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Jun 172016
 

Alan Oppenheimer

Here’s something special for my 800th post. The other voice actor I met at MegaCon 2016 was Alan Oppenheimer. It’s always an honor to meet a voice actor, who voiced characters on shows from my childhood and he has voiced many. When I mentioned that to Alan Oppenheimer, he thought that I didn’t look old enough. It was still an honor just the same.

Most of these classic shows were from the 80s and Alan Oppenheimer had voiced at least several characters from each one. Since it would take a long time to go over each character individually, I’ll try to be more discrete.

Let’s start with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, one of the first animated shows I ever saw. He voiced Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Mer-Man, Buzz-Off, Cringer, and Battle Cat.

That’s really quite impressive since each character sounded very different from one another.

Prime EvilFangsterLong John ScarechromeAirhead

Shortly after He-Man ended, Alan Oppenheimer voiced several villains on Ghostbusters (1986 version). They included Fangster the werewolf, Long John Scarechrome the pirate ghost, Airhead the mummy, and main arch villain Prime Evil. It wasn’t until I got the DVD sets when I noticed the voice similarities between these characters and the ones from He-Man.

The same goes with his characters from Bravestarr, which included Handlebar the bartender, Scuzz the Prairie henchman, and the evil bull demon Stampede.

You might find this interesting. Alan Oppenheimer also voiced characters from The Neverending Story. One of them was the Rock Biter. He was my favorite.

The others were Falkor the lucky dragon and Gmork the wolf.

Would you believe that he also voiced Vanity Smurf from The Smurfs animated series as well as Count Dracula from Drak Pack.

As great as his voice acting was, Alan Oppenheimer had some live action roles too. However, they were mostly guest appearances in one episode of a TV series. The one I remember best was on Get Smart as Agent 498 in the season 2 episode The Man from YENTA.

Meeting a voice actor behind the cartoons you enjoyed at a younger age is always a pleasure. Any other old favorites you’d like to add?

Jun 012016
 

I had a great time at MegaCon 2016 in Orlando this past weekend. Among the highlights were replicas of vehicles, costumes, and large props from different movies and TV shows on display, like in a pop culture museum. Let’s start with Star Wars. As you can see, the Wampa was huge.

Here are some of the Sand People. These guys were cool, but I always found the versions from Spaceballs more interesting because they had more personality.

Then there’s the metal prison Han Solo was held in. As iconic as it is, it’s difficult to remember what this thing is called.

There were some pretty cool costumes on display also, which included this one of the Flash from The Flash TV series.

Now let’s move on the vehicles. Once again, here is the Pokémon car, but this time it includes a bunch on Pikachus wearing outfits from different franchises.

Next there was the Ecto 1 from Ghostbusters. It’s neat that it has Florida plates, even though the Ghostbusters come from New York.

Now here are some vehicles I really found interesting, the Batmobile, Batcopter, and Batcycle from the 60s Batman series.

Even though the Batcopter and Batcycle were only used in the 1966 Batman movie, footage from that was reused in later Batman episodes.

I also met a couple of voice actors, who have voiced quite a few great characters. Check my blog to find out more.

Feb 242016
 

Normally when a new season begins, it takes place shortly after the events of the previous season, but not this time. Legend of Korra: Book Four: Balance takes place three years later. The Red Lotus has been taken care of, but the Earth Kingdom is still in chaos without a ruler.

Apparently, Team Avatar has gone their separate ways. Korra has recuperated after a rough battle with Zaheer, but is going through a lot of self-doubt. She even changes her clothes and cut her hair as she slowly gets back in fighting form.

Mako has become the bodyguard of Prince Wu, the heir to the Earth Kingdom. However, Wu is more into living the high life than taking his royal duty seriously, which makes him a handful for Mako.

Meanwhile, Bolin works as an Earth Nation soldier along with Varrick and Zhu Li. Speaking of Zhu Li, it wasn’t until this season when she actually speaks and really lets Varrick know how she feels about him.

Their leader is Kuvira. She was Suyin’s protégé and captain of the guards. Now Kuvira sets out to bring peace to the Earth Kingdom, but believes that the only way to do so is by force. She even uses manipulative methods to get people to join her. Anyone that refuses gets imprisoned, plain and simple. That only makes Kuvira a tyrant, even though she announces herself as the Great Uniter.

Therefore, Kuvira has become the new villain for this season along with her fiancé Baatar Jr., who also happens to be Suyin’s oldest son.

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

It turns out another old character from Avatar: The Last Airbender is still around. Toph Beifong, who was once the chief of police, now lives in a swamp as a hermit. She has fought many battles in her time, but Toph gave up that life knowing that crime would never stop. So she decided that living in the swamp was the only way to live peacefully.

Tenzin’s children have also grown as stronger air benders and even have an adventure like the original Team Avatar used to have.

With the chaos worse than ever, Korra must stop Kuvira but first she must defeat the enemy within herself in order to do so. It goes to show that the biggest heroes/heroines always seem to go through the biggest torture when going up against tough enemies.

There you have it, an excellent series about the next generation of Avatar: the Last Airbender. It had plenty of action and adventure with the usefulness of more modern conveniences. However, there was also quite a bit of romantic drama throughout the series that I didn’t care for. That could’ve been toned down, just a little bit.

Jan 272016
 

LEGO toys have been around for a long time. I know because I used to play with LEGO when I was a kid. However, It wasn’t until about the late 2000s when LEGO took well known franchises and made video games, then eventually animated features with a cute style of humor.

One such feature is Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite. Apparently it’s about Lex Luthor trying to become President of the United States with help from the Joker by using destructive means to make it happen and it’s up to Batman to stop them.

Robin also helps out and so does Superman, despite how Batman only believes that he can only rely on himself. That’s a bit annoying but not nearly as annoying as Superman is when he talks in the third person. What’s the point of that?

The action is cool. As Joker disrupts an award ceremony, it gets real interesting when the other major Batman villains like Penguin, Catwoman, Two-Face, Riddler, and Harley Quinn help him out.

Steve BlumRob Paulsen

I met Steve Blum, who was the voice of the Penguin, at CollectiveCon 2015 and Rob Paulsen, the voice of the Riddler, at MegaCon 2014.

What’s real common in LEGO features is buildings and machinery falling to pieces as well as being put back together. Lex Luthor has a weapon called the De-Constructor that can tear powerful black objects apart like Batman’s vehicles and it’s powered by Kryptonite.

After Luthor breaks Joker out of Arkham Asylum, Joker frees the other Batman villains who even include Bane and Poison Ivy. It’s so cool how Batman and Robin keep them from escaping with exciting vehicle chases.

 

Then it all comes down to a giant Joker robot that runs on Kryptonite. As much as Batman hates to admit it, he needs help. That’s when the Justice League comes to the rescue. Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Cyborg all make an appearance.

This was a good LEGO movie. Lately many of the modern straight-to-DVD Batman movies have been darker and more brutal. In comparison, it’s nice to see that this one is a least a little bit lighter for a change.

Apr 292015
 

Based on the Nintendo DS game, Sands of Destruction: The Complete Series (2008-2009) is about a post-apocalyptic world where the seas have become sand and humans are slaves to beast men. I like the idea of talking animals co-existing with human beings, but some of them can be pretty brutal at times.

The heroes are a group of travelers called the World Destruction Committee. Leading the pack is Morte a young warrior with a troubled past. She feels that the only way to save the world is to destroy it and she has the one tool that can make it happen. It’s a black sphere called the destruct code.

Her companion is Kyrie. Though he is cowardly and doesn’t know how to fight, Kyrie loves to cook and wishes for a better world where humans and beast men can live in harmony. In a way, he’s a good influence on Morte. Of course, she’ll never admit it.

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

 

Then we have Taupy the bounty hunter. He’s a talking dwarf bear that always ends most of his sentences with “Kuma”, no matter the subject. For some reason, Taupy doesn’t like to be called a bear, even though he obviously looks like one.

Together the World Destruction Committee has faced many dangers and enemies. On occasion they meet up with Agan. He’s a smuggler that delivers all kinds of goods with his ship, as long as the price is right. Agan does seem trustworthy and glad to help out when Morte, Kyrie, and Taupy are around.

The main enemies the World Destruction Committee faces are the World Salvation Committee, which only consists of two members. The first is Naja, who is an intellectual half-man half-beast. I don’t see how he is half beast, since he looks really human.

The other is Rhi’a, who is a pretty dragon girl with a short temper. She’s quick to use brute force over words when enraged. I admit that Rhi’a is a cool fighter, especially when she reveals her dragon wings, tail, and horns.

I met Trina Nishimura, the voice of Rhi’a, at MegaCon 2011.

This was a good Anime series. It’s unlike most that I’ve seen, especially since I never played the video game, but still contains much of the action and humor that I find enjoyable.