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Mar 282014
 

Among the many stars I met at MegaCon this year was voice actor Rob Paulsen. He has had a ton of great characters over the years, many of which I grew up with. It was so awesome to have met him. Here are some of these classic characters.

Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (80s version): As we all know, Raph is the rebellious turtle with the Sais, but this version is different. He is actually comedic and often uses rude wisecracks when either faced with danger or tolerating dumb situations. Since this is the main version of TMNT I grew up watching, I was surprised that this take on Raph’s persona didn’t happen in any other version.

Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012 version): Of course, he’s the inventive genius turtle with a Bo staff. This version of Don is different than most. For starters, he has a gap in his mouth and there’s no mention of how he lost that tooth. Don is also in love with April, but nobody thinks the relationship will ever work. Is it because April is a human and Don isn’t?

Arthur from The Tick (90s version): He was once an accountant before he became the Tick’s sidekick. Although Arthur is often timid and can’t fight his moth suit allows him to fly and he’s also more sensible than the Tick. He’s a devoted sidekick, but somehow I just don’t see Arthur going solo.

Caped Chameleon from The Tick (90s version): This superhero is one of my most favorites in the series. He can walk on walls like Spiderman and blend with any color surface or object except plaid. It’s hilarious when that happens. He still makes a good ally. Unfortunately, he’s not featured often in the series.

Yakko from Animaniacs: He’s the oldest of the Warner siblings and is very witty. He’s quick with a joke and his most common wisecrack is, “Good night, everybody.” Yakko says it whenever a situation is on the verge of being inappropriate. I used to not understand that.

Pinky from Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain: This lab mouse is the Brain’s imbecilic sidekick that’s the comic relief of a world domination plan. Brain often clobbers Pinky when he says something dumb. That mainly occurs when Brain asks, “Are you pondering what I’m pondering?” Then Pinky’s answer is something completely unrelated.

Dr. Otto Von Scratchansniff from Animaniacs: He’s a psychologist of the stars. With the Warner siblings as his most common patients, Dr. Scratchansniff is the main adult they drive crazy. He is close with the Warners and eventually he becomes their father figure. Unfortunately, the Warners’ antics caused him to rip out all of his hair. He also never takes off his glasses. Why do you suppose that is?

Bobble from Tinkerbell franchise: This is one of the tinker fairies that work with Tinkerbell. He’s a nearsighted inventor that’s both refined and smart. What really stands out is that Bobble always wears goggles with water drops as lenses. How do they stay in there, and how does that really help his sight?

Corky from Snorks: This Snork Patrol officer is a dedicated defender that can play a fanfare with his snork, but tends to be a workaholic. Still, it makes you glad that he’s on the side of good. At one point, I thought he sounded a lot like Ninjor from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but it turns out that it’s not the same voice actor.

Gusto Gummi from Gummi Bears: He’s an artistic Gummi Bear that lived alone on a desert island for 12 years. In season three, he and his pet toucan Arty join up with the other Gummi Bears. Sometimes Gusto takes his art a little too seriously and forgets what’s important, but his heart is always in the right place.

Hard Drive from SWAT Kats: This colorful villain has a surge coat that allows him to smoothly and easily travel through anything electrical and can absorb data like a vacuum. Without it, he’s just a common thief. There’s no mention of how Hard Drive acquired that surge coat, but he is hard to catch when he has it on.

DECKS from Wake, Rattle and Roll: He’s a robot entirely made from audio/video equipment and the name DECKS is an acronym for Digital Electronic Cassette-headed Kinetic System. DECKS’s persona is much like a surfer, which makes him likable. Of course it doesn’t hurt that he can also show cartoons at anytime, but there is a limit of two per episode.

Gladstone Gander from Ducktales: If there’s one character that represents the phrase “Lucky Duck”, it’s Gladstone. He relies on his luck to get through life because good things always happen to him, no matter the situation. The most common situations involve money since he has none. However, Gladstone is no gambler. His luck includes winning contests and raffles, as well as finding money on the street. Even though Gladstone only appeared in two Ducktales episodes, I heard that he was a popular character in the Donald Duck comics along with Scrooge McDuck and Magica de Spell.

How’s that for a list? Do any of you have favorites you’d like to mention?

Jan 252013
 

A few years after the success of the animated series from the 90s there was a live action series of The Tick: The Entire Series (2001-2002). Patrick Warburton stars as the hilarious superhero that defends The City (which still has no name) from various evil doers. However, the Tick is not alone. He has a trusty sidekick, Arthur (David Burke) the moth man. However, these two are the only original characters from the cartoon series that are in this one.

There are two other superheroes who help out on occasion, the tough but lovely Captain Liberty (Liz Vassey) and the womanizing Batmanuel (Nestor Carbonell), who’s only weakness is the scent of a soccer mom. Isn’t that’s weird?

Once again, none of the superheroes are ever out of costume, even when they go out as citizens. It still makes no sense. At least there aren’t as many masks this time.

The Tick is basically the leadership figure of the group, but he’s not the most sensible. He sees everything as a battle against evil. For example, if a toilet is clogged he actually thinks it can talk. Talk about a man on a mission. That actually opened up a new perspective for me. The Tick’s monologing sometimes does make sense though. I’ll give him that.

The Tick is hilarious when he gets melodramatic. Like when he steps in gum while patrolling on the rooftops. He shouts, “Who puts gum on a roof?” That always cracks me up.

A common phrase is frequently used on this series. One of Arthur’s friends from work, Metcalf (Peter Bergman), tried his hand at being a superhero. Unfortunately, he was beaten so badly that he needs a machine in order to poop. So when any villains say they’re going to “Metcalf” you, it means that you’ll end up just like him when they’re through.

The crime fighting action is very minimal, but the Tick and his allies go up against some unusual colorful villains. The closest they’ve come to an arch nemesis is The Terror (Armin Shimerman, who I remember best as Principal Snyder from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), who is very dangerous and over a hundred years old. That was only because the Tick was looking for an archenemy to increase his reputation as a superhero. Doesn’t he realize that it’s against the superhero code to look for trouble?

This was a funny series. Unfortunately it only lasted nine episodes, but in the later ones I was starting to see why. The humor was dying down at points. Like when anyone tries to explain anything to the Tick, he just doesn’t get it, no matter what. That just got annoying, but those first few episodes are still favorites of mine. So basically, I think this show did have potential.

Mar 232011
 

Unlike the kind of superheroes you’d find in the Justice League, or in Professor Charles Xavier’s mutant academy, The Tick (1994-1996) features a highly comedic group of crime fighters. They keep the city streets of The City safe from various super villains that are also comedic, but highly intent on world domination. They could be anything from aliens to dangerous men with strange quirks to even a mustache that can clobber the person it’s attached to.

The Tick is super strong and can withstand any kind of physical pain. Seriously, you can’t hurt this guy. A giant hand could slam on top of him and he’d only wind up on his back unharmed. Anyone else would be splattered or flattened. The Tick is also highly skilled. He can leap the rooftops without the use of a grappling hook, but he’s pretty destructive when he lands. Does he not know his own strength?

However, the Tick can sometimes be over dramatic. For example, when he gets a cold, he sees it as a mutant virus from outer space. I can still remember the classic “Tissue Sample”, an alien monster that was created from mucus to become the Tick’s clone. “Hot dog, a worthy advisory.”

The Tick’s sidekick is Arthur the moth. Sure he’s intelligent and can fly, but he’s not very good in combat. Despite that, Arthur couldn’t have chosen a better superhero to team up with. The thing is, the Tick isn’t much of a thinker, even though he does plenty of monologing to describe his heroism. That’s why these two need each other, just as any superhero would need a sidekick to watch his back. But seriously, what kind of a battle cry is “Spoon”? At least it was better than Arthur’s idea for a battle cry. “Not the face! Not the face!”

As crime escalates in The City, which doesn’t have a name for some odd reason, more superheroes come along to fight the good fight. It seems like everybody wants to get into the act. Here are some of the main ones. First there’s Defladermaus who has the dark presence of Batman, but is a real coward when he’s in the line of fire. Then the lovely American Maid, who might look like a watered down version of Wonder Woman, but has amazing fighting skills and powerful stilettos. And the Sewer Urchin, who’s not much of a fighter, but does well when traveling underground.

One of my most favorites is the Caped Chameleon. He can blend in with any color scheme except one. “Can’t do plaid.” It’s like kryptonite to him. Now that’s hilarious.

This is real classic animated series. One thing I don’t understand is why none of these superheroes have identities. They go into town in their super suits all the time, even with their masks on, as if they were regular citizens. It’s definitely something you wouldn’t expect from this genre.

Dec 242010
 

It’s Christmas Eve and these classic pop culture characters in this YouTube video I found, which was created by Scooby Doo Ninja Battles, are getting ready for the holidays. Merry Christmas everyone!