movie

On the Way… Now a Review of “Ice Age” (2002)

Warning: Contains Spoilers***

 

One of the greatest prehistoric-set movies of all time is “Ice Age”. I am amazed how much effort the creators did to use prehistoric creatures. They got to use pretty much any kind, except dinosaurs.

The three main characters’ voice actors did such a great job with their roles. John Leguizamo expressed such great humor on Sid the sloth. Ray Romano did a superb job as the cranky Manny the mammoth. Dennis Leary portrayed Diego the dark saber-toothed tiger very well.

And Scrat? Ah, you can’t forget him—constantly chasing his acorn. He may not speak or be part of the main trio (or the group of 4 if you add the baby), but Scrat’s moments are wonderful. There was one moment in the film where Sid, Manny, Diego, and the baby came into contact with Scrat.

Speaking of which, the film begins with Scrat, trying to get his acorn in the snow. He falls and the snow is gone. He catches his acorn, and a larger animal steps on him. The title sequence and opening credits start.

The animals are migrating to prepare for the ice age. Manny goes in another direction. Another scene shows Sid waking up and unable to find his family. After accidentally angering a couple rhinos, Sid runs from them and meets Manny. Sid shows interest in being Manny’s companion. But Manny is too moody and prefers to be alone.

Another point-of-view shows the human baby and his parents. Diego and the other tigers are watching. At some point, the tigers attack. Diego almost gets the baby until the mother catches him. She runs away with the child, but dies as she sees Manny and Sid. Sid takes the baby. Shortly after, Diego meets Sid and Manny. They begin their journey to return the baby to the other humans.

This film had a lot of action, humor, and emotional moments. The scene where the animal trio and the baby get separated in the ice slide tunnels was funny. The baby had no fear whatsoever. The animal trio was for the most part good with the baby. Diego didn’t always act appropriately to the child, though. Sometimes, however, he was brighter than Sid. Sid tended to naïve and didn’t always make smart choices. Like when Manny suggested milk for the baby, Sid reacted with, “Ooh, I’d love some.” Diego clarified that Manny was taking about the baby.

The dodo scene was awesome. I appreciated their Tae-kwon-do scene when the main trio just wanted to give the infant food. And Sid won. There was a slow-motion effect as Sid fought the dodos.

Now the film is not without its flaws. There is one inconsistency I noticed. At the end, when Sid is getting emotional and teary as the baby has been returned to his father and the other people, Diego comes back and says, “You know humans can’t talk.” But the baby’s mother talked. Diego was even there. When she ran away with the baby, she turned around to the other humans and said, “Bye.” I guess Diego must’ve forgot by the film’s end—or had tuned out during that time. I don’t know.

Nevertheless, “Ice Age” was a fantastic movie. There are three sequels after, I believe. I would rate this 5 out of 5 stars.

 

TV show

I’m Gonna Analyze, Cause it’s “Danny Phantom”

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.

 

TV show

Wish Granted! It’s My Top Favorite Episodes of “The Fairly Odd Parents”

From ages 7 – 12, I was a huge fan of “The Fairly Odd Parents”. I noticed tons of details, changes (including some inconsistencies), and much more. I would go out of my way to watch a FOP special. For example, when “Fairy Idol” premiered, I wanted to be home in time to watch it.

While I enjoyed the show very much, I have some favorite episodes. I will select the top 5.

 

5: “Emotion Commotion”

 

Timmy is afraid to go off the high-dive at a pool, despite his crush, Trixie and the other popular kids watching. He screams as he goes off, and his bathing suit comes off. He is laughed at because he’s naked. At home, he wishes to have no emotions. Kids continue to crack up after he was nude at the pool. Adults make Timmy face dangerous challenges because he has no emotions.

I was amazed at how imaginative the creators were with what it would be like to have no emotions. Timmy ended up dull all the time. When asked, “How do you feel?”, he’d answer with “I don’t.” What an interesting concept.

 

4: “Babyface”

 

Timmy is sent to hang with the big kids at Flappy Bob’s Learnatorium. When the kids chase Timmy, he ends up in the daycare center. In order to hide, he wishes to become a baby. Everything works, until Timmy discovers that he can’t talk anymore. He has to find another way to wish himself back to being 10.

I found this episode to be quite funny, especially when a baby took off his own diaper and threw it at Francis. I enjoyed Happy-Peppy Gary and Betty’s moments in the swamp scene, when Gary said to sing a song about not getting eaten by alligators and Betty actually started until Gary said, “I was being Ironic.” I also realize that Timmy would’ve lost his ability to spell and read after wishing he was a baby. Kids learn to talk before they read and spell. But that’s a whole different topic. But hey—plot convenience matters to the creators.

 

3: “Mr. Right”

 

Following “Babyface”, Timmy is sick of getting everything wrong. He wishes that everything he said was right. From the US having 49 states to losing Cosmo and Wanda, things get out of hand.

I loved when Mr. Crocker presented “The Scream” to Timmy. Timmy asked why he was screaming. Mr. Crocker answered, “Because he got an F… like you.” He even showed more of the painting and the figure with an F in front of him. Oh my gosh. I could laugh all day at that, even though that’s not why the figure is screaming. I liked when Timmy said stuff to Francis to block his hearing so that he could get his fairies back.

 

2: “Yoo Doo”

 

Timmy wants revenge on Francis. Cosmo mentions Yoo Doo dolls. But Wanda doesn’t approve. Nevertheless, Timmy wishes for them. He succeeds at humiliating Francis, but things get out of control. While with Trixie, Tootie controls Timmy with his Yoo Doo doll and makes him talk about how great Tootie and how she’s better than Trixie.

This episode made me laugh a lot. I enjoyed when people were being controlled by others using their Yoo Doo dolls. Yes, this wouldn’t be funny in real life. But it’s a cartoon.

 

And now… drumroll

 

1: “Just Desserts”

 

Timmy is mad when he doesn’t get sweets for dessert. He got carrots, a textbook to multiply fractions with AJ’s family, and a broccoli and brussel sprout sundae with Mark. He wishes that everything was dessert. Cookies, cakes, ice cream, and more. Everyone gets hyper, but then becomes obese. People have to roll to get around. Then the weight of everybody puts pressure on the Earth and it rolls toward the sun (which, by the way, would NOT happen in real life).

This episode was, perhaps, my favorite. I cracked up through a lot of the episode. I particularly found Trixie popping her belt off to be humorous. The idea of everything being desserts was amazing.

 

So there you have it. Although “The Fairly Odd Parents” isn’t the same as it was when I was a child, I’ll always value it as one of my favorite childhood TV shows.

 

TV show

PowerPuff Girls Theory: Was Their US History Different from Ours?

Anyone who grew up in the 90’s or 00’s might have remembered a show on Cartoon Network called “The PowerPuff Girls”. I was especially a huge fan of that show in 2nd grade. But that’s another story.

Anyway, those who watched the show all know the premise. Professor Utunium mixed three ingredients (sugar, spice, and everything nice) and accidentally dropped chemical X, thus creating the PowerPuff girls, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. The girls fight crime and save Townsville.

When there’s trouble, the mayor contacts the PowerPuff girls through their special telephone. The girls fight the crime and throw the villains in jail. And… without a trial.

There was never a courthouse, judge, lawyers, defense attorneys, witnesses, or any of that in “The PowerPuff Girls”. Not once have villains such as Mojo-Jojo, Princess, Him, or anyone else been tried and found innocent or guilty. They’re just immediately thrown in jail by the PowerPuff girls.

Yes, it’s a cartoon. But because people get tried before getting locked up in real life, I wonder if their history differed from ours today.

I will not go into detail as I do not discuss politics on my blog. However, I still consider this quite interesting.

TV show

Lucky There’s a Family Guy… And its Funniest Moments

I discovered this cartoon when I was about 15. I fell in love with it. Yes, it’s pretty mature and has a lot of adult content. However, it’s also got amazing slapstick humor. I could laugh hysterically at it all day. These are my top five picks, though.

 

5: Asian Santa

Stewie remembers a moment where the mall had an Asian Santa Claus. It might’ve been a little stereotypical (but that’s normal in “Family Guy”), yet I couldn’t help but laugh. I’m Southeast-Asian myself (Indian).

 

4: Peter on Red bull

From when Peter starts re-enacting the “And I Feel Like I Just Got Home” music video to right before Lois is on the phone and he hangs up because he can’t find his red bull, I laugh at the moments. I especially liked when Peter impressed Chris, but Chris went on fire—literally.

 

3: Saggy Naggy

Oh my god—what a disrespectful thing anyone could do to his or her spouse (and probably get in trouble with the law for it in real life). Nevertheless, in the episode where Peter starts his own children’s TV show, he portrays Lois as a nagging and annoying puppet after he disliked her attitude toward him. When the kids beat up Lois at Costmart, that cracked me up.

 

2: Chris making a dead body pick his nose and eat it

Obviously, this would not be funny in real life. However, in the show, it cracked me up a lot. Meg worked in a funeral home with the bodies and Chris got excited. He even stole one to get him into R-rated movies.

 

And now… drumroll

 

1: Peter crying like Snoopy

I laugh so loud and hard that I will not allow myself to watch this outside home. That large mouth and position is absolutely hilarious.

 

While “Family Guy” has gone kind of far at times (some countries have even banned it), nothing was ever an issue for me. I still enjoy it and laugh at its moments now.

 

TV show

Wubba Lubba Dub-dub! “Rick and Morty” Episodes that Rule!

Warning: Contains spoilers***

 

Unlike many other TV shows, I never watched “Rick and Morty” on live television. I discovered certain moments through YouTube. I enjoyed them and decided to check out the episodes.

And here are my favorites…

 

2: The episode with Tiny Rick:

Rick switches bodies with a tinier version of himself to go back to high school. Meanwhile, Jerry and Beth work on sorting out their conflicts on another planet.

I loved when Tiny Rick went to the high school dance and made a dance of his own. I will admit when he gets expelled, the way it was communicated was too gentle. But it is a cartoon. When Morty yells at Summer to get her stuff (or technically, a four-letter word) together, that was done well.

 

1: The gazorpian episode.

 

Morty convinces Rick to by a robot, which Morty has a baby with. The baby grows up into something dangerous, despite Morty’s urge to teach him right from wrong. Meanwhile, Summer and Rick end up on Gazorpazorp, where Summer discovers it’s a place where women rule.

This episode is my favorite. I liked how Morty struggled to teach his son that what he wanted to do was bad and tried to distract him, but failed. I also wonder why gazorpians age from baby to adult in just a day. That would be the one question I would ask the “Rick and Morty” creators if I could.

 

So there you have it. I will admit that I didn’t watch as much of the series as I did with the ones I’ve viewed on live TV. But “Rick and Morty” still remains an entertaining show for me.

TV show

Ha, Ha, Ha… I’m Happy About the Funniest Moments of “The Simpsons”

The longest running animated TV show about the family of five is one of my favorites. That’s right, I’m talking about “The Simpsons”. I’ve been laughing at the moments for many years.

And that is what the post is all about. It will mention scenes from the traditional episodes, Treehouse of Horror episodes, and even the theatrical movie from 2007. Here’s the countdown.

 

5: In the Treehouse of Horror episode, “Time and Punishment”, Homer fixes the toaster and ends up turning it into a time traveling toaster. When he first goes back to the time of dinosaurs, he remembers the advice from his father on his wedding day. That was to never step on anything if traveling back in time, because even the smallest errors could drastically alter the future. But Homer accidentally squishes a bug. And when he questions how that can’t possibly change the future, a prehistoric mammal shrugs and makes a noise meaning, “I don’t know.” The last sentence was the funniest part.

 

4: In the animation festival episode, Homer volunteers to wear the special costume and have the animated dog follow every movement he made. Every move cracked me up. But when Homer used the bathroom in that costume, that was just hilarious.

 

3: In the theatrical release from 2007, Bart skateboarding naked was humorous from when he first started to when he landed on the window outside a burger place.

 

2: In the Treehouse of Horror episode, “Nightmare Cafeteria”, after so many students have been put in detention and never cane back, a kid shook out of anxiety at his desk and his pencil dropped. Mrs. Krabappel pointed at the door and said, “Detention.” I don’t know why, but that moment cracked me up a lot.

 

And onto the number 1 funniest moment…

 

1: In the Treehouse of Horror episode with the watch that stopped time, the scene where Homer tries to eat doughnuts and they all disappear. Then his clothes disappear, as do Nelson’s. I laugh so hard at that scene that I kind of lose my voice.

 

So there you have it—the funniest moments of “The Simpsons”.

 

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Character Critiques… True as They Can be… Beauty and the Beast-1991

Warning: Contains Spoilers***

The animated version of “Beauty and the Beast” remains one of my favorite Disney movies. I liked the live-action remake equally to the cartoon.

However, this post will only critique the characters in the 1991 cartoon. I will discuss all the major and minor characters (including the 3 silly girls in love with Gaston).

1: The Beast:

We all know how and why he became a beast and what he had to do to turn back into a human. His struggle to show kindness communicated well. He had trouble smiling and showing manners. He needed assistance from his servants.

When he grew and changed into a kinder entity, though, there was not much that either hinted at his change or did it gradually. It was a little too abrupt or sudden for plot convenience. The only hint is when he saved Belle after she ran away. However, I did like the beast more after he changed into a nicer character.

HIs anxiety right before the “Beauty and the Beast” song number felt real. I could easily relate to that since I often have to deal with anxiety.

2: Belle:

The provincial village girl who loves to read and is often misunderstood by her community was also well-developed. She was naïve and a little whiny at times, but also strong and brave. She refused to marry Gaston and longed for freedom and adventure. Her relationship to her horse, Philippe was adorable. She and her father’s bond also did well. And her attempt to love the beast was brilliant.

There is a conspiracy theory about Belle having Stockholm Syndrome, but I’m not sure if it’s true. Belle was a likable character.

When she entered the west wing, despite the Beast’s order to never go there, I appreciated how she resisted with Lumiere and Cogsworth, and checked out the area. I felt when she discovered the prince’s portrait before he’d turned into a beast, I felt that it was an important plot element. Had she gone there, would the ending have differed and would she have been confused?

3: Gaston:

The handsome man who wanted to marry Belle was also the main antagonist. Like the other villagers, he considered Belle’s father crazy and wouldn’t believe him about the beast until Belle revealed him to them. His sense of humor and sin was well balanced.

4: Lefou:

He was Gaston’s sidekick. He was silly, but also sinful. He tried to keep Gaston in a good mood. His character design was humorous and appropriate for his personality. Although when Gaston died, we never know what happened to Lefou after.

5: Maurice:

As the father of Belle, and un-liked by the village, Maurice is a great inventor. He also shows love and concern for his daughter. His fear at times was done well. I liked how he got excited over the props in the Beast’s castle (and didn’t know that they were once people). The moment he played with Cogsworth and called him an invention was hilarious.

Because he was unpopular, I often felt sorry for him. However, he was also a likable character.

6: Lumiere:

The kind servant who was turned into a candlestick was willing to take Maurice in, despite the Beast’s rules at the time. He was willing to give Belle dinner and the song, “Be Our Guest” was great.

I will say when he first greeted Belle, he went a little to far with the kissing. When he was mad that the beast let Belle go, his assumption that maybe it would’ve been better if Belle never came at all made him believable. Although, he seemed to have trouble remembering her name. Right before the “Beauty and the Beast” song number, he still called her, “the girl” instead of her name, “Belle”. Does Lumiere struggle to remember names of new people?

7: Cogsworth:

The clock servant had little sympathy when the beast was still nasty to outsiders. He disapproved of Maurice staying inside the castle because he was worried that the beast would find out, and then he did. When the beast changed into becoming nicer, so did Cogsworth.

8: Mrs. Potts:

One of the few female characters in this movie was turned into a tea-pot. She was kind like Lumiere. When she offered tea to Belle, that was sweet. The way she raised Chip was also great.

9: Chip:

He was Mrs. Potts’s son. He was so cute with Belle and was very brave. When he laughed at the beast’s bad eating manners, and Mrs. Potts gave him a dirty look, I must admit that I agreed with Chip. I appreciated how he helped Belle and Maurice escape from being sent to the asylum.

10: The 3 silly girls:

The blonde triplets who were in love with Gaston were funny. However, someone in a YouTube video pointed out that they didn’t do much to enhance the story. I couldn’t help but agree with them. However, their actions still amused me.

 

Do you want to mention anything you like about these characters?

TV show

Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation A.N.A.L.Y.S.I.S

Warning: Contains spoilers***

 

The Cartoon Network program, Codename: Kids Next Door, premiered in 2002, when I started fourth grade. It consisted of 5 children who lived in a huge treehouse (there were other KND homes, as well) who would go on missions and fight against adults. I would recommend knowing, at least, the main and major characters before reading further.

The show ended in 2008. However, there was (and may still be) a petition going on for a reboot. The show had a lot of great moments, but also a lot of not-so-great moments. I will share my favorite moments first.

The episodes with the baby man running a TV production and the one after where Numbuhs 2 and 3 adopt a baby skunk, were probably my favorite ones. The baby man set off something where he would turn everyone in the world into babies so that nobody would call him a baby. I liked when the thing the baby man used turned a chair into a high chair. That was clever. The plot of saving a camp and Numbuhs 2 and 3 raising a baby skunk was amazing. The skunk would sound like a human baby.

The idea of rainbow monkeys was just silly and amusing. There was even a theme song for them, as well as an island.

The 5 main characters had great development and traits. Their rooms represented their personalities well (Numbuh 3’s room had big stuffed animals—one that she slept on), as did their physical appearances.

Now the TV show is not without its flaws. Sometimes, things would show up just for plot convenience. However, one of the pitfalls I just can’t agree with was constant disrespect and hatred toward those 13 and over because they were not kids (although in reality, you’re a kid until the age of 18, but you might not consider 13 to 17-year-olds little kids). I get that the KND didn’t like having to deal with authority or being bossed around. Still—is this really something you think kids should be learning? I guess it’s okay as long as they don’t imitate it themselves and respect the boundaries between what’s acceptable in cartoons, but not in real life.

One thing I was surprised by was that, at some point during the show, the creators decided to show the KND’s parents’ faces, except for Numbuh 5’s. Why did they change their minds? Why did they decide to continue to hide Numbuh 5’s parents’ faces, but show everyone else’s?

Also, the rainbow monkeys, as live-creatures, kind of looked the opposite of cute. Sharp teeth and drooling is not exactly the most appealing to me. The idea of how they changed colors thought was cool.

So those are my thoughts of the TV show. Of course, no cartoon is perfect. But many have a lot of benefits and great ways to communicate humor. Codename: Kids Next Door is among many of them.

movie

Feel “The Jungle Book” Rhythm: The 1967 and 2003 Cartoon Comparisons

Warning: Contains spoilers***

 

“The Jungle Book” was the first animated Disney feature since Walt Disney had died a year before in 1966. I did not watch recent live-action remake, so it will not be part of this comparison.

I actually saw the sequel from 2003 first. I didn’t see it in the movie theater, but I did watch it regularly after it came on DVD. The opening starts off with Mowgli using shadow puppets to narrate the story of the first movie. It then starts its own plot. Mowgli is forbidden to go into the jungle because his authority figures consider it dangerous. But Mowgli just misses the jungle. Baloo misses Mowgli and rebels against Bagheera’s demand to not take Mowgli back. After Mowgli is punished for leading the other children from the village to the jungle, Baloo finds him and takes Mowgli back into the jungle. However, Shere Khan is still out to hurt Mowgli.

I haven’t seen “The Jungle Book 2” in years. However, I did see the main feature from 1967. It gave me a better understanding of the sequel. As an infant, Mowgli is raised by wolves. Years later, Bagheera forces him into the village, but Mowgli keeps resisting and wants to stay in the jungle. He meets and befriends Baloo, gets kidnapped by monkeys but trusts them, runs away after Baloo tells him to go to the village, and faces the dangerous Shere Khan.

Now onto my opinions: I found the first film to be less engaging than the sequel. The sequel was more modernized and had a new cast of voices. I also appreciated how Shanti becomes a more major character and is not whiny or too reliable on males. Her name is not said when she is first introduced at the end of the first installment. She also has no speaking lines; just a song and a giggle. Despite how she becomes essential in the second movie, I felt that having her in the first movie was just a quick and cheap way to get Mowgli to go to the village. There were no hints to Shanti, except at the beginning credits with her voice actress’s name. But she was just referred to as “the girl.”

Also, in the main movie, why did Baloo deliberately fake his death, other than for plot convenience? It seems common for there to be sad moments before the happy endings in Disney movies. But rather than having someone save Baloo more believably, he just surprisingly turned out to be alive.

I still enjoyed the first film enough to rate it 4 out of 5 stars. However, I favor the sequel more, even though I haven’t seen it in several years. The film wrapped up more believably and there was no forced content just for plot convenience.