‘Amby & Dexter’ Was Like ASMR in the 90s on Nickelodeon

If you remember waking up in the morning as a child, then Nick Jr. may have been your go-to entertainment source. If you were watching Nick Jr. in the late 90s or early 2000s then you probably remember the animated shorts Amby & Dexter. Or at least faintly remember them somehow.

Amby & Dexter was a series of five shorts: Scotch Tape, Doorknob, Portraits (aka the infamous painting episode), Gardening, and Piano. The shorts were created by Paul Fierlinger, along with his wife Sandra Schuette, and composed by John Avarese.  IMDB summarizes the series synopsis as “small people who transformed from a pair into hands, and back again when their adventure’s complete. Amby is the playful one who loves to dance while Dexter is the serious one. The two never talk.” That is exactly what Amby & Dexter was, and despite the summary of the series sounding so simple, that’s what actually makes it still memorable today.

Just seeing the characters again makes me suddenly wonder if I’m 6-years-old again and getting ready for school. Amby was a raven-haired girl who wore glasses, a white hat that sort of looks like a beret, and a blue blouse and skirt. Dexter was a brown-haired boy who also wore glasses, along with a white long-sleeved short under a brown vest over it, and brown shorts. When the two transformed from the hands, they began exploring the giant world around them.

“Amby & Dexter” is a play on ambidextrous, which is a term used for someone who can use their left and right hand equally well. If that isn’t clever than I don’t know what is. What really made Amby & Dexter so unique and aesthetically pleasing that so many people have found themselves discovering the shorts all over again were the sounds. I included the uploaded episode “Portraits” above because that single short represents the entire series so well. In that episode, the tiny duo Amby & Dexter paint portraits of each other. A simple plot yet there’s a reason why this is the most memorable episode of them all.

If I could rename the Portraits episode to “ASMR painting sounds”, I would with no hesitation because that is what stands out the most. Hearing the paint brush dip into the water and then in the paint, along with some other texture sounds is like music to my ears. It takes me back to when these shorts used to air daily. Come to think of it, before YouTube existed, those of us who were kids back then got to experience ASMR prior to it being a thing. Another great episode that dominated in sounds was “Scotch Tape”.

Looking back on Amby & Dexter makes me wish kids today had such aesthetically pleasing animated shorts. If you think about it, the series could’ve also been useful for teaching kids about their hearing and visual senses. Visually, Amby & Dexter is one of the most beautiful short series I’ve seen. It was like seeing old school animation come back to life in the late 90s and early 2000s. Even hearing the background music again gives major nostalgic feelings.

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The Best of MTV’s Daria: Sarcasm and All

Since her debut in the 90s, Daria grew to be the monotone misanthropist that a majority of us can relate to.

daria-best-ofsource: MTV

MTV has had a few animated series with memorable characters, but there was none like Daria Morgendorffer. She was first introduced as a recurring character on Beavis and Butt-Head, but she wasn’t always as monotone or sardonic as her final form. Her character grew overtime and led to her getting her own spinoff, when she transferred schools. Daria is best known for being highly intelligent and extremely sarcastic. She has a strong personality and is able to stand her ground and distance herself from conformist values, despite her stand-offish nature. Daria definitely has a mind of her own and is not easily influenced, which is 100% the main reason she deserves all the praise.

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Someone who can definitely relate to Daria’s cynical ways is the one and only, Jane Lane. Being the best friend of Daria is not an easy task for the average being. Although they both share an edgy fashion sense and a despise for society’s ridiculous expectations and social climbing, Daria and Jane could not be more different. Jane is slightly more outgoing and better adjusted than Daria, and she seems to know what direction she’s heading in life. Differences of not, Jane is the number one person who loves and accepts Daria for who she is. Too bad we can’t quite say the same thing about her own parents, Helen and Jake, and especially her younger sister Quinn, who has even been ashamed to call Daria her sister.

“But the greatest burden on the home front is Daria’s terminally cute, popular little sister, Quinn. Quinn and her pals constitute Lawndale High’s Fashion Club (”Friends don’t let shortwaisted friends wear hip-huggers” is one of their mottos). Quinn tells people that Daria is her cousin or just an unrelated girl who lives with her.” – Anita Gates, TELEVISION / RADIO; In Praise of the Most Unpopular Girl at Lawndale, The New York Times, 1999.

Daria is a series that I highly recommend to the newer generation. With all of the pressure to wear specific clothes, have a specific body shape, and listen to a specific type of music to be considered “cool”, I truly think Daria will show them that it’s better to not follow a trend or social status. Daria didn’t give a damn about being popular, and in the 2010s that’s hard to accomplish with the obsession to be famous and have a high follower account. I feel besides the constant pessimism and lack of hope for the future, Daria’s lessons in life can be lessons in your own. Of course, Daria’s advice always comes with a heaping load of sarcasm, but that’s what we love about her.

daria-sarcasmsource: larvitarr.tumblr.com

When it comes to speaking the truth, Daria lays it on you straight forward and without hesitation. In fact, The name “Daria” is Greek and means “upholder of truth’. A very interesting coincidence and no surprise at all.

Being a teenager can come with a lot of fun and crazy memories, but it can also make you think of how those are your last years to really be responsibility-free and depend on your parents to solve all of your problems. The pressure of choosing a career path that teachers and counselors puts on students as soon as they start high school is not only unfair but can be damaging to someone’s future. Of course, I feel that Daria was totally knowledged on that spectrum. One memorable scene from the show centers around a speaker at Lawndale High School asking Daria about her career goals. Daria explains how her goal is to not have the realization and regret that she settled for a job that she hates because she was forced to decide in her teens. It’s one of those scenes that makes you go “BRAVO!” or “Finally someone said it.”

Out of all the things Daria wants you to know, the thing that definitely deserves 1000+ awards was her memorable ‘Misery Chick’ speech to Jane:

“Okay… but you know what I’ve been hearing? “You know how I feel Daria, you’re gloomy.” “I knew I could talk to you Daria, you’re always miserable.” Tragedy hits the school and everyone thinks of me. The popular guy died and now I’m popular, because I’m the misery chick. But I’m not miserable, I’m just not like them.”

Daria basically told everyone to don’t get it twisted. Her monotoned, sarcastic, cynical expressions should not be taken as a cry of misery. It all comes back to the lesson of individuality. Everyone is different and not every person you come across is going to be a jolly or optimistic, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re crying out for help. I say, if you’re lucky enough to meet someone like Daria, cherish their unique and intellectual way of thinking.

10 Nostalgic Nickelodeon Christmas Specials

Growing up can be a drag when you realize that some things will just never be the same. No more waking up to brand new toys under the tree and spending the entire day happy, cheerful, and responsibility-free. But… something that will always remain no matter how old you get is the cartoons! Nickelodeon had some of the best animated Christmas specials ever to air on television. If you aren’t in the spirit yet, you just need a little reminder of the episodes that made Christmas time excitable.

1. Fairly OddParents “Christmas Every Day” (2001)

fairly-oddparents-christmas-every-dayAirdate: December 12, 2001

As Christmas approaches, which is Timmy’s favorite holiday, he makes the ultimate wish in hopes it will remain Christmas every day. It seemed like the perfect wish for a 10-year-old kid until it wasn’t.

2. SpongeBob Squarepants “Christmas Who?” (2000)

spongebob-squarepants-christmas-who-patrick-starAirdate: December 6, 2000

SpongeBob, Patrick, and the rest of the Bikini Bottom residents learn the true meaning of Christmas. Well, sorta. It has a catchy musical number that we all know the words to so there’s that!

3. Rocko’s Modern Life “Rocko’s Modern Christmas” (1994)

rockos-modern-life-rockos-modern-christmasAirdate: December 1, 1994

Rocko tried to get into the Christmas spirit, but when there’s no snow outside and his party invitees are no-shows, it becomes rather difficult.

4. Hey Arnold “Arnold’s Christmas” (1996)

hey-arnold-arnolds-christmasAirdate: December 14, 1996

Arnold is destined to find the Christmas miracle that Mr. Hyunh is longing for, his long-lost daughter.

5. Rugrats “The Santa Experience” (1992)

rugrats-the-santa-experienceAirdate: December 6, 1992

The adults take the babies up to the mountain cabin for a Christmas celebration. Angelica’s devious ways may have earned her a big lump of coal and a spot on Santa’s naughty list.

6. Danny Phantom “The Fright Before Christmas” (2005)

danny-phantom-the-fright-before-christmasAirdate: December 6, 2005

When it comes to Christmas, Danny isn’t having any of it. When his friends call him out on it, he attempts to destroy anything Christmas-related in Ghost World to relieve his stress, which he soon learns was a mistake.

7. As Told by Ginger “An Even Steven Holiday Special” (2001)

as-told-by-ginger-an-even-steven-holiday-specialAirdate: December 10, 2001

When Ginger learns that she is part Jewish, she decides to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. Unfortunately, this becomes a problem to best friend Dodie, who insists that she is abandoning Christmas.

8. Jimmy Neutron “Holly Jolly Jimmy” (2003)

jimmy-neutron-holly-jolly-jimmyAirdate: December 8, 2003

After Jimmy tells his friends that he doesn’t believe him Santa, it leads the crew to the North Pole to get answers.

9. Invader Zim “The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever” (2002)

invader-zim-the-most-horrible-xmas-everAirdate: December 10, 2002

Being amazed at how much power Santa has over humans during Christmas time, Zim creates a Santa suit and pretends to be him to gain control.

10. Doug “Doug’s Christmas Story” (1993)

doug-dougs-christmas-storyAirdate: December 12, 1993

Porkchop is accused of attacking Beebe, which puts his life on the line and Doug’s Christmas spirit is in shambles.

 

 

 

Why Kids’ WB Was the Greatest

cartoon buzz kids wb

We’re taking it back to the classic red & yellow water tower for a second. Some say the 1990s & early 2000s were the best times to be a kid when it came to entertainment. Well, at least those who were actually kids at that time. I guess they can add Kids WB to their argument. Kids’ WB was a programming block that aired on the used-to-be network ‘The WB’, which is now the CW. The network aired many acquired and original animated shows like Pokemon, Jackie Chan Adventures, Sailor Moon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Men in Black The Series, Xiaolin Showdown, Batman Beyond & much more. It was the lineup that you didn’t want to miss on Saturday mornings or in the afternoon right after school. Kids WB was a tradition like many Saturday morning and afternoon programming blocks that came before it. Put it this way: if you enjoyed action and comedy combined in your cartoons, then Kids WB was perfect for you.

Kids’ WB premiered on September 9, 1995. In its early years, it started with a basic schedule:

Saturdays: 8:00 am – 11:00 am

Weekdays: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This schedule was subjected to some tweaks and minor changes over the years, but nothing huge. Unlike other programming blocks, Kids’ WB was unique and that’s what made it great. The lineups never lacked variety, and it kept things non-repetitive and exciting. They probably aired almost 100 shows from Hanna-Barbera, Cartoon Network, Anime, Warner Bros, and more. Some memorable holiday specials and events aired throughout the years as well. Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo premiered on the block on September 16, 2006, a day after the show’s Cartoon Network premiere. Pokemon was also a big deal on the network due to its numerous movie premieres. More specials including the Canadian-American Christmas film, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (2002). Kids’ WB aired so many shows and specials that you would’ve thought it would’ve become a channel itself eventually.

Like they say, all good things must come to an end. That’s what happened with Kids WB, at least it did everywhere except for Australia & Bulgaria. On May 17, 2008, the original Kids WB block came to an end. There were many online & offline successors, but nothing beats the original show lineup or even the promos & bumpers. What’s even more unfortunate is that you won’t find many programming blocks with the same show variety, entertainment, and longevity as Kids’ WB.

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Hey Arnold Fans Are Officially Petitioning for Season 6

hey-arnold-season-6source: Nickelodeon

Hey Arnold fans are experiencing some post-revival movie syndrome, which means they want more. The Jungle Movie brought back a lot of nostalgic feelings and memories for those who have watched the show since it’s premiere in the 90s. Should Hey Arnold continue for a sixth season? Well, earlier this year at New York Comic Con, the creator and cast didn’t deny it one bit but instead insisted that if The Jungle Movie did well, it could lead to a season 6 or further. There isn’t a doubt that this movie did the right numbers for the franchise to be revived.

After The Jungle Movie’s big premiere, all of the fan theories and mysteries that ever existed about Hey Arnold were solved. Helga and Arnold are a couple, after years of Helga suppressing her feelings through angry tactics towards him. Phoebe and Gerald were always favored to end up together, so it’s about time! Brainy finally got closure from Helga after being knocked out a few thousand times throughout the series. I’d say Helga truly received the most character development in this movie. But the long-awaited mystery was truly unveiled when Arnold found his parents alive and well. If only we can hear all of the sighs of relief from everyone watching. Something to also note and be relieved about is seeing Pigeon Man again. Let’s just say there’s a fan theory out there that painted a dark picture for that character. Moving on!

Now that the movie came, conquered, and made many emotional, why shouldn’t there be a season 6? This isn’t a bad idea and the team is behind it and willing to make it happen. Rebooting Hey Arnold will make room for new adventures and really set the stage for Arnold and Helga’s relationship. Plus, seeing life at home for Miles and Stella as they raise their son is something worth watching. I can see why there are people defending this idea. Hopefully, the network backs this because the fans sure are. Recently a petition was created and it’s spreading like wildfire, so if you want to support Hey Arnold having a sixth season, you can find the petition link below:

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/912/288/796/

Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie Answers All of Your Burning Questions

It’s here. The highly anticipated revival film of Hey Arnold, Nickelodeon’s classic series. Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie aired tonight on Nickelodeon and it answered the ultimate question: What happened to Arnold’s parents?

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What a brilliant way to spend Thanksgiving weekend than to watch the conclusion to a show that ended 10+ years ago. Arnold and the gang headed off to San Lorenzo to unfold the mysteries of his parent’s whereabouts. First off, bravo to creators and writers behind Hey Arnold. It was exciting, hilarious, mindblowing, and emotional to a lot of us who grew up watching Hey Arnold as kids. As someone in their twenties, this movie definitely brought my childhood self back out of me. It was a breath of fresh air to finally receive some kind of closure and conclude the cliffhanger once and for all. There was so much that happened in this movie that words can barely express it. Beware, this article contains spoilers. If you haven’t watched The Jungle Movie yet, it will be playing on Nickelodeon & TeenNick’s NickSplat block all weekend and possibly into next week. Also, prepare to have your mind blown.

1) Turns out Arnold’s last name was a revelation to a lot of people.

hey-arnold-last-name

The name’s Shortman, Arnold Shortman. This piece of information has been on the internet for some time now but I guess some weren’t convinced. Who knew Grandpa Phil was calling him by his last name all along?

2) We finally figure out Mr. Simmons’ plus one?

We’re rooting for Mr. Simmons and Peter.

3) SHORTAKI LIVES.

hey-arnold-the-jungle-movie-arnold-and-helga-kiss

We’ve waited over a decade for this. HELGA FINALLY GOT HER MAN.

4) Love is in the air for Gerald & Phoebe as well!

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Gerald and Phoebe are an item! We’ve always known this was going to happen. Our nostalgic hearts can’t take it.

It’s the moment of truth. Are you ready for this one?

5) YES, Arnold found his parents!

hey-arnold-stella-miles-shortman

Miles and Stella Shortman were found, and they were reunited with Arnold and the rest of the boarding house family. The sight of Arnold’s pupils growing as he realizes that he no longer has to dream about finding his parents because they are right in front of him was almost too emotional to handle.

6) Brainy is the hero of the entire movie

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Brainy’s obsession with Helga finally paid off. He managed to be the reason that Arnold and Helga are a thing, and that Arnold found his parents. Plus, he got a kiss from Helga. Brainy has officially won the game of life.

Thank you to Craig Bartlett, the Hey Arnold team, and Nickelodeon. You’ve let many relive their childhood tonight. Now, about a season 6…

 

The Moment Has Come: Here’s the Trailer & Release Date for ‘Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie’

hey arnold

Courtesy of Nickelodeon

It’s the moment of truth. Nickelodeon’s highly anticipated reboot movie of their classic Nicktoon, Hey Arnold, is right around the corner and before you know it we will be watching the big comeback on our TV screens.

‘Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie’ continues a journey that was last left off over ten years ago. Arnold Shortman is a 10-year-old calm & optimistic boy who resides in the city of Hillwood where he faces everyday life and challenges along with his neighborhood friends who he also attends school with. He lives in a boarding house with his paternal grandparents and other non-relative residents, who he considers to be family since he grew up living with them. Everything may seem quite alright in Arnold’s world, but throughout the series, we learn that there is a deep curiosity that he faces. Arnold wants to know what happened to his parents. Stella & Miles Shortman are Arnold’s mother & father, who dropped him off with Phil & Gertrude when he was a small child to go help the people of San Lorenzo, who are suffering from a terrible illness. As they flew off in the plane to begin their journey, Stella & Miles were never heard from again.

The Jungle Movie is going to answer all of the burning questions that many fans have asked. After all these years, we are finally going to learn the fate and whereabouts of Arnold’s missing parents. There was a lot of new and exciting information that was just revealed at the Hey Arnold Panel at New York Comic Con 2017! For starters, Craig Bartlett apologized for the cliffhanger ending to the last Hey Arnold movie:

“I was daring Nickelodeon not to make it…and they didn’t.”Bartlett stated at NYCC

It was also discussed that the show is very real and brings awareness to serious topics, and it is confirmed that such as Miriam Pataki being an alcoholic & Chocolate Boy’s addiction. It was also teasted that if  ‘The Jungle Movie’ does well, there coud be a sixth season on the way!

So here it is… the official trailer for Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie – airs on Nickelodeon Friday, November 24, 2017:

Last year it was reported that most of the original cast are back to reprise their original roles.

“The voice actors reprising their famed roles include: Francesca Marie Smith (The Prince of Egypt) as Helga; Anndi McAfee (Tom and Jerry: The Movie) as Phoebe; Justin Shenkarow (Recess) as Harold; Olivia Hack (Family Guy) as Rhonda; Nika Futterman (The Boxtrolls) as Olga; Dan Butler (Frasier) as Mr. Simmons; Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons) as Grandpa; Tress MacNeille (The Simpsons) as Grandma; Antoinette Stella (Melrose Place, writer) as Stella; Carlos Alazraqui (Happy Feet) as Eduardo; Dom Irrera (Back at the Barnyard) as Ernie; Maurice LaMarche (Futurama) as Bob Pataki; Kath Soucie (Rugrats) as Miriam; Danielle Judovits (Toy Story) as Big Patty; Danny Cooksey (The Lorax) as Stoop Kid; Jim Belushi (According to Jim) as Coach Wittenberg; and Craig Bartlett as Miles.” Taken from the official press release.

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Does Disney’s Doug Deserve the Hate That It Gets?

disney's doug cartoon buzz

Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

Doug originally premiered and aired on Nickelodeon as one of the network’s original Nicktoons, becoming the show that we all hold close to the Nostalgic section of our hearts. After ending in 1994 and leaving the Nick universe, Doug was rebooted and acquired by Disney two years later, becoming Disney’s Doug. The new and “improved” version of the series premiered on ABC as Brand Spanking New! Doug and the series picked up where it left off in 1994. Doug is 12 years old (eventually turns 13 by the end of series) and he and the rest of his classmates start middle school. Along with becoming Disney’s property, Doug had also received some major changes to the show. First off, Doug is no longer voiced by Billy West, but is instead voiced by Tom McHugh. A significant amount of other characters have also been revamped with new clothing and… lifestyles? Roger Klotz, the bully known to live in a trailer park, is now rich. Still a bully nonetheless. Connie, a character who originally had a plus-sized figure, is noticeably thinner. Oh, and how can I forget? Doug’s parents had another child. All of these changes had actually made Doug go nuts in the first episode, but he eventually accepts the fact that change is normal. He can thank big sister Judy for that, who also has a slightly different appearance in the Disney episodes.

The first two seasons of Disney’s Doug made the overall series THE highest-rated cartoon to ever hit the ABC network at the time. Not to mention it was a popular show on ABC’s Saturday morning lineup. Though it may have received killer ratings and some positive reviews on a number of websites, Disney’s Doug has a bad reputation with 90s nostalgia enthusiasts. In fact, a few major media sites stated that the revival series “ruined” the entire Doug franchise as a whole. Billy West, the original voice of Doug Funnie, also admitted that he wasn’t too fond of the new series and couldn’t watch it. It’s kind of like if Nickelodeon’s Doug looked into the future and saw Disney’s Doug happening, and suddenly became infuriated.

disney's doug

Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

So does this series really deserve all of the negativity that it receives? I guess I’ll be the judge of that today. I think that Nickelodeon’s Doug fans should check out the first episode of the Disney series. Everything was changing in Bluffington and Doug wasn’t having it. Sounds kind of familiar right? When a show is revived or rebooted, and there are obvious changes, it can cause discomfort and even outrage to the viewers. The problem really stems from people wanting things to just stay the same. I have to admit, the first time that I even learned there was a Disney’s Doug, I instantly wanted to hate the series after seeing this infamous side-by-side of the character changes and such. I even wondered if Doug needed more seasons at all. Well, after analyzing a few episodes and putting all of my negative thoughts about change aside, I realized that the series isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

Doug Funnie may not be the exact same character as he was when the Nickelodeon series ended, and that’s okay. Can you honestly say that you were the exact same person you were a few years ago? Sometimes things have to change in order for things to keep going, and I think Disney’s Doug is a perfect example of that. I like the fact that we got to see Doug and the rest of the Bluffington characters grow a little more. What I COULD NOT stand for was the fact that The Beets, the best fictional rock band who’s better than most non-fictional bands, BROKE. UP. Killer Tofu was a true hit. That is probably the only part of Disney’s Doug that disappointed me the most. Other than that, I rest my case when I say that there’s no other real reason to form an angry mob over this series.

Fun Fact: Disney’s Doug was considered “lost” for awhile and was even listed on the Lost Media wiki page. It was finally found on April 23, 2017 and all of the episodes have resurfaced since then.

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#ThrowbackThursday: Why Recess is One of Disney’s Best Gems

RecessGang

Just watching Recess made me feel like I was apart of the gang myself. Although they faced many challenges on the playground and things may have been going bad at times, but they always regrouped and rekindled at the end. Plus, the fact that they have different personalities didn’t change the fact that they’re friendship was strong and they truly cared for one another. Nothing is too tough for this crew. True squad goals tbh.

Recess is an American animated show that aired on Disney Channel, ABC Kids, Toon Disney & UPN. The series takes on the lives of six fourth graders who attend an elementary school that’s ran by a government system made by the students. The must follow the rules of their Monarch, aka sixth grader “King Bob” and his enforcers, in order to survive recess.

This show had some real moments. I mean REAL TRULY AUTHENTIC MOMENTS. You can hardly find animated series these days that really tells the truth and nothing but the truth. They really touched base with their viewers about race, white privilege, etc. Recess truly played NO GAMES:

Ms. Grotke was the most “woke” teacher I’ve ever known and was not gonna feed her students any bullshit:anigif_enhanced-15257-1424897299-1enhanced-buzz-28080-1368740810-21tumblr_miugkt7yti1rt93pio10_r1_500

The kids gave no fucks about the Gender Norms that are jammed down our throats.anigif_enhanced-30190-1424897181-13anigif_enhanced-24117-1424979087-9

These lessons & knowledge that kids learn in life should be in something that they enjoy the most, cartoons. And I’m my favorite cartoons were full of them.