Animation F-FL
Fairly Odd Parents
A rather cute story about a kid who has a pair of Fairy God Parents to grant his wishes. Flashes of inside jokes and references. Some of them get a little heavy on the “Educational” stuff but most of the shows are a lot of fun. There have been several movie length episodes. Channel chasers was quite entertaining and took jabs at the drek that appears on TV. The second was Schools Out, The Musical. The songs were gratingly unpleasant. Later years added extranious characters like Poof and a dog to spice up a series that was getting tired. I liked the early seasons.

A series of shorts with the full power of Disney animation. Beautiful but it felt dated. Honestly I liked
Fantasia 2000 better. But that’s the one I saw first.

Fantasia 2000 (Movie)
(Disney) A series of shorts with the full power of Disney animation and superb music behind them. They range from flying whales that are completely surreal, to a flamingo with a yo-yo that is one of the funniest scenes ever animated, to a volcano and Stravinskys Rite of Spring that literally left me in tears. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Family Guy
TV Sitcom stereotypes on parade. Incompetent dad, cloying mom, misunderstood little sister, bumbling big brother. `Hey lets make it `hip`. Lets give the baby a oedipal complex and want to kill his mom, and let the dog talk.` Stupid does not cover it. The show is terrible.

Final Fantasy Unlimited

Based on the Final Fantasy game it started well but grew tedious soon. A couple of kids travel to a strange land to find their parents. The animation is typical Anime, except for the bad guys that are drawn in an odd Edwardian Fairytale style. The writing is average. That is except for the obvious bits: The peace loving girl is Lisa Pacifist, The werwolf is Lou Lupus, the leader of the bad guys is Earl Tyrant, and so on. My biggest complaint is that they were lazy and used stock footage over and over. In most episodes you could count on Kaze firing his Demon Gun at least once which had a 2-3 minute assembly-loading-firing clip. The sub had a stock clip whenever they were going to fire their main gun. Chobi had a stock clip whenever it transformed into the super-Chobi. It got to the point where I’d check the time and say to myself “well, they are 13 minutes in, Kaze is going to fire his gun soon”. I found the first few episodes interesting, but it didn't last. For the final episode they tried to do something operatic in scale but it came off as clichéd without a clear resolution. The voiceover says in the tag “What happened to the travellers? Well you’ll find out when we meet again.” Not bloody likely.

Finding Dory (Movie)
(Pixar) A sequel to
Finding Nemo. this time Dory, the blue fish with the memory problem from the first film, starts to remember. She remembers enough about her parents to want to go find them. This leads to another adventure, this time from the coast of Australia, they go to the coast of California. The action is interspersed with Dory’s flashbacks, something I suspect might confuse the youngest audience members. A bit heavier message of empowerment and perseverance than the first film, and the part in the Marine Sciences Institute reminded me slightly of The Penguins of Madagascar series. Overall, it was fun though.

Finding Nemo (Movie)
(Pixar) Nemos mom and siblings were killed before he was hatched. His father is overly protective and is not handling his son going to school well. Nemo is rebellious and wants to explore the world. Nemo gets picked up by a diver and plopped into a fish tank in a dentists office. Nemos dad embarks on a journey to find him and get him home. Along the way he picks up with a very dippy blue fish (Ellen DeGeneres) a nutty pelican, and others. It is a quite enjoyable film.

Phineas & Ferb
Two brilliant brothers build incredible things in the back yard. Their pet Platypus, Perry, is really a secret agent. Silly fun from Disney. A couple of running gags: Their older sister Candice is always trying to get them in trouble for their antics but something always keeps their mother from seeing whatever it is. Perry’s nemesis is Evil Dr. Dufenschmertz, who’s astoundingly inept. Also nearly every episode has a song. These are hit and miss. Some are hit-the-mute-button saccharine sinus headache painful, others are quite catchy. The Mexican-Jewish Cultural Festival is a brilliant piece of social satire. Not sure how that one got past the Disney sensors. The more I watch this one the more I like it. There’s a lot of subtle and hidden references and jokes that go way over the head of the ersatz target audience. A really great show.

The first time around I just did not get FLCL, pronounced Fooly Cooly. It is about a kid living in a town in Japan. His adults have something to do with cartoons and the show every once in a while switches into a still frame Manga format. His best friend is a disturbed dropout who may think she is living in a video game. His housekeeper, who ran over him on her Vespa is psycho with a gas powered guitar who may be working for someone, possibly alien. Strange things happen in his town and robots or other creatures grow out of the kids head to stop them. The story is strange but I like a lot of strange stories. Actually I could not figure FLCL out and was not sure I liked it. After catching it a couple of times I am starting to get inside the show.

The Flower We Saw That Day
There was a group of ten year old kids who spent all their time together. That is until one was killed. They all deal with the grief in different ways, and over the years they drift apart. The story happens years later when they are high school aged. One of them is visited by the ghost of the dead girl. She wants them to all come together to fulfill her last wish. To be honest I almost bailed after the first episode, it seemed to be all about teenaged angst. But I am so glad I kept with it. The characters are written perfectly, right at that edge between kid and adult and trying to figure out who they are. By the third episode I was really involved with the characters, cared about them. By the end they all had grown and more importantly healed to a great degree. A superb production.

© 2020 Douglas Aalseth Productions