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

It must've been hard to train the chili to write letters like that.

October 29th, 1999

Availability: Online Only

Right off the bat, the episode does the equivalent of running up to someone and randomly handing them a pumpkin pie, only instead of a pie, it's the fact that this cartoon contains actual magic. That doesn't make any sense, but that's probably because you have no idea how giddy I became when I saw actual gargoyles within the first few seconds of this cartoon. Hallelujah, I'm going to be dealing with a piece of animation that's going to have some actual freaking witches! None of that "oh, some character dressed up a witch and then we had a random song" like Buttons and Rusty pulled. Actual witchcraft! Wicca! Whoo!

Let me backtrack a little bit. The episode opens where we see Ace Ventura, our enonymous hero that we're going to be rooting for the next 20 or so minutes, sail through the air like a graceful swan over a spooky mansion gate and nearly flattening some gargoyles who spend their time by sitting absolutely still and trying to pass themselves off as statues even though they're in bright, primary colors. Already I can tell that I'm in for one hell of a ride.

It's sad how I can barely bat an eyelash at this. I blame Dukes of Hazzard.
Ace somehow manages to park his car neatly instead of, you know, dying in a horrible explosion or car wreck, because he has mad skills. Then he reveals to us that he's a bit of a jackass by scaring two people who were unloading a hearse and then walking around with a giant pumpkin on his head while talking nonstop to himself in an attempt to squeeze some laughter from the audience. Immediately I can see why many people consider The Mask to be the stronger protagonist than Ace Ventura; Ace Ventura tries way too hard at being a Jim Carrey caricature and it falls flat like 80% of the time. It's kind of a bad sign when your character is only on screen for like two minutes and already he talks too much.

Although this scene does serve a purpose. It's to let us, the little kids back home, know that this is a Halloween special with the subtlety of a croquet mallet to the balls. 

"Haters gonna hate!"
He then gets back on track and lets us know that this house is on 1313 Witch Haven Lane. Man, with such subtlety in the writing, I have to wonder why this show was never nominated for an Emmy.

I have to admire the guts of the homeowner of this place. She's not at all worried of an angry mob marching up to her house and burning her to cinders. Nope, she's just going to plant her big spooky mansion on a street that gives away her occupation, and if you don't like it, tough!

...or she's doing the whole "hiding in plain sight" thing. Either one works.

Behold, the living fashion disaster, ready to claim his next victim.
A witch opens the door, and luckily, since Ace Ventura is too busy chewing the scenery and yelling at his little monkey companion (who really exists only to take up space in most of this episode), she has time to shapeshift into a form that our pet detective will find more pleasing. You know, just in case Ace Ventura is a hardcore religious type and doesn't take kindly to the fact he's helping the occult. The tiny process of merely changing her skin and hair color involves huge clouds of smoke too, probably because Ace needed the opportunity for a fart joke.

Turns out the reason why he was called here is because our witch has lost her pet Tweety, which I'm sure is just a normal songbird like Ace Ventura assumes and not something horrible, amiright? Either way, we have ourselves the plot, and it's going to be filled with witchcraft, wicked witchcraft. Although I know it's strictly taboo. It just cracks me up on how well everyone's just taking this, by the way. Just because she's a supernatural bride of Satan doesn't exclude her from having to look in the phone book and find basic services to solve her problems.
"Do you accept the souls of childrens as a form of payment, Mr. Ventura?"
She then leads Jim Carrey to the basement where Tweety was living, probably because there's no way Sylvester could look for him down there, and, of course, the light switch is at the bottom of the stairs. Not the top. That sounds really unsafe there, miss. Just because you're a witch doesn't mean a broken neck won't kill you!

Although, really, this is just an excuse for Ace to march around unheeded in the dark while something creepy messes with him, follows him, and does all-around creepy boogity Halloween-themed stuff. In his case, it's a sentient broom that somehow got lost on his way to the Fantasia audition and has been living in 1313 Witch Haven Lane ever since. This broom quickly became my favorite character in this episode, because when he walks, he turns the music into a faux Harry Potter soundtrack, with those twinkly wizard-y instruments accenting each of the broom's steps. It's so cute to watch.

Ace Ventura and Broom! Together, they fight crime!
Brooms are spiteful fellows, and this one trips Carrey-cature so that he falls and nearly breaks his spine on his way down to the basement. Sure enough, the basement is an area of horrors, a place filled with torture devices, rats, and sight gags, but fortunately we won't be lingering here too long. Ace, not wanting to slow down on his rapidfire "must fill all of the oxygen with my corny jokes" persona, walks up to an iron maiden and flirts with it. I shudder to think that the reason he's doing it is because the writers are going "Get it? An iron maiden!", because that means that I've been watching too many cartoons with this level of humor and just instantly decipher the meanings. This is not a useful skill I should have at my age!

Also, why would a witch have mummies? Rats, walking brooms, and an iron maiden, I can understand, but those random mummies back there just seem like they're taking up space.

"I loved your first couple of albums, but come on, what the hell were you doing in Brave New World?"
Finally, after all of that mugging for our attention, Ace Ventura finally gets his act together and finds a clue. Or a "Cuh-looo!" as he puts it. It's hard to really describe the way this character talks if I'm helpfully ignoring most of what he wordvomits, but just picture the resident idiot in your class trying to pull a really bad Jim Carrey impersonation. That's basically this guy.

What's the cuh-loo? A scrap of mystery meat he found (and later licked, because this character is gross) in front of the iron maiden. Maybe it's me, but I wouldn't trust a hunk of "mystery meat" that's on the floor in front of an iron maiden. One, diseases. Two, the only thing that meat's going to tell you is the whereabouts of a missing Jehovah's Witness. 

"Are you going to picking anymore scraps off my dungeon floor or are you going to
actually do the job I'm paying you to do?"
According to Ace Ventura, mystery meat only comes from one place on Earth, and that's high school. Yep, they really say this with a straight face. Okay, poor man's Freakazoid. Apparently you're building up to something, so I might as well ride this out until this train gets thoroughly off the rails.

...why the hell would a high school student or faculty member even bring mystery meat with them if they're stealing something from a witch?
That is one ridiculously sized banner there, high school.
Anyways, in this suspicious institute of learnin, we get to see natural selection at work when a pasty little nerd approaches a really hot girl and asks her to go with him to the boringly-named Halloween Party that the school is hosting, most likely after they're done hosting "The Big Game". He truly covers all the bases of geekdom, from the awkward body language to the voice that sounds like his nasal cavities are permanently drowning in nerd goo. Well, okay, this sounds harmless enough.What's she going to do? Shove him in a locker? Give him a wedgie? Tell him that Gary Gygax sucks?

"Wanna be the Catwoman to my Batman?"
Well, no. Instead this cartoon decides that it's going to get all Salvador Dali on us when we find that hot girl has witch-like powers too, and decides to doom this puny little geek to a horrible, bleak existence by turning the poor man into a fish. This is a horrible fate for anyone, but even moreso for a nerd, because how is going to keep his comics in Near-Mint Overstreet Standard condition if he's wet and has slippery fins for hands? He seems to realize this too, because once he turns into a fish, his fishy lips adopt a really sad pout. Aww, poor depressed fish. I just want to put him in a bowl and take him home.

...huh, so that makes TWO Jim Carrey-themed cartoons where some geek in glasses turns into a sad talking fish man, because there's a reoccurring villain in The Mask called Fish Guy who reminds me of this nerd. Why is this a reoccurring theme with Jim Carrey cartoons? I don't remember any talking fish in his movies...

Also, pay attention, humble readers, because we've stumbled upon our cartoon's villain of the day. And, since she hates nerds, that logically means that she hates everybody reading this. Be warned.

Sad thing is, this is the closest he's going to get to a real woman touching him.
While nerd torture is happening unheeded in the school halls (no seriously, how come none of the teachers saw and reported this?), The Mystery Meat leads our insipid detective into the high school cafeteria, where the cartoon decides to reuse the same joke over and over and over until we have no choice but to submit and give the cartoon a pity chuckle.

What's the joke? School cafeterias are nightmarish realms of disgusting foodstuffs and chefs that get excited when they receive a shipment of frog meat. Hah hah, cafeteria food! And what about those lines at the DMV?

This scene does highlight a pretty unique problem this show has. The side characters are quite often funnier than the tacky shirt-sporting man himself. This was highlighted earlier with Nerd Fish and now it's being highlighted here. For example, the cafeteria chefs who accidentally receive the biology lab's shipment of frogs sound like they crawled from the scummy backwater areas of Detroit and immigrated here so they can poison children and not be caught by the CIA. Tell me their backgrounds and then make them solve these crimes instead of Ace, cartoon! I will pay to see it!

"Yo, Lenny! I think the County Department of Public Health is getting wise to us because they want
to know where we stashed that health inspector's body."
Since apparently these cooks don't know anything (because seriously, look at them. Do they look like people who dabble in witchcraft?), our idiot protagonist wanders into a Biology lab to follow the shipment of dissection frogs where...this happens. In a teacher's attempt to wrestle a hall pass out of Ace Ventura's body, another segment meanders across the screen, one that instantly qualifies itself for many, many hilarious freeze frames because the animators are sick freaks who need their art degrees revoked. I see The Mask isn't the only show where I have to stop the cartoon for a moment just so I can gather up all of my senses and come to grips that someone animated that.

Although now would be a good time to point out that one of the writers of this show was Seth MacFarlane.

This is hot.
I picked my jaw off the floor in time to see SwoopyHair McFailFace escape being strangled by savage folds of bologna by offering the belligerent biology teacher a present in the form of a butterfly with Elvis markings. This truly is a strange universe that they live in, isn't it?

And again, I want to know this side-character's backstory. What compelled her to devote her life's work to butterflies and why is she so needlessly aggressive? Is she doing it out of hateful spite of the male gender (because come on, she totally looks like a bra-burning, granola-eating hardcore feminist), or is she sincerely trying to protect the children that have been placed under her care? Because seriously, the way she dresses makes her look like some sort of rejected comic book villain with a butterfly theme. She should hook up with Killer Moth.

Think this doesn't go anywhere? Well, actually, it turns out the reason why Ace Ventura disrupted biology class and took the teacher's place is because he wanted to change the class from a frog dissection to all of the kids adopting the frogs as pets. Because he loves animals.

Hey, uh, Ace? No offense, but telling high schoolers that they need to take care of a pet is just a recipe for disaster. Sure, some frogs will be spared because that girl in the pink shirt looks like she's all for animal rights, but who's willing to bet that the guy in the mohawk ends up shoving his frog into the microwave after getting high off of Sharpies?
Hate to be a party pooper, Ace Ventura, but most of the time, dissection frogs are dead
when they make it to the classroom...
Ace finds the Nerd Fish (who was placed in an empty aquarium the biology lab conveniently has sitting around), and that's when he learns about Bonnie the Cheerleader. Because...the fish could somehow talk to him underwater. I don't know. In response to this, he says, in perfect dictation, "Give me an S for Suspect". Oh crap, an Ace Ventura line I actually didn't find annoying. Probably because, paired with the sunglasses, I got major flashbacks to CSI: Miami.

"You could say this student floundering."
So this leads to him raiding the girl's locker for clues cuh-loos.

...hold on a second. I need a record scratch to properly describe my thought process, because he's raiding a high school girl's locker. That's just sick, man! We have a grown man, one that has never been seen on campus before, running around disrupting classes and then rooting through student's lockers. Talk about lax security.

Worse of all, he's making his monkey stand as guard. Because monkeys are adorable and kids love them. You know, even though a wild animal not on a leash in an environment where a lot of adolescents are in close proximity is just a recipe for disaster and pestilence. Also fleas.

"I'm going to confiscate all of her gym clothes and perfume. For evidence!"
Ace Ventura continues rummaging, because go to hell trespassing laws, and he journeys deep into the cavity of the locker even though, in real life, high school lockers are pretty dang tiny (no, seriously, I had a hard time just fitting in my textbooks into the provided locker they gave me) and wouldn't fit a whole person. What does that get him? A bat on his butt. Hooray, potty humor!

For those not in the know, one of the big running gags in the Ace Ventura franchise (and I'm using "franchise" loosely) is that while he's fond of 99% of the animal kingdom about as much as he's fond of brightly striped pants, Ace draws the line at bats. Bats just gross him out. Because of this, Ace Ventura has to avoid DC Comics, can't play baseball, and has a strong aversion to vampires.

I do like how, in his constant flailing and overexaggerated acting (Ventura is hammier than a pig farm, I've noticed), at one point he tries to rip the bat's head off. Silly, Ace. Everyone knows you have to use your teeth in order to properly extract a bat's head. Has Ozzy Osbourne taught you nothing? 

No amount of therapy will ever make this screenshot okay.
While his ass is immobilized by a terror that flaps in the night, that's when Bonnie discovers him and, in the classic scene where the villain just tells us exactly what happened so that all of the members of the audience can get up to speed, lets him know that the bat is Tweety and that the magic amulet that turns dorks into sushi is not really her's, but rather something she stole from the same witch lady as the bat. Why did she do this? She doesn't tell us yet, leaving us with something to look forward to once this plot slithers its way to the final act.

By the way, Bonnie reminds me of Winx Club. Just throwing that out there. Come on, the girl talks like a typical valley girl teenager and uses magic. In another show, she'd be the snarky protagonist for a team of magical girls just like her. Here, she's the enemy. Fate is a cruel mistress.

...also, way to do your job, Ace. In that last scene, you were trying to decapitate your client's missing pet.
Man, that bat so does not match her clothes.
Like most popular girls, Bonnie hates creepers that dig into her lockers and wear tacky clothing, so she also turns Ace and his little monkey friend into frogs for their troubles. She's quick and to the point, a personality trait we should all compliment her for and, to be fair, a frog is a pretty traditional form to turn people into. I just wish she went the full monty and turned Ace Ventura inside out, or changed him into a minion that'd be useful in the takeover of the high school, but we can't always get what we want.

She even mutated his clothes to be in a more froggish green shade. What a generous witch.
Unfortunately for Bonnie, being a frog only really inconveniences Ventura for a short time. All he has to do is hop around the city a little bit (and somehow run into the biology teacher along the way because a joke never dies in this show) before he uses his tongue to ride on a bus without paying any fare. I'm glad he's not going to spend the rest of the episode as a frog, because otherwise I'm going to forever associate The Princess and the Frog with this cartoon and then I will not be a happy camper. Tiana deserves better.

There's a pretty great scene that follows once the good witch spots their shapeshifted forms after they enter her house. In response to her saying that he's "run into a bit of trouble", Ace Ventura responds with "and you're the winner of today's Miss Obvious award". Because of that, I can't bring myself to completely hate this character if he says some pretty funny lines, even if his dialogue is mostly hit and miss for me.

This is when the witch reveals her true form to the froggy hero because, hey, he can't exactly do his job while he's stuck in that form. She then quickly zaps him back to near normalcy while bemoaning the fact that she's been feeling weak ever since she had her magic amulet stolen. I don't recall if magic amulets are a major part of witch lore, but okay, I'll buy it.

Her voice changes when she turns back into her witch form too, which I feel is wholly unnecessary. It's not like Ace Ventura knows what her voice sounds like and could rat her out to any evangelists.

And where does the bat that sat on her hat (in a vat near a cat and a rat) go when she's in her disguise?

Side-effects of witchcraft include the blueing of the skin and the sudden
desire to dress in mismatched purple clothing.
 Right when she zaps him back to normal, Ace Ventura uses his detective logic to do a Sherlock Holmes impersonation and do a giant rundown of what had happened that led to this current events, displaying way more intelligence than what he's had in this entire episode. He points out the mystery meat meant that yesterday, Bonnie was here on some sort of fundraiser stint, and she managed to steal a bat and an amulet from a witch while she was getting spare change. Here's my question. How the hell can a mere mortal steal the source of a witch's power just like that? Bonnie's not freaking Carmen Sandiego; she's just a teenaged girl with an attitude problem. How did this happen? I'm pretty sure that basement has an iron maiden for a reason!

Course, while he's doing this rundown, he still looks a little on the froggy side thanks to the witch's reduced power not restoring him completely back to "normal". This unintentionally creates some good old-fashioned nightmare fuel, because if there's one thing I didn't need to see, it's some guy with a frog throat and bulging eyeballs.
"Every moment I agony!"
Unnamed Witch (no, seriously, she never gets a name and it bugs the crap out of me) begs for Ace to bring her rare Tasmanian bat back, and of course, he does. Because even though magic is involved, he has to make a living somehow. And the pet detective decides he's going to travel in style, for the witch lends Ace her broom and he flies above the skies of what looks to be a very large, very populated city. It irks me, seeing this man living out every Harry Potter fan's dreams of flying a broomstick. This incident, of course, passes without any comment or media coverage, because in the city, no one gives a crap about strange occurrences. Guy flying on a broom? Eh. But oh geez, the subway fares have gone up!

And how does he avoid falling off that thing?
 Using his patented Ace logic, Jim Carrey clone reasons that there is only one place a teenager girl would be if she's not in school, especially one as shallow and as into fashion as Bonnie is. The punchline is so obvious that I don't even have to say where he goes next. I'm pretty sure by now, they switched out the writers with monkeys hammering away on typewriters while a giant screen is showing them every cliche known to man. It would explain why there's a butterfly with Elvis markings in this world.
Man, look at how crowded that place is! There's almost three cars in the whole parking lot!
We find Bonnie at a Halloween Store staring at dummies and, once again, Uglypants McEmbarrassingHaircut confronts her about the bat. Because the first time he told her to hand over the bat worked soooo well the first time! Maybe if you ask her about the stolen bat enough times, she'll give up and hand the squeaker over along with the stolen amulet that's given her the powers of a god.

And why didn't the good witch give Ace Ventura any weapons to fend off the bad witch? The amulet's the source of her power; she should have a Plan B in case something like this happens! Man, she should be happy it's only a little wisp of a teenager instead of, say, someone malicious enough to want to rob banks and instill a new world order.
"I love shopping at Halloween Store, just as much as I love attending the Halloween Party and watching The Game!"
As expected, this ends about as well as the first time he confronted Bonnie, only this time she animates one of the mannequins to beat him up, reinforcing the question that's been lurking in my cranium ever since this episode started. Mainly, why am I supposed to be rooting for Ace if absolutely sucks at everything besides being a jerkass? There's only so much bumbling you can take from a guy where you wonder whether he has any actual talents. He likes animals, more power to him, yadda yadda, but save for that Sherlock Holmes scene where his neck was bulbous and ugly-looking, he hasn't demonstrated much in the line of quick-thinking.

That being said, I guess it's cool seeing that the amulet has powers beyond "turning people into animals", but really, she could've just turned Ace Ventura into a fish like she did with the nerd. Without a source of water, Ace would be doomed to suffocate and then no more problem.

Also, geez, Bonnie. I sure hope you're wearing underwear, young lady. I didn't watch this show for ass shots!

On the bright side, the smear frames are loads of fun in this cartoon.
Strange Generic Gorilla/Frankenstein/Monster Man Thing flings Ace Ventura to his supposed doom (even though the mall looks at most three stories high, and it's really plausible to survive a fall from that height), but he's saved by the broom. Gotta love the commercial break bait and switch where it looks like the heroes are doomed, keeping the children on the edge of their seats, but then something happens entirely by chance that saves them. The 90's relied way too much on it so I've since grown jaded to it.

Eh, at least it's not a gopher hole. Ace Ventura - 1. Darkwing Duck - 0.

And while they sort of fly around aimlessly through a mall that's about ten miles long on account of how long this flying scene goes, he questions Bonnie's motivations for stealing such a bat and amulet, echoing just what I was thinking. He figures correctly that the only place to get answers would be at the Halloween Party on her campus.You mean that advertised plot point that is clearly building up to something?

...wouldn't falling three stories and then landing crotch-first on a broom hurt like hell?
Back to Nameless Generic High School. Turns out that while the cartoon's verbal jokes are mostly in the "your mileage may vary" territory, the sight gags actually gave me a couple chuckles. It's obvious that they put way more thought into the kid's costumes than anything our designated hero will ever say, because they managed to sneak in both a Hannibal joke and a Bart Simpson joke all at the same time. This scene is a little nugget of gold overall, because everything from the teacher's reactions to the fact that some kid dressed up as a drooling, blood-soaked cannibal wins points in my book. did the kid get his head to have such drastic points like that...?
But then my happiness is ruined when Idiot Who Won't Shut Up barges right into a school sponsored activity and decides that, instead of looking for Bonnie, he's going to be a total douchebag for no reason at all. I'll be honest. This is probably the most pointless scene I've ever seen in my entire history of watching stuff, and that's saying a lot. What happens is that Ace Ventura squeezes the fruit out of a banana and then places the rind on his face and then acts like it's attacking him. This would've best worked as a quick, five second gag, but this scene goes on for more than a minute. As in, way too freaking long. The fact that Ace Ventura actually slowly and laboriously climbs on top of a table in order to smash everything on it just proves to me that they had some issues with length and needed something to pad it out.

In short, right after I see something I really like in this cartoon, it decides to prove me wrong. Fantastic.

We all know someone in our life that's like this. And I'm sure we all hate that asshole's guts.
It doesn't end there either, even though it should've ended a lot sooner. Ace has to parody the scene from Alien too. You see, because the banana rind was the facehugger and the monkey can hide in his shirt! Topical humor!

Somehow this exercise in idiocy wins him a round of applause and he doesn't receive any punishment for the fact he's destroyed an entire table and smashed through several plates full of the school's catering. In real life, if someone did this, all they would've gotten was a police car ride and a complaint from the local SPCA for animal endangerment. In short, Ace needs some lessons from The Mask in how to be an annoying character without actually being annoying to watch. There is a difference.

And what the hell does this have to do with the missing bat and amulet!?

"Yep, I totally made a parody of the chestburster scene from Alien. Problem?"
After that really pointless waste of drawings, animation paint, and manpower, we finally get to Bonnie. So what, was she just standing off to the side while the guy who's been bugging her multiple times that day was just making a total ass of himself in front of her peers? How embarrassing.

Love the spooky dress, though, because it totally goes with her hair. Now that I realize it, I kind of like Bonnie. She's a brat, yes, but she's a fun character when she's possessing supernatural powers and showing off her odd taste in men. She needs her own show, right after the cafeteria chefs and Nerd Fish get their own shows.
Oh god, that woman in the bottom righthand corner...
Oh, and her motivation? She wanted a really awesome Halloween costume, with the bat being the main part of the costume, so that she could be crowned Queen of Halloween and...that's really it. Yep, she totally risked being killed or turned into something horrible by a spiteful witch in order to win a competition that most of the school is going to forget once Thanksgiving rolls around. Sounds shallow? Well, guess what. Bonnie's in high school. High school is basically the epitome of shallow. If anything, I should applaud the cartoon for making so much sense!

...and how did she find out about the witch living in her city, anyways? I don't think people typically advertise that they practice the dark arts.

"Yep, it's witchcraft! And I've got no defense for it."
But in a bizarre twist, Bonnie does not win the costume contest, but rather Ace Ventura and his monkey for their chestburster routine. Well, what do you know, somehow that really pointless gag scene that filled me with bile and rage is actually important to the plot. Blow me down. This excites Ace Ventura so much that he cups his scrotum in utter glee. He doesn't even question the fact that technically, he shouldn't even qualify for the prize considering he's the only adult in the competition and he doesn't even go to this school.

But hey, anything to give Bonnie a reason to summon something for him to fight. Even though she has that one monster guy standing right next to her and he happened to be pretty successful against this menace.

This doesn't make Bonnie happy at all, not when she's gone through so much trouble lying and stealing, and now, the kiddy gloves are coming right the hell off. She's not going to turn Ace Ventura into a frog, or even let her boyfriend liquify his spine. No, she has a special fate in store for him, one that she's going to enjoy watching. Why, she's going to summon a giant bat monster, and she does so by using the amulet to turn Tweety into the very thing Ace Ventura fears the most; a very huge, very angry bat filled with razor sharp teeth and an appetite for blood. Sure hope Ace Ventura carries a will on his person at all times, or otherwise his wacky, chestbursting ways are going to get splattered all over the floor.

"My parents are deeeeeead!"
Now, I know what you're thinking. A giant bat monster sounds like a pretty exciting way to conclude a cartoon, right? I'd love to see this character actually fight something instead of telling lame jokes!

Well, you'd be dead wrong thinking this, because instead we get one of the most boring climaxes I've ever had the misfortune of sitting through and, by the time it's over, you'd be on your knees, begging for the animators to please animate some more of the chestburster scene. I'm not joking. The fight they give you is probably one of the most yawn-inducing things ever and it makes me ashamed to even watch it.

Let me describe this fight in detail. The bat monster flies around and screeches but never actually doing anything. Ace Ventura will teleport from on the floor to on a hanging rope while yelling about how much he hates bats for the bazillionth time. Both the monkey and his broom sidekick helpfully ignore him and instead eat food off the ground. And somewhere, my body ejected my soul and I crawled into a corner to silently weep.

Long story short, to say that this cartoon has an issue with pacing isn't going far enough. I know I wasn't watching this show for its epic fight scenes, but the least they could do is not make this look like the saddest thing I've ever seen.
He does that with all the neighbors.
But it doesn't stop there, no no. We then get a really long, drawn-out scene of Ace Ventura riding the bat, and then wrestling with the bat, and then riding the bat again, all while he refuses to just close his mouth and let body language or the fight choreography do the talking. It's a mess. All it did was answer the question on whether it's possible to make a scene where a man wearing a tacky Hawaiian shirt is riding a bright green bat boring. The answer is yes, and you can make it so boring that the cartoon becomes a vacuum that slowly sucks the viewers' will to live. It's like the cartoon is trying to make me switch over to The Mask: The Animated Series.

Like a bat out of hell
I'll be gone when the morning comes
At some point, even Bonnie showing up is a mercy, because she decides that she's had quite enough of watching this strange, mildly disturbing man make an ass of himself at her high school and she tries to shoot him down with her amulet. But then, we find out just how easily this entire thing could've been solved when Ace Ventura just plucks away the amulet from her in a couple seconds, thanks to the long frog tongue he's had ever since that witch from earlier botched up the transformation spell.

For those keeping track at home, Ace Ventura fighting the bat took about three and a half minutes and Ace Ventura beating Bonnie took about nine seconds. This cartoon also doubles as an instructional video studios show to their future animators as to what not to do when they're staging a climatic battle sequence.

...and if he has the reflexes to just grab the necklace from her, why didn't he do that back in the school hallway instead of flapping his gums? Take care of the problem and then say the snappy one-liner!

"Huh, you mean I could've solved the problem just by taking the amulet away from her? What a concept!"
With the amulet away from Bonnie, this changes all of the things she morphed back to normal. So wait, does that mean that when Bonnie stole the magical artifact from the blue witch, all of the stuff she shapeshifted reverted back to its original form? Eh, moving on. The store prop monster becomes just a store prop, Tweety is transformed back into a cute little bat somehow without Ace Ventura accidentally squashing her, and overall the day seems to be saved thanks to some man's ability to be totally agitating and devoid of positive qualities.

At this point in the production, I'm just happy the cartoon actually remembered the Dork Fish and showed him becoming a real boy. I wonder what his parents said when he came home after being missing the entire day, drenching wet and babbling nonstop about turning into a fish. Poor little geek's probably getting a frontal lobotomy even as we speak.
Or he drowned to death in a water-filled cube of glass. Either way, that nerd suffered at her hands.
So yeah, as expected, the witch got her bat back, congratulations are in order, Ace Ventura once again nibbles on every last piece of the scenery, the witch somehow avoids actually paying the pet detective, and what's Bonnie's punishment? She gets to...sweep. And that's it. Just sweeping.

That's right, after stealing the source of a crone's power, one that she relies on to do her occult powers that bend the laws of nature, she gets to just sweep up the front lawn. What a forgiving witch. I'm guessing this is all an act and, once Ace Ventura turns his back on the diviner, the charade will be over and Bonnie will be shoved into that iron maiden and then brought back as a shambling undead mockery of what was once beautiful and full of life. Sort of like what this cartoon resembles when you place it next to Jim Carrey's career.

And then, right when I thought it was never going to end, it ends pretty lacklusterly, with Ace Ventura just kind of hopping into his car (and literally hopping, because he's still part frog) and driving away. Happy Halloween, I guess.

...wait a second. The witch never fixed the fact that Jim Carrey and his monkey sidekick that never advanced the plot in any way are still part amphibian! The status quo hasn't been fully restored! They're still frog hybrids!

Oh, okay. I guess we're going to ignore this little tidbit and just assume that it gets fixed between this episode and the following episode. Alrighty then....

The Moral of this Cartoon
It's incredibly easy to steal from witches! All you have to do is find a local witch and distract her for a brief moment, and unimaginable power will be yours!

Final Verdict

What can I say?

I kind of find this show annoying, to be honest. Ace Ventura is pretty grating after a while (probably because, unlike The Mask, he really tries to be a Jim Carrey caricature and it just doesn't work for me), and a lot of what he says just isn't funny. It's like most of the time, the jokes feel forced, and the parts where I did laugh were the parts where they just let the writing come naturally.

I feel the two biggest problems of this episode are really the jokes and the pacing. Even the funniest cartoon in the world can be killed by awkward pacing, and it really shows in this episode. I mean, I can watch really random cartoons and like them; it's just when you feel a scene drag on forever, it starts to get annoying rather than fun. That scene with the bat especially just about killed it, and I've seen plenty of shows where it was handled a lot better.

But despite that, there are parts that do work. The animation is pretty fun in its exaggeration, they have really fun side characters, and for every joke that Ace Ventura told that I didn't find funny, there was one that I did find funny. It just feels like something's missing. It's not good, but it's not mind-searingly awful most of the time (I say most of the time because that bat scene really tested my patience), so I could say it's just mediocre.

This is not a terrible cartoon. It's merely an annoying one. Can't see myself watching this for fun, and, even though the cartoons weren't made by the same company and happen to be from completely different franchises, when I was watching it, I was playing a game in my head called "Spot the thing The Mask: The Animated Series or even Freakazoid would've handled a lot better".

So yeah, bottom line, Ace Ventura places itself firmly between The Mask: The Animated Series and Dumb and Dumber: The Animated Series in terms of quality. Not horrible, but not amazing.