OK, So This Happened

Lola Bunny made an appearance on New Looney Tunes. Specifically, the short “Hare to the Throne”.

 

Some fans were wondering what Lola would be like if/when she were to show up on New Looney Tunes, the athletic but bland Space Jam version or the kookier Looney Tunes Show version? Because of the HIGHLY divided opinions regarding this character, I was reluctant to post this at all, as I didn’t want to restart that lame, annoying “Which version of Lola is better?” argument.

'Can of worms - do not open!'

Furthermore, I have no desire to re-ignite that tired debate again. Anyone who’s planning to vent about Lola in the Comments section is SOL, ’cause I won’t be engaging in that discussion, nor will I allow this place to devolve into a stupid Lola Bunny debate. I’ve had too many ridiculous arguments about this single cartoon character on message boards, and now that I’m retired from message boards, I’ve officially washed my hands of that whole thing, so the Lola Wars ain’t happening here.

The-Daily-Show-Ain-t-nobody-got-time-for-that-22-03-2017

I will say that Lola here appears to be composite of the 2 main versions we’ve gotten so far: appearance-wise, she resembles the TLTS version, but with a more focused and aggressive personality (though it should be noted that this short seems to be something of a Game of Thrones sendup, so it’s possible Lola may be spoofing someone from Game of Thrones. (I’ve never seen a single episode of GoT, so I couldn’t name any character from it; the only thing I know about GoT is that There Be Dragons.)

-Ditsy, aggressive, they’re both good choices, whatever floats your boat. I personally don’t care. As long as Lola’s not portrayed as a bland, unfunny cipher, I’m cool with any version.

Advertisements

Nerdvana: Just Ducky!

We’re living in an interesting time right now. While some things are just plain awful, there are some things that are definitely cool. For one thing, last year Disney launched it’s reboot of DuckTales.

DuckTales_titlecard

This reboot is an improvement over the original in several ways, not the least of which is that the reboot includes the return of this guy: Donald Duck.

Donald Duck

Not only is Donald part of the main cast (as he should have been from the get-go – Carl Barks’ original comics series has always focused on Scrooge, the nephews and Donald), but he’s back as his old slapstick-y self, engaging in the wacky cartoon hijinks that made him famous. Viz…

Donald Duck GIF

Yeah, now that’s the stuff, man!

Having Donald around as a main character fits in to the new DuckTales perfectly. I even have an easier time accepting supporting characters such as Launchpad McQuack and Fenton Crackshell (Gizmoduck) this time around, because here they’re not serving as stand-ins for Donald.

Then on the Warner Brothers side, we have New Looney Tunes (formerly known as Wabbit! here in the U.S.) with it’s new old take on Daffy.

Daffy Duck

Here. in the States, we have to watch the series on Boomerang’s online streaming service because Turner doesn’t air the show on Boomerang U.S. for some unfathomable reason. Anyway, in New Looney Tunes, Daffy is back to being certifiably insane rather than Bugs’ greedy, jealous rival. Take a look:

I don’t need to elaborate on this much, since Damon has already covered New Looney Tunes and it’s take on Daffy both here and here. So basically, I’m going to echo what he said (and not for the first time): While I like the selfish, greedy, egotistical version of Daffy OK for the most part, the above has always been the version of the little black duck that I’ve always preferred, and this version was long overdue for a return. I sincerely hope that crazy Daffy sticks around for a while for future Looney Tunes projects, as this version of Daffy has been sorely missed.

Yes, it’s definitely a good time to be a fan of cartoon ducks. Hit it!

Brain Candy: The Indigo Child

Welcome to the first installment of our newest segment on Twinsanity, Brain Candy. As Jason mentioned previously, Brain Candy is what Highly Opinionated has morphed into after a 2-year hibernation with nothing to rant about. These will be random, stream-of-consciousness musings about inconsequential pop-culture trivia that we have running through our heads; you get a glimpse of what runs through the recesses of our twisted creative minds. Enjoy.

Indigo is not only my current favorite color, but she’s also one of my favorite Color Kids from the Rainbow Brite franchise.

Indigo Doll 1

But I’ve always wondered: why is her name just Indigo?

Color Kids

The other 6 Color Kids each have cute, toyetic names which incorporate their respective colors: Red Butler, LaLa Orange, Canary Yellow, Patty O’Green, Buddy Blue, Shy Violet, but Indigo’s name is just her color. Why is Indigo the Jean Grey of the Color Kids?

Recently I cam across something interesting (to me, anyway): in a Rainbow Brite coloring book, Indigo was listed as having the full name of Indigo Doll. So why wasn’t that moniker used full time? It works. Were the Powers That Be worried that calling her ‘Doll’ would be considered sexist? Throughout the 20’s through 40’s, ‘Doll’ was what guys called a pretty girl or an attractive young woman.

Indigo Doll 3

Not only does the title ‘Doll’ apply to her from an aesthetic standpoint…

Indigo Doll 4

…But in the 80’s, she was made into an actual doll. So why not call her Doll? From now on, as far as I’m concerned, her name is Indigo Doll. That’s what I’m calling her now, ’cause that’s her name. Her name shouldn’t just be her color; that’s lazy.

Indigo Doll 2

I think we can all agree that Indigo still fared much better than Rainbow Brite’s white sprite buddy, Mr. Glitter, who was given that name after his original handle, Twink, gained a new meaning. Don’t know what ‘Twink’ means now? Google it, or better yet, don’t Google it.

The following is Indigo’s character profile from Golden’s ‘Who’s Who in Rainbow Land’ coloring book.

Indigo Doll 5

Indigo (Doll-Ha!) is a very beautiful little girl who wants to be a famous actress. She is always “on stage,” so to speak, rehearsing and reciting lines from famous plays and making entrances wearing imaginative costumes. Though some may think she is over-dramatic and somewhat of a dreamer, she likes to think of herself as an artist with high aspirations. Indigo’s color represents drama and emotion. Her responsibility is for the indigo Sprites and for the colors they create.

-Now that sounds like a fun character–too bad we never got to see that in any of the TV shows, specials or movies. To be fair, most of the Color Kids were more or less fodder in the Rainbow Brite TV and movie adaptations, that Golden book gave us some interesting character traits and quirks which we typically only got fleeting glimpses of, if anything at all, such as LaLa Orange supposedly having a “giant crush” on Red Butler or how Canary Yellow was the Color Kid who got caught by Murky Dismal the most due to her extreme naivety. More’s the pity; I would’ve liked to have seen this version of Indigo in action. She sounded fun.

Indigo, along with all of the other Color Kids, recently appeared in the Rainbow Brite reboot from a year or so back which aired on Feel’n (now called Hallmark Movies Now). I have yet to see this reboot, so I don’t know whether or not we got to see any of this ‘drama queen who’s always on’ persona from Indigo there, but at least she was included.

Indigo Doll 6

Her new design is OK, but I’m not feeling the elf shoes, though.

 

 

 

 

Unpopular Opinions: Muppet Babies 2018

Back in September, Twinsanity did a Peeks on Disney’s 2018 reboot of Muppet Babies.

MB Reboot Title Card 1

Here’s the intro. Kick it!

Now since I’m The Ancient One, I was around to have seen the original Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies series from 1984. Given this, you might be expecting me to be saying:

Little Lord Fauntleroy

“It’s different than what I remember. Childhood Ruined!”

…However, I’m going to risk ticking off a lot of 80’s kids by saying today’s Unpopular Opinion: having now seen both, I think the Muppet Babies reboot is better.

Believe it or not.

Allow me to elaborate on why I feel that this new Muppet Babies trumps the original:

Muppet_Babies_2018_playtable

For one thing, this show’s premise and setting make more sense. The 2018 series takes place in a day care center, as opposed to the title characters all living together in some strange house with no parents or master and never leaving. As I previously mentioned in our Retro Bin of Little Muppet Monsters, the 80’s Muppet Babies premise makes zero sense if you try to break it down logically.

In addition, on this show the characters actually go outside once in a while!

Muppet Babies 2018 Backyard 1

Seriously, I remember an episode of the 80’s show where the Babies were learning to swim, and they had a wading pool in the nursery! Were those kids agorophobes or what?

I like how they have these little tube slides that take them into the backyard set, and how said yard, in addition to having the standard stuff like a treehouse, a merry-go-round and a tire swing, there are specific props and areas for each character: a faux pond for Kermit, a stand-up stage for Fozzie, a cannon for Gonzo, a dressing room She-Shed for Piggy and an easel for Summer.

Camilla

Not to mention a chicken coop which houses a set of oddly round chickens, including this show’s take on Camilla.

Ed

“I like chickens, Eddy!”

BABY SUMMER

Speaking of Summer (heh-a penguin named Summer–good one), I’ll bet you’re expecting me to say “She’s an OC and she’s not Skeeter so I hate her!”, but no, I’ve got no beef with Summer. First, the writers didn’t simply put Skeeter’s brain into a new character’s body; Summer has an altogether different personality than Skeeter. Whereas Skeeter was athletic, Summer’s more of a creative artistic type. She carves her own swath, and fits in well.

Summer Asleep

Plus, she’s too freaking cute to dislike!

As for the inevitable “Why Summer and not Skeeter?” question, as Jason noted in Peeks, I think reducing the number of main characters was a smart decision; Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie and Animal were always the dominant characters; Scooter, Skeeter and (especially) Rowlf, aside from the occasional stand-out moment, were for the most part just kind of there. While we’re on the subject, I’ll hit you with another Unpopular Opinion regarding Scooter and Skeeter:

Skeeter_Scooter_MB_2018

I like the idea of 2 of the characters being twins more than I liked those specific characters. Yeah, I did think it was kind of interesting how the girl was the bolder twin and the boy was the more reserved one, but I’ve seen better examples of that.

Kim and Kam

Kim and Kam from Cartoon Network’s Class of 3000, for example. Google it.

This show’s takes on some of the characters are also just plain better. One example of this is Animal.

Animal

When I first saw the original series in ’84, I thought Animal was an odd inclusion, but at the same time I did see some potential in a kid version of his character, unfortunately, the ’84 series completely screwed him up. They tried to tack on this whole lame “He’s younger than the others” shtick as a way to explain his wild, feral behavior. This show doesn’t try any of that, as it’s simply not needed. We don’t need an explanation as to why Animal is wild, he just is. A feral kid is no stranger than anyone else on this show. If you don’t need an explanation for banjo-playing frogs, stand-up comedian bears and diva pigs, then you should be able to accept that one of the kids is a Wild Child.

Baby_Animal_drums_2018

I also like how this show remembers that Animal is a freaking drummer. This was barely mentioned in the first series (I remember Animal playing the drums once in the musical number of the episode “Dental Hyjinx”, but that was about it.) No, I’m not implying that Animal should carry his drum kit around with his wherever he goes, but that is his character (Animal was partially inspired by the Rolling Stones’ drummer Ron Wood, who is likewise a wild man, even famous drummer Buddy Rich once said of Animal: “He’s the drummer; all drummers are animals”), so it only makes sense for Animal’s role on The Muppet Show to be incorporated into Muppet Babies like the others’ shticks.

Baby_Piggy_2018

I also greatly prefer this show’s take on Piggy. She’s still a full-tilt diva, but Miss Piggy’s always been a prima donna, that’s her character, I wouldn’t expect her not to be vain and a spotlight hog (sorry, couldn’t resist!), but here she manages to be a prima donna without crossing over into being obnoxious and overbearing about it. I also like the modifications to her daily outfit, like making the bow in her hair sparkly and dark pink and the stars on her dress, reflecting her ‘superstar’ nature. Nice touch.

Gonzo Upside Down GIF

And I’m really digging this show’s take on Gonzo. Kudos go to Disney for bringing the character back to his roots.

Gonzo Stunt

Gonzo here is an excitable adrenaline junkie and all-around oddball who lives for mind-blowing stunts (like with Animal, this show’s producers remembered that Gonzo does stunts) and high-concept stuff that only he understands, loves chickens and is not afraid to march to his own beat. THIS is the Gonzo that I admired, identified with and was one of my favorite Muppets as a kid; I like this show’s version of Gonzo MUCH more than that thing was walking around in his skin in the later season of the 80’s show. I’ll never forgive the original series for turning who was always one of the coolest Muppets into some wimpy, lovesick loser hopelessly pining away for Piggy (who in turn treated him like the scum you scrape off tomato soup) and whose sole motivation for doing anything was to get with her.

The 80’s show turned Gonzo into Wilshire Brentwood from Beverly Hills Teens, and I couldn’t stand it.

Wilshire Brentwood

For those who don’t know, Beverly Hills Teens was a cartoon produced by DIC in the mid-to-late 80’s. The character of Wilshire was a teen who was hopelessly smitten with the show’s resident mean girl, Bianca Dupree, to the point where he acted as her personal chauffeur/lackey/doormat, despite his being as rich as the other teens, just to be with her. Google that also.

That revised take on Gonzo infuriated me so much that I stopped watching the 80’s show after a while; I didn’t see the point in continuing to watch when one of my favorite characters was essentially gone. But there’s (thankfully) none of that here: on this show we get ‘classic’ Gonzo back, and I couldn’t be happier.

Gonzo

I also dig the new symbol Gonzo wears in his overalls, a blue lightning bolt with wings. Reminds me of a Cutie Mark.

I also prefer this show’s shorter stories and the revised story structure. The simpler, 11-minute plots are an improvement, as I felt that many of the 80’s show plots seemed padded out. There are still fantasy sequences, but they’re always brief, to-the-point and never overdone, and here the characters don’t toss around pop-culture references like dollar bills at a strip club; no doubt it was felt that a ton of pop-culture references would likely fly over the heads of the younger viewers, not to mention date the show ferociously, which kind of happened with the 80’s show. (There are also no TV show or movie clips inserted into the action, since Disney would have to pay for clips of any property they don’t own, which was also a hindrance the 80’s show suffered from. It’s because of the extensive use of licensed footage that the 80’s Muppet Babies never got a proper DVD release.)

So overall, I feel that this new Muppet Babies stands head-and-shoulders above the original. If I have one nitpick about this reboot, it’s this:

Muppet_Babies_2018

On this show, the characters are around 4 years old, so the title’s a misnomer, as they’re technically not babies, but I guess Muppet Pre-Schoolers didn’t have the same ring to it.

Jonesin’ For Brain Candy

We were looking over some of our earlier posts and we noticed that our most recent Highly Opinionated post was Confessions of a Superman Fan, which was written by me back in April……of 2016.

Yes, that’s right; neither of us has written a Highly Opinionated in two years. I knew that the last one wasn’t recent, but I didn’t think that we’d gone that long without writing one. The reason for this could likely be because we’ve since retired from posting on forums, and so there haven’t been any opinions or points for us to rant about.

Which brings me to the topic of this post: Recently, Damon and I have thinking about retooling Highly Opinionated into something a little different. Something resembling less of a rant post and more of a stream of consciousness type of thing. No offense to these guys:

AVGN

Nostalgia-Critic

…But the whole “angry critic” thing is kind of played out now. After James Rolfe (Angry Video Game Nerd) and Doug Walker (Nostalgia Critic) broke out and became huge, there then came the inevitable string of imitators and wanna-bes. However, ranting for entertainment purposes is an art and few are it’s masters. These days, we tend to prefer the producers who dare to try to do something different. Likewise, Damon and I have since adapted a less angry, more humorous approach. More zany and snarky then flat out-and-out ranty, if that makes any sense.

The point? I’m getting to that. Much like how earlier we remade Reviews On The Run into Cartoon Country, effective immediately, we’ll be retooling Highly Opinionated and giving the segment a new name. Henceforth, the aforementioned segment will from now on be referred to as Brain Candy.

Candy

Sweet, sweet candy!

Basically, these posts will be our rambling and strange thoughts about various subjects. Like junk food for the mind. They will still be our opinions, but instead of raving about things, we’ll just be musing randomly and pointlessly about stuff that’s running through our heads. We’ll still complain about something if we feel the need to, but that’ll no longer the main focus of the posts. We’ve already got a couple of these in the works as of this writing, so stay tuned.