Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Animated Shows on DVD - How Some Companies Just Don't Give A Damn

Not a review and not a list, but I felt like typing an observation (or a rant, but it's a well-informed rant with lots of pictures, so at least I know what the hell I'm talking about) that's been eating away at my brain for years now, just festering in my brainmeats like some sort of tumor that just needs to be cured with some sort of chemotherapy.

Namely, how some companies totally rip you off when they release their animated show on DVD.

Well, there goes my rent money.
Collecting DVD box sets of animated shows is a relatively recent thing that sort of needed the invention of DVDs in order to properly work. Whereas before you had to have like 20 VHSes on standby in order to collect your favorite episodes of Tiny Toons, now, you can just go out and buy the show. We live in a glorious, disc-filled age where, if you feel particularly fond of a certain show, there's an 80% chance that you can run out and get the DVDs and everything will be hunky-dory. Companies like Shout Factory! (and yes the punctuation is required) thrive on the business that is nerds having to own physical copies of a certain show because sometimes the Internet access will go down, you're too inept to work a decent torrent, or the only existing video files of a certain show are blurry videos on Rutube with Russian subtitles.

And, as you might expect from someone who owns a blog like this, I own a lot of shows on DVD. Like, a frightening amount. And, like everything, from video games to books and replacement hips, no DVD is the same in terms of quality.

But today, I'm going to talk about how sometimes even a great show beloved by all can be completely and utterly screwed over by a weak DVD package. This is the tale of one such show, a pretty popular show by all accounts, one that should be familiar to fans of cartoons, and the struggles it faces as its parent company seems to believe that fans of the show will just buy whatever they deal out to them regardless of quality.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Filmation's Ghostbusters - Rollerghoster

Hey guys. Still doing finals, but since I turned in a paper and have some downtime between now and the next finals next week, I figure I'd crank out another Filmation post before resuming hiatus. I would say I'd make up for lost time somewhere down the line, but considering the length of these posts, I'd give myself carpal tunnel trying to achieve like a 14 post month sometime during the summer.

Most people know about Filmation's Ghostbusters by accident. For a brief period of time between the release of the movie Ghostbusters and the release of the TV show The Real Ghostbusters (which happens to be named that way due to this show, by the way; I'll get to that in a minute), kids would read that there was a Ghostbusters cartoon in the TV guide, turn on the idiot box in hopes of watching the exciting antics of Peter Venkman and Slimer, and learn the meaning of the phrase "crippling disappointment".

Guys, I don't think the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is in this...
Oddly, the most interesting thing about this show is the backstory behind its existence. It's what people in the legal business call "a heaping pile of WTF". Back in the day, Filmation had a live-action TV show called The Ghost Busters, a short-lived live action show where two bumbling detectives and some guy in an ape suit (okay, "a gorilla") tried to stop ghosts and supernatural crap. It only lasted 15 episodes (on account it kind of sucked), meaning the legacy of Ghost Busters should've ended there. Unfortunately, some small-time studio called "Columbia Pictures" wanted to make some small-time movie called "Ghostbusters", and they had to obtain the rights to the name from Filmation for the film. Ghostbusters ended up becoming a huge hit and an instant classic, and Filmation, seeing that there was money to be had from the name alone, went into production with its animated series based on the characters from their original 15-episode series.

In short, the name is the entire reason why this show exists. Welcome to the world of capitalism.

But in fairness to this show, it at least tried to deviate itself from the godawful live-action series it spawned from. For starters, since its an animated show, the ghosts can actually use magical powers and behave more like, well, ghosts and the gorilla can finally look like a goddamn gorilla. This show is also supposedly where Tex Hex from Bravestarr originated from, which makes it even sadder is that this show is considered a cult classic on Wikipedia whereas the Bravestarr Wikipedia page is just "This exists".

Unlike Bravestarr where I had to struggle with choosing an episode, picking an episode for Filmation's Ghostbusters was almost too easy. While Bravestarr I had to shift through all the episodes with mature themes in order to find something I could laugh about, Ghostbusters was as simple as picking an episode blindly and realizing that it doesn't matter what episode I choose, I'm going to run into some strange crap either way.

I hope you can tolerate ghost puns, people. The title won't be the last ghost pun that will spook its way into this deathly scary post!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bravestarr - The Day the Town Was Taken

I, again, apologize for the lack of updates. I did not forget about this blog; I just have college. Maybe I should've waited until after I graduated from college and didn't have to put together senior projects and shows before writing this blog. I have papers to write, paintings to paint, and storyboards to...storyboard.

A strange thing happened with this post. Originally it was going to be about He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (because it feels like a crime to have a bunch of Filmation shows without talking about the one everyone thinks of when they think of this company), but then I saw that Filmation had a show that came after He-Man that seemed way more interesting to talk about. 

His name means "We apologize for He-Man" in Cherokee.
Even though Happily Ever After was the last movie Filmation ever made before they closed their production doors and stopped making cartoons ever again, Bravestarr happened to be their last animated series. I've seen multiple stories on what really killed Filmation (and the company's failure is sort of like a game of Clue), but from the looks of it, while Happily Ever After can take most of the blame for slaying the people behind He-Man, Bravestarr helped. The show wasn't all that popular and the toy line didn't do too well.

Although, that can't really be Bravestarr's fault. The toys are incredibly creepy.

Imagine this thing standing on your bookshelf, watching you sleep, eating your thoughts...
Bravestarr has an interesting past. Apparently back when Filmation was making Ghostbusters (no, not the one with Egon and Peter; the one with the ape and the talking vehicle), they came up with Tex Hex, a villain concept so mindblowingly awesome that they had to make a whole new show just to house that sheer amount of win contained within him. So they created this series that mixes Western elements with space elements, hoping that two great tastes will go great together.

Which is good, because this is one of those shows that runs on pure "This is way cooler than it sounds, trust us" and kind of functions like a Mad Libs version of the old west. Instead of a state of Texas, you get a planet called New Texas. Instead of a gold rush, it's a kerium rush. Alcohol is sweetwater, some cacti happen to be robots, the prairie dogs are actually a sentient race of beings, and most of the outlaws happen to be aliens. Oh, and the Marshall's horse? It's a cyborg that can switch from a horse with robot legs to a bipedal horse alien that can use a giant gun capable of destroying buildings.

Now, choosing an episode to cover for Bravestarr is hard. I wanted to pick an episode that gave the heroes and the villains decent screentime so I can talk about all of them, especially since right now I'm too lazy to cover the entire movie pilot. Sadly, this meant I'm skipping the drug episode for now, even though that's probably the most famous episode out of the lot. I had a handful of episodes that would've worked, but I just went with my gut feeling and went with the one that had a showcase scene for practically every character. It's got most of the villains, it's decently Western, it has all the elements of a Bravestarr episode that everyone loves, and at one point, Bravestarr utilizes technology I mastered when I was six. Hold onto your cowboy hats and your radically steampunk-esque technology because this is... 

The Day the Town Was Taken

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Wuzzles - Crock Around the Clock

Another Wuzzles post? And so soon after the last one?

"Wuzzles" sounds vaguely like the name of a STD.
Well, I'll be honest. Bulls of a Feather was incredibly fun to watch, incredibly fun to talk about, and just a fun, fun thing to experience for the whole family. It was one of my funner posts to write and therefore I believe in the phenomenon of lightning striking twice and figure I can do the same thing again.

Therefore, I decided, what's a better way to talk about this show again than to talk about an episode that focuses on my favorite characters in the show. In this show's case, I happened to really like those ineffective hobos that are somehow considered a threat to the Land of Wuz; Crock, Frizard, and Brat.

Now, you might be thinking, with a show that only lasted 13 episodes, there can't possibly be an episode that focuses on the villains. Well, if you thought that, then you're obviously wrong, for not only did I find an episode with "Crock" in the name, and not only was it heavily Crock-essentric, but it's also the most deranged, the most depraved piece of animation I've ever seen bear the Disney name. I don't want to give anything away in this episode, but let's just say that plot points appear that seem so random that it almost feels like I've accidentally tuned into Cartoon Network by mistake. Hold onto your comically oversized sailor's caps, because there's no turning back from...

Crock Around the Clock

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers - The Last Leprechaun

In honor of the fact that this month has a relatively small holiday, I'm going to do a cartoon about leprechauns and chipmunks.

It's been a while since I last talked about this show, which is odd, because I blab about Darkwing Duck all the time. I guess I'm just biased towards waterfowl or something. But fear not, rodent lovers. I will not let this show suffer from my petty injustices for any longer!

That being said, there's an unspoken rule that, among the many Disney cartoons that have made their way on various channels throughout the years, pretty much every major holiday is accounted for and has at least one special made in its honor. There are Halloween episodes, Valentine's Day episodes, Christmas episodes, and I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I could even find an episode that talks about Arbor Day or Yom Kippur. 

And sure enough, one of the Disney Afternoon cartoons had something to do with leprechauns, bad Irish accents, and Guinness. Leprechauns needing help from talking chipmunks in Hawaiian shirts. Irish folklore making an appearance in the same show that has some Australian mouse named Monterey Jack. Voice actors trying and failing to imitate Irish accents while another voice actor has to have their voice digitally sped up. This is truly a recipe fit for the gods. It is a great honor I can even share this with you.

In addition to being St. Patrick's Day related, this cartoon, ironically enough, actually aired one day after the previous episode I talked about, Chocolate Chips. Wow, I have half a mind to say that that was totally intentional. (It wasn't.)

But I've been stalling for too long. Waiting for us is a tale of enslavement, betrayal, and squeaky voiced rodents trying to find oversized pots of gold. I shall weave a tale that involves Irish folklore, from terrifying specters renowned for being the omens of death to stereotypical cereal mascots with phoned-in voices. Hopefully you'll learn something from what I'm about to tell you, for it involves fairy tale creatures that are chipmunk-sized and carry racially insensitive names. 

This is...

The Last Leprechaun

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bubsy: The Animated Series Pilot

I apologize deeply for this post. In fact, I feel bad about myself and my life choices for even mentioning this cartoon's existence.

He perfected the Dreamworks face before Dreamworks even started making CGI films.
It's been a while since I talked about an animated adaptation of a video game. There's just something charming about watching a company try to translate my experiences with my various game consoles (minus the swearing, controller-throwing, the unfair deaths, and the uncontrollable sobbing) into something I can watch after I'm done playing said game. One of the reasons I like to talk about Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog so much is because, at one point in my childhood, I was living a life where I was playing Sonic games and playing with Sonic toys and then watching Sonic cartoons and chewing Sonic bubble gum and later reading Sonic comics. Pity me, fair readers, for I was the little marionette gleefully pulled by the strings by SEGA's skilled puppetmaster hands. They had me by the ovaries and they would not rest until they squeezed every penny out of my parents' wallets in order to keep their little girl's hedgehog fix satiated. 

And ironically, now I'm on Team Mario as far as mascot platformer games are concerned and honestly don't give a crap whenever a Sonic game comes out now. Suck on that, 16-bit console wars!

But let's suppose, for a second, that instead of talking about a video game that everybody with a Genesis loved and cherished as a kid (Sonic the Hedgehog) or a video game that, while isn't very well-known, is at least extremely imaginative in its design and offers games that remain very solid examples of the platformer genre (Rayman), I'm going to talk about the only video game that both managed to both appear on the Wiki page innocently titled "List of video games notable for negative reception" and managed to get his own pilot. Bubsy the Bobcat.

Unpopular opinion time. I actually like this game.
Bubsy the Bobcat is not really a bobcat at all. Instead, he's a copycat; a shameless attempt by a company to drink some of the sweet milk leaking from the swollen teats of Sonic the Hedgehog's cash cow. The platformer genre of the 16-bit era, especially for the Sega Genesis, were just infested with creatures like Bubsy, eager to gain a piece of that scrumptious mascot pie. Games like Awesome Possum, Plok!, Ristar, Green Dog, Chuck Rock, Dynamite Headdy...the list is as long and as vast as the mighty oceans that coat our beloved planet. Some were good, some were bad, but many of them contained 'tude. Lots and lots of 'tude.

And yet out of all of those games, some much more deserving of a cartoon than Bubsy (I would personally watch the hell out of a Dynamite Headdy cartoon), Bubsy was the one that got the deal. The only reason people are even aware that this cartoon actually existed is, like me, they were bored one day, searched "Bubsy the Bobcat" on Wikipedia and YouTube, and this lonely pilot turned up. Yes, my mind was blown when I saw that Bubsy had at one point been animated by poor employees just looking for a paycheck. Therefore, I had to talk about it.

Now, even if you're a poor naive fool like me and honestly enjoyed Bubsy's games and start thinking that, hey, since the games were cartoony, this is going to lend itself to some good animation, there is one thing that assures me that this is going to be a pile of crap right off the bat. The cartoon is animated by none other than Calico Creations, the sick assholes responsible for Widget the World Watcher.

Pictured: Failure.
With that being said, I can't delay this any further. It's best to grab this turd with my bare hands and try to shape it into something more palpable than this metaphor. Bubsy the Bobcat!

Bubsy: The Animated Series Pilot

Monday, March 5, 2012

Five Awesome Animated Snack Commercials

First, I just want to say I sorry I didn't update in over a week. School happened.

As you can tell from my bizarre devotion for such animated classics as "Creepy Crawlers: The Animated Series", I have the oddest love for commercials.

Those little snippets of time between my cartoons that are designed to sell something to me. Like the blissfully stupid cartoons that clearly depict characters that have their own action figures, they create a world of their own; a place that resembles my own dimension but is still somewhat alien to me on account there's one particular product that is made out to be the best damn thing you've ever seen, and if you don't buy it, you're either a loser or unhip or some other related adjective.

However, commercials are like a double-edged sword. If they do their job well, they can be really memorable and they might even make you more compelled to buy the product. If they're terrible or grotesque, well, then they tend to be the commercials that air with a really bizarre amount of frequency and make you want to stab the people responsible.

But I'm going to be nice today and point out some snack commercials that really did do their job.

Here were the rules that made this list:

1. The commercials had to be animated. This site is called Nothing But Cartoons and by god I'm going to stick to that name!
2. NO CEREAL COMMERCIALS. Cereal commercials are in a special, crazy league of their own and will be covered at another time. The Trix rabbit will have his day in the spotlight, mark my words.
3. The snacks had to be, in some way, bad for you. Only one of these foods has sort of nutritional value to be had from them (maybe two, if you're really stretching it), but come on. It's obvious that the best commercials were attached to the most sugary and salty of delights. Healthy food commercials usually carry with them an odd air of pretentiousness, like they know they're good for you and they're going to make fun of those lousy philistines for daring to have more calories than them, and because of that, they tend to be more annoying than snack commercials.

So with that being said, let corporate hypnotism wash over your brain and compel you to spend your money on their food, because this is...

Five Awesome Animated Snack Commercials

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spliced - Fairly Odd Princesses

I was looking through my older posts and realized that, even though I really like this show, haven't talked about it in a while.

I'll be honest. The last time I talked about the show and made a post about the show, I didn't feel it did the source material justice. Oh, the post isn't bad, I'm not saying that I already hate my own material now. It's just I felt that something was lacking from that post and some of my old jokes are just plain not holding up. I'm personally blaming it on the fact that it was one of the first posts I ever did for this site (Internet writing has a very steep learning curve) so now I hope I can appease the Spliced fanbase (all five of you) by writing a better post!

And what a better way to talk about the show than by actually talking about the episode that really introduced me to the show.

Now, while Stuck Together (the last episode I talked about when introducing the show in my blog) is a good episode and is technically, being a part of the first episode, how most people were introduced to this show, I myself consider this episode to be my show starter. It was the episode that helped prove to me that this was a show worth watching, because it had a giant gorilla with a pony hand making diamonds in its huge monkey fists while a dolphin wore a dress and performed fairy magic. No other cartoon has that, and I doubt no cartoon ever will.

That being said, let the show reference a completely different cartoon in this episode's title while I talk at length about fairies in...

Fairly Odd Princesses

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Loonatics Unleashed - Cape Duck

While driving my Rolls Royce through the suburbs of Beverly Hills and sipping the finest aged champagne from a wine glass made entirely out of diamonds (disclaimer: the following may be slightly exaggerated), I thought to myself  "How most unorthodox, I haven't talked about Loonatics Unleashed in a while" and I kindly ordered my butler to fetch me my blog writing tuxedo. So here I am.

Well, at least it's not Baby Looney Tunes...
Fans of the show will note that this episode isn't at all within the same season as the previous two episodes ("Going Underground" and "The World Is My Circus") I've done. I'm not one to do shows in order, but even then, this is quite a big jump to go from some of the first episodes all the way to episode 19 out of a 26-episode series.

That's why I'm going to be honest here and say that I chose this episode entirely based off my own self-interest because it's an episode that effectively talks about three major beefs I have with this show. Despite the fact that the two episodes I've done honestly weren't the horrible steaming piles of excrement the Internet made this show out to be (but then again, this is coming from someone who can deprive enjoyment out of such classics as Street Sharks and Creepy Crawlers; I doubt anyone takes me seriously anymore), three things still lingered on my mind.

One, Danger Duck was largely devoted to comic relief in my episodes and he seemed to only exist to be continually crapped on by his fellow team members for being a total screw-up in everything he does. Two, Tech E. Coyote's inventions and how they just instantly saved the day in both episodes I did just bugged the hell out of me and I wanted to see an episode where his inventions actually do the opposite and cause something bad to happen.

Finally, I had to know what happened with Dr. Dare, the main villain of Going Underground. You know, the dumpy, bald little dweeb who loves rocks and the color green? That guy.

I blame the fact that Simon Templeman did his voice, personally. That man can do no wrong.
Luckily, there exists an episode that tries to answer all of these questions and more. And trust me, the way it handles all three of these questions is nothing short of unique. Dr. Dare returns, but it's not handled in the way you would expect (and before you ask if they actually explore some of this character's backstory by giving him heavily severe mental disorders from the sudden transformation caused by the meteor and later, his years of isolation...no, they don't) and in a way that may surprise you. Tech screws up, but not in the way you would expect. It's a smorgasboard of shattered expectations and makes for quite the delightful viewing experience if you're into coyotes wearing skintight leather clothing and Danger Duck gloating how awesome he is for an entire freaking episode.

Therefore, I doubt anyone's gonna mind if I talk about a Season 2 episode. And so, with an episode name that involves "Ducks" (invoking Disney Afternoon flashbacks), I bring you...

Cape Duck

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dumb and Dumber - To Bee Or Not To Bee

Since I've talked about The Mask: The Animated Series and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, I figured I'm going to have to talk about this cartoon sooner or later.

Every so often, the universe rolls a 1 when it comes to animated adaptations.
Now, remember like six months ago when I first set up this blog and said that this cartoon existed? Turns out I didn't just go into Photoshop and make the stupidest cartoon premise ever before lying to the Internet about it. This seriously existed. Some executives at Hannah-Barbera seriously watched Dumb and Dumber and thought "Hey, we should totally market this towards kids!" right before they snorted coke up their noses and gave each other total frontal lobotomies.

Luckily, it totally bombed in the ratings and those same executives were quickly fired (and later executed for crimes against humanity), or else we would've gotten The Cable Guy: The Animated Series or The Truman Show Show. And god only knows we don't need help making America's suicide rates any higher.

As you can tell from my barely concealed hatred for this show, out of the three Jim Carrey toons that exist, this one is the least liked and the least remembered. Unlike The Mask and Ace Ventura, which both had pretty sizable cartoon lifespans, Dumb and Dumber only lasted one 13 episode season. And thank whatever benevolent force you believe in for this small miracle, because rest assured, there is a pretty good reason why this cartoon has practically no fans.

I think it's probably because, unlike The Mask and Ace Ventura, which clearly can be made into animated series if you watch their films (and made very successful animated series premises), this one...is really a stretch as far as a cartoon outline goes. It's basically two guys in a silly-looking van driving around America and getting into wacky hijinks around the way with their inexplicable pet beaver.

I have to say, it was hard picking which episode to do first because, unlike other shows where there's some sort of rhyme or reason to the way episodes are structured, this show is all over the place when it comes to episode length. Some episodes run at the traditional one 22 segment, some are divided into three parts, some are divided into two parts where one half is 13 minutes while the other is 6 minutes, some are divided into even 11 minute segments...needless to say, it's a mess.

So I went with my gut and, instead of doing the first episode (like it's seriously going to explain anything), I picked the episode that has the same title as one of my favorite episodes of The Mask: The Animated Series. Because to hell with it, if this cartoon is going to insult my intelligence, I might as well pick the episode that reminds me the most of a Jim Carrey cartoon that I actually liked.

Spoiler alert: This is the superior cartoon in every way.
So, you might be asking yourself. How dumb is Dumb and Dumber: The Animated Series? Surely it's not as bad as this blog writer is saying and surely it has just as much merit as Film Roman's creation, right? Well, sate your dangerously reckless curiosity by diving into...

To Bee Or Not To Bee

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happily Ever After (1993 film) - Part 4 (Final Part)

Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.

I was really slacking off on writing this, but in my defense, I thought I'd be really clever in finishing up this movie this month since February was the month of love and all that.

Now, normally, I reserve this space for one again mentioning that this movie is weird (as if you really need me telling you that), this movie is still a guilty pleasure of mine, it was a big favorite of me growing up, various excuses to make myself feel better for liking this stupid movie, yadda yadda yadda, but I have a very special treat in store for my readers for this final part of Happily Ever After.

While I was writing the post up for Part 3, I learned that there is an honest to god Happily Ever After videogame.

This might be the greatest thing I've ever seen.
From what I've seen from the gameplay videos, it's your typical mediocre sidescroller platformer game that was extremely popular during the 16-bit era that gives you the option to play as either Snow White or Shadow Man, and for some reason the first level of the game involves throwing apples at oversized caterpillars when I'm positive that wasn't in the movie, but you know what? I want this game. Not just want, but need. Crave. Thirst. I don't even own a working Super Nintendo right now (at least until I run into one at a swap meet or something) and I desire to own this magnificent cartridge so that I can go up to random strangers and tell them that I, this humble writer of this humble cartoon blog, own Happily Ever After: THE VIDEOGAME.

Yeah, remember the part of the movie where Snow White climbed on a giant beanstalk
and watched Scowl drop bunches of grapes on her?
But you're not here to hear me talk about videogames. You're here to hear me talk about cartoons. Okay, fine. Have it your way, expecting me to talk about nothing but cartoons on a blog titled "Nothing But Cartoons". I might as well conclude the daring chapter that is me nitpicking every last minute of this film once I get into...

Happily Ever After Part 4

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Widget the World Watcher - Widget's Walkabout

Okay, we all have an opinion on environmentalist cartoons. They're preachy, they're rarely entertaining, they have villains that are one-dimensional and seem to only exist to make the Earth cry, they're hypocritical considering 2D animation is one of the most paper-consuming mediums of all time, and they feature annoying children that, all things considered, make us want to burn a rainforest rather than suffer through their annoying mugs for twenty minutes.

By this paragraph alone, you might think that I'm talking about Captain Planet. Sadly, no. If there's one thing I learned about bad ideas in cartoons, it's that they never appear in just one cartoon.

"My head is ridiculously huge!"
Here's a sad thought that not many people like to think about when talking about environmentalist cartoons. Captain Planet is not the only cartoon that's about saving the planet from ecological harm. There were multiple cartoons and specials about this. It's just that the flying blue man is most popular and the most well-remembered, while the others fell by the wayside. This bears repeating. Out of a genre of cartoons that exists, Captain Planet is the best one. There's a group of cartoons where Captain Planet beats them. Captain Planet.

...excuse me. I think I need to go lay down now.

Wait, I should probably talk about Widget the World Watcher here. There's not much to be expressed about a cartoon where the honest to god mediocre videogame adaptations are more well-remembered than the actual show itself. Other than pity. Lots and lots of pity. Seriously, the only other time I can think of a videogame outshining the actual cartoon when the videogame itself isn't very good is Izzy's Quest for the Olympic Gold. It's a sad fate to befall any show.

In fairness to this game, it at least looks funner than Izzy's Quest for the Olympic Gold.
Unfortunately, I think I might've seen a couple episodes of this show when it was actually on the air. I say "I think" instead of being too sure because, unlike Darkwing Duck or Animaniacs or even Street Sharks, the show never left a positive or even a negative impact on me. I mean, I hate practically everything about Captain Planet, but the fact that I hate that show proves that it did something to me and that I have a reaction to it. Widget just exists; and the only reason I can guess that I saw it is that the purple alien looks kind of familiar and, since it had shapeshifting, I was all over that as a kid.

Another notable thing about this show. Like all really dumb shows of the 90's that not many people remember, it's incredibly rare. Out of a 65 episode show, only a handful of episodes are available online, and they're all pulled from VHS videos that, on eBay, run to be about 40 dollars.

That being said, you like kangaroos? Dingos? Bad Australian accents? Then boy, do I have an episode for you!

Widget's Walkabout

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Street Sharks - Sharkbite

Part 1 - Sharkbait

Since my last post of this show kind of sort of ended on a cliffhanger, I have to continue talking about this show or else the ghosts of cartoon sharks will haunt me in my sleep and suck on my bone marrow. God help me.

Oh, and very, very recently, this show became available for instant streaming from Netflix. Jawsome!

Although there's a very bitter voice inside of me going "Street Sharks is on Netflix but not
The Mask: The Animated Series? I hate everything." when I hear of this news.
This probably won't bode well if I say right off the bat that, out of all the posts I did in 2010, this show was one of the hardest to sit through. (the other being Captain Planet, but that goes without saying) At the risk of being totally insulting to a show that was a big portion of my childhood, I can safely say that Street Sharks was nowhere near as awesome as I thought I was when I was a kid and there's a pretty good reason why DiC is pretending they didn't make this when they freaking acknowledge Captain N. Some perspective here. Captain N is on DVD. This show isn't. Kind of makes you wonder.

But does that mean it's still not fun to watch? Hell no! I personally enjoy every stupid minute of this stupid lazy ripoff of a stupid show. After all, we live in a world where guilty pleasures exist and it's pretty cathartic to rip into things that bugged me even as a child. So to take another spin on the extreme, merchandise-driven, turtle-copying vehicle that is Street Sharks for a second time is just too much to pass up. I mean, for crying out loud, I'm talking about a show where one of the main characters mutates into a shark because the main villain tampered with a bag of popcorn. You can't hate this show because it's simply too dumb to hate.

But since this show does go in chronological order, follows a very coherent storyline from start to finish, and, again, I left the last post on a cliffhanger, if I want to talk about the time someone turns into a shark after eating popcorn (disclaimer: this totally happened in this show.), I'm gonna have to talk about this episode first.

So suspend all forms of disbelief when we dive into...


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Five Bad Cartoons with Awesome Locations

You know, I'm going to try something new today.

I found that I'm still kind of behind as far as posts go, so instead of rushing a post out like I was going to do (and considering my next post is about a show that just transcends stupidity, I really want to take my time), I thought I'd fill in the dead space with something different. Instead of talking about a show in length and pointing out as many logical fallacies as possible, I'm going to take a page from the Cracked.com/Nostalgic Critic/<insert some other site famous for funny lists> diary and do a list.

If it works, I can crank one of these out whenever I notice that I'm behind schedule. If it doesn't work, I can just throw up my hands, say "Oh well", and I continue living life.

It probably helps that the subject I'm choosing is not something everyone's seen like "Worst Cartoons of the 1990's" or "Scariest Scenes in a Disney Film". Instead, like most of my blog where I spend huge chunks of my time trying to polish a turd like Street Sharks or Captain Planet and saying that one part is legitimately funny or good, I'm going to try to, at least in my lists, point to things that a lot of people hate and say that there is something worth redeeming.

And this time around, I want to point out locations. Locales are where the cartoons, of course, take place (unless you want your characters to be floating in a blank white void), but they always seem to be relegated to the background. A cool location can enhance a picture, and a terrible, badly-written area can drag something down, but they very, very rarely make or break a production. No one leaves a movie going "Yeah, the story and the animation was crap, but those backgrounds were cool!" when it comes to animated films.

Which is why I'm writing this. Because, even though I'm not saying any of these movies are any good, I do want to point out that there's at least some talent to be had in the production. Even if it involves a portion of the film that doesn't really count in the long run.

That being said, let's dive into...

Five Bad Cartoons with Awesome Locations

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Wuzzles - Bulls of a Feather

The 80's were a strange time to be alive. For solid proof on that, The Wuzzles. 

Ah, yes, The Wuzzles. If you needed a reason to believe that cartoon writers of this era were on some dangerous form of illegal drugs, this is it.

Okay, chances are if you've seen a cartoon, you've run into a character that was half-something, half-the other, but The Wuzzles really brought that concept to a whole new level and made it popular. The whole mismatched hybrid Care Bear reject thing (a remember, back in the 80's, Care Bears were freaking huge) was their entire gimmick, and the kids loved them because who the hell wouldn't want to play with a rhino/monkey mutant? Several attempts at trying to use this hybridization in other shows has happened since The Wuzzles era (Crash Bandicoot and Spliced, for example, took the half-animal hybrids and tried to make them more science-based, and anyone familiar with WoW knows about the owlbears) but they couldn't quite get the level of cuteness that the Wuzzles had. Maybe it was the fact that, inexplicably, all the characters had tiny wings regardless of what animals were spliced. Or maybe it was the bright colors. Either way, The Wuzzles were something if not unique.

That being said, this show is one of those weird, culture-defining shows that people mainly remember the concept but not so much the content. Tons of people remember The Wuzzles, I've found out, and tons of people remember this theme song. But strangely, if you turn to these same people who can recite the "two times the fun" lyric and ask if they remember any of the plots or any of the character personalities or just anything at all besides Wuzzles being, well, Wuzzles, suddenly their eyes will glaze over and act like you just blew their mind.

Why is this show not as well-remembered as DuckTales or Gummi Bears, two shows around this same era? My theory is the fact that this show only lasted one season and thirteen episodes, giving it the unfortunate distinction of being the shortest lived Disney animated TV show. According to Wikipedia (unfortunately my primary source of research for obscure films because seriously, no one's going to write a textbook on these things), the reason for this is because Bill Scott, the voice of Moosel, had died while the second season was made, so they halted production and the show died with him, hence why most people only remember The Wuzzles because of the sweet toys.

And what kind of show was left behind at the wake of his demise? Let's find out by looking at the very first episode of this ill-fated show by looking at...

Bulls of a Feather

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The New Adventures of Batman - A Sweet Joke On Gotham City

Now, before anyone gets excited about this title, this is the 1970's Batman. I think for my blog, I'm going to intentionally talk about every Batman show except for Batman: The Animated Series. I have nothing against Batman: The Animated Series; in fact, my opinion of it is practically the same as anyone else's on the Internet in that it's one of the greatest series known to man. It's just that why talk about an episode everyone's seen and discussed in detail when I can talk about THIS:

Oh hell yes.
Ah yes, the era of Batman that most fans like to forget about. It's an era of bleak, indescribable campiness, an era that decides that Robin can't go through a sentence without going "Holy <object relating to what's happening>" or Batman can't do something without pressing his fists on his hips and thrusting his pecs forward for the villains to behold. And yes, I know, all cartoons were like this during this era (again, anyone who rags on cartoons nowadays being mindless are full of crap; they have nothing on these cartoons) and I'm well-aware that I'm looking this through the eyes of someone who's watched character-driven shows like Batman: The Animated Series, but still. 

Anyways, for a little backstory, since I'm sure most people here probably wisely only stuck to the good Batman series. Back in the 1960's, there was an incredibly ground-breaking but incredibly campy live-action television series detailing the adventures of Batman and his young ward. After it's cancellation, Filmation followed the adventures and made superhero show after superhero show after superhero show. Seriously, the volume of cartoons that were made in the 60's and 70's is downright unbelievable by today's standards. In fact, Filmation actually had cancelled superhero shows they had in production in order to rush other superhero shows out to the public.

And they just kept making show after show after show of the DC superheroes. Course, according to most DC fans nowadays, none of these shows exist because, well, much better shows have come out since then. Why talk about the Superfriends if the Justice League exists?

I'm going to put it simply. Because this show is insane. The writing is insane, the situations are insane, the leaps to conclusion and the use of logic is insane. Everything is insane, and that makes this show instantly unforgettable because it just operates in a completely different world from the world we mere mortals live in. Oh sure, Mad Love might drive you to tears and Heart of Ice might've won an Emmy, but you know what those two episodes didn't have? Robin wearing a fat suit and complaining about eating chocolate. I rest my case.

Still not convinced? Okay then. In this show, Batman's voiced by ADAM WEST. If that doesn't convince you to read this, nothing will. Buuuut I don't want to give too much away. Break out the toothpaste, the dental floss, and the mouthwash, because we're going to see...

A Sweet Joke On Gotham City

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happily Ever After (1993 film) - Part 3

You know, let's just pretend that December never happened. I'm going back to the regular schedule for this month. And boy, do I have a treat for you.

Part 1.
Part 2.

So the best way to wash away the stench of failure that was last month, I'm doing Happily Ever After once again. Because after getting sick, missing deadlines, being surrounded by relatives that I don't really even like all that much, and just plain hating everything for about two months, it's nice to get back to something nice and fluffy again.

Even if my definition of nice and fluffy involves fairytale creatures narrowly avoiding death multiple times while being aided by a reject from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. I've already said this about a thousand other times when talking about the movie, but here is where it gets weird. The movie, as if ashamed by how cutesy and flowery the first two parts were (and that's saying something, considering both parts contained some pretty messed up stuff like the dragon and the trolltastic mirror that gives children heart attacks by showing them the queen's death mask), decides to cloak the entire movie in darkness and make the children watching this cry as they watch Snow White try to outrun a pack of wolves.

And yet I love every twisted, dark, gruesome minute of this film. But then again, this is coming from someone who wrote four whole blog posts about how much Felix the Cat: The Movie sucks, only to turn around at the final minute and admit I watch that crap every year. By now, you're probably just ignoring my opinions and only come here for the screenshots.

I will warn you though; this is technically the weakest part of the movie (although to be fair, Part 3 of Felix the Cat: The Movie was the same way), so don't complain as I unearth repressed childhood nightmares and recycled animation as I disinter the craziness that is...

Happily Ever After Part 3