(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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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

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.

 

Cartoon Network’s Infinity Train: Why Isn’t This a Show Yet?!

From the main character’s quest to get off of a train that she mysteriously cannot exit to a kingdom of Corgis, it didn’t take much longer for this Cartoon Network mini to grow on me… but will Cartoon Network ever greenlight a full series?

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Courtesy of Cartoon Network

This review is way overdue and much necessary. Almost a year ago, Cartoon Network unleashed what is probably one of their most-talked-about ‘minisodes’. Infinity Train is a short pilot that was originally uploaded to Cartoon Network’s YouTube channel on November 22, 2016. It eventually aired on TV two months later, on February 11, 2017. The original YouTube upload currently has 2.7 million views with over 30,000 comments. A majority of those comments are from those who are in favor for Infinity Train becoming a full series, and I have to say that I don’t disagree whatsoever.

The story surrounds a young girl named Tulip who has been trapped on a continuously running train for a week. The situation makes her very irritated but determined to find her way home. What is even more bizarre is that she has a glowing number 53 imprinted on her hand, and she can’t figure out how or why it appeared. She is accompanied by a robot companion, One One, who can separate into two different robots called Glad One & Sad One. There are multiple train cars that Tulip & One One come across, and one of them ends up leading her to Corginia, a land where Corgis run free and are ruled by another Corgi named King Atticus. After they are welcomed to the kingdom, Tulip & One One team up with Atticus to get rid of a mysterious shadow monster that has been a threat to Corginia.

First off, not only is the plot so watch-worthy, there’s so much more to be learned about this series. We don’t know how old Tulip is or where she’s from. In fact, we don’t have any further information about why she got on the train in the first place and where she was planning to go. Also, how did One One come about? Did Tulip create them? And of course, the explanation for the glowing number on her hand is sure to boggle many minds. At this point, there just HAS to be a full series for this. As the burning questions that many may have are slowly revealed in each episode, clue after clue, I know the show would be a hit. There has even been a petition started that has over 50,000 signatures so far! Not to mention there’s fan art that’s been created for it so this pilot already has a strong fandom. What are you waiting for Cartoon Network?!

Support making Infinity Train into a full show by signing the petition! https://www.change.org/p/cartoon-network-make-infinity-train-a-full-show

 

Finn the Human is Heading to London’s Comic Con!

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Well.. the voice of Finn that is! Yup heartthrob voice actor Jeremy Shada will be attending London’s MCM Comic Con at ExCeL London. He will make is appearance Saturday, May 28 & Sunday, May 29. But that’s not all. Besides his voice acting talent & good looks, HE HAS A BAND! “Make Out Monday” to be exact. And you bet they’re taking the stage. Rock on Shada.