NO. 16: A Little Learning (Super Mario World)
While observing Yoshi and his friend Oogtar (Ah yes, I remember him!…he was from Mario Teaches Typing, right?) attending a school ran by Princess Toadstool (Princess Peach as she’s known in these shows), Hip and Hop Koopa (Iggy and Lemmy Koopa as they’re known in these shows) decide that they want to go to school too, claiming that it “looks like a blast”. Immediately, there’s a problem here, the most glaring and obvious one being the fact that they’re the kids of King Koopa (Bowser as he’s known in these shows), who has repeatedly attempted to force Toadstool into marriage or dispose of the Mario Bros. There’s no way that they would just let you-
*Hip and Hop are accepted into the class.*
(sigh) Never change, DiC. Never change…
Anyways, the main problem with this episode is the way that it handles its’ moral. The SMW cartoon was made at a time when the censors where really starting to have a hand in the creative process of shows, which ended up with each episode having a lesson of sorts to teach, such as “Don’t join gangs”, “Don’t get suckered into fast food”, and the lesson that this episode tried (and failed, hard) to teach, “Judge others by who they are, not what they are”. If that’s the case, then the writers at least could have tried to make Hip and Hop a bit more sympathetic behind their reasoning of wanting to go to school, rather than them just going “WOWIE, SCHOOL SURE DOES LOOK LIKE FUN, LET’S GO!!” In addition to this, we’ve also got ANOTHER musical number, this time on the levels of…well, ANY obnoxious teeny bop musician these days. A Little Learning: The people behind this need more than a little of it.
NO. 15: Translate This (Sonic Boom)
It goes without saying that Sonic the Hedgehog does not have what one would call a desirable track record with animation. AOSTH was an incomprehensible mess, SatAM was slightly better but was too slow-paced for its’ own good, Underground was entertaining in all the wrong ways, and Sonic X, while admittedly the most faithful out of all the shows, was an average-at-best anime turned mind-numbingly awful English dub courtesy of the company with a strange vendetta for riceballs. As you could guess by my pick for this spot, Sonic Boom is the show that I care the absolute least for, and once I’m done tearing this episode apart, you’ll understand exactly why. The plot revolves around Tails building a machine which he dubs as the “UT”, which can read the mind of anyone and translate their thoughts into concrete words, which leads to fighting amongst Sonic and the crew. The main problem with this episode is a problem that persists a lot throughout the series: For a Sonic cartoon, it can be surprisingly mean at times. For instance, after UT gets stolen by Eggman, the gang refuses to help Tails recover him due to the fact that all it did was made them fight (Which really could have been avoided in the first place had they not thought so lowly of each other). A disappointed Tails then proclaims that he’ll get UT back by himself, and sets off to Eggman’s lair. Not only does literally no one attempt to stop him (Not even Sonic), but later on it’s shown that they were just lying about doing nothing! In addition to this, we also get a bunch of scenes showing just how far Knuckles has fallen from being the gullible, but nonetheless no-nonsense guardian of the Master Emerald to a complete and utter simpleton, as well as CGI which is okay at best and at worst is sub-par and stiff. Add all of these things up, and you’ll know why I think Sonic Boom is the worst iteration of the blue blur to date. Translate This: A more accurate title would be “Who Would Wanna Watch This?”.
NO. 14: Is Zit You Or Is Zit Me? (Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures)
Jumping from one crappy “re-imagining” of a beloved video game icon to another, what we’ve got here is yet another case of a franchise struggling to stay afloat in the current market, and thus resorting to selling itself out (The absolute last thing ANY franchise should do). The plot revolves around Pac-Man (Speaking of which, why is he called Pac-Man in this show if he’s supposed to be a teenager? Shouldn’t he be called Pac-Boy or something?) getting a zit before Class Picture Day, which apparently grows bigger and bigger the more he lingers on the thought of it. Upon hearing this, the antagonist of the show, Betrayus (I’m not kidding, that’s actually his name), sends all of the ghosts from the Netherland or whatever the hell it’s called to say the most hurtful things that they can think of to make the zit grow bigger and bigger. Ultimately, Pac ends up bloating up to the size of a hot air balloon and ends up floating across the entire city of Pacopolis (Really? What was wrong with the Pac-Village?), and ends up becoming the laughingstock of the town. Oh, and he even says this:
“Oh man, I’m a meme!”
Can you say “We’re Still Relevant, Dammit“?
Aside from that, how does the episode stand out on its’ own? Well, to put it lightly…imagine the infamous SpongeBob SquarePants episode “The Splinter”, except in CGI, even more poorly-written, a moral, and slightly less disgusting. Slightly. Is Zit You or Is Zit Me: Sorry Pac, but you’ve got way more important problems that being a meme.
To be continued…