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- 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...
- 08/31/13--18:10: _Captain Planet: Twe...
- 09/03/13--07:04: _Angela Anaconda
- 09/07/13--12:24: _Spongebob Squarepan...
- 11/11/13--18:41: _Pinky, Elmyra, and ...
- 11/28/13--23:27: _Family Guy: Screams...
- 12/21/13--21:00: _Elf Bowling: The Movie
- 01/06/14--15:48: _Tooncrap is Moving!
- 02/01/14--12:07: _Vote now for the fi...
- 06/14/14--13:25: _Family Guy: The Lif...
- 06/17/14--21:18: _Tooncrap: The Forum...
- 06/25/14--19:24: _Is it Crap?: Teenag...
- 07/06/14--10:01: _New Induction on Ga...
- 07/08/14--19:08: _VHS Vitriol has arr...
- 07/13/14--07:03: _Is it Crap?: The Da...
- 07/21/14--15:45: _So Johnny Test has ...
- 07/27/14--21:07: _Be Cool, Scooby Doo
- 08/01/14--17:56: _Newest GSG Exclusiv...
- 09/25/14--10:15: _What Killed the Hub...
- 10/22/14--14:01: _Is it Crap?: My Lit...
- 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
- 08/31/13--18:10: Captain Planet: Twelve Angry Animals
- 09/03/13--07:04: Angela Anaconda
- 09/07/13--12:24: Spongebob Squarepants: One Coarse Meal
- 11/11/13--18:41: Pinky, Elmyra, and the Brain
- 11/28/13--23:27: Family Guy: Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q
- 12/21/13--21:00: Elf Bowling: The Movie
- 01/06/14--15:48: Tooncrap is Moving!
- 02/01/14--12:07: Vote now for the first ever Crummy Awards
- 06/14/14--13:25: Family Guy: The Life of Brian Saga
- 06/17/14--21:18: Tooncrap: The Forum Has Arrived
- 06/25/14--19:24: Is it Crap?: Teenage Fairytale Dropouts
- 07/06/14--10:01: New Induction on Game Show Garbage: Doug's First Movie
- 07/08/14--19:08: VHS Vitriol has arrived
- 07/13/14--07:03: Is it Crap?: The Day My Butt Went Psycho
- 07/21/14--15:45: So Johnny Test has Been Cancelled
- 07/27/14--21:07: Be Cool, Scooby Doo
- 08/01/14--17:56: Newest GSG Exclusive Induction: The Lorax
- 09/25/14--10:15: What Killed the Hub Network?
- 10/22/14--14:01: Is it Crap?: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
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.
Yeah, it was all the humans fault the mammoths died out. Not any help from climate changes, or disease, or a changing world. JUST humans. I'm beginning to think this trial may be a little biased.
Next up is a seal that takes Gi into the sea as the two suddenly get captured by... Christopher Columbus?
Believing that pinnipeds will last forever, Christopher has no problem with killing innocent seals for their fur and meat. Gi saves the seal from being killed, and Columbus, in a tizzy, wants his crew to continue to pursue the seal. Dude, you just went through a promo about how you think there are plenty of seals to plunder, you can live with one escaping. Gi and the seal leap back into the ice cave, with the charge being that humans want to hunt down seals for trade.
Next up on the planeteer blame game is the thylacine (AKA Tasmanian Tiger) who targets Ma-Ti for our next lesson. They leap into the days when the animals shared the land with the Aborigines, but then the ranchers showed up, and started hunting the thylacines down. A rancher points a gun at Ma-Ti, as he tells him that the tasmanian tigers are eating the sheeps, aka their profit. The tasmanian tiger tells them that he never ate any profit, to which the rancher replies that...
wait a sec, how can the rancher understand the animal? I get that this is some sort of world made by the animals to push their point, but wouldn't it base itself more on reality, AKA humans not being able to understand animals? It's a nitpick, but still. Also, It's kinda fun to see Jim Cummings go from his Italian voice for Columbus, then to his Australian voice for the rancher. Believing the tasmanian tiger will eat his crop, he shoots at him, causing Ma-Ti to leap back.
So next we have Wheeler on the chopping block with some lizard, which is affectionately named Rodney Endagerfield by Wheeler... And now you know why Wheeler is awful.
This time it's a forest with bulldozers knocking the trees down, which would cause the newt creatures to be wiped out of existence. Wheeler aims to stop this, despite, you know, this being both a leap into the past, and also the fact that Wheeler clearly never heard of a time paradox, which would occur if he just saved a species. He stops the bulldozer, as its operator (voiced again by Jim Cummings) yells at him for it. Not taking the arguments of Wheeler with much water, the bulldozers continue to move, dumping Wheeler out of the way. Wheeler almost gets the lizard run over, but not before they leap back to the cave.
Okay, so all that's left in the animal guilt trip brigade is Linka, who is talked to by a butterfly. They leap, and now LInka is flying on the back of the insect. Good thing she's not still on the bliss anymore, or this would be even more of a trip. So, the issue this time is that the flower garden the butterfly lives in is being infected with poisons being sprayed by a crop duster (surprisingly not voiced by Jim Cummings). Linka tries to blow the poison away with her wind ring. So I guess that's all that problem is... oh wait, cities and pollution is another problem for the bug. Well that's... Acid rain too? Jeez. They're just beating the crap out of the butterfly.
So, the charges are now being put on the planeteers, and with all of the damning evidence of the evil humans clearly in front of them, they plead guilty. The yeti's sentence for them is not death, or extinction of the human race, but rather to live with the fact that humans are assholes that wiped species off the planet, and pretty much screwed the pooch for the planet.
So, this whole thing was to just guilt trip the planeteers that humans are destructive and thoughtless? That would be fitting for them to learn IF THEY DIDN'T ALREADY! The whole premise of the show is for them to stop villains who pollute the land, or endanger animals. They've done that for the majority of six seasons. You know, when they aren't dealing with aids, or drugs, or Hitler, or gang violence (please don't tell me I set myself up for that one). They've spent all of this time learning about the worst of humanity, and what they've done. By now, they've had to have retained the knowledge about a lot of what humanity has done to damage the world. It's not really a lesson they needed to learn about from magical talking dead animals and furry Megabyte.
So, the planeteers are thrown back outside, and then back into the cave. Okay. They find Ma-Ti's ring, and have no memory of any trial or yeti.
Wait... So, their memories were wiped too? They don't remember the giant yeti, or the trial, or the Australian Jim Cummings, or acid rain, or... anything?
But the yeti's mind wipe plan has a gaping flaw, as Wheeler's camera (which for some reason Linka has no clue what it's called) still has video of the yeti. But the yeti apparently did have a backup for that situation, as the cave begins to collapse, and the camera falls into an icy chasm.
So, since I almost forgot what this show was called again, they FINALLY summon Captain Planet. After several awful puns (Ice picking on my friends?), Cap whisks them to safety, without Wheeler's camera. After that harrowing situation, the planeteers feel nice and revitalized. And the episode ends with the snow leopard staring at them, telling them to remember their promise. You mean, the promise you seemingly wiped from their memory? Okay then. Will do.
And that was "12 Angry Animals". The episode isn't horrible, definitely a bit better than the other ones I've touched for Tooncrap. The problem is it just doesn't feel like it has a reason to exist. What I mean is that the trial was pointless guilt tripping of the planeteers, who were good people doing good things. Whether the yeti and the animals knew that is beyond me, but if this was a trial for some other random humans, that weren't protectors of the environment like the planeteers, than the moral would hold more weight. For as absurd as this story was, it would have worked better as an educational cartoon, and not a Captain Planet episode.
Plus, despite being the namesake of the show, Captain Planet really felt unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. He only had like a minute and a half of time in the entire series, and barely enough time for amazing puns. I get that the planeteers are the real protagonists, but jeez, give the blue guy some love. So, yeah, in the end, this was crap, but maybe not the worst crap. Just something that wasn't needed from a series that never needed to last six seasons.
But if we learned anything in this whole thing, it's that Jim Cummings is evil. He is the living embodiment of every evil Italian, Australian, and bulldozer operator there is. He probably invented acid rain and cavemen too.
Though he was Darkwing Duck, so I guess I can forgive him. I love you Jim Cummings!
Sometimes you come across a show that just annoys you. It may not be the worst written, or the worst looking, but everything about it just annoys you. Johnny Test is currently that show that really annoys me because of its inane, awful writing, and its never ending airplay. Well, over a decade ago, the honor of annoying cartoon went solely to that of Angela Anaconda.
Some of you may actually remember that Angela Anaconda first made her presence to the world on an episode of the Nickelodeon show Kablam!, back in the late 90's. Most probably remember Angela Anaconda from that segment at the beginning of the Digimon movie. Yeah, even to this day I have zero clue who thought that Digmon fans were going to be able to tolerate an opening skit with a nasally voiced girl and her revenge fantasies with creepy-as-all hell clip art designs. No wonder Fox Family Channel tanked.
But if you're a Canuck like me, you remember this show from Teletoon. The same Teletoon that currently thinks that Johnny Test needs 40 airings a week. It lasted for a while here, but was actually canned quite quick in the states. Perhaps a lot of that had to be the fact that despite episodes having different settings at times, the biggest problem with this show, other than the creepy art style, was that it literally felt like every episode was the same thing. So, what is the essential plot of every episode, with very little that made you want to come back for more. So, what is this show about?
Angela Anaconda is this tomboy girl with a voice that sounds like a female Urkel. She and her friends, who run the stereotypical gamut of geeky weak boy, overly nice fat girl, and the other kid who's just really dumb, usually try to do something, but are constantly bothered, or impeded in their efforts of fun by Nanette Manoir, a valley girl who acts French, and often kisses up to the show's other antagonist, mean teacher Mrs. Brinks. The episode eventually wraps up with Angela imagining getting revenge on those who wronged her in annoying ways, often making Angela look more petty than in the right.
So, let's get to the design of the show. It's creepy. I don't generally mind the design being clip art, as if done right, it can look pretty cool. But the issue I have is that the people are all gray, and dead looking. Like weird walking corpses that lack any sign of life. Sure some of the world has color, but it feels weird to see in a world with gray, dead looking people. All in all, it's not a pretty sight to look at.
So let's get to the show itself, and see what's wrong with this show. Let's review this thing.
Let's start with the intro. Surely it can't be that...
Well, I'm done. Review over. You don't have to go home but you can't stay here.
Dear god I hate this intro. I get that we're supposed to sell the show on the main character and the conflict, but it could be done far better than without this nasally voiced girl singing somewhat off key about how Nanette is such a stuck up jerk face. It makes it come off less like "Ninny Poo" as Angela refers her to is less the villain as it comes off that she's just really jealous and spiteful.
"Starring me, and not starring Nanette Manoir". Thanks, I was worried it would be about Nanette when they named the show Angela Anaconda.
So, let's look at a couple episodes, starting with what most people remember, the infamous Digimon short. So, if you've seen the Digimon movie, be it either theatrically, or on VHS or DVD, then you've sat through the previews, were ready for big adventure with your favorite digital monsters who are the champions, and then, you get...
So we see that Angela and her friends are first in line to see Digimon the Movie, and it's almost time for the show. However, their plans for the best seats in theater get impeded as Nanette Manoir and her rich friends have VIP passes. So, Angela and crew race into the theaters, only to find themselves blocked by Nanette, her friends, and their teacher Mrs. Brinks. So, instead of trying their best to find other seats, Angela begins to imagine.
Oh boy, it's THIS part. The part that really makes me hate Angela. In every episode, she imagines getting really over the top revenge on either Mrs. Brinks, Nanette, or whoever is the antagonist. This time around, she's digivolves to...
So, this just leads to a giant fight with Angelamon (I feel like a tool for even writing that), fighting Nanette inside a Mrs. Brinks robot, and her friends beating them down. Yes, they blocked your seats, but considering you had all the time in the world to have chosen those seats before Nanette blocked you, this is more on your end, and your petty dreams of abusing your teacher and some snot kids comes off more as you just being an idiot. And the episode ends with a far more idiotic payoff that, hey, all of the kids went into the wrong theater, and are watching some French film. Ha. It's funny because they were all in a rush and clearly weren't paying attention.
Now that that's out of the way, let's look at an episode from the show, in this case being "Diving Miss Angela"
We open the episode with the class taking a field trip to the knock off Sea World, as Mrs. Brinks scolds Johnny Abotti (the dumb kid I mentioned earlier) for horseplay, as she is more vested in the majestic whales. Hopefully this is more just admiring the creature, and not some Troy McClure ocean creature fetish thing. Due to a contest where whoever catches the ball gets to be whale assistant, Angela lucks out, and gets her opportunity. This turns out successful for Angela.
Her experience with whale being a success, Angela is now unable to shut the hell up about it, on account of (and for some reason she says "on account of" more than any human being imaginable. Seriously, it's like some really random catchphrase) she now wants to study creatures in the ocean. Well, at least she has a goal, and clearly this won't just be a contrived plot device that will not have any importance by episode's end.
So after receiving some stuff from her Grandma Lou, she goes to the lake and looks around for underwater life, but only finds Nanette Manoir, who is part of a scuba diving class. Since she has experience despite being under 13, she has the right to be here, while Angela can essentially go screw I guess. So, are we supposed to hate Nanette yet? I mean other than petty insults, technically she hasn't done anything monstrous. And in the case of the whole scuba thing, she at least set out to get experience beforehand. Yeah, that has a lot to do with her being rich, but still.
So what follows is a montage of Angela trying to practice scuba diving. From walking underwater, to whatever the hell she's doing in the kitchen of her house, to swimming on a table. But despite training herself, and still sucking hard at it, she's surprisingly still not given a chance to snorkel. Nanette mocks Angela about not having a pool to dive in. Angela pines over this to her grandma, who goes into some segue about holding a manatee wedding. What? When Grandma Lou gives her a diving helmet, Angela suggests the lake, to which Grandma Lou says would be too dangerous. So the best way to do this is, of course...
In this case, she imagines being a deep sea diver finding the elusive Ninnyfish. With the help of Grandma Lou and the manatees mentioned earlier (I guess there was a point to that), they've captured the Ninnyfish, saving the day, I guess. So, I guess we can just move on with the story, and...
No, of course it couldn't end there. No, she wants to take the Ninnyfish to Oceanland to abuse it, not feed it treats, and force it to marry a shark. And all of this, because she said some bitchy comments and didn't want you swimming in HER POOL? I'm sorry, but this is unbalanced revenge. If Nanette did anything in this episode deserving of any form of retaliation to this degree, then okay, that would make sense. But it doesn't, and it makes Angela look extremely petty, and even more cruel than Nanette. Somehow I think when Angela gets older, it will be less cutesy imagery of what she wants to do to her enemies, and more just extremely violent.
Also, like Doug, does no one notice that Angela kind of goes all silent and still, wondering what she could be thinking of? These imagination flashbacks for the most part always seem like they come off terrible.
So, it turns out that she finds some jewel that fell off Nanette's mother's bracelet, and both Angela and her grandmother are off the hook for, you know, invasion of private property and all. But, when now given the chance to dive, Angela has now decided that she no longer wants to be a scuba diver, or to study undersea life. Nah, she'd rather study geology, making this entire experience all the more pointless.
And that's Angela Anaconda. It's... yeah. The writing is for the most part boring and bland, the animation looks more freaky and ugly than it was intended, and the main character feels more obnoxious than endearing. And my god her imagination is awful, often wanting to dole out a surprisingly unwarranted amount of revenge on someone, coming off more cruel and spiteful than the actual villains of the show. Is Nanette a bitch? Yes, that can't be disputed. But barely anything she does is often deserving of the punishment Angela wants her to have. So, yeah, it's probably not a show that will drive me insane thinking about it, but it's definitely crap.
So, first I guess we should see who wrote this episode?
Ah, Casey Alexander and Zeus Cervas. The same two who wrote "A Pal for Gary", as well as many of the infamously bad episodes of the current Spongebob era. We're really in for a treat, aren't we?
We open the episode at the Krusty Krab, as Mr. Krabs is partaking in a money bath, when he smells something bad. Perhaps he smells the script for this episode. It turns out that it's explosives set by his old enemy Plankton. After blowing up the kitchen in the restaurant, Plankton manages to capture both Mr. Krabs and Spongebob in an attempt to once again gain the krabby patty secret formula. Spongebob blabs the location, meaning that all has been won for Plankton.
However, one gigantic flaw in his plan walks into the room in the form of Mr. Krabs' daughter Pearl. This causes Plankton to go into a panic, and runs away. Turns out that Plankton has a fear of whales knowing that they eat his fellow plankton. This gives Mr. Krabs an idea. He asks Pearl to go to the Chum Bucket to pay a visit to Plankton. But she wants more mall money, to which Spongebob pays her in "Mr. Krabs Wacky Bucks", the phony money that he gets paid in. You'd be offended by that, but this is Eugene Krabs, known greedy douche. Since Pearl refuses to help, Mr. Krabs asks for some of her clothes.
Oh, and Pearl is secretly Mr. Krabs, but you kinda saw that coming from a mile away.
The constant haunting of Plankton goes on for another 16 days, making him more and more paranoid and delusional. He even begins to dream about being eaten alive by Pearl. But at least in the nightmare he gets to visit his ancestors while being half dissolved by stomach acid. With things continuing to mess him up mentally, Plankton has had it.
The next day, Plankton decides that he's finally had enough of the whale visions and lays in the middle of the road so he can be run over. Because, you know, kids love suicide. Spongebob asks what's wrong, and Plankton suggests that Spongebob step on him. However Spongebob won't because that, and I quote, "flies in the face of his good nature". Keep a note of that line because it's going to be rendered pointless very shortly. So, Plankton tells Spongebob to leave him alone, and Spongebob obliges.
So, you won't actively try to kill him, but you will allow him to kill himself. I guess that's what counts as your good nature? What the hell are the writers doing to this show?
Spongebob tells Mr. Krabs about Plankton's suicide attempt, and Mr. Krabs finds it to be hilarious. So, him trying to steal your formula is worse than you assisting in his suicide? Hell, even the old Mr. Krabs was greedy, but lord help me, he was never this evil. He'd just counter Plankton's plans, not try to destroy his life even further. Again, writers, what the hell?
Spongebob tries to tell Mr. Krabs that maybe he's taking things too far, to which Mr. Krabs reminds Spongebob that this was his fault for revealing the location of the formula. Yeah, that's true, but after Plankton was chased off the first time, you couldn't have moved the formula to a safer spot? Wouldn't have been far less effort than trying to make your sworn enemy try to kill himself?
So, Spongebob goes back to the suicidal Plankton and tells him about Mr. Krabs' whole plan to traumatize him, and also tells him about Mr. Krab's secret fear. So, yay, it kind of looks like this will end with Spongebob being able to help Plankton get some revenge, and the episode can end with at least some good feelings. Yeah, if that was the case, this wouldn't have been such a bad episode.
Plankton confronts the disguised Mr. Krabs, and despite his best efforts, Mr.Krabs no longer scares him. Plankton manages to counter him by bringing in a mime, which turns out to be the secret fear of Mr. Krabs. So, it looks like we could end this episode right here. Plankton got his revenge on Krabs, and even somewhat seems to have conquered his fear. But of course Spongebob diverts Plankton's attention...
with a holographic image of a pod of whales, causing him to run away in suicidal fear again to end the episode. So, you wouldn't step on him because it flies in the face of your good nature, but you'll easily exploit his fear to cause him to likely do himself in? Our heroes ladies and gents, more cruel than the character who's supposed to be the villain.
And that's One Coarse Meal. I get the fact that we're not supposed to have Plankton win, and bad things should happen to him. Yeah, that's all well and good, but this is a case where most of the torment he got wasn't deserved, and the fact that something as serious as suicide was handled in a joking manner. The outcome makes the characters we're supposed to consider the heroes end up like villains.
Like A Pal for Gary, which made Spongebob come off as blind and cruel, this episode made him look just as bad as Mr. Krabs. Zeus Cervas and Casey Alexander have shown so far that they don't get what made Spongebob funny so long ago, and often tried too hard to raise the bar, without thinking about what it would do to the characters they involve. I'm starting to understand the hate for modern Spongebob with each episode I review. And the sad thing is it looks like I have a lot more to go.
I think with all the recent hubbub about Family Guy, it's only fair for me to do a review of one of the worst episodes of the show. And looking at all of the worst this show has had to offer, it's almost impossible to pick just one. I could have gone with the much lauded "Seahorse Seashell Party", which not only frightens the eye with horrific imagery in a lazy attempt to prove "look, we have a budget", but tries to justify making Meg the show's go-to punching bag, but that's been done by many a reviewer. I was also thinking of reviewing "Brian and Stewie". You know that one hour episode that was really like 40 minutes, spending that time with an insufferable baby diaper eating joke, followed by ear mutilation, rewarding the viewer for sitting through the schlock with a schmaltzy ending involving Brian's suicidal thoughts.
That pretty much says a lot about modern Family Guy. It seems that the show has tried more and more in recent years to be more about pulling on the heartstrings while trying their damnedest to be controversial. Be it episodes about Lois' concerns over a sick child not being treated by doctors due to the beliefs of his parents, or the most recent attempt to get the show talked about for the first time since like maybe 2005, which was by brutally killing off Brian Griffin in an episode that again tries too hard to be emotional and heartfelt.
Seriously, this is a show that gave us singing prom night dumpster babies and Quagmire shooting and killing the Simpsons. Attempts at seriousness from this show feel like the show trying too hard to be deep. You're not All in the Family. Hell, you're barely Facts of Life.
Which leads me to the episode I'm reviewing for this edition of Tooncrap. So, what's Family Guy going to treat as a hot button issue this time? The answer is domestic abuse. I guess it's okay to take it serious in this episode. It's not Meg being beat up. So, let's not waste time like some Conway Twitty bit. Let's review this thing.
We open the episode in the Griffin household as Peter tells Lois that he's going fishing with Joe and Quagmire. They joke around about that forgettable time that Peter was a fisherman with two Portuguese assistants, followed by a cutaway of porch geese. heh. At the docks, Joe and Peter are waiting for Quagmire, while having a hard time making idle conversation with one another. The bit goes nowhere.
The two find Quagmire at home hanging from the ceiling, suffering from auto-erotic asphyxiation after watching clown porn. Hey, a funny joke... being done in a rather dark scene. Joe's concerned about Quagmire's health, while Peter is his usual selfish douche self. At the hospital, Peter tells his family that Quagmire is in a coma, and that the only member of his family coming to show up is his sister Brenda with her boyfriend Jeff. I guess a plus to this is at least his dad isn't showing up so the show can make oh-so-tasteful transgender jokes.
Lois isn't too happy about this considering that Jeff is abusive to Brenda, but Peter says that she's gotten a lot better. Yeah, anything Peter says in this episode pretty much results in assholery. We see the couple arrive to the hospital, and yeah, Jeff is abusive to Brenda, and she's pretty much scared to say anything against him. She sings a song her mother used to sing to her (which is about events happening then on October 30th 2011. It's a backfire of a joke. In fact, let's go back to the clown porn, so far that's the only thing that worked in this episode). The song wakes Quagmire from his coma, but before the siblings can talk, Jeff drags her out of the room.
At Quagmire's place, we get more nonsensical verbal abuse from Jeff, which I guess is supposed to be funny, and knowing the writers of this show, it probably was, but really reaches for any sliver of a chuckle and gets nothing in return. Jeff shoves Brenda into another room as we hear her getting verbally abused, again trying for laughs with some of his dialogue, but yeah, no. After the break, it's more verbal abuse.
Quagmire talks to the Griffins about Jeff and this leads Peter into an Iraq Lobster cutaway. Ah, the classic Family Guy callback, only taking what was funny about the original bit, adding obvious racism and placing it in an episode that they're claiming to be a serious story. Quagmire asks Lois to talk to Brenda about leaving Jeff, which leads to a bit involving Brenda having a black eye, and also seemingly having no problem with being abused by Jeff. Quagmire asks Joe to arrest him, but he can't unless Brenda files a formal complaint, which as we saw by the multiple excuses made, that's not happening.
The plan in motion is an intervention. And this leads to yet again misfire joke after misfire joke, from Joe not knowing Chris' name to Peter telling Brenda to smoke a whole carton of cigarettes. Quagmire reads a letter he wrote saying that her being with Jeff has proven that she wants to make her life worse, and that he wants his sister back. These are strong, powerful words. Strong, powerful words from a rapist, but I guess the point is still being made. However, this proves to not work as she's going to marry Jeff because she's pregnant. Peter suggests the names Slappy, Bruisey, and "Keep it Down in Theresy".
Remember when Peter was actually funny? I mean like saying funny things, doing funny things. It seems like now, especially in this episode his whole role is to be the comic relief, but instead of saying something to lighten the mood, the joke comes from mockery of the situation. His role from father who sometimes does the wrong thing but his heart is in the right place has been replaced by horrible person who does horrible things and only really seems to apologize when he knows it'll cost him his family. You know, that family with the wife he treats like crap, and the kids he doesn't even love. That last one being a whole last act plot that was resolved in classic cold Family Guy fashion.
But Peter does eventually come up with a logical idea, why don't they just kick his ass? You know, because a fat guy, a lanky guy, and a cripple stand a chance against a testosterone fueled brute. Quagmire suggests killing Jeff instead, while Joe tells him that he could be arrested for. This leads to a sex with a rooster joke that again feels like it didn't even know its purpose. This of course leads to what this whole episode has been building up to, Jeff beating Brenda. Again, this wouldn't feel like Family Guy suddenly acting like this situation is disturbing to them if it wasn't born from a throwaway joke.
That's right. In the season 8 episode "Jerome is the New Black", the B-Plot involved Brian trying to find out why Quagmire doesn't like him. One of those bits has Brian in a misunderstanding believing that a girl in Quagmire's place was just some score, but it was his sister Brenda, who was hiding from Jeff, who finds her, and we hear her being beaten, being played for comedic effect. Just like this episode. This episode tries too hard to throw humor in a humorless situation. Hey, a conflict over Leno and Letterman. That would be funny if this was still 1993 and it wasn't followed by a woman being struck to the ground.
Finally seeing the abuse go to far (you know, it took seeing the physical aspect of that abuse to do anything about it), they decide to take Jeff on a "hunting trip". This plan to finally off Jeff goes awry when he gets his hands on a shotgun, knocks out Peter and Joe, and takes Quagmire for a ride to the middle of the forest to kill him. Quagmire convinces Jeff to drop the gun and fight like a man, which leads to the two brawling. Or in this case, mostly Quagmire getting his ass handed to him. Jeff chokes out Quagmire, and leaves, believing he killed him. But remember the whole auto-erotic asphyxiation bit earlier? Looks like that actually comes in to play, as Quagmire recovers, hops in the car, and rams it into Jeff, killing him instantly.
You know, I'm glad that Quagmire killed the monster who abused his sister and all, but seriously show, are you really trying to make me cheer for the rapist who preyed on teenagers, and even once said he had no problems sleeping with his daughter? Whatever, the worst of the two (I guess) is killed at least. And the episode ends with Quagmire and company instead of telling Brenda what happened, give her a phony letter saying that Jeff left her instead. I guess that's a more positive way to finish this off.
This episode is a hard one to watch honestly, because it not only deals with some rather rough subject matter of domestic abuse and battered wife syndrome, but it's done in the style fitting of the current writing mindset of this series. Let's try to lighten the mood from this dark story with jokes. But instead of distracting jokes, let's make them more and more tasteless in context of the current situation. And let's do this while trying to make the rapist of the show sympathetic, and even that doesn't fully work. They act like suddenly abuse is a serious topic to them, which would be fine, if the episode before this one didn't try to justify Meg being verbally and physically abused by her family. So, yeah, hypocrisy, thy name is Family Guy.
I know, if I'm looking for good taste, maybe I shouldn't be watching Family Guy. But here's the thing. Maybe if Family Guy was trying to be funny and not make some lopsided point, then maybe that excuse could work. Family Guy's not a show that should be handling this level of drama. It doesn't fit the writing style this show is best suited for. That being crass humor, pop culture digs, and random silliness. Trying to do deeper stories like this just falls on its face because it's subject matter being handled by for the most part inhuman monsters, who either just act like jerks, or try to make the whole situation even worse with inappropriate remarks. Stick to silly episodes, or time adventures with Stewie and Brian.
Yeah, he's dead. But I'm not falling for this phony "dead forever" scam. He'll be back louder, angrier, and with more liberal agendas than ever on a show that in all honesty should have stayed cancelled.
Christmas time has reared its snowy head once again, and that means it's time once more to look at some holly jolly horribleness from the realm of the animated. I've talked of nutcrakers and care bears, talking snowmen, and ponies on twinkle wish adventures. I thought I had really looked at some stinkers. But it turns out that I had only scratched the surface of the coal filled stocking when I saw this DVD. I mean, Elf Bowling: The Movie? It's like the crap gods above were tempting me with the wafting odors of pure fecal delights.
So, what the hell is Elf Bowling? It was a computer game, where you played as Santa Claus who, you guessed, fired birds from a slingshot to kill pigs. Wait, wrong game, but the point remains. It was a bowling game where you bowled elves. It gained popularity, and there were plenty of updated versions of the game. Even going so far as to add ports to the Gameboy advance and the Nintendo DS, much to the dismay of critics, and anyone foolish enough to buy it.
However, despite the simplicity of something like bowling elves, the creators felt that they clearly had the next big franchise on their hands, and that its popularity was enough to warrant a series of animated films. No, seriously. There was a sales promo for the first film, claiming it to be bigger than Jesus. Claiming it's gonna hit the big screen, and that USA Today calls it, and I'm not BS'ing you, "A Phenomenon". Hell, the sales promo full on promotes a sequel in the works that never got made. Nor did this even touch the theater.
So, let's see if this truly strikes out. Let's review this thing.
We open the story with the origin of Santa Claus (voiced by Joe Alaskey), who in this version is a pirate, who steals toys from kids to sell them right back to other kids. Santa (who's full name is Santa Maria Clauswitz-Kringle), ask his crew the age old question of "who pooped in the peanut barrel?" Because you know, nothing says Christmas like bowel movements. But it turns out that Santa's not a complete prick as he sets baskets of toys out to sea to be picked up by poor children. Let's just hope those poor children live close to the water and all. Middle of the land can go screw.
Santa feels it's time for a little game of nine-pin, and calls for his brother, and film antagonist, Dingle Kringle, who's voiced by... Tom Kenny? Thy actually got decent voice talents in this film? I do so many of these cheap, horrible animated films I was expecting the "best" we'd get is the 4kids voice actors. Santa seems to be a proficient ball holder, as he easily beats his crew. When the crew accuses Santa and Dingle of cheating, the two blame each other, and engage in a sudden sword fight, until they're both knocked off the ship into the icy waters below.
After cooling down, Santa is introduced to the elves, who show him the North Pole. Santa claims to be grateful, but considering he's a plundering pirate of pure prickishness, he and Dingle claim to be shoe salesman.. The elves, being idiots, buy it, because they think he's whitebeard. They even show the duo to their toy factory. And since these two are god awful at hiding they're intentions, Dingle even says out loud that he intends to steal the toys, which Santa counters with clearly meaning "giving them to kiddies". And they buy it because stupidity.
Turns out that the elves make the toys, play with them, and since they don't think to just recycle these toys or trade them with other elves, they just stuff ten trillion of them inside the mountains. When elves start to march in place, Dingle tries to grab Lex's ball (get used to these ball puns, kids), and drop the ball, literally bowling the elves over.
There, we got our titular elf bowling, can we end this now?
But it turns out these elves have no problem being abused and knocked about by their white bearded overlord. We also get more of Santa's plan to trick Lex into giving him the ball so he can conjure a ship, steal the toys, and get revenge on their crew. And they once again say all this OUT FRIGGING LOUD! But nobody's paying attention anyway as the elves are welcoming their new leader with... armpit farts? Sure. Okay.
Santa is then introduced to pastry chef/love interest Grizelda, who welcomes the fat man with some strudel, which, as it turns out, is Santa's favorite dish. That's all well and good...
But nevermind all that crap, we have Dingle talking to... a mafioso Penguin?
Santa is still completely focused on his revenge, but Lex gives him the idea to only work one day a year delivering toys. With that news, as well as free room, board, and strudel, Santa is down for the task. Lex introduces him to the main players of this elf association. Wrappelstiltskin (friggin' really?), a black elf that raps (of course he does, why wouldn't he?), Bagger, who made a magic bag that can hold 10 billion toys, and Candle, who... makes candles? No, he's in charge of entertainment. Lex makes a sleigh for Santa to deliver the toys, and this leads to, of course, a song. Because we're almost 20 minutes into this film, and I was praying that meant we were safe. How foolish I am.
As sung by the gravelly voice of Bagger, he tells Santa that good productivity and all of the magic from Lex's ball requires the elves to be happy to fill up the... ugh... Bum-o-meter, and he tells Santa to sign a contract. This is nearly Gottfried levels of bad in terms of the singing, and it has to be the least catchy song of all time as none of the lines are memorable, mostly being just an off key mess. Simply put, don't piss the elves off, or they'll go on strike. there. I saved the audience over two minutes of ear pain.
So, we get a bunch of exposition about how Santa and Dingle would be given immortality, and how he would be good to his word by doing the Christmas job for centuries, while Dingle was still a piratin' prick. He even weds Grizelda. And keeping with the title of the film that hasn't focused on much bowling, we cut to 1400 years later where Santa decides to finally give the elves their own bowling alley.
Santa is even tired of his freeloading brother (though his fear of losing the tase of Grizelda's oh-so-godly strudel is the real key factor), and throws out Dingle. Dingle later assembles his henchman of mafia penguins (still blows my mind) that he plans to try and take Christmas from Santa. Or you could, you know, not do that, and stop being such a douche. But there's like over a half hour left of this crud, so I guess any motivation is good motivation. And how does he plan to take over Christmas? By bowling of course.
After some really painful puns, we get to the elf bowling match with Christmas on the Line. Dingle has his pengoons cheat for him to give him the advantage over Santa and win, until he is caught in his cheating ways. There, Dingle's defeated, and Santa keeps Christmas. Clearly that must means the movie's over.
Yep, after almost a half decade here on Blogger, Tooncrap is finally making a much needed move. Starting January 14th, this blog will be moving to Game Show Garbage as part of the site's bigger extensions for the coming year. What this will mean is now there will be a new article once every month, as well as a cleaner, more improved version of many of the classic articles posted here on this fine blog.
So, what does that mean for the blog here? Will it be removed in total? Right now, that's not the current plan. In fact, I may come up with some new ideas and articles in the near future. But as it pertains to official articles, they will be official property of GSG effective this Saturday.
I want to thank everyone who has supported this review blog since its inception. I definitely wouldn't have stuck with it without the support of those who really wanted to help see this blog grow and improve. And as the coming year moves forward, and this new alliance with GSG, there will be more great new content, more fun, and definitely more dumpster diving into the worst in animation.
Welcome to the first ever voting field for the first ever Crummy Awards. It's odd. I've been doing Tooncrap since 2008, and yet I've never thought to put in the effort to do an awards article. But looking at the majority of what was given to people in 2013, there definitely isn't a better year to do this. And since I love to put the old bashing on old Dr. Crumb of the infamously bad "Little and Big Monsters" and "What's Up? Balloon to the Rescue", he will serve as the "gooker" of sorts.
So, here are the first ever nominees for the Crummy Awards. All choices were based off poor reviews elsewhere, as well as if they're currently released on DVD by the time I get to reviewing this in early March. Hence why "Walking With the Dinosaurs 3D" is a worthy inductee, but seems to be a while ahead from release.
2013 Crummy Award Winner
Well, you voted, and here it is. The first ever Crummy Awards was a surprisingly strong turnout. Hell, when I made the poll, I was expecting maybe 10 pity votes at best. But lo and behold, I stand shocked at 217 votes in total. And despite strong showings from both Uncle Grandpa and Smurfs 2, the dominant winner taking over 29% of the vote was the Family Guy Life of Brian saga. And since you fine toonsters want it, you get it.
I swear to god Family Guy was good at one point. When the writers were trying their damnedest for quality humor mixed with irreverent pop culture references and random comedy. The first few seasons, notably the ones post-initial cancellation were actually funny. In fact those episodes were so popular that it revived the show from being another body in the colossal morgue that is the Fox network, and helped it become a ratings dynamo.
However, as the show progressed, the quality of the episodes began to... well... blow badly. In fact if you read my review of "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q", you'll see that the glaring issue with modern Family Guy boils down to two massive problems. The first being an overabundance of shock value and crass, mean spirited humor. There's nothing wrong with dark humor, but when the best the writers can do is have Peter make jokes about the name of a baby being born to a family where the wife is being abused, it doesn't have the punch it needs.
And then there's the other issue that really kicks this show in the shin, and causes it to make "Ow" and "sss" noises for five minutes, because it was funny the first time, so you have to ruin it by doing it again, only longer and far more obnoxiously. Family Guy is trying to become more serious with its issues and stories, and it never, ever works. You can't end an episode with Brian talking about suicide after you forced your fans to watch a 10 minute diaper eating joke. You can't talk about religion if it comes from a slighted atheist mindset where all Christians are ignorant, book burning morons. And in the case of "The Life of Brian", you can't try to evoke sadness from your fans while delivering some of the show's worst jokes.
In early 2013, Seth MacFarlane had announced that the show was going to kill off a major character. And as more info became apparent, it was clear whose dog days were numbered. And in late November of 2013, The Life of Brian aired, and we got just that. So, let's look at this episode, see what's wrong with it, and why it deserves the Crummy Award. Let's review this thing.
While destroying the remains of the time machine, Brian finds a perfectly good hockey net at the dump, and decides to take it home with him. The duo decide to set it up in the street to play a game, as Brian gives off a little monologue that pretty much screams out "your ass is dead in a few seconds, isn't it?"
The Griffin family see Brian in his last moments of life, as he tells the family that he loved them all, just before he dies. The entire family is deeply saddened by this, and of course the most saddened is Stewie. He tries to rebuild the time machine, but wouldn't you know it? He can't fully rebuild it, because one certain part isn't available anymore. Well, I guess that's it for the time machine angle in the series forever now...
OR he can just build a whole new time machine in the season finale, further taking the piss out of this oh so dramatic situation. For once my procrastination actually benefits me.
At Brian's funeral, we see more sad people, along with more poorly timed jokes (except the Adam West joke, which actually is funny), as the family says their farewell to Brian. I know that Brian was a major character in the series and all, but didn't Family Guy once do an episode where they pointed out how little the importance of a dog's life was to the people of Quahog? There I go throwing continuity around when it looks like it matters.
After a month without Brian, the Griffins are still suffering from a bit of grief. And to show just how much Brian truly meant to them, they decide to go forward with getting a new dog, which contradicts entirely how valued Brian truly was to everyone but Stewie I guess. They look around the pet store for a replacement, and eventually find...
This is Vinnie. He's like Brian, as in he's a talking dog, and that's pretty much it. Do you love over the top Italian gangster stereotypes? Do you like that one guy from the Sopranos that wasn't Big Pussy? Well here you go. After instantly hitting it off with Peter, the Griffins decide to get Vinnie, and he becomes beloved by everyone except Stewie.
Oh, and in between we get a crucifixion cutaway gag involving someone mad at a pickle jar and the other guy tells him to nail it up on a cross. This is the extent to what the cutaway gags have gotten to. Pointless shock value with no comedic punchline. I harp on Prom Night Dumpster Baby a lot, but at least that was kinda entertaining. This? Crucify a pickle jar? The hell did that idea even come from?
Stewie tries his hardest to get rid of Vinnie. Mainly through trying to kill him with so much Italian-based grief. But of course, it doesn't work. Eventually Stewie gives up, and Vinnie tells him a sob story about his former owner, and how he wants a family again. It does try to convey how sad the character is, and tries to make him sympathetic. But in the end, it's still just boring, unfunny, and trying too hard to be heartwarming on a show that pretty much has made it clear that the majority of the character within are devoid of anything resembling a heart. Whatever, the episode ends with Stewie and Vinnie getting along, and the Family Guy fandom clearly having no problems whatsoever with the outcome.
Oh right, the fandom lost their everlovin' shit over this. Rants on Twitter, people claiming to be done with Family Guy over the outcome. One idiot even tattooing Brian on his arm to commemorate the death of the pooch. Despite the fact that for the most part, they had stated from multiple sources that there were plans to kill off a character later in the season, most people weren't expecting it to be Brian. I think there were even petitions to bring back Brian in the series.
Though considering there are petitions to bring back Twilight's library, the whole idea of petitions have become nothing but farce nowadays anyhoo.
The next episode "Into Harmony's Way" only features Vinnie like twice in any major capacity, and really isn't worth getting into. The jokes in it are a little funnier since they're not having to write a particularly sadder episode.
And that brings us to "Christmas Guy", where this continues on. The episode for the first half plays like a basic episode of the show. Lois' father Carter Pewtershmidt cancels the mall's Christmas carnival and Peter tries to get him to change his mind.
Oh, and the whole situation is saved when Peter calls Carter Jewish. Yeah. That made the first half so worth watching.
With the Christmas carnival back on, Stewie gets to ask Santa for what he wants. And the one thing he wants is Brian back, since he's the only one who still even acknowledges that Brian even existed.
"The Life of Brian" is not the worst Family Guy episode ever. They've done far worse with even more serious subject matter. What makes it so infamous is how much of a deliberate ratings trap it was. They built up the importance of killing off Brian, which led to immediate outrage by the fans of the seires, only to quick fix the situation a whole two episodes later. That would seem like a case of listening to the concerns of the fans, if Family Guy episodes weren't planned out a long time in advance. Whether or not the complaints happened.
Whether the fans mourned Brian's death or cheered it on, this was planned from minute one. Though I guess it did what it set out to do, get people actually talking about Family Guy again in any major capacity for like the first time since it was brought back 2005 at least. But in the end, it will always be a black mark of desperation on a show that at one time didn't need to sink to low ends to get people to care about it.
Thanks once again to everyone who voted this as the winner of the first ever Crummy Awards. See you in 2015 with another worst of the year as chosen by you, and most likely postponed constantly until at least mid-June, because I'm just that lazy. See you next time!
I've been thinking about doing something of this nature for a few years now, but I think it's finally time for Tooncrap to start to break beyond its simplistic blogger nature, and become a bit more interactive. So, as of today, I officially welcome you to the new Tooncrap message board.
Teenage Fairytale Dropouts tells the story of three teenagers (well duh) who are related to popular characters from classic stories. We have Trafalgar (AKA high contender for worst name ever) who is nephew to Merlin, Jeremiah, who is the son of the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, and Fury, who is the tooth fairy's daughter. And the gimmick behind these characters is that they each have something that doesn't make them as good as their fairytale relatives. Jeremiah isn't gigantic, Fury doesn't have fairy wings, and Trafalgar sucks at magic.
Stories base themselves on our main characters often getting themselves in trouble, and having to learn from their mistakes. For example, in the episode "Winged Fury", Fury thinks she's finally growing wings due to her back being itchy. This gains her popularity with the other rather jerkish fairies. However it turns out it's just a rash, and after more mayhem, all is back to status quo by the end of the episode. Each episode runs about two 11 minute episodes.
The show is far from horrible, or to the level most of my inductions usually get to. The characters do have their charms, and there's nothing that overall comes off as bad for kids to watch. But the problem is there really isn't much substance to this show to make you want more after maybe one or two episodes. The comedy isn't particularly all that strong, and the voice acting is okay at best.
On the animation side, it's very basic flash animation for a TV series. Understandable since the show isn't exactly on the biggest budget ever, but compared to better cartoons that have managed to do some excellent work with flash budget limitations, this looks inferior in comparison.
And in the end, the idea of fairy tale schools and even just schools with magic involved have been done in better cartoons. A good example being the often forgotten "Ultimate Book of Spells" cartoon that aired in the early 2000's. The concept is far from new or fresh, and this cartoon, while some of its concepts are interesting, just feels like the same old idea.
So is it crap? I don't think it's worth inducting since nothing about it feels like an atrocity. Trust me, I've seen worse with this type of story (ugh, Little Princess School). But it's also nothing fantastic either. So for my first one of these reviews, I give the cartoon in question "Teenage Fairytale Dropouts" a MEH rating.
Exclusive to GSG this week is an all new induction that looks at Doug's first, and only, feature film. Monsters, idiot balls, and robots galore. Check it out.
Now up is a new blog from me known as VHS Vitriol. It will contain movie reviews of good, bad, and all around interesting movies from the era of the VHS tape. And the screenshots will be taken in glorious Cheap-O-Vision. So if you're hankering for new reviews, check out http://vhsvitriol.blogspot.ca/
The Day My Butt Went Psycho is an animated adaptation of a novel by Andy Griffiths. That's Griffiths with an S at the end, so if you thought Matlock wrote a book about talking asses, then you're dead wrong. It originally aired in Australia, and debuted on Teletoon in Canada in June of 2014. The general plot to the cartoon is that long ago, people's butts left the bodies of their human hosts, and rebelled, starting some major war. Eventually man and butt met with an uneasy peace between the two, and they live in harmony. However, there are still some evil asses, so the world still needs the next great butt fighter.
Enter our protagonist Zack Freeman, regular cool dude, and biggest fan of the "B Team", the greatest group of butt fighters ever. We also meet his butt named Deuce, a somewhat annoying cool dude butt who is really stupid, and has a tendency to spazz out at the sight of anything clean. Who, together with their friend Eleanor, daughter of the leader of the B team, put a stop to evil butts, and for the most part, just go on goofy, random adventures.
So, yeah, the concept of the cartoon is definitely out there. Talking asses. A war between man and posterior. And a world where man and butt live together. Of course the major questions you want to ask about a show like this are never really explained, such as how people sit, or the more pressing question of how one takes a dump. But considering this is a kids cartoon, you won't ever get an answer to that. However, I think that if the show used this concept much better, focused a lot more on the war between man and butt, and had much better writing, it could really make this concept work.
The cartoon is done in flash, and isn't the most amazing looking, but still has some decent designs, and in comparison to the last cartoon I reviewed (Teenage Fairytale Dropouts), it definitely looks a lot better. You never see the back end of the butts, which makes sense for a kids cartoon. When the show does do fight scenes, they have this nice stylized look with everything being a single color. And I do like the character designs for the most part.
However, I do think there are plenty of problems with this cartoon that keep it from being something amazing. First off, while the show brings up this interesting lore about butt fighters, and a war between man and butt, most episodes of the series just fall under the stock "two awesome dudes having wacky adventures" shtick that was done far better with the likes of Adventure Time and Regular Show. The show also tries to use a bit too much close up gross out humor, which always feels out of place when its done. And yes, I know I'm saying that gross out humor in a cartoon with talking asses is out of place.
In the end, The Day My Butt Went Psycho turned out to surprise me with a show that was better than I expected. However, I feel that the idea within could have been saved with better writing, more focus on the whole man vs butt story instead of just randomness, and far less dependency on gross out humor. That said, I do like the show's look, and even some of the characters. I don't know how perfectly it's adapted from the book, but if it is, then it's doing an okay enough job. It's not going to please most cartoon fans, and it's definitely geared more towards 8-year old boys with its constant butt jokes, but I've seen far worse attempts at this kind of show, so that's another point in this cartoon's favor. I say that The Day My Butt Went Psycho is not tooncrap worthy, and is an okay at best cartoon.
How bad can an adaptation be? Find out Here with this month's newest Game Show Garbage induction
But, what led to this channel's eventual death? For a lot of people, this wasn't completely unexpected. The company has never exactly been a ratings giant throughout its four year run, despite, again, one exception with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. But after just a mere four year run, it's quitting time already? What killed the channel, and why couldn't it ever find its footing in the kids network battle? Well, I've broken it down to five reasons. These aren't too detailed, but they are quick thoughts on why the channel never succeeded.
#1. Not enough interesting original programs
In four years on the air, it's hard to really count on both hands how many original Hub shows aired that left any form of lasting impact. There was Dan Vs., a show that was cut way too soon, Transformers Prime: one of the stronger Transformers cartoons in recent memory (Rescue Bots is so-so), R.L Stine's "The Haunting Hour" series (Which considering the network also aired Goosebumps was a great addition), Littlest Pet Shop (which is oft considered a sister show to MLP due to the studio behind it), The Aquabats Super Show, game shows like Family Game Night and The Game of Life, and then the cash cow of the network, My Little Pony. There are other shows, but in the end, they're far more forgettable, stuff like Kid President, or Parents Just Don't Understand.
Everything else was pretty much old sitcoms, or old cartoon shows. Though granted, some of those old cartoons included Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures. Both of which are still awesome, but I'd argue hold up better for older audiences than they do for modern kids, since they're both drenched in early 90's pop culture. As for the sitcoms, I'm not knocking them, but shows like Sister Sister or Blossom haven't exactly been remembered as fondly as other sitcoms like Saved By the Bell, or Full House. Also, I remember when they were advertising that they were airing Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. Ew.
The movie list was pretty sparse as well. I mean, when you're airing The Nightmare Before Christmas in May, then you've really defeated the purpose of the film entirely. That, and clearly you don't have as many movies as you should.
I think that the lack of strong original programs, and even a better variety of stronger shows on rotation were definitely one of the bigger factors in the death of the Hub.
#2. Bigger competition
Simple reason here. Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Disney were running the kids TV game for years before Hasbro and Discovery tried to step foot. And since these channels for the most part have always provided better variety in shows (Nickelodeon you could argue on that), many of which have become massive successes, it really never gave the Hub the time it needed to develop.
#3. The Network's Availability
Another simple reason. Not enough cable providers picked the network up. In fact, I constantly hear from fans of MLP that they don't get the Hub in their packages. This means the dream viewer base could never get to where the channel needed, and that's less their fault and more the cable providers who turned the channel down.
#4. People only watched for Ponies, and nothing else
This is more exaggerated, but it does hold a lot of truth to it. The only show that proved any form of mainstream success was Friendship is Magic. Hell, it turned out to be a bigger success than even Hasbro had expected, as it gained the admiration of a completely different demographic as planned. The Lauren Faust created reboot became a hit with kids and adults (Many being men), and even in reruns is the highest rated show on the network. As for anything else, not so much.
And that's really a problem in the grand scheme of things, and goes back to the lack of quality original content statement. Friendship is Magic turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. Yes, it gained ratings and popularity, but it didn't bring people in to stay for the rest of the network's offerings. Hell, go to any facebook post by the hub that isn't about My Little Pony, and almost every post is littered about ponies. Not to mention the show's easy accessibility online makes it easier for people who even have the hub initially to just cut the middleman out altogether, which is a big shame, and makes Hasbro's copyright battles more justified.
I'm certainly not knocking the Brony community on this, but you can definitely see how these actions could lead to doing more harm than good for the people who provide the ponies they love so much.
#5. The channel took too long to progress
And the biggest issue I have, one that ties in to a lot of this is that the Hub never evolved. From 2010 to 2014 it has always felt like the same channel, never truly evolving or changing its game as time went on. And for any network, especially in the 2010s, that's not particularly wise. This isn't the eighties, an era where the kids network concept was still fresh, and where channels like even Nickelodeon wouldn't truly evolve with stronger original content until the early nineties, things now have to remain fresh and interesting to keep up in an always changing cable industry. And for the Hub, whose biggest change in four years was a logo update, it was too little too late. And it seemed like people realized that too soon, as original CEO Margaret Loesch jumped off the sinking ship, and it pretty much felt like the end was in sight.
And that's where we are now. Come October 13th, the four year run of the Hub Network will come to a close. And in the end, it will be a shame. So, here's to you Hub Network. You may have been around for a short amount of time, but it was a fun run.
So, when in February of this year it was announced that the sequel "Rainbow Rocks" would be coming out, I was cautiously optimistic. Why? Because I know for all the flaws with the first film, most could be attributed to DHX being given this new IP to work with and with very little time to build new ideas for it. Also, being the first movie, it had to suffer from introducing and building this new human horse world.
When the film was released a month ago, i managed to see it the best way I knew how... by means of a camera rip from the Cinema release. And was my optimism rewarded?
In almost every way.
The plot to Rainbow Rocks sees it being not too long after the events of the first movie. Sunset Shimmer, the villain of the previous film, is now trying to be a good person, despite nobody but the main five giving her a chance. But their attempts at goodness are interrupted by three girls known as the Dazzlings, who seem to have musical powers that bring out the negativity in others. Their goal is to execute a battle of the bands to feast on the negativity of everyone, including our heroes. With everyone under their spell but our heroes, Sunset Shimmer sends a message to Twilight Sparkle in Equestria, who may be the only one who can find a way to put a stop to the plans of the evil sirens. But with their band the Rainbooms having a hard time getting along, can they put a stop to the Dazzings, and will it be Twilight who saves the day this time?
So, what makes this film work where the other one didn't? At a glance, the concept of a battle of the bands story is no more original than the first's fall formal story. But it does work as the backdrop to the plot. The main story within really focuses more on Sunset Shimmer, who does actually feel remorse for her past actions. You do see her wanting to change the preconceptions that everyone has about her, and without spoiling much, most of the story does hinge on her actions more than even franchise protagonist Twilight.
The mane six all get entertaining moments in this episode. They play off each other great, and feel a lot more like the pony versions you know so well. And even that feeling of "Twilight and five strangers" feels like it's gone as well. You get them at all their best traits. Rarity being fashion obsessed, Pinkie Pie being random, Applejack being the voice of reason, Rainbow Dash being arrogant, and Fluttershy... well, I think you get the point there.
The Dazzlings also make for fun villains, albeit a bit too stereotypical. You get Adagio the leader, Aria the angry one, and Sonata, the dimwitted one that everyone loves. Reminds me a lot of the Misfits from Jem. The film also features tons of humanized cameos from many of the show's most beloved side characters and background ponies, and one certain "great and powerful" one plays a bigger role in this as well.
The animation also feels like a step up from the last film. Character designs feel like they've greatly improved with the year or work since the first, and some of the effects really stand out for a cartoon animated in flash. It feels like there was far more effort put in not just the designs, but the music as well. Being a movie about a battle of the bands, there's tons of new songs, many of which feel as on par with the show, and have far more variety than the same sounding ones in the original Equestria Girls. And some of them are far more catchy as well.
And how about Flash Sentry? Surely he's gotten more interesting right?
Nah, he still sucks.
But he's barely in the film, so he's hardly a detriment to it.
So, in the end, is Rainbow Rocks crap? Not at all. It has a few flaws in parts, but everything else involved is a top notch animated film. It's definitely a sign of DHX wanting to make something of this spinoff, while also keeping the original series going strong into its fifth season (as well as a now planned MLP movie in 2017). There is a third EQG movie planned for next year, so it should be interesting to see where we go from here. But for now, this is definitely a vast improvement. from where we started
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rock will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray on October 28th.