Tag Archives: Cartoons

Episode 8: Alien Puberty

In this episode, we continue our Teen Titans retrospective and look at episodes “Transformation,” “Titan Rising,” and “Winner Take All” from Season 2.  We talk about Starfire’s race and their bad sex education, how fun it would be to play volleyball with the Titans, and Speedy’s important role in comic book history.  Andy also goes off on a tangent talking about one of his favorite cartoon shows, Jackie Chan Adventures.

Episode 4: Another Titan in the Wall

In this episode we discuss Teen Titans, Season 1, “Mad Mod,” “Car Trouble,” and “Apprentice” parts 1 and 2.  We talk about Mad Mod’s crazy house, the wonderful, rare pairing between Cyborg and Raven, and how Slade is just so freaking creepy.  Also, we ask ourselves, is Slade Robin in disguise?

Episode 3: Peter Lorre Puppet

In this episode we discuss Teen Titans, Season 1, “Switched,” “Deep Six,” and “Mask.” We talk about how boring Aqualad is, why Raven and Starfire switching bodies makes a great episode, and how Slade is so, weirdly, creepily obsessed with Robin.

Episode 2: Forces of Fun

In this episode we focus on Teen Titans, Season 1, episodes “Forces of Nature,” “The Sum of His Parts,” and “Nevermore.” We talk about Robin’s fascination with Slade, the source of Mumbo’s power, and why Cyborg is just a great, all outstanding, guy. Oh and Raven’s dad issues or whatever.

Episode 1: A Giant Chicken

In our first episode we focus on the Cartoon Network show, Teen Titans, and focus on the first three episodes of the series, “Divide and Conquer,” “Sisters,” and “Final Exam.”  We talk about the fantastic Hive Academy villains, Starfire’s amazing quotes, and how sexy Slade’s voice is.

Note: We originally published on Soundcloud but moved over to WordPress as the platform suited our podcast better.

Review of the Oscar Nominated Short Films (Animated) for 2018

I’m back again with another article on the Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts. 2018 was a satisfying year for shorts as all the nominees were entertaining and moving in their own way. Although Lou’s animation and Garden Party’s ending were fantastic, it’s the characters, humor, and voice acting of Revolting Rhymes that make it my pick for best ONAS of 2018. Let’s dive in.

Dear Basketball

The weakest of the five shorts although that does not mean I disliked it. Far from it, the pencil animated styles stood out strongly against the plethora of computer-model shorts from this year and the narrative was definitely it’s own thing (plus the score was quite moving thanks to John Williams). Dear Basketball, which focuses on Kobe Bryant’s basketball career, makes it this year’s memoir short along with Negative Space. Although it was nice, it falls flat for two main reasons. The first was the deflated story.   There wasn’t much conflict or pivotal moments to keep the story going. What’s more, this memoir short was too positive on Bryant’s basketball career and did not bring much in the way of sorrow or negative memories. It definitely paints Bryant in a positive light which makes it feel more self-adorning, and unfortunately egotistical, than self-reflecting. I will say the scene when Bryant mourns his aging body was great as the style shifted jarringly and really communicated how debilitating that was for him. Beyond that, nothing much else to say.

Negative Space

The other memoir short also stood out for its style and the premise and, unlike Dear Basketball, had a healthy mixture of positive and negative memories. Unfortunately, Negative Space’s story felt a bit clipped. At first I laughed at the line “there’s too much negative space” in the funeral scene but then I was astonished when the credits rolled after that. What I took as a comedic line was instead a somber reflection at how careless the coffin was created for the protagonist’s father. With such a quick ending, I felt cheated, as if the story was going somewhere but then decided to pull the plug half way through. With that said, I do like how much thought went into animating the background and the luggage as it really highlights the unique father-son bond the main character has.

Garden Party

What an ending! This was Mary’s favorite and I liked this one as well. It took me awhile before I realized what exactly was going on. Eventually, I was thinking an apocalyptic event happened and nature was reclaiming lost territory. My prediction was almost completely wrong but I’m happy that I was. What I find so compelling about this short are the frogs as they look so realistic but…not? It’s like the frog-version of the Uncanny Valley which I find amusing to think about. I think this quasi-realistic quality helps make the shocking ending great as the bloated decomposing man is so repulsive against the cute and adorable antics of the frogs. So funny.

Lou

Out of the five shorts, I predict Lou will win the Oscar. The story is nothing to write much about but Goddamn is Lou’s animation fantastic. You could tell the animators tirelessly planned and animated Lou’s movement to the insanity that his anatomy would let him. The whole chase scene with the kid was great, I could watch that scene dozens of times. Other than that the only other thing I have to comment is, did anyone else experience an existential crisis when the kid took all of Lou’s belongings and gave them to the kids?   Like, where did Lou go? Is his personality split up? Is he gone? Does he come back when the kids eventually lose their stuff again? The toys in Toy Story got nothing on Lou. Entertaining and energetic short but that’s not enough to make it my favorite for this year.

Revolting Rhymes

I went to see the shorts with Mary and my friend Kaitlin and all of us agreed that this was one of our favorites if not the favorite of the five shorts. Where to being on it? First, the short’s length was spent fantastically as no minute felt wasted. The characters, the pacing, the style, the voices, the humor all coincided perfectly to match Roald Dahl’s twistedness. There are so many things I loved about Revolting Rhymes. Like how the Mirror was animated very different compared to the rest of the characters indicating otherworldliness to him. Red and Snow White’s friendship felt believable and the Wolf’s revenge was not hackneyed or farcical.   And unlike Negative Space’s ending where I felt cheated, I felt satisfied but intrigued by Revolting Rhymes’ ending. Curious how the story could continue but content if this was the true ending. Not to say that it is, mind you, as it is Part 1. I really want to watch Part 2 and see how everything plays off.

If there’s one major criticism I had about the short its Red and Snow White’s “friendship.” Yes, I love their relationship but come on, they’re totally in lesbians with each other. Don’t give me this bs they are friends. They should be married. Sorry it just seems so painfully obvious they love each other but the short says otherwise. Come on.

See you at the Oscars!

The Rooster Talisman: there since the Beginning

Happy Year of the Rooster!  To celebrate the occasion, let’s once again check out the Rooster Talisman in the Kids WB cartoon series, Jackie Chan Adventures.  The Rooster Talisman (which bestows Levitation powers to the user) is special as it was the first Talisman seen and premiered in the first episode of the series!  Looking back at this episode, I can’t help but be amused how different the show was compared to later seasons such as the rougher character designs and an overall awkward pace.  You can tell the creators were trying to figure out what kind of show Jackie Chan Adventures was going to be.

image from jackie chan adventures wiki

image from jackie chan adventures wiki

But enough about the show, let’s talk about the Rooster Talisman!  Unlike our previous two talismans, the Rooster was prominently used throughout the show, even in episodes where it was not the focal point (a big example being Jade’s battle with the Sky Demon).  It’s now hard to understand why either.  The Rooster Talisman is simply useful.  The power to levitate yourself (and other objects) would’ve solved a world of problems for our heroes had it not been for Jackie’s reluctance to use the Talismans.

This was also one of the best episodes in the series as well.  The Rooster and Rabbit Talismans were just icing on the cake.  Image from the Jackie Chan Adventures wiki

This was also one of the best episodes in the series as well. The Rooster and Rabbit Talismans were just icing on the cake. Image from the Jackie Chan Adventures wiki

The Rooster Talisman has been a constant presence in the series for reasons you may actually not realize.  Okay, so in season 3 when Jackie blew up the Talismans, the Rooster Talisman possessed its noble animal, Eggbert, a rooster that lived in Malaysia and later moved to Kansas.  Eggbert was subsequently paired up with the Pig Talisman’s noble animal, Mordecai.  These two were the best as Eggbert just flew Mordecai around while he caused havoc with his laser eyes.  Now, this episode was one of the few times Jackie Chan an co. lost to Daolon Wong as he absorbed both powers with his freaky mouth hands.  In subsequent episodes, up to the climax of season 3, Daolon Wong frequently used his newfound levitation and heat beam eye powers to his advantage.  I like this a lot actually as Daolon Wong becomes a bigger threat unlike season 1 where the Dark Hand barely used their talismans.  That wasn’t the last of Eggbert though as he and Moredecai were infrequent guests to the show in later episodes such as “The Amazing T-Troop” and “The Powers That Be.”

Luckily, when push comes to shove the Talismans will be used as a last resort.  These instances don’t happen too often though and that’s what makes those episodes great.  Some of the special ones include the awesome Talisman battle in Season 2’s “The J-Team,” the Talisman vs Demon battle in Season 2’s “The Demon World,” and the battle against the Oni Generals in Season 4’s “Ninja Twilight.”  The Rooster Talisman’s insane usefulness combined with the show underplaying them means that every time we see someone use it, we’re in for a good time.

Happy Year of the Rooster!