For people who don't read my editorials in sequence. I do remember writing that in my first ever editorial back in 1998 that Disney has a very unique way of giving us something special; something that makes us go back to them even if they don't even deserve it. I do remember saying this; unlike the popular: "TaleSpin is the show in which all Disney shows are to be measured." That I believe is based on a conclusion of the same editorial created by someone else (See Jeffrey Mika). Still; I cannot deny this: It's been 13 years since TaleSpin aired. There has been at least 30 or so shows from Disney both live action and animated that have tried and failed to win my heart. Five shows have come close: Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles, Rescue Rangers, Gummi Bears and Teacher's Pet; but only TaleSpin could be said in the same breath as Batman: The Animated Series (Warner), The Simpsons (FOX) and Pokemon (Anime)...13 years and the wait is finally over. The TaleSpin killer has finally arrived and it shows just why Disney has been in so much trouble over those last 13 years....
Kim Possible....The spy girl herself.
If you think TaleSpin is balanced; Kim Possible does it better..and that's the hardest thing to do. The animation is top-notch as well; the animators did their homework in this area. While I enjoy TaleSpin's traditional cell animation and art deco style more; Kim Possible's artwork is still very good in it's own right. Kim does fall short in the heart department (due to the repeated use of valley-girl talk which is not what most valley girl's talk); however it's heart is very close to TaleSpin. Again; this is the hardest thing to do: Pass the TaleSpin standard. It makes me so happy; 13 years of dissapointment having to become very bitter everytime I saw Disney bring show after bad show. There were a few good ideas; however, none of them were excuted properly. (Particually Team Surpemo, 101 Dalimations and Quack Pack; it makes me ill everytime I talk about it.) It always makes me wonder to this day, as to why it took 13 years to bring back a return to the glory days of 1990. As much as I was reflecting on how to be that Kim exists now. (Filmore's not too bad either) I now have an answer for why the long delay....and in order to understand it; we must go back to when Disney's downfall in self-esteem turely began. Now many people would suggest that it was Goof Troop that started the downward spiral; however that is not the case. Believe it or not; it was Darkwing Duck that gave Disney the idea that the assemly line cartoon was a good thing.
Really? An animated series the best comedy in the business the cause of all this despair? I mean come on..How can a very good cartoon do that much damage? Well sadly; it can and it did very much damage. Let me start by asking people this very question: When you watch the show; how many episodes made you say _What in limbo's dance were they thinking_?..._in a bad way_.. Sure; there have been people out there who have said that same _What were they thinking_? when they talk about TaleSpin in general. It's not hard to understand why: Animals in airplanes? I guess it's the trauma of watching Disney's Robin Hood since it uses the same style as TaleSpin does. However; this is in a good way as many like the show despite this. Darkwing Duck on the other hand had episodes where characters bounced off things without as much as a point of actually doing it. Sure people will say that the pointlessness is what makes comedy great; however, DW was more than just a comedy series. There were plently of episodes where the writers seem to be lazy under the proclaimed fact that this is only a cartoon about a crimefighting duck. Loose plotting is okay; but only up to a point and those same writers often past that point. While far from the abomination that was Tiny Toon Adventures (Bab's smokiung episode segment scarred me for life.); the use of redo routines was the murder of this series. I mean if fans create an unofficial drinking game just for everytime one of those shticks are used; then it has problems. Not to mention the animation which varied out of control when compared to TaleSpin. Then there is the business climate at the time and its new found demands on assembly-line type of production were in full force here againest Disney's desire for quality (and that attitude still exists today.) The fight started in 1990 with TaleSpin in which quality won the battle despite the number of redo episode that while many were done well; it still slowed the show's potential to break new ground. Sadly; the assembly-line won the war in 1991 and it's consequences were grave as afterwards; Goof Troop and Bonkers tried and failed to mimic that style that Darkwing Duck started. That allowed the competition like Warner Brothers and Fox to squeeze Disney in their efforts such as the Simpsons, Batman and Animaniacs. Although Greg Weisman (?sp) brought a very good Gargoyles series (sadly ruined by the misguided effort that was Chornicles); that was considered more of a Batman response than anything else. (although fans will rightly say otherwise) Disney simply lost their self-esteem after Darkwing Duck and never really recovered until Kim Possible came along. Sadly; we saw along the way school degraded to children, the use of movies being turned into television series (remember that TaleSpin didn't have Jungle Book characters at first since Shere Khan was originally know as Mr. Downs.) and the quality at times hitting absolute rock bottom.
The question now remains with Kim Possible giving Disney its self-esteem back...Will this transfer into a second golden-age for Disney? I don't know the answer to that and juding from Disney's future lineup....it is unclear. One thing that is crystal clear is that Disney need to expose Kim Possible (the show; not the girl) to as many markets as possible. (Filmore too.) They need to sell this franchise to the hilt and not let this product die like they did with TaleSpin. The reason is quite simple; they need a legendary franchise just in case their next Disney Television Animation offerings turn out to be flops. Failure to do so and it might be another 13 years of heartache. Heartache I will no longer tolerate.
Now to those other things....
It is now time for an update on my favorite roasting object as of late...The Dirtbox....ERRR.....Foxbox. Much to my dissappointment; Ultraman Tigra and Fighting Foodums are still on the air. Rating over quality shining through I guess. So much for parenting columns; proof that they are worthless. Anyway; there are now three new shows added to the Foxbox lineup: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Remake, The Cramp Twins and Pirate Island. Has 4Kids Entertainment improved on the lineup block on the FoxBox?.....Yes; however, the gain were marginal only as the bad shows still exists and the existance of a show worse than Fighting Foodums (altogther now: WHAT!)....
[1.] Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- This is the latest in the craze of remakes such as He-Man and Superfriends (known as the Justice League which is quite impressive and a little fun to watch to boot.) For those who don't know about the original; TMN(H)T is a story about four turtles and a rat who were exposed to hazardous ooze which turned them into anthros (half-man, half-animal). They live in the sewers away from the outside world and protect the city from evildoers such as the Shredder. This remake reminds me of the He-Man remake...and I like the He-Man remake over the original because there were better plotlines, more grit, better animation and less patronizing. I like the remake of the Turtles more than the original for serveral reasons. For one thing; I like the characters more in this version for the most part. Leo, Splinter and Don retain most of their character from the original; yet Mike (the most improved character with Casey Jones close behind) actually has more intellegence and looks more well-rounded. Ralph on the other hand has lost his ability to wisecrack and is prone to anger more often. I guess this is 4Kids way of destorying all humor in a show. Shredder was not very impressive in this version; however, since there was more varitey in the storylines and new characters to boot, it isn't a huge loss at all. All in all; a good series to prop up Kirby in the Foxbox, although the original version wasn't all that good to begin with; albeit very popular. One more thing; WE KNOW HOW TO COUNT!! Get rid of the theme music! It stinks much like Kirby's theme music. I guess I should lower my expectations since no one's going to beat TaleSpin's opening which is considered the best in my book.
[2.] The Cramp Twins- The backstory is very simple. This is the misadventures (for a lack of a better wisecrack) of two twins, one which is normal while one is purple in color and is clearly in need of psychological help. I get very bad cramps watching this show as this show is far worse than Fighting Foodums ever was. FF did have one redeemable thing and that was Clawdia. The Cramp Twins have none whatsoever; as the animation was completely off-base; the humor was vulgar and not funny (a clear sign of trying to pander), the storylines were overused and non-redeemable (do you have to degrade grandma just one more time in additional to degrading twins as a premise.) and it was gross-out after gross-out from the start. While there is no evidence of this yet; I'm wondering if this will be another Ripping Friends (A marginally better Y7 showed developed from a 14+ show here in Canada .) because it is starting to sound this way. 4Kid should not have even shown this show to the public and I expect it'll be off the air after its first run.
[3.] Pirate Island- This show starts when a bunch of kids get trapped into a pirate-themed videogame and they have adventures in live action. Personally; I do not like live action fiction because the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred quite a bit. Another problem is that I have seen this premise somewhere before in the form of the cartoon/anime series Monster Ranchers. Still; for what it is worth this was a pretty good show and it is fairly well-written. Plus; the fact remain that I am a mark for adventures involving treasure and pirates. Compared to the bad stuff; this is an okay addition to the FoxBox lineup. All in all; 4Kids has managed to improve its lineup; however, it is still worse than the 1995 CBS lineup. Do us a favour 4Kids and get rid of Ultraman Tigra, Fighting Foodums and the Cramp Twins. Only then can you consider your block of shows to be legally watchable.
To end my editorial; I want to draw attention to the subject of _Freedom Fries_; the latest buzzword of the moment. This was a response to the fact that France decided to not support a war to remove (or kill depending on your point of view) Saddam Hussiem (?sp) and free the people of Iraq. (We were at war as I'm writing this) Personally; I support war if only because Saddam should have been removed (or killed) 13 years ago when people would think of him for being the evil tryannt that he was and still is. Still to change french fries (which is a Belgium product) to _Freedom Fries_ is sheer stupidity (I don't care if its censorship of not) and does _NOTHING_ to hurt France. Being cocky is not always a bad thing (contrary to peace loving belief) as long as you can back it up with facts. Sometimes it is often needed to expose fraud (such as pacifism- Gundam Wing Endless Waltz anyone?). However; stupidity is indefensible. Why not simply take the item off the menu (and French Toast) and strike a blow for good health? I'm worried about America dumbing itself down with this stupidity. Despite all the great things about the country; being cocky is not really the big crime America is committing. It's being just plain stupid....Putting Iraqi-like sanctions on France would do more damage; even if that isn't saying very much.
I might support war; but I don't support stupidity...and America has plently of both. That's my opinion; I welcome yours. See you next time.