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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?

Nov 262013
 

Now who remembers this old classic? Wake, Rattle and Roll (1990-1992) is about a young man named Sam Baxter (RJ Williams) and his robot DECKS having misadventures in a basement that’s filled with high-tech gadgets that are highly imaginative.

Some of these gadgets include a dumbwaiter that works like a roller coaster shute, a transporter that summons people, and a living library that brings characters from a book to life. The inventor of these contraptions, including DECKS, is Sam’s grandfather Lester Quirk (Avery Schriber). He often travels around the world, but always keeps in contact.

Another major contraption is the Debbie Detector. Debbie (Terri Ivens) is Sam’s older sister and the detector is a transmission device to her bedroom. Debbie is a mean girl, but deep down she does care about her brother. One thing I don’t understand is what Debbie is speaking into on the other end of the transmission because we never see her bedroom.

The main person who joins Sam and DECKS on their misadventures is Sam’s good friend KC (Ebonie Smith), who is very helpful on occasion.

Each episode has two cartoons DECKS shows on his TV in his chest. The first is Fender Bender 500, which is an “updated” take on Wacky Races. Classic Hanna Barbera characters have races all over the world in creatively designed trucks that require two riders.

They include Yogi and Boo-Boo in the Jellystone Jammer (#1) and Huckleberry Hound and Snagglepuss in the Half Dog Half Cat Half-Track (#2). Man that’s a mouthful.

There’s also Magilla Gorilla and Wally Gator in the Swamp Stomper (#3) and Top Cat and Choo-Choo in the Alley Cat (#4). On a personal note, this cartoon is how I first learned about Top Cat.

Here are some more likely team-ups. Quickdraw McGraw and Baba Looey in the Texas Twister (#5), Pixie and Dixie in the Cheddar Shredder (#6), Auggie Doggie and Doggie Daddy in the Lucky Trucky (#7), and Winsome Witch and Lucky the cat in the Sonic Broom (#13).

Then there’s the cheating Dick Dastardly and Muttley in the Dirty Truckster (#00). It’s no surprise since they always used to cheat in Wacky Races. You just never know who is gonna win.

The second cartoon is Monster Tails. In a castle that’s always raining and snowing outside, resides animal versions of the classic horror monsters having misadventures with their human guardian Igor Jr. There’s Frankenmutt, Catula, Mumfrey, and Dr. Veenie who becomes Mr. Snyde whenever he sneezes. I think these names speak for themselves. The only exception is Elsa. She’s resembles the Bride of Frankenstein, but also has a bit of talking parrot in her.

This was a good show that was very well made. It’s unfortunate that it didn’t last and it would be nice to find it on DVD as well.