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Daily Cartoon! Voltron: Legendary Defender: S.1,E.1: “The Rise of Voltron”

Welcome back to your daily cartoon on Car JoeMez! Before we get started, remember to check out the weekly podcast The Car JoeMez Podcast on iTunesSoundcloud and other outlets where podcasts are gotten. Remember to like, subscribe and leave some positive reviews to help us build that listener base so we can keep doing fun little things like cartoon reviews and other projects. Like karate in the garage.

Now that the business is out of the way, we’re doing something a bit different today. Still a cartoon, but a much more modern one that what we’ve been watching. Last year, Netflix revived the Voltron franchise with a brand new series produced by DreamWorks. Voltron: Defender of the Universe was a huge deal when I was a kid. I remember having toys and RC robots, but when I think back, I don’t remember much of the actual show.

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I do, however, remember being an angst-filled teen when Mighty Morphin Power Rangers came out and I was the douche yelling to anybody who would listen that it was just a Voltron rip-off. I was the kind of teen that would probably boo John Cena because I thought it was cool. Spoiler: it’s not cool and John Cena is the best.

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I have legitimately never seen an episode of this new incarnation so this will be a brand new viewing through fair and balanced eyes. I’m actually looking forward to this. All episodes seem to be the normal 22-23 minutes except for the premiere which has a run time of 68 minutes. What that means is that this review will probably get a little lengthy. And seeing as how most of my reviews run around 1,200 words for a 22 minute episode, this has every possibility to get out of control. But if I’m going to watch a show I’ve never seen, why not start at the beginning and seeing if it’s worth continuing.

Now that we’ve burned over 300 words just introducing this, let’s get to the cartoon!

Voltron: Legendary Defender: S.1, E.1: “The Rise of Voltron”

Originally Released: June 10, 2016

Three space explorers are on an expedition to one of Pluto’s moons trying to find evidence of intergalactic life when they are attacked and captured by the evil Galra empire. The three are referred to as “primitive scientists” and are thrown into the Galra’s prisons.

We cut to one year later where three students (Lance, Hunk and Pidge) at Galaxy Garrison – a school to train space pilots and engineers – completely bomb a simulator rescue mission. Lance, the pilot, is reprimanded and told that he’s only in the class because a better pilot was kicked out of the program which opened a spot for him.

After curfew, Lance decides to build some team camaraderie by sneaking out with Hunk and Pidge. Pidge, however, is found outside with some fancy computer equipment scanning the airwaves trying to find messages and information having to do with the lost space exploration crew from a year ago.

While they’re out there, an alien spacecraft comes hurtling down and crashes. The school’s security immediately cordons it off and it turns out that the person on board is Shiro, one of the lost explorers. He is talking about alien invasions and that they’re in great danger, but everybody just thinks he’s crazy.

The three kids are trying to figure out a way to run down and rescue Shiro who is apparently a famous explorer when another kid is shown causing a distraction and sneaking in to do the same. This turns out to be Keith who Lance considers his rival and is the pilot who dropped out of the Garrison that opened a spot for Lance.

Together, the four kids rescue Shiro and escape. Shiro struggles to remember the details of the past year, but Keith fills him in on some energy source he’s been studying. The word “Voltron”keeps coming up in Shiro’s head and Pidge’s research and they all agree that it’s a weapon they need to find before the Galra does.

This is a good time to take a Zack Morris timeout.

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OK, so Shiro is this renown space guy and, basically, he gets kidnapped by four kids and he’s all just, “Whoa, thanks for saving my bacon back there”??? If I was Shiro, I’d be like, “Where the fuck are your parents?” or “Why aren’t you in school?” or even better, “Where the white women at?”

But whatever. Nobody cares about what I would do.

OK. Time in.

They new fivesome goes to a cave that Keith’s been finding at the heart of the energy source he’s been tracking.There’s carvings of lions on all the walls, but when Lance presses his hand against them, they activate. A tunnel opens that drags the group to the bowels of the cave and it’s there that they find their first lion.

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The blue lion basically goes on auto pilot and heads into space where it is immediately met by an alien ship. The same alien ship that captured Shiro a year ago. The aliens chase the lion until a mysterious wormhole opens and takes the lion in then closes before the aliens can continue following.

The lion leads them to planet Altea which nobody knows of and touches down at a castle. The cautiously scan the castle until finding a control room where they are met by Princes Allura and Coran, her royal adviser, who have been in suspended animation for 10,000 years. Allura tells the story of how her father, King Alfor and his kingdom, was overtaken by Emperor Zarkon and the Galra. To keep the power of Voltron out of Zarkon’s hands, Alfor had hidden the five lions that form Voltron all around the solar system.

OK, despite some early convenience and silliness, I’m fucking with this now.

The group immediately concludes that Zarkon will come know that he knows the blue lion has been unearthed. Allura says that the lion picks its pilot. Kind of like how the wand picks the wizard in Harry Potter. Despite not having met any of the rest of the lions, Allura basically assigns a lion to each of our new heroes. Lance keeps the blue, Pidge gets green, Hunk yellow, Keith red and Shiro the leader will get black. The group splits and goes hunting for the other lions since Allura had what amounts to lion lo-jack installed in her brain by her father before he was killed.

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To save time, the crew finds the green and yellow lions easy enough, but the red lion is being held on a Galra ship. Obviously, our gang heads to said ship to free the red lion, but things become more complex when Pidge reveals that his father and brother were also on the expedition with Shiro a year ago and could still be held captive on the ship.

Keith is able to take control of the red lion while Shiro and Pidge free whatever prisoners they can find, but no sign of Pidge’s father or brother. This seems like something that will play out for a while. On the bright side, gaining control of the red lion now allows them to gain access to the black lion which is held locked in Princess Allura’s castle until all of the other lions could be found.

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With control of all the lions, our palladins try to form Voltron to thwart the attacks on Altea by the Galra. There’s just one problem: they have no fucking idea how to do so. Just when it looks as if their inexperience will cost them everything, Shiro gives an inspirational speech and the lions take control to form the ultimate weapon: Voltron, defender of the universe.

With the power of Voltron unleashed, the palladins are able to destroy the Galra and send them packing. While a great victory, this is just the beginning of a great war to be had. Many more action-packed adventures are to come.

Final Thoughts:

I’m often critical of newer style animation because I think it looks too computer-generated, but this show walks a nice line with its smooth animation and coloring. The overall look and feel of this production were terrific and I was happy to see that.

As for the story, I’m really, really impressed. OK sure, near the beginning when they’re setting things up, some meetings or moments are just too convenient, but they don’t bog down or draw anything away from where we’re going. It’s silly, it happens and we move on and forget about it.

By the time we meet Princess Allura on Altea, I was completely invested in the show and – while I took for granted that they’d eventually form Voltron and win the day – still had a feeling of tenseness as things were looking bleak for our heroes.

All in all, I absolutely loved this debut episode for the updated series and will definitely be watching the rest of it as my busy, busy schedule allows. Like I said earlier, this is a Netflix series and there’s actually two seasons available now for your viewing enjoyment.

If you were a fan of the original, I see no reason that you wouldn’t be into this re-make and if you’ve got youngsters who are unfamiliar with the previous iterations or maybe even are unfamiliar yourself, this was a definite score for a first episode. Go check it out and have some fun like I did.

❤ Joe

Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.2,E.6: “The Case of the Killer Pizzas”

It’s a new day which means a new episode of TMNT over her at Car JoeMez! Now that we’ve finally collected all the fragments of the Eye of Sarnath and then destroyed said fragments, we move on to the next chapter in the saga between our heroes in a halfshell and their nemesis.

Yesterday, I speculated that Shredder’s most recent failure would lead to some renewed tension between him and Krang. Krang has to come back to Earth at some point. I feel like he does. I don’t remember him just staying in Dimension X forever, but what do I know? It’s becoming very apparent that I don’t remember this show very well at all.

So, we keep watching…

S.2,E.6: “The Case of the Killer Pizzas”. Original Air Date: 11/05/1988

Plot:

We open in Dimension X with Krang giving Shredder “the eggs he asked for” since he was unable to defeat the Turtles on his own. Basically, they send three little meatball-looking things through a portal and these will be what spells certain doom for the Turtles.

Baxter ponders how they’ll get the eggs to the Turtles, but Shredder is way ahead of him. He throws a pile of flyers advertising a pizza bake-off competition down the sewer and opens a fire hydrant to carry said flyers into the Turtles’ living room. Let’s conveniently forget that flyers don’t necessarily absorb water too well. Whatevs.

Splinter is able to tell from the scratch marks on the flyers that haven’t been at all damaged by being submerged in a fuck ton of flowing water that Shredder obviously is trying to lure the Turtles into a trap. Instead of thinking sensibly and maybe sitting this one out, Michelangelo is hyped that he’ll get to work up an appetite before getting to dine on all the pizza samples at the bake-off. Morons.

Once again, if Shredder always knows where to find the Turtles, why doesn’t he just kill them in their sleep? I don’t know. I have no answers. I’d say maybe because there’s no honor in that, but Shredder isn’t exactly constructed of the highest moral fiber.

Meanwhile, April and Irma are actually checking out the pizza bake and the Turtles pull April into a dark alley to slip into her DMs.They hand her a fistful of coupons to grab them some of the freebies and then decide to take a look for Shredder since that’s probably in the same realm of importance as free pizza.

Baxter is walking around and puts one of the eggs on each of the three premium prize pizzas that are about to be raffled off. But before they can be awarded, the pizzeria hosting the event gets a call for a delivery and decides to take two of the prize pies for that while they make fresh ones for the drawing.

The Turtles spot Shredder and chase him into the Leaning Tower of Pizza where Shredder fights valiantly against the foursome before being smashed in the face by a pizza topped with anchovies which knocks him clear out of the kitchen. Shredder HATES anchovies, for what it’s worth.

Back to the pizza raffle apparently being hosted by a Prince impersonator, they have Baxter pick the three winning tickets from the bingo tumbler and he announces three of the Turtles as winners despite there clearly being different names on the winning tickets. April delivers the pizzas to the boys and they give her a pie as a thank you for putting in their raffles.

She brings it back to Irma’s place for a little girl time and Irma pops it in the microwave. Turns out, the girls got the last pizza with the egg planted on it by Baxter and, once heated, the egg grows into a little red alien devil thing.

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She calmly calls the Turtles and makes it seem like she’s under attack, when really, the little devil creature is fucking adorable. They wrap the monster in a carpet, but he burns his way out and hides in the rafters like he’s fucking Sting or something.

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April amazingly knows the story about the pizzas getting switched out and already has all the info as to where the other two pizzas were being delivered so they take off in the Turtle Blimp and track down Mario the delivery boy who still hasn’t delivered them.

The Turtles can’t stop him before handing the pizzas off to two kids who immediately pop them in the microwave and, despite warnings still open the pizzas and free the creatures. April and Vernon luckily had enough time to meet up, get the news truck and follow the Blimp so they’re able to make a story out of all this chaos at the very least. Good for them.

The creatures head for the sewers (as well as the one that finally leaves Irma’s apartment) and we learn that water transforms them into much larger, less adorable monsters that resemble the aliens from ALIENS only in a yellow hue.

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Down in the sewers the TMNT come across Shredder and Baxter who have a device that summons and controls the creatures so obviously they set them against the Turtles. Donatello is super smart, though, and knocks the device from Baxter and into the sewage which makes them uncontrollable. Luckily, Baxter has the instruction booklet and reads that zapping the monsters with an even larger burst of energy will turn them back into eggs. How convenient.

Michelangelo jumps in to try to recover the controller as the other three try to help out Shredder and Baxter because Splinter taught them honor or some other bullshit. Leonardo sees an electrical box and cuts the line to jolt the beasts back into eggs as Shredder and Baxter again escape.

The Turtles celebrate a good day’s work by having pizza where Michelangelo mixes up the meatballs meant for his pizza with the meatball eggs that turn into monsters. Everybody has a laugh.

Final Thoughts:

Well, this was certainly something. I give the writers of the show a lot of credit. They certainly weren’t lacking in creativity as this is fucking out there.

Pretty typical fare for a TMNT episode. Overcome the odds, Shredder bails to fight another day. A nicely placed bit of humor. It’s a fine little episode.

A lot of the fun with this show is laughing about just how preposterous so many of these things are, but the whole show is based around four turtles who grow into mutants because they got slimed. It’s terrific.

Quote of the Day:

(After throwing his sai to unplug a villainous washing machine and being complimented by Splinter)

“Thank you, sensei. I’ve always been great against household appliances.” – Raphael in his best Chandler Bing

So that wraps up the 11th episode overall in this series. We’ve barely scratched the surface, but we roll on for another episode tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

❤ Joe

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Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: S.1, E.2: “Enter The Shredder”

Welcome back to another exciting episode of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES here on CarJoeMez! Like I said yesterday, I’ll be trying to keep up with this to the best of my ability and I actually have motivation since I’m enjoying this show so far.

A lot of people sent in some great feedback for yesterday’s episode and I’m happy to see you’re paying attention and are as excited about where this goes as I am. Thanks for checking in!

So, without further ado…start the cartoon!

Season 1, Episode 2: “Enter The Shredder”. Original Air Date: 12/29/1987

Plot:

We open with April O’Neil showing up at the TMNT lair and trying to wake them up so they can go looking for “that Technodrome thingamajig” so she can get a story out of it. They assume it would be located underground beneath where the building they flooded in the last episode would have been, but when they arrive at the location, they find nothing.

We cut to Shredder who has commandeered the Technodrome and is basically driving it around the sewer system of NY just to blow off some steam as he’s flipping out about his Foot Soldiers being defeated by the Turtles. We’re introduced to Krang, a talking brain on a fucking tri-pod who’s pissed that he’s given Shredder all this hot intel but Shredder still hasn’t been able to build him a body so he can call his minions from Dimension X to help him take over Earth.

Shredder is convinced that his mutagen is what made the Turtles so strong so he gets the bright idea to cross-breed some general thugs with more animals to build his own team of super-strong fighters. Shredder sends robots to capture a rhino and warthog from the local zoo and BAM: we have Bebop and Rocksteady!

While this is going on, the Turtles and Splinter are hot on the trail of the Technodrome. Splinter gets captured, but the Turtles bust through a shit ton of traps to make a daring rescue and defeat another gaggle of Foot Soldiers. Shredder escapes and we will go on at least one more day.

Thoughts:

First things first: the intro to this show is bad-ass. The music is catchy and just infests your brain and the quick cuts and colorful animation really draw you in.

Like I said yesterday, I really haven’t seen any of this show since the original airings, so a lot of this is hitting me as a welcome surprise.

I was always under the impression that Raphael was always kind of a dick. You know…because he’s cool, but rude. He’s certainly much more of an asshole in the newer movies, but not in this series. No, sir! Animated Raphael is basically the precursor to Chandler Bing! He’s awkward and self-deprecating and his tone is completely Chandler.

Once again, I’m impressed by how much fun this show is. It just is what is, doesn’t take itself too seriously and has some pretty good writing where the storylines are carrying over from episode to episode which I don’t remember at all about this show from when I watched as a kid.

Coming from watching a show like M.A.S.K. where every episode was a standalone with no origin that never went anywhere, this is very much a welcome change and both episodes thus far have had me excited to see the next.

Final Grade:

***1/2*. Just like yesterday’s, I had fun and as this universe continues to open up to expose us to more characters and backgrounds it’s becoming a very enjoyable watch. So, obviously, I’m already looking forward to tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you for Ep. 3 tomorrow!

❤ Joe

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Ep. 20 : “Treehouse of Horror”

This week’s episode was action-packed! We start off talking about the new season of THE WALKING DEAD and the new Lady Gaga album, “Joanne” in addition to our memories of the Columbia House CD club.

Then the six weeks of horror continue with TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL and a Halloween episode of “Castle”!

This week’s main event has the boys tackle every Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror special ever including an attempted rating before concluding with the Big Finish and our first ever on-air fight!