Sunday, 30 January 2011
Donald Duck is a great character. His crazy voice is classic, he has a waffer thin temper and he also has a real mean, selfish streak to him that I love in a character. That's what maks Bloo out of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends so fun to watch and the same thing is definitely there in Donald. Sure he's a good guy and he does the right thing in the end or learns his lesson, but he can also be self centred and a total dick to everyone else along the way and that is very fun to watch.
In his first screen appearance in 'The Wise Little Hen' he didn't start out as the mental case we know him as know, although the selfish part of his character is there. He's just a lazy guy. It's interesting that the other characters of the hen and Peter Pig have the same, hard to decipher, animalistic voice that Donald has. It makes the dialoge really hard to understand so you can see why they didn't carry this on as a general theme with other characters, otherwise Disney cartoons would need subtitles. Also, that voice is something that really makes Donald stand out from the rest of the Disney pack. This is a sweet little fable-like cartoon but Donald's next role would be a whole new ball game.
So after 'The Wise Little Hen' Donald is introduced into the world of Mickey Mouse in 'Orphan's Benefit' and history is made. Here we see Donald's insane temper for the first time and it is GREAT! He spends the cartoon threatening to punch a group of orphans and at the end even has a brick behind his back, ready to bust some heads. The guy is out to batter orphans! That is pretty extreem, but awesome.
Aside from Donal meeting Mickey for the first time this cartoon is also notable for featuring Goofy for the first time as Goofy (previously he had been popping up as the character Dippy Dawg in varying forms). This cartoon was also re-made 7 years later using the same sound but in colour with updated character designs. Both look lovely but the black and white original really does it for me.
'Polar Trappers' is another great example of Donald being a bad ass. In this we see Donald is so fed up of eating beans that he plots to kill off a load of penguin for food, and seeing as he's a duck that seems very wrong. It's great seeing a beloved childrens cartoon character swinging axes and penguins and making baby penguins cry. That's what kids TV is all about. Good work Donald.
Monday, 24 January 2011
As if Popeye wasn't awesome enough there is a fair bit of Popeye fan art kick around out there and some of it is totally bad ass!
POPEYE VS NAMOR
POPEYE VS THE HULK
POPEYE VS VENOM
POPEYE VS SUPERMAN
POPEYE VS SUPERMAN & GOKU
POPEYE MEETS THE THING
POPEYE MEETS SUPERMAN
Top stuff, and as if these combos weren't crazy enough, Popeye is a character in MUGEN and can been seen here having a mental fight with Robocop.
Didn't expect that.
Friday, 21 January 2011
While looking through all the billions of cartoon themed cereals the other day, I also discovered that Pokemon has spawned a few other kooky food stuffs other than breakfast cereal.
There's Pokemon Spaghetti:
and my favourite, Pokemon Ramen, which comes with little Pokemon face mini fish cakes:
It looks SO bad for you but I still want to try it because...
YOU'VE GOT TO EAT THEM ALL!
Thursday, 20 January 2011
If you think of the gig videogame wars of the 80s and 90s you will probably think of two things; Nintendo vs Sega, and Mario vs Sonic, which is basically the same thing, but that was it. Other consoles came and went, like the Atari Jauar for example, a game console that had ads where people vomit after playing their games. I'm guessing this was meant to be a good thing.
Until Sony got in the game with Playstation, the rule was not ot buy a console that didn't have Nintendo or Sega written on the box. Then there where the characters that came and went, the mascots who tried to take the throne of Mario and Sonic but... well you know.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW???
All these little guys are lost to the sands of time. They were all trying to get in on the act but Mario and Sonic where having none of it. Stylistically, it seems most of them where ripping off Sonic more that Mario... FOOLS (hindsight is a bitch)! Anyway, another one of these young pretenders was Bubsy The Bobcat, who had a fair bit of hype behind him at the time, and I seem to remember him being tipped to be the next big platforming franchise. He was a wise cracking animal with big eyes who could run really fast. Sound familiar? Other than that, what else is there to really say about this guy? Not much, as the one pilot cartoon will show you. Infact, the cartoon makes a great point about why we should forget about this little bobcat all together. The games got pretty decent reviews at the time but as the years have gone on people have grown to hate Bubsy, and why? Because he is A PAIN IN THE ASS! Lots of wise cracks do no a good character make. They just make you want to punch the TV. The supporting characters are so weak they are less than two dimensional. Where's your Luigi and Yoshi and Bowser and Tails Robotnick? There's nothing there to really build a story out of, there's just whacky shenanigans, which isn't always a bad thing but in this case it really is. Watch this one cartoon and try not to pull your ears off. It's just a mess of noise and when you hear him say "what could possibly go wrong" for the billionth time you will feel like throwing up. No. No. No. It hurts that little but more that he is voiced by Rob Paulsen who worked on the likes of Ninja Turtles, Animaniacs, Powerpuff Girls and the cartoon of Fraggel Rock, but this cat will forever be a big black spot on his CV.
It's heavy going isn't it? The armadillo says that Bubsy is worse than getting hit by a truck within the first few minutes of the show. At least someone knew what was going on.
Well, thankfully the pilot was never picked up and the world is all the better for it. The games still did well until the release of Bubsy 3D for the Playstation which seems to be considered one of the worst games of all time and it's not hard to see why, just look at the intro to the game:
The sound is shocking and as for the graphics... well, do they remind you of anything?
Yeah, and that was from 1985!
No new Bubsy games were ever made after this and he joined all the other fallen mascots in video game heaven, or quite possably hell. So long bobcat.
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
I take back what I said about them making a cartoon out of Mad Balls. Sure they were basically making a TV show out of balls but at least they had faces you could take some inspiration from and build a character around, but this has to be the strangest, most quickly thrown together concept for a cartoon to cash in on a popular toy ever : Rubik's Cube the cartoon, or Rubik The Amazing Cube as he was known. Honestly, they turned this thing into a series of half hour cartoons...
So Rubik the Amazing Cube is some sort or magic cube monster, or alien, or something, with a face and legs, that escapes from an evil magicians stagecoach and ends up being found by the three Rodriguez kids, who are nice and really good at working out Rubik's Cube. That's the story that they wrote on the back of a napkin when they were coming up with this thing. Rubik has lots of powers, like making people fly, moving huge objects, giving the kids super powers and reversing the flow of time. He is all powerful yet seems to just hang out with these three kids all the time, thwarting crooks or helping the kids with being themselves or getting dates for the prom or something. It seems like the little guy is wasting his power. It seems like he can do anything, so I don't understand why it takes him so long to stop the bad guys in the episode I've poster bellow. Perhaps it is due to his one weakness. If his sides get jumbled up then he looses his power and turns into an ordinary cube. It's all or nothing with the little dude. If he was in my hands he would be screwed because I've never been able to solve a Rubik's Cube but the Rodriguez kids can do it in about 3 clicks so I see why he hangs out with them.
It appears to be a pretty standard Scooby Doo-esque kids solving capers kind of show and isn't much to make a fuss over except for it's crazy premise. It is interesting in that this is the only cartoon I can think of where the main characters are Hispanic (excluding Rubik obviously). Unfortunately the voice acting for the kids is painfully awkward, the little girl is particularly clunky. It just doesn't help things.
Check out the episode bellow. The two best bits are the E.T. style flying bikes and when the bad guys say "Trapped by our own lumber". That's an awesome line. Someone stick it on a t-shirt.
So until I find a cartoon based on the hoola hoop or dominos this is deffinately the most random cartoon spin off I've seen.
Monday, 17 January 2011
America loves it's cereal. They have whole supermarket aisles like this dedicated to the stuff:
That's a lot of cereal to choose from. We don't have the same sort of choice over here in the UK and a lot of our breakfast nosh looks pretty tame, like this:
In America their cereal bowls look like there's rave going off in there:
The thing is, this stuff doesn't just sell itself on it's own day-glow, sugar high, and possibly life shortening merritts, oh no, it needs a big happy mascot to grab your attention and make you pick their brand over the thousands of other breakfast treats out there.
These mascots are pretty fun aren't they, but at the end of the day they're just dudes on the front of a box. If you're a big time cereal pedelar you want to get some big name on the front of your box to draw the kids in, and by golly that's just what they do. The amount of breakfast cartoon/pop-culture/movie tie-in's out there is pretty jaw dropping. Remember Saturday morning TV from when you were a kid? Well in America you can pour milk over it and eat the damn thing as part of a nutritious breakfast! Let's take a look shall we?
Fruity Pebbels are a very long running cereal, still going strong long after they've stopped making The Flintstones. There's a lot of ads for it. I never understood why people in cereal adverts had to steal other people cereal. It's just cereal guy, it's not that expensive! Buy some! There's no need for these capers.
Yogi Bear Cereal
Bugs Bunny Cereal:
Mud and Bugs cereal? Yum.
They just stoll the tune to the Oompal Loompa song from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory for the song. Outrage!
Mr T Cereal:
This song is so over the top it's awesome. Sounds like a South Park song... and Mr T says it's cool so who am I to judge.
This second ad is where the 80s was perfected.
Donkey Kong Cereal:
You could win a Donkey Kong aracde machine as a prize! That has to be the best cereal prize ever!
It's the first cereal box to glow in the dark... why would you need that unless you eat at 5 in the morning and don't have any lights?
Also, it seems from these ads that the perfect breakfast is day glow cereal, toast and juice.
Ninja Turtles Cereal:
I can't understand a thing anyone says in this advert.
Adam's Family Cereal:
Star Wars Cereal:
I couldn't quite beleive that C2P0's were real. I thought it was just a clever pun, as there have been quite a few spoof Star Wars cereals (like this and this), but it was real. I do wish this was real too:
Is it just me or is it pretty gross that Spider-Man is shooting milk out of his wrists? The Marvel fan boys will not be happy!
Bill and Ted Cereal:
Scooby Doo Cereal:
Powerpuff Girl Cereal:
Ben 10 Cereal:
This looks so gross.
Tom and Jerry Cereal:
It's flying giant cereal. Subtle.
Indiana Jones Cereal:
By now I can't quite beleive how many of these cereals there are...
Pirates Of The Caribbean Cereal:
Argh, my brain is melting!
Too... much... cereal...
G.I. Joe Cereal:
MONOPOLY CEREAL!!!! They honestly made Monopoly cereal.
I don't even really like cereal damn it!