AVAHS – A Pinky and the Brain Christmas Review

Plot: Brain has a plan to take over the minds of people across the globe by planting his mind-controlling Noodle Noggin dolls in Santa’s sleigh.

Breakdown: I watched a lot of Pinky and the Brain when I was a kid. I wasn’t as big of a fan of the series as Animaniacs, the series on which Pinky and the Brain spun off, or even Tiny Toon Adventures, but I did like it quite a lot.

I only vaguely remember this special, but I’m very glad I rediscovered it because this is a really great Christmas special. Not only does Brain have a pretty good plan that very nearly works, not only do they get into some pretty funny shenanigans in the meantime, but they also manage to end on a legitimately heartwarming moment. It was kinda predictable, admittedly, but it was also super sweet. I audibly said “Aww!” at least four times when watching the final five minutes. Pinky is just the sweetest sweetheart in the world.

What’s weird is that the quality of the footage is quite bad on Hulu. It’s available on DVD, but the quality of the episode on Hulu is kinda bad for some reason.

Anyhoo, this is a very sweet and funny Christmas special that I recommend to anyone.


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AVAHS – Casper’s First Christmas Review

Plot: Casper tries to celebrate Christmas while waiting for the impending demolition of his home. Meanwhile, the other Hanna-Barbera characters visit the home, not realizing it’s haunted, to have a fun Christmas together.

Breakdown: Ladies and gentlemen….we have been lied to.

Yogi Bear is in this special.

He’s supposed to be hibernating.

This deception cannot go unpunished!

Blatant filthy lies aside, this is a pretty okay special, although there is something inherently depressing about a dead child trying to celebrate Christmas. Also, doesn’t that technically mean the title is incorrect? Casper certainly had to have had Christmases while he was alive, right?

I honestly don’t have much to say about this special because nothing much happens. Hairy Scary scares the other characters when they visit the house and is a grump about Christmas, but then he changes his mind, his house is saved, and everyone has a merry Christmas. It’s plenty Christmassy, there’s just not much to it. If you like Casper and Hanna-Barbera stuff, it’s a fine little special to watch around the holidays.


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AVAHS – Thomas and Friends: Percy the Snowman Review

Thomas and Friends Percy the Snowman

Plot: Thomas gets a special job for the holiday, but Percy is stuck in the snow. Thomas is determined to share his special with Percy, but he may be doing more harm than good.

Breakdown: I watched my fair share of Thomas the Tank Engine back in the day. It was a quaint and unique, if not somewhat creepy in its presentation, little show that holds a special place in my heart. When I heard they were rebooting the series in CGI and actually animating the characters I kinda had mixed feelings. I wasn’t really going to watch it either way, but I felt like it would lose a special little something having it animated like that. Sure, their non-moving faces were creepy, but their creepiness was, oddly, part of their charm.

No harm, no foul, though. This is for a new generation, so they can do whatever they want. I’m probably just being an old curmudgeon anyway.

I was actually looking forward to checking out this episode because it’s been a LONG time since I’ve seen anything Thomas the Tank Engine that wasn’t a meme. When I Googled the episode, I found the IMDB page for it, and uh…….It had a 2/10 rating (with 36 ratings) with no written reviews. I got a little baffled, to say the least.

I haven’t heard anything about this reboot, and I don’t think people who are grumpy old curmudgeons would bother review bombing a random episode of this series, so I didn’t know how to take this.

There were two versions of the show on the (Official?) Thomas the Tank Engine HD version Youtube channel – The UK version and the US version. I was more than curious to see how the two versions differed, so I watched both side-by-side. Basically, the entirety of the show is completely the same outside of the accents (and voices) and two details. The first is the most obvious – when referring to Sir Topham Hatt, the UK version constantly calls him the Fat Controller, but the US version always says Sir Topham Hatt to avoid offensive language. The second was when Sir Topham Hatt came out dressed up like Santa, the UK version called him Father Christmas while the US version called him Santa Claus. No idea why they felt that had to be changed. Pretty sure US kids know that term for Santa, but whatever.

As I was watching, I thought it was a pretty cute little show. I think it retained enough of the spirit of the original, though maybe a more hardcore Thomas fan would disagree with me.

But as I got about halfway through, I started noticing something concerning.

The plot is that Percy’s railcars slipped on the track because of the ice and snow, causing him to get stuck, but Thomas has a big plow so the snow isn’t a problem for him. Thomas gets assigned a special job to transport Sir Topham Hatt to the Town Square later to light up the town Christmas tree. Percy is upset that he basically can’t do anything while he’s stuck in the snow, so Thomas promises to finish up his jobs for the day as quickly as possible and share his special job with Percy somehow.

Each time Thomas passes back and forth past Percy as he does his jobs, he covers Percy in more and more snow. It takes until he’s done with his jobs to realize Percy is now entirely buried in snow….and also that, of course, being stuck in snow in the first place means he can’t participate in Thomas’ special.

Thomas rushes to town to bring the kids and Sir Topham Hatt to Percy so he can share in his special with him. (By the way, I’m not typoing “special job.” They consistently just call it a special.) He tells the kids that the snow-covered Percy is a Snow Engine, which makes both the children and Percy very happy.

That’s great and all…………Is uh…..anyone gonna get him out of the goddamn snowbank? Why is the solution to this problem bringing people to Percy to have fun instead of finding a way to help him escape from his snowy purgatory?

I went through this entire episode expecting the big climax to be Percy getting out of the snow, but no. No one cares enough to get him out. Is he going to be stuck there for the entire winter? Why is no one even concerned about him?

I was also disappointed that they didn’t do anything to Percy to actually make him look like a snowman or something to that effect. It’s literally just that he’s a snowbank with his face peeking out. And, for some reason, the kids are incredibly impressed by this. (Bear in mind they live in a world where they already know the trains are sentient and can talk.)

This special isn’t that Christmassy either. It showed one Christmas tree, and Sir Topham Hatt dressed up like Santa in the end. Other than that, there wasn’t much Christmas in this Christmas episode. Maybe I should give it some leeway because the title doesn’t imply it’s explicitly a Christmas special, but still. It takes place around Christmas, a Christmas tree is part of the plot, and a character dresses as Santa. You’re a Christmas special, Charlie Brown.

Do I think this episode deserves a 2/10? No, not by a long shot. But I definitely think either just the ending or the story as a whole should have been changed quite a bit to not leave Percy forever stuck in a mound of snow. Like what happens after the kids have to go home? Everyone just abandons Percy and the only times they ever see him again is when they look to the side and see a big pile of snow as they do their jobs, and then they remember he exists when the snow melts? Imagine if Percy was a human. How messed up would this be? It’s already pretty messed up. Even if Percy can’t die in there, he can still go mad being stuck in one spot for months – eventually being blinded and deafened to the world around him.

Still, I managed to enjoy it before I got distracted by the blatant train neglect. If you’re a fan of Thomas, either classic or the new stuff, this episode is fine. Not sure it’s a Christmas staple, but it’s fine for a quaint little brief watch during the holiday season.


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AVAHS – The Town Santa Forgot Review

Plot: An extremely selfish brat named Jeremy Creek learns an important lesson after he sends Santa a massive list for Christmas.

Breakdown: This is a special I’ve definitely heard of, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. It’s certainly a heartwarming special. It’s short, sweet and to the point. It has plenty of Christmas warm fuzzies, and I can totally see this being on someone’s must-watch list every holiday season.

Jeremy is one of the biggest brats I’ve ever seen in animation, and his parents are bigger enablers than Angelica’s. He just constantly demands mountains of toys, and if he doesn’t get them he throws the loudest tantrums until he gets what he wants, and his parents almost always give in. Everyone in the neighborhood is sick of his tantrums, and the kids around town are sick of him bragging about his toys (of which he doesn’t share, obviously.)

While the story is sweet, I kinda find it hard to believe that Santa just overlooked an entire town of people. They act like the town is so small that they never noticed, but like….a population of 8800?….come on. My town has a population of 1800.

Isn’t Santa supposed to be omniscient? Didn’t any of these kids ever send a letter to Santa at some point? And what a coincidence that the town in question just so happens to be one where everyone’s dirt poor.

I also thought it was sweet that Jeremy got to be Santa’s helper after this……even though….ya know…………he didn’t do the good thing on purpose. He may have changed after he realized how happy his toys made everyone, but it was a total accident. He didn’t intend on those kids getting his presents. Wouldn’t it have been nicer to make one of the children from Jeremy Creek (the town, not the kid) his assistant to maybe help make up for an eternity of never visiting them on Christmas? How did Jeremy outgrow the sleigh? Santa is surely bigger, and you clearly showed earlier that one of his powers is to smush himself into smaller/thinner forms to get down chimneys and rain spouts. He can’t help make room for a 12 year old?

Despite my grumblings over the details, this is still a very sweet special to watch around the holidays. I think the twist at the end was kinda cute too. I’d certainly watch it again.


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Animating Halloween | Invader Zim: Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom Review

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Plot: Zim learns about the horrors of Halloween while Dib struggles with randomly shifting between dimensions.

Breakdown: If there’s any show that is perfect for making a great Halloween special, it’s Invader Zim. It’s definitely not afraid to go all-in on the scares and the creepiness as much as possible (IE What Nickelodeon would allow.) It’s clear that the writers weren’t entirely invested in making a Halloween special so much as using the holiday as an excuse to get away with a particularly freaky and horrifying episode, and they used their opportunity quite well.

This is one of the most creative episodes of Invader Zim. While Zim is panicking over Halloween because he believes it’s a night where children turn into candy-crazed zombies, Dib causes an accident that makes it so he keeps getting transported to an alternate and frightening version of their world. If he doesn’t stop it, he’ll end up getting trapped in the other world forever.

The alternative world, it turns out, is actually based entirely from Dib’s imagination, making him a bit of god in that realm. However, he’s far from worshiped. The people in that realm want to use his portal-making head to get to the real world to take it over. Dib has to team up with Zim to escape from the alternates and stop the dimension jumping.

I really love whenever Zim and Dib need to work together. They’re one of the best volatile partner pairings in cartoons. They’re both quite smart, but also extremely eccentric, and despite their arch-enemy nature, they have a silent respect for the other’s skills. They’re always a lot of fun when they’re on screen together, whether they’re teamed up or not, but I slightly prefer seeing them teamed up.

Dib’s weird and creepy as hell imagination world is disturbing to say the least. While there is definitely something to be said about the kinda offensive “crazy kid” cards that instantly slap a collar onto whatever “crazy” kid is in the classroom only to forcibly be taken away by people with ‘crazy’ emojis on their helmets and thrown into a padded truck, I think we can safely say that Dib maybe does need some therapy at least. Literally nothing in this world isn’t horrendously mutated. His school looks like hell, his teacher is the leader of pretty much everyone while also being a horrifying insect creature, and while his father and sister look the closest to normal as they can get in this world, even they turn on him and don’t care about him at all.

What I find especially weird is that Zim doesn’t seem to exist in this world. Dib thinks about Zim constantly. How is there not some alternative Zim in this universe?

While the Halloween stuff isn’t really utilized much outside of just showing characters in their costumes at school and having a brief couple scenes with Zim and Gir fighting off trick-or-treaters, the designs of the creatures within the alternate dimension are so weird, cool and frightening that it definitely makes up for it.

I don’t mind much that this episode is only barely a Halloween special in regards to the holiday because we so rarely ever get cool horror imagery in kids Halloween specials. It was a refreshing change of pace, and definitely something I’m glad Invader Zim chose to do. The series is just such a fun and creepy ride every time, and it has such a unique vibe to it that I can’t seem to find anywhere else.

And, with that, we close out this year’s Animating Halloween! Hope everyone has a safe and fun night carving all the jack-o-lanterns, eating all the candy, dressing up in all the costumes, ignoring that thing in the corner of your room that’s slowly approaching you right now and watching fun Halloween movies and specials!

Happy Halloween!


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Animating Halloween | Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil – Kick or Treat/Dead Man’s Roller Coaster Review

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Plot: A – Kick or Treat: On Halloween night, Kick and Gunther get challenged to trick-or-treat at the supposedly haunted Van Der Deth Mansion – a place no kid has ever trick-or-treated before.

B – Dead Man’s Roller Coaster: After getting left behind in the woods by his older brother, Brad, Kick and Gunther stumble upon an abandoned amusement park that seems to be haunted by the ghost of one of Kick’s idols, Dead Man Dave.

Breakdown: Despite hearing good things about this show in the past, I’ve never sat down and watched an episode of Kick Buttowski. I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s because, even after hearing good things, I don’t think I ever heard enough good things to actively seek it out. Maybe I just don’t click with the premise. I dunno. Well, the show finally landed in my lap thanks to the randomizer on the Halloween Specials Fandom page, so how did it fare?

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A: Kick or Treat – This episode is extremely cliché. I think it’s one of the most overused Halloween special plots in existence to dare the main characters to go to a spooky haunted house that is somehow very close by but no one ever references it outside of Halloween episodes.

As you can expect, a bunch of weird and spooky stuff does happen in the house, but it winds up being fake. I will say that the ending was quite sweet. I fully expected them to boast to the other kids that they got a mountain of candy for their troubles and that would be that, but Kick actually shared the wealth, gave everyone a great Halloween party in lieu of Kendall’s weird report ‘party’ she forced on everyone else, and he made a lonely Halloween-lovin’ older lady very happy. That was very cool.

I will say that the costumes for this Halloween special were less than inspired. Kick basically just looked like he always looked, just with a five-o’clock shadow, a little trucker hat and a plastic stump on his hand. We had a mummy, a zombie, a fairy, a ghost – you know the typical costumes. I know it’s unrealistic to see this costumes, but usually TV shows will take advantage of this once-a-year prime real estate for a clever joke and make some funny or memorable costumes for the characters to wear, and they really didn’t make much of an effort here.

The one time I really smiled in the episode was with Gunther’s costume. He’s wearing what I can only describe as one of Richard Simmons’ outfits just without the curly hair. He claims he’s a viking called Thor Thorson who used to dress up like that because he was so intimidating that he didn’t want to scare his own men. Everyone keeps calling him a ballerina throughout the episode, but Mrs. Van Der Deth gets it right, which makes him happy. I smiled at that. That was sweet.

Kick’s other friend, who is obsessed with him, dressed up like Kick, which is creepy.

I did like one kid’s costume. He was dressed up in what seemed to be an actual glass light bulb that worked. He said he was the speed of light, which I thought was kinda clever.

Overall, not a bad Halloween special by any means, it just doesn’t do much of anything to stand out. It only earned a couple small smiles from me and no laughs, but it’s fine.

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B: Dead Man’s Roller Coaster – Usually, I’ll opt not to watch the second story after a single-part Halloween special because they typically have nothing to do with Halloween, so I can’t really review it for AH, but this one still kept the Halloween vibe with ghost stories and whatnot, so I figured it’d be alright.

I’m glad I made that decision, because this episode not only gave me a better impression of Kick Buttowski than Kick or Treat did, but it’s also, in my opinion, a much better Halloween special than Kick or Treat, and it doesn’t even take place on Halloween.

First of all, this episode has an actual ghost story behind it instead of just saying “Ooh look at this creepy haunted house.” Granted, the story is short and is literally just “This extreme sports guy died out here.” but it’s still something. Also, fun fact, while the dialogue has Kick saying Dave died out there, the closed captions on Disney+ say he disappeared.

Second of all, the plot and story are much more creative than Kick or Treat. It’s still not the most creative plot in the world, but it is more creative, especially with the inclusion of an abandoned amusement park, which is one of my favorite spooky environments.

I will say that Kick and Gunther were being a bit too stupid in the amusement park, even for kids. It made for some funny moments, but they didn’t realize that none of the rides would work if there obviously wasn’t power to the place? They didn’t realize that there obviously wouldn’t be good cotton candy stuff there and that the machine wouldn’t even work? Gunther didn’t realize that there would be no one to put on the Wild West show so he just sat there waiting in an empty theater?

The twist was pretty obvious as it was basically the same-ish twist that Kick or Treat had, but I will call a tiny bit of BS since that ‘ghost’ was very obviously flying/hovering around.

I do think it was a bit cool to have Brad actually feel guilty about leaving Kick behind in the woods and rush back to find him instead of just having him let Kick and Gunther stay lost in the woods forever like most asshole older siblings tend to do in kids shows. It adds a bit more dimension to his character instead of just leaving it as him being an asshole, even he did go back to being a jerk once he found Kick.

As far as I’ve read, this plotline actually connects back to other episodes, meaning this show isn’t entirely episodic and has actually storylines to it, which I didn’t really expect of a show like this. Points for that.

Finally, there was much more extreme sports than in Kick or Treat. The only things they really did as extreme sports in Kick or Treat was when they ‘drove’ around in giant cardboard boxes and when Kick frantically climbed up a banister. Here, Kick had a skateboarding competition against the ‘ghost’ throughout all of the rides in the park, which was pretty cool to watch.

Overall, I had more fun and a better Halloweeny experience watching Dead Man’s Roller Coaster than I did Kick or Treat, even though Kick or Treat is still a fine episode. I’m not sure when or if I’ll return to Kick Buttowski in the future, but this was a pretty good first experience with the show, so, if I do, I think I’ll enjoy myself.

Final Notes: Disney continues on with their weird as hell trend of having big stars cameo for extremely small parts in their Disney Channel shows. This time, Debbie Reynolds played Mrs. Van Der Deth. She had like five lines.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised to see Danny Cooksey here as Brad, and, of all people, Matt Jones (Badger from Breaking Bad) plays Gunther. I was going to comment that Kick and Gunther sound way too old to be eight, and this explains a lot about why that is. Matt Jones works fine as the character, but he clearly sounds way too old. Charlie Schlatter as Kick is somehow even more noticeable as being too old for the role, but I kinda gave him a pass because I figured Kick was constantly trying to make his voice sound gravelly to seem more adult or tough. *shrug*


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Animating Halloween | Pac-Man: Pacula Review

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Plot: Mesmeron creates a vampire version of Pac-Man and sends it down to Pacland to chomp Pac-Man learn the location of the Power Forest.

Breakdown: So….did Pac-Man basically just take a beat from The Smurfs and go “Yeah, let’s just say “Pac” every five seconds and put “Pac” on literally everything in sight.”? Because, my god, I was about to go insane. I’m half-tempted to rewatch this episode just to do a tally on how many times they say “Pac” in 11 minutes. Wow.

Anyhoo, this episode is pretty dumb. I don’t really know what I’m to expect from a Pac-Man Halloween special but….yeah….it’s pretty dumb.

First of all, I’m not going to question how Mesmeron made a vampire Pac-Man from a bat, I’m fine with that. What I’m wondering is why the hell he would make this vampire with a paralyzing fear….of Power Pellets. The reason the ghosts keep losing to Pac-Man is because he keeps using Power Pellets. It’s literally his only power. Why would you allow this thing to have the same weakness? Actually, it’s even worse because the ghosts aren’t afraid of the pellets themselves. They’re only vulnerable when Pac-Man eats one.

Second of all, I have no idea what the stakes (heheh) really are. Pacula chomps other Pac People, which makes them…..tired? I have no idea what is happening to the people who get chomped by this guy. They just look kinda tired afterward, and that’s it.

Third of all, the way that Pac-Man beats this guy makes no sense. When he and Pepper walk into Pacula’s castle (How he got a castle when he was born hours ago *shrug*) Pac-Man turns back the clock to say it’s a few minutes to midnight (Pacula gave him an ultimatum to show him the location of the Power Forest before midnight or he’ll chomp everyone in Pacland.)

That means that Pacula somehow slept through his cutoff time. The time on the clock when they got to the castle was 6:00AM. Pacula definitely didn’t give this ultimatum after midnight, so the only thing I can figure is, yeah, he slept through his cutoff time.

So they turn the clock back to just a few minutes before midnight so they can wake him up, the chime for midnight can go off, then they open the windows and reveal the sunlight, which he hates because vampire. Did they wait until sunrise, well beyond the cutoff just kinda hoping he’d either fall asleep or forget what he was doing?

The ghosts also turn themselves into vampires via a formula Clyde makes, figure that out, but Pac-Man and Pepper just eat some Power Pellets, chomp them all and save the day from a mass outbreak of….mild fatigue?

The end.

Like I said, I wasn’t expecting much anyway, but I expected little and got even less. I even had to groan my way through Pac Wars, which was the Star Wars ‘parody’ playing at the drive-in. One of the characters says “Use the Power Pellet force, Luke.” You get it? It’s funny because he added “Power Pellet” to the quote. It’s funny.


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Animating Halloween | 6Teen – Boo, Dude! Review

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Plot: The group deals with various problems as a result of Halloween.

Breakdown: I still haven’t watched anything else in the 6Teen series besides the first episode, the Christmas special and now this episode, but it continues to be a show that I’m largely just okay with it. I don’t have a bad time watching the show, but it doesn’t latch onto me so much that I feel compelled to watch the rest anytime soon.

In this Halloween special, we have fewer plots running at once than the Christmas special, so it flows a bit better, but it’s still not a great episode. Caitlin is trying to get some guy she’s been dating for a little while, Talon, to finally kiss her. I don’t care about this plot at all because Talon comes off as a big jerk throughout most of the episode.

He acts like he barely even knows her despite the fact that Caitlin said they’ve been on three dates so far, and he always has an attitude when he’s talking to her like he’s not, in any way, romantically interested in her. However, near the end, he changes entirely and suddenly becomes a very sweet guy because…..I dunno. She wore a Halloween costume and embarrassed herself by wearing it in front of a bunch of people who weren’t wearing Halloween costumes, even though….ya know…..it’s Halloween. And then that’s resolved by Talon basically saying it’s okay to wear Halloween costumes because it’s Halloween, and everyone suddenly flips on THEIR heads, stops laughing at her, and then they put on the costumes they were wearing in front of everyone in the mall a few scenes ago.

No. I have no idea what the hell all that was about. Her costume wasn’t even an embarrassing costume. It was just a feathery Vegas showgirl outfit.

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The buildup doesn’t even have a payoff because he never kisses her. He kisses her on the cheek, but she clearly wanted a kiss on the lips – she even read up on signals that a guy gives when he wants to kiss someone, one of which being staring at their lips.

There’s more to this, but we’ll come back around to it in a bit.

Jen’s storyline involves her being aggravated at having to dress up for Halloween because her boss loves Halloween and requires them to dress up. The bigger issue is that her boss is also a crazy person who keeps scaring customers by waving a realistic-looking and sounding chainsaw in front of them. I’m not entirely convinced it’s not a real chainsaw, but the blades don’t move so there’s that.

I will admit that the coach’s chainsaw thing was kinda funny in a dark way the first time he did it, but it got really old and more concerning the more he did it – and he was constantly doing it. Maybe I am just being a stuffy old person, but I just kept sympathizing with the poor customers who had to put up with that. The one thing I vividly remember from a haunted hay ride I took when I was a little kid was one guy with a chainsaw chasing after the wagon. And that was while I knew I was in a staged haunted hay ride, safe in a wagon with others, including my parents, while the guy clearly couldn’t catch up (or, well, wouldn’t). These poor customers have a guy waving a realistic-looking and sounding chainsaw right in their faces, causing them to pass out or suffer other accidents.

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You’d think this guy would be getting more shit for doing this. He’s literally causing several people to pass out, one of the customers in the store was a pregnant woman, and Jen said she had to call for an ambulance twice that night. She gives him a taste of his own medicine by scaring him with a mechanical mouse, which you’d think would just end their plot entirely. I figured he’d respect her more for giving him a scare and he’d understand that you can go overboard with scaring people, even on Halloween, but no. It kinda goes that way, but then Jen suggests helping her help her friends prank the security guard.

Which brings us to the third plot – Jude, Wyatt and Jonesy are trying to pull off a prank on the security guard like they do every year, but he’s not falling for any of them. Their attempts are realistic enough but also quite lame. They stick a tag in his pocket so he’ll set off the alarm in any store he sets foot in, but, like….he’s a security guard….so who cares? Also, he finds it after the first time he trips an alarm and doesn’t react or care.

Next, Jude dresses up as a security guard and tries to trick him, but this obviously doesn’t work.

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Then they try to scare him with a remote controlled mouse, but it not only doesn’t work, the thing also runs out of batteries almost immediately.

After several failures, they concoct their master plan, which is to get him loaded up with coffee, close the other bathrooms in the mall, forcing him to go into the bathroom they set up, then they kick in the door and take a picture of him on the toilet, which isn’t creepy or a major violation of someone’s personal boundaries at all.

Oh and Jonesy also puts butter on the toilet seat to make whomever sits on the seat fall into the bowl.

Jen comes in with her boss to spice up the plan. When the security guard comes in, he’ll also give him a good scare with his chainsaw before they take the picture.

Then Caitlin comes into the fray. After Talon dresses up as discount Batman and they go on their date, Caitlin says she has to go to the bathroom, but all of the bathrooms are full of people for some reason – they never explain how the boys did that, but whatever. They also don’t explain why no one else would be heading to other bathrooms. They did somehow block the main bathrooms for the mall, but certainly there are many other restrooms and even restrooms in the stores and restaurants. They couldn’t have blocked them all.

Caitlin is lead to the trap bathroom, which obviously means bad news for her. For some reason, Caitlin doesn’t turn on the lights when she gets into the bathroom nor do her friends, who are hiding behind the stalls, ever peek and notice that this girl in a flapper outfit is probably not the security guard.

I really thought that they’d scare her and she’d pee her pants or something, but no….

She goes into the stall and does her business, clearly making noises before going in and while being in the stall, but no one seems to notice these teenage girl sounds are not middle-aged Christopher Walken impersonator security guard sounds. Then the coach guy/Jen’s boss, scares her by kicking open the door and waving a chainsaw in front of her while wearing a Jason mask, then Jonesy, who I guess is still not getting the hint from the girl screams takes a picture of bare from the waist down Caitlin who then also falls into the toilet bowl because of the butter. Jen stops it, but…..it’s already done. She was already scared, the picture was taken and she fell into the toilet.

This is just awful. Caitlin didn’t do anything to deserve this. Technically, the security guard didn’t either, but because this is a tween/teen show, boring rule-abiding adults=bad and need and to be picked on for doing their jobs.

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It’s bad enough to be humiliated like that, but they took a friggin’ picture of her half-naked on the toilet. That’s a million layers of no.

The frosting on this awful cake is that they never apologize or even say they’ll destroy the picture. The boys don’t care at all, they brush it off rather quickly and even laugh at her, and then they go off and try to figure out how to prank the security guard again immediately afterward.

The security guard, by the way, just went to the bathroom in a nearby store, because that’s an option.

Don’t worry, though. The security guard will get his just desserts for being a minimum wage guy doing his job. Jude, Wyatt and Jonesy put a chocolate cupcake on his chair and he sits on it, making it look like he pooped his pants. Because the height of comedy is doo-doo. Bear in mind, this show is meant for teenagers, not six-year-olds.

Overall, this episode wasn’t the worst, but it wasn’t all that entertaining for most of the runtime, and the ending prank on Caitlin just seemed awful for no reason. The fact that Jen tells her boss to tone down the chainsaw scare tactics only to immediately tell him to do it to someone else kinda negates whatever message was in there, even if the target was a stoic tough guy, and the boys don’t get any punishment for doing something so terrible and violating like that to Caitlin. She might not be the most likable person, but she didn’t do anything to deserve that.

There’s also something at the beginning that I can’t tell if it’s an animation error or a joke. Caitlin is carving a jack-o-lantern and she accidentally cuts the mouth and nose off……..like….a nose and mouth were cut into the pumpkin, clearly all the way through, but she cut them off, leaving behind a completely untouched area of the pumpkin? It’s the pic I used for the main image, take note of the fallen piece near the bottom. It’s quite weird.

……Oh and I had to check the Wiki/Fandom page for the spelling of Talon’s name. Turns out she later dumps him because his idea of actual kissing is licking her face…….I wish I hadn’t known that.


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CSBS | Danny Phantom Episode 5: Splitting Images Review

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Plot: Danny decides to use his powers to help get revenge on Dash for constantly bullying him. A spirit haunting locker 724, Sidney Poindexter, detests bullying and starts getting some revenge himself. But when he believes Danny’s payback is bullying, Danny will be forced to take Sidney’s place in the Ghost Zone while Sidney lives the good life in Danny’s body.

Breakdown: Oh god, there is a LOT to talk about with this episode. Get comfy.

So in 2006, Butch Hartman went on record saying that the “ghosts” in Danny Phantom were not actual ghosts as in the spirits of dead people. They were creatures from another dimension that took certain forms based on whatever. Some of them wanted to be human, so they took human forms based on the backstories of existing people (deceased or otherwise?)

How much truth there is to that statement is unclear. He did say that Nickelodeon and the demographic were a factor in that (And Butch Hartman himself seemed to be against it and depictions of ‘the occult’ presumably because of his religious beliefs), but it’s been a decade and a half since then and he hasn’t reneged on his statement.

While there are some “ghosts” that are clearly not human spirits and are rather concepts or the embodiment of certain items or energies, there are definitely some ghosts that are clearly actually ghosts. It’s hard to believe that these ghosts would be creatures who took on these backstories in order to gain human form. Sidney Poindexter, our ghost of the day, is one of those ghosts. What creature in their right mind would see a poor, friendless teenager be relentlessly bullied day in and day out and go “Yup. That’s the persona I want to take on forever.”? And then proceeds to not only take on their appearance but also create their own section of the Ghost Zone that endless tortures THEM with bullying of the same degree with the same people and who only haunts a locker with a mirror in it that doesn’t even allow them to haunt the locker unless someone with ghost powers activates the portal.

This is one ghost where it’s 100% confirmed that the ghost in question used to be a real person since Tucker knows about him and there are school records that prove it. I guess it IS possible that a creature took on this person’s form but, as I mentioned before, I can’t imagine why. Like many fans have speculated, I really think the Ghost Zone is a different dimension with supernatural creatures in it that aren’t ghosts, but I also believe that real ghosts somehow get tangled up in it and corrupted by the Ghost Zone or something because, for some ghosts, it just doesn’t make sense to sweep them under the rug as creatures who took on human forms and backstories. Unless some of these creatures are the stupidest and most masochistic beings in existence.

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Sidney Poindexter used to be a student of Casper High School in the 50s (1954-58). He was a horrendously bullied kid. According to Tucker, bullying him was so frequent that, by the time he became a senior, bullying him had become a requirement to graduate. He had no friends, was considered extremely nerdy, and, basically, his life was hell. The most tragic part of his story is his supposed death. Now, this being a kid’s show, they obviously don’t say he died in high school, but he is a ghost in his teenage form, and his part of the Ghost Zone is a recreation of his school with all of his peers constantly bullying him as they did in life.

There are two theories as to his death. The first is built on something Tucker said. He claimed that locker 724 was haunted because Sidney had been thrown into it so many times. Rumor has it that this implies he was once thrown in there, forgotten about and either asphyxiated or eventually died of dehydration or something. The somehow even worse theory is that, because of all of the relentless bullying, Sidney took his own life.

Sidney’s spirit haunts locker 724, but he’s not an active presence in the locker until Danny accidentally activates the portal within the mirror in the locker with his ghost powers. After this, Sidney starts sensing instances of bullying and gets revenge on the bullies while also protecting the kids being bullied.

Here’s where things get really complicated both with the story itself and the overall message.

While all of this is going on, Danny is getting so fed up with Dash’s bullying that he starts possessing him, causing him to do embarrassing things in an effort to get back at him.

Sam thinks it’s wrong of him to abuse his powers for such a thing, but Tucker applauds it because he sees it as not only standing up to a bully and giving him a taste of his own medicine, but it’s also fighting the good fight for all bullied nerds, like himself and Sidney.

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In one of these instances, Sidney detects it and views it as Danny bullying an innocent kid. He gets so angry that he emerges from the mirror entirely, attacks and later possesses Danny, which, and this is really weird and confusing, boots Danny from his own body, giving Sidney full control, including his ghost powers and form, while Danny is forced into the Ghost Zone version of Casper High and turned into a copy of Sidney, with no ghost powers, so he can be relentlessly bullied by Sidney’s bullies while Sidney lives it up in Danny’s body.

While Danny is being tormented with no way out (I don’t get why not. Sidney could get out.) Sidney basically wins everyone in Danny’s life over and becomes super popular because he starts treating everyone really well and impressing everyone with his ghost powers that, for some reason, no one is seeing him use even though he’s not even trying to hide that he’s using them.

What’s especially strange is that some of these people are kids he saw bullying others and got revenge on them. He knows they’re bullies, but is now trying to win them over for some reason while Danny, who was a bullied kid just getting revenge, is viewed as this ultra bully who deserves to have his life taken from him…quite literally.

Danny is bullied over and over and over again in this episode, but Sidney neither detects this nor gets revenge for Danny. And when Danny tries to explain the situation to Sidney, he doesn’t give him the opportunity. He just assumes he’s a bully and takes him over. What’s especially weird here is Dash says Danny’s his new locker neighbor…..which means Dash, the biggest bully in school, has the locker right next to Sidney’s and yet he doesn’t seem to know Dash is a bully, never detected any bullying from Dash, and, in actuality, thinks he’s an innocent person Danny is bullying.

Eventually, Danny gets the attention of Tucker and Sam who trick Sidney into the mirror. After a fight, which Danny pretty easily wins since Sidney doesn’t understand how to use Danny’s powers well enough….which….uhh….is….pretty damn weird for a person who has spent the better part of a century as a ghost. I mean, I guess he doesn’t have a lot of experience outside of the Ghost Zone so maybe he doesn’t have a good grasp on his powers as a ghost, but he’s been using them just fine up until this point. In his battle with Danny before he possessed him, he used his ghost powers well enough. I don’t understand.

Danny threatens to destroy the mirror if he doesn’t switch back, but, get ready for another brain bender – Sidney possesses Danny while in Danny’s body while Danny’s in Sidney’s ghost form. Did you get that? It’s a ghost possessing a half-human half-ghost, turning him into a full ghost that is also a copy of his body, and then using his body to possess the full ghost’s body that he doesn’t have……

Anyway, Danny has the mental fortitude this time to reclaim his own body, send Sidney back to his own form and escape through the mirror. Sidney wants to follow and get revenge, but his classmates surprisingly start chatting him up.

The fight with Danny (who has been coined the “Halfa” in the Ghost Zone) impressed Sidney’s classmates, whom…..I’ll assume aren’t also ghosts. That would imply all of these people died in their teens, which I can’t imagine would be true unless Casper High burned down and killed everyone inside or something. I guess they’re just constructs made from Sidney’s memory. He starts making friends, so he decides to not return to the real world. Not that he could anyway because one of the first things Danny does when he comes back is destroy the mirror.

The ending scene and the overall message of this episode is so backwards and weird.

A small sideplot of this episode was Sam trying desperately to save frogs from dissection – instead offering robot frogs with accurate innards to act as non-harmful substitutes, but no one wants to listen to her. Near the end of the episode, before she realizes Danny has been possessed, she uses Sidney!Danny’s newfound popularity to spread the word on the frog issue. When Danny smashes the mirror, Mr. Lancer, as well as pretty much everyone in school, suddenly gang up on him and treat him like he did something awful.

Mr. Lancer blames Danny for the frogs escaping (Danny fell on him when he came through the mirror. He was holding a box of frogs, so they escaped.) but because Dash and the others became anti-frog dissection because of Sam’s “fashionable” buttons that became popular when Sidney!Danny wore one, so they’re free anyway, he doesn’t get in trouble for that. However, I don’t understand why everyone hates Danny now. All he did was break a mirror and accidentally set frogs free, which, from the way they’re acting, they should not care about the first one and should be praising Danny for the second.

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But whatever. Lancer has to assign Danny a new locker….for…..reasons….The locker itself is fine, Danny just broke the mirror. The new locker is located right by the band room, so now Danny is also getting bullied for associating with band geeks. Said band geeks, and I’m allowed to use that term because I was a band geek, arrive in the final shot to show what gross losers they are by introducing themselves and asking Danny if he wants to help clean a spit valve. Because let’s pretty much destroy any message about bullying we can muster by having the last joke of the episode be the pathetic weird losers Danny now has to interact with regularly.

Do you see the problem here?

Danny gets revenge on his bullies, and that’s considered bad, even though it’s pretty much a morally gray area. Bullies deserve comeuppance, but, yeah, it’s not a good look to lower yourself to their level. It does not, however, in make you a bully unless you go too far with with what you’re doing to them, as in you do worse than what they’ve done to you.

Nothing Danny did in this episode seemed disproportionate to what Dash was doing and has done to him throughout the episode (and previous episodes). He made Dash smack his face into the locker after Dash mocked him for wearing a dress (long story) and then literally threw him into his locker. He made Dash dump his lunch on Paulina, which is the closest he probably came to bullying because Dash didn’t do anything directly before this to warrant that, and Paulina did nothing to him the entire episode. However, Paulina was part of a prank on an AV kid directly before this where they were going to trip him and possibly ruin his equipment, but Sidney already got comeuppance on her for that (Dash wasn’t part of it – Kwan was) and the prank didn’t even work because Sidney stopped it. Plus, Danny had no knowledge of it. Finally, after Dash had ridiculed him and thrown a huge sandwich on his face one piece at a time, Danny gave him an atomic wedgie and put frogs down his pants.

Really, the only way Danny maybe went too far here was by possessing Dash, which is a personal violation of Dash’s body, but he only did it for bursts that lasted a few seconds each.

Meanwhile, Sidney slammed a guy’s head with the locker door for playing keepaway with a band kid’s hat. He trapped Kwan’s head in a trophy and sprayed Paulina with a fire extinguisher because they were going to trip the AV kid. But when Danny gives Dash the atomic wedgie + frog pants, it makes Sidney so enraged that he comes through the mirror and attacks Danny with full force. He blasts him through the walls, he sprays ink in his face, and he finally possesses him and forces him to take his place in the Ghost Zone.

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Danny’s time in the Ghost Zone, being terribly bullied constantly, is framed like it’s his comeuppance for getting revenge on Dash, because he understands what it’s like to….be…bullied? But he knows that already. That’s why he was doing those things to begin with. He wasn’t bullied as badly as Sidney, but he was still bullied a lot.

What does Sidney get for his actions? He gets praised by his classmates and befriended by them. Which, ya know, good for him. The poor kid didn’t deserve to be bullied at all let alone to that magnitude in life, so, after 50 years of torment, it’s good to let him have some peace and happiness, no matter what he did. He’s still a hypocrite, but whatever.

What do Dash and the other bullies get? They get comeuppance throughout the episode, but they don’t learn a damn thing in the end. Technically, they didn’t even befriend Sidney!Danny immediately after he gave out sodas to everyone, like it seemed, because they invited him to a “touch” football game, but planned to have everyone tackle the hell out of him. They did, which would have seriously hurt Danny in any other situation, but because he could phase out of it and go score a touchdown, he instantly becomes insanely popular. Then they forget he was popular when Danny comes back with absolutely no reason as to why even though the reason they all became pro-frog activists is because Sidney!Danny wore the button? Even in the very end when Danny gets a new locker, Dash mocks him for it.

What does Danny get? Fuck all. He learns a valuable lesson about not abusing his powers to get revenge on bullies, which, fine, but they don’t offer any meaningful message on bullying at all. For an issue that was severe in the 50s, remained a severe problem in the 00s and is still a severe problem to this day, it would have been nice to have some coherent message about bullying or what to do about bullies, but I suppose that’s too much to ask for. Just let them bully you, I guess? The ending also made it clear that you can’t really count on teachers to do shit, so what solution are you positing, Danny Phantom? Is it a very depressing non-message?

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Danny starts the episode being humiliated and bullied when he was just trying to either live his life or protect the school (from the Box Ghost, but still) and ends the episode trying to live his life and protect the school while continuing to be bullied, only now even worse.

Sam at least got what she wanted, but Lancer still insulted her about it, and everyone else who never gave a crap before got praised for being better activists than her when they only took it up to be trendy.

I’m fully on her side here, by the way. I never liked the concept of dissecting frogs, and the need for such a thing went out long before this episode was made. I’m pretty sure it’s not a thing in schools anymore, but I don’t know for sure.

Overall, I never really disliked this episode before now….but now is now, and now I don’t like it at all. It’s a huge mess of an episode that really doesn’t seem to have a good grasp on what it wants the message to be, and any message I’m inferring from it doesn’t seem to be a particularly good one. ‘Don’t lower yourself to a bully’s level just to get revenge’ is about the best one I can sift out, but, looking at the big picture, that seems like a mediocre message lost in a sea of “but then what do I do?” which just seems be countered with “suffer in silence until you’re out of school or hope you impress your classmates enough somehow that you become worthy of their praise and respect and hope you don’t wind up being killed or being pushed to suicide in the meantime.” and that’s not exactly a great message.

There wasn’t even any outstanding comedic moments to help make up for it. The Box Ghost was definitely the highlight, and that’s pretty much because he’s the Box Ghost. He always tends to be funny. I also thought the robot frog was a bit funny, but that’s about it.

Next Episode….

….Previous Episode


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Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) | Chaotic

Plot: The trading card game, Chaotic, is sweeping the world by storm. Tom and his best friend, Kaz, love the game and play with their other friends all the time. When Tom gets a mysterious code for Chaotic, Kaz tells him it’s a special password in order to enter the REAL world of Chaotic. Tom doesn’t believe him until he finally gives in and inputs the code into his scanner. Turns out, Kaz was right. Tom is instantly transported to a virtual world where Chaotic players gather to have ‘real’ Chaotic battles, with themselves as the creatures. In his first game, Tom chooses his favorite creature, Maxxor, and faces off against his opponent, who takes the form of a Takinom. Tom can certainly win his fair share of card games, but can he find a way to win when he’s playing for real?

Breakdown: I have been aware of Chaotic for a while, but never gave it a chance in the past. When I wrote about the whole huge mess with 4Kids and Chaotic in my retrospective blog post series, I became very curious about the series and game. Since the TCG hasn’t been re-released yet as far as I know, nor has the online version of the game, and I’m not particularly interested in buying the old cards, especially since they seem expensive, I decided to just watch the cartoon series.

The series is entirely available on Peacock (And Tubi) for free, so that was lucky.

As for the first episode…..it’s one of the messiest first episodes I’ve seen for a show in recent memory.

I came out of it not only not understanding how the hell to play Chaotic even a little bit (they never once play a full or even half game in the entire first episode, and we only see a few cards) but I’m also entirely confused as to what even happened to Tom when he entered Chaotic, what the ‘real’ world of Chaotic even is, and they had the gall to end the episode by circling around to the literal cliffhanger that was at the start of the episode in a flashback and barely continuing it at all before putting a ‘To Be Continued’ on the screen and ending it.

I get that this is a two-parter, but at least do something more substantial with your part one to help the audience understand what the hell is going on or make things interesting.

To summarize, the episode starts with a fire-wielding harpy-esque character named Takinom, chasing after and attacking a muscly green dude named Maxxor through a frozen tundra. He’s cornered on a cliffside, our main character, Tom, explains in narration that he is actually Maxxor, Takinom blows fire on him and then the theme song starts. After the theme song, we flash back to how he got in that situation.

Tom is a new-ish/not new (?) player to Chaotic, which is a TCG that has an online version of the game where you can enter codes to obtain digital copies of your real cards, just like the TCG and online game 4Kids and CUSA acquired and adapted for the US. Tom is playing Chaotic with some random guy after school in the cafeteria, which….why wouldn’t you do that literally anywhere else? Unless it’s a legitimate after-school activity, most schools don’t allow you to just hang out in the school for any reason, let alone to play trading card games. There are so many kids there just hanging out in cafeteria – it’s like no one went home.

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It’s not just that they’re there when they shouldn’t be, it’s also weird because what kid wants to just hang out at school after hours, unless, again, you were part of an after-school activity? Usually any kid would want to be anywhere else BUT school – their house, a friend’s house, a local hangout, a rec center, a park, a basketball court, etc. That looks like a really nice school in a nice area. I can’t imagine aren’t options.

But whatever, they montage this game in about 20 seconds so you really have no clue what’s going on. They attack each other, Tom says something about sending his opposing monster to Nauthilax, his enemy’s energy is depleted, and that’s it. That is the first, and, no I’m not kidding, only time we see this game played in the entire episode. I never thought I’d say this, but, Bakugan, you have been surpassed in awful game explanations. I at least had some minor degree of understanding how Bakugan worked a little when I saw the first episode, and at least they showed a full game. Not Chaotic. Who cares about properly explaining that game this cartoon was literally created to help advertise?

After he wins, he gets a message over the game. It automatically opens, and a password pops up on his screen that makes his best friend, Kaz, super excited because he knows that’s a special invitation to the real world of Chaotic where he can play for real. Why he got this for just beating some rando at school, I have no idea. Kaz has been a part of the real Chaotic for a while and excitedly told Tom stories about it, but Tom never believed him. Considering Kaz is yelling all of this information in a crowded cafeteria and has told Tom about it a lot, I’d guess it’s not a secret. But also, like….no one seems to know about it? Even rumors? There are a lot of people in Chaotic when they get there – how is this not more common? I know that would be a really difficult thing to believe without proof, but there would be chatter about it.

Then again, maybe they wouldn’t, because apparently these kids are all 15 years old. I was about to criticize this further, but then I remembered all of the characters in Yu-Gi-Oh! are in the their mid to late teens….

Anyway, Tom blows him off until Kaz calls him in a panic in the middle of the night. He tells him he has to input the code into his scanner before midnight otherwise the offer to join the real Chaotic will end. Why exactly isn’t this information given in the message that contains the password? What if you need to wait to input the code? What if you don’t have access to your scanner for a few days? What if you don’t personally know someone who has already been to Chaotic? What if you don’t want to input the code at all because it’s some random code on a blank message from no one?

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Also, if you’re wondering what the scanner is for, apparently, later in the show, they can scan real creatures to get information on them I think – like a Pokedex. It also kinda works as a smartphone in that it’s also a camera, can be used for video chat, has a music player and a flashlight. As for the purpose of the scanner in their real lives in regards to the game, I have no idea. Chaotic cards have codes on them that are manually input into the online game to create digital copies of your cards – they’re not scanned. I have to wonder if 4Kids originally planned to make the real life cards scannable, including creating a real scanner kids would have to use to scan the cards, but then realized that was too expensive or impractical or something so they opted to keep the code system instead but forgot that made the scanner concept nonsensical in the TV series.

The scanners really have no real world purposes for the game, so why do they even exist? Why do any of these players buy them? Kaz tells him to input the code into his scanner, but also the scanner doesn’t have a keyboard, not even a virtual one, it just has a d-pad like thing, so I can’t imagine it’s for the purpose of inputting codes. Since the game is played online, you can probably just input the codes on your laptop.

Tom gives in, and, when he inputs the code, it at first seems like it didn’t work. His screen flashes, goes black and the scanner won’t turn back on. He then throws the scanner out the window into the garbage can on the sidewalk like a douchebag. Yeah, I imagine that scanner was expensive, you little shit. And I bet anything your parents paid for it. Don’t try to troubleshoot it, don’t see if you can get it fixed, just chuck it out the window into the garbage. Don’t tell me Dan has competition for one of the most obnoxious gaming show protagonists too….

Anyway, that’s not what happened….but it also is? In narration, Tom says that’s what happened, but he didn’t realize that there was more. We then cut to the ‘more’ in question. When Tom hit the button, he actually did go to Chaotic…..only not really? The best I can guess is that a duplicate of himself was sent to Chaotic – one that his real-world self is not aware of? How? Why? Dunno. They don’t explain anything.

When he gets there, it’s not any better. They basically just tell him “Hi Tom! Let’s get you to your first match!” without explaining where he is, what happened to him, how he got there, what the hell’s going on, why he’s being forced into a Chaotic match minutes after he got there and everyone knows he’s new, nothing.

Luckily, Kaz does help him a bit with setup through his scanner, but other than explaining how the interface works and giving him a hint about his opponent, he doesn’t explain anything else. Which you’d think he would because there’s that whole thing about him becoming the Chaotic creature and getting into a ‘real’ battle with another Chaotic creature would be something you should discuss a bit.

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When he is turned into Maxxor and his opponent into Takinom, he obviously has no clue what’s going on, what to do, how to utilize any of the game mechanics or anything – he just does what anyone would do in his situation and runs away. Kaz and a bunch of other players are watching the match from the lobby, and Kaz just acts horribly embarrassed for him and facepalms at the fact that he’s not playing properly, which, of course he’s not, no one’s telling him anything.

The end of the episode, like I said, is just barely a continuation of the first scene. Tom/Maxxor is cornered on a cliff by Takinom, who attacks him with fire. The continuation is that the fire causes Tom to fall off the cliff. We get a “To be continued” as Tom is falling and that’s it. They haven’t established any stakes here. This Tom isn’t real, right? His real self is still in his room, right? I can’t imagine him dying (or even getting hurt) in the game is akin to dying in real life because then narrator!Tom wouldn’t have been able to act as if the stuff about real Chaotic was something he learned about later. In addition, if this is a real Chaotic game, then I’d imagine him ‘dying’ at this point would just result in his creature dying and then moving on.

What even happens if he loses the game? I can’t imagine they bar him from Chaotic or anything. I don’t get it. What is on the line here? I doubt even kids would find tension in this.

It’s just so baffling. 4Kids – the kings of overexplaining every single thing – made a show where they just don’t explain anything out the gate.

I didn’t even touch upon the fact that the art and animation are awful. I know that they switch studios after season one from Bardel Entertainment to Dong Woo Animation and the art and animation get better for seasons two and three (Looking ahead though….not that much better. Definitely much better art, but the animation is still pretty rough.), but wow, this is just bad. It reminds me so much of the art and animation from those old eSurance commercials with that Erin lady. Old Flash animation leaves a lot to be desired as is, but this is not good.

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Overall, I’m kinda torn. If I had just watched this without doing all that research on Chaotic beforehand, I’d most likely drop it, but the fanbase seems to genuinely enjoy the show as much as the game. Bryan Gannon, head of Chaotic USA, said he planned on continuing the show, not rebooting it, which means there must be something to the story worth keeping, I’d assume.

I’ll probably wind up finishing this series just casually, maybe throwing out a review here or there, maybe for full seasons, but this, as a first episode, just failed so badly that I feel like I can’t really suggest it. There are several more card game or gaming related shows out there that I’d recommend way above Chaotic. I guess I’ll just leave this as an undecided and make firmer opinions down the line.

Verdict:

Continue Uncertain


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