Who’s that coming?

I feel like an easy one today. I’m going to talk about Care Bears.

As is the case most children, one of the first cartoons I ever laid eyes on was Care Bears. Those colourful ursine dogooders and their equally colourful cousins kept my attention for half hours at a time with their message of sharing and caring.

If you wanna go and take a ride wit me!

If you wanna go and take a ride wit me!

It’s weird, sometimes, if I watched the show while I was older, I would still get goosebumps when they defeated No Heart and his Niece, Shreeky.

With voice talent including Royal Canadian Air Farce’s Luba Goy, and Terri Hawkes, the original voice of Sailor Moon and Franny from John Callahan’s Quads! the acting wasn’t so bad.

Even the subject matter in the show dealt with issues so kids could understand. I recently watched an episode about gender discrimination in the work force. Of course it was actually about how only boys could be sailors. By the end of the show, the young girl helping out Braveheart and Brightheart saved the ship from the invasion of Shreeky and Mr. Beastly as pirates.

Fine. Don't mention me, see if I care.

Fine. Don’t mention me, see if I care.

I seem to recall the Grams Bear episodes being my favorite. She would take a story, like Aladdin, and tell it to Hugs and Tugs, subsituting Care Bears and Cousins for the actual characters.

There was also the prehistoric Care Bears which, while quite gimmicky, was still really fun to watch.

I guarantee that I will be sitting my kids down to watch the old Care Bears. Perhaps, I’ll check out the new one and see what that’s like.

He's crazy! There's no way that cartoon reboots from the 80s are any good.

He’s crazy! There’s no way that cartoon reboots from the 80s are any good.

Who was your favorite? Let me know in the comments, or on the facebook page!

Until next time, CARE BEAR STARE!


I come from the net

Remember in the 90s when CG animation was really freaky? YTV used to run these really weird bumpers that were two minutes or so long, and they would scare the piss out of me. There was one on particular that gave me the same feeling I get when I realize I didn’t do my homework. It was the one where a bunch of balls flew out of a horn and played a xylophone.

But what didn’t scare me was possibly the best (non-Pixar) CG animation to come out of the 90s.

Bob, Enzo, Dot and Frisket from ReBoot

What fourth wall?

Oh, yeah. That’s the stuff.

I recently rewatched ReBoot after finding it on VHS Netflix. This was the first show I ever programmed my PVR VCR for. I was nine years old at the time. I had a dedicated tape for it. But almost 20(!) years later, did it hold the same magic for me?

Well, if you watch it now, some of the computer based jokes are a little dated, but still funny. The slow food episode was pretty funny. I mean, I think people have forgotten what magnets could do to computers.

To be fair, I haven’t watched the whole series — I got as far as somewhere in season three — but I remember losing interest at that point. I think my new found anime addiction had something to do with it. But all in all, the series was entertaining and I’m still quoting it from time to time. That’s usually the mark of a good show for me, when I can still quote it 19 years later. It would be cool if they gave the show a… Nah too easy.

No, no. Say it... we @#$%ing dare you.

No, no. Say it… we @#$%ing dare you.

Until next time, REBOOT!

Fighting Crime in a Future Time

So my Fan Expo plans sort of “Petered” out. But, it was super fun just to be around the hall. There weren’t as many artists as I would have liked to meet, and I did get to reconnect with some old acquaintances. So that was neat.

Today’s review is not on a cartoon I’ve watched recently.

As a matter of fact, I haven’t watched this cartoon since I was really young.

I’m talking about COPS.

Wrong one.

I’m talking about the syndicated cartoon based on a line of action figures.

There are two distinct things I remember about this show: The open and closing themes.

The opening features a low-voiced bad-ass cop named Bulletproof. He narrates the opening and closing of the show. During the end credits, he rattles off the names of the Crooks in the series.

Bulletproof, so called because he lost his torso in a car accident involving Big Boss, the lead villain, is so memorable, and so bad-ass, he finds the best COPS around to get his revenge for losing his torso.

He doesn’t rhyme and his voice puts Shaft to shame. Ladies, start your creaming.

The leader of the Crooks is Big Boss who’s doing his best Edward G. Robinson voice. You know the voice, where everything is as nasal as possible, and every-GD-thing is suffixed with “See?”. That voice.

He looks a little bit like a short Kingpin with less muscle and way more henchman.

The show is a glorified cops and robbers type deal. Each episode shows off a COP having awesome accessories. Buy them all! Or Big Boss will eat your soul.

Just like this cat was seconds after this picture.

And since everything is MLP:FiM, there’s a voice actress you can hear in this show that plays one of the Mane Six. Bonus points if you can find her.

Fan Expo is coming so hard! (I also take a look at Spongebob)

First and Foremost!

Fan Expo is coming to Toronto. The annual event will hit the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this Thursday through Sunday, and yours truly hopes to be there on the Sunday. Not as an exhibitor mind you, but as an attendee. Just look for the tall bald guy in a Hawaiian shirt (that isn’t John Lasseter.) You know who else will be there? My best friend/designer-in-chief Peter N. Trinh and his brother Lucky. They will be unveiling the first bit of Perfume & Primer Caps. Everyone in Toronto should check it out. I also hope to make some videos to post for you to check out.
Now on to business…
He lives in a pineapple under the sea. He’s friends with a squirell and possibly the laziest starfish in the ocean. He’s also captured the imaginations of millions of people worldwide. I’m of course talking about the one and only Spongebob Squarepants.

Seen here fleeing in terror from a dropped bass.

The has been gripped in his yellow fever (wait…) and he wont relinquish his grip on us. We’re drawn to him like a krabby patty. Why do we like him so? What makes the show so likeable for adults as well as children? It all comes down to absurdity.

We are not familiar with that term.

Everyone I know that doesn’t dig Spongebob, says that it’s way too stupid or silly. I always come back with, “Of course it is. It’s absurd humour.”

You’re trying to find meaning in this, but there is none. So just relax and laugh. Wacky antics can be funny. Celebrity cameos even funnier. Random cuts to Nosferatu. Yeah. That happened. everything on this show is way too silly. I didn’t even like it at first. But after watching it a few more times, it grew on me like algae.

So who’s behind Spongebob Squarepants? Nickelodeon. I would wager this is Nick’s most popular cartoon ever. I liked it way more than the even more absurd Ren & Stimpy.

So who’s the man giving us that glorious high-pitched squeal of the eponymous éponge? This man right here:

Looking suspiciously nonabsorbent, nonyellow and nonporous.

Tom Kenny. I talked about him briefly (very briefly) in my Mission Hill post. He’s a very talented man.

So all in all, why do I like Spongebob? Easy. The absurd comedy gets to me, and they throw in just enough pop culture references to keep me coming back. That and Sandy Cheeks. There’s something about her Aquanaut suit that makes me laugh so much.

How can you not Laugh at this?

Fighting evil by moonlight

I was a little uncertain about writing about anime around here. I’ve been an anime fan since I was a kid, and was the type of person who said that anime was far superior to western animation. I was a lot younger back then and was fairly short-sighted and I’ve since changed my toon — pun totally intended — And now I feel that anime…

A quick aside: I know that the Japanese word for anime comes from animation, which in turn comes from the word anima. I know the Japanese use it to describe anything animated, but I’m not Japanese. So when I say anime, I mean Japanese animation. I will also never use the term “Japanime” to describe it, even though I love portmanteaus, that’s pretty much where I draw the line.

…and cartoons can share the stage with equal dignity.

So for my first post about anime, it’s only fitting that I talk about my first time experiencing it.

Thinking back to my first anime experience, it would have to be watching Sailor Moon on YTV as a kid. I was living in Ottawa at the time and it came on after school. I would rush home just to watch the Adventures of the long-haired heroine. Before I even realized that the show was aimed at girls, I was hooked.

The show’s continuing narrative from episode to episode was what, unbeknownst to me, captured my attention. I couldn’t miss an episode because it was like skipping a chapter in a book: you wouldn’t know what was going on.

The visuals were stunning and the characters were very believable. I didn’t know or care that Sailor Moon came from a country far away, and just enjoyed it for what it was: the adventures of a girl with superpowers.

My favorite Character was always a toss-up between Amy…

Another aside: I know the Japanese characters’ names, but I’m using the dub version for simplicity. Some people who read this didn’t grow up to become a giant nerd like me and watch the Japanese version.

… and Lita, Sailors Mercury and Jupiter, respectively. I definitely identified with Mercury, being the smart kid who was excluded from lots, and only had a few friends. But Lita represented something to me later on. The girl I wanted for my wife. She was motherly, loved baking and was a strong independant woman. Not unlike my fiancee.

Remember: When searching for Sailor Moon pictures, turn SafeSearch on to not ruin your childhood.

So this show is probably the first show I was ever, ever, ever obsessed with. I needed to know more. Voice actors production studio, manga, everything!

I’m not going to get into too much detail here because there’s just so much about the voice acting I loved. Instead I will gush about someone who came into the show later on.

The most unique voice I ever heard came from one Sugar Lyn Beard. I was somewhat obsessed with Sugar. Everyone thought her high-pitched voice was way too piercing, while I loved it. I’m a Geddy Lee fan too by the way. Sugar was a DJ in Toronto, and was also the host of the Zone on YTV for a while. I wish she had a twitter feed so I could link to it. Sugar played Rini, Sailor Moon’s child from the future, during the later seasons. Her voice was perfectly suited for it. High-pitched enough to be innocent and child-like, but with the emotion needed for the character. I’ve said before, when the actors are good, you forget that there’s an actor behind the mic. Sugar was able to do that for me. And she’s very easy on the eyes.

This is the face of a great actress.

So why should you watch Sailor Moon? It had a great story, though predictable, and featured some awesome characters. Watch either version, and I guarantee you’ll love it.

Is he strong?

So I took a week long Hiatus, having lots to do with school and work stress, and I’m feeling much better so let’s get blogging again.

Recently, I posted a poll asking you, the readers, to pick my next blog post. I gave you 4 choices in cartoons: X-men, Classic Spider-Man, 90s Spider-Man and Batman: TAS. The last three shared an equal number of votes, so I’m going to choose which one to talk about.

And the only fair way to do that is to pick one. Luckily for one of you, I chose Classic Spider-Man.

With the campy theme song — the Ramones cover is much better — and that basic style of “animation” —  I use the term loosely — the show is just way too funny to not talk about. To be honest I don’t know if I can do it without degenerating into image macros, but I’ll try.

We’ll see how long that lasts!

To be even more honest, I only watched a handful of episodes. And I wasn’t about to lose half my day to watching episodes on YouTube, because we all know one is never enough.

So the story is centered around Peter Parker, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, or something, you know that he’s also Spider-Man.

You know what? I’m not going to run down the whole plot for you. You know the deal. It’s a superhero cartoon. He fights villains, tries to get the girl. Just like every other incarnation of this franchise.

What I will talk about though is the show’s budget woes. This show had the potential for something great. But it got screwed up. To save on money, the show had to reuse animations and background. I’m not even talking about Bakshi reusing two full episodes of Rocket Robin Hood either. This was before he took over.

So yeah, “who is this Ralph Bakshi guy?” I’m sure you’re asking yourself. I know I did. I knew the name but, not what he did. Short answer, he’s the Cool World guy. That’s about all I care to know about this guy for now.

I thought this post was about me.

It is about you Spidey. All about you.

Now, Spider-Man is far from my favorite mutant. My favorite superhero is probably Gambit, but until he gets his own show, I’ll be satisfied with the X-men cartoon.

Sorry Spidey. I found you to be a very bland character. In all your incarnations, you’re a guy who got bit by a spider. You only got sticky limbs and super-strength. You had to make your own web! I don’t think we can be friends anymore after the “Toby” incident.

But cheer up, you have legions of fans that aren’t me. And really. This one comes down to personal taste. The more I think about it, the more I don’t really care for this series. It’s just sort of meh in my eyes.

Look forward to a post tomorrow about a show I’m sure I like a lot better than this one.

Reader’s choice!

Before I begin, I would like to thank Danielle Corsetto and Tara Strong again for linking to me, and hopefully providing me with some repeat visitors. and for everyone who stayed, and is checking this blog out, welcome! I hope you like!

So, for those just looking at this blog for the first time, My name is Scott Houston, and this is Street Signs. I like to write about cartoons, and I hope you’ll find my posts funny and informative.

If there’s a cartoon you would like me to review, let me know and I’ll try to get a look at it.

So starting Next week, I’m hoping to change my format. Since I attend School four days out of five, I’m looking to post Monday to Friday. Monday-Thursday will be posts, just like any other, but Friday, I’m thinking about doing voice actor profiles, and how I feel they’ve influenced me throughout my life.

So for next Monday’s post, I’ll give you a choice, in the form of a poll, to decide what that first post should be.

Here’s the poll after the jump, and I look forward to hearing from each of you.

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