there's no need for a sequel, because "Space Jays" is a great idea on its own that's (almost) flawlessly executed. Still, the "Wrath of Zaun" is an intriguing title for a next episode. And I'd like to see what happens to Burley the Dog.

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