One of the most exciting cartoons on the air right now is ¡Mucha Lucha!, the latest addition to the Kids’ WB! Saturday lineup. A gloriously frenetic project about Mexican ”lucha libre,” or ”free fighting” wrestling, ”Lucha!” follows the exploits of little Rikochet and his pals Buena Girl and the Flea: youngsters who live by ”the code of masked wrestling,” which the creators define by the slogan ”Honor, Family, Tradition, and Donuts.” (These kids like to eat after burning calories in the ring.)
”¡Mucha Lucha!” bursts with dazzlingly bright colors and nonstop action, but it’s not mindless — indeed, its wordplay is as delightfully rapid-fire and wittily convoluted as its wrestling moves. When a kid misses her school bus, she doesn’t just say, ”Oh, darn!”; she says, ”I refuse to live in the ignominy of tardiness!” (Any show that ups a young viewer’s vocab gets mucho points in my house.) The wrestling matches take place in the school, overseen by the Headmistress, a woman so intelligent her brain seems to be bursting the skin around her skull — that’s typical of the surreal exaggeration of the animation.
At all times the kid heroes are encouraged to follow ”the lucha thing to do,” a Zen-like phrase meaning trying to figure out the right, proper way to live. Gracias for ”¡Mucha Lucha!”