“Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!”…Ahhhh, yes. Every nowadays goth, emo, or otherwise true-to-the-core 80’s child’s favorite saying back in the day. This afterlife cartoon series, while technically based on the 1988 Tim Burton film, is little more than an abstract representation.
Whereas in the film, the main characters feature the deceased couple Mr. and Mrs. Maitland, these two are literally non-existant in the animated series. Lydia, who plays the uber-goth teenage girl in the film, is portrayed as being upbeat (albeit quirky and odd) throughout this two year long cartoon.
Beetlejuice is the name given to the dead, grungy main character. He is a scam artist of the lowest class, setting out to deceive the inhabitants of the Netherworld (the realm of the afterlife). By uttering his name three times, Lydia can either summon him into the “real world”, or can send herself on a trip to the afterlife.
For reasons never really explained, although it is an explicitly made point, Lydia is the only person who remains immune to Beetlejuice’s antics. The series’ golden feature, one which attracted a vastly varied age genre, was it’s ability to make a parody out of famous works in film, literature, and broadcast television.