UGH. And they say TIMOTHY DALTON was the worst thing to come to the James Bond franchise!
From the team that neutered the Ninja Turtles comes this contrived series about the exploits of...uh...JAMES BOND'S NEPHEW?! Oh boy...
Bond Jr. so happens to go to a private school which SO HAPPENS to have relatives of Q and Ms. Moneypenny as classmates. Bond Jr. always finds a way out of school and goes on contrived adventures against foes like Jaws and Oddjob (who tries to dress in a PINK AND PURPLE JUMPSUIT?!) and other poorly designed versions of James Bond's rogue's gallery. And of course, Bond Jr. gets 'help' from a different chick each episode.
I guess since the Muppets had their Babies and Shaggy & the Gang had a Pup named SCOOBY DOO, the idiots in charge of this tripe had to make a Junior out of Mr. Bond, with laughable results.
Horrible animation, horrible character designs, pathetic stories, and a STUPID & UNORIGINAL CONCEPT, James Bond Jr. is a series best left forgotten.
Now, I could understand that most of the original voice acters have either moved on (Peter 'Optimus Prime' Cullen & Frank 'Megatron' Welker), retired (Casey 'Cliffjumper/Bluestreak' Kasem), or passed away (Chris 'Starscream/Wheeljack' Latta), so a Generation 1 reunion is out of the question. I could also understand the fact that this is for the 6 year olds.
Thing is none of this should serve as an excuse for making a show as lousy as this one!
After the awesome stories from Beast Wars, Beast Machines, and even the Simon Furman-written Transformer comics, there is no excuse for writing this bad! With all the brilliant animators from Japan, there is no excuse for animation this bad!
The writers of this show thought that they could hook in the 6 year olds by following the Pokemon route. Problem is that 1) Pokemon was already on its way out by the time they started working on this, &2) instead of hooking in the kiddies, all they wound up doing is angering the legions of Transformer fans that have followed the series for decades!
It would have been far more interesting for the Minicons to be able to think, act, and speak for themselves, which would have added a lot more to the 'Autobots & Decepticons fighting to possess the Minicons' plot. After all, the Minicons are the only good thing about the Armada toy line, which is about as abysmal as most of the Post-Transformers The Movie toys (Pretenders, anyone?) Instead, they were made to be the Pokemon of this series, a bunch of little, cutsey non-entities that have no character at all.
Then, there's the most glaring problem of them all--THOSE ANNOYING BRATS!!! Despite the fact that this show is supposed to be a '30 minute advertisement' for the Armada line, the exploits of the kids are the main focus of this show! Even the irritating Daniel from the post-movie Tranformers series wasn't as annoying as these kids!!
The Autobots and Decepticons themselves don't have the spark in this show, as they come off as cardboard cookie cutter good guy/bad guy idiocy uttering the most stilted of dialogue. Unlike the original series, as well as the Beast series, you are not given a reason to care about them. When characters like Ironhide and Dinobot died, we actualy cared about them. Meanwhile, Hotshot may or may not live, but if something does happen to him, we won't have any attachment to this character, so who cares?
To make things far worse, this is the second attempt at bringing the franchise to a new generation, only to fall on their faces. Anyone who's never seen the originals will only think of Armada and Robots in Disguise.
The bar has been raised. Batman the animated series proved that you can make a kid's show that's still edgy and doesn't insult old fans. On that standpoint, Hasbro not only failed, not only did they fail MISERABLY, They failed miserably TWICE!!!
Again, thank you, HOT ROD, for ruining everything!
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here today to reflect on the brutal death of the valiant soldier(s) only referred to as G.I. Joe.
When this series started, it featured a battalion of valiant soldiers out to defend the world against the terrorist organization, COBRA. But if you really pay attention, this show was REALLY about a group of so-called terrorists back-biting each other in entertaining ways while trying to defend themselves against G.I. Joe! From Cobra Commander making laughable plots while Destro shakes his head in embarrassment, to Zartan trying to lead a group of knucklehead Bikers who screw up all the time, everyone was pretty much looking out for #1. This was what really made G.I. Joe entertaining. Besides, how cool would Snake Eyes be if he didn't have a Stormshadow to fight? How interesting would G.I. Joe be if they faced anyone but Cobra? Not very.
Around the third season, things went wrong. The abomination called Serpentor was shoved down our throats, and Cobra went from looking out for #1 to looking out for Serpentor! The entertainment factor that Cobra provided was killed, now that they're all reduced to being Serpentor's BOOT-LICKERS. Even worse, G.I. Joe becomes even less interesting, since they all had to take a back seat to SGT. Slaughter, a bloated, overrated pro-wrestler who was forced into the G.I Joe series.
As bad as things were getting, THIS 'MOVIE' WOULD MAKE THINGS FAR WORSE...
This movie introduced a new element to the Cobra ranks...a race of mutants known as COBRA-LA, lead by Golobulus (voiced by the late Burgess Meredith, AKA Rocky's trainer). This group of mutants would make Cobra even LESS entertaining. Wheras before, everyone would kiss up to Serpentor. Now everyone, including Serpentor, is kissing up to Cobra-LA. Then they would go on to pull off one of my least favorite writers tricks: RETRO-ACTIVE CONTINUITY! We were supposed to believe that Cobra Commander was always a blue-skinned freak who as once one of the citizens of Cobra-LA...even though he CLEARLY HAD CAUCASIAN SKIN WHENEVER HE WORE THE CLOTH MASK!!!! HOW STUPID DID THEY THINK WE WERE?! OH...remember those dreams that Dr. Mindbender got that coersed him into digging up corpses? They were brought to him by Golobulus. Then they would write off Cobra Commander by making him a snake! WONDERFUL!! Now that everyone in Cobra is now a BOOT LICKER, they had to get rid of the ONLY COBRA CHARACTER WITH A PERSONALITY!!!!
On the OTHER side of the fence, the writers tried to create some unrest in G.I. Joe's ranks by introducing Duke's brother, Lt. Falcon (voiced Don 'Sprocket' Jonson) to flirt with everybody and act up. At one point, Falcon was busy hittin' on Jinx (G.I. Joe's new female ninja) whileletting Cobra plow through the place. Thing is, his irresponsibilty would be short lived by the end of the movie. So much for that!
Then came Duke's 'final battle' with Serpentor, which ended with Duke getting impaled with Sepentor' snake. Thing is, they didn't went the same thing that happened after Optimus Prime's death to happen here too, so they rewrote it as a coma. Problem is, Flint could've replace Duke with no problem. The REAL injustice, the elimination of Cobra Commander, was left unchecked. Anyone could've replaced Duke...NO ONE COULD REPLACE COBRA COMMANDER.
This movie was briliantly animated, especially the opening sequence, which is the ONLY reason to check for this movie. But no ammount of brilliant animation could undo the damage that this movie left on the G.I. Joe franchise.
And now you know...and knowing is half the battle... ...even if it's several years after the fact.
"Professor Xavier bands together a group of mutants to help them learn to use thier powers to protect a world that hates and fears them."
You know what? I have a love/hate relationship with this series, both as a comic and as a cartoon.
Some of my all time favorite comic characters came from X-Men related books, from Wolverine (although I liked him better when there was a mystery about him; that 'implanted memories' nonsense ruined a lot!), Storm, Colossus, and the Phoenix. I also like the concept of having a school that teaches people how to use thier powers. I keep wondering how much better someone like Superman would be if there was someone to carry him along and teach him how to use his powers more effectively instead of him magically learning everything himself. That is one of the concepts that drew me to the X-Men.
However, for all the things that drew me to the X-Men, there is ONE THING that I don't like. One thing that ruins my enjoyment of this series...
"...TO PROTECT A WORLD THAT HATES AND FEARS THEM."
Why does the world 'hate and fear' the X-Men? Because they are MUTANTS. What are Mutants? People who are BORN with powers. So people hate the X-Men because they are born with powers?! This is a pathetic attempt at using this series to address racism. I am supposed to believe that the same people who LOVE the Avengers and the Fantastic Four would turn around and chase Jubilee around with an alluminum baseball bat FOR BEING A MUTANT?! WHO WOULD YOU BE MORE AFRAID OF: THE THING or JUBILEE?! If this is all the case, why don't they just say that they got shot with gamma rays or something? Also, consider this:
The Avengers have had everyone from Humans (from non-powered humans like Captain America to superpowered humans like the Hulk), Mutants (like Namor, Beast of the X-Men, as well as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch--the son & daughter of X-Men villain Magneto), Gods (Thor and Hercules), aliens (the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain Mar-Vell), and even ANDROIDS (the Vision) to all fight the good fight to save the world, and the world loves them for it. ...Meanwhile, the X-Men only consists of mutants and fights for the cause of mutant acceptance. And the world hates them.
AM I THE ONLY PERSON WHO SEES SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS?!
Unsurprisingly, most of the X-Men's greatest stories don't even deal with this stupid concept, particularly the PHEONIX SAGA. Too bad almost every single story arc is connected to the TALES OF FUTURE PAST story where the X-Men are headed to a bleak future where humans create a whole mess of Sentinel robots to kill off mutants for being mutants! It's tiresome, it's tumultous, and it keeps me from enjoying these otherwise cool characters. This concept needs a major overhaul because this attempt at using this series to preach about racism is LAME!!
SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU FORGET ABOUT 'SUPERFRIENDS'!**MINOR SPOILERS**
The BATMAN & SUPERMAN ADVENTURES has thrilled audiences with some of the best written cartoons in years. This series not only made comic fans happy, it also turned some non-comic fans into 'fanboys' themselves.
Ever since comic writer Grant Morrison relaunched the Justice League of America comic by bring back DC Comics' mightiest heroes into one team, people have been clamoring for the makers of the Batman/Superman cartoons to do the same.
4 years later, they finally delivered.
The Justice League is back and just as amazin as most comic fans hoped it would be. Even better, the makers of this sow are concious of many of the changes that happened to characters in the comics ad it reflects in their cartoon incarnations:
SUPERMAN: This Superman is based on John Burne's revamp of the character in his MAN OF STEEL comic series in 1986. In order to bring more drama to Superman's stories, they had to power him DOWN, from POWERFUL-ENOUGH-TO-MOVE-PLANETS to AT-LEAST-POWERFUL-ENOUGH-TO-LIFT-A-MOUNTAIN. Besides, it's a rule that Superman MUST get bloodied to a pulp in Justice League stories...because of Supes could handle it all, what's the use of calling in the whole Justice League?
BATMAN: Batman is based on the early Kane/Finger comics, way before the campiness of the 1960's Batman took place. This Batman was a brooding, menacing, dominating figure, lurking in the streets, and snapping the necks of villians! (Don't worry, kids...Batman doesn't snap too many necks nowadays...though he'll still give villians a critical beatdown or two!) Plus, this Batman actually took advantage of his skills as a DETECTIVE...something WARNER BROTHERS completely forgot about when making the 4 Batman movies.
WONDER WOMAN: This Wonder Woman is based on George Perez' revamp of the character in 1986. During his run in the book, he actually powered her UP. Whereas before, Wonder Woman had to go from point A to point B via the INVISIBLE JET, now she can fly in her own power. He also brought her strength up close to Superman's level.
THE FLASH: This is the Wally West Flash. The makers of the cartoon took his irresponsible attitude from his Kid Flash era and kicked it up a few notches to make him the 'young inexperienced one' of the group.
MARTIAN MANHUNTER: Mr. J'onzz ('Jones' to all of you who are not Hooked-On-Martian) was one of the original founders of the Justice League. This is based more on the uber-powerful version that's in comics right now, though he stilL gets weakened by flame.
GREEN LANTERN: This is the John Stewart Green Lantern. To those who are not familiar, his exploits were chronicled in GREEN LANTERN: MOSIAC, which didn't end too well, as the planet he was patrolling in that comic was destroyed. Since not many people are familir with him, the creative team has a much bigger window to work with to make his character much more memorable in this series than in any of the comics.
HAWKGIRL: I am the least familiar with this character, but I do know that the comic version of this characte is a little more restrained than the one in this show. Here, she's more of a 'THRASH NOW, AND SCREW ASKING QUESTIONS' type. Hopefully, they'll work on her character and make her something more than that.
Over time, they'll introduced many other Justice Leaguers, like Metamorpho The Element Man, and Aquaman (based on Peter David's revamp of the character in the mid 1990's. This ain't you father's 'I COULD ONLY TALK TO FISH' Aquaman...although he could still do that!)
The first few episodes have the Justice League fighting the invasion of the Pale Martians. This is semi-based on the first story that Grant Morrison kicked off the relaunch of the JLA comic with!
This series take aspects of the comic world and presents it in a way that will make even the staunchiest of anti-comic critics turn into fans themselves! ...AND THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO FORCE SOME DORKY TEEN CHARACTERS INTO THIS CARTOON TO MAKE THE KIDS LIKE IT, EITHER!
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A GIRL TO LIKE THIS GIRL SHOW!
SHE-RA. RAINBOW BRITE. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE.
For many years, they have tried to put out cartoons with female leads and each time, they fail miserably. After several years, there is finally a female-lead show that accomplishes where all the others have failed...THE POWERPUFF GIRLS!
Do you want to know where all those other girls shows went wrong? They tried too hard to pander to girls with their shows. As a result, those shows wound up being too preachy, too mushy, and only seemed to talk down to their audience. It's no wonder those shows didn't last very long.
Meanwhile, the Powerpuff Girls avoided all those pitfalls by making a show that doesn't just pander to girls. This show is so well executed, ANYBODY will enjoy it--girls, boys, men, women---this show has something for everyone. This show has humor that the kids will get as well as humor for the adults, all without alienating either audience.
Born out of a laboratory mishap (because all your best comicbook origins start out that way, don't they?), three little girls with SUPERMAN POWERS (super strength, superspeed, flight, near-invulnerability, heat vision, and a bunch of other powers they'll probably think up later!) are out to protect the trouble-prone people of TOWNSVILLE! BLOSSOM (who think that since she's leader, she can do wrong...and always does!), BUBBLES (who's so naive, it's funny! Plus, she loves to color!), and BUTTERCUP (who's always MAD ABOUT SOMETHING...even if she has to go look for reasons to GET MAD!) are all out to defend the city from such EVIL villains like MOJO JOJO, WILLY LUMPKIN, HIM, THE GANGREEN GANG, and whatever obligatory monsters get thrown at them!
Another thing about this show is that it NEVER TAKES ITSELF SERIOUSLY!!! Every single cartoon cliche gets joked on throughout this series...from the 'SUPERFRIENDS' style announcer, to the predictable antics of the villains, to the obligatory 'funny' moment at the end (because every cartoon has to have one in the end)! You have a bugaboo about certain things in cartoons? There's a good chance that they've already joked on it!
With lots of laugh-out-loud humor and lots of interesting characters, the Powerpuff Girls will be the only girls show that will be talked about decades from now, whereas other girl shows like JEM will hardly get mentioned at all!
A menacing Skeletor and an effeminate He-Man?! What the--?
WARNING: SOME MINOR SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
On Eternia, Prince Adam reveals his identity to his parents for no apparent reason and imbarks on a journey to save another planet from the evil of Skeletor.
This early 1990's update of the He-Man series tried to make He-Man more 'sensitive'...as if a chiseled-out warrior teaching little kids such timely lessons like, 'DON'T PUT MUSTARD ON A CAT!'*** is not sensitive enough! This series made He-Man completely unrecognizable. Sporting blue pants and little-to-no muscle tone, this 'He-Man' looked less like a HE-MAN, and more like some Joe Schmoe who just bought a plastic He-Man toy sword and accessories from his local Walmart!
He-man is introduced to an all new cast of allies. Unfortunately, none of these characters are anything worth noting (except Trissy. I think she's a cutie.) Likewise, Skeletor has to deal with a bunch of lackies who are even dumber than his crew in Snake Mountain! With absolute lame-brains like BUTT-HEAD (not to be confused with Beavis' nose-picking partner), old characters like Beastman and Trapjaw are starting to look like DESTRO in comparison!
The animation and storytelling are nowhere near the level of Filmation's He-Man series. There are, however, a few things in this series that are redeemable.
1)PRINCE ADAM ACTUALLY LOOKS DIFFERENT FROM HE-MAN!! They made Prince Adam look like a pauper. The average Joe Schmoe would be hardpressed to ever think that this pesent would ammount to anything, much less turn into He-Man. This is a stark contrast to the original, where the only difference between He-Man and Adam is purple clothes. At least Superman had a pair of glasses to hide behind!
2)SKELETOR IS ACTUALLY MENACING!!!! The original Skeletor was a whining, sniveling coward who would run from a fight if given the opportunity. In this series, Skeletor is a calculating, imposing warrior who can hold his own in a fight. Of course, considering the losers he's allied with, he had no choice but to bring his game up!
3)TRISSY. She's such a cutie.
Thankfully, you don't have to even bother with this series. Why? Because the few good things about this series has been carried over to the NEW HE-MAN SERIES from the Cartoon Network. So you will not only get a pauper-like Prince Adam who turns into a MUSCLEBOUND HE-MAN (instead of a dork in blue pants), you'll also get to see him fight a calculating and dominating Skeletor instead of a whiny and cowardly one! And while Trissy is unfortunately NOT in it, the redesigned Teela more than makes up for it.
In other words, just forget this series even existed and watch the series running on the Cartoon Network.
***-By the way, let it be known that I did NOT make up that "DON'T PUT MUSTARD ON A CAT" lesson. Find the episode, 'Teela's Quest' from the original He-Man series, and check that episodes lesson of the day. God...what were they THINKING?!
WARNING: THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS GALORE. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
It was all so perfect...
The maniacal madman, Cobra Commander. The ambitious right-hand man, Destro, and his mistress, the Baroness. The master of disguise, Zartan, his equally cunning sister, Zaranna, and his crew of bikers, The Dreadnoks. The mysterious Ninja assassin, Stormshadow. Cobra's financial backers, the Crimson Twins, and their Crimson Guardsmen.
The main thing that drove G.I.Joe, in the cartoon and in the comics, was the ongoing tension between everyone in the Cobra ranks. The constant back-biting in Cobra was actually far more interesting than anything the Joes were doing!
Unfortunately, all that would come to an end...
Cobra's resident mad scientist, Dr. Mindbender, would get dreams that coerced him to gather up everyone in the Cobra ranks to travel around the world and dig up corpses (I wonder how THAT concept got past the PTC!) so he can create a new leader...the empiror, SERPENTOR!
Serpentor ranks right up there with Robotech's Lynn Minmei as one of the most irritating characters ever created!! He is nothing but a spoiled 2-year-old in a grown-up body, constantly yelling and screaming his stilted dialogue. This character is solely out of place, making the series move away from the pseudo-militaristic feel to a forced sci-fi feel. His mere presence ruined every episode he appeared in. Even worse, the constant tension between everyone in the Cobra ranks, the main thing that drives the G.I. Joe series, was instantly killed the moment Serpentor shows up, as everyone in Cobra does nothing but kiss up to the whiney Serpentor, while Cobra Commander is reduced to a pathetic lackey!
As much as Cobra was going through, the Joes weren't doing much better. The usually tough-as-nails/always-on-the-ball G.I.Joe was reduced to clumsy dimwits, just so they can be whipped into shape...by a bloated, overated pro-wrestler, SGT. Slaughter (how this guy got world title pushes while the likes of Tito Santana & Ricky Steamboat never held a world title is a mystery to me)!
This miniseries planted the seeds of G.I. Joe's demise, just as replacing Optimus Prime with the ungrateful punk Rodimus Prime killed the Transformer franchise. From here, they would attempt to write off Cobra Commander even further, by making him a snake in the G.I.Joe movie, and having Cobra consist of a bunch of grotusque aliens.
So, if you are wondering why G.I.Joe isn't as prominent as they used to be, it started with THIS miniseries. Nowadays, in the current G.I.Joe toyline and the current comics from Image/Devil's Due Comics, you won't find hardly ANY mention of Serpentor, or the plots from the 'movie'. And it is best kept that way!
"Tranform & ROLL OUT...perhaps for the last time" *SPOILERS*
Warning: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS, SO BE MINDFUL AS YOU READ THIS.
I'm straddling the fence here. On one hand, this is one of the few examples of excellent American NON-DISNEY animation and should be herald as such. On the other hand, this movie singlehandedly destroyed the Transformer Franchise as a whole, and after several relaunch attempts, from Beast Wars, to Beast Machines, to Robots in Disguise, to Armada, they still haven't gotten it back.
First things first, the animation. Marvel/Sunbow put in some serious work during the two years it took to make this movie. From the intricate details in Unicron, to the fight scenes, it took lot of effort to put all this together, and they have done such an awesome job with it.
The writers have done a pretty decent job of letting the audience know that this Autobot/Decepticon Civil War has gone nuclear. For all the arguments over 'cartoon violence', I think it's more valuable to teach kids the consequences of violence as opposed to cand-coating it, and that the good guys don't always win. The death of Optimus Prime was a good example of this.
HOWEVER, killing of major characters is a risky proposition if not handled right. This has to be a gradual process. You have to bring in new characters and gradually let them grow on people before you write old characters off. This is what Hasbro didn't do. They wanted OUT WITH THE OLD-IN WITH THE NEW in one fell swoop, and it didn't work. While Optimus Prime's death was well handled, their attampts at writing in a successor wasn't!
If you are going to ge rid of characters, you have to at least have interesting characters to replace them. So how interesting were these new characters? Let's see...
BLURR: aside from being able to talk fast, his pressence was pretty worthless! KUP: the rambling old robot who loves to bore people with his 'LONG AGO' stories. WHEELIE: a high-pitched robot who speaks in rhymes. This character is right up there with Serpentor (G.I. Joe) and Minmei (Robotech) as one of the most ANNOYING CHARACTERS EVER CREATED!!! ARCEE: the docile, wimpering, token female robot. CYCLONUS: he looked cool. That's it. He served no other purpose than to stand around and look cool. SCOURGE: your typical evil henchman who is a total DUNCE, who leads an army of clones that are dumber then even he is! GALVATRON: a new vrsion of Megatron...and boy, did Megatron lose a lot in the process, as he lost everything that made him cool in the first place, only to become as annoying as Serpentor! ULTRA MAGNUS: Optimus Prime's original successor. Had an opportunity of a lifetime and choked harder than the Knicks! When you are kneedeep in death and destruction, and your leader screams, "I CAN'T DEAL WITH THAT NOW!", you ar in trouble! HOT ROD: A hot-headed idiot who, despite being the one that got Optimus Prime KILLED in the first place, became THE CHOSEN ONE, THE ONE WHO WILL LEAD US IN OUR DARKEST HOUR, BLAH-BLAH-BLAH, to becomethe new Autobot leader, Rodimus Prime. A VERY CRAPPY LEADER!!! His leadership was so inept, he ruined the third season so badly, that not even Optimus' resurrection was enough to save them from cancelation!!! ...and it was worth kilng off IRONHIDE, BRAWN, PROWL, RATCHET, STARSCREAM, THUNDERCRACKER, SKYWARP, THE INSECTICONS, WHEELJACK, WINDCHARGER, AND OPTIMUS PRIME for THAT?!
All you Transformer fans, if you want a much better attempt at portraying war in the Transformer mythos, look for any of the Simon Furman written issues of the Transformer comics. If you want some entertaining Transformer shows, check to firs two seasons. Though this movie is notwithout merit (awesome animation and fight scenes), this movie did driv a nail in the Transformer Franchise, leave a void that still hasn't been filled.