Animation Monday: The New Inspector Gadget


Geek Alabama Animation

Well, we are living in a world where classic cartoons are being rebooted.  If Ducktales can be rebooted for Disney, I guess Inspector Gadget was due for a reboot too.  If you don’t remember the classic Inspector Gadget series, I loved it while I was a kid!  The animation was hand-drawn, and I loved it everytime Penny was put to sleep with that sleeping gas.

So now, the rebooted Inspector Gadget has been put on Netflix.  It was supposed to go to Cartoon Network, but something happened where Netflix got the show instead.  Judging by the trailer below, I just don’t know.

The show is made from DHX Media, and for starters the animation is subpar.  I mean, this looks like a classic computer animation from something you expected back in the 1990’s when the first Toy Story came out.  The storylines are okay, and I enjoy seeing the action with the Claw.  And I liked seeing the new tech, which is an upgrade from the original series.  But, what is turning me off is the animation.

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When you make something, you should put the best work you can into the animation qualities. Yes, I know that mostly all cartoons you see today are computer animation.  But, the computer animation has gotten so good that sometimes you have a hard time telling it’s a computer animation.  In this new Inspector Gadget series, it’s like the animation went back 20 years.  Along with the mouths sometimes not in sync, and the weird head tilts at times.  The CGI computer animation here was lacking.

Other things I thought about the series.  I tought having Tara Strong as the voice of Penny was a good choice.  And I can see this new character named Talon having some kind of date scene thing happening.  Yes, the good person having a crush on the evil person, we have seen this before.  I also like seeing Penny and Brian as partners with Gadget, unlike the first series where Penny and Brain were always behind Gadget.

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But, the one thing that is killing me here is the animation!  If the animation was better, I would have approved!  The storylines are good, but the animation is off the mark!  This is a lesson to all the animators out there!  Focus on your animation work, the people wants good animation.  Not the lame animation we see in the new Inspector Gadget series, the people thank you!

The Evening Post: Sesame Street: House of Bricks


Geek Alabama Evening Post

Tonight, I am sharing this video from the Sesame Street YouTube channel.  If you like House of Cards on Netflix, you are going to like this parody called House of Bricks!  Some people say there’s too much pork in this town. Frank Underwolf could not agree more. And that is why Mr. Underwolf is on a mission to huff and puff and blow down all the little pigs’ houses. In this town, you have to know which way the wind is blowing, and unfortunately, for those little piggies, it’s about to get very windy.  Enjoy the video!

Pee-Wee Is Back In Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday Coming To Netflix


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Remember Pee-Wee’s Playhouse?  That was a very fun show, and it came from a movie called Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.  Now, Pee Wee Herman, played by Paul Reubens, is coming back with a new movie called Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, and it will premiere on Netflix!

In Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday in this epic story of friendship and destiny. “We didn’t hesitate for a moment knowing that Pee-wee’s Big Holiday was such a passion project for Paul and Judd and we are delighted by the opportunity to introduce such a beloved character to a new generation,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “We are thrilled to bring our viewers around the world the wonder of Pee-wee Herman.”

“As a fan of Pee-wee Herman since he first appeared on The Dating Game, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the brilliant Paul Reubens on this film. It is a dream come true,” said Judd Apatow.  “Judd and I dreamt up this movie four years ago. The world was much different back then— Netflix was waiting by the mailbox for red envelopes to arrive. I’ve changed all that. The future is here. Get used to it. Bowtie is the new black,” said Pee-wee Herman.

I wonder what word we will be screaming at when this movie premieres?  For now, check out Pee-Wee’s Log, and this video below!

HBO And CBS Streaming Options, Why I Believe Moving To All Internet Streaming Will Not Work


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This is the news cord cutters have been waiting for!  This week, HBO announced that they would soon begin to offer HBO via internet streaming in 2015.  HBO already has a way for subscribers to watch their favorite HBO shows online with HBO Go.  But, with this new streaming option, it gives people who are cord cutters a way to watch Game of Thrones and their other favorite HBO shows, without subscribing to cable.  The folks at HBO wants to remove all barriers to people who want HBO, and they are doing just that!  Plus, with the service only expected to cost around $10-15 a month, some people are going to want this!  This news is exciting like that classic HBO in space opening sequence.

But, that’s not all!  This week, CBS also announced that they will begin offering CBS All Access.  For $5.99 a month, you can see all of your CBS shows the day after they air on TV.  The service will also offer CBS classics like Star Trek, Cheers, I Love Lucy, The Griffith Show, MacGyver, Brady Bunch, and more.  The service will offer a live stream of 14 local CBS affiliates with more coming soon.  And if you like Big Brother, the service will offer 24-hour live streaming of the camera feeds.  Right now, NFL games are not included, but CBS is talking with the NFL.  And with HBO offering an internet only streaming package, expect Showtime to offer one very soon!

Sure, some people are extremely happy to hear this news, because they think we will soon have the option of cutting cable, and going the internet route only.  Some people are already doing this.  But here are a few problems.  One, the cable companies are not stupid, and they are not dumb.  The big reason why we have the net neutrality debate to begin with is because cable companies see the people cutting the cord.  And they want to re-coup their lost revenue by starting internet caps, re-structuring how we and the content providers pay to be online, and in turn would force sites like Netflix to increase their rates, and soon it would cost more to subscribe to Netflix and Hulu Plus, instead of subscribing to cable.

Two, streaming sports is another thing you mostly can’t do, unless you watch some illegal stream online.  Yes, some leagues like MLB have ways where you can watch their sports online, but you have to deal with the local blackout.  But other sports like the NFL does not have ways to stream games, unless you are subscribed to NFL Sunday Ticket.  Here in Alabama, most people cares about their college football.  And since most games air on ESPN or SEC Network, you must subscribe to cable to see the games online.  Sure, some people who are cord cutters might go to a friend’s house or to a neighborhood bar to see their favorite teams play, but going to the bar adds up fast, and it would soon cost more than subscribing to cable.

And three, it will soon cost you more to cut the cord than subscribe to cable.  When you add the costs up with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO service, and the CBS All Access, that’s close to $50 a month.  Add that cost to your monthly internet bill of around $50-60 a month, and you are paying over $100 a month.  In some cases, you could subscribe to cable and internet for the same price.  And, the cable companies are already adding internet caps, where you are charged extra if you go over your monthly cap.  At first, cutting the cord might have been cheaper, but down the road, I believe it will cost people more to cut the cord than subscribe to cable.

No, I do not work with a cable company, if you were asking that!  I see the new options from HBO and CBS as a way for people to stop pirating their favorite shows, and watch them the legal way.  Yes, I think this is the beginning of the end for the cable monopoly.  This news should be good for the consumer, because it gives them more ways to watch their favorite programs, so you might see some bills go down for a change.  But, unless we deal with the ballooning costs for sports, cable rates will never go down, and you will continue to see more people cutting the cord to avoid paying sports overcharge fees.

There is also the issue of the availability of internet bandwidth.  Streaming shows takes up a lot of bandwidth, and it’s easier to carry a video feed than an internet feed over your cable lines.  To free up some bandwidth, you could see some channels you see today disappear.  Yes, I think we have way too many channels on TV today.  You could take away 1/4th of the lower rated channels, and no one would miss them.  That bandwidth could be used to make the internet bandwidth better!  But don’t expect that to happen anytime soon because channels are bundled.

Back to the streaming story, if ESPN offered a streaming only service like HBO is going too, the amount of people cutting the cord would shoot through the roof, and it would strain local internet networks with the increased bandwidth usage.  What I would like to see is cable companies offer a package with unlimited internet, DVR, and the most popular TV networks, for a low price.  That way, people can record their favorite shows from the most popular networks, and watch what they would miss from the lower watched networks online.

But I don’t see that happening anytime soon, and this will result in higher bills, more people cutting the cord, and more people illegally streaming and downloading shows online.  No question, the old model of cable TV is slowly fading away.  But the United States does not have the internet bandwidth available for everyone to stream shows online.  So what is going to happen 10 years down the road, who knows?

Seatbelts Everyone, The Magic School Bus Is Being Rebooted


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The 1990’s brought us some classic PBS Kids shows.  One show, Reading Rainbow, is currently running a Kickstarter campaign that has earned over $3.6 million dollars, you still can donate right now!  Now, another classic PBS Kids show is making a come back, and it involves a yellow school bus that is magical, you know, The Magic School Bus!  Remember the theme song to the classic cartoon?

The show was based on the books and premiered in 1994 and produced 52 episodes.  In a small grade school, one class has a unique way of learning about the world with their teacher, Ms. Frizzle. To illustrate the science concepts they discuss, they always went on a field trip on the Magic School bus, a magic vehicle that can literally go anywhere and be anything as the class explores space, the arctic, the human body, in order to have a first hand experience of the principles of science.  And yes, I wished the Magic School Bus was real as a kid, because the field trips I went on while I was in school were mostly boring.  Concept art of the new series is below!

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Netflix, who acquired Scholastic properties including this classic cartoon, is bringing back the school bus, and updating it to today’s science and technology.  The cartoon will be called The Magic School Bus 360°, and it will have 26 episodes scheduled for a 2016 release.  The new series will use CGI animation to feature a modernized Ms. Frizzle and an inventive high-tech bus.  The new cartoon will also focus on modern tech innovations, including robotics and wearables.  So the new version of Magic School Bus is going to take some chances, and get messy in the process.  Animation and CGI have improved greatly since 1994, so I bet we are going to see some cool science animation in this series!

Netflix said the new series will help kids around the world discover the magic and value of exploration and innovation.  And I look forward to seeing the Magic School Bus coming back, even if it’s on a streaming site like Netflix.  So 90’s kids, which classic cartoon should be brought back next?  And how long until we see an announcement of the classic PBS Kids show Wishbone coming back?  Buckle up, seatbelts everyone!