Animation Monday: Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil / Penn Zero: Part Time Hero


Geek Alabama Animation

On this Animation Monday, on a Tuesday, I wanted to talk about the two newest cartoons on DisneyXD.  Both Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil and Penn Zero: Part Time Hero have premiered, and I thought both cartoons will be lasting for a while!  Let’s first start with Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil.

Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil is created by Daron Nefcy (former storyboard revisionist for Wander Over Yonder and Robot and Monster) and is the second woman to create an animated series for Disney Television Animation, and also the first woman to create a DisneyXD series.  The main character is Star Butterfly, who is a teenage princess from the alternate dimension of Mewni.  She processes this magical wand to fight off evil monsters and the wand will create anything she thinks about.

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So, Star is not ready for the big time.  So Star’s family sends her to the dimension of Earth.  She arrives in the town of Echo Creek to live with the Diaz family.  And you can bet that Star will not be living some normal teenage girl life.  Star along with Marco Diaz, a teenage boy, goes to high school and battles villains throughout the universe and dimensions.  They do this to protect her wand, which is very powerful and falling into the wrong hands is not good!  While battling monsters, Star must master the use of her wand?  So, can she do it, or will she be sent to that bad princess reform school like Pony Head was sent too?

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After seeing the first two episodes, I thought the series has some promise!  Although, I can see where this is going.  Soon, Star and Marco will develop some teenage love interest, and along with the villains being fought, you will see love making in action, am I right?  The storylines were good, and I enjoyed the animation work, but I hope this series will feature mostly Star fighting off villans, while trying to master her wand.  At least that is what I hope will happen!

So, let’s talk about Penn Zero: Part Time Hero now!  The series is created by Jared Bush  and Sam Levine and is about Penn Zero, a normal boy who becomes a part-time hero and a leader of a team who saves the day by fighting villains in other worlds.  Kind of sounds like that Star series!  What this show differs from the Star cartoon is the animation style, which looks more like paper and computer graphics.  And the main character is Penn Zero, whose parents are also heroes.  Must run in the family!

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I have seen a few episodes, including the first one where Penn Zero and friends named  Boone Wiseman and Sashi Kobayashi save Christmas from the gingerbread men taking over the North Pole.  While batting school, Penn has a side job being a part time hero.  He actually gets some advice from his parents.  My advice, choose a different career path!  What I also like is Penn is not afraid to ask for advice from his friends, that comes in handy!

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So, I thought this series had more action and a better storyline.  I also liked the animation qualities, it looked more like you were watching a pop up book in action.  I think the Penn Zero series so far shows more promise for Disney than the Star cartoon series.  But it’s early, and both shows will have a second season.  I know, already getting a second season after premiering, it takes a lot of time to make a cartoon!  I really like seeing DisneyXD going more after animation.  I wish Disney Channel would do more animation than what they are doing now!

All images and videos copyright from Disney

Animation Monday: Phineas And Ferb Act Your Age


Geek Alabama Animation

Well, tonight is a big night for the fans of Phineas of Ferb!  Tonight, we will get to see Phineas, Ferb, Isabella, and the other young kids, 10 years older!  That’s right, teenage hormones will be running plenty deep on tonight’s episode.  As you know, the show treats their audience as intelligent people, which means plenty of adults along with kids love watching this show.  The episode came to be about when artist Ashley Simpson gave the show’s creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh a drawing of what Phineas and Ferb would look like in their teenage years at Comic-Con.  The creators liked it so much they contacted Ashley, hired her, and they worked together on the making of this episode.

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The episode will take place ten years in the future.  Candace has grown up and has gone through college and I think has married Jeremy.  Carl the Intern is now running OWCA, and Monogram has retired.  But, Dr. Doof and Perry are still at it where Agent P is ruining those inators.  And you will see some adult characters aged 10 years, with some grey hair.  And you will see the kids as teenagers.  But, one of the most important storylines in the show, what happens with Phineas and Isabella?  As you see in this exclusive clip, one of the songs will be a song talking about Phineas and Isabella thinking about being together in a relationship.

Here’s another exclusive clip, where Phineas and Isabella talk to each other before Isabella leaves for college.

And the episode will also feature some live action where Dan and Jeff will be talking to the camera.  You will like this short video showing you how this episode was made!

So, which college Phineas will decide to go to?  How will Phineas react when he learns that Isabella has a crush on him?  See another clip below!

Can Ferb and the gang bring Phineas and Isabella together?  What about Dr. Doof’s mid-life crisis, along with his grey hair?  What I will tell you, you will like the ending to this episode!  A lot of answers to questions featuring the characters in this series will be answered tonight.  And of course the songs are great!  “Act Your Age” will air on Monday night at 7:30 pm Central on DisneyXD!

All videos and photos copyright from Disney.

Animation Monday: Star Wars Rebels


Geek Alabama Animation

Over the weekend, the new series Star Wars Rebels premiered on Disney Channel.  The new series is set 14 years after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and 5 years before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Rebels takes place during an era when the Galactic Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights while a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking form.  The pilot was an one hour movie titled “Spark of Rebellion”, and so far, I thought this series has a much better feel than Clone Wars, although some of the animation could have been better.

The new series features a motley group of rebels that band together aboard a freighter starship called the Ghost.  At the beginning, we meet Ezra, who likes to steal and take advantage of others to survive.  Some people are comparing Ezra to another Disney character, Aladdin.  And I have to admit, they look very similar!

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Let’s start with the animation qualities, which I had some trouble with in some places.  The main characters had good animation qualities, the animated action scenes like the shootings, space scenes, and fighting was great.  But some of the side characters were poorly animated!  I especially found the animation of the Wookiees as very poor!  The Wookiee looked like they came straight from Toy Story.  The Wookiees looked like real plastic toys.  I hope the Wookiees are better animated in future episodes.

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As for the storyline, I was very impressed with it!  A lot of people have said that Rebels has a more unique Star Wars feel and has a better Star Wars like story arc than Clone Wars.  I have to agree with these people!  I never got bored watching Spark of Rebellion.  Ezra is that person who has given up on society, and has become the bad person to survive.  He has to make a decision that not only changes his life, but the lives of many other people in the Star Wars universe.  Throughout the first episode, he keeps saying “I am not a kid.”  I give the writers some props for developing Ezra in the first episode, I hope we get to see more character development from Ezra in the series.

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The main cast is also all misfit characters who don’t fit in the Galactic Empire.  Kind of like me, who thinks a lot differently than many other people here in Alabama, when it comes to politics, and how to turn around a depressed town around.  Kanan is a Jedi survivor who is critical and sometimes grumpy.  Hera really knows how to pilot the Ghost and likes action.  Sabine really likes explosives, as you can see in the pilot.  And Zeb is mostly very critical and left Ezra behind, how cruel!  I will be interested to see these characters develop in the series.

Overall, I felt like Star Wars Rebels was more like the original trilogy we saw back in the 1970’s/1980’s.  I enjoyed the storylines, humor, and the action.  The animators do a really good job with the action scenes, but could improve on the animated characters.  I think we will see the character development and storylines improve throughout season one, I hope.  Disney has already ordered a season two, before the series even premiered!  So, we will be seeing lots more Star Wars Rebels.  New episodes air on Monday nights on DisneyXD.

Learn more about Star Wars Rebels at: http://www.starwars.com/tv-shows/star-wars-rebels

All images and videos copyright from Disney Channel

Animation Monday: The 7D / Wild Kratts


Geek Alabama Animation

This week on Animation Monday, on a Tuesday, I am talking about two cartoons that you need to check out, let’s go!

The 7D

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The 7D is an American animated television series produced by Disney Television Animation loosely based on the 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Walt Disney Productions.  Basically, this story is another version from the classic Snow White movie we grew up watching!  The 7D defend the land of Jollywood from the magical villains Grim and Hildy Gloom who attempt to dethrone Queen Delightful and rule Jollywood.  The Glooms attempt to steal magical gems from the 7D mine to aid in their efforts.  Yes, this is a more modern version of the dwarfs, here is the opening!

This series is going to air on DisneyXD, Disney Channel, and even Disney Junior.  And the cartoon has a great voice cast including Billy West, Kelly Osbourne, Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Bill Farmer, Dee Bradley Baker, and others.  Some folks have criticized The 7D for not being like the classic Snow White movie.  But so far the ratings have proved the doubters wrong.  The premiere was DisneyXD’s #2 animated original-series premiere on record among Kids 2-11 and Kids 6-11.  So, after watching a few episodes, what do I think?

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The show has good animation, and plenty of interesting storylines.  I found the show as something the kids are going to like.  The show was originally developed for the younger Disney Junior audience, but anyone at any age should like this show.  The show was funny, and each character has some fun moments in them.  The storylines don’t go too deep, and I thought some of the writing could improve.  People who worked on classic cartoons like Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures are working on The 7D, and you could see some of the humor from those shows on The 7D!

The show is plenty of silly, harmless fun.  Will I watch every new episode, probably not.  But if there is nothing good on, I might watch The 7D.  Sometimes, you need a goofy cartoon to turn your frown around from a tough or bad day.  And I thought The 7D has plenty of fun that anyone should enjoy!  Disney is trying to bring the dwarfs into the 21st century, and so far I think they are doing a good job!  And I also thought the songs were great as well!  Give The 7D a try, you might find it as a charming show!

Learn more about The 7D at: http://disneyxd.disney.com/7d

Wild Kratts

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Wild Kratts is an American/Canadian educational children’s animated series created by Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt. The Kratt Brothers Company and 9 Story Entertainment produce the show, which is presented by PBS in the United States.  The show’s aim is to educate children about biology, zoology, and ecology, and teach kids small ways to make big impacts.  This week, PBS Kids is airing new episodes from Wild Kratts, and I thought the show was animated very well!

The show begins and ends in the real world with Chris and Martin Kratt talking about the animal that will be the focus of that episode, the viewers learn some cool facts about some interesting animals.  Then you enter the cartoon world, where Chris and Martin, along with Aviva, Jimmy, and Koki work as a team to save the animals from various situations, mostly from villains.  The show has some very interesting villains including a fashion designer, a chef, and a robotics inventor.  But not every episode has villains!  Some episodes focus on either the wildlife, its habitat, or its behavior.

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Yeah, the storylines are predictable.  The Kratt Brothers wear these Creature Power Suits, and the brothers insert a disc with an animal’s DNA, then the suits transform into that animal from the DNA.  This allows the Kratt’s access to the animal’s abilities.  The team travels the world in the Tortuga, and as a geek, I enjoy seeing all of the tech being used in the cartoon, and if I had kids, I would be glad to see a show that teaches them about animals and how to protect their habitats.  The show always ends with the animals safe, the crew okay, and the villains in trouble, this is a show aimed at little kids!

The best part of Wild Kratts is the animation!  The animators do a wonderful job animating the animals seen on the show.  And the other animation from the human characters to the tech is cool to watch as well.  Other than the great animation, you also learn some stuff, and have a few comedic inserts as well!  I am glad to see PBS Kids airing a show about animals since I am an animal lover at heart.  Wild Kratts is doing pretty well into its third season, and you should check out an episode or two!

Learn more about Wild Kratts at: http://pbskids.org/wildkratts/

Happy Star Wars Day! 2014


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In case you have lived under a rock. Today was Star Wars Day!  May be 4th be with you! Star Wars Day has become a celebration of Star Wars and all things George Lucas. Yes, this holiday has gotten bigger each year since it became mainstreamed!  Thanks to Disney, they released the trailer to the upcoming animated show Star Wars: Rebels that will air on DisneyXD later this year.  Enjoy!

Next, you have to see this video from the YouTube channel Action Movie Kid, where the father does some pretty cool animations featuring his son, enjoy their Star Wars Day video!

Next, NASA did a special Star Wars Day video featuring flight engineer Rick Mastracchio delivering a special message from the International Space Station, with a few technical issues along the way.

Next, the YouTube channel 5facts gives all Star Wars fans 30 things they did not know about the franchise, these are some interesting facts!

College Humor gave all of us a parody Star Wars video where they held auditions for the Cantina Band.

And the YouTube channel YouTube Nation actually found someone who has seen Star Wars parodies online, but has not seen the Star Wars movies, really?

This year, more companies celebrated all things Star Wars.  Below are some of my favorite Star Wars Day tweets!

At the end, I hope you enjoyed Star Wars Day, May the force be with you!

Learn more about Star Wars Day at: http://maythe4th.starwars.com/

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