I was 11 when I first saw “Mulan”.
I also wrote an essay about the use of femininity in the film when attending
Speaking of which—I didn’t find
the attitude toward females in the movie to be offensive when I was 11. In
fact, I saw it as historically accurate. I was well-aware of how girls and
women weren’t allowed the same rights as boys and men. So, it came up as no surprise
to me that Mulan couldn’t go to war as a female.
When her dad is called to the
battle against the Huns, Mulan disguises herself as a male by cutting her hair
and then putting it up, faking a manly voice, and having to behave like a male.
It only lasted so long.
Coincidentally, there was a true
story of a lady who pretended to be a man to fight. That was Joan of Arc.
Anyway, I think Mulan identified herself as not-very feminine. She fails the
bridal test at the beginning. But she befriends the other soldiers, all of whom
Also, she is considered an official
Disney Princess, even though she’s not a princess at all. She wasn’t
born into royalty, nor does she marry a royal (unless Shang, whom Mulan marries
in the sequel, has some mysterious connection to royalty that nobody is aware
of). I heard that she was only added to the Disney Princess line because Disney
wanted an Asian character (I guess Jasmine doesn’t count, even though Arabia is
Nevertheless, I consider Mulan to
be a good role model for girls. She is one of the few Disney females to be a
warrior. I’ve always wondered how the film, “Mulan” would’ve been handled if it’d
come out in the 1930’s. Would it have been banned for improper female character
portrayal? I don’t think 1937’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” would be
released today, as is.
While Mulan is a memorable and
likable character, her dragon mentor, Mushu, appeals to me too. He is voiced by
Eddie Murphy, who also voiced Donkey in the “Shrek” movies. And what’s funny is
that Mushu’s characterization is very similar to Donkey in “Shrek”. However, “Mulan”
was released three years before the first “Shrek” film. But I saw the first two
“Shrek” movies before watching “Mulan”.
Like other Disney films before “Mulan”
beginning with “The Little Mermaid”, I would rate “Mulan” 5 out of 5 stars.
In honor of the 20th anniversary, as well as give
a tribute to the latest creator, Stephen Hillenburg (R.I.P), I am going to analyze
“Spongebob Squarepants” and my opinions on it. This post will include moments
from the TV show and the 2004 movie.
We all know the premise. Who lives in a pineapple under the
sea? You know the answer. You should probably know all the main characters too.
Remember that theory where they all represented the 7 deadly
sins? It was more creative and interesting than other conspiracy theories, where
the premise is just a dream or imagination. However, that theory has been
debunked. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it.
The characters are great. Spongebob is funny, entertaining,
and silly, as well as very immature for his age. Speaking of which, his age is inconsistent.
His boating license says that he was born in 1986, which would have made him 13
when the show was released and about 33 today (I believe the license said his
birthday was in July). The 2004 movie hinted that he has been working at the Krusty
Krab for over 31 years. But the creators said that Spongebob has no age. He is
just silly. Confusing, huh?
Another detail I noticed, especially in the earliest
episodes, is that when Spongebob sings, his voice sounds totally different.
This happened in the “Ripped Pants”, “Sweet Victory”, and “Pizza Delivery”
songs. Why is that? In later songs, such as those from the 2004 film, the “F.U.N.”
song, and the “Campfire Song” song, Spongebob’s voice sounds exactly like his
normal speaking voice. It doesn’t seem like this has ever been explained.
Now onto the other characters. Patrick is just as immature
and silly as Spongebob. No wonder they’re close friends. But why is Squidward
called Squidward if he is an octopus?
Although he’s anything but easygoing, he is still likable. The moments when he
and Spongebob fight are hilarious. And Sandy? A squirrel who lives underwater
in an air dome, yet misses Texas? She sang about missing Texas in one episode.
And like Spongebob, her voice changed too. Although this was obnoxious, it was
also funny when Spongebob and Patrick distorted their bodies and went, “I’m Texas”.
Mr. Krabs is great too and greedy for money. He also has a
daughter named Pearl, who is a whale. Like others, I assume that she must’ve
Anyway, another memorable character is Plankton (as well as
his computer wife, Karen). Plankton—that little creature who is evil and wants
to steal the secret formula to the crabby patties, (which, by the way, might be
vegetarian). I love the episode where Plankton decides to turn Mr. Krabs into a
baby to steal the formula. It was so clever. The ending to that episode was
very, very funny. I laughed so hard that my mom told me to take deep breaths.
Unlike most people, I didn’t mind the post-2004 episodes.
The old ones are good. And I get why many hated the episodes after that. They
had new writers. However, I liked “Spongebob” for about a year or two and then
lost interest for years. So when I reunited with it, I didn’t see any
differences to the old episodes. I thought those episodes were completely fine.
That being said, there are old episode moments I like. “Is
mayonnaise an instrument?” Ha, ha, ha. That line never gets tiring. The “Employee
of the Month” award episode was super-humorous, as well.
Now one plot hole I noticed is that outside the ocean is real
life, not a cartoon. Yes, in that dream episode, Sandy had a dream where the
land was cartoon. But, hey, that was just a dream. So what happens if a scuba
diver goes underwater? Do they freak out about becoming a cartoon? Would they
reveal this to everyone on the land?
I believe the characters can understand and communicate with
humans, like when David Hasselhoff brought Spongebob and Patrick back to Bikini
Bottom in “The Spongebob Squarepants Movie”. There is a sequel where the characters
become CGI’s and are on the land with people. I don’t know the plot. But from
the trailer, the humans seem to casually accept them and not freak out. I could
be wrong, though. Also, why is there an additional ocean under the water?
Humor, I guess?
So that’s really it for my analysis. I don’t know how the
show will perform after Stephen Hillenburg’s death. Hopefully, things stay
well. I don’t watch “Spongebob Squarepants” regularly anymore. But I still have
enjoyed many moments.
Who doesn’t love movies? I don’t know about you, but I
always have. There were also times where I didn’t know what I was watching. This
was mostly when I was little.
I just saw scenes and enjoyed the characters. But did not
know the plot. When I was an older child, I started understanding the storylines
of movies. When I studied creative writing, I started pointing out plot points
(inciting incident, call-to-action, midpoint, falling action, and resolution).
Many adults will understand sarcastic or dry humor. Unfortunately,
I don’t, although I do get the inappropriate stuff, even when it’s snuck into G
and PG-rated movies. People may also point out hidden symbolisms.
What I do, though, is not only identify the plot points as
well as the main conflict and other literary elements, but I also point out
these two unique things:
1: Moments that would get you arrested in real life
Have you seen “Toy Story 2” or “Night at the Museum 3” or
even watched “Ned’s Declassified: School Survival Guide” on TV? If not, I would
not suggest reading forward—unless you
are uninterested in watching them.
So here it is. Remember in “Night at the Museum 3”, when
Lancelot went crazy and ran on stage during a live performance of “Camelot”?
Rather than calling security and having Lancelot arrested, the guy playing Arthur
just explained to him that he was just an actor and held the play as he calmly
told Lancelot to get off the stage. However, if you run on stage during a live-performance
in real life, you would get arrested. Forget about yelling at the actors and
threatening to hurt them, like Lancelot did. You could run on stage, stand there,
and say nothing and still get arrested. Just the action itself is illegal.
In “Toy Story 2”, Al steals Woody from the garage sale Andy’s
mom holds. He gets away with it. Andy’s mom doesn’t bother to call the police.
However, in real life, not only would Al have been arrested for stealing, but
so would have Andy’s mother for failing to report a crime she’d witnessed. But
if that happened, Andy and Molly would’ve been taken away by CPS and the ending
would’ve been too sad. Therefore, “Toy Story 3” may never have been made as audiences
would have complained about the ending to “Toy Story 2”.
In an episode of “Ned’s Declassified”, where students were
having the fifth graders tour the middle school, there was a scene when one of
them (not in sight) that removed Seth’s clothes. He was naked while using a plush
elephant to cover himself. Everybody else laughed. A younger kid may have done
the same. A parent may have stated that it was inappropriate and turned off the
TV. I, as an older sibling, reacted by saying, “You’d get arrested for that in
real life.” Yup, even as young as 17, I was pointing out things that would get
you arrested in real life.
Because of having to learn about the importance of believability
in prose writing, I have developed expectations too high for movies and TV
shows. I now find it strange when characters in movies do things that real people
would get arrested for, but the characters don’t. So many illegal activities
happened constantly in the movies “Monster Truck” and “Dumb and Dumber Too”,
but the characters didn’t get arrested because of plot movements or
While many say “It’s just a movie”, that can also be an
issue. Someone who doesn’t know better may imitate those actions and get
surprised when they get arrested because the characters in the film didn’t get
arrested. Then someone could try to sue the film company.
If the characters can’t get arrested for plot reasons, couldn’t
there, at least, be a disclaimer in the end credits, warning audiences not to
try those activities or else they’ll get arrested?
2: Things that would not be acceptable today
There are so many of these. I could not state them in one
post. However, I will give a few examples of movies that I don’t think would
come out today.
“A Christmas Story”
If you’ve seen this film, the kid, Ralphie, wants a bb gun
for Christmas. Obviously, in the 80’s, that was acceptable. However, today, after
so much gun violence, especially in the US, I do not believe this would be
acceptable today. No way would a child with a bb gun be appropriate.
Although rated G, there is smoking, drinking, and the use of
a dirty word, which I will not specify. Smoking wasn’t always inappropriate,
especially when people were unaware of the dangers before the 60’s. They
thought smoking was cool. And “Pinocchio” was released in 1940. That was at least
20 years before smoking-dangers were discovered. And even then, people were
resistant to the studies. I saw in a video that it was not until the 90’s when
smoking became inappropriate for young audiences. I don’t think “Pinocchio”
would be released today.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Just this past holiday season, this movie got tons of
criticism for it being offensive, promoting prejudice and discrimination, and
more. I was confused, so I watched the film. And I could see why people
complained. When Rudolph’s nose cover came off, revealing his red nose, the
other reindeer freaked out. Even Santa took their side (“You should be ashamed
of yourself,” Santa said to Rudolph’s dad). The elf boss gave Hermey a hard
time about being a dentist and not wanting to make toys. “You’re an elf, and
elves make toys!” the boss said. Umm… that’s elfist. Another scene is where
Rudolph, Hermey, and Yukon Cornelius arrived on the land of misfit toys. There
is a Jack-in-the-box whose name is actually Charlie. He complained that no kid
would want to play with a Charlie-in-the-box (that’s namist). Sensitivity is
growing for some reason. So I could never see “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
being released today.
So that is really it for what I look for in movies. I apologize
if I seem overcritical at times. But thanks for reading.
One of Nickelodeon’s earliest CG TV shows has been loved by many, including myself. It all started out as a movie in 2001, where Jimmy and his friends wanted independence from the adults. Aliens even kidnapped the grownups. However, that ended up a nightmare. The children traveled to Yolkus, the other planet, and saved their parents.
Enough said about the film—onto the TV show. The premise is a young boy, named Jimmy, who invents things to make things easier and well for him. Even the community knows Jimmy and his talent for science and inventing. Things usually end up not as planned.
The name of the town Jimmy lives in is Retroville. It’s a city, yet, only about twenty people live there. Don’t believe me? It’s been proven in the third Jimmy-Timmy Power Hour Special (when “Jimmy Neutron” and “The Fairly Oddparents” had crossovers) that a very small population resides in Retroville. After every person you see on the show is sucked away, Retroville becomes a quiet ghost town.
Which brings me to my next point—if so few people live there, why wasn’t it just a small town? In fact, I think most small towns are much more populated than Retroville. Oh well. The tiny population probably saved money and time for the animators.
Another thing about the show is that it seems to take place in Texas, yet the geographic layout and climate are nowhere near accurate. Neither are the people and their culture. Interesting, huh?
Now onto the moments. From my observation, Jimmy is sometimes inconsistent with others. For instance, he and Cindy usually don’t get along. He is sometimes in love with this minor character, Betty Quinland. However, in the second Jimmy-Timmy Power Hour, Jimmy likes Cindy and wants to take her to the school dance. If he really likes Cindy, then why do they act like they hate each other, and why did Jimmy scream, “Noooo!!!” when he discovered his future-self married her? I was assuming that maybe the two grew and changed and decided to like each other, but it the creators just failed to show or tell that on their end. However, I think they fight to hide their care for each other. That’s what I heard.
In one of the specials, Jimmy stated that people don’t change. Um… of course they do. Otherwise, we’d all be looking and functioning like newborns. In fact, there was one episode where Jimmy turned into a Hulk-like monster. I used to nickname him the Julk. That was change… at least in some form.
One thing I found quite funny because it was unrealistic was when Jimmy wanted something badly, but couldn’t wait till his birthday, which wasn’t for three months. He “changed” his birthday to the next day. It was his birthday for over a week until his parents tried to send him off to college.
Another great moment was when Sheen discovered that he had a terrible singing voice. It was a huge disadvantage until the twankie-combined monster became so violent that Sheen needed to sing to make it fall asleep.
Who remembers that special? The twankies were cute and harmless until they heard music. Then they transformed into violent creatures and eventually merged into a huge monster. Only Sheen’s horrible singing voice kept the twankies from becoming dangerous.
Despite the show’s popularity, it only lasted for about three seasons. My family enjoyed this show and they used to be disappointed when there were no more new episodes. Oh well.
There was actually a spinoff where Sheen had his own show. But that didn’t do well. I didn’t even find it appealing just based on the advertisements.
That’s it for this analysis. Now it’s time to blast off.
I did not see “Frozen” in the movie theater. However, I did see it on my computer. I also saw the Broadway show, which I actually liked more. But this post is only about the movie.
I am not going to include thoughts on the shorts, such as “Frozen Fever” or “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”, as I did not see those. So here is the analysis.
Many of us know the story. As young children, Anna and Elsa play together until Elsa accidentally knocks Anna out unconscious with her ice powers. Anna’s memories of Elsa’s ice powers are altered and wiped. Elsa has to have a bunch of restrictions on her until she can control her powers. Anna and Elsa grow up mostly separate. Their parents die, and then three years later, Elsa is crowned queen. She accidentally does ice magic at the coronation and flees while creating an eternal winter. Anna goes out to look for her. I could go on, but I’m not going to.
So here are my thoughts. First off, I really appreciate how Elsa is developed. She is misunderstood by others, scared, and struggles to control her ice powers. That made her seem very real and likable.
Speaking of likable… did you know that Elsa was originally supposed to be the villain, in “Frozen”? She was going to be much older and use her ice powers for evil, like in the original story “Frozen” was based off: “The Snow Queen”. However, I am glad the creators changed it and had Prince Hans be the villain instead.
In fact, I think it was a smart move as standards have changed since Disney’s early days. Just because someone seems charming, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should love and trust him or her. It was also a nice, unexpected twist for the story, straying away from the traditional approach, where the prince the princess falls in love with is a good guy. Kristoff ended up being Anna’s love interest, even though he wasn’t as easygoing as Hans seemed.
It was also pretty unsanitary that Kristoff and Sven shared carrots. At least it’s not realism, otherwise, Kristoff would’ve gotten sick, as well as Sven.
While still discussing character development, I did find Anna too immature at times for her age. For instance, Elsa had to remind her that she couldn’t marry a guy she’d just met. But Anna had unrealistic expectations for romance. I knew better at Anna’s age (18) and even younger.
Now the most memorable character for me was Olaf the snowman. He was silly, enthusiastic, and comedic. I especially love his song about summer. It was cute to see how a snowman envisioned summer, especially when he didn’t know that heat melted snow.
The songs were all great. Many of them didn’t sound like traditional Disney songs. For example, I thought “Let it Go” and “For the First Time in Forever” sounded like “Wicked” songs.
The layout of the setting was executed well. Another fun fact is that the cast and crew had to go to Norway to study the land and architecture for the film. And it worked out well.
I would rate “Frozen” 4 out of 5 stars. While the story content was done with lots of effort, something about it didn’t engage me enough to give it 5 stars. In fact, when I first saw this movie, I found the beginning to be kind of boring. I only watched the whole thing because it was a big, popular film.
It’s the first holiday post of the year, focusing on a straight-to-video holiday Disney special: “Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse”. I saw a couple clips of it in junior high at school. But then I watched the full film at a friend’s house last year and again recently.
Disney characters from different movies are at the House of Mouse, where Mickey and his pals have hosted a show. Mickey lets everyone go home until Goofy reveals that they are snowed in. Everybody tries to remain positive, except Donald. He remains grumpy. To keep the crowd occupied, Mickey plays some holiday videos of him and his friends.
The clips were great, although some concepts seemed outdated and wouldn’t pass for today. For example, in the “Nutcracker” clip, where Mini plays Maria (I don’t know why they didn’t call her Clara. Maybe for copyright reasons?), she acts as dependent on males to dance with. When the mouse king (played by Donald) captures her, the nutcracker (played by Mickey) fights and rescues her. It isn’t until the end that Maria puts in effort. She was pretty much a damsel-in-distress. When Mickey asks what everyone is thankful for, Cinderella says something that also reminds me of a damsel-in-distress. I can’t remember right now. But in 2001, wouldn’t that have been a bit insensitive?
Another element that I found odd was that the villains were there and out-of-character. Not a hundred percent, though. When Mickey shows clips of what he asked others for Christmas, Jafar asks for the lamp and Ursula asks for his voice.
However, during the moment Mickey gets everyone into the Christmas spirit, Jafar’s all-powerful snake staff turns into a candy cane and he gladly accepts it. Really, guys? If you were a sorcerer, and your powerful, magic-producing item turned into a powerless treat, would you really tolerate that? Probably not. In fact, if Jafar were true to his character, he would’ve used his snake staff to get back and Mickey and his friends, get furious and overly dangerous. Perhaps, he would’ve turned into a snake creature again and everybody would’ve erupted into panicking. But he had to behave because… you know… plot convenience. So why did Jafar and any other villains need to be there? During the song at the end, the villains took part as taking the good character’s sides. Pretty strange, huh?
But enough of the flaws. There are a ton of strengths and well-done moments. The song at the end that all the characters participated in was beautiful. The [good] characters’ attitudes were great and very much like them. I especially admired Kuzco’s appearance as a crying llama when Mickey asks what everybody wanted for Christmas. So funny. The Mad-Hatter was also hilarious when he was thankful for different hats. At the end, with the musical number, the mice bring back Cinderella’s old dress that the stepsisters have originally destroyed. Very satisfying.
Now onto the videos Mickey shows. The first one is where Huey, Dewey, and Louie are building a snowman while Donald is trying to skate. Donald struggles and ends up damaging his nephews’ snowman. The ice cracks and breaks different things, including very sturdy things, like a tree. I found that to be too silly. Yes, I know. It’s a cartoon. But what a silly concept for an ice crack to be that powerful.
There is also the clip where Mickey is getting a tree and decorating it for Christmas. Chip and Dale are in the tree. Pluto finds them and tries to hurt them. He ends up damaging the entire tree. Then Minnie, Donald, and Goofy come and sing “Deck the Halls”. Chip and Dale participate and Pluto howls. Mickey scolds Pluto for that. However, that’s normal for dogs to do when hearing high voices. But the clip’s ending had to be satisfying. Also, why didn’t Mickey recognize Chip and Dale? Why was he also accepting of them in his tree? Hmmm…
The decorating processes in that clip and the next one were too perfect. No errors whatsoever. Oh well. As long as we don’t try it in real life and expect the same outcomes.
After Jiminy Cricket cheers Mickey up, Mickey finally gets Donald to have a more positive attitude. Then he plays the “Christmas Carol” clip (based off Charles Dickenson’s play). Many people probably know the story. For those who don’t, here’s plot. Scrooge is grumpy, unthankful for Christmas, and is obsessed with making money. Four ghosts then visit him. The latter three show him his past, present, and future. Scrooge changes into a better person with a positive attitude for Christmas.
Not ironically, Scrooge McDuck plays the main character (although I don’t know if Scrooge McDuck is usually that grumpy). The characters were well-cast. Goofy did an amazing portrayal of the first ghost. The chains made me feel sorry for him. I found it sad when Isabelle (play by Daisy) cried because Scrooge called off his marriage. And she’d waited ten years. I guess that’s believable, but not sure how common it is.
At the end of that clip, when Scrooge has grown and changed drastically, he reverted back to his old self when visiting Bob Crachett (played by Mickey) to fool around. Then he returned to a good character. The song at the end of the “Christmas Carol” clip sounded kind of like “God Bless us Everyone” from the live musical version of the story. Of course, it wasn’t.
My final thought is wondering how all the different characters from different movies came together and knew about it as well as celebrated Christmas (including Timon and Pumbaa—there are no humans in “The Lion King”). I guess that’s supposed to be a mystery.
I would rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a great holiday classic for everyone and I would gladly recommend it.
Seeing “Hercules” in the movie theater is one of my very earliest (and very faint) memories. I was 3 years old at the time. Then I saw it in 4th grade, during an indoor recess. I watched it again more recently—in March of this year.
In Ancient Greece, the muses start with an opening song. Then it goes to Mount Olympus, where Zeus, Hera, and the other gods are adoring the infant, Hercules. Hades, the god of the underworld, has a plan to harm Hercules. His assistants, Pain and Panic, kidnap Baby Hercules from Mount Olympus and feed him a potion that makes him mortal. They stop when a couple finds Hercules. There is one remaining drop. And Hercules still has his strength. However, since he has become mortal, he cannot return to Mount Olympus. The human couple takes Hercules and raises him.
Years have gone by and Hercules is now a young man going with his adoptive parents to Athens. He accidentally destroys the architecture with his involuntary strength. Hercules feels that something about him is unusual. His adoptive parents reveal to him that he was found and they still have the metal he wore when they found him. The metal has the symbol of the gods. Hercules goes to the temple of Zeus. In order to return to Mount Olympus as a god, Hercules has to prove himself a true hero. He gets help from the faun, Phil, but also falls in love with a young woman named Megara (Meg). Hercules struggles but pushes himself.
I found Hercules’s struggles to make him very believable. The way he acted toward people was done well. The midpoint, where Hercules becomes super famous and popular was great, even if it didn’t satisfy the Zeus statue.
The humor was not slapstick, but used appropriately, such as when Pain and Panic had those sandals with Hercules on them. Hades got mad and Pain and Panic defended themselves with the excuse of the Hercules being a different entity than the one they knew. There were also a lot of 90’s references, such as Air Hercs (like Air-Jordans), Grecian Express, and more. I grew up in the 2000’s, but I still got the references.
The plot points were also done well, especially the deal Hercules made with Hades. It went back and forth. Hercules lost his strength, gained it back, and acknowledged the deal again.
With Meg, I felt her role was only there for romantic element convenience, because hey— shouldn’t Disney movies with protagonists in their teens or over have romance. Not necessarily! I don’t know about the 90’s, but if you’ve seen 2016’s “Moana” or 2012’s “Brave”, neither main characters fell in love. And they were females.
Anyway, back to this film. Although Meg was just okay, I did appreciate how Hercules gave up his return to Mount Olympus at the end to rejoin Meg. I thought that was so sweet. This is one of those movies where the main character does not achieve his or her goal. Yet, the ending is still satisfying. Which leaves me wondering… what if Hercules never met Meg? Hmmm…
Anyhow, the movie is still a 5-star film for me. It isn’t one of the top Disney classics for me. But I still really enjoyed it.
The show, “My Life as a Teenage Robot”, was one of my favorites as a child. It focused on a teenage girl robot named Jenny Wakeman (or XJ9, as her mom often called her) who had to balance her normal teenage life with fighting crime and danger. Sound similar to “Kim Possible”, except that the protagonist is a robot?
The characters were great, such as Jenny, Brad, Tuck, and many more. The theme song also rocks. And the style of the art was very well-executed.
One of the most memorable episodes was when Brad found out that Jenny was built 5 years before the setting of the show. So she was technically 5 years old. Authorities took Jenny away from the high school and put her in kindergarten. She showed off as smarter than the little kids and acted like a jerk. When she was forced to go back to go back to high school, she whined, “I’m only 5 years old.”
Another interesting moment was when Jenny was solving a problem in Japan and something got altered in her system. Jenny lost her ability to speak English and could only speak Japanese. That was very unique.
Now what I wonder is if Jenny will ever reach adulthood. In that kindergarten episode, Jenny’s mom revealed that she was built as a teenager. So will Jenny ever go to college, get a job… retire even?
Yes, cartoon characters usually stay the same age for several seasons throughout the entire show duration or maybe age by one or two years. But I wonder how would Jenny feel when all her peers got jobs, married, started families, and so forth while she was still a teenager. Would she ever mature emotionally?
Oh, well. The show isn’t on anymore. I don’t think we’ll ever get to see more episodes of “My Life as a Teenage Robot” or learn more about Jenny herself. As of now, there probably isn’t going to be a reboot.
Still, the series was amazing with an imaginative concept and premise. I have no idea what shows Nickelodeon airs now, except “Spongebob Squarepants” and “The Fairly Odd Parents.” I don’t know about “Spongebob”, but “The Fairly Odd Parents” has made a lot of changes compared to when I used to watch it.
“My Life as a Teenage Robot” didn’t last as long. But I still consider it one of my top childhood favorites for Nickelodeon.
Ah, “Danny Phantom”—one of those amazing cartoons for people who grew up in the 00’s, like me. Created by Butch Hartman after “The Fairly Odd Parents”, the premise focuses on a 14-year-old boy named Danny. He has two ghost-hunting parents who have a special machine with a portal. Danny has done something that altered his DNA. And… you guessed it… he became a ghost. Well, half ghost. From then on, he is Danny Fenton (his human surname) and Danny Phantom, although the people in his town refer to him as the ghost boy and think he’s evil.
But why is Danny okay with that—being considered a villain? I know he doesn’t let anyone know he’s the ghost boy, except for his two best friends, Tucker and Sam, and later, his sister, Jazz. Still—someone could seriously hurt him. Nothing can get too extreme as “Danny Phantom” was a children’s show.
There was one episode special, however, where Danny accidentally revealed to the public that he was the ghost boy. His parents were shocked, and so was everyone else. But we didn’t get to see Valerie’s reaction. In fact, she didn’t appear at all there.
You probably remember Valerie, that girl who also hunted ghosts, but was harsher than Jack and Maddie Fenton, Danny’s parents. But she wasn’t always kept tracked of too well. She had three different voice actors, the third being Cree Sumner, who voiced her throughout the series from that point on. But then she seemed to have disappeared. I remember finding it unsatisfying that Valerie wasn’t in that special where Danny transformed from ghost to person. I’ve always considered how she would’ve reacted.
Another thing I discovered about the show was that the ghosts aren’t dead, and they’re only referred to ghosts to make it easier to recall than to use some other word (I can’t remember the other term). This came from the fan theory: Is Danny Phantom half dead? Ironically, in one episode, a ghost said, “You can’t catch me alive,” and another said, “Um… you’re a ghost.” Hmmm… was that ever explained? Or how Danny just sucked his future evil self into the Fenton thermos to resolve the main conflict? I wonder how that worked out.
Regardless, the ghosts were memorable and well-developed. I loved the box ghost—his signature line, “I am the box ghost” is so clever. He sounds like the alien, Mark, from “The Fairly Odd Parents”. Ember the Rockstar had an amazing song and I enjoyed how she hypnotized people to love it (until Tucker undid that in one episode). Desiree the wishing ghost was like a wicked genie. She reminded me of Norm, who was also from “The Fairly Odd Parents”.
Ghosts could possess people in this series. I loved when Danny possessed his dad when he got in trouble at school. It was such a clever way to avoid getting punished.
And have you also noticed this detail about the extras? They’re all physically diverse. People have all different body types and I applaud that. After all, no one should ever feel self-conscious about his or her appearance, especially from something on the screen.
Now about the characters. Sam’s parents were the opposite of her. They had sunshine-like appearances and personalities while Sam was goth in both her looks and personality. Paulina was (I think) Danny’s crush at first, but then, out of nowhere, she seemed to have betrayed him and joined Dash’s side. I wonder why this happened and without explanation.
And Danny… our hero and star of the show… he was such a relatable character. From going through teenage issues to being Jazz’s annoying little brother at times to being loyal to his friends. Wow.
The show ended in 2007, despite its popularity. There are still some shorts of it on YouTube, such as the special where all the Butch Hartman cartoons cross over with “Danny Phantom” and “Danny Phantom goes to Hogwarts”. Even if there’s unlikely to be a reboot, the show is still great. I would gladly recommend it to kids today.
Over 40 years have passed since this movie has been released. It follows an Australian girl, Sandy, who is in love with a Brooklyn boy, Danny, and the love triangle Sandy goes through with Danny and another guy. Other characters, such as the girls who call themselves the pink ladies and the guys who call themselves the thunderbirds, play major roles as well.
The musical numbers are amazing. I love the songs, “You’re the One that I Want”, “Sandra Dee”, “Grease Lightning”, and “Summer Nights”. Recently, however, I noticed that some of the questions in “Summer Nights” are rude to ask in real life, such as “How much dough did he spend?” or “Did she put up a fight?” I guess trying to fit in, “That’s none of your business” into the lyrics would’ve been out of place and would’ve felt forced. Oh well. “Grease” isn’t a kid’s movie. So audiences will probably know the boundaries of what is okay in real life and what stays on the screen.
I liked the “Romeo & Juliet” reference right after the “Sandra Dee” number: “Wherefore art thou Sandy?”. Ha ha, Shakespeare never gets tiring. The scenes where Danny is struggling with sports tryouts were great, as well. They made him feel real and likable.
I also didn’t expect a lot of cartoons within the movie, like what the characters watched. Sometimes, I admire the old-fashioned 2D cartoons from the mid-twentieth century more than the CG animation today, especially because 3D animation is pretty much the only kind for movies these days. This was one of those moments.
The fifties culture was very well emphasized. From the diner moments to the characters’ fashion, it really teaches you about that decade. What I didn’t appreciate, however, was when during the dance scene, all couples had to be boy and girl. I get it. This takes place in the 50’s and was filmed in the 70’s, both of when being gay, lesbian, transgender, or gender-neutral was beyond out-of-the-question. However, watching something like that in a time when homosexuality and chosen gender-identity are trying to be more acceptable (and have made progress during the past few years) can be a bit insensitive. I’m asexual and proud to call myself female both biologically and identity-wise. But I do have full empathy with homosexual people and those who see themselves as different genders than how they were identified at their births.
The ending where Danny and Sandy drive into the sky was quite interesting. Not too long ago, there was a conspiracy theory about Sandy being dead the whole duration of the movie. I don’t know if it’s true, though (I hope not). I do know that there’s a sequel to “Grease”, which I didn’t see.
I approached the movie not knowing the whole plot, even though I saw a live production of “Grease” at a local theater with camp when I was 13. But I don’t remember everything there.
I would rate “Grease” 4 out of 5 stars. Although something about the film didn’t engage me fully, I enjoyed the story and musical numbers as well as the characters.