Friday, December 23, 2011

Sonic Christmas Blast

Yes, I realize I've taken two "breaks" within the last couple of months. In my defense, Christmas means family and finals, and family and finals means "go from staying up all night working on group projects to having to clean up the house and getting ready for a party that includes at least twenty other people". Which means less updates. I feel kind of bad for leaving this site to its own devices, so to speak, and not giving any new content, so to make up for it, I'm doing one more Christmas special.

And it's one that's very special to me, because it involves one of my childhood heroes, Sonic the Hedgehog.

And it's every bit as awesome as it sounds.

But first, some backstory. After the end of both Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and the other show, Sonic the Hedgehog (aka SatAM), DiC Entertainment decided that they wanted to try their hand at making a Christmas special and decided to combine elements of both shows and create a special that will hopefully unite the fans of both shows and join them in the holy war.

...unfortunately, since this special is basically Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog with some minor SatAM elements, it largely didn't work. Oh well, they tried at least. Barely.

What also didn't work was the original title. Sonic Christmas Blast was originally called An X-Tremely Sonic Christmas in order to promote Sonic X-Treme (aka one of the most infamous cancelled videogames of all time) but Sega was having some problems with that game and therefore, they changed the name to promote the game that actually did come out, Sonic 3D Blast. Somehow, that just envelopes this entire special with a subtle blanket of sadness. I know that while I'm watching this, I'm going to imagine the dying hopes of hapless X-Treme programmers from Christmas Past.

I will say this though, hopefully to lighten the mood. While doing some light Internet research on this special, I found the best out-of-context line I have ever discovered in a fan wiki page. While taking a sip out of my lukewarm eggnog, I came across this: "This was the final episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Therefore in that universe, Sonic is now permanently Santa Claus." If that doesn't put you in a holiday mood, then you are beyond help. By the way, spoilers.

Now with that out of the way...

Sonic Christmas Blast

Friday, December 9, 2011

Darkwing Duck - It's a Wonderful Leaf

Since it's incredibly easy to talk about this show, the next Christmas special will be about ducks in capes.

Like any good Disney show, Darkwing Duck happens to have a Christmas special, and what a Christmas special it is. You know how Frosty the Snowman never let up on the whimsy and the cutesy-wutesy? This episode, on the other hand, proves that it can have an ending that ends on a warm, fuzzy note while at the same time depicting one of the more horrifying ways to apprehend a villain in this series. Darkwing Duck continues to kick ass and chew bubblegum even when he's supposed to be filled with the holiday spirit, so don't think that just because Santa's in this cartoon that Darkwing's going to let up on the cartoon violence.

Which is good, because after the schmultz that Frosty and his underaged minions forcefed me, I can use some good old-fashioned 90's-grade violence.

And before someone points this out, yes, this is yet another Bushroot episode, effectively making three out of the four Darkwing Duck posts I've done so far Bushroot episodes and placing him in a giant majority on my blog. Well, what can I say? The mutant vegetable finds himself in quite a few episodes that are themed around holidays, and he happens to be one of the show's main regulars. I promise you, I will do a non-Bushroot episode next. Mostly because there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and in Bushroot's case, his whiny Tino Insana voice will grate on your nerves after too long.

So deck the halls with whiny plants with low self-esteem and install really complicated security systems on your trees, for you're about to be bombarded by lame, Disney-style puns in...

It's a Wonderful Leaf

Monday, December 5, 2011

Frosty the Snowman

Since it's December and all that, and the television is currently assaulting me with holiday special after holiday special, I might as well do the same on my own blog. Like October and its deadly array of Halloween specials, I'm going to shell out nothing but Christmas specials. This is going to be the equivalent of me stringing up Christmas lights and inflating giant, annoying-looking Santa Clauses on my lawn, and the best part is, since there's way more Christmas specials than there are Halloween specials (which makes sense, since Christmas is the hugest holiday of the year), I have no way of running out of steam at the end of the month like I sort of did this year.

And what a better way to start off on the topic of Christmas specials with one of the most well-known Christmas specials of all, Frosty the Snowman.

Produced by Rankin/Bass, aka the people who cranked out a bazillion other really memorable Christmas specials that crop up on cable whenever December strikes, Frosty the Snowman is a fondly remembered special that ranks on many people's favorite holiday specials' list, partly because the animators took the easy way out and created something that already had its plot laid out in the form of a song. Oddly, when I brought this topic up around my fellow peers, the answer was always the same. They remembered liking it, but no one could ever give me a single description of any scene that happened in the film. Everyone just remembered a singing snowman, a magic hat, and kids that would dance around their hideous animated golem. I mean, geez, the special runs at a full thirty minutes. There has to be something.

So thus, I began my mystical journey. I desperately want to figure out just what exactly is so special about this special. Like a Tim Burton-designed skeleton, I'm going to desperately try to figure out the meaning of Christmas by performing experiments on this beloved children's classic.

Without further ado...

Frosty the Snowman

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happily Ever After (1993 film) - Part 2

Part 1.

I will conclude the month of November with yet another trip into Happily Ever After, a staple of my video library.

Box office failure or not, this movie will still remain a childhood favorite (and like Felix the Cat: the Movie, I can't bring myself to ever hate this movie), which is basically me saying that this film is a really big guilty pleasure for me. Oh sure, it's bad. I'm not going to deny it. Plot points are unnecessary, and we're about to see stuff that makes the man who can turn into a dragon look sensible, but I still watch this multiple times for enjoyment. It probably doesn't say much about my taste in cartoons, but I get a kick out of movies this cheesy.

And we're journeying into the actual meat of the movie. Compared to the crazy depravity that's going to explode from my disc like an Ecto-Containment Unit in New York City, the intro with the dragon, the He-Man prince, and the rapping owl with a cigar is going to look subdued and downright sane and intelligent. Just warning you ahead of time. We're dealing with Felix the Cat: The Movie levels of crazy here.

Since I can't give too much away, I might as well mention the DVD now that I actually have the DVD of this movie with me. Unless if you really, really, really love this movie, don't buy this thing. The DVD is crap. Oh sure, it's more convenient than the VHS, and I have yet to find a computer that can play VHSes, but this DVD is one of the worst examples I have ever seen of archival quality. There's little things like parts of the screen being out of focus for some scenes, or rings of black surrounding the edges, but it's those little things that just piss me off. From the looks of it, either the movie just hasn't survived that well over the years (and it really wouldn't surprise me, considering Filmation is a defunct company, this movie bombed horribly at the box office, and was critically panned by everybody) and they can't digitally restore the movie, or someone got lazy rushing this thing to DVD.

In short, they did a really poor job and the picture is nowhere near as good as it should be.

Why am I choosing to mention the DVD? Because of the scene selection menu of course.

...yeeeah, what am I supposed to be looking at here? Out of all of the possible stills they could choose for Lord Maliss, they had to go for one where he's trying to be all sensual. The pink curtains in the background certainly don't help.

That being said, don't try to fight it, because you're going to see dragons and feminism aplenty in...

Happily Ever After Part 2

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Mask: The Animated Series - Mask Au Gratin

Sorry this is so late, but in the long run, my finals and visiting my family are probably more important than my blog. Plus I needed the small break. After consistently posting really huge posts every three to five days, a small vacation was imminent.

But judging by both the poll and the pageviews, quite a few people like it when I talk about this show.

Now, when I watched Convention of Evil, this prompted a couple people to ask about the actual episodes in the clip show. And thus, it'd be a smart choice to talk about them.

Course, choosing an episode was hard. My first choice was, of course, The Stinger's episode, but due to language barriers (as of this writing, an English copy still hasn't been located) and the fact that I'll look like a dumbass by trying to talk about a cartoon while muting it, so that was a no go. I'm still waiting for the day that episode crops up online in English, if only because that'll be the day where I can talk about a giant bee man for hours and hours and not be judged by my fellow Americans.

But anyways, I figure I'll go with the second best choice, one that was brought up by friends and e-mails alike, while hanging my head in sadness and wishing this was that glorious, honey-flavored episode. In other words, this is the episode where some Mesopotamian cheese witch attacks a city and turns things into processed food with her laser eyes. Not as cool as some mutant honeybee that forces people to toil in his homemade nectar factory, but you have to admit it's original.

Without further ado...

Mask Au Gratin

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Batman - The Big Dummy

Okay, okay, I assume when people said "Something New" in the polls, they expected something within this decade, not something that their parents grew up with. And, to sweeten the deal, it'll even be about superheroes.

Time for me to talk about an often-forgotten section of an incredibly huge franchise, Batman. The Dark Knight is considered one of the most important characters when it comes to superhero cartoons, if only because he's been in so many influential cartoons. I won't get too much into just how powerful his shows were, if only because there are entire websites designed to talk about the impact Batman: The Animated Series has had on animation (ones more coherent and better-written than my blog, might I add) just as there are entire websites designed to talk about how stupid (whether delightfully stupid or just stupid stupid) the 70's Superfriends show is.

Most Batman cartoons, at least according to Batman fans, fall under one of three categories: Crap that came before Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: The Animated Series, and Crap that came after Batman: The Animated Series. It's a pretty common fact that Batman hit its cartoony stride in Batman: The Animated Series, and I'm not confident I can tackle that show yet, lest I want people hunting me down for making the wrong joke or saying that the wrong character sucks.

So, to ruffle the least amount of feathers as possible, I'm choosing a cartoon that's not Batman: The Animated Series (instead I'm going with the Jackie Chan-esque Batman cartoon that came out around 2004) and, to double my protection, I'm going to talk about a character that not many people even notice.

Yep, instead of talking about The Joker, The Penguin, Poison Ivy, or even Bane (just going to say it right now, but I think Bane is stupid), I'm choosing, well...this guy.

Pictured: Seriously a Batman villain.
This character, at least according to my really brief research on the Internet, is like the character that fans can't agree whether he's (or they're) a really awesome or a really stupid idea. Arnold Wesker aka The Ventriloquist and Scarface have appeared on as many Best Batman Villain Lists as Worst Batman Villain Lists. While the Batman nerds can pretty much agree that Crazy Quilt is a stupid idea and that The Joker is full of awesome, no one's really sure if a mentally disturbed middle-aged man who has a murderous personality manifest through his left hand is a good idea or a bad one. Even the writers can't seem to agree, because I've seen just as many Batman stories where this character was played for laughs as there are stories that are really tragic.

So I'm going to talk about Warner Brother's third most controversial cartoon (because even a Batman made by the creators of Jackie Chan can't reach the level of infamousness that Coconut Fred and Loonatics Unleashed have) for a change, because if there's anyone who can make a strange blend of good and bad mixed into one cartoon, it's Warner Brothers.

Let's look at...

The Big Dummy

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happily Ever After (1993 film) - Part 1

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, I'm so glad that I can share this movie with you. I can't really express this in words, but I'm practically hopping up and down in my seat like a giddy schoolgirl because I get to talk about THIS.

Aw yeah
, Happily Ever After.

This movie has had a very unlucky past. Originally called "Snow White and The Realm of Doom", it's pretty infamous for being the movie that sent a pretty famous cartoon company, Filmation, into bankruptcy, and for being the subject of a minor legal dispute with Disney on account it's pegged as an unofficial sequel to that particular movie. Finished in 1988 but finally released in theaters in 1993 (a good five years after its completion), it's also known for being a box office bomb (here's how bad it did; it opened on the same weekend as Super Mario Bros. and that movie made eight times more money than this movie), a regular appearance in store bargain bins, and just all-around derivative of one of Disney's first animated classics. It's not as derivative as Happily N'Ever After, that terrible CGI film, but it's pretty up there.

But when I was a kid, I didn't know of any of these things and watched the everliving crap out of this thing. Yes, it's sad that I'm admitting this, but I liked it. Ah, the days when you could just enjoy something without knowing about other people's opinions of it and getting into large flame wars about it. Instead we were free to make our own decisions.

Disney scholars are going to scoff at me and mock me for my lack of bad taste, but when I was a kid, I loved this movie a lot better than Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. To me, there was no contest. While Disney's Snow White merely had some weird looking evil queen who has to brew a transformation potion in order to turn her into something that could've just used simple costume props, Happily Ever After had dragons, evil sorcerers that shot lasers out of his eyes, a talking bat, a smoking owl, and freaking packs of evil wolves with rhino horns. And while Disney's Snow White just had dwarfs, Happily Ever After had female dwarfs with freaking magic powers that could summon like thunderstorms and crap.

Yes, my friends. This is basically the tale of Snow White on steroids. And man did I cherish this film for it as a little girl.

It was only until later that I found out that people are actually supposed to hate this movie, which kind of bummed me out, but maybe the rosy glasses of nostalgia are blinding me and this truly is a turd wrapped in a pretty princess gown. Either way, I'm going to be looking at the strange, messed up world that is...

Happily Ever After

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wacky Races - See-Saw to Arkansas

According to the polls, everyone wanted something new, so of course, that means I'm going to cover a cartoon that almost 50 years old. Irony!

I have sort of a love/hate relationship with Hannah-Barbera, the creators of this ancient work of art. I mean, sure, they've single-handedly defined an entire decade (or decades, depending on how nice you want to be) of animation, but at the same time, they're pretty renowned for basically cranking show after show after show and being one of the harbingers of the animation dark ages. They have great characters, but for every Huckleberry Hound and Tom and Jerry, you have pale knockoffs like Goober and the Ghost Chasers (hint: Goober is a dog) or just plain failtastic ideas like The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang. 

That being said, I can't bring myself to hate Wacky Races. This was truly one of Hannah-Barbera's better ideas and I like it more than I like Scooby-Doo. Sorry Scooby, but your antics just can't top Pat Pending's Convert-a-Car no matter how hard you try.

For those of you who don't know about Wacky Races (which would make me sad if you didn't, because it's one of the landmark shows of the 60's and 70's), it was a 17 episode racing show produced in the late 60's that was wacky, pretty much. One of the things that made it unique was that, unlike a lot of Hannah-Barbera's other shows, it had a pretty big cast. It had eleven vehicles and twenty three characters spread among these cars, so if you got bored with one guy, there was always at least twenty other racers to watch instead. It was formulaic, but then again, racing as a whole has a formula to it so you end up not minding too much. Probably because you're watching a cartoon that has mobsters, scientists, cavemen, vampires, and freaking Dick Dastardly. A little formula isn't going to deter you too much from watching someone in a biplane shoot a gun at some hillbilly on the road.

And, like Scooby-Doo, the reason I'm so familiar with this show is because, before the Cartoon Cartoons were created, Cartoon Network used to air reruns of this show all the freakin' time in the early 90's, when the channel was first created. So much that I'm surprised this show only had 17 full episodes.

Pictured: The inspiration for Mario Kart. Don't deny it.
That, and the fact that this show didn't get the overexposure that Scooby later suffered from. There were only two spinoffs to the show (one with Dick Dastardly and one with Penelope Pitstop and the Anthill Mob) and the Wacky Races legacy was able to retire with quiet dignity before a Flim-Flam racer and a Scrappy-Doo racer could show up.

That being said, the easiest way to cover a show is to look at its first episode, (or in this case, the first half of the first episode, since each episode contains two 11 minute segments) so let's see how our loveable racers deal with their most insidious obstacle yet, for they're going to dive into the dark, clammy, largely unexplored evil that is...Arkansas.

Let's look at an episode that literally has nothing to do with actual Seesaws and just made up a pun on the fly, See-Saw to Arkansas.

See-Saw to Arkansas

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog - Road Hog

This show won third place in that poll I posted in the first half of October, so I figure why not? Making fun of Sonic is one of my favorite pastimes, next to crossword puzzles and judging other people for their choice in music.

The last time I talked about this show, I covered an episode where Scratch (the chicken robot who chases Sonic, for those not completely caught up to the Sonic lore) bumped his head and thought he was a character on TV, emulating a cheesy sitcom for a day. But before I talked about his strange love affair with poultry, I mentioned that I wanted to cover all the episodes that were on the VHSes first.

Well, here's another one!

That's some motorcycle design, artist!
This episode happens to be on the rarest VHS out of the classic AoStH movie lot (and I base this statement purely off of something I made up), Road Hog. I owned a couple of VHSes of this show (I owned the Grounder the Genius and the Sonic's Song VHSes, for the people in the audience who must know every aspect of my life), but literally the only copy I knew existed of this bastion of insanity was at the local Blockbuster. Oh, I rented it a couple times, because a blue hedgehog riding a motorcycle and then fighting a morbidly obese man on a blimp never stops being entertaining, but I could swear I've never seen this VHS sold anywhere. It was like an endangered species of animal; there was evidence of its existence in certain institutions, but I was having too hard of a time spotting one in the wild, ready to be purchased by my allowance money.

Anyways, I'm going to talk about this episode because this always stuck out to me as a kid as just unbelievably bizarre and unpleasant for a Sonic cartoon. Yes, this is weird for an Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon, a show that practically invented the word. That's just sad that there is an episode that's weird even by this show's standards, since this is the show where tanks have articulate butts, a chicken can fall in love with a turkey, and you can somehow make a robot by cracking an egg into a strange, cauldron-shaped machine.

So let's see Sonic deal with hypnotic flowers, speed limits, a giant blimp, and a group of pigs riding motorcycles in...

Road Hog

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Scooby-Doo Show - The Headless Horseman of Halloween

Time to conclude Halloween special month with the most famous "spooky" cartoon in the history of spooky cartoons. Scooby Doo. Or rather, Scooby-Doo, because according to the title cards, his name actually has a hyphen. I just learned today that I've been spelling a cartoon dog's name wrong all my life.

See? Hyphen.
I really don't think there's a person alive who would seek out a cartoon blog such as this one and just doesn't know who the hell Scooby-Doo is, but in case you didn't know, it's a talking great dane that goes on mysteries with his stoner friends and they end up running into jerkwads who feel that dressing up like ghosts or monsters will scare people off of property or give them an edge in the diamond theft industry. That's really it. I'm not going to explain something that has been such a huge part of our animation culture for so very long, if only because anyone and everyone has cracked at least one Scooby-Doo joke.

As for me, I grew up in a period of time where 50% of Cartoon Network's programming was constant Scooby-Doo reruns, so of course, I'm very familiar with Scooby-Doo. It was a sad, barren period before the Cartoon Cartoons were born, but hey, at least it gave me the knowledge of which Scooby-Doo show is which. Maybe if I ever make it onto Jeopardy, that can help me win the bonus question.

And this Scooby-Doo show I'm covering happens to be the third incantation of that ever-famous canine, following the original Scooby-Doo show and The New Scooby-Doo Movies which were almost an hour long and included guest stars. Arguably, this could be considered when Scooby-Doo hit his prime. He had already gained an audience with his original show and worked out his formula, the second run was a brief experiment that showed that the formula could still work, and now he was back doing what he did best. And best of all, this was before Scrappy-Doo was added. Truly this dog was at the top of his game in this show.

...except for Scooby-Dum. Why the hell does this character exist. Why did this show introduce this character.

It's a testament to how bad Scrappy-Doo is when THIS guy is considered more bearable.
Buuuut I'm getting ahead of myself. Time to dig into one of the most famous cartoons of all time and conclude my Halloween month with possibly the most fitting topic ever, Scooby-Doo tackling a ghost on Halloween! So kick back, fondly remember the times when Cartoon Network would air 12 hour marathons of the Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby-Doo to celebrate Halloween, and let's see how a talking great dane and his grey, mentally challenged cousin take on...

The Headless Horseman of Halloween

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective - Witch's Brew

With Halloween month drifting to a close like a thin wisp-like fog that fades away with the morning sun, I've decided I'm going to talk Jim Carrey, since I always found the actual actor scary as hell. I talked about The Mask: The Animated Series and I've let everyone know that Dumb and Dumber: The Animated Series actually exists (I wish it didn't), so I might as well bring myself to talk about Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

Ace Ventura was released around the same time as The Mask: The Animated Series, but was handled by a completely different animation studio. While the glorious green-faced mask-wearing crimefighter was being animated by the geniuses at Film Roman, this idea was passed off to Nelvana. Therefore, save for the one time where the shows had a crossover (called "Have Mask, Will Travel"), these shows really don't have much in common other than the fact that Jim Carrey starred in both movies. The humor is written a lot differently, the animation is done a lot differently, and basically we're dealing with two different products here. Hell, considering the animation company, Ace Ventura's show has way more in common with the Beetlejuice cartoon than anything.

I'll be quick to sum this whole thing up. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective takes off right where the movies left off, and involve Jim Carrey's character, Ace Ventura, solving animal-themed cases with his pet monkey Mr. Watson. It's a really straightforward premise that was incredibly easy to adapt into an animated adaptation, because if there's one thing animators can draw, it's cuddly animals. I actually really like the Ace Ventura movies so that might be a plus. Hey, don't give me that look; I can like crude humor too!

While not as well-remembered or loved as The Mask: The Animated Series (opinions of this show fluctuate more wildly than it's better animated brother), Ace Ventura earns itself the distinction of being the only one out of the trio of Jim Carry cartoons to be revived by another network. After the show ended its first run in 1997, Nickelodeon actually brought it back for a third season that lasted from 1999 to the year 2000. But, like most zombies, it quickly decomposed and fell apart, and couldn't gain any audience after rising up from its grave. I personally blame the fact that Nick never bothered to advertise the damn thing. I clearly remember watching Nickelodeon during that time period and not once did Ace Ventura premieres become any sort of priority with that station.

But let's ignore that. And what's the first episode I'll be dealing with?

Well, since it's Halloween and Buttons and Rusty had completely failed me in their Halloween special, I'm going with another episode dealing with witches. I was going to go with the weremoose episode because the concept was too tempting to pass up, but then I saw Which Witch was Which and now I'm irrationally angry that I didn't get to see some real witchcraft. Hopefully Ace Ventura isn't as big of a liar as Ranger Jones.

I will warn everybody. Copies of this show are hard to find, there's no DVD out of this show, I'm Internet-retarded in that I can't figure out torrents and never will, and the one copy I did find...has a very annoying watermark where the uploader was kind enough to write his name in big fat letters on the actual movie. Incredibly annoying, and I apologize in advance for it, but I can't fault him for trying to advertise the fact that he's the go-to guy for Ace Ventura episodes. This probably won't be the last time this happens, so just letting everybody know before people send me e-mails.

That being said, let's boil up some...

Witch's Brew

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Buttons and Rusty in Which Witch is Which

While I'm on the topic of Halloween specials, it's time for me to talk about a movie that somehow was a big part of my childhood even though it took me a lot of google-fu in order to remember the name of the stupid thing, partly because the VHS isn't even correctly labelled. Buttons and Rusty, everyone!

Fun fact: There are no ghosts in this movie. This cover is a big fat lie.
Everyone has one of these films. An obscure film that just makes it into your video library when you're a kid even though you have no idea how the hell it got there. Maybe a relative gave it to you when you were little, maybe your parents spotted it in the bargain bin and mistook it for a Disney film, or maybe your VCR recorded it because your house is haunted and the ghosts in your house happen to be hipsters and hate everything with a recognizable brand name. These movies are never really well-known, but they're everywhere, just waiting to be talked about, waiting to be brought to our attention after they've been passed off in favor of something by Fox Entertainment or Warner Brothers.

But yeah, long story short, I think this blog post is going to be something my parents dug up from a bargain bin. Hooray!

Anyways, like Fluppy Dogs, I watched this a couple times as a kid, the VHS wore out, and a good portion of my life was spent recalling weird images of a bear cub and a fox kit having appropriately cute woodland fun even though I couldn't recall the name or much of the plot points. It's that feeling you get where you watch something, you remember liking it, but all you can dreg up is just that vague feeling that you watched something alright. It's sort of like recalling elevator music, really.

But unlike Fluppy Dogs, which was a standalone film, not only did this film exist, but there were multiple films and there was a TV series in the late 90's based off of this concept, with this entire franchise branded as "The Chucklewood Critters". I don't know about you, but when the Internet told me this, my jaw hit the floor and I spent a good ten minutes going "Holy crap! That thing! That thing that I watched! It had sequels!". It took all of my willpower to avoid just running out and buying the other VHSes, but mostly because Youtube happens to still exist at the time I write this.

...that being said, it's actually rather sad that even though Buttons and Rusty starred in like six specials and an entire cartoon that lasted two seasons, the only time I had even heard of any of these things is because I happened to punch in the name into an Internet search engine. Considering I frequent quite a few cartoon sites and talk to people who were raised on 90's cartoons, that's saying a lot. I mean, geez, even Project GeeKeR is mentioned more than the Chucklewood Critters. I have to wonder what the hell the animators did in order to earn such bad luck on their product.

With the introduction out of the way, I'm going to dive right into a giant lake of obscurity and fish up some animation that I'm sure only a handful of people has ever seen. If I don't make any blog posts after this one, it's probably because the VHS of this thing happened to be haunted and I was devoured by the creepy fox corpse that came out of my television screen.

Buttons and Rusty in Which Witch is Which

Thursday, October 20, 2011

WordGirl -Tobey's Tricks and Treats

Since I'm playing catchup with my blog, I'm going to cover a Halloween special that's short and sweet, which is appropriate considering those descriptors also apply to most pieces of Halloween candy.

So I figure, why not do something different and cover a recent Flash cartoon that's not in my age group but somehow manages to have a pretty sizable adult fanbase, a show that's considered just as fun to watch as a kid and as an adult. And before any bronies can get all excited and think I'm talking about THAT show, here is a show that people really overlook too much, WordGirl.

Oh no, the TV's trying to educate me! Quick, change the channel!
I discovered this show entirely by accident, because I happened to be babysitting a four-year old and the four-year old happened to love PBS. Before I was enlightened, I figured that PBS plays the game similar to how Nick Jr. does it, where the shows feel about as engaging as a drill to the eye and the characters expect you to do the thinking for them. Long story short, I was wrong, and not once did I run into a show where a character was standing still for five seconds because they couldn't locate the red ball behind them. Instead, Dinosaur Train showed me species I never knew before, Cyberchase has Christopher Lloyd as the main villain, and WordGirl actually has a character with full-blown schizophrenia. Truly this is the channel Nick Jr. wishes it was.

WordGirl basically answers the question of whether it's possible to have a superhero show aimed at little kids considering the inevitable violence and crime associated with that genre. Long story short, it is. Because come on, there was a generation of little kids that watched Batman: The Animated Series and they turned out okay. It's still educational, but it's also fun to watch. WordGirl doesn't just teach the children new words; she also thwarts world domination plans and fights various themed villains.

I consider WordGirl to be Dora the Explorer's alternate universe self on steroids. They share the same ethnicity and have a monkey companion, but while Dora thinks that saying "go" in Spanish is an achievement worthy of a traveling mariachi band consisting of frogs and snails, WordGirl will teach you the meaning of the word "immaculate" while tying a streetlight around a half-mouse mutant with an exposed brain. Also, Huggyface? I'm pretty sure if he fought Boots, Dora would have to rename her talking monkey companion "Bucket of Unidentifiable Monkey Organs".

Since I'm getting into the holiday spirit, the first episode I cover of this wondrous slice of educational television tells a haunting tale of a boy who uses his massive intelligence and his abilities to build giant robots for evil. A boy who has a thirst for destruction just as much as he has a thirst for caramel. I'm talking about Tobey, and this is his story.

Tobey's Tricks and Treats

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: Scared Silly - Part 2 (Final Part)

Part 1

Time to talk about The Joker's wealthy businessman brother again. I hate leaving fast food meals unfinished, because I know that if I don't polish it off now, this movie will end up getting shoved in the back of my refrigerator where it will stay until I pull it out five months later and find that literally nothing in the meal has rotted and, if left untouched, a McDonalds Big Mac could probably outlive me if it wanted to.

For those of you who read the first part and wondering just what was so scary about just camping in the woods, hold on tight. Because you haven't seen nothing yet. The worst has yet to come, and readers beware, because you're in for a scare.

The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: Scared Silly - Part 2

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Darkwing Duck - Night of the Living Spud

Halloween month continues and it's time to revisit an old friend of mine, one that helped me form this blog in the first place. Time for the terror that flaps in the night!

He's a very happy, child-friendly terror, but still a terror.
This is one of those shows where you can pick practically any episode and have loads to talk about, but you have no idea how excited I am to talk about this episode in particular. This is one of those episodes I just have to cover because it's just so insane, so unbelievably out there that I'm getting giddy just talking about it.

For you see, this episode is a Bushroot episode, which instantly makes it one of my favorite episodes on account Bushroot is as awesome as he is whiny and pantless, and it involves giant vampire potatoes that turn people into zombies. That idea alone, the fact that there are blood-sucking spuds that spread some weird plant-like infection around like a Left 4 Dead/Plants Vs. Zombies crossover instantly brightens up any Halloween. In fact, ever since I bought my DVD box set, I've made it my life's mission to never go through an October without watching this episode at least once, it's that magical.

That is why I went with this episode as opposed to say, any of Morgana's episodes. Sorry Morgana. I know you're supernatural and more traditionally Halloween-y than a hideous abomination that makes roots sprout out of people's brains, but I had to go with my gut and choose the episode that has used the "Night of the Living Dead" pun that every single 90's entity has to make at least once.

Also, some people will be quick to note that this episode, "Night of the Living Spud", comes right after "Getting Antsy", effectively making my three Darkwing Duck reviews in show run order and therefore making me look like a huge Darkwing Duck geek. I assure you, I didn't intend for that to happen. So don't expect the next Darkwing Duck post to be about "Apes of Wrath" because it's not. Probably because I intend my next episode of this show to cover one of the OTHER main villains lest this blog looks like it has a Bushroot bias. does, but I'd rather not have it appear that I do.

Anyways, remove your pants and imitate your favorite duck as we dive into the spectacle of horrors that is...

Night of the Living Spud

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: Scared Silly - Part 1

Okay, chances are if you're aware of the concept of "fast food" (and if you're not aware, congratulations for crawling out from your rock long enough to read my blog!), then you know about McDonald's. McDonald's is like the undisputed Lord and Master above all other forms of fast food, the crowning father of fatty hamburgers and cheap plastic toys shoved into mini meals to coerce children to start clogging their arteries early. Whether you love them, hate them, find them a world-destroying scourge or a delight that you visit every other week, you are aware of their existence and their ability to be absolutely anywhere. Starbucks wishes they were like McDonald's multibillion empire. Sadly, in this universe, scary clowns will always beat sirens in hand-to-hand combat.

But I'm not here to talk about cheeseburgers. I'm here to talk about cartoons. And one day in the 90's, McDonald's came up with this great idea. Oh sure, their mascots are portrayed well enough in the commercials, but what if they were in a cartoon? Kids love cartoons, and if Ronald was a cartoon star, that meant even more Happy Meals will be devoured on a daily basis! It's a win-win situation. Unfortunately, McDonald's didn't go the whole gambit and greenlight a 13 episode TV series; instead they chose to make a series of short films.

So they teamed up with Klasky-Csupo (aka the people behind Rugrats) and made a direct-to-video movie about Ronald McDonald and his hideously deformed food friends frolicking through the strange, cholesterol-filled lands of McDonaldland.

And it was a hit.

Man, remember when you actually had to rewind your movies?
It's hard to say just how popular these things were if you didn't live through it first-hand, but I remember when these VHSes first came out in McDonald's. For just a couple bucks more on your combo meal, you could get an exclusive Ronald McDonald cartoon where he pals around with his equally soulless partners designed purely to hypnotize the young'uns into buying more McDonald's food. This sounds stupid, the thought of bringing a cartoon clown and his giant rotten chicken nugget pal (what the hell is Grimace anyways?) into your home, but I remember McDonald's places all over the tri-county area selling out of these things. And, when they sold out, people would hop in their minivans and drive 45 minutes into another city in hopes that maybe one of their McDonald's has one.

What's really sad is that I'm not surprised people would sink this low. After all, I lived through the Beanie Baby craze and remembered when McDonald's places would have these huge lines of people getting their hands on shapeless cows or shapeless inch worms stuffed with beans.

Now, my family actually owned a copy of one of these things. My mom was lucky enough to buy the film before the popularity rush snatched them all up, and my family and I would actually sit down and watch this thing more than once, and mostly when it was October and getting close to Halloween. Because this movie was one of our "Halloween movies". Like Buttons and Rusty in Which Witch was Which, it was one of those odd VHSes that we didn't really acknowledge its existence until the right holiday came up. We'd watch it, not because we were compelled to, but because it was in season.

That being said, does this still hold up? Is there something to be redeemed in this fantasy world where a man can dress up his dog in clown makeup and get away with it, or is this movie as bad as a movie about freaking' McDonaldland characters could possibly be? Grab some McNuggets, mourn the loss of the triple cheeseburger and the Supersize combo option, take some anti-heart attack pills, and inhale this delicious portion of...

The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: Scared Silly - Part 1

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Mask: The Animated Series - Shadow of a Skillit

I was going to continue Halloween special month with another Disney cartoon, but then I noticed that three out of the four previous posts were Disney-related, so the episode I was going to do (a Darkwing Duck ep, and I'm not saying which one) got postponed.

But that doesn't mean I don't have another show in mind when I think "creepy Halloween episode from an awesome 90's cartoon in the superhero genre". And today, I am going to revisit a green-faced old friend of mine. The Mask! Because I found out that not enough sites talk about this show (even 90's nostalgia fans seem oblivious to this show, meaning they're not doing their jobs) and I can't abide it going unnoticed.

Masks are Halloween related, right? This counts!
First, I have a small confession to make. This is NOT the series' Halloween special. The episode I should be reviewing is the one helpfully titled "All Hallow's Eve", which has everything to Halloween parties to trick-or-treating to actual zombies.

The reason I chose this episode instead is because of several different reasons. The first reason is that All Hallow's Eve is a sequel to this episode, and the second reason is that, in my mind, this fits the mood and tone of Halloween better than the sequel ever did. The Mask's Halloween special is the side of Halloween that everybody loves, the one filled with costumes and candy. This episode deals with the more sinister side of Halloween, the fact that there are creatures lurking in the shadows, boogeymen that won't think twice about stealing your soul just for a cheap thrill.

Now, if you remember my last post about this show (which dealt with "Convention of Evil", the first episode I myself ever watched of this show), the villains were pretty amicable fellows who loved to hang out and swap stories about The Mask while drinking cups of coffee and talking about how nice the weather was. Even Satan and the horrifying bug mutant were friendly. A lot of them felt like, if they weren't criminally insane and found total city domination to be a great career move, they'd be your bestest pals.

Skillit? He's not friendly. He's the opposite of friendly. Skillit's the kind of villain that the other villains stay away from, just because he's the guy in every group that finds human suffering to be gutroaringly hilarious. He's seen civilizations fall, wars kill countless numbers of people, and horrible atrocities wreaked upon mankind, and he enjoyed every minute of it. I'd like to imagine if, say, The Stinger or Kablamus had caller ID and saw Skillit's name pop up on their cellphone, they'd chuck the phone in the fireplace and hide under the couch for several weeks.

But I'm hyping this up a bit too much, especially when I know a good number of you probably scroll right past my intros. I should probably stop flapping my gums and dive right into the scary, mentally-scarring horrorfest that is charmingly named...

Shadow of a Skillit

Monday, October 3, 2011

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command - Wirewolf

Why look, it's October. You know what this calls for? An entire month filled with nothing but Halloween specials! Those who are allergic to vampires and werewolves should probably avoid this blog for the next month on account the episodes I do are going to be all about the things that go bump in the night (and I don't mean that claymation show) and the strange, hostile creatures that celebrate the witching hour.

Now, while you enjoy your candy corn and chocolate bars shaped like pumpkins, consider the following. Suppose they made an animated series of a character in a Pixar movie without any of the original voice actors, with a completely new cast of characters, and in a completely different style to said Pixar movie. Sounds like it'd be pretty stupid and unwatchable right?

Allow me to prove you wrong by introducing you to Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.

This show sounds like one of those things that could've been terrible, could've been a horrible blemish on the face of Disney, and could've been considered another cash-in franchise like the many direct-to-video sequels that were coming out at this time. I mean, even the premise sounds dumb. It's supposedly the TV show that Buzz Lightyear the toy was based off of, which means we're dealing with sort of a different Buzz Lightyear but not really. And he's in a crimefighting team that includes a token chick, a talking robot comic relief, and a fat janitor alien. Bound to be crap, right?

Pictured: Not crap.
Instead, it was actually a decent show, probably because they actually had Tad Stones, the man behind Darkwing Duck, working on it. The people that do remember it remember it fondly, but unfortunately, since it wasn't a Disney afternoon show, therefore that means that it doesn't have the fanbase that say, Darkwing Duck or Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. And that's a real big shame, because in the years that have passed, they managed to tighten up the writing and animation in Disney shows. This was probably one of Disney's last great shows with the spirit of the 90's coursing through its veins before Disney decided that kids really want to see live-action pop stars in sitcoms.

Yeah, Disney. I'm a tiny bit pissed that you feel that having only two animated shows running at a time does the trick. It really doesn't. One of the reasons why the 90's was so great for you is because you had variety. Come back to school, get bombarded with like six different shows. Now, if you don't like Phineas and Ferb, you're pretty much out of luck.

Also unfortunately, since Disney afternoon show DVDs apparently didn't sell as well as Disney would've hoped (well, gee, Disney, maybe if you included the uncut episodes instead of porting the cut-for-TV cuts from Toon Disney and maybe if you had just a couple of extras...), this show never got a DVD release. If I sound a little bitter, that's probably because I am, on account Disney is usually really good at releasing DVDs and Blu-Rays with all of the bells and whistles...provided that they're well-known animated films. Come on, Disney. Warner Bros. was embarrassed by Loonatics Unleashed and they gave that show a full DVD release! The entire show of Loonatics Unleashed is on DVD and yet we can't get Season 3 of Darkwing Duck.

But I'm getting off-topic and ranting about cartoon politics instead of the actual episode. Buzz Lightyear! The first episode I'm going to do of this show was going to be, as expected, one of the first episodes in the series, but then October happened and I tossed that out in favor of a Halloween episode. I went with this one first because, like a lot of my posts, I chose it because the villain and the premise sounded neat.

Allow me to introduce you to an episode named after the villain, because this is...


Friday, September 30, 2011

Fluppy Dogs - Part 2 (Final Part)

Part 1

Hey, guys! You know what's awesome? Prismatic canines that have a magic key that can open doors to other dimensions.
"We'll acknowledge Atlantis: Milo's Return and Belle's Magical World but not this."
That's right, today I'm going to tackle the second and final half of Fluppy Dogs, closing the book (at least until I find another one that did just as badly) on forgotten Disney specials that failed miserably in the ratings. So far, this strange special has brought flying beds, dogs that are supposedly not dogs but just look like dogs and happen to be called dogs, a villain that feels like he should be hanging out in France and attacking cursed princes in enchanted castles, and a really cool idea that's somehow buried underneath all of this. The first half set the whole story up, and now the second half is where we'll get to see some action.

But all in all, there's not much more to say about the Fluppy Dogs, cute as they may be, that hasn't already been said in Part 1, so I'm just going to use this space to inform the readers that, as always, start with Part 1 first. Because I'm not responsible for breaking your brain if you enter Part 2 unprepared.

Time to once again touch upon the piece of animation Disney likes to pretend doesn't exist (on account they forgot it exists), this is...

Fluppy Dogs - Part 2

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rayman: The Animated Series - Lac-Mac Napping

This might just be the unluckiest series I ever have to do. Reading about what had happened in the production of this show is really sad. This is the kind of show that other shows use as an example, a horror story of shows, but first, let's talk about the videogame this animated series was based off of, Rayman.

Aw yeah, this game rocked.
Rayman is a platformer game series that debuted in 1995 on the Playstation and PC (well, okay, also the Atari Jaguar and the Sega Saturn, but who the hell owned one of those?) and starred a really strange thing named Rayman that was vaguely humanoid and had a bunch of disembodied floating limbs rotating around a purple ball. It was a delightful sugar-coated happy romp full of bright colors, whimsical characters, and ball-crushing difficulty spikes. I've interviewed everyone in the world and I've found out that most people saw the maze full of sharp musical notes in Bongo Hills (or the maze of sharp tacks in Picture City), said "To hell with this", and returned this game and exchanged it with Spyro the Dragon.

The game was good enough to get a sequel, Rayman 2: The Great Escape aka "one of the best platformer games ever" (my main source being my own personal opinion of course). No seriously, play this game because it's fun. Rayman 2 was more manageable in difficulty, but it traded the sugar coating and the bright colors with a darker and edgier atmosphere filled with giant spiders, poisonous swamps, killer robots from outer space, and zombie chickens.

I'm going to stress the zombie chicken part.

The writer of this blog still can't play the Tomb of the Ancients level without breaking down and sobbing.
And the sequel spawned a TV series. A very ill-fated TV series that lasted...wait for it....


Fun fact: Creepy Crawlers the Animated Series is also French. French shows have the worst luck.
Yes, this show lasted four episodes. The entire show is four episodes long. I've seen series pilots that were longer than Rayman's show. I've encountered farts that lasted longer than this. It never even got broadcast in the United States and literally the only evidence of this show in the United States (besides the Internet) was Nintendo Power hinting towards its existence and a VHS that's rarer than the Creepy Crawlers action figures.

It was planned to be a 13 episode season, but lack of funds and presumably poor writing (although that didn't stop Captain Planet) made the producers pull the plug early. Since Rayman isn't exactly the most popular videogame star in most parts of the world (he's popular in French-speaking countries since he's a French creation, but that's about it) and the relative obscurity of the episodes, this show is pretty much unknown.

But I'm going to talk about this show because what the hell, I might as well. I personally love the Rayman games (at least until they decided that they were going to fill the series with minigame collections instead of releasing a goddamn Rayman 4 like we wanted them to), and it'd at least be fun to see how they interpreted it for the small screen.

That being said, boy, am I in for a ride, because this show happened to follow the Sonic Underground line of thinking in that as long as they stick Rayman in an unrelated setting full of unrelated characters that have nothing to do with the original games, it's still a Rayman cartoon. So thus, let's talk about the first episode of this series. Let's find out what happens when you call a show "Rayman" but really make it about this unrelated blue guy in...

Lac-Mac Napping

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fluppy Dogs - Part 1

Everybody has a cartoon they remember bits and pieces of but can't remember the name or what it's about. A cartoon that you saw as a kid, but now you wish you could remember the name because you're a little unsure if it was actually something you saw or something you made up in your head.

In my case, it was Disney's Fluppy Dogs. Never heard of it? I wouldn't be surprised really.

Whenever some Disney fan acts like they're the only person in the world that
knows about The Black Cauldron, bring this up.
This might sound silly, but for a very large portion of my life I swore I saw an animated film on the Disney Channel about talking dogs that could open up doors out of midair with a magic key but I couldn't remember the plot, the title, or even most of the movie beyond little snippets that would appear in my head. But no matter who I talked to, no one had heard of this film. I quickly became more and more distraught, gradually going from "hey, remember this animated TV special Disney would air in the 90's about talking dogs with magic keys?" to "I swear to god this happened why won't anyone listen to me!?" to unfortunate souls like my various roommates and the people standing in line for Space Mountain. Luckily YouTube came to the rescue and proved that I was at least sort of sane (because no sane person would get an art degree, believe me) and didn't suffer from hallucinations as a child.

The reason this movie hasn't been released on DVD or even so much as mentioned by Disney is that Fluppy Dogs could really be dubbed Floppy Dogs on account, when this special first aired, it was one of Disney's lowest rated programs. I'm picturing a room of animators, all pleased that the grueling months are over and they made this really awesome pilot, and then the Nielsen Ratings come in and everyone starts hitting the bottle.

Which kind of sucked for Disney because they had aspirations of turning this into a series and even had released a couple pieces of merchandise (because Disney can and will release merchandise of anything they make) before they knew how much this movie was going to fail in terms of gaining an audience. See, before they released the special, Disney joined up with Kenner Toys (the makers behind Strawberry Shortcake) in an attempt to make a merchandise-driven cartoon similar to My Little Pony or He-Man. Only problem; no one bought the merchandise. I can tell because this stuff shows up on eBay for dirt cheap.

Yeah, this still probably isn't ringing a bell with anyone.
Had this movie been a hit and had the show been picked up, it would've been in-between Adventures of the Gummi Bears and DuckTales chronologically. As it stands, the closest you'll probably get to having a Fluppy Dogs show is watching reruns of The Wuzzles, which by the way, isn't very well-remembered either.

Since this movie is only like 45-50 minutes long, it makes sense that I divide this analysis of this movie into exactly two parts, like a Subway sandwich meant for two. I will also apologize for the quality of this movie's screenshots because, since it never got a DVD or even a VHS release, the only surviving copies that circulate the darkest reaches of the Internet today was pulled from video recordings from the 80's.

So let's dive into one of the most forgotten TV specials bearing the Disney name. This is...

Fluppy Dogs - Part 1

Monday, September 19, 2011

Creepy Crawlers - Attack Of the Fifty Foot Googengrime

Episode 1-Night of the Creepy Crawlers

I had to pull out this show again for several reasons, but the main reason was that I noticed that since there's only like four episodes online in a language I can understand (because hell no, I'm not watching something off of Rutube and then try to make any coherent sense out of it), this would be the easiest series to write about all of the available goop-filled, creepy crawly, nonsensical episodes.

I sometimes entertain the notion that I'll have this blog ten years from now and will one day review and overanalyze, say, every single available episode of Darkwing Duck or The Mask: The Animated Series, but another part of me knows that will never ever happen because I'm just one person and my interest in ducks or strange green-faced shapeshifters can only go so far.

But come on, only four existing episodes of a cracktastic series? That'd be cake.

Part of me still has trouble believing this actually exists.
I went with this episode first as opposed to, say, one closer in order (which involves giant zombie bees and important character introductions) because, to be frank, this begged to be written. I built my entire blog just so I can write about craziness like this. It's got a little bit of everything, but mostly, I have to point at the title and tell you that this seriously exists, that the writers seriously thought that this was a good idea and they had people draw storyboards for this.

In short, the 90's! Because if you want to see a jade green skeleton dance around while wearing a monocle, bugs imitate Beavis and Butthead, and a five story wizard with the chin the size of Kuwait yell about Goopmandos and little dips, then there's going to be a cartoon to accommodate for your strange, strange needs.

But really, nothing more needs to be said other than the title at this point. No, really. I can't even warn you for the unbridled insanity that cold, heartless merchandising inflicted on small children in the early 90's other than mentioning that this is...

Attack Of the Fifty Foot Googengrime

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fanboy and Chum Chum - Wizboy

Recent stuff! Whoo! This post should be a good enough reminder that while I do watch and review 90's and 80's shows, I can sometimes do something recent too. That's why I have a 2000's label after all.

Let's see how fast I can lose what little audience I have by talking about this show.

Ah yes, Fanboy and Chum Chum. For some reason this show gets hated on a lot. It's like a punchline. Every time someone says something like "TV animation sucks nowadays!", the first example they usually trot out is this particular show. Man, everything on the air is like Fanboy and Chum Chum! Why can't we have more 2D animation instead of crap like Fanboy and Chum Chum? Kids today have a terrible childhood because they have Fanboy and Chum Chum! I'm not defending the show (I don't really defend ANY show in this blog), but like Loonatics Unleashed, the hatred is a tiny bit overblown and silly.

Probably because I've seen many other shows get similar hate because Western Animation fans just suck. Don't worry, Fanboy and Chum Chum, because Rocket Power, Jimmy Neutron, The Replacements, Teamo Supremo, ChalkZone, and El Tigre all got similar backlash. (Also Butt Ugly Martians and Super Duper Sumos, but they deserved it)

But I'll be honest. The reason I'm doing this show is not because I have any sort of interest in the show, that I'm curious as to why it gets hated on, or that someone requested it to me. Instead, my reasoning is a bit more shallow. I'm doing this review because my Computer Animation teacher was Lead Character Technical Artist on this show. I'm not going to make unfounded claims I can't back up, but if I remember correctly, he designed either Fanboy or Chum Chum. He's honestly proud of his work on this show (he also did work Tak and the Power of Juju, but in his opinion, this show is better) so I'm going to try to judge it more fairly than say, anyone who thinks that CGI is the cheap alternative to 2D. It's not.

Anyways, I'm going to watch what else but this show's premiere episode, Wizboy. This is yet another show that's divided into a two shows/ 11 minute format, so at the very least, it should give me a light, fluffy post after posting those monsters about the Loonatics and The Mask.

With that being said, will I end up being like every single 18 years and older cartoon fan who says that Invader Zim and Rocko's Modern Life is totally better than this new-aged, CGI drivel they're forcefeeding the children, or will I have a deep penetrating shame over the fact that I find something to like out of this show? Don't try to fight it folks, because I'm introducing you to...


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Loonatics Unleashed - The World is My Circus

This may be the first show that I'm choosing to revisit on account of popular demand as opposed to me just picking out shows at random. Today, I'm going to once again tackle the show known as Loonatics Unleashed on account quite a few people liked it when I talked about the episode where a balding chubby nerd with a rock arm fought giant talking rabbits. Not only was the Going Underground post one of the most popular blog posts I've ever done, but I actually got an e-mail response about it saying that I was "a lot fairer than most cartoon review sites".

Which kind of says a lot when my site makes fun of everything I watch. When I said that Ace Bunny's lasers looked really ludicrous and that his personality was bland, that Lexi made some very stupid mistakes, or that Tech was being a pretentious smartass, that was still being a lot fairer than most sites that cover Western Animation. Probably because I actually said nice things inbetween the snark, but still...

But then again, considering how much the viewers of Cartoon Brew were collectively filling their underwear with raw anger over the release of The Looney Tunes Show, that really doesn't surprise me. And it's kind of sad that it doesn't.

For this post, I just happened to pick an episode that appealed to my interests on account I'm shallow and that going in episode order would be boring. In this case, there's evil circuses, Tim Curry, mutant animal hybrids, physical transformations, and superheroes, which I think sounds like just the coolest mixture of stuff in an episode. Again, not related to Looney Tunes at all, but you'd be lying if you said this didn't sound cool. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, witness the greatest show on the face of the Earth in...

The World is My Circus

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Mask: The Animated Series - Convention of Evil

You know, animated adaptations of big hit Hollywood movies get a really bad rap these days. What was once a big staple of the 90's (ironic considering how often nostalgia fans praise the 90's for being the most original) is now seen as unoriginal, banal pieces of crap that ride upon the coattails of a successful movie franchise and are almost never good. The words "the animated series" are like the brightly colored skin of a poison dart arrow frog, warning off potential viewers of the show's toxicity.

Usually, this is correct (because oh man can I name some animated adaptations that suck all that is wholesome and good out of the animation medium), but first I'm going to show off an animated adaptation that, in my opinion, works better than the movie it spawned from. Say hello to The Mask, and let me answer your first question: yes, there was an actual The Mask cartoon.

There are a ton of things are wrong about this show, making its 3 season, 52 episode success almost baffling. It's better to just go about them in list form, and really, it ends up sounding like a recipe list for making the perfect disaster.

1. It's a superhero cartoon about a movie that was nothing about superheroes.
2. Key elements are discarded. The mask can now work during the day and Stanley's girlfriend (who was Cameron Diaz in her very first star role, by the way) is completely missing. And Peggy, who was considered a villain and was even killed in a deleted scene, becomes The Mask's friend in the series.
3. 80% of the cast was completely fabricated from scratch and would so not fit in with the movie's cast. Okay, ask yourself. When you watched that Jim Carrey film, did you ever stop and think "You know what this needs? A mutant honeybee monster, a half-balloon man, a talking fish, a Mesopotamian woman who controls cheese, and Satan!" to yourself? If you answered "yes", then you were one of the character designers on this show.
4. This was created during the peak of a Jim Carrey craze and two other Jim Carrey films were being adapted into cartoons as well.
5. They turned two iconic lines in the movie into catchphrases. "Sssssmokin'!" and "Somebody stop me!" were used ad nausem in this show's run.

and worst of all...

6. It's a watered-down animated adaptation of a movie that's a watered-down adaptation of a very violent comic book. Fans of the Mirage TMNT comic books should instantly know this feeling all too well.

I'm willing to bet that a large amount of people will respond to this with "There was a comic!?"
So okay, what's the punchline, you might be thinking. This couldn't possibly have ended well.

Well, it did. Partly because Film Roman knew just what the hell they were doing and allowed the show to have an actual budget. I don't want to risk gushing too much about how inexplicably awesome this show is, but let's just say it's way more well-remembered than the two other Jim Carrey shows, Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura, for a very good reason. Plus it helps that I like this cartoon when I don't particularly care for the movie (I can't enjoy Jim Carrey unless if he's in small doses), so it does its job well.

Anyways, I'm done talking about the show. Now for the actual episode I'm going to dive right into. For the first episode I'm covering from this show, I'm going to cover...the first episode I ever personally watched, thanks to a friend linking me and telling me "this is better than it sounds, trust me". Not the first episode of the show; the one that first exposed me to the show. Which doesn't make much sense, but hey. My blog; my rules.

I will warn you, since this show currently doesn't have a DVD release, that means the copies I find on the Internet all contain network bugs. That being said, let's watch a cyborg, a hideous bee mutant, Satan, a woman with a cheese obsession, a half-shark mobster, Ickis from Aaahhh! Real Monsters, and a nerd in skintight underwear sit around at a table and discuss their mental issues with Ben Stein in...

Convention of Evil

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) - Cowabunga Shredhead

Lately I've been noticing that I've been sneaking a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles references into my other blog posts. So you know what? It's turtle time!

If you have no idea what this show is, then I feel nothing but immense pity for you.
I really can't really say much about this show as a whole that hasn't already been said by at least 500 other people. This show is one of those shows where, even if you haven't watched an episode of it, you know what it is. It remains one of the most popular animated television shows of all time. I personally don't think I've run into anyone over the age of 18 who hasn't heard of the turtles.

Also, well, there's a lot to cover about this show.
The average cartoon has 2 or 3 seasons, with around 26-50 episodes.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had 11 Seasons and 193 episodes.

To put this in perspective, think of all the merchandise Spongebob Squarepants has, and then double it. You still won't hit the amount of merchandise this show had. This show honest to god actually made pizza more popular. Dwell on that for a second. To say that this show was popular is an understatement and shames this cartoon. This thing was so humongogigantic in the early 80's that they haven't even invented a word as to how popular it was.

But it's not my job to be a ninja turtle historian. It's my job to digest one of their episodes and regurgitate it up in word form in a way that's at least slightly amusing.

The reason I went with this episode first as opposed to say, the first episode ever is that I've seen quite a few fans of this show, when they cover this show, conveniently only cover the major story arcs from Seasons 1 and 2 (and occasionally the Baxter Stockman arc that spans several seasons, but I'll hit on that later) and then just conveniently ignore the entire rest of the show like it's something that never happened. That apparently the show's best moments were when it was deep, thoughtful, serious, and all those other delightful metaphors usually applied to the 2003 TMNT series.

So because of this, instead of drama and intrigue, I'm going to show you an episode where a ninja covered in cheese graters is programmed by a laser beam to think that he's a giant mutant turtle with a verbal tic while other villains plan to kidnap the president with holograms. Behold how everyone in the 80's was on something in this glorious golden-plated trophy of an episode named...

Cowabunga Shredhead

Friday, September 2, 2011

Felix the Cat: The Movie - Part 4 (Final Part)

Part 1.
Part 2.

Part 3.

What a better way to issue in a brand new month than by closing up on this strange, delightful acid trip to my eyes that is this movie?

...I can probably think of a million better ways to celebrate the month of September than by sitting all by my lonesome in a quiet room and watching the hopes and dreams of Hungarian animators get silently crushed by horrible time schedules and weak budgets, but since I went for a specific theme for my blog, this is what I'll write about. Otherwise I'd be boring you all about anecdotes involving the colorful people that inhabit my dorms.

Anyways, Felix the Cat! I just recently learned this, but there are a couple Felix the Cat black and white shorts involving circuses. There aren't any women dancing in bubbles or overweight alligators with throat scars in them, but this proves that I was wrong about the filmmakers. They were making a really clever allusion to "Felix Wins Out" and "The Circus", very classic silent 1920's shorts.

...either that, or they were making this crap up as the film was being produced. It's hard to tell.  

Also, you know how I said that the animation is only going to get even worse as time goes on? Well, yeah, that was mainly to warn you ahead of time about the last portion of the film. Even fans of this movie can't excuse the last fifteen minutes of this film, it's that bad. Characters start to melt, eyeballs start to slide off faces, animation clips starts to be reused, and it's just a horrible thing to watch because you know they could do better because anyone could do better than this. It's a sliding scale of badness with this film, unfortunately, and it's really sad when the high point of any animated film is when the main character is being held captive by an overweight lizard mutant.

So be prepared for the final reckoning as we see this movie finally get out of the circus and reach its conclusion. And trust me, you will be disappointed once you see how this movie ends in...

Felix the Cat: The Movie Part 4!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers - Chocolate Chips

In dedication on how my first blog post was something from a particular weekday afternoon block from my childhood, I'm going to do yet another Disney Afternoon cartoon. They're easy to do, fun to write, and best of all, I get to mercilessly put shows that I had once found sacred and perfect into the unforgiving grinder of sarcasm and snark. Also, this one show is the one that, if possible, has even more fans than Darkwing Duck. And what a scary big rabid fandom it is. So if I get angry e-mails from this particular blog post, I only have myself to blame.

Quick Disclaimer for the Rescue Rangers Fans: Even though all of these blog posts horrifically rip apart whatever I'm watching, most of time I actually enjoy the show and are poking fun of it because I would spot these weird little logical fallacies even as a kid. The only time I really mean it is if the show is bad, and let's be honest, I'm pretty sure you can tell when a show is bad just by the way I write the post. No one read the Street Sharks post and thought "Oh shut up, that's an awesome show!"

...but moving on. If I could describe this show's premise in one sentence, I would do it like this:

The Premise of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers

Some talking vermin solve crimes.


I'll be honest, but when I watched this show as a kid, I can't really say I was a big fan of it. I like the show, don't get me wrong, but out of the Disney Afternoon, this ranked slightly higher than DuckTales (because it didn't have Webbie and that annoying caveduck), but lower than Gummi Bears, because Gummi Bears kicked ass. It was somewhere in the middle of enjoyment, which is better than my opinion on Shnookums and Meat.

For this show, I chose an episode through the complicated scientific process known as "randomly picking an episode off my Chip and Dale DVD box set because, unlike Darkwing Duck, I never really built a preference for episodes". I went with this one because I guess I was currently in the mood for some confectioneries.

Have some crimes that just keep slipping through the cracks? Have a case that people dismissed as either too big or too small? Well, if you need help, just eat some...

Chocolate Chips