(Review) The 2016 Pilot of Cartoon Network’s Upcoming Series ‘Summer Camp Island’

You often find an original pilot of a series that is set to be shown on TV screens near you. I find it as a way to prepare ourselves and get a taste of what a series has to offer. Of course, series creators usually do some tweaking and changing to their program and you will most likely always see something different between the pilot and the final product.

Today, we’re looking at Summer Camp Island, which may be exactly what it sounds and much more. This cartoon was created by former animator and writer from Adventure Time, Julia Pott, and was greenlit and set to air on Cartoon Network in Summer 2018. Above anything, Julia is known for her unique animated shorts that can be found on YouTube. I must say that she has done a good job at creating her own style, so much that you can spot a series created by her from a mile away.

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So what has Pott unleashed on us with her 2016 pilot of Summer Camp Island exactly? How about a Summer camp full of bizarre and unusual situations? The camp counselors are popular girls who know magic (aka WITCHES), talking pajamas, monsters under the bed that are nosey and more oddities that you just don’t find at a normal Summer camp. Not to mention it’s all on an island. All of these strange happenings seems to overwhelm a fourteen-year-old anthropomorphic Elephant named Oscar, who misses his normal life outside of camp, so he plans a sleepover for himself and his best friend Hedgehog, who he also happens to have a crush on. Bad news for Oscar, because Hedgehog invites some others to the party including Max, an anthropomorphic badger who plays the role of the typical careless and jerk-ish teenage boy in a backwards hat and hoodie. Max is clearly the apple of Hedgehog’s eye and she gives him all of her undivided attention, which infuriates Oscar and ruins his original sleepover plans.

Just like the overall series itself, the world inside of Summer Camp Island is a roller coaster ride of strange and peculiar emotions. You can’t help but empathize with main character Oscar and feeling like a third wheel when someone you’re crushing over is all over someone THEY are crushing over. The series did a great job of totally spinning a kid’s usual experience at a Summer Camp into something out of a trippy dream. Trippy, as in almost everything was coming to life, including a pair of pajamas and a slice of pizza. Although, I do have to say that for a teenager, Oscar is a bit too child-like. So much that if his mother didn’t reveal his age in the beginning, you wouldn’t put him past ten years old. The same goes for Hedgehog, who I think shows her more mature side when Max is around. I’m not implying that they should act reckless, ride skateboards or drink coffee just because they’re teenagers, but the sleepover activities kind of screamed fifth grade.

With all of that being said, my B- rating does not change the fact that I 100% still want to see this show happen on Cartoon Network this Summer. I have to admit that the “nice guys finish last” lesson that came in plain sight at the end of the episode really surprised me. I was expecting the typical “good guys finish first” followed by a monologue from Hedgehog about how she doesn’t really like Max and that Oscar is the one she loved all along. Or Max ends up screwing things up with Hedgehog and her feeling magically bounce to Oscar. Really relieved that things weren’t so predictable with this one, but poor Oscar. The animation is something that is unique, but it’s going to take some getting used to of course. It’s definitely a different style from the series airing on Cartoon Network at the moment, so it makes me wonder whether the series will fit or not. We’ll just have to wait and see! We’ll keep you updated for an official release date for Summer Camp Island.

Fun Fact: Summer Camp Island is set to be the second series in Cartoon Network history to be solely created by a woman.

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The Unforgettable April Fool’s Day Episode of As Told By Ginger

as told by ginger april foolssource: Nickelodeon

In the midst of the popularity of Nickelodeon’s animation lineup, Nicktoons, As Told By Ginger was a show that dominated when it came to surreal pre-teen struggles. Ginger Foutley, a slightly awkward, yet smart and responsible pre-teen took on the ultimate battle of junior high: crushes, mean girls and the constant pressure to gain popularity. By her side stood her best friends Dodie, an over dramatic girl who desperately craves popularity, and Macie, a small and nasally girl who’s obsessed with health risks. The trio of friends have had their share of situations, drama and has even had their friendship tested. But among all of that, was the ultimate and twisted mind game of a prank that was played on April Fools Day.

In season 2 episode 10, Ginger plays what was suppose to be the ultimate April Fool’s Day prank on Dodie, to get her back from the year before. I’m talking love games, and things could get pretty messy. It all started when Ginger forged a love letter that is supposed to be written by Dustin, the weirdest guy in their school, to Dodie. But when Dodie reveals that she has actually had a secret crush on him for awhile, Ginger realizes that her April Fools prank may have backfired. Even worse, Dustin ends up declaring his love for Macie in his very own letter. This causes drama between Dodie and Macie and things get crazy, all while Ginger is feeling guilt and regret because her prank caused major conflict between her best friends. Or so we thought it did, but there was a huge twist revealed that ended up being a prank on not only Ginger, but to the viewers that watch. And the mastermind behind it all was Darren.

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If you’ve watched the entire episode from beginning to end, then you remember when Ginger was telling Darren all about her prank. Which isn’t really smart on Ginger’s end, because lord knows why she would even tell Darren, who’s also a member of their friendship circle. Darren pretty expressed to Ginger about how he doesn’t think her prank is a good idea and that she’s “playing with fire”, but little did we know, he was serious. Serious enough to let Dodie, Macie and Dustin know about the whole thing beforehand and be able to plan his very own prank with the help of those three, that made Ginger’s prank look amateur. Towards the end of the episode when Darren’s prank was revealed, Ginger attempted one last try at getting her friends good by fake crying and expressing how much their prank caused her emotional turmoil and distress. Really Ging?

Darren won me over with this episode. His character is always winning me over with his words of wisdom and keeping Ginger and the girls from freaking out, but I feel like he took a stand this time. He saw something that would potentially be a dangerous game played by Ginger, and put his own little fun twist on it. Plus, it taught Ginger a lesson and pretty much saved her behind. I’m starting to wonder what if Darren didn’t play his prank back on Ginger? What if Dodie really got that letter by surprise, and really thought Dustin liked her, only to find out he doesn’t? If you’re a fan of the series like myself, then you know the over dramatic level that Dodie is on. The love games that were played could have done some real damage.

Of course, there is always that meanwhile side of an episode of As Told By Ginger. Carl and Hoodsey play their own prank on their arch nemisis Blake Gripling, which backfires on them as well. What a lousy year that was for the Foutley kids to pull April Fools pranks. Carl tells Blake that he sold is beloved tonsils, only to find out that Hoodsey’s mother Joann actually threw them away on accident. This led to Carl and Hoodsey searching the dump and getting trapped in it. There’s a lesson in this episode for those who are planning to come up with their own devious pranks: keep it to yourself or it might backfire! Don’t make the same mistake Ginger did.

The Music of Adventure Time: Interview with Composer Tim Kiefer

Just as Cartoon Network’s hit series Adventure Time is on its final countdown before the epic finale, what a better way say our goodbyes than taking the time to appreciate the best aspects of the series. Adventure Time took place in the mystical land of Ooo where many fascinating oddities galore. Jake the dog and Finn the human, the inseparable duo found themselves in an endless number of adventures along with other characters such as Princess Bubblegum, Beemo, Lumpy Space Princess, Marceline the Vampire Queen, Ice King and more. Adventure Time is something that you would think came straight out of a magical, colorful, unique daydream. If you’re pleased with the visuals, then you’ve definitely heard the music behind the show.

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The story lines and adventures that came about in this series was everything, but the musical composition behind those scenes made it all tie together in a perfect knot. Think of a mystical and enchanting, followed by epic, and you’ll get the music from Adventure Time. Since the beginning, there has been some musical masterminds behind the soundtrack of this show, and I am honored to have a chance to speak with one of them. Upon the ending of Adventure Time, I am honored to have had the chance to interview composer Tim Kiefer about his favorite musical moments and best memories from working on the past 10 seasons of Adventure Time.

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Cartoon Buzz: Hi Tim! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. So you have been working on Adventure Time as a composer for a majority of the episodes. Tell me a bit about the process it takes to compose a track for the adventurous & mystical series.

Tim Kiefer: Hey! Yeah, it’s been a long time and a lot of episodes. For the most part Pen/Adam would relay the mood and timing of what they wanted, then let me choose my own musical palette. That freedom meant I could mess around with all my favorite musical influences – Scandinavian skweee, Southside Chicago juke or footwork, 8bit nostalgia, or braindance – so long as I was expressive and earnest. I’d have as much as 2 weeks for some episodes and as little as 4 days for others, so some would be super intricate and polished while others were raw and edgy. Either way there was a beauty to how each came together.

Cartoon Buzz: So you collaborated with creator Pendleton Ward throughout the series. What are some moments that you’ll never forget while working with the man behind the show?

Tim Kiefer: Most of all, developing a sound with Casey around Pen’s “buddy music” concept, in which bros are just relaxed, comfortable and imaginative. It was at the very least grounding, if not meditative.
Cartoon Buzz: When composing music for the show, did you often envision viewers like me listening to it? How did you want us to feel or react?
Tim Kiefer: I wanted to paint vivid sound paintings that brought viewers deeeep into the Adventure Time universe as they watched. And most importantly, keep everyone happily on their toes – mashing up esoteric music movements with familiar pop sounds, finding weird ways to play normal instruments, you name it. Just constantly reinforcing how unique and magical the alternate reality of Ooo was.

Cartoon Buzz: How did you get into being a composer? Is it something that you always saw yourself doing or did you become inspired along the way?

Tim Kiefer: Well, I have this eerily accurate epitaph I made as a little kid for school or something, it reads: “Here lies Tim. He made millions of people happy with his music.” I guess it was just always the plan.
Cartoon Buzz: What was it like working on the series early on compared to working on the last episode?

Tim Kiefer: The whole Adventure Time universe was simpler back in the old days, and so was the music. The characters didn’t have much to worry about so there was a lot of chill “buddy music” or party tunes. After 8 years, the series ends on a pretty serious note and you can really feel the weight and complexity of the characters’ journey embedded in the music. I can’t help but tear up when I watch through the finale, it’s so emotionally loaded.
Cartoon Buzz: What are your favorite musical moments from the past 10 seasons?
Tim Kiefer: A few: Fionna & Prince Gumball talking about butts in “Fionna & Cake”, Bananaman’s workout music in “The New Frontier”, Oh What A Good Boy Am I montage in “Five More Short Graybles”, Megamush battle in “Mama Said”.

Cartoon Buzz: I’ll regret not asking this later if I don’t, and this may be a toughie, but who is your all time favorite character on Adventure Time?

Tim Kiefer: I’m a Tree Trunks guy!

Cartoon Buzz: If you could describe Adventure Time in FIVE words, what would they be?

Tim Kiefer: The Hero’s Journey Meets Spongebob

Cartoon Buzz: Many fans are heartbroken that Adventure Time is ending. Is there anything you would like to say to them?

Tim Kiefer: Keep it going in your own way.. it’s everyone’s story to finish.

 

And that’s the end folks! I want to thank Tim Kiefer for taking the time to chat with me!

The 10 Times ‘Braceface’ Was Too Real for a Kids Show

bracefacesource: Teletoon

You might wanna buckle up for this one, because I’m about to dive into a show that got too real at numerous times. Think of an early 2000s teenage cartoon with ten times the drama, and you’ll get Braceface. Much like other tween series like As Told by Ginger, Braceface centers a awkward yet smart teenage girl who longs for popularity, with two best friends by her side. Oh and I definitely don’t want to forget crushes and mean girls. Sadly, this show came and went with only three seasons to religiously watch, but there are some major aspects of Braceface that set it aside from any other kids show.

It still surprises me that this show ever aired on Disney Channel, but it did. Sharon Spitz and her life with braces seemed quite miserable for a teenager, but despite the show being centered around her metal mouth, there are numerous topics touched in this series that was way too real. For that reason, I consider Braceface to be the realest teen series to ever air. Sure, there are shows out there covered most of the topics that would’ve never been spoken of in a kids show like 40 years ago. But they often sugar-coated it. Braceface straight up set these topics on the table and didn’t bother to tone it down much. I give the series all of the credit in the world for that, because it takes guts to feature some of these issues on kids networks like Disney Channel. Let’s dive into these said issues.

1) When the subject of divorce came up.

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The topic of divorce comes up in many shows aimed at kids and teens. It’s sometimes censored by networks in order to maintain a kid show’s innocent image, but that definitely wasn’t the case in this show. In Braceface, Sharon’s mother and father are divorced. Sharon and her brothers seem to live a nice life with their mother and you get the impression that they understand the divorce but are not too upset about it. In episode 9, titled “The Divorce Thing”, this subject is brought to the table when Sharon’s mom is dating again and her father comes to visit. She attempts bring her parents back together, but has to face the harsh reality that somethings people who once loved each other grow apart, even your parents.

2) When Sharon got her first period. DURING HER FIRST DATE.

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Menstruation in a kids show? You would have never thought you’d see that topic, but in episode 8, titled “The Worst First Date Ever. Period.”, Sharon meets her monthly friend sent by mother nature for the very first time. While on her first date with her crush Alden, Sharon starts to experience painful cramps to the point where she thought she was experiencing appendicitis. Alden calls the ambulance and Sharon is sent to the hospital, where she finds out that she has actually started her menstrual cycle. I’m a little skeptical about how the episode played out. All I can assume is that Sharon’s mother obviously never had that little talk with her before, because from what I’ve learned in my 21 years of being a female, is that I’m pretty sure menstrual cramps hurts way less than something as serious and life threatening as appendicitis.

3) Underage drinking.

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If this series hasn’t gotten real for you yet, then how about we discuss the time Sharon got drunk from rum and cokes when visiting her dad in Miami. In episode 14, titled “Miami Vices”, Sharon gets sick of her mom’s strict rules and wants to let loose by going on vacation to Miami to visit her rock star dad and indulge in his “cooler” life. Sharon learns that her dad can be just as strict as her mom despite his career choice, when he finds Sharon drunk and partying with his friends. Once again, still shocked that Disney Channel allowed this to air, but bravo for the writers and directors for creating this episode, because it shows that these things tend to happen for teenagers. On vacation in Miami, strict mom with rules isn’t around, out partying with rock star dad’s cool friends, and there’s alcohol? Like I said, it happens.

4) Sexuality and the unfortunate adversity that comes with it.

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Yes, there was an openly gay character on Braceface, and yes, he faces awful mistreatment from other students because of it. This has to be the absolute realest topic ever displayed on Braceface, due to the fact that Dion being openly gay was one of the reasons that the third season did not air in the U.S. But before he was openly gay on the show, his sexuality was wrongly called into question by other students in episode 27, titled “The Social Fabric”. Sharon was paired up with Dion as a part of the senior mentor program at their school, and she found herself in a dilemma of choosing whether to drop him as a friend to avoid harassment as well or stick by him. Homophobia and bigotry is alive and well, especially towards young people in schools that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. I applaud Braceface for touching on this important subject for its viewers.


Braceface, Vol. 1: Brace Yourself

5) Love and relationships.

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Having a crush can be a very stressful and confusing time as a teenager. You think that the person you’re “in love” is the only person you’ll ever be smitten over. Braceface proved this to be the case when displaying the affection Sharon had toward Alden. We soon see the two dating in season 2 but Alden doesn’t find it easy being Sharon’s boyfriend. The two break up in episode 30 titled “Dear Alden” when Sharon wrote a letter of frustration about him and it accidentally ends up on the school website. Alden later starts dating a girl named Marlo, but we discover that he still has feelings for Sharon on the last episode. It was just a crazy rollercoaster with these two. Maria also began dating Alden’s best friend Brock towards the end of junior high and onward.

6) The dangers of extreme diets.

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This is one of Braceface’s more infamous episodes that was often aired on Disney Channel, and I’m glad it was. In episode 34, titled “Skin Deep”, Nina’s makes disparaging comments about Sharon’s body, which causes Sharon to go on a crash diet before participating in a fashion show. Maria and Connor take notice in the effects of Sharon’s dangerous diet and they began to worry about her. While Sharon walks the runway, she collapses from starvation. Another great episode to school the kids on how harmful body shaming can be. It’s straight up bullying and I hope other girls who experience what Sharon experienced talk to someone instead of resorting to crash diets. Speaking of bullying…

7) Bullying.

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Introducing Nina. She’s a mean girl, but not a typical one. I like to think of her as slightly less wicked than Miranda Killgallen, but still wicked nonetheless. Nina and her bullying antics have gone too far at times. She’s basically the reason that Sharon starved herself and fainted on the fashion runway. Dealing with blatant bullying and mean girls is a common theme in shows with teen characters, and it’s another topic that Braceface did well on. Something that is painfully obvious about bully characters like Nina is the insecurity that they have for themselves. Being in their own skin hurts them so bad that they unleash all of their fury on the protagonist character.


Braceface, Vol. 2: Getting Real

8) Blatant Racism.

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If there’s any subject that I’m glad Braceface touched on it’s the subject of racism and pushing offensive stereotypes. In episode 35, titled “Grey Matters”, Maria began dating an Arab boy named Cloud. Sharon can’t help but think that Cloud might be abusing Maria. On top of it all Sharon’s grandfather began making racist comments towards Cloud such as asking Maria if she’s “a part of his harem” and asking him when he’s going to “get his own camel”. To ignite an even bigger fire in his bigoted furnace, he states that he shouldn’t lend it to Maria because “Chinese are such bad drivers”. Words cannot simply describe how furious I was after watching that scene. Oh wait, they can. I wanted Cloud to bounce that basketball off of Sharon’s grandpa’s head twenty times in a row. Cloud was the coolest when handling those offensive comments by throwing jokes right back at him. But Sharon… OH SHARON. You naive little… you know what. At least she learns at the end, especially when she gets a dose of her grandfather telling her how he let her mother marry a “rockstar… and a jew no less”. Kudos to Braceface for teaching viewers the sad reality of bigots.

9) Underage smoking.

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The peer pressure that many teens are faces with is unfortunate. In episode 52, titled “Up in Smoke”, Sharon moves in with her father and his girlfriend. She meets her potential step brother named Griffin, who’s a juvenile delinquent. He persuades Sharon into smoking a cigarette with him, until she finally takes a puff and finds it disgusting. The second time a use of addictive or mind-altering substance has been featured on this series.

10) Body image issues.

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Just so you know, this episode was banned in the U.S. and several other countries. In episode 58, titled “Busted”, Sharon is tired of being seen as a little girl and decides to enhance the look of her breasts with a pump bra. She soon runs into trouble when she starts attracting unwanted attention from the wrong kind of guys and when her bra ends up malfunctioning at a party. It’s understandable that this episode was banned, because there are certain lines, and I guess Disney Channel decided not to cross this one. What I don’t understand is how so many episodes got away with being aired on Disney, not that I’m complaining. This show was a fantastic addition to the lineup of my childhood, but I’ve always imagined it airing on The-N (what TeenNick used to be called). It definitely catered more to the teenage audience rather than kids, and this list proves it.


Braceface, Vol. 3: Twist of Fate

Nickelodeon Releases First ‘Rise of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Trailer

Nickelodeon just released the first trailer for its all-new animated series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which follows the band of brothers as they discover new powers and encounter a mystical world they never knew existed beneath the streets of New York City. The 2D-animated series, which blends action and comedy and features a dynamic fresh look, debuts later this year on Nickelodeon.

The series stars the voice talent of Omar Miller (Ballers) as Raphael, Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) as Leonardo, Josh Brener (Silicon Valley) as Donatello, Brandon Mychal Smith (You’re The Worst) as Michelangelo, Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries) as April O’Neil and Eric Bauza (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Splinter. WWE Superstar John Cena lends his voice as villain, Baron Draxum, an alchemist warrior mutant who seeks to turn all of humanity into mutants.

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reimagines the iconic series and breathes new life into the classic characters, with jagged-shelled Raphael as a snapping turtle, wielding twin tonfas as his weapons; Leonardo as a red-eared slider, using an ōdachi sword; Donatello as a soft-shell turtle, sporting a tech-bo staff; and Michelangelo as a box turtle, arming himself with a kusari-fundo. Along for the adventure is the Turtles’ most trusted ally, April O’Neil, a street savvy native New Yorker, and Splinter, father figure and sensei to the Turtles.

The Turtles also hold distinct personality traits and skills: Raphael, as the oldest and biggest brother, is the leader full of enthusiasm and bravado; Leonardo, the self-professed coolest brother possesses irreverent charm and a rebel heart; Donatello is a mechanical genius and tech wizard whose ninja skills are second only to his coding; and Michelangelo, the youngest brother, is a skateboarder and artist who is wild and imaginative.

The new 26-episode series is co-executive produced by Andy Suriano (character designer, Samurai Jack) and Ant Ward (supervising producer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) at Nickelodeon in Burbank, Calif. Veteran animation industry voice actor Rob Paulsen is voice directing the series.

Viewers can visit the Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles page on Nick.com  and Facebook for more information and follow @TMNT everywhere else for Turtle Power updates.

 

Apple & Onion Gives a Familiar yet Uplifting Theme

apple-and-onion-series-reviewsource: Cartoon Network

Just a budding friendship comedy coming through. Cartoon Network has released quite a few slice-of-life series in its day, but I have to say Apple & Onion is something fresh. It’s definitely not the usual series that is filled with animated humans or animals. I think creator George Gendi really thought outside of the box with this one. Think of those cliche yet funny dancing anthropomorphic food characters that you used to see in the movie theater previews, but think bigger, vibrant and more modern. I have to say the series is so well organized and put together following the theme of every character being a type of food.

Though the overall character theme of the series is pretty unique, the main moral of the story is no stranger to television. Apple & Onion takes place in the big city where food comes to life and so do lessons. Main characters Apple and Onion are off to live in the real world without their parents and must take on the challenge of being an adult. Too bad they can’t seem to let go of their childhood most of the time. Though Onion seems to be a bit more mature, as in the first episode he got to his destination and job right away, Apple is more on the goofball side. Onion also serves as they cliche dorky character who wears glasses, so he has to be the more mature one right?

A duo with contrasting yet similar personalities definitely gives a familiar tune, but I can’t knock this series at all. Apple & Onion is uplifting with a side comedy and it’s one of those shows that sort of has the ability to make you feel good while watching it. Although, I can’t kick the fact that there’s a strange yet very funny theme happening on the show and it’s a dilemma of mine and maybe for some other viewers as well. This series consists of characters that are all types of foods – meat, vegetables, desserts & drinks. So excuse me if I can’t help but find it rather strange that they eat meat, vegetables, desserts & drinks. Another case of Carnivore Confusion! Of course, what else are they suppose to eat right?

Apple & Onion is reportedly a limited-series, only planning to consist of ten episodes that will be running for five weeks. I guess like the pilot episode, the series is still be on the testing stage. I wouldn’t mind if Apple & Onion ended up becoming a full time series in the future, but it is smart of Cartoon Network to see how it would do.  Apple & Onion is bubbly, humorous & gives off a nice “moral of the story” lesson of being yourself and taking things one step at a time. Especially if it seems like your parents are sort of fed up with your childlike antics and throw you on a bus to fend for yourself in a big city because I think that is the most important theme of all in this show – growing up.

4.5/5

Disney Channel Greenlights Two Animated Series ‘Amphibia’ and ‘The Owl House’

Disney Channel has ordered two original animated series – “Amphibia,” from Annie Award-winning director Matt Braly (Disney’s “Gravity Falls”), and “The Owl House,” from Dana Terrace, one of Variety’s “10 Animators to Watch,” whose credits include Disney’s “DuckTales” and “Gravity Falls.” Both series, slated to premiere in 2019, are produced by award-winning Disney Television Animation (TVA). The announcement was made today by Eric Coleman, senior vice president, Original Programming and general manager, Disney Television Animation.

The network has also ordered a season four pickup for Disney TVA’s Annie Award-nominated “Star vs. The Forces of Evil” from creator Daron Nefcy.

Coleman said, “‘Amphibia’ and ‘The Owl House’ are both set in wildly imaginative worlds and share hallmarks of great Disney storytelling, including fantastical elements and memorable characters. Matt and Dana each bring a unique sensibility to their shows unlike anything else on TV right now.”

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Amphibia” is a comedy series that chronicles the adventures of 13-year-old, self-centered Anne Boonchuy who is magically transported to the fictitious world of Amphibia, a rural marshland full of frog-people. With the help of an excitable young frog named Sprig, Anne will transform into a hero and discover the first true friendship of her life. Braly serves as executive producer.

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Executive-produced by Terrace, “The Owl House” is a horror-comedy series that follows Luz, a self-assured teenage human girl who accidentally stumbles upon a portal to the Demon Realm where she befriends a rebellious witch, Eda, and an adorably tiny warrior, King. Despite not having magical abilities, Luz pursues her dream of becoming a witch by serving as Eda’s apprentice at the Owl House and ultimately finds a new family in an unlikely setting.

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The fourth season of “Star vs. The Forces of Evil” will follow teen princess from another dimension Star Butterfly (voiced by Eden Sher) and her best friend Marco Diaz (voiced by Adam McArthur) as they continue their adventures in Mewni and explore new dimensions. However, as things change in the royal palace Star will soon learn that running the kingdom is far more complicated than she once thought. Nefcy serves as executive producer. In its third season, “Star vs. The Forces of Evil” ranks as Disney XD’s #1 series in Kids 6-11 and Kids 9-14. The hardcover book “Star vs. the Forces of Evil: The Magic Book of Spells,” created by Disney Press, will be released in July 2018.

We Bare Bears Just Got Weird in the Episode “I Am Ice Bear”

we bare bears i am ice bearsource: Cartoon Network

That very moment when you expect a certain thing to eventually happen, but when it does you’re still shocked. Out of the We Bare Bears trio, I think the bear that stands out the most would have to be Ice Bear. Mainly because of his soft spoken one-liners that are all said in third person. That’s what we know him and that is what makes him likable and at most times relatable. His character presence is just plain cute, funny and makes us warm inside. Ironically, though Ice Bear’s speech may not show much emotion, the actual words that he speaks are often loving and he’s able to show support and compassion for his brothers. He’s always cooking and going along for the many adventures with his older brothers Grizzly and Panda. Along with Ice Bear being the youngest of the three, his unique characterization blends well with his other brothers.

So get this, the latest We Bare Bears episode “I Am Ice Bear” totally threw me off and I know it did for many viewers out there. This is the certain inevitable yet still shocking thing I was talking about regarding this series. The seventh episode of the fourth season aired on Friday, February 9, 2018, with a sneak peek from Cartoon Network that was uploaded prior to the airing date and time. Watching this show, there’s one major thing that I often thought about. What if Ice Bear broke character and talked in a normal, non-monotone, first person voice like the rest of his siblings? Well that’s just what went down as the brothers were celebrating Sibling Day. As they were preparing to take an epic Sibling Day photo to add to the trending hashtag, their usual bear stack ends in a disaster, and Ice Bear is out cold. Concerned for their little brother, Grizzly and Panda hover over Ice Bear until he is conscious again, only to witness  what is probably the most bizarre moment of their life. Ice Bear suffers from amnesia and no longer expresses the usual monotone, third person sentences, but rather a normal speaking voice like everyone else. What’s even more bizarre is that Ice Bear gains a high social status online and offline that has turned him into a complete monster and has even led him to abandon his brothers and move in with his popular friends. Grizz and Panda are willing to do anything to get their little bro back to the way he was, even if that means giving him an even further head injury to undo the amnesia.

A funny display at the usual “knock them on the head again so they’ll be back to normal” amnesia story line plot a lot TV shows have used, but it was nice to see it work so well on the usually introverted character on We Bare Bears. As a lover of Ice Bear, this episode was one big roller coaster of emotions. I think Ice Bear’s popularity could be used as a sort of ironic message for his real life popularity with among viewers of We Bare Bears. Though Ice Bear is seen as a fan favorite, he is the quiet, humble and caring one of the bears. It’s funny because it’s usually the total opposite of how most real life individuals deal with being popular or famous.

we bare bears i am ice bear reviewsource: Cartoon Network

What really cut deep for me in this episode was when the social-status obsessed monster version of Ice Bear or “Ice B”, insisted that Grizz and Panda weren’t his real brothers because they are three different types of bears. Attempting to chop down their family tree? He gets a pass for that one because the amnesia caused him to not even remember helping his brothers with it. But insisting that they aren’t brothers? Not only was that kind of true, but as a fan I didn’t appreciate hearing that hurtful truth. What I love about this series is that we don’t really question the biological mumbo jumbo or if there’s a chance that they are really siblings. Who cares when their bond says it all. Yes, it just got kind of sentimental in here. And besides, we can just use the magical cartoon logic, and that proves that they are biological brothers. Overall, loving the episode and the approach that the team behind it took to really shock the viewers. For a show on its fourth season, We Bare Bears is going in the right direction.

 

Bee and PuppyCat: A Cartoon with an Adorable Aesthetic

It’s not every day that you see a cartoon with such characteristics of calmness and relaxation. Watching Bee and PuppyCat is much like the experience of going on a carefree mental vacation.

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Created by Natasha Allegri and directed by Larry Leichliter, is another interesting, must-see cartoon that is produced by Frederator Studios. It was first introduced to the internet on July 11, 2013, as a five-minute episode. No, none of the main characters is a buzzing insect that makes gives us honey. Instead, Bee is a young girl in her twenties who’s always on the hunt for numerous temp jobs in order to pay rent. One day, she came in contact with a mysterious creature called PuppyCat, and the two have been inseparable ever since.

Some notable episodes include “Food” and “Beach”, as they both have interesting plots and helps highlight some of the characters personalities. Along with the adorable aesthetic, a lot can relate to Bee as a person. Adulthood in your twenties can often be a struggle of finding jobs, paying rent, making sure you have enough to eat, and just having to deal with life’s problems on your own. I’d say that Bee and PuppyCat is the perfect cartoon for Millennials.

“Too bad I can’t make a career out of getting fired, right? I’d be like, a CEO or a manager. Which one’s more impressive? …President?” – Bee

The Bee and PuppyCat series is with no doubt doing great, as it has many admirers behind it, merchandise, and BOOM! Studios released a comic book version of the series in 2014. Some say it belongs on TV but I’d say it’s made a comfortable spot right here on the internet. The first four episodes were released in 2014, followed by the rest released in 2016. It’s reported that production wrapped up in March 2016, and at the moment it’s impossible to say whether there will be anymore episodes of Bee and PuppyCat in the future. I for one, fully supports keeping this show going, as it brings good vibes and has a unique synopsis.

Fun fact: PuppyCat is voiced by a Vocaloid software called Oliver.

Throwback Thursday: Sniz and Fondue, One of KaBlam’s Best

Thursdays are for throwbacks, and that means it’s time to get nostalgic. Today for #TBT we’re looking back at one of the best animated short series from Nickelodeon’s classic cartoon variety series, KaBlam – Sniz and Fondue.

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Anthology series just aren’t seen at all anymore in modern times. Shows like KaBlam! gave you a chance to watch many awesome cartoons within a cartoon. One of those, Sniz and Fondue, just hits home when you watch it again because it feels like it was just yesterday that it was still airing on television. Sniz and Fondue was a series of animated shorts created by Michael Pearlstein that aired on KaBlam from 1996 to 1997. The series defined the everyday lives of Sniz Bronkowski and Sneaky Fondue, two ferrets who are roommates with two other characters as well, Snuppa Doojers and Bianca Lo Bianca, who are a couple. Sniz and Fondue were inspired by characters in Michael Pearlstein’s 1990 comic book “Puppy Action!” published by Northstar.

There isn’t much information on what creator Michael Pearlstein is up to today, but if we ever get ahold to him in the future, we’ll be sure to interview him about the series. Sniz was voiced by Rick Gomez, who has worked on a ton of series (animted and live-action) including The Loud House. Oscar Riba who voices Fondue, has also done voice work on video game Grand Theft Auto.

sniz and fonduesniz-and-fondue

Top 5 memorable episodes:

S1E03 “Mod Stylin'”

S2E07 “Clubbed”

S1E10 “War of the Supergeeks”

S3E02 “The Great Chili Cookoff”

S1E09 “Fashionably Fondue”