Articles on this Page
- 10/13/10--21:32: _Ronald McDonald in ...
- 11/08/10--19:36: _Dunce Bucket
- 12/05/10--19:00: _The Care Bears Nutc...
- 12/17/10--21:22: _Frosty Returns
- 01/22/11--23:44: _Thumbelina
- 02/09/11--18:49: _Defenders of Dynatr...
- 03/10/11--18:56: _Captain Planet: A G...
- 03/31/11--22:02: _April Fool's 2011 I...
- 09/10/12--13:29: _Legend of the Hawai...
- 10/09/12--16:32: _Tiny Robots
- 10/13/12--11:49: _Captain Planet: Min...
- 10/19/12--12:43: _Bubsy
- 11/03/12--16:25: _My Little Pony: New...
- 11/08/12--08:19: _The Cat in the Hat
- 11/20/12--20:48: _The Adventures of S...
- 12/16/12--17:41: _My Little Pony: Twi...
- 01/06/13--11:19: _The Rosey and Buddy...
- 01/26/13--23:28: _Johnny Test
- 06/10/13--09:53: _Care Bears and the ...
- 08/24/13--15:52: _Spongebob Squarepan...
- 10/13/10--21:32: Ronald McDonald in "Scared Silly"
- 11/08/10--19:36: Dunce Bucket
- 12/05/10--19:00: The Care Bears Nutcracker Suite
- 12/17/10--21:22: Frosty Returns
- 01/22/11--23:44: Thumbelina
- 02/09/11--18:49: Defenders of Dynatron City
- 03/10/11--18:56: Captain Planet: A Good Bomb is Hard to Find
- 03/31/11--22:02: April Fool's 2011 Induction: "Disney's" Beauty and the Beast
- 09/10/12--13:29: Legend of the Hawaiian Slammers
- 10/09/12--16:32: Tiny Robots
- 10/13/12--11:49: Captain Planet: Mind Pollution
- 10/19/12--12:43: Bubsy
- 11/03/12--16:25: My Little Pony: Newborn Cuties: Over Two Rainbows
- 11/08/12--08:19: The Cat in the Hat
- 11/20/12--20:48: The Adventures of Super Mario Bros 3: Kootie Pie Rocks
- 12/16/12--17:41: My Little Pony: Twinkle Wish Adventure
- 01/06/13--11:19: The Rosey and Buddy Show
- 01/26/13--23:28: Johnny Test
- 06/10/13--09:53: Care Bears and the Land Without Feelings
- 08/24/13--15:52: Spongebob Squarepants: A Pal For Gary
So stupid, it's scary
This week, we return to the realm of the animated, and what better cartoon to induct, than one starring one of the most beloved mascots of all time.
I'm talking about that beloved heart clogging harlequin, Ronald McDonald.
Ronald has been the face of fast food for almost half a century. The mascot of the McDonald's restaurant, he's been our unassuming friend since our childhoods. With a warm smile, and goofy antics, he's warmed our hearts, and fattened our stomachs with his delicious drug that is McDonald's fast food. Ronald was first played by Willard Scott in 1963.
He looks more like Ronald McHobo here.
And from there, he became a television name. His white and red face plasted on Saturday morning tv, enticing the kids with adventures in his "So not a Sid and Marty Kroftt knockoff" McDonaldland. It was a brilliant scheme. Have Ronald's goofy adventures shown to kids, have kids pester parents to go to Mickey D',. buy the food, roll in the cash. Clearly a marketing success.
And as you'd guess, since it was a success, it had a damn cartoon.
Well, in this case, it was a series of VHS tapes released only at where else? McDonalds, of course. There were five in all, each with the classic ugly animation of Clasky-Csupo, and the rather stupid stories that each run 40 minutes. Jeez, that's almost as long as a Video Brinquedo movie "shudders*. The series was called "The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald". Well, when your protagonists are a clown, a dog, a bird, a kleptomaniac, and.... whatever the hell Grimace is, there must be some wacky adventures to be had.
Now, before people rag on me for not being overly fond of the Clasky-Csupo animation. I will say that I am a big fan of Rugrats (Well, the classic episodes at least), and I do thank them for being the animation company in the early days of the Simpsons. But seriously, 9 times out of 10, the characters on their shows look horrible.
But we'll get into that, as we talk about our induction du jour, the first in the "Wacky Adventures" series, "Scared Silly". Which is as blatant a false advertisement as you can get. There is nothing scary, or silly in this video.
But enough talk, let's get to watchin'. Let's review this thing.
We open our show with the theme song. We see Ronald's home in the live action universe, Casa de Arch Deluxe, as Ronald's dog Sundae (an original character for the series), is awakened..
Sweet sassafrass, that's an ugly dog.
Ronald awakens, and begins his daily routine of using Rube Goldberg inventions, spinning portraits of his friends to look like hideous redesigns, and cosplaying. But eventually, he gets dressed right, and the theme song ends. The theme song is half decent. The singer does a good job, but it's just not very catchy. And while the intro does the job of introducing Ronald and his wacky hijinx, it really doesn't wow you like say a more quality intro like Rugrats (Keeping it in the Clasky-Csupo family). It's definitely not the best way of starting our wacky adventures.
We open our episode with Sundae watching scary public domain footage, as Ronald joins in. But they're movie viewing is interrupted by a call on Ronald's picture phone. Why it's Tika, everyone's favorite McDonaldland character.
Through the magic of bad 90's CGI, Tika invites Ronald and the deformity known as Sundae, to a camping trip with the gang. Sundae is not happy at the idea of camping in the woods (Yes, that thing can talk), but Ronald tells him to stop being a wuss and come along too. After some more wacky goofiness with Ronald's tent-in-a-flashlight invention, they enter McDonaldland. Which, for some unexplained reason, turns them into cartoon character. Is McDonaldland an alternate demension? Is it like Cool World, only kid friendly? Hell If I know.
Jeez, he looked less creepy in the live action bit.
So, the gang all enter Ronald's car, and head off to the woods. The gang consisting of Ronald, Sundae, Tika, the regulars like Birdie, Grimace, and the Hamburglar, and some not so regulars like a couple of the fry kids, and the McNugget buddies.
Who, honestly, are perhaps more disturbing than Sundae. I mean, were they born that way? Were they rejected McNuggets? Are we lead to believe that the McNuggets were never really chickens to begin with, but their own seperate creatures having nothing to do with the fowl in question? Whatever they are, they sure are creepy and delicious.
During the trip, Tika frightens the talking purple butt plug known as Grimace about the farflung phantom, that apparently lives in the forest. But Ronald eases the tension with a song about the Farflung forest. The flowers, the caves, the frogs, the logs, Fred Penner. You know, the basics. And it's about as annoying as you'd expect. After that forgettable song, our heroes finally arrive at the forest. Tika drops a walkie talkie, and in a manner that doesn't make you pull out your Ackbar alarm, tries to cover up her reasons for having one. All the while, the group are being spied on by cameras situated around the woods.
The group takes a break, as Hamburglar (Who has somehow gotten over his Robble impediment) suggest Ronald whips up some magic. Ronald suggests that Hamburglar could use the excercise, and that they'll have some "magic fun" later. So HB, being the douche he is, decides to scare the campers by making bear noises so Ronald will use his magic.
I think Hamburgular just dropped a quarter pounder.
The bear chases after our heroes. And surpsisingly, despite living off a diet of delicious McDonald's food, the group manages to outrun the angered ursine. Ronald then creates a door, and lures the bear through it.
"You're subspace's problem now"
After dealing with the wrath of Yogi, the group set up camp. And of course, they do it through song. And like the other one, it's pretty bland. After that, they all sit by the fire and Hamburgular continues to torture Grimace with the tale of the Farflung Phantom. Ronald and Sundae take a walk, when they happen upon a conveniently placed evil laboratory. He comes back to HB getting his jollies scaring the gang, while realizing that Tika and the McNugget Buddies have gone AWOL.... For like 20 seconds. And suddenly, in another act of plot convenience, it starts to rain. But hey, there are some conveniently placed flowers that can double as umbrellas. But the weather starts getting rougher, and Ronald suggests they all head to the house they saw earlier.
They enter the house, with it's eerie cobwebs, and dark atmosphere. And of course, they start to sing ANOTHER SONG. This one is a bit better than the other two, but it is hindered by people who are really phoning in trying to sing. They then enter a room with creepy frightening holographic furnature (?), and see three doors lacking knobs.
But before you can say "this video is seriously lacking a floating head" an apparition appears, giving them a cryptic riddle. Essentially to stand on a giant dinner plate drawn on the floor until the doors open. The Fry Kids, being impatient, and really not having anything to do with fries, end up falling through the trap door.
Sorry, no Berk here.
The group then enter a hallway, and enter each door. One contains a room that starts to shrink around them (Cool, I've played Resident Evil too), to a library with revolving book shelfs that separate the buddies from the group.(Cool, I've used Bebe's Kids for the SNES as a door stop too). Hamburglar fiddles with a lever, that traps our heroes in a hall of mirrors The glowing head gives them a clue to use their left hands. Ronald says that his uncle had a hedge maze, and by keeping his hand on the walls at all time, he got out.
That makes zero sense. How the hell could having your hand on the maze make a lick of difference? There's still a high percentage of taking the wrong turn and getting stuck with or without your bloody hand on the maze. And I do mean bloody. Who keeps their hands on sharp hedges as they're walking around? Whatever, this is clown shoes logic from a clown.
But the trick still manages to work. As they find their way out of the maze, while singing. Of freaking course. This songs sounds almost exactly like the last one. Meaning, it's pretty bad. They enter the next room, which now uses the gimmick or moving walls. They all lean into the corners, in a solution that's a bit more logical than the left hand theory. During this, Tika breaks kayfabe telling them that this was the farthest she's ever gone. Doing so causes the room to vanish, and the head reappear. The head refers to himself as Franklin, and that world is his game. He then offers them their freedom if they'll play him in a game of trivial pursuit: Jambi's less flamboyant brother edition. However, our heroes being morons, fail and fall into more traps. Ronald, Sundae, and Grimace remain. Ronald gets the question right, winning the game, and causing Franklin to pull a Christian level tantrum. While he leaves, Ronald and co. find a wire that will lead them to Franklin.
In the end, we find out that Franklin is some kid who had Tika and the McNuggets lure the hamburger happy clown into his trap. But he fails, Ronald survives, and his father shows up to scold the bejesus out of his son. Tika apologizes to Ronald and the gang for her web of deceit, and they all decide to continue their camping.
And that was "Scared Silly", it's pretty cra... Oh, wait. There's more live action stuff. Ronald and Sundae finish watching their stock footage horror movie.
Either this was supposed to be a cute ending, or the real scary moment of this video. Either way, it bears repeating, THAT IS AN UGLY ASS DOG!
Scared Silly isn't the worst thing ever. The animation's fine, and it's plot doesn't drag too bad. But the music, the characters, the voice acting, and the overall feel of the toon still feels off. Like it's missing something that would make it epic. It's tooncrap, but definitely not the kind that little kids coulden't enjoy in some capacity, so it's at least worth a watch.
But who would've figured that not too long after, the same company that gave us these iconic characters would soon treat them like the ghost in the room. Not too long after these were released Ronald and the gang were completely dropped from all McDonald's commercials (Well, except for Japan, but the less said of those insane comemercials the better.) So what happened to Ronald McDonald? Well, after no longer being the smiling face of fast food commercials, he took a vacation to a land where the pale redhead could be accepted, Ireland. In an act of self reinvention, He ditched the makeup, and suddenly found a massive interest in weight lifting.
And the rest, as they say, is history fella!
Well, at least it lives up to it's name
Comedy is perhaps the most subjective thing of all. What one person percieves as outright hilarious, another could consider to be downright rubbish. It's all a matter of taste. So, I know when I induct something, that there's a good chance that somebody enjoyed the actual product. However, with the induction du jour, I don't know if even the biggest fan of shock value comedy would crack a chuckle at the canuck crock that is Dunce Bucket.
A little background on this first. Dunce Bucket was one of several shows that were a part of Teletoon's "Pilot Project". A web based competition where people could vote to see what show would see the glory of a complete series on Teletoon's late night block. The contest consisted of a few would be animated pilots. Among them were Angora Napkin, which to this point I have not bothered to watch. Fugget About It, or as it should be more accurately titled, "The Sopranos go to Canada", and Dunce Bucket, a 22 minute animated sketch comedy show that clings a little too lovingly to the sphincter. And while I'm not opposed to toilet humor, the problem that lies in this bucket is that it's jokes are empty in value, and full of shit.
So, let's look at this slop bucket before the Godwinns come to take it back. Let's review this thing.
The theme song pretty much sums the direction this show wants to go. Ahem...
"And I quote...."
It's time to get retarded.
It's time to have some fun
and if you want to join me, you won't be the only one
And so we begin..
Our first skit is a chicken crossing the road to get over to chicken heaven on the other side. He dodges the cars, and then random stuff like ninjas, arrows, the KKK (?), gets zapped, blasted, infected, and eventually blown up by a suicide bombeer. But he still manages to cross the road. However, the twist is that despite the seductive poultry sign, "Chicken Heaven" is actually a KFC, and we end our skit with our plucky, clucky protagonist brutally slaughtered, and turned into a meal.
"I guess the yolk's on him!"
The next skit is a pinata party gone awry when the blindfolded kids goes on a rampage. Beating the bejesus out of all the kids there, as well as an old lady. After his unintentional slaughter-fest, a girl runs away, only to run into the barbecue, and burns to death.
Our next skit is a pregnant woman sleeping, when the door bell rings. Her baby pops out of her, and leaves the room, where a bitching party is going down, as well as other lewd acts. At least I think there is, because all you see for 90% of this skit is the frigging umbilical cord.
Next up is "GPS for Men", which is a commercial parody. The GPS for men is a device for pussy whipped men that gives them the correct responses when put in a troubling situation. This shot is actually not bad. The joke's funny, albeit unoriginal. and it doesn't crib on a shock value joke to keep it from drowning in stupidity.
And from that shining hope comes....
A skit with two dildos talking to each other... yeah.
Next up is a french cartoon called FiFi and Bo Bo. The joke.... They say "Fuck" a lot. Essentially, it's every 2nd word. And this short drags for a good minute or so. Then they get killed by a cloud god... I don't know why. This is just bad. And trust me, we haven't seen the last of skits where the F word is prominent.
Next up is a home shopping network bit, with the ultimate stain remover, the "Stain to Dust", or STD for short. The creator gives a demonstration of how it works by puking, and punching the host.
Ever hear the joke that a hermaprodite is most likely told to "go fuck themselves"? Do you find it funny enough to hear 3 or 4 times? Because this show feels the need to do this interlude a few times.
And we follow up with a skit involving a girl named Dana, who, you guessed it.... Says "Fucking" a lot.
I'm sorry, but is fuck really that funny of a word? I get when you're a kid, it's chuckle worthy, but when you're older it's really nothing major. Definitely not something that warrants 3 whole skits where it's both plot and punch line.
Next up is two stick figures trying to have sex, but since their stick figures, don't exactly know how to. It's definitely a bit funny, but it's joke goes on for a bit too long.
We have a clown vs mime short. It feels sorta reminiscent of Spy Vs Spy. The mime sees a pie, which has an extendo glove. It punches his balls literally out of him. The clown laughs at his prank, as the mime creates an imaginary golf ball, that smashes through a window. A big naked guy whows up, kicks the clown in the balls, which fall out his nose.
Our next skit is a chess battle, and an over eager white pawn who's ready to kick some black ass.
"Race humour: It's fantastic!"
Next up is a monster truck-esque commercial for the accountants technology expo. It's a funny idea, but again feels a little long in the tooth.
After another hermaphrodite skit, we get guys arguing over how to crucify Jesus.
Next is a commercial for the "After sex doll". Like the GPS for men, it is a pretty funny idea, and the humor actually works without relying on shock value or the ability to cuss.
Another clown vs mime short. The mime eats a clown cake, which causes him to have a shit so epic, that he literally shits out his skeleton.
We follow that up with a barber killing a man in front of his kid, because it was his first day.
Since I guess this character was funny enough to warrant a 2nd short, Dana returns. This time saying fuck and shit in front of a priest. Again...
Next is an old Chinese lady who kills two chuckling stoners.
A stick figure pole dance. Followed by the hermaphrodite bit again.
The final short is "Trigger happy" featuring a hunter who goes insane, and murders everything from bigfoor, a car, a whale, every known mythical creature, and finally finishes it off by killing a leprechaun.
And that's Dunche Bucket. Well, it sure lived up to it's song, as it was indeed time to get retarded.
I'll get to the positives before we get to my main gripes.
The animaition for the shorts are very well done. Plenty of variety, with almost no two short looking alike. The voice acting is great too, with the most notable VA being Christian Potenza. And with me being a fan of Total Drama, it's hard for me to be mad at him for anything he does.
Now my gripes. The show just isn't funny. Most of the skits rely on the idea that as long as the punch line is either lewd, dirty, or shocking, it equals funny. That's just not the case here. The F word isn't funny, especially when put on overkill. The skits need better structure. And even though majority of the shorts are under a minute, that doesn't mean there's not room for a solid, redeeming punchline. And yes, I know this is a pilot. It's intent is to get it's feet wet. But if it doesn't fix it's flaws, it's doubtful it'll ever get greenlit as an existing tv show. But for now, it's bottom of the bucket Tooncrap.
Hell, it almost makes Madballs "Gross Jokes" look like Carlin in comparison. And I already feel dirty for giving that shlock praise.
It's that time of year again. The time where the weather gets colder, the streets get more colorful, and crazed people rampage through department stores in search of the newest fad toy. Yep, it's the holiday season. The fat man in red is on his way again, and TV channels dust off 'Rudolph'', 'The Grinch', and 'Frosty' as the much needed nostalgia boost for those who know the true weariness of this time of year.
When it comes to the realm of the animated, no other holiday has seen more specials devoted to it. Maybe Halloween, and Arbor Day, but not many others. Christmas is such an easy holiday to devote a special for, to the point that most follow familiar formulas.
A Christmas Carol for example. All folow the same formula of the Dickens classic (though some deviations). However, despite it being done ad nauseum, it still somehow manages to work most of the time. It's a timeless tale that deserves the love and respect it gets. Even if it does feel more like a lack of originality.
However, I've never understood the same for the Nutcracker. It's always been one of those stories that has bored me. Yet somehow, it's spawned dozens of animated, and live action specials, and films.
Even one as recent as this year. In gloriously gimmicky 3D.
Which brings us to the induction du jour. You'll remember that last year, I inducted the final Care Bears movie, "Adventure in Wonderland". A movie that felt less like a trip into the Lewis Carol classic, and more like a very lackluster episode of the Care Bears cartoon. Complete with terrible songs, animation not up to par with the movies before it, and like the movies before it, a blonde female protagonist.
With Nelvana still at the helm of the television rights, and with Care Bears still somewhat popular (though by 88, they defintely weren't top shit anymore), they released one more animated special. the first since "Care Bears and the Freeze Machine" back in 84. So, hopefully it's half decent. Really in this case, half decent's the best I can hope for.
So, let's Care Bear stare this thing to death. Let's review this thing.
We open our special at a rehearsal of the Nutcracker, with a young girl named Holly, and her teacher (And totally not our protagonist), Ms. Walker. Holly's excited about being involved in the performance, which is more than she can say about her brother Chris, who feels jaded at the lack of action, and his goofy attire. Through exposition (AKA the likely fact that nobody cares about the Nutcracker), Ms. Walker and Holly tell Chris about the story of the nutcracker. Ms. Walker then tells the two that the classic version of the story isn't the only way the story was told, and begins to tell her students her favorite version of the classic tale, the one with the Care Bears.
We then go to Care-a-Lot, which is celebrating Christmas time. And Hugs and Tugs, the diaper-donning Scrappy Doos of the series, are looking for an ornament to put on the christmas tree. But no avail. But the search is interrupted by Funshine Bear, who informs the care bears of a sad little girl. Oh, it couldn't possibly be a young, blond protagonist would... Oh, you already know the answer to that. So, Funshine and Grumpy (Still the best Care Bear ever), set off to air her. However, having Funshine drive the cloud car wasn't wise, as she crashes it conveniently at the home of Anna, our protagonist (and totally not Ms. Walker).
Anna is sad because her bestest friend of friends in the history of friendliness has moved away, leaving her depressed. Funshine tells her to just try and keep in touch with her friend through writing letters, and phone calls. But Anna is still depressed.
But suddenly, the plot arrives through a portal in the form of a nutcracker doll, who's somewhat brain retarded. Having no memory of who he is, or how he functions. Through the portal also arrives the rat king and his cronies, who chase after our heroes. In the commotion, they run into Anna's brother Peter (literally). The chase ensues in and out of the house, as the rats get a Funshine stare, and hit with snowballs. In the middle of the hijinx, the nutcracker remembers why the rats are after him. He's from a place called Toyland, which is being invaded by the evil Vizier, and his army of rats. He's kidnapped the Sugarplum fairy, so it's up to the Nutcracker to put a stop to it. So after a few more minutes or being chased around by the rats, the care bears stare the rats back into Toyland. Grumpy and Funshine then send the signal out for the other Care Bears to come to their aid on their quest to save Toyland. Tender Heart Bear, Braveheart Lion, Lotsa Heart Elephant....
And stowaways Scrappy and Doo.
The bears decide to leave Hugs and Tugs with Anna's little brother Peter (who to be honest is about as mature as they are), despite his kvetching. However, the trio decide to leave for Toyland anyways. Cut back to the present, as we get a reminder of what just went down by Holly and Ms. Walker, which works if this aired with commercials, but really should've been cut for home releases. Back to the story, we head to stately Vizier castle, as we see the Sugarplum Fairy held captive by the evil Vizier...
The slightly less compitent brother of Jafar's less intimidating brother.
Apparently the Vizier is looking for a magic ring, and is trying to cough up the info from the fairy. Vizier uses Hypnosis. it doesn't affect enemy Sugarplum. The Rat King shows up to give him even more bad news, that the Nutcracker, and his crew of merry morons are coming. Meanwhile, said merry morons arrive in toyland, however without a game plan as to how to get to the Vizier's castle. If only there was a conveniently placed train inside a giant present box.
WOW! I totally wasn't expecting that!
The group board the train, unaware of the tyke trio tailing behind them. After a few minutes of driving around, and seeing the saccharine sights, the group make it to a demolished Toyland. The group try to find a way to refuel the train, as some toys and gingerbread men attack them. The Care Bears make quick work of them, while also reuniting with Peter and the cubs. The toys try to apologize, informing them that they were only trying to take the train, and trying to get the hell out of toy Dodge. The Care Bears quickly forgive them, and ask what happened to Toyland. Through exposition (AKA a toy clown), we learn that the Vizier and his rodent crew took over Toyland castle, and overthrew the prince. But before he was defeated, the prince gives the fairy his magic ring to hide from the Vizier.
Oh, and unbeknownst to anybody, the Nutcracker's the prince.
After the tale, the Nutcracker gets ridiculed by the toys for being the clumsy fool he is. Boy, I haven't seen a town that douchey since that one town that tried to lynch a kid with HIV. After a stern talking to by Braveheart, they apologize, and offer their help. They all head back on the train, but are soon stopped by the rats again. But being as incompitent as they are, they're quickly defeated. But not before kidnapping Peter and the cubs. The group continue on to the castle. They dodge guards, and make it to the palace. Meanwhile, being the moron he is, the Rat King gets tricked by Peter, who escapes with the cubs. The heroes free the fairy, who gives them the location of the ring, which was conveniently placed in a walnut in the throne room. Hey, if it means this is over quicker, I'm fine with this stupid outcome.
However, they're too late, as the Vizier gets a hold of the walnut first. The care bears get put out of commission with the use of taffy, and the rats surround Anna and the Nutcracker. The Vizier wins, the cartoon ends....
Or it should, but the vizier is unable to open the walnut. Instead of using, you know, a hammer, he forces the nutcracker to break it by turning the care bears into firewood. The nutcracker refuses, and our heroes are sent to the dungeon. Before Anna joins the kindling collection, the Nutcracker agrees to the Vizier's demand. However, before that happens, Hugs, Tugs, and Peter get the ring and try to escape. But, after another chase scene, the rats recapture the nut. The Ntcracker opens the nut, but again before the Vizier can win, the sugarplum fairy intervenes, and puts the ring on the Nutcracker's finger, turning him back into the prince.
Using his deus ex machiring, he restores Toyland to it's original shape. After that, our heroes say goodbye to one another, with Anna saddened that she may never see her former wooden friend again. We then realize that it was apparently all a dream of Anna's, as she wakes up in her bed, to Peter and a new kid named Alan (Who I guess is supposed to be the prince, I guess).
Ms. Walker finishes up the story, as her husband Alan shows up. Oh, I guess Ms. Walker was Anna all along. I never would've guessed that. The Care Bears cheer and dance up in the rafters.
This special is far more tolerable than Care Bears in Wonderland was. It's still well animated, and doesn't drag as much as the movie does. But it still suffers from a weak plot, some minor design recycling, and the big twist at the end was already done (and far better) in the original Care Bears movie. Not to mention, the "it was all a dream, or was it" ending does seem a bit flat. While it's definitely not held up well, it's sill okay for little kids. But for the sake of completion, this toon still gets the crap treatment.
But there's one thing that bugs me here. Now, in the end scene, we see the care bears celebrating, including Hugs and Tugs, who are still babies. Now, this has to be 20-30 years since this adventure happened (If it really did), so they should be grown up by then. Unless Care-A-Lot is where the fountain of youth is located, this is still pretty damn odd.
'Snow doubt about it. This is awful
Broadway Video: 1992
Christmas is rapidly approaching, and more than likely by now, you've seen several of the classic holiday specials air on television. Maybe it was Rudolph, with it's mean spirited reindeer, and utter asshole Santa. Maybe it was the Grinch, with the wonderful narration of Boris Karloff, and the questionable meals of roast beast and Who hash. Maybe you watched one of the billion Christmas Carol related cartoons, or that Shrek special that sucks an ogre's ass (and this coming from somebody who liked the first couple Shrek films). But if you're like me, you anticipate one special. And that's the Rankin-Bass classic, Frosty the Snowman.
Heaven help me, I love this snowy moron.
I really doubt I have to go into much detail on this special, but for those who may have missed it sometime in the last 41 years, the story tells of Karen and her friends, who build a snowman. However, thanks to the help of a magic hat owned by terrible magician, and all around lanky prick Professor Hinkle, the snowman, named Frosty, comes to life. He marches around, sings, and has all sorts of fun shenanigans. However, because heat and snowmen don't get along, it's up to Frosty, Karen, and Hinkle's rabbit Hocus Pocus to book it to the North Pole. All while Hinkle gives chase, trying to get his hat back, instead of giving the snowman life. Even going to the point of locking Frosty and Karen in a greenhouse, causing Frosty to melt.
Hinkle blows. Also, I'd like to see his credentials. I highly doubt he's a professor.
But, Santa comes to the rescue, restoring Frosty, and putting Hinkle in his place, so that's a plus. It's a better job than the Santa from Rudolph, who would insult Frosty for even being alive, and serving no worth to him.
Frosty the Snowman is an instant classic. It has great music, wonderful animation, likable characters, even the villain. And the story is classic, giving plenty of humor, excitement, and drama from start to finish. It's everything a true holiday classic can hope to be.
And then, 20+ years later, a sequel was made. Despite a few specials, there was never really a true sequel to the original. And in 1992, Frosty returned in... well... Frosty Returns. Did it retain the spirit of the original?
Frosty Returns, released not by Rankin-Bass, but by Lorne Michael's Broadway Video, is a half hour snowball to the nutsack. An awful main song, lame and dated (even by 1992) humor, political and environmental overtones, and, to be honest, If you didn't include a talking snowman, I'd swear this was some half assed Peanuts special judging by the animation (done by Bill Melendez Studios, so that's why). It's a cold hearted cash in literally lacking in the Christmas spirit.
So, let's not waste any more time, and look at this animated equivalent of yellow snow. Let's review this thing.
We open our tale with falling snow, and our narrator, a miniature Jonathan Winters, riding a snowflake to a really terrible animation effect. Well, he's no Jimmy Durante, but he'll do. But the question I've always had is, I know he's the narrator, but what is he? An angel, a conscience, the worlds shortest midget? Help me out here cause it's really not explained. He's just known simply as the narrator. So, all narrators are an inch high?
After the opening credits, we head to the town of Beansboro, which according to Micro-Winters, holds an annual winter carnival. The town is covered in snow, which means it's a snow day. But sadly, it's not the forgettable Nickelodeon movie Snow Day, it's the one where rejected Peanuts kids sing about the greatness of snow, and where the adults bitch about how snow is an eyesore, and heart attack enducer.
From there we meet our protagonist Holly, and her friend Poindexter... I mean, Sex Changed Marcie... I mean, Charles. Despite the two not being invited to play with the other kids, Charles suggests making "snow fertility goddesses" (Because either Angels is too religious for this special, or Charles is a smartass). Holly has other ideas, and instead decides that the two should rehearse their magic act for the winter carnival.
Their act including sawing the brainy little toad in half.
However, after opening the window, Holly's hat flies away. She gives chase, until it eventually lands on a Snowman. The Snowman, as expected, comes to life.
Oh boy, Frosty's alive! I wonder if his first words will be something cute like "Happy Birthday"
"Whoa no you don't. You wanna take somethin', take the tie. Unless you think I need it. How do you dress for this winter carnival anyway? I mean, I don't wanna underdress. But I could get away with a tank top or something more cas."
No... Just... No.
Oh goody, we went from simple and friendly, to annoying talking entity. I honestly doubt anybody was looking for a wise cracking Frosty. And nothing against John Goodman, who's just reading the material and getting the cheque.
Holly and Frosty get formally introduced. He dances around, sings opera (why? I don't know), until Holly's mother shows up with a spray can. The stuff's called "Summer Wheeze", and has the power to dissolve snow with one spray.
Cut to our villain, Mr. Twitchell, at a board meeting. One of his lackeys suggests hanging a banner at the winter carnival, which leads to Twitchell revealing his true motives. He wants to be the king of the winter carnival. That's right, his big evil plan is to be a "king" of some stupid holiday festival. Then again, it's not as bad as getting a whole town to go after a kid with HIV.
Realizing Frosty's two squirts away from being history, Holly tries to hide Frosty in her fridge as she goes to school. However, she soon realizes that Charles appears to be the only other person concerned about the impending death of Winter. She ditches school, and meets up with Frosty, who didn't like staying in the fridge because it game him freezer burn. The two converse, as people pass by, not caring that a snowman is ALIVE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! We then get the main song of the special "Let there be Snow", as Frosty sings about all the things snow is good for. This is then sequed into what is easily the worst rap I have ever heard in my life, as coincidentally at this very moment, Twitchell is rapping to the exact same song about how much he's glad that there will be no more snow, and how he'll be king of the winter carnival. Seriously, this harbors dangerously close to Gottfried bad.
Charles meets Frosty. And being the skeptical little douche he is, refuses to believe a talking, walking, unfunny snowman is in front of him. However, Frosty's dancing jackassery catches the attention of Twitchell, who sends his cat to chase after them with a can of Summer Wheeze.
Doesn't exactly get the job done, but still sends a convincing message.
The big day of the winter carnival arrives, as Twitchell arrives, with evil in his heart, and a can of Wheeze in his hands. However, Holly approaches him, and scolds him about how Summer Wheeze is dangerous. They then unveil Frosty..
Who's alive and well despite not wearing the hat. *Cough*Continuity*cough*
Frosty and the kids sing "Let There be Snow" again, as Twitchell tries to run them over, only to end up falling into a frozen lake. The town, not calling the news, or filming the miracle of a talking snowman, decide to make Frosty the king of the winter carnival. The trio take a toboggan ride, until they find Twitchell. feeling sorry for the old fool, they give him the crown and cape, along with their toboggan ride. Frosty, deciding that this place is boring, leaves. The end.
And that's Frosty Returns. It's a lackluster special. Its story is stupid, the characters dull, Frosty tries too hard to be funny when he isn't, the main song isn't catchy, and it's just forgettable. The polar opposite of the special it's leeching off of. It's also arguable if this is a Christmas special or not, since it doesn't mention the holiday at all, and the story involves the Winter Carnival. But despite that, it still gets regular airtime every holiday season alongside the original. And yet a far better special like "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" goes on forgotten. 'Tis a shame.
Warner Bros: 1994
Well, here we are. After dealing with 3 of the infamously bad early 90's Bluth films, we're down to the last one. The animated adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson classic tale, Thumbelina. It features the voice talent of Ariel herself, Jodie Benson, as the titular Thumbelina, and has that really beautifully done Bluth style you know and love. So, with some good going for it, how can it be bad? Mean, who else is doing voice work?
Carol Channing? Well, I guess that's not very bad.
Charo? Damn. Even for the mid 90's, that's dated.
Gilbert Gottfried? Good to see our old pal yet again.
Yeah, the cast isn't exactly what you call spectacular, but It has to have some great songs, right?
Wait, it won a Razzie for "Worst Original Song?" The only animated movie to be nominated for a Razzie until 2009 too? Good god, what am I getting myself into?
Well, let's not waste any more time. Let's get out some pesticide and deal with the buggy Thumbelina. Let's review this thing.
We open to Paris, in the grand ol' year of once upon a time, as a bird flies around an early 90's CGI town. He stops and introduces himself as Jaquimo, swallow extraordinaire. He continues to fly about, singing a song called "Follow Your Heart". The song itself isn't too grating, but not exactly the best song to open your movie with. He flies into a library (I guess), and tells us about stories of people doing impossible things, as the camera pans to a tiny pink book. The story of Thumbelina.
The story goes that a woman, unable to give birth on her own, gets a magic barleycorn from a witch. Suprisingly not confused on how the hell this would give her a kid, she takes the barleycorn and plants it. Soon, a flower grows, and from it comes our pint sized protagonist, who seems to have gone through the majority of puberty during her flower child days. We go to our next song, as the farm animals sing the praises of Thumbelina. Not a horrible song to be honest, as Jodie Benson is a great singer.
Later on, Thumbelina asks her mother if there are any more tiny folk around, while wishing she were big. Her mother tells Thumbelina of the fairies, which leads to our next song, as our miniature maiden sings about someone who'll find her and love her. And, just as she's singing, she's greeted by a fairy prince named Cornelius. The two hit it off, and decide to ride around on his pet bee. And from there, not even 3 or 4 minutes in, we're greeted with our fourth song already. Which, given the current situation, feels like a knockoff of "Whole New World". Other than that, it's not bad I guess.
After their trip, Cornelius takes Thumbelina home. However, his stuffy bitch of a mother discovers that ol' Corny's absent, and calls for him. Cornelius asks to see Thumbelina again tomorrow, to which she agrees. Wow, a promise in a movie. There's no way that something bad could happen.
So, Thumbelina get's kidnapped by a frog. Cornelius learns of this news, and sets off to rescue her. Thumbelina, being a surprisingly heavy sleeper, soon wakes up to find out she's not in the same place she was when she dozed off.
Her kidnapper reveals herself as Mrs. Toad, played by Charro. And if any of you younger than 20 actually know who the hell Charro is, consider me shocked. She's the mother of three frog lads, Mozo, Gringo and Grundel. She's kidnapped Thumbelina, to get her to marry her oldest son, Grundel. To which she describes in song of course.
And from here is where the song quality in this movie takes a god damn nosedive. It's more of an annoying song, than terrible. But trust me, we're not even reaching the worst songs yet.
The frogs make Thumbelina wait, as they go round up the family. As she waits, Jaquimo, the swallow extraordinaire, shows up. When Thumbelina tells him that it's impossible for her to get off the lillypad she's on, he helps push the pad across the pond. You know, instead of just putting her on his back, and flying off. And sure enough, the lillypad is headed towards a waterfall. But before our inch high heroine falls to her death, she's rescued by some bugs. Jaquimo heads off to find Cornelius, but not before giving us another song. Well, the first song from the movie again, but in a more grandious scale. After the song, Jaquimo heads off, as Thumbelina begins her journey.
Now, why the hell can't Jaquimo just take her with him? I get that he's not that big a bird, being just a swallow and all, but I doubt that Thumbelina's that heavy. All that nothing is impossible rhetoric, and it's apparently impossible for Jaquimo to take her with him?
Thumbelina continues her quest, until she's met by a beetle named Berkeley, voiced by our good buddy Gilbert Gottfried. He's a somewhat lecherous pop star, who in exchange for helping her get to the top of a tree to find her way home, has Thumbelina sing and dance at the beetle ballroom. Which leads to our next song. I guess that's not so bad. I mean, Jodie Benson is....
HEAVEN HELP US NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gilbert Gottfried's singing again! Really? Somebody thought that shrill voice was worthy of a musical number? AGAIN!??
The song turns ugly on Thumbelina, when she's revealed to have no wings, and is considered ugly by the beetlefolk. After that humiliation, she's greeted again by Jaquimo, who hasn't found Cornelius, but is in time to give her a pep talk. Meanwhile, we see Grundel is searching for Thumbelina, as is Cornelius, who get info from people she's met so far about her whereabouts. Grundel forces Berkeley to find Thumbelina, by ripping his wings off.
That's for singing!
As all that happens, it suddenly turns into Winter. Cornelius ends up falling into a lake, which immediately freezes. Berkeley and his beetle backup singers find him. We get another forgettable song, from Thumbelina's mother this time, as we continue the plot. Thumbelina once again wakes up to unfamiliar territory as she's greeted by Mrs. Fieldmouse, voiced by Carol Channing, who cheers Thumbelina up by telling her bluntly that Cornelius froze to death. .
Classy, Mrs. Fieldmouse. Just classy.
Knowing of Thumbelina's voice, she decides to bring her to meet a very snobby individual named Mr. Mole. Thumbelina tells the story of her and Cornelius, through song of course. After this sad tale, Mr. Mole decides to take her to see a dead bird. Brilliant segue.
Oh, and it's Jaquimo. Boy Old Man Winter's really fucking with Thumbelina isn't he?
Damn you, you lousy.... season.
While she mourns, the rodents plan to make Thumbelina marry Mr. Mole. Damn, the amount of implied beastiality in this film is staggering. Mr. Mole offers Mrs. Fieldmouse a handsome reward for getting this marriage arranged. Sadly it's not all the cheese in the world.
Conor's already got that.
Mrs. Fieldmouse tries to convince Thumbelina to Marry Mr. Mole. And how, might you ask? Through god damn song of course. Ladies and germs, your Razzie award winning song, "Marry the Mole". It's not horrible, it's just really, really dull. Even Carol Channing seems to be phoning it in. By now, the movie has been plowed by songs. Some good, some bad, but all of them at least seemed like they had effort put into them. This one certainly does not.
After that "song", Thumbelina goes to her fallen bird friend. However, after wrapping him up in a blanket, he suddenly comes back to life. Energetic, he finally offers to take Thumbelina to the prince. However, she still believes that Cornelius is dead, and declines. But that doesn't stop that uber cheerful bird from trying to find him anyways. Meanwhile, the bugs from earlier find Cornelius, and try to thaw him out. And of course, being a kids movie, he survives despite hypothermia, and lack of oxygen for what has to be days.
Thumbelina goes through with the wedding to Mr. Mole, as we hear Cornelius singing (given this movie's quota on songs, what else would he be doing?). She declines the marriage offer. However, Grundel shows up, forcing Thumbelina to now deal with the horny toad. She runs off, as everybody gives chase. But it's Prince Cornelius to the rescue, as he does battle with Grundel. But sadly, the two fall to their death.
Thumbelina escapes. Jaquimo shows up, and finally flies her away from the madness. Thumbelina starts to sing, which causes flowers to bloom. And, because they're not gonna off the love interest, Cornelius shows up. The two kiss, which for some reason gives Thumbelina wings. I guess she was a fairy all along.
The two head to the fairy world, and get married. As everybody lives happily every after. Everybody except for Thumbelina's mom, because we never resolve if they ever got reunited. Figure that one out for yourselves kids. Oh, and Mrs. Toad, who now has to mourn a dead son. The End.
And that's Don Bluth's Thumbelina. Is it a bad movie? Yes. But I will admit it's definitely not the worst of the early 90's Bluth bombs. It has great animation, decent voice acting, and some okay songs. Problem is the plot's rather dull, and the majority of the songs are really bad, especially Gottfried's song, and "Marry the Mole". It's not as dumb as Rock a Doodle, not as annoying as The Pebble and the Penguin, and not as saccharin as A Troll in Central Park. But despite being better than those, it's still tooncrap.
An atomic bomb.
There's no tried and tested cartoon idea that has worked better than that of the super hero team.
From the established comic book heroes..
To the fresher takes..
There's just something awesome about a team of unique heroes who kick the ass of evil for the good of mankind. And rarely does the idea fail. But when it does, it's never a pretty sight. Case in point with our induction du jour, Defenders of Dynatron City. The little franchise that couldn't.
Defenders of Dynatron City made it's debut to the world as a videogame from Lucasfilm Games. It was released to the NES in summer 1992, amid solid hype from magazines. Believing that this was going to be the next Ninja Turtles, the creators sought out for both an animated series, as well as a comic book mini-series. However, the game still needed to be released first. And when it did, well all the hype was noting but squadoo. The game was torn to shreds by gaming critics for it's terrible controls, and poor gameplay. So, the bubble burst on the future of Dynatron City. As for the animated series, it only saw a pilot, which was released to home video. And, as you'd guess by me reviewing it on a blog called "Tooncrap", that it's not very good.
So, let's dive into this dynamic dud. Let's review this thing.
We open to the world of awful early 90's CGI, AKA Dynatron City, as a narrator tells us all about this wonderful place. How the city is essentially living in the wonderful atomic age, and everyone drinks delicious Proto-Cola.
Enjoy the refreshing taste of nuclear waste!
No, literally. As we see a man grow 2 extra arms after ingesting the stuff. Now he doesn't feel like the odd one out...
With his wife Oculous Orbus, and his son Charles and Mambo.
Yep, a future where people's differences, though caused by mutation, are happily accepted. Only in cartoons.
However, the creator of the cola isn't too fond of it becoming a massive hit. This man with the massive cranium also happens to be our villain, Doctor Mayhem. He created the cola to cause fear and panic, ultimately resulting in people leaving Dynatron City, which he apparently also created. But, despite the money he's making (Which despite the success of the cola isn't enough money apparently), he's quite disgruntled that it's such a success. He complains about it to...
Gleek? The hell?
Actually his name's Monkey Kid, and I guess he was the first to be mutated by the Proto-Cola.
"He was lucky to still be alive" says the doctor, after spilling the syrup on a big giant mechanical piece of foreshadowing. Doctor Mayhem is set to release his latest wicked plan, which is to unleash an army of robots on the city. Meanwhile, outside of the Proto-Cola factory, we finally meet our defenders.
Two Proto-Cola delivery people named Brett (AKA, Big Southern Fred Jones) and Wendy (Who carrys around a tool box, and has a very orgasmic over the top voice), an electrician named Mary, Who was apparently originally voiced by Whoopi Goldberg, but you can easily tell that the voice was removed prior to the video's released.
Wow, so even Whoopi didn't want a part of this... yet had no problem doing Pinocchio 3000. Hmmmm...
There's also their dog (who never gets an official name prior to his mutation)
When Bret and Wendy don't get paid by Doctor Mayhem, they enter the factory. They free Monkey Kid, and discover Mayhem's robot army. But before they can do anything about it, Mayhem catches them, as our heroes get sent into a giant vat, ready to be drowned in Proto-Cola. However, Monkey Kid is easily able to free himself, and he tries to free the others. However, a conveniently placed banana peel sends him accidentally crashing into the on switch, as the Proto-Cola dumps on our heroes. While all that's happening, Doctor Mayhem, and his robot cronies invade a nearby construction site, and destroy everything in sight.
Monkey Kid drops an electrical wire into the Proto-Cola vat, causing an explosion. In the process, it creates our Defenders of Dynatron City.
Mary becomes Miss Megawatt, with the power of electricity. The unnamed dog becomes Radium Dog. Wendy becomes Buzzsaw Girl, a mermaid-like being with a buzzsaw wheel at the end of her tail (which seems like more of an inconvenience than a great superpower). And Bret becomes Jet Headstrong, with the power to shoot his head like a projectile.
And Wendy's toolbox also becomes a superhero. Which is interesting, because I didn't think toolboxes had DNA to mutate.
Our newly powererd super team head off to fight Mayhem, without a batlte plan, of course.
They arrive just as Mayhem's robots have taken the city under siege. The newly christened Defenders of Dynatron City begin to defeat the robots. Using their super powers like Jet's rocket head, Buzzsaw Girl's super saw, Radium Dog's power orb/grenade thingy, Miss Megawatt's electric attacks, and Toolbox's.... Patented robot reprograming dance enducer?
You know, for a superhero made from a toolbox, I would have expected something less ri-fucking-diculous.
The heroes end up victorious. The robots are smited, and Dr. Mayhem retreats. Back at his lair/cola factory, he laments over only having the useless robot head as mentioned earlier.
Useless that is, until he realises there's an on switch.
Our villain, ladies and gentlemen. Brilliant enough to create a city of mutants. Stupid enough to not take credit. Stupider enough to not know how to use his own contraptions.
The giant robot head calls himself Atom Ed (And is voiced by Tim Curry). His power is to bring inanimate machinery to life. This pleases Mayhem so much, that he cackles all the way through the commercial break.
The Defenders make it to the Proto-Cola factory. While Monkey Kid tries to inform them that they need a plan, the Defenders prefer the "smashy smashy" approach instead. This plan fails of course, as Mayhem uses Atom Ed to defeat the Defenders using newly animated machinery. With the Defenders defeated, Mayhem has Atom Ed bring his whole factory to life, and sends it to destroy Dynatron City. Monkey Kid chastises the crew for not taking this whole hero thing seriously, and the crew finally come up with a plan.
After freeing themselves, the main heroes battle the newly animated factory, as Monkey Kid tries to dismantle Atom Ed. They manage to trip the factory, sending it crashing into the ground, and Monkey Kid defeats Atom Ed by using the off switch. Atom Ed crashes into Mayhem's ship, which sends the two of them into a trash bin, that gets carried off by a tidal wave of Proto-Cola.
Our heroes celebrate a job well done, while realizing there may be other dangers ahead, so they need all the regular items, like a command centre, vehicles, a fan club, a series that lasted more than a pilot. You know, the essentials.
However, unbeknownst to our defenders, Dr. Mayhem, and Atom Ed have wound up in a sewer, creating an army of fly soldiers from the Proto Cola. The episode ends with Dr. Mayhem vowing he'll be back.I guess that vow fell on deaf ears, as he never did. Nor did this show.
And that's Defenders of Dynatron City. An interesting idea on paper, but poorly executed. The heroes weren't all that dynamic. The plot was shoddy, even for a pilot. I will admit, if given a better polish job, there could've been some hope. But, in the end, it's just another piss poor Dic cartoon.
And one other irksome thing is that the villain's motivations were really moronic. He creates a mutated paradise, but is too much of a tyrant just to take the credit and leave things as is. He comes off as a very confusing, moronic, and somewhat stereotypical mad scientist. But one thing's for sure, no matter how insane, evil, and cold hearted he is...
He's got nothing on this asshole.
Especially when this show is a dud.
Ah, Captain Planet. If only every cartoon could deliver such joyous amounts of fail. Yep, we're talking about the Cap and his posse of planet protecting global goofballs once again. When last we left our heroes, they tackled the HIV virus, and the predjudice of a bloodthirsty town that was ready, willing, and able to lynch a kid infected by it. But thanks to our strange blue man in a red speedo, the town soon learns the error of it's ways. Now, you're wondering, what could possibly be a bigger challenge to the Planeteers than a deadly virus?
Why, Adolf Hitler and the A-Bomb of course.
If this is your facial reaction to that little revelation, I wouldn't blame you. Yes, having dealt with pretty much every major and minor environmental threat, it was time for the show to deal with the greatest villain in world history, the friggin fuhrer. But if that wasn't enough, we have to deal with the A-Bomb (not from A-Ri), a crippled kid, and plenty of paradoxes, each more maddening than the last.
So let's waste no more time, and let's see how the captain makes this happen. Let's review this thing.
We open our episode with our villain du jour Dr. Blight finishing up her time portal, with her computer sidekick MAL (Voiced by Tim Curry), constantly being a whiny bitch. Upon activating the portal, she is greeted by the future version of herself, with her annoying sidekick GAL (Voiced by Kath Soucie). Future Blight is pissed that in her time, the world is rid of bombs and all kaboom-related material. So the two come up with a plan to build a nuclear warhead, and sell it to the highest bidder. But since you can't just walk into a store and buy plutonium, the time gap gals steal some from a truck. Gaia briefs the Planeteers about the purloined plutonium, and they head off to stop them.
However, the weather starts to get rough, as the Blights' ship's too heavy to handle the storm. Both Blights fight over who keeps the plutonium, but then quickly reconsile, and enter their handy dandy time portal, with plutonium in tow. The Planeteers are also stupid enough to fly in a lightning storm, and almost crash. But before they're goners, they summon our favoirte blue fashion victim, who keeps the ship in the air. Upon landing, the group gets confronted by German soldiers. Cap makes short work of them, as the planeteers escape. Gaia warns our heroes of the Blight duo's plans, as Cap decides to take a break for now.
Our heroes land one a minefield. and are saved by a one legged girl named Tai Li, a victim of said minefield . She decides to aid our heroes in the fight against the Blights and their bomb. Meanwhile, the bomb is complete, and the Blights are ready to sell it to "The Fuhrer"
Oh, I'm sorry, I meant Adolf Fu Man Chu.
Which brings us to the big question, why are we making such a drastic change to the image of one of the biggest pricks in history? Hell, it's not like the kids who watch this show don't likely have a grip on who Adolf Hitler was, or weren't going to soon enough. So unless there's Fox News really does own the rights to Hitler's likeness, why are we lacking in the infamous Hitler stache? Now, before you can say "maybe it's not supposed to be Hitler", deep down, you know that's who this is supposed to be. The fact that they play up how evil the sumbitch is pretty much sums up all the evidence needed to confrim that that is indeed the Adolf we all know and not love.
The blights give the Nazis a demonstration of what the bomb can do by blowing up an abandoned village. Despite the concern of the bomb being too powerful, The Fuhrer is impressed enough to bid 75 million deutschmarks for their bomb. Meanwhile, the Planeteers find Blight's ship, and force MAL to activate the time machine. However, since the time machine is damaged, they won't have much time in the past. The Planeteers enter the time machine, but not before sticking a magnet on MAL, set to scramble his memory if they don't return.
Our heroes arrive as The Fuhrer wins the bidding war over the nuke. The Fuhrer holds a gun on them, while turning on the Blights in the process. However, Future Blight accidentally activates the countdown on the nuke. The Planeteers summon Captain Planet, who arrives just in time.
However, the mere sight of the Fuhrer begins to weaken Captain Planet. Apparently evil of his magnitude is one of Cap's weaknesses. But we all know it's probably really that caterpiller on The Fuhrer's face. However, despite The Fuhrer's "Super Evil", Captain Planet still manages to get the bomb into space, possibly destroying a planet or so due to the magnitude of the blast.
The US military shows up to arrest the nazis, as the Planeteers return to the present with the Blights in tow. Tai Li gives one of the soldiers a letter before leaving, warning about the dangers of the minefields. However, in a twist, the military get a hold of the Blight atomic bomb recipe. So, technically, the bad guys sorta won? Dr. Blight is responsible for the Hiroshima Bombing? Adolf Hitler honestly thought that mustache was a good idea?
Tai Li never loses her leg?
Man, the paradoxes this episode is causing are staggering.
And that's "A Good Bomb is Hard to Find". This episode is surprisingly stupider than the aids ep. From the plot itself, "The Fuhrer", the multiple time paradoxes, and the fact that the villains technically win in the end, this episode is a confusing mess. I understand the environmental messages behind the ep. The minefields, nuclear bombing, the evils of war. All really good messages. But they could've been handled much better than in a strange world war II plot such as this. A good bomb IS hard to find, and apparently so is a good episode of Captain Planet.
But I guess it could be worse. This episode could've been a really dark story about drugs or something...
A Beastly Abortion
It's no secret that in the world of Disney, there have been some major stinkers. Like, for instance, Aladdin. A movie so bad, that I had a hard time sitting through it one year ago today. But as bad as that wretched dreck is, it's nothing on the Razzie nominated bomb, Beauty and the Beast. A movie with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Memorable Characters? Nope.
Good Story? No sir.
Entertaining musical score? No way.
It's a steaming, stinking, pile of tooncrap that needs to be given a much needed slap around. So, let's not waste any more time. Let's review this stinker.
We open our film with a shot of Beauty and the Beast dancing, with a very bland song playing in the background.
Now, the first thing I gotta note is how bad the animation is. I know this movie was a year before Aladdin, but wow is this a step down for the animation department at Disney. And it doesn't get any better. And the 2nd is, um, spoiler alert perhaps? It's not even a minute into this film, and already it's looking like a happy ending.
After this quick song, we meet our protagonist, Beauty. Which is odd, because I swear most people refer to her as Belle, and the misleading cover art has her a brunette. Still, this is our hero. She greets her rich bitch sisters Elisha and Pauline, who are quick to mock Beauty's enjoyment of helping the poor. Hmm, uppity ugly sisters? Why do I get the feeling I've seen this shtick before? Oh right, it's similiar in the 1951 classic Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, only they were evil conjoined twin sisters.
Meanwhile, their father is coming to the realization that the clerks he hired to run his businesses have robbed him blind. Leaving him, his sons and daughters, headded straight to the poor house. So, the family end up moving into a farm. But, not even 2 minutes later in this film, good news seems to come around for them again, as one of their ships has docked, with possible spices and other valuable ilk. The sisters bicker their father for stuff on the possibility of their reclaimed wealth, while Beauty only wants a rose, because she's an uber babyface.
However, upon inspection of the ship, Father's hopes of reclaiming his fortune are dashed, as there's no ilk or spices of any kind. And, as if his day couldn't blow any more, during a lightning storm he ends up lost in the woods. He eventually finds a castle, and despite not seeing anybody around, assumes he's welcomed in. He makes himself at home, eats a meal, and nods off for the night. The next day, Father begins to head home, but not before taking a rose to give Beauty. This however, causes the weather to get windy and ominous for some reason, and it also introduces us to the Beast.
The Beast throws a hissy fit over Father taking one of his precious roses, ready to murder the literally poor man. When Father mentions that he was going to give it to Beauty, Beast devises a new plan. Have Father send Beauty to die at the Beast's hands instead, or he can just give Beauty the rose, and still be killed by the Beast. And if he doesn't comply, he'll just kill them both for the helluvit. For a Disney character, he's pretty damn bloodthirsty.
Okay, that seemed too silly to be accidental..
So, Father decides to give Beauty the rose, and sacrifice his own life. However, when Beauty becomes guilt tripped over the rose, she offers to go instead. The two head to the castle and meet with the bloodthirsty Beast. The deal becomes final, with Beauty now forced to stay in the castle forever, while her Father is sent home with tons of treasure to "lessen the pain". But in all honesty, it's a way of saying "Thanks for letting me perform horrible acts on your fair daughter." This angers the old codger, but Beauty forces him to leave with treasure in tow. That night, Beauty is ready for the beastialty that awaits her, but instead...
Gets a maid?
Actually, this is Clara. An enchantress that just so happens to live at the castle as the Beast's house... I mean castlekeeper. After we're introduced to this useless character, Beast shows up and informs Beauty that he's gone soft, and will not kill her. She's welcome to whatever she wants, except for escape of course. He then makes mention of wanting to marry her, to which she somewhat dreads/seems turned on to. That night, she looks for her bedroom when...
OH SHIT! IT'S THE PHANTOM BLOT!!!
No, it's just Clara tangled in a black sheet. She informs Beauty of where her room is. The room is decked out for her, containing a big bed and plenty of dresses. Beauty nods off, but in the middle of the night, she's visited by the fairy of the castle.
How many friggin' people live in this damn place?
The fairy warns Beauty that despite the Beasts supposed kind intentions, he's really a stone hearted prick. 6 months pass, as Beauty is more accustomed to castle life. She talks to Clara about the fairy's warnings, but Clara tells her that since the Beast is obviously been kind for half a year, then obviously the fairy was full of crap. That night, Beast asks Beauty to go to the balcony and dance with him. Gotta say, this is a very underwhelming scene. All the stuff I heard about great special effects, and a great song is actually just a quick 40 second scene at best. No wonder this earned Disney a Razzie nom. This is shameful.
Beast intentions weren't just to dance, but to pop the question. However, Beauty declines. I guess six months of kindness, and free accomodations wasn't enough to throw the poor sod a bone. She asks to visit her family. He begins to complain that he'll die of lonliness, but she assures him that she'll come back in a week. He eventually sees it her way, and lets her go. He gives her a magic ring that can apparently give her the power to teleport back home, and back to the castle if she desires. They dance again to the same reused animation, and Beauty heads off to sleep. But not before the fairy comes back to in her dream to tell Beauty to just leave without returning, and letting Beast die in the process. Beauty doesn't buy it, until the fairy informs her that he's a killer. And for her big finale, shoots a blast of light in the sky, which causes the voices of Beasts victims to wail out to Beauty. So, in a nutshell, the poor girl's got some stuff to mull over.
Just as Beast promised, the ring causes her to return back home to her once again wealthy family. She informs the family about the ring and that the Beast will be dead in a week, and that she plans to return. This arouses the ire of Pauline and Elisha, who plan to keep her past the week, so Beast will die, and she'll have to envy them. Yep, she's going to envy these two nasally hags because they aided in the murder of someone she considers a friend.
Pauline and Elisha blow.
And despite their obvious bitchiness, she gives in and continues to stay. However, before Beauty can commit lonelycide on the Beast, Clara shows up to bring Beauty back to the castle. She returns to notice the flowers wilted, and Beast unconscious on the balcony. She heads to his side...
But sadly, Beast is dead.
Oh right, this is a Disney film. We need a quick fix happy ending. And in this case, the power of Beauty's tears not only revive the Beast...
But also manage to turn him human. Alright then.
Actually, it's her "pure heart" and her allowing to be his wife that actually broke the spell. So, the two dance one more time, and the movie finally comes to an end.
And that's Disney's Beauty and the Beast. What a pile of trash. Bad animation, no songs, awful voice acting, and and absolute lackluster plot. This was a major step down from what Disney had brought with their 1989 animated classic "The Littlest Hobo". It's a snorefest of a film with plot holes. In the end, what was the point of the fairy? Clara was the best comic relief they could come up with? This movie is a black eye that Disney has never recovered from. This is almost embarrasing as the infamous "Song of the South Dakota". It's a beautifully disasterous pile of tooncrappy drek.
But considering the cult fanbase this movie has, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm not seeing the positives this may have. Maybe I didn't give it a chance. Maybe I just reviewed a really bland Golden Video version as a lame April Fools prank. Who knows? Oh wait, I DO know.
Well, hey. Whaddya know? After 16 months of inactivity, I've actually decided to return to the realm of the awfully animated. so with that said...
Welcome once again, ladies and gentlemen to the long awaited return of Tooncrap: Animated Atrocities. The review article that dives headfirst into the realm of the animated, and pulls out the grimy, gooey, cruddy gunk that lives within it. And to celebrate my 16 months of procrastination, I bring you a cartoon about pogs.
Remember Pogs? Those little milk caps that everyone was collecting for a couple of months? Quite frankly with the reboot of so many toys as of late, I'm surprised there hasn't been a second coming of pog yet. But with us slowly getting into the 90's revival, I wouldn't be shocked if we see pogs coming back big time in the next few years. It's time to bring pogs back, in pog form.
So yeah, Pogs dominated the world for about a year or so, and of course were extremely popular. And as I've said many a time on this blog, anything popular has had a cartoon made out of it. And of course, this was another classic Dic move. We've talked about Dic a lot haven't we? They've had their fair share of bad failed pilots. From the bland Battletoads, to not very dynamic Defenders of Dynatron City. So, it's only natural that they make a superhero cartoon from flippin' pogs. And thus, Legend of the Hawaiian Slammers was born.
So, let's slam into this slop, and review this thing.
The opening theme song is pretty much your standard mid-90's theme song. All the footage is from the episode, just like every other Dic pilot you've seen at this point. The theme tells us that the Hawaiian Slammers (Hawaiian Slam, Slam Slammers) strike like hammers. There's Slammers of Darkness and slammers of Light. And when they get together, they fight fight fight. And when I hear this song, I get annoyed, annoyed annoyed. Now I'll be fair, the song has a strong beat and all, but I realize that this is still a cartoon about trying to make fucking pogs sound awesome.
We open the episode near a volcano in Hawaii, as we see our villain, a mad scientist (as if there are any other kinds in cartoons) breaking apart a piece of stone with a laser. inside the rock is a slammer of darkness. The doctor spins the slammer on the ground and it begins to crackle and glow. Smoke fills the room, and suddenly we see the appearance of...
Actually this cheerful fellow is known as the Shadow Slammer, who can bring darkness to the heart, and terror to whoever he touches.
And despite his clear badassery, he is bound to the control of the one who freed him. Namely Dr. Sheamus here. He tells the doctor that there are nine other slammers. Five slammers of darkness, five slammers of light. Collect them all, one in each McDonald's happy meal!
We then head to a playground, where we meet our protagonist, Ronnie. Because, you know, for a cartoon based on Hawaii, it's only right to have our main protagonist be a blonde, white kid. He proves to be a master of Pog.. I mean Slammers (Don't want to get our butts sued now), which is apparently done by spinning the slammer over certain flipped over caps. I don't recall playing it like that, but then again, I mostly collected the caps, I barely ever played the game.
Meanwhile, inside the volcano, Shadow Slammer and the mad doctor find another slammer, one with a sun emblem on it. But before they can claim it, lava begins to fill the area, and the volcano erupts, shooting the slammer out in the process. Well, clearly we wont be seeing that slammer again, so there's like 8 more to collect, right?
Mr. Capamaui seems like that one old guy who just sounds really dumb trying to be so hip. He also has a weird Jamaican accent that goes in and out from a normal accent.
Even Wolf-Mon would be slightly offended
While he teaches Ronnie how to do "the riff by Eric Clapton", the doctor finally arrives, and wants the slammer that Ronnie took. Shadow Slammer appears, and Mr. Capamaui is quite impressed, but then again he's already high as fuck. Shadow Slammer presents his distaste in rock music by smashing Mr. Capamaui's guitar. Ronnie drops his caps on the ground, along with the sun slammer. It spins about, and from it comes...
This slammer is one of light (duh), and pledges his loyalty to Ronnie. This pisses off the doctor, who sends Shadow Slammer to fight him. Of course, since Ronnie didn't command him to fight, the sun slammer won't attack, so Ronnie tells him to. I know there's this whole loyalty thing and all, but dammit, YOU'RE STILL GETTING YOUR ASS HANDED TO YOU!
He uses his Care-Bear stare to get rid of No-Heart (actually, he shoots a beam out of the logo on his... no wait, I was right the first time) as well as light beams from his hands. Wait a sec... Our main hero is blonde, powered by the sun, and can shoot beams from his hands?
Shadow Slammer gets his ass handed to him, and the doctor (who we finally learn is named Karl Von Fragmen) swears revenge on Ronnie. the day is saved for now... with the exception that Mr. Capamaui's house is destroyed and all, as he laments about it with his accent that shifts from Jamaican, to a weird sorta Scottish. With police and news teams heading to the scene, Ronnie fears about being seen by his folks. The sun slammer, (or simply knows as Sun) uses a bright light to blind everyone as they make their escape.
And it's time for backstory. 3000 years ago, Hawaii was calm, peaceful, and serene. That is, until the big volcano woke up, and somehow created a rift in space and time, because you know, lava has the power to do that. It managed to release the five slammers of darkness.
Or Fire, Storm, Lead, Fire, and Shadow Slammers respectively. The five of them spread havoc and destruction all over Hawaii. To stop them, five light slammers arrive.
But Slammers are immortal, so this would just keep going for centuries. So, to stop them, the light slammers, managed to hold the dark slammers long enough to turn them into round metal discs for collecting. The slammers were buried inside the volcano in a really nice looking burial site. Over the years, earthquakes and eruptions eventually led to the release of Shadow and Sun. And then we get some obvious filler that only good people can control the light slammers, and only evil can control the dark ones. Let's be honest, he spun it on the fucking ground, and it worked. That's the trick, it could probably have been anyone, instead of this generic kid with no interesting gimmick, or anything that makes him worthwhile.
Knowing that Von Fragmen would be after the other slammers, Sun and Ronnie head into the volcano to recover them. At first Ronnie is tepid to do it, but, as Ronnie says "If Indiana Jones can do it, so can he." Did Indy ever enter a Hawaiian volcano? Don't recall that.
*waits to be immediately corrected*
Of course, after a while, Ronnie begins to moan about not being able to do it, despite Sun's attempts to give him a dose of added vigor. Ronnie tries to convince Sun that he's no hero, and that he just tripped over a piece of Lava. Sun tries to convince that he was drawn to him by fate. No, HE FUCKING TRIPPED OVER A PIECE OF LAVA!
Ronnie and Von Fragmen summon the rest of the slammers, and they all brawl. It's an okay, yet forgettable fight. However, the volcano begins to erupt in the middle of the fight. Despite Ronnie's plea for the light slammers to escape, Sun tells him that they must stay to stop the Shadow Slammers. So much for that whole "command them to do whatever" stuff. Ronnie and Von Fragmen manage to escape the volcano before it erupts. The rest of the slammers turn back into caps, and Sun places them all back in the burial site. Ronnie laments on the whole situation, and trips over another rock...
And that's Legend of the Hawaiian Slammers. And boy, is it bad.
Admittedly, on paper, there is some cool ideas, decent designs for the slammers, and even though milk toast and bland, we have an okay protagonist in Ronnie, and a stock yet decent villain in Karl Von Fragmen. But everything else is just stupid. The plot is so rehashed from damn near every mid 90's superhero cartoon on the market at the time. And it's a forgettable toy commercial cartoon, about pogs. POGS! I mean, how silly is a cartoon idea about pogs. That would be like making a cartoon about magical playing cards.
Okay, then I know for damn sure there wasn't any cartoon about the Rubik's Cube.
I guess the moral of the story is, we really were given a bunch of crappy toy cartoons. And I guess I gotta be the one to review them. TOONCRAP IS BACK BITCHES!!! And I promise it won't take 16 months for the next review.
Drugs are bad, MMMkay?
Oh Captain Planet. I've made you my big blue whipping boy ever since I started this blog. That's not to say he hasn't deserved it sometimes, but honestly, it's getting kinda sad now.But considering that my most viewed induction was the infamous Aids episode, I guess it's only appropriate to take one more ride with the Planeteers. So, what crazy non-environmental adventure are we on today? Street gangs? Cancer? Ma-Ti getting a more useful power?
No, this one is on drugs.
Ah yes, back when every cartoon and sitcom had that "very special episode" that taught you the evils of drugs. I'm sorry, but if Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue proved anything, it's that these are always poorly handled, cliched, and extremely nonsensical. So, going into the cartoon which focuses mainly on environmental protection, that doesn't exactly bode well for me when it comes to having high hopes.
So let's get to dealing with mind pollution. Let's review this thing.
We open the episode with a young teen in Washington D.C running the streets, even past the White House. He ends up in an alley, as a pusher offers him a drug called Bliss.
The pusher is none other than our old pal Verminous Skumm, who offers the kid yellowish pills for the right price..The drug turns the kid's eyes red, and puts him into a fit of the giggles. Blissfully unaware that he was almost hit by a bus during his good vibes. So, the main plot of this tale involves Skumm getting kids high on drugs? Well, it's a step up from "Let's all hate the aids kid" I guess.
Meanwhile at Planeteer HQ, the group are working on their plane, as Soviet Hardass Linka supervises. Linka is acually taking a week long break to visit her uncle and cousin Boris at the Soviet Embassy in Washington. Though one has to wonder, what if the Planeteers had an emergency, and couldn't get Linka ASAP? #1, they wouldn't have wind power, and 2nd, they wouldn't be able to summon Captain Planet.
I get family comes first, but come on now.
She is welcomed happily by her uncle, but notices her cousin Boris (the kid we saw earlier) isn't acting all "Charmink" as she once knew him to be. He takes another Bliss pill and covers his eyes with shades. At least he didn't put them on in front of CM Punk. And that fills in this induction's "Topical wrestling joke that will be dated in a week" joke.
While conversing with Boris, Linka notices a cut on his forehead, that occurred when he hit the curb after nearly being splattered by a bus the previous night. Linka tries to clean the wound, but Boris knocks the alcohol on the stove, while Boris' father was making food. This causes the entire room to explode into flames. Linka uses her wind ring to spray baking soda in the room to clear up the flames. I dunno. For a big blaze, and such a small box of baking soda, I don't think this would have fully worked. But this is the same guy who didn't think dragging your hand on a maze would help you get out.
Tooncrap: Not a viable source for fire safety tips or solving maze puzzles.
While cycling to the Russian cafeteria for blintses, Linka tells Boris about her ring's power of wind, which he would gladly exchange some Bliss to use. Linka flips over the sight of the drugs, and accidentally causes the bag to rip, spilling the pills down a conveniently placed sewer grate. Boris cycles off for more...
Boris tries his damnedest to score more Bliss, but Skumm jacks the price higher than what Boris currently has. However, Skumm changes his tune when Boris reveals that he can find a way to get Linka to him. Boris refuses, but Skumm gives him quite the conundrum to think about.
Linka returns to her uncle's to learn that the embassy has been vandalized by Bliss-popping druggies. Boris shows up and embraces his cousin, and offers her a snack of a Bliss-roofied Blintz. A week passes by, and the Planeteers begin to worry due to no signs of Linka throughout the week. Gaia decides to wait the whole friggin' week to tell them about the Bliss epidemic in Washington, as the streets are in a state of anarchy due to the people wanting more of the drug. They begin to worry that Linka has fallen prey to Skumm's trap, but of course Wheeler doubts that she would do drugs.
The Planeteers waste no more time and They stop in Washington, while taking a quick visit to see honest Abe, to which Ma-Ti has no clue of. So, they've hopped the planet a lot, and THIS is the first time in Washington? Well, their sight seeing tour is put on hold, by a group of strung out Bliss-zombies. Wheeler tries to keep them at bay with his fire ring, but they'd gladly walk through the fire if it meant more Bliss. The only way to stop these druggies is with the blue man in the speedo...
"one more note. Battletoads wasn't teh only cartoon to have a pilot air on TV. in the mid 90's, another video game character tried his hand in the animated series department, but failed to get past the pilot. his name? Bubsy the bobcat."
What I just quoted was the end paragraph of the very first Tooncrap article done all the way back in 2008. Complete with my severe lack of a spell check, and likely my overuse of "it's". I had mentioned the Bubsy cartoon, but never got around to it. Now, today is that day to put this bobcat to rest.
A little back story. Back in the mid-90's, the gaming industry was taken by storm by Sonic the Hedgehog, who's anthropomorphic design, and hip attitude won the hearts of so many gamers. With the success of Sonic, would naturally come several infamous knock-off mascots for various game companies. These included the likes of Awesome Possum, and Aero the Acro-Bat.
But none were as mildly successful as Accolade's wacky bobcat in the white shirt, Bubsy. His debut title "Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind" proved to be a solid seller for both the SNES and Genesis consoles respectively. So, naturally Accolade planned to strap the rocket to their chatterbox cat with his own animated series.
Though all we would end up getting was a one-shot special. And thankfully, that's all we got because the world is a better place without an animated series based off a really shitty Sonic knockoff. So, what could possibly go wrong? Let's see for ourselves as we review this thing.
Yeah kids. Listen to the psychotic cartoon bobcat. Nothing could possibly go wrong.
He then gets sent spinning into his kitchen where he... eats cereal, and throws his dishes in the sink. Then he goes down a slide, and breakdances, and that's the intro. So, out of that near minute we learn really nothing about the character, other than he's hyperactive, and reckless. We then see the bumper which reminds us again "What could possibly go wrong?"
Already I hate this character, I'm already sick of his catchphrase, and I'm only at the intro folks.
At least it's not the name of the episode or...
Seriously, it's not even that catchy a catchphrase. It's no "What's Up Doc?" or "Yabba Dabba Do". All it is, is a really lame statement, that clearly is used as a way to prove Murphy's Law right. And that's just kinda dumb. I dare say it, "What Could Possibly Go Wrong" is worse than YOLO. Yeah, I said it. Okay, now back to the actual episode.
We sprawl througha land of houses made of geometric shapes, into the home of our purrtagonist, Bubsy (voiced by Rob Paulsen? Oh no. What manner of evil is this?). We see an armadillo named Arnold having bad dreams about being hit by a truck. Bubsy wakes him up by blowing into his tail, which I'm guessing will be the least of his harassment worries for this episode. Bubsy reminds Arnold that he wants him to be his sidekick, which Arnold immediately freaks out because he doesn't want to be his sidekick. So Bubsy kidnaps people and holds them against their will? Our hero folks. Ain't he lovely?
Bubsy's nephew and niece (named Terry and Terri. Creative :P ) show up, which freaks Arnold out, because they're surprisingly worse than Bubsy. Bubsy hides him under the couch, then immediately rats him out, like any best friend would. While they pull at Arnold, Bubsy turns on the TV, which just happens to air a news report about armadillos being hit by a truck. He turns into a ball, to which the twins then use as a basketball.
Jesus fucking christ, I feel so bad for this guy. He's being held against his will, and tortured, and beaten on. Clearly this was meant to be because he's the comic relief, but I'm not laughing. It sheds the other protagonists in a bad light, and really makes Bubsy and his terror tots even more detestable. Our heroes folks.
We then get an interview with a scientist by the name of Virgil Reality (ha), who has created a helmet that can make anyone's imagination come to life. This pleases Bubsy, and scares me. Becuase most likely his imagination involves armadillo sacrifices. Oh, and the twins use Arnold as a bowling ball. Lovely.
With Virgil needing a lunatic who'd test his helmet, Bubsy gladly answers the call, because even he admits that he's a fucking loony. Also, because he's brave, craves adventure, and has to go where no bobcat has gone before. All of which is littered with stock footage clips. Oh, and he's a hero for crying out loud "If that's a crime, then book me"
No, but animal abuse, and kidnapping. Those are big crimes.
Oh, and he utters the catchphrase. Ugh.
But of course, Bubsy isn't the only one interested in the helmet, as we meet our villain, a rotund evil rich cat named Allie (Allie Cat? Get it? WELL DO YOU???). She sends for her two minions, a buzzard chef named Boswell, and a hungry and brain damaged shrew named Sid. She tells them that despite being the richest creature in the world, she still wants more. Don't they all.
Meanwhile, Bubsy and his crew show up to test the helmet, all while Virgil and his assistant Oblivia constantly mispronounce Bubsy's name. Because, you know, it's so hard to remember. Virgil tells Bubsy that by thinking of something, then blinking twice, whatever you want will come to life. And of course, while warning Bubsy to be precise with his thoughts is interrupted because the asshole is too much in a rush. Bubsy says he wants to fly, because "What could possibly go wrong?"
God dammit, every time I hear that phrase, I want to punch something.
Yeah, forget that you almost killed yourself, your relatives, and innocent people. Fuck you Bubsy, just fuck you.
And if Bubsy wasn't bad with the helmet, his nephew and niece then take it the helmet, and sneak off. Hopefully they imagine themselves drowning.
While they fight over possession of the helmet, Boswell and Sid arrive, noticing that they have the helmet, and plan to kidnap the two to eat, while giving Allie the helmet. As the two bobcats imagine ponies in powerboats (I don't believe the bronies have done art of that yet), the villainous duo try to capture them. Only to end up on a roller coaster due to the helmet.
Finally realizing the twins took the helmet, Bubsy and the rest of the "heroes" exit the lab, only to see they're standing on roller coaster tracks, while the world has become an amusement park. Bubsy tries to calm down Arnold. How? BY SAYING THAT FUCKING CATCHPHRASE!!!
Which leads to Arnold being hit by the car the twins are riding. Seriously, Arnold. If I could get you out of there, I would.
Bubsy suggest that he and Arnold be heroes, and take the bull by the horns.
I give them an A for something different, but literal jokes centred around stock footage aren't funny. They just aren't. Especially not in the context of this piece of garbage cartoon. They also seem out of place in a show that's entirely animated, and has no bearing to the real world. Plus, since there aren't humans in this show, doesn't that just make things even more nonsensical. Fuck, this show...
It's time to be heroes, for crying out loud! Because... GRRARARAAHAHHHH "WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG??"
"EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING IN THIS FUCKING CARTOON HAS GONE WRONG! STOP FUCKING TRYING TO FORCE THAT DOWN OUR THROATS! IT'S NOT CATCHY, IT'S NOT CREATIVE, IT'S NOT IMAGINATIVE! IT'S A LAME SAYING BY A LAME CARTOON CHARACTER, ON A LAME CARTOON, TRYING TO PRETEND THAT IT'S COOL, FUNNY, OR CREATIVE! AND IT'S NONE OF THOSE THINGS! SO FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CUT IT THE FUCK OUT!!!!!!!!!!"
You know what. Anything I ever said about YOLO, I take it back. That's a far more creative saying. Or how about one I just came up with. "Murphy's Law, Mofos!"
"I'm going to go make a campfire near these full oil drums, because Murphy's Law, Mofos!"
"I'm gonna pet this rabid dog. It's okay, because Murphy's Law, Mofos!"
"I'm gonna review a cartoon about a shitty, forgettable 90's cartoon character. Will it affect my sanity? Murphy's Law, Mofos!"
...And the worst part is... there's still 12 minutes left. Let's continue...
Bubsy and Arnold end up getting stuck behind the Twins' roller coaster car, as it goes up and down the tracks, while wondering if Boswell (who they keep referring to as a turkey, because LAUGH!!!) will puke. They use the helmet to stop the car, causing everyone but Terry and Terri to fall to their deaths, which the duo approve of. If their reign of terror couldn't get any worse, they turn into giants and step on Bubsy and Arnold.
Bubsy and Arnold chew the two out for their recklessness and the fact that they could have destroyed the world. Well, you know, you brought them along asswipe, you're just as much to blame. Sid and Buzz try to nab the helmet, and they fail again. Bubsy proclaims that he's saved the entire planet, What could poss....
(8 more minutes. Just eight more. You can do it. You survived Madballs, you can survive this!)
Even Arnold finally chews him out on that fucking catchphrase as Boswell and Sid finally get the helmet and the twins by just bumping into them and taking it. Rather underwhelming, but then again, it's progress in this damn cartoon. Now with possession of the helmet, Allie, you know, the villain from earlier? I could imagine you forgot her amongst this chaos? Anyway, she imagines everything from giant rings, to love seats. Bubsy finally starts to realize that things actually CAN go wrong,and uses Arnold to hit himself on the head.
This act clearly is enough to raise Bubsy's spirit, as he goes off to save the twins. All while Arnold is still being electrocuted mind you. Because, you know, it's such a larf. Instead of using a tracking device, he just calls up Sid and Boswell, and tricks Sid into just giving their address to him.
Buzz and Sid inform Allie of Bubsy's impending arrival (which she finds as big an issue as her helmet hair). Bubsy arrives and asks Allie to give the helmet back, before he has to humble her. Old country way? They all fight over the helmet, but it ends up on Sid's head. To which he uses to make a bee and a corn dog (zuh?).
What follows is an extremely rushed bit where almost everyone gets a shot at the helmet. The twins imagine a birthday party, Boswell imagines cooking everyone up. Oblivia imagines marrying Bubsy (Where the fuck did that even come from?) Arnold imagines the truck (Again) and Oblivia imagines her own TV show. Can't possibly be worse than this TV show.
Bubsy regains the helmet, but unfortunately for him it's in overload, and set to explode on his head. So, he imagines something crazy (which we never see), and manages to tie up the villains. Bubsy has saved the day, and tells Arnold that you have to live on the edge, and be a hero (accompanied, of course with stock footage). He puts the helmet on, ready for his next adventure, only to be electrocuted. But that's okay... Say the line...
What could go wrong is this cartoon lasting longer than a shitty Thanksgiving special that went nowhere. But thankfully it didn't. And I can see why.
The protagonists are unpleasant, unlikable, cruel, wacky without any real substance, and just shit. Pure shit. The story isn't interesting, the villains aren't interesting, the show feels too long, with too much pointless crap going on. It never feels funny, nor exciting. The animation is bland and ugly. And most importantly, that god damn catchphrase isn't catchy. it's annoying.
When I brought Tooncrap back from the grave, I started slow, I'll admit. The last few really didn't deliver the doody. But this? This one is definitely a topper, that stands along Madballs: Gross Jokes as the cartoons I almost tapped out on. But it's done and finished. And this long teased Tooncrap is inducted, and I never have to bother with it again.
And yet, I'd still pick this over Bubsy 3D...
What a load of pony baloney!
Okay, let's be honest, if you're one of the lucky people who know me by now, you know that I, for lack of a better terminology am a male fan of the current rendition of My Little Pony. Yes, that means I am a Brony. Now, before I'm bombarded with either brohoofs, or pitchforks, I'm a fan of this current generation, not so much the other three.
And how can you blame me? The show has earned its popularity with its great writing, excellent mix of action and comedy, and some of my favorite characters of all time.
Welcome all, tooncrappers, the big and the small
to a tale of a film that may make one bawl
For this film I talk of, it fills me with dread
To think that it is real, how that hurts my head
And what be this film that Hollywood did shat?
Why, it's the "whimsical, wonderful" Cat in the Hat.
"But Sin" you may ask, "why give this a look?
The cartoon came out years after the book"
It's close enough for me to write up a tooncrap review
To the unwilling audience, Universal did spew
This film with a creepy, furry Mike Myers
Who you could tell his career was looking dire
There's Dakota Fanning, that kid from I Am Sam
Wait, what's that? She's 18 now? Hooray and hot damn!
There's also that one guy who was on Will and Grace
Thought he'd have any sense to avoid this disgrace
Alec Baldwin? Really? He's in this too?
Were you that desperate for work to do?
I've padded this long enough, this film it will sting
So, let's cut out this rhyming, and review this thing.
So we open with some glimmer of hope in the Universal Logo, and the Dreamworks logo given that Dr. Seuss feel. Both look really nice, especially the Dreamworks logo.
Our tale begins in the town of Anville, a multicoloured metropolis of giant props... and apparently a place where people just buy and sell everything. We then head to Humberfloob Real Estate Industries, a place that stocks hand sanitizer by the dozens, and has a plethora wash stations. Hell, even if you touch the boss with an unwashed hand, you get fired. Sorry, I mean.
After a hiring and firing faster than you can say "Marty Jannetty", the boss of this place, Mr. Humberfloob, sanitizes his hands, and tells the employees that tonight is the meet and greet of one of the employees, Joan Walden. Joan has bigger concerns since her babysitter just quit, but Mr. Humberfloob reminds her that if her house looks like shit again, she's FIYUUUUUU-Ah, you get the drift.
We then head to Liplapper Lane, where all the houses look like white monopoly pieces. Where we meet our protagonists in Joan's kids. We have Sally, who is the neat one who keeps pretty much every single thing in her life organized and planned. She's like Twilight Sparkle, only devoid of personality. And there's Conrad, who is a messy fuck. He raids the house of assorted things, and prepares to go for a stair luge.
Remember that scene in Home Alone where Kevin drove the sled down the stairs? Well, it's like that, only, you know, in a shitty movie. Joan arrives in time, just as Conrad goes flying out the door, as their dog Nevins escapes. She berates him for being so messy, while Sally flatly says that "she tried to warn him".
But the dog is rescued by their neighbour/Joan's boyfriend/bad guy Lawrence Quinn, played by Alec Baldwin. Really? Lawrence Quinn? Joan Walden? With this being Dr. Seuss, I'd expected Joan Whamflamdoodle, or Larry Looselicker, or something that, you know, doesn't sound boring. While both Sally and Joan are fond of Lawrence, Conrad doesn't quite care for him. Doesn't help that Lawrence reminds Joan about the idea of sending Conrad to military academy. Joan is against it, but after making her wet, she seems more eager to the idea.
While Joan gets the phone, Conrad picks a bone. As he's heard Lawrence's plan to ship him off. Lawrence tells him that simply put, he's going to marry his mother, and that he hates him, and is just about to call him a son of a bitch before Joan comes back into the room.
Because hey, Dr. Seuss: Where we almost cuss at children. Aren't you feeling whimsical yet?
After Lawrence leaves, Clint Howard shows up. Finally someone I could see being in a shit movie. He's delivering catering from Kate's catering, oh, and he's named Kate. It's funny, I guess? Conrad tries to convince his mom that Larry (as Conrad calls him) is a phony baloney doucheypants. But his mom is in the middle of a mental flipout due to the stress of the party. But before she can calm down, Mr. Humberfloob (seriously, the only name so far that even sounds like a Seuss name) tells Joan to go back to work. So, Joan leaves them under the supervision of Mrs. Kwan. Mrs. Kwan? Who the hell is
Conrad is grounded, and Sally decides not to go to her former friend Jenny's house, because Jenny once wanted to be head cupcake chef. SALLY IS CUPCAKE CHEF. Oh good god, she's a little Sheldon Cooper. She tells them not to mess, or fight, and certainly not to even touch the living room. Conrad and Joan argue a bit before he wishes he had a different mother. Because, you know, she's the one to blame entirely for this. Mrs. Kwan turns on the tv and invites the two kids to watch some good old fashioned Taiwanese Parliament.
Mrs. Kawn passes out despite the royal parlamentiary rumbling going on, and the two kids, bored off their stones, stare through the window as it starts to rain. Hey, it took 15 minutes, and finally something that actually happens in the damn book! While horsing around, they hear a clatter, and run up the stairs to check on the matter. They check the closet and find nothing. But of course they turn around to find...
Hey look, it's the titular feline in the chapeau at long last. And he's quite the freaky sight. Seriously, nothing about this is the least bit charming. In fact, I dare say, it's quite alarming.
And the kids, who have just laid eyes on a giant humanoid feline thing, do the most logical thing they can. Run like hell. But the abomination follows them, seemingly not getting the fact that he's just traumatized these two kids badly. After trying to hide from him, they finally get introduced to the Cat, who tries to rhyme feline with something appropriate, but fails.
And not even a minute in, this character is annoying. He's obnoxious, he's very scene mugging and scenery chewing.In other words, he's Mike Myers. The kids try to get an explanation to where he comes from, or how he got here, he gives them nothing. Yeah, I know we get no answer in the book, but at least that had more of an excuse. You could have given some worthwhile reason. "I drove" is not a valid answer.
Also, for some reason, he talks like a stereotypical old Jewish person. Why? Do I seem like the kind of person who knows? He surfs down the stairs, and then finds a pic of the kids mom, which gives him a boner.
He then takes Mrs. Kwan, and hangs her in the closet with a coat hanger, in a way of saying "fuck babysitters? Why pay someone to sit on babies, when he can do it for free" He then checks them with something called a Phunometer. Sally is a rulebreaker (or a serial arsonist), and Conrad is a bed wetter? Okay, that mildly not funny. Nah, he's a rule breaker. But you know, we're 20 minutes in, and we already knew this. He then gives the two the worst punishment known to man...
But thankfully this horrid song is cut short thanks
Sally and Conrad's now talking fish gives them the best advice in the movie, and that's simply to not listen to the creepy talking feline.And he's pretty forgettable in this film, so if I barely talk about him, that's why.
So, the song continues with the Cat pretty much telling the kids to have fun, fun, fun. Somehow I think they could have come to that conclusion, some time eventually and without your intrusion.. In the middle of his song, he drinks some milk, bloats up, and makes a giant burp. Get it, because he's a cat, and he's lactose intolerant. It's funny because it's ironic.
Instead of being mortified by whatever the fuck that performance was, the kids love him, and want him to stay. But to stay, the cat makes them sign a contract, complete with the cat's lawyers. So, yeah. The cat has Lawyers now. Because I guess you can be sued for magical mischief. So, yeah, they're stuck with this hyperactive nutjob for the rest of the movie, and they seem to have no regrets about it.He then dresses up as a mechanic to check the couch if it's good for jumping.
While the three of them bounce on the couch, and with the fish in the toilet, Lawrence returns to see what's going on. And of course, the giant cat vanishes, making both Sally and Conrad take the rap for their tomfoolery. We also learn that Lawrence is alergic to cats, as well as a fat slob. He takes some beer and sandwiches, and leaves. Which means it's time for more unfunny nonsense with the cat, like...
A cupcake maker infomercial. Maybe that's what Ron Popeil needs to sell more stuff, wear a cat suit. Well, the cupcakes explode in the oven, causing them to splatter all over the walls. And the cat in the hat uses their mom's dress to wipe of the purple splooge. The cat then tells the two children to calm their knickers, as he has a solution to clean this up quicker. Which means, of course, it's time to introduce Thing 1 and Thing 2.
While introducing the terror twins to Conrad and Sally, he also warns them to not open the crate that the thing came in, because it's the Trans-Dimensionalator, or a portal to the cat's home world. He then puts the things to work cleaning the living room. And, they just mess it up more. Smashing plates, splattering walls, you know, the whole magilla. They even use Mrs. Kwan as a surfboard down the stairs, as her head smashes on each step. Because, you know, she's deserved this abuse so far.
But the fact that these two abominations sent by king abomination are messing the house up is the least of the cat's worries, as Conrad has opened the box, which is now leaking. And with the lock now on the dog's collar, and the dog now lost thanks to the things, they may be looking at the mother of all messes.
Somehow I don't think we'd have to worry if YOU DIDN'T BRING THE FUCKING BOX IN THE HOUSE AND RELEASE THE THINGS, YOU FELINE FUCKTARD!!!!
Using Mrs. Kwan to weigh down the crate (because she's fat), the three set off to find Nevins the dog.
While that goes down, we finally see that not only is Lawrence a slob, but a major one, and a poor slob at that. After his TV gets repossessed, he notices Nevins running down the street. He calls Joan to remind us about the whole military school thing, and goes to get the dog. The trio track Nevins into a neighbour's yard. While sneaking about, they notice that there's a birthday party for one of the kids going on, and Sally wonders why she never got an invitation.
Yeah, I know you're like, 9, so I shouldn't call you a bitch, but... yeah, it's because you're a bitch. I mean, we established early on that you kick friends out because of your control freak attitude, so why would you not expect to be treated with some hatred for your actions. Just saying maybe you should lay off the ego Sheldon- Err, Sally.
In the midst of trying to catch the dog, the party exits the house, ready to break the cat pinata. With the cat unable to escape in time, he takes the place of the pinata. which means, he gets the everloving litter beat of out of him. Finally, something good about this movie. It all comes to an end, when one kid shmashes the cat in the crotch with a giant bat.
So, Thing 1 and Thing 2 use her as a puppet and throw her around the place. Again, I don't understand why this character should be abused so much. If she was a mean person, or had done something deserving of this sort of treatment, then fine. What has she done all movie? Sleep, and watch Taiwanese parliament. That's all. Maybe as always, I'm overlooking this, but yeah, she certainly doesn't deserve so much humiliation and possible brain damage.
Lawrence kidnaps Nevins, in another attempt to send Conrad to military school, as the cat and kids follow him in Cat's weird ass car. And of course, while Nevins is in Lawrence's car, he pees on Lawrence's taco.
Hey, we've had every other bodily function joke so far, so let's add that to the list. I'm just surprised they didn't do it on Dr. Seuss' grave.
After a long driving scene, the trio catch up to Lawrence, and try to devise a plan. Cat wants to go with plan B, which is cut his losses and ditch the kids. Don't you feel that friendly bond between the three? But instead they try to find a way to have Lawrence hand them the dog and the lock, which surprisingly doesn't take too long. The kids get Nevins back, as Lawrence chases them. They enter some sort of booth...
And they run through and exit, and that's never explained. I know someone out there would probably call it a big lipped, something or other, but I don't even think that would constitute it. What the hell was the point of that? I mean if it led to a song, or a big dance number, maybe, but no. Not even that. What a waste of time and money. Wait, I think that describes this whole movie.
Okay, it makes some sense in that the cat loses his magic hat in the process. Still pointless though. With Joan and Lawrence heading home, and no magic powers, the three are royally fucked. Conrad blames himself for this whole mess. Yeah, you were sorta to blame, but I still think the asshole cat was way more responsible.
With the help of the things, the trio try to make it back home before Larry and Joan do. While that's going down, we still have the other plot point happening.
While Joan gets stalled, Lawrence uses a motorcycle made by the Things to rush back to the house, just as Conrad, Sally, and the Cat arrive. The cat causes Lawrence to have a sneezing fit, which causes him to fall to his assumed death in the now mother of all messes.
With the house destroyed, and the cat elated, Sally and Conrad finally have had enough of his furry foolishness, cast him out. With Joan on her way home, the two await their fate. But the Cat arrives, now willing to help them fix the house with his magic since they learned their lesson. Oh, the cat never lost his magic hat, or any powers. Making that whole dance scene even more pointless. So with the magic of a montage, they clean up the house, and the cat and kids say their goodbye for nows.
Joan arrives home to see the house spotless, and Lawrence covered in purple glop, spouting nonsense about a giant cat. So, finally realizing the asshole he is, Joan finally gets rid of Larry. So, the movie ends with the meet and greet a success, the kids happy, and the cat still an annoying fuck, the end.
What have we learned from the Cat in the Hat?
This film universal pictures did shat.
Story annoying, the humour quite crass
piss jokes, sex jokes, and even cat ass.
Now I'm not a sourpuss, and not quite a prude
But this is a kids film, so tone down the rude
Not even once did I utter a chuckle
At this lame pile of fuckle uckle
The acting was hollow, and world quite bland
It's Dr Seuss, I'd expect something grand
But here is perhaps the most damning part
That this film was lacking in any heart
Nothing felt charming, it really feels sick
And Mike Myers as the cat, man, what a dick
So, while not all cartoony, I still say this pap
Is more than worthy of being called tooncrap
So avoid this movie? That plan's a cinch
Hell, you're better off watching the Grinch.
If you all know me by now, you know that there's one thing I love more than anything, and that's old school gaming. Mainly that of the NES: the Nintendo Entertainment System. My first console as a kid, and still holds its own as my favorite video game console of all times. So many memories, so many classic titles. And of course, none of them hold a brighter spot in my heart than the opus known as Super Mario Bros 3.
And I certainly know I'm not alone with that sentiment. The Mario franchise was reaching meteoric levels, and the wait for the third adventure was one that everyone was chomping at the bit for. Hell, it was the reason most kids went to see that crappy movie The Wizard. All just for a glimpse of Mario 3. And when it finally hit in 1990, it was a massive success, and is still to this day considered the pinnacle of gaming and platforming.
But this isn't a place for video game reviews. This is Tooncrap, and it's a place to look at some toony trash. Case in point The Adventuers of Super Mario Bros. 3. Prior to this show, the Mario franchise saw its first big animated appearance through the Super Mario Bros Super Show. This show mixed animated skits with the Mario characters (and also that crappy Zelda cartoon I talked about in a previous review), as well as live action skits.
Despite its corny nature (much of which would be perfect for future Tooncrap inductions), the show was a massive hit. Enough of a hit that NBC quickly picked up the rights to make Nintendo cartoons. One would be another Tooncrap inductee Captain N: The Game Master, and the other would be Mario. There would be two cartoons made featuring the portly plumber and his pals. First was an adaptation of Super Mario Bros 3. And later we would see an adaptation of Super Mario World.
For you whipper snappers who don't remember these two, this is Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan, better known as Milli Vanilli. A pair of "musicians" that came out of Munich, Germany. They achieved meteoric success with their debut album "Girl, you know it's true." The album was so successful that Milli Vanilli would win a Grammy award for Best New Artist. But there was just one slight snag to all of this.
Rob and Fab weren't the ones singing.
And it wouldn't take too long after their Grammy win that it all would come crashing down when during a live performance of "Girl you know it's True", the song started skipping, and the duo were lip syncing all a long.
Girl, you know it's
Girl, you know it's
Girl, you know it's
Girl, you know it's
Girl, you know it's
Girl, you know it's
Girl, you know it's OVER!
So, that just makes the induction du jour a little sweeter since before their meteoric fall, there was a Milli Vanilli episode of the Super Mario 3 cartoon. So, even knowing now about the band's downfall, was this a bad episode? Let's find out as we review this thing.
We open the episode at the Mushroom Kingdom, where the gang are ready to go to a concert. Mario, Luigi, and Toad are all dressed formal, but soon learn from a very un-frilly Princess Toadstool, that they don't need the monkey suits for a Milli Vanilli concert in the "Real World". So, the mushroom kingdom isn't real? You mean I've been trying to fit into sewer pipes for nothing?
Unbeknownst to the plumbers, they're being watched by one of King Koopa's koopalings, Cheatsy, who goes to tell his sister Kootie Pie. And, as expected, she throws a massive bitch fit at King Koopa because she wants to see Milli Vanilli. King Koopa devises the plan to capture "Silly the Willies" (The gimmick throughout the episode is he can't get the name right, so enjoy) so that Kootie can keep them for herself. Meanwhile, our heroes are at the Milli Vanilli concert, amongst the screaming fans.
And there's the oh-so fab Rob and Fab themselves, in animated form. Interesting note about this episode is that the original version of the episode had the actual songs from the duo including "Blame it on the rain" and "Girl you know it's true".In later releases of the episode, this was changed to generic background music with no vocals. In any other situation that wouldn't be so funny, but considering it's Milli Vanilli, you can't help but imagine they're trying to lip sync a lyricless song.
But the duo's performance is lip sunk by King Koopa's doom ship, which appears in the sky, and captures Milli Vanilli. He beams the two up to his ship, unintentionally electrocuting a young fan in the process. She may have been paralyzed, or in a frozen state, but who cares about that? MILLI VANILLI'S IN TROUBLE!
Now captured in Koopa's castle, Milli Vanilli are forced to deal with the annoyance that is Kootie Pie, who fawns over the pair, kissing them and forcing herself on her. The duo refuse her advances, and her request for a private concert, and she forces them to do so, lest they be turned into... accountants?
Girl you know it's true, your dilligence is due!
But turns out Kootie isn't fucking around, and turns them into, as the duo so aptly put it "Nerds and dweebs". She then threatens to turn them into Beatles, to which one of them replies "Who wants to be a band from the sixties?" Well, who the fuck wants to be Milli Vanilli?
Our heroes look on as they see the torture that Kootie Pie has put Rob and Fab in. Princess Toadstool laments that if they stay accountants, she'll never hear her favorite music ever again.
So, the group plays "Girl You Know It's True", while the Marios play horribly. However, Kootie is quite content. Again, if you see this on the DVD or later release versions, it's them singing to lyricless music, which is still a hoot to see.
They all manage to escape while Kootie is in a state of near orgasmic enjoyment. When she realizes they've escaped, she orders King Koopa to go after them, or she will. Koopa pretty much says "You know what? I'm sick of this shit. If you don't forget about them like the rest of the world will in a couple months time, your ass is getting dungeoned." Kootie gives in, and that issue is settled.
And so the episode ends with Milli Vanilli back at the concert, unaware of what the hell just happened. They perfrom "Girl you know it's true" again, as the Princess is getting awful wet.
And that's the Mario 3 Milli Vanilli episode. On paper it's not the worst thing ever. It's an okay use for a then extemely popular music group, and at least they seemingly got the real Rob and Fab to do voice work (need confirmation on that part) as well as the actual music.
But knowing what would happen about a month after this aired, that's where things go downhill. The insane popularity of the duo, mixed with the massive devotion of Princess Toadstool and Kootie Pie becomes extremely laughable considering the whole scandal. And of course there's also the many weird animation and color errors that the show was well known for, adding fuel to an already crappy fire.
Though let's be honest. I think the industry learned from Milli Vanilli and their mistakes, and I'm more than certain that no musician would ever be caught lip syncing on TV agai...
If you want to check out another Mario 3 episode review, go check out my friend CM Waters' review of the episode "Tag Team Trouble" Over at his site "Watersfall Industries" (Link to the right)
Joyeux Noel fellow toonsters. December has cometh once more, and it's time for yet another classically crappy Christmas cartoon. Not to mention continue my quest to show the truly dank side of the third generation of My Little Pony (As seen in a previous induction). So, when I discovered that G3had its own holiday-themed story, I figured it would be ripe full of amazing action, and super character evolution.
Or, it could be as vapid and hollow as the rest of this generation was.
So with that mentality in mid, let's tinkle all over this twinkle. Let's review this thing.
Anyway, she gives Cheerilee the box with the Twinkle Wish star inside, but warns her that this is some sort of pandora's box shit where you can't open it before Christm... Winter Wishes festival because she needs her "Cutie Sleep". Cutie Sleep? Really? I mean, even FiM can throw in a rather hackneyed thing like that, but that's just awful. Also, apparently the fate of Ponyville is in Cheerilee's hands. Uh, what hands? They have hooves. Even for a figure of speech, that's just really stupid sounding.
And of course, not even moments later, Scootaloo manages to open the box, because you know, fuck "the fate of Ponyville". Twinkle Wish awakens from her cutie sleep. Of course, as Twinkle Wish exits the box, the most conveniently placed storm arrives, as does a dragon that just takes her away. Then the storm just stops immediately... okay then.
Cheerilee gives Scootaloo a tongue lashing, until Pinkie tells them that it's not time to fight. Nah, they should totally fight. It would actually mean there's conflict that lasts more than 6 seconds in this damn thing. Starsong, the lone pegasus of the group, sees that the dragon is headed to Willy Nilly Mountain. It's called that because although it's a familiar place, no one has ever went there because the weather changes very fast. You know, like the 30 second storms Ponyville gets.
So, if no pony has gone there, how do they know about how its weather works?
So, after bullshitting to the mayor about Twinkle Wish, the seven set off to Willy Nilly mountain via their conveniently owned hot air balloon. Of course, Rainbow Dash wants to bring all her accessories and stuff, but the ponies tell her to just pack light. Silly Rainbow Dash...
However, the balloon only fits four, so Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are told to stay home. Scootaloo being the bitch she is, beliebes this was done because Cheerilee is mad at her. No, it was done because all you've done so far in this is one fuck-up after another. Pinkie tells them that Sweetie and Scootaloo should be left in charge of the Twinkle Wish box to ensure that no one knows it's missing.
Because, you know, they have done a great job so far with everything they've done.
And we get a song about going on a trip. It seems very out of place, and it's so very generic. If it was actually a song about going to the mountains, or trying to get the star, it would work far better. I know I gush over G4 so much, but when they break into song, at least it still feels like it's in context to what's going on in the story, barely ever losing sight of it. This doesn't do that. Sometimes they're in the balloon, sometimes they're at a lake, or in a grassy area. It's ADD-riddled and seemingly unsure of what it wants to be.
Meanwhile, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo finally have to deal with more lying to the mayor about the star. And they do utter what may honestly be the only funny line in the whole show.
Sweetie Belle: Want a cookie?
Mayor Flutterflitter: No thank you. I'm watching my figure.
Scootaloo: Watching it do what?
Mayor: ... ... Hm,
After a bumpy landing, and apparently being able to keep a hot air balloon tied down with hair ribbon, the five ponies make it to Willy Nilly Mountain. They camp out in the middle of the forest with pink lightning bugs that agree with Pinkie Pie to keep the area lit. How did Pinkie talk to insects? Because she can talk to pink things. How the fuck can you talk to a colour? So, if she sees a pink wall, she can have an enthralling conversation with it? Just say she can talk to animals or something. That's more plausible than talking to pink.
As the five ponies make it to the dragon's cave, we have more of Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle trying to keep the mayor stalled as they keep her from seeing the Twinkle-Less box. Scootaloo tries to pretend to be Cheerilee in front of the Mayor. And the mayor buys it. You know, despite "Cheerilee" having a different voice, and apparently shrinking a few inches.
The other ponies find Twinkle Wish, who is still tired, and now being held captive by a dragon named Whimsy Weatherbee, who really just wants her opinion on what to wear. The five ponies confront the Whimsy Weatherbee, who of course isn't evil, and happily invites them in. Phew, for a second, I thought we'd have some conflict.
When they ask about the star, Whimsy said that this was part of her plan. That she's been so alone on the mountain, that she wished for friends. So, instead of just going to inquire about friends, she knows the only way to make friends is with toys, which she has with the star she found. Cheerilee tells her that Twinkle Wish isn't a toy, nor are they really friends with Whimsy. Jeez, be blunt why don't you?
Of course, this leads to a song about friends. And while, sure it's more consistent in what it's about then the other song. They tell them that what makes a friend is different things like painting pictures, or painting nails. Because, you know, vapid shit is the best stuff. Not to mention stuff like just being a pal and stuff.
They ask for the star again, but Whimsy has gained an attachment to the star, and believes that the moment they leave, they won't ever see her again. They invite her to the winter wishes festival. But Whimsy doesn't but into their crap, and tells them to just leave. Cheerilee wishes that Whimsy would see the error of her ways. And yes, the running gimmick of this is that they always wish for certain things, and eventually they come true.
The group bites the bullet and decides that they should finally tell the truth, and that they lost the Twinkle Wish star. Cheerilee takes full responsibility. Though she shouldn't, because this was all Scootaloo's fault, and really her fault alone. Everyone apologizes for their actions, but there's still the issue of no star. Even the mayor forgives them, because you know, fuck playing her for the fool she is, and their bungling of the holiday event.
Bet of course, Whimsy Weatherbee has a change of heart and is all like "You know what? Have your star back. Just, be my friend already." Cheerilee decides that Scootaloo should get her way and put Twinkle Wish on top of the tree. Again, despite the fact that this whole situation was her fault. The main ponies all realize that their wishes were the reason they saved the day. Most of the town wish snow, and Whimsy makes snow for them with her weather powers.
However, Sweetie Belle is the only pony who didn't get her wish. Which is for it to it to snow pink. Wait what? Wouldn't that shit make more sense from Pinkie Pie? Sweetie, you gimmick infringing bitch.
But, of course Twinkle Wish delivers, and the town snows pink. And the episode ends with another song about how your heart's desire happens if you can wish it.
Well, can I wish that I didn't see this then?
Okay, well that was... something. In comparison to the last G3 thing I reviewed for Tooncrap, it certainly at least was better in every way. But of course, that's like comparing a turd to anything at all. The issues are still massive with this. The characters don't have any real personalities. Sure, they have different things they like, but they act so much the same that the things they like don't even stand out.
The lack of any major conflict, not to mention rather ugly looking characters, pointless songs, and a lack of anything interesting just makes this whole 43 minute special just boring as hell.. Other than that, the voice acting is decent (some of the FiM cast were involved in this). So, in that case, this horsey hell is definitely Tooncrap material.
And with that said, have a happy and safe Holiday season, and we'll see you in 2013 with more toony crappy goodness.
Welcome fellow toonsters to another fresh new year. And what better way to kick things off than by digging into the filth that is Tooncrap. And this week, we have a rather odd duck of a cartoon to run through. The Rosey and Buddy Show. A lame attempt by two lackluster comedians to make a really bad animated sitcom. You know, when the Simpsons was such a hit that everyone was trying to make it in the running, yet no one else could get the formula right:?
Enter Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold. Both were recently married, and while Roseanne was already finding success with her sitcom (and finding hatred with her infamous national anthem fiasco) and Tom was finding success with... um...
the duo were trying to get an animated series going for ABC. This wasn't Roseanne's first attempt at an animated series. There was the easily forgettable "Little Rosey" that aired briefly on Saturday Mornings on ABC in 1990. So what spawned was the Rosey and Buddy Show. An animated special/pilot that aired once on May 15th, 1992 on the ever popular TGIF block. And despite their best effort, the special failed.
But let's see just why it failed, shall we? Let's review this thing.
We open the cartoon with a van leaving a rather messy city to the sunny and wonderful looking Cartoonland. Now before I even start, I will ask this to the public. Am I the only one who doesn't like the idea of cartoons having a world of reality and a "Toon Town"? If the world outside of the toon town is animated too, then what's the point? I get that the toon town would have crazier individuals, but if the whole world is a cartoon, having one place for the more cartoony lot seems kinda pointless. Trust me, should I ever get to talking about "Garfield Gets Real", this is going to be the same rant there.
Upon the realization that "Rosey and Buddy" are on their way, Cartoonland residents begin to run and hide. And I mean all the residents...
Even Droopy. And yes, this is another thing I'll be getting into soon enough. The shoehorned in cameos from other cartoon characters. The van breaks through the gate and causes a ruckus.
Even breaking up the picnic of former 2 time (Possibly 3 time soon) Tooncrap inductees, the Care Bears. Boy, these poor saps just can't catch a break with me, can they?
The duo plan to make their own TV show while in Cartoonland. While Buddy sets up, Rosey goes to eat (surprise), but when she opens the fridge, she realizes that the food are now all cartoon characters as well. But the fact that these foodstuffs now have souls doesn't phase Rosey, who just eats them anyway.
So, reckless abandon, littering, and eating living creatures alive. Out protagonists ladies and germs.
But while that is going on, the duo are being watched by a business weasel in a toupee named Mr. A. Powers. His main concern is that Rosey and Buddy will warp the minds of children around the world. Actually I'd say they'd annoy children around the world, but I can see where he's coming from. He sets out to put a stop to them. Oh, right after this random commercial.
The commercial features a family of really ugly looking green skinned people, a mom and her two tired kids. She decides to give them New Sugar Shockers to pep them up. It not only does that, but it ages them, makes them academically adept, and impregnates the daughter.
They believe that cartoons should only be cute, like the Care Bears or Strawberry Shortcake. Or big and tough like "those really really big robots". Methinks a certain Transforming Robot cartoon didn't allow you the rights to their name. But Rosey and Buddy simply just want to make people laugh. So far, that's not happened. They also show the powers that be what they had in mind, and put in a tape for
So, Rosey and Buddy's big essentially game changing idea was to do hackneyed parodies that were already done to death by 1992? Also, what's with the green skinned guy again? Is this some weird shot at the Simpsons or something? Plus, come on. Doogie Schnauzer would have been a funnier name.
So, after this unfunny bit that goes on for over a minute, the powers are not happy due the lack of redeeming social values, and the chance for valuable advertising blocks. Rosey and Buddy care not, as again, all they really want to do is get a few laughs. Well so far that's been a swing and a miss. The powers that be tell them that all cartoons are good for is selling commercials when kids are glued to their sets. And they dump the duo into a cartoon called The Lunch Box Kids.
Get it? It's a parody of how 80's and 90's cartoons were for the most part glorified 22 minute commericals. Like Transformers, Potato Head Kids, and yes, even My Little Pony. But here's my rebuttal to that. If the shows weren't entertaining, they wouldn't have been hits. This tries to say that they were all pretty mindless and dumb. I don't fully see it that way, and I think they're trying too hard to get this joke over, but then again, I'm the guy who looks too much into things. Comes with the job of being a reviewer. They lead the Lunch Box kids to their doom with a steamroller. Because laugh.
Now deemed a threat by the powers, Rosey and Buddy are sent to the Betty and Veronica Clinic. Yes, I get the joke, and no, I still didn't laugh. And despite more efforts to make the duo more "politically correct", they continue their anarchy, and try to escape the clinic. They eventually end up in the "Very Intensive Care" unit.
They discover that a bunch of cartoon characters have been locked up in the unit for not complying with what the powers that be deem worthy. Oh, and Tom and Jerry are locked up too.
The duo continue their escape from the clinic, and run into some mental patients. One of them being...
Hey, look. A People's Court parody. There weren't enough of those by 1992. We get another long and unfunny bit where Rosey defends tale clients in court. It goes absolutely nowhere. Hey, have you noticed that's really the theme so far?
After evading the powers, while also doing another bit with the living food, we go to another done to death parody. This time it's 60 Cels with Buddy, who is out to expose the secret lives of cartoon characters. They try to say that Daffy Duck is guilty of infidelity, as well as a long interview with Wile E. Coyote's stunt double. And this drags on for over three minutes, never getting to the point where you feel like laughing.
So, we wrap the story up with the duo returning to the clinic to interview the inmates of the very intensive care unit. However, when the duo end up surrounded by the powers that be, all looks unwell. But they manage to break out the inmates, who defeat the powers that be. And we end with Rosey and Buddy riding off to the sunset, wondering what adventures are next in Cartoonland. Oh, wait, they do another take, where the drive off into the sunset backdrop that falls. And that's a better ending... how? Who cares, this is over.
And that's "The Rosey and Buddy Show", and all I can really say is... ugh. Well, I gotta say more than that.
The animation is okay, pretty standard animation at best for the time, and while not amazing, at least Roseanne and Tom don't always sound like their just reading from a script with zero emotion. And that's all the good things.
The characters are un-likeable. They're either just rude, or unfunny, lacking any reason to be invested in anything they do. Then again, it is Roseanne, so that rude mentality is kinda expected. It doesn't make the special flow any better.
The parodies aren't funny. They are low level references to things that were overplayed already. And this is supposed to be what is Rosey and Buddy's big idea of a cartoon show was. Just references that go nowhere. Like Family Guy, only surprisingly even worse and even more drawn out.
The characters are bland and useless. None of them are memorable, especially our main cast. In fact I think even the writers knew this, and that's why they shoehorned so many cartoon references. And none of those were even well handled. A cameo should surprise you, but still keep you entertained to see one of your faves in another show. This never did that.
And finally, the whole plot is just erratic. It's an ADD-addled ride that never seems to know what it wants to be at any given time. The plot never stays in one place at one time to keep you focused, and the shoehorned references just get in the way. Not to mention trying to shoehorn how everything is "cliche" when all our heroes are trying to give us is cliche crap doesn't fix anything.
In the end, this wasn't the worst thing ever. It certainly wasn't Bubsy bad, but there is nothing about it that would make me want more. And I'm glad ABC saw it that way since there wasn't a series to follow. This show doesn't make me rosey, and it's not my buddy. This is no doubt one of the worst things Tom Arnold's been involved in...
That wasn't the Stupids, that is.
I've sat through Gilbert Gottfried singing. I've sat through the Monster Chasers. I've sat through Madballs: Gross Jokes, Bubsy, and G3 My Little Pony. I've sat through so many pieces of animated fecal matter. I've dealt with what many could argue as so much worse than what I'm about to go through with you all today.
With that said, why is it that when I look at the negative aspects of all that is wrong with a good majority of modern animation, the first cartoon that comes to mind is Johnny Test.
Is it the lack of creativity? The clearly ripped off ideas? The humour that falls flat every fucking time? Or is it simply the fact that this show has been on for going on EIGHT YEARS! Eight years of a show that has never once has come close to either finding a peak of greatness, or a modicum of what it takes to be a memorable cartoon.
And when you think of all the better cartoons that came out the pike, that barely lasted half the length of Johnny Test, it makes you wonder aloud, "is there a god? Or is his sense of humour so cruel that it is of which we may not be able to comprehend?"
But then again, maybe I'm just being a whiny little idiot kvetching of a cruddy flash cartoon about a little spiky haired dillweed, his annoying talking dog, his douche sisters, the sheer magnitude of morons that inhabit this world, the very level of in-your-face assholery that truly comes out of the TV at you like needles that pierce your eyeballs.
But, you may think that it's fine. One of them every week or so is enough to live through. It's a pain, but I can manage. Ha, that's funny. Or it would be, if the show wasn't on at least eight times a day.... EVERY! SINGLE! DAY!!!!! It will never leave you. Never let you have a moment to breathe. The golden haired devil with the blood red tips will never allow your soul to be at peace. You can try to ignore it. Try to plow through. Try aimlessly to believe that it won't get to you...
That's what they all do, and it never works out too well. It's sad really. You can still hear the inmates, as traumatized as they all became, they still say in mumbles almost incoherent.
This is the life of a boy named Johnny Test...
This is the lifeofa boy namedJohnny Test...
And now that I've gone a bit off the deep end myself, maybe it's time I actually got to talking about Johnny Test itself. It made its debut in 2005 on the still alive at the time WB as part of the Saturday Morning Lineup. That features other fine candidates for future inductions like Loonatics Unleashed, and Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island. It lasted a season on Kids WB before being carted off to other pastures. That being Cartoon Network in the states and other areas, and Teletoon in Canada. Where the show has surprisingly made it to five seasons, with a sixth on the way.
So, the show has lasted a while, and with decent ratings. That's fine, but, what's the show about?
It centers mainly around the show's title star, Johnny Test. An energetic, and often in your face 11 year old, who lives with his family. That being his workaholic mother, neat freak stay-at-home dad, his talking dog friend Dukey (which sounds like Dookie. Get it? GET IT??? DO YOU?? RAAGH!), and his genius older sisters Susan and Mary. They have their own lab, and often use Johnny as the lab rat for their various experiments.
So, Bart Simpson in Dexter's Lab? I mean, one could argue that Johnny is kind of like Bart, what with the spiky hair and the attitude, and the in-your-face-ness. And you have the sisters, who look like you took Dexter, cloned him, and turned him into two 13 year old teen girls. Who spend the majority of their focus in life on their similar crush, the generic surfer dude named Gil Nexdoor... who lives... get this... next door.
And then the show goes crazy with wacky plots with monsters and invasions, and evil villains, and all manner of wacky-go-dacky craziness, often directly caused by Johnny, or his sisters. So, the general of the army often gets fuckin' Double Trouble from Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (Who are named Mr. Black and Mr. White BTW. That must've took all of a millisecond to come up with) to get Johnny and co. to save the day. Often filled with obvious and cliched parodies that were executed by better and more superior cartoons.
And they're never funny. Or at least to the point where you could absorb what you watch and think that the spins they take on the product make you think "Hmm, that's a new and innovative way to do things." But again, that's more abject opinion than fact, but that's how I see it, and I know a lot of you often do as well.
Of course, I could just be wrong, and trying to hard to find some sort of existential meaning in a show for kids. But dammit, I had to review a cartoon where a mime shit out his own skeleton. Cut me some slack for being the loon I am. So with all that said, and one of the craziest openings to any Tooncrap ever (seriously, I think that was almost 75 reviews worth the wait for me to just go all brain kaplooey), let's review a couple episodes of Johnny Test, and put this show to the test. Pun intended. Let's review this thing.
Let's start with the theme song. Or to be specific, the most recent one. I've always found it to be a rather pedantic theme, despite trying to build this show about this uber awesome kid that is Johnny Test. The first theme, while also nothing super special either, was still a lot stronger in conveying the life of awesome that inhabits Johnny's life. It has more energy and even more passion in wanting to make Johnny sound like the ultimate of awesome people. The 2nd theme never sounded like it had the energy of the original. But again, that's just me.
Let's take a look at an episode. And a good example of this show's inaneness is the Johnny X episodes. There's like a dozen of these ones with Johnny's superhero alter ego. Which in all honesty are either the signs of desperation for a show (I.E Super Pac in the Pac-Man cartoon), or just an excuse to throw the cliche in the bucket. Let's look at "The Revenge of Johnny X".
Despite the destruction going into the town, Johnny and Dukey are nonchalant over it, finding it to be cool. Of course, the government, being the bug addled morons that they are have no viable ways of stopping the giant robot. Of course, Johnny only cares about more smashing. But that changes when the robot heads to the Test residence and kidnaps Susan, one of the sisters.
Oh right, I forgot to mention Bling Bling Boy. He's the main antagonist of Johnny's. A fat spoiled brat who has a massive bling bling boner for Susan. Case in point the whole reason for destroying the town.He did it for Susan in hopes that it will finally make her love him. Bit his massive amounts of swank still don't interest Susan.
Cut to the ice cream shop where Johnny and Dukey are enjoying themselves. You know, instead of saving Johnny's freaking sister or nothing. A boy's gotta have priorities. But Johnny gives the excuse that the "G-Dudes" as he coins the government agents, will deal with it. Considering the fact that the "G-Dudes" can't even tie their own shoelaces without Johnny and his crew bailing them out, it seems like counting on them is a bad idea.
And wouldn't you know it, the "G-Dudes" do jack all to the robot, even with superior firepower. It's as if that wasn't predictable at all.
Despite the situation looking bleak, Johnny still won't help Susan. And mainly because Susan and Mary have used him for years as their experimental patsy. Which I guess is fine enough with him as he suddenly decides to save his sister.
So I guess all you need to do to sway Johnny is remember that he was turned into a giant frog thing once to wake up his A.D.D-riddled brain.
And so, it's the return of the return of Johnny X and Super Pooch. And of course, Dukey complains about his costume. Dukey's a bitch, and I DON'T mean female dog. While that's going down, Bling Bling is still unable to woo Susan, and the fact that Johnny and Dukey's appearance is added block to the cock, he goes to deal with them.
Johnny swears to take down Bling Bling Boy with the his powerful mutant ability of... sigh... atomic farting. Am I watching an episode of Mega Babies? But his fearful flatulence is stopped with a giant badminton racket to the backside. And despite being undeterred, Johnny continues to use his super farts, but is thwarted by Bling Bling. To which Dukey replies with the greatest line of the show, "man, I hate Johnny X"
You're speaking to me fair pooch. You're speaking to me.
Later on, Bling Bling steals an anti-gravity chamber from the government to continue to please Susan, who despite making her a laboratory of her own, she's still not impressed. She's not worth it kid. There are plenty more scientist teen girls that would appreciate the shit you're trying to do. The "G-Dudes" (seriously, the douche chills haven't left me yet) decide to team up with Johnny X to take down Bling Bling Boy. The only way to do so is to turn Johnny into a snake, and shove him up the robot's ass.
*throws keyboard at wall* I'M DONE! GOODNIGHT!
Or not, moving on.
It manages to work, and Johnny infiltrates the base, while Susan begins to get stockholm syndrome (or just realizing that Bling Bling really added a lot of things she actually enjoys, so you know, he ain't all that bad. But despite fart resistant suits, Johnny X and the rest still manage to beat the tar out of Bling Bling's crew. But in seeing the paradise he's created, the group decide to stay and have a pool party where Johnny atomic farts in the pool to close out the episode.
Again. Sonic SatAM, Bump in the Night, The Critic. All had two seasons. This got six. Just let that simmer.
And that's Johnny Test in a nutshell .The humour is hit and miss, mainly miss. The animation is terrible even for flash, with ugly character designs, and flat looking worlds.The show tries too hard to make our main protagonist unlikeable for the majority of the show. But that's honestly something that can be said of all the protagonists on this show.
The way I look at this show is what would happen if Dexter's Laboratory was the victim of meddling by executives too interested in making the show hip and edgy, and lacking in substance that makes it memorable. In other words, Johnny Test is a Poochie. The cool, and totally in your face character with no substance that makes the show entertaining.
But is it the worst thing ever, even with my glaring problems with the show? Probably not. Even for its dumb humour, it's harmless, and won't rot your brain entirely. But it honestly doesn't need, nay deserve a series length as long as it has. I know a lot of that has to do with being dirt cheap to produce, and the fact that it does well enough to earn it, but that's still not enough for it to really deserve the length it's had plus the multiple daily airings on Teletoon and Cartoon Network.You could take most of that time, and fill it with something else. Like, I dunno, Dexter's Lab.
I know I keep comparing it to Dexter's Laboratory, but honestly, after watching "Dexter's Rude Removal" I realized just how amazing a cartoon it was. And looking at what is essentially its grocery store soda equivalent, I can't help but feel that kids today are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to this show idea being done well.
In the end of it all, this test is unsuccessful.
Ah the Care Bears. Next to Captain Planet, these unkempt ursine of the utmost kindness has easily been one of Tooncrap's most beloved whipping boys... er, bears. It really doesn't help that a lot of the stuff provided was really not very good. Now I still hold true that the Nelvana cartoon series was actually pretty good, even when it for no reason went from battling No-Heart, to random ass Star Trek knockoff, but thus is the 80's I guess. But it hasn't been all smiles and Funshine. The movies on the other hand have been a mix of decent enough, and the droppings of Satan himself. AKA Care Bears: Adventure in Wonderland.
So, with the fodder cannon already at max capacity, is there anything else to eke out? Well, there was the original specials by LBS Communications, like the review du joir, "Care Bears in the Land Without Feelings", or to quote the legendary Lou Pickles...
So, let's bear and grin it once more as we delve into more bearly competent television. Let's review this thing.
We open the special with two kids. and is one of those two kids a blonde haired little girl?
We see the girl, named Donna, talking to another kid named Kevin, who seems to be quite pissed over something vague. All we know is that he "just doesn't care". And trust me, he won't have any problems reminding us of this fact. Does it get to the level of Bubsy's infamous "What could possibly go wrong"? Well, it's sure one hell of a contender.
The care bears are in pursuit of Kevin, and eventually find their way to the park. They waddle in (seriously they waddle in a most comically adorable fashion). Inside the park, they learn that not only are the trees, rocks, and flowers sentient, but they don't seem to care about anything. Though when you are plants that can't move, and in the case of trees, have animals shit in and on you, you'd probably be a bit P'Oed as welll
Donna mentions that this is apparently the land without feelings, which has been that way since Cold Heart showed up. Funny that no one has ever, you know, kicked him out of there, or bulldozed the place. Though I guess since it means Cold Heart is out of other people's hair, then it's all good. Leave him be in his own douchery.
Bedtime bear breaks one of a tree's branches. And before the tree can lay the smackdown on his ursine ass, the care bears tell him essentially "bitch, you're a tree, you'll grow another." Then they sing that everyone has feelings. Of course he has feelings. He feels pain because your narcoleptic friend just took out one of his arms. But of course they mean feelings as in kindness. And this rather dumb song leads to an instant face turn to all of the grumpy creatures. They tell our protagonists of Kevin's situation.
Back to the master of uncaring, as he is at Cold Heart Castle. Professor Cold Heart offers his young guest a drink, hopefully not of the roofie-spiked variety. He gives a frothing yellow drink to Kevin, who willingly drinks it. I mean, it could be poison, but Kevin doesn't care.
They use a rainbow to cross over a cliff, to which coldheart counters by blasting it with a light beam. But unfortunately, the bears don't fall to their death, but two get stuck on the cliff. So, instead of using that trick again to climb up, they're like "keep going. Because you know, two bears are all you need." Seriously, Care Bears, how about caring for your own well being too. Jeez.
The bears try to cross a swamp with a heart balloon, but again Cold Heart counters them with a giant dart that pops the balloon. Boy, it's good that he had all of these convenient tools at his disposal. I guess it gets boring in the land without feelings, so you gotta build something. With one bear stuck in the swamp mess, it's up to the great leader Tenderheart to save everyone that he had no problem abandoning in the first place.
Tenderheart makes it to the castle, and in another surprisingly smart move uses hearts for suction cups. Those things are pretty damn convenient. But speaking of convenient, Cold Heart just happens to have a trap door on the side of his castle. Did he friggin' know this was going to happen beforehand, or is he really that paranoid about feelings and all things that are not not caring?
So, yeah, our teddy bear's picnic of idiocy have all gotten themselves kidnapped. Donna and the others worry about them. Well, Grumpy doesn't, because again, baller. Wish Bear wishes that they were all in the castle, and poof, they are. Boy, smart decision to not bring her along, eh Tenderdick? But let's not completely throw Tenderheart to the hot coals just yet. All this time, Wish Bear could have just wished that Kevin was back with them. Hell, she could even wish that Kevin's family didn't have to move.
So with all of the bears rescued via Deus Ex Wish Bear, they confront Cold Heart, who shows them that Kevin is now one of his weird frog slaves. The care bears huddle together to come up with an idea. They ultimately decide to use the care bear stare. Instead of, you know, HAVING WISH BEAR FIX THIS WHOLE THING WITH A WISH!!!
So our heroes pull out a massive stare that manages to turn all of the frog slave things back into children. While they all celebrate, Cold Heart escapes. I guess they didn't "Care" to stop him. But the now caring creatures of the forest continue to assault the ever not-loving hell out of him. And so our special wraps up as Kevin now cares more, the land without feelings feels again, and the care bears are back. And since they couldn't decide who should win the best carer award, they all shared it. Despite the fact that Wish Bear, again, is the only one who did anything worth a damn lately. And why even give an award out if you won't make a definitive winner? Whatever. I don't care.
And that's "The Land Without Feelings". I second the motion of Lou Pickles. It is indeed the land without brains. The animation is nothing amazing, the voice acting is rough, our protagonists have so little self esteem that they'll sacrifice themselves for caring, and again, if they had Wish Bear wish everything right immediately, this whole thing wouldn't have happened. In the end, it's a bland, forgettable short, that's surprisingly worse than the Nelvana cartoons.
In the end, you could say I didn't enjoy it.
I'll make an honest confession. I've never been a major fan of Spongebob in either of its variations. By that I mean not the old classics, or the abysmal newer episodes. Granted, some episodes like "Chocolate With Nuts" and "Graveyard Shift" were hilarious, and had some brilliant writing. I can't say Spongebob was a bad cartoon with some funny episodes, even if it wasn't required viewing for me.
And if the show had bowed out during its stronger days, when creator Stephen Hillenburg was still involved in writing the show, and not just being an executive producer, then things probably wouldn't have been so bad. Spongebob could have ended on a fair 52 episode run like other Nickelodeon classics like Rocko's Modern Life. But because the show is a merchandising success, Nickelodeon keeps it alive, while often cancelling far more entertaining cartoons (*CoughDannyPhantomCough*). And now we've gone from some brilliant writing, where the annoyance and stupidity of Spongebob, Patrick, and the other beloved citizens of Bikini Bottom still had their charm, and were hilariously handled, to a show that feels like it has to up the ante in terms of annoyance and unpleasantness.
And thus we lead to the first of several infamously bad Spongebob episodes to take a look at, and give the treatment of some crap shooting. And like Captain Planet, a show that gave us much to crap about, there are plenty of unfunny fish in the sea that is Spongebob Squarepants. Starting with our first choice in "A Pal For Gary", an episode that even die hard Spongebob fans claim to be one of the worst episodes in the series to date. So, let's find out just what makes this the worst of the worst. Let's review this thing.
We open the episode at Spongebob's house, as the titular square pantsed one is preparing to leave for work. Gary, his pet snail has a leash in his mouth, making Spongebob believe that the snail wants to be walked. Spongebob feels bad since he can't walk Gary right now because he has to go to work. But we see as soon as Spongebob leaves that Gary uses the leash to get his snail food out of the cupboard, as he enjoys his life of Riley. Nothing could possibly spoil such a good thing
Oh right, except for the fact that his master is Spongebob.
At the Krusty Krab, Spongebob begins to feel bad about Gary being alone. His concern of course comes at the expense of the customers, which he annoys. After feeling like crap for not being a "responsible pet owner", he races home after work in hopes that his snail is okay. However, he runs into a cart with an old gypsy fish woman selling weird fish pets. Despite her warnings that the pets are dangerous (even though she sells the damn things, so why would she have any concerns at all?), Spongebob blissfully buys one to ensure that Gary won't be lonely.
Back at home, Spongebob introduces Gary to his new friend "Puffy Fluffy". And as soon as he leaves, you can guess what happens next. Puffy Fluffy roars at him, which looks downright frightening for a kid's cartoon, but we're just getting started on this. Spongebob gets the pet food ready, scolding Gary for planning to eat without sharing, and then leaves. Puffy Fluffy eats the food, while scaring Gary. As Spongebob returns, he sees Gary cowering behind the tv.
Of course, the logical mind would see that perhaps this new pet experiment isn't going too well. Nah, Spongebob thinks that Gary is trying to ignore Puffy Fluffy and tries to get them to play. More scaring of Gary ensues, and of course, Spongebob thinks that Gary is being disrespectful to his new friend.
If you're getting pissed at the yellow moron, don't be. Save your anger for later.
Later in the night, Spongebob decides that Gary and Puffy Fluffy should sleep in the same bed together as he leaves once again. Puffy Fluffy scares Gary again, and Spongebob chastises the snail, again. Gary discovers that Puffy Fluffy seems to have shed his shin, and goes to the kitchen to see...
You know, I grew up in the era of Ren and Stimpy, which had its share of extremely disturbing imagery. But Spongebob has for the longest time been a show for children, and yeah, I can see how a lot of it can be major nightmare fuel, including our new super demonic Puffy Fluffy.
Gary tries to fight off this monster, as his responsible master sleeps. Yeah, if this is how Spongebob thinks he's responsible, god help us see what he thinks is being negligent. The battle with Puffy Fluffy eventually causes a fire in Spongebob's house. Yeah, you know how pesky those fires are UNDER THE SEA!
The smell of smoke doesn't wake Spongebob either. Even with the building being almost totally demolished, he maintains his beauty sleep. Good for him. His pet could be murdered by a monster he brought into his home, but at least he got some rest. The morning arrives and Spongebob finally awakes. When he makes it to his library, he sees that his house is destroyed. Of course, it had to have been Gary. Not the stranger you brought in.
He goes into the kitchen to yell at Gary, just as Puffy Fluffy is about to eat him. And, despite seeing the situation at hand, he still yells at Gary, believing this to be all his fault.
Yeah, this is the problem with this episode. I get it. Spongebob's an idiot. He's written to be dumb a lot. But in the older episodes, there was still some logic in him to have the foresight to see what was wrong with this picture. That, hey, maybe the creature he brought was a monster that was causing problems. But no, he thinks that his loyal pet is causing trouble, even when he sees that Puffy Fluffy turned into a gigantic beast and is about to disembowel Gary. That isn't lovable idiocy, that's being blind, and horrible. Spongebob in this one moment becomes more of a monster than the monster in this episode.
Puffy Fluffy grabs Spongebob, and is about to eat him (please), and Spongebob, instead of being in a panic because he's about to be, oh, I don't know, EATEN, still takes the time to yell at Gary instead. Gary manages to lasso the tongue mouths of Puffy Fluffy, saving Spongebob. And as Puffy runs off, Spongebob yells for him to come back, while still being mad at Gary. Because it was a bad thing that he did wasn't it? How dare he save your life? Honestly, I'm rather shocked he did. And the episode ends with Spongebob deciding that Gary would have much more fun at work with him, away from his life of Riley, because god forbid this end on a happy note.
And that's "A Pal For Gary". And yeah, this may have been one of my reviews with far less jokes and references, but that's for a good reason. This wasn't a so bad it's funny type thing. This was so bad it was uncomfortable to watch. 10 minutes of pure unpleasantness from start to finish. The conflict is moronic, even for Spongebob conflicts. There's enough imagery to traumatize children. Hell, I'd have been scared of Puffy Fluffy as a kid, I'll admit. But the damning thing about it is Spongebob himself.
His actions are mean spirited, cruel, and thoughtless. He's written to be oblivious to what's in front of him for the sake of laughs, and it doesn't make you laugh. It makes you hate this guy for his actions, and especially that he doesn't learn his lesson, and gets no comeuppance. He just goes about his day, not caring about what he's done to someone he claims to love. This is the finest example of what writers think is befitting of modern Spongebob Squarepants. Let's just make him a moron with no consequences to his actions, and that's enough to be funny. In this occasion especially, that doesn't work.
So, in the end, this was crap. Unfunny, unappealing crap from a show that should have been over a decade ago. But hopefully the next time I look at a Spongebob cartoon, it'll at least have some things to mock, and not just make me angry.