Daily Cartoon: He-Man & The Masters of the Universe S01E13: “Night of the Shadow Beasts”

Welcome back to a new week of episode rewatches! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend full with things like girls that have broken our hearts and…the Matrix, Neo, but now it’s time to come back to reality to watch some 17 year old animation.

When we left off, Skeletor is fully aware that the powers of the Elders are contained within Castle Grayskull, Count Marzo returned and was re-banished, Mekaneck suffered from depression and was prescribed Zoloft by Prince Adam and Orko is still driving everybody (me included) insane.

So, with that said, strap on in and let’s kick off another week with some quality Eternian entertainment! Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: He-Man & The Masters of the Universe S01E12: “Mekaneck’s Lament”

Welcome back to another cartoon rewatch! It’s Friday which is – as this old guy I used to work with named Cesar used to say – “the best day in the week!” Hopefully, the rest of you are enjoying the spoils of a four-day weekend brought on by yesterday’s holiday, but, if you’re like me and do not get to enjoy said holiday, we can put that energy toward enjoying another episode of He-Man.

Today’s episode is titled “Mekaneck’s Lament” which, I assume will address Mekaneck’s issues with depression and having a lame power. It happens to the best of us. Or maybe not since not all of us have a silly power like making your neck extend unreasonably far. Either way, I can see why he would be depressed over it.

So since most of you are still so full of meat products that it would take a crane to lift you off your couch today, let’s stop messing around and just get on with the show. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: He-Man & The Masters of the Universe S01E11: “Turnabout”

Welcome back to another episode rewatch of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe! We’re plowing through this series and already almost halfway through Season 1. Give yourselves a round of applause for this momentous accomplishment.

Quick sidenote: Happy 4th of July!

If there was any justice in the world, this would be the national anthem. Won’t see anyone kneeling when they could be nodding their heads like yeah.

In addition to staying committed to these recaps, I’ve realized how nice it is to be able to watch an episode and just be OK with seeing that one episode. Binge culture has obviously become how we consume so many of our shows now, but how much do we actually remember and process from those shows? Stranger Things is out this week on Netflix and everyone will go nuts for about ten days over it and then quickly forget it ever existed again. Maybe I’ll do a daily episode recap of that like I’ve been doing for old cartoons just because and to see if it makes me care any more than I usually would.

Either way, we’re here for Episode 11 today and I’d say we’re fully engorged in the canon now. Adam recognizes the power and importance of being He-Man, Skeletor has figured out why Castle Grayskull is so important and Orko is a fucking buffoon. Cool. Cool, cool, cool.

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All of that brings us to today’s episode to further dive into Eternian mythology. Let’s do it. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon: He-Man & The Masters of the Universe S01E10: “Dragon’s Brood”

Welcome to the Hump Day edition of our 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe rewatch. While I’ve been focusing on this specific show, we did have some breaking MOTU news over the weekend.

A report came out on Saturday that Sony Pictures was temporarily shutting down production of the planned MOTU movie  (which has been rumored since pretty much this animated series we’ve been watching was brand new in 2002) – and slated to star Netflix RomCom veteran Noah Centineo – due to concerns with the script and budget. A follow-up came out a few hours later that this was not the case and everything is still all systems go with the planned production and shooting schedule.

So first off, I wasn’t surprised to originally hear it was being shut down. To be honest, I’d be absolutely shocked if anything for this movie ever really takes place. It has felt like there’s been a hundred restarts and sudden stops with this property over the last 15 years that it’s become one of those, “I’ll believe it when I see it” things.

Sure, things are a bit different this time as a lead actor is not only attached, but going around talking about being involved in this production, but I will continue to be cautiously optimistic. Continue reading

Daily Cartoon! Garbage Pail Kids: E.13: “The Fry/A Fishy Story”

Let’s get this out of the way quickly because I really want to get into this show. So…we have a podcast, the Car JoeMez Podcast, which you should listen to on iTunesSoundcloud or wherever it is that you get your podcasts. It’d be greatly appreciated if you could also like, subscribe, rate and/or leave a review since all of that stuff is integral to helping spread the word. Thanks.

With that said, this is going to be interesting. I didn’t even know that this was a thing that existed, but after seeing something about it on an 80s Instagram account that I follow, I made a point of things to see if I could hunt down an episode. Turns out, it wasn’t so hard as most, if not all, episodes can be found on YouTube.

The show is simply called Garbage Pail Kids and if you’re saying, “Joe, sure I remember the cards and stickers, but I don’t ever remember watching this show,” there’s a good reason for that. From everything I can gather, an order was put in for this show, there were 13 episodes produced and then CBS started getting complaints BEFORE IT EVER AIRED from these groups that think they’re more righteous than everybody else because  they claimed the show ridiculed the handicapped, glorified violence and was little more than an infomercial to buy GPK trading cards.

Let me reiterate that they put in all these complaints BEFORE THE SHOW EVER AIRED.

Because sponsors were scared of the negative press supporting a show getting this kind of backlash would garner, they started dropping out and the show was pulled from all scheduled slots in the United States. It did air everywhere else in the world, but nope, not America, where we have all those freedoms that the rest of the world doesn’t.

So these episodes exist and can be found in pretty decent quality and now we feel like we HAVE to watch them because some prude, conservative fuckball think they know what’s best for us when all they have to do is just not watch it themselves. So, fuck you, Christian Leaders for Responsible Television. And fuck you, Action For Children’s Television. And, hold up, because I’ve got a fuck you for you too, National Coalition on Television Violence.

It’s fucking Garbage Pail Kids. They’re freaks and mutants. What did you expect?

But if it’s got this whole stigma attached to the point where it never aired in the United States, it’s got to be fucking horrible, right? Now, I’m really interested. Let’s check this bad boy out.

Garbage Pail Kids: Episode 13: “The Fry/A Fishy Story”

Originally Aired: July 19, 1988 in the UK

Plot:

OK, so right off the bat, I’m assuming this is the typical two short stories made into one full episode based on the title. I think that’s a safe assumption. Especially when the title comes across as “The Fry”.

The first story is a play off the Jeff Goldblum classic movie, The Fly, and features two kids in a bedroom where one has created a teleportation machine. He makes sure to have eliminated the possibility of any actual houseflies getting caught in the machine because he goes to the movies and knows the fucking deal. Unfortunately for him, his friend – a girl, of course – haphazardly throws a little carton of french fries she was holding into the machine thinking it was a wastebasket. Yes, because teleporters and trash bins looks exactly alike.

Also, there’s no evidence of any other fast food. No sodas, wrappers, burgers, chicken nuggets. So this girl just had fucking fries? Who the fuck buys just one thing of fries? And where did she get the money for these fries?

Either way, the other kid ends up crossing DNA with a fucking french fry. When his mom hears all the noise, she comes in and takes the box of fries away and reprimands the kids about junk food. She throws them in the trash, but one of the actual fries also has crisscrossed DNA so the kids need to get that back so they can reverse the polarity of the machine and make this guy a boy again instead of a french fry in shorts who craves having ketchup thrown on his face.

No, I’m serious, that’s a thing.

Of course the garbage men come to pick up the pails immediately after the mom takes the fries away so this becomes a high-stakes chase of the kids trying to get those fries back so they can un-do the science.

To make a long-story short, they eventually do get the fries back and re-do the machine process, but since they’ve been in trash all day, there’s flies around them and the kid doesn’t check for them this time. So he turns into a fly. The mom hears the noise again and is about to come into the room to see what’s going on, but the boy-fly flies out the window to avoid being seen. This is how this story ends. Mercifully.

As a buffer, we get a segment about Moms always being right. Like if she says to stop making that face because it’ll freeze that way, we see the kid’s face actually freezing up and icing over. Sighhhhhhhh.

Then we get to the back half, “A Fishy Story”. So this features the five Garbage Pail Kids that I guess were so offensive to people. They are: Split Kit, Elliot Mess, Terry Cloth, Patty Putty and Clogged Duane.

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OK, so yeah, they’re weird. Let’s see how people pick on them for being handicapped.

They’re all on a rowboat that gets overturned. For some reason, there’s a manta ray with a crossbow that shoots a plunger trying to catch a mermaid. So, far, yeah, I’m with. The kids safe the mermaid. OK, now she’s gonna be horrified by the freaks, right?

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The mermaid is thrilled to see these kids and recruits them to help her save her father’s ranch from Big Red, the Lobster Banker.The underwater land is set up like the Wild West and the mermaid’s father owns a seahorse ranch. And I can’t see seahorses without thinking of…

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Once again, to make a long story short, the town banker has a gang of manta rays who steal the seahorses from the mermaids so they can’t make money and the bank can take ownership of the ranch. That’s pretty f’d up. Thankfully, the GPK help save the day and the Lobster banker and his goons get arrested by the Octopus Sheriff.

At no point did anybody make fun of the handicapped and the violence included wasn’t even real violence, it was basically sight-gags in 80s cartoon world. The crossbows shot fucking plungers for crissakes.

If anything, the Kids here were treated like heroes for having helped save this girl’s family’s ranch.

But so ends our episode.

Final Thoughts:

First things first: the quality of the show wasn’t great. Let’s just focus on that for a bit. I hated the first story and the buffer segment. Just terrible. The second with the actual kids was a big step up, but still kind of clumsy and not all that great. This is just one episode, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world that this was never aired.

Beyond that, I saw nothing happen in this episode that would lead you to believe that the handicapped were being mocked, that it was overflowing with violence or that it was a vehicle for the trading cards. I’m sure there would have been some strategically placed trading card commercials during the breaks, but this was 1988 and other cartoons with full-blown toy lines had been doing that for years already.

So, yeah, I’m bothered by the fact that these groups had enough pull to get the show barred without any of it having been aired, but there’s nothing I saw in this episode that makes me want to see more of it anyway. It’s just this little nugget of cartoon history that I happened to come across.

Like I said earlier, there’s only 13 episodes in total and you can find most, if not all, on YouTube. There’s also a DVD collection that a quick Google search shows me you can find for like $7 if you are so inclined.

At the end of the day, I’m glad I learned something new because even meaningless knowledge makes you smarter, but there are much better cartoons out there for me to spend my time on. Thanks for reading.

❤ Joe

Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.3,E.7: “Burne’s Blues”

Welcome to a Sunday edition of TMNT! I actually hit the entire weekend! Go me. Yesterday, we were privy to Shredder and Splinter having their minds swapped because of some infernal machine. By the title alone today, it seems we’re going to get some kind of focus on Burne Thompson, April’s boss and the head of Channel 6.

I’m looking forward to this. We have to get the focus away from just the Turtles and Shredder even if only for a day. There’s only so many machines Krang can want stolen from the surface to be able to bring the Technodrome out from the center of the Earth. So, hopefully, this will be a nice change of pace.

And, with that…

S.3, E.7: “Burne’s Blues”. Original Air Date: 10/27/1989

Plot:

April does a story for Channel 6 news about the Turtles foiling a robbery at an area restaurant. She’s proud of her work, but her boss, Burne Thompson, feels she didn’t do enough. Specifically, that there was no footage of the Turtles themselves. April says that the TMNT asked her not to include footage of them, but Burne says that’s hogwash and that in his day reporters would stop at nothing to get the most important news. Vernon Fenwick, April’s producer, says that Burne’s right and that if he weren’t so old and out of shape, he’d get a real story on the Turtles. Burne takes this a challenge and heads out to do just that.

Meanwhile, April’s investigating an air conditioning repair company since it’s 112 degrees in NYC and every business, home and building that has been serviced by “S&K Repairs” still has faulty units. To make matters even crazier, while it’s hot, hot, hot on the surface, in the sewers it’s cold, cold, cold as there’s even an unexplainable sheet of ice coating the floors of the Turtles lair.

April tracks down the S&K truck and is immediately captured by Bebop who is disguised in a repair man uniform. She’s tied up and brought inside the truck while Shredder FaceTimes with Krang about all the Freon he’s been stealing from the city that they can use to power the Technodrome. Krang says Freon is bollocks and wants him to rob a factory that produces Nutri-Freeze which is 10x more powerful than Freon.

Cut back to Burne and Vernon who have been captured by some mobsters for asking where to find the Turtles.This all seems to be a misunderstanding, however, as there’s a mob boss in town named Don Turtelli – The Turtle. It’s pretty fucking stupid since there’s been stories all over the fucking news for months about four genuine turtles running around NYC stopping crime and palling around. Uhg.

Shredder, his mutants and a group of Foot Soldiers are at the Nutri-Freeze plant and are loading the truck when the TMNT crash the party. After dismissing the Foot Soldiers with ease, Bebop and Rocksteady charge at them with cylinders of Nutri-Freeze while Shredder has a conniption. Leonardo hits them both with a monkey flip and renders them disabled, but Rocksteady’s horn pierces one of the cylinders and freezes a nearby Michelangelo in solid ice. April is heard screaming from the truck, but as the Turtles get near, it turns out to be a trap. Shredder jumps from the van with a cylinder strapped to his back and a vacuum tube used as a gun to spray the other three Turtles in the freeze-gas. He then delivers a line that would have made Arnold Schwarzenegger jealous in Batman & Robin:

“As Michelangelo would say, chill out, dudes.”

Stupendous.

OK, so there’s this running gag going on with Burne and Vern where they have their feet tickled with a feather by mobsters to try to find out what they know. In truth, they know nothing, they were just snooping around in the wrong place. Once the mobsters are satisfied that these two are worthless, they dump them out in an industrial part of town that just so happens to be right where the Nutri-Freeze factory is. Burne is hyped because he’s gonna find the truth about those Turtles when – and I am not kidding when I say this – they are abducted by alien Elvis-es and taken to space where they have their feet tickled with a feather to try to get them to talk.

What this has to do with fucking anything, I have no idea, but it is 100% fucking retarded and I now I’m mad.

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Um…what else? The Turtles track down Shredder, save April and the Nutri-Freeze is blown up underground after those Drill-Trains the bad guys have crash in the sewers.

Burne goes on the air raving like a madman about the Elvis aliens and everybody has pizza.

Final Thoughts:

So, I wasn’t hating this episode by any means. It wasn’t the Burne-centric story I was hoping for, but it wasn’t bad. Burne and Vern get mixed up with the mob…OK, I’m still with it. But then aliens come and abduct the two and they turn out to be Elvises and honestly, this show can go fuck itself.

Zero reason. Zero purpose. Zero entertainment. Fuck you, TMNT. Fuck you so hard. After that, who cares about the rest of the episode? Goddamn, fuck this show. I can’t believe someone put this in. What gets me is that I probably thought this was hilarious as a kid. I don’t know. I definitely don’t remember this episode and that’s a good thing. As an adult I’m hoping to forget it as soon as humanly possible.

Until tomorrow, folks.

❤ Joe

Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.3,E.6: “The Old Switcheroo”

Yeah, I know. I got flustered yesterday. Lost my cool. But I challenge any one of you to watch yesterday’s episode and feel different. It was absolute garbage. At some point, if you feed a guy shit, he’s gonna call you out on it.

When I write these blogs, I do it literally as I’m watching the episode. It’s not a recap that I do afterwards. So you’re getting my thoughts concerning what’s happening – for better or worse – in real-time for the most part. And one thing I’ve never been able to do is pretend I like something when I know it’s shit. This show is starting to grate on me like Quint’s nails on a chalkboard. It’s not on M.A.S.K. level quite yet simply because there’s at least a purpose and a backstory to the purpose here whereas there was zero history in the other show. But something needs to change before I take my talents to a new show. I’m not going to force myself to sit through shit that is whack.

For now, however, we continue to watch this.

S.3, E.6: “The Old Switcheroo”. Original Air Date: 10/26/1989

Plot:

April gets a tip that some suspicious activity is happening at CyberTech Labs and goes to check it out. When she arrives, she finds Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady doing bad guy stuff so she calls the Turtles. April is hiding in the rafters…like Sting…but makes too much noise and is discovered by Shredder. Just as she’s about to be captured, the Turtles and Splinter come busting through the door.

Our first battle of the day ensues and this one is a bit more even than normally. OK, I’m on board. Let’s see where this goes. During the brouhaha, both Splinter and Shredder get thrown on to opposite platforms of some giant machine. A rogue laser activates said machine and both leaders are hit with some type of radiation. Bebop and Rocksteady grab Shredder and head out of Dodge, while the Turtles attend to Splinter.

As both chiefs are coming to, each realizes that their minds have been transferred into the other’s body. Whooooooooooooaaaaaaaa!

Both Shredder and Splinter realize that this is their chance to infiltrate each other’s base and take it down from the inside. They raise the suspicions of those around them, but – for the most part – the Turtles and Krang just attribute it to the knock they took during the fight.

The Turtles do begin to question Splinter during a training exercise where he fights more like Shredder. Krang then demands Shredder take a brain scan since he’s asking too many questions about science. Splinter is able to use his meditation to control his brain waves to match Shredder’s and ease Krang’s worries and then takes Bebop and Rocksteady back to the surface to get another device Krang needs to mobilize the Technodrome.

April swings by the sewer to check on Splinter, but an angry Splinter kicks her out because she’s distracting the Turtles. She turns to leave, but the Turtles leave with her because they understand now that Splinter is pulling a Bobby Hill and just ain’t right.

As they arrive on the surface, so too does “Shredder” and his mutants. The TMNT disable the mutants quickly and then set their sights on Tin Grin (which is my face insult they use on Shredder), but the Splinter inside him is able to convince them of who he really is and, together, they come up with a plan to take down the real Shredder.

The Turtles return home to an irate “Splinter” who verbally castrates them for leaving without finishing their chores, but they calm him down by saying they’ve located Shredder and can nail him for good. Splinter’s inner Shredder voice is excited that this is working out even better than he hoped for and still believes he’s not being suspected.

Splinter – in Shredder’s body still – returns to CyberTech Labs to try to set a trap for Shredder so they can reverse the mind-transfer. The Turtles arrive with “Splinter” and – although they know the deal with the switched-personas, Bebop and Rocksteady do not. During the heat of battle, Bebop charges at what he thinks is Splinter and battering rams the fuck out of him leaving his prone body one of the mind-transfer devices platforms. The real Splinter, seizing the opportunity, runs to the other platform and gives the signal to Donatello to activate the machine. The machine, however, is still damaged from last time and time is running short as Shredder – in Splinter’s body is about to come to. Rocksteady shoots his laser at Donatello who dodges it. It hits the control unit and activates the device causing another mind-reversal. Both Shredder and Splinter are prone on the floor, but the shot has caused the machine to short-circuit. The entire thing is about to blow and the TMNT take the chance that the reversal worked and rescue the body of Splinter before escaping the building.

When Splinter comes to, he has reverted to his body and everybody celebrates by having pizza.

Final Thoughts:

Well, not exactly a new and innovative episode, but at least the wrinkle of Shredder and Splinter changing bodies made it somewhat interesting. Thankfully, today’s episode was light years ahead of yesterday’s. Thankfully. Mercifully.

That being said it was still “unfortunate weapon that needs reverse polarity to alleviate the unintended effects” which I probably should have kept a score for how many episodes have the same premise.

I haven’t seen any of the current edition of TMNT and maybe I should to see what kind of writing and storytelling go on. I’m not a fan of the current wave of CGI animation that seems to be prevalent in all current cartoons, but maybe I should check it out just for comparison’s sake.

All in all, though, a thankful improvement over yesterday and something I’m not hating myself over watching.

Thanks to all those reading. See you tomorrow.

❤ Joe