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Watch the movie instead!
This show was a total embarrassment to one of the few truly good teen movies. I remember being excited to watch this series, but it disgusted me so much that I could barely sit through it. 'Clueless' is a highly original and charming movie, but in the series they just turned it into a typical '90s sitcom that almost NOBODY liked.

I'll just leave it at that. If you like dime-a-dozen sitcoms, then this is the show for you. Otherwise, forget it.


The perfect fix for anyone with a little curiosity
I remember back when Marc Summers was the host for 'Double Dare.' But some things never change, because he's just as, if not more, corny! But hey, I love this show! Food Network is awesome, and 'Unwrapped' is for sure their best offering. From the first time I saw it, I wanted to see more secrets behind the snacks we all grew up with. It's educational, entertaining, and in my case, makes me want to open up some candy.

If Food Network keeps up this show, I'll remain faithful to their ratings.

The Chipmunk Adventure

A longtime favorite
I've loved this movie for a LONG time. I hadn't seen it in a while, so I again checked it out and actually found it even more enjoyable now. I loved the Chipmunks cartoon when I was young, so naturally I adored 'The Chipmunk Adventure.'

I honestly can't think of a better plot to this movie. It's not wildly creative, but I've always wanted to travel all over the world, and so I just have so much fun watching it as my longing to travel grows even more. The part with Elenore singing to the little penguin always makes me cry...

'The Chipmunk Adventure' will remain a favorite of mine forever, I'm sure. I guess it's because I saw it when I was so young. I don't think it would make quite an impact on someone older seeing it for the first time. (Unless, of course, they have a young heart)

The Point

A new favorite
I kept hearing about this movie a lot for quite some time, and when I saw the video at my local library, I decided to check it out to see if it was any good.

Little did I know what I was in for!

In other words, I loved every minute of it. I have this thing for semi-obscure non-Disney animated movies, and 'The Point' was just adorable. Never before have I seen a lead character quite as endearing as little Oblio, or a cuter dog than Arrow (I just loved his expressions). The Rock Man was just too cool... with that beatnik-like voice and wisdom.

I loved the songs, and there's a very strange one about death, which shows a whale decomposing... it's the weirdest part of the movie, and has to be seen to be believed. The sequences to a few other songs aren't much more normal, actually. But I mean all of this in the nicest way possible.

'The Point' will for sure have a place in my cartoon collection soon. Anyone who loves strange cartoons or Harry Nilsson should see it.

I Love the '70s

The '70s rule!
When I first became hooked on 'I Love the '80s', I thought, "The only thing that could possibly be better than this would be a take on the '70s." And, badda-bing badda-boom!

There were some parts of this series that were a little... raunchy (and sometimes downright grotesque. To my standards, anyway), to put it bluntly. But it's not enough to overshadow the all-around greatness of the series. The best ones I think are '72, '74 and '77.

True, it's not as *funny* as 'I Love the '80s,' but the '70s were *cooler*, so it's a different perspective. (I love the '80s for their sheer hilarious tackiness. The '70s I love for how awesome they really were.) It's also a lot more quickly paced, but that's probably so they can fit more artifacts in.

It's a real downer for me that I didn't get to live in the '70s. But with this series, I can still have lots of fun with the fantastic and the exceedingly cheesy alike!

I Love the '80s

A hilarious ride through early memories
I LOVE this series. I've seen every episode several times, but they never fail to leave me in stitches. For me, the '80s are just vague memories of Hall and Oates LP's, Care Bear dolls, and early cable TV. But that doesn't stop me from loving the '80s and fondly remembering the culture. Some of the panelists were annoying (particularly Hal Sparks at times), but the series is still nothing short of sweet, cheesy perfection.

My favorite episodes are probably 1980-82, but I loved them all. I'm just praying that acid wash denim will never, ever make a comeback.

Down with Love

An adorable surprise
Before I saw Down With Love, I couldn't stomach Ewan McGregor at all, because all the roles of his I saw were stiff as wood. But now I've gained a little appreciation for him to be able to pull off being an arrogant snob so well. Really, I liked him here.

I didn't expect much from this movie (since Ewan was in it and all), but ended up really getting a kick out of it! As soon as I saw the animated introduction, I knew it would be so much better than I thought. When I watch movies from the '50s and early '60s, I wonder why movies like that aren't made anymore. Well, Down With Love satisfied my longing for a movie that really was like one of the past.

I'm a nut for costume design, and it's a key thing I pay attention to in movies set in a past era. Well, the designer got everything perfect here. (I now want every dress Renee has worn in this movie.) Loved the sets, too. Plastic furniture needs a good comeback.

If you're a lover of the early '60s, see Down With Love while you can. It could be the unsung great movie of the year.

The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat

A stroke of insanity
I LOVED this show when it was on. This is the REAL Felix! The '60s series is cute, but this one is the perfect homage to the old silent cartoons. The original Felix was crazy, and he should always be that way.

Why, oh why didn't this last longer? My guess is that it was a little much for the average viewer. Another reason could be that this was one of the most expensive cartoons ever made by Film Roman. But nonetheless, it was a fantastic series.

Lilo & Stitch

Already a favorite
I was very, very bad about seeing new movies last year. I really wanted to catch Lilo and Stitch, but didn't get to until the DVD. I hope it comes to the IMAX or something, because I think it could easily replace The Rescuers as my favorite Disney movie. Just when I thought that Disney was going down the tubes, they come roaring back with this new classic.

Everything about this movie is brilliant, beautiful, and original. I think they should keep on using watercolor backgrounds, because it has the feel of a real classic from the '40s. The Elvis music was a great touch! No out-of-place song and dance numbers here, folks, it's very nicely embedded in the background.

I've heard criticism regarding Lilo and Nani's constant arguing, but this is exactly what sisters do, no matter how much they love each other. Sure, I don't think real life loving sisters would go quite that far, but it was a breath of fresh air from the Brady Bunch-like atmospheres from a lot of other Disney movies.

Lilo and Stitch will still be loved for a very long time, and rightfully so, because it's like no other Disney film, and they'll never even come close again.

Finding Nemo

It may not be Toy Story, but it's still one of Pixar's best to date!
Let's face it, no movie Pixar is ever going to make will even come close to how perfect the Toy Story movies were. But one thing's for sure, and that's that Pixar will always be king of computer animation. It's the kind of technique that either looks brilliant or hideous, and Pixar just keeps on getting more amazing.

I was looking forward to seeing Finding Nemo ever since I saw the trailer last year, and my high expectations paid off! It's a little bit darker than Pixar's previous movies, but the humor totally makes up for it. One of Pixar's best talents is being able to entertain on so many levels. ANYONE can love a Pixar movie, and Finding Nemo is no exception. Everyone in the theater got a kick out of it (try saying that about a third-rate Disney sequel).

The animation is the best Pixar has ever done, but it's always the story that takes the cake in their movies. It's the SCRIPT that keeps me watching them over and over, not just eye candy. Finding Nemo's story dragged just a little at times, but it wasn't enough to make me annoyed. I'm going to see it again soon, and really want the DVD.

I loved the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest-inspired gang of fish in the tank. "MY BUBBLES!!!"

Take the Money and Run

Marry a horse, go to jail
Woody's finest hour indeed (Toy Story 2, anyone?). This is one of the most hilarious and wonderfully paced comedies out there. The commentary by the narrator is priceless; truly outrageous while spoken in a dignified tone. I miss comedies that had tons of sight gags, but weren't just throwaway, but very, very clever. 'Take the Money and Run' has at least three gags and hidden jokes a minute, and they're all brilliant!

In all honesty, I haven't seen that many of Woody's movies, but I can safely say this is the best one. It's inspired me to see what I can carve out of soap!

The Raccoons on Ice

Formulaic but very sweet and enjoyable
Even though the plot is certainly nothing special, 'The Raccoons on Ice' is sweet to watch. It was the second original 'Raccoons' special from the early '80s, and as each special went by, it started to feel more and more like the series.

Again, one of my favorite things about these Raccoon cartoons is the music. All the songs are soothing and give this special a nice, smooth flow. And Cyril Sneer never fails to crack me up.

I think this special had something to do with that hockey game against the Russians a year earlier. It really reminds me of it.

The Raccoons and the Lost Star

Best of the original Raccoons specials
This was the last original TV special starring the Raccoons before they got their own series a couple years later, and it's also my favorite. Though the specials were rather formulaic compared to the series, I still love them because there's something that makes you feel really good when watching them. Probably because the outlook is so positive.

Disney Channel really cut a lot from this special whenever they aired it, so if you want to see the real version, try to find the video.

The Raccoons

This show just plain ruled
'The Raccoons' was the best! Now this was the best show that ever aired on the Disney Channel, and it's funny because as soon as it was taken off, Disney Channel just wasn't quite the same (though it was still cool because they still showed obscure animated specials and movies!).

This was hands down the best cartoon of the '80s. There were a lot of fantastic cartoons, but this was the coolest one (though 'Muppet Babies' is way up there too). The animation's not cheaply done, the songs were great and added a lot of feel to the show, and the characters were both cute and interesting. It was also the only Canadian cartoon to be produced entirely within the country (just an interesting fact).

My favorite episode is probably the one where Lisa takes up smoking under pressure from an old friend. It was touching, but not overly preachy. You could really learn a lot from this show, and it really needs to be either put back on American TV or released on DVD.

Meet the Deedles

Beyond Chinese water torture
There are many kinds of bad movies. Some are just lame (the recent 'Star Wars' movies), others are so bad they're actually good ('Xanadu'), and there's that rare abomination that's just too horrid for words. Folks, this is 'Meet the Deedles'.

This movie isn't even worth a lengthy review, except that it truly must be seen to believe. I sat through it ONCE when it was on TV, never again.

Oh it made me laugh all right, but not in the way it was supposed to. I just couldn't believe this movie was actually MADE. Let me put it to you this way: Take the most horrible thing that's ever happened to you, and keep on multiplying it by a thousand. 'Meet the Deedles' is even worse than that.

...This movie just plain terrified me. It's not even worth renting, unless you just love self torture.

Being Eve

Surprisingly fresh and witty
This is one of those shows that just plain grew on me! The more I watched it, the more I realized how much Eve and I have in common. We're both quirky, and a little too imaginative for our own good. Not to mention that we face similar guy troubles.

I take it there won't be a third season, which is a shame because the second season's a vast improvement from the shaky first one (replacing Adam with Sam = good move). Kudos to the reviewer who pointed out how cringe-worthy the adults on this show are. But the teens are all very interesting and fun to watch. Another cool thing is how the show doesn't just forget about what happened in the previous episodes. That makes you want to keep watching.

All in all, 'Being Eve' is a good watch. Far-fetched and silly sometimes, yes, but still a good watch.

Reality Bites

WAS one of my favorites
Notice the past tense there. I used to love this movie, and if this were a few years ago this would be one glowing review, but now that isn't the case. I still love the soundtrack and the character of Vickie (because her love of all things retro is just as out of control as mine and Janeane Garofalo is just plain awesome), but the rest is falling flat. Lelaina becomes grating because she's so WHINY it makes me want to puke. Is she supposed to be 8 or a twentysomething here? ("Blah blah I can't find a job even though I just graduated from college as a valedictorian and everyone hates me!" That's pretty much how she feels through the whole movie.)

But the breaking point is Troy. I totally and utterly cannot stand this guy or Ethan Hawke in general. Sure, he's intelligent, but the way he flaunts it so arrogantly is what makes him such an unlikeable guy. I don't deny that I'm quite an intelligent person, but I don't go around making people feel inadequate about it like Troy!

The ending of this movie has always left a weird taste in my mouth. It's just plain inconclusive. I remember sometimes I'd watch this and stop it just before the ending draws on because it's just so unsatisfying to watch. (evil, evil spoiler begins its terror) Yeah, so Lelaina realizes that Troy is really her soulmate and that Michael the Yuppie is really a shallow, um, yuppie. Why does this bug me so much? Shouldn't I be happy about the outcome? (end of evil, evil spoiler)

Several years back, this movie probably would have gotten an 8 or a 9, but now it gets a 3. If it weren't for Garofalo's wonderful performance as Vickie it wouldn't be worth watching at all anymore.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Switch off your brain and enjoy the ride!
This movie rules. Am I afraid to admit it? Nope, 'cause it's the truth! I know by reading some of my reviews I sound like some stuffy person who doesn't like any fluffy comedies or unintelligent humor, but that's not always the case. Yes, there are good fluffy comedies that promise a really fun watch.

I can't even count how many times I've seen this movie, but somehow it never gets old. 'Bill and Ted' is of course NOT a great movie, but it never pretends to be one, and I guess that's why I like it so much.

I've always had a huge fascination with the idea of time travel (why else would I love 'Back to the Future' so much?), and this movie actually makes it look really, really fun. Not to mention that Bill and Ted's mispronunciation of the historical figures' names ("So-crates!") makes it all the more hilarious.

Did I mention that Rufus is totally awesome? No? Well go ahead and kick me in the face!

Back to the Future

Pure genius
One of the best movies ever made in the history of film making. I know that sounds like a little much, but they're just my honest feelings towards 'Back to the Future'. I ADORE this movie for so many reasons, but I'll narrow them down a bit here.

For one thing, there's the many thoughts I've had about the possibility of time travel. The whole subject appeals to me greatly because I'm a history freak. But there's also the complications that would come with it, as this movie points out. What if you stopped your parents from ever getting together? Of course, you wouldn't be born, and thus not exist. The suspense in this movie leaves you on the edge of your seat wondering if Marty will ever make it back.

I also love the overall quality of this movie. The scenes that take place in the '50s are so brilliantly done. There was no other movie like this back in the '80s. That's why it was such a smash, and rightfully so. 'Back to the Future' was a big part of my growing up, and still blows my mind to this day.

James and the Giant Peach

If it ain't broke, don't fix it
(A word of WARNING: Unless you've already seen this movie or have read the book, I highly do not recommend reading this review unless you want those dreaded SPOILERS!)

'James and the Giant Peach' by Roald Dahl is one of my favorite books. And I'm glad I got to read it before I watched the movie, because it's many times better. The movie's animation, character design, and visual effects are wonderful, but it pretty much stops there.

Secondly, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I could say that about so many movie adaptations of books, and this is one of them. I wonder if the screenwriters even READ the book before they wrote this? So many parts of the book were missing, and sorely missed. I was distraught that the Cloud Men (who appear during the best part of the book) were replaced by ghost pirates. Ghost pirates have been done too many times, but how many times have you seen Cloud Men? And what was with that mechanical shark, and the rhino in the clouds? In the book, the rhino (which killed James' parents) escaped from the zoo, but in the movie it just appears out of nowhere. And then we have Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, who were done away with early on in the book, somehow went across the Atlantic ocean in an old car. All I have to say is, "What?"

Randy Newman music is good in stuff like Toy Story movies, but here it'll make you be thankful for the fast forward button. The songs really have no reason for being there, and you won't miss a thing when you skip them.

Aside from that, this was a pretty fine film, but why did the writers stray so much from the book? True, a movie adaptation doesn't have to follow everything in the book it's based on (like 'Willy Wonka'), but it needs to follow just enough.

But I did like the Centipede. Just as nasty as he was when I read about him!


Under the Umbrella Tree

Iggy was the coolest
When I was little, I was practically raised on the old Disney Channel (and Nickelodeon!). I loved 'The Raccoons', 'Welcome to Pooh Corner', 'Donald Duck Presents', and of course, 'Under the Umbrella Tree'. It was a nice little show that had sometimes creepy puppets (the thought of those human puppets gives me chills), and it was on for several years (Disney Channel had a way of keeping shows on for many seasons).

'Under the Umbrella Tree' basically involved Holly and her three animal roommates, Iggy the iguana, Jacob the blue jay, and Gloria the gopher. Holly was an artist and the adult of the group, Iggy was somewhat rebellious, Jacob was your typical bird, and Gloria loved machinery like bulldozers. My favorite was Iggy because he was the funniest character on the show, and because that little bookshelf room of his was just too awesome for words (I remember trying to make my own bookshelf room even though I was already far too big for that!). Jacob was kind of annoying because he was so fussy sometimes, but I liked Gloria for being so strong-willed.

Oh man, I remember SO many episodes of this show. I don't know how I remember these old Disney Channel shows so darned well. I obviously have no life, huh? (little spoilers coming)

First, one of my favorite episodes was when Holly and Iggy did singing telegrams, and each one of their jobs turned into a disaster (they also had to wear funky costumes); then there was one where Gloria had to learn to save money so she could buy an inner tube (I could relate to this one because I always had trouble saving money when I was little. I'd spend it on the most useless junk!); one time Iggy got really fed up with being short, so he kept trying to make himself taller, but then realized that being short isn't so bad; in several episodes they did plays like 'The Shoemaker and the Elves', and an original story about a plain dinosaur inventing the bowtie so he'd have something that would stand out about him; another favorite of mine was when they painted a picture story on a long roll of paper (because I've been drawing practically all my life and I love doing stuff like this); speaking of drawing, another episode was about Iggy being jealous of Jacob and Gloria being good artists, so he submits an old drawing of Holly's to this drawing contest, only to realize that being honest feels much better than pretending to be something you're not...

Since I'm on a roll, here's a few more I remember: Jacob hated zucchini, but when it's the only thing in the house, he tastes it and realizes it's pretty good; then there was one where Iggy, Jacob, and Gloria got into a first aid kit and used up all the bandages and stuff when playing doctor; there was also an episode about Iggy, Jacob, and Gloria totally forgetting about chores and plans while playing video games all day; and Iggy had this country relative (don't remember his name) who came to visit a few times.

(Phew! I remember a lot more than those too, but if I wrote all the ones I remember this review would just be too long)

'Under the Umbrella Tree' was kind of campy, but it was a cute show for kids. I sure loved it. I hope it somehow comes back on the air.


What can I say?
Other than this show worked on two levels in my family back in the '80s-early '90s: the greatest thing on earth, and pure torture. I thought it was the greatest thing on earth, and the rest of my family thought it was pure torture (especially my brothers).

I can't quite put my finger on why I loved this cartoon so much. I still think the dolls are just plain awesome (still have some!), but there really wasn't a lot to this show. I remember renting the videos over... and over... and over. I did the same thing with the Peanuts specials (but at least my family was able to tolerate those, with the exception of 'Flashbeagle'. And they were actually memorable, cute, and worthwhile). Yes, I was one of those kids who just had to rent/watch a movie or cartoon more than humanly possible.

My favorite of these videos was the 'Funhouse Follies' one. The 'Popples' cartoon is so cheesy it truly must be seen to believe, and this video had some of the cheesiest ones. It's also the video that has that live action/puppets prequel to the show. I remember loving that for the song that the Popples sang ("Every time you kick your heels... see how good it really feels..." "Life is full of big surprises... coming at you in disguises... so get ready, hold on steady... open up your eyes!"). I think Shelly Duvall (who did 'Fairy Tale Theatre') created that live action thing.

But I must thank my brothers who had to put up with this show so, so many times, when I knew even then that they'd rather have had needles shoved into their eyes.

It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown

Oh my goodness...
...did I ever love this Peanuts special (I was 2-3, what more could you expect?). I remember renting it God only knows how many times on video with 'She's A Good Skate, Charlie Brown' after it. I was the biggest Snoopy fan on earth (still love him dearly)! I remember wearing my spandex Snoopy exercise clothes and dancing around all over the place to this special. There was really nothing to it other than the singing, but I wasn't old enough to care. I sang along with it, and had a blast while doing so.

I still remember the songs, particularly the main 'Flashbeagle' song ("He's a champion! He's the best!" "You should hear the sound of his naaaaa-me! They call him Flash- flash- flash- flaaash-beagle!"). I think this is pretty much the only Peanuts special that's actually dated, the rest are timeless. 'Flashbeagle' has the '80s written all over it, while most of the others hold up very well today. This is why the Peanuts have stayed so popular for so many years. I think they took a note of that after 'Flashbeagle'.

But I do have many wonderful childhood memories from 'Flashbeagle', so it has a special place in my heart.

Pelle Svanslös i Amerikatt

Strange former Disney Channel staple
YES, this is 'Peter No Tail In America', the Swedish animated film that Disney Channel used to air every so often in their 'Toonin' Tuesday' block (God I miss that). It was a bizarre movie with strange-looking animation about a cat named Peter who felt like an outsider in a community of cats because of being a manx. The story is much weirder than it sounds.

(A few spoilers coming up. Brace yourselves.)

There were a lot of things in this movie that just didn't connect well. First Peter goes to New York in hope of somehow getting a new tail, then ends up with a bunch of showgirl cats, and then in the old West (I don't even remember how). I think a Native American cat gives him this really long tail during the old West part, but it ends up being a dream. Then in real life Peter, his girlfriend Molly, and a whole bunch of other cats go for a trip in the woods and have a run in with a huge cannibalistic bobcat. And that's basically it.

This wasn't a bad movie, and I actually liked it a lot when I was young, but it's just so weird! As mentioned, the animation's strange and the movements are very choppy, so if don't watch this if you're in hope for Disney/Bluth-quality animation. The dubbing's also not top notch. I nearly forgot about it until I found it here at IMDB. I don't know how I remember such an odd movie fairly well...

Welcome to Pooh Corner

One of my favorites when I was a wee one
The ending credits music to this show is running through my head as I type. It's amazing that you can remember something so well from years ago. I remember all the songs, a lot of episodes, and it was a lot better than the 'Book of Pooh' (that show is just too cutesy).

The characters were people in full body costumes with remote controlled facial features. It was sort of like a Sid and Marty Krofft show from the '70s in that sense, sans the psychedelic campy quality. I believe that the host/narrator was none other than Sebastian Cabbot, who did indeed narrate the first Pooh cartoons.

Now let me pour out the memories (tiny spoilers ahead, matey).

I loved this song that Pooh sang about getting up on the right side of the bed, and one about Rabbit singing about trying new things (it had a magic act motif going on), and of course Piglet's song about what to do when you're scared ("I hum to myself, hm-hm-h-hm, and laugh to myself, ha-ha-ha-ha, and say 'everything's okay' to myself..."). Then there was a weird one with Owl singing about eyes. Tigger had a neat one; I remember the tune, but not the lyrics.

As for the episodes, I remember one about a marching band, and since Tigger played the guitar and not a marching band instrument, he did the baton twirling/leading. And then there was one where Tigger did this trick on a swing and ended up hurting himself pretty badly. There was also one where Rabbit gave the rest of the Hundred Acre Wood gang some carrot seeds. While the others didn't take care of their sprouts properly, Piglet did it just right and ended up growing one big carrot.

I also remember little things about certain episodes. Like Eeyore singing Tigger a song about taking your time, and Kanga singing Roo a song about what things were like when she was his age. In fact, I think throughout the whole episode the characters sang songs about what it was like when they were Roo's age.

But one thing that stands out the most is the "Too Smart For Strangers" special. (I remember back in the '80s and early '90s the 'don't talk to strangers' thing was quite big in public service announcements and specials.) It was a special in which Pooh and Piglet explained the dangers of someone offering you candy or a ride out of the blue. And for me, it worked... perhaps a little too well. I remember after seeing that I wouldn't talk to ANYONE I didn't know. Pooh (or Piglet, or one of the live action actors) stated that if a stranger talks to you, scream "NO!" at them and run off. (I actually remember doing this on more than one occasion, one of which taking place in some store where a girl about my age at the time asked me if I liked these toys that were displayed, and I screamed "NO!" and darted off. It's kind of funny now that I think about it.)

This show was on Disney channel for years, and I really miss it. In fact, if it was still on I'd probably watch it. I hope Disney airs it again, or at least put it on video/DVD. Kids today really need to see this.

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