Saturday Morning Cartoons…Green with Envy!
Hello Boys and Girls of Nerd Nation!
Big Evil is back from his hiatus to nerd out for a few minutes talking about something dear to his heart…CARTOONS!
I’ve been a big fan of the toon genre ever since I was ‘Little Evil” growing up in one of the best decades for cartoons….the ’80s! Back in the day it was all stock animation, poor voiceover, and toy deals and it was AMAZING!
Although there was definitely a lot of cheesiness, the overall themes and stories were still awesome, in fact they were so great many of them have been re-made for this new generation of nerds. Today’s cartoons without question follow more of a serialized format than the ones that were around when I was a kiddo. The stories of today follow tighter plot points that carry from episode to episode, have some great characterization, and for the most part have some sick animation styles. OK, so you get it….I like cartoons. Guilty as charged!
Green Lantern The Animated Series
Green Lantern of comic-book (not movie….never, ever, movie) fame returns for its sophomore season this week. The first season without a doubt was pretty damn good when you see it as a whole, but it started kinda slow for some people so they were initially turned off. I’ve been a GL fan forever so I knew no matter what I was gonna put in the time and support this show and at the end of the day I was not disappointed! The show follows Hal Jordan around as he “Saves the Universe” in various ways, but more than that, it brings the GL mythos to the small screen in an interesting fashion. By the end of season 1, we were introduced to Green Lanterns, Red Lanterns, Star Sapphires, Blue Lanterns, and one of my favorites….MOGO! Also, the first signs of weakness to yellow are apparent and with no word on Sinestro, I bet he’ll make an appearance with his own corps some time this season.
The Bruce Timm-style animation in 3-D form was kinda weird at first, but it really grew on me in the end. This season opener did not disappoint. As I mentioned previously, todays animation is really big on following very large story arcs within the serialized format, so we started the show with none other than the Anti-Monitor in a brief sequence. As the show continues, Hal returns to earth from his time out in space to realize that theres another GL on his planet, none other than Guy Gardner! For the uninitiated, Guy was the 2nd Earth Green Lantern (not counting Alan Scott) who has always had a chip on his shoulder. A great character, who always thought that he was better than Hal, which doesn’t change here in the animated format. All I’m gonna say is that they do a great job at pulling off Guy and if you’re a fan, you really gotta watch it for yourself…
In Brightest Day, in Darkest Night….This is an animated show done right!
Green Lantern the Animated Series airs on Cartoon Network on Saturdays at 10AM.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
September 29th brought with it the return of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. TMNT (or Ninja Turtles) is based off a comic book series from the mid-80’s that parodied X-Men’s new mutants, Daredevil’s Ninjas, and the Teen Titans (plus a few others.) It was transformed into a cartoon in the late ’80s with a massive toy line to boot. The Turtles were huge parts of pop culture for at least two decades but their last show fizzled out about 5 years back. In 2009 Nickelodeon got the rights from Mirage Comics to make a new show. As a young lad I was a huge TMNT fanboy (I had my cousin airbrush me a custom T-Shirt for their live action movie! That’s right I said airbrush….) and I can say that I was not disappointed in this resurrection. All of the important characters are there and so far have kept their personalities in tact. We’ve got Michelangelo (The Dude,) Donatello (The Brains,) Raphael (The Muscle,) and Leonardo (The Tool, er uh….The Leader…..c’mon Leo has always been too goody-good for me!) Master Splinter is still there filling the father-figure/sensei/Alfred role with regular dry humor as well. As far as supporting characters go, we still have Krangg and Shredder with his Foot Clan. April is a bit odd, she’s a teenage girl….Oh yeah, they made a point to mention that the turtles are only 15. The original never really touched on this, but these new guys are definitely less mature, but in a good way.
There’s a few other things like in the old episodes they just loved pizza and we accepted it, but in this first episode we see them try it for the first time and its a pretty fun bit to watch. I’m always a bit skeptical when “The Man” takes something that I really love and repackages it, but I am pretty optimistic of this show. I won’t lie, I’ve had the original song in my head for more than 24 hrs now and I really hope that we get to see Bebop and Rocksteady (two of my favorite henchmen ever,) but I’m afraid that they are owned by Fred Wolf Films who produced it in the 80s. I would put my money on Baxter Stockman and Casey Jones though. Sidenote. I watched TMNT with the new generation of geeks and they seemed to like it too! I guess you could say that I have some hope for these heroes in a half shell…..
Turtle Power! (What can I say, I’m nerdy and couldn’t resist…)
TMNT airs on Nickelodeon on Saturdays at 11AM, check it out!
OK, that’s all for now. Come back for more geeky toon reviews.
That’s NOT all Folks!