Thursday, 22 September 2011

I Had A Fight With My Brain And I Don't Think She's Coming Home...

You know, for someone that gets writers' guilt as badly as I do, I sure am good at neglecting to update things.

Anyway, it's been a while. Again. Apparently holidays are really just no good for me to get any writing done; I need classes and deadlines and things that I can procrastinate around. But as it happens, I've been binging on cartoons recently, so here's a post on that.

When you look at cartoons today, it's pretty clear that we've moved on from the golden age of Cartoon Network. Shows like Johnny Bravo, Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, they're gone. Unfortunately, the networks all seem to be moving onto saccharine live-action high school 'dramas,' to the point that Nickelodeon made a live action version of Fairly Odd Parents I don't even-


Anyway, despite the fact that the networks are apparently all veering in the direction of CG or live action shows, there is still some hope for the cartoon fans, even if it is coming in the form of reboots.

Yeah, I could totally talk about My Little Pony here, but everybody and their dog is talking about that, and while, yes, I love the show, I don't think anyone needs to hear any more about it from me. So I'm gonna talk about Scooby Doo instead.

Scooby Doo is one of the most recognisable franchises to come out of America. Since it was introduced in 1969 as Scooby Doo, Where Are You! it has enjoyed a long and successful career, if one filled with many revisions and reboots.

So far, Scooby Doo has managed to wring out around seventeen tv series, seven made-for-tv movies and sixteen direct-to-video/dvd movies, as well as the two major live-action ones. Of course, not all of these are good (some of them involved Scrappy. Enough said), but the characters are loved enough to keep people coming back.

And that brings me to the most recent incarnation of the show: Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated.

This particular show started its run in July 2010. Of all of the newer series, this one borrows the most heavily from the original source material, while also taking a much darker sense of humour and a slightly more modern spin.

The characters, while still entirely recognisable, have undergone slight reboots in personality. Shaggy, however, is still the same big-eating, heavily-implied-to-be-a-stoner coward that everyone knows and loves. Fred is still the leader, although in this 'verse, is completely obsessed with traps. Like, we're talking almost on a romantic level here. Daphne is slightly better at getting herself out of trouble, whereas Velma has developed an extremely dry sense of humour. She also happens to be dating Shaggy, which causes no end of both confusion and hilarity. Our title character also remains largely the same, but has picked up the same vicious sarcasm as Velma, which always causes me to blink in confusion for a couple of seconds whenever it surfaces.

Anyway, aside from the characters, the show itself is rather different from the many variations that the franchise has undergone. Other reboots, such as What's New Scooby Doo? tried to go for a much more colourful, modern approach to the show, updating the outfits and technology. Mystery Incorporated, on the other hand, returns to the traditional and recognisable outifits, and also takes on the darker background tones of the original series. Notably, technology such as laptops and mobile phones are present, but are purposefully dated and clunky looking, and an old eight-track even shows up at one point (not that the gang knows what it is, but it was a nice touch). Overall, the atmosphere is very much in keeping with the slightly creepier aesthetic of the original, even though the backgrounds and a lot of the transition scenes rely on CG animation instead of the more traditional forms.

Also commendable is the fact that this show actually manages to make the monsters reasonably scary, and features actual peril. The last episode I watched featured a propane tanker blowing up, and the gang actually being in real instead of fake monster related danger. There are also quite a few more instances of adult-humour in this adaptation, and overall, the show feels geared more towards teenagers and older viewers. It is also, I should mention, rather enjoyable once you get over the slightly different feel of the characters

So yep, that's me done rambling for today. Now I guess I should get back to reading those novels I have to finish for next week...


  1. Well, mintbanana, it really is a bad time for actual good quality cartoons on TV now, for they had declined into obscurity and mediocrity, as the networks like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon began to focus on live action high school 'dramas' while pretty much ignoring their cartoons of the past (like Dexter's Lab and Powerpuff Girls).

    This is why I must reverse the trends and especially stop the dramatic decrease in actual good quality TV cartoons by making a multi-part live action/animated cartoon epic based on, inspired by and including characters from Dexter's Laboratory and the Powerpuff Girls (brought to life on the big screen as traditional 2D hand drawn cel animated cartoons against a world fabricated from live action settings (filmed all over the world using 35mm and 70mm IMAX film cameras), physical sets, miniatures, and/or photorealistic CG elements.) and with Dexter's Sister Dee Dee's Asian friend Lee Lee being the main central lead character.

    That project, mintbanana, should be called "Dexter's Odyssey" which will find Dexter, Dee Dee, Lee Lee and Mee Mee embarking on an epic if dangerous quest and journey to save their world (Terra Avatara, where dinosaurs still roam and dragons rule the skies) from the forces of the evil Dark Lord Mandark. According to an ancient prophecy, Dexter's sister Dee Dee's Asian friend, Lee Lee is destined to bring about Mandark's downfall.

    Even if, with my focus squarely on Dee Dee's Asian Friend Lee Lee as well as her eyes, Dexter's Odyssey would really be more Dee Dee's Asian Friend Lee Lee's saga than Dexter's and/or Dee Dee's, Dexter's Odyssey is going to be great, awesome, cool, even epic, or would it?

  2. You, sir, may be a visionary genius.