I came across the funniest, cleverest and most interesting contribution to Accounting and the Popular Culture. It is: Harold Rosenbaum, Chartered Accountant Extreme, or HR for short. HR may have been viewed by kids, mostly, but the story, wit and satire are sharp enough to please the most discriminating adult.
HR is about a chartered accountant who uses his accounting skills to solve crimes and put the bad guys behind bars. I love it that when a bad guy threatens, Harold pulls out a pencil and sharpens it up. The featured characters are:
HR was created by Nelvana Limited for licensed viewing on YTV, the Canadian youth television network. The animated cartoon shorts (all five minutes long, aired in 2005 and 2006). They are available on Youtube, and are linked to from The Summa.
HR is the creation of Matt Ferguson (director and writer), with the creative assistance of artists Dani Strijleva, James Robertson and Nick Sun. The cartoons were edited by Marcus Moore and the music is by Paul Intson. Voices are by: Peter Keleghan (Harold Rosenbaum), Leah Pinsent (Jenny Florence), Julie Lemieux (Ledger Lad), Tom McCamus (The X of Evil), Paul Soles (The Commissioner).
The five episodes in the series are:
- Audit Of Evil (aired December 22, 2005)
- Depreciation To Death (aired December 29, 2005)
- The Taxable Trap (aired January 5, 2006)
- Ledger Lad Liquidation (aired January 12, 2006)
- Dam: It’s Exploding (aired January 19, 2006)
Audit Of Evil (2005)
Synopsis: The episode opens with Harold and Jenny tied up, awaiting their death on top of a dam. How did their predicament come about? Harold explains that two days previously he had finished his last tax return of the season and now he was headed out on vacation to Tijuana. Ledger Lad shows up and hopes for an opportunity to work on a balance sheet or some asset depreciation schedules. In pops a new client, a once-upon-a-time chartered accountant (identified by his secret decoder ring) who has gone over to the dark side of accounting for tax evaders and organized crime. He turns over a company coded file for Harold to decode, a file sure to reveal the sinister plans of The X of Evil. Just as the client hands over the file, three thugs appear. They shoot the bad accountant with a blow gun dart (putting him into a coma) and attack Harold and Jenny. A fist fight ensues. A thug pushes Harold out of an upper story window and Harold is falling when the episode ends.
Depreciation To Death (2005)
Synopsis: At the start of the episode, it is revealed that a thug had fallen out the window, not Harold. The other two thugs flee. Harold does not give chase, saying there are bigger fish to fry. Newspaper headlines show the public to be worried. In The Commissioner’s office, Harold says he doesn’t know who’s behind the plot, he just does the numbers. Jenny, who trained as a cultural anthropologist, says that the dart came from Bora Bora. The Commissioner says intelligence has reported that the mysterious X of Evil has been doing business in the South Pacific, and only wants to inflict terror on the city. Harold turns to leave. The Commissioner tells Harold to work with Red Mackerel, a G man, who will do all the dirty work, Harold only has to figure out the numbers. Red Mackeral seems ominous, and suggests that Harold, Jenny and Ledger Lad meet with him 30 minutes later in an abandoned harpoon factory. Elsewhere, The X instructs to thugs to return and take back the file before Harold figures out X’s plans to build a massive weapon that can destroy the city dam with sound waves. X tells the thugs to destroy Harold. At the factory, Harold starts to work through the file. Harpoons are fired at Harold and Jenny. The scene ends with several harpoons flying from all directions towards Harold.
The Taxable Trap (2006)
Synopsis: The harpoons all fall short of Harold. Ledger Lad throws a net over the thugs and captures them all. Red Mackerel arrives and accidentally lets the thugs escape. Harold returns to work on decoding the file. He discovers that X has purchased a three ton radio transmitter, 50 feet of copper wire and a pulse modulator, with which he intends to create a gigantic weapon that harnesses the power of sound waves. He needs only one more ingredient–pattonite–the hardest substance known. Harold sets a trap at the only store that sells pattonite. An alarm is to be triggered by the assessment of sales tax on the purchase. The thugs come in to purchase the pattonite. When the purchase is rung up on the register and sales tax is added, the alarm is triggered and Harold and Jenny come out. A fist fight with the thugs ensues. The thugs grab Ledger Lad and flee the scene. A car chase follows. A thug spills a slick substance over the road, and Harold’s car flies over the edge of a cliff as the scene ends.
Ledger Lad Liquidation (2006)
Synopsis: Harold and Jenny jump out of the car before it goes over the edge of the cliff. Back at the office, Harold examines the file for the clue to where Ledger Lad is being held, to no avail. Red Mackerel arrives containing a video ransom request from X. X demands one pound of pattonite, the final ingredient for the sound wave weapon. Harold is to deliver it to the north wall of the city dam. Harold returns to work on the file. Jenny suggests a plan. Disguised as Harold, she will deliver the pattonite to the dam. Harold will arrive by small plane and get the drop on the thugs. Harold agrees to the plan. Jenny delivers the pattonite as planned. As Harold arrives in his plane, he is attacked by The X of Evil in his plane. X throws a razor sharp boomerang at Harold’s plane, and Harold’s plane crashes at the base of the dam as the episode ends.
Dam: It’s Exploding (2006)
Synopsis: The episode begins with Harold parachuting down to the base of the dam. The three thugs attack him. Harold reaches for his his adding machine, also dropping in by parachute. Jenny drives up and Harold jumps into the car. As they drive away to safety, Harold decides to return to the dam and save Ledger Lad. Jenny fist fights with the thugs as Harold audits the file. The thugs prevail and with rope tie up Harold and Jenny. On top of the Dam, X (on a platform supported by one support) threatens Harold and Jenny with the sound wave weapon. Harold stops the countdown by telling X that the stolen pattonite should have been accounted for as income. If the accounting is not fixed, the books will be unbalanced. Ledger Lad picks up on the hint, and moves to the edge of the platform. The platform tilts, and The X of Evil falls into the dammed up water, thereby ending the threat. But the X swims out of the water and is revealed to be the paperboy. The threat to the city was revealed to be a ruse to sell more papers. The episode ends with the paper boy readying to fire the weapon at Harold and Jenny, so he could sell more papers with the best headline yet.
All in all, this is a veryfunny and entertaining cartoon video series. Oh, the plot seems thin, but what do you expect from a cartoon. Ending episode five with a cliff hanger makes me wonder if more episodes had been planned but not created.
Please view these videos and let me know what you think.
Over and out – - David Albrecht