Just wanted to keep you guys abreast of where we are in the big Twinsanity makeover, and give you a little hint on what to expect when Twinsanity re-emerges as a vlog/video channel.
To start with, in our time off from blogging I’ve been starting to draw again (I used to draw a lot, but my time/life schedule hasn’t always been accommodating) and we have some non-Twinsanity related writing projects on the back burner which we’re starting to get done. That’s a good thing.
Scripts and concepts for the videos are currently being written and developed. Many of the stuff we have planned are some of the things we’ve previously done as blog posts but in video form (indeed, a lot of what we’ve published in the past few years were originally conceived as videos, but had to be modified to fit the text format; this is one reason for the change, we’re not thinking and conceiving concepts in the blog format anymore. Several of the blog posts that we’ve made will be remade as videos, as they were initially conceived), while others are things that we simply don’t want to do or can’t be done as text posts.
As Jason has noted previously, when we start producing videos regularly, we will also be upgrading the site’s look and theme, something I’ve been wanting to do for some time, however the site’s URL will remain the same; unlike before when we moved from Blogger to WordPress, you guys won’t have to memorize a new address. We’ll still be at twinsanity.co.
Here’s a brief run-through of what to expect from the core video segments. Keep in mind that everything is in an early stage right now, so names and things are still being decided; these concepts could undergo a dozen changes before reaching their final forms:
- For some time now, we’ve wanted to do a video series reminiscent of Allison Pregler’s Movie Nights or Bob Chipman’s In Bob We Trust/The Big Picture or Brad Jones’ DVD-R Hell. This segment will most likely be Cartoon Country. The transitioning of Reviews on the Run (remember that?) to Cartoon Country was very similar to Allison’s revamping of Obscurus Lupa Presents to Movie Nights; like before, Cartoon Country will not be formal, scene-by-scene, blow-by-blow reviews, but rather more laid back and casual, like a couple of friends just kicking it and talking about their favorite cartoons. As before, Cartoon Country need not always be an overview of an entire series, it can just be about a single episode of a show or even just one scene from an episode.
- The other animation-centric segments, such as Talkin’ Nerdy, Beyond the Background, The Retro Bin, The Cartoon Couch, TV Special Showdown, Unpopular Opinions et al, will remain basically the same, they’ll just be done in video format. Regarding TV Special Showdown: one thing in particular that we’d like to do with that is do more Saturday Morning preview specials. Kind of a tricky thing because few of them exist online, but nonetheless it’s something we’d like to do.
- Regarding What The Funny, Pop Dream and Brain Candy: I regret pulling the latest installments of these out so early. Our original plan was that we were going to continue blogging through the remainder of the year, but in short order even that became questionable. If we had known that the Blog Burnout was going to occur so soon, we wouldn’t have busted out with these this year. I feel sorry for Brain Candy; it’s a good idea, but it had the unfortunate timing to be born at a time when the blog format was really starting to run dry. We have other Brain Candies in the works, and they will be presented, but all the subsequent Brain Candies will be done as videos rather than text posts. Same deal with the Regular Show What The Funny and the Animal Jam Pop Dream: we did the first installments of each in text form, and we do plan to continue each, but the remainders of those will be videos. Also, when Pop Dream and What The Funny make the transition to video form, we won’t be numbering them any longer.
- No offense to Doug Walker (The Nostalgia Critic), Lewis Lovhaug (Linkara) or Eric Rodriguez (The Blockbuster Buster), but we won’t be incorporating stories, sagas or ongoing narratives in our “reviews” (I put this in quotes because I don’t consider what we do to be reviews in the conventional sense, what we do isn’t so much reviewing something as it’s just us goofing around, geeking out, nitpicking, cracking wise and making jokes, but we call them “reviews” because that’s the language people use; I don’t know if there is a proper term for what we do); those guys are good at what they do and it’s cool that they’re doing what they want, but our videos don’t need to be mini-movies nor do we need or want to be intergalactic superheroes saving the internet from the multiverse or whatever. If we want to do fiction or stories, we’ll do them as their own separate thing. Indeed, we considered doing original comedy sketches and miscellaneous skits, which would be the new format of 2 Funny.
- We will also be continuing with Toon Adjacent, which was inspired by (and will be a sort of hybrid of) Phelan Porteous’ Bootleg Zone/Miraculous Merchandise Zone and Tony Goldmark’s Some Jerk with a Camera and State of the Parks. Like before, on Toon Adjacent we’ll be spotlighting toys, collectibles, merchandise, theme park attractions, stage shows etc. which are based on cartoons. Jason and I used to buy collectibles and action figures a lot, and have been thinking about starting up that hobby again, so why not make a video series out of it?
- Videots will also be transitioned into video format. There may be some entries reminiscent of Ryan Molina’s Awesome Video Game Memories, but they will mainly be video versions of the later Videots installments focusing on video game aesthetics such as Favorite Stages, Favorite Levels, Favorite Power-Ups, Favorite Game Music, etc., as I’m particularly proud of those. One new video game theme segment we have planned was inspired by a pilot that Bob Chipman made called Game Watch; Bob (so far) uploaded 2 of these, and I don’t know if he has any plans to do more, but we like the idea and plan to do something similar. In it, we watch a playthrough of a game, during which we joke, comment and display trivial facts about said game and other stuff. We’re calling this segment Geeks on Games. A new (sort of) video game themed segment I have in the planning is something I’m calling Engrish Lit. Inspired a segment of the late series X-Play called Shocking! with Shad Grimgravy, on Engrish Lit I will be reading Engrish mis-translations of game cinemas, street signs etc. as though they were Shakespearean monologues. I want to emphasize that I am no way trying to make fun of Japanese people with this segment, I’m poking fun at the Engrish being lost in translation, the segment is not meant to be a knock against Asians. Engrish Lit will be short, filler videos to tide folks over while we work on the bigger stuff. Another possible filler segment I have planned is me reading Rufus quotes from Street Fighter 4, similar to the Videots I did years ago called The Wit an’ Wisdom o’ Rufus, but unlike that, I won’t be reading them all at once, as that would just get boring, instead I’ll read one quote per installment. (Ironically, that post was one of the first signs to me that maybe the blog format wasn’t the way for us to go; I never felt that came off properly as a text post.)
- A new segment we’re working on is a riff segment, though it won’t be presented in the traditional MST3K style, with the film playing and our voices heard over it; ours would be done similar to the openings of Mike Jeavons’ Infomercialism: show a clip of something, cut to us making a joke about it, cut back to another clip, cut back to us joking, repeat. Right now we’re calling this segment Laff Riot. Like with Nerdvana, The subjects of Laff Riot can be anything: a cartoon short, an episode of a TV show, a short film, a commercial, anything. The only thing I’d like to avoid riffing on is 50’s educational films, because everybody riffs on those.
- We’re also kicking around the prospect of doing a segment inspired by the YouTube channels Defunctland and Restaurant Rewind, in which we look at retail chains, stores and ad campaigns of the past. We don’t have a name for this segment yet.
- Another new segment idea is inspired by some of Andre Meadows (Black Nerd)’s videos, in which we go on location to a particular spot or attraction and engage with said spot. We’re tentatively calling this segment The Sweet Spot. (The only other name we have for it is Coolopolis.)
- Finally, we plan to have partially unscripted vlogs called Beware the Bros, in which we just ramble and talk about stuff of interest. These are inspired by the Walker Brothers’ Sibling Rivalry and Greg Sepelak and Trent Troop’s Under the Table.
When will these videos come out? I can’t say for certain, but ideally I’d like to for them to be ready for viewing by 2019, first quarter 2019 preferably.
How often will we be uploading videos? Again, can’t say for certain, but ideally I’d like to put up a minimum of 1 video a month or at least every 2 months. I realize that videos take longer to produce, as they have to be written, recorded, edited and uploaded, but I’m going to try to not get locked into the whole YouTube algorithm thing. I’ve even considered creating a Patreon account.
Bear with us, folks. I know it’s annoying just slogging through these text posts; I know you’re wondering “When are they going to post something entertaining, with visuals, jokes and stuff?”. When we upgrade the site, we plan to have a blog section, which we’ll use to archive all the stuff we’ve done up to now for those who wish to revisit those, but going forward the funny stuff with jokes and images and clips will be videos and vlogs, not text blog posts. Future blog posts will mainly just be stuff like this, site news and updates. This is where Twinsanity’s headed. It’s work, I know, but the blog format just isn’t doing it for us anymore. We both feel like we’ve hit a wall with the blog format; it’s become too limiting and restrictive for what we want to do creatively, and although we tried to bounce back after returning from our self-imposed hiatus, we can no longer escape the feeling that we want to express ourselves in a different, more vibrant way. Twinsanity as just a blog has run its’ course; neither of us wish to stop working on Twinsanity, we just want to continue doing it in a different medium.
If I tried to do an ‘old-style’ blog post now, it wouldn’t be very good ’cause I’m just not feeling it, the enthusiasm just isn’t there anymore, and I’m not going to phone in that kind of blog post just for the sake of putting something up here. We have to do what we want to do creatively. It’s like JG Quintel said, you have to make the stuff you want to see, not what you think other people want to see. It’s way too much work making something you’re not even into.
This is just a brief update on what we’re working on here, and what we’ll be working on in the future. No doubt you’ve noticed a scarcity of blog posts here as of late (as in no blog posts at all this or last month….yeah). There’s a reason for that, which I’ll now explain; Damon and I are getting tired of blogging. We started this blog back 2010, back when we were calling it Astral City, and after doing this for 7 years, we’re both just ready to move on from text posts and start doing something else. I know that we started new miniseries (Pop Dream, What The Funny) back in June, as well as starting a new segment (Brain Candy) back in May. I thought that after taking a break from blogging last winter for personal reasons that I would be able to just go back to business as usual, but I couldn’t. The passion, that initial spark just isn’t there any more. As hard as I tried, I just can’t make myself enthusiastic about blogging anymore. Damon and I want to make material akin to that of Phelan Porteous, Allison Pregler, James Rolfe, Andre Meadows, Bob Chipman, Tony Goldmark and Charlie Callahan, and we simply can’t do that with just a blog. We want to make the content here bigger, wilder and more visual, and text and still images alone just isn’t cutting it anymore. We’ve been wanting to evolve this site beyond just being a blog for some time now, and it looks as though that may be happening sooner than we initially planned. The future of Twinsanity isn’t text posts, it’s videos.
Yeah, we’ve been talking about making videos on and off for a while now, but now we’re actually in the early stages of making this a reality. I won’t say that I won’t ever blog again, since I can’t predict the future, but I won’t be blogging as consistently as I’ve been doing these past few years. I’ll type another blog post when I type another blog post. I can’t promise any more than that. Now, I’ll address some questions that some of you may have regarding this news.
What will the videos be about?
In the videos, we’ll be covering pretty much the same topics that we’ve been blogging about. As previously stated, Twinsanity will still be comedy focused, cartoon focused and geek culture focused. That won’t change. Of course, since video is a different art form, it won’t be exactly the same. The biggest difference will be that for the first time, Damon and I will appear on screen. As for the regular/recurring segments such as Cartoon Country, Talkin’ Nerdy, Nerdvana, The Retro Bin, The Cartoon Couch, Toon Adjacent, TV Special Showdown, etc., we plan to continue doing those, only in video form. One earlier segment, 2 Funny, will return, except this time it will be all original content made by us instead of “Hey, look at this funny video we found.” There will also be new segments that simply can’t be done as blog posts (this is one reason why we want to grow Twinsanity into a full blown website).
When will this happen?
I don’t want to put an exact date on it, since there’s still stuff that we have to do (write scripts, edit, buy the necessary equipment, create a YouTube channel, etc.) before we can upload videos, but ideally, We’re hoping this will start in early 2019.
What’s going to happen to this site?
Once we start uploading videos, the site will have a new look and a new theme, but the address will stay the same, so you won’t have to memorize a new URL. I’d like for the updated site to have a blog section or blog archive where we can store the older content and type some new blogs. Of course, the blog posts will be text only, since the visual stuff will be done as videos.
We’ll keep you updated on our progress so you’ll know what’s happening with our plans. We both appreciate you sticking around after all this time. Blogging was enjoyable, but sometimes you need to try out something new. I know that you liked the older stuff, but the new stuff will be better. Trust us.
One of LEGO’s more popular franchises of late is the LEGO Friends line.
This line proved popular enough to spawn a series of videos and specials, chronicling a quintet of (teen? Tween?) girls: Mia the animal lover, Emma the beautician/martial artist, Andrea the music enthusiast, Stephanie the social butterfly/party planner and Olivia the brain, who lived in fictional Heartlake City where they…did stuff.
However, in 2018, something changed. One fateful day, Jason and I were shopping at a Target store when we came across a LEGO display in the toy section. The LEGO Friends had been transformed from this…
-No joke: when we first saw this display, we thought that LEGO had replaced the cast.
But no, it’s the same set of characters, they’ve just been radically redesigned. Some of the characters’ standout traits/shticks have either been exaggerated or changed altogether, and their adventures and the overall tone of the stories have been ramped up considerably, with more fast-paced, frenetic action and favoring sight gags and slapstick. Furthermore, the Friends do more than just plan surprise parties or go on nature hikes and cruises; they’re now the resident do-gooders of Heartlake City, thwarting criminals, saving the townsfolk, doing good deeds here and there…
How do I feel about this? I’m not too sure yet. On the one hand, I approve of the comic exaggerations and the new zaniness; after all, the original LEGO Friends’ stories were, let’s face it, kind of dull and generic, but on the other hand, I didn’t think there was anyone wrong with the original designs. There wasn’t any reason to change so much, but at the same time, there’s no harm in changing so much either. About these new designs:
Andrea has always been my favorite LEGO Friend (tied with Mia), so I’m glad LEGO didn’t make a ton of changes to her; the alterations to Andrea’s design are merely tweaks, no need to fix something that wasn’t broken. All LEGO did was give her a different hairstyle and alter her decal/logo from a multiple magenta musical notes with cream circles to one large note with wings beside 2 smaller ones. They also made Andrea’s skin tone a shade darker than it was before, which normally I’d probably object to, but here it seems to work, as the darker brown contrasts nicely against the yellows, purples and magentas of her daily outfit, and thankfully her skin isn’t so dark that one can’t make out her facial features. Her basic character and shtick is also still basically the same: she’s still a music lover and very confident.
Honestly, the only real objection I have with Andrea 2.0 doesn’t concern Andrea herself, but the world she inhabits: would it kill the producers to put some other People of Color in the backgrounds as extras and whatnot? In all the LF 2018 videos I’ve seen, it seems like Andrea is the only POC in the entire town. I think I saw one other black kid in the background of the “Meet Andrea” spotlight video, but that was it. Come on guys.
Mia likewise hasn’t been changed all that much; her daily outfit is just a tad more rugged and less hippy-dippy, she’s lost her freckles and she’s still the only LEGO Friend who wears pants instead of a skirt for her usual daily outfit. Her decal has been switched to a lightning bolt, which I have mixed feelings about (lightning bolts are cool, they’re one of mine and Jason’s favorite decals, but I also liked the paw print decal), and she now rides a lightning bolt-studded skateboard, which is kind of cool. Thankfully, she’s still the resident animal lover and nature enthusiast.
Like Andrea, I only have one real pet peeve about Mia’s new look: it’s that she now wears sneakers instead of sandals. I liked the sandals.
Stephanie (the only LEGO Friend whose name doesn’t end in ‘a’; means nothing, just something I noticed) is one of the Friends who has received something of a personality makeover. Admittedly, the whole ‘social butterfly/party planner’ shtick probably wasn’t the easiest thing to represent visually and it was arguably not particularly funny or entertaining at least not in terms of animation, so now LEGO has apparently turned Stephanie into Sporty Spice, which kind of overlaps with Mia’s character, as she’s always been the most tomboyish of the Friends, but whatever. One’s a nature and critter lover and the other’s an athletic baller, so they’re not 100% the same. Despite Stephanie’s being a sports enthusiast, she still dresses kind of girly, with a daily outfit which kind of resembles a Japanese schoolgirl outfit/sailor suit, which I do kind of dig.
LEGO has also modified Stephanie’s decal from multiple stars and circles to a single star. Admittedly, the multiple stars-and-circles decal might not have been the easiest thing to replicate or put through the process of animation, so I’m OK with the simpler symbol. Her star symbol here is in the form of a necklace. I’m fine with that.
OK, I’m not going to mince words here: I like Olivia, but hers is my least favorite of these new designs. LEGO has exaggerated Olivia’s intelligence to full-blown Master Inventor/Genius Engineer/Math Whiz, to the point where she can see numbers and make immense calculations on the fly and even possesses a little robot buddy of her own creation which doubles as her scooter (so it’s also a Transformer!), and I’m fine with that; I’m totally down with Mad Science and Super Tech; I don’t even mind the glasses (True Story: Olivia’s re-design is so different that several fans actually emailed LEGO to complain because they thought Olivia had been replaced), but that outfit and the overall aesthetic…just why?? Olivia 2018 now looks too much like a stereotypical nerd, which ironically was one of the things I liked about Olivia originally: that despite being the “smart one”, she looked and dressed like she shopped at the same Justice as the other girls.
Then there’s this new symbol, the gear necklace. Eech. Again, I see what they were trying to do, but that’s just not clicking with me. There wasn’t anything wrong with the hearts. I’ve already said this in an Unpopular Opinion, but just because a kid is smart doesn’t mean they have dress like a dork; smart kids like cool clothes too.
Emma 2.0 has gone from beautician (again, probably not the easiest or most entertaining thing to represent visually) to full-blown artist (and still the most traditionally girly of the girls); she also no longer appears to know Kung-Fu. Ironic then that the artist of the group possesses the most mundane and least visually dazzling design of them all. Emma’s look isn’t bad per se, it’s just so…basic compared to the others. I’m not the biggest fan of Olivia’s new look, but it at least stands out and is distinctive, even if I’m not particularly fond of it. Emma’s overall design, while pleasant, is a tad too ordinary for her to be a vibrant, visually inclined artist.
Emma’s decal (a paintbrush) doesn’t even appear anywhere on her daily outfit. Just polka dots. Polka Dot??
Now, onto the new story structure.
I’m not sure how I feel about the Friends saving lives and stopping bank robbers. Their original adventures were very mild. Granted. But I’m not sure if having them foil crimes is the way to go. For one thing, these have to be the dumbest criminals on record, wearing dark clothing and watch caps in broad daylight.
For another, are the LEGO Friends the Powerpuff Girls now?
To be fair, everything seems to be exaggerated now, so maybe how these 5 young girls with no powers or special skills beyond their hobbies and likes are able to accomplish so much could be part of the joke.
So overall, while I see some hiccups in the LEGO Friends makeover, I’m curious to see how this new style will pan out. This change was abrupt, but hey, at least LEGO is still willing to do stuff with their girl-centric franchise, unlike some companies I could mention…
R.I.P. Pop-Art Pixies
Ladies and Gentlemen…
What The Funny…
That’s right. I’m back in the driver’s seat (after Damon entertained us all with his Freakazoid! episode breakdown) with another WTF miniseries. This time around, the show that I’ll be spotlighting is Cartoon Network’s Regular Show!
True story; when I first got the idea to do What The Funny, I planned to start with Regular Show, but then I learned that Nickelodeon was planning to air a Rocko’s Modern Life revival special sometime this year, so I decided to start with Rocko instead. After that, I was so impressed with Damon’s Pop Dream miniseries for Barbie: Life In the Dreamhouse that I wanted to do a Pop Dream of my own, resulting with the one that I wrote for the family on The Loud House. This brings us to now. No more holding back. After being delayed twice, I’m finally going to embark on my favorite episode breakdown of one of my favorite Cartoon Network original shows.
Everyone who’s been following this site for the past two years already knows how this will work, but I just want to mention a couple more things: First, I’ll only be doing the standard episodes. I won’t be covering any of the half hour specials because we have a separate segment for TV specials. Second, I won’t be covering any of the episodes form RS’ final season in space. I know that the series finale was noteworthy, but there weren’t a wide abundance of laughs to be found there, and comedy is what this segment is all about.
Having said all of that, on with the fun!
The first episode that I’ll be covering here is episode 5: Free Cake.
Synopsis: Mordecai and Rigby develop a craving for chocolate cake, and decide to throw a birthday party for Skips in order to get it.
Rigby digs up a good-looking plate from the trash in the back of the house. ‘Cause he’s a raccoon and going through the garbage is what raccoons do. When they try to buy cake mix at the grocery store, they believe that the cake mix is too expensive ($1.50).
Wait. $1.50 is too rich for their blood? Either these guys are really bad with money or Benson must pay them with game tokens.
Then they try to find a free cake, but all their attempts (they try to get some at a wedding and attempt to get a cake at a “free store”) fail.
One bit in the episode that I like is how whenever it looks like Mordecai and Rigby will have some cake, they do this chant:
…And when their hopes are shattered, they go into this chant:
Finally, the duo see a chocolate cake at the snack bar, so they attempt to trick Benson into giving them the cake. Benson says they only get the cake if it is either of their birthdays (which it is not).
Enter Pops, the naive man from Lolliland. Also the son of the park’s owner. Pops likes Mordecai and Rigby, so he’s basically the only reason why these guys still have a job there.
Pops informs them that it’s Skips’ birthday, but that Skips always evades birthday parties by secluding himself in the woods. Mordecai believes that Skips deserves a party because he is always there to help. Benson agrees (egged on by Pops) and says to the two that they will throw a party for Skips if they can get him in on it.
Oh, yeah, let’s talk about Skips for a second.
In the house, Mordecai and Rigby wonder how they will involve Skips. Rigby suggests that they should ‘kidnap’ Skips, but that doesn’t work out. Finally, Mordecai gets the idea of throwing a surprise party. When they ask Skips to spend time with them that night, he refuses. Rigby and Mordecai decide to lie to Benson. Mordecai and Rigby tell Benson that Skips wants a surprise party at 8:00 at his house (as well as a chocolate cake). Benson gives them the key to the snack bar and tells them that he will punish them with a month’s worth of dish duties should he find out that they are not telling the truth.
After getting the cake, the guys walk into the woods in search of Skips. Rigby, being the unleashed id that he is, of course wants to nosh on the cake. Mordecai says not to touch the cake, but Rigby remains as eager as ever to have a bite. Also, I love this line from Rigby to Mordecai:
Meanwhile, back at Skips’ house, Benson says to turn off the light because it is almost time for the party to begin. In the darkness, Muscle Man eagerly undresses himself, but Benson reminds him that it is “not that kind of party”.
Back in the woods, it’s almost 8:00 and Skips is still nowhere in sight. Rigby starts thinking about eating the cake, but Mordecai argues against it. After a few minutes of squabbling over the cake, they hear an eerie noise. The two stumble across Skips performing an ancient ritual around a mysterious blue bonfire in the middle of the woods. Rigby then startles Skips and thus interrupting the ritual. It turns out that Skips was actually performing an ancient eternal youth dance to sustain his immortality for another year. A figure named Gary descends in his car and takes Skips away, but Mordecai and Rigby manage to hitch a ride as well to see where they were going.
Gary’s car eventually stops before The Guardians of Eternal Youth.
The Guardians are angry with Skips for failing to finish the spirit dance. Skips tries to explain, but the chief declares that once a decision is made, there’s no overturning it. The Guardians begin stripping Skips of his immortality by shaking their rattles, aging him and causing him to crumble to ashes.
Mordecai steps forward, along with Rigby, and they explain the situation to them. Fortunately for them, the Guardian’s fondness of cake spared them. The chief would let Skips have his life for the chocolate cake.
Mordecai, Rigby, and Skips are sent back and Skips’ birthday party starts. They give Skips their plate as a birthday present. Benson finds out the duo can’t be trusted, but says that Pops was able to get a spare cake just in case. Then, Mordecai and Rigby each help themselves to a slice. It’s a happy ending….well, almost.
This was a good episode. There were plenty of laughs to be had here and the all of the characters played off of one another well. It was great seeing a simple desire for some chocolate evolve into all of the surreal lunacy involving ancient rituals, eternal youth and magic. Once I saw this episode, I knew that I had to keep watching.
My rating: 5 out of 5.
Next time, it’s Just Set Up the Chairs. Stay funny.
It’s that time again!
It’s time for another installment of Pop Dream…ya big dummy!
This Pop Dream spotlights the world of Animal Jam, specifically Animal Jam‘s Alpha Masters.
For those not familiar with Animal Jam, here’s a (kind of) abridged synopsis:
Animal Jam is an online virtual world launched in 2010 by WildWorks in partnership with the National Geographic Society. It takes place in a fictional area known as Jamaa, with various different biomes and customizable animals. New players create an animal with a name composed of three simple words, such as “Awesome Coolclaw.” From that point, players can customize and move around with it in the gameplay environment. The original six virtual animals that could be created were the panda, rabbit, tiger, wolf, koala, and monkey. (Hint-hint at what’s to come…) Many more animals are added following the six, giving players a possibility of seeing one of their favorite animals in-game.
Jamaa was once home to hundreds of animal species of all shapes and sizes. These animals spent their days playing games, going to parties, building homes, and living together as friends.
Mira and Zios, the guardian spirits of Jamaa, gifted each animal species with a Heartstone, a special jewel that contained the essence of that species and held the secrets of its magic.
For many generations, all the Heartstones were kept together in a vault beneath the Lost Temple of Zios. Every animal could visit them and see the unique gifts that each species brought to Jamaa.
But as time passed, things changed, Animals began to fear and mistrust other species. Some animals stopped living together as a united community. Soon, all the feelings of friendship in Jamaa were gone, and the animals built new villages for their kind only. Koalas lived and talked only with other koalas. So did rhinos. And crocodiles.
Before long, all the animals in Jamaa stopped working together to make Jamaa a happy and vibrant place. Worst of all, many animal species took their Heartstones from the Lost Temple of Zios and hid their Heartstones in their new villages.
It was during this time of division that the dark Phantoms first appeared, leaving a trail of destruction. (Boo! Hiss!)
Remembering how much they had accomplished when they lived and worked together, the remaining six species gathered their Heartstones, left their villages, and returned to the Lost Temple of Zios. As the tigers, monkeys, koalas, pandas, rabbits, and wolves of Jamaa gathered together for one last stand against the Phantoms, Mira and Zios saw that it would not be enough.
In desperation, the guardian spirits of Jamaa searched other lands for six leaders who could wield the power of their entire species. They even looked to our world, and it was here that they found six extraordinary animals and brought them to Jamaa: Sir Gilbert the regal tiger, Cosmo the knowledgeable koala, Graham the inventive monkey, Greely the mysterious wolf, Liza the curious panda, and Peck the creative rabbit. These were six remarkable animals with different personalities, but they were united in their strength of characters and their respect for the natural world.
Mira and Zios chose well, and these very different animals soon formed a family. To help in battle against the Phantoms, Mira and Zios gave the new leaders Alpha Stones, six special jewels that focused the strength and abilities of their entire species. With these stones, the six chosen animals became Alphas, the heroes chosen to save Jamaa in its darkest hour!
One epic battle later, millions of animals now live in peace and happiness in Jamaa. The Alphas continue to explore new lands, and whenever they are able to drive the Phantoms out of an area or reclaim a Heartstone, the animals of Jamaa celebrate that they have new lands to play in and new animal friends to play with!
Many years have passed since all of Jamaa was nearly lost, but now some of the Phantoms have returned, and they are once again trying to ruin the peace and joy of Jamaa.
Now hopefully everyone’s up to speed.
-BTW, I should probably point out that the Alpha Masters were originally going to be the subjects of the very first Pop Dream, but Mattel released the Barbie and her Sisters Puppy Adventure video around the same time, and I figured more people were familiar with those characters, so I did that one first. Then I was so taken by Jason’s What The Funny concept (his initial installment was on Rocko’s Modern Life — good choice!) that I decided to do a WTF of my own (specifically a breakdown of Freakazoid!), pushing this Pop Dream back even further, but no more delays; now we’re doing this thing!
By now, those who’ve been following Twinsanity know how these things go: I’ll be geeking out on this set of characters in succession, going across the usual five categories. One slight difference this time, though: since as of this writing Animal Jam doesn’t have a TV show or a web series, I can’t do any Funnier Moments, so for this installment that category will be replaced by a new one called Trivia Time, so for this Pop Dream the categories are:
- Trivia Time
Got it? Good! Now, on with the Pop Dreaming!
Today’s Pop Dream is all about a heroic panda in a mystical land.
Ah, no, a different heroic panda. I’m talking about a graceful, caring, nurturing, hippy-dippy panda shaman. Today’s Pop Dream is all about…Liza.
“I am Liza, the panda Alpha. I will be your guide as we travel.”
Liza is the female Alpha of the Pandas, and the chief leader of the Alphas. She is an adventurous explorer and normally comes across new lands including Coral Canyons, Mt. Shiveer, and Appondale. She formerly greeted jammers when they first joined Animal Jam, however, it was later updated to Peck.
She briefly appears in several adventures, as a major character.
Liza is the Panda Alpha who stands upright on her hind legs. She has bright neon purple eyes with long eyelashes. She has a triangular black nose. Her ears sit on top of her head, with gray swirls in the middle, and almost looks like a part of her hair. Also, three aquamarine earrings dangle from each ear. Her hair is in a long braid that falls down her back. She wears an aquamarine dress with a golden lining, which is connected by lace at the neck. and a jewel-encrusted belt. She wears black gloves and has a golden ribbon tied around her right ankle. She also has a golden toe ring on her right foot.
She normally carries a long wooden staff.
Over time, Liza went through a make-over. Originally, she was quite bigger and looked older. But today, she is thinner and has a younger-appearance.
Brave and powerful, Liza values exploration and intellectual pursuits, and has personally mapped a great majority of Jamaa. She is proud and determined in her manner, and she lets nothing stand in the way of her latest expedition to a far off land. Liza doesn’t stand still for long, and never has much time to talk before having to dash off. She created most of the exploration-based challenges in Animal Jam and she presses all animals in the world to document Jamaa. She has a kind, motherly manner about her; very encouraging and very gentle. She believes that anyone can do better, and reach higher.
It is noted by the Animal Jam Insider’s Guide that she along with the other six original Alphas (excluding Peck), came from Earth. It is most likely that she lived in China, which is the only place where Pandas live in the wild. Liza was found by Mira and Zios and was asked to be an Alpha because of her personality and nature. It is noted by the Daily Explorer that she traveled to Jamaa by foot, instead of accepting a ride from Mira.
During the Beta days and early 2011, there was an interview with Liza called “Liza’s Answers” where Jammers were able to send in questions and Liza would answer them.
She is named after Eliza Scidmore, an American writer, photographer and geographer who visited Japan many times. She was the first female board member of the National Geographic Society.
She is the most commonly seen Alpha/Shaman in Jamaa.
Her favorite color is pink according to her profile page.
She was known as Liza, “the curious panda” when she was chosen to be an Alpha.
Her ears and hair resemble a typical Chinese hairstyle, buns.
This could be a reference to the fact that pandas can be found in China.
I was looking forward to this one, as Liza is my favorite Alpha Master, tied with Peck. I’ve always had a fascination with the Far East and Eastern culture and sensibilities, as well a fondness for mysticism and nature. All of those things made Liza a natural favorite of mine.
Next up is the Koala Alpha, Cosmo. Stay tooned.