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Apr 122017

If you thought Sailor Moon was a cool anime series, then I have no doubt that you’ll find Glitter Force (2015-2016) just as interesting. This Netflix original series is about five middle school girls who gain superpowers from Glitter Charms and protect the world from the evil Emperor Nogo and his forces.

The heroes are the optimistic but clumsy leader Emily as Glitter Lucky, the tough jokester Kelsey as Glitter Sunny, the shy artist Lily as Glitter Peace, the loyal athlete April as Glitter Spring, and the highly intelligent Chloe as Glitter Breeze. Together these five friends are the Glitter Force. The team members are introduced one at a time per episode but at least that’s not spread too far apart like some shows do, like Sailor Moon and Sgt. Frog for example.

Of course every superhero team should have a guide. The guide for the Glitter Force is Candy, a pixie from the magical kingdom of Jubiland. She’s cute and hyperactive, especially when it comes to her ears being styled like hair buns.

I met Debi Derryberry, the voice of Candy, at Anime Festival Orlando 2013.

There’s also Candy’s older brother Pop. He’s not featured as frequently, which is too bad since he’s more vigilant than Candy and can transform into different things.

I met Todd Haberkorn, the voice of Pop, at MegaCon 2012.

Now we get to the villains. Hailing from the Shadow Realm, four fairytale based creatures use their power to absorb negative energy from innocent bystanders in order to revive Emperor Nogo. The first is Ulric the wolf who is very cunning and based on the Big Bad Wolf.

Brute is a troll that prefers to use brute strength over intelligence. Of course trolls are very common in both fairytales and the fantasy genre.

Third is a wicked witch named Brooha that uses magical contraptions and can clone herself easily. She’s based on different fairytale witches.

Then we have Rascal the jester. Despite his annoying voice, he’s pretty creative. He fights with magical playing cards and has a playful, but sadistic persona. He wasn’t featured in the series very much but I like his style, for a villain.

When the villains decide to attack and gather negative energy, only one of them goes to Earth at a time. Then he/she creates a monster out of a random object called a Buffoon, which always has a giant body and a clown face. Whenever the Glitter Force defeats it, a Glitter Charm appears and gets added to their arsenal.

Image result for glitter force

This was an interesting series for its superhero action that’s on the level of Power Rangers. At the end of each episode, there’s a song and dance number by the Glitter Force. The songs are pretty good and they only change after four episodes. If you’re a Sailor Moon fan, I would suggest giving this show a try.

Aug 232013

Image result for the addams family animated series

Many of us remember the classic Addams Family sitcom from the 1960s and the success continued with other versions. The one I want to focus on now is The Addams Family (1992-1993) animated series, which was produced by Hanna Barbera.

Shortly after the first Addams Family movie, this Saturday morning cartoon quickly followed with some new developments. First off, Thing used to be a hand that only appears out of open containers. Now he can travel anywhere as a dismembered hand.

Lurch is also different. He is still strong and intimidates guests with his presence, but he hardly ever talks. It’s just not as funny as the Lurch from the sitcom, who is still a big favorite of mine.

The Addams’s are a friendly close knit family despite how different they are compared to most people. The main people who are against the Addams’s are their neighbors the Normanmeyers. Norman and his wife Normina always think of ways to sabotage the Addams’s in attempt to drive them out of town. Of course they always fail, the Addams’s never hold a grudge. All they want to do is be neighborly.

Norman and Normina have a son, Norman Jr., who likes the Addams’s and is able to look past their differences. He often tries to convince his parents that the Addams’s are not so bad, but do they ever listen?

John Astin, who I met at Spooky Empire MAY-HEM 2012, reprises his role as Gomez Addams.

Overall, this animated take on the Addams Family franchise is a good one that’s more on a younger level. In other words, the creepy hijinks are smoother, whether it’s Pugsley trying to terrorize his sister with an axe, or Uncle Fester’s explosions and his use for light bulbs. It’s amazing.

One last item: This may seem a little off topic, but I also met Debi Derryberry, who voices the role of Wednesday Addams, at Anime Festival Orlando 2013. She has voiced many different characters over the years, including Jimmy Neutron.

Other than Wednesday Addams, the role I remember best was Tinkerbell from Peter Pan and the Pirates, which was labeled as a lost gem. Debi enjoyed doing that character.

Nov 252011

We all remember Jim Varney as the comedic icon Ernest P. Worrell. Back in the 80s, Ernest was featured in many commercials and had a feature film, Ernest Goes to Camp. Following those successes was the Saturday morning series Hey Vern, It’s Ernest!: The Complete Series (1988-1989), which is about Ernest and his many misadventures with Vern. The only catch is that we never actually get to see Vern because technically he’s the cameraman.

Within the main story line of the episode, the show jumps to different segments, but always stays true to the main topic. Some of these segments include Sergeant Glory, which features the fast talking drill sergeant (Jim Varney) lecturing young recruits about the subject of the day with two rules to remember. Rule #2 is always “Obey all rules.”

There’s also My Father the Clown which is about Mike (Bruce Arntson) the professional clown, his homemaker wife Mrs. Clown (Denice Hicks), and their two sons Skeeter (Debi Derryberry) and Eddie (Mark Goldman) on family values.

Existo the Magician is about the clumsy magician (Bruce Arntson) that struggles with even the simplist magic tricks.

Mrs. Simon Simmons (Jackie Welch) teaches etiquette on her segment Mind Your Manners, but not in the traditional sense.

Ernest also likes to get a haircut from Earl (Daniel Butler) the barber. He always wants to look like a Wall Street tycoon, but Earl never gets it right because he mishears the name of the hairstyle. Do you think he needs a hearing aid? Ernest is concerned at first, but always comes to the same conclusion. “It could work.” Then suddenly Ernest is back to normal again.

Ernest isn’t the only one with misadventures. There’s Mac (Mac Bennett) who has a lizard, George, for a roommate, Willie (Daniel Butler) the robot who only has a smiley face to show his expressions, and brothers Chuck (Gailard Sartain) and Bobby (Bill Byrge) who provide their own brand of comedic hijinks. Chuck and Bobby have also made appearances on several other Ernest films like Ernest Goes to Jail and Ernest Saves Christmas.

Jim Varney plays quite a few different characters on this show. Along with Ernest and Sergeant Glory, there’s Baby Ernest who thinks that grownups talk funny, Auntie Nelda the blunt old woman, and Dr. Otto the alien mad scientist who creates scary things in his lab and occasionally comes to Vern’s house. I can never get over that extra hand on his head.

Gailard Sartain, who I also remember from the later seasons of Hee Haw, also plays several different characters. Along with Chuck, there’s Lonnie Don a sound effects wizard who demonstrates a sound from one of his movies that have repetitive titles. The procedure is always the same, which is to place his hand over his mouth and blows a raspberry.

There’s also Matt Finish a “Photographer at Large”, who loves to take pictures of everything. He’d make an excellent fill-in photographer if you ever needed one.

And let’s not forget the other assorted characters like Woody the ventriloquist dummy that looks like Ernest, the Dust Bunny a dirty rabbit who likes to sneeze in and out the room, and Ernest’s Tongue (Daniel Butler) who complains about what Ernest eats when it lands on him.

Normally in variety shows like this, not every reoccurring sketch or character is in every episode, usually due to time constraint. In Hey Vern, It’s Ernest, the segments are so short that there’s always room for every one of them and more. Occasionally, some songs are even thrown into the mix, which I think is a nice touch to the random combination.

This series is a true 80s classic with Ernest P. Worrell at his best. According to the DVD box set, it has been compared with other shows like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and You Can’t Do That on Television, which are also 80s classics. It’s too bad they don’t make shows like this anymore.