Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cartoons Won: July 2013: Blue Beetle, Mount Rushmore, Toxic Monsters and Trains

In this new series, Cinema Won takes on cartoons. Each month, I will pick four cartoon series and every Saturday morning I will review another episode of each show. And to kick things off this month, we've got Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Phineas and Ferb, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and Tron: Uprising. And in this first set of episode, we've got the Blue Beetle, problems on Mount Rushmore, mysterious clues and a train!

Single-celled alien organisms? Batman's not impressed.
Batman: The Brave and The Bold
Episode 1: "The Rise of the Blue Beetle"

      Batman: The Brave and The Bold is actually a pretty nice change of pace for, you know, Batman. It's fun to have a show where Batman isn't going all Christopher Nolan. People seem to forget that Batman could be a really fun and silly series. And this series is a good way of showing that. The premise of the show is that each week Batman teams up with another DC character in order to stop a DC villain. This week, Batman teams up with the Blue Beetle and together they help an alien race defend themselves against a villainous hunter. The premise is great and I love seeing unknown DC characters getting some spotlight. However, the rest of the show isn't as great. While it's certainly not a bad show, there just isn't a whole lot to it. The story wasn't particularly interesting, it's was that funny and it just wasn't that memorable. There were some highlights. One joke from Batman at wormholes and time was hilarious and the Blue Beetle is a pretty good character. Plus, the animation is good. The opening titles are fine, though nothing special. There is a rather dubious moment when Blue Beetle escapes capture by spitting on a control panel, which I didn't quite believe. But, overall, if it wasn't for this new series I don't know if I'd keep watching, but I'm not at all upset that I have to. "The Rise of the Blue Beetle" gets 3 and a half stars out of 6. 

This was the best joke in all episodes I watched.
Phineas and Ferb
Episodes 1/2 "Rollercoaster/Candace Loses Her Head"

      I'll admit it. I liked this show more than I thought I would. I have heard quite a few good things about it from people who actually had watched it and these first episodes do a pretty good jobs of showing me what they meant. The show's premise follows Phineas and Ferb as they just plain spend their summer doing crazy things, all while their sister tries to catch them and their pet platypus goes on spy missions. It makes sense in contest. Kinda. The first story, which is the better of the two, follows them as the build a rollercoaster. It's a fun episode and a great way into the series. Plus, the whole summer theme works right about now. The episode is actually really funny and as I said above, contained my favorite joke of the set. It works great for kids and adults and I liked it a lot. The second episode, however, isn't as good. It follows Phineas and Ferb as they travel to Mount Rushmore. The shows formula of the boys doing something, Candace trying to catch them as Perry does spy stuff already starts to get old. The episode just isn't that funny or that cool. It's not a bad episode, it just wasn't an interesting enough premise to really be good. Overall, I cautiously look forward to another episode in the show. "Rollercoaster/Candace Loses Her Head" gets 4 and a half stars out of 6.

His head is as big as her entire top half.
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
Chapter 1: "Beware the Beast From Below"

      I know that The Undefined Gamer already looked at that series, but that's why I chose it. I can't let him win. Also, he really liked his show and I trust his taste, show I wanted to see it for myself. And you know what, he was right. This show is pretty good. The premise of this series follows the Mystery Gang as they, you guess it, solve mysteries. But, with a twist! See, this is the first Scooby-Doo! series to have an over-arcing mystery. In this first chapter, the Gang investigates a mysterious toxic monster running amok it their hometown. The episode is the best of the one's I watched. The story was great, though the actually who-done-it was pretty far-fetched. The animation and voice acting is great and the series just works really well. It was really funny, smart and the new additions to the formula are great. This monster of the week is cool as hell and the reveal of the criminal was actually a little surprising. Overall, I am actually looking forward to the next episode. "Beware the Beast From Below" gets 5 stars out of 6. 

Tron: Uprising
Episode 1: "Beck's Beginning"

      Tron: Uprising faces the uphill battle of being both an adaptation of a beloved film series and a prequel to it was well. The show takes place between Tron and Legacy and follows a program as he become the new Tron in order to start an uprising against Clu's rule. We know what happens because of Legacy, so Uprising faces the problems having have too both be a faithful new story in the universe and well as exciting despite it's known outcome. Unfortunately, this first episode fails at both. The episode might look great and look like Tron. It's just that the show doesn't feel like Tron. The music isn't good and could really use the Daft Punk from Legacy. The characters are lame, and they have names like Beck and Paige. Names that fit perfect with other Tron characters, like Tron, Clu or Dyson. And the story is just lame. It's a generic uprising story and makes no really use of the great possibilities of the Tron universe.And the writers never make it feel pressing or dangerous. We know how this plays out because of Legacy. This series is not doing anything to make me care about it. Overall, this first episode is not at all a good start to the series. "Beck's Beginning" gets 2 stars and a half out of 6.

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