The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone

FlintstoneDDid you know what Halloween dates all the way back to prehistoric times? They also had Let’s Make a Deal, which is how Wilma and Fred win a romantic vacation to Count Rockula’s castle. It’s sort of like if the Flintstones ended up inside a Scooby-Doo castle but Barney Rubble was the only one who was scared of it. And that, friends, is how we begin this thrilling, prehistoric-Halloween special.

At a Halloween-a-goo-goo party the real Count Rockula (who has not been seen for years) appears at the castle and scares off all of the guests, except for the Flintstones and the Rubbles who got tired and went to bed early. Unfortunately, for Wilma she looks exactly like the Bride of Rockula, and the count kidnaps her while Fred is lookinFlintstoneBg for a midnight snack.

Now, Fred and The Rubbles must track down Wilma in the spooky castle, which involves some Mystery Team like antics, such as hiding in barrels next to each other whilst attempting to escape Frankestone (Rockula’s monster). Except, Fred gets stuck inside one of the barrels, which I don’t remember every happening to a member of The Mystery Team. Also, if Frankenstone is supposed to be a play on Frankenstein, then shouldn’t he just be Monster? Frankenstein was the doctor not the monster…but I digress.

Anyway, Fred’s in the barrel, stuck and Frankenstone catches him just as he manages to escflinstoneAape. The others flee and Fred is left alone to explain himself. His best attempt at a self-defense is to say that he is moonlighting as a barrel inspector, but Rockula does not buy it. Fred is lucky to have such smart friends because Barney and Wilma decide to scare away a Halloween monster by pretending to be other Halloween monsters. Turns out Rockula is totally scared of Barney dressed as a werewolf. Then Barney ends up being totally scared of Wilma dressed as a mummy (they didn’t communicate their costume plans effectively to one another).

Then the Flinstones and the Rubbles escape to a hidden room like they are Nancy Drew in The Mystery of the 99 Steps, only to have to escape before Rockula finds the spare key, so they discover a secret passage like they are in Clue. But ultimately they have to slide down an elaborate slide like they are in The Goonies before they finally escape the bad guys. So you’re probably wondering why Rockula does not simply turn into a prehistoric-bat and pursue them as they flee in their foot-powered car? Well, Barney fakes him out by pretending to be a rooster, so Rockula quickly retreats to his coffin.

But the Count is so obsessed with Wilma that he flies through her kitchen window later that night and begs her to marry FlintsoneChim. He’s a pretty lame vampire-creature because it seems that he cannot just bite her neck and get it over with. Wilma is such a quick thinker though that she accepts his proposal and then drives him away by throwing a bunch of day to day marriage chores at him. He’s overwhelmed by the thought of driving Pebbles to school, so he decides to leave Wilma alone forver.

Halloween Lesson: You can’t stay up and fly around all night when you’re married.

P.S. I’ve really been feeling the fun facts lately, so here are a couple of cool things about The Flintstones.
–The Flinstones was inspired by the classic, early sitcom The Honeymooners. Jackie Gleason even considered suing the show because Fred Flintsone’s voice sounded too similar to the one he used as Ralph in The Honeymooners.
–There are a few Flinstone theme parks around the world, including ones in Arizona and South Dakota.

Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue

Taking over the War on Drugs from Reigning Queen Nancy Reagan, is no easy task. But Barbara and George H.W. Bush pulled out all of the stops for Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. In light of the recent death of Saturday Morning Cartoons, let this post be a requiem. A snarky, nostalgia riddled requiem for the wistful charm of a more innocent time.

cartoon 3Your favorite cartoons are alive and well, living secretly in your home. They are the only witnesses to your drug-addicted brother robbing your piggy bank. You see, poor teenage Michael is addicted to marijuana, so the cartoons set out to help him kick the habit, while Winnie-the-Pooh stays behind to comfort Michael’s little sister and her crushed piggy bank of dreams.

They follow Michael to a cool teen hang out where his friends offer him some white rocks, and he almost takes them because MARIJUANA IS A GATEWAY DRUG and OMG PEER PRESSURE. But the cops bust the place and Michael runs away only to be corned by Bugs Bunny with a time machine in the alley.

cartoon 1

You see, it all started two years ago when Michael was seriously peer pressured at the park to the point that he had to do drugs with his friends. That’s when he started to be haunted by a creepy ghost-death-cartoon, who is the proverbial monkey on his back but if the monkey was some sort of evil genie.

One day, Michael’s friends pressure him into giving them money for crack rock. He hesitates because that is “hard stuff,” so his friend runs away with his wallet, and Michael falls into the Ninja Turtle’s open manhole while chasing her. Michelangelo is only there for like two seconds as the token Ninja Turtle and quickly hands Michael off to the Muppet Babies, so that they can show him what drugs do to his brain.

cartoon 2This is the trippiest shit I have ever seen—way trippier than most surrealist films. Also, now I’m just thinking about things and like if we are in cartoon world and the cartoon all-stars are the rescuers, then why are the people drawn as cartoons too? Who are the cartoons and who are not the cartoons? ARE WE ALL JUST CARTOONS??

Oh thank God, it’s Huey, Dewy, and Louie. And now everyone is singing about how to say no to drugs. Woah sensory overload…I cannot even tell what they are saying. Miss Piggy just ninja kicked the camera and shattered the glass. And it was all a dream? What? Michael wakes up from a dream?!? Ugh, I am SO sick of the dream sequence! Wait, no. It could not have been a dream because A.L.F. just pulled Michael into the inside of a mirror. Oh man, I am so confused. Am I on drugs? It’s hurting my brain!

Aw man, now Michael’s little sister is being pressured by the scary ghost to do the drugs that she found in Michael’s room. He throws Pooh across the room when he tries to stop her from doing drugs. Then she’s all like “Woah, what is this stuff??” NO, if a creepy ethereal creature without any lower half to his body throws your Winnie-the-Pooh across the room, then you should no longer listen to anything he has to say or take anything from him!

Meanwhile, Michael is bouncing around inside the mirror, which is some kind of Carnival from Hell. At one point he is in Baby Piggy’s soda cup and she spits him out of her mouth…what? Also, at the carnival, Daffy Duck shows Michael his future, in which he becomes a drug-addled zombie. This scares him straight just in time to stop his little sister from doing drugs too.

Very Special Lesson: This really freaked me out. I think he was on something really scary. What the heck just happened?

Jem and the Holograms: Roxy Rumbles

JemBefore there was Hannah Montana there was Jem and the Holograms. Jem was a cool glam rock version of Barbie, but she also happened to be totally normal person when she wasn’t in her glam rock makeup. Jem is also pretty interesting in that it has music videos intermingled with the plotline.

It is always surprising to me when cartoons have very special problems. I mean these are two dimensional creatures who live in a world where no matter what happens to them they can look as good as new in the next frame. But they do have problems, you see. Sometimes cartoons can’t read and it really messes up their daily lives.

What’s a show about girl rock bands without a little gang rivalry, right? The Holograms rival gang The Misfits happens to have an illiterate band member, Roxy. They all make fun of her and call her an idiot. She finally has enough of their harassment, so she quits the band and moves back home. When Roxy gets home, Jem and the Holograms are coincidentally there for a charity event to raise money for literacy programs.

misfits

Oh by the way, did I mention that Roxy wins the lottery before she moves back home? Yes, well she does win the lottery and she almost does not know it because she cannot read the numbers. This lottery money gives Roxy tons of money in which to one up Jem’s event with a big carnival. Turns out, Roxy loses all of her money, since she signed a contract that she could not read. Jem helps her pay everyone back even though Roxy has been a total jerk to her all the time.

Roxy basically never cared about reading because she always had material things. Like why on earth would she need to read if she had tons of lycra-spandex and hair spray already at her fingertips?roxy

This episode, which is supposedly about raising literacy rates, concludes with a song called “Open a Book.” The entire music video is full people picking up random things that you can read, like a cereal box or a job application. But I feel like Jem’s viewership was always mostly kids. And while they may not have been able to read, I don’t think they would have gotten the context of the help wanted sign in a store window or scribbling on a job application. To me this is just a big montage of boring words that did not make reading look fun at all. Open a book…okay..what book? I could open the dictionary and that would be a pretty disappointing book. If this is all people were throwing at Roxy then it’s no wonder she procrastinated on her abc’s. Sure that stuff is crucial to being self-sufficient and all, but she was a rock star you guys!

Very Special Lesson: You don’t need to learn how to read until you start losing money.

Braceface: Skin Deep

Someone in the early 2000’s decided that a cartoon television version of Clueless set while Cher was in middle school (and had braces) would be a great idea, and thus Braceface exists. They did get Alicia Silverstone to voice “Sharon” so it is actually pretty cool. But I don’t understand why they changed Cher’s name to Sharon. Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 12.36.41 PMAlicia Silverstone (Cher/Sharon) clearly states in Clueless that she and Dionne were both named for singers. I guess I should not expect continuity between a cartoon prequel show and the clearly superior, genius film that inspired it, but this really bugs me. Since “Shar” is a stupid name that looks like the beginning of the world shard, I will henceforth refer to the lead character as Cher.

I find this episode especially confusing because Cher is going to model in a fashion show in which Dionne is the designer. I did not remember Dionne being in the cartoon, but they said that she is designing something for the fashion show so she must be a character. I kept looking around for a cartoon version of Dionne and I was like, “Ugh, where is she?  I know I need new glasses but come on!” It turns out that the cartoon version of Dionne does not exist and the fashion designer is actually a male named Dion (as in Dion not Dionne).

The real Cher, Dionne, and Amber.

Anyway, Cher gets to wear this great dress designed by Dion for the annual fashion show at her school. Unfortunately, Dionne does not go to Cher’s school but that mean girl Amber does. I guess she’s technically “Nina” but if Cher is “Sharon” then this must be Amber. Cher has a little trouble fitting into Dion’s dress and instead of just altering having him alter it, Cher decides to stop eating in order to fit into it. This mostly happens because Amber tells Cher she has baby fat. Baby fat is the tamest form of fat but, since Cher is thirteen, it totally sucks to be called both chubby and a baby.

Cartoon Sharon and Cartoon Dion
Cartoon Sharon and Cartoon Dion

Cher’s friends (not anyone you would know from Clueless) stage an intervention when Cher refuses to eat the baked tofu that her mom made her for dinner. Cher thinks diets cannot be bad for you because magazines always promote them. Her friends are like Cher, you are so dumb, the pictures in magazines are photo-shopped. So Cher humors them and eats some baked tofu. If this was your run-of-the-mill very special episode, then we would end with a nice freeze frame because all compulsive behaviors are cured with a conversation.

Instead, it’s all a clever ruse on Cher’s part and she stops eating again as soon as they leave. Hah! You did not even expect a cartoon to have an eating disorder did you? Let alone resist the very special episode resolve! It is only when Cher passes out on the runway that she realizes she has a problem. She and her friend Maria (the middle school version of Dionne) decide to go out and have some burgers and fries and giggle about how silly Cher was.

Very Special Lesson: If you realize your crash diet was dangerous, you should immediately binge on fast food.

I don't understand why she's worried about her waistline when her face is literally full of hard angles. Don't her cheeks hurt? She needs some cheek fat!
I don’t understand why she’s worried about her waistline when her face is literally full of hard angles. Don’t her cheeks hurt? She needs some cheek fat!