Jason Voorhees is one of the most enduring pop culture creations, especially in the world of horror, to emerge from the 80s. But unlike other 80s icons, the slasher from the Friday the 13th franchise never starred in an animated series. Fortunately, artist Mike Chiechi has stepped up to show us what that might have looked like. Chiechi, aka Frank's Kid, recently released a video for a fictional animated series titled Jason and Friends, which is a truly impressive homage to the long-running horror franchise. Chiechi shared the video with the following caption, which helps set the vibe.
"Gather round' kids...it's time for Jason and Friends!"
The video is truly loaded with fun bits for fans of the franchise. We see Jason Voorhees, tiny and in his underwear, transformed into the hulking slasher the general public is far more familiar with. We even get a little cameo from Pamela Voorhees' head. It's the first of many twisted gags in the video that takes bloody, violent and messed up elements of the movies, turning them into animated, seemingly kid-friendly content. Though, make no mistake, there is plenty of violence to be had. As the video rolls on, Jason has his way with several Camp Crystal Lake counselors, brutally beating a couple to death in a particularly gratuitous moment.
For anyone who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons produced in the 80s, this vibe should feel extremely familiar. It feels ripped right from a Hanna-Barbera production, or something of the like. Even the theme music is pitch-perfect. It also isn't afraid to touch on the more outlandish elements of Friday the 13th over the years. At one point, we see Jason blasting off into space, with his mother's head in the cockpit. This could be perceived as an homage to Jason X. There is even an unnamed dog sidekick who, much like his master, is wearing a hockey mask.
Part of the joke is that something this violent undoubtedly would never have made it to air for a children's audience. Then again, Rambo got an animated series in the form of Rambo: The Force of Freedom, so R-rated icons did have their day in the sun. Not to mention that the 80s truly was Jason's time to shine, with the original Friday the 13th hitting theaters in 1980. Six sequels were released between 1981 and 1989, with three further sequels and a reboot arriving in the years that followed.
Unfortunately, due to an ongoing, complicated legal battle, the Friday the 13th franchise is at a standstill. There is hope that a deal between screenwriter Victor Miller and director Sean S. Cunningham could be worked out soon. But until that happens, Jason Voorhees will remain on the sidelines of cinema. Luckily, a massive box set is on the way this fall, which may help to tide fans over until we get a new movie going. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Jason and Friends video via Mike Chiechi's Instagram.