Videots: Six Favorite Sonic Zones

Sonic Mania

In the wake of the release of Sonic Mania, today’s Videots visits the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.

Freedom Fighters

Though I’m not a gamer, I’m quite fond of the Sonic mythos and aesthetics. Who knew that a game series about a blue cartoon hedgehog in sneakers who runs really fast while thwarting the schemes of an egg-shaped mad scientist who builds crazy robots and tech to try and take over the alien planet they all live on with other anthropomorphic animals could be so compelling?

Dulcy 2

Plus, in season #2 of the Saturday morning cartoon, the producers added dragons to the mythos. Freaking DRAGONS. Dragons are now a thing in the Sonicverse. The addition of dragons automatically makes things cooler. There should be dragons. There just should.

The Sonic games have given us tons of cool, amazing looking stages, levels and arenas and some seriously kick-ass background tunes, and that’s what we’ll be looking at today. Today, Videots presents my Six Favorite Sonic Zones.

-I’ll level with you guys: compiling this list wasn’t easy. I like A LOT of the various stages and music from the Sonic games; some I preferred the look of the stages themselves (EX: Angel Island Zone, Ice Cap Zone, Labyrinth Zone) and a lot I liked primarily for the music (Metropolis Zone, Lava Reef Zone, Mystic Cave Zone, Scrap Brain Zone, Oil Ocean Zone, Sandopolis Zone), but if I listed every Zone that I like here, I’d end up typing something the length of the Encyclopedia Brittania, and….

Aint Nobody Got Time For That

…Also, I wanted to keep the video embeds to a minimum; these days we try not to go crazy with the embeds here since YouTube has the annoying tendency to take them down at inopportune moments, so, while it was hard, I narrowed it down to only 6, all of which I liked the visuals and the music equally. Now the usual preliminaries: I know other folks will have their own personal favorites, and that’s cool, heck, these aren’t even all of my favorite Zones, but I didn’t want to make this list too long for reasons aforementioned. Finally, all together now: these aren’t in any particular number, so I won’t be numbering them. That said:

Sonic Running

JUICE AND JAM TIME!

STARDUST SPEEDWAY ZONE

Stardust Speedway Zone Act 2

Stardust Speedway is the sixth round in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. It is best known as the place where Sonic the Hedgehog raced and defeated Metal Sonic. One of the fastest levels in Sonic history, Stardust Speedway is a highway adorned with musical instruments above an enormous city; like its namesake implies, the city glows with many lights. A statue of Dr. Robotnik can be seen undergoing construction in Zone 2, with girders and incomplete sections. This stage is freaking gorgeous, and the music has that cool Japanese sound to it. Post Mario Kart, I’m partial to racing levels with a night sky and tons of bright lights.

76 Union Minite Man Service Man

“Evening, sir! Would you like an extinguisher to put out the fires on your sneakers?”

FROG FOREST

Frog_Forest

Frog Forest is the ninth stage in Sonic Heroes. The stage is played differently for each team. In the level, there are Giant Frogs which can be found. They have the power to create rain and make plants grow faster, allowing teams to progress through the level. During Team Rose’s version of Frog Forest, Big the Cat mentions that Froggy comes from the Frog Forest. This fact is backed up by the fact that the frogs here are very similar to Froggy, but much larger.

Frogs aren’t my favorite things, but I do like pristine green forest stages, plus this level’s music is totally psychedelic.

Peace Frog

“Nature is totally natural, man! Rib-Bit!”

CASINO NIGHT ZONE & CARNIVAL NIGHT ZONE

I decided to list these 2 levels together since they’re sort of similar.

Casino-Night-Sonic-Generations

Mobius, Baby!

Casino Night is is the second Stage in the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations. It represents Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in the Classic era of the game. Classic Sonic’s stage features the slot machines from the original level while Modern Sonic’s stage has giant roulettes (which can award fifty or a hundred rings if you land in the Ring or Sonic logo respectively). Modern Sonic also has his own version of the slot machines, as well as some other gimmicks that were present in Casino Street Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I. The Classic remix adds a new baseline to the them, while the Modern remix has a distinctly Jazzy theme reminiscent of settings such as Las Vegas.

What can I say? This is just a cool stage and the music rocks. In my head I imagine this level’s music being titled “Rhinestones ‘n’ Concussions”.

 

Gambit

“First ye charge de card, den dey charge you a fortune for drinks on de table!”

Carnival Night Zone

Carnival Night Zone is  is the fourth Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (or Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles). It is very similar to Casino Night Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but with a carnival theme. The Zone is a playful carnival filled with balloons, pinball bumpers and cannons to launch from, although unlike Casino Night Zone, there are no slot machines. Think of Carnival Night as Mobius’ version of the later, family-friendly Vegas.

Clownman

“Hoo-Boy, kiddies! We’re sure gonna have some fun tonight! I’ve been programmed to say that!”

CHEMICAL PLANT ZONE

Chemical PLant Zone 1

Chemical Plant Zone is the second Zone in Sonic Mania. This Zone is a re-imagination of Chemical Plant Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Mega Drive. Like the original Zone, this Zone is set in an industrialized area that contains pools of various synthetic chemicals, most prominently Mega Mack, as well as long tubes. Act 1 in particular bears a strong to the original Chemical Plant.

Chemical Plant Zone 2

Act 2 on the other hand goes deeper into the plant to an indoor section, with large beakers and jars present in the background. New additions to Act 2’s setting also include gelatinous chemicals, sticky platforms and chemical bubbles.

Chemical Plant Zone 3

Bouncy-Bouncy! (Call the Biohazard Department.)

Element_Lad_01

“What makes this stage so cool? It’s ELEMENTAL, my dear. -You have no idea who I am, do you? I’m ELEMENT LAD from the Legion of Super Heroes. Element Man? With the power to transmute elements? Elements?? Chemeicals?? Science?? READ A BOOK!”

STUDIOPOLIS ZONE

Studiopolis Zone

Come on, you knew this one was going to make the list. Studiopolis Zone is is the third Zone in Sonic Mania. Studiopolis Zone Act 2 was the first Zone developed for Sonic Mania (which was known as Sonic Discovery back then). Back then, this Zone was presented to Takashi Iizuka of Sega to showcase the developers’ capabilities.

This Zone is set up in a high skyscraper city decorated with studio equipment, cinema elements and theater objects.

The first Act takes place in the color-filled city, whose tall skyscrapers and buildings can be spotted in the background. Along the paths are street lamps with spinning rings inside, frail shop windows filled with TV sets, giant popcorn machines, satellite dish-mounted vans, TVs, director chairs, and giant clapperboards. Dotted around the Zone are LED marquees spelling out various phrases.

In the second Act, the action moves into a large television studio-like environment. This area is dominated by images in Dr. Eggman’s likeness. Features here include stacks of monitors with Eggman’s face on them, unstable stage lights, electric cables, flappable panels that reveal words and phrases, and giant glass spheres that are designed like lottery machines. It’s basically the HQ of Eggman TV.

Dr Eggman

“Smile and look at the camera! You just got Egg’d!”

So there you go. Six of my favorite Sonic Zones.

SLW_New_Sonic

“Favorite Zones, bro? I’m too busy blazin’ through ’em to really take notice. That’s the thing about juicin’ at maximum speed: you don’t get to see much along the way!”

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Toon Adjacent: The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera

Today Toon Adjacent visits a theme park attraction filled with rides and shows, populated by famous cartoon mascots.

DisneyWorld_MickeyGang_Castle-567e85275f9b586a9eb6b098

“When you wish upon a star/Makes no difference who you are…as long as you fly our airlines, save up for Disney Fun Bucks, stay at the Grand Floridian, visit all of our attractions and buy all of our stuff!”

No, not that one.

hbland

THIS one.

Today’s Toon Adjacent is all about the now defunct Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera, which was located in Kings Island amusement park, formerly Kings Dominion, in Virginia.

-Did you know that the Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera was originally going to be called the Happy Kingdom of Hanna-Barbera? Well, now you do.

Black_Coat_King_Mickey_5★_KHUX

“There’s only room for one kingdom on this planet, folks. Trust me, our lawyers aren’t so enchanted!”

First, a little history: In 1966, Taft Broadcasting acquired Hanna-Barbera Productions for $12 million and they were looking for ways to capitalize. So when Gary Wachs (VP Cincinnati’s Coney Island) approached them, it became apparent to Taft Executives that this would be a highly successful way to cross-promote the licensing. Taft agreed to partner and build Kings Island with the intent of using HB theming throughout the park. Once the purchase of Coney Island was secured in 1969, Taft immediately added costumed HB characters to the Coney Island midway (the “Banana Splits” even filmed their second season montage at Coney Island) and enlisted their team of designers (many of which had come from Disney’s Animation Studios) to help design a themed kids area for the new park.

Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera

The entrance to it is arced by a rainbow, and I like rainbows, so that’s kind of cool. Plus, dig that hippy-dippy font.

When “The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera” (the final name selected) opened with Kings Island in 1972, it featured several rides transferred from Coney Island, plus new rides themed to HB. The original rides included “Gulliver’s Rub-a-Dub” (a slow scenic boat ride), “Motormouse” (a revolving car ride), “Autocat” (a revolving motorcycle and car ride), “Kikky Kangaroo” (a revolving helicopter ride), “Funky Phantom” (a child-sized whip ride), “Winsome Witch’s Cauldrons” (a spinning teacup ride), “Marathon Turnpike” (a dual-track self-propelled car ride), “Squiddly Diddly” (a children’s sized turtle ride), a loading station for the Von Roll Swiss Skyride, the “Scooby Doo” (a family sized wooden coaster) and “The Enchanted Voyage” (a dark ride journey through the world of HB cartoons). In addition, the park featured HB characters in advertising, literature and most memorably as the icons for the park’s parking lot signs.

HB Land Mascots

The mascots are coming, hooray-hooray, the mascots are coming, hooray-hooray…

HB Land Mascots 2

They’re hot, they’re moist and they’re spoiling for a hug. Have fun.

For the park’s second season, more theming elements and re-paints to rides help spiff up the area a bit. Props designed and created by HB studios – such as fiberglass characters and an animated snail in front of the “Enchanted Voyage” – helped improve upon the theming from the opening season. Following 1973, “The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera” actually remained relatively untouched for a decade with the exceptions being cosmetic changes to the façade of the “Enchanted Voyage”, the addition of “Boulder Bumpers” (a Flintstones-themed bumper car attraction added in 1978) and the re-theming of the “Scooby Doo” coaster to “The Beastie.”

Gullivers Galley

Come to Gulliver’s Galley and play the wondrous game, Stomp-A-Lilliputian.

In 1982, (the 25th anniversary of Hanna-Barbera Studios and the 10th anniversary of Kings Island) the park spent $2.1 million to remodel and update. Re-branded “Hanna-Barbera Land”, the themed section increased its land space by 50 percent adding 20 new rides and participatory attractions. Among the new features were: “Shaggy’s Silly Sticks (an elaborate climbing structure), “Fools House” (a walk-through fun house), “The Hanna Barbera Carousel (a merry-go-round featuring HB icons) and “Scooby Choo” (a miniature railroad).

Courtly_Jester_is_here!

“Yay, puns!”

In addition, a brand-new interactive blue elephant fountain and “The Puppet Tree” (a marionette/puppet theater) were added. Finally, the station for the Von Roll Swiss Skyride (which had been removed two years prior) was converted to the “Hanna-Barbera Shop.” Both William Hanna and Joseph Barbera attended the opening festivities of the “new” land on April 19, 1982 along with over 100 elementary-aged kids.

HB Land Entrance 2

“Grade-schoolers. Now that’s good eatin’! Just kidding, we don’t eat ’em, we just put ’em to work in our Happiness Mines.”

Just two years later, in 1984, the park entered into a $1 million licensing deal to bring the immensely popular “Smurfs” to the park. (The Smurfs aren’t original creations of Hanna-Barbera, but H-B produced the Smurfs Saturday morning TV series, so there ya go.) Papa Smurf, Brainy Smurf and Smurfette began roaming the midway and the “Enchanted Voyage” was re-themed to “Smurf’s Enchanted Voyage.”

Smurfs Enchanted Village

When the Smurfs performed their own rendition of “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65, I cried…mainly because they locked the door to the exit.

However, the most significant Smurf-themed addition to Kings Island was not a ride at all. It was actually the renowned “Smurf” blue ice cream – a tasty blueberry flavored sweet that has become a staple of the park. It was a runaway hit and remains, to this very day, Kings Island’s most popular treat (although now simply called Blue Ice Cream).

Gargamelgrinningface

“Don’t get too excited, it’s not made with ground-up Smurf guts. What a letdown!”

The Smurfs called Kings Island home through the 1991 season, but when their popularity dipped they were phased out. It was also at this time that the ever-popular “Enchanted Voyage” (still themed to Smurfs) bid farewell to Kings Island. A beloved original staple of the park, the ride was in desperate need of updating. Upon its closure, the attraction was modernized and converted to “Phantom Theater.” The park utilized part of the original “Voyage” show building and land to create the “Hanna-Barbera Theater” and install the “Scooby Zoom” coaster (currently named “Great Pumpkin Coaster”). “Dick Dastardly’s BiPlanes were also added and, after 20 years of service, Winnie Witch’s Cauldrons were retired and replaced with “Pixie and Dixie’s Swingset”.

In 1998, Hanna-Barbera Land received its final facelift. The park bid farewell to the familiar rainbow entrance arch which had existed in various forms since the opening season…

danvs_skywardscream

“NOT THE RAINBOW!!!!!!!!”

…And they repainted, relocated or re-named virtually every existing HB ride. Three new rides were added including “Yogi’s Sky Tours”, “Adam Ant Skyway” and “Scooby’s Ghoster Coaster.” A first of its kind, “Scooby’s Ghoster Coaster” was a suspended single-rail coaster which featured an elevator lift that took bat-shaped cars (holding one adult and one child) on a flight over the area!

ScoobyDoo

“Zoomy-zoomy-zoom!”

In 1995 a “Nickelodeon Splat City” themed area had been introduced at the park and took the location of the former HB Marathon (Sunshine) Turnpike ride. This infiltration of immensely popular, and current television cartoon characters would eventually outshine the dated HB theme. Yogi, Fred Flintstone and Huckleberry Hound, still ingrained into adults who had grown up with them, were now seen as outdated and unpopular with new generations. In 2001, a Nickelodeon expansion would prompt more loss to the HB theming, and by 2006 the Hanna-Barbera theming would be discontinued and removed from the park altogether. Even the “Beastie” coaster would receive Nickelodeon branding.

Spongebob Meh

 

This signified a definitive end of an era for the park, Hanna-Barbera, and the guests that had enjoyed the kids’ area for 32 years.

The Nickelodeon theming would only last for another four years. In 2010, the entire kids’ area was re-imagined with the wholesome, and long popular Peanuts characters. All kid’s area rides and attractions would receive new themes with names based on Charles Schulz’s characters Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and more.

Planet Snoopy

Peanuts? Really? I get that those characters are popular, but Charlie Brown and company are such a weird choice to build a theme park around. Have you ever read Peanuts? It’s one of the talkiest, moodiest and most borderline depressing comics strips ever written. Those kids are never happy; they spend most of their time parading their neuroses around…constant failure, battling one’s inner demons and unrequited love don’t exactly scream ‘fun times at the park’.

Peanuts Gang

Don’t let this ‘Happy Dance’ pic fool you…that’s just a PR thing.

The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera lasted from 1972 to 2005. Hanna-Barbera isn’t everybody’s cup of tea: they tended to recycle a lot of their concepts, premises and characters, also they pioneered the art of ‘limited animation’, but who says that only Disney can have their own designated amusement nation?

Mickey Mouse

“Hail to the King, baby!”

My family and I actually visited the Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera back in the ancient 1970’s, back when Kings Island was still called Kings Dominion, and we got our picture taken with Drooper of the Banana Splits. (He’s no Bingo, but he’s still a Banana Split, dangit!) after Huckleberry Hound ran away from us. Some mascots are just touchy about blowtorches, I guess. I’ve always been more of a Looney Tunes fan, but I’ve enjoyed some of H-B’s output, and I’m OK with lands full of colorful characters which manufacture happiness, so hats off to the Happy Land!

HB Land Entrance

Mmm, now that’s good rainbow!

Peeks: Muppet Babies Series Reboot

It would seem that the twenty teen years are the era of the reboot. Many series that fans watched from the 90s to the early 00s seem to be getting a reboot or revamp of some kind. These shows range from the good to the “eh”. This past Saturday, we became aware of the latest series to contract revival fever: Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies.

Muppet-Babies-

Yes, this is a thing that happening.

Muppet Babies ran from September 15, 1984 to November 2, 1991 on CBS. And now, it’s getting a reboot.  Not a lot has been revealed about this new series just yet, but here’s what we know so far:

  • The new series is slated to air sometime in 2018 on Disney Junior and as such, it will be aimed at kids aged 4 to 7.
  • Unlike the previous series, which was traditionally hand drawn, this show will be rendered in CGI to give the characters a more puppet-like appearance.
  • Also unlike the first series, each half hour episode will consist of two 11 minute shorts rather than a single 22 minute story.
  • It would appear that the producers have decided to streamline the main cast. Going by the character profiles on the Disney Wiki,  this shows’ central cast will consist of Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal and a new character, Bobbi Ba-Ba, a female sheep. No mention of Rowlf, Scooter, Skeeter, Bunsen Honeydew or Beaker or in what capacity these characters will appear, if they appear at all.

OUR THOUGHTS:

We think that the shorter stories is a good idea, as some of the previous episodes did (gotta be real, here) feel kind of padded out. It will be a bit of a shame if Skeeter doesn’t show up, since the character hasn’t been used for literally anything since the original Muppet Babies ended. However, the addition of a new female character seems to be replacing Skeeter as “the other girl”, so that’s show biz. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rowlf sits out this one, as his character never made much of an impact on the proceedings anyway. There were 8 central characters in the original Muppet Babies (10 if you count Bunsen and Beaker, who didn’t appear every week), so I can’t fault the producers’ wanting to trim down the main cast.  I can say from experience that working on larger casts and trying to keep everyone’s parts equal is no easy task. Bigger casts means that you have less time to focus on each individual character, so it’s not surprising if the producers want fewer characters to focus on this time.

Also, according to the character profiles, the titular characters will be about 4 years old on the show, so they aren’t technically babies here. I wonder why the producers didn’t just call the new series Muppet Kids?

Muppet Kids 1

There was a series of children’s books in the 1990s called Muppet Kids. It was essentially the same idea as Muppet Babies, except the characters were a little older this time, but still pre-adults.

Muppet Kids 3

The premise of the books made more sense, as this time around, the Muppet characters all lives in a suburban cul-de-sac with their respective families as opposed to all of them living in one house like The Monkees.

Muppet Kids 2

This leads me to wonder why there was no Muppet Kids TV series. That would seem to be the natural progression after Muppet Babies…

Graham Chapman And Now for Something Completely Different (1971) 5

“Get on with it!”

Right. Enough rambling. I plan to watch at least one episode of the new Muppet Babies just to see how it compares to the original, but I probably won’t be doing a Cartoon Country about it, not unless it’s really good. To be honest, I was never a super fan of the original series. Flashing back to shows from our youth is nice and all, but quite frankly, we need to continue to make more original fare, not bring back stuff for people who can’t get over things that need to be gotten over, like nostalgia. I’d much rather see these producers come up with some more new and original ideas as opposed to new takes on earlier established properties, but if Hollywood truly must continue resurrecting shows from the 90s to 00s….

mission_hill-show

We never got a second season of Mission Hill. Just wanted to point that out…

Nerdvana: Milkshake it Up!

Yeah, I know; we’re about two-thirds of the way through the month and this is only the first blog post of September. We’re lagging behind, I realize, but it couldn’t be helped: we have other non-Twinsanity related creative projects that have been taking up our time, plus things are pretty crazy in real life right now; we keep getting distracted by stupid stuff. Bear in mind also that this is just a 2-man operation; we don’t have a staff we can assign things to, it’s just us doing everything, so we can only get these things out when we’re able to.

There are more major posts on the way: some more Cartoon Countries, a couple of Toon Adjacents, we’re going to finish up the current installments of Pop Dream and What The Funny and start the next entries of each, plus a Videots which I first teased back in March (!). If all goes according to plan, this upcoming crop of blog posts will be the last written blog entries before we make the transition to video production, which will hopefully begin in 2018, if there are no further distractions or delays. Thanks for sticking with us, and in the meantime, enjoy this bit o’ nonsense.

Today Nerdvana looks at one of my favorite subjects…milkshakes.

Grimace

“Duh, I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! I DRINK IT UP!!”

Specifically, we’ll be throwing the spotlight on some of the craziest milkshakes in the U.S., according to Delish.com. These insane concoctions are all on my bucket list; I plan to try each of these before I die (and with all that dairy and sugar, I’ll at least be guaranteed to go with a smile on my face):

PEANUT BUTTER CUP SHAKE, Volcano Shakes, Honolulu, Hawaii

hawaii-volcano-shakes

This bad boy is is made with chocolate-peanut butter ice cream, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Reese’s Pieces. Hey, you’ve got chocolate in my peanut butter, peanut butter in my chocolate, both in my shake, and some on my shirt.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE FRAPPE, Boston Burger Company, Somerville, Massechusets

massachusetts-strawberry-shortcake-frappe

This one’s got vanilla ice cream, shortcake, strawberry jam and, wait for it…Twizzlers!

roger-american-dad-24.3

“I’m having a delicigasm!”

THE FAT BOY BAM-BOOZLED SHAKE, Holsteins Shakes and Buns, Bam-Boozled Shakes, Las Vegas, Nevada

the-fat-boy-holsteins-shakes-and-buns-bam-boozled-shakes

In addition to having one of THE most memorable names imaginable, this shake is made with UV Candy Bar vodka, Reese’s, pretzels, sprinkles, Cap’n Crunch, Oreos, and Butterfingers.

Heffer Wolfe

“I’ll take sixteen!”

SWEET N’ SALTY MILKSHAKE, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, New York, New York

delish-black-tap-sweet-salty-beauty

Chocolate. M&Ms. Mini Reese’s Cup. Pretzels. This thing is a Beast. Mutant and Proud.

BIRTHDAY CAKE SHAKE, Burgatory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

pennsylvania-burgatory

Party like it’s muh birthday!

Sidebar: I love the name Burgatory. This one’s made with house-turned vanilla bean ice cream, yellow cake, and tons of rainbow sprinkles. You can never have too many sprinkles.

Princess Lolly

“Sprinkle-sprinkle!”

NUTELLA AND CHOCOLATE PRETZEL SHAKE, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Addison, Texas

texas-hopdoddy-burger-bar-nutella

A combination of vanilla ice cream, chocolate-covered pretzels, and a Nutella swirl. I’ve had Nutella, I like Nutella (though I think Hershey’s and Reese’s chocolate spreads are a little better, just sayin’), but I’ve never had Nutella in a shake, so now I have a mission to accomplish: get thing down my gullet!

-So there you have it. Some of the liquid treats I’ve been grooving on lately.

With-It Watermelon

“Groovy, babuh!”

 

What The Funny #8: Office Visit

shouting-man-pointing-side-with-white-background-Stock-Photo-angry

“WHAT THE HECK IS THAT???!!!!???”

It’s the next installment of What The Funny featuring Freakazoid!

 

-First, apologies for the delay; I had meant to get this one out earlier this month, but I got sidetracked by a new project Jason and I are undertaking which may prove to be a big thing for us, creatively speaking, but I’ll hold off on going into detail about that until things become more concrete. Now, let the craziness commence.

Today we’ll be looking at one of my favorite shorts starring one of Freakazoid!‘s recurring added attractions, namely…this chap.

Lord Barvery 2

“Get on with it!”

For those who don’t know, this is Lord Bravery, voiced by Jeff Glen Bennett. Lord Bravery is a superhero from the United Kingdom. His real name is Nigel Skunkthorpe. He lives with his wife and mother-in-law, who refuse to move from the couch and hurl ficus at his head when they want something. While he prefers to search for crime using his shortwave radio, his aggravating wife and mother-in-law pressure him to actually venture outside the house and find people to save. His initial appearance, “Sewer Rescue”, gave us one of my all-time favorite insults:

Lord Bravery & Mother In Law

“Most women your age die. Why won’t you?!”

Easily agitated, short-tempered and pompous, Lord Bravery bears more than a little resemblance to comedian John Cleese.

The-Ministry-of-Silly-Walks-monty-python

Hail to the King, Baby!

Particularly, Cleese’s character from Fawlty Towers, Basil Fawlty.

Basil Fawlty

“Amazing deduction, Holmes. How do you do it??”

He hates sewers (and even more so people who get themselves stuck in sewers and won’t stop whining about it), and becomes very agitated when people compare him to Superman.

Captain Britain

Captain Britain this guy is not!

Lord Bravery’s shorts (all 2 of them) begin with a stylized intro, featuring Monty Python inspired Bobbies singing his praises in a Gilbert & Sullivan inspired ditty:

Mikej

“So very British!”

Lord Bravery Intro

He…..

Feels no pain, he can fly quite fast

In feats of strength, he is unsurpassed

His grip is sure, never quavery

Britannia’s super hero, he’s Lord Bravery.

Lord Bravery, Lord Bravery, Lord Braveeeeeery! (Then the pillars he’s standing under crumble and collapse on top of him)

*True story: when Freakazoid! was airing on Kids’ WB!, I thought they were calling him “Pretentious super hero”. Fitting, but that’s not what they were singing.

Thats Silly Get On With It

Anyway….

The short we’re spotlighting today is the second (and final) Lord Bravery short, “Office Visit”.

Office_visit

Premise: Lord Bravery learns to his dismay that he can no longer use his name due to copyright issues. He heads to Lord Bravery’s Bake Shoppe to try to sort out the problem, but things only become more confusing from there.

Gag Credits:

Smiley Man: Emmitt Nervend

Find Emmitt Nervend: Twice in This Episode

Tag:

“Just keep telling yourself: It’s only a TV show.”

Highlights:

The short begins with Lord Bravery visiting an office of bureaucracy (this’ll end well); after exiting the elevator with all of the other occupants laughing at him…

Lord_bravery

“I…hate..them all.”

He sits down to speak with the rep from the Office of Trademarks & Copyrights, Mr. Snarzetti, who informs him that he can’t continue going by the name Lord Bravery because it’s already being used by another business, specifically Lord Bravery’s Bake Shoppe. (How a bakery ended up choosing the name Lord Bravery is probably an interesting story in and of itself.) Mr. Snarzetti says that even though he’s a person and not a business, it’d be too confusing: “Someone could run up to (him) in the street asking for a muffin or a scone, or someone could run into the bake shoppe demanding to be saved.”

Lord_bravery

“I can hurt you, you know. I’m really quite strong!”

Snarzetti tries to reassure Bravery that his name doesn’t matter:

OF2

Mr. Snarzetti: I’m sure the children will love you no matter what you call yourself.

Lord Bravery: Children??

Mr. Snarzetti: You’re a party clown, aren’t you?

Lord Bravery: ‘A party clown’?! No, I’m NOT a party clown! I’m a super hero!!

Mr. Snarzetti: Well, I just assumed by your little hat…

Garfield

“We’re off to a rollicking start so far, folks!”

OF2

Undaunted, Snarzetti begins searching through a database of failed businesses to give Lord Bravery an alternate name. His first choice: SMOKED MEATS AND FISHES!

OF3

Lord Bravery: What sort of superhero would rush into danger shouting “Fear not, Lord Smoked Meats and Fishes has arrived?!”

Mr. Snarzetti: One wishing to use the element of surprise. (He winks.)

Lord Bravery: Oh, you’re a loon! Where did you escape from? I’ll take you back!

-This goes on for a little while, with Snarzetti suggesting names like “Taste of Tempura” and “Plastics Advisory Board”, with Bravery getting increasingly annoyed, until finally landing on “Dreamworks!”

Lord Bravery: “DREAMWORKS??!!??” (Stops to ponder it for a moment) “Dreamworks??”

(Snarzetti’s computer beeps)

Snarzetti: Oops, no, it just got taken. (Another beep is heard.) Oh, and again. There’ll be a lawsuit there! Heh-heh!

This is a reference to executive producer Steven Spielberg’s then-new company, and a minor legal kerfuffle regarding the name. Time enough, I think, for a piece of wood.

The Larch

THE LARCH.

OF3

Finally, an exasperated Lord Bravery has had enough. “How…do I keep…my old name?!?”

Snarzetti: (peeking out from under his desk) You have to get the bake shoppe to change theirs!

So Nigel goes off to Lord Bravery’s Bake Shoppe to meet with the owner and proprietor, a woman named Helen, who confides that she never wanted to use the name Lord Bravery, as she finds the moniker “stupid, dumb and idiotic”. (I know, Rule of Funny, but again, this begs the question of why she choose that name in the first place.) Helen says that she wanted to name the place after herself, but there was already a Helen’s Butcher Shop. So the 2 of them go to the butcher shop to find out that its’ owner, Rudy, wanted to name his shop after himself but there was already a Rudy’s Hardware and Twine. Then they find out that Rudy’s owner, Hank, wanted to name his store after himself, but there’s already a Hank’s Tires…

Mikej

“Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…”

Patrick Star

“Du, OK. I’m confused.”

It seems that the entire town’s business owners have encountered this same issue with names. Finally, Lord Bravery, accompanied by nearly every proprietor in the area, confronts the owner of a paint store.

Lord_bravery

Lord Bravery: What part of this don’t you understand??

Paint Store Owner: Any of it!

Lord Bravery: Look, it’s very simple. I take Lord Bravery. Lord Bravery’s Bake Shoppe becomes Helen’s Bake Shoppe, changing Helen’s Butcher Shop to Rudy’s Butcher Shop. Rudy’s Hardware and Twine becomes Hank’s Hardware and Twine, causing Hank’s Tires to change to Terry’s Tires, then Terry’s Intimate Apparel changes to Wendy’s Intimate Apparel…changing Wendy’s to Frank’s, Frank’s to Shirley’s, Shirley’s becomes Enrique’s and Enrique’s becomes Bill’s. Which means….that all YOU have to do, is change your name from Bill’s World of Paints to something else!

Paint Store Owner: But I don’t want to.

Lord Bravery: WHY?????!!!????

Paint Store Owner: Because my name’s Bill.

(The crowd disperses.)

Lord Bravery: No, wait! We’ll make him change it! We outnumber him!

Flash-forward to some time later. Lord Bravery flies in to save a schoolboy stuck in a tree, announcing “Fear not! Lord Smoked Meats and Fishes has arrived!” (Guess mob rule didn’t prevail this time.) The kid’s mum doesn’t want her son to be saved by someone with such a goofy name, and proceeds to beat him with her purse.

Lord Bravery: Look, it’s alright! It’s alright! My real name is Lord Bravery!

A city gent approaches him.

Terry Jones City Gent

“Here, who’s Lord Bravery?”

Lord_bravery

“I am!”

Terry Jones City Gent

“Could I have a muffin or a scone?”

This goes over as well as you’d expect it.

Raph_ch_pu2

“Aw, I’m gonna KILL you now!”

Both Lord Bravery shorts are funny, but “Office Visit” particularly resonates with me, since I can identify with Lord Bravery’s frustration over the situation; when my brother and I first started blogging, it seemed like every name we wanted for this blog was already being used by someone else; we could wallpaper a room with all the names we considered and/or had to reluctantly drop. heck, the name has changed a couple of times during the 7 years we’ve been working on it since!

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

freakzoid2-07

Incidentally, Lord Bravery only makes one more appearance on the show. In season 2 episode 7, after Freakazoid chases down Cave Guy at the Anaheim Comic Convention (where he undergoes a less-than-ego-building Q&A panel with hardcore Superman fans–Superman: The Animated Series was Kids’ WB!’s newest show at the time), he is confronted by Lord Bravery, who along with The Huntsman, Fan Boy and Mo-Ron (or Bo-Ron, whatever) demand to know why they’ve been kicked off the show (the added attractions were abandoned in season 2 in favor of half-hour stories) and what their new roles will be in the new season. It turns out their new job is washing the Freakmobile.

Freakazoid

“At least they’re still on the payroll!”

Next up: Freakazoid returns for “Next Time, Phone Ahead!” Stay funny!