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

Airdate: November 12, 2005

Availability: On DVD

Like the previous episode I did of Loonatics Unleashed, this episode does not open with a title screen or an opening, but rather chooses to unceremoniously dump the viewers right into the action without giving us any warning or even any lifejackets. I've already expressed my beef about this form of setting up the episode as opposed to the clear-cut "rock music intro, title screen, episode" format 90% of the cartooning world uses, so I'm just going to ignore it here.

Especially since, unlike Going Underground where the opening of this episode was just an anthropomorphic duck and a rabbit getting Chinese food in Chinatown and therefore wasn't very exciting, this opening is actually really cool. The very first scene in this episode is a cityscape getting slowly covered by the shadow of a giant intergalactic spaceship while Tim freakin' Curry's voice (a voice so magical that it alone makes any piece of animation 150% cooler) greets the city of Acmetropolis to his Interstellar Orbiting Space Circus, all while stereotypical circus music mixed with stereotypical space music freshens the air with a delicious mint scent.

In other words, unlike Going Underground where the lack of an intro just feels out of place because it's just two mutant animals getting takeout, this makes more sense on account it instantly reels in viewers to stick around. Because it's a space circus piloted by Tim Curry. Hell yeah. Just like in my dreams.

Okay, you win, cartoon. This is unbelievably cool.
Alrighty then, Loonatics Unleashed. You have grabbed my attention now. I've decided I'm not going to change the channel and watch Lilo and Stitch: The Series instead. What are you going to show next? Oh, right, the circus that Tim Curry is advertising on the megaphones.

I feel kind of dirty entering this cartoon with nothing but pure compliments, but these designs are really neat. The premise of this show is still really stupid and I'm sure something's going to happen that's going to be downright asinine, but by golly can the set designers do some decent world-building.

I remember when you held my hand
In the park we would play when the circus came to town.
Fittingly, it takes us to the big top, where the camera shows the audience our upcoming victims by focusing on a specific family in the crowd. If you're a bland-faced human citizen of Acmetropolis and the opening of an episode targets you having a completely mundane day where nothing could possibly go wrong, you're basically screwed. The Loonatics need something to save after all.

And even though the dad and the mom have brown hair and red hair respectively, the child has blonde hair. I'm sure the dad wonders about the very same thing late at night, after nursing a couple of beers and questioning his wife's fidelity.

This is apparently a city where everybody has the exact same face.
After focusing on people who will clearly not be important to the plot later on, we're flown into the ring of the circus where we see just who's orating in the glorious voice of Tim Curry and will most likely definitely be the main villain of this episode on account circuses in cartoons are never positive. Ladies and gentlemen, meet The Ringmaster. Why is this villain known as just "The Ringmaster" as opposed to something more clever or original? I don't know, really. Maybe his name is something embarrassing and he doesn't want people on other planets laughing at him, and when he approached everyone for ideas, the person responsible for coining marketable titles was sick that day.

Although, really, he shouldn't dress like a piece of Fruit Stripe gum.
With our villain and his costume that's practically overloaded on stripes enters the screen, he gives us what else but a circus. He introduces the Galactic Oddities, fabulous freaks that will amaze and bedazzle the viewers with their abilities to emit stock animal noises. Basically they're mutant animals that do his bidding when he shakes his glowing baton that looks suspiciously like a giant unwrapped Dum Dum Pop. The only difference between them and the Loonatics really is that they're quadrupedal and don't wear skintight clothing.

And, since all of the animals look like a combination of two distinct Earth species, my mind instantly thought "Holy crap! It's a Wuzzles Circus!". Two times the fun, wrapped up and rolled into one!

Here in the Land of Wuz, they're havin' twice the fun,
'Cuz every single thing is really two-in-one!
While the freaks of nature stampede in a circle around him, The Ringmaster stabs the air with his glorious razor-sharp goatee and boasts that he found these hideous varmints in an asteroid field of a random nebula or some stupid crap like that. Yeah yeah, long story short, he's totally making this up and forcefeeding his customers a heaping pile of lies in hopes that no one in the audience actually traveled to that specific location in the galaxy.

Besides, come on, anyone who's seen an evil circus or carnival in a cartoon knows where this is going to go; these animals are definitely poor, innocent prisoners of some sort. It was in Tiny Toons, it was in Felix the Cat: The Movie, it was in We're Back, and I'm sure it was in thousands of other titles because no one ever enforces animal abuse laws in cartoons. Barnum and Bailey must love the fact that circuses have this sort of stock plot associated with them.

"Heeeeeeelp uuuuussss..."
But first, we have to introduce another member of the circus that isn't Tim Curry or a reject from the Crash Bandicoot series. The Ringmaster brings in Otto the Odd, who looks like the clown version of LeFou from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. He's basically there to make The Stripemaster look more attractive by comparison and be stuck to a target and have glowing balls shot at him. Not sure how these sticky ball-like objects are somehow more thrilling than knives, but who am I to judge? I don't run a circus that contains a rhino/eagle griffin. 

"No one stars in circuses like Gaston!"
The circus lets out, the sea of clones pours out of the tent, but oho, what's this? Looks like the Ringmaster and Otto the Odd have decided they're not going to play the subtlety game in this show and silently announce to the audience their evil intent by showing off the highly advanced technology in their possessions.

Also, I know that they did just arrive in a spaceship and all that, but it's still rather odd to see carnies actually have gadgets still from this century, considering how outdated their occupations are. You'd think that if they were technologically savvy, they'd be pursuing a different line of work.

Delicious two-flavored Trix yogurt costumes, with yummy swirls in every bite!
Oh, and you know how those mutated animals were so totally from some random asteroid and are totally not a part of some sort of evil scheme? Well, turns out that the circus workers are in possession of a "Sonic DNA Scrambler" (aka "Generalized Thingy That Does Evil Stuff to DNA") which requires specimens with the right combination of DNA in order to turn normal-looking people into Wuzzles. Because apparently getting rare animals for a circus, something that can be easily entertaining with beasts as common like horses or dogs might I add, and training them is apparently too hard for circus workers that travel by spaceship. This evil scheme feels like it overcomplicates things and these guys are being jerks for no reason, unlike Dr. Dare who felt like he had an excuse.

But ignoring that, guess who's the right specimen for their Sonic Plot Scrambler? Why, that little blonde-haired kid from earlier! Dun dun dunnnn...

Hah hah, wow, that wall texture is atrocious.
The blue raspberry and grape-flavored carnies attack the kid with the Sonic DNA Scrambler, binding crocodile DNA to his prone, innocent body while he walks blissfully unaware with his nondescript parents. This leads me to wonder how this machine even works if you can apparently scramble chromosomes from a distance and from the safety of a tacky villain lair. Does it send crocodile genetic code flying through the air at sonic speeds until it collides with the specimen? It shows the kid being shocked so it apparently hit its target, but he happened to be in a crowd. How do they make sure they don't hit the wrong person? Is the process completely invisible or did the child glow blue for a split second? Come on, showmen, you're going to have to show me more than this.

So they can see through the clothes of little children at a distance? That's not creepy at all!
Cut to a full moon (aka the cartoon subtly telling us that a transformation is going to take place), and the family of generic citizens walk down the deserted city streets of Acmetropolis. For a city planet with millions upon millions of residents, that sure is one quiet neighborhood. Light traffic, too.

Also, man, that Sonic DNA Scrambler sure takes a while to work. What if the kid transformed in the middle of a fancy restaurant full of witnesses? What then, Tim Curry Carny?

And then a mugger guns down the kid's mom and dad in front of his eyes, which drives him to
start training to become a masked vigilante.
But then, the kid utters the traditional pre-transformation line "I don't feel so good" in a voice that sounds more like he's twenty rather than a little boy. Way to go, voice actor, for your convincing performance. But before I can chastise the casting crew for picking someone too old for this bit part, the kid roars and starts to transform into a hideous crocodile monstrosity (his shirt transforming with him too, oddly), all while his parents ignore him. I guess this regularly happens in this family.

"Son, what have we told you about turning into a giant lizard? Keep doing that and you're grounded!"
He roars, he bursts out of his clothing, spontaneously generates mass, and does all the expected things a transformation sequence calls for all while his dumbass guardians continue walking and just not notice that something is amiss with their son. The hideous furred beast with sharp flesh-ripping teeth, curved horns of death, and glowing eyes of evilness then opens its hideous toothy maw and...baas.


Okay, cartoon. You instantly lost cool points by having the giant alligator monster utter a stock sheep noise. Hope you're happy.

Digital Monsters!
Digimon are the champions!
Oh, and only when the kid, now a large furred crocodile monster the size of a bus, scampers off into an alleyway do the parents finally turn around and say "Tommy?" You know, even after the monster that was their son roared and baaed really loudly. And the award for being the most unobservant parents in the world goes to...Bland-Faced Mom and Bland-Faced Dad!

And, in case you still weren't clear as to where the Galactic Oddities came from yet (and in that case, you're a moron), The Ringmaster shows up and calls Tommy his newest Galactic Oddity and utters an evil laugh. I can't really fault him for his lack in subtlety; he is after all a carny, and the carnies I've encountered can't even grasp the concept of health or safety regulations.

I totally had a monster that looked like that in Jade Cocoon.
After that, then we get our intro, which needs a different name on account it's not actually introducing us to anything. I already covered the weird little glimpse into the writers' insanity in a previous post so I won't cover it here. Long story short, intro shows us that a meteor hits a city planet, surprisingly no one dies, and we get crime-fighting superheroes instead of fiery rains of death from the glowing space rock. I'm just here to point out that this episode's villain is in the intro, right before Dr. Dare.

I just want to say that his design looks ridiculously over the top compared to the other villains that flash on by. Dr. Dare may be a doughy little geek who happens to have a giant boulder arm, but he at least knows how to color-coordinate.
I guess attaching giant foam bananas to your shoulders is in this season.
Back on the Rocky Horror Picture Spaceship, it's feeding time for the genetic accidents. Otto the Short and Ugly wheels by a wheelbarrow that looks to be filled to the brim with steaming vomit (which I'm willing to guess is the pureed remains of Galactic Oddities that got sick and died) while a really misshapen monkey mutant with a unibrow runs on by, emitting stock monkey sounds at a rapid pace. Warner Bros.'s sound library is really getting a workout in this episode. 

Ape Escape! And geez, why is this episode in particular reminding me of PS1 games?
Otto tries to catch the lizard-like simian, but since he's short, tubby, and filled with at least ten different circus-related diseases, the creature outruns him and manages to get away by using its special chameleon powers. Through some intentionally vague dialogue that will no doubt conceals a shocking plot twist, The Ringmaster then reveals that he let the female chameleon monkey out because, in his words, "she will lead them right to us". Man, such an overuse of pronouns in an attempt to hide from the audience your real scheme is bound to lead to something big!

And, if this involves what I think it involves (ie. The Loonatics), then we've just run into another bad guy who's basically doing the villain equivalent of painting a target on his torso and pleading for the superheroes to please punch him in the gut. Villains, seriously. Just leave the atomic meteor-powered crimefighters with laser eyes out of your plots. You'll save a ton of money on medical bills. Just continue using the Sonic DNA Scrambler on innocent children if they haven't caught wind of your evil scheme yet.

"And then I will reveal my entire villain plot to them when they come into my lair, right before
I make some fatal mistake that causes my destruction! Mwahahaha!"
Suddenly, HQ. Finally, the superheroes appear in their own show, and the first thing we hear from the Tiny Toons is that Tech E. Coyote invented a new gadget, probably while foraging through a garbage bin for scraps. I feel really bad for immediately thinking this, but I just know this gadget is going to end up being vital to the plot in some shape or form. Tech never invents something that'd be completely useless in combat, after all.

And, okay, this lighting is really cool. I think Warner Bros. wanted to hide the fact that this premise isn't winning them any fans by pulling out all the stops in trying to distract us with pretty special effects. For the most part, it works. The fact that Loonatics Unleashed looks decent pleasantly surprises me. If you have a budget, by all means, make your animation pretty. Even if it does contain edgy versions of the Looney Tunes characters.

Anyways, what's our episodic Tech gadget that will no doubt get them out of a sticky situation later on down the road? The Gluco-Gel 9000, of course. If you ignore the gratuitous use of the 9000 (and I'm not going to make the obvious Dragonball Z joke; it's been done), it's basically it's a gun that shoots goop, making it a cross between a Super Soaker and a Creepy Crawler Thing-Maker and therefore making it the greatest 90's toy ever conceived. It's sort of a step down from the giant underground tunneling machine that can withstand tons upon tons of atmospheric pressure and heat, but hey, I'll take it.

...probably because I kind of want one now. I wonder if you can fill it up with other gelatinous substances like jelly, thus making food fights much more efficient and fun. Come on, Tech. Massproduce these and market them! You can be a superhero and rich too!

"No, Tech. I don't want to talk about whether Halo's better than Gears of War."
But wait, something's amiss. Zadavia, aka the floating rainbow hologram woman from previous episodes, is completely missing. Hmm. And that chameleon monkey thing from the Galactic Oddity Zoo is now in their headquarters, conveniently at the very same time Zadavia was supposed to talk to them on the holocom. Double hmm. And it looks like it wants to tell them something. Triple hmm. I wonder what this could mean.

Yeah, to those keeping track, this show is not exactly known for deep, enticing plots that leave you guessing. If you can count to five, you should probably figure out the plot twists twenty minutes before the heroes do.

Man, Helga G. Pataki would be so jealous of that unibrow.
Of course, since Donald Danger Duck has to make an ass out of himself in every episode, the moment he sees the hideous reject from a Star Wars film, he freaks out and tries to literally kill it with fire. I can't really explain this scene other than guessing that maybe the edible water fowl just has a crippling fear of monkeys. Maimouphobia is not something to be taken lightly, Loonatics.

"You don't know what it's like! Monkeys killed my parents! The nightmares won't leave!"
Since it's my job to note things like this, when Danger Duck fires his fireball egg attack at the monkzard (which agilely dodges them like some sort of karate monkey thing), the animators animated the quacker throwing a fireball once, and then cycled it three times. Come on, guys. You can blow a ton of money on atmospheric lighting and fire effects; you don't need to reuse animation!

But then the monkey lizard hops into Ace's hands (probably because he's not a flaming whirlwind of monkey-murdering death) and they notice the collar. Why, it's a Galactic Oddity! Instantly we learn the superheroes' opinions of the circus, and it's highly favorable. Apparently the Sonic DNA Scrambler victims haven't gotten media attention yet and no one connected the children's disappearances to the circus that just showed up, so mostly the heroes are very hyped up that they get to actually go to the circus.

Why am I pointing this out? Because The Ringmaster is being very very very stupid by compromising his entire operation just so that he can attract the nuclear vermin to his lair. If I knew a city contained superheroes and I happened to be a supervillain with a DNA thingamajig, I'd hightail it to the next planet. Better safe than sorry.
Or Ace chooses to keep the monkey instead of returning it, and it becomes the team pet.
They'd name it Bippy and she could help them defeat bad guys.
With a generic "Let's Jet!" from Ace, we cut to the intergalactic circus, which is apparently completely void of any workers on account of how deserted it is. Through a rather unnecessary use of powers (wouldn't it be easier to just opening the cage with your hands instead of levitating it open, Tech?), the lizardkey is out and free to back to a harsh, regulation free environment where she'll probably starve, contact mange, and wallow in her own feces thanks to the lax upkeep of the cages. Circuses!

But wait! According to Ace, the monkey wants them to follow her! Wait, how do they know the gender of the monkey creature? It makes sense that the Ringmaster would know since he's the one doing the mutating, but the Loonatics...eww, don't tell me they actually went and looked.

"What's that, girl? Timmy got mutated into a buffalo/cheetah hybrid?"
We enter the interior of...a circus building (the show is incredibly vague as to where on the spaceship this is), and we find that the walls are as tacky as The Ringmaster's uniform. Good god, the colors. The Loonatics should be thankful that they don't see the same color spectrum as humans.

I'm picturing The Ringmaster looking at the floors and walls and then telling his interior designer "Needs more swirls".
Oh, and it turns out that the Loonatics tripped a security alarm and now The Outrageous Outfitmaster knows they're there. He tells his security to go retrieve his new stars, which indicates that he wants the Loonatics for his circus. Geez, dude, it's risky enough that you're mutating children into animals when you can just take any normal zebra and stick it in the ring; you really don't need superhero mutant circus performers too! Does your Sonic DNA Scrambler just not work on normal animals? Is it really so hard to go to an animal shelter, adopt some dogs, and then zap them with eagle juice? I mean, really.

He has computers filled with Loonatics Unleashed clip art!
Like all good villains, The Ringmaster happens to have unique guards that match his evil theme that the heroes can use as target practice. The Ringmaster sends in his goons and, I'll be the first to admit it, these things have a lot better designs than the Regirocks Dr. Dare had. But then again, you can see golems practically in any cartoon and it's really hard to make rocks exciting, no matter how hard Dr. Dare tried. A bald eagle mixed with a rhino though is instantly interesting no matter how much it sucks.

...although I'm kind of uncomfortable with the idea that the Loonatics are basically beating up a heavily mutated little kid under mind control. I bet that led to some really interesting therapy for that little boy or girl down the road.
"So, Mandy, why do you have this strange, unexplained fear of rabbits?"
"Well, one time I turned into this rhino bird thing, and a rabbit shot lasers at my face!"
It probably helps that, unlike the rock monsters in Going Underground, the fight goes by a lot quicker. This reflects positively on the episode's pacing, but negatively on the villain's security. The Loonatics only managed to survive the golems with the use of a damaged drill machine; these guys just get bulldozed through in a couple seconds. It goes to show that cutting costs in some places will only hurt.

What I also find strange is that, when the woodland creatures find Tim Curry's secret DNA Scrambler, he says he's waited a long time for this moment. Kind of mixing up your villain cliches there, pal.

I like how, if you look closely, you can spot places where The Ringmaster just HAD to plaster a swirl somewhere.
So yeah, they find the Scrambler room, and of course Tech knows immediately what he's looking at because he's well, Tech. Aka the magical Deux Ex Machina Coyote that can look at a computer, no matter how alien the technology, and know its purpose. I wonder if any of the other cuddly animals get irritated at the fact that Tech is always the one to figure out this stuff.

Anyways, he finds the DNA Experimentation Log and lets everyone in the group know that the monsters that they just shot lasers and fireballs at are really human, and he even pulls up a log that contains the faces of those that were mutated. Hah hah, it's funny because they just injured some missing children, possibly causing permanent damage to their ten year old bodies. Oh, the cruel, unforgiving irony.

He's honestly fusing children with chicken or cow DNA? Why not just buy an actual cow and train that?
And, the moment they discover this log, something unexpected happens. The Loonatics...actually get captured. In tubes designed to withstand their powers. You'd think a superhero team that includes superpowers like ultra sensitive hearing and superspeed (geez, Rev, you keep making these mistakes!) would spot a trap like this ahead of time, but okay, I guess it gives the villain an excuse to make his appearance.

His Christmas decorations are pretty unorthodox.
After they're entombed in alien technology, The Ringmaster shows up and graciously gives them their episodic "introducing the villain" scene where he lets them know who he is, what he's doing here, and what he's planning to do to them. And personally, this is where this episode starts falling apart for me because this carny is surrounded in an aura of wasted potential. I entered this episode really liking the premise, but The Ringmaster just doesn't do it for me even with his magnificent Curry-flavored voice. His big villain scene is apparently so important it's split in half by a commercial break, but even then, I don't really feel engaged. I really want to like this guy but he's only meeting me halfway.

"Hey, you take back what you said about stripes! Stripes are not dumb!"
I think my problem is that so far, he hasn't given the audience one good reason why he uses a Sonic DNA Scrambler. When he tells the spandex-sporting furries that he even created a machine that will accommodate their mutated DNA so that he can turn them into mutants, my lingering question is still "Why?". Seriously, why go through the trouble? Can't he find easier, more cost-effective ways to improve his circus? Are circuses so much of a really competitive field in the year 2772 that he has to resort to illegal performance enhancements? Is this a big metaphor on the dangers of steroids in circuses, or am I just looking at a big jerk who loves mutating random people as much as he loves stripes?

In short, I feel like this character is being an asshole just for the virtue of being an asshole. Oh, sure, he has fancy mutating technology (not sure where he got it either), but the motive behind having such a device is flimsier than a carnival merry-go-round. At least Dr. Dare was kind enough to give a good reason.

"Yeah, to be honest, I don't know what I'm doing either. Mutating people just sounds good on the resume."
Really, the only good part about this is that, when Slam (who won't contribute anything else in this entire episode, believe me) calls him psycho, he responds in traditional Tim Curry tones that he's not clinically insane, just a master performer. And that the process is going to hurt. A lot. For some reason, it kills me every time a villain reassures someone that whatever mutilation they're going to inflict is going to hurt.

Are you ready? (Are you ready?)
Transformation central!
Reformation central!

Transmogrification central!
Hey, audience, remember that gel-shooting gun Tech invented earlier and how I said it will most definitely end up saving the Loonatics' lives? Well, guess what happened. If you guessed "Tech used his Gluco-Gel 9000 to somehow destroy the Sonic DNA Scrambler and free his friends", then congratulations! You win absolutely nothing!

And he didn't use this as soon as the machine turned on because...?
Tech destroys the machine, but he wasn't quick enough to stop the machine from doing part of the job to them. Each of the Loonatics have changed form, and the mutations range from really awesome (Rev Runner turns into a rat/bat thing, and it's so much cooler than a roadrunner) to decent (Lexi's a skunk-fish) to eyebrow-raisingly bad (what in god's holy name happened to Tech?). Depending on how kind you want to be, this plot development is either really interesting or really stupid, but at least it gets them out of those embarrassing black rubber suits for a while.

Also, is it me, or does Loonatics Unleashed like to use the shot where it divides the screen into six parts and shows the Loonatics reacting? This hasn't been the first time they've done this and it certainly won't be the last.

Isn't turning anthros into different anthros kind of redundant?
The Ringmaster marches up to them and starts puking chunky villain cliches all over the floor. They've ruined his plans and spoiled his upcoming attraction and they made him chip a tooth! Honestly, Ringmaster, when you're in the same room as a giant exploding piece of equipment, you should be thankful that you're still alive.

And what happened to your short little ugly sidekick? Did he not survive the explosion? Maybe that's why he's so angry.
"That just rounds my shoulders!"
The now mutated Loonatics try to fight first him off and then his mutant animals off, but then a honestly rather interesting plot twist comes up in that the hideous aberrations discover that not only did the process change them into different species, but it also switched their powers. Okay, points go to Loonatics Unleashed for having a neat idea.

Ace tries to shoot off his laser beam eyes, but instead his hands catch on fire. Lexi tries to shoot supersonic beams from her ears and instead turns into a tornado. Basically you get the picture. I don't have to list them all down, so here, have a picture of a leopard moose creature on fire.

Marsupilami, no!
But then it gets downright morbid when Danger Duck/gorilla/some sort of hoofed mammal shoots off laser eyes and looks like he just killed off Rev. He even gives a whole scene to himself where he cries over the ashes of his smoldering husk of a friend that he's sorry he's said all those mean things to him. That's dark, man.

Also, that's a disturbing amount of soot that Batty Rev created with his burnt corpse.

Phil Colins needs to provide the background music for this scene.
But that's okay, because Rev has Tech's regeneration powers! Oh, it's a good thing Danger Duck happened to kill the one person out of the group with the ability to respawn from his destroyed body remains or otherwise things would get pretty awkward down at HQ. They'd be fighting Black Velvet or that Elmer Fudd villain, but it wouldn't be the same without Rob Paulsen's voice leaking out of a strawberry-flavored roadrunner.

Also, seriously. Rev should totally stay a bat rat monster. That design's downright unbelievable. But then again, I have a weak spot for bats and it helps that his mutation is the only one that looks like an actual creature. One with a mohawk and a strange triangle on its chest, but still.

"Yo, the name is Batty,
The logic is erratic..."
Through some more shenanigans involving their powers, the gang decides to retreat because, with these strange new powers, they're crapping up without a parachute. But not before Lexi decides to bend the rules of their universe by saying that the Pepe LePew look is definitely not her. Wait, huh? Isn't referencing Looney Tunes in a Looney Tunes universe kind of like dividing by zero?

I'm positive there's furry fanart of them in these forms, but I'm not going to be stupid enough to check.
So they jump down a conveniently spacious sewer that exists underneath the circus, because mutated children crap has to go somewhere. Tech E. Coyote explains exactly what happened in case you happen to be blind and just did not catch that the Sonic DNA Scrambler exploded and switched their powers. Tech E. Coyote, everyone; when he's not magically fixing the plot, he's spewing out exposition. I wonder if he can give sociological commentary on how the circus reflects the failing school systems while he's at it too.

But ignoring that, I will give Ace Bunny some credit here. Normally his personality isn't as descript as his more fleshed-out companions, but I love it when he complains about what happened to him. I would totally make that face too if I turned into Marsupilami mixed with Bullwinkle.

I also find it kind of weird that their mutations gave them triangles on their chest. I know their costumes have it, but it just looks disturbing now. Especially on Lexi, who looks like she has a shaved triangle on her already nude body.
"The worst part is that I'm completely nude but I can't see anything down there! What gives!?"
Oh, and since the universe seems to hate our heroes at this point of time, when Lexi says "it can't get any worse than this", it does get worse. Idiot! Why do these guys like to utter these kinds of lines when they're on the job? It never fails to summon monsters.

In this case, we get what else but another Galactic Oddity. This one happens to be a giant sea serpent, because The Ringmaster figured that his sewer system was looking a bit barren and needed some mutants to spruce the place up.
And why didn't The Ringmaster use that impressive creature in his act...?
But that's okay, because one commercial break later, and the snake gorilla is quickly beaten. I guess this is the cartoon equivalent of spotting a level 10 Onix in the Pokemon games. Oh, sure, it looks frightening, seeing a giant snake just turn up out of nowhere, but in the end, all you have to do is breathe on it and it's down.

I will give the gorilla snake some slack, though, since I know that deep down, it's really just some ten year old kid who got zapped after visiting the circus.

...aaaand I just made myself feel bad.

Pictured: A dead child that was hideously mutated and then stolen from their parents against their will.
With that minor yet morbid annoyance out of the way, the crime-fighting Wuzzles decide to lay down a plan since they can't just swing their fists at random. Their plan is a simple one. Rebuild the DNA doohickey, reverse the transformations, and beat some showman ass.

And man, it sure is a good thing Tech got Rev's powers, because then he tells them that he can build a replica of the Sonic DNA Scrambler in just five minutes, eliminating any possibility that a wait would inconvenience them. Geez. It's a shame the trash-rooting mongrel on their team didn't keep that power because it makes Tech even more like a magical plot-fixing pixie.

But, in his defense, Donatello had the exact same problem in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It's just the curse of being smart in a cartoon.

And, while his teammates aren't looking, he uses those four screens to check his Facebook.
The Loonatics make it to the surface and there's a kind of funny scene where, when the furry woodland creatures try to sneak past some guards, Rev says "those hybrid creatures have amazing hearing, we don't want to get their attention", which causes the murderous mutants to hear him. Hah hah, Rev, it's funny because you've contributed nothing to this episode other than looks and a death scene.

And the worst part is, they can't harm them on account they're both endangered and a national animal.
We get a fight sequence that would've been cool and inventive, what with the switched powers and all that, if Ace didn't turn to the camera and say that they can beat these guys if they work together. Ace, you dork. Must you shove a moral into the plot at a time like this?

Also, isn't it a given that they'll be working together? They're a superhero team! Working together is pretty much in the contract.
"I can't concentrate. The shape of your head is disturbing me."
By the way, I love how Tech meets up with The Ringmaster, the supposed main villain of the episode, as he's guarding the remains of the Sonic DNA Scrambler, and the coyote/crocodile/zebra (a coycobra?) just shoves Sir Roundshoulders away pretty easily and rebuilds the plot-important machine into the form of a glove just like that. Hah hah, Ringmaster. No one cares about you!

He loves the Power Glove. It's so bad.
Then, while the other, less ugly Loonatics are holding off the guards, Tech starts to shoot his glove and turn all the freaks back to normal. And this confirms what I feared; all of the mutants were small children. Damn, The Ringmaster is a jerk. What happened to make him hate kids so much, and why is he even working in a circus if he despises children?

But anyway, the flea-bitten canine also turns the Loonatics back to normal (or at least as normal as a tribe of neon-colored animals can get), and they magically regain their costumes even though they were naked just moments ago. Sonic DNA Scramblers are awesome!

I like how laid-back these children are about this whole thing.
We then see the monkey thing get zapped, and guess who it was? Zadavia! Aw yeah, it's raining resolved plot points that I honestly didn't care about on account I figured them out over fifteen minutes ago.

So in this show, a monkey lizard turns into a Dementor. I guess that's creative...
Hooded Rainbow Lady then tells Danger Duck that they need to talk about that whole "trying to kill her" incident, but luckily The Ringmaster chooses that moment in time to pussy out and try to escape, distracting our heroes. So what, that makes this the second episode in a row that I've done where the villain decided to flee like a wuss instead of facing the costumed superheroes he pissed off? Own up to what you've done, villains!

...and why isn't Zadavia going to help? It'd probably be nice to pitch in so that we can all forget that just a couple minutes ago, she was prancing around in the nude as a monkey.

"Wait, so does that mean that Ace was grabbing Zadavia's....EWWW!"
With The Ringmaster turning chicken and hauling ass towards the nearest exit, The Loonatics surround him, and the episode looks like it ended without much of a satisfying ending. Luckily, before I can go complain about colorful animals on the Internet, that's when Otto (who survived that explosion earlier) decides to walk out of the shadows and decides he's going give the heroes something more conventional to end their episode. Considering that the plot involves mutating humans, I really don't have to tell you what he does. It's that obvious of a plot twist.

...wait, The Ringmaster is human? But he's freaking blue. Don't tell me he's like Skeeter from Doug in that I have to just accept his strange skin color as something that regularly occurs in this universe. There weren't any blue people in the circus's audience in the beginning!

"Eat obvious plot developments, furries!"
While The Ringmaster goes all One Winged Angel and turns into something that belongs in a Starcraft game, Otto lets everyone know that he's the real brains of this operation and that The Ringmaster works for him.

...yeeeeah, not buying that, Otto. I don't care if you made the machines. It was made pretty clear throughout the episode that all the big decisions were made by the Ringmaster, not you. The whole letting Zadavia-monkey out and leading the Loonatics into a trap seemed more like the work of Tim Curry than a random fat clown and the whole "Otto was really the leader of this operation" seems more like the cartoon's last-ditch attempt to stick in a plot twist in an episode that doesn't really need one than anything.

"F'lakh ghet! The shadow's hunger cannot be sated!"
By the way, I love how this fight (which honestly is kind of cool) destroys not just Tech's magic healing glove, but Otto's pocket Sonic DNA Scrambler. It's like The Ringmaster is specifically aiming for the various plot devices scattered throughout the arena and taking them all out with his giant tentacles of death. Because he's a jerk.

And really, for geniuses, you'd think they'd build more durable devices or at least have back-ups. What kind of idiot only has one of a very important machine that's the core of their evil scheme, Otto? "Brains of this operation", my ass. Otto the Odd? More like Otto the Oaf.

"Oh, the horrible irony!"
So, without the Sonic Scrambling Glove, how will they stop the giant tentacle beast The Ringmaster turned into? Luckily, the mangy coyote monster decides to pull out one of the most inexplicable plot devices ever out of his furry little ass. He seriously turns to Ace and tells sound waves trigger the DNA transformations and that they need a sonic boom to change Sir Stripes and Bananas back.

Wait, what? Sound waves trigger the DNA transformations? What. WHAT.

Sound waves? The Sonic DNA Scrambler turned people into monsters by shooting sound waves at them. Sound waves mutated those children. Sound waves. Freaking sound. With DNA. Sound.

...I'm going to need a moment to take this all in.

Even Ace looks like he doesn't believe this.
So yeah, since sound is apparently what causes and reverses genetic mutations (yeah, what do those genetic engineers know?), they create a sonic boom by what else but by working together! By combining their powers, they manage to beat their foe while gaining a fuzzy feeling inside their hearts on account they relied on the help of others. Whoo, I learned something today from my cartoons!

But no, seriously, sound waves? Sound waves!? Dude, this makes the Jade Serpent Crystal look like Tolkien by comparison.

Lasers can fix all the world's problems.
Of course, they create a sonic boom by using their abilities together and it changes Tim Curry back to his ridiculously dressed self.

Unfortunately, the sonic boom also destroys the circus spaceship (awww, but that was the best part of the episode!) and the really cool spacecraft starts plummeting out of the sky and to the ground. Hey, good going destroying a giant vehicle full of young children, Loonatics! Come on, Tech E. Coyote, if you're going to pull random plot devices out of thin air, you should probably think of the consequences first.

That isn't glass falling off the spaceship. That's the corpses of little children.
But don't worry, the spaceship conveniently lands in some water instead of crashing into a building and killing all of the occupants in a fiery explosion. And, conveniently, when it lands in the water, it lands right side up and cushions the impact so that no one is hurt. And, also conveniently, helicopters arrive to pick up the children.

...yeah, that's a little bit contrived there, cartoon. And don't say that the sonic waves made all of this happen because I'm not going to buy it.

"We're also going to conveniently take you all back to your parents even though this cartoon never tells
the viewers just how long The Ringmaster has been mutating kids! Convenient!"
Also, the bad guys were captured, thanks to Tech's Solve-the-Plot Gun 9000. I'm sorry this sounds like a footnote in my review, but it was kind of a footnote in the cartoon too.

It's cute how all of the characterization of the entire episode is thrown away in this one scene just so it makes like Otto's the one in charge. Yeah, I'm sorry, cartoon. I clearly saw Tim Curry bossing LeFou around quite a few times earlier, even when they weren't in front of anyone else and therefore didn't need to keep up any pretenses. Still not buying it. You should probably keep track of your own characterization.

...and how did The Ringmaster grow back his silly jester costume after turning into a two story Zerg? Did the sound waves do that too?

With those goatees, they could always cut themselves free...
So the day is saved, everyone returns to HQ, and we learn from Zadavia that she's going to punish Danger Duck on account he tried to blow her up. Hahaha, oh that silly Danger Duck and his unexplained hatred of primates landing him in hot water.

...what is he reading? Considering he's a duck, this is kind of disturbing me.
So in other words, this episode ends on a happy note. That's all, folks!

The Moral of this Cartoon
If you spot a weird misshapen monkey, don't try to kill it. Because otherwise it will turn out to be your boss and they will be very upset with you.

Also, circuses are the scum of society and they should all be destroyed. With teamwork!

Final Verdict
To be honest, it's hard to say what I felt about this episode.

It felt like for every really good part, there was something holding it back from really being spectacular. This was better structured than Going Underground, but at the expense of having a weaker villain than Dr. Dare. The premise had a great idea, but then it felt like it just wasn't utilized well enough. The Ringmaster had potential, but there's a big difference between having potential and actually being good.

All in all, it just feels like this would've been a great episode if small things didn't weaken the foundation. Great ideas, only a good episode.

Out of the two episodes of this show I've done so far, Going Underground had the better villain, the better villain motive, and the better utilization of the villain plot, whereas this episode had a better premise, better team interactions, better pacing and structure, and a more satisfying ending.

That being said, I'm still a little surprised that Loonatics Unleashed is actually not that bad of a show. I joke about it, I make fun of it, and I tear it apart like any other show that ends up here, but it's not horrible like I was expecting. This episode was the one that made me see it. Again, still not sold on the idea of darker and edgier Looney Tunes characters fighting crime and there are major things hurting it and stopping it from being a fantastic show, but it's not hideously bad. It has moments where it's bad, but right now, it's harmless.

And Dr. Dare can totally beat Ringmaster in a fight, though. I don't care what anyone says.

...oh, and to end my review, here's one more picture of Rev Runner as a bat.

"All of our cosmetics are noncarcinogenic!"
Seriously, crimefighting punk bat-rat thing voiced by Rob Paulsen would make an awesome show.