Tag Archives: animation

Jumping the Soapbox: Top 20 Episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Part 2 (10-1)

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Welcome back to my list of the best Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes of all time!  We covered some great episodes last time, but the best is yet to come!  Well, at least what I think is the best, but then I’m always right about everything and my opinion should DEFINITELY be taken as fact!  Anyway, let’s get to it!

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10) Space Conflict from Beyond Pluto – S1 E6

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Frylock establishes contact with alien lifeforms and is invited onto their spaceship to barbeque and share a six pack.  However, the nefarious Plutonians have other plans in mind once he arrives!  Not fully thought plans, but they tend to involve melting people!  Frylock, realizing that the life he’s come into contact with may not be intelegent, beams off the ship but not before Master Shake somehow finds his way aboard; giving the Plutonians a much less perceptive target to unleash their evil schemes upon!

As I’ve said before, the incompetent conquerors from Pluto are two of the best characters the show ever came up with and this first appearance of them is one of the high points of the entire series.  It’s not just great for establishing the Plutonians and their shtick with the show concept being the melting room which also serves as some sort of holo-deck for Master Shake to explore the wonders of a sea filled with pizza as well as a horse’s anus, but it’s also a fantastic Master Shake episode on top of that with the scam he tried to pull on Carl being sharply written and laugh out loud funny.  The only thing I can say negatively about this episode is that it is in fact an early episode of the series and is at a point where Carl didn’t quite sound right which is a bit distracting, but other than that it’s a great deal of fun and a wonderful introduction to these villains.

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“Pepperoni!?  I wanted pineapple!!”

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Jumping the Soapbox: Top 20 Episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Part 1 (20-11)

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Aqua Teen Hunger Force and all the images you see in this editorial are the property of Adult Swim

If you were growing up right at the turn of the millennium, Cartoon Network was probably as influential to you and your taste in entertainment as YouTube is to everyone else nowadays.  The ingenious thing about that network is how seamlessly it managed to keep its audience intact for YEARS after you’d think they’d drop off simply for having such good transitional programming for those who were getting older.  It started with Toonami which brought anime and somewhat serious drama for those who were getting tired of silly stuff that the likes of Gendy Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken, and Maxwell Atoms were churning out (not to say those shows weren’t substantive; just that tweens aren’t exactly looking to those kind of shows to feel grown up), and then it led seamlessly to Adult Swim which had the naughty shows on that you craved when you were getting old enough to stay up that late.  The greatness of Adult Swim and its monumental effect on animation really cannot be underestimated, and while it’s shine has faded somewhat in recent years, we’re gonna reach a point where it’ll end up with a whole generation of animators inspired by those shows the same way that many of the creators OF those shows were inspired by Warner Bros, the Fleischers, or even Ralph Bakshi.  I really could go on about Adult Swim and so many of its shows, but today  we’re talking about probably its most enduring creatin; Aqua Teen Hunger Force.  Now sure it wasn’t among the FIRST run of series for Adult Swim (it’s somewhat a spinoff of Space Ghost Coast to Coast), it’s one of the shows that gave the programming block its identity and made it a cultural phenomenon.  In fact, it’s such a massive series with so many great episodes under its belt that I couldn’t simply make a list of the ten best episodes of the series!  No, I had to do TWENTY, and we’re gonna start with the first half that list right now!!

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20) Bible Fruit – S5 E9

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Frylock makes some new friends online and invites them over to the Aqua Teen house.  When they arrive however, he is surprised to learn that not only are they fruits but  that they have a dark past that they are trying (and failing) to overcome.

What better way to start this off than with the most disturbing fruit since those Claymation California Raisins?  In an episode that’s actually quite ahead of its time considering Sausage Party wouldn’t come out for another eight years, this hilarious and often unsettling episode looks at three fruits compensating for their problems with drugs and alcohol by having faith in a higher power.  Now the big guest star here is David Cross (along with Kristen Schaal and H Jon Benjamin) under the pseudonym Sir Willups Brightsly Moore who previously had a guest spot all the way back in season one as Happy Time Harry in the episode Dumber Dolls.  While that episode is really good and was just barely cut from this list, I feel that Cross’s performance as Bert Banana in this one is by far the better of the two.  He may have done a great job as that sad and useless piece of shit Happy Time Harry in Dumber Dolls, but the character didn’t have much depth to him and so Cross’s performance is somewhat one note.  Here, he’s given SO much more material to work with as someone TRYING to hold it together but is quick to succumb to his worst instincts.  Now I’m not sure if Cross himself has a history of alcohol dependence (his first book is called I Drink for a Reason which may just be titled that way for a goof), but his feelings on religion have been made VERY clear in his standup comedy and it almost feels like the role was written with him in mind because of that.  It may not be for everyone as making light of people with SERIOUS addition is not the kind of humor that everyone can enjoy, but it’s easily one of the best episodes with a prominent guest star and manages to find that right balance between tragedy and hilarity.

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“I did THREE of those God Damn chipmunk movies!  I’VE EARNED THIS, right Mr. Wrench!?”     “That’s right Mr. Banana!!”     “Burt, you’re talking to yourself again.”     “You know what will help with that?”     “Is it booze-”     “GET THE BOOZE!!”

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Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 7 (Honest Apple)

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Hasbro

Episode directed by Denny Lu and Mike Myhre

We’re back with another episode of Next Top Equestria Model, and if that title didn’t make it clear enough we’ll be focusing on Rarity and her love of fashion once again!  Now Rarity is easily my favorite of the Mane 6 as her episodes tend to have a lot more range than anyone else’s and she’s a genuinely interesting character to watch with highlight such as Sisterhooves Social,  Sweet and Elite and of course the eponymous Rarity Investigates!  Will this be another great example of why Rarity is the best, or is this one we’ll want to bury away with other better off forgotten episodes like The Mysterious Mare Do Well or even Just for Sidekicks?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Rarity and Spike handing out flyers for a fashion contest that the former will be hosting at the Carousel Boutique in an effort to give aspiring young fashion designers an avenue to express themselves as well as an invaluable networking opportunity!  With any good fashion contest though, you need a collection of colorful and sardonic judges to make it all come together and fortunately Rarity has such a group of characters in mind!  Hoity Toity will serve as our Tim Gunn, Photo Finish will be the wacky and unpredictable one that’ll generate the drama, and the anchor will be… Applejack!  Wait, WHAT!?

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Good thing she was passing by just as you made that announcement!

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Jumping the Soapbox: Top Ten Revivals Netflix Hasn’t Made Yet

The images you see in this editorial are the property of their respective owners

Considering that Netflix has already brought back Wet Hot American Summer, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Arrested Development, Full House, and even Mystery Science Theater 3000, they’re quickly turning into the streaming service equivalent of Peter Pan; collecting lost television shows and movies we don’t want to leave to the sands of time and will gladly pay $9.99 a month to keep on life support.  Now I’ve enjoyed some of the stuff that they’ve Frankensteined back into existence (the new MST3K was actually the first time the series really started to click for me), but where the heck is MY nostalgic revival!?  Yes, I was a fan of Bill Nye too, but there are so many things that they could bring back that will cause me to reflexively empty my wallet and try to shove it into my computer monitor that they haven’t even considered yet!  In fact, let’s just go ahead and name ten of them!  Now the ordering of this list is SOMEWHAT arbitrary as there are LOTS of factors to think about when trying to put these in any sort of order so it’s hard to quantify which one is more important to try and bring back than another.  How much did I like the original show or movie?  How much more can they do with the license if it was brought back?  Will Netflix even have a snowball’s chance in hell of taking this project off the license holder’s hands?  All of which I think makes this a rather interesting (if slightly convoluted) top ten list even if it seems to be somewhat random!  Let’s get started!!

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10) Jem and the Holograms

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Right off the bat, let’s start with a series I’ve never even watched.  I’ve never particularly cared for Jem and the Holograms as a television series, and I CERTAINLY didn’t care for it when Hasbro and Jason Blum put out that cheap and cynical movie that had nothing with the franchise in the first place!  The reason it’s on this list is because of the IDW comic book series created by Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell.  Gorgeous artwork, interesting storylines, and believable updates for all the characters are just the tip of the iceberg as far as things this series manages to get right, and while there are some notable differences between the original cartoon and this comic (Jerrica doesn’t own or even co-own Starlight Music), it’s still a fantastic entry point for anyone who was interested in the premise but was turned off the extreme Late Eighties Toy Cartoon aspects of the show.  Now to be fair, Netflix’s history with exclusive animated series hasn’t been the STRONGEST part of their original content, but they seem to have a solid enough relationship with Hasbro already (pretty much all of their animated shows are on there right now) which doesn’t put this outside the realm of possibility.  If nothing else, Hasbro still hasn’t done enough to apologize for that terrible movie, so it’s the least they could do!

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Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 7 (Fluttershy Leans In)

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Hasbro

Episode directed by Denny Lu and Tim Stuby

We’re back with another episode of Unbreakable Fluttershy who hasn’t had a starring role since last season’s Viva Las Pegasus and has barely even shown up since this season began.  Fluttershy isn’t the easiest character to write for considering how much her defining characteristics can sometimes limit what she’s capable of doing, but in recent seasons they’ve managed to put out a few gems with her that complement what makes her unique in the cast.  Can they continue that going into season 7, or will this be remembered as a half-hearted piece of season filler?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Angel Bunny (Fluttershy’s own Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne) doing some parkour in Fluttershy’s house (okay…) before it all ends the same way every parkour run inevitably does so; with the runner getting GREVIOUSLY (and hilariously) injured.  Oh I’m sure he’s fine!  He’ll be back to being an abusive jerk-wad in no time!

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“Did you… get… the shot?”     “I think so.”     “My work is done…”

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Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 7 (A Flurry of Emotions)

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Hasbro

Episode directed by Denny Lu and Tim Stuby

We’re back with another episode of Flurry Heart’s Day Out!  Oh yes, the little rascal who we’ve barely seen since her debut in season six and is cute to a weaponized degree!  Feels like a wasted opportunity if you ask me!  Well wait no longer, fans of all things cute and baby related, as the writers have heard your pleas and we now have another episode with the extremely marketable bundle of joy!  Does this episode bring the adorable goodness that we require along with an interesting story about being a good parental figure, or will Flurry Heart turn out to be just as uninteresting as poor Nicky Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Twilight in her Doom Fortress talking to one of the nurses from the Ponyville Hospital about a possible appearance by the Princess to cheer up some foals who managed to get something called The Horsey Hives.  Technically hives are a symptom rather than the root cause of an illness and often caused by allergic reactions (meaning that the entire class must not only be allergic to the same thing but must have been exposed to it at the same time), but I guess they’re MAGIC hives and can be spread any number of ways.  Twilight is easily convinced to help out by delivering food, gifts, and reading materials, which of course spells DOOM for everyone as Murphy’s Law is just as stringent a rule in this world as gravity is; meaning something is gonna come RIGHT through those front doors and screw everything up!

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“I’M THE BABY!!”     “And she’s YOU’RE problem now!!”

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