I remember watching the cartoon Inspector Gadget a lot when I was younger, but just recently I came across one Inspector Gadget episode I haven’t seen, an episode when he travels to Tibet called “Weather in Tibet.”
For those of you who’ve never seen an Inspector Gadget episode, he’s basically a detective who everyone believes is the best at his job when in reality he’s dimwitted, clumsy, and is only successful because of his niece Penny and dog Brain who constantly secretly help him in his missions.
In this 56th episode of Inspector Gadget, originally aired on November 28th, 1983, Inspector Gadget is sent to Tibet to destroy a M.A.D. (a worldwide crime syndicate) weather controlling machine. Dr Claw (the head of M.A.D.) plans to use this machine to start storms over cities if they refuse to comply to his ransom demands.
It’s pretty interesting to watch this portrayal of Tibet and get an impression of a western perception of Tibet, or more specifically a Canadian perception since Inspector Gadget is in large part a Canadian-made cartoon.
In the episode you see a lot themes, objects, and images that are used by the cartoon artists as what they think is iconic of Tibet. Some of things I noticed was the theme of Tibetan religion in Tibetan society; objects like butter-churners and hat’s, like the ones worn by rinpoches and young Kundun in the movie Kundun, which almost all of the Tibetan characters in the episode wear; and then mythical figures associated with Tibet like the Yeti.
It’s also interesting that the plot of the episode sort of anticipates the important role of Tibet in global weather changes since Tibet now is labeled as the “Third Pole” for being a region that is one of the most affected by global warming.
Check it out and let me know what you think about the episode.