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“Futurama” – The Luck of the Fryrish EPISODE REVIEW
Fry is having a series of rotten luck in life lately, with one misfortune after another happening to him – often due to his own inherent stupidity. Fry remarks that he’d never have this kind of bad fate if he still had his seven leaf clover, a charm that brought him success during his teen years, and so he ventures to his childhood home to recover it.
While in Old New York, Fry comes to learn that another Phillip J. Fry existed in his former timeline; who looked just like his brother Yancy and wore the 7 leaf clover on his suit! Could Yancy have stolen his seven leaf clover in a bid to steal Fry’s life?
While “Futurama” is renowned for it’s sci-fi comedy rooted in futuristic absurdity or techno-wizardry, it’s also the story of a young man who was whisked away from his timeline, and the show often reminded audiences of that fact.
This episode really dives into Fry’s past in great detail, by expanding on his eccentric and emotionally-distant family. The show finds gallows humour in their poor parenting or American paranoia, by poking fun at Fry’s dad’s cold war fears or his mom’s obsession with sports. However, it’s also revealed that Fry’s disappearance really changed his family, as his absence created a hole in their lives.
Fry’s relationship with his brother Yancy (voiced by Tom Kenny) is troubled, because Yance had a habit of copying his sibling; much to Fry’s frustration. This is mainly just teen angst and sibling jealousy, but there’s maybe more to Yancy’s need to imitate his brother.
This all ties into Fry’s life in the future, where he feels like the world is against him, and that he has nothing to prove his worth. Fry, Leela, and Bender try to rob the grave of this other Phillip J. Fry, still under the assumption that he was a Yancy being a devious fraud, but then the truth is provided at long last.
It turns out that after Fry went missing, Yancy decided to name his own son after his lost brother, in a loving and affectionate tribute to the sibling he never got a chance to grow up with. It’s a really emotional twist that not only proves that Yancy was aggressively repressing his admiration for Fry, but also shifts Fry’s assumptions entirely.
Fry has come to a timeline that’s completely alien to him, from a past where he felt neglected or disrespected, and this new truth about Yancy makes him realise that he did make an impact in some way. As the episode draws to a close, Fry solemnly sits at his nephew’s grave, the clover no longer on his mind, as he tries to process how Yancy really felt and the heartbreak of never being able to rekindle what was lost.
Expressing your feelings healthily can be difficult as a confused teenager, but growing up will inevitably help a person better translate their raw emotions. Unfortunately, Yancy didn’t mature until Fry became absent from his life, so he had to grieve over his brother while also accepting the rift he created between them as teenagers.
This is what makes the ending such a tearjerker to fans. Yancy’s decision to name his son after Phillip isn’t just an endearing homage, but also a message through time to an insecure man trapped in the year 3000 – letting Fry know that he has a legacy and that his family did love him deep down.
To Conclude, this is one of the more sentimental episodes of “Futurama”, but that’s why it’s treasured so much by fans! It’s beautiful message of unrequited brotherly love and finding self value in time of misfortune REALLY speaks to people.
It’s a poignant reminder to let your loved ones know you cherish them, because we tend to sometimes only appreciate someone once they leave our lives, and the memories we create can leave a lasting impression. If you hide in how your love for someone or misdirect your feelings into aggression, you’ll one day regret it when you drift apart.
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“Spongebob Squarepants” – The Camping Episode EPISODE REVIEW
Written by Jambareeqi
In this Spongebob episode, Spongebob, Patrick, and Squidward go camping outside, but only plant their tents directly outside their houses. They hang out, play a song, eat marshmallows, and try to protect themselves from the legendary Seabear.
This is considered a classic episode by Spongebob fans. I think it’s appeal mainly comes down to how it really captures the camping spirit; without even being set in real outdoors. Our characters’ maybe only a few metres from their homes, but the episode is fantastic at creating a fun camping atmosphere by simply following the usual traditions.
Heck, I sometimes forgot that these campers were still in the city, because the episode gets us so sucked into the campfire vibe. I can taste the sticky marshmallows, feel the warmth of the fire, and recall my own childhood memories of camping.
Of course, a lot of the comedy comes from seeing stuffy Squidward being wound up by Spongebob & Patrick’s childish behavior. Squidward boasts that he’s a camping genius, but clearly doesn’t get what makes camping so special, and that’s why the other two have are having more fun – as annoying as their antics are to Squidward. Camping is not about how impressive your tent making skills are or how brave you are for leaving home, but the magic of enjoying yourself in spite of limitations.
The thing that most fans remember this episode for, would have to be “The Campfire Song”. This song sung by Spongebob is as basic as they come, but the humour derives from Patrick keeping up with it’s simple lyrics and Squidward refusing to singalong. It’s also funny that it’s supposed to be a relaxing camping track, but it elevates into something more explosive and intense.
I did mention that the episode features a Seabear, and you read that right. At first, this creature seems to be an urban myth, and the fact that Spongebob & Patrick know it’s existence from tabloid newspapers adds to that implausibility. The silliness is made even nonsensical when we see the excessively ridiculous things that attract Seabears – as illustrated in the picture below.
However, the brilliantly genius punchline to this is that it’s a real animal, and what’s even better is that the ridiculous rules surrounding the legend are 100% true. A big part of us has been made to side with Squidward’s common sense, but the great payoff is that Spongebob & Patrick’s story is grounded in reality – making our naive childish goofballs the actual survival-savvy ones.
To Conclude, this is a laugh-out-loud funny episode of Spongebob, that authentically captures the spirit and atmosphere of camping without even trying too hard. It’s simplicity is it’s charm, like most episodes of the show, and I can’t suggest it enough as a gateway into the series itself.
Does this episode help us give a good idea of what the upcoming Spongebob spin-off show “Kamp Koral” will be like? Kind of! It does show us the sort of dynamic that the average episode may go for, but keep in mind that characters will be much younger for that series.
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“The Prince and the Pauper” (1990) SHORT FILM REVIEW
Written by Jambareeqi
In this adaptation of Mark Twain’s novel of the same name, “The Prince and the Pauper” features Mickey as a peasant who switches places with an English Prince – who looks just like him. With the King on his deathbed, the evil Captain Pete is screwing over peasants in the name of his majesty. While living as a poor mouse on the streets, the Prince discovers what Pete has been up to, and he vows to save his Kingdom from the corrupt Captain of the guards.
Even though this film is only 25 minutes long, it has all the weight and effort of one of Disney’s animated features. I kept forgetting that this was a half an hour special, because it’s so easy to get invested in the story being told, and that’s down to the work put into everything.
While many scenes are very slapstick driven, these physical antics are always played into character development; whether that means establishing Goofy’s clumsy nature or Donald’s short temper. Heck, slapstick can also bring some creative dynamic to the action scenes, because character’s butterfingers or slippy feet will make a fight or conflict more intense.
When the short gets a bit sombre or emotional, the slapstick is immediately sidelined, and the film will successfully achieve a level of dramatic nuance that may take you by surprise. The death of the king is such example, a sad moment that’s directed with a sense of respectful melancholy, but intrinsically tied to the story’s themes of leadership and hope.
I also LOVE how director George Scribner paints Tudor England under the thumb of Pete. The wooden-framed crooked houses are lightly-covered in cold snow, the sky is a murky grey, and poverty-stricken citizens look worse-for-wear. You really get a strong atmosphere of sorrow and hardship from it all.
At the heart of this film though is the story of two drastically different people trading worlds, and how it affects them as characters. Mickey learns that a position of royalty may give him privilege, but the obligations attached make such freedoms redundant. While the Prince gets a first-hand experience of Pete’s tyranny, after years of being blind to the corruption happening behind his back.
I’ve not read Mark Twain’s novel, so I’m no expert on the book’s intentions, but this short really conveys a message of a royal leader’s responsibility towards their people. The Prince is first introduced as a cheeky scamp who doesn’t take things too seriously, but he’s someone who truly believes in justice and compassion; important traits that his father preaches.
Once out in the wide world, the Prince embraces the fun and games of being a free mouse, but he also finds himself in the shoes of a peasant. He realises that his rose-tinted glasses have over-romaticised the merits of living with his people. He’s not a bad person at any stretch, but being born with a silver spoon has clearly distracted him from the bigger picture.
There’s also something really relatable about Mickey and Goofy’s dreams of better lives. Their failing self-made businesses are getting them nowhere, while they work in an eye’s view of the palace, where everyone is lucky enough to afford anything they want. This is a position that many people can resonate with, especially those who are less-than-privileged, because sometimes day-dreaming is all some people have.
Pete makes for a brilliant antagonist as always. His imposingly large pot-bellied size, the burning light of his cigar, crooked smile, and villainous laugh, all help make this one baddie that’s easy to hate with a passion. We’ve already developed pity for the peasants, but Pete’s sick joy from his cruelty makes us wish for his downfall even more.
To Conclude, this is one of the best Mickey Mouse shorts ever made. It’s blend of comedy and drama is neatly-handled with good taste, we empathise with the hardships of our down trodden heroes, and the film whole-heartedly believes in it’s message of justice and compassion for the poor. If you need your spirits lifted right now then I can’t recommend this short enough.
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“Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure” (2000) FILM REVIEW
In this straight to video Looney Tunes movie, Granny makes a wager with an eccentric colonel, betting that Tweety bird can fly around the world to collect 80 cat paw prints under 80 days (along with evidence of travel). Meanwhile, Sylvester the cat is adamant as always to catch Tweety as a snack, and so he chases after the little canary.
This film very much rushes to the point at it’s start. In the first two minutes, the movie dumps the entire set-up on us, and makes no time for audience investment or natural pacing. We don’t get to actually visit this park to see how great it is, so who cares? Yes, two children are dependent on it for their flower selling business, but these two have like 2 or 3 lines in the film.
You could argue that the film just wants to jump into it’s main story, confident that the meat of the premise is too fun to require too much substance, but the central narrative is far from creative. The film is less of a feature film experience, and more of a bunch of Looney Tunes cartoons stitched together – mediocre cartoons at best.
Most of the film is just the whole bird Vs. cat formula from the Sylvester & Tweety cartoons, but on a global scale and lasting for 70 minutes. Sylvester’s motivation to catch Tweety made sense in the shorts, because there was a bird conveniently in the same home as him; he was worth the cat’s effort. However, I don’t buy Sylvester being willing to chase Tweety around the world for a small snack; especially when we start seeing him traveling through locations widely populated by lots of bird-life.
Even when you put aside the limp reason why Sylvester is the antagonist, we are still left with a very boring cycle: Tweety arrives in a country, a predator chases after him, he outwits them, and then he stamps their paw print into his passport. It’s this same beat all the way through. Switching out the country and predator each scene doesn’t make these set pieces any less repetitive, because it’s still the same sequence again and again.
Sure, there’s also a thief that wants to steal Tweety’s passport, but he’s mainly in the background for most scenes; only HINTING that he will do something. When Tweety finally comes face to face with this villain, it’s a very very short confrontation that only happens in the last 10 minutes, and it’s not exactly worth the build up. The movie is already over-bloated with antagonists anyway.
Tweety doesn’t even have anything to really overcome as a character either. Right from the start, he seems incredibly confident about the mission, and he keeps this optimistic attitude all the way through. He does get a flying partner called Aoogah, but she’s just a bland female doppelganger of Tweety (her one character trait is that she can honk a loud noise), and her friendship with Tweety isn’t anything special or deeply emotional.
In the finale, Tweety and Aoogah get stuck in a hurricane, which causes Aoogah to be split from Tweety. Suddenly, Tweety sings about appreciating friendship more than winning? Erm, what? At no point did Tweety demonstrate that he had a bad habit of caring more about the mission than Arooga! Also, this quest isn’t exactly a shallow cause, because he’s doing it to save a children’s park! This self reflective musical number is clearly just a last minute effort to make the story deeper than it really is.
The only time that Tweety expresses doubt is in the last 10 minutes, when he assumes that he’s too late to finish the race back to London, but this pessimistic side of him fades VERY quickly – all thanks to the convenience of time zone differences. I know that this is supposed to be a joke, but such a gag becomes annoying when Tweety has never had his optimism challenged.
There are lots of Looney Tunes cameos in the film! Each one popping in as a foil, helpful friend, or commentator. Now, it can be fun to spot these characters, but it’s really not enough to make up for the paper thin storytelling. Yeah its great seeing Bugs or Daffy, but their guest appearances are mainly for blatant fan-service or Deus Ex Machina solutions. Heck, some characters just end up serving as filler! Cameos that are only extended to stretch the film out with even more long chase sequences.
The animation isn’t even enough to make up for what very little the film has. It’s not horribly animated, but the straight to video budget very much hampers the overall quality. The slapstick action is missing creativity or precision, because there’s a stale stiffness to character movement that makes everything “standard” at best. There was only one gag that made me laugh out loud, but every other joke either got nothing out of me or resulted in a quiet little chortle.
The only saving grace for this film is the voice acting. With an array of top tier voice actors in the cast, each under the expert direction of the renowned Andrea Romano. Yes, there are better Looney Tunes titles out there that feature these talents in the same roles, but when the material is THIS uninspired, such qualities stand out as remarkable achievements.
To conclude, “Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure” is a boringly average comedy adventure, that dramatically failed to make me care about it’s characters or story. It might entertain very young kids who only require moving drawings to be happily distracted, but it’s not got much to offer as a film. I actually yawned more times than a I laughed. It also fails to understand what made Looney Tunes cartoons so great, because it mistakes frantic antics for creative humour and cheesy remarks for witty dialogue.
It shares the same problem as many Tom & Jerry films, because it too struggles to stretch out a 5 minute cartoon formula into a 70 minute narrative. If I’m honest, this could have worked 10 times better as an actual short! There’s nothing about “Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure” that screams that it NEEDED to be a feature length movie, and I can imagine everything been executed at a snappier pace under 5 minutes.
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“Dexter’s Laboratory” – Rude Removal EPISODE REVIEW
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING REVIEW CONTAINS STRONG PROFANITY
In this unaired episode of “Dexter’s Lab”, Dexter invents a machine to remove Deedee’s rudeness, but the siblings break out into a fight over who is more rude, and they accidentally end up turning both of their rude sides into clones!
This episode was originally made for Season 2 of the Dexter’s Lab TV show, but Cartoon Network deemed it too inappropriate, and they refused to air it. However, creator Genndy Tartakovsky happily screens it at conventions, and Adult Swim has made available online.
Yes, seeing the clones spilling profanities is what makes this episode funny! Sure, these characters can be abrasive, but this is a show designed for kids, so watching them swear is inherently hilarious. Yes, the swearing is censored with bleeps, so you can’t hear them saying “Fuck off!”, yet that makes it even funnier, because our imagination fills in the blanks (heck, any adult can easily work out what was originally said). Mind you, there’s actually an uncensored version on Dailymotion, but apparently that’s a fan edit?
The episode isn’t just characters saying fuck constantly though. Luckily, there’s more to the comedy dynamic beyond that. Polite Dexter and Deedee are startled by the obnoxious behavior of the clones, but they retain their friendly manners and stay naively optimistic. While it is funny seeing the clones being dicks, its equally amusing witnessing Dexter and Deedee acting like the Flanders kids.
However, its their mother’s response to the rude clones that REALLY steals the episode, because you can tell that she’s genuinely offended and taken back! Her over-the-top dramatic reactions help to make the clone’s profanity even more hilarious, due to sheer horror and rage she’s clearly expressing.
To conclude, this is one of the funniest Cartoon Network show episodes I’ve EVER seen. Yes, that’s mainly due to how crass it is for a children’s show (especially if watched uncensored), but there’s still strong comedic value to seeing the rude clones bounce off everyone.
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“Star Wars: Clone Wars” (2003) TV SERIES REVIEW
Written by Jambareeqi
“Star Wars: Clone Wars” is an animated micro-series from director Genndy Tartakovsky. It serves as a midquel series set between episodes 2 and 3 of the Star Wars movies saga.
The biggest strength of the series is how it illustrates the sheer scope of this war, by detailing it’s ramifications on a galactic scale. The show pans between various raging battles across the galaxy, vividly painting the possibility of a successful Sith uprising, by showing that there’s now a chance that the Jedi COULD be outmatched.
The series also stays very true to the recurring themes of the Star Wars prequels. Anakin and Obi-Wan’s bond is carried on, with the two sharing a lot of scenes together that demonstrate their relationship – that being wise master and disobedient student. Palpatine is also still doing his best to convince the Jedi Order that he’s not really Darth Sidious, by keeping up his efforts to retain a consistent act and pretending to be a naive old man.
Although, a larger purpose for this series is to provide a bridge between episodes 2 and 3. At first, I wasn’t sure how it was going to do that? But we do get to see many important firsts! Big moments that further explain story beats that were maybe glossed over in the prequel movies. While there’s a wink to the audience about some more cosmetic developments (like C3PO’s new gold plating), the show knows how to handle certain integral changes with nuance, and will tastefully address these scenes with the required level of grace.
However, the most important part the show plays in the franchise, is how it examines Anakin’s relationship with his future. Throughout the series, Anakin displays both contrasting sides of his personality: reckless immaturity and heartfelt compassion. The show uses a spiritual journey plot to foreshadow Anakin’s path, while also admitting that this wasn’t always set in stone, and that there was a glimmer of hope for him to go another direction.
This space war maybe a series of relentless battles, but that’s not to say that the action is just repetitive sequences of explosions and gunfire; heck I’d say it’s anything BUT uninspired. Each action scene is oozing with charismatic tension and inventive tenacity, always finding ways to make the fights visually impressive or simply badass cool, but all while never forgetting the purpose of each confrontation.
Genndy Tartakovsky maybe renowned for his more comedic work, like Dexter’s Lab or the Hotel Transylvania films, but he’s also the visionary behind more dramatic animation projects like Samurai Jack and Primal. While Tartakovsky’s art style is quirkily angular and his animation techniques rely on a snappy dynamic, this never takes away from the seriousness of the war narrative or any intense tragedies that play out. Quite the opposite actually! The show uses it’s uniquely bold aesthetics to enhance character’s emotions or intensify gestures.
Heck, there are scenes in this show that are down-right cinematic! Little atmospheric sequences that let weather elements or empty silence set the stage for drama. Not to mention, Tartakovsky REALLY knows how to take advantage of the 2D animation medium, giving us imaginative imagery that would have had a different impact in live action, because the effects are so uniquely set in this animation style. Side Note: expect a couple of nods to the cult anime Akira!
There’s comedy here or there, but never in a distracting silly way. It’s the kind of dry humour you’d expect from Star Wars in general, with an emphasis on character relationships to spur on snarky banter – particularly derived from the brotherly bond between Anakin and Obi-Wan. Tartakovsky tones down the inherent cartoony nature of his animation, and let’s little tounge-in-cheek exchanges sell the subtle comedy.
To Conclude, Tartakovsky’s “Star Wars: Clone Wars” serves as a highly satisfying middle chapter for the Star Wars prequels. If Lucasfilm released this as “Star Wars Episode 2.5: Clone Wars”, I would have believed it was intended to be an official prequel film, because it bridges the gap THAT smoothly. It stays true to George Lucas’ mythos and lore, but relies on it’s chosen animation medium to embrace ideas that could have looked too over-the-top in live action.
Now, I know that we were given ANOTHER Clone Wars animated TV show years later, but I’ve not seen that rendition yet (though I have watched the pilot movie, which I’ve reviewed on my Youtube channel). However, after seeing this series, I am curious how Lucasfilm expanded this arc into something longer! I’m wondering what more could be explored in this timeline. Maybe I’ll give it a watch someday, but no promises when though.
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Mickey Mouse in “Runaway Brain” (1995) SHORT FILM REVIEW
Written by Jambareeqi
In this Mickey Mouse short that played before ” A Goofy Movie” in cinemas, Mickey accidentally makes Minnie think that he’s taking her to Hawaii for their anniversary! In order to make the money for the vacation, Mickey agrees to take a job for the a sinister scientist, but it turns out that the lunatic just wants to switch the mouse’s brain with a brutish monster called Julius. When Julius finds out about Mickey’s girlfriend, he hunts down Minnie in Mickey’s body.
This was a very controversial cartoon when it came out. Many criticised it for giving a much darker take on the Mickey Mouse legacy. I was so disturbed by Runaway Brain TV spots as a kid, that I assumed it was the first ever Mickey Mouse short to be given a “12” rating haha! Before you tease me, keep in mind that I was only 4 years old!
It is quite a departure from Mickey’s wholesome brand. The short opens with Mickey straight up lying to Minnie about already have anniversary plans! That’s something that’s quite out of character for him, and a trait that you’d expect from a more abrasive animated character. However, that’s not exactly why the short shocked people back then.
What alarmed audiences the most was the character of Julius. This huge beastly creature was like a giant mutated version of Mickey’s rival Pete. What pushed the bar even further for this character, was seeing him in the body of the cute Mickey Mouse! Suddenly, an American treasure was being portrayed as a snarling and drooling monster.
Fun Fact! Julius ended up being referenced in a Kingdom Hearts game, so maybe Disney does treasure him with pride in spite of the controversy behind him, and it’s great to see a modern video game keeping this obscure cartoon alive in some way.
On the one hand, I can see why these things might upset younger children, especially those who felt attached to the character of Mickey. However, I think it’s important to put some trust and faith in children’s intelligence before attacking the cartoon. Most kids are smart enough to know that this isn’t the Mickey they love, but an evil mindless presence inside his body. I actually showed this cartoon to my best friend’s daughter, and she seemed to be fine with it!
Sure, maybe the short MIGHT give some kids nightmares, but that wasn’t the intent of the filmmakers, they just wanted to entertain families with a fun horror inspired cartoon. Some kids will LOVE how this film challenges their preconceptions, because there are children out there getting to an age where they want something darker or edgier, but aren’t ready for more mature horror films, and I think this is the perfect starter pack for them.
The reason I love this Mickey Mouse short personally, is because it takes so many risks with Disney’s golden boy mascot! With over 67 years of Mickey Mouse content already made by this point, maybe it was time to shake things up? I have nothing against wholesome innocence, but reinvention and freshness are key ingredients to keeping a character from getting stale.
I’d say that my only criticism against this short, would be that Mickey doesn’t get to admit that he never planned to take Minnie to Hawaii, and explain that it was all a big misunderstanding. This could have perhaps taught kids about telling the truth. He sort of gets away with pulling off his lie, and that does kind of rub me the wrong way. Besides that though, I still love this short.
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10 Cute & Adorable Animated Cartoons About Cats That’ll Cheer You Up!
Perhaps you don’t have your own house cat for company during this Coronavirus pandemic? Or maybe your cat is having to stay at someone else’s house for quarantine? I hope that these 10 animated shorts and cartoon show episodes featuring fluffy felines lift your spirits!
If you want to switch your mind off right now, then maybe Farfalla is for you? It’s just a cat chasing a butterfly! The gorgeous cat is authentically animated with feline elegance. The butterfly is a pretty little thing that flutters like an angel and sparkles in the sunset light. The cherry on top has to be the French street backgrounds and exotic music; they’ll make you feel like you’re on holiday! ^_^
“FUTURAMA” – THAT DARN KATZ
In this Season 6 episode of the Sci-Fi sitcom “Futurama”, a race of evil alien cats try to steal Earth’s rotation using the Planet Express boiler room. With most employees under the cats’ spell, it’s up to Amy and Nibbler to save the world.
Even when cats are put in the role of villainy, they can still be undeniably cute! Throw in our favourite fluffy Nibblonian for good measure, and you get one adorable episode of Futurama.
Of course, the whole feline conspiracy premise has been done before (most notably the family film “Cats & Dogs”), but this episode expands on the concept by making it a more galactic sized threat.
This animated short follows two anthropomorphic little girls. An idealistic bunny called Pan, and a cynical cat named Robin. Who try to chase down a flower in a wagon that’s rolling down the hill.
What makes “Petals” so sweet, is how these two polar opposite characters cross paths. Robin has destructive interest in the plant, but Pan sees the the flower as a glimmer of hope for the burned down local forest, and the former must understand Pan’s mission.
The comic animation is really well timed and full of cute little anime-esque nuances. Both girls’ distinctive personalities are vividly illustrated in every frame too. While the premise might sound like a preachy environmental lecture, it’s more about how this violent little kitty girl comes to appreciate Pan’s nature-loving sentiments.
“RECESS” – OPERATION STUART
In this episode of Disney’s Recess, Mikey finds a poor tattered cat that he names Stuart, and he tries to keep it a secret from the teachers, but all the other students want to play with it too. Everyone is eager to use the cat for their own purpose, and no one will stop to realise what the kitty itself needs.
Stuart may not be the most beautiful cat, but it’s terrible state will make you pity it, and it’s still a sweet innocent animal at the end of the day. Most of the episode’s story focuses on different characters’ ideas for what the cat can be to them. However, the episode ends on a surprising nice twist that I won’t spoil.
“Decaf” is about a dog giving a kitten coffee to wake him up, but the kitty becomes addicted to the caffeine! On the surface, this is just a funny cartoon about a pug dealing with a dementedly hyper baby cat. However, it’s also the tale of a pug dealing with how coffee dependence changes his best friend – and this doggo maybe feeling guilty for introducing the java.
You can either appreciate it as a goofy cat vs. dog animation, or find valuable meaning to it’s profound message of supporting a self-abusive pal. Both interpretations are completely valid! As long as it brings a smile to your face then I’ll be happy for suggesting it.
“HEY ARNOLD!” – HAROLD’S KITTY
In this “Hey Arnold!” episode, Harold finds a lost kitten, and he becomes very attached to it. When it’s owner is found though, Harold refuses to give up his new best friend.
The kitty in this episode is too cute for words. Just so darn cute. The major appeal of the episode though is the friendship between Harold and the kitten. Harold always puts on a tough guy exterior, but this pet and boy relationships touches on his softer side.
The episode does get a bit crazy once Harold keeps the cat hostage, but don’t worry, a solution that benefits everyone is found, and you’ll leave this episode feeling really warm inside.
THE CAT’S MEOW
In this cartoon, a cat has made it’s owner’s beret hat into their bed, and the two fight over ownership. The whole comedic dynamic of this short comes from the human’s advantages over his cat, but also how said kitty turns the tables on him.
It’s also just really cute seeing a cat being THIS possessive of a simple little hat. Sometimes pets can be really difficult to cooperate with, and I think that “The Cat’s Meow” nails the hardship of getting back something claimed by a domestic animal.
FEED THE KITTY
This Chuck Jones short features a dog called Marc Anthony befriending a homeless kitten called Pussyfoot. When Marc takes his new pet home though, he is afraid if his owner will refuse to let him keep the little fluff-ball.
This is one the most wholesome Merry Melodies cartoons ever made. Most of the short is all about how Marc Anthony tries desperately hard to hide Pussyfoot from his Mom. However, underneath all of these comical sketches is a big heart.
The friendship bonded between these two animals is what makes this cartoon special. A charming friendship that’s founded on Marc Anthony’s protective need to look after his new pal. Everything does lead to one big misunderstanding that’ll tug at your heartstrings, but rest assured that it’s a happy ending!
“THE WILD THORNBERRYS” – THE TEMPLE OF ELIZA
Perhaps you are more in the mood for a cartoon about BIG cats? Especially after maybe marathoning Tiger King on Netflix! Well, there’s a bunch of episodes of “The Wild Thornberrys” that feature these kinds of cats. One example is an episode titled “The Temple of Eliza”.
Eliza feels ignored by her very distracted family. So, after winning over the trust and interest of a pack of jaguars, she convinces all these big cats that she’s a sacred princess to them.
It’s quite interesting to see the usually righteous Eliza conning the animals that she can talk too, showing that she does have a devious side if a void needs filling. If Eliza always did the right thing, then she’d be too perfect, less relatable, and one dimensional.
When someone feels neglected by those around them, they can end up going to extreme lengths to find ANY kind of attention. These jaguars are very susceptible to Eliza’s lies, because humanity is so alien to them, and this leads to a psychological dependence. Of course, she does eventually learn her lesson!
PUSS IN BOOTS: THE THREE DIABLOS
The biggest budgeted cartoon on this list, “The Three Diablos” is an animated short spin off of Dreamworks’ “Puss in Boots” movie. The story follows Puss on a mission to retrieve a crown jewel from a crook called “The Whisperer”, with royally assigned help from the Whisperer’s hench-kitties.
These kittens are perhaps the most fluffy and adorable cats out of all the cartoons in this list. Yes, they are little brats when we first meet them, but we learn about a tragic reason why these kitties are so misguided, and Puss becomes their role model for being better cats.
Puss is once again his usual charming self, backed by the charismatic voice of Antonio Banderas. His bond with the kittens is the heart of the short, because he is a light in the darkness for their lost childhoods, and someone who genuinely wants to raise them better.
The Whisperer himself may have the one joke of talking too quietly, but he makes for a very menacing antagonist! It’s clear that he abuses his hench-kitties, which is what makes us resent him beyond being a thief. I do also like that Puss does TRY to show this criminal mercy, because he’s the bigger person in spite of the Whisperer’s evil.
Well, that’s my list! I hope you enjoyed reading it. If a cartoon featuring cats din’t make it into my recommendations, please know that it wasn’t done out of ignorance or neglect. This is less of a definitive “best of” countdown, and more of a random selection of suggestions for cat lovers. If you have any suggestions yourself, feel free to comment them below! Also, if you’re a dog fan, maybe check out my new review of Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright ^_^
Scooby Doo! Stage Fright (2013) FILM REVIEW
So today is the birthday of Leo Mitchell. She’s maybe known to my fans as the thumbnail artist for my channel, but she’s also been a writer or script consultant for a few of my videos too. She’s a fantastic mate! Always supporting me at hard times, giving me honest advice, or sharing a good laugh with me over something silly.
I think it’s criminal that someone as amazingly talented as Leo isn’t more famous. She’s super underrated. Leo should be one of the most recognizable British artists on the internet. To better show off how brilliant Leo’s artwork is, I have made a slideshow for a few of her illustrations:
See what I mean?! PLEASE support Leo by following her Deviantart, Facebook, and Twitter. She deserves a MUCH bigger fanbase, and YOU can be part of that exciting increase! You also won’t regret following her, because she publishes wonderful art quite often.
So you’re most likely asking “What does Leo have to do with this review?!”. Well Leo loves two things: Scooby-Doo and actor Peter McNichol. Interestingly, McNichol has actually lent his voice to a Scooby-Doo movie! This review is for Leo; her birthday present.
In this Scooby-Doo movie, Fred and Daphne have made it to next stage of a TV talent contest, and the Mystery Inc. team head to Chicago to shoot the show. The filming location for the performances is a supposedly haunted opera house. While rehearsals are taking place, a mysterious masked phantom is trying to disrupt everything, who could this monster be?
Now, I actually read that a critic called this film a “Phantom of the Opera” rip-off. No offence to that reviewer, but do they even know what a rip-off is? Not only is it pointless to seriously accuse a film of taking a story from the public domain, because legally that makes the property up for grabs to everyone, but this Scooby-Doo movie is CLEARLY a straight up comedic parody of Phantom – NOT a sneaky attempt to copy a classic tale. This is like criticising “Hot Shots!” for being a rip off of “Top Gun”.
Anyway, this film did actually keep me wondering WHO the phantom could be? This isn’t because the red herrings or clues are cleverly-hidden with subtle nuance though. Nearly every character in the film acts extremely suspicious or has an obvious motive, so it’s pretty easy to keep the audience guessing. However, this does actually pay off, because we gradually stop asking “Who is the Phantom?” and begin wondering HOW MANY are playing this behind the scenes menace.
The Phantom himself is pretty spooky for children’s movies standards, with his glowing red eyes, skull-shaped face, and booming malevolent voice. He’s the kind of monster that’ll creep kids out, but not to the point where parents should be concerned. However, adult Scooby fans may find him to be too tame (especially when compared to the monsters from “Camp Scare” and “Zombie Island”). If I’m honest, I personally found some of contestants or their parents to more intimidating haha! They are that off the wall.
That’s the thing, I have to say that the film’s strongest aspect is it’s array of eccentric contestants. Everyone trying out for this talent show has a louder-than-life personality trope or displays sociopathic behavior with deviant flamboyancy. If you’ve seen enough talent show contests on television, you’ll recognise these archetypes as realistic reflections of the kind of folks who DO audition – as cartoony as they are. I do also like how an entrant with Dwarfism is seen as the “hot guy” of the contest, as well as someone who completely owns his height with confidence, because little people are rarely given flattering representations in media.
What makes this contest special to Fred and Daphne though, is that it makes Daphne confront her feelings for Fred, because their duet is a chance for them to get closer. Of course, this does mean that we mainly carry on the whole oblivious Fred gag, but the film manages to conclude this subplot, by naturally tieing their romance INTO the competition.
Will you care who wins this contest? Well, at first you MIGHT have a favourite, but that becomes irrelevant once contestants start leaving one by one out of fear. What I DO like though, is that we become subconsciously challenged about whether Fred & Daphne should win or a sweet and talented violinist girl called Emma? On the one hand, audiences might naturally want to root for Fred and Daphne, but on the other hand, Emma maybe deserves and needs this more? I really like how Emma’s inclusion shakes up our feelings towards Daphne and Fred’s race to win.
I won’t spoil how this moral conundrum is solved, because that would be spoilers, but I have to admit that it’s a REALLY wholesome conclusion that does favors for everyone. Some audiences might see it as a cop out, while I reckon it was perhaps the most heartfelt way to resolve a predicament like this – especially when we know what’s on the line for Emma.
This is also a REALLY funny Scooby-Doo movie! Like, a legit hilarious film that got a lot of loud strong laughs out of me. The screenplay was penned by Doug Langdale, creator of Disney’s “The Weekenders” and developer of the “Earthworm Jim” TV show, and he brings the snappy wit from those cartoons into this Hannah Barbera franchise in great fashion. The comedy finds it’s best gags from taking jabs at reality show politics or subverting the Phantom of the Opera story.
That’s not to say that the film is all giggles and farcical satire. There’s a lot of tension inspired by the Phantom’s threatening tactics to frighten contestants. Heck, we even get a sequence where Fred physically FIGHTS the Phantom on the stage rails, and it’s quite intense to watch for a Scooby-Doo confrontation – Fred could get seriously injured or killed. Not to mention, when one Phantom is revealed, he goes totally insane! Resulting in a really fun car chase that pays homage to “101 Dalmatians”.
Seeing as I brought up Peter McNichol early on, I think that I should address his performance. It’s really great, perhaps the best one in the film even! His character is a Germaphobic and dog-hating assistant director called Dewey. McNichol brings a neurotic grumpiness and colourful theatricality to the role. He gives the character some extra depth that goes beyond what’s on the paper. It’s also funny to note that Dewey ends up getting pink slime on him later on, which is maybe an affectionate reference to his “Ghostbusters II” character?
To conclude, I REALLY enjoyed this movie! A lot! It may follow your usual Scooby-Doo cliches, but having more than one perpetrator really spices things up. It’s humour is wittily-penned, the action scenes are surprisingly intense for Scoob standards, the Phantom references are brilliant, and the satirical pokes at reality show contests are spot on. I’ve not seen that many Scooby-Doo movies, but this is certainly one of the best I’ve watched yet.
Now, before you all leave this page, I have one more special favor to ask of you all! I’ve been asking people to direct tweet Leo a happy birthday message, while ALSO including a picture of one of her favourite characters: Mr. Rzykruski (Frankenweenie), Robert Callaghan (Big Hero 6), Mad Hatter (Batman: Arkham City), Dr. Janosz Poha (Ghostbusters II), or Walter Peck (Ghostbusters II)! Can you be one of those people who does this? Thanks! Let’s make her quarantined birthday special!
Want to read MORE of my written reviews? Then CLICK HERE!
“We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story” (1993) FILM REVIEW
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS
Written by Jambareeqi
Eccentric scientist Captain Neweyes uses his time traveling spaceship to turn a group of dinosaurs into friendly harmless creatures. He then informs them all that kids around the world wish that they could meet real dinosaurs, and they agree to make these kids’ dreams come true.
Once dropped off in New York, the dinosaurs help a boy called Louie and a girl named Cecilia find the circus after both running away from home. However, this circus turns out to be run by the Captain’s evil brother Professor Screweyes. This ringmaster villain puts the kids under contract and agrees to rip up the contract if the dinosaurs surrender back to their primitive selves for horror entertainment.
What can I even say about this movie? It’s infamous for being one of the most bonkers animated films ever made. The movie is a constant string of nonsensical madness being bombarded at the audience. Its a pretty simple story on the surface, but the execution is relentlessly exhausting in it’s delivery.
The best word I’d use to describe the film is “misguided”. What the movie THINKS is sensible or straight forward is actually quite weird and not well thought out. I’m sure that the filmmakers meant well, but I can’t shake off how they might have ended up getting carried away.
For example, the film tries to frame Captain Neweyes as this whimsical and good-hearted man, but when you really let his actions sink in, he’s just the lesser of two evils compared to his brother (Screweyes simply happens to be less subtle about his darkness). There’s applying fairy tale logic and ambiguity to create a mysterious character… then there’s accidentally writing the wise old man trope as someone as off-kilter as the villain. Yes, he’s trying to make children’s wishes come true using science, but at what cost?
Neweyes is a man who abducts dinosaurs and gives them human level intelligence without their consent. Not only is he tampering with time itself, but he’s also interfering with the laws of nature. He’s not a hero for his science efforts, he’s a nutjob playing God!
A soft-spoken voice and friendly demeanor doesn’t distract me from his unintentional menace. I mean, he has a machine that spies on children to see their wishes – which is more creepy than sweet (talk about invasion of privacy). Even his spaceship comes off as quite sinister due to it’s aggressive mechanical limbs.
Not to mention, he drops a bunch of dinosaurs into New York without educating them on earth customs or notifying the authorities. Everything he’s doing is either highly questionable or a recipe for disaster. This is a man who clearly didn’t think about the repercussions for his project, yet the film glosses over how dangerous this guy really is.
The film only has one musical number. Now, that may seem pretty normal, but it stands out way more in a film that’s non-stop unpredictable. It’s not the worst song I’ve heard, quite catchy even, but it’s not exactly necessary – especially when it exposes the dinosaurs as real to the public (the New Yorkers take a laughably long time to realise though).
This is a movie that maybe only 70 minutes long, but it spends ages trying to find it’s focus. The storytelling zigs-zags and somersaults to setup it’s premise. It then wastes so much time with pointless slapstick in the city, that we’re mainly left with filler until the kids get to the circus.
The film does actually get better when we reach the circus though. The energy calms down a bit in order to create a spooky atmosphere for Screweyes’ lair. However, this is also where we are given even MORE new information regarding the movie’s fantasy lore.
The overall animation is decently fluid and clearly high budgeted. Although, such qualities can’t make up for how over-the-top the visuals are. Good animation requires patient pauses and careful attention to detail.
No matter how comedic an animated film is supposed to be, controlled thought is required for the timing to work. There are some humanistic moments here or there, but you’ll only notice them when the pace chills down.
Now, even though I’ve been heavily criticising this film’s messy and misdirected execution, I want to make it clear that I don’t hate it. On the contrary, there’s no denying that this is a fascinating train wreck to watch. There’s a so-bad-it’s-good appeal to all the mayhem that I do enjoy.
Also, there’s actually some elements of the film that I legitimately appreciate. The kids are realistically naïve and I feel a little sorry for Cecilia being raised by neglectful parents (Louie’s reason for leaving home seems shallow in comparison though).
The dinosaurs themselves may lack strongly defined personalities, but I LOVE their eagerness to make kids happy, and was touched by how much they were willing sacrifice to protect Louie and Cecilia – who both love them just as much in return. It helps that these creatures are voiced by likable comic actors too.
There’s also a clown at the Circus that I found endearing, because he’s a good guy who can’t admit that his employer is an abusive user. He has a sincere passion for comedy that makes the children laugh at a dark time, but Screweyes doesn’t respect his efforts as a comedian.
Screweyes himself is a fantastically theatrical villain! A menacing figure who represents the very essence of stranger danger for kids watching the film. It is made clear that he applies horror gimmicks to his show in a bid to hide his own closeted fears. I even found myself feeling a little sorry for him after he was defeated, because he seems to be genuinely frightened about being alone, and his death is disturbingly ominous for a kids’ film.
To Conclude, “We’re Back! A Dinosaurs’ Story” is batsh*t insane! But the one thing I can’t call it is boring. It’s quite the experience! Having no regard for logic, sense, practicality, or natural pacing.
To some people, it’s a nostalgic fairy tale classic from their childhood. To others, it’s a terrible movie that annoys the hell out of them. I see it as a fun and strange ride that takes a lot of risky chances – with VERY mixed results.
This is the third time I’ve watched this film, and I still enjoyed it! Objectively, I can’t fairly say it’s an overall good movie, but it’s certainly one of my personal guilty pleasures! The perfect kind of nonsensical escapist entertainment that I need right now. There’s also something quite commendable about a film this broken managing to be surprisingly inspired at times.