Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Part family movie, part horror, part fantasy, part haunted house, Coraline fits into quite a few genres. This rather unique adventure came out three years ago. I remember the hype for it being it one creepy little stop motion film in the vein of The Nightmare Before Christmas or Corpse's Bride. I had always been curious about this film, but never got a chance to watch it. Three years later, I decided to give it a go. Coraline is one of the most unique films I've ever seen. It's visually entertaining, and the story is really engaging. Want a good movie to watch over the weekend with the family? I recommend checking out this imaginative masterpiece.
'From the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas.' All these years I thought Tim Burton had directed that classic, only after watching this film I realized he hadn't. So during this movie, I thought he was the one behind it. The story is also something you'd expect from a stop motion Burton film. It's deep and has hidden meanings from how you interpret it. Coraline as you guessed is the main focus, we're introduced to her and her parents early on. Turns out she just moved to a place in pretty much the middle of nowhere. After meeting with a boy named Wyborne, she gets a 'gift' in front of her door. It's a doll that looks mysteriously like her. In the house she finds a rather small door. Upon opening it, there's just brick wall. Well that's the end of that, right? No. Once she she falls asleep, these mice come into her room, then run away. She follows them to the door. Upon opening it this time, she finds a circulating tunnel. On the other side is her house, except it's in less disarray and looks like a dream place. Her parents are everything she wants them to be...minus the odd looking buttons for their eyes. It seems like a dream come true, everyone and everything caters to her every need. But life can't be that perfect, right? Of course not. "Be careful what you wish for..." for the 'Other Mother' wants to EAT YOUR SOUL.
Quite the intriguing premise. This film does an excellent job establishing the characters and their quirks. Coraline at first is portrayed as a little unlikable, then we see that her parents barely pay attention to her at the moment since they all just moved in. As the film goes on she learns humility and appreciates her parents. (Especially after the Other Mother tries to practically destroy her!) Stop motion films aren't quite abundant, so when they do come, people look forward to them. (Frankenweenie.) CGI wouldn't be able to accomplish the atmosphere stop motion gives this film, it's quite a spectacle. A highlight is the garden unfolding in the 'Other World.' I also like how detailed the facial expressions are. One minute Coraline is smiling and the next she could be looking pretty mad. CGI also wouldn't be able to accomplish the creepy transformation of the 'Other Mother,' or 'Beldam' as the Ghost Children like to call her. There are some really interesting characters in this. We have Wyborne, whom we can tell has a little crush on Coraline after meeting her. He's a rather strange one, with head usually cocked sideways. His 'Other Self' is a pretty good character. (Considering that he's mute there, that's a pretty big feat.) There's also the downstairs neighbors, these elderly retired actresses, Miss Spink and Miss Forcible. They're rather exotic, which is thanks to the fantastic voice work. (They're also fortune tellers!) Then there's Mr. Bobinsky, circus performer. He's the 'smart one,' the one the audience likes for his charisma. A negative with the film is that he's really underused. He gets one major scene, then that's pretty much it. He could have used a little more of a role. (His Other self gets a better role, but it would have been good if he did more in the real world.) Then there's one of my personal favorite characters, the Cat. He knows what's going on, the writing is triple A plus. (Yes, he talks...well only in the Other World.) Whether or not he was inspired by the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland is up for debate, (they do have similar roles and talk similar) there's no denying that he's one of the big pluses in the film. Whenever he's chatting with Coraline in the Other World, it's good stuff.
Going into Coraline I didn't know what to expect in terms of villains. I knew from the trailers they showed her parents with the creepy buttons for eyes, so I had always assumed the 'villain' was some kind of warped other dimension. Turns out it's another world created by the 'Other Mother' or Beldam. (I can't decide what to call her!) She watches children who are unhappy through a doll that looks like them, entices them with a dream world in the little door, convinces them to sew their eyes with buttons, then...eats their souls. The transformation from Coraline's normal looking mom to that deranged thing was pretty horrifying, (thanks to the wonders of stop motion!) and the writing is phenomenal. An evil, but not mindless creature. Smart and cunning. Which brings me to a point...Coraline didn't act surprised enough when she saw that her 'parents' had buttons. It seemed like she just went with the flow. And later while trying to get the rat with one of the eyes, she actually throws the green seeing stone. What? I don't think anyone would risk losing something that important like that. Nothing major of course, just a couple of things worth pointing out. I also think we should have gotten a little bit of an origin for the Other Mother and the world she created.
Dakota Fanning does the voice work for the title character, an excellent job. She can display happiness, anger, and sadness all very well. The film's soundtrack is what you get when you grab a classic Disney film's and darken it. From the more light-hearted themes to the creepy orchestrated ones, they compliment the film. (I would have liked to hear some choir in there, but that's just me.) What really makes this film special and stand out is the atmosphere and how it draws the viewer in. You have no idea what's coming. It's little things like the doll observing from the window that adds to the creepy atmosphere.
Overall, Coraline is what I consider to be a 'real' movie. There's a lot of thought put into the plot, (unintentional rhyme) the characters are great, and the story itself is engaging. I haven't seen a film like this in awhile. Visually it's entertaining, with amazing visuals that only stop motion can capture. Let's not forget the creepy factor. It's really quite unnerving sometimes, which is impressive. With a great main character and fantastic antagonist, Coraline is a movie I recommend to everyone. It doesn't disappoint in the slightest.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Death of the Family is arguably (or is it really arguable?) the most awaited story from DC Comics this year. Last year when The New 52 launched, one of their first titles was Detective Comics. And what better way to start it than have Batman battle his greatest enemy? In it we saw a very unexpected thing happen, the Joker had a villain named Doll Maker cut off his face. (What a haunting last page.) So as the issues went on people were wondering when that plot would surface again. A few months ago it was finally announced it would be returning in Batman as opposed to Detective. Now that was disappointing for the Detective readers, one of the main reasons why they had been the series was for that plot to come back, so others like myself has dropped the book and migrated over to this one. With all that aside, this story had great hype, with claims saying it would challenge the legendary Joker stories such as The Killing Joke. After reading the issue, I can definitely say it's one of the greatest comics I've ever read. This looks to go down as a classic story for future generations.
Here's the official description from DC Comics:
The Joker returns in 'DEATH OF THE FAMILY'!
He crippled Batgirl. He killed Robin. What will The Joker do now that he's returned to Gotham City? What must Batman do to protect his secret identity and that of those who fight alongside him?
Greg Capullo's art doesn't fail to impress. Joker with his buckled face looks extremely deranged. (I hope you're ready for the last page.) A nice touch is the how deranged the font is for when Joker talks. The thing about a lot of major Joker stories is that you, the reader, have absolutely no idea what happens next, it's no different here. The surprises keep rolling in. It's like we're Batman and we're discovering just as he's discovering them. "He's taking it back to where it all started..." I don't think we've seen a Joker like this since Grant Morrison's R.I.P. story. The main cover is unique, a flip one. It has Joker's face attached to Batman. The alternate one is also very good. The 'backup' story really adds to the overall plot. Snyder doesn't fail to impress with the Joker in it. (Seriously, excellent writing. In its own demented way, it could get a little funny sometimes.)
Overall, Batman #13 is the start of what looks to be one of the greatest Batman stories ever. The Joker has never been more cruel and such a blast to read. Of course it's all also the characters whom are affected by his menace that's interesting to read. I haven't seen Commissioner Gordon try to hide fear like this in awhile. (I like how he asks Batman if his fear is showing. Also Batman's narration boxes are brilliant.) If you've never read a Batman comic, or any comic for that matter, this would be a really good place to start, things are only going to get better. (Or worst in Batman's case.)
Saturday, October 6, 2012
It was a sunny day in the land of Equestria. The residents at Ponyville were happily walking around, shopping, having lunch, all the while birds chirped to the glorious weather. Just outside the village was a grass land, perfect for relaxation spots. By a large tree is where the Mane 6, Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash had their usual picnics, today was one of their outings. They had a large red and white quilt with food and apple treats made by Applejack herself. It was peaceful as the ponies talked among themselves.
Then they heard a noise.
"What was that?" Rarity popped up.
"It sounds like it's coming from that bush." Twilight answered.
By this time all the Ponies were up and were staring at the lone bush in front of them. Being a pony of curiosity and bravery, Twilight was the first to say,
"I'll go check it out."
Fluttershy flew by Twilight's side.
"Oh dear, don't you think we should go better prepared? It could be a monster."
"No time, whatever that noise is, it could be a danger to Ponyville, and all of Equestria for that matter." Twilight answered.
"Then let's go check it out already!" Rainbow Dash jumped up.
"Alright y'all, let's follow Twilight." Applejack said.
"Ooooh, this could be fun depending on what type of monster it is!" Pinkie Pie said.
After two years of many dangerous threats, the Ponies knew not to take any monstrous noise lightly. They started to walk toward the unusually large bush with Twilight in the lead. Once they got there, Twilight removed the bush with her magic. What they saw was something they had never seen before. It was green and and kept circulating.
"What is that thing?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"It's a portal, I read about those in one of my books." Twilight said.
"Don't get too close Twi." Applejack said.
"Not too close AJ, just close enough to observe." Twilight said as she took a few steps closer. "I have never seen of these before, look how it circulates, I wonder where it lea-"
Before she could finish, she was starting to get sucked in! Twilight yelled as she was lifted off the ground. The Ponies were only in shock for but a moment.
"Rainbow!" Applejack shouted.
"On it!" Rainbow Dash yelled.
The Pegasus zoomed toward Twilight and the closing portal. But it was too late. The portal closed right before Rainbow could get to Twilight and she crashed to the ground. That's when the Ponies started to panic.
"Oh dear! What do we do?" Fluttershy wanted to know.
"What if Twilight can't get back? Where did she go?" Rarity said.
"Take it easy y'all, Twilight's not gone for good. We'll find a way to bring her back. Somehow." Applejack tried sounding optimistic.
Pinkie Pie jumped in front of them.
"I have an idea! Maybe we can go to Twilight's house and find the book on portals, we might be able to create our own portal!"
"That idea Pinkie Pie will have to do. We should also let Princess Celestia know." Applejack said.
"What about Spike?" Rarity asked.
"We're going to have to let him know anyway since he'll be at Twilight's house. Let's not break it so bluntly to him. Let's go everypony!" Applejack said.
And with that, the Ponies raced back to Ponyville in hopes of finding a way to bring back their friend.
End of Act 1
She had been unconscious for an indefinite amount of time. She stood up and looked around. It was the same area, but something seemed different.
"Looks like that portal didn't bring me too far, I'm still in the same spot, I could see Ponyvil-" She stopped talking when she noticed the tree. It looked dead. That was odd she thought, in fact, she started to notice how dark red the sky was.
"Something that doesn't seem right here, why does everything look so....dead?"
She noticed the trees in the distance looked withered. There was a dead silence in the atmosphere, no birds chirped and there was no sign of any animals. Twilight decided to head into Ponyville in hopes of seeing something, well, normal. It was a short walking distance, in less than 20 seconds, she had entered the village. It was a ghostown.
"Where is everypony?" She thought.
But then she saw why it was deserted. Buildings were crumbled, glass shattered. It looked like no one had been there in awhile.
"What could have done all this? It looks like some sort of hurricane had struck." Twilight said.
And then she saw it. She saw the thing that changed everything.
"No, it can't be." She said as her wide eyes widened.
Standing in front of her was a large stone statue of Queen Chrysalis. Twilight took a few steps back to gaze at it, the Queen was on her two back hoofs in a triumph pose. And then all around Twilight Changelings flew in. There were at least twenty of them in the air looking down on her.
"HALT, TWILIGHT SPARKLE! IN THE NAME OF THE QUEEN YOU WILL COME TO SERVE HER!" They all shouted in sync voice.
Twilight looked around, she knew she couldn't beat so many of them all by herself, yet she wasn't one to surrender so easily. She lowered her head and got her horn ready to shoot. But before all heck broke loose, a couple of Changelings were disintegrated by a blast. Twilight and the other Changelings looked. Something was flying full speed toward them. It was a blur of blue when it grabbed Twilight onto its back.
"AFTER THEM!" One of the Changelings shouted.
Once Twilight got her senses back together, she saw who she was riding on.
"No time to talk Twilight." The Princess of the Night replied.
There were Changelings following them at high speed. And then in front some appeared. Princess Luna shot a beam from her horn, disintegrating them. But out of nowhere a Changeling was coming from the side. Twilight back-hoofed it then disintegrated it with a blast. Luna smiled at the fact of what a fighter Twilight was. The Princess then turned around to face the oncoming onslaught of Changelings.
"Hold on tight." She said as she charged up.
The Princess shot a shockwave which eradicated the charging Changelings. With Twilight holding on tight, Luna charged into the ground. They went deep underground...
Canterlot Castle was once a beautiful building, but now it was red and purple, with large spikes on the roofs. It no longer looked like a castle for a princess...it looked like a demon's castle. Entering the front door was a Changeling. It flew into the throne room of Queen Chrysalis. It lowered to the ground and bowed.
"My Queen, I bring news." The Changeling said.
"News, my Changeling? Just what news do you have for me? Queen Chrysalis said while sitting on her throne. The Changeling then spoke.
"The one called Twilight Sparkle has returned, my Queen. We attempted to capture her, but the one called Luna manged to grab her and escape."
Queen Chrysalis was caught off guard, she was still thinking about that first line. She stood up.
"Twilight Sparkle has returned? Impossible! She hasn't been seen in over ten years, why would she decide to appear now?"
The Queen then started to walk down the stairs from her throne. She spoke in an especially cold voice.
"I want Twilight Sparkle disposed of. Send all available Changelings and find her."
"It shall be done my Queen."
With that, the dark creature zoomed back outside. Queen Chrysalis sat back on her throne.
"So the so-called most powerful of the Ponies has returned. It doesn't matter, nothing can stop me."
She peered to her right to see a familiar looking statue.
"If Twilight thinks friendship is magic and that it can stop me, she's in for a surprise. I, Queen Chrysalis, rule Equestria. Those rebels and her will not matter in the slightest, bwhahahahaha!"
End of Act 2
Twilight had never been in the underground caverns of Ponyville. She kept asking Luna what was happening, but the Princess said it'll be explained once they reach the others. So Twilight followed her in a narrow, dimly lit tunnel. Finally, they reached a slightly brighter area. There were a few tunnels leading elsewhere.
"Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, I brought someone special!" Luna shouted. Soon a sound of running hooves were heard coming. Out of the front tunnel came out Applejack. She stopped running as her eyes widened.
"What in tarnation? Twilight!"
She ran and hugged Twilight so hard they fell to the ground.
"I'm so happy to see you Applejack! Ponyville's deserted, there are Changelings and a statue of..."
"Twilight!" Two voices shouted.
Those two voices belonged to Rarity and Fluttershy. They were both already hugging Twilight. After the greetings, Rarity was the first to speak.
"Twilight, darling, why do you look so young?"
"What do you mean?"
"We thought we lost you, after all these years..." Fluttershy said.
And then Twilight began to notice. Her friends looked older, and injured. Applejack had an eye-patch around her left eye, Rarity's horn was bandaged, as was both of Fluttershy's wings.
"What happen to you girls? What happened to all of Ponyville?!" Twilight shouted.
"Ever since you vanished into the portal, sugar cube, things have changed." Applejack explained.
"Portal...Princess Luna, what year is it.?" Twilight asked.
The Princess looked at Twilight rather strangely.
Twilight took a few steps back.
"I see now! Girls, that portal, it sent me to the future! Now it all makes sense."
The three ponies looked at each other.
"Now the question is what happened to this place and everypony? Where's Rainbow and Pinkie?"
Applejack was about to explain, but Luna intervened.
"No need to explain Applejack, I will. As you saw Twilight, there's a giant statue of Queen Chrysalis in the center of Ponyville. She returned from wherever she came from eight years ago. With you gone, the Elements of Harmony were useless. Her first targets were Cadence and Shining Armor.
Twilight began to understand what was happening as she held back tears.
"Soon after, the Changelings invaded Ponyville. None of the residents were prepared. Soon my sister, myself, and the rest of your friends met at Canterlot Castle to discuss what to do. But then Chrysalis barged into the room. Me and my sister fought bravely, but somehow the witch had gotten stronger. She was overpowering us. Rainbow Dash was the first to attack once we were down. It was in vain. But instead of destroying her, Chrysalis turned her into a statue. And then out of nowhere she shot a beam at Pinkie Pie, instantly making her a mindless slave. When me and my sister got up, she asked me to go. I told her I would fight by her side, but she made me promise to keep your friends safe from Queen Chrysalis's wrath. So reluctantly I led the three remaining ponies out to this underground cavern as my sister sacrificed her life to make sure we had enough time to escape and find shelter."
"We tried to go back and fight, several times, but each time we were forced to retreat." Applejack said glumly.
Twilight turned around and walked a few steps. She had never thought what a world without Princess Celestia would be like.
"Uh, Twi..." Fluttershy began.
"Now that I'm here," Twilight turned around, "We'll go to Canterlot Castle and use the Elements of Harmony on Queen Chrysalis!"
The ponies and Luna looked each at each other.
"Not to sound like a pessimist dear, but how can we use the Elements without Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie?"
"That's precisely it Rarity, we need them. We're going to storm the castle and rescue them. We need the Elements."
Princess Luna then flew to a tunnel on top and came back moments later holding a book. She gave it to Twilight who then opened it. The Elements shined brightly. Twilight put her's on. She gave the others their's.
"With that settled, now it's about getting into the castle."
"I can take care of that Twilight Sparkle." Princess Luna said.
Twilight looked up.
"Maybe the portal dropped me here for a reason. It's time to take the fight to Queen Chrysalis, for Princess Celestia, for Cadence, for my bother, for all of Equestria!"
And for the first time in eight years, the ponies had a glint of hope in their eyes. The time was set, Twilight and Applejack flew on Princess Luna while Fluttershy carried Rarity. They were on their way to Canterlot Castle.
End of Act 3
Lightning struck Equestria, but no rain came. Inside the dark castle sat Queen Chrysalis. Suddenly a Changeling burst into the room.
"My queen! Twilight Spark-"
Before it could finish, a blast disintegrated it. Twilight, Applejack, Rarity, and Princess Luna walked into the room. Queen Chrysalis laughed.
"Twilight Sparkle, it's been many years. Tell me, what made you decide to come back?"
"Enough Queen Chrysalis. We have the Elements of Harmony, we're going to put an end to your reign of terror!"
The Queen laughed as lightning struck.
"My dear Twilight, you think mere necklaces can stop me? You can't even use them since you're missing Loyalty and Laughter."
She looked to her right. Rainbow Dash stood there, in a flying pose, as a stone statue. Then the Queen looked to her right. Out of the shadows emerged Pinkie Pie. She looked normal except for one thing, inside her eyes were rainbows going round and round instead of pupils.
"I'm surprised at you Luna, bringing in the last of your kind to their doom, bwhahaha."
"Chrysalis, you shouldn't claim victory until you have it."
The Princess then looked at Twilight.
"Go Fluttershy!" Twilight shouted.
There was a blur of yellow and pink. Fluttershy reached Rainbow Dash and dropped her Element onto her neck. She then flew back to stand with the others.
"What's this?" Queen Chrysalis said.
The statue started to crack, crack, and crack some more. And then it cracked all the way, revealing Rainbow Dash in all her blue glory. She turned to Queen Chrysalis.
"This is for Princess Celestia!" She shouted.
She flew and gave the Queen a solid right cross to the jaw, knocking her over. Rainbow Dash went to stand with the others.
"Twilight, how are you-"
"No time to explain Rainbow, look!"
A horde of Changelings were swarming through the windows. Queen Chrysalis stood back up.
"Hahaha, fools! Don't think victory is within your grasp. My Changelings will be enough to shred you all to pieces! And I'll even make the pink one help."
After that was said, Pinkie started to walk toward the heroes with the Changelings.
"As planned, I will hold off Queen Chrysalis as you and others beat the Changelings and free Pinkie." Princess Luna said with her head lowered to Twilight. Twilight nodded, and Luna flew toward the Queen, who was laughing it up. Now Twilight and others turned to face the Changelings and Pinkie Pie, who was still walking toward them like a zombie.
"Alright everypony, we have to get Pinkie's element on her while also taking care of the Changelings."
"On it!" Rainbow Dash said.
The Changelings were approaching with Pinkie Pie walking in front. Twilight shot a few beams from her horn, disintegrating some of them. Rainbow Dash then zoomed and tackled Pinkie to the ground.
"Alright Pinkie, time to turn you back to normal!" She said as she was about to put Pinkie's Element on her.
But Pinkie then headbutted Rainbow, making the later dizzy. She then round-kicked her away.
"Oh dear." Fluttershy said as she watched the whole thing. Applejack was next on the scene, grabbing Pinkie's element and cornering her.
"Pinkie, would you stand still? We're trying to help you!"
Pinkie didn't answer nor could she. Applejack ran toward her. Pinkie stood there, then upper-cutted Applejack away. Meanwhile Twilight, Rarity, and Fluttershy were taking care of the few remaining Changelings.
"Fluttershy! You and Rainbow Dash hold Pinkie down as Applejack puts her Element on her!" Twilight ordered.
"Got it!" Fluttershy responded.
Fluttershy was once very shy, but over the years she has gained a great confidence, being one of the only Pegasus left. She zoomed and tackled Pinkie from behind. Rainbow Dash joined in on holding her down.
"Please forgive us Pinkie."
"She can't understand you Fluttershy."
"I know, but it's always nice to apologize."
"Would y'all just hold your moral implications for a sec?" Applejack said as she jumped in.
She put Pinkie's Element on, all the while with the latter struggling to break free. Once it was on, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash stepped back. The rainbow circles in Pinkie's eyes ceased. But instead of actinng like her cheerful self, she had an expression of great anger. She jumped and started pulverizing the few remaining Changelings. The other Ponies just stood and watched as an enraged Pinkie Pie let the Changelings have it. After a few moments, they were on the ground defeated. Pinkie Pie breathed with steam.
"Twilight!!!!!!!!!!!!" Pinkie shouted as her expression changed from anger to her normal bright and cheerful smile.
She gave Twilight a big hug. All the other Ponies smiled. But then they saw Luna get thrown to the ground.
"Hahahahaha, after all these years, was that truly the best you could do Luna?" Queen Chrysalis laughed as thunder struck.
Twilight turned to her friends.
"Alright, it's been some time, but concentrate. Let the Elements of Harmony do their work."
The rest of the Mane 6 nodded and closed their eyes. They started to float as a barrier went around them.
"What's this?" Queen Chrysalis said.
Twilight opened her eyes, it was filled with nothing but light. From the barrier a large beam was fired.
"No, no!" Queen Chrysalis shouted.
She then fired her own beam. The two blasts struck. The Queen was actually managing to hold her own against it. But then Princess Luna got up and joined in with her own beam. Now it was easily approaching the Queen.
"This, this can't be happening! I'm Queen of the Changelings, I'm..."
Before she could finish being in denial, the beams struck, wiping out Queen Chrysalis for good. The Ponies levitated to the ground. They all breathed heavily and looked at each other. They nodded, as did Princess Luna.
It was a cool dark night in Canterlot Gardens. The Ponies and Luna were enjoying the breeze.
"So what now Princess Luna?" Twilight asked.
"With Queen Chrysalis gone, we'll rebuild. It'll take awhile, but we'll bring Equestria back to its former glory."
"What about you Twilight?" Rarity asked.
Twilight looked behind herself.
"I'm not sure, I belong in the past, not here. But you all need me here to rebuild. Besides, there's no way for me to get back."
All of sudden a noise was heard.
"That's a similar noise of when the portal appeared. Could it be..."
And then in front of everyone a portal opened. Twilight peered inside, it showed her friends standing at the same picnic spot.
"Go, Twilight Sparkle. You belong in your own time." Princess Luna said.
Twilight turned to her friends, all of them were trying to hold back tears. She went and hugged every one of them.
"Even though we only got to see you for today after so many years, it will be a day we'll never forget. Right y'all?"
The other Ponies nodded with enthusiasm. Twilight walked into the portal. It started to slowly close. She turned around to say one more goodbye, then remembered something.
"What happened to Spike!" She shouted.
"Spike became a full grown dragon and--" Before Princess Luna could finish, the portal closed and Twilight was back in the picnic area. The other Ponies turned around and ran toward their found friend
"It worked! My portal idea worked!" Pinkie Pie shouted with enthusiasm.
"It's good to have you back Twilight." Rarity said.
"Ohhh, but where did the portal take you?" Fluttershy wanted to know.
"It's a long story girls, a long story."
Later that day in the spa, Twilight told her story for the third time.
"But I do have one question, where did that portal come from in the first place?" Rainbow Dash asked.
"That Rainbow Dash is a mystery we might never be able to solve."
And in the distance at that very moment, somewhere unknown, the laugh of Discord was heard.
End of Act 4
"Wake up Spike!" Twilight said as she entered her room.
"Huh, wuzzat?" Spike said sleepily as he stood up.
"I have a letter to do, get ready to send it." Twilight said.
Spike yawned as Twilight took out the quill and paper. She dipped the quill into ink and started to write.
"Dear Princess Celestia, today I learned that a friend could bring hope to what looks like an impossible situation. When you're down, a friend can make the difference. No one can change the future, but with friends, the present can be more fun."
Well, if you read the whole thing, thanks. The story was inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode 'Same as it Never Was.' I've been wanting to write a fan fic with these characters for awhile. Since it was fun to write and I think it came out okay, I have plans for another one. Except this time it'll be a crossover with the Mane 6 and a certain giant monster whose name starts with a G...
Monday, October 1, 2012
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a very important part of my childhood, I grew up watching the show. And no, I'm not talking about the 80's show, I'm talking about the 2003 series. Every Saturday morning I would get up to tune into the now deceased FoxBox. The characters, the storylines, and especially the Shredder, I loved watching all of that. Recently I've been watching some of it, it still holds up to this day. It's mature, has good writing, excellent stories, and was pretty dark and violent for a morning CW program. In 2009 the film Turtles Forever ended that incarnation of the franchise. It was a fun movie, but saddening at the fact that the show was over. (They never did get to do the season when the three Shredders meet, that would have been so awesome.) Three years later, we have a third animated incarnation. Admittedly, I was skeptical from the beginning. I didn't like the character looks, I didn't like that the Shredder would be modeled more off his 80's counterpart as opposed to the more menacing 03 one, and I especially didn't like the fact that it would show a more teenage side to the characters than the previous shows did. But, I forced myself to keep an open mind when checking out the premiere. The latest TMNT series looks to be nice way to introduce a new generation of fans. I don't like some of the directions, but overall, it looks like we have a solid series.
I had braced myself for some Ultimate Spider-Man-like comic relief. Thankfully, it isn't too played or a focus like said Spidey show. First off, the first part of Episode One was great. The New York backdrop and techno music really fit. The animation is CGI, like Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Only difference here is that it's actually good. The fights and moves are really well-defined. However, the thing that really caught me off guard was the theme song. Fans of the 80's show will love it, it's basically a modern day remake. Extremely catchy. Regarding the Turtles, they are younger than their 2003 counterparts, 15 years old to be exact. I don't like the more immature roles they have when compared to the previous show, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. It wasn't until Episode 2 that they started to grow on me. As opposed to being in the later years, here we see them going aboveground for the first time and working together as team. It was annoying seeing how badly they did as a team in Episode One. Thankfully in the next one they are acting like the Ninja Turtles we all love. Working good as team, crazy maneuvers, and all the while quips. Granted, the humor is pretty funny sometimes. Nothing really too cringe-worthy surprisingly.
One controversial thing to me was making April a teenager. I can't stand when they change things to fit a target audience. Of course with the Turtles at such a young age, it makes sense in this case. Cute little crush Don has for April, but I don't think it's going to last, at least I hope not. It would be a slightly annoying sub-plot if it continued over the course of the season. (Although I do question her not asking about how the Turtles came to be and all that.) Fans of the 80's show will be glad to see that Krang is back...somewhat. These group of pink aliens (2003 fans know them as the Utroms) are called the 'Krang.' It's kinda strange seeing Master Splinter more human-like in appearance. Nothing bad, but he looks a little like a human with a rat mask. All eyes are on the Shredder, who makes an appearance at the end of Episode 2. Look, nothing can beat the 03 version of ol' Shred head. There he has a great design, is pure evil, and has a fantastic voice. Truly, one of the best cartoon villains out there. (Even when he's about to be exiled forever he boasts.) This Shredder is definitely more based on his 80's counterpart. Human, with a very similar costume design. I can't judge fully until I see more of him. So far not bad. (Though his voice has nothing on Scottie Ray's Shredder.)
Overall, this was a surprisingly good start to the new show. As a longtime fan of the incredible 2003 toon, I approve. It was the second episode when the series started to grow on me. The turtles have distinctive personalities, I do hope Don gets to showcase more of his science skills, he rarely did here in the premiere. Animation is really good and smooth, the fights are fluid. Master Splinter's flashback with the Shredder and also the story of the origin of our green friends was good. The Shredder has a lot to do before I can classify him as a grade A villain. In the end, this is a solid way of bringing in new fans for the TMNT franchise. I'll be watching. The premiere gets an 8/10, it's a pretty good new take on the Turtles for the most part. (Plus there's a Star Trek parody.)