Saturday, February 19, 2011

Congratulations, punk rockers...

The Wonder Pets Save the Skunk Rocker've been reduced to an episode of a kiddie show.

(UPDATE: The full episode's unavailable... so here's a clip:

Should you be offended? I don't really know. I mean, I certainly can tell that the episode doesn't touch upon certain key aspects of the punk attitude: that is, the various levels and shades of rebellion. But I guess pre-schoolers wouldn't get that.

I mean, I actually like The Wonder Pets- mostly for the music- but this strikes me as kind of risky. What if a kid wants to listen to punk, and finds that there are few that are G-rated? I'd recommend the Ramones myself, but not if you're uptight about violence.

From what I know, the music sounds right- it would seem that the writers wanted to treat it as a mere musical genre rather than a genre entangled with philosophy- and frequently, politics- like so many people do. I do admit, though, that it is odd that they should for some reason seem to be specifically imitating Oi! music, which is frequently associated with working-class populism and anarchism. It might've been better, I think, if they did pop punk.

Also, the lyrics are kinda dumb- several "oi's" sprinkled throughout doesn't make for punk lyrics, and I can't help but wonder if some kids will think that's all there is to it.
I don't think a keytar really belongs there, either. That's more of a New Wave thing, from what I know.

UPDATE: Josh Selig has done it again!
This time, the music is definitely more polished- in that it's a more complete song. They do address one key philosophy of punk culture this time: individualism.
I'm wondering what motivated this decision... it's all very curious.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mice and Ducks

I'm definitely liking Floyd Gottfredson better than Carl Barks so far. There's something a bit more real about them- perhaps this is due to the more rubbery drawing style and Mickey's peculiar dialect and his occasional dives into moral grey areas. Carl Barks' drawings always struck me as being somewhat rigid, and the dialog not necessarily naturalistic.
Perhaps there isn't as much high-flying exotic adventure in the Mickey comics, but there's certainly plenty of action, notorious crime, intrigue and suspense. I could easily compare Duck comics to suburban sitcom or adventure films, and Mouse comics to gangster and mystery films.

I dunno, perhaps I have a desire to be less predictable. But I do think Mickey has untapped potential still...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

That mink is a minx

I've been skimming the Animaniacs comics, and I swear to God, Minerva Mink is intentionally pure, unadulterated furry bait. Every one of her stories in the comics are like pages and pages of pin-ups.
So I think I can safely say that they were asking for it- nay, practically begging for it. It's like: "Go ahead. I dare you to not find her sexy."
And some people wonder where it all comes from.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My very few nitpicks with Epic Mickey

First off, I have a LOT of love for Epic Mickey- it is by far the most beautiful and fresh thing that Disney has produced since the glory days of their Renaissance. Period. And as strange and eerie as the game seems, once you've delved deeply into Disney like I have, one can find that it's very pure Disney. I could go on and on about it, so I won't.

If the public is smart and a pearl hasn't been cast before swine, I think it ought to bring about newfound interest in classic cartoons and giving the characters therein edgier adventures.

The only problem I have doesn't have to do with the gameplay or the design or the story- I actually have a bit of a problem with Warren Spector's view of recent Mickey media. He's said in interviews that Disney hasn't been doing anything interesting with Mickey lately (which is mostly true) and that he hasn't been in any stories in 15 years or so- which, to my dismay, means that he's discrediting House of Mouse, which premiered in 2002. And many of the shorts are from Mickey Mouse Works, which premiered in 1999.
House of Mouse did some of the freshest and funniest cartoons with their classic characters ever, if you ask me. And they even brought back Mortimer!

I've also peeked at some videos of Mean Street and Ostown, and for some reason he wants you to think that Mickey doesn't recognize Horace Horsecollar or Clarabelle Cow. I'll admit that they faded into obscurity around 1940, but they remained regular supporting characters in the comics throughout Mickey's career- and what's more, they appeared regularly in House of Mouse, while Horace was in The Prince and the Pauper (1990), and Clarabelle was in The Three Musketeers (2004)!
And it's not like the latest batch of kids wouldn't know who Clarabelle is- she appears regularly in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!

He also has mentioned avoiding making allusions to recent Disney productions, which may be his reasons for doing this- but most of all, I think it's the reason that he can't mention how the Thinner is inspired by the Dip in Roger Rabbit. He's gotta stick to his guns, I guess.

Also, from the way he talks, you would think that he doesn't want to acknowledge that Oswald had a career in Universal cartoons and comics for as long as Mickey has- regularly appearing in cartoons in the 1930s and comics in the 1940s (New Funnies, as well as one shots for Four Color), with sporadic appearances in comics afterward. He makes it sound as if Charles Mintz bought him but didn't do anything with him after 1928, and Oswald was left stagnant for eighty years.
And I think that the 1940s Oswald comics are very interesting, and worthy of inspiring new Oswald adventures.

Although I can forgive him not mentioning Roger Rabbit- as much as he deserves credit and attention that he doesn't get- my final disappointment is that there are no freakin' weasels. D: There are no characters in the entire Disney catalog more worthy of revitalization, and yet so nearly entirely unknown, save for perhaps regular visitors of Disneyland. But how many people who go on that ride would be able to name the Toon Patrol? (And no, it's not "Wise Guy".) He could at least have mentioned the ones from Mr. Toad.
Even among rejects they're rejected and forgotten.

Or as Yukon Cornelius would say, "Even among misfits you're misfits!"

(But one video I came across had him talking about how he avoided live-action Disney films, which- annoyingly enough- include Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. He mentioned that maybe-possibly-who-knows he might make a Roger Rabbit game. Is there hope for weasels?)