Blah Blah, Blah-Blah-Blah-Blah, Smurfs 2 Teaser is Here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 10:00 am

Somewhere out there, I imagine there must be hardcore Smurfs fans who protest the fealty of the live-action movies. They might point out that Peyo's creations are supposed to live in the Middle Ages, run into wizards and monsters, and have two human friends named Johan and Pirlouit ("Peewit" in English). A fan of the original comics might even decide to get anally specific, and note that in the comics, the Smurfs eat leaves rather than berries - this would seem to be at least as big a difference as flames on Optimus Prime, for example.

Yes, someone out there should probably make that case. Because I'm not sure I give enough of a damn about Smurfs to do so.

I just know that the use of Tone Loc's "Wild Thing" - AGAIN - is a goddamn atrocity in this context.

Tags: Smurfs

The Five Best (and Worst) Masters of the Universe Figures Not Represented in the Original Line

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 9:12 am

Today sees the release of Granamyr, the largest Masters of the Universe figure ever, with a wallet-weep-inducing price tag of $80 plus tax and shipping (just over $100 total). He'd stand about 30 inches tall if in fact he could stand, but he actually can't - much like Todd McFarlane's Malebolgia, and your constipated grandfather, he's meant to stay in a squatting pose looking threatening. And yes, I bought him anyway.

Granamyr originally showed up in both the Filmation cartoon and the mini-comics that came with the figures, but never showed up in the original '80s toy line; he's the sort of figure only obsessive adults looking to reclaim their childhood could possibly afford ($80 would have bought TWO Castle Grayskulls back in the day). For those of us that resemble that remark, the new figures have been the highlight of He-Man's revival; it's cool to get revamped favorites, but the guys (and gals, but mostly guys) we never had before really give us that fresh new toy feeling.

Not all of them have been good ideas, though. Let's take a look at the hits and misses.

The Best:

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5. Slime Pit Monster. This guy deserves a mention for being the only original character in the 200x line, and the fact that he's a skeleton with slimy removable guts, reminding us of our favorite super-gross Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figure Mutagen Man. Points off because he should have been an army builder rather than a playset pack-in.
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4. Vikor. Yes, he's based on concept art, but that feels like a cover story. Essentially, this is Mattel saying, "We want to make Conan the Barbarian, but we don't have the rights. Wink wink - meet...uhhhh...Vikor! Yeah, that's the ticket." Given the long-believed myth that He-Man was originally intended to be a Schwarzenegger Conan toy until Mattel execs balked at the R-rated film, this is a nice little nod, and the metal chain links on the manacles are a nice touch.
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3. Demo-Man. Some may object to his neon green color, or the retconned backstory that Keldor was somehow fused with this character to become Skeletor, thus making our favorite screechy skullface a hybrid personality that he never evinced in any iteration prior. Ignore the clumsy attempts to shoehorn him into canon, though, and he's basically a concept, Viking-ized Skeletor come to life, or perhaps a new arch-foe for He-Man (which is a refreshing change - he can't just fight Skeletor every day, as the Filmation cartoons made clear). Plus he came with a bonus extra-scary Skeletor head in Alfredo Alcala style, bringing the character back to his terrifying roots as a pumped-up Grim Reaper wannabe.
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2. Griffin. There are any number of fan-requested repaints of the Battle Cat body that could have been done, and would have been tedious: King Grayskull's Battle Lion (same figure with a bigger head, basically), for example, or Catra's cutesy pink lion Clawdeen. This was a much better idea, mixing in some bird parts and making tangibly awesome what was just a deus ex machina device in the MYP cartoon any time the bad guys got in too much trouble. The resculpted saddle actually fits Beast Man snugly, unlike the Battle Cat and Panthor saddles which give He-man and Skeletor slightly bumpy rides.
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Mattycollector.com

1. Procrustus. Like Granamyr, a mini-comics character who looked extremely cool but we never thought we'd see, especially in a line that thrives on reused parts. Looking not unlike the Nome King from Return to Oz on steroids, he's the Atlas and/or Cronos of Eternia, a giant that holds the planet together from the inside, while still having time to play with a giant marble, apparently. It'd be nice if the two of his hands that seem sculpted to hold weapons actually had some that were in-scale and could fit, but maybe they'll make a Planet Eternia playset for a million dollars that will have appropriately shaped hand-holds to match. And yes, I'd probably try to buy that, somehow.

And now, the worst...

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Fox's Thoroughly Disturbing Charlie Brown/Louis C.K. Parody

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:19 am


It was only days ago that we were discussing whether or not A Charlie Brown Christmas needed to be retired. Frankly, the best argument for that might be this Fox Animation Domination parody, which tries to do Peanuts by way of Louie, but pushes the envelope just a bit beyond what that combo would suggest. Louis C.K.'s humor is often shocking, but it's never just for shock value quite like this.

This video is most likely NSFW. Unless your job is to make profane cartoons.

What do you think? Is it funny, childish...or both?


New Disney Concept Art from Frozen Sure Looks Frozen-y

Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm

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Disney
"Who sneezed?"

So...yeah. I guess this is what I'd expect a movie called Frozen to look like.


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The 10 Most Evil Monkeys In Geekdom

Friday, November 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

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General Ursus
Monkeys, apes, what's the difference? An evil primate is an evil primate and that's all that matters. From mischievous helpers to dictator-infused megalomaniacs the spectrum of bad opposable thumb-less creatures running around in comic books, movies, video games and animation is through the roof.

We hate these creatures all the more because they fly in the face of our inherent love of monkeys and apes. They just look so awesome running around, swinging from vines and flinging their own poop. Sure there's that whole thing where they lose their minds and rip faces off when they get a certain age, but we can get past that. However, we can not get past the behavior these evil primates displayed.

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Why J.G. Quintel Loves Using '80s Technology in Cartoon Network's Hit Regular Show

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:01 am

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Cartoon Network
Mordecai and Rigby in the Regular Show episode "Exit 9B"
Last summer, J.G. Quintel, creator of Cartoon Network's hit series Regular Show, wanted to record the program's original music onto cassettes and toss those into the crowd at San Diego Comic-Con. "Then kids will have to ask their parents for a cassette player," he explains. "It will be awesome."

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The Avengers Are No Longer the Earth's Mightiest Heroes

Monday, November 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm
This one hurt.

As you may know, Disney XD's excellent The Avengers: Earth Mightiest Heroes aired its finale yesterday. Would it be too much hyperbole for me to call Story Editor Chris Yost an entertainment alchemist? The label is fitting since he managed to combine action, complex scripting and comedy that never felt forced together in order to give viewers what was arguably the greatest superhero cartoon ever. (An opinion I will hold until my dying day). There's a welcome retrospective about the series at Marvel.com that features reflections from Yost. Better still is the above eulogy that showcases the show's accomplishments through insights from its production staff and the talented voiceover actors who brought the characters to life in each episode. Its replacement series, Avengers Assemble, will debut on Disney XD next year. With any luck you'll be done mourning EMH by then. Though probably not. As far as I can tell, the only positive to come out of this whole debacle is that we will never have to suffer through the alt rock aural rape that is the "Fight As One" theme song again. Hey, that's something at least. (Via Newsarama)

A Very Odd Doctor Who Trifecta

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm
• First, actual news -- Neil Gaiman's second Doctor Who episode has been confirmed to star the Cybermen and Warwick Davis. The latter excites me, the former doesn't. Not that I mind the Cybermen, I'm just baffled why people are getting excited that he's "bringing them back!" They're the Cybermen. They're almost as common as the Daleks. They might not have been featured for a while, but they also weren't really gone anywhere for him to bring back, right? (Via Vulture)

• In more tangential Doctor Who news, David Tennant will be a voice in an upcoming episode of Clone Wars; he'll play Huyong, an ancient droid who helps oversee lightsaber construction. There's a clip above, and while I was initially as skeptical as the Lil' Rodian, the character is pretty awesome. Note: If Lucas had still been running the show, there's no way his character's name wouldn't have been D'Vid Tinnaaaahnnn'nnnnto. (Via IGN)

• A group of very industrious Who-ligans have taken it upon themselves to make a film about the Time War, using nothing but actual Who footage. That's pretty hardcore, although given the fact that I'm only a minor who fan and even I'm dying to know what happened between the 8th and 9th Doctors, I suppose it was inevitable. (Via The Mary Sue)

Beware the Batman Is Going to Star Dum Dum Duggan, Apparently

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 11:15 am
What? Well, look at these new character sheets, and you tell me:
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Yes, in Beware the Batman, the role of Alfred Pennyworth will be played by noted SHIELD agent and bowler hat-aficionado Dum Dum Duggan, who, unlike in the original promo art, will be wielding a SHIELD-issue pulse rifle instead of the guns he toted previously. It's very cool of Marvel to let them use the character, although since Batman seems to be missing the better part of his skull, I imagine they decided DC could use whatever help they could get.
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The new villains fare a little better, although since anyone wearing a pig mask who carries around a bonesaw is pretty scary no matter what, this might not be the most impressive claim. (Via Comics Alliance)

10 Lanterns We Want to See on Green Lantern: The Animated Series

Monday, November 5, 2012 at 8:02 am
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We'll admit it, we're surprised at how good Cartoon Network's Green Lantern: The Animated Series is. Or at least how good it was until Cartoon Network pulled it and the rest of the DC block for a few months. However, kicking off with an overarching story that not only sent Hal Jordan and Kilowog into deep space with a Red Lantern, but also making that particular brand of ring-slinging bad guys was a surprising move and one that offered plenty of great episodes both original and pulled from fairly recent comics. They also get major points for featuring some pretty fantastic cameos with the recent return of the series. Hal met up with the always cocky Guy Gardner on Earth in the first episode back and then dealt with Ch'p, Larvox and Chaselon on Oa. They even added everyone's favorite fish-chicken alien, Tomar Re, to Hal's team as they head off to fight the looming threats of the Manhunters and the Anti-Monitor.

But we're geeks and these few Green Lanterns just aren't enough. We're guessing that more Lanterns will join in on the Anti-Monitor fight as it builds towards what we assume will be the season finale, but there's plenty of room for other GL appearances. Here's the top ten we'd like to see and even a few suggestions on how to get 'em in. More >>