IMHO, Samurai Jack is the greatest animated series ever broadcast. It had the highest level of artistic vision, took the most artistic risks, and had the best story writing ever committed to a "cartoon show".
Take a look at the current crop of shows on Cartoon Network and not a one can compare with the glory days of Samurai Jack. More's the pity. You'd have thought that once the bar was raised that others would have followed. Instead, we are flooded by dreck for dummies. There aren't even any shows that compare favorably with lesser shows like The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory, Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law, or even Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Genndy Tartakovsky, the guiding force behind Samurai Jack, is a rare commodity in any film venture. He's a terrific animator, director, writer and, perhaps above all, someone who knows how to step back and let other talented people prevail. He was not only the man running Samurai Jack, but the creative force behind Dexter's Laboratory and the Producer/Animation Director of The Powerpuff Girls.
George Lucas was so impressed with Samurai Jack that he hired Tartakovsky to create the first and best animated Star Wars shorts, Star Wars: Clone Wars.
Jack as interpreted by French artist Patrice Martinez:
If you haven't ever seen Samurai Jack, I highly recommend renting or buying the series on DVD.
There was talk of Tartakovsky making a motion picture version of Jack, But that has come to jack. Perhaps, it will appear like SerenityFirefly ended. Or like Star Trek: The Movie did years after the show was canceled. I can pray that is the case.
Over on Bill Wray's Blog you can see a collection of some of the amazing background paintings that were made for Samurai Jack.
A very cool video made from combining elements (audio, title cards) from the trailer for 300 with visual elements from an episode of Samurai Jack with amazing results:
No, this isn't Jack, but this character looks suspiciously like a more
traditionally realized rendition of him.