Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cartoon Review - Star Wars: The Clone Wars series

Honestly? I never thought I would actually get to doing this review. I've fallen asleep though a few episodes, and never actually completed watching an episode that had Anakin Skywalker front and center. But I was able to catch up (for the most part) and I'm all ready to go.


Name: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Do I seriously have to tell you this?

Network: Cartoon Network

Rating: B-

Premiere: October 3rd, 2008

Okay, when you heard that Cartoon Network snagged the newest Clone Wars series (you can't have forgotten Genndy Tartakovsky's superb mini-series), you had to know that the network would hype it up a lot. Here was a series that had "ratings-grabber" all over it. A series that was part of a huge franchise that has legions of fans, with a lot of those fans being tweenage boys in their target demograph. A series that would put Cartoon Network back on the map and make them the second most popular kids network in the United States once again. Stuart Synder truly wanted this series to succeed, so he got promoted it on every single Turner-owned (and non-Turner owned) network. He gave out money to help kids across the country make parties for the premiere. On the network itself, every break had at least one commercial devoted to the show. They spent most of their budget for acquisitions that year on Star Wars, and wanted to get their money's worth...and I'm pretty sure they did.

Now that I'm done talking about Cartoon Network's major promotion of the series premiere, let me talked about the series itself. Now the series takes place between Episodes Two and Three, chronicling the Clone Wars. Now you can see right off the bat that that is a little problem. Due to there being a movie talking what happens after the Clone Wars, its impossible to become attached to the characters. You know Anakin Skywalker is going to become Dark Vader. You know that Ahsoka Tano is going to die before or at series end. So right off the bat, you know the destination and the outcome. We can only hope that the journey is epic and entertaining. Sadly, while some might find the series amazing, I find half the series so far to be surprisingly boring.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is basically a documentary film on a space war. Some parts make you fall asleep, and others are just so amazing that it's just plain awesome. I want to get into the series, but the only characters I find truly interesting are the Clone Troopers, Yoda, and Ahsoka. Mostly the rarely-seen characters or a characters you know every little about. Characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin which I know a great about from the Internet don't really appeal to me, since you know their futures already.

The only real thing the series has got going for it is its great work and well-done CGI-animation. Everything else falls a little flat, despite the attempts of all the cast and crew. This series just isn't for me, but then again, I wasn't always into straight-foreword action series. I like shows that can make me laugh once in a while still being able to keep a serious atmosphere (Avatar: The Last Airbender, W.I.T.C.H., Huntik: Secrets and Seekers, Samurai Jack, etc.). Overall, this series is really trying. It just isn't quite there yet for me, so I sorry to say that I have to give this a B-.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cartoon Review - Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Executive Producer(s): James Tucker

Rating: B+

Premiere: November 14, 2008

Okay, imagine that you are someone that just saw The Dark Knight this summer, and you loved it. Then you hear about a new Batman cartoon coming in a few months. You would think it would be a lot like the movie, wouldn't you? Featuring a dark and serious Batman, facing off against a bunch of Gotham villains. By himself with no Robin or Batgirl. Turn the TV on the day of the premiere, and you find out that you were dead wrong.

Congratulations, for you have come across something that hasn't been seen for YEARS...a light-hearted Batman cartoon! For you see, Batman: The Brave and the Bold isn't your average Batman cartoon. Based on the 50s comic series, Brave and the Bold, this series involves Batman leaving Gotham City and teaming up with heroes such as Blue Beetle and Wildcat, and facing off against villains like Gentleman Ghost and Black Manta. Actually, Batman is just here to draw you into the series, with the main attraction being the "hero of the week" he happens to be with. The real fun in the series is how Batman gets along with his partner, and how the overall problem ends up being solved. The series is simply a well-thought out excuse to showcase the various heroes and villains the DC Comics Universe, something that I truly enjoy. After all, without Batman being the header, characters like B'wana Beast would never make it to animation.

The artwork in this series is quite retro and harkens back to the Silver Age era of comics. The characters are often well-designed and the animation is well-done. Dialogue can be cheesy at times, but that just adds to the fun of this series. The series has no real storyline, unlike many of the other action series on Cartoon Network. If you only like a dark Batman, then its extremely likely that you will hate this series. Either way, this show gets a B+ from me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Future "Racattack Junction!" Posts

  • Cartoon Review - Batman: The Brave and the Bold (January 11th)
  • Cartoon Review - Star Wars: The Clone Wars review (January 20) I'll be reviewing the series
  • Cartoon Review - Total Drama Island revised (January 21th)
  • And the Day is Saved! (January 22th) Powerpuff Girls Tribute
  • Cartoon Review - The Powerpuff Girls Rule! (January 23th)
  • Animation News #5 (January 25th)

Be on the lookout for interviews with a few series creators like Joe Murray...hopefully.

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