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Cartoons - John C. Kirk

Aug. 30th, 2006

01:06 am - Cartoons

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I spent a couple of days at Notting Hill Carnival over the weekend (SJA duty) - it was fairly quiet by Notting Hill standards, although still quite busy as compared to other duties. The single most common injury was when we had people (mostly women) with cut feet (from treading on broken glass) - not very serious, although those type of wounds do tend to bleed a lot. Anyway, as a public service announcement: flip flops are not a good choice of footwear at an event like that!

These were fairly long duties; I was out of the flat for 16 hours on Sunday, then 17½ hours yesterday, so I took today off work so that I could catch up on sleep. After a nice long lie-in, I've spent most of the rest of the day watching cartoons and reading comics (although I was back at SJA for our regular training session tonight). In particular, there have been a few things which were particularly entertaining, so I'm happy to share my enthusiasm. These comments include some minor spoilers, but I've only really used cut tags for brevity.

* Justice League Unlimited. I've only just started watching this, but it's surprisingly good, so I'll try to remember to record it each day (the "series link" option of my Digibox doesn't work on that series for some reason). As I understand it, the previous Justice League cartoon was more like the JLA comic, by focussing on the core group of 7-8 characters, whereas this has a much wider cast: a loose group of about 40 heroes, with a similar number of villains. In practical terms, this means that each episode throws the spotlight on a few different characters, which works out quite well. Saturday's episode involved the Flash swapping bodies with Lex Luthor, and this led to some bathroom humour that's had me chuckling to myself each time I've been to the toilet since then, although it's probably not what you're thinking... Since both characters were in the wrong headquarters, they each went into the bathroom to get a bit of privacy. Luthor decided to find out the Flash's secret identity while he was there, so he unmasked, looked in the mirror, and said "I have no idea who that is!" Meanwhile, the Flash tried to contact his friends (unsuccessfully), then came out of the toilet cubicle when the other villains were impatient to learn about his new plan. Since he hadn't actually been using the toilet, he just walked straight towards the door, which led to the following exchange:
Polaris: "Aren't you going to wash your hands?"
Flash: "Er ... no, I'm not, because I'm Evil!"
Smooth :)

An interesting "behind the scenes" aspect is that the actor who does the Flash's voice is the same guy who plays Lex Luthor in Smallville, so he's now effectively wound up playing Lex in two different incarnations. Similarly, Sunday's episode had various voice actors who I recognise from other sci-fi series: Huntress (Amy Acker, Fred from Angel), Black Canary (Morena Baccarin, Inara from Firefly), and Vixen (Gina Torres from both Firefly and Angel). I was also glad to spot a couple of familiar names in the writing credits (J.M. deMatteis and Dwayne McDuffie) - I've enjoyed their comics in the past, so it's good to see that they're keeping busy.

* Lilo and Stitch. I saw the new film sequel recently (Lilo and Stitch 2: Stitch has a glitch), which is where the chronology gets a bit confusing. In terms of production, it goes like this:
Lilo and Stitch (the movie)
Stitch: the movie ("if Stitch was experiment 626, what happened to the other 625?")
Lilo and Stitch (the TV series, directly following the theme of Stitch: the movie)
Lilo and Stitch 2: Stitch has a glitch

However, I think that they wanted to make the latest film accessible to people who've only seen the first one, so this doesn't refer to the Stitch film or the TV series (and therefore doesn't include certain characters). It probably makes most sense if it gets put in between the previous two films, although it doesn't quite fit there either. Alternately, there's the Ghostbusters approach of having divergent paths from the original film. Anyway, I'd say that it's worth watching if you liked the series, and it had some good moments, but it's nowhere near as good as the original (which I have on DVD), so I doubt that I'll bother watching it again.

Meanwhile, the series itself is quite good, although I'm tending to watch the episodes in a rather random order, since there are a few new ones mixed in with the repeats. The latest one I saw involved experiment 210 ("Retro"), who would turn animals into prehistoric versions. So, an elephant turned into a wooly mammoth, and a tiger turned into a saber-toothed tiger; fair enough, no problem there (given the necessary suspension of disbelief for the basic concept of the series). Then a squirrel was turned into a saber-toothed squirrel; I haven't heard of that particular animal before! Mind you, a quick websearch does turn up references to the Ice Age films (I saw the first one a few years ago), so it may well be a nod to that.

* Kim Possible. This really is a great series, even in repeats, so I hope that they release a boxset of all the episodes on DVD eventually. (Right now there are only three DVDs, each of which has three episodes.) I think that one reason it works so well is just the amount of effort that's gone into it, with all the little touches. For instance, there's one episode where Kim (the hero) and Ron (the sidekick) take a lift to get into the secret basement lair of a particular supervillain, and it plays tinny music through the speakers on the way down. For most films/episodes, that would be the joke, and they'd leave it at that. However, in this case you have Ron tapping his foot and snapping his fingers in time to the music, while Kim is rolling her eyes at him, and he carries on anyway because he's enjoying it; at the risk of overanalysing, there are things happening on multiple levels there. (It also reminds me of the back and forth teasing that goes on between me and some of my close friends.) Tonight's episode involved a trip to a new branch of a fast food restaurant, where they had automated tills, letting customers place their own orders. Ron's reaction: "Special orders can get as wild as we want ... there's no-one to judge us now!" Great stuff :)

Anyway, now to bed, before my waking hours start to drift again.