Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain

My opinion on this show is this: it sucks.


Alright, fine. There's more to it than that. The show came about because of executives who clearly didn't understand what made Pinky and the Brain (spinoff of Animaniacs) so hilariously brilliant and decided upon themselves to make a spinoff of a spinoff (Spin-ception...yeah, I know it's lame but I wanted to) by using one their favorite characters, Elmyra (a character from Tiny Toon Adventures) and merging them with the popular duo so they could be "hilariously" abused every week. The show itself was cancelled 5 episodes in, when it was supposed to be 13 episodes and the rest were used as segments for the compilation series, the Big Cartoonie Show.

The show had faded into obscurity until it started airing in different countries, like Australia and Russia and has recently been announced for a DVD release in January 2014:

People, I'm going to be very honest when I say this...I don't like this series. Shocker, eh? But seriously, this in my opinion, is probably one of my least favorite spinoffs I've come across. The writing feels generic and cliche, the characters they introduce aren't very likeable even with the voice talent this show has to offer, Elmyra is annoying as sin and is horribly abusive towards the mouse duo, Pinky and the Brain are nowhere near as funny as they are the original spinoff, most of the show's humor is either mean-spirited or just lame. Even the idea of Pinky and the Brain meeting the rest of the Tiny Toons cast and interacting while using the TTA cast for world domination (which in my opinion, would have made for a better show), is squandered over a newer school that's nowhere near is memorable as Acme Looniversity.

Elmyra doesn't even acknowledge her past experiences with other Tiny Toons characters which is a shame. Another thing I didn't like about this show was the changing of the running gag from 'Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?' to one where it's a setup for a joke but at the end, the punchlines just explains the joke in an unfunny way. Even though I have seen enough episodes to get the gist of the series, actually trying to watch it is a chore. Another joke I never found very funny was the use of Brain using a big word for an explanation, Elmyra hits him with something and washes his mouth out with soap. It's not very funny to me, it comes off as insulting to the intelligence of the viewers due to the dumbing down of this spinoff, which also happens to be a retooling (and not a very good one, either). The writing also felt like it was pandering to the youngest of audiences but then again, considering what they had to work with, I don't blame them.

But if there was anything I like about it was the theme song but not because of the tune (though that was pretty catchy). It was actually a glorious giant metaphorical middle finger that was the lyrics to the executives for coming up with what has to be one of the dumbest ideas for a TV show. Also, the animation was alright and some of the songs were passable, one of which was a parody of a Mary Poppins song which was nice. I mentioned the voice work before. Yeah, most for what they're given, they're at least trying to make to make this tolerable though others, not by much.

It was pretty clear looking at the finished product that Spielberg and the rest of the crew hated working on it. Peter Hastings left Warner Bros. to go work for Disney, Maurice LaMarche (voice of the Brain) has admitted to not enjoying working on it and it's also pretty clear that it was overall an embarrassing failure considering it didn't even air all it's 13 episodes.

The potential for a spin-off was there and I mean a TON of limitless possibilities for crossovers like villains teaming up or Pinky and the Brain verses superheroes with epic battles and great writing and animation for something so silly, it could have worked. Or any of the WB/Spielberg shows at the time would have been dandy but no, Elmyra abusing the poor duo...I just...don't know.

I've seen shows that have a cult following that don't even have a DVD release (or only a section of it on DVD). Like Road Rovers, Histeria, Wakko's Wish, the 2 Tiny Toons specials, lots of Disney show that have only had a part of their show released but nothing else, lots of Nickelodeon show not being released through Shout Factory, or many obscure shows and specials from the 80s and 90s (or even earlier) that still have an audience but have people owning them who couldn't be bothered to release them and THOSE would be better than the god-awful crap that's even getting a DVD release.

Seriously, I wouldn't recommend buying all unless you're a huge Spielberg fanatic and just really want to get everything he's ever made regardless of whether it was worth it or not, or you're a masochist. Just don't. I mean if they even do release extras, you can get them online without having to buy the series. Though if they did trash the show through the extras, that would be hilarious. But don't buy it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

'Dennis The Menace and Gnasher' Review : The First Episode

The first episode's name is 'Dirty Deeds' and it originally aired on the 8th July 2013 on the CBBC.

The show's new season had be talked about for quite a while since 2012 and ever since then, fans had been patiently waiting for the new 'series' (as the seasons of shows are known as in the UK). They have also been pondering what would be brought to the table for this season and now that it has finally come onto the internet, I will start giving my thoughts on the first episode.

First, the thing that struck me most about this new season is the animation. It thankfully, has the same appealing animation style that graced the screens of TVs in 2009 (depending on your perspective) and doesn't have the style of the current comics (which don't get me wrong, also look great) that would feel jarring if put next to the previous season. It is animated in flash but doesn't feel jarring and fits rather well in the series (with the exception of a few things which I'll get to later) but the comics had an excuse. Ever since David Law (the original creator of the UK Dennis) passed away, it was only natural that other artists would evolve the character further. The animation looks fluid and doesn't feel like it's suffering from 'Johnny Test Syndrome' and overall, looks and moves great. The character designs however have been slightly altered or changed entirely, specifically Dennis' Mum and Dad who don't have names (though that's rather irrelevant).

Dennis' Mum and Dad had a makeover in the recent comics (this one: ) and it left the fan-base divided on who were fine with the changes and who couldn't stand it. I was the latter at first. One of the reasons why people weren't particularly happy with the changes were because they (the latter) thought it ruined the appeal of what made the UK Dennis The Menace so popular. The parents were the authority types of people while Dennis and Gnasher were the rebelling types (similar to real life somewhat so readers could relate to the characters more) but when they changed the parents to look more like Dennis, it put people off because Dennis' rebelling was what made readers love the comic. But then I realized something. Even though they look different, they still watched over Dennis and were still somewhat authority figures to Dennis. That and they were trying to break the status-quo that the previous adaptations had been stuck with for a while and with the exception of the earlier comics, the other comics had been stuck in the status-quo for decades so to see them try something new for a change, it feels great and doesn't particularly ruin my enjoyment of the show. Curly has a hoodie this time around, Pie Face looks the same and so does Gnasher (who's one of my favorite characters in the comics and cartoons) and Dennis.

Now we go on to voice acting. This time around, the younger cast sound like they've gone through puberty in-between the 1st and 2nd seasons which is a nice touch, showing that they they've grown up a bit since we last saw them. But one of the few voice that didn't feel right at first was Walter's. His original voice in the 2009 series was like a younger Elmer Fudd and he also sounded more snobbish. Here, they got rid of the Elmer Fudd-like lisp and still sounds somewhat snobbish. He also sounds like he's been though puberty but I'll probably need to get used to the changes so I'll like this more. Plus, since I have admitted to liking the first season, I've admitted that the changes are good but what I should have said earlier was that changes for the MOST part are pretty good since some changes come off as either good changes or terrible ones (depending on the situation). Dennis' Mum and Dad sound different from the first series but their voices were changed to suit the characters, which sound fine.

There was another change that bothered me a bit and that was the name change. I understand it's Dennis the Menace and his name's always been that here, it felt tacked on and forced but then again, I might get used to the name design of the show but for now, it just bugs me.

Now we move on to the characters. Most of the characters have returned but there appears to be a new rival for Dennis. A new female character named Angel Face
(Don't be fooled).

Her voice sounds alright and she has a decent design. But again, don't be fooled. She has her ways of getting what she wants and is rather manipulative like Walter. I'm sure they'll become the best of friends, probably.

Now we move on to the writing. The characters are all in character and the idea of the 'softies' getting a hold of Dennis' tree-house though a will is a interesting spin on the story of 'X taking Y's Z' and it does lead to some funny gags in the episode which you'll have to watch for yourself. Oh, and there was a hilariously awful pun in there but it got a bit a laugh out of me so, yeah.

The music was pretty good too. Nice guitar work and the theme song is still awesome. There were some minor edits in the animation and they're pretty good too. They don't distract from the music and the music doesn't distract from the animation. Overall, I enjoyed the episode, I'm going to cut them some slack on this considering it's the first episode but all things considered it was still a great episode and I hope to see more in the future. Also, if you want to watch the first episode of the second season, check it out here:

There are some changes that make more sense if you were to read some of the comics to understand some of the changes made in this new series, like in "Dennis' parent's make over" story arc starting here:
Also, Dennis and his trusty Abyssinian wire-haired tripe hound, Gnasher, are getting their very own comic magazine called 'The Dennis and Gnasher Megazine' ( ) to coincide with the new series.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading my review. I appreciate it.

Copyright ©2013 D C Thomson & Co Ltd.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Regarding My Last Rebuttal

I acknowledge what I was trying to do with the 2nd rebuttal, and that only 5% of the sources I used in the rebuttal may have had a decent point but the other 95% of the sources, did not.

I knew what I intended, but not only did I did not have enough sources for debunking, but most of the ones I did use made the 2nd rebuttal come out wrong and for that, I apologize.

However, my points with the 1st rebuttal still stand but even then, I hope Dennis the Menace and Gnasher will thrive both in and out of the comics in the future.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dennis the Menace: A Comic Controversy...Or So It Seems

Ever since I made that rebuttal about the so called "political correctness" controversy, I have been pondering about whether or not making a rebuttal on the Daily Mail article accusing the show/comic relaunch of 'Dennis The Menace and Gnasher' being "taken over by PC softies". So despite what I said in the previous rebuttal after much consideration, I've decided to debunk this article by dispelling the myths that the Daily Mail has so foolishly brought to the immense and virtual internet table and we shall begin now.

The article in question:

First off, in response to this quote:

You may think me mad to imagine there was a risk of being influenced by the heroes of my childhood comics — and you’d be right. But that’s the literal-minded logic behind the decision of DC Thomson comics — who publish The Beano and Dandy — to turn Dennis the Menace into Dennis the Softy

This statement can and will be proven wrong by the show itself having enough evidence for it's own rebuttal that I made a short while ago:

The idea of using the same sin as The Sun had done (essentially only using an image of the new Dennis without the weapons (that he uses later or even before this article was made) feels like it's generalizing the idea that he doesn't use weapons in the relaunch (which the idea is very false indeed).

He does use weapons (slingshot, catapult and peashooter) in the comic. For example:

But that's only a small sample of the giant collection of Beano material from both these sites proving my point against the 'politically correct' argument:

Also, this quote:

In their letter of reply, DC Thomson acknowledged that the character, first published in 1951, has indeed been disarmed by the PC brigade to match Dennis in the supposedly child-friendly, BBC TV cartoon version that was launched last September.

The show is made for families, not just for kids and with the evidence on both this rebuttal and the earlier one, it is clear they're doing this "news" material only for the money and not for telling the truth. No wonder The Daily Mail is considered a joke.

Continuing on with this rebuttal, the writer of the article babbles on about false rumors such as:

Poor Dennis can no longer use his catapult or peashooter in a destructive way. Gone is his aggressive scowl — replaced by a bland, Disneyesque grin.
Nor is he allowed to continue his bullying of his dreary old enemy, Walter the Softy, who has been given a girlfriend to discourage gay-bashing.

First of all, in the comic, most people would say Walter's just very flamboyant. Assuming he's gay just because he's less "manly" comes off as homophobic (even if Walter does come off at times as unlikeable). Second, even though I've already debunked quite a few rumors in this and the other rebuttal, there are other examples I can use to debunk the arguments further:

I think I've made my point.

This quote:

And in a final insult, Dennis’s wonderfully malevolent dog, Gnasher, has been defanged; he’s no longer allowed to bite his enemies.

I've also got backed up evidence of Gnasher biting people in the show, 'Dennis and Gnasher' on the previous rebuttal but showing it here would be redundant. Also, you were saying?

If they're always destructive and full of chaos and anarchy but never showing any semblance of a personality or any traits of believable or relatable characters that are even likable, the characters themselves (even with weapons) would become hated because of mean spirited actions and just being very awful people. Believe me, they are more funny than a modern Simpsons episode (though even they're hit-or-miss). The writers and cartoonists have proven to us they can still use weapons and even keep their personalities even with the new art style. Also, I've seen Asterix and the characters from The Beano and they're nothing like what you just said.

Believe me, I've at least done my research and I know for certain that they're still troublemakers just from doing a web search on the 'Dennis and Gnasher' series and comics. They're still funny and still have a lot of charm to them.

Also this quote:

The best comics come with a dose of mischief and fear

Mischief, it depends on the comic, but even "mischief" can go too far but fear? Why should we fear the characters in the comic? If anything we should at least be able to like the characters, not be outright terrified by them and Harry Potter was never addictive because of his parents' death. It was addictive because of the brilliant writing, characters and overall story that made people crave for more. What the hell is wrong with you? The parents' death was tragic and horrifying. It makes it sound like people ENJOYED seeing fan favorites die (because I sure as hell didn't) and saying that children thrive on evil and violence implies that children that they want to see people die in horrific ways (in real life, mind you) and worship the DEVIL! That just sounds so screwed up in so many ways! How DARE you accuse children of being easily manipulated and thinking that they're stupid?!

Struwwelpeter, the classic 1845 German children’s book, is full of stories of girls who burn to death after playing with matches and boys who have their thumbs cut off for sucking them and children who waste away and die because they don’t eat their dinner.

No comment. Also, the statement from before implies that kids think Dennis and Gnasher are pure evil which to me, sounds ridiculous because Dennis has been shown to have some level of standards (even LONG before the relaunch) and has never ONCE abused Gnasher by torturing him in horrific ways too violent for The Beano to show (the writers themselves, have shown that they respect the anthro and non-anthro animal characters), Gnasher's never killed anyone and Roald Dahl was a great author who didn't resort to killing off child characters like a sadistic monster and he even had his own standards.

Being that they're "just stories" doesn't stop kids from being scarred for life. Of course it's fiction but then again, there have been non-fiction stories where they're screwed up and flat out too HORRIFYING for even an adult to hear about but even then, a lot of the blame is to go to the news for spreading fear all over the planet and there are kids and even adults who love to break the rules because to them, it's a lot more fun but even that fun can go too far.

It depends on the comics how stylised the violence will look. There are plenty of instances in The Beano (from what I've read) that look very visually painful and disturbing for even the common reader and even then, a lot of superhero comics (and other more realistic looking comics) have violence so graphic, it would horrify anyone and become nightmare fuel.

They can be a form of escapism. But it doesn't help that comics like 'One More Day' goes out of it's way to insult people who do legitimately like escapist fiction and just make you want to put the comic in a shredder but there are many great comics out there that don't insult you and are genuinely good and they can also be an escapism to a modern world that is better than this one.

Comics like the Beano have been either questionable or pretty damn good. For example, this video will show you (a bit) that comics were never always innocent...

...and that sometimes, they went WAY too far:

Society's never lost it's sense of humor, that's why the internet was created and why the Eiffel Tower is never thought of the same way again. They've also never lost their innocence...wait, they never had it to begin with and the mischief aspect is why 4chan and the Brony fanbase was created. Then again, even THEY have their upsides, whichever they are has been proven by the internet.

I think that sums up my rebuttal against the Daily Mails accusations on Dennis and Gnasher being "politically correct". The person who made the article should be ashamed of themselves for embarrassing themselves in front of thousands of web users. It was very awful and I can only imagine someone got paid to write this regurgitated shit I had already heard from The Sun. Bloody terrible.

The article has also been talked about by Lew Stringer:
but even though he did a great job calling about their bullshit, I felt like he didn't fully tear into them like he did before (still, a great job) so I decided to tear into them and rip them apart because the article was just THAT bad and now, as I've said before, will be the last time I'll make a blog post about this issue because I felt like I've done at least to defend what I consider great comics/series.

So, yeah. Thanks for reading and series 2 of 'Dennis and Gnasher' is coming out soon so stay tuned.

Copyright ©2013 D C Thomson & Co Ltd.

UPDATE: Also, the stuff the writer says about his early life, I have some things to say about it. If anybody doesn't at least be a bit daring in their lives, always plays by the rules and comes off as a goody two-shoes, they'll never achieve anything in life and be stuck in the same boring routine. People need to take chances and have some fun in their lives (the kind that won't get people in jail, I mean) so when they leave school, they can achieve something in life they worked hard for.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dennis And Gnasher - A Rebuttal On Why The Relaunch Isn't Politically Correct

The "News" Article In Question:

With the exception of the internet, I rarely watch shows on TV. But sometimes, they'll always be a show that comes up, turns up on TV and you might stumble upon it by accident and actually enjoy it. That's where Dennis and Gnasher comes in.

When I initially heard of the show, it was from Mr. Coat. When I heard of the so-called politically correct aspect of this show initially, I wasn't all that interested in the show.

But as of recently, I stumbled upon the series by accident on ABC3 and I ended up enjoying it. The first episode that I watched called 'Bad Dad' involved Dennis using a multi-catapult to attack Walter and his dad with water balloons and it was hilarious. That and I've seen every main episode but as of this writing, I haven't seen all the in-between segments but from what I saw, it made me laugh.
But aside from how I discovered Dennis and Gnasher, I decided to make this blog post for a specific reason and that was to defend to show as it, to me, is not as awful as people are making it out to be. That, and it definitely isn't at all politically correct and I'm going to prove that by making my points and backing them up with evidence as to why the show is not at all toned down to such the extreme as people make it out to be.
Let's start off with the news article from The Sun, ripping apart each part of the article piece by piece.
Let's start with the picture:

Already I can see problems.

Let's start with the fact that they're judging the show/comic simply on the basis of only images and not even any video evidence of such changes occurring. It felt rather biased and shallow to me. Also, with the fact that Dennis actually does use weapons in the show itself. For example, there is a scene in Episode 10 where not only does Dennis' Dad refer to him as a menace (Dennis also refers to himself as a menace) but Dennis ends up firing water balloons at both Walter and his dad with a multi-catapult (even though it isn't a traditional catapult, he still uses one). Here's a video of the episode in question (the evidence speaks for itself):

Also, at the start of episode 2, Dennis is seen was a mega slingshot at the time, trying to launch Gnasher into space:

Also, in episode 48, Dennis is seen with a water pistol:

(I think this speaks for itself and I'd also like to apologize for the poor quality of the picture. I couldn't find the episode online.)

He admittedly doesn't use a peashooter in the cartoon (from what I've seen) but then again, he doesn't use it in the 90s cartoon so what difference does it make? He still uses other weapons and they're awesome.

Which reminds me, Gnasher (this is evident on the recent cartoon's website where one of the clips of Gnasher's profile involves this) bites people in a hilarious fashion:

But that's not the only time he bites people (as seen in these links):

Granted, he does also bite other things in the show (again, in a funny way) so Gnasher hasn't been banned from biting anything at all.

Also, corporal punishment hasn't been used in the comic strip since the 1980s and besides, it's fallen into poor taste nowadays so moving on from that would be a wise decision but that doesn't mean he's a goody two-shoes or he has ever escaped being punished. He does get punished and there was even an episode entirely dedicated to Dennis being grounded "forever":

Also, the inventions that Dennis makes or buys either cause panicking to others or harm by a certain prank. Imaginative, yes. Harmless, no. They don't call him 'Dennis the Menace' for no good reason:

Also, Gnasher's not a mutt. He's an Abyssinian wire-haired tripehound. Anyone who's ever read the comics or seen the animated material will tell you this. It clearly shows me how much they did their research and of course Dennis has different expressions in the cartoon. The comic examples are so obvious I won't even bother showing them. But I'll show a few out of one episode (episode 13) of the series to prove a point as to why the 'boyish grin' is one the stupidest defenses for their their "Dennis Gone PC" argument I've ever heard:

You were saying?

But onward with the rebuttal on this stupid "news" article. Of course he looks different but that's mostly because of the art style. He's still the menace I know and like and just because his appearance is altered, does not make him politically correct. He's been changing for the past 60 years and seeing changes like these aren't a bad thing (depending on your own personal opinion of the changes). Change is good and this is why we don't live in the stone age anymore. British comics have adapted to changes throughout the many generations which is why the comic is no longer dated. Time's change and they're for the better (though I'm not against the most recent comic incarnation but it's hit or miss in terms of ideas).

Yes, even though Dennis does technically use Gnasher as a "cleaning device", he never forces him do so and thus, it isn't animal abuse. Gnasher does it by his own choice. But from the sound of it however, they make it sound like Dennis made Gnasher into a living vacuum cleaner but that is such a lie, I'm going to gladly show the clip(s) to prove my point (also, Gnasher did help clean up the house in other episodes but he was never forced to do it):

Also, about the opening paragraph in bold, Dennis (I'm talking about the relaunch but even then) was never a softy. He's always been referred to as a menace and acts as such. What, just because he's likable means he's a softy? Ridiculous and that's another thing, the 90s Dennis the Menace's animated series' international title is...'Dennis and Gnasher' so it makes the 2009 series title useless for the media to make false claims of political correctness and even then, it may have been for copyright reasons due to the US cartoon of Dennis the Menace from the 1980s (even I thought the copyright idea was kind of ridiculous). In the 90s series, Dennis never once used a slingshot or peashooter and that show was awesome! So, what? You're gonna complain about it simply based on nitpicking? Pathetic.

My previous points and the latter ones still stand.

The theme song doesn't lie to me.

It represents Dennis in the best way possible. He doesn't play by the rules, implying he gets in trouble on a regular basis (which he usually does), he's constantly trying to starve off boredom by doing many fun and awesome things, Gnasher bites (who knew?) and it shows Dennis at his most energetic.

Oh, and while I'm on the topic of "political correctness", I'm going to take the time to write some instances of what would've been cases of political correctness but never were to begin with:

1. Gnasher. He might have had smaller jaws and wouldn't have bit people. Hell, he might have been an idiot because political correctness would've not allow him to have enough intelligence to understand Dennis and others or he would not be in the show at all if political correctness did happen in the show. But no, it's the complete opposite of what I just said.

2. Pie-Face. He would've been eating fruit and veggies and not pies. He would not have been named Pie-Face but for some stupid reason, people would be saying it promotes obesity or something stupid like that but no, he's the opposite of what I said.

3. Mrs. Creecher. She wouldn't have a Welsh accent and she would be overly nice if political correctness happened. But it never did.

4. Dennis would be annoyingly nice all the time and always be a goody two-shoes. He would never make any weapons or cool stuff like a big monster out of park parts and he would constantly sucking up to everyone he knows. But he doesn't, he isn't and never will be because political correctness NEVER happened!

Also, about the fact he helps his family out and even friends. All I can say is that he may be a menace but he's not a monster. In the comic, he has friends he has a stable friendship with, he has his best friend Gnasher and does care about his little sister Bea. Believe me, it actually helps his character a lot more to at least be a bit more caring every once in a while.

Now, a response to the people who were a part of the article:

To the anonymous insider: don't assume kids are stupid.

About the purists, they shouldn't be angry. The comic's been changing gradually for the past 60 years so I'm not going to complain over something so trivial.

I can see where the kid's coming from with thinking the new show's silly (it is at times), but then again so is the 90s series. They're both still a lot of fun to watch.

I also thought it was ridiculous... but then I watched the show and found Dennis to be still the troublemaker that people respect him for. Granted, he is slightly different, but it's not bad and as a final note to the article, I agree with the spokesperson. It kind of contradicts what the article was accusing him of, eh?

Now, about the character profile that Mr. Coat himself, I like your stuff (I usually watch your stuff as soon as it's uploaded), but nowadays, the video of the 2 Dennis' now just rubs me the wrong way and I would never use 'gentle' to describe Dennis (not even the 2009 incarnation). I's clear you got some awful sources for so-called "news" about the show and I would consider watching the show fully in order to fully appreciate it like I do now. It's even gotten me interested in reading The Beano more and fully appreciating Dennis the Menace and Gnasher. Don't get me wrong, I like (most of) the different incarnations of Dennis the Menace but even then, I just felt (and still do) put off by that part of the video because you fell for lies.

Well, if you reached this far, thank you for reading my rebuttal on The Sun's "news" story about the new Dennis the Menace relaunch and I'm not looking for any other news articles to debunk. Most of them are just cut and paste of the one I just ripped apart and quite frankly, it's pointless and that is why with backed up evidence that the show 'Dennis and Gnasher' is not politically correct.

I recommend taking a look at another rebuttal by a professional comic book artist named Lew Stringer and his blog post defending the show was absolutely wonderful. Give it a read, it's great:

Also, I recommend giving the Beano website a look as well as the show's website a look at, there's enough to prove that the relaunched comic and show are not politically correct:

Also, one last thing. The 2nd series of Dennis and Gnasher is coming this year to coincide with the 75th anniversary of The Beano. I'm personally looking forward to it and I hope it will be very good. So, yeah. Thanks for reading this.

Copyright ©2013 D C Thomson & Co Ltd