Monday, 30 August 2010
After Transformers: The Movie they made a Japanese follow up series called Transformer: Headmasters. It never came out outside of Japan and so never got the voice acting done by the familiar Transformers actors. They did however get it dubbed into English by some Japanese voice actors. The result is the most amazingly camp and wooden delivery in a cartoon ever.
Solid gold! It's a must watch.
Cartoons can quite often be accused of being big toy adverts. These days you have stuff like Ben Ten which have loads of spin of material for kids to bug their parents for, but it does actually have a story, and a pretty decently written one too. In the 80s though, you didn't need that artsy crap because there was too much money to be made. Nearly every major toy line you can remember had a cartoon and some where well drawn and had decent stories to pad out the dancing action figure show for 30 minutes. Some series were better than others when you are writing material to sell big muscle dudes with swords and castles and tanks I'd guess it would write itself. But what do you do when you want to make a show to sell some ugly ass rubber balls? Does that sound like a program that needs to be made?
Remember Madballs? Like Garbage Pail Kids you could bounce. Check out the commerical:
Imagine being a TV writer and being shown that by your boss and being told
"We wanna make some of that big balls money. We need you to make a series of 30 minute cartoons about balls. Kids love balls."
Well that's just they did and what they came up with was a planet of balls that had been taken over by and evil gang of balls who stopped all the other balls being able to do fun ball things like bouncing like balls and listening to rock music, which apparently balls like. They give us no reason why a ball would want to outlaw bouncing a music but it is a program about mutant ball people so suspend disbelief. Then a rock band called the Madballs escape the planet after being busted by the bad balls, go to Earth crash into a rock concert, play a gig, go down a storm and get a new manager... AND NO ONE QUESTIONS IT! NO ONE ASKS ANY QUESTIONS AT ALL! The 80s were very tolerant times where it didn't matter if you where a giant ball monster from outer space with one eyeball hanging out of it's socket as long as you could rock the mic right. I guess that was the message for the kids.
They even made comics and video games out of this shit!
They also say balls a lot in the cartoon... but you shouldn't find that funny.
It may be a pile of toss but this cartoon stands as a wonderfully tribute to the money grabbing greed of the 80s: 'The decade that filled your kids head with crap'.
God bless it. Balls.
Saturday, 28 August 2010
He can't kick a football, fly a kite, coach a baseball team, cut eye holes in a ghost costume, talk to red headed girls, train a dog and is troubled all round... it's everyone's favourite neurotic child Charlie Brown. He's so awsome people make awsome tributes to his big round head:
Arrested Development Chuck
Sin City Chuck
Charlie Brown Wall
Amazing Chuck Tat #1
Amazing Chuck Tat #2
Peanuts on Broadway
Friday, 27 August 2010
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Ah, the Turtles. Those guys were such a massive deal back in the 80s/90s. Turtle-mania was pretty unavoidable at the time and I was at the right age to get totally swept along with it. The day my parents got me and my brother the 4 turtle figures I think we totally flipped out. They had everything, the cartoon, comics, some great videogames, really good action figures, movies of declining quality and their faces on pretty much anything else you could buy. Why were they so popular? Well on looking back the cartoons don't hold up that well as they are pretty goofy, but it was perfect after school/Saturday morning TV and there were so many odd characters to latch on to. Plus they were totally on trend with 80s/90s 'dude culture', what with the likes of Bill and Ted and Waynes World in the cinemas, and they were advocates of pizza and skateboards... it was almost law to be into it.
So what comes after these crime fighting animal-men hit the big time? Well all these guys were looking for a chunk of the change...
These three toads were created by the video game company Rare to try and rival the Turtles games and are regarded as being pretty decent beat-em up's. They were successful enough that a pilot cartoon was made to bring the toads to TV... it didn't go down as well as the games. The animation is pretty darn awful and the ripping off of turtles 'dude speak' is blatant; the fat kid sounds exactly like Mikey from the Turtles. The plot set up as so flimsy, even for a videogame spin off that is pretty amazing... some aliens of the run go to Earth and offer the power to become super strong toads to the very first three people they see. I'd have thought you'd put more thought into these things but there you go, I'm not a giant space-bird-guy. Then there is the last nail in the coffin to stop
Battletoads becoming a big time show: 'LET'S GET WARTY!' was never gonna compete with 'Turtle Power' or 'Cowabunga' as a catchphrase. Can you imagine being in a playground and some kid saying "Hey, wanna play Battletoads? I'll be Zit and you be Rash LET'S GAT WARTY!" That kid would have no friends.
Biker Mice From Mars
Well, they did they're homework...
- Overly long and silly title - check
- Bad ass image - check... not so much dude speak but a hell of a lot of leather jackets, shades and piercings.
- Girl who helps out and isn't freaked out by giant animal-men - check
- Aliens trying to take over that no one else knows about - check
- Series re-launch in the 2000s - check
- Kick ass theme song - FAIL!!
It's rocking but saying the name of the show every now and then isn't a song. Sorry dudes.
This one is a bit of a wild card. It's choc full on animal people fighting each other but it's set in space and so doesn't fit in exactly with the conventions of a lot of these other shows. Also, Bucky O'Hare was originally created in the late 70s, pre-dating the Turtles by a good stretch. Although by the time it got published the Turtles were already rockin' the world. The cartoon came out in the early 90s and I never got home from school in time to catch much of it so I can't say if it's any good. I think most people remember it for the song:
That is how to write a cartoon intro song!
From the company that brought you the Battle Toads cartoon comes the Street Sharks. If Biker Mice are the Turltes poor second cousin then these guys are the inbred relatives that no one in the family speaks of. Seriously, these things are ugly. I mean what seems more appealing, this:
It's pretty much the same formula as these other shows but I think by this point the Turtles wave had broken and no one was really digging this formula as much as they used to.
The bottom of the barrel I guess. After Street Sharks this came out and then after that there was the ultimate ugly as hell team up series 'Street Sharks and Dinovengers Unite'. Damn that's a lot of teeth!
So in summary... Turtles or bust. What else did you expect?