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 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