(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.

Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Post Apocalypse Theory

A little disclaimer: a theory is a theory, defined as an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true. Nothing is being confirmed and should be interpreted as a confirmation. This is just my summary of the fan theory I discovered along with my thoughts on it. (Here’s the source of this theory)

avatarsource: Nickelodeon

We all know Avatar: The Last Airbender for being more than just a Nicktoon. It was one of the greatest and most powerful cartoons on television, let alone Nickelodeon. The idea of a world divided into four nations of “benders” who can control the natural elements – fire, earth, water and air, is just plain awesome. Watching Avatar was an experience, from the episode plots to the characters. Everything was just so well put together and I always told myself if I ever met the creators or writers of this series I would brag on their show till I’m blue in the face. I mean, you rarely (I said rarely that means it’s not impossible) find cartoons with such a creative background nowadays. Sometimes I wonder when we will see another cartoon that is as breathtaking as Avatar. Or even IF we will ever see another, but I like to have hope for the future of animated television.

A cartoon like Avatar just has to come with interesting fan theories, and this fan theory may be the most fascinating one yet. I’m talking staying up until 3 am and analyzing it over and over fascinating. That’s what I realized when I stumbled across this mind blowing article, that I might just have to side with. You can always count on me to analyze the most compelling fan theories out there. It’s pretty much a requirement from me at this point. Well, the theory is that the Avatar series takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. Now before you shut your laptop or throw your phone across the room, this might not be entirely far-fetched. This theory may sound unbelievable and even debatable, because even myself can’t help but feel like this series takes place thousands or even millions of years ago. But let’s look more into it:

This theory states that somewhere between Avatar Wan and Aang, there was an apocalyptic event that unfortunately led to mankind starting over. For that reason, Avatar must take place in the future. This person provides their evidence by mainly pointing out a “major problem” in the timeline on the show.

 “In the episode Beginnings, Part 1 and Part 2, it shows the time of the character Avatar Wan and how he became the first Avatar, when Korra lost her memory. One of the scenes shown was a Chinese palace of the Chou estate, where Wan stole food from the Chou brothers. …there is a major problem here. If you think about the development time it took between A:TLA and TLOK, it only takes 70 years to build Republic City, which is supposed to resemble an advanced city, from the plans and cars in it, as well as compared to the rest of the world…But when they show Avatar Wan’s time, it is remarkably similar to Avatar Aang’s time.”

The theory also adds how animals in the show like Sky Bisons and Chimeras may be supposedly altered due to radioactivity, how characters like Combustion Man and Guru Pathik may exist due to “special intervention” or mutation, and more. All of the information is pretty mind blowing and the author of the theory explains it very well in my opinion, but what really has me going is the Benders explanation.

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This supposed evidence of why benders have their powers could be easily disregarded, but not so fast. This person makes a rather good point when questioning the show’s excuses to how the humans developed their bending powers. In The Legend of Korra, it was revealed that the lion turtles gave powers to Avatar Wan and his kind during his time. Keep in mind, bending is not a power that can be passed down through teaching. As the lion turtles stopped giving powers away, the bending died down. So the apocalyptic event could have mutated the humans, giving them bending powers as time went on. Also the side-abilities performed, such as Metalbending, were not the works of the lion turtles, meaning only one thing. Mutated powers caused by radiation, which was caused by the apocalypse my friend.

This theory was a lot to take in and I hope I summarized it well for those of you Avatar TLAB fans out there. I really recommend you read the original article linked above in the disclaimer though. It may have you on a warpath, questioning everything you’ve ever known about the series. Or you may just find it as another interesting and enjoyable fan theory. It really depends on what level of fan you are. Once again, no one is confirming this theory to be true so no need to get frustrated or bothered by it.

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.

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Top 5 memorable episodes:

S1E03 “Mod Stylin'”

S2E07 “Clubbed”

S1E10 “War of the Supergeeks”

S3E02 “The Great Chili Cookoff”

S1E09 “Fashionably Fondue”

How ‘Rick and Morty’ Is Dominating Television & Sending Their Fans into a Frenzy

The time has come for a truly outstanding cartoon to really mold a positive impression on the masses. It all started with a draft that was written in only six hours, which then became the TV phenomenon that is shaping pop culture, along with a fandom that is too powerful for words. In the midst of the Szechuan sauce-frenzy, we’re looking into the show that has the fans acting so erratic in the first place.

Created by Justin Roiland & Dan Harmon, Rick and Morty had set forth onto our screens on December 2, 2013, and animated television was never the same.

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Courtesy of Adult Swim

Picture yourself as a 14-year old going on bizarre and impractical adventures with your erratic grandfather who’s a mad scientist with a drinking habit. Rick and Morty is just as bizarre as it sounds and that’s why it’s loved by so many. Each episode embarks on another insane journey that usually ends in an extremely mindblowing way. You would probably expect an episode to end in a certain way, but then you’re left contemplating the world around you as you know it. Your expectations can be due to the fact that many adult cartoons subsume the exact same rundown. A family that runs into wacky situations or experiences personal issues along the way. Same scenarios can be tedious and will leave a series uninteresting after a while, which can be a drag for show creators and ratings. With Rick and Morty, it’s more than just the usual family adventures & interpersonal relationship troubles that are resolved that the end. Throughout the series, we see Morty’s parents, Beth and Jerry Smith, continuously have marriage troubles, which led to an inevitable split in season 3. It really shows how marvelous continuity can be and how it can mold a quality show while attaching an emotional conflict to each character. The chilling end of the episode, Rick Potion No. 9, will leave you speechless. The scene of Morty’s thousand yard stare deserves awards alone.

Definitely not going to pass up the opportunity to mention the method of improv that is used in this show. In the episode “Rixty Minutes” you can see the improvisation come into play.

Just how much of this natural, improvisational method is used in Rick and Morty? In an interview with io9, Justin Roiland explains how the team behind this show doesn’t use the script exactly how it’s written, but instead as a guideline for their free-flowing creativity.

“When doing the dialogue I have to toss the script aside. Even if I’m sticking to a very specific line of dialogue that is required for a very specific joke set up or punchline, I find that if I allow myself to adjust the wording and let it come out more naturally to how I would actually say it, it helps make the characters feel more real/alive/natural. I also LOVE using out takes as in takes. Our dialogue editor Tommy Meehan also always surprises me with stuff he’ll pick from the record to cut in. He and I are very much in sync on what we find funny.”

“[I improvise on] some episodes more than others. I usually have moments in each episode that weren’t in the script. One big example is the cold open in the pilot. That whole sequence in Rick’s ship was improv based on a scene suggestion from Dan. Other stuff when Rick acts strange or fucks around… that’s usually improv. The scene where he plays with Morty in the Alien Scammer’s ship was improv.”

I guess when it comes to improv vs. the script? Just throw out the script because improv nails it every time.

A groundbreaking show like Rick and Morty was bound to have success, but I’m not sure if success is even the word to describe the impact that this show is having on viewers, the media, corporations & pop culture altogether. Try a phenomenon. Just early this month it was reported that Rick and Morty actually broke Adult Swim’s viewership record. Season 3 was the network’s most-watched comedy show in its history of programming. More than 11 million people alone watched the live-streamed premiere of the season. These are incredible numbers for a show with only three seasons.

The success of the first episode of season 3 alone inspired a hysteria involving a certain fast food chain. I’m talking McDonald’s and their Szechuan sauce. Who knew Rick Sanchez telling Cornvelious Daniel how much he loves a promotional McNuggets sauce from 1998 could led to a literal uproar?

McDonald’s actually ended up gifting the Rick and Morty team a four-pound bottle of this rare sauce, and the hype eventually led up to the franchise re-releasing the sauce for one day only on October 7, 2017. This didn’t sit right with fans due to the fact that the sauce was quickly sold out and it led to several public disturbances and an outcry across social media.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an animated television show have this much of an influence on the general public. It makes me wonder if the next season of Rick and Morty will be an even bigger deal. There isn’t any news on season 4 at the moment but we’ll keep you posted!

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Was Cancelling Drawn Together a Wise Move by Comedy Central?

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Comedy Central

Drawn Together was an animated reality show that aired on Comedy Central from October 27, 2004 and ended on November 14, 2007. The show was probably the most vulgar cartoon to ever hit television. It made a show like Family Guy look like a family-friendly series to watch with your Gran. Drawn Together is definitely not the type of show that is made for the sensitive or the squeamish. The show had jokes that would cause a major outrage if it was still airing today in 2017. Despite it’s outrageous content, my question is still very much valid to all of you out there. Was Drawn Together given the short end of the stick by Comedy Central or was it a wise choice for the network? Let’s take a look:

So as I stated before, Drawn Together’s last episode aired on November 14, 2007. It was a clip show/reunion type episode with an American Idol theme, where the characters sang songs that were featured in past episodes. At the end of the episode, the characters were informed that the show was cancelled and they entered a room marked “employment”. I applaud the Drawn Together creators and writers for adding that little gag in, even though having your show cancelled must suck big time. The show was publicly confirmed to be cancelled by Tara Strong, the voice of Princess Clara & Toot, in March 2008. I, myself did not see any reason why the show should’ve been cancelled after 3 seasons. I actually saw the show getting renewed for at least one more season, but I guess Comedy Central had other plans. Despite the pilot episode receiving an F by Entertainment Weekly, which was made into a whole subplot for an episode that also received an F, Drawn Together has good ratings overall. Metacritic gave it a decent 7.6/10 and it scored a 8.5/10 on tv.com. For the shock comedy that the show put out, those are pretty good scores. Not to mention the show had a devoted fanbase. Well, maybe not that devoted to the point where the didn’t demand a new season hard enough, but still devoted.

If you were watching the show in 07-08 like most, you probably thought the final episode was the last time you’ll be seeing new content from the housemates. Well in March & April 2010 came a direct-to-DVD surprise: the Drawn Together movie. The movie was produced by Six Point Harness and created using flash animated because of budget cuts. Not only was the movie’s animation different from the show, but it was even more outrageous. Another fun fact to be learned about all of this is that the Drawn Together creators wanted a Drawn Together Babies spin-off, but Comedy Central rejected the idea. It seems like the creators definitely weren’t ready to give up with show right then and there, but they had no choice. They could’ve reached out to other networks to pick up the show such as Spike TV or even HBO. (Side note: I think HBO is really lacking in the animated series department).

What do you think? Comment below. For more discussions on animated series follow me on Twitter @cartoonbuzznet | Instagram @cartoonbuzz & like Cartoon Buzz on Facebook!

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