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.


I’m living for the weekend!

Hey everybody that’s here from Girls With Slingshots! I hope you’ll stick around for a while and read some posts!

Today, I’m going to talk about what might possibly be my favorite Disney cartoon of all time, The Weekenders.

It aired on ABC’s One Saturday Morning, then on the Disney Channel, and it’s original run lasted 5 years, from 1999-2004. The show revolves around four friends — Tino, Lor, Carver and Tish — who always hang out on the weekend. They usually start at the pizzeria, and head to the  arcade or the mall, or somewhere else 7th graders hang out.

Tino, voiced by the awesome Jason Marsden, is the implied leader of the group — he gets first billing in the show’s intro — and generally keeps the group together, thanks to the advice of his mom. He was very relatable, and developed a lot during the series, eventually getting over a fear of clowns.

Clowns?

So what did the Weekenders mean to me growing up? Not much to tell you the truth, I don’t remember liking this show as a kid — in fact, I don’t even know if I watched it as a kid. But I did watch it in my later teens, say 16 or older, while I was still living at home, and a few times after that. And I have to say I found the writing to be pretty spot on. When I compare this to my childhood, there’s always these archetypes that show up in life. You had a friend who was the jock, the cool guy, the brain or the leader. Well, in general.

Which one am I, guys? I’m the cool one right!

So what else made the Weekenders special to me? The voice cast, along with Jason Marsden, includes Phil LaMarr as Carver, Kath Soucie as Tish, and Grey DeLisle as Lor. That’s a lot of talent that brings these characters to life, and I think that’s what makes these characters so good. When voice actors as good as these do a role, you sort of forget that it’s an actor behind the mic. To me, it doesn’t sound like Max, Phil and Lil, Static Shock and Penny the Squirrel got together to do a show, it sounds like Tino, Carver, Tish and Lor.

Oh, and before I forget, the theme song was done by Wayne Brady, who sounds like he just made it up on the spot. Which kinda rocks. Wayne Brady needs to sing more theme songs.

So did you watch the Weekenders? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section and as always try to guess what my next post will be about.

Join me next time, when I’ll be talking about a more adult show, that didn’t last very long. But I’m keeping Silent about it until then.

It’ll be better than that book for sure. Look at his face.


Dear Journal…

So, I’m sure most of you out there watched this show. Doug was on from 1991-1994 as a Nickelodeon series, then from 1996-1999 as a Disney series.

The story revolved around the eponymous main character, Doug Funnie, as he grew up in a new town. A typical fish-out-of-water story, Doug has to make new friends in Bluffington, and even finds himself bullied. He keeps a journal, and narrates all the episodes.

Doug himself was a little whiny, naive and generally annoying. But he was likeable.

I'm non-threateningly likeable!

So what made this show good? It was definitely the side characters. Skeeter, his idiot savant friend, who made more mouth noises than a Seinfeld bumper, was probably the best. He looked like a turquoise Fido Dido (look it up) and was full of good advice for Doug.

Ain't no thang, really.

Roger the bully was pretty good, and Patty Mayonnaise lived up to her name. Other than that the rest of Doug’s friends are forgettable.

Then in 1996, all that changed when Brand Spanking New! Doug got made. Disney got their mitts on this IP and ran with it for three years. All of Doug’s friends went through major changes. Skeeter was having growth spurts, turning his arms into noodles sometimes. His fat friend Connie lost a bunch of  weight and learned to play guitar. Roger, the former trailer trash is now living next to the richest family in town.

So even though it had forgettable characters and a bland lead, the show tackled a lot of issues I was growing up with. Namely fitting in at school, and because of that, I found the show very relateable. It might not rank in my top 20 or even top 50, but if it were on TV again, I might watch it. Depending on what else was on.

We don't Suck! let's go to Honker Burger!

Join me again, next time I’ll be talk about another Disney Cartoon. Later Days!


What the hell are you staring at!

So no one guessed which toon I was talking about today, so no shout outs. But I’ll keep this an ongoing thing. I’ll leave a hint at the end of each post, and if you can guess first, I’ll give you the credit.

So, I think this show might be a little obscure, but I enjoyed this show as a kid, even though it was meant for adults. Featuring Jason Alexander and Dweezil Zappa, and about $5 million in celebrity appearances — though I’m sure they worked for less — Duckman was probably one of the funniest cartoons of all time.

The story revolves around Eric Duckman — though they just call him Duckman 99.99999999999% of the time — having adventures, and being the most lecherous duck I’ve ever seen. He also runs his own detective buisness, and is a single father to Ajax, his slightly dazed and confused son, and Charles and Mambo, his conjoint twin sons that are super geniuses, when he can fit it in.

I have sons? Are you sure?

I watched maybe half the series, though not in order, on Teletoon when I was maybe twelve or thirteen and older, and many years later downloaded some of the series, mostly epidosed I had already seen. There’s since been a DVD release of the entire series, and I look forward to picking that up someday.

And I look forward to picking her up!

So what sets this show apart from other adult animated shows? The mature content factor is through the roof, without being South Park levels of crazy, and there are many satirical parts to the show. The animation quality some might say is poor, but I feel that it adds to the show. The animation was produced by Klasky Csupo, who, you may remember is the Rugrats’ production company. The show, even though I was waaaaay to young to watch it, made a lot of sense to me, and made me laugh hysterically. I think it was around that point that I realized that I was a 20-year old trapped in a 13-year old body.

If you haven’t seen this show, all I can do to convince you is tell you that this is Jason Alexander at his best, Dweezil Zappa puts in a memorable performance, and Tim Curry shows up a lot.

A delicious King Chicken, played by Tim Curry. So a Chicken Curry... yeah I ran out of steam.

As usual, if you had an experience with this show, please feel free to leave a comment sharing it with us.

Look forward to my next post, about a show that’s about four friends. can you guess what it is?


Damn that kid and his douchebaggery!

There was a block of cartoons on Teletoon I watched fairly regularly. They were The Oblongs,  Undergrads, and Mission Hill.

While I’m sure I’ll write about all three of them, today I want to talk about Mission Hill.

Mission Hill was set in the eponymous, fictional neighbourhood of Cosmopolis. The main cast all shared a loft, and shared that same late 90s slacker attitude. Of all three shows I named, this one was probably my favorite. The voice acting was better than Undergrads, and the writing, in my opinion, was way way better than the Oblongs. The theme song by Cake didn’t hurt either.

Look at all those untucked shirts!

The animation style was fairly simple, but worked for the premise of the show. My favorite part of their style of animation was the added extras, like actual daggers flying out Andy’s eyes, or a sight line showing where he was staring.

The voices however, we’re very keen. Staring what I would say are minor celebrities, the cast had a lot of chemistry. Andy French was played by Wallace Langham, who has a very impressive resume. Andy’s brother Kevin was played by Scott Menville aka Teen Titan’s Robin. Another notable cast regular was Tom Kenny, voice of none other than SpongeBob SquarePants. He voices Wally, the Old Gay man who lives upstairs with his partner Gus.

According to the DVD commentary, this was the first Gay kiss on TV.

The story revolved around Andy, who was a struggling cartoonist, trying to kind of make his way in the world, between ska shows and malt liquor benders. He works at a waterbed store, and lives with his brother Kevin, and roommates Jim and Posey.

The biggest problem with this show, that led to it’s cancellation, was the fact that it aired when it did and where it did. In the US, the show aired on the WB, in 1999, with very poor ratings. If this show were to air today, I think it would go over like gangbusters. I’ve always said if I won like 50 million dollars, one of the things I would do is get this show back on the air. I guess the timing was wrong for this type of show. It was cancelled after 13 episodes.

On the DVD, the special features include animatics, and behind the scenes looks at the show, so I recommend picking it up. If you don’t I’ve got one word for you.

You are one, unless you watch this show.


Seatbelts, everyone!

I’d like to start off today’s post by thanking Peter N. Trinh for my awesome branding identity and layout help. His webcomic Maddy McGee, P.I. is really good and you should give it a read! And keep an eye out for his new comic Perfume & Primer Caps.

Now onto business!

If you haven’t guessed by the title of the post, I’m going to be talking about everyone’s favorite school bus, The Magic School Bus! This show was the bomb when I was a kid, teaching me about digestion, space and many other things. The Magic School Bus would take Ms. Frizzle (voiced by Lily Tomlin) and her class of very multicultural students to various place one couldn’t go on a normal field trip — with the Frizz? No way!

This is the face of a woman with which you can trust your kids.

The series was based on a series of books written by Joanna Cole, and ran from 1994 to 1998. Ms. Frizzle’s class included:

Arnold, the scaredy-cat; Carlos, the pun master; Dorothy Ann, the class know-it-all; Keesha, the somewhat regular student; Phoebe, the new kid in class; Ralphie, the Jock/second class clown; Tim, the artist; and Wanda, the Tomboy. Everyone had their favorite, and mine was definitely Ralphie. I found everyone else to be really contrived. Ralphie seemed fairly genuine. But, hey, the past is always rose coloured.

Now while the Magic School Bus’ content was fairly accurate, there was always some inaccuracies. None that I could recall at this very moment, but I always remember thinking that’s not quite how it goes. Usually if there was some discrepancy due to time (speeding up digestion to a half hour for instance) that’s usually when the producer got a call. I found these segments to be the best, usually because Malcolm Jamal-Warner was voicing the producer. But I digress. The show had a slew of celebrity voices, including Dom DeLuise, Dan Marino, Tony Randall and many others. My favorite was probably Dan Marino, since I was obsessed with Ace Ventura, Pet Detective as a kid.

Look kid, as Producer, I just dole out the money. To myself mostly.

So does the show hold up? Well, not really. I mean it’s still great for kids, but it’s not really something you can watch as an adult and enjoy. The Characters a little silly and the catchphrases get a little repetitive. If I had kids, though, I would probably sit and watch a few episodes with them before switching it to something else. So there you have it. The Magic School Bus, awesome as a child, but a little painful when you grow up. Unless it’s the Dan Marino episode. That guy rocks!

And looks sharp in a bowtie!