Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mid-winter Clearance

We're presently hunkering down for another wintry blast, but a few interesting items have beaten the rush and blown into my figurative in-box:

(1)  Disney is apparently developing a Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers CGI/live-action movie.  I'm not sure whether to cheer or weep.  IF the development team is smart enough to bring a Ranger-knowledgeable writer aboard -- someone who knows the types of stories that this series was able to tell effectively -- and IF they resist the all-too-obvious temptation to lard this puppy up with annoying pop-culture references and gross jokes, then we might have something worthwhile here.  I do think, however, that Disney should reconsider the decision to place the CGI Rangers in a "real" human world.  When the animated series tried to depict humans in a quasi-realistic manner -- the humans in "Flash the Wonder Dog" are a good example -- the results were less than optimal.  The series fared better when the humans were designed in a slightly exaggerated fashion.  Putting the Rangers in a starkly realistic world would be like remaking Bolt but only animating the animal characters.  Stylization is visually appealing for a reason.

A lot of good could come from this project -- the reunion of the original voice actors, the completion of the Rescue Rangers (and other Disney Afternoon) DVD releases -- but the Disney of 2014 is a very different animal (pun very much intended) than the Disney of 1989.  So I'll give this news an "amber," as in "proceed with caution."

(2) Disney Afternoon book project in the works?  Well, I'm intrigued enough to at least try to contact the guy and find out what sorts of information would be of use to him.

(3)  Last weekend's My Little Pony episode, "Simple Ways," was... well, beyond belief.  It seemed to split Bronydom bang down the middle, with people either loving it or hating it.  I fell on the "love" side of the fence for two major reasons: it co-starred Rarity -- and not just Rarity, but a Rarity the likes of which we've never seen before -- and it bore a positively numbing resemblance to a rather notorious DuckTales episode.


True to her persona as a romanticist and all-around enthusiast, Rarity has a from-afar crush on Trenderhoof, a pony "travel writer" who's coming to Ponyville to cover the Ponyville Days festival, which our fave fashionista just happens to be organizing.  Trend, however, blows right past Rarity's attempts to impress him and falls hard for the hard-working, "authentic" Earth pony Applejack.  Rarity ultimately decides that she needs to fight "fahr" with "fahr" and... well, goes "full hillbilly" on us.  Not to be outdone, Applejack decides to ape Rarity's normal concern with all things fashionable.  The results are side-splitting.

Another reason why, as much as I love POGO's Miss Ma'amselle Hepzibah, Rarity has become my favorite female Toon: she can be "funnayyy" in a way that Hepzibah never could be.

Anyway, you can probably guess what I started to think of when Tabitha St. Germain began doing that... whatEVER the heck it was.  In case you didn't, here are a few more hints, centering on the way "Simple Ways" could have gone (but thankfully did not).

Applejack: Then it's agreed.  I bet Sweet Apple Acres against your boutique in a contest to see who's the better farm pony.  'Less'n you're... chicken!
Rarity (as hillbilly):  NevAIR!  Ya got yerself a DAYEAL!  A farm pony contest it AYAIS!
Applejack wins the plowing contest...
... and the apple-bucking contest.
Rarity's final fate in the contest.
Applejack: Too bad but you lost, city slicker unicorn Rarity!  I now own your whole boutique, and you don't even have a home in Ponyville!
Rarity (back to normal): Great Celestia! Now I'm in a real mess.  But before I try to get my boutique back, I'd better see if I can find my missing dresses!
Applejack:  I decided to give y'all back your boutique.  Y'all proved yourself to be a true farm pony.  Besides which... I cain't sew.

At least "Simple Ways" turned out to be more satisfying than... well... that other thing.


Pan Miluś said...

You know? If this was some other studio I would be nervus but since Disney is doing the Rescue Rangers movie I can imagine they at least TRY to make it faithtfull to the oryginal... I just can't imagine Disney making something on the level of "Alvin and the chipmucks" movies.

BTW -> Why do fans hate this "MY LITTLE PONY" episode?

Pan Miluś said...

Well we got AppleJack vs. RainbowDash episode and now Applejack vs. Rarity episode.

Applejack vs. Fluthershy next?

Chris Barat said...


If anything, "Filli Vanilli" turned out to be Fluttershy vs. Pinkie. Boy, Pinkie deserved a good slap for THAT performance.


Pan Miluś said...

Wonderfull episode and some great songs.
Fluthershy is such inocent and good nature character seeing here cried in such realistic way (in Fili vanili) was to much for me... :(