CSBS – American Dragon Jake Long Episode 5: Act 4: Scene 15 Review

ADJLCSBSEP5SCREEN

Plot: After wrestling it away from the Huntsman and Huntsgirl, Jake is tasked with protecting a scarab beetle that has the power to bring the dead back to life.

Meanwhile, he tries to get the attention of Rose, but finds that she’s preoccupied with an upcoming play about Antony and Cleopatra. In order to get closer to Rose, Jake decides to try out for the role of Antony.

Back with Huntsman and Huntsgirl, doubts begin to form in Huntsgirl’s mind about pursuing the beetle any further, believing the dragons probably already sent it back to Egypt. Huntsman refuses to give up the mission, stating it is their destiny to hunt down all dragons and kill them. Not only that, but the beetle is vital to their clan’s future.

He brings Huntsgirl down to the mysterious catacombs where he reveals the tombs of the past fallen Huntsclan members. He plans on using the beetle to bring them all back to life, creating a new army of Huntsclan warriors and wiping out dragons for good.

The next day, Jake lands himself the part of Antony, and he and Rose decide to practice their lines at his grandpa’s shop that night. She suggests practicing the kissing scene since it’s so vital to the play, but Jake, having never kissed a girl before, starts panicking and awkwardly babbling his way through the conversation. His state of panic leads him to accidentally releasing the beetle.

Jake tries to play it cool at school and gets another rehearsal date with Rose, this time at her house, even though she was reluctant to let Jake come over.

That night, Jake is amazed to discover that Rose lives in a massive castle-like mansion with her uncle. They’re about to rehearse the kiss when Rose suddenly freaks out. Her uncle has arrived home. She quickly hides Jake under the table before discretely throwing him out, citing that her uncle is very strict and doesn’t allow visitors. However, Jake lost the beetle again during the chaos after it had sneaked into his backpack.

Jake decides to bring Rose to Trixie’s house to rehearse. They prepare for the kiss scene again, but they both notice the scarab beetle fly out the window. Not wanting to alert the other of their secret identities, they make up a few excuses to quickly rush out and fight over the beetle. After the fight is over, the Huntsman arrives and takes the beetle for himself, revealing his plan to Jake.

Back at home, Fu Dog explains that the Huntsman is probably planning on using the beetle for a spell that brings dead people back to life. Under the light of the full moon, the Huntsman can indeed bring his ancestors back to life – and the moon just happens to be full tonight, the night of the play.

Later, with the help of Spud, Jake learns the location of the tomb of the Huntsclan. He, Grandpa and Fu head there to stop the resurrection, but they’re too late. Several Huntsclan members have been revived, but Fu Dog manages to grab the beetle to prevent any more from coming back.

Jake grabs the spell book and burns it, causing the revived Huntsclan members to die once more. The struggle continues between the Huntsman, Huntsgirl and the dragons, with Huntsgirl accidentally getting her leg injured in the process. Huntsman takes Huntsgirl and leaves, and Jake has just enough time to make it back to the play for Act 4 Scene 15, the big kiss, which is a good thing because without Jake and Rose, the play has been a disaster. Spud and Trixie have had to take the reigns, and it’s becoming an embarrassing display.

Jake makes it in time, but is shocked to see Spud taking over the role of Cleopatra. Rose couldn’t make it back in time, and Trixie was being so obnoxious that they yanked her. He’s forced to kiss Spud, much to his disgust.

The following day, Jake meets back up with Rose who apologizes for missing the play, citing that she got a sprained ankle at a family event. Jake is slightly suspicious as the injury seems very similar to the one Huntsgirl got, but brushes it off and finally asks Rose out on a real date.

She agrees, much to Jake’s delight.

Breakdown:

– Huntsman has a robot in his fireplace specifically designed to take off his glove to reveal his dragon birthmark? Talk about disposable income.

– What is with the trope of auditions having a string of complete idiots? I’ve been to plenty of auditions for school stuff before. They’re never entertaining. It’s just people reading the same lines over and over and being varying degrees of bad to okay.

– It’s kinda funny that Jake tries to be this smooth ladies man ‘mack-daddy’ but the instant Rose mentions practicing the kissing scene, he becomes a complete doof. Quite a realistic portrayal of a 14-year-old boy.

– I appreciate that Fu Dog is supportive about Jake being nervous about his first kiss.

– Jake: “Seriously, my church isn’t this big!” I never knew Jake was religious. That seems….a little…strange considering the various mythos that are real in this series. How does that work?

– Nice Darth Vader reference when Huntsman puts his helmet on.

– Of course the spell can only be done on the night of a full moon, of course the full moon’s that night and OF COURSE the full moon is on the night of the play.

– Why is Jake acting like, as long as he comes in before Act 4 Scene 15 (the kiss) that he’ll still be able to do it? Bringing in an entirely new actor in the middle, or moreso end, of the play for no reason is pretty stupid even for a junior high play. Not to mention, it’s a little insulting to the understudy to bail until you decide to show up then take the best scene in the play all for yourself.

– Why would they not have an understudy for Cleopatra? Why did the woman running this play not notice until Spud was out there doing both roles?

– I love how the cover of the Huntsman’s ancient spell book is literally just a picture of a skull and the word ‘Spells’

– Why would getting the beetle out of the moonlight not stop the Huntzombies but destroying the spell book does?

– They don’t actually have the balls to show the Jake/Spud kiss, but they do let you hear the audience gasping in response. I think they’ll probably skip the episode where the parents’ groups whine about the gayness.

– Macy Gray was in this episode!?! The hell?! She played the woman who was running the play and Trixie’s grandma. Two extremely small bit parts. Wow. Talk about a wasted cameo.

————————————–

This episode was fairly good but really, really cliché. Like, appallingly cliché. The school play kiss, the nearly missing the play, the nervousness because the school play kiss is a first kiss, the trying to keep a double life a secret while trying to do two really important things on both sides, the school play falling to pieces because the leads are missing etc. It’s all really old hat.

The aspect of bringing the Huntsclan back to life was interesting, but the payoff was really weak. The ones that did get brought back were no more powerful than any other brainless lackey, and they all had the same character design. They were also beaten in a predictable and easy manner. Not to mention that it was ridiculously easy to find the Huntsclan’s tomb. Spud found it through a few minutes of searching on the Internet…..SPUD found it.

I like that Jake and Rose’s relationship isn’t one of those annoying super-slow burns and that the development is realistic. It’s also nice that they’re allowing us to see Rose’s double life as Huntsgirl. It puts the audience in a unique position of connecting with her as well as Jake while knowing, and dreading, that their happy little romance will likely come crashing down once he finds out the truth.

Many similar shows would have the audience in the dark just as much as Jake is, and the big reveal would come later. This arrangement is much better.

………………….Seriously, Macy Gray was in this episode!


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Thanksgiving Special: Pepper Ann – Thanksgiving Dad Review

Plot: On Halloween, Pepper Ann gets a call from her dad telling her and her sister to prepare for a surprise from him on Thanksgiving. She believes he’s going to visit for the holiday, something that makes her super excited since she doesn’t get to see much of him since the divorce. But is she getting her hopes up for no reason?

Breakdown: No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. No, this isn’t a sign of the end times. I got a Thanksgiving special out, ON TIME, and it kinda sorta doubles are more Animating Halloween stuff….a little….it is for the first minute and a half. I’m counting it.

Like I’ve mentioned several times while doing these Thanksgiving special reviews, it’s very, very difficult for them to stray from the norm. Basically any Thanksgiving trope you can think of is here. Parent rushing to get the dinner to be absolutely perfect, basically a warzone at the grocery store, not being able to find one specific item that you need for the dinner, crazy relatives who won’t stop fighting, the yearning for the kid to eat at the adult table, and finally, the one thing practically no Thanksgiving special is without – the dinner getting completely ruined but it ends up okay in the end.

However, this special does add something that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen in any other Thanksgiving special – how kids with divorced parents deal with Thanksgiving.

Pepper Ann’s parents broke up some time before the series began, and their divorce is shown to impact several aspects of her life in the show. Thanksgiving is one of the key moments where family is supposed to be all together. However, that just doesn’t happen in many households with divorced parents. Either they have two Thanksgivings at separate times at both houses or they just stick with one and maybe get a visit or a call or something. I can’t speak from experience because I didn’t grow up with divorced parents, but that’s what I’ve gleamed from others.

It’s pretty cool to see a cartoon address this with not just one but two characters. You might remember that Pepper Ann’s best friend, Milo, also has divorced parents, but his parents divorced quite a while before Pepper Ann’s did so he has more experience in that area. Milo bounces from house to house on Thanksgiving – and he doesn’t spend any of it with his parents. He just wanders between his friends’ houses.

Milo is a bit jaded when it comes to family and Thanksgiving. He tries to keep Pepper Ann level-headed when it comes to her belief that her dad will visit for Thanksgiving. He doesn’t know that he won’t, nor does Pepper Ann know that he will, all he said was he had a surprise for Thanksgiving. Milo just knows from his own experiences that the parent who doesn’t get custody tends to drift away, and holidays like Thanksgiving end up getting lost more and more in the jumble as they build up a new life after the divorce. They just tend to forget and wind up sending money or gifts sometimes to make up for it.

Milo’s experiences are very sad, and I kinda wish that we had put a little more focus on his holiday bouncing around houses and not actually spending any time at home than we did with Pepper Ann. Both of their experiences are valid, of course, but, also of course, she ends up with a happy ending, for the most part, while Milo’s life with his broken up parents is still fairly sad. Like, does his mother and step-dad not care where he is right now? Does he not do anything for Thanksgiving with his family?

Pepper Ann was, sadly, mistaken. Her dad never did intend on visiting for Thanksgiving. His surprise was that he was piloting a blimp for a big Macy’s-style Thanksgiving day parade and got to wish her and Moose a happy Thanksgiving and give them a heartfelt message on TV. He also said he’d see them next week for visitation, which just begs the question….when is his visitation? Surely he had at least one visitation during the month between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pepper Ann acts like she rarely ever sees her dad anymore. How infrequent are these visits?

This special was pretty entertaining for what it was worth. It never really got that deep into drama, not like As Told by Ginger or Hey Arnold would do, but they hit enough notes for a show like Pepper Ann. Also, there were numerous jokes that were pretty funny, and I was also fairly amused by Pepper Ann’s constant fantasies of her father trying desperately to get to the dinner.

Thanksgiving Dad is good, but not great. I don’t think it’s on anyone’s must-watch lists for the holiday, I barely even remember watching it when I was a kid, but it has some unique and grounded aspects that are worth exploring, and it has good humor and heart. Check it out while you’re waiting for the turkey to cook. Or while you’re recovering from Thanksgiving dinner. Or, if you’re not in the US…..just….watch it whenever ya want. I’m not your mom.

Happy Thanksgiving!


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Animating Halloween/Pixar’s Lamp | Coco (2017) Review

Plot: Miguel’s family has detested music for generations ever since his great-great grandfather abandoned his family to become a musician. Forced to follow his love of music and the famous musician Ernesto de la Cruz in secret, Miguel attempts to follow his dream of becoming a musician on Dia de Muertos by entering a music competition.

His grandma, having found out about his secret, destroys the guitar he built, leaving him with no means of participating in the competition. In an effort to secure a guitar in time, Miguel winds up getting trapped in the land of the dead when he tries to steal de la Cruz’s guitar from his tomb. Only the blessing of Miguel’s deceased family members can send him back home, but they’ll only do it under the condition that he never play music again. Miguel scrambles to find another way home without sacrificing his love of music before sunrise or else he’ll be trapped in the land of the dead forever.

Breakdown: Warning – While I did my best to avoid spoilers in this review, I couldn’t avoid talking about some of them so, spoiler warning.

I have scoured far and wide for animated Halloween specials and movies, but it never really occurred to me to look for any animated media about Dia de Muertos or the Day of the Dead until I decided to finally watch Coco. Let me be very clear – I’m aware that the Day of the Dead is not Halloween nor does Halloween’s roots really come from the Day of the Dead. They seem similar due to imagery such as graveyards and skulls and a few traditions such as dressing in costumes lining up, but they are not one in the same and come from very different backgrounds. Day of the Dead is also not celebrated on October 31st – although it does come immediately afterward on November 1st.

That being said, I still feel like this counts because….pbbttt….I want it to. Animating Halloween entries technically don’t have to be about Halloween, and it fits the general criteria so I’m counting it.

Onto more important matters, I need to get this out of my system, holy frickin’ rendering, this movie is GORGEOUS. Every frame of this movie is like it’s begging you to pause and stare at each image….which I did a few times. Pixar keeps outdoing itself at every turn. It’s beyond impressive. The details on the clothing and the faces, the hair, every little item and building, the textures, the animation, the absolutely heart-stopping coloring, the amazing stylization – I want to watch it all over again just to soak in more of those visuals. They’re so good.

This movie really aimed to celebrate Mexican culture, and while I can’t attest to any inaccuracies or the like since I am not Mexican or of Latin descent, I believe it achieved this goal in spades. It definitely serves as being a fantastic Dia de Muertos movie. It lends proper focus to the main themes and traditions of the holiday without beating you over the head with the message too much. I want to read up on it as much as I can because it looks like such a cool holiday that I wish we had in the States.

In regards to the story, it had its ups and downs. I think the premise is incredibly interesting and the story as a whole is well-executed, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without flaws. One of the biggest problems being that 90% of the movie is very predictable.

I’m going to say something silly right now, but believe me I have my reasons…..This is pretty much The Little Mermaid for the first 45 minutes. I’m not saying it’s about mermaids – there are approximately zero mermaids in the movie – I mean the general story notes hit the same. Something is banned and hated from the MC’s family/world, but the MC really adores the banned thing. MC enjoys the banned thing in secret until their fangirl/boyness gets found out. Parental figure destroys their hidden shrine to the banned thing, including one particularly important thing. MC runs off because of how awful and unfair they’re being. They accidentally enter another world by doing something unethical/wrong and they need to fix their mistakes without sacrificing their love of banned thing. In the end, both worlds combine and everyone’s happy. Bonus – the heavy music themes.

Even taking my comparison to The Little Mermaid out of the equation, it’s still a pretty predictable story for 90% of its runtime. However, it’s very much saved by two things; 1) The overall ride of the visuals, music and characters make this story memorable and unique. Remember, clichés and predictability are only as bad as you make them due to lack of style and innovation. 2) I said 90% of the storyline because there is a huge plot twist near the end that I never saw coming. I was really thrown for a loop when that was revealed. I knew that de la Cruz would turn out to be a bad guy because movies always tend to drive home a ‘don’t meet your heroes’ message for whatever reason, and the guy was simply hero worshipped by too many people to not turn out to be an awful person, but I never expected the other half of that reveal. I was completely blindsided.

Another issue was that I thought the family’s hatred of music was overkill to say the least. I can understand Imelda (Great-great grandmother) hating music that much, but not the entire family – most of which never even met the great-great grandfather. He could have abandoned his family for any profession. If he ran off to become a famous chef, would they all hate and banish food?

It’s revealed near the end that Coco never stopped loving her father and kept all of the letters and ‘poems’ he sent to her before his death, so why didn’t she stop this cycle of hatred? I’m not putting the full blame on her, since her mother seemed like a very outspoken person who likely passed on her hatred to Coco’s children without Coco getting a word in edgewise, but it still seems like something she had some modicum of control over, especially after Imelda died.

Give Triton credit. At least his hatred of humans and the surface world has quite a bit of justification behind it. Humans were a huge threat to sea creatures, and they were responsible for killing his wife. Abandoning your family is a crappy thing to do no matter the reason, but music wasn’t responsible for him making that crappy decision. It just happened to be the dream he was pursuing. There’s nothing inherently bad about music. To have such a deep hatred of it that you harass people on the street for playing music, yell at family members for so much as humming or act like your son is a terrible person for wanting to be a musician is just crazy.

This was probably intentional, but the hypocritical aspect of Miguel’s family holding the concept of family so dear while also damning one of their family for something as silly as playing music is definitely not lost on me.

Of course, Miguel also had to learn the importance of family while both sides had to learn to balance family and passion, which was a sweet sentiment.

Being completely honest, in the end, Hector’s story was more interesting that Miguel’s journey, but I can’t go into that very much without spoiling a lot.

Miguel is a very nice and realistic boy, and, despite some hiccups, I never stopped rooting for him to both get back to the land of the living and retain his ability to practice music. Over the course of the story, it shifts from being simply about him pursuing his own dreams to also about bringing music back to his family.

The story as a whole is a great way to tackle the subject of death with children in a manner that is extremely respectful and not scary – at least in my opinion. No matter your beliefs on an afterlife, Coco isn’t afraid to talk about death, depict it and explore it in a manner that a child would understand fairly easily without too much to worry about in regards to frightening them.

There is one aspect of this lore that is scary and depressing even to adults – the concept of being forgotten. I think a lot of people have had that existential crisis where we think about what happens after we’re long gone and forgotten. Thinking about that in the scope of the physical world is enough of a heavy topic to weigh on any adult’s shoulders. Coco, however, introduces the concept of what I’ll call a double death.

When you die, you go to the land of the dead, which is basically our world only awesome because everyone’s a cool-ass skeleton and there’s a massive city with lots of neon lights, there are insanely cool spirit animals and everything’s incredible, but not in a heavenly perfect way.

Every Dia de Muertos, those in the land of the dead are allowed to pass over to the living world to visit their relatives and enjoy the festivities. You’re allowed to enter the physical world if your family has put up your photo in their ofrenda, which is a shrine where the photos of lost loved ones are displayed and offerings are placed during Dia de Muertos. Typically, as long as your photo is kept up every year, you’re not forgotten.

However, the depressing part comes for anyone who is forgotten. If your family or another loved one hasn’t put up your photo in an ofrenda, and no one in the living world who knew you when you were alive still remembers you, you disappear…forever. You doubly die. How depressing is it to have an afterlife where you can die again, this time permanently, and the death is caused by your memory fading from the physical realm?

Hector even says disappearing in this manner happens to everyone eventually, which does make sense but geez, what a depressing concept.

Music being a central theme in this movie means the music has to be top-notch here, and I’m happy to report that it is. Both the orchestral score and the lyrical songs are phenomenal. It’s a soundtrack I’d gladly purchase.

The voice acting was also very well done. The movie has an almost entirely Latin cast, which is very appreciated, and everyone did quite well in their roles. I liked that they had Miguel be a decent singer but very obviously still sound like he’s rough and inexperienced. His passion for music and his skills with guitar playing shine through during these moments and make his performance both incredibly real and impacting without being distracting.

I loved Coco from start to finish, even if I was mostly latched onto the visuals for the first chunk of the movie before the story really took off. It’s one of Pixar’s best movies, if you ask me. I didn’t tear up at any point, but I had a blast watching it, and it did get me a tiny bit emotional near the end.

Recommended Audience: As I mentioned, this movie basically needs to talk about death and the afterlife a whole lot, which may be a touchy subject for children, but I believe it covers this topic so well that it wouldn’t be too risky for young children. Still, be warned that the themes are here and more sensitive children might not be receptive to it even with the happy and optimistic tone. It should also be noted that murder is brought up once. I don’t think there is anything else questionable or offensive etc. in this movie, so 6+.

Final Notes: Can we keep up discussing how awful Blu-ray cover art usually is? Look at the awesome poster I used for this review and then compare that with the Blu-ray.

This entire movie is chalked up to ‘Boy with guitar.’ Get your crap together, Blu-ray.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) The Owl House

Plot: Luz is a self-proclaimed weirdo, and she usually has no problem showing it. However, those around her have problems with it, including her mother. While Luz’s interests and behaviors are generally harmless, though a bit chaotic, Luz’s mother urges her to just be normal. She even signs her up for a summer camp that emphasizes being normal as much as humanly possible and tells her to trash her weird stuff, including one of her favorite books on a fictional witch. Luz is not happy about this, but for the sake of her mom she decides to go along with it.

As she’s about to get picked up for summer camp, she’s lead away to a mysterious door that brings her to the Boiling Isles, a world where human things are a mysterious novelty, and myths and monsters reign. She meets the Owl Lady, the great witch, Eda, who promises to bring her back home to her world if she helps her with a special task.

Breakdown: Cards on the table, I’m kinda cheating here. I’ve seen several episodes of The Owl House and have enjoyed every one I’ve caught. However, I’ve never seen the first episode, and Disney+ just got the series, so I’m not cheating too much here.

The Owl House does seem to work on a somewhat tired premise – kid who thinks they don’t belong finding a place they belong in a mysterious new world – but they do it with such a cool flair and a lot of clever writing that I won’t even ding it for that. I won’t lie, when Luz mentioned that one of the reasons that she’s weird is because she makes AMVs and writes fanfiction, I literally almost gasped at how eerily relatable that was to me when I was her age.

I will ding it a tiny bit for being too on-the-nose with their message – it’s okay to be weird and it’s wrong to punish people for their quirks. For most of the episode, it’s fine, but the start of the episode is just too much. Like, I get how they want us to like her mom, and it’s clear that she loves her, but she’s basically telling her daughter to her face that she’d love her much more if she just changed her entire personality and conformed in the most boring way possible. She also encouraged her to get rid of something as innocuous as a fantasy book about witches.

Everything else was really great, though. The writing is snappy, funny, clever and exciting, the characters are a bunch of fun, especially Eda, the art and environments are really cool, the animation is fluid and well done, Luz is easily identifiable and lovable, same for King, who has one of the coolest designs I’ve seen in a long time.

As an introduction episode, it does its job extremely well. You’re introduced to the premise, their universe and the characters in a natural manner that is paced very well. It doesn’t introduce some huge conflict or evil that will need to be addressed like many shows of this type tend to do. And, honestly, I prefer it that way. Not every show needs to make big promises it probably can’t keep anyway, and sometimes a more laid-back approach is better. This episode definitely leaves you wanting more either way. I look forward to finally watching every episode, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for The Owl House.

Verdict:

Continue Yes

Recommended Audience: It’s Disney so it’s nothing too bad, but they do show limbs and heads being cut off as non-graphically as you can, and they mention death a few times. 7+


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

AVAHS Finale – A Very Merry Pooh Year (+ Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too) Review

winnie-the-pooh-a-very-merry-pooh-year-dv

Plot: As Pooh and the rest of the gang from the Hundred Acre Wood prepare for Christmas, Roo’s question about whether Santa will arrive prompts the others to tell the story of a Christmas they shared before Kanga and Roo arrived.

Then everything falls to pieces when Rabbit decides he’s had enough of his crazy friends and decides to move away. As New Year’s approaches, the others resolve to change themselves so Rabbit won’t leave.

Breakdown: Happy New Year, everyone! May your 2021 be hopeful, positive, healthy and happy, and nothing like its bastard sibling, 2020.

Anyhoo, or anyPOOH! Hahahahahaha….please don’t click away. To herald in the new year, I thought we’d discuss one of the few animated New Year’s specials (and it is, trust me. It’ll get there.) A Very Merry Pooh Year.

As I mentioned in my review of Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie, A Very Merry Pooh Year utilized the same lazy story stuffing technique they did, which is to only make half of a new movie and fill up the other half of the runtime with a decade-old holiday special from The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Meaning that little tagline of “A Brand New Full-Length Adventure” can go suck a Times Square ball.

However, this time, DisneyToon was not involved. Instead, the animation was done by Wang Film Productions and Sunwoo Animation (Under Walt Disney Television Animation).

Now, while this practice is lazy and downright deceptive to the consumer, the main reason it was such a pall on Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie was because the story they came up with was damn near identical to the episode they shoehorned into it, so including that feature just highlighted how ridiculously lazy and near self-plagiarizing the new movie was.

Does A Very Merry Pooh Year have the same problem?

The special that is being featured in this ‘movie’ is Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too. Christopher Robin helps Pooh and the other animals of the Hundred Acre-Wood write a letter to Santa. They throw it into the wind, as it’s blowing north, and wait for it to arrive at the North Pole. Later, they realize that Pooh never asked for anything, so he and Piglet decide to get the letter back and fix it before letting it reach the North Pole, which doesn’t make any sense.

First of all, Pooh wants honey. Christopher Robin knows this, Pooh mentioned it about seven times when the others were making their wishes, there’s no way Christopher Robin didn’t write down that Pooh wanted a pot of honey for Christmas.

Second, why do they need to get the letter back? Why couldn’t they just send a new letter specifically for Pooh?

The amended letter with Pooh’s wishes as well as Rabbit, Tigger and Eeyore’s new better, more extravagant wishes, because everyone started going overboard, gets sent off in the wind, but the letter returns because the wind changed directions. Later, Pooh and Piglet find the letter and panic because there’s no time to get a new letter to Santa. In an effort to make Christmas happen, Pooh dresses up like Santa, Piglet dresses as a reindeer and they make the gifts their friends asked for. However, the gifts are incredibly shoddy and everyone’s upset about them.

They eventually find out what Pooh and Piglet have been doing, and they figure out what Pooh did wrong – he waited until the weathervane indicated S for Santa when he should have waited for N for North, so it could get to the North Pole…..Which is not what happened. The weathervane was pointed west….I think. It’s hard to tell with their setup. And Pooh just said the letter would know which way to go.

They want to send the letter again, but the winds have died down. The only way to get the letter to the North Pole now is if one of them hand delivers it. Pooh immediately volunteers.

Piglet: “You? But the North Pole is so very far. What if you can’t get back in time for Christmas?”

Pooh: “It will be worth having no Christmas, Piglet, if I can bring Christmas to all of you.”

Gotta be honest, that was one of the sweetest and most pure Christmas sentiments I’ve ever heard in a Christmas special. I literally went “Awwwwwww” out loud when he said that. What a sweetheart.

Pooh heads out in the now really windy snowstorm and quickly loses the letter, so he….goes home?

….Uh….Pooh? You remember what everyone wanted….Just…tell him? Santa doesn’t need the requests to be written out. How do you think mall Santas work?

Meanwhile, back at home, Piglet laments–…………Is that a fire…..they forgot to animate?

There are no flames. It’s like they’re just glowing logs……What happened here?…What is this?

Uh anyway, Piglet laments the fact that Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Pooh Bear around, even if they’ll eventually get good presents. Tigger, Rabbit and Eeyore are still excited, but they quickly agree with Piglet that it’s just not the same without Pooh Bear.

Just then, Pooh returns, delivering the bad news that he couldn’t get the letter to Santa, but they don’t care – they’re just glad Pooh Bear is back to spend Christmas with them.

Suddenly, Christopher Robin arrives on the new sled he wanted, and he’s bearing gifts that were left from ‘Santa.’ A flyswatter for Rabbit to get rid of the bugs who keep eating his carrots, a snowshoe for Tigger’s tail so he can bounce in the snow, an umbrella for Eeyore to keep snow from plopping down on him from the trees (though….he’s still homeless. His second and better gift suggestion was a new house – he lost his after the letter was sent…..The umbrella was actually meant to keep the snow off of his house……) a……thing for Piglet (He didn’t know what he wanted, so he just said anything’s fine, but that’s….I don’t even know what that is.

He’s happy with it, so I guess that’s all that matters, but I’m so confused) and, of course, a pot of honey for Pooh.

However, Pooh doesn’t think he deserves the honey since he messed up Christmas so much. Christopher Robin tries to convince him that that’s not true, and Pooh starts to agree as he stands on the honey pot and says that it makes him just the right height to give Christopher Robin a big hug. Awwwwwwwwww!

The end.

Despite some logic issues, this special is incredibly wholesome, sweet and has a great message. The holidays really don’t mean as much when the people you love aren’t there. I know that’s more of a bittersweet moral in this year of all years, but we live in an era where we can practically have anyone we want with us without actually being there in person. Is it the same? No. But even just talking to them over the phone or communicating through video chat creates a connection that is invaluable, especially in rough times.

On its own, it’s a great Christmas special that I think anyone would enjoy.

Now, onto the actual movie portion of which there’s, again, about a 35 minutes of new material.

Kanga and Roo join the others for the holidays this year, and they decide to regale Roo about the events of a previous Christmas, which is where the old Christmas special comes in.

When we cut back to the movie, Pooh sets out all of the gifts for….Christmas…..that…..everyone else made/got each other……which…..I don’t understand. This is just like the opposite situation of the Family Guy Christmas specials. Whereas they started out with everyone giving each other gifts and then in later seasons said Santa brought them all, Winnie the Pooh is saying that Santa delivered them before, but now they give each other gifts….Huh? And Roo even starts the special by asking if Santa will come, they tell him a story about Santa getting the gifts to them even when they thought he couldn’t, but now he didn’t get anything from Santa and got a gift from Tigger, which he acknowledges…..What is happening?

…………….Also, Tigger calls Rabbit ‘Rah rah’ a couple times and I got really giddy for some reason. That’s just an adorable nickname. Was that something he normally called him? I don’t remember.

Sadly, Pooh loses Piglet’s gift. He searches for days, until New Year’s Eve (See? We got there.) However, he’s searched for so long, he’s forgotten what he’s looking for.

Christopher Robin arrives with a box full of decorations for a New Year’s party. He gives the box to Pooh so he can make the party, and Christopher Robin just….disappears for some reason. Not gonna help, dude? Just proclaim you’re going to have a party and hand off the planning to someone else? Nice.

As Pooh, Piglet and Rabbit convene, Tigger drops by.

Tigger: “Wanna hear the good news? Snow does not keep Tiggers from bouncin’. Not one bitty bit!”

…………………….

……………….

…………….

……….

……..

…..

A snowshoe for Tigger’s tail so he can bounce in the snow.

so he can bounce in the snow.

bounce in the snow.

It was directly stated and shown several times in the special that THEY INCLUDED IN THIS MOVIE that Tigger can’t bounce in the snow, that’s why he needed the snowshoe, is what I’m getting at here.

After nearly destroying Rabbit’s house and his prized carrot, Rabbit snaps and declares that he’s moving away so he won’t have to put up with them anymore. He’s tired of Pooh’s obsession with honey, Piglet’s paranoia, Eeyore’s gloominess and Tigger’s bouncing. Having learned of New Year’s resolutions from Christopher Robin, Pooh decides that they should try to fix these aspects of themselves in order to get Rabbit to stay. They all agree to make their New Year’s resolutions to never eat honey, never be scared, always be cheerful and never bounce again.

Tigger ties his tail to a rock to prevent him from bouncing, which, considering he’s literally tying his tail up, actually looks really painful. Piglet asks Tigger how it seems like he’s never afraid. Tigger says he was always too busy bouncing to be afraid. Piglet starts bouncing all over the place, and he finds that it works. He’s not scared as long as he keeps bouncing.

Cool.

But then…..

Tigger, using Tigger logic, thinks that, if bouncing keeps away fear and he can no longer bounce, then he must be damned to becoming an anxiety-ridden mess who is afraid of literally everything, which quickly ends up happening because self-fulfilling prophecies. This is bad enough, but the buildup to this change is actually legit creepy. The screen starts going black all around him, even casting a shadow on Tigger’s edges, there are some creepy noises included, and we even zoom in on Tigger’s eyes so much that it affected the image quality.

I think we can ascertain what will happen with Pooh and Eeyore from here, but even that’s presented oddly.

We see Pooh rummaging around a tree to try and check on some honey without eating it, and then Eeyore walks by standing on his hind legs, in a red shirt, humming to himself and gobbling down honey. I love Eeyore….it is very uncomfortable to see him acting like this. Please stop.

He doesn’t even explain how and why he started doing this. He doesn’t say he knew Pooh was happy all the time so he decided to start mimicking him. He just suddenly appears while acting this way. From what he says, it’s just like he randomly ate some honey and started getting a funny feeling, which…I guess changed his personality instantly. And can I ask what the shirt and the walking on hind legs thing is about? He’s just now getting that there was a connection between him being happier and him eating honey, meaning he wasn’t at all trying to emulate Pooh Bear. He just decided to start doing those things…….Or….is the implication that you start becoming a Pooh clone when eat some honey? You can just be happy and eat honey. You don’t need to become a new Pooh.

Oh also Pooh’s got depression now.

Then we get this frightening-ass image.

Eeyore: “Why…I think I’m glad. SeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?”

Hehe, frightening-ass image…

Hehe….he’s a donkey.

Hehe, seriously, someone stop this waking nightmare. I cannot take much more of this. It’s like they’re intentionally making him ridiculously creepy.

They all arrive at Rabbit’s place to show him how much they’ve changed, but since they’ve literally just changed into each other, including the same speech patterns and mannerisms, it’s just as bad if not worse than before, so Rabbit immediately storms out.

One thing leads to another, and Rabbit ends up caught in a tree with a beehive. Piglet becomes frightened for him, making him break his resolution. Tigger unties his tail so he can bounce up to save Rabbit and his carrot, making him break his resolution. The beehive falls into Pooh’s hands, which prompts him to eat the honey inside, breaking his resolution. Everyone else breaking their resolutions and being upset at it makes Eeyore so upset he forgets to be happy. This is going to sound terrible, but thank god for that.

Realizing they failed, they leave Rabbit to move out of the Hundred Acre Wood.

Christopher Robin arrives for the party, but everyone is saddened at the loss of their friend. Rabbit, however, says he can’t think of leaving friends so loyal as them, especially when they cared so much about him that they tried to change themselves to make him happy. He loves his friends just the way they are.

Piglet: “Oh Rabbit! I was afraid I’d never get to be scared again!”……..Okay, back up.

The moral of all of this is to be yourself and to appreciate your friends for being themselves because they help you be who you really are, which is fine and dandy.

However, in regards to the New Year’s resolution stuff…..what kind of message are they trying to convey there? Because it really comes off like resolutions are bad, at least in regards to ones where you try to stop doing something. Like, yeah, these traits help the characters all be who they are, but being overly afraid is bad, and it probably negatively affects Piglet’s quality of life. What sane person says “I was afraid I’d never get to be scared again!”? I get that the wording is a joke, but that’s still a concerning thing to say.

Keep in mind, the only ones who experienced positive outcomes from taking on the traits of their friends were Piglet and Eeyore. Piglet became brave and had a lot of fun bouncing, and Eeyore became happier…..and creepy. Tigger, however, became a nervous wreck, and Pooh lost all enjoyment in everything. When their resolutions broke, Pooh was happy he got to eat honey, and Tigger was happy he was bouncing again, but Piglet can’t have been happy that he was afraid, and Eeyore wasn’t….happy….he was….sad? Maybe they were at least relieved that they didn’t have to pretend to be something they weren’t, but these factors still present issues.

A better lesson would be to not have such extreme New Year’s resolutions. Unless you really have serious, harmful problems, your New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t be to completely overhaul your personality. Just try to improve yourself a little.

Tigger’s resolution could have been to bounce as much as he wanted but to try and control himself indoors or be more aware of his surroundings while bouncing.

Pooh could try to learn more self-control around food, especially honey.

Rabbit could learn to unwind and not be so uptight.

And Piglet and Eeyore could seek therapy.

They all head to Rabbit’s house and count down to the new year. Pooh suddenly remembers where he hid Piglet’s gift and rushes home to get it. It’s a lovely little music box that plays the New Year’s…anthem song…..what’s that song called? It plays so often on New Year’s but I never know what it’s called.

*Google*

Auld Lang Syne!? Chalk that up as something I never would have guessed ever. They even sing the proper lyrics at the end. I feel like I’ve been living in a void my whole life.

Pooh makes his own lyrics to the song and sings them to Piglet, and it’s really cute and sweet. Everyone sings as the movie zooms out and concludes.

—————————————

This movie didn’t have the problem that Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie had in that it wasn’t basically the same story as the included special, but I still have to ding it a little because, really, what a weird New Year’s special. It honestly makes it look like New Year’s resolutions aren’t a good thing. Granted, most people don’t fulfill their New Year’s resolutions, but they’re typically never a bad thing to set. Even when Pooh’s initially learning about resolutions by Christopher Robin, it gives off a vibe that it’s about changing yourself and that changing yourself isn’t something you should do.

But changing yourself, if your current behaviors cause problems or negative repercussions, whether for others, yourself or both, can be quite good. At least take some self-reflection into consideration. You don’t have to throw away your personality and construct an entirely new persona or adopt someone else’s, you just have to improve as a person.

It’s a little bit difficult to say that the message is bad, though, because, yes, being yourself and loving yourself and being your best self around your friends is great. That’s the way it should be. But you should always strive to be better. I dunno. I guess it’s up to your own interpretation on how good the actual message is in contrast to the bad light they put the resolution message in.

Overall, though, while it is still lazy and deceptive to include a completely separate special in this movie and claim it’s entirely a “brand-new full-length movie,” this is a mostly fun, sweet, heartwarming and festive holiday movie. Plus, it is nice to have a Christmas and New Year’s special rolled into one to cap off the year. The songs are very short, and none of them are very memorable, but they’re fine for what they are. There are some logic issues peppered throughout, but it’s Winnie the Pooh – I can mostly overlook them. The best section is definitely Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too, but the New Year’s section is still perfectly enjoyable…..barring creepy Pooh!Eeyore. That is going to haunt me for a long time.

And with that we close out A Very Animated Holiday Special for 2020. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to fill the entire 31 days, but I hope you all enjoyed what I came out with this year. I certainly had a lot of fun with it. Found some awesome entries, some weirdos and some ech, but it was all around fun. Now it’s back to our regularly scheduled shenanigans.

Happy New Year!


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Animating Halloween | Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie (+ Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh) Review

Plot: It’s Lumpy’s first ever Halloween, but he’s finding the occasion much too scary to enjoy. When Pooh eats all of the candy in the Hundred Acre Wood, Roo and Lumpy head out on a quest to find the legendary Gabloon, who can supposedly grant their wish of mounds of candy or turn them into “jaggedy lanterns.”

Breakdown:

Disney: “Hey there, Twix!”

Oh….Uhmmm….Hi there…Disney….???

Disney: “We heard you recently finished watching and reviewing all of the Disquels!”

Yeah, I did….

Disney: “Do you want a BONUS Disquel experience!?”

….What are you implying by that?

Disney: “Here’s Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie!”

That title is very awkward. Also, again, what did you mean by that? This is a Winnie the Pooh movie. It can’t be a Disquel.

Disney: “Watch it and seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!”

*sigh* There’s something seriously wrong with that guy.

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…..

I get it.

So yeah, this isn’t a Disquel. It was a direct-to-video movie made in 2005 that was a sequel to another direct-to-video movie, Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, which I’ve never seen. It WAS made by DisneyToon Studios, who were notorious for making the Disquels, so make of that what you will.

Why am I comparing it to a Disquel otherwise? Before I answer that, let me ask you a question. Why do you think Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh is lumped (haha, puns) in on the title?

That’s right, you guessed it! They pulled a total Disquel move. This movie includes the ENTIRETY of that special played off like a flashback. There is only a little more than a half hour of new animation in this hour long movie.

I mean, it is a little better than having three episodes of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (of which Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh is based from) stapled together with hardly any new animation, but still. Lazy, lazy, lazy executives trying to get money for old rope while ripping off people who have already seen that special.

It’s really jarring, too. This movie came out in 2005, and has sharper animation as well as stronger lines and more saturated colors. Boo to You Too! came out in 1996 and has obviously lower quality than the movie we’re watching.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the fact that they shove in the entirety of Boo to You Too! as an example of how Lumpy can be brave and enjoy Halloween highlights the fact that….this entire movie is basically just a copy of that special….Like…nearly beat for beat.

Piglet/Lumpy is too scared to enjoy Halloween, which nearly causes him to ruin the holiday for everyone else. He’s encouraged by his best friend Pooh/Roo, but it takes Piglet/Lumpy mistakenly believing Pooh/Roo is in danger to get him to brave the scariness. Meanwhile, Pooh/Roo and friends mistakenly believe Piglet/Lumpy is in danger and try to save him. When Piglet/Lumpy believes he’s defeated the nonexistent threat, he finally enjoys Halloween with his friends by his side.

There’s another reason they would have been way better off if they had omitted the Boo to You Too! segment. I’ve never seen it, and I never would never have noticed it was a rip-off of that story if they hadn’t literally shoehorned it into this movie to force me to take notice of their plagiarism. Good job, DisneyToon. You never cease to disappoint.

On its own, it’s a pretty alright movie, same with Boo to You Too! Predictable, sure, but that’s pretty much to be expected with any Winnie the Pooh story. However, I can’t ignore how lazy and obtrusive it is to just chuck Boo to You Too! into this movie.

Give the TV Frankenstein’d Disquels some credit. At least they didn’t tend to ruin their entire movie’s structure by including stories from unaired or aired TV shows that had stories that were exactly the same as their new bookends. Imagine if, in The Little Mermaid 2, they had a scene where Ariel was talking to Melody in the middle of the movie and she went “This reminds me a lot of what I went through at your age.” and then they just played the entirety of The Little Mermaid before cutting back to the main movie.

I wouldn’t be as bothered if it was just another random old Halloween special crammed in there. It’d still be intrusive and lazy, but it’d be adding some variety of content. Here, though, it’s very clear that this story is just a revamp of Boo to You Too! and they shove this fact in your face.

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie is a perfectly fine Halloween watch, especially for little kids. It teaches good lessons, and by that I mean it teaches the same good lessons twice in a row, and there are some pretty entertaining and heartwarming moments. If you’ve seen Boo to You Too! though, it’s probably best to keep your finger on the fast forward button. Lumpy’s a very cute character, even if he is a bit too much like Piglet, and Roo was always one of my favorites.

The art and animation is pretty nice, especially for DisneyToon Studios. There was one moment that nearly made me barf though, and that was when they did a completely overly done slow motion cheer in the climax. Seriously, what the hell was that? Saving money by barely animating that part? The musical numbers are also pretty decent, although I can guarantee I’ll forget all of them by the time I’m done writing this review. I just really, really, REALLY wish they had chosen to make the entire movie original instead of putting in an old special to pad it out.

And as sad as it is to say this, I learned that this isn’t the only Winnie the Pooh movie they’ve done this with. They also did the exact same thing with A Very Merry Pooh Year by jamming in Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too in the middle of it…Guess I have something to look forward to this December….

Most of the same points can be said of Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh, barring the art and animation note, which takes a few hits because of the tighter budget and being nearly a decade older than our feature presentation, and, of course, the fact that it’s an entirely original story with nothing placed in the middle of it. It’s a cute Halloween story that people of all ages would enjoy this time of year.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Animating Halloween | Mickey Mouse: Lonesome Ghosts (1937) Review

Plot: Mickey, Donald and Goofy have created a ghost-hunting business and their newest ‘clients’ happen to be a group of bored ghosts looking for some fun scares.

Breakdown: Ghostbusters 50 years before Ghostbusters. Instead of proton packs, they used a shotgun, a butterfly net and an axe. And instead of “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.” they said;

Goofy: “I’m brave!….but careful.”

This short is pretty entertaining, I smiled a few times and even laughed out loud a couple of times, particularly at Goofy. Not their best work, but it’s a nice watch for Halloween. I sometimes get nostalgic for Mickey’s old ‘dot eyes’ design.

I will say that the sound design on the ghosts is terrible. I get that this is the 1930s and they were going for a ghostly echoing voice, but it really just sounds like they recorded their lines in an airplane hangar on their lunch break.

Not much else to say about this short. It’s fun, it’s Halloweeny, it has some great animation, and I still don’t understand how you can fight ghosts with an axe. Supernatural has taught me that the shotgun might be loaded with salt rounds, and Fairly Odd Parents taught me that butterfly nets can catch supernatural beings, but the axe is just silly.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

CSBS | Fillmore! Episode 8 – Ingrid Third Public Enemy #1

CSBS - FILLMORE EPISODE 8

Plot: This episode explores the backstory of how Ingrid and Fillmore became partners in the Safety Patrol. Fillmore, having just lost his best friend and previous partner, Wayne, after he moved to Tennessee, tries to go solo on a case to clear the new kid, Ingrid, of a crime she didn’t commit.

Breakdown: As much as I hate to say this, this was a massively disappointing episode.

I’ve been really looking forward to rewatching the backstory episode because I didn’t remember it, and now I know why I didn’t remember it.

I feel like this episode needed to be a two-parter because it required more time to do the following.

– Flesh out Wayne.

We know he was very important to Fillmore and, maybe, the Safety Patroller who saved Fillmore from his troublemaking ways, but that’s about it. In order to really feel for their connection or care that he’s gone, we needed more time to learn about him and connect with him. He seems like a really nice guy, so it’s a shame he barely misses getting glossed over.

– A little more development on Ingrid and Fillmore’s meeting and relationship.

For someone who supposedly is super pissed that his BFF left and is gunning for the ‘lone wolf’ cop lifestyle, he sure takes a shine to Ingrid quickly and vice versa.

Ingrid was set on writing off this whole school from day one, even admitting to a crime she didn’t commit for the sake of getting expelled, but just knowing that Fillmore had a piece of irrefutable evidence that convinced him that she didn’t do it is enough to make them friends.

Both of them had very bull-headed attitudes that were extinguished way too easily. I liked how they started working together to clear Ingrid’s name, especially utilizing her skills in ‘forensics,’ but they needed more time to work on their relationship from the starting point. Maybe have Fillmore be skeptical purely because he’s upset about Wayne leaving, and then have him be kinda cold to her in interrogation or something, but then slowly realize she’s innocent and make amends.

– Make the case more complex.

The case was WAY too easy. I knew from the second I saw Parnassus that he was the culprit, and the instant someone said he was the smartest kid in school, I knew the motive. It was way too easy, even for a kid’s show. Fillmore!’s usually more clever than this. I was looking for them to subvert my expectations because it’s usually not the first suspect, but they didn’t include any other suspect, and he was constantly coming up with new evidence and pointing at Ingrid as a criminal.

We know it’s not Ingrid, because this is a flashback so of course she’s not, and we’ve never seen Parnassus in the previous episodes, so all signs point to him. The insanely bright neon signs…..set on fire….with sirens blaring ‘PARNASSUS DID IT.’

Another odd thing about this episode was the incredibly bad light they put X Middle School in. I have stated in the past that X is such a batshit crazy yet awesome school that I would’ve loved to have gone there when I was a kid, but this episode makes it look terrible.

It especially makes Fulsom look like a total bitch. New kid in school? Have a big assembly to not only introduce her, but also embarrass her by proclaiming she’s the smartest kid in school.

Think she’s blissfully unaware of the position this puts Ingrid in? No. This assembly is called for another reason. She knows that new kids are always the targets of abuse because they’re new and different, so, just to get all the abuse out of the way, she allows the students to pelt the new kid with foam balls for two minutes.

What the fuck? So, instead of stopping the abuse, the school just has it’s own kid version of The Purge by letting them abuse the new kid by throwing balls at them? And the faculty AND Safety Patrol just sit there? They’re ‘harmless foam rubber balls’ but who cares? That’s still terrible.

Who’s to say this even works? The kid is still new and strange to them. They’ll still either ignore or pick on them either way.

I didn’t much like that Ingrid also has a sordid past. Come on, that’s Fillmore’s thing. They can’t both be the reformed criminal. That’s just lazy. And why is this just coming up now? Why has Fillmore been called out for his ‘criminal’ past a few times before but everyone ignores Ingrid’s troublemaking days? Just because she didn’t go to the same school when that stuff happened?

Minor thing, but I also didn’t like that Lemmy, Parnassus’ ‘friend,’ took the heat for Parnassus’ crimes. He seems like a nice guy overall. After Ingrid helped save him in the tire fort, he grabbed her and saved her from the stink bomb in return. Fillmore and Ingrid have plenty of evidence to clear his name, but Fulsom won’t hear of it because Parnassus is a massive suck-up.

They actually failed for a change, and that’s just depressing. I know Lemmy helped Parnassus in the crimes, but he just seems like he does everything Parnassus tells him to, seeing him as his only friend.

He didn’t just throw Lemmy under the bus, either. Parnassus convinces him to make a full, taped confession right in the principal’s office with Parnassus standing right beside him. What a prick.

There were a couple of decent jokes like the cardboard boxes Fillmore runs into when he’s chasing ‘Ingrid’ have the words ‘Cliche Box co.’ on them, and the Safety Patrol in Tennessee not only uses horses, but their stable is in the Safety Patrol room. That does not, in any way, help this episode, though.

Such a shame. The potential of a backstory episode is so vast yet this is what we get. I hope we see more of Wayne and even Parnassus in the future, but as it stands, this episode was incredibly disappointing and just flatout not good.

Next episode…..

….Previous Episode


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Animating Halloween | Kim Possible: October 31st Review

AHKPO31

Plot: Kim wants to go to Monique’s Halloween party, especially considering her crush, Josh Mankey, will be there, but she ends up creating a web of lies while trying to avoid going trick-or-treating with Ron. What’s worse, she has a top-secret nanotech bracelet on her wrist that slowly covers her in armor the more she lies – and Drakken and Duff Killigan both want it.

Breakdown: Considering how much I loved Kim Possible so much when it was airing, I can’t believe I’ve forgotten about this Halloween special for so long.

….But on the other hand I can totally believe I’ve forgotten about this Halloween special for so long.

It’s just such a cliché plotline with one of the most overly parroted lessons in all of media – honesty is the best policy. It’s so overly done that the episode kinda pokes fun at itself for doing it. Kim’s little brothers points out how stupid it was to lie when Ron and her parents both would’ve understood, and even the villains go on about how disappointed they are in her.

And, really, a Halloween special has to be the absolute worst setting to use something like the Centurian project (the nanotech bracelet) because she can just claim the armor is part of her costume or is her costume – which she did, even though she tried to cover it up with a princess outfit. Actually, considering the Kim Possible universe, she can just claim that the armor is slowly covering her up for some reason. She doesn’t have to tell people it’s because she’s lying.

Outside of the cookie cutter plotline, though, this episode is perfectly fine. There are some funny moments, and the Centurian project is a pretty awesome set of armor. The one part I don’t like is the part that covers her head. It just looks weird. Also, if that’s the full armor, I’d think it should cover her face. The suit is so advanced that it can instantly recover from any damage, but all someone would have to do is aim for her face and it’d be all over.

The animation is a bit rough, but this was season one Kim Possible, and it had a habit of being all over the place. There’s one scene that’s just terrible, though. Kim’s mom is taking tickets at the hospital’s haunted house, and they show her saying ‘Thank you, enjoy.’ THREE TIMES without anyone handing her a ticket or entering the haunted house. The only part of this shot that is animated is her lips. It’s like they forgot to animate everything else.

I can’t imagine there will be many more Halloweens where I’ll purposely seek out this special, but it did stoke my fire to do a Cartoon Step-by-Step of Kim Possible sometime soon.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Animating Halloween: The Proud Family – A Hero for Halloween Review

AHTPF

Plot: Penny begrudgingly partakes in Halloween as Snack Girl when her parents (taking the roles of Snack Man and Snack Woman) force her into it. She believes Halloween is just for little kids and wants none of it, not even attending Wizard Kelly’s Hallo-Tween Frightacular with special guest Lil Romeo. After consuming one of her father’s putrid Proud Scary Snacks, she gains superpowers. Also, there’s a ghost in Penny’s house.

Breakdown: The last time I tangoed with The Proud Family, I kinda tore into it – justified as though it may be. I did legitimately hope that today I could present a good example of a Proud Family episode to make up for it a little.

Credit where credit is due, this episode is nowhere near as anger inducing as the Kwanzaa special, but it is just all kinds of silly and weird.

Like many episodes, a lot of the characters are just being assholes to each other. Penny’s making fun of her friends and family for partaking in Halloween festivities and acting like she’s better than them because she’s oh-so-mature and refuses to partake at all in such childish frivolity. Her friends make fun of her back. I honestly don’t get why she’s not into the Frightacular, though. She seems to be a fan of Lil Romeo, so why not endure it just to watch him perform live?

Oscar forces her to dress up as Snack Girl and give out his gross Proud Scary Snacks at the door or else she’ll be grounded until the end of the year. Oscar’s also very unpleasant to everyone else, even slamming the door on the face of the guy who was trying to warn him of the ghost, but what else is new?

Addressing the story, yeah, Penny becomes a superhero by eating her father’s gross snacks, after getting hit by lightning because of course…She also loses her powers after a bunch of the snacks get caught up in an exploding ghost.

I kinda don’t feel like giving you the context for any of this stuff, because I don’t think it’d help.

The other kids are enjoying the Frightacular, and for all you Lil Romeo fans out there, he does voice himself here, and he does perform. The song’s pretty good, but it’s a very weird and out of place moment in a Halloween special.

Penny comes to the Frightacular after saving all of the goodie bags from the Gross sisters, and she gets greedy asking for rewards for the deed. She’s invited to perform with Lil Romeo, but we never hear them both (or her at all) singing.

Back with her family, her father is warned by a previous homeowner that their house is haunted by a man named Garret Krebbs, which is why he sold the house to Oscar for a mere $500. And wouldn’t ya know it, even though they’ve lived in the house for over ten years, tonight’s the night Krebbs decides to attack.

Penny saves the day and destroys the ghost, but since she loses her powers as a result of the battle no one believe it was her. However, she’s gained a better appreciation for Halloween as a result.

Also, throughout this entire ordeal, they are very clearly playing a knockoff of the Halloween theme, even though absolutely nothing in this episode has a single thing to do with Halloween, the movie, besides taking place on Halloween….

The next day, everyone talks about the hero who saved Halloween, but Penny keeps her secret. They see something flying in the air, believing it’s the mysterious hero….and it’s Suga Mama’s dog, Puff, who has now become a superhero after eating some of the snacks.

The, uh….end I guess.

I gotta be honest, I completely forgot this Halloween special even existed. I was browsing lists of animated Halloween specials and this one came up as one of the best ones from Disney Channel, and I went from “The Proud Family had a Halloween special?” to “OH YEAH! It did….I completely forget what it was about…” to finally, after looking it up “OH YEAH…I kinda remember that……a little!” And bear in mind, I did watch The Proud Family fairly often when it was airing.

……I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. I don’t really get good Halloween vibes from this special. I don’t get much of anything besides confusion. It’s like a word salad, but with random plot elements.

Have a performance by Lil Romeo. Have Penny gain superpowers. Have her father’s snacks be the conduit for said superpowers, somehow and someway. Have a random as hell meteor nearly hit a small child. Have a ghost wait ten years before attacking the family of the house he’s haunting. Why was he even dicking around pretending to be a magician at the party for several hours before attacking?

I guess the lesson was that Halloween…..Uh…Halloween’s not just for kids….because you can get superpowers? No, that can’t be it. Don’t buy houses for $500 because there has to be a hitch? Maybe….Is there even a lesson in this episode?

By the way, all of this DID actually happen. They didn’t balk and say it was a dream or something. It all legitimately happened. The world of The Proud Family is very, very odd sometimes….and I still haven’t reviewed the movie yet…..

This episode really highlighted how god-awful the animation was in this series. I look back to the Kwanzaa special and realize that they must have bumped up the budget a smidge on that episode because I didn’t have much to complain about there, but here? It actually makes me sad. It’s so cheap, the lip syncing is terrible and there are numerous very obvious loop animations. I remembered the animation quality being bad, but this was near laughable levels. Disney, why was your budgeting for the animated Disney Channel shows so inconsistent?

I guess, at the end of the day, this is a perfectly harmless Halloween special. It’s nothing good or bad, it’s just really, really goofy and nonsensical and doesn’t capture the Halloween mood that much. It didn’t make me angry, it didn’t make me happy, it just kinda baffled me.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com