Tugboat Mickey Review

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It’s time for another Disney short. I think it’s safe to say that Mickey Mouse has been in a lot of adventures but this may have been the toughest one yet. He owns a boat in this story along with Goofy and Donald. The boat wasn’t fully completed yet as it had a bunch of repairs that still needed to be done, but then the group hears an SOS signal and naturally they cannot ignore it. They have to speed up the repairs and get ready to head out, but can they make it in time?

This is easily one of the better specials. As always, I like seeing the group together. Part of what makes it fun as well is the trick ending. Turns out that the SOS signal was actually a fake and it was just coming from a radio. There’s a twist within the twist though as the signal appears to be sentient because the machine starts to drown when Mickey and co. attack it. You also have to wonder what kind of show was being played since it claimed that this was the final episode. Everyone drowns in the end? Well gosh, that’s a bold ending. At least Mickey didn’t take this lying down though, the least our heroes can do is break the recording to stop others from meeting a similar fate.

The animation is pretty smooth as always. I saw this special back to back with another one that had Mickey’s classic design so it was cool to notice how it changed as the years go by. Mickey has always adapted with the times to the point where it’s hard for me to say what the best design was. He’s a solid lead although Donald steals the show as always. Goofy isn’t bad this time as his role is fairly good. One advantage that this special had over some of the others was that the jokes didn’t go on for too long and they basically all worked this time. Maybe a boat special was just what we needed.

The Donald plot had him go up against a sentient steam pusher which got in some epic burns. It had the best lines of the special. Donald may have lost the fight, but not the war. Goofy had to fight with a latch opener that kept throwing his coal back at him. Goofy definitely wasn’t going to be getting past this guy very easily. Mickey actually had the weakest plot as a drunk bird kept messing with his painting skills. There’s not a whole lot you can do with that plot after all, but the special tried.

Overall, Tugboat Mickey is a fun special. It’s only around 7 minutes so it’s over in the blink of an eye. The short length always helps for these specials so they don’t drag on or anything. If it was gonna be feature length, then you’d probably need more of an actual plot here. If you’ve enjoyed the Disney specials so far then you should add this one to your collection.

Overall 7/10

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The Band Concert Review

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It’s time for another classic Disney review! In this special, Mickey Mouse is actually the antagonist for once. In my head canon, Mickey Mouse let the fame get to him and he forgot to look out for the little guys. As such, he is now the leader of a band and only allows top musicians to play with him. Donald tries to get in on the action, but Mickey reacts violently each time. He’ll have to think of something to get in on the act, but things get tough when a tornado sweeps through and carries them all off. Can Mickey finish his song or will Donald interfere again?

It’s a pretty entertaining special and I can see why people consider it to be one of Disney’s stronger ones. I thought it was more enjoyable than the others that I’ve seen as well. It’s pretty high energy the whole time. Sure, Mickey is pretty out of character, but it just goes to show that even he loses it once in a while. At least Mickey is super focused as not even the tornado could break his concentration. His team didn’t miss a beat and that’s why they’re considered as the pros.

Meanwhile, Donald Duck did his best to fit in. He didn’t let the others get him down and came with a lot of flutes just in case. I’d say that he’s easily the best character in this special. Donald is a reminder to us all that nobody can stop you from playing your tunes except for yourself. This special was a little light on dialogue so we didn’t get to hear Donald’s iconic voice as much as I’d like, but it’s still always fun to see him on screen. Donald is certainly my favorite from the old Disney characters. Another bonus is that Goofy doesn’t get much to do here since it’s just a bunch of Goofy ripoffs in the band and none of them have any lines if I recall correctly. Most excellent!

The actual song that the band was playing was pretty good as well. I definitely don’t mind old style songs for a special like this one. After all, something like Brave or Excalibur Clash wouldn’t fit so well right? I sometimes like to wonder what is better, to have a really epic song for something simple like baking a cake or to have a fairly uneventful theme playing the whole time. The latter would be forgettable, but the former would hint at something epic coming up and then you’d just be disappointed. It’s a tough question for sure.

Overall, it’s fun to check out these retro specials. They’re really short so you can breeze through them, but the animation holds up well. Mickey Mouse and the others certainly got iconic through these shorts so Disney knew how to market even back then. Still, I doubt anyone could have ever guessed just how legendary they would ultimately end up being. There are a lot of specials so it’ll probably be a while before I see them all, but I’m getting there step by step.

Overall 7/10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) Review


It took a long while to get to this review, but I’ve finally made it. TMNT was one of the only big 90’s action shows that I had never watched from start to finish. Well, that finally changed and it certainly lives up to the reputation that the 90’s have created. I can see why no other TMNT show can top this one since it would be extremely difficult. This show handled all of the characters and lore perfectly. With solid action scenes, animation, and a great soundtrack, there is a lot to like here and not much to dislike. It can attract any and all action fans.

The show follows 4 Turtle warriors who become humanoid hybrids once they are exposed to a mysterious ooze. They are trained by a rat named Splinter who teaches them how to master hand to hand combat. They live in the shadows since the general public isn’t quite ready to handle them yet. They work to oppose the various gangs that are around like the Purple Dragons and the Foot Clan. The Turtles also obtain several allies over the years and make a lot of enemies as well. With 5+ seasons and a bunch of episodes along the way, you can bet that numerous obstacles stand in the way of world peace.

Let’s talk about the cast. Leonardo is the leader of the group as always and commands the team well. He trains the hardest and takes everything more seriously than his brothers. He is always calm and collected when dealing with the villains. With all of this in mind, surely he is the strongest right? I’d say that he definitely is. Raphael has always been known as the tough turtle, but in this show, he lags behind the others. Leonardo puts up a great fight against the Elite foot ninjas and just has way better showings in general when compared to the others. Leonardo temporarily became very hot headed like Raphael when his power was not enough to save everyone. It was actually a pretty fun phase and one episode in particular showed how changed he was. When two random guys with wings started a brawl in the city, both Raphael and Leonardo wanted to take them both out instead of talking it through. Leonardo became a better Raphael than Raphael. While Raphael was my favorite as a kid, Leonardo is definitely the best turtle this time, at least in this show.

Raphael is still the second best though. He talks a real good game and while he may not be as skilled as Leonardo or Michelangelo, he is still a strong fighter It would have been cool to have seen him get more one on one fights like what Leonardo got so we could get a better picture of just how strong he really is. There’s not much reason to dislike Raph and the guy makes a lot of good points on how the heroes shouldn’t be hiding all the time. It may have gone the X-men route if they had shown themselves to the world since I’m sure that the humans would try to attack them, but it would be good to get out of the sewer more.

Michelangelo is the comical character of the group and proves that natural talent can go a long way in this group. The other turtles train constantly while Mikey sits back and watches comic books, yet he ends up being a better fighter than Raph and Don. One would think that this is just a fluke, but he outshines them consistently. Mikey’s definitely a likable guy and this is probably one of the only TMNT products that can do him justice. It is very easy to badly write this kind of character since the constant jokes can easily get annoying to see. Luckily the writing is on point. The running gag of Raphael hitting Mikey is also voice acted well on Mikey’s part as he always manages to sound shocked no matter how often it happens. You almost feel bad for Mikey since it isn’t always his fault, but the Turtles are always eager to get into a fight.
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Finally we have Donatello. He was always my least favorite member of the group since I always have preferred the fighters. He is written well like the others though and the team definitely does need his expertise on many occasions. Also it is not as if he can’t fight either. He is roughly at the same level as the other Turtles, he just prefers the gadgets angle to being in the fray. His staff is definitely a better weapon than the nun-chucks if you ask me, but it does lose to the twin sai and the sword. His weaponized truck was definitely Donnie’s best idea. Having that thing around was always super handy.

April and Casey are main supporting characters. Their romance could be a little dragged out and unnecessary, but I guess it was handled better than most. Casey makes for a good rival to Raphael, even if he is left in the dust by the end of the series. His beef with the Purple Dragons helped the threat to really hit home. His personality makes Casey a good rival to have around, but a power boost would have helped as well. April is like Lois Lane. She doesn’t have quite as much spunk, but isn’t afraid to get in on the action. She never got to really fight though which is too bad since she does know some mild hand to hand skills. Having a cool crime fighting outfit like in the CGI film would have been cool. She certainly helped the turtles out a lot by giving them a place to stay and providing pizza. The gang would have been sunk without her.

Time to talk about Bishop. It’s a bold move talking about him before most of the characters, but he was a highlight in the show and easily the best character. I can’t say that I had been expecting him to be so awesome so it was a very pleasant surprise. As you may know, I love seeing the government play a role in any action show where they have to deal with supernatural foes or meta humans. I also like it when they look good and Bishop certainly served the country well. He was actually overpowering the turtles when they fought despite being outnumbered 4-1. I dare say that he is the strongest character with no super powers in the show. He may barely count since he may have a super soldier serum or something like that, but I don’t think it was ever stated officially. Capturing Splinter, Karai, and besting the Turtles is really all the evidence you need. Not to take away from his hand to hand skills though, Bishop was just an exceptional character and it’s hard to do him complete justice on that regard. You really have to see the episodes to really appreciate how awesome he is.

Another character who was a surprise hit was none other than Baxter Stockman. I figured that he would be your average mad scientist. He would talk a good game, but would not be able to back it up in the slightest. Stockman may not have turned out to be some kind of intense hand to hand fighter, but he was a lot more confident than I could have expected. He keeps on talking back to Shredder and showing no respect even after getting his arms and legs ripped off. Even losing his whole body aside from his brain didn’t deter him. It’s pretty crazy that none of this caused him to lose his bark. In the end Shredder could not break him so that was pretty good bragging rights for Stockman.

Hun was essentially Stockman’s main rival so they were polar opposites. Hun was very strong, but not particularly smart. He wasn’t nearly as fun as Stockman though and could never hold his own episode in the same way. He made up for it by having some good fights though. He started out at a level where he could take on multiple turtles at once, but by the end they can all handle him rather easily. Another big villain was Karai. She was a little more noble than the Shredder. She was still a villain of course, but she preferred to take the turtles on in fair hand to hand battles. She was definitely quite skilled and proved to be stronger than the turtles one on one except for Leonardo. He would always have the slight edge over her although it was close.

We can’t go on in the review without talking about the Splinter right? As the sensei to the four turtles, he was definitely a force to be reckoned with. I’d say that Leonardo definitely surpassed him by the end, but Splinter never got too weak. He could hold his own and his age never really got to him. His cane could even be used as a weapon even if it was nowhere near as good as a sword. I still disagree with most of his fist decisions about not going to the human world though. It never made much sense and it still doesn’t. If they are going to be heroes, then they will have to confront the villains at some point won’t they? They gradually begin to make their own decisions though and this is especially the case when Splinter is written out of the show for dozens of episodes at a time. I can’t say that I really missed him to be honest.

Another major character in the mythos is the Shredder. He plays a major role in the series like you’d expect. The show took a big gamble as it decided to make Shredder an alien. The show pulled it off quite well so I had no qualms with it. I don’t care for the design, but at least we never get to see it all that much. When he is in the suit, this version of the Shredder still has the absolute best design. He even gets a robotic voice that makes him even more menacing. Shredder proves to be too powerful for the Turtles most of the time as you’d expect, but he never really got any power ups. As a result, I do think that Leonardo ended up surpassing him. Shredder is my third favorite villain in the series behind Bishop and Tengu Shredder. It should come as no surprise then that most of the episodes with the Shredder as the main villain are highlights. He always has a pretty good plan at the ready and action is constant throughout.
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Tengu Shredder was another surprise hit although we should say that the surprise was very mild. I was expecting him to be pretty good the whole time, but he went above and beyond my expectations. He was essentially the Shredder, but even more intimidating and imposing. If you’re familiar with the show, then you’ll know that this is a pretty difficult feat to accomplish. His power level was also off the charts and if not for the Turtles getting serious upgrades as well, it would have all been over. To put this into perspective, you can’t even compare Tengu Shredder to the rest of the heroes and villains. Even powerful foes like the Shredder and Bishop are still meta humans. Tengu was above that and his physical stats were something out of an anime. It was a treat to watch.

The show did enjoy its array of Shredders so we got another one in the form of Cyber Shredder. He may have had less personality than the other two, but there’s not much to dislike with this guy. Since he is essentially a data clone of the Shredder, he retains the personality and fighting skills of the original with some data enhancements. He was another fine addition to the cast. Going back to more minor villains, I enjoyed the Evil Turtle Bot. His role in the show is tiny and I probably wouldn’t have thought much him if not for playing the video game. The game certainly made me see him in a new light since he was awesome there. He’s a pretty decent minion and actually gave the Turtles some trouble.

Another good minion was the Foot Tech Ninja. They may have been handled rather easily after their initial appearances, but they looked really good during the beginning. You can’t count these warriors out and they made good use of their tech. Even the normal Foot Soldiers are actually pretty cool minions. I could certainly get behind these guys at any rate. It’s important for a show to have good minions since you’ll be seeing them quite often. The best minions were certainly the Foot Elite though. They were able to hold their own against the Turtles and aside from Leonardo, I dare say that they were winning. They certainly didn’t earn the title lightly and since there are four of them, it makes for a fun fight against the four turtles.

Another faction was the Foot Mystics. They were pretty interesting since I remembered their original forms quite well, but wasn’t aware that they had a true form. I couldn’t take them very seriously as villains to be honest and they weren’t as impressive as the rest of the Foot. Their elemental abilities are handy to have though. Leatherhead is another supporting character that I wasn’t fond of. He became a good guy for a good portion of the series, but he always struggled with the dark side. He rarely got around to actually helping the heroes and while he is strong, his lack of hand to hand skills would have likely been exposed if he appeared more often.

The Ninja Tribunal was a powerful group of warriors who were so powerful that it was easy to assume they had entered the wrong show. These guys didn’t fit in with the others as with the whole season, but that didn’t take away from how awesome they were as characters. The group was pretty mean and I certainly wouldn’t trust them, but they were an imposing group. Were they over hyped? Yeah, they didn’t perform quite as well as one would have expected but at least they still did try to put up a fight. Their character designs and special abilities were pretty fun.

Another super group that may have been a bit out of place here was the Justice Force. They are a not very subtle homage of the Justice League and they tackle the threats that no one else would dare oppose. Unfortunately, we never really got to see how they would fare against the Shredder and the gang. Again, it’s almost as if it was a completely different show when these guys would show up. At most they may have met the Shredder very briefly in one of those alternate future kind of episodes, but I can’t really recall that with any certainty. Their version of Superman and Batman were definitely the highlights here. They acted the part well and did a good job when it came time to fight. Batman’s character didn’t actually join the group for a while, but he took the plunge in the end.

One character that I didn’t care for much was Renet. It’s not to much that she was a bad character, but that she always brought along bad episodes. Each episode she appeared in was a very painfully drawn out filler episode where you would just want the plot to return. She didn’t really add anything to the series and you would constantly just wonder what she was even doing in the show. It felt like some kind of crossover for the fans, but I don’t believe she was ever a big character so that didn’t work well. (At least for me)

Cody was a main character in the infamous Fast Forward season. He’s a nice enough kid and you could make a lot of comparisons between him and Chris from Sonic X. It does feel like he was forced into the series to make the Turtles a little more sympathetic since you could now put yourself in the kid’s shoes. It was a nice wrinkle that Cody was rich though. His uncle may have been crooked, but that didn’t stop Cody from trying to save the day. He’s all right, but the character is so generic that it is hard to dislike him. By the same token, you could dislike him because he is so generic. Serling was a much more charismatic supporting character that was introduced in the season. He got a lot of witty dialogue throughout and had some of the best facial expressions. He actually could fight when necessary and even became a suit of armor for Cody towards the end of the show. His attempts at humor usually worked quite well and fleshed out his character.
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The Ancient One is the kind of character that you would expect big things from right? He taught Splinter’s master so he must be super strong? Well, the guy let himself go so now he’s very overweight and prefers to be the crude humor specialist of the show. It’s always sad whenever the guy is on screen and he never fights so that leads me to believe that he is actually not all that tough. It’s a shame, but I guess that’s what happens when you buy into the hype. He was a wasted character and one who luckily didn’t get to appear much.

Viral was a fairly intense villain who appeared in Fast Forward. She had some really potent abilities and it was hard to permanently destroy her since the data could keep on coming back over and over again. She certainly didn’t mess around and while her role was ultimately pretty minor, Viral left a good mark on the show. Another decent group of minor villains were the Dark Turtles. Leonardo’s certainly got the most personality and he came close to turning good even if he ultimately couldn’t make the switch. The other three were comic relief for the most part, but it was still nice to see a team of counterparts to take on the real Turtles.

Khan is one of those characters that will make you take a step back and wonder where the writers were going with him. When he first appeared, Khan got a lot of hype since he murdered the Turtles in the future. Well, after his initial appearance, Khan was treated as a lightweight. The heroes didn’t have to pay any special attention to him and just wrecked him as they would any other villain. I feel like the writers maybe forgot that plot or had to shelve it due to backstage drama and as a result, we skipped Khan’s entire character arc. It’s too bad since the character had a lot of potential and could have been one of the best if handled right.

Usagi was treated as a hype character and you could also say that he was a guest star since he has his own comic series to think about. Unfortunately, I definitely didn’t care much for his character. I’d say that his skills were drastically overplayed to make him appear to be an even match for Leonardo. His advice was never all that good and once Leonardo went into his toughness phase after not being strong enough to save the day, Usagi didn’t do much to help. He was called in to try and calm Leonardo down, but it didn’t work at all and Usagi was always more about talking than acting. The character was just irritating whenever he’d appear.

That was a lot of characters eh? Well, now lets look at the show as a whole. The first season really started the show off on a strong note and you could make a strong case for it being the best season. Shredder Strikes Back, Return to New York, and The Shredder Strikes were all fantastic multi part events. I dare say that Shredder Strikes Back Part 1 is the definitive episode from the entire series. It’s my personal favorite because just about the whole episode is one large fight and it shows why Leonardo is the leader of the gang. I don’t believe that any of the other 3 Turtles would have been able to last very long here.

The next season started off with the weakest big event of the series. The intergalactic space war just wasn’t very interesting and since it was 5 whole episodes…it dragged on a great deal. Luckily, the season picked up again once they made it back home since we got to see more of Bishop and the Shredder. This season spent a lot of time with the Tournament at the end and had a good amount of stand alone episodes as well. It had less stand out episodes than season 1, but when you consider the consistent quality of the show, it’s not as if it was much of a change. Season 1 was more epic, but you could really appreciate season 2 because of how the tight continuity kept expanding the show.

Season 3 is probably the weakest season. Granted, you can have a very different experience when actually watching the episodes as opposed to remembering them from afar. That being said, the only 5-6 episodes were about the Space Invaders once again and that had to be the worst plot. Let me explain why this plot just didn’t work. I didn’t really care about the Dinosaurs or the resistance organization that they were fighting. I just wanted the Turtles to head back to Earth so they could have some good hand to hand fights with the villains. That’s really all that I wanted and this space business just didn’t do it for me. The villains simply weren’t as interesting as the Foot or even dare I say, the Purple Dragons. We did get a pretty nice climax where Shredder, Bishop, and the Aliens all got to play their final gambit. Bishop once again got the last laugh I’d say, but all of the characters got a good amount of hype there. Usagi got to appear here so that was too bad though.

Season 4 was pretty exciting. For starters, this season changed the status quo much more than any other previous season. Leonardo blamed himself for what happened on the fated missile and became a hot head like Raphael. He was more dark and brooding and stopped being the calm and collected leader that he used to be. This made for a lot of great dialogue and it also helped Leonardo keep his place at the top of the food chain. While later seasons started to mess up the power levels a bit, this one could not since it was a part of the plot. The final episode of the season was especially exciting as it directly led into the next big adventure with Tengu Shredder. It was a really bold and epic way to close out the season. This saga also had Leonardo infiltrate the Foot headquarters and basically beat up every single person there. These were the kind of highlights that were lacking in season 3.
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Season 5 took a very different approach to the show and it worked well. While the first four seasons were your standard action adventure, I dare say that season 5 was more like an anime. The Turtles had to come together to stop an evil menace and to do this, they would have to learn how to wield super powers. Michelangelo got some great speed and really won out here since his ability was the only one that was lethally dangerous from the get go. The others also got some useful abilities and from there they worked to stop Tengu Shredder. They may not have had a lot of luck in the end since the Tribunal was overwhelmed, but the whole season had a feeling of danger and unease. Something was always happening here and it certainly had the fastest pacing out of all the seasons. Of course, at 12 episodes that was probably a given. Even the 12 episodes part seems like a homage to anime in general. Everyone suddenly got so crazy powerful and the fights were so good that this season really could have been a contender for the best in another title. As it stands, the short length does keep it back ever so gently.

Season 6 brought another twist to the show. It was the Fast Forward season and took a more toyetic approach to the show. It suddenly felt more like a Saturday Morning Cartoon and as such, every character suddenly had futuristic equipment at their disposal. It was a radical switch as the entire cast was switched out for a new one with the exclusion of the main 4 turtles. I thought it was fun enough. On its own, it was still good enough to get a 7, but you couldn’t really compare it to the older seasons. It was fun, but not as epic or action packed as what had come before. The Bounty Hunter Zixx was a decent addition to the cast though. He always had the upper hand on the turtles and was good at getting people to lower their guards.

Finally, we have the Back to the Sewers season. The appeal of this last installment was obvious as the Turtles finally got to go home and relax. Unfortunately, duty called as Splinter was split across the Digital World and Cyber Shredder wanted to break out of there and head to the real world. The Turtles had to move fast and activate all of their Tron gear in order to escape. Because of this, it still had some Fast Forward elements while bringing back the old cast. It was like a fusion of the two and it was a fun enough season. The new designs may have taken a bit of getting used too, but they were still pretty solid. I definitely preferred the old ones as they made for far better fights, but this will still beat most of the modern animated titles.

At 7 seasons long, the show had a lot of time to introduce characters and get you used to the lore. This is part of what made the series so successful. There were a lot of hypothetical match ups that you could spend time thinking about since they hadn’t happened in the show yet. I really wanted to see Shredder fight Bishop or to have any of those two go up against the Justice Force. The two aspects of the show rarely ever met up which is a shame, but I like to think that the series was saving that just in case it ever wanted to do a really big crossover episode. To an extent, the rocket finale was the closest that we got, but I wanted more.

TMNT lasted long enough where the show got to try out a bunch of different genres and we had a lot of action scenes. IT’s worth mentioning that even episodes without a big villain or a lot of fights could still be good because of the solid writing. It was just a well written show and the characters were portrayed in an accurate fashion. My only gripe was the noticeable lack of pizza in the show. TMNT goes hand in hand with pizza. That’s how it is and that’s how it’s always been. I’m sure that the show could have included pizza in more scenes if they wanted to do so. It just makes sense to add that into a Ninja Turtles show. Still, it’s a relatively minor complaint in the grand scheme of things.

One of the best parts of TMNT was definitely the soundtrack. It had a lot of really great tunes and these were themes that you could only hear in the 90’s. As one of the only 90’s shows that I had barely watched from the action genre, this show brought about a lot of nostalgia. I really do miss this style and just watching one episode will remind you of what you are missing. Naturally, the animation is also very sharp. The designs are very wholesome and you can feel every blow during the fights. The impacts had power. The animation style switched a bit towards and the end and it was definitely a step down. It still looked better than the current ninja turtles show, but the glory days were long gone by then. Luckily, that was at the very end so pretty much all of the really epic Shredder episodes had already aired. The show has a similar feel to other big cartoons like Justice League and not only does it age well, but it clobbers a lot of the currently airing shows.

I’m not even typically a huge TMNT fan, but the show was just really solid. Even if you may not have thought the characters were great before, they are solid in this show. A good show can do wonders for a franchise and this show is evidence of that. The recent movies certainly haven’t helped and the current TMNT show looks rather choppy. I’d definitely take another season or this title over that. After all, an element that this show has over those is its tight continuity. You could actually compare it to something like Young Justice as it keeps building and building off of its plot lines. Everything is connected and the more episodes you watch, the more all of the plots start to intertwine. It makes everything feel that much more important. For example, the illuminati guys started showing up very early on in the series and the show kept you guessing as to their true identities for a very long time. While the twist on who they actually were was a little underwhelming, it was always awesome to see those guys apear. They were strong, mysterious, and had everything that you could want in a shadow group who operates behind the scenes.
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Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a great show. It’s one of the lost gems of a legendary era for television and I finally got to check it out from start to finish. It had quite a lot of episodes and a high amount of replay value so it’s the kind of show where you can easily re-watch some episodes of at any point. I’d highly recommend this to any blog reader who hasn’t checked it out yet. I don’t expect any of the other Ninja Turtle shows to match this one. From what I’ve seen of the only others, it’s not even a close fight. This one simply can’t be topped and that means that the 90’s (Well, technically early 2000s, but it feels like the 90s so I may as well stick with that) has scored another big win! If I ever do watch another TMNT show to completion, I’ll try not to constantly compare it to this one every episode, but it’ll be tough.

Overall 8/10

The Legend of Zelda Review


It’s time to take a look at a rather infamous cartoon from back in the day. I only got to see 2-3 episodes back in the day so I had always wanted to check out the whole series. Well, I finally got my chance for Christmas as I took the plunge and purchased the whole series. I mean, for only 6 dollars how could I not take the plunge? These 13 episodes may fly by, but they still deliver with a lot of content and you’ll find yourself grinning throughout. It’s a fun show that you can recommend to anyone and it should feel very nostalgic.

The story follows a young hero named Link. He guards Princess Zelda and her magical object of power (The Triforce) from the evil Ganon and his demonic followers. They want the Triforce and will stop at nothing to get it. The only way to stop Ganon for good is to claim his Triforce for themselves, but it’ll still be a very dangerous undertaking. As a result, the two sides are at an eternal stalemate and that’s where the show picks off. Oddly enough, Ganon’s side is the only one that continues to attack and press the advantage. Link and Zelda are content to just relax all day and not actually get anything done. It’s a rather risky move and honestly, it feels like their team should lose after a while. Ganon’s big advantage is that the heroes don’t dare wander into his domain while he breaks into their castle every day. The heroes have no guards or defenses and the villains are able to teleport into the room anyway. They broke in while Link was sleeping once and many times they even nab the Triforce. They’re always caught of course, but it just shows how easy it should be for the villains to claim the win here.

It’s pretty admirable how the show just launches into the episodes without explaining much. The mystical weapons? Nah, the viewers will understand what is happening right off the bat. It’s the way most shows should go about this and this lets the pacing be very fast. The heroes just go about their business and we follow as best we can. If anything, the show developed such a fun little world that it makes you want to see more of it. Where are all the citizens of this big kingdom? We see some briefly in 1-2 episodes, but for the most part the Kingdom is completely deserted, which may seem odd at times. At least this means that Link and Zelda can go anywhere at any time without having to worry about a crowd. That’s definitely a nice perk.

Link also isn’t your average selfless hero as he doesn’t care for the job. He just wants Princess Zelda, which isn’t the greatest reason to stay. He isn’t even a great fighter half the time as he lets his sword do all the work. It must be nice to have a sword that can fire energy blasts which destroy most foes in a single hit. Even with that weapon, Link is overwhelmed most of the time and gets captured/defeated many many times. It’s quite telling that he is still the strongest warrior in the kingdom. That should speak volumes. While he may not be much of a hero, Link is still pretty charismatic. His catchphrase “Excuuuuuuuse me Princess” is one of the greatest in all of television and it’s really cool that he is able to say it almost 30 times in the span of 13 episodes. He is only cut off once so Link usually gets to squeeze the whole line in. Link may not have any magical abilities, but his weapons certainly seem to be magical as they can shrink and enlarge at will. Link can even materialize his shield to help him out in the tougher fights.

Zelda’s a fun heroine as well, but she definitely does openly use Link the whole time. She insults him quite a lot and always makes sure to dodge his advances. I can definitely get behind her on that, but then she’ll also lead him on or accept his advances in other episodes which makes the whole thing really odd. She changes her mind on how she feels about Link quite often so you never know which Zelda to expect. It’s also strange to see her not fight all that much since her magical abilities seem to make her a much stronger fighter than Link. Her sorcery seemed to not really have any limits, especially when she was with the Triforce. It would probably be safer with the heroes than locked in an isolated room next to the window, but I suppose that I shouldn’t question royalty.

The King also appeared a few times. I liked how similar he was to the CDI games. He even said “Mah Boi” and we had some other homages like Link saying “Oh Boy” and a variation of “It sure is boring around here” The show always knew how to include some really good dialogue. Throughout the show, the writing is very strong. The voice acting is also top notch as all of the characters really give it their all for all of the lines. The King may have been overly naive, but it’s just to show that the people in the Kingdom are super innocent. They aren’t really prepared for Ganon and his onslaught of evil.

Speaking of Ganon, he was a decent villain I suppose, but probably the weak link from the main cast. I actually liked his screechy voice as it helped to make him sound whiny. On the other hand, it was a little odd to see that he was also interested in Zelda. That’s certainly not the Ganon that I remember. His magical powers seemed to be pretty decent for the most part, but since a sword blast will also take him out Ganon doesn’t get too many chances to fight. His blast was able to get past Link’s shield so that was impressive I suppose.

One character who gets a pretty big role in the show during the early episodes is Sprite. She’s a fairy who likes to interrupt Zelda and Link before things get tricky. She is a little on the gullible side as she falls for Link’s tricks, but she means well. She can fire energy blasts, which is pretty useful in a fight and comes through for Link in one of the episodes when he was trapped as a frog. It’s interesting to see her so antagonistic to Zelda considering that Zelda is her boss, but at least it shows how fearless she is.

The show’s soundtrack is pretty solid as it uses a lot of classic Legend of Zelda tunes. You’ll recognize the original music as it plays quite a lot. It’s pretty fitting for the scenes. The animation is also pretty smooth and crisp. Once in a while the show will show its age as a character model won’t really move as he/she is blasted, but that helps give the show that retro feel. It’s certainly aged really well considering how old it is and I dare say that it looks even better than Captain N. The theme song is also pretty fun as it gives you a nice wrap up of what the show is about off the bat so you know what to expect.

Given that this is an old cartoon and that it is only 13 episodes, you can probably guess that there isn’t a big plot or anything like that. All of the episodes are stand alones with attempts by Ganon to steal the triforce. Luckily, the episodes are all pretty solid. The best episode is probably the one where another Prince shows up and Link feels threatened. It’s a classic trope and you know that the new prince is doomed, but it was still nice to see him talking so tough. Also, Ganon was actually a little worried about his presence and the Prince was a good fighter so he was given more credit than I was expecting. That was a nice twist and Link still took him out in the end.

Another classic one is when Ganon gets a duplicate Zelda to make Link bring the Triforce over to his lair. The plan actually works fairly well even though Link figures out the trick right away. Still, the problem is the same as it always is. Ganon’s henchmen can’t do anything so even if he gets the Triforce, Link will just steal it right back. The “romance” in the episode was pretty sad though and it still shows why Link isn’t really a hero here. He just wants his thrills and saving the kingdom is just a way to keep from being bored. The rest of the episodes are more such attempts. Sometimes Link is a ghost, a frog, or just bored, but he always finds a way to win along with help (Sometimes quite a lot of it) from Zelda. While most of the episodes follow the same formula, they stay fresh and epic because of the great writing. I can’t stress enough just how important it was for this show to have such a solid script.
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Overall, Legend of Zelda is a really fun show. I definitely wish that it could have gotten more than 13 episodes. The title is gone just as soon as it is started. Especially since each episode is shorter than the average episode for another show. The main cast are likable and we do have a nice array of action scenes which are great as well. Even if you’ve never played the Legend of Zelda games, I’m confident that you can get behind this show. It’s the kind of classic fun that can appeal to all audiences and who doesn’t know the legendary hero of time? Naturally I need to wrap up the final box set of Mario as well so I can give that one a review as well. Eventually it’ll be fun to check out other similar shows like Captain N, Mega Man, and Street Fighter. These retro shows are just too good to resist. I really wish Nintendo would come up with a new show. There are so many possibilities here!

Overall 7/10

Mickey’s Christmas Carol Review

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It’s time for a fun look at the classic Christmas Carol. I’ve seen many versions of this over the years and it’s a nice way to get prepared for Christmas. Mickey Mouse and the gang adapt this story well. As the special is very quick, they go through the 3 ghosts in record time. It may feel a tad too short at times, but it gets the job done. Scrooge does a good job portraying…Scrooge and Mickey Mouse has the solid one liners when necessary. It’s a fun special and there’s nothing to really dislike here.

In case you don’t know the plot of the Christmas Carol, it follows a jaded old man. His name is Scrooge and money is the only thing that he likes. He has lived his life like this for many years, but this year is different. He is visited by three ghosts who show him the past, present, and future. If Scrooge doesn’t change his ways, he’ll be in chains for his whole afterlife and a little kid will die. Scrooge must see the value of Christmas or he will go down this dark path. Will he see the error of his ways?

Scrooge is easily the best character here. Convincing the people trying to earn money for the poor that there work wasn’t going to end well was pretty strategic. Scrooge consistently shows that he is the smartest guy in the room. He also gets some of the best lines like when one of the ghosts said “It’s time to go” Scrooge responded with “Then go already!” As a cynical old duck, it’s fun to see him boss everyone around and try to sour everyone’s day. Only giving Mickey half a day off for Christmas shows just how strict he is. He even gave up his fiancee and then charged her for rent so he could get richer. Naturally, he’s not quite as fun once he turns into a nice guy, but it had to happen at some point. It would have been quite the ending had Scrooge decided that he just had too much Eggnog before bed and then went back to his old ways. It’s a rather sudden turnaround and it may not be all that believable, but it’s not supposed to be. Also, there is only so much that you can do for a character’s development in the course of 20 minutes.

Mickey Mouse is a nice supporting character. He’s a nice guy who just does his best the whole time, but he also gets in a few moments of rebellion such as when he told Scrooge “Bah Humbug!” before “catching himself” and saying Merry Christmas instead. Tiny Tim was around as well and he’s never been my favorite character, (A little too cheesy the whole time) but the special would be quite different without him I suppose. The rest of the family were less antagonistic towards Scrooge than they were in the Scrooged film. (Still the definitive adaption of the Christmas Carol. Not necessarily the best, but it’s the one that I automatically think of) There aren’t a whole lot of other characters around, but we do have the 3 ghosts. The ghost of the present was easily the most annoying one. I liked the ghost of the past though since it was a very fitting choice. Disney’s characters were really made for this roles. The ghost of the future was suitably mean, but at least he was a nice guy here since he’s using scare tactics to get Scrooge to make the right call. That sort of counts as being nice right?…

The animation is pretty fun and retro. This special certainly came out a long time ago and yet it looks a lot crisper and more modern than Charlie Brown and other similar cartoons from its time. Depends on how long of a period we call the same time era though. There’s not much of a soundtrack, but music wasn’t a really big focus in media back in the day. That’s just how it was at the time. The sound effects really stand out this way though so that’s a positive.

Overall, This was a fun special. I still know these characters more from Kingdom Hearts than I do from the old classics so it’s neat to see them in their less serious forms for a change. It’s like looking at the characters before they peered into the darkness and learned how grave everything around them was. Donald’s voice is still perfect for all of his scenes. This special may not have gone out of its way for any exaggerated humor or forced jokes, but that’s exactly why it managed to be humorous. It’s a well written special and the kind of program that you couldn’t really expect to find nowadays. There’s just something to be said for these classic characters adapting such a classic story. I definitely recommend it for Christmas and I’m sure that I’ll be seeing more Christmas programs before the year is up.

Overall 7/10

Lego Scooby-Doo!: Haunted Hollywood

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It’s time for another Scooby Doo adventure. This one is back to the Lego style. What I like about Scooby Doo venturing into all of these different styles is it means that the films can come out more frequently. Think of the Lego films as a hold over while waiting for the traditional ones. As long as the writing is on point, it will still make for a fun story. Fred steals the show once again, but the rest of the gang do their best to keep up with his lead.

Shaggy and Scooby Doo have finally had enough of Fred and the gang. They refuse to be tricked by Scooby Snacks any longer and have decided to stop eating them for good. The gang takes them on a field trip to Hollywood to celebrate, but it turns out that the place is haunted. Shaggy and Scooby might have to go back to Scooby Snacks if they want to survive this experience. Luckily, with all of the real film producers running away from the monsters, this is Fred’s chance to take the limelight and make the best film possible!

This film plays out like your average Scooby Doo adventure. The animation isn’t my favorite as it is lego style, but it’s not all that bad either. If anything, the one thing about Lego style that irks me the most is how Legos can’t eat. As a result, there’s always an excuse for Shaggy and Scooby to not eat their food or a quick cutaway. We need to find a way to get past that limitation. As for the soundtrack, I can’t remember any of the tunes, but I’m sure that they were decent enough.

The subplot of Scooby and Shaggy deciding not to eat Scooby Snacks anymore was decent, even if you knew from the start that the franchise would never dare change the status quo quite so much. It’s still good to see the heroes have some restraint and go for actual food instead. The other subplot with Daphne wanting to be a film lead was annoying. She could have at least been halfway decent at being a supporting character instead of actively trying to wreck Fred’s film. I’d say that the plot was definitely too over dramatized. Velma didn’t really have a plot this time. As a result, she wasn’t as bad as she usually is although she’s definitely still not much of a likable character to be honest.

Luckily, Fred’s got this. Once he gets the film producer role, he does a good job of putting everyone in their place and completing the job to the best of his ability. He didn’t have much to work with, but Fred pulled through with the project anyway. He stopped most of the monsters on his own and came up with the plans needed to save the day. I can’t imagine where the gang would be without him. I don’t imagine that they would last long, that’s for sure.

Naturally, we’ve also got a few characters who were made up for the film. There weren’t a whole lot of them this time. One character was an actress who decided to help out in Fred’s film. She handled the role fairly well and definitely had an air of professionalism. The only problem is that she never felt like a suspect. I don’t suppose that she was ever supposed to be considered as one, but then you really only have 2-3 actual suspects with one of them being the culprit. The film does its best to weave around that, but it’s quite difficult.

There’s also the horror fan who doesn’t like the fact that Hollywood has decided to go with Rom Coms instead of more horror. Fred and the gang don’t sympathize all that much. This kid has to perform just about every job at the place himself since everyone else ran off. He’s brave and has a motive, that’s reason enough to add him onto the suspect box. There’s also his boss. He likely stands to gain a lot if Hollywood is shut down since he is probably insured. He half heartedly tells Fred and the others to film a movie themselves, but it could just be his way of getting them out of the picture. You’ll want to keep your eye on this guy. Finally, we’ve got the inspector who is looking to buy Hollywood. As more and more people run away from the place, the going rate will continue to drop so that’s likely a good proposition for the man. He stands to gain a lot from this monster.

As for the actual monster(s) in question, the designs aren’t bad. They’re all based off of the original monsters like Dracula and the Werewolf so they aren’t new designs, but they are tried and true. They make some effort to get to Fred and the gang, but the Mystery Inc had a larger advantage than usual this time. The monsters were actually on the defensive for most of the film. They simply lacked the ferociousness that most of the other villains had.

The film’s pretty short as you’d expect and since there were a short mission at the start of the film, the main one didn’t get too much screen time. Relatively speaking of course since it probably only took an extra 5-10 minutes. That may have been why the cast was so small this time around. The pacing is still solid though and maybe it was for the best as the original characters here are all likable. The best character was probably the investor to be honest, but the horror fan did a decent job of keeping everyone in check. The boss would probably be the blandest character, but he serves his purpose.

This review ended up being a little on the short side so let me use this paragraph to make a suggestion on where Scooby Doo can go from here. I like the current formula as much as the next guy, but there is one addition that could really help the series. The franchise needs a rival team. Granted, the team could be obnoxious if handled wrong, but stay with me here. Imagine a Mystery Inc that only cares about profits and uses any means necessary to catch the crooks. Even if they don’t become main supporting characters, one film like this could be genius. I believe that the films have dabbled around with having other sleuths once in a while, but I’m talking a full team here. Just think about it, a rival team could really be awesome. Fred’s competitive nature would ensure a fun dynamic as well.

Overall, If you’ve seen the older Scooby Doo films, then you should like this one. It stays pretty true to the overall formula and sits comfortably away from the lower tier films. Everyone is in character, which actually is not a given since in recent films some characters have been a bit dicey. Daphne didn’t bring her A game this time and was easily the weakest member, but even she could have been a little more exaggerated. Fred’s been looking really good these last few films so I’m hoping that the franchise can keep it up. Next up, the Wrestling sequel is arriving and that should definitely be a fun film. The first title was one of the better Scooby Doo films so I’m certainly hoping for more of the same from its sequel.

Overall 7/10

Scooby Doo Ghastly Goals Review

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It’s time for a soccer adventure this time! The group heads to Brazil to enjoy the soccer festivities, but they’re quickly sidetracked by the mystery ongoing. It seems like a good time of just watching the big Brazil vs USA game is out of the question. The Mystery Inc. needs to solve this case or they will have let down the Soccer community! I also have to give myself some props here because I immediately guessed that the gang was in Brazil. Most impressive eh?

The villain here is a Jackal type creature who is strong enough to break the Soccer Balls with his fist. That’s no small feat if you ask me and it shows that this guy is not to be taken lightly. Luckily, Scooby Doo and friends are up to the task for a change and they actually engage the villain in a good ole fashioned game of Soccer. After all, it’s personal this time. The Jackal was a good villain, he lacked the Oomph that the Water Dino and the Mecha Mutt had, but I’ll take him over a Scarecrow any day of the week.

Unfortunately, Scooby Doo committed one of his biggest blunders in franchise history. He caused the U.S.A. to lose in the big battle against Brazil. Not only was it completely against the rules for Scooby Doo to suddenly switch Nationalities and fight under the opponent team, but we all know that the U.S.A. should have won the match. They were pressing hard and had the momentum. Why would Scooby Doo do such a thing!? It was a tragic moment to be sure.

Let’s get onto the suspects. The facts as we know them are as follows. There is a super scientist who has invented a way to make rubber stronger. If you inject a Soccer Ball with this fluid, it’ll launch across an area with tremendous speed and it won’t stop going for quite a while. This leads to quite a few plot hax moments towards the end as the Mystery Inc gang pass the ball to each other and suddenly it is moving at normal speed. The film thought that I wouldn’t catch this, but they were wrong! So, this Soccer Ball is now the target of the Jackal and it’s too bad since the ball was owned by a pair of kids who just wanted to have some fun.

Two suspects are naturally the scientist and his assistant. They may be using this as good publicity for their collective genius. There’s also the tough security officer who won’t let them see the doctor without an appointment. This guy plays by the book and the Mystery gang don’t agree with those methods. We’ve also got the owner of the stadium who runs a tight ship, but that may be where the problem is. Maybe this is just an excuse for him to sue someone. Only one person can (typically) be the culprit…it’s only a matter of time before Scooby sniffs him/her out!

As always, the animation and soundtrack are solid. Every scene is vibrant and colorful. It’s no Transformers the animated movie, but this film doesn’t resort to becoming a Flash animated film and stays with the tried and true formula. I can’t remember any tunes so maybe calling the soundtrack “solid” is a little strong, but it works well enough I suppose. The food always looks delicious and that works for me.

See, it’s hard to animate a good slice of pizza at times. To date, the Arthur cartoon did the best job of animating it by showing off how much cheese there is supposed to be in a slice. We get some pizza here as well, on a stick. I think this is probably just a super exaggerated account of the food options over in Brazil, but I wouldn’t mind eating all of these things on a stick. The Pizza still looked great and I’d take the burgers as well. I’m pretty hungry right now so I would certainly take one of those options right about now.

The special is only around 20 minutes so it’s very fast. The plot never has a chance to drag on and it’s one of the perks of these TV specials as I mentioned earlier. Everything moves at a fast pace and this has had some success for films as well. Just look at Yugioh 3D Bonds Beyond Time. That’s still the best film of all time and it’s incredibly short. Quality defeated Quantity in this case. These specials can easily take on some of the Scooby Doo films. It’s definitely a franchise that continues to do a good job getting the characters in new/interesting situations.

I haven’t talked about the main characters in a while since they never really change. That’s an intentional thing since you don’t want to mess with a good thing, but it’s safe to say that Fred’s still the best character. He has his sad moments, but so do the rest of the gang. For the most part, he does a good job commanding everyone and thinking up the plans to ultimately save the day. Shaggy is classic since eating all of the time sounds like it would be a blast. I never cared for Velma all that much and I’m not a big fan of Scooby Doo either. Daphne’s good, but it’s always annoying when they make her act like a flirt instead of the hardened reporter that we’ve come to know from Zombie Island. I still wish we could get a hardcore rival character like the one from the Pup Named Scooby Doo show. That guy was classic!

Overall, This was a solid Scooby Doo film and probably the best one out of the 4 specials that I saw. The hard hitting Soccer action is always intense and it was good to see Scooby and the others have a more active role in going up against the villain. Typically they’re too scared to try any of this so they finally realized that when together, the Mystery Gang is a force to be reckoned with. I’d definitely recommend it if you want to see a quick, but fun adventure.

Overall 7/10