Thursday, November 30, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Mickey’s Surprise Party

@ Disney Wiki

It’s been one week after Thanksgiving. Do you still have your leftovers since then? If not, Christmas is around the corner, which mean there’s going to be even more food.

Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, if there’s one thing that both holidays have in common is food, lots and lots of food. So what would be more apropos for this week’s Throwback Thursday than a classic cartoon that’s not only about food, but was actually sponsored by a food company.

To learn more about this cartoon for food and by food, click READ MORE:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Disney Dudebro Updates (11/29/2017)

While this month has proven quite hectic (especially with all the SVTFOE Recaps), next month is proving to be much slower—which is a good thing since I need a bit of a downtime for the holidays.

First off, there aren’t going to be that many episode recaps, mostly because there aren’t going to be that many new episodes. There will be one new episode of Ducktales, and a holiday special for SVTFOE. Other than that, no new episodes next month. Ducktales, Tangled, and SVTFOE will be on hiatus, and Big Hero 6 isn’t planning on releasing new episodes until next year.

But that doesn’t mean my blog will be lacking content. Quite the contrary. This month has two big movies that I’ll be reviewing—Coco and Star Wars: The Last Jedi—and by the end of the month, I’m planning on writing a list ranking all of this year’s Disney movies from worst to best.

Other than that, expect to see the usual Throwback Thursdays, Fan Art Fridays, and Dateline Disneys. And of course, I also have editorial posts and lists planned for topics ranging from Alice in Wonderland to the new Star Wars movies, as well as two special Christmas posts—but you’ll have to wait and find out about those posts.

So until then, fellow dudebros and dudettes, stay euphoric!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Top 5 Movies That Need Their Own TV Shows

© ToonZone

Once upon a time, Disney adapted many of its animated movies into cartoons, with small screen adaptations of big screen hits like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Lilo and Stitch, and Tarzan. However, the last of these animated series was Emperor’s New School (based on Emperor’s New Groove), which was released more than ten years ago. Since then, there haven’t been any new adaptations.

However, Disney has since re-started this trend of adapting big screen hits into small screen bigger hits, with animated series such as The Lion Guard (based off The Lion King), Tangled, and Big Hero 6.

With Disney making so many new movie-to-television adaptations, Disney fans have to wonder what other theatrical films should receive the small screen treatment. Here are just five Disney movies that would make ideal candidates to receive their own television series.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Big Hero 6 Recap: Baymax Returns

As I mentioned in my Top 5 Reasons We Love Big Hero 6 list, while the movie was good enough on its own, it has the potential of creating a franchise larger than itself—which is no real surprise, as the movie is a comic book adaptation that serves as the origin story for the superhero team. While there have been rumors that the movie’s story would continue on with a sequel, it now seems as though it will continue on through this new animated series, which premiered with the hour-long special, “Baymax Returns.”

This pilot episode takes place shortly after the movie. Hiro has been accepted to attend college at his brother’s old school, The San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. There he stumbles upon his brother’s former science lab and uncovers the schematics for Baymax, thus giving him hope that he could bring back his former robot companion. Unfortunately, in the process of re-building the robot, he ends up getting ensnared in the nefarious plans of a criminal gang. Will he defeat the bad guys and get his robot back, and will he do so with the help of his old superhero buddies?

This Disney Channel animated series in particular is the one I’ve been looking forward to seeing the most—not as much as Ducktales, but certainly more so than Tangled. With superhero movies and shows being all the rage, it only made sense for Big Hero 6 to receive its own cartoon series. The movie certainly lends itself to being adapted into such an action-packed cartoon series, and with the former creators of Kim Possible working on it, you know that you’re going to get quality action and comedy. So with all that said, what do I think of the pilot?

Eh. It’s okay.

Honestly, that’s what I think of the show thus far. It’s okay. Not bad. Not great. Just okay. How is the story? It’s okay. How’s the animation? It’s okay. How’s the action scenes? It’s okay. How’s the comedy? Okay bordering on obnoxious—especially with Fred! Overall, I didn’t have strong feelings one way or the other watching this episode. It was merely okay.

Like with Tangled, this is a 3D movie being adapted into a 2D animated series. Both series have animation and art styles suitable to their respective shows. Tangled has a much smoother, pastel-colored art style, almost like the water-colored illustrations of a storybook, making it quite fitting for its fairy tale setting. Big Hero 6, on the other hand, has a more angular, geometric art style with thick outlines and sharp colors, almost like a comic book, which, again, is fitting for a comic book series.

The story is rather generic. Hiro rebuilds Baymax. Trouble ensues. His friends get together to help him. They save the day. Baymax re-joins the team. And the big villain for the series reveals himself. It’s exactly what you’d expect from an episode called “Baymax Returns.” As such, there aren’t really that many surprises, and the plot plays out as you would expect it to. We know Baymax is going to make his comeback, and that the other characters will re-assume their roles as superheroes. So there’s very little suspense, especially with the action scenes.

Perhaps the weakest part of the episode is the comedy. Again, as with the plot, most of the jokes are what you’d come to expect from a scenario like this, with Hiro struggling to adapt to his new school, Baymax delivering deadpan dialogue that borders on unintentional comedy, and Fred being relegated as the annoying comic relief sidekick. At best, it was mildly amusing; but at worst, especially with Fred’s scenes, they were face-palmingly cringeworthy.

Otherwise, this pilot works well as an overall transition from the movie to the new television series, showing what has happened with the characters since the movie, and setting up the overall world for the upcoming series. Though it may have a weak start, things can only go uphill from here on out, or so we can hope.

For these episode reviews, I normally offer a scene-by-scene recap of the episode. But since this episode did not leave that much of an impression on me, I’m going to skip my usual format and instead focus on the parts of the episode that especially stood out to me.

For this scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

Dateline Disney (11/26/2017)

You know, I decided to start blogging about Disney so that I could actually report on good news. So these last few weeks have been draining in the Disney department, what with the company banning a newspaper for no good reason other than they wrote an article they didn't like, forcing theaters to meet draconian demands in order to show their movies, having its Pixar CEO step down because of sexual harassment allegations, and allowing its game department fire a bunch of employees before Thanksgiving. At this point, I can only wonder how things can get worse. Are we going to get revelations that Bob Iger worked with the Russians to help rig the election?

Anyway, not all news is bad news, and there are a few good snippets of good news. You can learn about all the news good and bad in this week's Dateline Disney.

For this week's headlines, click READ MORE:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Disney Dudebro Reviews: Justice League


I know what you’re thinking: Justice League? Why are you reviewing that? That’s not a Disney movie. And you’re right. It’s not—but it is a movie part of a comic book franchise that’s currently being overshadowed by a more superior franchise owned by Disney.

Since it's only inevitable that there would be a comparison and contrast between this superhero team-up movie and the much better one—that one obviously being The Avengers, I’ve decided to bite the Bat Bullet and watch this movie for the sake of reviewing it.

There’s no denying Marvel movies are better than DC movies. That’s not an opinion. Well, okay, it IS an opinion. But if the reviews and box office figures are any indicator, it’s an opinion based on fact.

DC fans don’t like that fact, obviously. They want to believe their films are better, even going so far as to insist that their movies are only doing poorly because of a big corporate media conspiracy run by Rotten Tomatoes—which is ironic, considering that the website is owned by Time Warner, who also owns DC Comics, so you’d assume it would be trying to save face with the DC movies! (And considering recent revelations, that seems to be the case!)

I know I’m going to be called biased over this. And I am. I’ve only seen the Marvel movies and none of the DC movies (with the exception of Wonder Woman), and for no other reason than the bad reviews of those movies proved they weren’t worth my time and money. So yes, I prefer Marvel over DC. But not because I want to.

I’m not a Marvel fanboy. Never was until recently. I didn’t grow up on Spider-Man or Hulk or X-Men or The Avengers. I grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League and Teen Titans. So I know DC Comics are capable of creating good stories with good characters. They’re capable of creating good movies. And I want them to create good movies. But as we all know, wanting something to be so is not the same things as knowing it to be so.

So I decided to check my Marvel bias at the movie theater doors as I purchased a ticket to actually sit down and watch Justice League. Was it all worth it? To find out, click READ MORE:

Friday, November 24, 2017

Fan Art Friday: We Could Be Immortals

The good news is that the much anticipated Big Hero 6: The Animated Series premiered earlier this week with the hour-long movie, "Baymax Returns." The bad news is that new episodes will not be airing until next year. So to keep us sated until then, here's some fan art of the movie that started it all.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Turkey Catchers


Doesn’t it seem odd that there aren’t that many Thanksgiving specials, or at least memorable specials? There are plenty of specials for Christmas and Halloween, yet the very holiday that’s all about celebrating bounty finds itself less than bountiful when it comes to holiday specials.

A major reason for this might be that Thanksgiving is a very America-centric holiday, whereas holidays such as Christmas and Halloween, while are mostly celebrated in America, are celebrated somewhat in other countries. As such, to better market themselves outside of America, most television shows probably stay away from Thanksgiving.

Whatever the reason, there aren’t that many specials, movies, or even cartoons related to Thanksgiving. In fact, in trying to research potential cartoon shorts for this holiday, I couldn’t really find any classic Disney cartoons about Thanksgiving.

Well, I actually managed to turn up one cartoon short, which is sort of recent but also sort of classic depending on your standpoint, which makes it technically fitting for this week’s Throwback Thursday.

For more about this cartoon short, click READ MORE:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tangled Recap: Queen for a Day

I’m going to be honest here. Tangled is not a favorite show of mine. When it comes to Disney Channel shows, Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil and the new Ducktales are my favorite. Tangled, for me, is simply a decent show. Not bad. Not good. Just decent. Credit where it’s due: as one of the most recent shows based upon a Disney movie since the longest time ever, it certainly exceeded expectations of what a show based on a movie can be quality wise. Otherwise, I’ve always considered the show to be simply okay.

Well, after this special hour-long episode, my respect for the show certainly increased. This episode was really that good, and I dare say that it’s one of the best episodes of the series—especially better than the otherwise mediocre pilot episode.

Throughout this series, we’ve seen Rapunzel express her doubts about becoming the future monarch, claiming that she felt unsure that she’s was up for the job. If she had doubts before, she has nothing but doubts following this episode. During her temporary reign as queen, she only compounded the problems of the citizens she tried to help, her kingdom experienced a freak blizzard that nearly froze them over, she turned down helping a close friend of hers (and possibly pushed him towards the dark side), she tried to handle the weather problem by trusting an old legend (which proved to be true, but was still a dubious decision), and to top it all off, she nearly lost one of her best friends since childhood.

To say that Rapunzel is feeling quite stressed after all this would be quite the understatement!

Again, as I said previously, one of the things that this show tackles well are the overall issues that come with a princess being, well, a princess—that is, being a future monarch. Very few Disney movies tackle this issue, as “princess” is simply a convenient title for the female protagonist to have, and it’s a title that has no impact on their character whatsoever. (The only movie to sort of address such an issue would be Brave, and that’s technically a Pixar movie pretending to be a Disney movie!)
This series, however, does show how difficult it is for Rapunzel to prepare to fill such a position, especially considering how she’s been isolated in her tower for most of her life. Becoming a proper princess is clearly a struggle for her, and it’s a struggle that’s causing her to question the path that has been chosen for her.

And then there’s Varian’s subplot. He’s my favorite character in this series, so of course this was one of my favorite aspects of the episode. We know that his village has been impacted hardest by the new mysterious rocks that have been cropping up around the kingdom, so he knows firsthand the danger that’s facing him and the rest of the kingdom. So to see so many people in his life shrug this off as no big deal has clearly taken a toll on him. His father seems to know what’s going on, but refuses to tell him, and even lies to the king about it. Seeing his father stoop to such a low level while also being conveniently “killed” off would be bad enough for him, but being turned down by the only other person he could trust (that being Rapunzel) seemed to be the final nail in the coffin for him. And we can only wait and see what direction his character will be going because of all this. From the looks of it, it very well could be the path of the dark side.

So will Rapunzel ever be prepared to become the next ruler of Corona? What will become of the mysterious rocks? What are they, why are they connected to Rapunel, and how can they be stopped? What was the secret that Varian’s father was trying to keep from him? And most importantly, what will happen to Varian? We’ll just have to wait and see, and this episode makes the anticipation all the greater.

For a scene-by-scene episode recap, click READ MORE:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Monster Bash

Wow. Just Wow. This episode tied together so many plot points that have been going on this season: Star’s desire to heal Mewni’s racial division, her growing relationship with Tom, Marco’s need to overcome his own relationship with her, Eclipsa’s mysterious appearance, and most of all, the true identity and intentions of Ms. Heinous. The only thing that would have made this episode complete would have been Star going into her Mewman form to fight off Mina Loveberry, which is something I thought would have happened.

In this episode, we see Star attempt to heal the prejudice that has been systemic within her kingdom by bringing together the Mewman and monster youth for a party. We know that her desire to right the injustices of her kingdom is a righteous desire, but her attempts to do so admittedly come off as rather naïve. As we can see, it’s going to take much more than one party to overcome such a problem.

But perhaps the greatest thing about this episode is the big reveal concerning Ms. Heinous. Many fans had already speculated that she was connected in some way with Queen Eclipsa, and this episode finally revealed this to be true. Turns out she was her daughter. What a tweest!

There is just so much to unpack from this revelation, as it hints that Queen Eclipsa may not be the evil queen that everyone claimed she was, and that Star’s family may have been in the wrong to imprison her. Compounding the matters is the fact that she was the mother of a child who was inevitably left abandoned because of her imprisonment—something that has clearly distraught Ms. Heinous's psyche, and could have been the root cause of her repressive behavior exhibited through her position at St. Olga’s.

So what will become of Ms. Heinous—er, I mean, Meteora? Will Mina hunt her down? Will she ever reunite with Queen Eclipsa? And what about Eclipsa? Is she innocent? Or is she really guilty? Only the second half of the season will tell, and it’s leaving us all hanging on the edge of our seats.

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Top 5 Reasons We Love Big Hero 6

© Eselcine

Comic book superhero movies are all the rave. Whether you’re a fan of the movies for Marvel, X-Men, or DC Comics (though you’d have to be huffing a lot of paint to like the latter), or even if you’re not a comic book fan yourself, you can’t deny that nothing has been bigger on the big screen than superheroes.

Disney is no stranger when it comes to superheroes, though its selection of superhero flicks have been sparse, from cult classics such as The Rocketeer and Condorman, to the Pixar hit film The Incredibles. But perhaps its biggest superhero hit in recent years, aside from its Marvel Cinematic Universe, was with the 2014 movie, Big Hero 6.

Though not as big as Disney’s more prominent hits like Tangled and Frozen, being the first ever animated theatrical film based upon a Marvel comic book, Big Hero 6 is a real marvel in its own right, and while Hiro, Baymax, and the rest of the superhero team may not be considered stars as big as Elsa or Anna, these superheroes prove to be good enough role models than any princess.

So with the animated series set to premiere on Disney XD this month, here are six minus one big reasons why we love Big Hero 6.

To learn about these top five reasons, click READ MORE:

Sunday, November 19, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Deep Dive

For the past few episodes, we've all been waiting patiently on edge to see what would come about from Star's late night sleep flights. Even though she knew that what she was doing was dangerous, and even though she was most certainly throwing caution to the wind by not telling anyone else about it, Star decided to go through with this insane version of sleepwalking, and even though it could have all gone horribly wrong, it's all finally paid off. Sort of.

Turns out that it was all leading her to a magical land of unicorns where she was able to gain the power to change back and forth from her not-Super Sayian form. This raises so many questions, all of which may or may not be answered in upcoming episodes, which only adds to the number of questions that the very next episode raises. So I'll give this episode credit for creating even more suspense for the next half of the season when it finally comes out...eventually!

For a scene-by-scene recap of this episode, click READ MORE:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Night Life

Ever since "Running With Scissors", Marco fans have been waiting for their favorite character to return to Hekapoo's dimension, hook up with the fiery dimension hopper herself, and ride off into the sunset on his dragon cycle to go on more adventures. And this episode most certainly delivered on that.

You'd think that with Marco's relationship with Star turning cold, especially with him discovering that she still had the hots for her old flame in "Lava Lake Beach", Marco would break up with Star and spend the rest of his days adventuring on his dragon cycle with the much better half of a much better ship.

And yet, in spite of past events, Marco knows that Star needs his help and thus, being the gentleman that he is, decides to remain loyal to her, even if it means knowing that he will never truly be with her, and especially if it means forgoing his dimension-hopping adventures with his perfectly chiseled chest and losing someone with whom he was a much better ship.

Yeah, yeah. I'm a MarcoPoo shipper. So I'm a bit bitter here. But it was still a good episode anyway!

For a scene-by-scene recap of this episode, click READ MORE:

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fan Art Friday: She's From Another Dimension

It's going to get a little weird. It's going to get a little wild. Because this week saw the release of new Season 3 episodes of Star Vs. The Forces of Evil. And to help welcome these new episodes, here's some narwhal blasts and space unicorns' worth of fan art.

To check out this fan art showcase, click READ MORE:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Lava Lakes Beach

This season has not been kind to Marco. He was dumped by his girlfriend, left his home looking for adventure only to be met with disappointment, found out that his old friend is dating someone else, saw as his same friend is undergoing some weird changes that may or may not hurt her and those around her, and to top it all off, he discovers that his old friend is now getting serious in another relationship.

This episode better highlights the pain that Marco is going through by paralleling it with that with another character who's going through a similar breakup situation. We see Marco's pain and we better empathize with him for it, and we also feel a sense of his overall isolation--which I'm sure is going to play into a major plot point later this season when he inevitably sees his friend in grave trouble with him being helpless to stop it. So in other words, this is the calm before the inevitable storm.

SVTFOE Recap: Sweet Dreams

Sweet dreams are made of these, who am I to disagree? But if they cause you to go into your Super Saiyan mode and travel to different dimensions, you should probably tell your parents because that sounds really dangerous and could get out of hand.

So, yes, in this episode, Star is discovering new things about her powers and how they’re causing her to do strange things to her in her sleep. But of course, rather than actually tell her parents about it, she decides to just let her powers go out of control and simply goes with the flow.

If you can’t tell, Star’s actions in this episode really frustrate me. Seriously, why doesn’t she tell her parents that she’s having these weird dream trips with her powers? Why does she instead trust someone who may or may not be a villain? And why does she reject all of the precautions that Marco’s offering her? Why is she making so many bad decisions in this episode?

At first, I wanted to chalk it all up to bad writing on the part of the creators, but then I realized something: she’s a teenager! Of course she’s making bad decisions. She’s a teenager, and like all teenagers, especially of the female variety, they’re entirely driven by emotions. They don’t think critically. They allow their hormones drive their thoughts and decisions.

So of course Star is acting like this. It by no means excuses her actions, but it at least offers a good explanation for them. And only time will tell where the show goes with this.

For a scene-by-scene recap of this episode, click READ MORE:

Throwback Thursday: Bump In The Night Bumpers

© YouTube

Next week, the Nostalgia Critic will be hosting his annual commercials special where he takes a look back at old commercials.

If you’ve been following this annual tradition, you know that he always starts these specials off with an intro featuring the musical number, “after these messages, we’ll be right back!”

That intro was actually compiled from several bumpers that used to air on ABC during the commercial breaks of its Saturday morning programming in 1993.

Well, those bumpers would be changed out every year and replaced with different animated sequences.

One of those series of bumpers, fittingly enough, featured characters from an old Saturday Morning show called Bump in the Night.

To learn more about those bumpers, click READ MORE:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Starfari

This series has done an excellent job of adding layer upon layer of nuance onto its monster characters. What started out as simple one-dimensional villains have since been revealed to be a marginalized underclass that has been oppressed by Star’s people since her kingdom’s founding.

Upon realizing this back in "Mewnipendance Day", Star has become more “woke” towards the plight of the monsters with a growing desire to alleviate their situation. As she even points out in this episode, the very distinction between monsters and non-monsters remains extremely arbitrary, as many Mewman races that come close to appearing like monsters are somehow not classified as such.

So when Star learns there’s a resident monster expert who shares her concerns about the mistreatment of the monster class, she believes that she has found herself an ally. Unfortunately, as Dr. Jelly Goodwell proves though her actions, she is equally as problematic as the other Mewmans.

Throughout the series, the “racism” exhibited by the Kingdom of Mewni has evidently been malevolent, with the other Mewmans discriminating against the monsters out of irrational fear. Dr. Goodwell, on the other hand, proves to be just as racist as them, only with a more “benevolent racism”—the type of racism where she believes that the monsters are incapable of caring for themselves and must remain isolated from the rest of Mewman society for their own good.

This dichotomy of malevolent vs. benevolent racism is quite evident within our own society, especially within recent years. Trump and the alt right undoubtedly express malevolent racism through their desire for a white ethnostate to combat the racial boogeymen of “white genocide” brought about through terrorism and immigration.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we see benevolent racism expressed by social justice warriors—over-privileged white college students who consider themselves “white saviors” fighting to protect POC by segregating them from the rest of “white society” through “safe spaces” and political correctness, insisting that such POC are incapable of caring for themselves and that only they know what their real best interests are.

“Oh, you poor black people! Do not worry! It is us, your white saviors, who shall save you. WHAT? WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU VOTE REPUBLICAN?!?! F***ing U”ncle Toms! You’re going against your own best interests! And who better know what your best interests are than over-privileged white kids like us? So shut up and know your place, you f***ing house ni—SKELETON WARRIORS!

This level of nuance in addressing the difference between malevolent and benevolent racism is not often present in other media, with the only other notable example being the recent movie “Get Out!” So kudos to a children’s show like this for addressing it in a way that children can understand.

For a scene-by-scene recap of this episode, click READ MORE:

SVTFOE Recap: Princess Turdina

Before I discuss this episode proper, I want to address the elephant in the room that is the “trans Marco” fan theory, which, as its name implies, suggests that Marco is trans. I’ve never really bought into the theory, mostly because the “evidence” behind it was mostly circumstantial.

“Oh, Marco wore a dress once. That means he’s trans!” That’s as convincing as saying, “Oh! Rainbow Dash is an athletic tomboy with rainbow hair. That means she’s a lesbian!”

Don’t get me wrong. If it turned out that Marco really was trans, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. (It is the current year, after all!) And if you’re a trans person who identifies with Marco, more power to you. I’m not trying to take anything away from you. I just don’t believe in this particular fan theory. Besides, this episode really throws a monkey wrench into the theory anyway.

We can see that St. Olga’s hasn’t exactly changed for the best. While it’s no longer under the oppressive rule of Ms. Heinous, it’s not exactly doing any better under its current state of anarchy either.

So when Ms. Heinous returned, I feared this episode would take the predictable turn of returning power back to her once the students realized that things at the school weren’t as great as they seemed and that Marco was revealed to be a liar that he is. It would have fallen under the tired cliché of the liar reveal and the return from anarchy to tyranny because “the status quo is god!”

Fortunately, this episode did not go down that predictable route. The other princesses remained faithful to Marco, even after his big “liar reveal”, because his ideals were real even if he wasn’t. That’s a refreshing take we don’t often see in other similar storylines, and this episode is better off because of it.

So while the school remains in its current state of chaotic anarchy, at least it didn’t return to its previous state of a totalitarian dictatorship. Of course, one has to wonder what Ms. Heinous has in store with the other princesses, and with Marco Diaz in particular.

For a scene-by-scene recap of this episode, click READ MORE:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Top 10 SVTFOE Episodes (Season Two)

© Disney

With new episodes of its third season set to premiere this week, I’d like to take a look back at the past two seasons of Star Vs. The Forces of Evil and list my favorite episodes. Since we've already looked back at the first season, let's take a look at the second.

If the first season was an experiment to see what random nonsense the series could get away with, the second season was surely an experiment to see how dramatic it can become while still retaining its overall random nature. The results of the experiment? More than successful!

The drama really picked up by the first half of the season, with Ludo not only regaining his strength, but learning to wield his new powers to the point where he successfully stole Star's book of spells and Glossaryck. Things only took a turn for the worse when it was revealed that Toffee was possessing him all along, and the end result was a season finale that left everyone hanging until the third season.

The only thing more dramatic than the overall plot was the relationship between Star and Marco, which became quite the emotional roller coaster this season. Their relationship started out as just friends, and by the end of the season...they were still just friends, though Marco's new relationship with Jackie and Star's hidden (later, revealed) feelings towards Marco made things between them much more complicated.

So how will things turn out by the third season? Will Star and Marco remain "just friends"? Have we seen the last of Ludo and Toffee? And what of this mysterious Queen Eclipsa? We'll have to wait and see. Until then, here's a look back at the best episodes of the second season:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dateline Disney (11/12/2017)

Last week, we reported the unfortunate news that Disney had banned the L.A. Times from reporting on their movies. Fortunately, we have some good news this week, as thanks to a public backlash from the media, Disney has since lifted its ban on the newspaper. All of this plus news on the latest development with Star Wars and Marvel in this week's Dateline Disney.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Trial By Squire

This show may be late for Halloween, but it more than makes up for it by being early for Black Friday. Because, really, what even is Thanksgiving? That’s just the holiday where people make a mad early dash to do their holiday shopping!

Oh well! Any excuse to send us back to Quest Buy is a good one. Any episode set in that store is sure to be in store of fresh comedy gold. And boy does this episode have a lot of comedy—albeit at the expense of poor Marco.

Of course, can we even consider him to be poor? He may have been the target of the squires and their grudge against him, but as the redhead mentioned, it’s not like they don’t have good reason not to begrudge him. All of them worked hard to earn their positions as squires, while Marco only obtained his title because he’s best friends with the princess. So you can at least understand their frustration.

In the end, none of that really mattered because Star only wanted to go shopping with Marco for the same reason she wanted him to become a squire: so he can hang out with her. Overall, this overall silly romp in this magical department store was an overall silly romp of a magical episode.

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

SVTFOE Recap: Lint Catcher

You know, the more I watch of this season, the more I'm convinced that Marco's being really selfish. He barges in on his best friend's life, demands to crash with her and train to be a knight, and all because he considered his old life on Earth to be too "boring" for him.

So I can understand Star not being too fond of his arrival. Not to mention that she's currently dealing with too many issues on her hand already, what with her trying to live up to her royal title, trying to get back with her old boyfriend and help him change for the best, and also ensuring that her great-great-granny who may or may not be evil recieves a fair trial. So, yes, ain't nobody got time for that.

Even then, you can still somewhat sympathize with Marco and understand that Star was still acting unfair towards him, despite everything she's been through up until this point. Not to mention we've managed to get a cool fight scene involving laundry lint!

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

Friday, November 10, 2017

Fan Art Friday: Oo-De-Lally Golly What A Day!

44 years ago, Robin Hood was released in theaters on November 8. While not exactly one of Disney's classics, this movie is one of my personal childhood favorites.

Not only did this movie help shape my own political outlook—after all, Robin Hood did return the tax money taken from the poor and given as "economic stimulus" to the "job creator" Prince Johnbut it also helped me to explore my furry side, not to mention that of many other denizens on the internet!

So to celebrate the 44th anniversary of this overlooked classic, here's some fan art of the first furry libertarian hero! Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly, what a day!

To check out this week's fan art showcase, click READ MORE:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Sophmore Slump

Well, this was inevitable. Considering how the first half of this series involved Star living on Earth, it only makes sense that Marco will be spending time on Mewni now that the next few episodes will focus there. But until then, we have to watch Marco mope around on Earth wishing that he could return to Mewni before he eventually does.

One thing I don't necessarily care for is how Marco was forced to break up with Jackie Lynn. Yes, we all know that he and Star danced under the light of the Blood Moon Ball, and that means that their souls are intertwined for all eternity...but when you really think about it, that's extremely contrived.

After all, why should that all mean that Marco is going to be romantically linked with Star? Couldn't their bond simply be platonic? There's an idea that's never been explored before: a relationship coupled by fate that isn't romantic. Marco could still be friends with Star and he can still remain in a relationship with Jackie. But no. Contrived circumstances are contrived and Marco needs to hook up with Star because arbitrary reasons and blah blah blah!

Anyway, blasé episode is rather blasé, but otherwise okay.

To read a scene-by-scene recap, click on READ MORE: 

SVTFOE Recap: Demonicism

So all Tom needs to do to help overcome his anger issues is for him to undergo a ritual that will eliminate the “demons” causing his uncontrollable anger? I don’t see a problem with this.

I know this episode is supposed to be presenting the moral that there are no quick fixes for your problems, but considering that such a quick fix actually exists in this show, that kind of undermines the entire moral.

And I also know that many people would object that a procedure like a demonicism is supposed to be “bad” because it drastically alters one’s personality, but if one’s personality is defined by their most negative traits, like anger in Tom’s case, then that’s a personality that needs to be altered, and such an altercation would be for the best.

That’s the problem with story devices like demonicisms or the detox machine in Rick and Morty: if they actually existed in real life, it would make real life a much better place. If there really were a machine that could get rid of your most negative character traits, people would actually pay big money to use it and help better themselves as individuals—provided they were using it voluntarily, of course, and they weren't forced to undergo such a procedure!

Think about what such a world would look like. No incompetent man baby presidents threatening nuclear war over a temper tantrum on Twitter. No white nationalists and anti-fa thugs clashing in the streets. No feminists SJWs harassing people and getting offended over things that are not offensive. It would be infinitely better. Infinitely!

So, yes, I understand where this episode is coming from, but intent does not excuse overall execution, and this episode’s execution was rather weak.

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

Throwback Thursday: Hamster Dance

© The Bump

If you’re a millennial like myself who grew up with the internet in the late 1990s and early 2000s, you probably remember receiving a forwarded e-mail from a relative featuring gifs of hamsters dancing along to a high-pitch song.

The Hamster Dance, next only to the Dancing Baby, is one of the earliest examples of an internet meme, as back during its day, it was shared via e-mail like wildfire:

In fact, so popular were these dancing hamsters that they eventually spawned their own album which included a song based upon their meme.

But I bet you’re wondering why I’ve decided to share The Hamster Dance for this Throwback Thursday. After all, what does the Hamster Dance have to do with Disney?

Well, turns out, everything!

To find out why, continue reading by clicking READ MORE:

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Stranger Danger

Since "Into The Wand", we've been getting hints about the character Queen Eclipsa and how she could become the next potential villain following the defeat of Toffee. The problem is that we don't know that much about her. We know she left her kingdom to be with a monster as her lover. But other than that, we don't really know that much about her or why she should be considered "evil."

Well, it looks like we're not alone. It seems like the other characters are equally as clueless as we are. This episode certainly sets up an interesting scenario, forcing us as the viewers to consider whether or not Eclipsa's truly evil. This is something we rarely see. Sure, we have villains who undergo redemption arcs and become good guys, but we've never actually seen a villain who's evil villainy has been put under scrutiny. (With the exception of the recent season of MLP:FiM with the Pony of Shadows.)

I'm sure many people would complain that it's unreasonable for Queen Moon and the others to have imprisoned Eclipsa without actually knowing whether or not she was evil. Considering our current criminal justice system and how it routinely punishes innocent people, something like this is not entirely unreasonable. Overall, this episode has created a lot of intrigue about Eclipsa's character and the upcoming episodes, and we can only wait and see how everything unfolds.

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

SVTFOE Recap: Club Snubbed

Sometimes people wonder if other people can change. They often assume they cannot because the change never happens instantaneously for them. That’s not how change works. You don’t simply change your entire personality on a turn of a dime. Change happens gradually. It takes time. But as long as people are willing to commit to change, they can, indeed, change.

This is exactly what we’re seeing with Tom Lucitor. It took him three seasons, but Tom’s certainly starting to develop a sense of common decency. Having started as a self-absorbed clingy boyfriend wanting to get back with his ex-girlfriend at any cost possible, Tom is now starting to respect Star, her decisions, and her space, even if she doesn’t fully grasp that that’s exactly what he’s doing. He still needs to work on his temper, but hey, some change is still change.

Now if only we can see some change in Ponyhead!

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Rest in Pudding

Such a pity that this episode was released only a few days after Halloween. The overall creepy atmosphere would have made it the ideal Halloween episode. Because, yes, on the one hand, this episode had some legitimately creepy moments.

On the other hand, this episode is about bringing back to life Glossaryck, one of the worst characters in the series. (The absolute worst being Ponyhead.) So, yeah, I don't really care about him, so I don't really care than much about this episode. Still very spoopy, though!

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

SVTFOE Recap: Scent of a Hoodie

Saying goodbye to a friend is hard. We all want to hold onto them and their memories forever, and we often do whatever we can to do just that. For the Knight of the Wash, he keeps the memory of his family and comrades alive by maintaining his sacred duty...of doing the royal wash. And for Star, it's holding onto Marco's hoodie...even if it does smell like feet.

In the end, sometimes the best way to preserve the memories of your best friend is to not only preserve what they left behind (which, in Star's case, meant actually washing Marco's hoodie), but actually learning to let things go. Because things are just things, but memories of other people will always be with you. (Also, refusing to wash dirty clothes is totes not hygienic!)

For a scene-by-scene recap, click KEEP READING:

Monday, November 6, 2017

Top 10 SVTFOE Episodes (Season 1)

With new episodes of its third season set to premiere this week, I'd like to take a look back at the past two seasons of Star Vs. The Forces of Evil and list my favorite episodes. What better place to start with my fist list than with the first season?

The first few episodes were quite the experiment, helping the show cultivate its random nature by throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the wall to see what could stick, or moreover, seeing what the show can get away with while maintaining the audience's suspension of disbelief.

With the introduction of Toffee during the second half, the season, and the show with it, started to take a more dramatic turn, which all culminated with the season finale.

The show has since managed to strike the perfect balance between the random and the dark, to the point where it feels perfectly natural to see Star tracking down an infomercial product in one episode and breaking out her friend from a Clockwork Orange-esque reform school the next.

That's what I love about this series. Any cartoon show can be random, and any cartoon show can be dramatic, but it takes a special show like this (and similar examples like Adventure Time) to do both without its overall tone coming off as dissonant. Then again, when you're a princess from another dimension, anything's possible!

So without further ado, here are my top ten favorite Star Vs. The Forces of Evil episodes from the first season. Keep in mind, this is all my personal opinion:

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Disney Dudebro Reviews: Thor: Ragnarok


Marvel has really spoiled us this year! How lucky are we to have received not one, not two, but three—count them, three!—Marvel movies? (And we’ll be receiving even more next year!) And how lucky are we that each one has been nothing short of spectacular? Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 was better than the original movie. Spider-Man: Homecoming perfectly integrated our favorite webhead into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And then there’s Thor: Ragnarok.

Uh, oh boy!

Let’s face it: for as long as the MCU has been going strong ten years and counting, we all know that this long-running success can only go on for so long. For as lucky as they have been to consistently release so many good movies, we all know that all good things must come to an end. Eventually, this Marvel hype train has to run out of steam and eventually release a movie that’s actually bad—not simply mediocre like Iron Man 2 or The Incredible Hulk, but a real honest-to-Odin box office flop.

Thor: Ragnarok is not that movie, fortunately!

To read more about how epic this movie was, click READ MORE:

Dateline Disney (11/05/2017)

Usually, I use this feature to share good news about Disney. Unfortunately, this week the Walt Disney Company pulled off a few dick moves. Not only did they bar a newspaper from seeing their films over "unfair coverage of its business ties with Anaheim", but it is forcing theaters to meet unreasonable demands concerning The Last Jedi. Disney may be the "Happiest Place on Earth", but it's still a corporation that sits there in its corporation building acting all corporation-y.

All of that plus the announcement of the live-action Lion King cast and the new Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure in this week's Dateline Disney:

Saturday, November 4, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Toffee

Wow. Just wow. I was expecting this episode to be larger than life, and it more than met my expectations.

One of the biggest challenges with any "good versus evil" story is maintaining suspense. We all know the good guy is going to win and the bad guy is going to lose. That's the way these types of stories always play out. So a good story needs to provide enough suspense as to instill doubt that things will inevitably turn out for the best.

This episode does a really good job of accomplshing just that. It literally kills off Star, and through deus ex machina, brings her back from the dead to put Toffee back into his own grave. Granted, this is all done as PG-rated as it can be for a children's show, but the implications are there. What better way to create suspense than killing off your main character--near the end of the episode, no less!

Again, we all know that the episode isn't going to end with Star losing and Toffee winning. We know she's going to come back, and we're all left hanging until the end trying to figure out how's she going to do exactly that. And let me tell you, the payoff is more than worth the wait.

This episode ends the old story arc with a bang, and starts a new arc with more than enough foreboding, leaving you hanging until the very next episode.

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

Friday, November 3, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: King Ludo

This episode involves a grotesque monster taking over the government of a country and caring more about his own approval rating than the fact that the country he's ruling is spiraling the drain.

Really, the obvious real-life analogy is obvious, and the jokes for it write themselves; But since I don't want to come off as too politically divisive by my readers, I won't make them...

Or that's what I would say if I cared about offending people who were stupid enough to vote for an obvious con artist like Trump and who are probably stupid enough to delude themselves into thinking he's doing a remotely good job as president. I don't!

The real reason I'm not making the obvious Trump jokes in this recap is that, well, they're too easy to make. Really, making fun of Trump at this point is like making fun of a clown. It's too easy.

But as a consolation, I'll will be counting all of the obvious jokes I could have been making in this recap with a "Missed Trump Joke" counter. Fair warning: the count goes really high!

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

Fan Art Friday: Behold The Mighty Thor!

Thor: Ragnarok is bringing down the thunder into theaters this weekend. I don't care what other Marvel fans say. I don't care if they think the Thor movies are the weakest in the MCU. By Odin's beard, I love them. Un-ironically! So to celebrate the third movie, here's a compilation of fan art featuring the mighty God of Thunder himself. Excelsior!

For this week's fan art showcase, click READ MORE:

SVTFOE Recap: Puddle Defender

Since Mewnindependence Day, the monsters in this series have been portrayed in a much different light. Rather than being one-dimensional villains who are evil for the sake of being evil, they're more of an underclass of second-class citizens who had their original homeland taken over by the Mewan's and who are now forced to resort to villainy in order to survive.

While this does not excuse the actions of villains such as Ludo or Toffee, it does make the plight of other monsters such as Buff Frog much more empathetic, especially since it mirrors the plight of real-life oppressed minorities; and while this also doesn't make Star and the rest of her royal family "evil", it does show that they possess some level of--for lack of a better term, privilege--that has been afforded to them through centuries of oppression.

Such a dynamic is rarely seen in most children's cartoons, which often resort to portraying two sides of a conflict as good versus evil, and as such, this offers much more nuance and depth than is otherwise expected in animation. In a time when the real world seems even more polarized by race, class, and other dividing lines, such a dynamic seems almost crucial.

This episode in particular does a good job of highlighting such a dynamic, what with it forcing a character of "privilege" like Queen Moon to associate with a marginalized character like Buff, and in the process of doing, forcing both to come to terms with their own prejudices and realize that they have more common than they originally thought.

Really, don't you wish more real life conflicts could be settled through a board game? Perhaps if we forced neo-Nazis and Black Lives Matter to sit down for a game of Candyland, we could probably settle America's own political divide. (On second thought, maybe that's a bad idea!)

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Marco And The King

We’ve seen in previous episodes that King River is the kind of person who prefers hunting for wild animals and hosting even wilder partiers than sitting on a throne ruling a kingdom. So when Queen Moon him in charge, hilarity ensues.

King River is clearly not cut out to be king, and is only in the position that he's in because he married a much more competent ruler. To his credit, though, he’s better than the next incompetent ruler to seize the throne, if for no other reason in that he at least makes minimal effort to try to be a good leader.

The biggest problem with this episode is with its overall message: that you should consider a bad ruler good, even when he’s obviously not, because, in the end, he’s the only leader you have. Considering current circumstances where America is being ruled by a far worse leader, such a message obviously rings quite hollow.

Otherwise, for what this episode’s worth, it’s fairly entertaining. At least we can take solace in knowing that, as bad as King River may be, that’s he’s not worse than the next person to take the throne—by force!

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

SVTFOE Recap: Book Be Gone

Ludo wants to write in the book. The book won't allow him to do that. So he burns the book.

There's not much else to say about this episode. It's not that good. Granted, as part of the "Battle For Mewni" special, it helps push the plot along further; but as a standalone episode, it's weak.

That's the main problem with Ludo episodes. Ludo isn't that interesting as a character unless he's acting as a comedic foil for a much better character like Star or Toffee. (Glossaryk doesn't count because he's not a "much better" character.)

Really, there's not much else to say here. This is the weakest episode of the special. Next episode, please!

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

SVTFOE Recap: Moon the Undaunted

We already know that Queen Moon prides herself in maintaining her strict no-nonsense demeanor, keeping up the appearance that she is always in control, both as a queen and as a mother, even when she clearly isn't in control. This episode provides much-needed backstory that reveals why she maintains this very attitude.

From a very young age, she was burdened with the weight of the crown following her mother's untimely murder, with one of her first decisions as the new queen being whether to go to war or sign a peace treaty with the very enemy who killed her mother. Losing a parent is traumatic enough, but having to bear that burden alongside that of determining the fate of a kingdom remains quite unimaginable.

So we sympathize with Moon when she makes the rash decision of receiving aid from a known criminal to help alleviate her situation using forbidden magic. This by no means absolves her of her decision and the consequences of it (which become more than apparent within this special, if not throughout the series), but it does provide better insight as to why she made it due to her state of mind.

With the compounded burden of losing a mother, inheriting a kingdom, and being forced to solve a major dilemma, Moon sought the need to exert her authority and maintain her appearance of control, even when such an attitude only manages to kick the can down the road, creating a much more uncontrollable problem for her, and thus making it difficult to maintain her overall composure.

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

SVTFOE Recap: Return To Mewni

One of the things I've enjoyed most about the second season was the character development of Queen Moon. Since the series' beginning, she came across as yet another strict "fuddy duddy" parental figure, along the lines of King Triton from Little Mermaid; but as the series progressed, especially during the second season, her character became more fleshed out, and she's been a more interesting character since then.

Far from being the one-dimensional archetype of the "all-rules, no-nonsense" parent, Queen Moon has proven herself to be someone who truly cares about the well-being of her kingdom, her family, and especially her daughter; and it's precisely because she cares so much about them that she maintains such a strict and firm demeanor. She is the queen, after all. She has to remain in control, and for the sake of others, she has to prove that she's in control.

So what happens when things aren't in her control?

That's something we've been learning since the season finale. Her worst enemy that she assumed was long defeated has since returned, taken control of half her family's most powerful heirloom, killed off most of her high commission, and remains poised to take over her kingdom. Worse, her plan to get everything back to normal has backfired. As such, what control she once maintained has since been stripped away from her, and the hardest part for her has been trying to prove to everyone else that she still remains in control of the situation, even when she clearly doesn't.

This is the burden of everyone who has ever been in authority, whether as a leader or as a parent. As the authority figure, everyone expects you to be in control. Everyone expects you to have all the answers. So what do you do when you're no longer in control and you lack the answers? After all, admitting you've lost is to admit that you have failed, and nobody wants a failure to be in authority.

So when Moon finally breaks down in front of her own daughter, admitting that she doesn't know what to do, we feel sympathetic towards her plight. She's in a helpless situation, made all the more helpless because so many people have been counting on her for her help, including her own daughter. She's reached her low point, which for us, raises her character even higher.

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE: